Diagram of Boyd's Decision (OODA) Cycle
The above diagram is what is know as the decision cycle, the Boyd cycle, the OODA loop, or the OODA cycle; an important concept used in business and military strategy. John Boyd, who developed the cycle, saw decision making as occurring in a series of observe-orient-decide-act cycles. When one processes this cycle quickly and can get inside an opponent's decision cycle, one may gain an advantage. This cycle may also be applied to personal self-defense situations.
Boyd developed this diagram to explain to new fighter pilots how allocate their energies to defeat their enemies and thus find survive dogfights. Boyd emphasized that the observe-orient-decide-act loop is actually a set of interacting loops that are kept in continuous operation during combat. He explained that the phase of the battle has affected the allocation of one's individual energies. Consider a fighter pilot being scrambled to shoot down an invading aircraft.
Before the enemy aircraft is within visual contact range, the pilot will be analyzing information to determine the nationality of the attacker and reviewing his own previous experience that tells him who might attack at this time. Once the there is an indication of the likely identity of the attacker, the pilot will be considering information pertaining to the cultural traditions that may come into play. Perhaps the likely genetic heritage of the presumed attacker will make the pilot consider possible issues of body mass, reaction to lower than normal levels of oxygen, etc. Therefore, even before the enemy comes into view, the pilot is looking at several scenarios that suggest themselves and forming analyses and syntheses. At this point, although the pilot has the time to be contemplative, he must also keep alert to his radio for more information and keep alert to unfolding circumstances.
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