Fear and Martial Arts

"Do it; and if you are afraid, do it with fear".

Fear is one of the primary emotions of the human being. Like all emotions, it plays an essential role in the survival of the individual and the species. Fear alerts us to danger, so that we can avoid it or deal with it appropriately. On a physical level, it triggers a series of bodily reactions that prepare us for flight: release of hormones that increase the sense of alertness, acceleration of the heart rate, increased blood flow to the muscles of the legs, etc.

However, countless times we refuse to face this emotion and avoid the situations we fear. But there will be times in our lives when we will have to do things that are scary to us, and that we will not be able to avoid. We may never be able to get rid of it completely, but we can learn to live with it, without letting it condition us.

Like all emotions, fear plays an essential role in the survival of the individual and the species.

Martial arts training is a great way to face our fears. From simply taking a blow to learning to use certain weapons such as the three-section staff or the whip, which involve risk to the person who uses them, or even executing forms of combat with weapons, on many occasions we can see ourselves in situations that frighten us. Feeling fear is fine, it means that we are not unconscious or mad. But we must not let this stop us from achieving those goals we desire. That is why we must get used to doing things despite fear, passing over it.

In these cases the teacher or instructor has an important role, since it is necessary that his presence provides confidence and security to the student, and must know how to accompany the person without pressuring him excessively but, at the same time, without letting him desist.

Overcoming fear will bring us security and self-confidence; facing our fears means stepping out of our comfort zone, and when this is repeated, this comfort zone expands, allowing us to cope with new situations in a more relaxed way.

In self-defense, learning to overcome fear is key to becoming effective. More than performing a series of more or less effective techniques, what will give us greater chances of survival in an assault situation will be the ability to overcome fear, since this ability is closely related to the speed of the response we produce.

But coming out of the martial realm, arguably the biggest fear we face in our daily lives is the fear of failure. To the failure in our career, in a relationship, in the undertaking of a new project. Many times this fear is paralyzing and pushes us to non-functional behaviors, and what is worse, it prevents us from doing great things and fulfilling our dreams.

In martial arts, it is often said that a master is one who has failed more times than the student has tried. In daily training, success is achieved through repeated effort, recovering after each failure and trying again, developing an unwavering spirit and will. Because we take the risk of failure, we fail, and because we fail, we lose the fear of failure, and because we keep trying despite having failed repeatedly, we finally achieve success.

Therefore, training in martial arts, always under the guidance of a trained instructor, involves the acquisition of emotion management skills such as fear, skills that are not only useful in situations of physical danger, but in all situations of our life in which we have to deal with such emotions.

Thank you for sharing!

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