Nok Su Kow recently posted the quote “You can’t be a winner and be afraid to lose.”-Charles Lynch. I think it perfectly sums up my fighting philosophy. If you leave off the last two words, it could be my philosophy on life in general.
A guest instructor in sparring class once told me that I was a good fighter because I wasn’t afraid to get hit. If fear controls your mind, you’ve already lost. There’s nothing worse than watching two people fight who are both afraid to lose. They dance around for five minutes, neither of them willing to put themselves at risk. It’s the same in jiu-jitsu, no one gets submitted because no one wants to risk being submitted. When I see things like that, it makes me wonder why they are even there. I believe this is the root of Conan’s frustration as a referee that he talked about in his post Know the Rules of the Game. I think Outcast said it best “Don’t pull your thing out unless you plan to bang. Don’t even bang unless you plan to hit something.” I go into a fight planning to win, not planning to not lose.
Sometimes however, I have more guts than brains, and I am trying to learn how to fight smarter. I suck at video games that require stealth, because I just want to go rushing in with two guns blazing, shooting anything in sight. Inevitably, I end up surrounded by enemy, going down in a hail of gunfire. Not being afraid doesn’t mean not being cautious. It doesn’t mean taking punches that you could avoid, or attacking when you should defend. It just means that when you fight, the foremost thing in your mind should be what you are going to do to your opponent, not what they might do to you.