The predator-defense response has helped mammals, including humans, survive for millions of years. However, humans may also imagine threats that do not exist that may lead to crippling chronic anxiety. Some people are not able to keep their periaqueductal gray and other midbrain regions under control. As we perceive predators getting closer, our brains normally make the switch from the forebrain to the midbrain regions; however, people who suffer panic disorders may misjudge threats, seeing them far more imminent than they really are.
In modern day society, we as humans are still faced with predators; and, as has been for eons, our biggest predators are other humans. As martial artists, we must learn how to recognize our predators, and learn how to outsmart them and defeat them, or, if necessary, how to eliminate them.
Zimmer, Carl. (2010). Are you a man or a mouse? No matter how you answer, you experience fear the same way in your brain. Discover magazine. January-February issue.
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