Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Muay Thai Minute: Part 2

"Fear As Friend"

Just minutes before my first Muay Thai fight my teammate pulled me to the side and told me there is no difference between a coward and a hero. They both feel and experience fear. It’s what a person does with that fear that makes him either the coward or the hero. He said to use that fear to fuel my fight.

So what exactly is fear and how do we channel it to our advantage? Fear, in it’s most literal sense can best be described as an emotional response to tangible and realistic dangers. Once settled in, fear can also be the source of the “flight or fight” response one gets right before immediate danger.

Now how you choose to use fear to your advantage is a matter of personal preference. No two men or women react the same. You may embrace the feeling of fear and use it to make you sharper in the ring. The fear of losing may cause you to push harder to win. The fear of getting hurt may cause you to protect yourself more carefully. On the other hand, you may fear the crowd, or your opponent, two things that may lead to doubt and weaken performance.

In order to use fear to your advantage, you need not dwell on the emotion itself. For the more you feed into the emotion the more it will overcome you. Instead, accept what you feel, recognize it, and then let it go. Your body will handle the rest. Remember, fear is friend. And in the presence of adversity, it can help you prevail.