The Greatest Gift I’ve Ever Received I Got From Mix Martial Arts
The other day I was walking out to my car at the Annapolis Mall when I got to some serious thinking…
I started to think about my old street fighting days, about being bullied as a child and also my years spent training in mixed martial arts (MMA).
I started to get sentimental for a minute just because it really brought back fond memories.
Memories of how I used to be before finding martial arts. I was shy kid who didn’t say much, was afraid of many things, and got beaten on daily by the local kids.
Martial arts changed all of this. Made me the man I am today. Martial arts gave me the best/greatest gift I’ve ever received in the whole world, CONFIDENCE.
When it’s all said and done, I really do believe that the greatest gift you can give to a person, man, woman or child is the gift of confidence.
How does martial arts build confidence?
Everyone is different and everyone gains confidence in different ways. For some it’s more related to getting in better shape and looking better, that in turns make them feel better and more confident.
For others it’s about fighting in a cage and being dominant.
Different people have different reasons.
You hear people say all the time that martial arts classes are a great way to guild confidence, focus, discipline and all that good stuff.
I’ve got news for you; It’s all true, at least for me that is.
My story about becoming a confident person
My reason for seeking out training in martial arts was pure and simple: I wanted to be able to fight.
I wanted to take down all the kids who’d bullied me my whole life. I also wanted everyone in town to know, I meant business and wasn’t to be screwed with.
I know some reading this might think that’s kind of messed up and I get that. To that person I’ve got to ask “have you ever been picked on or bullied?” It’s not a pleasant experience.
My goal was to put an end to it the old fashioned way, not with a gun or something like that. Truth be told I actually didn’t want to hurt anyway.
I just wanted to send a message and my way of doing it was the only way I knew how, fighting it out on the streets.
I started off in traditional martial arts. First it was Karate lessons at the local rec center in Philadelphia, then later Tae Kwon Do classes not far from where I did karate.
I did very well in my classes and moved up in rank pretty fast. I thought I could fight, because my teachers told me I could and after all, I was training pretty hard.
There was however one major problem, and please pardon my launguge here, I keep getting my ass kicked in fights.
I had what you could call a “false sense of security”. I started to think maybe martial arts classes really don’t work.
I stopped taking Karate and Tae Kwon Do and began searching for something different. Something that had a proven track record of success.
Thanks to a rented copy of UFC 2 at West Coast Video, I found Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and was lucky enough to have one of only 4 locations in the United States right in my home town.
I started training in Brazilian “Gracie” JuJitsu right away and it didn’t take long for me to see the results.
I went from getting beat up all the time to the most feared and respected street fighter in the neighborhood.
The bullies who used to bother me now wanting no part of me. Trust me when I say this, when you go from being scared and helpless to toying with anyone you fight, it does change you.
And let me set the record straight: I’m not here to advocate getting into fights or being violent. That’s not my message at all.
I’m simply being honest about my own experiences. I’m not proud of all the fights I’ve been in nor am I boastful.
I am however very proud of what I gained from those situations.
Once I knew I could really defend myself, that’s when the REAL confidence set in. And that confidence has never left.
That’s my reasoning. Same will agree and some will not as to my method of finding this inner confidence but let me say this…
I don’t care what anyone says, whether you like fighting or not, when you know deep down inside you can truly defend yourself against all comers, all attackers, no matter the size or whatever, that’s a very powerful thing to possess.
I wasn’t the only one who noticed a change in my personality either. Everyone else did too, including my mom and dad, friends and schoolmates.
They all could tell I was a new person. I didn’t have to say anything, this newfound sense of confidence radiated from me.
I walked around Philly with my head up, and back straight, with a certain demeanor that exuded self-belief and total control.
You too can have this gift, if you do something to make it happen…Some last thoughts.
All these thoughts about training and confidence hit my brain during this simple 3 minute walk to my car coming out of the mall. That’s why I’m sitting here writing this blog.
I want you and everyone else to know that MMA training is far more then punches, kicks and chokes.
It’s about giving you the necessary tools to go out into the world with no fear of what people think, or failure, and find success.
Giving people this gift, man, woman or child, this gift of confidence, that’s what drives me each and every day. I want people to feel the way I feel about MMA and embrace the gifts It gives back in return.
Helping people to believe in themselves and to become the best person they can be, that’s the true spirit of martial arts lessons!
That’s what it’s all about.
P.S. Check out some cool training videos I posted below.