Wednesday, February 1, 2017

How to overcome your fear of fighting

The fear of physical conflicts and confrontation can be a very scary experience especially to those with no training in physical combat. There is a tendency to freeze up or flee from violent situations because of fear. Even with training in hand-to-hand combat, fear still can still cripple people and keep them from defending themselves. This guide will teach you how to overcome your fear of violence with helpful videos and a link below:

* Realize your not a victim - Don't focus on what your enemy will do to you, focus on what you will do to your enemy. If you keep thinking "i'm scared i will get hit..i'm scared i will get stabbed...i'm scared i will get killed..", you are thinking about what your enemy will do to you and not the other way around.

Think of a time when you didn't know how to control something (a car, a plane, a computer, anything) How did you learn? What were the results? It's the same principles with the art of fighting. It's ultimately about control whether it's of you or your opponent. If your opponent throws a punch, you simply move out of the way or block it. With practice, you will learn how to think of yourself as a problem solver but you cannot do that if you see yourself as a victim. This video explains more.

Try this training tip. Get a sparring partner and get your partner to punch you in slow motion. As soon as you see the punch coming slowly towards you, choose how you want to respond in self defense. You could move back, block, evade and counter-attack, etc. Keep doing this until you feel comfortable and tell your sparring partner to strike faster. Make sure to wear safety gear while your at it.

* Face your fears - It's common to avoid fears we don't want to entertain the thought of. We tend to rationalize things by thinking "let's think about nice and happy thoughts.." as a defense mechanism. When a violent situation arises, people use this defense mechanism and try to rationalize the situation out of denial. "I must hear fireworks..." when there's gunshots. "That man must be moving towards the store instead of me..." Even though his body language clearly indicates aggression and violent intent. "This can't be happening to me.." even when it clearly is. Simply thinking "positive thoughts" does not work if you are caught in a violent situation. We tend to think if we avoid it, we are safer but that's far from the reality. You must face your fears head on if you are to survive. This video demonstrates this concept.

This principle is what the military practices in order to survive in combat. By facing your fears, you actually reduce anxiety and empower yourself to handle the situation. In order to overcome your fear of fighting, you must ask yourself "what am i afraid of? Getting hit? Not knowing how to respond? Not knowing how to defend myself?" and come up with a plan on how to overcome that fear. For example, if you are afraid of getting hit in an actual fight then practice getting hit during sparring. Have your sparring partners or partner surround you as you wear safety equipment and gear to protect your body. Instruct them to hit you at full force and speed. Don't fight back or avoid getting hit. Instead cover your vital areas. The more you are accustomed to the stress of getting hit, the better you will respond in sparring and the less frightened you will be of getting close to your opponent to land your own attacks.

Train with intensity - In order for you to overcome your fear of fighting, you need to induce stress in training and sparring. If you are too relaxed then you won't be able to handle the intense pressure of combat in the streets. See my posts "how to train for combat realism" ( in order to understand how this works.

* Realize fear is actually a good thing - Many people perceive fearlessness as a powerful trait to have but without fear, you wouldn't be able to perform well in self defense. Fear is a good emotion to have because it triggers our fight-or-flight response. Fear heightens our senses, makes us more alert, increases our reflexes, the list goes on. People have done very amazing feats in fear. Without fear, you wouldn't respond as quickly and would probably die in an intense situation. Use fear to your advantage rather than eliminating it or being crippled by it. Watch this video of how a firefighter performed under adrenaline caused by fear.

* Use tactical breathing - Breathe and hold your breath for at least 4 seconds before engaging in sparring or during a stressful situation. Repeat the same process until the fear subsides. This is a practice members of the military do to reduce stress, anxiety, and calm the nervous system. If you don't breathe, you won't get the oxygen you need and thus won't be able to perform very well.

* Admit your fear and engage in self talk - This is a military practice when soldiers are dealing with a frightening experience. Rather than keep your fear bottled up, spend time talking about it with a friend and motivate yourself mentally. You may hear a quiet voice in your head that tries to induce fear and anxiety in you. Learn to mentally talk over this voice and empower yourself.

* Laugh it off - Sometimes laughter is the best medicine. By poking fun at the intense sitaution you are in, you learn to calm your nerves and see the situation in a different light. That's why some people laugh at an intense situation. It's not because it's funny, it's because laughter helps relieve stress and nervousness. Laughter has several health benefits.

* Imagine the worst possible case scenario - This is another military practice. If you are caught in a situation where you are afraid for your life, what's the worst that can happen? Death? Life in a coma? After that, what happens then? You will cease to exist. That's it. When you come to terms with death and suffering then the fears lose their effect on your mind. By engaging in the worst possible situation during training, they will have less impact in combat.

* Realize fear is a mere reaction, not a reality - We tend to become afraid of what we consider a dangerous situation, the reality is the situation isn't dangerous at all. It's our perception of danger rooted in fear. Your own fear is simply a reaction to a particular circumstance. Fear does not define reality at all. You may feel like dying but you aren't. When you learn to disassociate fear from reality, you learn to understand how to better control your fears.

By conquering your fears during training, you learn how to quickly and effectively respond in combat. If you enjoyed this post, subscribe to my blog for updates, more advice, and exclusive content in the near future. I'm proud and excited to offer a FREE sample chapter of my E-book "Jeet Kune Do: How to build your own fighting system for self defense!" It's essentially a step-by-step guide on how to make your own self defense system suited to fit your own needs using Jeet Kune Do. If you would love to receive your FREE chapter of my e-book, click on the link below and share a post via. social media then it's yours for FREE! Be sure to also fill out the survey on the right and provide feedback on my blog. Leave questions, comments, and suggestions below.


  1. Some Guy at school challenged me 4 a fight, i know techniques of self defence, but when he stands infront of me ,i forget all techniques that i know, because he is 3 years older than me with a very strong punch, help me how to stop bailing out and how to beat him

  2. I'm someone who's in a more progressed stage of life, and still face these fears -- presenting, confrontation -- which are very deeply rooted in me from an early age. I get that same situational anxiety described in the first video. I want to improve, and have a long road ahead, but this post has been helpful in mitigating these fears, at least in my own head and my mindset in terms of how to approach this. Thanks for posting this valuable knowledge!