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Using practice to reduce fear responses

Guy Windsor is an expert swordsman in his own right, but he is also a historical martial arts researcher and has written books about it, and also teaches swordsmanship.

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Guy Windsor at the Hero Roundtable. Photo Courtesy of Jose Rivera

He teaches at The School of European Swordsmanship which began in Helsinki, Finland but now has more twelve schools around the world.

He has written six books on medieval martial arts and swordsmanship and has his Ph.D. in the recreating of ancient martial arts. He has been studying martial arts from various cultures and schools since 1985.

Guy uses a 14th-century Italian swordsmanship manual to train students in swordplay.

The students all begin with practice. Moves are learned then practiced until they are fluid and become second nature for the student.

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Guy Windsor demonstrating how to swing, while being a living dummy for the student.  Photo Courtesy of Jose Rivera

The goal for students is to improve their skills through practice until they can face an opponent in a duel. Self-improvement is a critical strategy in overcoming fear. If you work on those things that you are not well versed in and improve, that boost leads to more improvement. It also reduces the fear of failure. To develop you have to make mistakes and be able to learn from those mistakes.

In an article on mma.com having confidence helps with combating fear during combat.

In teaching others how to use a sword, it does not come without first learning to control fear.

Guy uses practice to help students become aware of, harness and finally through practice control their fear reactions. By practicing moves and countermoves, consistently you can retrain a natural response into a trained and more effective response.

It allows a person to react even while facing fear in a controlled and positive manner. Guy begins where his students are, he observes their reactions and then modifies the response.

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Students practice a specific swing. Photo Courtesy of Jose Rivera

It allows a person to react even while facing fear in a controlled and positive manner. Guy begins where his students are, he observes their reactions and then modifies the response.

Part of taking control of fear is not to avoid it as so many do, but to face it over and over in as many contexts as possible to teach your body it is just a reaction.

Guy pointed out how he pushes himself in confronting his fears to better handle situations where he might encounter fear.

Fear is a reaction, we can always learn to control our responses, and that is the reason why martial artists, military personnel and practice, to both become more proficient, but also train their reactions in such a way, that when they feel fear, they can rely on their training.

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