I saw a post on Facebook the other day that basically called out wanna be fighters of today for wanting to be famous, more-so than wanting to train and be fighters. The guy making the post is younger than myself. When I was his age, back in the 90’s, I felt the same way! Any person that works hard is going to have some feelings towards people they see as being glory hounds. This is nothing new.
When I went to Japan in 2000, guys were complaining about a particular K-1 star only training when the cameras came out. Let’s not forget Buster Douglas training for his defense after beating Tyson, telling is trainers that he was running 5 miles but was really running half a mile to a Domino’s where he would eat a pizza before jogging back. These are actually pretty current references. In boxing, they have terms about lazy fighters looking for press going back to the 1800’s. I have been training people for 20 years and nothing has changed besides the interests due to culture. The lazy Karate guy is now a lazy MMA guy.
The issues never change, the mediums in which we promote ourselves do. If you have a cell phone, you are a human media company. The people who used to just torture their training partners with their lack of training, big mouths, and relentless excuses – can now torture the world thru social media. I am sure we can find a piece of parchment somewhere in Greece where an aging Spartan is complaining about a young one and his big mouth that can’t back up his ability with his sword and shield.
The battle between generations will never end. We tend to forget or revise history to accommodate our position for or against the younger generations. The time spent arguing about generational differences or the contemplation of your generations dominance is all a waste of time. You are young or you are not. You are at the beginning, middle, or end of your career. If you are young and disrespect the experience of older people, you are wrong. If you are old and discounting the opinions of youth, you are wrong. The only way to be right is to respect people as individuals and to allow meritocracy to rule.
As hard as you think you are training, there is a young person training harder and smarter. As good as you think you are, every record will be broken in time. Just do your thing, respect people, and stop wasting time complaining about things that have never changed and never will.