Hard Headed: When staggered or disoriented, perform the Hard Headed Action; make a Daunting (Difficulty 4) Discipline check to remove status. Difficulty decreases per rank of Hard Headed.
So, the question is, does the first rank decrease the difficulty, or does the first rank merely establish the difficulty? So, would it be Difficulty 4 at Rank 1 and Difficulty 3 at Rank 2, or Difficulty 3 and Difficulty 2?
Improved Hard Headed: When incapacitated due to strain exceeding threshold, may take a more difficult Hard Headed action to regain consciousness and reduce strain by 1.
By "more difficult", I assume it means +1 Difficulty, but that could be explicitly stated.