The Fallacy of Hicks Law in Regards to Fighting For Your Life

By Roger Phillips, Owner and Operator of Fight Focused Concepts

Hicks law states that the more choices you have the longer it will take to make a decision.

Many people get all wrapped around the axle when it comes to being fluid, well-rounded, and versatile on matters of fighting for your life. They often believe that if you posses these abilities that Hicks Law will make you too slow in your decision-making ability. I want to break this down in a manner that is simple to understand and that many people will be able to relate to. Let’s take a look at something as simple as fist fighting or boxing.

There are basically five punches in boxing that make up the concept of throwing a punch. This is going to be discussed from the point of a dominant right-handed fighter.

• Left jab
• Straight right hand or cross
• Overhand right hand
• Hook
• Uppercut

With these five basic punches we are able to punch in an extremely wide range of different punches. When we look at distance, angle, and targeted area. These five punches can be thrown hundreds of different ways……which is hundreds of different techniques. Just because we have hundreds of different options on throwing a punch, that does not mean that it takes a lot of time to decide what punch you are going to throw. The specifics of the situation that you are in, in relationship with your adversary is going to limit these hundreds of different punches down to only a few rational choices. Distance, angle, and targeted area is now joined with what is actually an opening and the number of options drops even furthermore. So, even if we have hundreds of techniques, that make up our fluid concepts, we are still limited in a very small number of rational possibilities.

Nobody is going to throw a hook or uppercut from way too far outside, because they will not be able to reach. Nobody is going to throw an overhand right or jab from a clinch, because there simply is not enough room.

While this is a very simplified explanation, it really is no different from all of your self-defense skill sets. When we talk about training in fluid concepts, that are made up of hundreds of techniques, the specifics of the situation that you are in is going to limited your choices to a few rational possibilities.

By training in fluid concepts, while using pattern recognition training, these “few rational possibilities” will be put into play at the subconscious level…….with no need for conscious thought or a drawn out decision-making processes. You will see the opening and respond as you have trained yourself to respond.

This is not 31 Flavors and I am not choosing between Rocky Road, Mint Chocolate Chip, or Pistachio…….I am in a fight for my life and my brain is going to be working at hyper speed at the subconscious level. Hicks law has zero effect on me as long as I train in a manner where it has zero effect on me. The human machine is an amazing thing and can do things well beyond what most people think is possible.

“Never accept limitations set down by another man. Only you know what you are capable of and you will only know it after you have gained the knowledge and put in the work.”

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