Drills for Focusing Fear

rock climbing 2 patton quote“There is a time to take counsel of your fears, and there is a time to never listen to any fear.”

― George S. Patton

A friend of mine, Steve, has “Courage” as his word for 2016. Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather feeling the fear and doing what needs to be done anyway. Overcoming fear is an important part of living with the Warrior’s Edge. Here is something that was in one of the monthly e-newsletters that might help you. Remember to sign up for the newsletter at the right side of this blog.


This drill teaches you to channel and focus your fear, allowing you to run or successfully mount a counterattack. It is adapted from the book “Attack Proof” by John Perkins

1. Go into a dark room. Windows and doors closed, all lights off.

2. Close your eyes.

3. Stand relaxed. Breath slowly through your nose deep into your belly. (dan jun for you fellow Korean martial artists.)

4. Visualize tension leaving your body as you exhale and the power of nature entering your body as you inhale. Imagine flooding every cell of your body with energy. Do this for five minutes.

5. Now imagine the most depraved criminal you can think of. Imagine that this horrendous criminal is about to attack and psychotically torture the person who depends on you most, the person you are closest to in the world. But first, he’s going to torture and kill you to get you out of the way.

6. Visualize the dark, tragic future this criminal could create. Imagine the tears, the regret, the shame. Now take all your fears, frustration, and helplessness and crush them deep into the bottom of your stomach. Take all the wrongs and humiliations that have been dealt you in life, all the anger and blind rage, and set them to burning. Ignite them with a sense of justice unfulfilled. Unfulfilled until now.

7. From the pit of your gut, drive the fire into your feet, and then let it roar back up through your legs, hips, back, chest, shoulders, and then out your hands and mouth in the loudest, deepest animal scream your diaphragm can handle. (If you have practiced dan jun breathing and proper kihap technique, this will be quite powerful. But even if this is your first experienced with such a training, you will be amazed at the power, ferocity, and volume you create.) Perkins calls this the warrior cry. Depending on where you live, you may have to yell into a pillow, or wait until you are alone in the house, out in the woods, or in a self-defense class. But it is important that you release the potential paralysis that can occur in a moment of crisis – and become familiar with it. You need to know that you can explode and act when you’re terrified and your family depends on it.

8. Perkins suggests and recommends that you do this once a week, even after you have become proficient at self-defense skills.

Most of us have been conditioned to be polite, listen, obey and behave. And that is a good thing for living in our society. However, the criminal knows this, and uses it against people. Criminals rely on us being socially correct. Drills such as this help us relearn what animals know, and that is at the first sign of danger we must often fight or run for our life. This drill will help us focus our fear and do what we must to survive because our personal safety is our first responsibility.

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt