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Fear: Fight, Flight, or Fright

Many people will have heard the notion that our response to fear can be either to fight, freeze or flee. Most commonly this is expressed as “fight or flight”. However, our response to fear can also logically involve fright - freezing. These are mutually exclusive optional responses to an attack situation. More interestingly, they are also alternatives in our training. We can fight the teachings of the sifu, thinking we know best and thinking that we know what we should learn and when. We can fight our own relaxation. We can fight our own ego. We can fight our laziness. We can “flee” – avoiding coming to grips with regular, focused, quality training. We can flee by leaving the gwoon. We can become “stuck”, misinterpreting and mistrusting the art and/or the sifu, thus freezing our progress.

Or, we can simplify things; take a direct approach; care for our welfare and not take unwarranted risks; make our training efficient; go with the flow; unify our efforts, make our training congruent with our lives; be practical and realistic in our goals and plans; and, relax. These principles made Wing Chun the wonderful art that it is in facing and conquering fear. They can work for you if you apply them not only in your performance of the art but also in your daily training. Gung fu is Life, Life is gung fu!