How learning to hurt people helped me deal with chronic stress

I like going to Krav Maga practice because it’s very practical: each session is about learning how to maim and cripple your opponent until you eliminate or escape the threat.

Technique is key, but during most practices, there comes a time when I am exhausted during an exercise and have to find the strength to continue. It often comes out as a roar and a total focus to finishing the task. Every athlete knows what that feels like. How do frequent sessions of learning to hurt people change a person?

I was driving today, and someone did something that upset me. I reached over to the horn as I usually would, but before I could press it, an inner voice said: “this is not important.” The emotion was gone and I didn’t care anymore. This has happened a number of times recently.

Do you know someone who is perpetually worried about a million different problems, who feels like they just can’t get a break in life, who complains about how their relationship, work, or health is always falling apart? I bet it’s been a long time since they felt that single-minded focus and passion towards a goal.

Short bursts of high levels of physical and mental stress are a crucial ingredient for humans. In today’s culture, many people resort to media as a substitute for mental exercise and aerobic activity as a substitute for physical exercise. However, neither works properly on its own. The substitution of periodic high-level physical-mental stress with chronic low-level emotional stress in our culture contributes to high levels of stress-induced chronic physical and mental health problems.