I am not angry.

”You don’t want to get on her bad side”, “So you would kick my ass if…”, I hear statements like these every time someone finds out I am a fighter. There is also an assumption that I get some sort of “release” from fighting and fight training.

Sorry to disappoint you, World, it is simply not the case.

I am competitive; Like really, extremely, super competitive — honestly I am the most competitive with myself. I am not angry. I am happy with my life, I don’t have a stressful job, no stressful relationships. If something bugs me I tend to move on. Topics like child and spousal abuse will get me riled up.  If someone legitimately messes with my family I am downright livid. But bad drivers, rude people, frustrating situations do not illicit anger from me.

I do not like being angry. It is an uncomfortable, draining emotion. I was an angry kid, I was confused, hurt, and now I don’t enjoy visiting that “place”. I realize anger it is only a response to an emotion like frustration, betrayal, confusion… I typically use reason rather than lashing out with wild words and least of all violence. I do my best to employ healthy coping techniques like breathing, meditation, and finding a solution.

It does makes me wonder about people who make the association between violence and anger… are they violent?

I hate being put in “fight” situations outside of the gym.  I have had girlfriends push conflicts further than I am comfortable with because I am with them… to back them up and will just “knock a dude out”. Oy vey!

I think Hollywood has people confused about how fighting works.  For one, the first punch thrown rarely knocks someone out. Second, I am a fighter and a decent one, but fighting a guy bigger than me over concrete not knowing his training background: these are not favorable conditions for me.  Then other factors come in… positioning, clothing, other people getting involved, and there a huge factor that I will get my ass arrested for a cause that is probably pretty stupid. I am not excited to get into any ol’ fight!

Fighting isn’t about being angry. Not for me, and not for a lot of fighters — there are always exceptions.  For me, it is about dominating someone in a very pure and absolute sense. Even more so it is about realizing my potential as a physical human — speed, strength, coordination, the ability to strategize and think on the fly.

The sport is violent- It hurts, there are bruises and cuts and broken bones. However, I appreciate and respect my opponents. After a win I feel a conflict of emotions: I am stoked for the effectiveness of my techniques and the physical proof of them. Yet I feel guilty and ashamed for having to hurt them because I understand that pain isn’t only felt in the cage, and could affect their lives outside of the ring/gym. But we both agreed and understood those risks we were taking when we entered the fight, so I try not to dwell on it.

So now it is out there, I am not angry.

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