I generally don’t disclose my lifelong interest in martial arts to my English classes. The inevitable conversation ensues:
You do karate? Why are you a teacher? You should fight in the UFC!
After all, if Kevin James can do it, so can I, right?
If it were only that easy. (Funny that I’ve actually struck that same pose in front of my classes a few times . . .)
But even if I wanted to leave teaching high school, even if I had the genetic talent to fight professionally, even if I wasn’t crippled by introversion and a fear of failure (Would I get punched in the face in front of a live audience? I don’t think so!), I would never fight in a ring or cage.
There are many reasons I will never “trane UFC”.
First, there are these guys . . .
then there’s these guys . . .
and there’s even these guys . . .
(I just couldn’t post another image of the G.O.A.T.’s leg breaking. I think you’ll understand!)
I love MMA because it is fun to watch, but it is not a lifelong sport. There are douche-bags lounging around every gym who think they’re tough. They’ll workout a few times a month until they get a hangnail and go back to wearing Affliction shirts while drinking Bud Lites every Saturday night. There are the overenthusiastic beginners might even fight in a few amateur bouts before getting married and starting a family. Then they’ll only have a few glory days to brag about. And the real all-stars? The MMA champions? Well, even the best get hurt–physically and mentally–by the brutal nature of modern combat sports.
Score one for traditional martial arts. I’d rather be like these guys, training a few hours a day, sharing knowledge with my students and friends, having fun without competing. Score one for longevity! I’ll take an active and fulfilling lifestyle over the ego, injuries, and PEDs it takes to fight for a living, thank you very much.
MMA is truly a unique sports that is comprised of some of the best athletes in the world. It is something that is definitely worth observing.