Emotional intelligence points to fear as the most prominent emotion in our survival process . The fear mechanism is the strongest motivating factor to understand the neural dynamics of strong emotion which should be the strongest link in your karate development or you will miss the boat totally ! If you go through your training as a robot as most do in spite of claims to the contrary , you are not harnessing the power of emotion in physical motion , and at the time of need you will experience bitter betrayal ! Remember , your dojo performance and your street performance are two totally different animals ..on the street you will not be the same person you think you are in the dojo ….want to bet how many of you won't believe this due to ' brainwashing' from your traditional sensei??
Here is something very gripping from "the neural circuitry of fear"
" say you are alone at night at home reading a book and you hear a crash in another room . The first brain circuit takes the sound as raw physical waves and transforms them into the language of the brain to startle you into alertness. Your storage memory site sorts out the crash against similar crashes you have Heard before to determine if it is familiar or extraneous enough to cause apprehension .Meanwhile the auditory cortex is doing a more sophisticated analysis ; the cat? A banging shutter in the wind ? A prowler? Memories are compared ..Not sure? Another coil of circuitry vibrates and fixates your attention on the sound ….still not sure ? Bang ..you go to apprehension and subliminal anxiety . The amygdala is your brain structure central to fear and your central alarm system, a continual sentinel , smells and tastes and messages from the viscera are processed by this system . One projection of it goes to the hypothalamus for secretion of the body's emergency response substance corticotrophin -releasing hormone , which mobilizes the fight or flight via a cascade of other hormones . More branches go to the corpus striatum , the link for movement , and via the central nucleus , the autonomic nervous system is signaled through the medulla activating a wide range of far flung responses in the cardiovascular system , the muscles and the gut . Another pathway tickles the brain stem to release noradrenaline through the brain sending the brain on edge ..now even the ordinary creaking of the house can send a tremor of fear coursing through you ..still you are not aware of full fear overcoming you …the muscles of vocal chords tighten creating the high -pitch voice of fright .
As you realize you are feeling fear , signals from the brain stem put a fearful expression on your face , freeze unrelated movements , speed your heart rate , raise your blood pressure , slows your breathing to better hear what you fear, dopamine rivets your attention on the sounds and puts your muscles in readiness to react .
Sensory signals make your eyes seek out only what is relevant , your cortical memory is reshuffled , and you are now into full fledged fear ! at this point you are aware of tightness in your gut , your racing heart, tight muscles around your neck , shoulders , trembling of your limbs , your body freezes in place as you strain attention to hear further sounds and your mind races with possible lurking dangers and ways to respond .This entire sequence -from surprise to uncertainty to apprehension to fear telescopes within a second " [ see Jerome Kagan ..Galen's Prophecy .New York basic books , 1994 ]