Sunday, September 23, 2012


I had the opportunity to attend an amateur MMA fight venue in Clinton, Missouri.  Although I have been back in the martial arts since 2003, because of my commitments and job I have not had the opportunity to do much more than train and socialize with my classmates at the Dojo.  I have found out that being a black belt does entail meeting others and becoming more involved in your art. I guess this is one of the more benign meanings of "networking".

Anyway, with that out of the way I got to help out at my friend Brandon Holmes' fight.  Basically, all I did was drive Sensei and Brandon down to Clinton.  Sensei had eye surgery and didn't need to drive (which pleased and relieved his wife).  Brandon was going to be a bit too overdosed on his own adrenalin, so therefore was a disqualified driving candidate as well.
I helped him warm up on the focus pads as well . . . adrenalin? Oh yeah! he had waaaay too much!  For the past few months, we knew this day was coming and I have been in the Dojo a few mornings a week training with him, and being a technique tester as well . . . *ouch*.  He very trained hard with Sensei and went the full 3 rounds.  the fight was by decision and went to the other man, Cody Kreitler.  It was a good fight, and although he lost, many other people told him he did a good job, because he should have "tapped out" several times from the locks and chokes he was put in . . but then turned them around on his opponent and never gave in. In the aftermath, you always get to dissect things and figure them out.  This was the case here.  Many times over, the word "Heart" was used. that "heart" was his tenacity and drive not to stop.  There were a couple of ugly locks on the floor, and although the causal observer does not understand some of the grappling moves, these techniques could have easily ended the fight.  My point is that Brandon did not give up.

I like that.
Kreitler Vs Holmes Sorry Brandon I couldn't get a good face shot for you!

There are so many things that people start in life and then give up.  This can be justified or unjustified, but sometimes an excuse is just that.... a way of justifying lack of preparation, training or knowledge. The gist of what Brandon stated was that there was a ring doctor and referee there, but more importantly Sensei was there as well.  He wanted to go the distance and do his best.  He lost by a few points from each ring judge. Even in this decision there could still be seen the heart of someone that was always a winner, and for him it is only a matter of time!

Success and failure do not start at some interim success, but start in the head.... and getting out of bed.... and "making" yourself do the stuff that the body doesn't find comfortable.

This venue was my first but also different, because most of the crowd there had a martial arts background, not just UFC or straight MMA.  The crowd was polite and everyone got along really well.  At the fighters and trainers meeting, before we dismissed there was even a prayer offered.  I was happy and pleased that everyone kept God at the center of what they did. The participants recognized it was a sport event, and at the end Martial warriors shared a special bond of respect.
A link to the fight on video

This venue could be considered in light of our walk and way as well. Failures may come across our way, but can we really call them “failures”?   They are more like stepping stones. Let me leave you with one verse of scripture:

For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again
    Proverbs 24:16

For context read the link through verse 18.  An honest effort for the right reasons will never keep a person down!

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