How to Conquer Your Fear


Yellow Belt
Nov 21, 2007
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I just received an email from a woman who is being stalked by a so-to-be parolee. He has a history of violence and she already has a restraining order against him. I did advise her to remind the police of her situation if she didnt already. But this still doesnt solve her problem. There is a real possibility that she will be attacked. Unfortunately, the police cant be everywhere at once, so its up to you to prepare.

This is understandably affecting her. It has gotten to the point that her anxiety is taking over her life. Every day his parole approaches, she becomes more and more consumed by fear. The mere thought of it makes her hands begin to shake. Her reaction is not irrational, its about as real as it gets. Theres no therapy that can calm her down, change her mind and convince her that her fear is misplaced. This is something she will have to deal with and prepare for. She is not unusual; everyone who has encountered violence has this very rational reaction.

Every week, another police officer enrolls at one of my schools or enrolls in the Self Defense Training System after a close call with some skel (perpetrator). It usually begins as a routine situation and then it goes south when the suspect decides to be non-compliant. The next thing the officer knows is that hes in a roll-around and the cavalry is no where in site. He cant call on his radio, hes becoming exhausted and hes alone. He quickly comes to the realization that his training in the academy does not work OR he needs to practice on a regular basis to keep sharp and not just do his job well, but survive and go home safely.

Civilian or professional, the answer is simple (not easy): you have to train. The harder your train and practice, the less anxiety you will have. Because you are solving your problem by taking control and doing something about it, you become more confident in what your ability to meet the threat. The harder your work and train, the better youll be.

I have my own built in mechanism which is not uncommon. Whenever I start having dreams that Im in a situation, fighting for my life and Im completely ineffective, I know its time to step up the training. Once I do that, my anxiety goes away and the dreams stop. When youve prepared yourself to the best of your ability your anxiety decreases. That goes for close quarter weapons and hand to hand tactics. The more you train, the more you prepare, the less nervous you are.

You will always have fear or hormone induced stress, theres no way around it. You just need a way to develop it, channel and turn it into something useful. Talking about it wont help; thinking about it wont do it, only preparation will. That comes from practicing the proper techniques, the right way and of course, being honest in your training.

Until next time, Train Honestly,

Damian Ross
Instructor, The Self Defense Company

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