When it comes to defending yourself in a real street fight, fear is a tricky thing. It can be your worst enemy and cause you to doubt yourself and your ability to survive the attack – effectively causing you to hesitate… and we all know that hesitation kills.
However, fear can also be your best friend…
If you know how to harness its power and use it to your advantage. Not only that, but it’s super easy to do, and here are 3 quick tips to make YOU the master of your body’s natural response when you’re facing an attacker with no way out.
First, meet fear head on at its source. In a confrontation, people go back and forth between two extreme emotions, they’re either feeling fear or they’re feeling really, really angry. In fact, it’s not unusual to go back and forth between these two emotions when you’re looking at the potential of having to defend yourself.
But both fear AND anger can get you in trouble:
If you let anger get the best of you, you’re going to do some pretty stupid things.
During an altercation, you’re not going to have control of yourself… you’re not going to make the right ethical calls… so you may take things way, way too far, potentially even ending up killing someone accidentally because you were out of control.
But on the other end of the continuum is fear.
Fear causes hesitation and hesitation can get you killed. The good news is that fear is nothing more than an emotion when you really get down to it, and emotions are something you can control.
The key is to analyze your own fears on the deepest level you can so you can find your own “fear triggers”.
That’s going to be different for different people, and some may have experienced a traumatic experience in the past while others may be programmed by years of negative self-talk or bullying. Either way, when you strip it all away, it all comes down to one thing: confidence.
Ultimately I think that’s why most people want to learn self-defense techniques and learning how to fight does have that power, but ONLY if you follow these next two steps.
The second stop is the “missing link” most people don’t address when facing fear in a real street fight. Remember the first time you got in a car to learn how to drive?
You almost certainly had a certain level of anxiety or fear when you first got behind the wheel, right?
Whether that was in drivers ed class or your parents maybe took you out for the first time, your heart was probably racing a mile a minute and you were scared to death about scratching the paint on dad’s old 1974 Dodge Dart.
Now let’s jump ahead a few years… Now when you get in your car, you can do so without your heart jumping up into your throat, right? Why is that? Why do you feel so differently now, as opposed to that first time that you did it?
It’s because you’ve had all this practice now. That’s the “missing link” that few people who are facing their fears ever realize about eliminating its negative effects: it takes practice!
I know, sounds simple… and it is… but there’s actually one more important piece to the puzzle which is the third step in eliminating fear. We must realize that “practice does not make perfect”, but “prefect practice makes perfect”!
Practice by itself isn’t enough to eliminate fear in a real street fight.
You can perform millions of punches and thousands of kicks and blocks, but these won’t help you overcome fear if either your techniques aren’t effective in a real street fight (without rules!), and you don’t practice your techniques under realistic conditions that simulate a real attack
You see, it’s not about the fact that you’re practicing; it’s about how you’re practicing. Bottom line is you have to use scenario-based training and putting yourself through realistic simulations of what you’ll face on the street. Once you’ve done that many times, once you know what to expect, fear won’t cripple you.
In fact, the natural adrenaline rush you’ll get from that initial “fear” your body senses can be used to increase your strength and power when you finally realize it’s “go time” and make your move.
This type of training isn’t that hard to do and can even be fun. That’s why I took a good hard look not just at the techniques I’ve trained my students in… but how we train them. But no matter what you’re training in, stop and think about whether the tactics you’re learning, and the way you’re training with them, are doing enough to help you control fear in a real street fight and use it to your advantage!