Over the years I have seen a lot of guys get their ass kicked regardless of experience in the ring, dojo, training and even real world street fighting… One of the most memorable ass kicking’s I ever witnessed was back in the day at a house party in the Middle East [house parties within the Expat community are pretty common in the Middle East].
Like all fights this one ended up starting when one guy from our group and a guy from another group ended up trading words over something stupid and a fight followed. The fight itself was not really that much of a surprise [Booze + Security Contractors in their 20’s + confined space = Fight sooner or later].
It was the fact that my boy was ex-military and a pretty experienced competition fighter and he didn’t last 3 seconds before we had to drag this little British dude off of his pummeled face.
So why did he lose?
I saw the reason about one second before the fight started.
The Brit was a fucking bulldog; the second he knew there was going to be a fight he smiled like someone just gave him a cake. He had all sorts of Royal marine tats on his forearms, a black eye [presumably from another resent fight] and was yelling with a distinctive working-class brit accent.
My buddy was just a regular guy from the burbs who never saw any action in the military who isn’t really the blood-thirsty type. Later when I talked to him about his street fighting experience he told me that he had been in several fights [mostly with his buddies] in the Army, gotten into brawls where he and his boys would all fight as a group and a few fist-fights in high school.
But he had never really squared up face-to-face with another dude for an all-out scrap, and certainly not a Brit offshore oil roughneck on shore leave… He was honest with me and said “that dude looked like he wanted to fucking kill me bro – like literally kill me, sort of freaked me out so I hesitated and waited for him to come in, and when he did I froze – that fucking guy was drooling and shit he was so furious”.
So can you learn how to control your fear in a physical conflict?
Well that is not an easy one answer question. Some people say you are either born a fighter or not.
I believe there is some truth in that, just like people who are naturals at playing golf or mathematics, some people are just born with that “angry blood”. Others are a product of their environment, like guys I know who grew up in South Philly or as Christians in Egypt pretty much have zero fear when looking someone in the eye before a throw down due to the large amount of fights they have been in.
But on the other hand I have seen some guys go into the military as pussies and come out hard-charging straight-up warriors. So that is a good example that a combination of the right training, some hard work that puts a little callus on your hands and a few years in the right environment can transform even the most mundane individual into a pretty fearless mother-fucker.
I have even trained and mentored guys who were somewhat in the “wimp” category into pretty tough individuals. I myself come more from the “product of my environment” category than the born angry category.
But after the training, mental preparation, getting dirty and all the other prep work is up – quite frankly nothing beats the experience of squaring-up with someone and going at it. But you can hardly go around just picking fights, the dental bills [I probably put my dentists kids through college when I was in my 20’s] and eventually getting sewed will put a stop to that in no time.
So this is where realistic H2H training comes in. The type of training where you go home with a black eye and you can’t remember your last name.
Unfortunately due to the liability issues, the fact that most H2H instructors have never actually been in a fight and that most commercial H2H is centered around you getting “up to the next level” [IE: Paying for more classes] – finding intense H2H training outside of the Military is difficult.
There are some underground Fight Clubs [I was a member of one once] but some get way out of control and others are really nothing more than yuppies playing out their Brad Pitt fantasies.
I have also seen some Martial arts groups that have pretty intensive looking training and meet-ups where they really go at it in a semi-controlled environment. But they are few and far between and some have an odd cult following that seems to focus on the founders more than the actual fight.
Boxing and MMA is really the only thing that most people have access to that is somewhat in the realm of actual fighting. But even those two have its limitations, Rules.
At one time my brother and I looked into running 2 week long 18 hour a day intensive H2H programs that were a blend of MCMAP and Fight Club that would be taught by us with a few ex-cons, SF types and gang members thrown in the mix. The type of training where people would go home with broken noses and a 200 pound sack. But the liberty insurance would have made it cost-prohibitive for most people to attend.
So as we speak there is a void in the Martial arts world where you can get hard-core fight training taught by experienced instructors that would transfer into real fight experience.
With 99% of schools only concerned with signing you to another year contract, the rarity of realistic and intensive training clubs, the risk of participating in a Fight Club and the exorbitant insurance costs of running a military style H2H school I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Founder – Editor in Chief
James G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long; he has traveled to over 50 countries chasing fortune and glory. He spends his off time in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns, writing poorly written articles Kicking Ass, Taking Names and Eating Sandwiches. James G. on FACEBOOK