As we move into a time where we have to be careful of every word that comes out of our mouth not to offend anybody, it has also changed the landscape of society today. Changed the way we view things, how we tackle problems ahead of us and changed the landscape of sports including fighting.
I was born in 1985, so i grew up in the 90s and boy it was a fun time. I remember us kids we were kicked out of the house to go play and not allowed to come back until the streetlights came on. One time when i was 9 or 10 years old, a group of us went to the land where they were breaking ground for this new grocery store that was being built and we would run up to the top of the huge dirt mound and play king of the hill. We would fight and push each other off this hill and then i remember another group of kids wanted to join and we were like you have to claim the hill. It became a brawl between two group of kids calming this massive hill. We threw punches and kicks and shoved each other down and we got back up and we kept going, covered in dirt in all. Then the street lights would come on, we went home and the next day, the fight was back on. But it was fun, at the end of the day, we just hugged it out. Another moment I recall was Smear the Queer, that game where you had to tackle the person with the football, one time we played in the front yard of a neighbor house and i remembered that we tried to stay on the grass, but there were times we ended up in the driveway, sidewalk or the street and we still tackled or got tackled. It hurt, but we enjoyed it, it was moment like these that we lived for.
I started Tae Kwon-do at the age of 4 and I have been fighting my whole life, yet at the time I didn’t really enjoy fighting that much, not until i was 16- 17. But during the time between 4 and 17, anytime I would spar in class, my dad who was my instructor used to tell my sparring partner to make me cry. They would hit me, hit me hard and i hated it, i fought back, but just enough to get by. One day as I was fighting i got hit in the head at a local tournament and that changed everything. I got hit hard and while it hurt liked crap, i somewhat was like OKAY, this is how we are going to play, MY TURN, i went all out. From that moment whenever i fought, i fought as hard as i could, i would just go all out and guess what I ENJOYED IT. I had this new fulfillment in fighting. But had I know what fighting was, what pain was, if i didn’t play king of the hill? Smear the Queer? or Had my dad allow my sparring partner hit me as hard as they can?
All of these things built character and made me the person I am today. Today we can’t play smear the queer, more than that we can’t even call it smear the queer because it’s an offensive term. How many kids do you see outside playing on dirt mounds? How many kids do you see just fighting, not to hurt each other but just to have fun? We now live in a society where things have been soften to protect everybody’s “feelings” and because of that rules have changed not just in schools, society but also in sports. Everybody is flopping in basketball and fouls are called because you “touched” the other person. In kids sports, everybody gets a trophy, goals aren’t counted in soccer, points are not kept in basketball and there are no 1st, 2nd and 3rd place anymore, no, everybody gets a trophy or a ribbon. What about fighting, we have to be careful, lets put in place as many rules as possible so that everybody is safe. Football is becoming “Safer and safer” as time goes. Well, football and fighting are a physical sports and its easy to get hurt you say and yes it is, but you are taught how to tackle properly and move to avoid as much injury as possible. In Marital arts, you are taught to keep your hands up and conditioned to take hits. Its not like you just throw some pads on and go out there and do whatever, no you trained properly for the event.
You Cant Please Everybody
Look fighting is not for everybody and I respect that, if fighting is not your thing, but music is, by all means, pick up an instrument and learn it. I love music, but I don’t have the dedication nor the ears to do music. Fighting is my thing, but when there are so many rules implemented, it makes fighting not fun. We can’t change the rules to please everybody because as the old saying goes, “You can’t please everybody”. While all of this is important, fighting is the most important, because in life, you have to fight through obstacles, you have to fight back or you’ll fail. You WILL fall, you WILL get hurt, things will be said and done that you don’t like or agree with, but we have to get back up and fight back. If we continue to soften everything, not only will we not know how to fight physically but also mentally.
Fighting is an important part of our lives, lets teach our kids, our students to fight. Let raise them up to be winners and not just winning the fight or the game, but win at life, and again while physical fighting may not be everybody, overcoming obstacles is something we all have to do, whether we like it or not.