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Fear of failing cripples us and leaves us passive and stagnate. Fighting and training rips you out of the claws of inactivity and pushes you to act.  

Some people have a natural inclination and aversion to start an MMA class or similar martial art. It is an innate fear of the unknown. Completely out of character of whom we represent in our everyday lives though it was was a skill we were dependent on, not that many hundred years ago. A skill which today is as scarce as it is, to be honest, useful. When I say useful I mean as in frequent use. As in getting into fights is a daily occurrence, or even a means to survive. Sure it is for some, but not for the majority of us. We have become a cookie cutter society, dependent on our double lattes and easy access to phone chargers.

Is fighting a skill to muster, for the pure sake of knowing how to fight? I wholeheartedly think it’s not. It is merely a benefit.

Fighting, and the learning thereof, requires intelligence, the execution of critical thinking and the will to not give up. I acknowledge that many a man has had success in the octagon and ring by brawling. But that’s more a game of luck, than the calculative game of winning. When you haven’t been in a boxing ring, against someone trying to take your head off, you won’t have the slightest idea to what kind of calculations that will be going on in your head.

“He slightly drops his left hand after 3 combinations”, “He looks at my right leg a moment before he goes for a leg kick”, “He telegraphs his move just as he initiates the takedown”. All telltale signs that you have to pick up on in a split second, that potentially are the differences between you getting severely hurt or walking away unscathed.

I believe that experiences like this conditions you to be able to rapidly analyse situations and make clever decisions you are comfortable with and can stand by. It also conditions you to accept poor decisions, and live to fight another day.

The ability to take action in stressful situations is extremely important, in all facets of life. Or as Nassim Nicholas Taleb puts it:

“Life is about execution rather than purpose.”

Life is action, and without action, we die.

Sitting behind your desk, not wanting to speak up in the board meetings dreading saying something stupid, fearing standing up for yourself from THAT colleague or not asking your boss for a raise, will get you nowhere.

OSS! Is something often heard throughout MMA, and BJJ gyms. OSS derives from the Japanese word OSU, which means “push”. It is used in gyms as a sort of battle cry, meaning we all know training won’t be easy but we will push through it together and use the time to improve.

Push through your own insecurities, roll with the punches, and fight back.

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