On a long enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero. — Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
One morning I woke up, tired of being a coward.
I was tired of being afraid. Tired of being intimidated. I realized that for 22 years I had confused “being nice” with “fear of confrontation.” So that day I did some research, checked out some facilities, and joined a martial arts gym to train toward my ultimate goal:
To enter in an MMA cage fight.
Down in California, I was at a Taco Bell once with one male friend and three female friends. While there, a group of five guys came in, about my age, and started talking rudely to one of the girls I was with. Now, I did try to stand up for her—I tried to diffuse the situation and ask the guy to show some respect.
His response? He took a bite from his taco and spit it at me.
Granted, there were five of them and only two of us, but I did nothing. If the numbers were different, would I have responded differently? I don’t know. I just knew I was scared. And not the type of scared that produces a calculated reaction; the type of scared that produces malfunctioning inaction.
I have never been in a fight in my life. I’ve never gotten a good shiner (intentionally) or scraped my knuckles (combatively). And to many, this is a good thing. Throughout my life I was taught to disarm situations with my words and the power of greater authorities.
Never with my fists. Nor my elbows. Nor my knees. Just that pink, soft fleshy thing cowering behind a white shield of enamel.
But I don’t want to go through life without a scar or two above my eyebrow.
Aristotle says all virtues are the midpoint between extremes. For example, courage is found halfway between “cowardice” and “foolhardiness.” However, each of us has our own tendency toward one end of that spectrum, and in order to move toward the middle, we must overshoot our actions in the opposite direction.
So if I want to make courage more a part of my disposition, I need to aim for foolhardy.
Into my third week now, I’ve been taking boxing, kickboxing, jiu jitsu; been doing conditioning, lifting weights, eating healthier. Still, I’ve been afraid to go to the actual MMA classes. I’m afraid I don’t know enough. That I’ll look stupid. That I’ll get hurt.
But confidence and courage comes from apathy towards all of those things.
Now, I don’t believe that I should just go out there trying to start fights. But I do believe that in order to defeat bad people you often have to have the courage to fight them.
So in a few months from now, expect to see a post with an uploaded video of my first ever cage fight.
Unless of course, I just get my ass kicked.
The other guy at Taco Bell
In attempts to provide vindication from the viewers who are disappointed with the conclusion of the confrontation and believe a more physical rather than verbal course of action was necessary, it still stands debatable. I may certainly be a bias source and in attempts to justify our decision at the time, one imperative variable must be considered to portray the proper scenario. I can only speak for the majority of our passive party, but liquid courage may or may not have been a factor. As deceiving as the name may be, courage is exactly what we lacked in the situation obviously, but from a cerebral and scientifical standpoint, I do not believe copious amounts of ethanol has been proven to enhance physical performance and in fact does quite the opposite, unless perhaps you ask Metta World Peace. So as it may appear to be a “5 vs 5” battle royal at the Taco Bell venue, in reality “JDT vs 5” would more accurately represent the situation at the time. Since then I have also came to the realization that a life lived in fear is a life half lived and this combined with JDT’s rigorous MMA training could result in either a recipe for disaster for the both of us (since I know we are not masochists for physical abuse…from males) or a our first successful victory behind our fists because next time around I’m convinced our course of action will be more on the foolhardiness side of Aristotle’s extremes as we attempt to overshoot our cowardice and attain the mean of two vices in the pursuit of a virtuous life
There’s no better guy who could have said anything better 🙂
This is very true; however, at the time, I don’t believe these females intended to engage in physical confrontation. But at the gym I’ve been working out at, I’ve been knocked around by a couple of women so I have no doubt they can fight and fight well.
I would just like to point out that you mentioned that it was 2 vs 5 in the taco bell, but it was 5 vs 5…females can fight too.
1) good for you, kid. you have nothing to fear but fear itself.
(obviously, winston churhhill never got his ass-kicked.)
if that doesn’t ring true–then
i love the smell of napalm in the morning—or is it smelling salts after i get KO’ed
Haha Both very good quotes. Hopefully the former will apply to me over the latter.
You can always come to see us, we would be happy to help you out. We have classes for such a thing.
This is very true, and I might just well do that!
David Dalla G
What happened to violence is never the answer? Consenting fighters is not a problem in my book though. I do, however insist on seeing this fight even if you are hurt so bad you look like Mr. Hutson in the Thriller music video. Either way, I wish you good luck! If I remember the ripped muscles of Jake correctly you should have no problem with this.
P.S: Yes, sometimes I read your blog
Haha You’re a good friend, David. And even if I do end up looking as bad Mr. Hutson’s Snape impression sounds, I will be sure to post it.
If nothing but to show off the muscles I’ve developed.