Just the word should evoke some pretty serious responses in one’s inner psyche. It is so primal … so basic, and as people seem to have forgotten nowadays…it is such a HUMAN thing to do. Fight … get up and fight!
For those who do not know, I am an avid reader of, well pretty much everything. Books, novels, news feeds, but I am always particularly fond of Autobiographies … either authorized or not. I wouldn’t exactly say I have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, but in later life, I do enjoy finding out how the world works. And like most people, if it interests me further, I will read and learn about it to excess!
That is how my love affair started with fighting in general, boxing specifically, and of course the natural evolution of boxing – the MMA circuit – in particular, the fighters of the UFC. I read the Ronda Rousey Autobiography and am trying in this post, to echo her sentiments on fighting and why we should.
People have often spoken to me about how a sport – especially a combat sport seems to focus them in a way they never imagined. I grew up for the most part in South Africa so as such I was forced … not exactly kicking and screaming … but forced none the less into doing school sports. Whilst I did not exactly hate them – there were some good times … I was never a good athlete at any of the major sports like Cricket, Athletics, hockey, soccer, etc and as for Rugby … well I had such a low opinion of the sport – still do – that I never even tried to learn it.
My sport (Not a sport of choice) was rowing and whilst I was never ‘A-team material’, I did have some genuinely good times … but I never experienced the ‘call of the sport’ or the so-called ‘focus’ that others talked about.
I never jumped out of the bed in the morning and shouted at the world … ‘Let’s go Rowing.’ It was something that never featured in my life.
Then, I found boxing – more specifically…boxercise. For those who don’t know what it is, google it! It has a HUGE following in the UK and is growing nicely here in South Africa. Since then, I still do my boxing, but have taken to the sport so well that I am getting in the ring this year! Me! Who has never thrown a punch in anger … never been in a real fight in my life! That is what focus can do for you!
Going to boxing class for an hour each day gives me a reason to live … to carry on … to push through the dreary monotonous day … so I have something to look forward to. It has made me fit and given me a purpose … but … more importantly than that … it has changed my mindset.
One of my favorite movie franchises is the Rocky movies … and I am going to shock some fans now, but one of my favorite films in the series is Rocky 5.
“What!” I hear fans say … “the worst of the series! How could you!”
I will be the first to admit that this was not a typical Rocky movie. Far being the guy who wins everything at the end as they walk off into the sunset … this movie left a lot of fans with a hollow feeling at the end of it … because it was not the typical Hollywood ending so common in the previous 4 films.
It made you think … and it was a case of ‘Yes! He won! But what did he win?” At the end of this film, he had still lost everything – his money, his house, his ability to fight in the ring (Due to injuries sustained in Rocky 4) and therefore the ability earn those things back! But, probably the bitterest thing to him was he lost his prized pupil – which he had to beat in the street to prove his point. So what did he actually win?
On a side note, I think this is why some fans were disappointed in the film…it’s lack of happy ending reminded them too much of the reality of their own lives as opposed to providing the good solid escapism of the first 4 films.
For me, however, it was a masterpiece of cinematography. And, after starting Boxing training myself…it showed me one important lesson that has changed and shaped my life since then…
IT IS OK TO FIGHT BACK!
I am going to say it again as YOU, my beloved readers, need to hear this and believe in it …
IT IS OK TO FIGHT BACK
I can’t speak for others out there, but if you were brought up anything like I was, these will sound familiar to you…
“Don’t Fight!”, “You will get into trouble, too!”, “Turn the other cheek!”, “Fighting is not cool …”, “Don’t sink to their level!”.
If any of this is familiar to you … then you had the same sort of upbringing I did … you were constantly told to not fight. To avoid at all costs. This sort of thing … damages you in ways you cannot imagine. To my detriment, I only found this out in later life.
Let me clarify one point here … I am not advocating bullying. I am not advocating preying on the weak. And I am a firm believer one should only fight in self-defense!
I am advocating standing up for yourself … either with your mind (Believing in yourself), your smarts (excelling in your tasks) or with your fists if need be! I am telling you it is ok to fight back … you don’t always have to be the bigger person and walk away. And whilst the best fights are the ones you avoid, sometimes the only effective way to deal with a bully … a self-opinionated, jumped-up, pompous ass; is to put them flat on theirs! Just once usually does the trick.
And bullying takes several forms … it is OK to throw the first punch! I know this goes against the modern view of wrapping kids in cotton wool, but if I look back now at how many unpleasant situations would have been avoided, if I had had the knowledge … and known I had the permission, too … to actually throw the first punch – and several more too – and ended years of torment and bullying by people who knew you were conditioned not to fight back!
Yes, I would have got into trouble … but it would have effectively stopped any more verbal crap from these people I had to endure for years! And that would have been worth a little trouble in my opinion. A simple transaction … a little trouble now as payment for NOT have anymore later! That’s the message I would like to leave in the blog post.
There is a quote from the Rocky 5 Movie. I will share this in the video below. We all need an old coach yelling at us like this from time to time …
Remember this, people … when times are hard! When you feel like giving up! When you are down … You are not out! Not until you tell yourself you are …
“Shut it down! Now GET UP; ONE MORE ROUND!”
“Get up! Don’t lay down like this! Fight this guy hard!”
“He’s no machine! I didn’t hear no bell! Get up you son-of-a-b*tch!”
Till next time…