I asked a simple question. Why do you fight? Why do you train to do so? The person I asked is called affectionately Dr. Doom.
This woman is phenomenal.
For me the meaning of training and fighting has changed and grown deeper to me over the years.
In the beginning of my training, I trained as an outlet. There was something special about training Muay Thai and Kickboxing that made me forget about everything else going on in my life. Im pretty sure anyone will admit that to hear that beautiful crack on the mitt or thud from a clean kick, you can not be focusing on anything else but that. This is especially the case for sparring and fighting. You have to be in the moment. Training for me is like a meditation. Being in the moment gives me peace and some kind of release from everything else happening in my mind and outside of training. Nowadays, training is still a mediation for me but also has a purpose. The purpose is to build skills that I need to be a better fighter.
My reason for fighting now is different compared to my first reasons. In the beginning, fighting was a very different experience for me. It was a thrill that didn’t compare to anything Ive ever done. It was the first time I experienced being in the moment 100%. My mind and my body being completely in sync. It was a lot more fun back then because I didn’t know what to expect and didn’t have as many expectations of myself that I do now. Back then, I had fewer self-doubts and worries about the outcome of the fight. I have also had some setbacks that made me question who I was without training and fighting. Those setbacks really made me realize that fighting and training was worth fighting for. Setbacks made me think about what I was willing to do and overcome to get back in the ring again.
The last 3 years, I have allowed myself to focus a lot on my imperfections in my fights and in training. I have let them grow so much that everyday I can easily tell myself I suck. Even after an amazing training session, I can tell myself that I did a bad job. That my punches and kicks are no good. Training is hard for me now- if I let it- because a session for me easily gets muddled by negative thoughts if I let my mind wander on imperfections. This battle going on in my brain intensifies as the fight day gets closer and closer. As much as I dislike these negative thoughts, they do make me work really hard in training. Its only through hard work that the negative thoughts are dampened. I find comfort in my effort and hard work in training.
Fighting is the only time when I don’t let myself get in the way of being in the moment. Its only during the fight that I finally find myself. Maybe it’s only in the chaos where I finally find “the zone” and stop judging myself. When I fight, I am no longer trying to be perfect. I am not trying too hard, I just am. Some of my best fights have been where I let myself just fight and have fun with being in the moment. You can say I am addicted to that experience. Its what I am striving for each fight.
Fighting can bring out a lot of emotions. I experience stress leading up to the fight. I have a lot of fights now and people know who I am these days. So, theres some pressure I feel to succeed. I know that its no pressure from my Coach or the people who care about me. Its pressure that I created and put on myself. I worry about my imperfections, losing, not doing a good job, not performing my best, letting people down. At the moment, the obstacles I have created in my mind are the very obstacles I need to overcome. I need to let in the positive, stop judging myself, and just be. Fights always bring out these emotions. It can be a vicious cycle that I put myself through every time. But, each time I have the chance to practice and try to overcome myself. As hard as it may be for me, its definitely a growing experience and no matter the outcome- Win or Lose- it’s a moment I am given to practice and learn from.
Want kick ass training from an intelligent person? Go to Level Up in Bowie, MDRev. Kenn Blanchard is a professional speaker, writer, podcaster, and digital influencer. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook He is the founder of Blanchard.Media and the GunPodcastNetwork.com