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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Fight Results, Part One

I’ve been thinking about how to write about this for nearly two days now, and have not come up with anything really great. So, in the spirit in which this blog is intended, I will just pour my thoughts out, honestly, and hope they make sense.

I lost my fight; the ref stopped it after a minute and twenty-three seconds into the first round.

I’ve gone through a whole emotional rollercoaster about this. Take the seven stages of grieving, and apply them to a competition, and that’s more or less what I’ve been experiencing.

Let me lay it out, as best I remember, first of all.

I started going through the whole process that lead to the fight, but I’ll summarize, because I’m really just avoiding the issue, I think. We drove down, I weighed in, I waited a long time (I was the 11th fight), and I went down to the ring. I felt good.

Bell goes off. I, feeling a bit too aggressive, walk right into a front kick from my (taller) opponent, which catches me off balance and knocks me down. I get up, and start to go back at him. Ref stops me, does the whole “check my gloves, walk towards me,” routine. I’m fine. We restart. We get into a short exchange. I catch him with a leg kick, followed by an overhand right which knocks him to the mat! (I am still damn satisfied about that one, frankly.). HE gets the whole “walk to me” routine. We start another exchange. He catches me with a left hook to the head that knocks me down.

I get back up. I won’t lie…that hook HURT, but I was still coherent, and man, was I not happy. I wanted another shot.

I didn’t get it. The ref stops the fight, sends me to the doctor, who runs me through a series of tests, all of which I pass. But it doesn’t matter, because they’ve called the fight.

My initial reaction was frankly, one of crushing disappointment. I was upset, horrified, embarrassed, and pissed. I felt that I let down my Kru, my teammates, my students, and myself. I felt like a failure.

The longer the night wore on, the more I got over that. Another day or so of travel and time helped more.

As cliché as it may sound, I think the ref made the wrong call. I was not done. I was ready and able to keep fighting. If nothing else, I dropped HIM with a punch to the head first, so we were even. Sure, he had one more knockdown on me, but a kick in the chest isn’t going to cause me brain damage unless this guy has some AMAZING powers. Not power. Powers.

This is not, let me be clear, to take a thing away from my opponent. He was big, tough, and hit hard. If the fight had kept going, he might have won. Hell, he might have knocked me out. But I honestly think that I could have beaten him too, had I had the opportunity.

On the other hand, I got in there and did it.

I would do it again, in a heartbeat. It was the most fun I’ve ever had with most of my clothes on.

I learned a lot. You wouldn’t think you can learn much in one minute and twenty three seconds, but you really can, I promise. And, for the record, that’s a lot longer than it sounds like when the fists start flying.

I will probably write more about this tomorrow—for now, I just wanted to get this initial write up on paper, since a lot of people have been asking. Further thoughts will follow.

Oh, and this: the outpouring of support I received from students, teachers, friends, and family, both before and after this event, was absolutely, positively, amazing. People were calling, emailing, and texting, all giving me support and encouragement on both ends. It was absolutely wonderful, I feel blessed by all of you.

Next time, however, the check goes in the “win” column.

8 comments:

Tim said...

I was wondering if that was what happened after I got your text. I'm glad you learned something from it (and I know that a minute and a half while fighting is a lot longer than it sounds) but I'm sorry you didn't get a satisfying end to this one way or the other....I'm sure the next one will go better.

Mark said...

You went out there, laid it on the line, and did more then most people ever do.

Joseph G. Bellone said...

You "win" by stepping up. Real learning takes place that way. You'll get em next time.
Looking forward to working with you Weds!

Dave said...

There's something about fighting that causes most people to lose perspective. Similar losses in business or other sports are so much easier to shake off. There you know that losses are inevitable and it's only the average that counts. But losing a stand-up fight can get under your skin and stay there for years. Jake, everybody knows how primed you were for this one and nobody doubts you could have taken that guy if given the chance--even if they did misspell your name on the program. Next time, I'd open with the face smack and then the Human Pez dispenser. It always works for me.
--Dave

Rory said...

Jake-
It's never easy and be prepared to go through some emotional waves. Stepping into the ring is hard enough that most people never do it. Having it called by the ref sucks not because the ref was right or wrong but because it feels like you did not find out the one thing you went into the ring to find out (I hope you know what I mean).

I think you did, though. You were ready to keep fighting when the (theoretically objective) ref did not want to take the risk. You had the heart to keep going.

I'm proud of you, FWIW.

Rory

Jake said...

Thanks Rory. I appreciate the insight.

And it's worth quite a bit. Thank you.

Norma said...

Hey...just found your blog through Sityodtong's site; I'm a newly-indoctrinated MMA FREAK (and proud of it!!!)...I train at Cape Cod Fighting Alliance in Plymouth & just thought I'd say hello. Come on over and visit...

Jake said...

Hi Norma!

Welcome to the sport!

I'm sort of embarrassed that I've never been down to visit the CCFA guys, given how often they've come up to see us. I'm sure I'll make it down there one of these days.

Good training!