Halloween is on the Way...
Halloween is on the Way … But are There Scarier Things than Ghosts and Goblins?
“He who is afraid of a thing gives it power over him.” – Moorish Proverb
Halloween is on its way. Lots of kids, and even many adults, love this holiday. It’s a time to enjoy a good scare, play some pranks, and get some free candy from your neighbors. As adults, we know that these ghosts, goblins, and mummies are pretend. The truth is, most children do, too. But for many of us, there are real fears that we must face every day.
For some of us, it’s the fear of losing our job. For others, it’s the fear of a terminal illness. And for some, it’s the fear of something happening to one of our family members. Unfortunately, while Halloween is usually a great time for fun, it can bring its own set of fears as well. Many are concerned about their children’s safety during this time.
How does your martial arts training impact your ability to handle these fears? We know about the self-confidence built through the martial arts. It is true that through your training, you should develop the confidence to face most challenges. But there are a couple of lesser-emphasized aspects of martial arts training that also can be very helpful in dealing with fear.
The first is often taught in self-defense classes – awareness. Being aware of your surroundings, knowing who or what is outof-place, and recognizing dangers is the first step in protecting yourself from danger, and in overcoming certain fears. Is there a strange car that keeps driving up and down your block? Is there an unfamiliar person in your neighbor’s yard while your neighbor is at work? Has your company announced a hiring freeze, or offered early retirements? All of these are indicators that something bad could be happening. The individual who is aware of his or her environment will have the best opportunity to overcome these challenges.
Being aware requires you to take notice of the things around you. It means you must be engaged with your environment. Knowing who your neighbors are, what vehicles in your neighborhood are out of place, and the kids down the street are all keys to being aware. Knowing that something may be wrong is the first step in protecting yourself and others from danger.
Another important aspect in protecting ourselves is danger avoidance. In sparring, coaches often tell their students, “If you don’t want to get hit, don’t be there.” The point is to move before your opponent strikes – danger avoidance. If you see a group of people hanging around on the street corner, avoid them. If you’re concerned about the unfamiliar car driving up and down your street, keep your children inside. And if you are concerned about your health, quit eating all of that junk food, start a workout routine, and get a regular physical exam. The martial arts consistently stress danger avoidance, when possible. Practice this habit and many of your fears will never be realized.
The martial arts give us the confidence to overcome our fears and teach us how to recognize problems before they happen, as well as ways to avoid potential dangers. This year, as Halloween approaches, make sure to employ these tools to keep you and your family safe.