Long story... happened in about five minutes, but I feel that the initial paragraphs are important... skip to the last few paragraphs if you think you need some sort of synopsis before going over the whole post.

During lunch earlier today with my parents and grandmother, one of my uncles who's the bum who lives in the house next door (and is a well-known nuisance in our town and has a history of beating his wife and kids (aside from the oldest one, whom he's afraid of) - whether he's drunk or not, and being beaten up by his kids who have now grown up) came inside the house complaining this afternoon. He told us what his problem was - it was about one of our relatives, and accused the people here in our house of spreading stories about said problematic relative (she's kind of a klepto and a constant but bad liar - things have been disappearing in the house since she was here, and she claims she didn't do it even though we tried to counsel her and confronted her with proof which showed otherwise because counseling didn't seem to work).

I don't like said uncle - in fact, I really hate him now, and today I began to understand a bit better why his children feel the way the do about him, and I'm not really good at being plastic, so as much as possible, I don't interact with him, and so I kept my mouth shut when he was yapping away, but he kept yelling and repeating his accusations loudly in almost every other sentence.

My mother and grandmother were the ones who calmy told him that we did no such thing, and that the rumour must have come from somone else - most likely said relative foolishly telling people that we accused her of taking something she claims she didn't take - which she did because in one instance, she panicked when she discoered that my mother was searching the room she was sharing with my grandmother. We found the missing item hidden on top of one of the cabinets (she's several inches taller than my grandmother), and they found one other MIA item in the house she stays in now, but she said she didn't put it there and that the other item which she claimed she didn't take was taken from her by her classmate - "it was returned" to her the day my mother and grandmother got it from her new residence.

Anyway, he continued to refuse to listen to their explanation, and kept yelling and asking us "<why are you spreading these stories to other people? Almost everybody knows now.>" as if he's implying that we don't know how to be discreet (they're the ones who yell like looneys in the middle of the night - waking us and the rest of the neighbours). My grandmother and mother continued to respond in flat tones, and he kept at it with his loud voice.

I couldn't take it anymore, so I yelled at him and told him no one here in our house spread any about her because I know that we didn't (I did that part wrong - should have stayed calm, but I sort of lost it because of what he was saying - maybe also coz he's been bothering us for months with his stupidity (getting drunk and arguing violently and loudly with his wife at least once every two weeks - and we just tolerated it). He shut his big mouth for a while . Then the focus moved to me .

He yelled back at me - telling me not to join in their "adults only" conversation and claimed he was only accusing my mother and grandmother (his sister and mother), and yelling that I had nothing to do with it (which I refused to accept since he was yelling in our house and accusing us, and I was only doing my duty of defending the family - moreso because he was blaming my mother and grandmother). He started yelling insults, and saying in our language that he was going to punch/beat me up. I answered back (again not as calmly as I should've), saying again that no one from here told anyone outside the house anothing about our klepto relative (she IS a relative, after all - perhaps he was disappointed that he no longer had anyone to run errands for him), and he started to approach me and continued yelling insults, saying to my mother that he thought I was educated (he wasn't expecting that response from me, I guess).

He was standing in the kitchen, I was seated with my back to the kitchen. As I turned to face him (we were having lunch - my mother, his senior by several years, stood near me between us, at the back of my chair, and pinched my shoulder - signalling for me to shut up - I did, but just in case, I had my hands ready to pull him in for a shotei uchi to his big mouth if he tried to get at me, to grab the utensils in front of me, or to grab the chair my mother was sitting on before she stood up between us.

Then he started telling my mother - in a louder, angrier voice - things like she should teach her son how to behave and kept repeating that I'm gonna get it from him (sorry - there's no exact translation from our language to English). I was content to spar verbally, but when he tried to approach me, I decided on waiting for him to get closer and strike at me, even though it was likely he wouldn't because my mother was blocking his way, and all during that short time, my mother had been saying in a cool voice that that was enough. Of course, the loud-mouthed uncle kept talking all the way out of the house to my mother about her "educating" her uncivilized son who was unfortunately unable to ravage his face and limbs...

Aside from the shotei uchi, ketchup bottles, and other utensils and objects withing arms' reach, various possible counters to strikes he might have made were rushing through my brain. However, my body was NOT responding to my mental commands the way I had wanted it to, and no matter how hard I tried to stay calm, my breathing was shallow and I didn't have full control of my limbs.

I wasn't afraid of him - three years of regular Goju Ryu training since about 2002 (stopped formal training 2005), and several months of Kali, along with years worth of reading of articles by experts online and here at FightingArts.com, and from Shihan Michael Pace's newsletters) toughened my body and mind up enough to tolerate a lot of pain, and I was determined to take him down if the need arose - but I didn't have the mental strength to will my body into mushin.

The tension I felt earlier today was that same feeling most of us have during our first - and sometimes even subsequent - jiyu kumite session in the dojo; it was the same as in my first SEVERAL tennis, rugby, and soccer matches, and while playing certain video games for the first time. Heck, I was calmer during my second and third kumite tournaments.

My regular kata practice and shadow-fighting didn't help much (no dojos here for over a hundred kilometres, and even though watching boxing matches on TV is popular here, no one seems interested enough in any form of martial art to actually organize a training group - the police and military forces don't let outsiders in their training sessions, naturally). I think it might have been four years of lack of jiyu-kumite and other forms of sparring with a live opponent that caused it. Could also have been that in my anger and excitement, the adrenaline rushed too fast for me to control, and I know that I was NOT in an ideal fighting state - even my years of visualizations of me performing counter-offensives against violent attackers did not help at all. It was like part of my brain was telling my body: "No, no, no - relax, dude! He's your uncle - besides - you might end up in the police station - even if it's self-defense", and my body was saying to my brain: "Yeah, baby, c'mon! Smack the falla till he cries and begs for mercy!"

Anyway, for years I've been telling my parents - espcially my mother (who often sounds violent when she's really angry with something or someone), that the best way to solve a problem is not with anger but with calmness - which is exactly what she and my grandmother had been doing when my stupid uncle was yelling at them earlier. Even after I had butted in because I got fed up of his accusation, in the end, all my martial arts training were no match for the cool of the matrons and patron (all this while my father had just been watching and eating) of the house. I felt like a hypcrite after that. All that reading, practice, body conditioning and dodging, kicking, striking, and grappling came to naught.

I want to turn that fight-or-flight-or-keep-thinking state into something I can control. Will constant sparring be the only way I can overcome this? I can't very well go around like Mas Oyama Sama looking for people to fight with. I was determined to fight, but my synapses and neurons were misconfigured and out-of-sync with my brain. My physiological state needs a lot more work. My mind wasn't able to control my body. HELP ME, PLEASE!!!!