Thursday, April 12, 2007

Winning Creates Reality

When I was a pup, one of the questions that newbie martial artists would argue over for hours was, "Which is more important, speed or power?" The arguments would cover everything from physics to strategy. The answer was obvious to me. Speed is more important. I almost always won and I wasn't strong but I was freakishly fast, ergo...

Bodies change over time. As I age, my speed has decreased and my strength has increased. To make it worse, I frequently spar in slow motion with younger guys who are going full or nearly full speed (to work on my efficiency)... and I'm still winning most of the time.

The Gracies insist that fights end up on the ground.

I insist that fights happen at close range with great brutality.

John Anderson finds almost all of his fights finish with a hook punch.

Barry McConnell insists that the fight goes to the first one who can get a weapon in to play.

There are many, many good fighters and they all have a secret: "Destroy the base." "Control the center." "The firstest with the mostest is the bestest." "Take your time." "Finish it quick."

That's a lot of secrets and they even contradict each other.

Here's what's going on: a superior fighter creates the kind of fight he will win at. A Gracie will take the fight to the ground, and they will do it reliably and often easily. A less skilled person with the same strategy may get knocked out trying.

I think infighting is the way things happen, but that's largely because I am an infighter and I force the altercation into a close range affair. With Barry, he will win a knife fight because he will damn well turn it into a knife fight. See the pattern here?

Winners win. Good fighters are good fighters. In most instances a good wrestler would have been a good boxer if he had put the same amount of effort at the same age into the other art.

People who become extraordinary fighters tend to be disciplined and creative both. Disciplined people work hard and get good at stuff. Creative people tend to figure out how to use the stuff they are good at.

Many years ago, when I was young and fast and a kicker, I would spar two people at a time while handcuffed. (I know, bragging again, but there is a point). I had speed, I used speed and I did everything I could to manipulate sparring matches (I didn't have a lot of real fights back then) into games of speed. When I developed skill at throwing and grappling, I manipulated the fight into games of balance and space. In the transition I found out that I was far more comfortable than almost anyone at infighting range and for years I have successfully manipulated fights to resemble what I like best.

Just like the Gracies, and John and Loren and Mac and Mauricio and Mick and Barry.

See the transition- person to skills to strategy. This is who I am, this is what I'm good at, this is how I will use it...

Funny thing about people, though, they always want it to be logical and seem like they scientifically worked it out from a logical strategy first. You got some little dude who challenges all comers and is tough enough to keep fighting with a broken arm. He does what he's good at, he arranges the matches and each individual fight to take advantages of his strengths (who wouldn't?) and he wins... but when he teaches the awesome unbeatable strategy comes first, then you fill in skills for that strategy and believe that it will work no matter who the person is... though it clearly doesn't.

People are funny.

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