Don’t Stop Fighting

by Fred

People ask me why I fight. Yes, it’s animalistic. Nobody cares if you had a good day in the ring.

Whadja do this weekend?

“Well, I went to a karate tournament. Won couple of fights. Took first in my bracket.”

(silence) That’s real nice, Fred. ( . . . if you’re twelve.)

Yeah, yeah. Whatever. Sport fighting is a safe, legal drug. I may fight only five or ten matches a year, yes, but the training is a drug, too. If you’re training for a fight you had better be visualizing. Lots of the techniques here at How To Feel are about visualization. You can use them for anything. I use them for fight training as often as for anything else. That’s why the training is almost as good as the competition. You must be in the moment as much as possible.

Well, anyway, last Saturday, my concentration slipped in the ring with some rather funny results. I’ll post the video below. Some of you may have seen this on The Fred Effect, but it’s so authentic and classical that I want to use it here, too.

I’m the guy in white. The guy in black is a friend of mine from another club. We know each other pretty well, and we always have a good time. In the first exchange, he comes over the top at me and clips me in the back of the head. I hook-punched his belly, but I thought he got the point first and stopped fighting. We both stopped for a second. Then he realized that the judge hadn’t called “Yame!” which means stop. I’m standing there like a dork, and Randall clips me in the back of the head again. Tessa said my reaction looked like I was mad, but I was laughing. Randall was laughing, too.

That little judge in between us is an old Hanshi from Lenexa, Kansas. I can’t count the number of black belts and instructors and schools that have studied under him. He’s an excellent teacher, and I know what he was doing. By not calling “Yame!” he was stimulating our concentration. An officiated fight is a controlled environment, but it is still about life. Never assume that the fight is over just because you landed a punch or two.

I know I will never forget the lesson.

But I’ll probably screw up again.

Hey, learning how to fight or learning how to feel is a process. Some days you get your ass kicked. I got whiplashed by a face punch at one of Hanshi’s tournaments about a year ago. Then I got whiplashed again at a tournament just a month later. But that wasn’t the end of things. That was just another step on a journey.

Okay, enough footprints in the beach. Here’s the video. Take what you can from it.

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