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Downs Sydrome, heart disease and Martial Training

Posted on February 22, 2015 at 1:20 PM Comments comments (1)

Downs Sydrome, heart disease and Martial Training

Jeffrey A Hein, MS - Research Consultant: Jiu Jitsu Global Federation

 

To begin this article, I wish to be very clear on certain subjects that pertain to both instructors, parents, caregivers and practitioners of martial arts. The first area of concern is that all students who have disabilities should first have a thorough medical examination by their primary care physician to assess any medical conditions that need to be addressed when beginning a program of study in martial arts. An examination is not to preclude the disabled from being involved in martial arts, but to help instructors to design a program of study that meets the needs of the disabled student and will help the instructor to address the needs of the student. It is my opinion that all disabled students can participate in martial arts, but each student will bring certain limitations that need to be addressed and having a medical examination will help the instructor to design a program of study that is safe and will meet the needs and goals of the disabled practitioner.

Second, the disabled student should be under the supervision of their primary physician to assess their progress as well as to evaluate their progress in the practitioner’s physical condition. I suggest regular meetings with their primary physician in order evaluate any problems that may arise from training in martial arts. With proper medical supervision and having an instructor that is trained and understands the needs of the adaptive needs of their students will make for a safe environment that is a positive experience for both the instructor and practitioner alike. There are no two adaptive martial arts students that are exactly alike; thus it is the encumbrance of the instructor to become familiar with each disabled student and to work as a team with the disabled practitioner, primary physician, family members and care givers. This team approach will not only increase the safety of the practitioner and make for a positive experience for all involved.

Working with students who have downs syndrome present will several unique issues that need to be addressed. The first and foremost issue I will deal with in this article is congenital heart disease. Current medical research estimates that approximately 60% of all downs syndrome individuals have a congenital heart defect of some category. Abnormalities of the cardiovascular system are common in Down syndrome. Approximately half of all infants born with Down syndrome have a heart defect. Many of these defects have serious implications and it is important to understand them and how they may affect the child so that appropriate medical treatment may be provided. This presents certain risks with any kind of physical fitness program including martial arts. I will briefly exam the two most common heart disease issues, but first, I will give a complete overview of the congenital heart problems that a martial arts instructor may encounter when training an individual with Downs Syndrome

Congenital Heart Disease in Children with Down Syndrome

 

Children with Down syndrome are at a much higher risk for congenital heart disease. As a comparison: the incidence of congenital heart disease in the general population is 0.8 percent. The incidence of congenital heart disease in children with Down syndrome is between 40-60 percent. Some heart defects can be left alone with careful monitoring while others require surgery to correct the problem. The following types of heart defects in children with Down syndrome are discussed below.

Atrioventricular Septal Defects (AVSDs) – These are the most common in children with Down syndrome.

Ventricular Septal Defects (VSDs)

Atrial Septal Defects

Patent Ductus Arteriosus

Tetralogy of Fallot

Atrioventricular Septal Defects (AVSDs)

 

These heart defects are defined by a hole in the wall between the top chambers (atria) and bottom chambers (ventricles) and one common valve between the two areas. In some cases, there might not be a hole between the bottom chambers. Or the valves may not be joined together, but either or both might leak. This is known as valve incompetence.

Because of the high pressure in the left ventricle which is needed to pump the blood around the body, blood is forced through the holes in the central heart wall (septum) when the ventricle contracts. This increases the pressure in the right ventricle. This increased pressure (pulmonary hypertension) results in excess blood flow to the lungs. Some of the early symptoms seen are difficulty in eating, weight gain, fast irregular breathing and a degree of cyanosis (blueness) particularly noticeable around the mouth, fingers and toes. Clinical examination may show an enlarged heart and liver, and a diagnosis of ‘heart failure' may be given. This term is used because of the flow of blood from one side to the other; the heart has to work harder than normal causing the heart to fail to work normally. Not all children will exhibit symptoms early in life, and those that do will not always show all of these.Treatment

 

Early treatment may involve the use of diuretics to control the fluid retention around the body and to reduce the volume of blood in the circulation, thus making the heart's workload easier. These may be used in conjunction with other drugs that increase the contraction of the heart muscle.

 

Slow weight gain may indicate the need to use high-calorie formula increase calorie intake. Severe eating problems may warrant using a naso-gastric tube (through the nose and directly into the stomach) to help with proper nutrition.

 

The majority of cases of AVSD usually require surgical intervention; this generally takes place within the first six months of life.

Ventricular Septal Defects (VSDs)

 

In this defect there is a hole between the bottom chambers (pumping chambers or ventricles). Because of the higher pressure in the left side of the heart, this allows oxygenated blood to flow through the hole from the left to the right side of the heart, and back to the lungs, in addition to the normal flow.

The amount of blood flow from the left to right ventricle depends on the size of the hole and on the pressure between the ventricles. In other words, the higher the rate of flow means more strain on the heart. The abnormal blood flow is responsible for the murmur that may be heard. Generally patients with a small VSD will not exhibit symptoms (they are asymptomatic) and the problem may only be found when a murmur is detected upon routine examination. Patients with a moderate VSD may breathe quickly, exhibit poor weight gain, and be slower at eating. These children are also much more prone to chest infections. This tends to be more pronounced when the hole is large. As with ASVDs, patients with moderate or large holes usually require treatment with diuretics to control fluid retention and to reduce the volume of blood in the circulation may be used. Also, high-calorie formula or tube feedings might be necessary. Many VSDs will close spontaneously or get much smaller, so it is normal practice to leave a child with a small or moderate VSD and monitor their progress before deciding to operate. Surgery may be needed if there is failure to thrive despite medication, or concern about pulmonary hypertension. If a large VSD is present, surgery is almost always recommended. Atrial Septal Defects (ASDs). In this defect there is a hole between the top chambers (receiving chambers or atria). Because of the higher pressure in the left side of the heart, oxygenated blood flows through the hole from the left to the right side of the heart, and back to the lungs, in addition to the normal flow. There are three types of Atrial Septal Defect; the most common is when there is a hole in the middle of the central heart wall. Holes in the lower part of the septum, called the primum defect (partial atrioventricular septal defect), are often associated with a problem of the mitral valve that often results in a leak. Less common are sinus venosus defects or holes in the top of the septum. These are associated with an abnormality of the right upper lung vein. Generally patients with an ASD defect will exhibit no symptoms and the problem is only found when a routine clinical examination detects a heart murmur. Occasionally children with this problem will exhibit poor weight gain and a failure to thrive, and if there is mitral valve leakage there may be early symptoms of breathlessness. Small holes which allow little blood flow from left to right generally cause no problems. If they are located in the middle portion of the central heart wall, they may even close on their own. However, moderate and large holes do not close, and the extra work over the years places a strain on the right side of the heart causing an enlargement of both pumping chambers. Therefore, treatment (surgery) is usually recommended in the first few years of life for larger holes, before excessive strain has been placed on the heart. Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA). This defect is the continuance of a direct connection between the aorta and the lung (pulmonary) artery, which normally closes shortly after birth. A baby in the womb is supplied oxygen by the placenta via the umbilical cord. The baby's lungs are not expanded and require only a small amount of blood for them to grow. The ductus is a blood vessel that allows blood to bypass the baby's lungs. Generally the ductus close within a few days of birth, and the connections between the two sides of the heart no longer exist. The resistance to blood flow quickly falls with the onset of breathing. In some babies with Down syndrome the ductus fails to close. This causes higher pressure in the left side of the heart and increases the amount of blood flowing into the lungs. If the ductus has partially closed and only a narrow connection remains, the baby won’t show symptoms. If the connection is larger, the baby may be breathless and tired and show poor weight gain. If the ductus remains open for more than three months, it is unlikely to close on its own and surgical closure is recommended. Tetralogy of Fallot. small percentage of babies with Down syndrome have this complex heart condition which combines the most common defect associated with Down syndrome, AVSD, with Tetralogy of Fallot. This anomaly includes four different heart problems: a hole between the top chambers and a hole between the bottom chambers combined mitral and tricuspid valves (common atrioventricular valve) narrowed pulmonary artery (from heart to lungs) or the area under or above the valve, or all three thickening of the right bottom chamber (ventricle) The combination of these defects early in life almost seems to balance out such that the child may be rather blue, but not too breathless. There can, of course, be too much blueness or too much breathlessness, depending on the severity of the different conditions. The type of surgery depends on the severity of the AVSD or the Fallots. Usually, the children are quite blue and require a BT shunt to increase the amount of blue going to the lungs. Then another operation is performed later – usually at 1-2 years of age – so that the holes can be closed, the valves repaired, and the way out to the lung artery widened. Other Heart Related Problems in Down syndrome In addition to the heart defects associated with Down syndrome, high blood pressure in the lungs (pulmonary hypertension) is more common in people with Down syndrome. This high blood pressure may be a result of malformation of the lung tissue, but the exact cause is not known. Higher blood pressure may limit the amount of blood flow to the lungs and therefore decrease the likelihood of symptoms of congestive heart failure seen in babies with complete AV canals or large ventricular septal defects. This then causes the problem of delaying a possible needed surgery to close holes in the heart. These babies must be watched carefully in order to determine the best time for surgery. A majority of cardiologists agree that all babies diagnosed with Down syndrome should have a cardiology evaluation. This is because of the high incidence of associated congenital heart defects. A good history and physical examination should be performed by an experienced cardiologist to rule out any obvious heart defect. Some of the tests that should be addressed when developing a program of study for Downs Syndrome students are:

An electrocardiogram should be performed. This can be very helpful in making the diagnosis of AV canal, even when physical symptoms are absent.

Some doctors also choose to perform at least one echocardiogram to rule out other subtle heart problems.

If the diagnosis of congenital heart disease is made, the cardiologist normally follows up with the child through routine office visits. Most patients can be watched clinically to determine if the child is having difficulty because of the heart defect.

Occasionally, a repeat electrocardiogram, chest X-ray, or echocardiogram is performed to further evaluate clinical changes. These tests are likely to be repeated before surgical repair is recommended.

Rarely, a cardiac catheterization is required for complete evaluation prior to corrective surgery, especially in children where elevated pressures in the lungs are a concern.

 

Parents of a child with Down syndrome need to work closely with their child’s doctor(s) to determine what route (surgical or medical) will best serve their child.

The first of the more common heart problems is Persistent Ductus Arteriosus. This heart disease the ductus arteriosus is a channel between the pulmonary artery and the aorta. During fetal life it diverts blood away from the lungs because prenatal blood is already oxygenated from the mother. After birth this channel usually closes on the first day of life. If it does not close, it is termed "persistent" and results in an increased flow of blood into the lungs. The second disease commonly associated with Downs Syndrome is Tetralogy of Fallot. This term given to a heart condition composed of four abnormalities: Ventricular septal defect a narrowing of the passage from the right ventrical to the lungs an over enlarged right ventrical because of the backup of blood an over enlarged aorta, which carries blood from the left ventrical to the body. These two congenital heart defects have a profound effect on the respiratory system, and since martial arts training involve a large amount of cardio vascular training, the instructor needs to be aware that the student has physical limitations that need to be carefully monitored. The lungs of children with Down syndrome do not develop as fully as in the general population. Consequently, the growth of blood vessels throughout the lungs is limited. The narrowed arteries of the lungs hold potential for lasting consequences due to the increased pressure and flow of blood through the lungs. There is good news in dealing with this condition; Heart surgery to correct the defects is recommended and it must be done before age five or six months in order to prevent lung damage. Although the complexity of the defects raises the risk of surgery slightly above that of surgery on children without Down syndrome, successful surgery will allow many children with heart conditions to thrive as well as any child with Down syndrome who is born with a normal heart. There may be residual defects (such as imperfect valves in cases of Atrioventricular Septal Defect), but their effect on health is often minimal. So in the evaluation of the Downs syndrome student, it should be enquired as to whether the student presents with this heart disease and if so, what is the current status of their condition.

As can be seen by a review of the literature, Downs Syndrome students with congenital heart disease present many issues for the instructor to take in consideration. These problems should never preclude the student from study, but for safety and liability issues a complete medical history questionnaire should be prepared in order to develop a program of study that will keep the student safe and the instructor will be more prepared to help the student reach their goals and be a proud member of the martial arts community.

 

 

References

 

http://physical-disabilities.suite101.com/article.cfm/heart_defects_in_down_syndrome#ixzz0CoUY51QP&A

 

Freeman SB, Taft LF, Dooley KJ, Allran K, Sherman SL, Hassold TJ, Khoury MJ, Saker DM (1998), Population-based study of congenital heart defects in Down syndrome.

Am J Med Genet 1998 Nov 16;80(3):213-7, Department of Genetics, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Down Syndrome Abstract of the Month: Dec 1998, viewed on 3 April 2009, http://www.ds-health.com/abst/a9812.htm

 

http://www.dsdublin.ie/index.php?view=article&catid=68%3AHeart&id=89%3Aatrial-septal-defect&option=com_content&Itemid=117

 

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, 2006, Heart-Related Syndromes Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21), viewed on 11 April 2009, http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/health/heart-encyclopedia/anomalies/pda.htm

 

 

Guiding Princiles of Jeet Kune Do

Posted on December 12, 2014 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (0)

- Guiding Principles -

Jeet Kune Do approaches effective self -defense in a uniquely different manner that sets it apart from most other Martial Arts. Some distinctive principles are noted with a brief description.

 

 

Non Telegraphic Movement - Drawing the arm back before striking, stepping before kicking or showing any obvious "build up" movement tells the opponent what you're about to do. This gives them the opportunity to counter attack you. We learn to punch and kick efficiently without telegraphing our intentions.

Strong Side Forward - We stress the use of our strongest and most coordinated weapons (Hand and Foot) out front, where they can do the most damage. If you are right handed, you will be in a right lead fighting stance. If you are left handed, it's a left lead fighting stance. This in turn makes the weaker weapons stronger, giving you two strong sides to use for attack. We use the lead hand for 80% offense, 20% defense. The rear hand is mostly used as a defensive tool, 80% defense, 20% offense.

Longest Weapon To The Closest Target - When attacking from a distance to the nearest target, JKD uses the lead hand for punching and the lead leg for kicking. The rear tools are further away, take longer to get to the target and can be countered more easily.

Non Classical Movement - We do not employ the use of set or fixed training forms or patterns. They do not accurately represent realistic fight situations. We employ drills that keep the relationship between the opponents alive, fluid and mobile.

Use Of Broken Rhythm - Used while attacking or counter attacking, it allows you to catch your opponent while they are motion set, thus making it harder for them to defend or counter your attack. In attacking, there are a few ways to break the rhythm within a series of movements after a rhythm has already been established. For example, speed up suddenly, slow down suddenly, and/or insert a brief pause or delay in the series of movements. In counter attacking, you can hit on the half-beat to break an opponent's rhythm and interrupt their attack. If you hit the opponent before he completes the first strike, you've hit on the half-beat. If you parry the first strike, and hit between the first and second strikes, you have broken the rhythm on the one and a half-beat. Control the rhythm, you can control the fight.

Adaptability - Fights are abstract and are constantly changing. One must be able to adapt to these changing situations. You cannot be bound by fixed techniques, a single system or method. You must be free to use whatever works and to express yourself without limitations.

Use Of Feints and False Attacks - Feints are actions that make an opponent think an attack is being launched against them. The object is to divert their attention from your final or intended point of attack. False attacks are intentionally made to fall short of a target and to draw a defensive reaction from the opponent. This will help you discover how they will react to your movements and is a set up for other types of attacks, such as Attack by Combination and Progressive Indirect Attack.

Interception - The words Jeet Kune Do translate to "Way of The Intercepting Fist." It is least efficient to block first, then hit. It's more efficient to simultaneously parry and hit, or even better, intercept the attack. This is best accomplished by controlling the distance so your opponent has to move towards you to get to you. The mind-set of defend and hit must be changed to "think hit."

Centerline - Looping or grand movements are very telegraphic and easy to defend or intercept. Strikes going down the centerline are difficult to see and defend against. There are some major targets located along the centerline such as the eyes, nose, chin, throat, solar plexus and groin. In controlling the centerline, you also can control the balance, position and leverage of an opponent and their ability to attack you.

Alive Footwork - Good mobility is essential. It can put you in a position to hit, or it can take you out of position from being hit. Distance, rhythm and timing are controlled with footwork, which should always be alive, fluid and mobile.

Focus on Low Line Kicking - Kicking high to head in street fights can be dangerous. High kicks are slower, easier to defend, more telegraphic and you need to be very limber to execute them. Low line kicks to the groin, knee and shin are quite effective and much safer to execute. They are also faster, harder to defend, less telegraphic and your balance is not as compromised.

The Five Ways of Attack - Even though there are many Martial Arts systems, styles and methods, there are basically only five ways for you to attack or be attacked. In JKD we classify them as:

Single Direct Attack/Single Angulated Attack - SDA is a single motion (Punch or Kick) which moves with no effort to conceal it, directly to the target on the most economical route. It can also be indirect, beginning on one line and ending on another. Such as a punch that starts to the stomach (mid line) and ends on the chin (high line). SAA is an attack that is launched from an unanticipated angle that is achieved by moving in such a way as to create an open line into which to strike.

Attack by Combination - An offensive attack made up of two or more movements in a natural progression that lands on single or multiple targets. Attack combinations can be comprised of hand to hand, hand to foot, foot to hand and foot to foot strikes.

Attack by Draw - The goal when using attack by draw is to "draw" the opponent into a committed attack by baiting them into what looks like an exposed target, then intercepting his/her motion. Or you can execute a motion that invites a counter, then counter attack them as they take your bait.

Progressive Indirect Attack - Taken from Western Fencing originally, the idea of "second intention" is employed here where you use an initial false attack or feint to draw some type of defensive reaction from your opponent. After you get the attempted block or parry you deceive that defensive motion by quickly shifting lines and hitting to an open target. Progressive means you will cover at least half the distance between you and your opponent by moving forward on the initial false attack or feint. Indirect means to gain time by putting your opponent a half beat behind your motions. You don't wait for their block to land, you shift lines just as it's moving towards your initial strike. This timing is used to take advantage of the best "window of opportunity" to deceive the opponent.

Hand Immobilization Attack - Taken originally from Wing Chun and later modified, "trapping" is an effective tool against systems that block first, then hit. This is an attack that will momentarily immobilize or "trap" one or both of the opponent's arms, allowing you to strike into an open line. You can also purposely draw a reaction from them to be countered with a trap.

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Mastering Triangles by Neil Melanson

Posted on November 12, 2014 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

MASTERING TRIANGLE CHOKES: Ground Marshal Submission Grappling [ILLUSTRATED BOOK]

By Neil Melanson

In Mastering Triangle Chokes, Neil Melanson takes you deep into the grappling rabbit hole and teaches you how to apply the devastating triangle choke submission in virtually any scenario from your guard. Unlike other grappling instructional manuals, Mastering Triangle Chokes is not a random compilation of techniques. It is a detailed system that teaches you how to capitalize on your opponent’s body position and direction of movement. It gives you a chess-like strategy for anticipating your opponent’s counters, allowing you to remain two steps ahead and shut down all possible escape routes. With more than 2,000 color photos and descriptive narrative, Mastering Triangle Chokes is the most complete tome ever written on the art of the triangle choke.

—– Michael Stets from MMA MANIA.com ———————————-

A fantastic soup to nuts book, made for the novice or for the expert on all the different ways to land the well-known submission, from various guard systems and positions. Many of which Melanson has developed himself, like K-Control, Irish Collar and the Shoulder Pin series.

The book comes in at just under 300 pages, and features full illustrations on every move, with explanations and an introduction for each chapter. There is a theme to the whole book and that is the concept of fighting the body position with the correct guard system. Every bit of information within it is detailed and easy to discern. This was a huge goal to finish the Triangle/Guard grappler companion, and it took years to accomplish.

—– NEIL MELANSON ———————————-

“I’m very, very happy with the book,” Melanson said. “It took forever to do. When I first started the book it was going to be small book. There was a lot of stuff I was going to through in it, but I was setting it up to do another book, a guard systems book. But basically in the Triangle book I was going to touch on the guard systems a little bit, but I was really just going to do just triangles. As the process went on it was requiring so much time and energy. I met with the owner of Victory Belt, Erich Krauss and I said screw the second book and I’m going to combine it all and I’m just going to make this triangle book something that’s studied, regardless if it’s now, or 10 years from now. I wanted to do it right.”

“If you buy this book, you are going to see a lot of great techniques (sample here) and you are going to see a lot of great systems. It is going to make a big difference, but what I really want is people to read it. Read the chapter introductions because I cram nothing but knowledge in there. I wanted people not just to look through and say ‘that’s a cool set up, that was worth buying the book.’ I want them to learn it because to me this is the one contribution I wanted to make to the sport. Stuff that I know really well that I never hear other coaches talk about.”

“You are going to see a lot of the guard systems come out of this book that people aren’t really familiar with. Like K-control is one of my favorite open-guard systems. These are systems that I use … everything in the book is going to be based on something that you can translate into an MMA situation. That was one of the biggest things I focused on because I was always rolling around with MMA guys when I first started. I had to adjust things because I was getting beat up on the bottom. For me I always had to find a way to win and I realized that you can’t play one system all the time, you have to adjust based on how your opponent is playing you. To do that you have to be able to read them right. That was the whole basis of the book: how to read your opponent and adjust your system based on how he’s playing you, and by doing that you can actually use that to protect yourself, attack, and trick him by off balancing him into the system you want to use the most.”

—– NEIL MELANSON ———————————-

http://www.amazon.com/Mastering-Triangle-Chokes-Submission-Grappling/dp/193660809X

MASTERING TRIANGLE CHOKES: Ground Marshal Submission Grappling [ILLUSTRATED BOOK]

By Neil Melanson

The OODA Loop

Posted on November 6, 2014 at 2:40 PM Comments comments (0)


Boyd's key concept was that of the decision cycle or OODA Loop, the process by which an entity (either an individual or an organization) reacts to an event. According to this idea, the key to victory is to be able to create situations wherein one can make appropriate decisions more quickly than one's opponent. The construct was originally a theory of achieving success in air-to-air combat, developed out of Boyd's Energy-Maneuverability theory and his observations on air combat between MiGs and F-86s in Korea. Harry Hillaker (chief designer of the F-16) said of the OODA theory, "Time is the dominant parameter. The pilot who goes through the OODA cycle in the shortest time prevails because his opponent is caught responding to situations that have already changed."

Boyd hypothesized that all intelligent organisms and organizations undergo a continuous cycle of interaction with their environment. Boyd breaks this cycle down to four interrelated and overlapping processes through which one cycles continuously:

• Observation: the collection of data by means of the senses

• Orientation: the analysis and synthesis of data to form one's current mental perspective

• Decision: the determination of a course of action based on one's current mental perspective

• Action: the physical playing-out of decisions

 

Of course, while this is taking place, the situation may be changing. It is sometimes necessary to cancel a planned action in order to meet the changes.

This decision cycle is thus known as the OODA loop. Boyd emphasized that this decision cycle is the central mechanism enabling adaptation (apart from natural selection) and is therefore critical to survival.

Boyd theorized that large organizations such as corporations, governments, or militaries possessed a hierarchy of OODA loops at tactical, grand-tactical (operational art), and strategic levels. In addition, he stated that most effective organizations have a highly decentralized chain of command that utilizes objective-driven orders, or directive control, rather than method-driven orders in order to harness the mental capacity and creative abilities of individual commanders at each level. In 2003, this power to the edge concept took the form of a DOD publication "Power to the Edge: Command...Control...in the Information Age" by Dr. David S. Alberts and Richard E. Hayes. Boyd argued that such a structure creates a flexible "organic whole" that is quicker to adapt to rapidly changing situations. He noted, however, that any such highly decentralized organization would necessitate a high degree of mutual trust and a common outlook that came from prior shared experiences. Headquarters needs to know that the troops are perfectly capable of forming a good plan for taking a specific objective, and the troops need to know that Headquarters does not direct them to achieve certain objectives without good reason.

In 2007, strategy writer Robert Greene discussed the loop in a post called OODA and You. He insisted that it was "deeply relevant to any kind of competitive environment: business, politics,

sports, even the struggle of organisms to survive", and claimed to have been initially "struck by its brilliance".

[edit] Foundation of theories

Boyd never wrote a book on military strategy. The central works encompassing his theories on warfare consist of a several hundred slide presentation entitled Discourse on Winning & Losing and a short essay entitled Destruction & Creation (1976).

In Destruction & Creation, Boyd attempts to provide a philosophical foundation for his theories on warfare. In it he integrates Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem, Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, and the Second Law of Thermodynamics to provide a context and rationale for the development of the OODA Loop.

Boyd inferred the following from each of these theories:

• Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem: any logical model of reality is incomplete (and possibly inconsistent) and must be continuously refined/adapted in the face of new observations.

• Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle: there is a limit on our ability to observe reality with precision.

• Second Law of Thermodynamics: The entropy of any closed system always tends to increase, and thus the nature of any given system is continuously changing even as efforts are directed toward maintaining it in its original form.

 

From this set of considerations, Boyd concluded that to maintain an accurate or effective grasp of reality one must undergo a continuous cycle of interaction with the environment geared to assessing its constant changes. Boyd, though he was hardly the first to do so, then expanded Darwin's theory of evolution, suggesting that natural selection applies not only in biological but also in social contexts (such as the survival of nations during war or businesses in free market competition). Integrating these two concepts, he stated that the decision cycle was the central mechanism of adaptation (in a social context) and that increasing one's own rate and accuracy of assessment vis-a-vis one's counterpart's rate and accuracy of assessment provides a substantial advantage in war or other forms of competition.

 


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