Thursday, August 2, 2012


The last time I smiled at an opponent prior to fighting was last October. I do not do that anymore. During the ground and pound portions of that battle there were brief moments when I saw the young woman.

Compassion. I am hurting a girl. Compassion.

There is no room for compassion inside the cage. At least not until after the fight has ended. Even then I will only be civil and professional because I may have to fight her again. I cannot afford to care about her. Indifference is my friend.

Recently I was asked about how the rules differed from amateur to pro. I mentioned that I will get to strike her head with my elbows and knees.

"Is that necessary? It seems extreme. Savage."

It is savage. It is two bodies aggressively and brutally trying to inflict as much damage as possible within the guidelines of the rules. The rules and regulations are what allow it to be a sport. The referees. The judges. The myriad of safeguards put into place to protect the participants.

The sport is savage but not psychotic. We understand reality. We intend to harm but do not wish our opponent any major permanent injury. We move with respect for each other as athletes and competitors. There is room for humanity here but only a little. Too much is dangerous.

Sometimes girls of my approximate physical dimensions want to train where I train because I am fortunate to learn from the best. I say Okay but really I want to say No. I am not very good at being selfish but I am practicing. It is an important and useful tool when employed at the right times.

I have a primary training partner. Jessica Penne. I appreciate her. We are similar in size though structurally different. We have our own strengths. We improve together. We challenge each other. We are a good compliment to one another. Every fighter should be so lucky.

We have an occasional training partner. Jordan McDonald. She is the Gemini to we Two Aquarians.  I do not know what that means but it seems to work for us. Our relationships are ever learning and unique and we are all grateful to have found each other.

That being said I do not want to train with more girls about my weight. Not even for one session. We will inevitably laugh together because I will make bad jokes. It is what I do. We will laugh then I will like her then I will feel compassion.

As women fighters we are still limited in numbers. Finding opponents can be difficult. It is realistic to assume that there is a good chance we will have to go toe to toe in the future. And in that future should it come to be...

I cannot afford to feel compassion.

1 comment:

  1. Powerful post. Very true, particularly in cage fighting, and MOST especially for pros. It was a great reminder for me.

    I'm enjoying being an amateur boxer, but I still maintain the one rule that I don't fight women from my own gym. It really can wreck a friendship. Training partners and fight opponents are too valuable to give either of them up, so it's best to keep them separate.