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"How to get rid of fear of fighting". When i get hit i am scared to get beaten more. I am worried about my nose getting break which costs me to lose. But i love the sport.

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Could you clarify what the question is? That makes it easier for people to answer. –  Mark C. Wallace Dec 27 '12 at 12:15
    
i am sorry , i wanted to ask "How to get rid of fear of fighting". When i get hit i am scared to get beaten more. I am worried about my nose getting break which costs me to lose. But i love the sport. –  John Dec 27 '12 at 12:20
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@John Please edit and update your question accordingly and add that information. –  Matt Chan Dec 27 '12 at 12:23
    
related: martialarts.stackexchange.com/questions/241/… –  BenCole Dec 28 '12 at 14:35

8 Answers 8

up vote 9 down vote accepted

To be honest this is a tough question to answer because there is no one right answer or technique for this.

It is healthy to be scared in a match. If you are not scared then you are either highly experienced or somewhat mental.

I think the only way to overcome this (without some hypnotic reprogramming) is experience - which means getting hit. Overcoming pain and fear requires training, it requires that you face the fear and receive the pain and realize that you are still fine and you can carry on.

A smack on the nose can hurt and make you eyes water, ideally you should avoid it (keep your guard up, no be there Daniel-san). It might even break your nose, but after you've had a few of those you learn that it isn't so bad and you can continue.

When you fight you ideally want to be "in the zone", which is a state where you are not consciously thinking about what you are doing and what is happening around you. When in this state you will still feel the hits but won't consciously register the pain from it (this is kind of important especially when your thighs will be getting smashed during the match!) - the only way to achieve this is with ring experience and training.

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Well thank you, My master even told the same. I believe i need to start fighting with my size of people first. –  John Dec 28 '12 at 5:33
    
Exactly @John. But from time to time try also to spar someone more experienced. This will improve your skills, and you'll be able to push your limits much faster. –  jitsCode Jan 10 '13 at 7:27

I'd like to echo Reno's answer. We do a lot of body conditioning. Basically we let the partner pummel us with kicks and punches, without defending. After a while, your body and mind are used to being hit. It's no big deal, really.

Naturally, we don't go 100% from day one. With beginners it's just light contact, and then the intensity is built up as they become tougher.

When it comes to strikes to the head, it's a bit different ballgame, because you can't conditioning your soft, squishy brain to be hit all the time. However, our method is almost the same. We put some gloves on, and do some light contact boxing. Instead of targeting the fragile parts of the head, like the nose or jaw, we aim for the forehead or side of the head.

Now, conditioning is only part one. Part two is actually building up the courage and try to be a more aggressive fighter when you spar in class. This is easier, the more regularly you do sparring. Pick a good match (one that is more skilled than yourself), and put some pressure on. You might be hit more often, but it's no big deal. You might even be hit less frequently, because you leave your opponent less space to attack!

Part three is taking it completely outside the comfort zone. So far you've only been in a controlled environment (dojo/gym) with people you trust. The next step is to fight at a tournament, but only when you feel reasonably "comfortable" with that. It's never really "comfortable". All fighters are a little bit scared, and that's natural and actually healthy (keeps you focused – it's dangerous to be careless). The hardest and most frightening fight, is your first one. As soon as you've been there a few times, you get used to it.

Sidenote: tournament fighting is not for all. Some people simply don't see the point, and that is fair – however, if this is secretly a dream of yours, you should most definitely pursue it, even if you don't have ambitions to be an elite fighter. Too many martial artists skip tournaments, because they don't believe they are up to it.

However, no matter how courageous and skilled you are, you will one day get hit really hard in the face. It's unavoidable. When that day comes, the important question is how well you handle it. The worst thing you can do is to panic. The best thing you can do (if you are still conscious), is to shrug and settle the score. :)

Be prepared, and good luck!

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Sure, you can get rid of fear through daily practice & meditation.
  • Through daily meditation, your mind will become calm and accurate.
  • Through daily martial arts practicing, you will become
    stronger and healthier.

And finally a calm, accurate, stronger and healthier person will not afraid of anything other than God.

 "Mind and Body are two parts of a coin"
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We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

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How would daily practicing and meditation help exactly? Please elaborate. –  THelper Mar 25 '13 at 11:59
    
@THelper elaborated thanks –  deepu Mar 26 '13 at 7:29
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This is a set of assertions, not an objective answer backed by evidence. I accept that the statements are true for you, but SE is about objective answers that are supported by evidence and can be applied generally. –  Mark C. Wallace Mar 26 '13 at 10:45
    
@MarkC.Wallace yes, the statements are true for me and I hope this is generally applicable. thanks –  deepu Mar 28 '13 at 5:40

Good old body conditioning / body beating worked for me. First I got a guy with the same height as me to punch me around. I did not defend.

It mostly consisted of

  • Punches to the abdomen (with gloves on)
  • Punches to the chest.
  • Jabs to the face
  • Hooks to the face
  • Slap kicks to the thigh
  • Slaps on my stomach
  • Front kick to the chest
  • Slap kicks on my shoulder

This hurt for a few days, but after a month my body had got used to it. So I upgraded to a tall bloke (So that I did not get intimidated in an actual fight)

Basically you make yourself subconsciously used to get beaten up. I learned this from Kalari, where I was handed weapons on the first day. It seems daunting at first, the instinct of getting hurt/or hurting others just goes away over time.

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Yod Ruerngsa has a section on 'being hit' in Muay Thai - The Art of Fighting.

Here an excerpt:

If you want to evolve and grow as a human being, don't worry about what you'll get from others...learn to give, to try, to extend yourself, and to concentrate on what you're doing to and for others, not on what's being done to or for you. If you want to learn how to box, same thing: don't worry about what others will do to you, learn to give, to try, to extend yourself with effort, and concentrate on what you're doing, not on what's being done to you.

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Very cool quote; thanks. –  Dave Liepmann Mar 14 '13 at 14:45
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The chapter goes into some more detail. I've linked to it here –  kioopi Mar 14 '13 at 16:17

I can offer some advice from my experience working with Tony Blauer. In Tony's system we do some drills called Emotional Climate Training (ECT) where the purpose is to think about how an attack or situation makes you "feel" on an emotional level.

How it works, starting with an attack such as haymaker is you stand there while an opponent tosses the haymaker at you in slow motion. What you do is a couple of things. First watch the attack, mental blueprint what a haymaker or whatever attack/situation looks and sounds like. Takes a good bad guy to do this part. Next think about how the attack makes you feel emotionally. Keep doing this attack over and over. Remember you are not making any defense movements, just analyze and think about the attack. This part of the drill can go on for a while. You stop when you start feeling "comfortable" with the attack on an emotional level.

From here we would usually progress to describing the attack. Same as above except now you are verbally describing what you see and hear from the attacker. Again, repeat this drill, maybe 10-20 times or till you feel comfortable with describing the aspects of the attack.

The next part of the drills just keep building upon this same thing. Next would be describing the safe/unsafe parts of the attack (unsafe is when the attacker is making contact, safe is all other times) and then working on defensive responses. Doing this in class can take a couple of hours but it does work in helping with fear management and analyzing attacks.

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try some like-sparring drills (like sticky hands from Wing Chun) - those drills will give you lots of confidence without much of a danger.

update:

1) The sticky hands drill presumes a very short distance of "fighting" (the distance is one thing lots of people and uncomfortable about)

2) the drill can be done as hard (aggressive) or soft as needed

3) since the contact is kept all the time, the danger is much less than during "conventional" sparring; I can't post an essay about Wing Chun and it's philosophy, so you would have to believe me or do some research on your own (or just ignore my post alltogether)

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-1 this avoids sparring instead of dealing with the issue. –  Dave Liepmann Mar 25 '13 at 14:18
    
@DaveLiepmann - have you tried any of that or you are theoritising? I have seen how it works and done it myself. –  Steve V Mar 25 '13 at 19:06
    
I've never had the problem, so I can't say I've tried it directly. However I've dabbled with sticky hands and am quite confident in describing that drill as "not sparring" and "not fighting". Since the question asks for ways to fight and spar, an answer that recommends doing something instead of fighting and sparring seems unhelpful. –  Dave Liepmann Mar 25 '13 at 19:32
    
@DaveLiepmann - perhaps, the version you have seen was different from what I have practiced (sticky hands drill can have as much sparring as both participants want). In short, it IS fighting; try to dabble it again, perhaps it will change your confedency. –  Steve V Mar 25 '13 at 19:58
    
Do you have any video examples of what you're referring to? Perhaps a ruleset? I've seen it be a useful drill, but never rise to the level of sparring. –  Dave Liepmann Mar 25 '13 at 20:05

When I just started learning martial arts (Seido) I was in the same position that you refer to. The solution for me was sparring with black belts or a kyu at least two ranks above mine. They will have the experience to be able to control their strikes so you don't get hurt too much. An added bonus is if you make a mistake while sparring you will know immediately. Also keep practicing the basics eventually you will see their applications in sparring, osu.

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