understanding-fearThe obstacles to martial art’s excellence lie within each of us. One of these obstacles is FEAR. Fear is real. Yet, fear is unique because in actuality, fear is an illusion and a misunderstood reflection of an individual’s perception, experience, and lack of knowledge. For a martial artist, it is extremely detrimental. Fear has the capacity to choke out all creative expression, and can create doubt in the heart of every man. It can cause individuals to shake with the sheer thought of a thing. Fear expresses itself in many different locations throughout the body, and a martial artist must be aware of where fear resides. Fear expresses in the external body by freezing motion and instilling hesitation, locking down movement, creating rigidity in the muscles. Next, it can reside in the organs, creating extra stress, and it has the capacity to steal away the courage that resides in the heart, and causing anxiety and heart palpitations. Stress can also cause serious damage to organs and body cells. Very importantly, fear can attack one’s mind, scattering thoughts, and leaving doubt and worry to enter. Thus, it gives the martial artist an altered reality or perception of what he is actually facing. This allows it to steal opportunity, and hinder growth and development.

So, a martial artist, should not give in to fear and indulge in fearful thoughts, but to master fear, and utilize it to his benefit. For a martial artist to dedicate his time trying to eliminate fear would be a life-long endeavor, for we are bombarded with illusions or perceptions that induce fear. Time is better spent trying to understand the mechanisms that stimulate fear and those connections that extend inwardly to himself from the physical world. We have ways to do this. Fear in the body can be released through relaxation techniques. Fear in the heart can be released through deep breathing exercises and Qi regenerating exercises. Fear in the mind can be relieved through meditation, visualization and self-analysis, and focused intentional thought. Remember, fear’s effect is to keep you from accomplishing a thing, and your job is to forge your way through fear, coming out on the other side more determined and stronger than before.

“Perception is a relative dimension of the understanding of an individual’s abilities, to sift through the muck and mire, of the dominating influences that have their impact on the thought processes in each individual’s life.” ………Sifu Saleem