Evening all. I thought I should stop by to let you know how things are going and mainly because as always there’s a lot going on with me. Training is slowly edging itself back on track despite a good few weeks of practically nothing bar one or two sessions here and there and I’m thinking positive about next week onwards.
I’ve set summer time this year latest as a realistic goal to be back up to speed by and still have my heart set on fighting overseas. It takes a lot of courage to step in a ring and compete and what I’ve developed in and out the ring have always made me walk tall. In fact, there’s very little these days that frightens me as most of my detractors and oppressors imaginary or not, are much smaller than I am.
Fear, a friend of mine and a subject I’ve written about at length over the course of this blog often rears it’s head at the most unexpected of times. If you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to find yourself in violent or at the very least confrontational situations outside of any competitive or training environment you’ll be all to familiar with my friend and I guess yours. Learning how to manage it and how to use is however what makes people like you and me exceptional.
A while back, I wrote about situational awareness and how is this something that I think it’s important to develop on a day to day basis. Fundamentally, it goes back to flow state or staying present. Just recently I caught up with an old friend and the subject of being present came into the conversation.
He told me that he sees me as a person who is very much in the here and now when it comes to fighting, training and otherwise. I guess in a lot of respects I can be but like with everything else it’s a work in progress. The one thing I do know and that I’m very proud of is the guy that used to from time to time get shoved around, attacked verbally and at points physically is long gone.
He was never a bad person and he’s always been incredibly brave but when push came to shove more often than not he got in the way. To finally get around him I’ve decided to develop an out of ring “on” switch. For me, and it doesn’t mean it’s the same for you (my old trainer rubs his nose with his glove before a fight vs me banging my gloves together as an example) is what Geoff Thompson calls the fence.
The fence not only allows for control of a situation but is also a great way to manage fear and turn fight or flight into fire if needed. These are skills that I’ve had to develop when competing and I think it’s just as important to work on them in day to day life. Being aware of your surroundings (spatial awareness) and being aware of your situation can serve you well and despite being a reasonably good judge of character I find it just as easy as the next person to find a smile or handshake disarmingly friendly at points.
If you have a good heart you’ll usually see the good in people. Sometimes you need to read between the lines. I’ve found that practicing what’s known as a walking meditation has helped immensely with staying in the now and it really is surprising what you notice when you learn to switch off. These are skills that I do my best to apply at the gym and something that happens naturally when fighting. I’m always present and the noise stops.
I see fencing as a kind of call to action but I think that it’s something that can serve everyone well who wants to learn how to defend themselves outside of a gym or ring environment. Fear as I’ve said is the mind killer and I know that if I can stay in charge of what’s in front of me than I’ve got more than a fighting chance.
i thought I’d leave you this week with a little more Geoff Thompson from way back when. He’s always been a martial artist and writer I’ve found particularly inspiring and is one person who absolutely knows fear In the meantime, have a great week and just like the last time.. I’ll see you on that road.