[I:https://www.papublishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/AlCase17.jpg]Obviously, I am talking not just Karate, but Kung Fu or Taekwondo or any martial art, and I am not talking just street fight, but home invasion, robbery, and so on. You see, it is not enough to learn how to fight, you must learn to control your mind. If you don’t that fight will only last a few seconds, and you will lose.
The first time I tried Karate kumite, I was in panic. I had fought in a few school slap outs, but this was a grown man charging at me, punching me, and he wouldn’t stop! It was a lesson with a lot of meaning.
After a couple of weeks of kenpo fighting I calmed down, and I started to see what was happening. I started to control the distance, to shift the right way to protect myself, to set myself up for a counter. I began to actually think about what was going on.
After a few months I began to see subtle things about the way my partner was moving. I could see when he was preparing for a kick, or when he was closing for a hand strike. I could see when he was guiding me and setting me up.
After a few years I didn’t even think about fighting. I merely waited, and watched. If he crossed the line I closed with him. If he didn’t see when I crossed the line, I closed with him.
In this growing third stage I experienced less and less mental activity, and more and more mental focus. Simply, thinking got in the way of seeing what was happening, and I had to put it aside if I wanted to survive. I didn’t understand that this was the opening door of enlightenment.
In that first rush of excitement when a fight starts the mind tends to get very agitated. Thoughts come so fast they tumble over each other and you are left in a state of confusion. Thinking is so fast there are no real thoughts.
So the purpose of freestyle training, be it in Karate or kung fu or taekwondo or whatever martial art you are studying, is to retain awareness. If your mind is calm, you won’t endure the rush of thoughts that confuse you. You will, instead, experience clarity, and you will have an actual thought, and it will be different than any of the common thinking thoughts, ‘when do I go to the movies,’ ‘what do I have for dinner,’ ‘who should I call now,’ that people normally endure and think are thoughts.
You will have no shallow, surface thought, and you will be aware of your body moving, often as if on its own. You won’t hesitate or experience panic. You will simply use your kung fu freestyle or karate or taekwondo, retain awareness, and deal with the street fight in a winning way.