T Nation

Why Do We Subject Ourselves to This? :-)



I can't quit figure it out. Sometimes I even ask myself: is this really fun?

Tonight (just got home after about four hours of training) we did hard sparring. We also had a guy who's a pro-kickboxer (he's not the only pro-around, but probably the best kick-boxer - like American kick-boxing rules, who trains with us routinely) who occasionally comes around spar with us: and it's insane how good he is. Well my coach wanted me to do some rounds with him (in addition to with the other folks there) basically as a sort of physiological-booster of sorts so that I could "know" that I could at least survive (more or less) in the ring with someone like that.

Well, yeah, a couple rounds, and an insane amount of blood later (I'm not usually a big bleeder)it was over, and I was asking myself: is this really fun? I still don't have a good answer, but I know I like doing it, and I'll show-up tomorrow to do it again (not that we spar like that everyday). But I can't really articulate what about it keeps me coming back and subjecting myself to these kinds of beatings.

Anyone have any personal insight into this?

Why do you keep going back for more?


Same reason I'm in the gym the other 4 days of the week. It's a challenge, adds some variety to my life, helps me think clearer, allows me the opportunity to improve in something other than my chosen field of study... and it's fun.

That said I do BJJ now. I've never gotten my ass literally kicked by a pro level kickboxer, but knowing me I'd probably be back in there the next day as well.


Mundis Ex Igne Factus Est


Because it is fun. Even when I'm losing, I love the challenge. When I'm winning, that blood-in-the-water feeling is downright intoxicating. Put the two together, getting back at a guy who was beating you earlier, and the feeling is amazing. Add a crowd that jumps to its feet when you go on the offensive, cheering you on as you go in for the kill, and it's the best drug on earth.

The training isn't always fun, but look ahead to that moment where you'll need that last bit of endurance. When it matters that your punches still snap even though you've been taking a beating for 10 minutes, when driving an uppercut with your entire body and trying to lift the other guy off the floor by his chin is the entirety of your existence, that's when you look back on the training and you know the pain was worth it.


One of the coaches (I think Dan John, but I'm only like 51% sure) wrote an article here quite a while back on this subject. His basic point was that "We do this because it's what we do." You'll never able to explain it to anyone else, and can't really even explain it to yourself. It's just what we do.


I'm paraphrasing here but...

There are two wolves in everyone's heart.
There is an angry and vengeful wolf and there is a kind and compassionate wolf.
They are ever fighting over your heart.
The one who ends up winning is the one you feed.

However, one day something will happen where I will have to unleash the angry wolf. Protecting someone or something.
When that day comes, I will be ready.
I do it out of necessity. I do it cause I have to.
I do it cause it defines who I am.


To keep our edge, when the world has lost it. An outlet for everything that you bottle up. To learn how to protect people you care about. For the sheer animal pride you feel when you stand over an opponent that you defeated with your own hands, on even terms. Many reasons, each unique to that person.

I personally train and compete because unlike anything else in the world, you really feel ALIVE when you step onto a mat or into a ring. You are faster, stronger, and more alert than at any other time in your life. Fear, and pre-fight jitters are gone. You don't care about that fight with your girl, that bad test, or this family problem, the world is between you and your opponent. When its all over and you stand over him and feel the crowd cheer, it is better than any drug, any vice in the world.

The wall of my HS wrestling room had a mural that only made sense to people on the team, people who had fought and bled for victory.

It was wrestler's hand raised in a referee's hand. The quotation read

"You've wondered
If all of the pain
and sacrifice was worth it
Now you know"

I don't think anyone can forget that first moment.


A fighter was once asked what defined him. He held up his fists in a familiar pose...he knew no other way to answer.


LOL because I like punching other people in the face


Nah but real talk, I don't know to be honest.

If we want to break it down and nit pick at all the social and psychological reasons why someone would choose to do such an activty, we'd probably end up along the lines of male dominance and the like, but that's not really accurate either.


I highly suggest everyone read "A Fighter's Heart" and "A Fighter's Mind" by Sam Sheridan.

Books can, and have, been written about this subject. And his are two of the best.


read some Nietzsche the superman is in all of us.

I think its just how I am programmed.


I don't really know. But I know I'm not going to stop until I have to.


It'd be nice if I could make a living doing it... that would give me an easy answer.


It's not, at least in my opinion.

I roll and lift because it gives me self confidence, at least that's why I got into it at first. I'm not too removed from my teens @23 y.o, but I can tell you I was an awkward fatfuck for a good portion of my life.
There's something about working against heavy weights and being tested on the mat that makes me respect myself more. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's the act of taking on a heighty challenge on a consistent basis, maybe it's the thrill of figuring something out on the mat, but I've carried myself with a lot more confidence ever since I stepped into a BJJ class and a gym.


If you just do it for the money, you won't be all that good. The best professional fighters are the ones who would do it for free, but happen to get paid for what they love.

Money just goes out the window when you're bleeding from the head.


A man only truly feels alive in battle and in bed.


i had my first mma fight last friday,im fighting again in april on the 22nd.

i do it cause I like the grind ,even when im getting my ass kicked by the belt holders at my gym i like going back and gettin better,even when i was cutting weight i enjoyed it, when i finally stepped foot in there for the first time it was a blurr,but winning and having that hard work pay off,i cant explain it. man i wanna do this forever i wanna get paid to do it.