The other day I watched an episode of the T.V. show Criminal Minds called Hopeless that centered around criminals wanting to commit “suicide by cop” and bloodthirsty cops anxious to oblige. It ended in the character Derek Morgan quoting Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
“These violent delights have violent ends.” (Friar Lawrence, Act 2, Scene 6)
My fertile mind, in the thick of finishing up the martial arts book, is the perfect Petri dish in which such a quote is prone to unleash a bloom of intense thoughts and feelings.
I’ve been thinking for awhile now that watching and following combat sports isn’t good for me. Taking pleasure in the “human drama of athletic competition” is one thing. But watching two men give each other permanent brain damage? What’s that doing to my brain? What’s it doing to my spirit?
Combat sports figures are increasingly bloodthirsty, low-brow trash-talkers. And since the things I take in — food, books, sports, films — become a part of me, I can’t help but wonder if the mental and spiritual “food” of combat sports are the kind of nutrition I need to fuel the best possible version of myself.
Is this the kind of person I want to allow to influence me? Is this someone I’d like to hang out with? Is this who I want to become?
No. Definitely not.
Plenty of you are going to feel differently than I do about this, and that’s okay. I’m not trying to tell you that you’re wrong. There’s plenty of room in this world for more than one viewpoint. All I’m saying is that I’m choosing to align myself with a different vision of the martial arts.
I’m done watching combat sports.
And now for the Cabal Fang Workout of the Week. This one’s a real peach!
Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #31
This should only take you about 30 minutes total, but you should be fairly wrung out when you’re done!
- Complete a constitutional. If you can’t be bothered to create your own, use the one we’re doing at the club this month: Side Laterals (25), Pikes (25), Zombie Squats (50), Staggered Push-ups (40), Sprints (25), Mountain Climbers (100), Twisters (25). That should take you 12 – 20 minutes. Take a 2-minute breather.
- Kickboxing vs. heavy bag. Set your timer for 4 x 3:00/1:00. First round, just relax, warm-up and find your rhythm. Second round, strike for accuracy (if your bag doesn’t have dots, use athletic tape to put Xs on it). Round Three, strike for speed. Hit the bag as many times as humanly possible in three minutes. Round Four, go for power. Hit the bag as hard as you can. So to recap, that’s four rounds: Warm-up, accuracy, AFAYC and AHAYC. That’s 15 minutes.
Train hard, train safe, transform!