Fear as a Weapon

Zero

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Yeah. And a few heavy street fighters as well. Very sort of Viking i suppose.
It's a very fine balance is it not, of having a fatalistic approach but ensuring that does not tip over into weakening you subconsciously/consciously while competing or in a "real/street" confrontation or embracing such an approach so that it actually empowers you to the extent you are using your abilities to the maximum but not being chained by fear or emotional reservations...

Another approach is to be of the mind-set that you simply are not going to loose, that can also be very powerful from a sports psychology perspective but the risk there is the potential for a crash in esteem when the inevitable defeat happens at some stage, that needs to be carefully managed.

From my experience, at least in the Western approach to sports, including competitive fighting, the later approach is more often the one employed and you see the pros and cons of this all the time. As an example, just look at the number of great boxing champs that on loosing that pivotal fight never get back to the mental place they once were or simply pull the pin completely on fighting.
 

drop bear

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It's a very fine balance is it not, of having a fatalistic approach but ensuring that does not tip over into weakening you subconsciously/consciously while competing or in a "real/street" confrontation or embracing such an approach so that it actually empowers you to the extent you are using your abilities to the maximum but not being chained by fear or emotional reservations...

Another approach is to be of the mind-set that you simply are not going to loose, that can also be very powerful from a sports psychology perspective but the risk there is the potential for a crash in esteem when the inevitable defeat happens at some stage, that needs to be carefully managed.

From my experience, at least in the Western approach to sports, including competitive fighting, the later approach is more often the one employed and you see the pros and cons of this all the time. As an example, just look at the number of great boxing champs that on loosing that pivotal fight never get back to the mental place they once were or simply pull the pin completely on fighting.

failure is not an option vs today is a good day to die. Probably like most things psychological it will depend on the person.
 

Zero

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failure is not an option vs today is a good day to die. Probably like most things psychological it will depend on the person.
perhaps they can be merged, "today is a good day to die but failure is not an option" ? :)
 

Xue Sheng

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What are some of your experiences? What was your most fearful moment?

Security at a hospital and having to confront and restrain a bleeding heroin addict in withdrawal ranks right up there.

Walking in Beijing one night being followed by the biggest Chinese guy I ever saw (think Arnold Schwarzenegger size) and having to resign myself to the fact that I cannot stop him but I can slow him down so the others (my wife and her friend and her friends' daughter) could get away ranks right up there too. Luckily this one was not at all what I thought it was. If it were NYC it would likely have been exactly what I thought it was, but in Beijing, it was just curiosity
 

Zero

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In my opinion, most people misunderstand fear. I think that might be especially true in Martial Arts.

Most people think fear is about "them". It is not.
Buka, I like this, can you explain further?
 

Buka

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Buka, I like this, can you explain further?

Fear is a survival mechanism, bred right into DNA for species survival. It's a response to a stimulus. Response to a threat or a perceived threat.

Sweating is like that. It's a survival mechanism, it's a response to heat - so our body doesn't cook.

Imagine what life would be like without some form of fear, a train could be coming at you at eighty miles an hour and you would be looking at it wondering why it isn't louder than it is. "Maybe when it gets here I'll hear the wheels better, maybe the whistle. Oh, look, I can see the guy driving!" SPLAT.

If you didn't understand sweating you might think, "Holy crap, I must be melting, there's water coming out of my forehead! And from under my arms! Hell, it's coming out of everywhere!"

A lot of times when a person feels fear, or feels that sense of "uh oh, I think he's moving towards me" it throws them off, the fear - that feeling that's running through your body and dumping adrenaline - sometimes gets all the focus instead of the actual threat. Even later in the safety of home, they'll think "why was I so afraid? Did I look afraid, did everyone else know I was afraid, did my gal know I was afraid? I hate being afraid, I want to be brave." Imagine if you thought like that about sweating?

I believe the context of this thread is fear as it applies to dealing with/fighting other people.
Think back to being a little kid in school or your neighborhood. For the sake of my ineptitude with words - I'll break down little kids into three categories. The kids who get picked on, the bullies (varying degrees) and the kids who aren't really involved but watch it all every day.
If you get picked on you build a certain radar. Not just knowing where the bully is, not just knowing when it's coming, but you read body language better than the other two groups. It's because you deal with it every single day - the others do as well, but they're not the ones getting their *** kicked, so their reading of, and understanding, of signs isn't as developed.

Flash forward to adulthood. I've worked with a lot of cops and a lot of Martial Artists. As I got to know some of them personally, some things became evident. The ones who got picked on as kids had incredible radar. They could pick an A-hole out of a group from a mile away. Even when there was no obvious tell. They'd say, "I'll bet that's our boy right over there." Most times they would be right. They could also pick up on someone else's fear, even when it was carefully being hidden.

I've always found it easier teaching Martial Arts to two distinct groups. Guys who were picked on as kids, and guys who grew up in a household of brothers, especially if they played sports. (they're used to roughhousing from the git go) I'm not talking about the actual physicality of learning technique, but rather the interaction in fighting different people. I find they're more used to dealing with the psychology of a fight. (be it in house or real deal)

On the other hand, sometimes when you get a guy who's been a natural athlete his whole life, and was never picked on by anyone, ever - he sometimes has trouble dealing with the fact that others in the gym who look like nothing (to him) are routinely kicking his *** without breaking a sweat.

If you ever compete in fighting, regardless of what kind of competition, you'll be nervous as hell when you're there waiting to fight. For the sake of discussion, let's call it fear. (nervousness, fear, just a degree)To me, a fact most people forget, or don't think of - is the other guy has that exact same feeling. He has fear like you, uncertainty, nervousness and he sweats just like you do. I think if that feeling ever goes away, that nervousness before fighting - a person shouldn't compete anymore.

Sorry to have rambled so much. It's tough in writing because there's no give and take. To me the bottom line about what I said in a previous post - "Most people think fear is about "them". It is not."
It's not about them, it's about "us". Just like sweating.

Fear is like a couple of good watchdogs. If someone is sneaking up to the window of your house there's a good chance the dogs will let you know.
 

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I've never felt fear in any kind of sparring match and I've lost matches with the best of them. I've really had my bell rung on a few occasions. Gone home with bloody kleenex stuffed in my nose all of it.

Now in the couple of experiences where I had to fight for real out in the really real world... Yes fear... Dry mouth, sweaty palms, heart thudding, feel like you are going to crap your shorts kind of fear. No advice for you other than to keep breathing and don't lose the fundamentals. Hands up, elbows down, chin down, do what you have to do and then get the heck out of there.
 

tshadowchaser

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I would fear my instructor at times. He could be a complete *** when he was upset about anything and he usually took it out on all within his reach. Once I learned that if i STOOD MY GROUND, did not back away and maybe took that punch and smiled at him he would usually go somewhere else to vent his anger.
Have you ever just screamed as load and hard as you can at someone you where facing and watched their reaction. Yep more than likely it was fear and shock
Fear can be used in all sorts of manner and in all sorts of situations. It is learning to deal with that fear and to turn it to your advantage that is hard
 

tshadowchaser

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Sounds childish.
and that answer is from someone that has an online martial arts study course.
Hapkido Online - Home


So I'll bite what is childish? Did you ever interact with my instructor? Did he ever put you in the hospital or break your nose to prove you could still sing as he did with one opera singer?
Why is it childish to have fear of someone you know has the ability to hurt or kill you and a reputation for hurting people on a whim no matter how much knowledge of the arts he has and is able to depart.
where did you get your physiology degree so that you can say what is a childish reaction ? If you can only give one liners and no reason for them you are not contributing much to the discussion
 

Dirty Dog

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and that answer is from someone that has an online martial arts study course.
Hapkido Online - Home


So I'll bite what is childish? Did you ever interact with my instructor? Did he ever put you in the hospital or break your nose to prove you could still sing as he did with one opera singer?
Why is it childish to have fear of someone you know has the ability to hurt or kill you and a reputation for hurting people on a whim no matter how much knowledge of the arts he has and is able to depart.
where did you get your physiology degree so that you can say what is a childish reaction ? If you can only give one liners and no reason for them you are not contributing much to the discussion

Your instructor doesn't sound childish. He sounds sociopathic. People who hurt others on a whim should be locked up.




Sent from an old fashioned 300 baud acoustic modem by whistling into the handset. Really.
 

tshadowchaser

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Your instructor doesn't sound childish. He sounds sociopathic. People who hurt others on a whim should be locked up.

Hell I would agree with that but I stayed with him for many years so maybe there is something off in my mental attitude. He most likely would have been locked up except he wore a badge in a small town.

Staying with an instructor who induces fear in students is a strange experience and I still to this day do not know if it was a part of his training ideas so that his students would not fear others in the street because they had already taken sever punishment in training and faced fear already so they had learned how to deal with fear.
Personally I do not think instilling fear in students is the way things should be done. However learning to deal with fear is a factor I think all should learn so that it can be used to their advantage .
 

Zero

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QUOTE="tshadowchaser, post: 1686622, member: 34"]
Personally I do not think instilling fear in students is the way things should be done. However learning to deal with fear is a factor I think all should learn so that it can be used to their advantage .[/QUOTE]

Yeah as Dirty Dog said it, your instructor, however skilful he may have been (and he may have been a darn good teacher too), sounds like a bad egg with some anger management issues.

That said, you have lead to me thinking through things more and, while I said to Matt Bryers I had not experienced fear in tournament competition I do remember when taking things to a high intensity and contact level with my fight trainer that he would use techniques to try to startle, scare or make one nervous, to put you off for that split second as a lead up to an attack or merely to keep your mind guessing. When I had first joined the club, while I was fitter and better conditioned than him and on a technique basis at a similar level (meaning execution and speed), he definitely had it all over me with pure years of competitive fighting (he'd been a several times national champion by the time I joined the club), his timing and cadence and set-up skills were definitely superior. Not often but now and then he would make a deliberate kind of guttural yell or grunt (it was not that loud, a kind of growl in the throat that meant "I'm coming for you now") and you didn't really know if that was a precursor for him throwing the whole kitchen sink at you or not. Initially that did "spook" me (and maybe in fairness to Mat bryers, that spooking was along the lines of nervousness in anticipation until I got more experienced). It took me a bit to get use to that. I've used it myself on less experienced fighters in turn.

I would not say I was frightened of my fight sensei but I did suffer from the immense frustration or the mental baggage of knowing it was going to be very difficult if not impossible to beat him in the ring whenever we squared off for a sparring session. I think a lot of us, until we got to our peak and actually surpassed our trainers (if ever!) suffer/suffered from that particular mental condition. It's the old cliché of the guy who trained you, knowing everything you have got in your arsenal to throw at him and you being all to painfully aware of that. You find yourself winning tournaments and then back in training this "old geezer" with at least ten years on you is woopin' your butt!
 
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