The practitioner of budo is soon confronted by a crucial problem: fear. Training bouts, although most often conducted in a friendly spirit, are not without risk. One who has been at the receiving end of some hard blows will likely feel apprehensive about further engagement, and experience the paralyzing effects of fear: the body contracts, internal energy ceases circulating, reactions become uncontrolled. In the grip of this negative emotion, it is no longer possible to view the situation clearly, and for that reason, to confront it adequately. In the case of real danger, the consequences can be traumatic. As long as a man can be possessed by fear, he cannot attain true mastery. Freeing oneself from fear is a decisive step on the path.
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