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Why We Fight – The Case for Martial Arts

Why We Fight – The Case for Martial Arts


Self Defence: the use of reasonable force to protect oneself or members of the family from bodily harm from the attack of an aggressor, if the defender has reason to believe he/she/they is/are in danger. 

Physical combat is embedded in human DNA. We are not alone in this regard. All animals fight, whether it be over mating rights, territory, prey, or to discipline wayward members of a tribe. As men, the job of defending property, territory, possessions, and loved ones has traditionally fallen to us. We are biologically programmed to use brute force to repel attackers. 

Modern western societies are largely peaceful places. There might be hotspots of sporadic violence, dark alleys that should be avoided, after-hours venues that are known to get rowdy, but for the most part, our lives are mercifully safe from harm. The good fortune to live in such societies does not mean we should drop our guards entirely. The right to utilise reasonable force is a responsibility that must be shouldered.

Training to fight is a worthy activity that all serious men should undertake. The benefits are myriad. The style of fighting is unimportant, be it Muay Thai, Greco Roman wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, boxing, karate, or a combination of disciplines. Cycle through the list to determine what style plays to your physical and mental strengths.


Nothing eliminates the petty concerns of everyday life like a vigorous sparring session. An opponent is intent on assailing you and physical harm is a suddenly a possibility. Mistakes will be punished.

Anxiety- the disproportionate concern for minor issues-  evaporates inside a boxing ring. Any man beset with this modern affliction should lace on some gloves and step over the ropes, or roll around a jiu-jitsu mat. The mental benefits of facing real danger within a safe and contained setting are more powerful than a mountain of pharmaceutical drugs or years of therapy.


Professional fighters are among the fittest athletes on the planet. Fighting for three or five minutes without pause is exhausting. Cardio capacity, balance, strength, and reflex times will all be vastly improved by fight training.

“A guy who came to Fight Club for the first time, his ass was a wad of cookie dough. After a few weeks, he was carved out of wood.” Fight Club.  


Nothing sharpens the focus like immediate physical danger. A fighter enters a zen-like state, concerned only with his opponent’s movement, the angle of his shoulders, the position of his feet, the look in his eyes, and the heaviness of his breath. This level of concentration has applications across every aspect of our lives. Unruly boys lack focus, are unable to sit still, and become quickly disinterested. Fight training cures these weaknesses.   


The irony of self-defence is the more you know, the less you need. Physical confidence bathes its owner in a protective shield. Just like an old school policeman who has never had to draw his gun, an individual skilled in hand to hand combat may never need to throw a punch. He will diffuse potentially dangerous situations with a quiet word supported by the unshakable knowledge that he can handle the opponent if necessary. Vladimir Putin is a diminutive figure, but his gait and carriage project supreme confidence. The Russian leader has the skills to flip men twice his size effortlessly onto their backs. His Judo mastery helped drive him to the very top.    

So step inside a fight gym. Smell the sweat. Watch the old masters go about their work. Study and imitate their posture and body language.

The world needs strong men. Become one. 

Jackson Byrne – Editor at AMG

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