“For warriors in particular, if you calm your own mind and discern the inner minds of others, that may be called the foremost art of war.”
Shiba Yoshimasa (1349-1410)
As I emphasized in Wing Chun Mind (see sidebar), the brain is the most lethal weapon. Developing a capacity to remain calm in a potentially or actually violent situation is key. You can be jacked, have tremendous cardio, many years of high level training, and lots of combat experience, but if fear or anger blur your vision in a fight, you will lose 90% of your advantages. Fear and anger lead to impulsiveness and careless body structure. Good fighters stay in the pocket, even though the pocket is the scariest place to be. You have to be able to place yourself in danger carefully and trust your training to preserve you. Emotional fighters lean away from their opponents. They dart in and out to try and avoid getting hit, but not strategically, but driven by fear. Its like inexperienced soldiers, who spray and pray, too afraid to expose themselves long enough to line up their shots.
Here is an interesting article on how Samurai trained themselves to remain calm.
Lessons From The Samurai: The Secret To Always Being At Your Best by Eric Barker
Reading a few books by samurai there was one thing I saw repeated again and again and again that surprised me.
It has nothing to do with swords, fighting or strategy. Actually, quite the opposite when you think about it.
What did so many of history’s greatest warriors stress as key to success and optimal performance?