“No citizen has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.”
I don’t make any secret of trying new diets, experimenting to find the right one. My will-power is pretty strong, I’m not the type to go smash a cake or go to a Buffett (except for post fight, then, glutton). It’s a never ending quest to find the one that suits me best, the one that will make me perform better, smash training partners and opponents alike . In terms of “goals” I put overall health above everything. Being mortal, I’m very concerned with this whole dying thing, it’s bothersome. I was fortunately/unfortunately blessed with a tongue that lacks taste buds. Plain oatmeal or gourmet restaurant, it’s all the same.
In mma it’s a constant struggle to control weight gain/loss. If I get too heavy, it’s a struggle to get back down to fight weight. So needless to say, I’ve tried every diet from lower calories, vegetarian, vegan, paleo, you name it. They all worked in different ways. I’ve made weight using all of them, so no doubt a controlled diet will do that job. But which one will make me perform the best? Vegetarian made me moody, it was like I was having a man-period at all times, damn near crying over spilled milk. Paleo taught me a lot, processed food robs the nutrients from food and the perimeter of the grocery store is where you want to be.
The latest thing? Warrior diet. For those of you who you don’t know, here’s a quick run down. 20 hour fast, four hour feast. I’m not going to get into the science behind it, a quick google search will give you a more in depth do’s and don’ts. So here’s what my days have been looking like…
1. 8am:Wake up, slam 16oz of water with green tea extract, vitamin d drops and half of a squeezed lemon
2. 830: #bulletproofcoffee which consists of two cups of coffee, two tbsp of grass fed butter, one tbsp of mct/brain octane oil and a tbsp of collagen protein, all blended. Taken in place of a preworkout, while calorically high, guaranteed to have a steadier state of energy with no crash.
3. 9am: workout, lifting/sprints/metabolic, one or the other.
4. 1030: post WO recovery shake, 1 scoop of #nutrilite meal replacement powder, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, tbsp chia seeds. I prefer meal replacement over protein because it has a good ratio of carbs and protein.
5. 1-130: various nuts, almonds, walnuts etc about 20 total and 1cup of mixed berries, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, whatever is on hand.
6. 3:00: salad! I chop two cups of various unimportant veggies, whatever is in the fridge, two handfuls of spinach or kale, 1 tbsp each of olive oil and apple cider vinegar.
7. 5-9pm feast! All the chicken/fish/steak I want. I don’t mix proteins so it’s one or the other. I also try to have some more fat, avocado usually. Last night I had 13oz of chicken thighs and two cups of Brussels sprouts with garlic and onions.
Training session number two varies for time, usually 630 for technical training/sparring/rolling depending on the day. Some days I have a third session earlier in the day.
Water intake: I try to finish a gallon of water with cayenne pepper, lemon and bcaa’s throughout the day.
Energy levels: thus far have been good, the bulletproofcoffee is the best pre workout I’ve ever had, no energy spikes just a steady rate, love it. I broke a deadlift PR yesterday and Last night was marathon roll, 10x5min rounds back to back. I didn’t gas at all and went at a hard pace with high level guys each round.
Hunger: So the snacks keep me satisfied throughout the day, the water keeps my belly full until feast time. Usually when you don’t have cravings for fatty/sugary/salty foods it’s a good indication that your metabolism is running efficiently. Happy to say I’m not craving anything one month in.
Weight loss: I haven’t been measuring weight loss, I don’t unless I have to make a deadlined weight. My upper body is a lot bigger as I’m doing strength training at the moment, waste size is down fortunately. If take a selfie or before and after but honestly there are enough pictures of me shirtless out there, I think you get the picture. No need for more self indulgence haha.
Overall I’m happy with this diet/style of eating. I like that I can eat a bit chaotic for four hours of the day and controlled for the rest. It’s a nice balance. I’ll need to do it for a longer period of time to really see the effects, so far so good. I’m not saying this is the best one out there and it might not fit your goals/needs/lifestyle, but it’s definitely working with mine. As always, to the death and namaste, mfers.
“No citizen has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.”
Rough draft and incomplete, feel free to leave me comments/suggestions. Hope you enjoy what I have so far
You would have thought the sky was on fire with the shades of orange and red that flashed as far as the eye could see. Clouds streaked the sky canvas, painting the heavens with dazzling shapes and colors. A brilliant sight to anyone, save the two young lovers. They stood on the sandy beach, hopelessly lost in their own world.
The man brushed the hair back from her face, stroking her cheek. Kissing her forehead, he pulled her closer. She smiled, burrowing into his chest. He squeezed tightly, feeling her crush into him, as if trying to make them one being. He exhaled deeply, leaned in, and whispered, “I’ve missed you, my love.”
The soldier flipped up the Visor on his helmet. Sweat dripped down his brow, stinging his eyes. He wiped them with his red and yellow surcoat. Dirty though it was, the stinging subsided. He looked up at the battlements, the blue flour de leis banners still rippled in the wind. French archers sent volleys of arrows down at the English invaders who scurried up ladders. Smoke still wafted from the failed siege ram, set alight by the boiling pitch. A foothold had yet to be won on any portion of the walls, a testament to the resolve of it’s defenders. He slid the whet stone down the head of his hand ax, as much for the sharpness as to keep his mind busy. The mind has a way of fighting battles before the real ones even begin. He studied the edge, confident in it’s edge, he slid it into his belt loop.
A distant horn sounded. The men around him gathered up their weapons, falling into formation. He sighed, “Just one more charge”. Flipping his visor down, the soldier drew his sword, pointing at the walls “Give me glory or give me death!” Battle cries and roars erupted around him, his men buzzing, they marched.
They held their shields high, forming a turtle shell as the arrows rained down on them. A few of the men went down, screams echoing around him, some arrows finding their mark. He finally reached a ladder and turned toward his men. “See you at the top”. He laughed at his own joke. Shield held above his head, sure footed and nimble, he climbed the rung . Nearing the top, he slowed, almost bumping into the man in front of him. Suddenly, the man in front of him screamed, a spear jutting out of his back. He pitched backwards, falling towards him. The soldier swung himself off the side of the ladder, holding on with one hand as the man plummeted down the tall ladder, knocking off others before crashing to the earth. He recovered his position, shield held high and determined, he continued his climb. At the top of ladder now, he drew a hand ax from his belt. A defender loomed in front of him, spear outstretched. The man thrust the spear toward him, narrowly missing as he swayed his head to the side. The soldier grabbed the haft of the spear, pulling the spearman closer. He thrust his head forward into the crown of his foes unprotected head, sending a crimson spray of blood as the mans nose shattered. Dropping the spear, he vaulted over the parapet and onto the wall. He raised his shield, charging the spearman into the wall. A sickening crack sounded as they hit the wall. The spearman slid to the ground, his skull leaving a trail of blood on the wall.
The soldier dropped his shield and drew his sword. Joined now by some of his comrades that had found purchase on the wall, he saw their chance. Caution to the wind, he rushed into the fray, sword and ax cleaving into flesh and bone, felling men all around him. He was in a berserkers rage, battle lust pushing all thoughts of pain and fatigue aside. Head tilted back and arms spread wide, he roared. ” to the death!” and charged into the defenders with his comrades at his side. The defense was faltering, they were losing ground now. The effect the soldier had on his enemies and his men had turned the tide. His ferocity only increased as men streamed up the ladders now, unimpeded by defenders.
He was barely aware of his surroundings, cutting and stabbing with both hands, sending men to their ruin. A sword ripped into his side, breaking through the chain-mail. Pain enveloped him but was quickly replaced by rage as he launched a riposte into the attackers face, his sword going through the mans mouth and out of his neck. He hurled his hand ax into a bowman who was notching an arrow. The bowman fell like a sack, not knowing what hit him.
The castle walls had been won, the remaining defenders retreated back into the keep, barring the doors. It would take some time to clear them out, but for now, the men lay down their arms for a moment of respite.
The soldier sat slumped against the wall, exhausted beyond belief. Bloodlust had warn off and he was keenly aware of his body now. His arms ached from the many blows thrown, jarred on metal and flesh. Blood seeped out of a score of wounds, the gash on his side bled profusely. His helmet had long been discarded, lost at some point in the battle to an errant mace blow. Lifting a water flask to his lips, he sipped the water,reflecting on the day. A hooded field aid wandered up to him and began dressing his wounds. He winced as the aids cloth dabbed at his wounds. “Hold still now warrior, this will only hurt a little longer.” He presses a cloth to his side, it stung. “The men are speaking of your valor, sir…they say you won the battle single handedly”. He smiled at this, shaking his head “Relax, close your eyes… rest…You’ve earned it”. Said the aid. The soldier stared off. He thought of her, that last night, weeks ago. He wished she were here, if only for a moment. His eyes closed.
“I don’t want you to go”! She yelled. He stared at her, long blonde hair cascaded down her back. Sheer as it was, her night gown left little to the imagination.Even with her features locked in an angry scowl, she was beautiful. Her full lips kept moving, but the soldier just stared at her, the words lost to him in his revery. Suddenly he held his hand up. “Enough… Tonight I want to forget ourselves…I want to be lost with you, let tomorrow worry about itself…This night, this moment.” Her shoulders slumped, exhaling. Smiling at her He held her cheek, kissing her full lips. He swooped her into his arms effortlessly, and carried her to the bedside. “Wait. I want you to promise me that you’ll come back to me. I need you, the thought of losing you, I couldn’t bare it. Say it, say that you will come back.” She said. “Nothing on this earth can keep me from you. I will return to you, my love. Not even death and certainly not the French could keep us apart.” She smiled. They fell onto the satin sheets, lost to the world as their bodies joined.
“A messenger for you milady!” Rushing down the steps, she could barely contain her joy. News from the last battle had reached them, the English army had overwhelmed the French defenders and they had taken the castle. She had been waiting every day since for word of his return. Reaching the doorway, she stopped. “Milady” said the grim faced messenger, bowing. Snatching the scroll from his hands, she broke the wax seal and unraveled it. Quickly scanning the parchment, her hand raised to her mouth. The paper fell to the floor. She bolted up the stairs, tears streaming from her face. Her door slammed, echoing down the stone hallway. She threw herself onto the bed, burying her face into a pillow.
Later in the evening, candles flickered in the room. Her face was pale and drawn with a grim expression. She had stopped crying, resolve had set in. Taking a quill from the desk, she dipped it into the ink well and hastily scrawled an apology onto the parchment. Setting the quill down, she walked to the window, opening the latch. Pushing them open, she stepped onto the ledge, looking down at the crashing waves below. The height was dizzying, she swooned. Steadying herself, she caught her breath, and closed her eyes. “Not even death” she whispered.
A thick haze covered the great road. He could barely see a few feet in front of him as he was guided by the small figure in front of him.
The little boy held the soldiers hand, though there were no distinguishable landmarks, he seemed to know exactly where to go. It wasn’t long before they came to a massive wooden hall. The soldier had never seen the like, it was bigger even than the great cathedral at Canterbury. Using his wooden sword, the boy rapped on the massive oaken doors and shouted “Værge,åbent! The doors swung open, allowing entry. They walked through entrance and into the hall.
The room was packed. Various drink filled the mugs of the gathered warriors. A samurai touched his small ornate cup to the foaming mugs of a giant man wearing a horned helmet and another bearded warrior wearing a conical helm.”Kanpai! Skål! Za zdorovje!” All around the hall similar scenes played out; feasting, drinking, arm wrestling, knife throwing, wrestling, all forms of manhood being tested.
Looking down at the small boy he asked “What is this place?” The boy spread his arms wide and replied “Its Valhalla! Resting place of the honored dead. Come, let us get you something to fill your belly and spirits to fill your cup.” He motioned toward the stacks of barrels containing ale and wine and the tables overflowing with all sorts of roast game. Flustered, he shook his head. “No. Where is she? Take me to my love.” He said. The boy shifted nervously, “But sir, she is in another place. This is a hall for the greatest heroes, only the noblest of warriors belong here. There is no better place for a man to rest.” Said the boy. “Valhalla be damned!” Roared the man. “There is no rest without her, we belong together!” Turning towards the door, he rushed towards it. “I will not stay another moment in this God forsaken place!” Warriors all around glanced up, interrupted from their revery. A moment passed and they quickly resumed their feasting and drinking. The boy was crestfallen as the soldier stormed out of the mead hall, slamming the great oaken doors as he left.
The lady shuffled along the misty road with the others. She had no recollection of how she had gotten there, but she was compelled to follow. One foot followed the other, methodically onward, destination unknown. Curious. She couldn’t hear the sound of her own footsteps.
His opponent was good, his strikes fast and precise. They parried back and forth, the swords clanging together loudly. He ducked under a wide sweeping strike, his hair rustled as the blow passed, narrowly missing. Recovering quickly, he thrust his sword forward, his opponents eyes widening as he leapt backwards. Both breathing heavily, he smiled, and switched his sword to the other hand. His opponent visibly shaken by the turn of events, he pressed the attack now, his strong arm prodding, jabbing for an opening. He lifted his knee as if to kick, drawing his opponents eyes towards his feet while his sword arm swung in a mighty sweep. The blow connected with the side of the wooden dummy, ending the “duel”.
Sheathing the wooden sword into his belt, he ran back into the house. His father was sitting at the table, whittling a piece of wood. “What are you making pop”? He asked. “I’m finished, here, it’s yours”. He held out the small wooden figure of a knight, sword and shield in hand. The boy grabbed it, hugging his father tightly. “Thanks, pop! I love it”. A moment passed as he stared at it in wonder. He thought for a moment.”Pop, do you think mom sees me from heaven? I miss her, I her to see me become a knight.” His father looked away. “I don’t know, son”. It had been a month since the plague had taken her. His father had been grief stricken, staring into the distance and saying very little to anyone. He had lost so much weight, his skin sunken on his face. Not knowing what to do, he walked into his room. He set the wooden knight on his bedside table, next to the other carvings of soldiers and knights. He lay down on his bed, rolling to his side. He reached behind him feeling for the lump that had steadily gotten bigger in the last few days. It ached dully, but he brushed the thought away. The sound of his mothers melodious laughter echoed in his mind. He missed her. Closing his eyes, he quickly fell asleep.
He was completely lost. After leaving the hall, anger drove him mindlessly onward. The problem was, everything looked the same on the road. The perpetual mist made seeing just a few feet in front of him difficult.
*The more I do in life the less bothered I am with dying. I think that those that grow old and look back with regret have a hard time coming to terms with it. Others that jumped at every opportunity and really lived life to the fullest seem to find a certain peace that I envy. Here’s hoping to finding the road less traveled and answering the door when opportunity knocks. To the death!
Before we talk about last night, lightning striking twice, bad luck etc. let’s talk about another hero of mine that I’ve always looked up to; Achilles, hero of the Greek Army and all around virtuoso of the battle field,struck down in his prime.
My old man would read me various books as a kid, one of them was called Gods and Heroes by Edith Hamilton. It’s a very good intro to Greek mythology, outlining the more well known myths and legends including the Trojan war. Achilles was my favorite character. He was peerless on the battlefield, always one step ahead of everyone. His speed, agility etc couldn’t be matched and made the rest of the soldiers seem slow in comparison. When he is reveling in battle, a chance arrow is shot, one in a million, and hits him in the leg. Boom there goes what should have been histories greatest warrior, now remembered as a weak tendon in the leg.
Now back to the present. Anderson Silva is the best fighter of our generation. He’s not only fought and beat the best in the division but has done so in seemingly easy fashion. He makes his opponents look silly, seeming bored even in his fights, dancing and goofing around in the most inappropriate of times, punches and kicks whizzing by. He went too far when he fought Weidman and his antics cost him the belt after being caught by a vicious left hand.
Last nights fight was supposed to be different. We were supposed to see a hungry and motivated legend that would redeem himself. Midway through the second round he threw the same chopping leg kick that he had thrown countless other times and was checked by a well timed Weidman shin. Silvas leg shattered and he crumpled into a heap. Everyone watching was shocked, not believing their own eyes.
The part that saddens me the most about this is not that he lost. It’s that he’s going to be remembered not for his amazing fight prowess or uncanny abilities but for his one unlucky kick he threw that ended his career. If you type the words Anderson Silva right now into a google search, “broken leg” will pop up immediately with it. Not greatest fighter of all time or longest reigning champion, just broken leg or some form of the sentence.
Instead of being remembered for being the greatest warrior on the battlefield, Achilles is remembered as the one that was killed by an arrow to the leg. He didn’t get to die on his shield as they say, he wasn’t beset on all sides by warriors, taking as many as possible with him to Tartarus. No, he was simply shot down by a lucky arrow. Fate is a cruel mistress, fans of our sport even more cruel. At Silvas age, who knows if it’s too late for him to rise from this, making a comeback. For Anderson Silvas peace of mind, his families, and his legacy, I wish him a speedy recovery.
Post script: no amount of calcium, tree kicking, or shin conditioning is going to help you prevent that happening. That same injury happens all the time in Muay Thai fights where kicks are far more numerous. It’s just never happened on that big of a stage. Hope for the best and chok dee when you throw kicks!
I’ve been hearing a very pessimistic view from a lot of people about setting a New Years resolution. Like why would you set a goal for the end of the year instead of just starting today or stating the percentage rate of successful resolutions (8%). I get it, people like deadlines, it helps us get motivated. So people try things, fail, bend the goal, make a new one etc. it’s natural. The cool thing about humans is our ability to overcome, by trial and error. We fall, get up, fall again, but eventually we reach the top of the mountain. It’s what makes us so awesome! Anyway, enough about us, let’s talk about why we fail.
So you want to quit smoking, Great! I can’t stand cigarette smoke so the less of you the better. You smoke your last cigarette New Year’s Eve, boom easy. The next morning you wake up and you feel fine. The hours at work begin to take their toll. You start stressing out, the day is rough. Forget it, you go to the store, buy a new pack. You’ll start quitting after this pack.
Is it because your addiction is stronger than your will power? Do you love these death sticks more than you love your health? I doubt it. It happens, old habits die hard. Don’t beat yourself up about it, 92% of people failed along with you. You aren’t alone.
So here’s where I think (most) people that set resolutions go wrong; lack of preparation. You waited until the very last second, quitting cold turkey. A week before you should have been wheening yourself from it, one less cigarette a day or whatever system works for you. I’m not sure how it works, but a gradual decrease in anything is better than quitting altogether. The success rate between the two is night and day.
Preparation and planning is the key. If you set a dead line for yourself, great! Regardless of the day, you need to plan well in advance for whatever it is you plan on quitting/doing. Research what has worked for others, what didn’t, and what works best for your lifestyle. If you want to climb a mountain on the other side of the world, start saving well in advance, book flights ahead of time, make a schedule etc because before you know it a year is up and things can change at any given time. No warrior worth his salt goes into battle unprepared.
Another big one is weight loss. I feel for people with this goal because it’s such a hard one and most of the time it’s genetic, not a cake addiction. With media shoving models and athletes down our throats, we have a very twisted sense of what is ideal. I want to look like Arnold in his heyday, but I know that’s pretty unrealistic for my lifestyle. My best advice for people that want to change their look is to research nutrition first, make your own meals and then when that is on point, start hitting the gym. I don’t care if it’s Zumba or crossfit, something is better than sitting on the couch, wishing your weight away.
So in closing, tell the pessimists to suck it and get after it. Start your New Years resolution preparation today, it’s not too late. Whether it’s to stop smoking, traveling to a foreign country, give up binge drinking, I guarantee there is a method that will work for you IF it’s important to you. If it’s weight loss or muscle building, come see me at Guerilla BJJ or Bodies By Amorim. I’ll help you help yourself. My resolution? UFC or bust.
To the death!
Through a dark, bandit filled forest, over the tallest jagged mountains, across a gloomy, creature filled swamp, in the middle of a ring of fire, lived a ferocious dragon. It stood guard over a tall tower full of golden treasures, precious jewels and riches beyond any mans wildest dreams. But the greatest treasure of them all was the fair Princess, beautiful beyond compare and virtuous soul to match.
Kings, princes, lords knights, men at arms and even lowly peasants set out to claim fame fortune and the beauty. The wealthy lords of men would bribe the bandits of the woods only to be turned back by the jagged peaks. Some bold princes and knights would scale the mountains only to be swallowed up by the denizens of the gloomy swamp. The most daring of adventurers would roast in the ring of fire, their bones and armor blackened by the blazing inferno, fading to dust over time. Who could possibly save the princess where the lands boldest men had failed?
Just when all hope for the Princess had gone, word began to spread of a champion. A knight of knights, a paragon with the sword, was preparing for the journey….
The knight, who wore the most splendid silver plate armor, wielded the sharpest of broad swords, carried the sturdiest of kite shields and rode the most pure-bred war horse, paused before the forest. He had heard the locals tell the story countless times. The forest was full of all sorts of evil outlaws, horse thieves,cutthroats, robbers bandits and murderers. He smiled under his metal visor, it would take more than a band of untrained vagabonds to sever his courage. He nudged his horse on, the forest encasing them in darkness. It wasn’t long before the arrows zinged, daggers whistled, and spears flew at the knight. He laughed loudly, his armor and shield deflecting the cheaply made weapons, no match for the sturdy craftsmanship of his armor. He rode on through the hail of weaponry unscathed. The bandits, fearing the man who had laughed at their feeble attempts, disappeared into the woods.
The knight had made it through the dark forest without drawing his sword or bribing with a single copper. Maybe this man had the courage to scale the jagged mountains.
Scanning the peak, the knight snapped the reigns, his horse trotting on. He had prepared well for this part of the journey, the locals telling him of the jagged, barren peaks. Unpacking ropes he had bought in the village, he tied his horse to a tree, and began the climb. His hands and feet were strong, his grip sure. He climbed higher and higher upwards, the height dizzying to a normal man. Once, his footing had faltered, his body sliding off the edge of a cliff. The rope around his waste tightened, he hung, suspended in the air. The knight looked below, the ground no longer visible. He had always been afraid of heights, but he steeled his nerve and climbed the rope. Finally he reached the summit. The climb down was much easier and uneventful. He hummed a tune to himself as he reached the bottom of the mountain. Perhaps this champion had the mettle to overcome the swamps.
He scanned the gloomy waters. All sorts of creatures were teeming below the surface of the waste deep bog. He could see bleached white bones and pieces of armor scattered on rocks rocks that told tales of long gone heroes. Thinking of the rigorous training he had endured since birth, his resolve was strengthened. He trudged through the swamp, his armor squeaking from the damp. The creatures of the swamp attacked him at every turn, encircling and ambushing the knight. He battered them with his shield and slashed with his sharp sword. He cleaved a path through the swamp, his great stamina being put to the test as his sword arm rose and fell. Finally after the long march through the boggy waters he emerged on the far shores of the swamp. This man is a Legend, surely he can beat back the blazing inferno with his nerve alone!
Drying off, he gazed in the distance. Across miles of blackened earth, he could see the fire. The dragon kept the fiery circle blazing, bellowing hell fires onto the charred earth every day and night, a final test for all men. He sharpened his sword, oiled his armor and prepared for the heat to come. His horse emerged from the swamp, scratched and clawed but standing tall.The rope he had been tied with chewed through. The loyalty of the beast was beyond belief, the knight reflected, his admiration showed as he patted the beasts back. Mounting the horse, they set off.
After miles of blackened and barren earth, they stood before the tall inferno. For the first time In the journey, the knight felt hopeless. How could they make it through the fire? It blazed high and long without pause. There was no path around it, the only way was through. Speaking aloud, the knight spoke of the journey’s end with regret. With a deep sense of melancholy, he steered the reigns around, prepared to journey back. The horse held it’s ground, not budging. It stamped the earth with its hooves,waving it’s head in the direction of the flames. Staring at the horse now, he shook his head in wonder. How could a beast possess such unwavering loyalty. It couldn’t possibly survive the leap. Every time the knight tried to go back, the horse ignored his commands. Finally, with resolve set, the knight threw caution to the wind and charged toward the fire. They leapt high, through the impossibly hot fire, soaring through the flames. They landed with a crash on the other side of the inferno. The knight rose to his feet, checking himself for burns, for which there was none too serious. The horse had not risen. He dropped to its side, stroking the horses neck. It had suffered severe burns, it’s chest rising and falling with each ragged breath. The knight took off his helmet, tears streaming down his face. Love doesn’t have a greater measure than when a life is laid down for friends. The horse shuddered, breathing it’s last breath. Our hero sat for a time, stroking his most loyal of companions shoulder.
Just then he heard a loud crash from behind. Turning his head, he saw it then; the dragon, wings spread wide, savage eyes leering. The knight rose to his feet and drew his sword. Every time the dragon moved the ground trembled. Letting out a battle cry, the knight charged at the dragons massive frame. He dodged the dragons tail as It came crashing down in front of him. He hacked at it with all of his might, severing the tip. With a blood curdling roar the dragon beat it’s wings, knocking the knight off his feet. Looming over him, the dragon drew in air and expelled it’s fiery breath. The knight rose to his knees, bringing his kite shield to bear. The flames were intense but rolled off his shield, leaving him unscathed. He charged forward, sword arm back ready to cleave into the dragons belly. Just as he was about to swing, the dragon snatched him up in his clawed hands. It squeezed him in it’s grasp, his armor buckling under the pressure. He tried to wiggle and squirm out, but the dragons clutch was too strong. His sword and shield dropped, the pain unbearable. It brought him up eye level, leering at him with it’s powerful gaze. The knight looked on in horror as the dragon opened it’s mouth and brought him slowly, slowly toward its mouth…
The boy woke up with a start, his heart racingHe was covered in sweat, his blankets and stuffed animals had been flung off the bed. He sat up, trying to catch his breath and cool off. Jumping down from his bed, he walked down the hall to the bathroom. After rubbing water on his face, he reached for the towel and dried off. He stared at his reflection in the mirror and thought to himself “next time I’ll slay the Dragon”. Back in his room, he picked up his favorite stuffed animal, little foot, and climbed back into bed. He closed his eyes and drifted off, to a dreamless sleep.
We all have fear in our life. Whether its spiders, heights, or dark parking garages. It can cripple us, leaving us shaking visibly. But Fear doesn’t have to be a bad thing, it can bring out the best in us. Without fear there can be no bravery. Here’s a short story I thought of about my childhood and how I would deal with fear sometimes.
The little boy stared at his reflection in triumph as he brushed his teeth. Rinsing his mouth out, he then scampered down the hall to his room and climbed the ladder to his bed on the top bunk. He crawled under the covers before his older brothers were even in the room, a carefully planned scheme that he had considered all day. He smiled to himself, feeling victorious, holding his favorite teddy bear, little foot, tightly in his arms. Every night was a race for him, to beat his older brothers to bed. Last one in bed had to shut the light off, it was the golden rule amongst the boys. He counted sheep like his dad had taught him, feeling himself drifting into dreamland. He was interrupted by a loud knock on the side of his bed. His big brother gave the most evil grin at him and said “you forgot to turn the bathroom light off”. His heart sank as he watched his brothers tuck themselves into their beds. Dread overcame him, this was not good, not good at all. Sighing to himself, he pushed the covers off and climbed down from the top bunk. “Don’t let the monsters get you!” His brother called out as he left the room.
He looked down the hall towards the bathroom. It seemed like a mile away now, the hallway nearly pitch black and foreboding. The boy crept as quietly as his little feet could, his eyes wide, scanning all directions for moving shadows. Finally reaching the bathroom, he paused a moment in the light. This part was going to be tricky. Once he turned off the light it would be a race down the hall, back to the room and up the bunk bed ladder. He wished he had brought little foot with him. Mustering his courage, he reached for the light switch with one hand, the rest of his body braced for the mad dash through the darkness. The light clicked, the darkness engulfing him. He sprinted down the hallway, his feet pounding the carpeted floor. He felt the things in the dark reaching for him, just inches away. He reached his room door way, got to the ladder, pulling himself up as fast as he could and onto his bed. Snatching the covers over his head, he grabbed little foot and pulled him in close, hugging him tightly. He could feel the shadows outside of the blanket, probing, searching for a way to get under his protective forcefield that was his blanket. He shut his eyes tight. He squeezed little foot hard, whispering that it would be alright, that they were safe now. Time passed by slowly, the boy sweating under the heavy blankets, protected but uncomfortable. Sleep took him.
He awoke, finding himself on the hard, dirt covered ground, with Littlefoot, still clutched in his hands. He was in a forest now, not in the room he shared with his brothers. He looked around, peering into the darkness. there were trees all around, tall, gnarled ones with long arm like branches. They all seemed to be looking at him, watching, waiting. Not knowing what else to do, he began to walk, hoping to find a way out of the woods. He wished his dad were here with him, he wasn’t afraid of anything. His dad always told him that there was no such thing as monsters, but he knew better. They were always lurking in darkness, reaching out for him from the shadows. He had been lucky so far, narrowly escaping them most nights. He hoped this time would be no different.
Having Littlefoot with him made him feel a little better. A gift from his sister, littlefoot had been at his side ever since, his constant companion and guardian in the darkness. He held onto it with both arms, almost hiding behind it is as he walked. The trees stared down at him ominously. Suddenly the wind picked up, the leaves rustling at his feet. The trees groaned, the wind howling past him. He was cold now, his thin pajamas barely protecting him from the elements. Glancing behind him, the darkness was creeping closer as he stood there. He began to run, trying to stay ahead of the shadows. Running through the woods was becoming more and more difficult, the trees growing closer together. Packed tightly now, he had to squeeze between them to move. The sharp branches ripped into his clothes, his pajamas shredded. He cried out as the branches dug into his skin, blood trickling from the shallow cuts all over his body. He charged blindly ahead, crying and bleeding, little foot still in his hand.
Bursting through a thicket, he came to a clearing. The trees seemed to make a big circle, nothing but rocks and dirt on the ground. He dried his eyes on his torn sleeve. Then cold and exhaustion overcame him. He just wanted to be back in his room, he wouldn’t care if his brothers made fun of him, he’d call out to his dad and he’d tell him nothing would get him. He sat on the ground, holding his companion close, sobbing, with realization of defeat took hold of him. The shadows would be here soon, it was only a matter of time.There would be no covers to hide under this time.
Looking up, he saw the shadows, coming through the trees, slowly but surely. He could hear them whispering, laughing, taunting even. Hugging little foot tightly, he stood up. No more running or hiding. This was it. The shadows merged into one being. His every nightmare made manifest in this hulking and grotesque pit of darkness. The mass of shadows now towered over the boy like a giant from the stories. The monster looked down at the boy, laughing an evil laugh, mocking his fear
This angered the little boy. Looking around the clearing, he spotted a stick. Running to it, the boy picked it up. With little foot in one hand and the stick in the other, he charged at the monster. He lashed out at the monsters leg, he couldn’t reach anything else. His fury blinded him, the pain from his cuts forgotten. The monster watched, surprised, as the boy struck again and again. Annoyed now, the monster grabbed the boy in his hands, lifting him high overhead, and threw him against a tree. The impact against the tree broke the little boy. His body crumbled to the floor, clearly shattered. He lay in a broken heap, still clutching little foot close. Inches from him lay the stick. The boy extended his bloody hand and reached for it. Pain seared through him, engulfing him in agony. He closed his eyes, gritting his teeth. Grasping it now he relaxed a little. It felt good in his hands, like the grip was made for him.
He opened his eyes, astonished at what he saw. In his hand was a sword. The cold had gone, the warmth from the padded armor fit him well. Little foot had become what it had always been, a shield. His shredded pajamas were no more, a full suit of brilliant silver steel armor covered him from neck to toe. He flipped the visor on his helmet up, better to see with.
The knight arose from the ground, wounds healed and back on his feet. Holding the sword in front of him, he swung it left and right, deftly cutting through the air. He turned toward the monster, it had turned his back to him. Using his sword, he banged it on shield. CLANG! CLANG! CLANG! The monster, visibly startled,turned towards the noise. Seeing the knight in the clearing, he was shocked. Where had he come from? Raising his clawed hand and opening his tooth filled maw wide, he let out a roar that trembled the earth. The knight stood aloft, unfazed by the monsters display. He stared back at the monster, contempt written all over his face. Picking up a rock, the monster pulled his arm back and threw it toward the knight with great force. Standing his ground until the last moment, the knight moved his head to the side, the rock sailing passed harmlessly. Angry now, the monster charged at the knight, arms outstretched. He swung his left hand, fist clenched to crush the warrior. The knight jumped nimbly to the side, narrowly avoiding the blow. It swung harder with his right hand, claws outstretched to impale. The knight leaped back and sent his sword Slashing down. The blow struck its mark, severing the monsters hand. It howled in pain, clutching the stump where his hand had been. Falling to its knees, he whimpered as dark green blood gushed from the severed limb.
The knight stood still, cape billowing in the wind, watching, waiting. A feeling crept into the monster, something he had never felt. It gazed at the knight, watching as he slowly walked towards him. The monster knew fear, feeling himself shrinking where he knelt. No longer massive and imposing, he quivered now, terror fully taking hold of him. The knight plunged his sword into the earth, swaying back and forth in the ground. He stood in front of the monster, bending to one knee. He took off his helmet and set it on the ground, his long hair flowing in the breeze. The creature held its one good hand in front of its face, shielding himself from the blow to come. Looking into the now small creatures eyes, he spoke “It’s time for you to go now. Leave this place, and know that if you ever return, I’ll be waiting.” Gathering it wits,the creature scampered towards the trees. Being no bigger than a mouse now, he quickly disappeared in the thicket. The knight sat down against a tree, contentment washing over him. He set his shield to the side of him, close at hand. Closing his eyes, he thought of adventure and fair princesses. Before long, his breaths grew deep, and he fell fast asleep.
The boy awoke, still under the blanket, sweating profusely. Pulling the blankets off, he pushed them down by his feet. He looked around the room, barely making out his brothers still forms. Reaching out, he grabbed little foot, who had strayed from his grasp. He hugged it tight like he always did, his companion and shield. Closing his eyes, he counted the sheep like his father had taught him.
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“Are you a fighter?” It used to be because of my mangled ears that I would hear this question. The cauliflower is usually a dead give away for pugilists and wrestlers alike. Media and the growing popularity of the sport is making the “fighter” look easy to identify.
I used to joke when asked about my ears that I was born this way. The response was always an awkward “sorry” and a quick subject change. The part that bothers me about the question is the instant classification that I get thrown into; brute,psycho,illiterate,caveman,Neanderthal etc. take your pick. I’ve even been accused of having people write my blogs/status updates for me. Fighters are generally not very cerebral in the general public, after all you don’t have to be smart to hit someone.
To be honest I can’t really disagree with the general opinion. With front runners like Ronda Rousey and the Diaz bros flipping off their opponents, we generally come off as crude to say the least. The most exciting fights get the limelight, the bloodbaths and the vicious knockouts, whilst the superior grappling/bjj oriented matches get overlooked or boo’d even. The fighter look is more akin to the 80′s punk rock scene, big, dyed Mohawks, tribal and skull tats. Newcomers dying to stand out turn to the typical tough guy monicker. I can’t help but laugh at stuff like this. What happened to just being “good” to get noticed.
Another growing trend I’m seeing is the wannabes. The guys that wear the tapout shirts and mean mug everyone they walk passed. They cant wait to tell you about who they train with and that they have a fight coming up. Its like screaming for someone to ask them if they fight. I don’t get it. Who cares what other people think of you and why would you want to look like something that you could be possibly called out on. That’s like me saying I’m a NASA scientist, two questions would debunk me. All respect to those who try and fail at whatever they sought out to do. But if you didn’t make it, don’t pretend, whether it’s football or astronaut. It’s all about being exactly who you see in the mirror. Be proud of who you are. I fight for a living, but it’s not who I am, it’s something I do.
When I was starting out I looked up to fighters like Evan tanner and Genki Sudo. These were guys role models are made out of. Tanner was a recovering alcoholic that turned it all around and became UFC middleweight champion. Sudo had extravagant entrances coupled with amazing on the fly technique that wow’d the crowd and peers alike.. At the end of his fights he always held up a flag of the world stating “we are all one”. A simple and powerful message. I truly miss guys like them and try to do what I can to spread a similar message. I’m no where near Genki’s level of showmanship, he is in a class by himself, but I’ll do anything I can to spread the “We are all one” message.
When people ask me if I’m a fighter, I tell them “no”. While I do fight for a living, it will not define me. There is no shame in fighting, its a beautiful sport, but i could quit tomorrow and nothing would change. I’d still train for my health and stress/mental release.I’m not a fighter, I’m a human being. We are all one.
Edit:there is nothing wrong with being an upcoming fighter or anything for that matter, just make sure you do it for the right reasons. Don’t do it just because you want the title of being a fighter, you’re probably going to get hurt or humiliated. Chok dee! (Good luck in Thai)