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 Post subject: Mindsetting on Fear
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 1999 7:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 875
Interesting how fear manifests itself and the results it produces. Fear is used by predators to immobolize and control their prey... remove the desired effect and you remove some of the predator's power - an essential tool for those of the "weaker sex!"

To me, fear can be used as a tool. Like deBecker writes in his book (The Gift of Fear - it is a signal alerting of potential danger - giving the first and perhaps best use of fear - AVOIDANCE!

When a situation can NOT be avoided, then Strong's advice as listed in David's post (React immediately, Resist intensely, Never go to a second crime scene, and NEVER give up - from Sanford Strong's Strong on Defense) all makes a lot of sense - but may be ineffective if the proper mindset is not developed FIRST as the body's primal reactions under stress (the "chemical coctail") will not give you a chance to rationalize and think "now, according to that book I read, I should do thus and so"... Once in the grip of fear, rational thought flies out the window, and without prior conditioned responses mentally and physically, the fear may very well paralyze you like a deer caught in the headlights on a deserted road!

Unfortunately, we will not know truly how we are going to react in any given situation until we are in it. So many factors play a part in our ability to deal with the stresses of fear, threat, and anger. So how can we prepare against fear? Look back into other situations where you have felt real fear - and analyze you you reacted. Did you freeze? Did you react with anger? As correctly pointed out above, anger can also be a tool to combat the paralyzing aspects of fear - use the rage to fight back relentlessly. Again, you won't have a chance to think "ok - now I'm scared, so I need to get mad to fight it" - IMPOSSIBLE! Don't delude yourself into thinking that you will be able to make that concious decision while it is happening!

In looking back on a few occasions where I've been in danger, or a family member has been threatened, I know I was not capable of conciously "deciding" upon a course of action. It happens too fast. When avoidance was impossible, I REACTED - furiously and relentlessly, and so far so good. But I still continue to work on ways to develop the mindset and "bodyset" that will be most effective in confronting fear and threat.

Mindset: One mindset development technique I like out of Peyton Quinn's Real Fighting is to visualize the absolute worst possible outcome as soon as a potential threat appears. (And even as a mental exercise for "text book" scenarios.) Imagine being beat to a pulp, brutalized, pistol-whipped, stabbed or even shot and what you can do in each situation, using environment weapons, using a weapon you carry (take it to the point of losing that weapon as well) and where and how you would strike the assailant in each situation...Quinn gives a great example toward the beginning of his book of a school bully situation. This technique can be applied to ANY situation, and my feeling is, that if you go through the absolute worst case scenario, then you will be as mentally prepared as possible for the real scenario which probably won't be as bad as you can imagine it!

Bodyset: To perhaps coin a new term here - this is the other tool you have to develop to be the most effective in a threatening situation. This is the biggest disadvantage women have! It is harder to develop the physical strength (not impossible, just harder) that can match a man's superior upper body strength. So we have to train harder if we want to be as effective as possible. As Van Sensei has discussed on his forum - there is no substitute for "explosive power." All the fancy wauke blocks and strikes that you practice will do no good at all unless the are delivered with maximum power. This is a harder thing for females to develop. So, aside from developing the all important mindset, we have got to integrate reality based training into our practice. Kata is great for developing technique and flow and all of that, but if we don't practice delivering these strikes with power and try them on actual targets instead of air, these "strikes-o-doom" will portend our own doom! Bag work helps, but there is no substitute for practice on an actual opponent. (With CAUTION and an experienced instructor of course!) "Bulletman" suits or other type of body armor can be a help in developing the muscle memory necessary as well. You don't have to have one of those expensive high-tech suits to practice - our dojo can't afford one, but that doesn't stop us from dressing up one of the seniors in a cup, chest protection and head gear and giving some of the guppies and minnows a chance to hit full-force. Interesting to see how those groin shots take on new meaning when you are actually trying to make contact! You even see immediate difference in the execution of the strikes when doing the kata after such practice. So the upshot of all this verbage is that if you truly want your training to give you an edge in a confrontation, you must inject some reality into your time in the dojo! Don't just go through the motions - work with your fellow karateka and explore the infinite applications to the moves you are doing by rote. Don't hold your belt up as a "talisman" against evil - consider it merely a licence to learn!

Through the last year a lot of great reference books have been reviewed on these forums - I've created some links to them on my own web-site - (Great Self-Defense Books) feel free to check them out - and please discuss them here - you can even follow the links on my site to buy the books directly from Amazon - (how much easier can we make it?) The three books I've mentioned in this post are at the top of my list of required reading for anyone serious about self-defense. There are many more of course - and if you have any personal favorites that you would like to review, suggest, or discuss, please feel free to post it here or email me.

------------------
Peace,
Lori
email: <A HREF="mailto:lori_san@hotmail.com">lori_san@hotmail.com</A>
website: www.mindspring.com/~uechi-ryu


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 Post subject: Mindsetting on Fear
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 1999 6:34 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 20, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 203
Location: Florida
I am still working to develop the mindset taught in our dojo of deciding that as a warrior we are already dead. Then when we face encounters, the issue of death, dying and disabling pain is irrelevent. This cannot be pretended or faked or self-seduced. It must be there and it must exude from our breath, our eyes, our moves of clear intent. I would not want to face a walking deadman who cares not what happens to him, but only on killing me. Nothing to lose.

You think you can make a dead man afraid?

This is a mindset I am but beginning to fathom.


JohnC


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 Post subject: Mindsetting on Fear
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 1999 6:49 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 30491
Lori-chan,

Great post!

A few more books ; a must read for the serious self defense /force continuum student :

" The tactical pistol" by Gabriel Suarez, foreword by Jeff Cooper ! Advanced concepts of gun fighting dynamics !

" guns bullets and gunfights" by Famous Jim Cirillo ; top gun of NY police veteran of 252 gun fights and most sought after instructor !

" In the gravest extreme " By Massad Ayoob __a must read for anyone carrying a gun ! The ultimate guide in deadly force!

"stress fire" by Massad Ayoob __learn how adrenaline affects mind and body in a fight for your life !

" In self defense" by Mike Izumy __the doctrine according to lethal force institute..great companion to 'in the gravest extreme '

" the truth about self defense protection" by Mas Ayoob ___ one of the best books on the market -no-nonsense advice !

" the Farnam method of defensive hand gunning" One of the best combat teachers in the world { I studied under him in his duelatron course}

" Real world survival " by Walt Rauch ---the proper mindset -{ excellent }

Peace,


------------------
Van Canna


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 Post subject: Mindsetting on Fear
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 1999 7:28 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 875
John-san,

Nice point! You can't get worse than death as the outcome of a confrontation - if that matters not then that should help to remove the fear - death is probably one of the biggest fears going - even those not facing it immediately are afraid of it. I like the Tibetan philosophy I read once that talks of a person dying everytime they exhale, and being re-born with every inhale. Kind of puts things in a different perspective.

Van Sensei:

Thanks for the recommendations! I will be adding the texts you listed not only on my site but on my personal reading list! Each book that you have guided me to thus far has proven excellent and insightful, providing me with many facinating new perspectives.

I always appreciate your input.



------------------
Peace,
Lori
email: <A HREF="mailto:lori_san@hotmail.com">lori_san@hotmail.com</A>
website: www.mindspring.com/~uechi-ryu


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 Post subject: Mindsetting on Fear
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 1999 9:46 pm 
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< Victory and defeat are matters of the temporary force of circumstances .
The way of avoiding shame is different . It is simply in death ! Even if it seems certain that you will loose , retaliate. Neither wisdom nor technique has any place in this . A real man does not think of victory or defeat ; he plunges recklessly towards an irrational death .By doing this , you will awaken from your dreams ! > { Yama -moto Tsutenomo- }

That is really the way of the samurai , but such a specimen was the byproduct of a different time and culture encouraging that mindset ! Today ? Modern man ? Forget about it __ but we can fantasize ! And death is not a guarantee ; you may end up quadriplegic and or penniless and or in prison for the rest of your life playing girl friend to the king ! And this is in your mind shaping your response action !

Now think of the samurai with that mind set ; was he free of fear? Could he be free of it ? As a start , if not afraid to die he would be afraid of dying with shame if not performing by expected standards of warriorship !

Then >>> Can fear be eliminated ? No ! It is the fear emotion that propels us into action crucial to our physical and emotional survival ,i.e., gross power increase , ' Body-prep' for fight or flight etc. ! Thus it should be welcomed and harnessed !

Bull **** talk about fear abounds ! Fear is part of our body's neural circuitry ! The Amygdala __two of them [ almond shaped cluster of interconnected structures perched above the brainstem near the bottom of the limbic ring ] is our central alarm system in moments of apprehension and subliminal anxiety scrutinizing every sensory experience ; from the central and medial areas you have the branch that goes to the hypothalamus that secretes the body's emergency-response substance , corticotrophin -releasing hormone , which mobilizes the fight or flight reaction via a cascade of other hormones !

John C. asks < You think you can make a dead man afraid? >

Well , the 'walking dead ' is not really dead until he is lifeless . Until then the primal neural circuitry still propels his actions !

That is , unless we could do brain surgery on him before the fight : then if you put a gun to his head he would know intellectually to be afraid but not feel afraid as you and I would !!

Becoming fearless is physically impossible ; [ unless you are a corpse or lunatic]
And it would not be desirable or practical for martial artists even if we could do it ! Develop the ability to use it and you have a great equalizer weapon !

Peace ,




------------------
Van Canna


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 Post subject: Mindsetting on Fear
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 1999 11:05 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 875
Tony-san:

Nice quote! Sounds kind of like you wrote it yourself...

Van-san:

Excellent points! Perhaps we can never rid ourselves of fear - only try to overcome it's paralizing effects and harness it as you so aptly point out. "Embracing" fear and using it to our advantage in a self-defense situation can have other benefits.

I like the last part of Quinn's book Real Fighting where he says:

<blockquote> In facing and then moving toward overcoming our fear, any fear--the fear of assault; the fear of losing our job, our mate, our health; the fear of being afraid or alone; or that fear we all share and which is an inevitable certainty for us all, the fear of death itself--we are feeding ourselves spiritually, and we are thus putting that roof over our heads and that nourishment in our spiritual "bellies," which allows us to "think like that." Overcoming fear allows us to act less out of anger and fear and more from the greater part of being...and that part is our capacity for empathy and human compassion."</blockquote>

------------------
Peace,
Lori
email: <A HREF="mailto:lori_san@hotmail.com">lori_san@hotmail.com</A>
website: www.mindspring.com/~uechi-ryu




[This message has been edited by Lori (edited 03-06-99).]


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 Post subject: Mindsetting on Fear
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 1999 2:45 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 20, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 203
Location: Florida
Van-san:

It seems to be an interesting mindset concept nonetheless. Obviously, we can never eliminate fear. Hopefully, this could be part of a tool to assist in overcoming fear when action is demanded. Maybe it is an impossible and dangerous exercise in futility.

It's true we do not live in the era of feudal asia. We do not have to struggle daily for food and survival too often. Dairy Queen is just down the road. Samarai lived the warrior way, and knew nothing but bushido like their father and grandfather before them.

True, street predators we could face are probably so used to fighting daily for survival and are so innured to personal pain and injury that some may attain this mindset us suburbanites training in the sanctity of our little dojos could never begin to appreciate.

If nothing else, it might be a fruitful exercise to imagine having to face this level of ruthless "dead eyes" violence before we tell ourselves more lies. That was more the intent of my post. Thanks for the chance to elaborate.


JohnC

[This message has been edited by JohnC (edited 03-06-99).]


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 Post subject: Mindsetting on Fear
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 1999 4:23 am 
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John- san

Good point ! I have known mafia 'button men' with that 'dead eyes' stare and I can imagine the terror they would strike in the hearts of their contract victims before the kill ! When you come up against someone like that , you will instinctively know and your heart will go cold !

What you will be up against is the violent psychopath who will kill you as causally as smoking a cigarette !

The only chance we will have to recover from the chill, in time to make any difference , is to explode with preprogrammed ruthless ferocity and a vicious , animalistic "kill or die" mind set ! This demands a level of brutality of execution that is out of range for most of us ,because by the time it is finally triggered out of the chemical mind haze , assuming it does exist , it is usually too late !

The only chance you have is to immediately charge and go for a 'jugular' kill if your 'cocktail' will allow you to move and if you are confident in your weaponry !

Last year I told the story of one of the cases I investigated where a martial artist , leaving his 'girl friend's apartment in the middle of the night was suddenly attacked by the knife wielding ex-boyfriend [ gang banger ] in the dark stairway of the building ! He screamed in animal panic as he was not able to stop the plunging blade repeatedly into his body ; he tried to escape down the stairs but was caught up with in the vestibule of the building where the assailant cut his throat with a spattering of blood on all walls and ceiling of the 10 by 12 enclosure ! Tenants heard his mortal screams but were frozen in fear in the safety of their apartments including one guy who had a 12 gauge shotgun but could not bring himself to load it and move a few steps !

We can delude all we want about lineage , conditioning , the real secrets of karate , my sensei is better than yours , < you have not been shown the way > __ < you only have a shell of knowledge > Bull S*** ; the reality is not many of us could function quickly and effectively under that sudden psychopathic attack simply because the brutality of a needed response is not in us , and we know it is not , and it turns us into prey !

One possible way of mind conditioning that might work is as follows : < Meditation on inevitable death should be performed daily. Every day when one's body and mind are at peace , one should meditate upon been ripped apart by arrows , rifles , spears and swords , being carried away by surging waves , being thrown into the midst of a great fire , being struck by lightning , being shaken to death by a great earthquake , falling from cliffs , dying of disease or committing seppuku at the death of one's master . And every day without fail , one should consider himself as dead . This is not a matter of being careful . It is to consider oneself dead beforehand .>
{ The book of Samurai Hagakure }

This , plus a cultivation of ruthlessness in confrontations , might just give you the edge ! For most of us , it will always remain a fantasy in spite of how and where you train and under which inspired master !


------------------
Van Canna


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