Clear Head

It has taken so many years in the martial arts to understand that taking it nice and easy achieves better results in sparring, wrestling and self defence.  By that I mean keeping a cool head under pressure which ensures the mind and body are working at their optimum.  Not many of us have mastered this because we tend to let our emotions get in the way which results in tunnel vision, a reduction in cognitive thinking (distorted mind) and physical ability (running out of steam).

I remember one particular major karate tournament, in the ‘80s, I had come up against one of Australia’s favourite and feared fighters who had a bad temper and would wack you in the face if he thought you were trying to get the better of him (I still have vivid memories of that mean look on his face).  I dreaded the idea of being in his weight category but as Murphy’s Law would have it, I also ended up having to fight him. 

I didn’t care so much about trying to beat this guy; I was more concerned about not getting hurt.  In the ‘80s nobody was around to rescue you if things got out of hand, it was an era of hard training and hard fighters.  I showed my opponent that I had no interest in trying to beat him by being and looking relaxed in order to convince him I was no threat.  However, this fight was one of my best ones ever, losing by a very controversial measly half point (3 points to 2.5 points).  My instructor was absolutely amazed and it was not obvious, at the time, why I did so well. 

In law enforcement and security, I did very well, sometimes extremely well, with the same attitude by staying relaxed and not letting emotions taking over situations.  If you make it personal then you become emotional and that may spell dismal failure.  The professionals who work at the door, cops on the job, bodyguards are usually successful for many reasons but a big part of it is mainly they are able to avoid becoming emotional and treat situations as part of their job.  This is what needs to be learned in the martial arts – stay relaxed and detach from emotion.  This will ensure a clear head.