Fighting with weapons is something mentally devastating, it is taking combat to the next level.
Already there is a profound difference between fighting with protections like mouth guards and gloves, compared to a condition with MMA gloves or bare hands as in Bare Knuckle or even worse from the street without any protection or protection from the referee and the environment where the match takes place, you are on hard courts, not on a tatami.
The fear of fighting is normal and must be managed, but fighting armed is not something normal, you are going to the next level, whether it is cutting or impact weapons such as sticks, or firearms.
Fear of fighting is normal.
It is an expected event in particular in combat with weapons in which the anticipation of serious injury or death is higher than a bare-handed confrontation even on the street, without rules.
Controlling fear and fear and exploiting it to one’s advantage has been one of the main goals of fighters since time immemorial.
Every culture has sought a way to master this fear!
The ancient masters of Philippine martial arts (FMA) used the role of spirituality as a means of managing and conquering their fears, so it is not surprising to learn that the most valiant fighters in the history of the real fighting of the death of many Filipinos were also the most religious.
The greatest fear in combat is the fear of being hit, the fear of seriously injuring oneself, the fear of death.
One by one with weapons is never good!
Traditional FMA masters have learned how to deal with this great fear by believing that the outcome of any encounter has already been decided by a Supreme Being and therefore is free to engage in deadly combat without the baggage of self-preservation.
This is the Filipino philosophical-spiritual concept of “Bahala na.”
“Bathala” is the name of the supreme deity of the ancient Tagalog.
Indian author and scholar Upendra Thakur said that his etymology is Indian, “Similarly Bathala, the supreme god of Tagalog, is obviously Indra (Battara),” he wrote in his book “Some Aspects of Asian History and Culture.”
Bahala na came from Bathala na, which means “Let God.”
It is a common pre-battle expression of Filipino warriors, which simply means that they are entrusting their fate into God’s hands.
In addition to deep spirituality, the other thing that allows traditional FMA masters to stare death straight in the eye is their confidence in their techniques, they can fight.
Unlike many FMA systems taught today, the arnis, escrima and kali taught in ancient times are mortal in “simplicity”.
A residual system of that era is the cinco teros (five strikes) style.
Battle-proven martial arts are unadorned and simple to apply – they are designed for one thing only, and that is to kill the enemy quickly and efficiently.
They used essential but very effective techniques.
Now attention that simplicity does not come from knowing a few techniques as many modern self-defense systems think to do, but to know a lot and bring it to the essential, they use little because they know so much, not the other way around.
Think of firearms, a gun or rifle is simple to use; You have to “only” point it at an opponent and pull the trigger, the fact that it is simple to do does not betray the fact that it is deadly.
You know that when that bullet hits your enemy you are killing him.
Weapons are a powerful equalizer, giving you an important advantage against more opponents, or a larger opponent of build or more trained, younger, etc.
Weapons are given to give an advantage.
You may in your pants because of fear, cry while you are shooting your gun but you know that it will work if that bullet hits the target, you know that if you do it will work, your attacker or opponent will be stopped, injured or killed, unable to continue the fight.
It’s the same thing with FMA’s functional techniques, the old escrimadores experience less fear in combat because they knew their fighting techniques were simple and functional.
They had done it dozens of times! They were warriors, they were real killers!
The method of armed training in Philippine martial arts
The brutal nature of traditional training has also eliminated the fear of fighting among the FMA masters of yesteryear.
They used real sticks and llamas during rehearsals, training, which made them “at home”, in a comfort zone with these lethal weapons.
They were so exposed to real injuries during training that it’s no longer a big deal when an enemy tries to hit them with a real knife in real life.
In modern society, where civilization and laws predominate, few are willing to adopt this brutal paradigm but much can be learned from traditional FMA training when it comes to overcoming the fear of fighting.
The effectiveness of the fighting techniques taught.
When it comes to fighting techniques, go for gross motor skills (simple movements) rather than fine motor skills (complicated movements).
The preference for great motor skills for real-life combat was based on the natural response of the human body to the threat under stress and with adrenaline in the body.
When experiencing fear, the human body tends to return to using gross motor skills and not fine motor skills.
Simple things work under pressure but if you have done a proper training.
The quality of training
The quality of training is also important, while the term “scenario training” was not even invented, the FMA masters of yesteryear were doing exactly that.
That is, working in a real context!
For these warriors, the training scenario is almost the same as for the battle royale scenario.
If you have to train to defend yourself in certain contexts, do it in that context and with the weapons you have available, even improvised weapons.
As I told you for considerations related to the safety of sports centers and gyms in modern societies where the rules are regulated by laws and therefore this can not be fully done, but you can learn a lot by sticking to its principle and that is to imitate in training as close as possible the elements of a real fight that you may find yourself facing.
Such as a knife attack, or a multiple assault, a robbery, etc.
Proper training with the appropriate techniques can go a long way towards overcoming the fear of fighting.
In the book How to Survive the Most Critical 5 Seconds of Your Life by Tim Larkin and Chris Ranck-Buh there are a few lines that say:
“When you know how to ‘swim in the pool of violence,’ however, your reaction will be slightly different. You will still experience the biological fact of fear, but this will be tempered by the awareness of what to do next. Instead of being shocked and scared to the point of submission, believing that you have no choice but to submit, you will do what you are trained to do. If that workout was waiting and seeing, or preparing, you may have already lost. If, however, that training is for violence – to cause injury then that’s what you’re going to do.”
In all, it simply boils down to knowing what to do and that the techniques you have work.
The rest, you rely on the Divine if that is your faith.
Knife is not a game!
Street Fight Mentality