Courage in Martial Arts and Life

The hero and the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero uses his fear, projects it onto his opponent, while the coward runs. It’s the same thing, fear, but it’s what you do with it that matters – Cus DÁmato (trainer of Mike Tyson and Floyd Paterson). 

Fear often acts as a barrier that prevents many people from attaining their desired accomplishments. As humans, we possess an inherent “fight or flight” instinct—a survival mechanism originally designed to shield our caveman / cavewoman ancestors from danger. However, in today’s context, the peril of being prey to wild animals is not there, yet the potential for inner turmoil due to inaction caused by doubt or fear still persists. This is where the concept of courage steps in.

What Is Courage?

Courage involves confronting significant challenges despite the presence of fear. It stands distinct from bravery, where obstacles are confronted without the sensation of fear. Courage is a mental state that recognises the eventual payoff of enduring difficulties. It signifies a readiness to engage in a struggle, regardless of potential repercussions. Possessing the ability to move forward and accomplish tasks in spite of one’s inner feelings is a unique quality. The empowerment of acknowledging fear while still pushing forward is intrinsic to courage. If not for courage, actions would not be undertaken when fear is present, unless the objective held extraordinary significance.

Martial Arts Helps Build Courage

Illustrating this point with martial arts as an example, stepping into your initial class can be quite intimidating. Undoubtedly, fear and uncertainty will accompany this endeavor. Nervousness with each action taken is a natural response, and its absence would actually be abnormal.

Even after years of experience in martial arts, I still feel fear. It surfaces upon entering the dojo, before sparring, and before instructing classes. This apprehension stems from a desire to excel and contribute positively to the martial arts community. Despite the presence of fear, courage continues to drive me back time and again. While fear remains a constant companion, I have learnt how to deal with it and perform anyway. That is what courage is all about.

Courage is not confined to the realm of martial arts; it is an adaptable trait applicable across all aspects of life. Once the “courageous attitude” is cultivated, it can be seamlessly extended to every facet of existence. Courage is not a skill; it’s a mindset—an attitude. Possessing a courageous mindset lends support to endeavours in all areas of life, from standing up against bullying to proposing innovative ideas at work, or venturing into new activities.

Benefits of Courage

The advantages of courage are extensive and enduring:

  • Enhanced self-assurance through the habit of taking action despite internal fear
  • Adoption of a more positive life perspective by overcoming fears and obstacles
  • Inspiration to others through actions accomplished, despite personal nervousness
  • Development of risk-taking and “overcoming challenges” skills
  • Radiating an aura of achievement and success
  • But mostly, attaining genuine happiness by pursuing significant goals despite fear.

Action Time

This week, ponder something you have been hesitant to pursue due to fear, and summon the courage to embark on that endeavour. Remember, every journey commences with the first step. If you are inclined to share your goal and the apprehensions holding you back, we are here to support you in taking those courageous strides forward.

For “martial arts classes near me”, where we teach you to courageously overcome your fears, please click on the timetable link on this site. We look forward to seeing you in class.

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