Concentration is paying attention to the opponent and being aware of your surroundings. It involves concentration on the situation at hand, but not to the point that you lose touch with what is happening around you.
In a stressful confrontation, the tendency is to concentrate on the situation to the point that you exclude everything else in the environment. You sense the opponent's breathing and the timing of the breaths. You sense the opponent's movements and your relationship to the movements. You react from instinct and may later not remember what you did. This pure concentration may help you handle the fight at hand but it may hinder you in your defense against other possible attackers since you are not aware of their presence.
Nowadays, we are conditioned to remain attentive while being distracted. We learn to concentrate on paying the bills while the television is playing, people are talking, kids are playing, and neighbors are yelling. We drive a car while listening to music, talking on the cell phone, and thinking about a work problem. However, this type of behavior must be learned. A novice driver cannot do all these things at once and drive safely, but with training, one may develop the skills required.
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