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On Fear.

Updated: Dec 15, 2019

In sparring, there is fear. Fear of getting hit, fear of losing. This fear can be paralyzing, it can disorient and blind you, and it usually keeps you from taking action. In the beginning, this fear, can be managed with proper instruction, and taking things slow, but it is usually always there. As you progress, the fear gets replaced with dreams, excitement, strategy, technique, knowledge and experience. It is mitigated with wide-eyed reflection, analysis and thought.

Usually a fear is based on an undesirable outcome. Something in the future. Something that may or may not be in our control. It is not easy to beat these demons but we all must.

I try to teach this to my students, but I am going to be real with you. There is this growing fear that I have now that I am trying to wrap my head around and it has nothing to do with Martial Arts.

I've been reading a lot of the news. Domestically, there's school shootings. Quick searches online, there's popular and growing subreddits on r/insanepeople and r/publicfreakout. Politically there's turmoil to say the least. It is hard to even talk about these days. I find myself checking myself and what I say even with community members, as I do not want to offend them. The outlets for speaking to people honestly without reactivity seem to be getting thinner. There's online trolls, and there's openly hateful people and aggressive people.

Abroad, I see that it is no better. I observe the rise of fascism and people's rights being quashed. I hear voices crying out for help, but there's just nothing it seems we can do. It isn't our business, or the economics will not work. It isn't our problem. All these reasons to literally just sit here and do nothing.

This feeling, this malaise, this fear. It is not the way to live life. I know this. Sparring has taught me how to fight my fears, but these were always one on one, and there were rules and a referee. Now it seems even the arbiters don't know what is right. I don't know if I have the right to say what is or is not right, but I feel so deeply that not doing something is wrong; and that with enough people, with enough voices, enough demand, from regular people who feel the same. We could conquer this fear and do something.

I found that the only times, my fear proved to be right, was when I let my fears take control of me. When I "let the fear, take the wheel and steer." Incubus - Drive. I fear that if we do nothing about the injustices around the world, we will ourselves experience this injustice more and we won't have others around us to help.

What to do with this larger fear? How do you beat this? I know I am not alone in this. Where are the others who want to do something? Can we do something?

I have no proposal, I just wanted to share my fear. I found that sharing my fear has always helped, and I really hope someone can help me.

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