Sunday, November 4, 2012

Self-Defense and Self Doubt: 4 Ways to Ease Your Anxieties

New students often come to a self-defense class with many self doubts.
  • I am not strong enough.
  • I don't have experience.
  • I am not athletic.
  • I don't want to hold students back.
  • I don't want to embarrass myself.

These doubts are natural.  After all, you are wandering into unfamiliar territory and into a subject - violence - that is  inherently disturbing.  Know that you are not alone.  Many students express these concerns.  

So what do we do?  Here are some suggestions.

  • Be open with your instructor(s) about your feelings.  A quality instructor will listen, answer your questions and address your concerns.  
  • Accept Where You Are: We are not all at the same place in terms of aptitude, experience, fitness, confidence...  Develop a sense of where you are, where you want to be, and work with your instructor and the other students to get there. 
  • Be Patient:  There is a lot to learn.  Don't get discouraged if everything doesn't come naturally.  Work hard, ask questions, and be patient - especially with yourself.  
  • Acknowledge Your Strengths:  You might be strong, fast, smart, tenacious, clever, agile, a hard worker...  Develop the strengths you have and work on the areas that need more work. 

Self doubt enters the mind of every student, and yes, every instructor, at some point.  Acknowledge these doubts and ask for help.

Stay Safe,

Christopher Gagne
Lead Instructor, International Krav Maga Federation

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