The Spartans are probably one of the most revered fighting forces in the world. A society built around combat, and building the perfect warrior. Before the Samurai and before the Shaolin monks. While being the elite warrior of their day, they began their warrior training at birth with their famous selection process. A Spartan warrior entered into his formal training at the age of 12 and he continued his service well into his 60s. Despite this intensive training regimen, the Spartans had a keen understanding of fear and a surprising belief on how to overcome it.
The question you must start with when looking to defeat fear is to ask one simple question, “What is the opposite of fear?” The immediate answer is bravery or heroism. But this is not the opposite of fear. This is the result of how the real answer enables us to act. Fear is an emotion so the opposite of Fear must to be an emotion. If you read Stephen Pressfield’s “Gates of Fire” you already know the answer.
The answer lies in your heart. The opposite of Fear is Love. Love of family, love of God, love of country, love of self. It is whatever justifies your existence. In combat you must attack with ruthlessness and intensity. You need to posses a “Whatever it takes” attitude. At first glance, regular, law abiding people cringe at the reality of having to bite or gouge or claw in order to survive. The reaction is “I could never do that!”
While sitting in a training session you may not be motivated enough to do “whatever it takes” but then if the situation were changed and you came into your daughter’s room and saw strange man standing over her bed, what then? When faced the prospect of a loved one in grave danger, fear and apprehension disappear to be replaced by seething rage and contempt (this is a good thing). Now you all you need to do is channel that rage.
Learn how to channel your rage and rise to the occasion.
Self defense and fighting to survive will put you in a completely unimaginable and horrifying situations. You must assume his an prepare accordingly. Live your life, prepare for the worst and hope for the best. You don’t need to change your life to save it. No uniforms, no bowing or belts, just simple skills is all it takes. It is impossible to replicate in training how you will feel when the time comes. What you need to do is train in a way that takes the worst possible circumstances into consideration.