My goal for this journal is to chronicle my experiences before, up to and after a mixed martial arts fight. Win or lose I intend to share all of my hopes, fears, thoughts, revelations and everything in between.
Virginia Woolf once stated, “Anything may happen when womanhood has ceased to be a protected occupation.”
Time has proven her right. That “anything” now includes many things with the exception of a few taboos which are hard to shake. (I will spare you the history lesson.) Whether females should fight in a cage, or on the front lines for that matter, is still a hotly debated topic. Fortunately for women everywhere, detractors are losing ground in that fight with every passing event.
Two bad tastes, that taste bad together.
Every once in a while, a genuine life-improving opportunity presents itself. Most of the time, this requires a drastic change, which can be daunting because it tends to challenge long-held assumptions about ourselves. Once these vanish, we are left with a clear-eyed but uneasy sense of who we are. It is the moment when we see our deepest flaws most visibly. For me, this opportunity comes in the form of a 90 day fitness challenge. Ideally, this will get me in shape for a fight which I plan on taking later this year.
As you might expect, training for a fight requires complex decisions with many variables. To be honest, this process could be as easy as showing up to practice and doing what I am told. But that would go against my core belief that I can produce a desired effect by my own actions, which are reinforced by experience, trial and error, and calculated experimentation. That is not a problem in itself but being successful requires the support of coaches, sparring partners, friends and family. If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes at least that many people to make a fighter. I think you see a dichotomy forming and a major flaw revealed. I am stubborn and fiercely independent, learning lessons the hard way, usually more than once. Even as child I loved my own counsel best, much to the consternation of my parents and teachers. Facing that aspect, though, will be less difficult than facing the one which has been an albatross around my neck (for most of my adult life). I have always hated cardio with a passion rivaled only by my love of food.
The frustration of relinquishing control over my diet and exercise can only be explained thusly: Imagine, if you will, a moonlit night on which I am running from a leopard, a lion and a she-wolf only to stumble upon my coach in a dark wood. He promises to lead me on a journey through hell, each circle more terrifying than the last. Unlike Dante, I would look on all of the damned and see only myself slaving away on various cardio machines while my tormenters feasted on General Tso Chicken: A harsh punishment for my sins. Like Dante, my path to paradise is paved with drastic change.
Most amateur MMA shows fall short in one or several categories which make a fight card successful but Combat Night 7 was a pleasant exception. The importance of atmosphere is often overlooked by promoters who opt for venues too large for the drawing power of the fight card. What I found at Combat Night 7 was a room, not unlike a set from Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin, packed wall-to-wall with screaming fight fans, teammates, friends, and family. The fighters were mostly well-matched. The skill level displayed was consistent with most amateur shows; however, there were three fighters who stood above the rest: Clay Haywood, Kyle Jacobs, and Elwil Acevedo displayed veteran guile and deft submissions. Kyle, in particular, was impressive throwing his opponent close to the minute mark of the first round and locked up a kimura from side mount about 10 seconds later. Clay Haywood attempted a number of submissions before locking in a rear naked choke late in the second round. Elwil Acevedo plowed through his opponent with a double leg take down right out of the gate and slapped on a key lock, ending the match early in the first.