Two things I learned early as a combat sports athlete is; there are no shortcuts and there is no easy way to do it. We all are humans which comes with certain limitations. Some people learn faster and remember more but none of us can condition the body for damage any faster. It takes daily work to condition your body to be able to withstand the abuse of a combat sports career. You don’t have to kick banana trees or get beat with sticks… you need to do the right work with the right people that will push you and motivate you because it is a hard process.
With the popularity and TV exposure or combat sports on the rise, people are seeing the highlights and the outcome. What people miss is the real work and the struggle. To take kicks to the leg in a fight, you have to take kicks to the legs in the gym. It takes years to get your legs right for Kickboxing. I couldn’t walk right for 2 years but once I got conditioned, my legs rarely have hurt since. It’s not about the pretty gloves or cool shorts – it’s about the work.
Are you willing to trust a coach that asks you to do what seems impossible but has been proven doable by every champ that has come before you? Are you willing to limp a little? Are you going to get back up every time you get knocked down? Are you going to stick to the training schedule no matter how you feel or what other distractions come your way? Are you going to show up every session because you have others that need the work just as bad as you?
Choosing to be a fighter is not an easy thing. If you want to be a real fighter, not just famous, you have to accept that it will be a long hard road that many people besides you will question. You will most likely chase a dream nobody but you believes in for years. If you make it, there will be lots of people saying they believed. If you fail, lots of I told you so’s. You can’t care about any of it. You have to know what you want and you have to go for it.
If you want to have fun and pretend to be a fighter, go where they will kiss your ass. If you want to be a real fighter, go find a coach that will not care about what you want to do but knows how to get you to where you want to be. Go to a place where you get your ass kicked more than you get it kissed. I would much rather deal with the tough love of champions vs being a part of a crew of loveable losers. The best break each other down and are there to pull each other back up. It’s not about the lights or the cameras, it’s about being the best no matter who is watching.
It is very easy to play a part but really hard to actually be something. The best will become something special, the rest will have some fun and talk a big game but know deep down that they are not what they pretend to be. I went the distance and took the hits. I know what I can take and what I can give. I am at peace with who I am because I have forced myself to find out. Fighting gave me this peace. You can have it too but you have to be humble enough to listen and audacious enough to buck convention and do what 99.9% of the world doesn’t have the heart or courage to.
Owner, Killer B Combat Sports