AKBAN's Emotion Regulation Principles

In the dojo, as in life, our greatest battles are often within. The AKBAN Emotion Regulation Program, developed amidst the volatility of the Middle East, is a modern adaptation of my experience teaching mastering the inner landscape.

In the video above, an Israeli SEAL team found themselves in an ambush under the cover of night. Within the first minute, the majority of the team was either fatally wounded or incapacitated. Amidst the chaos, one young soldier remained capable of commanding a rescue. His calm voice is palpable, even if you don't understand Hebrew. Surrounded by enemy, under a barrage of mortar and machine-gun fire, with his commander and comrades fallen or grievously wounded, he maintains a composed tone. Utilizing the mastery talk technique, he successfully navigated the perilous situation to conduct a safe rescue.

Begin with an end in sight

Emotion regulation is the art of the steady hand, especially when outside circumstances are out of control. There is a need to navigate, to transform volatility into vitality, and impulsive reaction into controlled response. These principles were sandblasted and polished in the land where equilibrium is both a survival and an ethical challenge.

medic using emotion regulation

The principles written here are an armor and a compass. They are concise because life is complex. They are clear because the path to emotional steadiness requires unwavering focus. Let's begin the journey towards resilience, one breath, one step, one principle at a time.

Below are the core tenets that guide our practice. This is brevity at its extreme. Each one is a stepping stone to many months of study and practice. Just try to absorb this list. I a short while it will be clearer.

Understand the principles

  1. Body and mind are a closed loop; each affects the other. We can use this closed loop.
  2. Without physical repetition, procedures are forgotten.
  3. Inner discipline is freedom. What we sometimes think as freedom is slavery to our compulsions.
  4. Interruptions serve as reminders; if I remember myself, almost everything that hinders helps.
  5. The results of uncontrolled anger are always worse than the reasons for it.
  6. Unchecked fear freezes thought and action.
  7. Long-term anger or fear ruins life quality.
  8. A diverse toolbox equips you to tackle a wide range of challenges.
Every axiom is explained and understanding the explanation is part of the practice of the Itai Sheriff emotion regulation program. Continue to the second lesson, boosting self-discipline.