案ずるより産むが易し (Anzuru yori umu ga yasashi)

Literally: Giving birth to a baby is easier than worrying about it.
Meaning: Fear is greater than the danger. / An attempt is sometimes easier than expected.

I was talking to my son the other day and the conversation turned to the heroes.  He was impressed of how the characters displayed no fear.  So, we tried to define what exactly fear was.

Fear is a very strong emotion.  Fear is an emotion induced by a perceived threat.  It is a primal survival mechanism that occurs in response to a stimulus, such as pain or a threat of danger.  Our typical responses to fear can come in the form of confronting it, fleeing from it or freezing in its presence. Now that we know what fear is and our natural reactions to fear, how do we conquer our fears.  I pose these steps to conquering your fears.

  1. Analyze the fear.
  2. Gradually desensitize yourself to the fear.
  3. Look at how others face what you fear.
  4. Confront your fear directly.
  5. Always stay positive in your thoughts and actions.

In my Aikido experience, I have encountered a number of fears.  I’ve conquered most of them.  One example of this was my fear of taking ukemi from koshinages.  I analyzed my fear and acknowledged its presence.  I then made conscience efforts to face it directly.  I approached a trusted sensei after class one day and requested that they perform a koshinage technique on me so I can practice my ukemi.  It was not easy but by facing my fear I have conquered it.

My father raised me to observe the world around me.  Learn from what you see.  He would always say, “If others can do it, you can too”.  I keep my father’s words close to me as I continue to grow and learn.  My fellow Aikidoka, do not let your fears hold you back.

Rey Robles

Southern Maryland Aikido Center

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