I am kind of new to martial arts, and have only been involved for about a year. One time when my teacher was away from class for personal reasons, a boxing ranked student of his allowed me (an 18 year old girl who had never sparred or even boxed before) to fight an experienced male boxer about the same age in a sparring match. I made it through three rounds of my brain bashing around inside my skull and could barely stand. At the last round, I almost passed out from a panic attack and horrible concussion. It was a very fast and brutal fight. Shortly after this experience, a man where I work started sexually harassing me on top of a ton of verbal abuse from my supervisors. Often times he would corner me, get touchy, cat call, etc., which lasted for about 3 weeks before management fired me illegally for constantly complaining about the horrible treatment and having to resort to calling the cops (they talked themselves out of getting in trouble).
After this, I changed to a better school and all was well for about two weeks. Still looking for a job, but trying to keep fit, I went for a jog with my Mom in the local park when a young man pulled a knife on us and tried to mug us. Instead of fighting back, I froze. Since then, I just keep freezing. I made it out of the situation unscathed and I did finally get my purse back after my Mom talked him out of doing the worst for a good fifteen minutes. I stood there like an idiot in a daze. Before all of this, as a child I used to live on the Navajo reservation where all sorts of crime came upon my family; anywhere from death threats to guns being held at our heads. My Mom has been through the worst and the horrors go on but so do the miracles and blessings and good people that now surround my life.
Right now, when I practice martial arts, I hesitate, I flinch, and I freeze. My teachers have noticed it too. They tell me all the time to relax, but it's easier said than done. I'm just really jumpy and skittish now. In the martial arts I take, I face similar scenarios and being the only girl at my schools doubles the challenge.
The martial arts I take are:
- Esgrima Criolla
- Irish Stick
- CACC wrestling
- Viking Glima
- Native American warrior arts
- Jeet Kun Do
- Wing Chun
- Pencak Silat
- Eskrima Kali Arnis
- Balintawak Arnis
- Five Animal Kung Fu
Yes, I know it's a lot. I take my training very seriously and, despite the insanely long list, I never mix up my martial arts moves and I practice accordingly.
Is there any way I can stop being skittish and just learn the techniques?
How do I better prepare myself for another confrontation? What do you do in such scenarios when you're scared out of your wits? Why do I keep freezing and tensing up? How do I break through the fragile shy girl mold and show these guys what I've got?