I value your opinion, so thank you for sharing those quotes and your thoughts. Also, remember that everyone does not have to agree here...and that's rather unlikely(total consensus)...kinda like herding cats (only some of these have nasty sharp teeth and a 'tude to match!).
In considering your quotes and thoughts, I go back to my understanding of the oft quoted Samurai/death concept. I don't think it means to seek and embrace death. I think it means to accept the reality, and through doing so it frees you of the constraints of self protection. In other words, you take the "me" out of the equation, and focus on the "here, now" and what to do. you have more options when they are not limited by the need to protect yourself at all costs. THat is MUCH different than no fear and MUCH different than LOVING death.
That said...first, thanks for sharing that personal experience. Second, I think the decision made that you had "little to lose" freed you to act in the "now". I'm fairly certain that fear was still a little gibbering idiot in the very back of your mind, but it was behind a wall of NOW...and so you didn't see/hear/feel it.
But that is only my interpretation of the situation, and I was not there.
I readily admit that I believe fear does not go away, but you can put it aside or channel it...and I'm not sure each of us will deal with our fear in quite the same way.
Let's just hope, if the time comes, that we will deal with it in an effective manner, and that our training and our mental theorizing...will have helped prepare us in some way to take a positive tact instead of freezing.
I think you've hit on something there in that conflict involves mutiple emotions, sometimes mixed together and sometimes flowing quickly one into another.
I would only disagree on one point. I agree that "brainfarts" - -we've all been there - -may be when too many sensory inputs happen at once. Mixed emotions can be part of this. But I also believe that a lack of training or failure to ever consider "what if"..even fleetingly...can leave many folks paralyzed with indecision. I do NOT think that MA training will help everyone win a fight or save themselves in a violent conflict...that's not a gimme, but I do think that proper training should at least give you some basic drone options that may allow your brain to catch up and direct you when brain fart or indecision strike...at least that would be a hope.
I would also agree with you and Robb that day in and day out experience for LEOs and military provides an edge in how to respond to these moments.
Lastly, I woudl disagree that Karate is not a traditonal art. I think it is a traditional art practiced through a contemporary lens. The basics have a foundation in tradition. How we know apply that training and how we discuss the application or adapt things to current known science, or the flavour of the month....is modern...but the foundation, roots, and soul (if you will) is still a martial and traditional art.
Does that mean little joey is a warrior....uh...no. not at ALL!
Lastly, Ray, in my opinion...if you are simply looking to be a fighter, then your best bet is to train in multiple disciplines until you find the one or ones that best fit YOU....whatever that is.
interesting...and not a level most of us will reach....so perhaps, as we've discussed above..the best way is learning how to deal with your fear in some way or another...and hope training and prior consideration "kick in" if ever needed?
What I mean by prior consideration, is that ...well, for example...I've been told if I really want to learn how to shoot a gun, then I need to consider, before I even pick one up...if I will ever be willing to shoot another person. Even if the answer is no, I'll at least have considered this situation before I am forced to by circumstance because you never point a gun at a person if you don't mean to shoot them.....
I think the same goes here, and is a small part (very small, but part nonetheless) of why I started this topic. I don't, as I've stated, believe training in MA makes us warriors. But I think we should consider what we would do in a violent situation and how far we would be willing to go in various situations. One, so we will be able to act and not freeze with indecision. Two, because it helps us to form a personal code of action and belief.
I have to agree with Ray that troops fighting is much different than a one on one fight...but dealing with fear...hmmm.....more consideration and experience required here for any valid opinion to be formed....fear is fear is it not? Does sharing it make it less?
Live True, Laugh often