The martial arts present many challenges for the student. The student will find themselves facing a number of different fears as they progress in their learning. In our dojo, it starts on day one. Most people have some degree of fear of falling and hitting the ground. It’s instinctual. We fear that we’ll hurt ourselves… until we accept through progressions that one can learn to do it safely. Students also have to learn to make contact with their strikes so that they learn good targeting with their partners. There is a fear they could accidentally hurt someone. To keep things safe, we have students start hitting slowly and lightly, developing their control then increase the speed and power as they do so. As control increases and the student reaches the intermediate level, they are introduced to sparring. The unpredictable nature of sparring increases the stress of the training, leading to the influences of adrenaline. In this scenario, when students first start, they fear getting hit or hitting someone too hard, especially in the head area, even when the sparring is relatively relaxed and controlled. (more…)
To live life to the fullest we have to take risks. The things that really give our lives meaning all involve some form of risk, whether it’s starting a business, getting married, or starting a martial art. Some risks, we are more comfortable with, whether it’s because of our personalities or our personal histories. Others types make you more anxious and fearful. Often times it is the risks that make us most uncomfortable that are the experiences that have the most potential to transform our lives. But for us to attain this, we have to feel the fear, move past it, then do that which causes the fear anyway. Here are a few ways to do just that.
1. Research. Whatever it is that you want to do that scares you, big or small, learn as much as you can about it. Read about it. Watch videos. Talk to people who do it. Let’s say you want to take up a new activity like a martial art, but you’re afraid of looking foolish. Put in the time to research schools so you find the best style, instructors and training atmosphere for your needs. When you find one that interests you, familiarize yourself with what they do. Get in touch with the instructor and ask questions that help ease your fears. Then, when you decide to give it a try, you’ll feel more comfortable going in. Becoming familiar helps alleviate fears, just as it does for the child who needs to be shown there is no monster under their bed before you turn out the lights at night.