Overcome Anger to Become a Better Fighter
Anger can be one of the worst poisons people deal with. It is very deceptive in that it can make you feel powerful while stealing your motor function and impairing your ability to think. Don't forget that how you feel may not have any bearing on reality at all. Your emotions can lie to you and lies often. Be careful not to fall prey to your own self-sabotage. One of the keys to learning how to deal with anger is to recognize that any time someone or something is getting you to respond emotionally, you are allowing yourself to be manipulated. You give up your self-control and give the steering wheel over to your situation or your opponent.
Anger can be a good thing if it drives us to positive action in dealing with a problem. It can be channeled to motivate us to train harder, or take actions that we know we should have been doing but have been procrastinating instead. This channeling can get us to stop making excuses and start doing what it takes to get results. This does not mean that we should act out while we are angry, but rather take the time to process and calm down. In order to not make foolish decisions we must stay clear-headed. Anger can dull our mental faculties and can put us in danger. For instance, driving angry is just as dangerous as driving drunk. Your mental faculties are heavily impaired when you are overcome with anger.
How true is this in a fight as well? It is very easy to get angry when you are fighting an adversary. A lot of people fall into the trap of working themselves up into a fighting frenzy when they are in the fight. The more worked up you get, the weaker you get despite how it may feel. Anger makes you tired by killing your stamina. It makes you slow and weak by excessively tensing up your muscles thereby making your strikes less than formidable. It makes you stupid by stealing your ability to see situations clearly. When you can't see the situation clearly you become easy pickings for a skilled opponent. Hot-headed fighters get knocked out the most. Anger makes you sloppy. You make mistakes. Costly mistakes. One mistake can cost you the fight in an instant.
When you feel yourself getting angry in a confrontation, remember the pitfalls that anger brings with it. Don't feed the anger. Don't ignore it either. Accept the fact that you are angry and simply allow it to pass through you. Repressing anger only feeds it. If you have a moment, focus on your breathing and clear your mind of what is manipulating you. Your situation or opponent is not making you angry. You are deciding to become angry. When you realize that you have the power to control your reactions and stop blaming everything else for it, it changes your perspective. When your perspective changes, you are able to see things much clearer. You will find yourself more calm, relaxed, and ready to deal with the problem. Predators out in the wild are at their most dangerous when they are relaxed and focused on their prey. Nothing else enters their mind. Relax and focus on your adversary as well and you will find yourself performing at a much higher level. You will find yourself being able to see solutions you never would have seen before. You will be able to adapt in new ways that would have never been possible while the great thief called anger was in control.
What if you stay calm, relaxed, and still lose to your opponent or situation? The honest truth is that none of us wins every battle. We all must learn to lose at some point in our lives. The value of learning to conquer your own emotions is that you get yourself out of your own way. We are often our biggest stumbling block, our biggest adversary. Even with one less obstacle in our path, failure still happens. You can do everything right and still lose to your opponent or situation. All any warrior can do is to face defeat without any shame knowing that they put all they had out there. Defeat can be a terrible thing to accept, but with the right mindset you can use defeat as a learning tool to adapt and overcome the obstacle the next round. This is how martial arts advance to new levels of understanding and performance. Stay in control of yourself at all times and prepare yourself to the best of your ability. After that, it all just comes down to letting nature take its course.
Remember to acknowledge your anger and let it pass through you. Do not allow yourself to be manipulated via your own emotions. Mastering this will help you learn to get out of your own way and perform at your next level!