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The Berserkergang

Miscellaneous Issues
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There are a number of other issues that are important for any berserker to know.

 

The first is wod management. It is not enough to know how to raise wod ritually enough to berserk. While this can get you into a good state for a fight, that approach alone is seriously limited. You need to become so skilled at raising wod that you can do it on the fly, at the drop of a hat. You need to be able to do it nearly instantly, and with the bulk of your attention directed elsewhere. Like during a fight. You need to be able to raise more wod while punching, grappling, getting hit, gasping for breath, feeling pain. This means getting so skilled at wod raising that it takes no more than a brief effort of will and uttering a mantra, for instance. And this takes much practice.

 

Also, never expend all your wod at once. This will leave you very weak and disoriented, slow, and possessed of bad judgment. It will make it very hard to recover, even with another wod raising ritual. It might also end the gangr entirely, and make you unable to attain it again for some time. Instead it is best to limit your expenditures to 90-95% of your wod, will accomplish almost everything 100% will, keeping the rest in reserve to keep you going afterwards, and to allow you to raise more.

 

Burnt wod is another problem to be aware of. Once you have been using wod for enough time, or have been concentrating too long on one thing, your wod will "burn". This means you start getting bad coordination, shakes, poor judgment, and you may start hallucinating. There is a distinct "burnt" feeling to the mind. The key to dealing with this is to learn to raise and use just as much as you need and not more. It lays in recognizing the signs of burnt wod coming on. And it also lies in alternating fiery, vigorous wod with calmer wod that sharpens the senses and heightens the awareness.

 

After any gangr, especially the deep ones, comes the post-gangr fatigue. It is generally proportional in length and intensity to the length and intensity of the gangr. In it the berserker is far weaker than normal, and usually in great pain. Depression and a short temper are common features. Eating foods rich in serotonin and high in calories are recommended. (Like potatoes, or chocolate.)

 

Lastly, aside from the issue of wod management, the greatest problem the berserk faces with the gangr is heat-related. The gangr generates ENORMOUS amounts of internal heat. This can be quite a problem in battle. While berserks can be capable of shrugging off a state of heat stroke that would kill a non-berserk, even this high tolerance can be rapidly exceeded. This I feel is the real reason berserks fought without armor (or even clothes in many cases), the need to dump much more heat faster than other fighters. This problem is another reason to cultivate movements with no wasted energy.

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