Self Defense and Fear
This seems to be a very good topic for this place in time. Self Defense and Fear has been the topic of many questions asked of me over time. So I am going to do my best to answer thsi question today. And to explain the relationship between the 2 elements.
What is fear? Fear is a primal reaction to circumstances. It is an emotion ahrd wired into your brain. It is ego and self preservation all in one. Definition taken from a Wikipedia article:
Fear in human beings may occur in response to a certain stimulus occurring in the present, or in anticipation or expectation of a future threat perceived as a risk to oneself. The fear response arises from the perception of danger leading to confrontation with or escape from/avoiding the threat (also known as the fight-or-flight response), which in extreme cases of fear (horror and terror) can be a freeze response or paralysis.
Today I am no longer a fan of Wikipedia, that is because their information tends to be very politically motivated, therefore becoming less factual. But the above definition works for this discussion.
We also need to then divide this into two different categories, the rational fear and the irrational fear.
An example today of irrational fears is the current "boogieman virus" situation today. The reaction of many is the very definition of irrational. Listening too and believing propaganda with NO EVIDENCE at all that is truthful or factual, but still causes fear, is truly the very definition of irrational fear.
An example of what I mean with the current "pandemic" situation. They are considering 'case numbers' to be more important than deaths. Deaths is the ONLY number that matters and that is less than 100th of 1 percent. If you are afraid of the current situation other then the authoritarian attitudes I encourage you to look into it deeply. But not from Facebook or CNN. There is NO REASON to be afraid, therefore the fear is irrational. And it is very unhealthy!
The situation on the streets of the Western Cultures today, well the entire world really, is something you can be rationally afraid of. Today there is a serious violence problem on the streets. The reasons this is happening are many! But lets simply look at the relationship now with Self Defense and Fear.
How do you overcome fear? You cannot! There is no way to over ride the emotions you are feeling. Instead you must become BRAVER which will allow you to deal with the Self Defense and Fear situation.
How is this done? Well this is a process, so lets look at it now.
Self Defense and Fear
Dealing with fear takes time! There is no magic pill you can take and become braver. And never lie to yourself about being brave either! This will make it worse!
My first suggestion is too train HARDER and more often. And train with an Uke you do not like to use! One who can challenge your techniques. Easy is not good! You can start easy but you need to ramp up the intensity on a continual basis! Challenge yourself each time!
If you are intimidated by the idea of a larger attacker, find a BIG training partner! Work up to live training, where you do not know what the attack will be! Train in the dark! This is so beneficial on so many levels!
Train in a Gi, and plain clothes, with shoes and without! Cover as man aspect of the street as you can do! This is what becoming braver is all about! This is not stop you from being afriad, but you will be better equiped to handle the stress of fear.
This applies to all aspects of life.
The answer to fear is found in your Dojo! Train harder! If you are worried about larger attackers, find a larger training partner.
If you are worried about knives, train for knife defense. And remember self defense is not now, nor has it ever been a ring fight.
That mentality will get you killed very fast!
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Thank you and have a great day!
Yours in the arts,
Grand Master Art Mason