I suppose I should start this post with a question: how does one overcome fear?
When I was younger, I studied karate, but before I started secondary school, I stopped for numerous reasons. Before I digress, if I hadn't dropped it, I don't think I would have restarted it again at University- something I would have regretted intensely!!
Like many pupils at school, I was heavily bullied, both emotionally and physically pretty much everyday throughout school, college and to an extend, at university. As I look back, I regret to admit I feel angry at what treatment I suffered, yet I can see I was conditioned not to fight back.
Starting back with the university club, I found I enjoyed karate immensely, and I train with two clubs in Cardiff 4 days a week. However, the university club is primarily sports karate focussed, and that means fighting...
I will admit, my kumite is not the best. I am afraid to fight- partly because of my past, partly because I hate violence, and partly because I am afraid of what I could do to someone else should I lose control. On top of that, it is illegal in sports karate to grab/grapple/throw, and dare I say it- use my strength at all (I hasten to add I only fight within the club, I dislike competitions). Without weight restrictions, I am often stronger than my opponent; yet unable to use that to my advantage. Hence I always fight at a disadvantage.
My question therefore is: how can I overcome the fears I have, both of my opponent and of myself?
In an almost P.S. sort of way; I have no desire to fight or to be the cause of violence (I do feel that competitive karate goes against the "no first strike" precept, in that both parties wish to fight, and are therefore both intent on violence, controlled or not...). I just wish to improve upon my own karate, and not be afraid to defend myself should I ever have to.