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Control Your Fear

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Stephan Kesting, a BJJ and Kajubenko Black Belt along with training Filipino Martial Arts to students talks about a most pressing issue among Martial Artists of which most of them steer clear of; rather than talking and coming to a solution. “Fear”; yes these four things haunt almost every martial arts artist when they want to showcase their talent in real time. Stephan takes on 3 approaches to tackle this overwhelming fear inside them and fight on with confidence.


Accepting the Fear
Whenever there is a real combat situation, most people feel sweaty, heart beating just about to burst and also some trembling in the body, like hands and legs shaking. He explains that this is just an adrenaline rush in the body; our body knows that this is the situation of danger and starts preparing itself for the upcoming action. There is no need to feel fear of these sudden chemical changes in the body, but instead to understand that this is just a natural reaction of our body to bear any forthcoming pain or injury. It’s similar to a race car revving its engine before it takes off speed. One needs to reframe and understand that, this is the excitement and adrenaline rush which needs to be controlled and given a certain direction in the moment of heat.

Controlling the Breath
Second in the series to overcome fear comes “Controlling the Breath”. Even mystical traditions have always laid a great emphasis on respiration, especially Yoga. One should always keep a check on hyperventilation, there is no benefit of breathing heavily when you are just trying to defuse a situation or trying to figure out the fight situation. Controlling breath, especially using a famous pattern which is “ Breath in from Nose, Breath out from Mouth”, helps to calm the mind and think rationally rather than hyperventilating and taking a decision which may prove fatal. Breath control is the key, he adds.

Progressive Desensitization
When training new recruits in the Army, they are not thrown into a field full of land mines, bullets shooting by with a heavy load on their shoulders and someone constantly yelling at them; thereby expecting them to handle the stress. But instead they are made to get used to each of this step-by-step progressing one level to the other and simultaneously increasing difficulty.

This is how progressive desensitization works, which eventually makes a person comfortable to a stressful environment so he gets used to it and then increasing stress gradually over time, so at one point of time it doesn’t matter the size of opponent, tension in environment, audience and complexity of situation.

He adds that, if these three things are combined together and integrated well into mind; fear is already gone.


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