Why I Choose to Fight
I believe that a fight requires the best of you; physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Physically, MMA is one of the most demanding sports on your body. To be the best in this sport you have maintain a level of peak fitness. I have experienced fights that I have won, and fights that I have lost simply because of my physical conditioning. Before coming into this sport I had wrestled, played lacrosse, soccer, football, ran track, and swam competitively. I had thought through all of this, I had been in the best physical shape I could be in. Boy was I wrong! Fighting well depends upon you being in tip top shape in all areas. Your conditioning requires you to be explosive but also be able to last the whole fight, because the speed of the fight changes throughout any given round and if you are great in the first round, can you be great in the third or the fifth? You can never recover as well when you get rocked from a hard shot without being in fight shape. My goal in every fight is to finish it as quickly as I can, but to be prepared to fight hard and battle though all rounds. Another requirement is strength, but be careful not to focus solely on this aspect, because without speed and agility you can not achieve the beautiful combination of all three. I have watched guys fight out there in some of the local shows who look like body builders. Big, strong, and powerful, but to turn their heads it's almost like they have to pivot at their hips to do so. And then there are the guys with great speed and agility, but it appears they haven't ever done any strength training and are often dominated by the bigger stronger man. When a fighter is able to harness all three characteristics, they are fun to watch; they can move and attack and defend but they are also powerful. Like I said previously, a beautiful combination. But, the physical aspect is only a small part of fighting.
The mental aspect of fighting, in my opinion, is actually more important than the physical. I have watched many fighters who have won or lost before they ever even stepped into the cage. They have either resigned to defeat because of record, name, or how a fighter looks. Or even regardless of all that, the fighter has decided that they are going to win. There is something to be said about that, because as a fighter in our society, fighting is very different from the normal day to day actives that the average person partakes in. To get into a cage with another human being and be prepared to be in a battle with your fists is just not normal anymore, but that doesn't mean we are not wired that way. Now MMA is a sport, and typically the athletes are very respectful to each other, but when you are in that cage and the door shuts, its just you and him. You have sacrificed blood, sweat, tears, time away from your family, and with all that on the line a switch just flips in your brain to attack or be attacked. I feel if a fighter doesn't mentally make that switch the chance for injury is much higher. And where else in our society does this even exist? It doesn't. So the mental aspect is the most important and greatly overlooked part of the fight game.
The only thing that doesn't even hold a candle to fighting is our soldiers who fight for our freedom. Because they go through so much more stress with far greater consequences.
Emotional and spiritual well being was something I never expected to have to train, but fighting requires this as well. You will be emotionally tested through your training. Training 6 days a week and sometimes multiple times per day, having to still provide and excel in the rest of your life, and then cutting weight on top of the training, it can put a normally solid individual to the breaking point. But for me the question was how do you train your emotions? The answer came in the form of the last area that fighting requires, and that's spiritually. What has helped me keep everything together emotionally is my faith in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I believe that God has designed each and everyone of us, and he has given us all different talents and abilities. He puts desires and dreams in our hearts to glorify his kingdom. And through all the struggles of life whether it is something important like my marriage, my family, my walk with God or it's something insignificant like fighting, God is there with you. God loves you more than you or I know.
So my interest that became my passion in fighting is because it requires the best of me physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.