The reaction to attack/combat/all things is "Fight or Flight." We all have to thank
This is the portion of the nervous system that controls the function of the different organs and systems of the body. It regulates body temperature, blood pressure, heartbeat rate, and bowel and bladder, and many other things. It is "autonomic" because our mind does not govern its performance; rather, it works below the level of consciousness. The most amazing of this system is the rapidity and intensity of the onset of its action and its dissipation. Centers located in the central nervous system (brain stem, hypothalamus, and thalamus) and in the spinal cord activate the ANS. These centers also receive input from the limbic system and other higher brain areas. This means that the ANS is the interface between mind and body functions. These connections enable the ANS to be the main component of the stress response system in charge of "fight or flight" reactions.The peripheral autonomic system is divided into two branches; sympathetic and para-sympathetic. These two branches have antagonistic effects on most bodily functions, and their proper balance preserves equilibrium. Think yin-yang. Sympathetic activation prepares the whole body for "fight or flight" in response to stress or emergencies, in contrast, parasympathetic tone favors digestive functions and sleep. The sympathetic autonomic branch extends from the brain stem to the spinal cord and features rich sympathetic nerve tissue in the neck and pelvic areas. From the spinal cord, the sympathetic nervous system goes to our internal organs and to the extremities. At the skin level, sympathetic activity causes cold hands, mottled skin, and piloerection (goose bumps).
These are sometimes made in childhood, depending on the way, manner and location in which the child is raised. Not every kid from a bad neighborhood wants to "Throw down", in fact many see most violence is pointless. The children exposed to violence, often observing the parents, gain the sense of control over their response to "Fight OR Flight". Established means of doing this are often discussed by forums in the martial arts, military, and social scientists. The martial arts has many "methods" but they all end up to numerous hours of using your imagination. Seeing the opponent in a "Slow down", which allows you to feel your body prepare steps at a time. The military engage in self-contained skirmishes, letting the soldiers learn to deal with their combat high with everyone else.. sharing. Science puts test subjects through many roleplaying situations, and from an observer's level identifies the proper time to act. All of them in the end, require some sort of internal struggle for control over your mechanical mind.
[Even as I type this, I feel my heart pounding]
People often associate the increased heart rate, the shaking, and sweats as fear.
[The true definition of someone who is afraid, would make them avoid the street, bar their windows and simply cower in their personal 'safe zone']
This isn't true, in fact, this is your body preparing for what comes next. Welcome these feelings, is one way to begin to understand the information your body is giving your mind. The second step is to not let yourself rush into anything, you have to focus all of the responses your body is having into whatever you chose to do. It is a reaction, so, you must take the offensive and make the choice for yourself. It is never the case to always run, or always fight. But to see which one is better for self preservation.
[Should I even bother to share combat techniques? I know it seems somewhat useless in a community based on knowledge. How many of you plan to get mugged any time soon?]
[Oh, the above discription of the ANS, half is me, the other half comes from one of my mother's old nursing books]