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Why we fight

I arrive to you motivated to write something about something other than my own training for the first time in quite a while. I got to thinking last week, and when that happens, usually bad things follow. What I got to thinking was about the “why” of training for people. I don’t make a habit of asking people why they train or why they want to fight or whatever it is they’re doing. Probably because I’m afraid of the answers. After all, if I ask one day and someone says “cuz I likes hurtin peoples”, I’d probably feel I’d have to watch my back when I was putting the bins out. Also, I think it’s quite personal, and I feel like I’d have to know someone pretty well before asking them about their motivations.

That, however, doesn’t seem to stop people asking me.

I have a few stock answers that I give. One is the “because I enjoy it” (absolutely true), another is “it keeps me in shape” (somewhat true) and another is “cuz I likes hurtin peoples” (also, sort of true). C’mon, it’s Friday, and what beats a bit of the oul introspection and pop psychology of a Friday eh? Nothing that’s what. So here we go.

I’d say those three answers are pretty indicative of what most people would answer when asked the same question. I’d say I get asked that question at almost every party, family gathering or meeting I have. Usually not straight away, but after a few perfunctory questions.

“What do you do?”

“Oh I’m a martial arts coach”

“Really? what kind? I used to do a bit of *insert here* myself”

“Um, MMA, Mixed Martial Arts”

“”uh, ah yeah, uh. The UFC stuff right?”

“Well, yes I suppose so”

“oh.”

“…”

“…”

“and em, why do you do that?”

“*insert smart or genuine answer here, depending on my mood*”

You may recognise that conversation, or some variation on that theme. I suppose I don’t mind it too much, it does get slightly irritating being looked at like you’ve just told someone you like to wrap hamsters in tinfoil and shove them places, but I suppose it’s not the norm and that’s interesting to people. My answers are usually genuine, I rarely say “because I like the taste of blood” for example, unless they were really annoying me. So I’d say that I enjoyed it, and it’s true, I do. I enjoy the physical and the mental nature of what in do. I enjoy training with the lads and girls and the craic in the gym. I might say because it keeps me in shape, and that would be true too, it does keep me in good nick. I enjoy being fit and strong and training keeps me that way, but there are a lot of simpler ways to skin that cat, so I don’t think it’s all that true. I could say “cuz I enjoy hurtin peoples” and yes, that’s true too. Don’t look at your screen funny now, I’m not a sadist. I just accept that on some level, I enjoy punching people and kicking them and twising their arms and hyperextending their legs. You do too, you just haven’t internalised it yet. I think a lot of people do. In fact I thnk it would be rare enough to find someone in this world who doesn’t lash out at something or someone at some stage and not feel good about it afterwards. If they don’t do it, then I guarantee they think about doing it. I just happen to be one of the few that do it pretty much every day. Okay so it’s not violence and it’s certainly not sadism, but it’s a part of me and if you’re reading this blog, it’s probably a part of you too.

That’s right, you’re one sick puppy.

Discussion

One thought on “Why we fight

  1. I do it because I want to be completely jakt like Brad Pitt.

    Posted by Will Heffernan | February 18, 2010, 1:30 pm

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