WHY DO I FIGHT
Phillip Ray Tommy
I'm a 34 year old male that has always tried to live my life a certain way. I like to think of myself as a peace loving guy with a passion for nature.
I try to spread happiness wherever I go....wait! Don't stop reading!
I know this sounds like a cheese ball profile on a Christian dating site but I'll get to the point shortly. Stay with me!
So in light of all of this there has been a question I've been mulling over for a while now...
"Why do I fight?"
I thought I hated violence. I worked as a doorman for years in Birmingham and Wolverhampton and I've also been a bodyguard for clients all over the UK. During this time I have witnessed people being glassed, stabbed, hit with knuckle dusters and stamped on, along with a whole heap of other sh*t that would make the mind boggle.
I started to notice that every altercation I’ve had OUTSIDE of the ring has always left me feeling empty and ultimately tainted by the experience. I was never one of those Neanderthal types that loved a good punch up on a Saturday night. I'd always try and use my wit to diffuse a situation. I’d rather feed someone’s ego then get into a scuffle and I always felt so bad when I had to fight someone simply because they were unable to listen to reason.
BUT...when it comes to fighting in a competitive arena I could never get enough!
The anticipation you feel when sitting in the changing rooms before you head out into battle is electrifying. You body is at its peak and it’s functioning exactly how you want it to. In short you feel like a GOD.
The crowd outside are on the edge of their seats eagerly awaiting the next contest. You hear your name announced and your walk out music kicks in over the P.A system and its time to go to WAR!
I would promise myself time and time again that I would hang up my gloves but slowly and surely the flame reignites and I'm drawn back like a moth to the flame.
So how can I say I hated violence when the very act that I enjoy participating in was of violence? What was my motivating force? Why do I fight?
I think in this day and age (dependant on which country you live in) it comes down to discovering one thing.
What makes me feel alive?
Being able to release 100% of your energy at the same time is a rarity these days. There are very few occasions in which this is possible. I think that is one of the reasons I loved to fight. In short being in an arena faced with an opponent that wants to kick my head in, is invigorating.
I’m aware that may sound a little odd but I think the essence of that statement is the same reason that many of you reading this article lift weights and push your bodies to extremes for your sports.
My opponent has trained hard. He wants to destroy me and he is confident he will be successful. At the same time I have also trained my butt off and I believe unequivocally that I will be victorious. I will hit harder than him and move faster. I will take whatever he has to throw at me and use it to my advantage. Every blow I land on him will chip away at his will until he is broken and that is when I will finish.
Now this belief is obviously totally baseless and the reality is that I may get knocked out in the first minute. And I’ve had my fair share of bruised ribs and black eyes. Our bodies are immensely strong but also so fragile but that has to be pushed to the back of my mind. The mindset before a fight has to be one of total invincibility. (I will talk about my views on the mind and its power another time)
Similarly your opponent is the weight you are about to lift. Your cage/ring/arena is the gym. The poundage you guys shift is something very few will ever get to experience.
The weight working in a WWE style tag team partnership with Isaac Newton and his laws of Gravity are trying to punish you for even daring to move such weight. The iron intends to crush you for having the audacity to attempt such a herculean task.
Yet you know something they don’t. Your training along with sheer willpower negates any chance of them succeeding. You will be victorious and there’s not one ounce of you that believes you won’t be able to execute the lift in any way you desire. Every rep you do is a representation of your mastery over the iron. It will not defeat you. Your body is strong and your mind is stronger.
Now even though that weight could crush you if something went wrong, there is nothing on this planet that can stop you attempting it. Again this will seem insane to some.
Why would you attempt to lift something that may injure you? Why push yourself to the extreme?
The answer may be the same for you as it is for me. It’s the same answer for the man who chooses to base jump off a skyscraper, or the person who wants to swim with the sharks.
Ultimately we do what we do in order to feel ALIVE and FREE. Free to express ourselves in ways that we don’t usually do in every day life. It is such a unique experience and when you truly experience that feeling, it is something you will want to experience again and again. The furnace inside is stoked and that flame of vitality becomes a RAGING FIRE.
And this fire is what pushes us to be more - to be more than we were previously. To better ourselves by fighting stronger opponents, jumping off higher heights or lifting heavier weights. To surpass the limits we previously thought was where our potential ended.
We yearn to feel the rush of blood followed by the euphoria of being able to use these amazingly intricate machines we called bodies to their fullest potential in which ever task we have chosen to indulge in.
I honestly feel that in life we can end up coasting along and just existing. Sometimes we have to stop and take a moment to step outside of the familiar and have a look at life. That’s when we analyse our comings and goings and have a think about what makes us feel invigorated. Once this has been identified we should go and do it. That positivity and that fire will permeate the rest of our lives and make every day after it seem so much brighter. Feeling truly alive is a beautiful thing and a gift that many of us don’t realise we are missing out on.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I’m not a writer and I’m aware that my thoughts may flow a little erratically at times. These are just my thoughts as they stand today. I’m sure they may change at some point in the future.
Either way I hope you enjoyed it and a big thank you to the big fella Nick Mckinless for allowing me to put a few of my thoughts down with you all.
In closing I’d like to wish you all the best in your individual journeys and I’d like to echo the sentiments of two of the 'wisest' people from the 20th century “Be Excellent to one another “ *
* If you didn't get that reference go and watch Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure!
I have known Phil for 8 years where we first met on the set of The Golden Compass. He is a big, scary dude that can truly walk the walk but the thing I always remember about Phil is his big smile and super friendly demeanour.
Phil has trained in many martial arts over the last 2 decades with ITF Taekwondo being his first art in which he holds a 2nd degree black belt. He has also trained in Muay Thai, Brazilian Ju Jitsu, and Boxing amongst others. He has won multiple national hyper weight sparring titles during his time competing in Taekwondo. From there he competed in the world of MMA where he built a record of 4-0-0.
He has an interest in philosophy from all corners of the earth and tries to be a free thinker with an open mind.
Psychology is another subject that he finds riveting! He believes that by finding the keys to unlock our minds we will be able to unlock the very essence of our own human potential. We all have different locks and therefore need our own unique keys. So far he's enjoying the voyage of discovery!