What makes MMA so unique, Why does it have the fastest growing fanbase in the world? Why are so many great leaders, entrepreneurs, and top thinkers getting involved in training? There are many reasons, but let me share two today!
“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
― Marcus Aurelius,
#1: It is the clearest mirror in sports. Here is what I mean, there is no sport in the world that wins and losses are as personal as in Combat Sports (MMA, BJJ, Wrestling, Boxing, Kickboxing). When you win, you beat another man or woman, you consume all of who and what they bring to the mat. You don’t beat a team, there isn’t the opportunity to blame a racket or a familiarization with a golf course. It measures your heart and says in that moment who will dig the deepest, who will spend themselves for greatness. The beauty and tragedy is the more you reveal the greater you opportunity for victory and the greater the pain of defeat. MMA gives you the opportunity to see who you are in pain, when the pressure is on and you can’t find your breathe. How will you react when there is someone who clearly has more experience and skill is standing across from you and their one goal in that moment is to dominate you. Will you dig down? Will you find the grit to win despite the odds?
When a MMA fighter loses, their hearts are broken, because they haven’t lost a match. They’ve been beaten as a person. It takes a different type of character to re-engage after a loss. It is beautiful, and mesmerizing to watch a fighter choose to try again, to reinvent themselves as one that will let a loss temper them and fuel them to greatness, not to break them.
“I don’t want to die without any scars.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
#2: It takes a new courage. MMA, and BJJ are really infants as sports go in the US. We are just being introduced to fighters in the sport that grew up watching the sport or somehow got involved as teens in the sport. But for most of us. This is a sport that you enter as an adult. Your character, identity and track record has already been established. To enter into MMA, it’s a new deep end of the pool. Most of the “Hall of Famers” from the past have endured deep pain and entered the sport because they had something to prove. They needed a vehicle to either re-invent themselves of to find who they were.
Nothing has changed, to get in the ring, the cage, or to walk out of that mat. You will find that you have something added to you, or at very least you will find a clarity in your character arise. You will learn to control your fear as opposed to your fear controlling you. You will find a new courage arise that give you a strength in every area of your life.
I titled this Article “It’s Time” Bruce Buffer (UFC Announcer) proclaims this every time he announces a fight. I’m not sure if he realizes the profoundness of his statement. We all need defining unescapable moments to look in the mirrors of life and to decide who will will be and how we will react to our challenges and inner doubts.
Be the Champion within you!