My Short Stint In The Ring.
Little did I know that I was going to get my ass kicked when I said yes.
One of my friends used to be a very talented kick-boxer in her youth and even held the national championship belt two years in a row.
But when I was talking to her the other day, I had totally forgotten about that.
And for some reason, I kept blabbering about wanting to build muscle mass and ‘toughen up a bit’.
The thought of me toughening up must have sounded funny to her because she almost choked in her raspberry smoothie.
I didn’t know why she found that amusing so I had to defend my honour like any self-respecting alpha-male would have done.
But before I could even blink twice, I seemed to have said yes to a sparring session ‘no holds barred’.
That term didn’t even have any meaning to me back then.
Now it does.
The Mother Of All Beatings
There are a lot of keyboard-warriors online.
And most of them repeat the same old ‘truths’.
‘The one who wants it more will always win’ or ‘passion beats skill every day’.
Or my favourite line of BS: ‘The size of the dog doesn’t matter, it all depends on the strength of his bite.’
Photo by Nikolay Tchaouchev on Unsplash
Let me tell you, those keyboard-warriors clearly have never been in a real fight.
Yes, passion is important but no, it won’t beat skill and especially not every day.
I got a beating and I’m sure it wasn’t pretty to look at.
My friend tried to comfort me by saying that very few men have a chance of actually beating her.
Somehow that didn’t comfort me at all.
Improving My Fighting Skills
I guess I got what I wanted.
My goal for 2019 was to toughen up a bit and well, class just started a little earlier than expected.
A couple of days later, I ran into my friend’s trainer (also her boyfriend) while I was having a little running session on the beach.
I asked him for the five things I could do that would improve my fighting skills the most.
Photo by Harvey Gibson on Unsplash
Of course, I kind of expected him to shake his head and firmly declare that there was no point in me trying to improve my fighting skills.
But no, he thought about it for real and said:
‘Don’t ever turn your back to your opponent. Don’t waste energy on gallery play. Always hide where you’re going to attack. Always keep your head up.’
He paused for a second and added:
‘But here’s the single most important thing…’
Taking Part In Scheduled Beatings
He never finished that sentence.
His training buddy, who was left behind on the run, joined us and we started talking about a completely different subject.
Women probably. (I’m kidding 😉.)
It was only later that I realized that he forgot to tell me the single most important thing to improve my game.
But he had invited me to join his gym and take part in scheduled beatings and who could say no to that, right?
The session went awesome and it was much more fun than the other day. Afterwards, I saw my trainer sitting in the bar with some other guy.
By now, I really wanted to know that single most important thing so I interrupted their conversation and just flat out asked what it was.
Luckily, he remembered the conversation, smiled and said:
‘The most important thing is keeping things simple. You, like most people, are always overcomplicating. You can’t do that when you’re fighting because you can’t afford the brainpower.’
His answer made sense.
I never went to the scheduled beating sessions since.
After all, I’m not a fighter.
I mean, of course I’m a fighter, but not in the ‘Fight Club’ sense.
Spending a little time in that strange world was interesting though and I left with some newfound wisdom:
When in doubt, return to the basics.
We’re always trying to overcomplicate things because we think that it will save our ass in the end.
But as Mike Tyson once said:
Everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the mouth.