My friend and I have often discussed how important it is to never act on emotion. Some of our biggest blunders can occur when we act without thinking.
It is the same in fighting! Whether in a tournament or street setting, acting on emotion can get even a skilled fighter hurt. That feeling of anger and “I have to get him back for that right now” needs to be kept well in check. It’s about tactics and striking when opportunity presents itself. But when it does present itself, feel free to unleash every bit of everything inside of you into it. Just make sure it’s at the right time. When you take a hit, sometimes you just need to accept it. It’s something that in the fight game you should get used to. Getting hit a couple of times doesn’t have to dictate the outcome of the fight unless, of course, you become emotional about it and allow it to. Acting out of emotion can “force” you to blunder in, forgetting everything you have learned and trained for only to get knocked the hell out, or worse. I have seen it time and time again.
So how can you keep your emotions in check? It’s the same as with anything else in life that you want to be good at. Practice! Be aware of when you are becoming emotional and force yourself not to act on it, no matter how difficult it may be. With the right amount of practice eventually you will become experienced at it. Experience counts for a lot, whether in the fight game or the life game.
I often use the example of what originally stemmed from an old Chinese proverb. It is basically telling you to take emotion out of the equation and make calculated decisions. “When making decisions always think on it three times”. When I say this, I mean think about it over three periods of time relative to the amount of emotion involved, i.e. over three weeks, not three seconds. On each occasion consider everything from beginning to end and take in all eventualities. Calculate your movements based on analysis and knowledge. This is a reason why so many people say “sleep on it”. It gives enough time for the chemicals in your brain to settle and, hopefully, come to a logical decision.
Don’t consider your feelings in the moment. Emotional decisions often come with ego attached to them. Cut the ego out and think of the bigger picture. Will your emotions force you to make decisions that can set you back in the long run? Sometimes you need to accept the hit that life is dealing. Don’t allow your feelings over a battle dictate the outcome of your war.