We can view our fears on three levels.
The first one we can call Personal Fear. It is the type that develops without any physical contact. It has formed inside us as a result of a verbal threat, an aggressive scene, a potentially scary situation. We might be only partly aware of the true causes and the magnitude of that Personal Fear. It is our internal picture that may or may not be accurate. This fear comes along with a specific type of breath interruption – irregular inhale and exhale, constricted breathing, or a choking breath.
Second is the fear based on the concrete and imminent Physical Impact. This threat is very specific and real. It is the fear that we will not be able to move freely, or will get injured or seriously hurt, or will be unable to breathe. Breath interruption that happens in this case is a lot more serious and extended in time.
And the third is the fear resulting from an actual Weapon Confrontation, such as a knife, a stick, a chain, a gun. It could be any object that an attacker is planning to use as a deadly weapon. This fear is due to the threat to our life. This fear can rise in a certain area in our body without our awareness. The breath hold and interruption here would be extremely debilitating, bordering with panic and complete movement incapacitation.
There can be more than one of these fears piled on each other in different combinations. The severity of the reaction is different in each case. The approach should be different as well. There are optimal breath practices used to deal with each situation.