”You don’t want to get on her bad side”, “So you would kick my ass if…”, I hear statements like these almost 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, but it is just not the case.
I am very competitive; Like really, really, super competitive — and quite honestly I am the most competitive with myself. However, I am not angry. I am really happy with my life, I don’t have a stressful job, no stressful relationships. If something bugs me I tend to move on. Things like child and spousal abuse will get me riled up. If someone legitimately messes with my family I get down right 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 used to be angry kid, I was confused, hurt, and I don’t enjoy visiting that “place”. When I get angry, now, I realize it is only a response to an emotion like frustration, betrayal, confusion… I typically try to address that in a reasonable way rather than lashing out with wild words and least of all violence. I employ healthy coping mechanisms like breathing, meditation, and problem solving before I ever resort to violent behavior.
It makes me wonder about people who make the association between violence and anger… are they violent?
I don’t like being put in “fight” situations outside of the gym. Recently I have had girlfriends push conflicts further than I am comfortable with, their reasoning being that I am there to back them up and will just “knock a dude out”. I think Hollywood has some people confused on 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 is always the fact that I will get my ass arrested for a cause that is probably pretty stupid.
Fighting isn’t about being angry. Not for me, and not for a lot of fighters I have talked to — there are always exceptions. To 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 spot.
Yes, the sport is violent- It hurts, there are bruises and cuts and broken bones. However I appreciate my opponents. We hug when the fight is over, we respect one another for the test we put each other through. I feel a conflict of emotions; I am stoked for the effectiveness of my techniques and the physical proof of them. However I feel guilty and ashamed for having hurting 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.