In turn, you wanted to feel confident in the event of an attack.
So you learnt techniques, practised them repeatedly and gradually improved until you felt the confidence that comes with superior fighting skills.
Now maybe - just maybe - we are doing it backwards. Maybe we should learn to be confident first and then learn how to defend ourselves. Confident people perform better. That's proven. So shouldn't we really teach our students (and ourselves) to be confident first. It seems life gets much easier that way.
One of my favourite writers, Seth Godin, recently wrote:
Confidence is a choice, not a symptom
The batter has already hit two home runs. When he gets up to bat for the third time, his confidence is running high...It's easy to feel confident when we're on a roll, when the cards are going our way, or we're closing sales right and left. This symptomatic confidence, one built on a recent series of successes, isn't particularly difficult to accomplish or useful.
Effective confidence comes from within, it's not the result of external events. The confident salesperson is likely to close more sales. The confident violinist expresses more of the music. The confident leader points us to the places we want (and need) to go.
You succeed because you've chosen to be confident. It's not really useful to require yourself to be successful before you're able to become confident.
So next time I am teaching, I will teach confidence first then the technique. This may be in the way I get my students to think via rehearsed internal dialogue. It may be in the way I present the technique and how my confidence spreads through the class. It may be via music in the background. Different strokes for different folks.
Mental tools first, physical tools second.
Much smarter way to go about our trade.