Posts Tagged ‘Fear’

Sometimes things go really well and sometimes they don’t…

Written by Zane. Posted in Black Belt Research Project 2013

Question A:

The first question I will answer is:

When we practise a martial art, sometimes things go really well and sometimes they don’t go well at all. How do you encourage someone when things aren’t going so well?

First of all I will explain how it feels like when something is going well and when something is not going well at all.

What it feels like when something’s going well?

I have confidence and knowledge in me because I know what I am doing and from training for the past five and a half years, this boosts up my confidence. Whereas as a beginner I don’t yet know what I am meant to be like. To summarize something can only improve after a good amount of training.

When something’s going well I feel happy and on top of the world. I feel excited and eager to carry on and achieve more goals. Personally it makes me think positive and helps me to believe in myself that I can achieve the best. When this happens in a competition it makes me think that I can do this and that I will come home with a medal in my hands.

What it feels like when something’s not going well?

When something’s not going well I feel dark, gloomy and miserable and that I would never succeed in anything. I feel like giving up and not wanting to bother or carry on. It makes me have negative thoughts. It makes me stressed and I want to get ready to give up. In a competition this makes me feel embarrassed and wanting to run away.

My conclusion from what I’ve said is that you should never think negative, you should never run away.

How can I encourage others?

In karate the way I would encourage others would be to tell them what exactly is wrong about the way they did a particular move or sequence and why it didn’t work out the way that they expected it to come out as. After I have given them some advice I will get them to use my tips by making them do it again. If they still can’t do it right the  next time I will get them to do it at home, and then maybe next time they would have improved. As well as that I will show them how to do it myself for improving. In addition I’ll tell them to relax, stay calm and not to worry. So instead of putting themself under pressure they could be focusing, because panicking will only make it worse.  Instead of worrying they should think positive. Then finally I would ask them why they thought it went wrong for their honest opinion so they know what to look out for when eventually they coach and assess others in the future.

If they can do that I will give them more advanced targets to practise so they can achieve and get better in their martial arts, because if something is easy they could be working harder to achieve more.

Before a competition Sensei Lindsey quoted this:

‘Back to that feeling of pacing, palm sweating, wanting to run away now, nerves before I compete every time I question why do I do this?!

For me it’s about being afraid of something and not backing down, not walking away and making excuses. It’s about showing juniors that I coach and that it is OK to face a challenge, and win or lose you achieve because you got up there and said I can’

This tells me if they try to quit, I’d tell them that it is OK to face a challenge. No matter how hard it is you will learn ways to improve by seeing how higher belts fight. In this case anything is possible if you don’t give up, because a real martial arts student would say” I can!”

My answer to her question ‘why does she do it’ is to represent the club and prove herself as a high grade because she thinks positive and knows she can do it. I would go to competitions to prove myself to the club and improve myself for the club.

I have interviewed several people on this question and this is what they said:

Jess Muller (karate black belt):

I would change the moves around so they can do things step by step and once they can do that I’d do more moves based on that particular move so one day you could come back and have another try and hopefully they would’ve improved.

Emily Nicholls (karate student):

I would ask them what they feel is the barrier is it the move (the physical elements) if so would they like to see the move again, practise it, understand a little more how to do the basic asking them at each stage if they feel that they could break it down to learn, if they are saying it from a confidence point of view (more mental block) then It is important to remain positive or even go back over a few steps to gain confidence and then try again.

Miss Joliffe (our teacher giving a school point of view):

I would just ask them questions based around what they were stuck on until they get it.


To conclude the main thing that sticks out is breaking it up and coming back after you have practised to show you are confident and can achieve things. The same sort of questions appear in and out of karate.


My biggest fear and how I will overcome it.

Written by Sophie. Posted in Black Belt Research Project 2013

Basingstoke Judo Club - Throw, Tai Otoshi, Fear, Breakfalls, rolling, falling, tripDoing martial arts is difficult sometimes and you can end up doing something that is hard and scary for you but eventually you have to do it and over come it. Like for me, my fear is being thrown to the ground in Judo and sometimes getting hurt. But I have ways to overcome my fear.

One way of overcoming my fear is being able to break fall. Break falling will help me because it will make sure that I will prevent me from hurting myself more than I would without break falling. The stinging up my arms and legs is the sign that the break fall has stopped me from hurting myself badly. I have to make shore I keep my chin tucked in so that I don’t hit my head back onto the floor. This will also help because my hands will take all the shock of the fall as I hit the floor and this will make sure that the rest of me stay together without getting hurt. Break falling is just one way of overcoming my fear.

Another way of overcoming my fear is to trust the person that is throwing me. Trust is vital because you need to know that the person that you are working with is going to look after you and not hurt you. This will give me more confidence to do more without worrying about the worst that could happen to me while doing the thrown. This will also help me because I will know the people that I can trust and work with while leaving the ones I can’t trust who can’t work with me properly. Trust can help me improve my skills and not just my judo but karate as well. I will know the people I can work with and who I can’t. Trust will help me gain my confidence in people and my throws. Another way of overcoming my fear.

Third way of overcoming my fear is repetition. This will help me because I will get use to being thrown that it won’t bother me if I trip or get thrown to the ground really hard. This will also help me improve moves. Practice will help me work at moves I don’t have lots of confidence on. It will also get me used to break falling. Once I have mastered some moves I can start to move on to harder moves. Doing the move lots will help me because I will eventually become more confident and be able to get better and better at it and my fear will slowly go away.

All of these ways can help me get over my fear of being thrown to hard and getting hurt. Break falling will make sure I land safely without causing injury. Also trust in the person who is throwing you is vital because you need to know that the person who you are working with isn’t going to hurt you or throw you to hard. And finally repetition will help because it will get me used to being thrown and getting me used to break falling at the same time. I will also be improving my moves every time I practice. All these ways are going to help me get over my fear.

 By Sophie Pogmore


Fear, Stress, Nerves, Anxiety, Adrenalin, Self-Consciousness and Choking are all part of Martial Arts training

Written by Bob. Posted in Black Belt Research Project 2013, Self Defence

old basing karate, gkr, shotokan, wado, go-kan-ryu, gokanryu, matt fiddess, defence labs, krav maga, basingstoke
Black Belt Grading Project 2013

Bob Wilson

My grading project comprises the challenging issues of Fear, Anxiety, Adrenalin, Self Consciousness and Choking which are all part of Martial Arts training. In order to bring the topic to life and to ensure that what I write is entertaining I will base my topic around two characters who find themselves in a scenario anyone could be subject to and we’ll look at what is going on both physically, mentally and how one of the characters’ Martial Arts training helps them both in the situation.

I intend to look in depth at how the body naturally reacts to Fear, Stress and Anxiety and valium also what Adrenaline would do in a self defence scenario. I’m going to try and present full facts and not dress up the reality – for this I make no apology. As we go through the reports more information will come to light that will hopefully change views on how this initial scenario is seen.


To set the scene I thought I would look at a scenario and then later on we can break down certain parts further. 

Tony and Rachel are a couple in their late 20’s/early 30’s who have known each other for many years but recent started seeing each other. Tony is a Fudge Packer in a local Confectionary Warehouse and Rachel works in the Leisure and Tourism industry. Over text messages they decide that on Saturday night they will hop on a train and go to a nearby town. Whilst there they go for a few drinks and around 1 am decide to catch the last train home. On walking to the train station they encounter 3 men who stop Tony and ask if he has any spare change, he politely declines at which point the lead youth says ‘I’ll take your phones then…’.


So Let’s pause the scenario there and see what’s happened so far. Tony’s been studying Karate for almost 4 years and knows that self-protection begins when you leave the house not when you encounter a potential problem, his martial arts training has also opened his eyes to the possibility of dangers so as he is out of his own area and taking a lady out he is aware this type of situation was possible and to give himself the best chance he deliberately hasn’t had a lot to drink. He is also acutely aware that the last comment, ‘I’ll take your phone then…’ has changed the situation from one of three lads simply asking for some change etc to one of a potential street robbery where both he and Rachel are now potentially in danger. He has no idea if anyone is carrying a weapon.

Back to the scenario and Tony replies ‘No, mate – You’re not having our phones, we’ve had a good night and I need to get onto the platform, excuse me’. As he goes to walk past, the 1st male starts to become agitated and aggressive. He pushes Tony back shouts at him ‘Give me your phone!!’ all whilst still flanked by two other males.

So again lets look at what’s going on. Tony’s body now enters a state of emergency (also known as the ‘Fight or Flight response’). The stress of the situation has now caused Tony’s heart rate to increase from around 40/50 beats per minute to nearly 100 (bpm). Adrenaline is rapidly being released by his body which also stimulates Dopamine (a natural pain killer). His breathing becomes shallower and more rapid to keep up with the body’s increased demand to provide blood and oxygen to the major organs.

In this situation people respond differently depending on their psychological state, their confidence, whether they are prepared to engage an assailant etc etc. It’s easy for a person to go into a state of panic and fall to pieces. This often happens to people who are simply not prepared.

At this point it is very much up to the individual as to how they deal with the situation. Tim Larkin a US Martial Arts expert (a hand to hand combat trainer for the US Navy Seals) who hold’s extremely violent and controversial views on self protection (so much so that he was banned from the United Kingdom by the Home Secretary Theresa May in August 2012 because “his presence here was not conducive to the public good”) believes that in this sort of situation you should allow the adrenalin to empower you in order to maim, severely injure or even kill the individual concerned. We’ll look at these views later in the project.

So Tony, still being confronted by the attacker now allows his martial arts training to take over. He knows he has to relax and regain control of his emotions. He looks for an avenue out of the situation without resorting to violence. Unfortunately there’s nobody around at that time that could help, and the distance to the platform is around 25 meters of polished floor with around 20 stairs at the end and Rachel, helpfully, has worn high heels. Again Tony communicates with his attacker but there is no option and things quickly escalate.


In this case study I’ve outlined most areas in my project and to move this on I will be looking at the following in more depth…


* What specifically causes these stimuli are there other areas that I haven’t yet looked at?

We’ll look more at the physical, psychological and emotional areas of these stimuli. The lasting impact of being a victim and the benefits of having the right training. We’ll also look at high profile victims of crime and try to gain an understanding of how their


* How do these emotions manifest themselves in others?

In this section I’m going to look at the Attacker as well as the ‘Victim’. What is their mindset and how do they deal with it and are there other tactics to deal with an aggressor that don’t involve fighting. Also in this section I want to look at the emotions behind whether the attacker being armed changes their state of mind and the state of mind of the defender.


* How can Martial Arts training help with controlling these points?

Here I’ll look at how Martial Arts turns potential Victims into prepared defenders. Also the ability no not ‘look like a victim’ and  I’ll look more in depth at how Martial Arts begins when you leave the house (not when you’re confronted with a problem). We’ll also touch on whether there’s a danger with over confidence and finish with looking at the ‘Fight or Flight response’.


* The merits or not of Sports Psychology dealing with the emotions.

Does the murky world of Sports Psychology help with these emotions or is it all an expensive placebo? Also we’ll look at not only the ‘Sports Psychology’ but also the psychology of high profile teachers around the World and ask, how extreme is ‘extreme’?


* Finally, I’ll be looking at are there parallels between working life and Martial Arts in this context?

Can Martial Arts training spill over into an everyday working life with positive benefits? Working in a high pressure job myself I’ll base this on my day to day life as well as other high profile people I am able to research.


That’s a rough outline, I’m sure my research will take me off on different tangents but that’s all part of learning.  All that matters is that at the end of this I/we are able to better understand the FEAR concept. Finally in November I will end with a coaching a session on this topic where I will be inviting others to contribute their thoughts, feelings and possible previous experiences.