How do I train myself for panic situations?

How do I train myself for panic situations?

I started my professional career in the aviation industry, where I spent ten years of my life, and to this day, I still apply much of what I learned there in many other aspects of life.

This is so true that when I started teaching motorcycle classes, I applied the same kinds of methods used to train airline personnel, amongst other professionals.

You train to prepare for the worst, and you continuously refresh your training regarding what is usually referred to as “panic” situations.

The problem with panic or unexpected situations is that without proper training, one follows instinct, and that is not always the best course of action.

This being, the only way to train for them is to experience them in one way or the other.

I don’t mean you should crash into a car to learn how to avoid that specific accident next time around, but I am also not that far from that idea.

Educating yourself with motorcycle courses will boost your skillset, continuously training those skills will allow you not to panic, and to react accordingly to most situations.


Note: I firmly believe that regardless if you ride road or off-road, your basic skill set should be learned off-road with small bikes.

The inherent lack of traction of the terrain, the slow speed of the exercises, a small and light bike, and full-on off-road protection gear allows for a fantastic training setup.

What you learn off-road, can be directly applied on the road.

Just search how many MotoGP pilots train their skills off-road, you might be surprised.

Here are some of them.

Let me share some examples of things you can learn in motorcycle courses:

  • Braking

    Learning how to lock the rear and front brake and how to control the bike without electronic aids is something that courses teach you and that you can continuously train by yourself.

    Once you know how to perform emergency braking without electronic aids, you will be able to stop safely on every bike, with and without ABS, and you will be prepared to control a skid if needed.

    Reference: Image from Offroad Fanatic

  • Bike control

    Precision and low-speed maneuver exercises will exponentially increase your handle of a bikes weight as well as throttle, clutch, and brake control.

    These skills are crucial for anyone wishing to have superior control over the bike, and a better understanding of how our inputs affect the motorcycles reaction.

    Reference: Video from TEAM Arizona Motorcyclist Training Centers and it shows one example of low-speed control exercises


  • Falling

    I don’t care who you are, if you are off-road, you will fall sooner or later, and that is a good thing.

    Keep in mind that falling and crashing are not necessarily the same thing!

    A low-speed off-road fall in full gear will, for most cases not hurt much more than your ego. However, it will teach you some valuable lessons.

    You will learn how to protect yourself on a fall.

    You will learn at what point it becomes impossible to prevent a fall.

    And you will learn that you are not made of glass.

    The most significant danger in most panic situations, or what causes panic in the first place, is not our fear of falling, but the fear of the unknown.

    If we know how to fall, and that not all falls will kill or hurt us a lot, we have more brainpower available to deal with the situation using the techniques we trained before, and actually, have a chance to prevent most situations from escalating in the first place.

    Reference: Video from SharttStrike showing an example of a low-speed fall with no issues


  • Mechanics

    Although mechanical failures are not necessarily something one trains for, making sure our bike is always in top shape is within our reach.

    Decreasing the risk of mechanical problems by having a grip on our bikes maintenance will, of course, reduce the chances of issues.

    How do I train myself for panic situations?
    Reference: Image from Motorcycle maintenance checklist | Pre-ride bike check


All in all, if you want to know how to react in panic situations, you need to simulate them so you know how to avoid them in the real world, and how to respond if they can’t be prevented.

This will not 100% prevent adverse outcomes, but it will exponentially increase your chances of getting out of them alive.

How do I train myself for panic situations on a motorcycle?

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