My fascination with combat and combat sports extends far beyond the techniques I practice in the gym. In fact I draw most of my inspiration from the books I read and movies I watch that chronicle the incredible lives of professional fighters and their training.
I’m sure some of you have seen the movie “the fighter” detailing Irish fighter Mickey Ward and his rise to stardom. Although I enjoyed it, the part left out is the 3 grueling fights Mickey Ward had with Arturo Gatti. If you haven’t seen them please watch the documentary ‘Legendary nights, Gatti vs Ward’. It is stories (and histories of combat sports) like these that made me start training, and when I am beat up and sore these stories serve as fuel to keep me motivated. Seeing Jim Lampley cry as he describes their first fight gives me chills. I have learned that for myself the quest to be a better fighter and student of martial arts doesn’t end when I leave the gym. I am currently reading Mike Tyson’s book and am surprised at his candor and honesty in regard to his indiscretions, and peeking into the mind of such a brutal champion has given me insight into what it took for him to achieve his goals and the problems that also led him to eventually succumb to his demons.
My point with this is that the history of combat sports and the contributions of the great men and women that have built the foundations upon which our martial paths are traveling on deserves some research and knowledge on our part. I recommend Sam Sheridan’s A Fighter’s Heart and A Fighter’s Mind for great reading on what makes fighters tick. Those books held even more meaning to me when I came back from Muay Thai and Thai Boxing training in Thailand and could relate to the author’s experiences. Check out some books or documentaries on the martial art you are practicing next time you are low on energy and let your brain do some of the training instead of your body…. and do yourself a favor and watch the Gatti vs Ward fights right now!
Elite Training Center
1628 South Pacific Coast Highway,
Redondo Beach, CA 90277