The ‘reptilian brain’ acts like a filter to our more modern and advanced cognitive brain functions: anything that needs to be assessed, examined, and analyzed, needs to go through the reptilian brain first. Only when that brain approves can it move further. Basically, appease your reptilian brain or there is no room for negotiation.
It is interesting to analyze how much of the reptilian brain is activated in any given situation. You are watching for word choice, stance, body language, and other behaviours (there is a whole lifetime of study right there!). People in reptilian mode are often not very smart. It’s actually the completely composed guy who is nodding in the corner that you have to watch out for.
In a training context, this becomes very different. When the reptilian brain is engaged it is often due to fear. The role of the partner or instructor is to disengage that brain and ask why: what is going on for that person. SYSTEMA teaches that through the proper use of breath, you never let that brain engage. Things will function smoothly physiologically speaking. Interesting contemplation for training and beyond.
As the lizard stands there looking tough. The hawk chuckles.