Fear is not a pleasant thing to experience, it can be upsetting and debilitating, but it is not always a bad thing.
Fear can save your life, and can be used to make your opponents vulnerable and weak to your attack. How do you do that? When I was working in Japan I was a Personnel Manager for an English school. One day this American came in looking for a job. He was well groomed, tall and well built. He said he had a Masters Degree in something and lots of experience teaching in Japan. I asked for his documents to proceed with the interview, he had none. My boss was with me and was very impressed by this man and treated him very politely and kindly. So I asked the American to tell me about his background. He went on to inform me that he was a seventh Dan in Karate and a world champion. This impressed my boss even more and he wanted to hire the man there and then. Something about him did not feel right, and I shared my feelings with the boss. He did not listen and the American was hired. He was to teach in a high school full-time. After a week I asked for his documentation and again was told they were being sent from America. My boss told me that it was ok and to wait. I got a letter from a dojo that this American was in and it said that if I asked for the documentation again that I would have to deal with this American man to man. He was threatening me. So at this time I reported it to my boss and he informed me that the American was making problems in the high school. The teachers and students were afraid of him. He was taking time off without permission and the school wanted him replaced. I was told to deal with the situation.
I went to my Aikido Master for advice. He said “Do what you have to do. If he wants to fight then let him come. Be still and silent.” “But I said he is a seventh dan in Karate, I am only a second dan, I don’t think I can win.” My Master said “Change your thinking. If he comes let him make his move then respond. Say and do nothing just let him do what he wants and deal with it. Meditate on this and the way will be shown to you.”
I followed my Master’s advice. I met the American one more time, he was really obnoxious, loud, aggressive and arrogant. I told him he was fired and not to go back to the high school again. A replacement teacher had been found. He got really mad and said he was going to make me pay. So I said “Ok, now I will pay.” I stood up removed my jacket and tie and waited in silence and stillness for him to attack. I could see he was shocked by my response and his anger dissolved he became anxious and fear took over him. He started to make threats about what he was going to do to me and how I would suffer. I did not react. His lip began to shake, he could not move. I told him to make his move. Nothing happened. For a few minutes we stood facing each other. His anxiety grew and he pissed himself. Then came his tears. I brought him to the bathroom, he cleaned himself up and I told him he was no longer welcome at this school, if he continued to harass the owners, teachers or students that I would see to it that he would never work in Japan again, as an English teacher. He left quickly. That was the last I ever saw of him.
After I reflected on what this had taught me, This was a valuable lesson. By keeping my position, not over reacting, and thinking about the welfare of others, the Universe was able to protect and guide me.
In business physically fighting is not a very wise thing to do, because usually the results are always negative. However if someone is threatening to hurt you and hurting your business you have to stop that person. This is the honorable thing to do.
Until next time I wish you peace, love and success.
Martin Acton sensei