EMACE

The Five Fears in Martial arts

The greatest problem for a martial artist is his fear. Fear will blind him and create a huge obstacle for him in a conflict situation. First we have to accept that we all have a sensation of fear in given situations. It is nothing wrong in having fear, but if we do not know how to handle it we will lose in a conflict situation. It does not matter how good you are in the dojo or the ring if you cannot handle your fear.

We are looking for an anxious feeling caused by our anticipation of something. Our nervous system will fire when it observes something threatening and start a biological reaction in your body. This reaction often blind us from doing what we should do in the given situation. Just ask anybody what happened when confronted by a difficult situation. We drowned in useless information and froze dead.

Let me guide you through our five basic fears.

Extinction: The fear of stopping to exist. Most people that is dying is not afraid of dying, but from stopping to exist. When a person faces a situation that might provoke death this primary existential anxiety kicks in; in everybody! The stomach twists and you want to run to a safe area.

Mutilation: The fear of losing a part of the body. Most people get terribly anxious when they face a situation where they might lose a body part. Facing a gun, knife or a snake might create an anxiety that is based on mutilation.

Autonomy: The fear of losing autonomy is related to being immobilized, paralyzed or imprisoned. It exists two different basic forms: physical – claustrophobia and mentally – relationship based anxiety.

Separation: The fear of abandonment and rejection. We might see this as an anxiety against becoming a nobody and not valued by others. A threat or isolation might create a feeling of being locked out of a group, and separation is the anxiety against this.

Ego: The fear of humiliation and associated shame. This is associated with a feeling of losing the integrity of our self. If a person faces a situation where the person as something might become a nobody we might observe strange actions.

EMACE (Extinction, Mutilation, Autonomy, Separation and Ego) might bring on some understanding of where the preparation for a fight should be. Remember if fear is activated you will not be able to defend yourself. All fighting includes EMACE aspects. At some point you might become afraid of your life (Extinction) or to hurt yourself (Mutilation). When an opponent in combat starts to control you and your movements (Autonomy) and when you are left alone in a fight (Separation). When fighting you might feel that you might lose even before you start fighting (Ego). There you go – mental training should constitute minimum 75% of all martial arts training. With no fear you are closer to victory! Remember also you opponent have fear.

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