Facing your challenges and fears: A huge part of the martial arts journey is bound up with the notion of confronting and overcoming tough challenges and deep fears. The very nature of martial arts is that of dealing with confrontation, conflict and violence. Any kind of confrontation is likely to create some level of response to it. The question is – how will you deal with it? I have seen myriad ways in which different athletes have overcome anxieties to win, so many in fact, that I don’t believe there is any one right way to do it. It will come down to preferences. I have always found however, that one approach always seems to help in those times where fear, doubt and anxiety threatens to inhibit your performance and prevent you getting to your goals. YOU MUST AVOID THE TWO PITFALLS THAT COMPOUND AND ANXIETY AND WHICH LEAD TO INDECISION AND PARALYSIS IN THOSE CRITICAL TIMES WHEN DECISIVE AND WELL DIRECTED ARE NECESSARY. These are INACTIVITY and INDECISION. Show me a man feeling fear before a major event who is inactive and lacking any plan of action once the event begins, and I will show you a man WHOSE FEAR INCREASE WITH EVERY MINUTE as the deadline approaches. THE SUREST WAY TO RELIEVE ANXIETY IS TO HAVE A CLEAR PLAN OF OPERATIONS AS TO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO AND BE ACTIVE IN YOUR TO ENACT THAT PLAN. In all my years of coaching, I have seen every kind of psychological counseling, visualization, hypnosis etc. I HAVE NEVER SEEN A BETTER ANTIDOTE TO ANXIETY THAN INTELLIGENTLY DIRECTED ACTIVITY. Let planning and activity be your sword and shield whenever fear and anxiety threaten to overwhelm your ability to perform. When you are alone with your fears, they will be your guardians.