Brian Kagen pick: “Fear” by Christopher Caile

“One day I saw him on the street, and he was all banged up. “What happened to you?” I asked. He didn’t want to talk about it. A few weeks later I saw him again and this time he confessed. He had been attacked by two teenagers who demanded money, he said. “I just stood there. They hit me and then stole my wallet. I didn’t do anything.” He was so embarrassed. His martial arts training had failed him because it had been incomplete. He had not learned to use fear, to use his reactions to his advantage. Instead fear and the stress of the moment had become his enemy. He had trained in technique but he had never trained in how to deal with his emotions and body reactions that had gripped him. And he is not alone. This is an unfortunate limitation to most martial artist’s training.”

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  1. Excellent. Spread awareness around your space. When you feel uneasy, move. Identify the source. Go around. Turn around if necessary. Lee stumbled into Gettysburg because his awareness, Stuart and the cavalry, had gone for a little holiday raid. Use the unease to pop up a quantum level into aiki. Unease, by the way, is shared. Predators are also uneasy. Many attacks fail. My son thwarted one yesterday. Not elegantly, but effectively. He failed to spread his awareness widely enough, but when the situation developed he got right into it and reacted decisively.

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