Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
31 Aug

The Role of Fighting in a Primal Life

In today’s post I’d like to explore whether fighting is something missing from our lives. Before you protest, understand what I mean by “fighting.” I won’t be directly commenting on the war and violence we see on the evening news. Genocide, conquest, theft, rape, and murder? These are acts of coercive violence, wherein either an institution, an individual, or a group of individuals perpetrate violence (or coerce others to do the perpetrating for them) against people who have not consented. No, I’m talking about something decidedly different. Boxing, MMA, martial arts, wrestling, and just roughhousing with some buddies are all examples of two people consensually engaging in interpersonal violence. Going up against another person in single, consensual combat where personal enmity is not the motivating factor? I can’t imagine a greater test of one’s strength, speed, skill, and smarts. Let’s dig in.

Last time, I mentioned that violence was ubiquitous among early humans. Hominids have been fighting for millions of years, and every culture of humans has a fighting tradition, from the boxing, wrestling, and pankration (a freeform mix of boxing and wrestling, similar to MMA) of the ancient Hellenic world to the well-known East Asian martial arts (judo, jujitsu, karate, kung fu, tai chi, etc.) to the folk grappling/wrestling traditions that every culture across every continent seems to have. People fight, people like winning fights, and fighting systems improve a person’s ability to win fights, so even if our ancestors weren’t writing instructional manuals, they were probably learning to fight.

In the West, we hear the words “martial art” and imagine Mr. Miyagi, Shaolin monks, and Bruce Lee uttering “Be like water.” It’s come to be associated most strongly with Eastern religious philosophy, with “zen” (or whatever we think zen is) and calm, kindly old men who’d rather teach and talk than fight (but when they fight, you better watch out). And indeed, most traditional Eastern martial arts are linked to various schools of religious thought, but when you get down to it, a martial art remains a codified system of combat – a fighting system primarily developed to improve self-defense and physical conditioning. So why the spiritual stuff? Systematic fighting likely didn’t arise as a way to become enlightened or achieve perpetual serenity – people developed codified fighting because it helped them win fights and stay alive in battles – the philosophy came after as a natural product of learning how to fight.

What if fighting is a way to “tame the beast” within? By being aggressive for a short amount of time in a controlled environment where aggression is expected and understood, you satisfy the “need” for aggression. Remember that human aggression is probably an adaptive trait, a deep-seated holdover from the days when surviving and thriving meant killing things (and sometimes people) for food or territory. As I mentioned yesterday, aggressive people had a better shot at obtaining resources, retaining mates, and spreading their genes. Evidence for the effect of fight training on aggression is mixed. While a few studies suggest that martial arts training increases aggression, a recent review (PDF) of the literature found that the majority of studies show martial arts to have a favorable effect on aggression across all age groups. Of course, this all presupposes that “aggression” is always a negative trait that results in actual violence. If that aggression is used or redirected productively – when training or fighting – it may not even result in destructive or “extracurricular” violence.

In fact, I’ve yet to see any evidence that martial arts training increases violence outside of the ring/mat/gym. There’s some evidence that training in martial arts or other fighting systems reduces violence, however, and it appears to have a generally positive effect on mood. Three US elementary schools used a martial arts training program called the Gentle Warrior to reduce bullying in 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. Participants who spent the most time in the program displayed the most empathy, fewer bouts of aggression, and a greater frequency of helpful by-standing, or helping out others who were being bullied; the effect was only present in males, however. Another recent British study found that youths who were involved in “combat sports” were subjected to fewer environmental risk factors commonly associated with criminality. It was questionnaire-based and totally observational, but it’s supportive of the hypothesis that martial arts does not increase violence. A similar study was undertaken to assess the impact of martial arts training on “high-risk” youth, finding that training improved self-esteem and gave high-risk kids a less favorable attitude toward violence in general.

Martial arts could even be rehabilitative. In female veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder who had been sexually assaulted by fellow soldiers while serving, a self-defense program improved their mental states and reduced PTSD symptoms. The results were impressive. At six months, behavioral avoidance and depression had decreased.

For a sport that revolves around inflicting damage on your opponent, mixed martial arts has fairly low rates of serious injury. In a study of injury trends during 635 professional matches, lacerations (tearing of the skin from blunt trauma, like a fist or knee; ugly, but relatively minor) were the most common injury. Serious concussions occurred in 3% of matches, and no deaths or serious injuries occurred. A comparison (PDF) between martial arts, wrestling, and boxing found that boxing resulted in the most injuries, followed by wrestling, and then martial arts, but overall, the three combat sports had similar injury rates to non-combat sports. I’ve heard that since boxing gloves are bigger than MMA gloves, they allow the fighter to take more hits, so more damage accumulates, somewhat similar to the effects of padded running shoes. The pain is blunted but the damage is done.

Overall, I think there’s a strong case to be made that humans derive a lot of benefits from fighting in a structured system against peers, not out of anger, but with mutual respect. Indeed, it appears to reduce or redirect aggression, relieve stress, build self-confidence, and improve mood (and who couldn’t use a little less stress, a little more confidence, and a better mood?). In my opinion, structured combat training allows us to address the modern “violence deficit” without seriously hurting others, hurting ourselves, or getting into trouble with the law. Joining an MMA or boxing gym, learning to wrestle, or attending martial arts classes are probably ideal, as they provide the structure and guidance that a beginner needs, and they offer the chance to “fight” people who are there with a similar mindset and purpose. Another option is to roughhouse with a friend, but I’m not sure unstructured, untrained freeform fighting offers the same benefits as a structured fighting system, or if it’s even safe. If that’s your only option, exercise caution, don’t ruin any friendships, or consider a heavy bag instead.

The only MMA site I’m familiar with is Sherdog, and from initial observations it appears to have a robust forum with some helpful folks who do the sport themselves (rather than just talk about professionals who do). If you want to get started with fight training, that might be a good place to start. If you’re looking for gyms or schools for instruction, quick Google of “mma gym (your city)” or “boxing gym (your city)” or whatever fighting art interests you will produce results. Be sure to check reviews on Yelp. A lot of places will offer beginner classes for free to let you get a feel for the place. Look for gyms with supportive, friendly teachers and students without visible egos. Don’t go joining Cobra-Kai dojo or anything like that.

I know from your emails that I have a lot of readers who are into mixed martial arts and other combat disciplines, so please – blow up the comment section with advice on how one gets started with learning how to fight. I’d really appreciate it, and I’m sure all our readers would, too.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Wow, over 200 comments and nobody has mentioned the Dog Brothers? They are probably the most primal of any martial arts group you’re going to find!

    John wrote on September 2nd, 2011
  2. For some great recreational combat, I like simulated medieval armoured combat within the Society for Creative Anachronism or SCA. Full speed, full strength, competitive combat with fake swords and real armour so we can kill our friends, drink with them afterwards, and kill them again tomorrow.

    Kevin Marsh wrote on September 2nd, 2011
  3. Glad you brought up recreation combat and battle games, Kevin. It’s a great alternative to traditional martial arts. In addition to SCA combat, there are similar games like Dagorhir and Belegarth that use padded weapons to simulate large-scale combat. Similar concept, but it’s much easier to get into since you don’t need armor to participate (plus you can play barefoot).

    Personally speaking, I had trouble really getting into MMA or competitive arnis on account of all the minor injuries (nosebleeds, twisted ankle, etc). While it was roaringly fun to be in the ring, I found it hard to enjoy the sport since I was constantly recovering on the sidelines. Recreation combat became a good way to get my primal violence on with less likelihood of injury.

    Jason K wrote on September 2nd, 2011
  4. What happened to the Tucker Max video?

    Edmond wrote on September 2nd, 2011
  5. There is only one real martial art left(really a science) and that is “real” or Old Kung Fu San Soo which is nothiing more than cause an injury, repeat till satisfied. Anything less then that is sport fighting (UFC, boxing etc) These things came from a need to tame men and to keep “secret” that real violence is not about competion, rather desruction, i.e. rock to the head. better that most young lads stick to the jujitsu and leave the violence to the sociopaths and crazy guys like me.

    Chris wrote on September 2nd, 2011
  6. I’ve been Paleo/Primal for two months now. During this time, I’ve also sign up for Muay Thai/Strength & Conditioning at my gym ( ) My instructors told me that I’ve lost a lot of weight within the past few months. It’s a great way to workout and to build a skill in various martial arts. Also, if you live in Georgia, check out Team Octopus and Brandon Richey Fitness. I’m going to check out the Hapkido class at my college too. When I few confortable, I’ll be sure to post a success story here.

    Minh wrote on September 2nd, 2011
  7. I participate in BJJ and I love it. Its great exercise, fun and it teaches me a skill (I view it as a sport).

    One of the best things I have ever done for myself.

    steve wrote on September 2nd, 2011
  8. As a professional fighter and trainer, I can tell you that many find balance with some controlled aggression. It’s good for your well being. Part of your instinct.

    Nate wrote on September 3rd, 2011
  9. It seemed that years ago you could fight someone, wipe off your bloody nose and then shake hands and have a beer later.

    Now someone goes wacko and tries to kill someone or goes postal.

    I am in complete agreement about controlled violence for helping us get out aggression, stress etc.

    Being civilized has made us try to tame the savage beast. It eventually gets out any way and sometimes in unproductive, unsafe ways.

    Like John Wayne would just have a good ole’ boy bar fight in the movies and then move on.

    Great topic. Sparring and heavy bag work relaxes me so much.

    Keith Dickey wrote on September 3rd, 2011
    • Problem w/ “controlled” violence is that there is no such thing. What you are taking about is what all great apes do, social dominance, i.e. beast their chest, shake the branches, the sh-t you see in bars! Most of the time only the ego gets hurt. Problem is, you never know when you may “play” thde social dominance game with a sociopath,i.e, Richard “the night staker”. A Social people don’t play that sh-t, they just pull out a sharpened tooth-bruth and stab you in the neck with it 15 times. So, Gracie stuff, MMA works fine in a social dominance venue, when nobody really wants to kill one another, but so would your words, so would walking away. Against A-social individuals, competition type systems will only make you a participant in your own murder.

      Chris wrote on September 4th, 2011
  10. I love my taekwondo and kickboxing classes! I’ve been going for about 7 months now and I can’t imagine living without them. My school, Living Defense Martial Arts, is an amazingly comfortable and supportive place and to my great delight there are a healthy number of women there. The men are far from mindless jocks (at first I was afraid I’d be surrounded by nothing but muscle heads) and the instructors focus not only on proper technique but also on the self defense aspects. I still don’t understand it myself but I love sparring. Is there really anything as primal?

    Lisa wrote on September 4th, 2011
  11. My eyes lit up as soon as I saw this article Mark, having been into martial arts/boxing for several years. I think they are something everyone should pursue, even if just for self defense purposes, though hopefully they’ll be able to find enjoyment/fulfillment as well. Always wondered what your recommendations would be for combat athletes/martial artists from a primal standpoint

    Donn wrote on September 4th, 2011
  12. I took up judo with my son. He was 14 and I was 43! I have been involved in judo now for two years and really enjoy the whole set up, I even compete in Masters tournaments. The best thing is our training nights have all ages from 16 to 55, all weights and both sexes. Its all done with good humour, respect for the opponent and instructor and I have made some really good friends. Sure its tough but to live primally, you sometimes have to train tough.

    alec rowley wrote on September 5th, 2011
  13. Such a great article topic. My online fitness coach and trainer Jared Meacham preaches this to me all the time. The need to protect and preserve my life and that of my loved ones is one of the most basic human needs I have learned. I’ve been taking jiu jitsu and kickboxing for a little over two years and take boxing on the weekends from time to time. I like your blog and read it often such great information.

    Tim Duncan wrote on September 6th, 2011
  14. Mark

    I’ve just recently found your site and am highly impressed with the diversity and quality of your posts. I’m pretty sure that I’ll find lots of interesting stuff over the coming months.

    This article in particular has taken my interest, not least because I am a boxing coach (and have been for 15+ years) and before that competed at international amateur level.

    Firstly I agree 100%, I’m not sure that there is any kind of fitness development method as effective as that of training for a ‘fight’. It is the most basic action that our ancestors undertook and is likely to have taken up a considerable part of their daily efforts, if not actual fighting then certainly preparation for such.

    I can provide first hand accounts of the kind of character improvements that I have witnessed taking place in boxers that I have worked with. Does boxing manage aggression and is it more likely to lead to fewer fights? Absolutley. Why? Because if you know what it’s like to fight on the brink for periods, then the over-riding urge is to avoid such instances wherever possible. It’s basic common sense. Only fight when you absolutely, positively have to. The fact is, in a nfight situation, unbridled aggression/anger is counter-productive.

    I think that it is very helpful that you have made this link about the social improvements that take place around combat sports. A training fighter will almost naturally be more inclined to become more maternal or maternal to the younger boxers. This is a common factor that I see often.

    In terms of likely injuries, the most serious injury I received as an active fighter was damaged tendons in my thumb; that’s it. There is a school of thought that suggests that boxing should revert back to 4oz gloves from the current 10oz precisely to avoid the eventuality that you outline (low level damage). My own opinion is that we shouldn’t. The fact is that when we had smaller gloves, the mortality rate was higher. It may be simplistic to blame purely the gloves, but without question they played a role.

    On a similar matter, the reason that MMA fighters can get away with such small gloves is that quite simply they do not punch as hard as boxers (pound for pound). If boxers entered the ring wearing MMA gloves, then the KO rate would be horrendously high as would the incidences of serious hand injury.

    Just to give the readers a hint as to the complexity of a fighting system like boxing. On my website I have video articles covering the very basics skills that we use. I detail 14 different types of punch, 6 evasive body movements, 9 footwork movements and and 9 defensive actions (blocks/parries). That’s 38 basic skills that must be mastered and drilled to perfection before we get onto some of the more advanced stuff. That’s a pretty wide-ranging skill set to master and it does constitute a true ‘fighting system’.

    Great article Mark, Kudos to you!


    Fran Sands wrote on September 7th, 2011
    • Just remeber, sport fighting (boxing, mma) is about communication(although poor communication if punching someone in the face) You are trying to raise your social standing and lower somone eles. Just like the apes do(pecking order) Real violence has nothing to do with communication. The man stabing you in the neck just wants to shut you off like a machine. And the best in our society at doing this, the A-social criminal is most like not in very good shape, zero martial arts training, 5 minutes,at best on-the-job training(killing), and is dumb as a stump. Best not to confuse the two :competition vs destruction

      Chris wrote on September 8th, 2011
  15. I began training in karate when I was 18yo, , and It transformed my life. I attained my black belt by 23yo, but life (university, marriage, child, move interstate) got in the way and I stopped training by 25yo. When 42yo and my 11yo son told me he was ready to start playing a sport, karate was the obvious choice. We found a local club with a good ethic and enrolled as a family. Didn’t realise what a hole the absence of this sort of training had left in my life until I began training again. Kid is loving it! Here’s where we train now, if you’re in Adelaide, Australia, look us up.

    DrRadermacher wrote on September 10th, 2011
  16. Great post Mark, I follow a paleo diet 80% of the time, and for the remainder I eat what I like, this way I ensure my body gets all the good stuff it needs and ward off disease. It also allows me to have a bit of fun and room to socialise without being awkward. I think fighting is in our nature, you only have to look at young boys. We are made of animal cells after all. Knowing when to fight is the key.

    Michael McIntyre wrote on September 17th, 2011
  17. Great post Mark, I follow a paleo diet 80% of the time, and for the remainder I eat what I like, this way I ensure my body gets all the good stuff it needs and ward off disease. It also allows me to have a bit of fun and room to socialise without being awkward. I think fighting is in our nature, you only have to look at young boys. We are made of animal cells after all. Knowing when to fight is the key. Check out for a similar but alternative way to being 100% paleo.

    Michael McIntyre wrote on September 17th, 2011
  18. for kids i suggest joining wrestling because there are a lot of youth programs for it across the country. wrestling builds character and gets people used to dealing with the stress of their lives in a more productive way. i’m sure that other sports do too but in wrestling you have to watch your weight which teaches discipline

    Daniel wrote on September 24th, 2011
  19. Bruce Lee’s diet had a lot of meat in it, but it was not primal. He ate rice, whole grains, lots of fruits, a little tofu, and peanut butter. Yet, I’m pretty sure he’d beat most of the PBers here.

    Ricky wrote on November 25th, 2011
  20. I’m glad Mark wrote about this topic. I was actually wondering for a while if I should send an email requesting a post on violence. Mark is a master of synchronicity though and a few steps ahead of the game.

    I enjoy violence. I’ve dabbled in it most of my life. I saw it on TV as a little kid and felt attracted to it. It’s always been prevalent in my life. My brother (older by two and a half years) made sure of that. He and I grew up play-fighting and getting in real fights. We had the knowledge our great grand father and other relatives were in the World Wars so we felt like little soldiers growing up, descended from a warrior bloodline. Our games were always full of imaginary bad guys who must be beaten or killed. Our grandfather made us wooden guns to pretend to shoot and we’d take them out in the forest and aim at things, often imagining if it was possible to shoot a plane down. We used cap guns often. We used to put on gloves and box sometimes during our adolescence. One winter my brother and his friends teamed up against my friend and I for a medieval battle. We had homemade wooden weapons, including a bow that my brother made by soaking a curved, bendable, stick in water for about a day and then drying it by the fire.

    My parents used to spank me or be rough with me to punish me and I considered that violence. They also were violent towards me out of anger. When I was 14 my dad shoved me so my back was against a wooden bunk bed post so I responded with a pushing strike that sent him a few feet back against the dresser.

    Almost all of the movies that entertain me have some snazzy violence in them. Almost all of the video games I played excessively in the past and occasionally play now are violent. The music I usually listen to could be called violent. I played football and rugby in high school mainly so that I could sprint at people and crash into them full-speed, using my body as a weapon. Often in rugby I’d tackle someone, they’d let go of the ball, and instead of picking it up I’d wait for someone on the other team to pick it up and then I’d tackle them too. When I did get the ball I had to decide between passing, trying to score, or charging into someone, or preferably a group. I would roar or scream sometimes when I did this, trying to sound as aggressive, menacing, and powerful as possible. I’d put my head down and go forward with the intention of knocking down anyone in the way even though I knew I’d fall or be tacklesd. I like to partake in violence and observe it. The only catch is that if I’m going to fight, which is rare, I need to have a good reason. If I’m going to hurt someone I need to be able to justify it. I was bullied a lot when I was a young kid and even throughout adolescence and in my teens and I understand how bad it can feel to be pushed around. I ended up freaking out and beating up or confronting and scaring most of the people who bullied me. Occasionally I still have to use violence to deal with unruly folks as I seem to be a target for the belligerent. This is not necessarily a bad thing. I occasionally recite this mantra in my head: “Be nice and don’t let me catch you slipping because that’s when I turn victimizers into helpless victims.” I like to make bullies’ plans for domination backfire brutally.

    Violence brings out another side of me. I usually try to stay calm and collected mentally and keep my emotions in check but violence rocks my world like an asteroid. Usually at the start of a fight I’ll freeze up out of nervousness or panic like I’m in shock, I’ll get hit a few times or taken to the ground, and then my adrenaline will take over and I’ll snap and start fighting back or defending myself with a flurry of reflexes and reactions and quick actions. Sometimes I’m in control and other times I operate from instinct. My perception is altered during violence. Sometimes I get a sort of tunnel vision and am extremely focused on the opponent to the point I’m oblivious or ignorant to what else or who else is around. Sometimes I fully black out and can’t recount for what happened for a moment or two. This is usually during an intense moment, such as when blocking a punch or launching into an attack when I’ve suddenly gained the upper hand. This also happens in danger or when I think I’m in danger. For example, a couple summers ago I was about 25 feet up in a tree and leaned towards another tree so my tree bent towards it and I grabbed a couple branches hoping to switch trees but they snapped and I fell, I remember flashes of the fall, during which I turned so I landed on my back, where I expected the least damage would be done. In such situations my senses and consciousness seem to blink on and off like a strobe light or choppy film, sometimes freezing and sometimes slowing down. I feel a thrill through my mind and body and sometimes just numbness.

    I have temporarily increased abilities during fights. My speed, strength and flexibility are improved.One time I was very mad because someone had ripped my friend off $80, I told him to pay, and then later he held a needle to my friend’s throat. When I heard about this I walked downtown looking for the guy in a bar I thought he might be in and there was someone else there who confronted me. He got hostile so I took of my jacket and put my backpack down and then he spit at me. I stepped towards him and then he punched me in the face and put me in a headlock and took me to the pavement. I also put him in a headlock and escaped his, then punched him with a flurry to the side. I got up and backed off and he was still talking with hostility so I said some things back and then he tried to punch me in the face with his right fist. I blocked it with my left arm and after about a second he ran at me so I sidestepped and threw him down onto the pavement and repeated the flurry. After that he was still making threats about the next day so I started saying things to taunt him while trying to sound innocent and walking around a corner to lure him into the view of the crowds outside the bars. There were probably around a 100 people there observing this. He tried a final time to sucker-punch me with a low punch but I palm-punched to stop his fist before it went past his stomach. He turned around and started running clumsily across the street. I took a breath, thought for a moment about what I should do, and couldn’t resist sprinting at him and jumping up to knee him in the back of the head. At the moment of impact I realized how much I could actually damage him if I used my weight so I turned in the air and landed on my knees beside him so he could put his hands on the ground. I pushed his head down and he resisted so I gave him another flurry in the same spot and then pushed his forehead against the pavement and rubbed his face on it, somewhat lightly, got up and stomped his back a couple times and jumped in for one final kick with the intention of cracking his neck, but in the air I decided that was a bit too drastic so I just landed, screamed at him to “Leave me the f#@% alone” and walked away.

    Animanarchy wrote on January 28th, 2012
    • About a couple weeks ago a stranger tried to snatch money out of my hand and run with it. I subjected him to some torturous violence as a result. Long story short I let go of the money when it started to rip, punched him in the face something like 13 times, pushed him back against a bridge and headbutt him, maneuvered and pushed him to the edge of a shallow man made river, dove off an approximately 4 foot drop into it with him in front of me, landed on him, forced his face under water, let him catch his breath, then did that again, then held him pinned in the water and listened to him plea to let him go and whine about how cold and wet he was. Someone said they called the cops so I let him go and left.

      Animanarchy wrote on May 18th, 2012
  21. I sort of lost a fight yesterday, though it was also kind of a stalemate. We fought over a stupid argument that happened about 20 minutes before. The other guy stopped attacking me before anyone gave up and though he was on top of me on the ground we basically had each other’s arms locked and neither of us was able to do much damage to the other. I didn’t plan on giving up so I was hoping to tire him out. He was the angrier one and I was just fighting for pride. We talked after and resolved our argument. I didn’t inspect close enough to count but I was told I got six stitches over my left eyebrow. I have inflammation in the top of my left eye socket above the eye and I have a right black eye that’s a bit puffy, as well as a few scrapes on my forehead, arms, and hands. It was a two round fight. Both times we went to the ground with lots of flipping and rolling over and punching with some headfighting, and he told me to get up the first time because I was on my back kicking at him while he was up throwing punches and a kick at me from his feet, and that could have gone on for a while.
    Afterwards and today I felt like I’d done a hard workout and the other guy said similar. We both have some delayed onset muscle soreness and a bit of exterior soreness.

    Animanarchy wrote on February 4th, 2012
    • Turns out he developed a black eye and a bit of brow bruising the next day. I’ve also got scrapes on my back, though whther that’s from the fight or the downhill sprinting/body-toboganning yesterday I’m not sure. He told me he has tae kwon do and jui jitsu training.
      We were talking about food with two other people and I mentioned the Primal Blueprint and he said there’s Aboriginals who cured their diabetes by eating wild natural foods. Small world.

      Animanarchy wrote on February 6th, 2012
  22. awesome post. I have trained boxing, Muay Thai, MMA and still train avidly Gracie Jiu Jitsu. Martial arts changed my life completely. I can not begin to even state how many lives all sorts of combat sports have changed. I will say this, you could walk into any regular Golds gym, and find much more attitude than you will ever find in a martial arts/wrestling grappling school. Because to become who you are you must go thru fire. Not real fire, but a fire within yourself that when you appear on the other side you are a different individual.

    There is a stigmatism around combat sports, it isn’t you vs someone else, the person across from you is an obstacle. the real fight is you vs yourself, you telling yourself you aren’t good enough, or if you are tired and want to quit, you find when you push past these self limitations into the unknown you find something out about yourself you didn’t know. You find you CAN do it. And when you accumulate those bits over time, you become a different person. Not to say I don’t still do all the dumb things everyone does at times. Believe me I do lol. I think more people should train, because people wouldn’t want to fight anymore after a long day of training, you are so tired you don’t have the energy to be upset. And the silly things like your boss being a jerk, or someone cutting you off in traffic, becomes ridiculous compared to a 250 pound man trying to choke the life out of you on the dojo mat and you stopping him and choking him at 178. 😉 its empowering to say the least. Great blog!

    Speaking from my own experience, being conditioned to a fight, makes a fight not so scary it also makes a situation not one where I feel the need to prove myself because of insecurity. (which a lot of fights happen that way) and well I’ve been in a replication of such incidents so many times your body goes on autopilot. like riding a bike. My wife and I do not have children yet, but when we do we are going to get them in early. For a male, my test levels are great,(I’m 37 last week) between a primal diet, (i still eat a bit more carbs than the average, sometimes white rice, as i burn a lot of calories in a single jiu jitsu class, where you are training nonstop 5 rounds of 5 minutes with only 20 seconds rest between.

    Chris wrote on May 1st, 2012
  23. I run and operate a Taekwon-Do school with my wife. It is an excellent all around means of exercise and self-defense. If you are looking for a style of Taekwon-Do that is self-defense based look for one that is affiliated with the International Taekwon-Do Federation. Taekwon-Do was used in hand to hand combat during the Vietnam War and the results were actually documented by Time Magazine. Look up “A Savage Week” – Friday, Feb. 24, 1967 and you can read up on the effectiveness of Taekwon-Do. If you find a licensed ITF school, Taekwon-Do is still taught the way it was during the Vietman War. If you are looking for a well rounded marital art with an all encompassing workout then again I recommend an ITF Taekwon-Do school.

    Ray wrote on May 10th, 2012
  24. My wife and I started about a year ago at the local Quest Center. Its a form of ninjustu adapted for modern threats called To Shin Do. But best of all everyone is extremely friendly and they focus on more than fighting. They go into tips for living a fuller life and achieving your goals. Look for a local center at!

    Dan Wheeler wrote on May 21st, 2012
  25. i wooped this boys ass today and it was funny

    logan johnson wrote on October 23rd, 2012
  26. So do you recommend going for Krav Maga classes twice a week?

    Srinivas Kari wrote on November 22nd, 2012
  27. Hi, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just curious
    if you get a lot of spam feedback? If so how do you stop it, any plugin or
    anything you can advise? I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy so any support is very much appreciated.

    Buford wrote on January 23rd, 2013
  28. I loved fighting in high school especially people who talked lots of sh** and got there butts whopped.

    Jo the fighter wrote on June 11th, 2014

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