A little while ago during a conversation with a co-worker of mine, the topic of fighting came up.
“How many fights have you been in?” he asked.
“Including boxing, bouncing and having a brother, well over a hundred fights,” I answered.
There was some hesitation before he spoke next, and what he said truly surprised me.
“I’ve never been in a fight before.”
I’m sure he could translate my astonishment in his response. This dude is pretty jacked, well known in our work circle for being an Olympic lifter and an overall intense guy.
The realization set in quick; most men in today’s western world either do not know how to fight, have never been involved in one, or avoid any form of confrontation at all costs.
The latter being the preferred action by our overlords that govern us.
Now, before venturing forward on the path of pugilism and practiced disciplines, be aware that what I’m advocating for is very far from heading out and bashing your neighbors head in.
Rather, understanding that as a Man in this world, you will come across others who may want to bring you down, attack your body and your character, and leave you lying in the fucking dirt.
How you handle yourself in these real-life situations is what separates the men from the boys.
I never knew how to fight until my late teens, and even then I’d consider myself untrained in comparison to the present. Coming from a lower-class, single-parent Scottish family, in a town of middle to upper-class folks presented enough of its own problems; but I had life-threatening allergies, weight issues, and my mother drove transport trucks as one of her part-time jobs.
An easy target for other kids, school bullies and teachers alike, I was the poor fat kid with a hundred food allergies and a single mom. I remember a certain group of malicious kids who would follow me home on my paper route, beating me up in the apartments where they could surround me and throwing my newspapers into the river. When my mom came to my aid a few times, they threw rocks at our van.
I know what you’re thinking, but there’s not much a wimpy ten-year-old kid could do against a group of older and much tougher bullies, hell-bent on exerting their own psychological issues.
If I had known how to fight or had the courage to stand up for myself as a young kid, things would probably have turned out very different for me. Still, it would be a few years before I felt comfortable enough throwing punches around and actually standing my ground in life.
Getting myself involved with a boxing club in my mid-twenties was definitely one of the best things I could have ever done for myself and my self-esteem. Very quickly, I learned that a physical exchange of punches was a place where I thrived in the moment.
Negative thoughts, concerns, and worries had vanished. Any stress associated with family stuff or ex-girlfriends was immediately erased from my mind, as if never even existing. There was absolutely no time for these thoughts, by the punishment of being knocked out by my opponent.
This place of total Zen that I’d found for myself is not always a place of comfort for men in the western world. Growing up as a boy, I knew this all too well. One of my ultimate fears as a kid was being punched in the face and it wasn’t until years later while in the boxing ring that I began to enjoy having a good match-up with an opponent, many times shaking hands afterward.
If there was one thing I could go back and tell the 9-year old version of myself;
“Learn how to fight, discipline yourself and train hard.”
Instead of prancing around in pink shirts pretending bullying will magically go away or using safety-pins to protect ourselves in public places, I envision a day where we teach self-defense or boxing to our youth, as well as the respect, honor, and dedication that comes along with these disciplines.
The stories other men have told me, combined with the personal experiences of my own, have helped me to understand myself and forge my own path as a Man.
You can generally identify a tough guy by the way he holds himself; standing tall with self-respect, while remaining reserved. Yeah, the strong and silent type.
There’s no need for chest-puffing or pant-sagging, he leaves that for the boys; the punks and thugs who are still finding their way in the world. The real Man realizes there is a time and a place for battle, he remains ready for this but maintains his respect above all.
Throughout history, one can find examples of men putting aside their personal lives to fight each other to the death over their belief systems, it seems only recently within the last 30 years that the Western world has forgotten the bloody battles that led us to today.
Even Jesus (King of cheek-turning passivity), still whipped the money-lenders, forcing them out of the temple. There are times that men need to take a stand and assert themselves, however, modern society has put Western men in a submissive position.
This is leading to the destruction of Western civilization, which was built by dominant masculine leadership that fought to preserve traditional values.
Imagine instead, a world where men are ‘judged’ based upon their skills in battle, rather than merely what kind of car they drive, or the money they have accumulated at some job. A day where CEO’s must compete in a combative sport against one another to maintain their position and respect is earned in an entirely different manner.
As the new order of technology and instant-gratification march forwards, men around the world continue to trade ability for convenience, honor, and discipline for a fast life, yet remain in the fetal position, afraid to appear as anything remotely masculine.
There is still a glimmer of hope, and we must fight until our last breath to keep that.
Men must fight for what they believe in.
We must fight to carve our names into the stone of the universe and leave behind our legacy for all to remember.