A WORD FROM THE SUPREME LEADER
FIGHT NIGHT 2020
Hello! By now, most of y’all would have gotten details that you have an opponent this coming 19th Dec. If you do, congratulations! If you don’t, really, don’t worry, there’s gonna be more fight nights very soon. In fact, if you ask me, ideally I’d want to have a fight night every month or so. So keep yourself active, and stay ready.
This is not really an information page where I’ll write about the details of what’s going to happen, for those, you can check with your beloved trainers and they’ll have all the info you need. I’m more keen to shed some light onto the nuances of fighting in Fight Night, and what you can know (for now) that might help ease your nerves a little, or maybe make you more kan cheong.
Before I go on and on about the deeper stuff, here are some quick and dirty knowledge about fighting in Fight Night that might be useful especially for the first-timers:
The physical and mental taxation of fighting in Fight Night is perhaps about 30% of a real fight.
There’s a difference between sparring and fighting.
Your time in the ring is actually much shorter than you think.
Listen to the referee.
Listen to your cornerman, they know better than you do.
For those of y’all who’ve competed before, the above would be already familiar to you. But for those who haven’t, well… ta da.
Now, more importantly (to me anyway), is your mental and training approach as we inch closer towards D-day. I’ve met and spoken to some of you, and everybody handles it a little differently. Some were already ready since before Circuit Breaker dawned onto us; some were/are scared, nervous, and are losing grip on their sanity; while some others are clearly just out for blood.
Whichever state of mind you’re in right now, my one big advice to you is: it doesn’t really matter.
Get in the damn ring, do your shit, and get out.
But the “do your shit” part is not as simplistic as it seems for most of y’all. Your brain automatically complicates things, and you’ll forget half the things that your masters taught you. But that’s normal.
Techniques, Tactics, and Strategies
If there’s a technique that you are brushing up or perfecting right now, good for you. If you are watching a truck load of youtube videos and thinking up a tactic to approach your fight, good for you too. If you’ve already devised a strategy for each individual round of your fight, and have a game plan together with it, I’ll be pretty impressed.
But the hard truth is that for almost all participants of all Fight Nights, the biggest hindrance to peak performance, is stamina. It’s not so much of a “you are unfit physically” issue, but more of an expectation issue. Most of y’all, especially if it’s your first time, do not have an idea of how draining and straining a fight can be. The combination of nerves, and you exerting 100% (with intention) on almost every strike, AND your opponent hitting you with substantial power has a tremendous impact on your current perceived stamina.
For most, your physical, mental and combat fitness will be pushed to the absolute limits. How tall or short this limit is, only you can decide.
Some of y’all will start behaving like a stalker, harassing/charming/seducing the trainers to reveal who your opponent is, how good he/she is, and worst of it all, start to do detective work on your opponent.
Ask those in the gym who've fought in Thailand, and they’ll tell you that almost 100% of the time, they have no idea who their opponent is. There was a good period of time when Chocolate fought, she had no idea who her opponent was, only that it’s either a current or ex Thai champion, or someone who’s going to be a champion.
What I’m trying to say is, if you spend more time thinking and wrapping your head on your opponent than yourself, then it is very easy to spiral into a blackhole of doubt and mystery. Leave the analyzing to the people who know how to analyze. In the case of Fight Night, no analyzing is needed.
Let me put it succinctly, Fight Night is about finding yourself, and not about hunting your opponent down.
Winning & Losing
I think that everybody wants to win. But as of all things in life, when there’s a winner, consequentially there’s also a loser. There was once, in the inaugural days of Fight Night, where me and the masters at Onyx tinkered with the idea of making these fights no-win-no-lose. Screw that. We aren’t gonna be coddling y’all to that extent that you don’t even know if you won or lost.
Winning is good, but losing is gooder. Because it should not be about winning, not entirely anyway. You may have your own impetus for competing and that’s fine, but more importantly, and as cliche as it sounds, learn something out of it.
For us, the trainers, every Fight Night is a mini adventure/examination for us. We are interested in a few things:
Where is your level at right now?
Are you ready to properly compete externally?
What happens when you are pushed to the limits?
I’ve seen a multitude of reactions after Fight Night. There are some who are elated, cracking up cans of beers with their friends, and reminiscing about the fight that just happened 2 hours ago. There are those who break down into a sob fest, and express regrets about how they could have, should have, done this, done that.
There are those who come back on a Monday, bruised and battered, but ready to move forward with the lessons learnt. There are also those who after one Fight Night decided that’s the zenith of their martial arts journey and not return to train anymore.
If none of the above makes any sense to you, then just enjoy the process. Enjoy the process while hellbent on giving it your all, and not just try, but do your absolute best in, and out of the ring. Winning, is just an added bonus.
And in case you don’t know, Onyx doesn’t train fighters to go in and win, Onyx trains fighters to go in and kill.