Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Plan

Jerry Smith once told me that there are people who fight and people who don't. He didn't mean to divide the world between rough-knuckled brawlers and contemplative pacifists but instead to distinguish between those who will assert their wants and needs and defend their right to pursue them and those who will not. In this context, fighting is a matter of self esteem. Do I love myself enough to defend myself and my rights? Do I love myself enough to face challenges, learn, grow, and become the person I'd like to be?

I have studied under Smith at Self Defense Systems (SDS) for a decade. He and his senior students taught me to box and kickbox. I have a competent grasp of his adaptation of American Kenpo but I had a short, undistinguished career as a competitive boxer. I am passionate about martial arts but have never dedicated the time, energy, and spirit necessary to maximize my potential. This leaves me to wonder; am I a fighter? I have one year to find out.

Barring injury or imprisonment I will make my professional MMA debut in approximately one year. Between now and then I need to reshape my form and develop flexibility, speed, and power. Between now and then I need to hone my skills as a boxer and kickboxer and become a competent submission grappler. Between now and then I need to harden by body to be able to absorb and deliver punishment. Between now and then, I need to keep my eyes and ears open, absorbing as much information as I can about nutrition, athletic training, martial technique and philosophy, and competitive strategies. Between now and I will work 40 hours a week, pursue other interests and commitments, plan a wedding and get married. Between now and then I need to become a fighter.

I am going to visit Velocity Sports Performance in Carmel to get a fitness assesment and develop a plan of action for enhancing speed, agility, flexibility and power for MMA. I am going to increase the frequency and intensity of my workouts to improve conditioning and develop skills. I am going to seek out new teachers and training partners to become a better boxer and kickboxer, to learn rudimentary judo and submission grappling. I am going consume a mountain of books, documentary programs, and fight footage. I am going to enter at least one submission grappling tournament, I am going to pursue an amateur kickboxing fight, and I will compete in Indiana Golden Gloves 2008. Next summer I will compete in an amateur MMA bout before joining Keith Palmer's fighters for a six-week fight camp leading up to my professional MMA debut. I will push myself and likely my bride-to-be and close friends to the breaking point and learn if I have the will to push beyond it.

This blog will be the record of my journey between now and then. I will post detailed explanations of what I am doing, stories about the people I meet, pictures and videos detailing my development, reviews of books I read and shows or films I watch, and reflections on the process. This blog will be the story of my becoming or it will be the account of my failure.

No comments: