A Fighters Life

“Why Do You Fight?”

If you are a fighter or if you have ever competed in combat sports then you have probably been asked the question, “Why do you fight?”. This type of question is often asked with a concerned tone as if they are speaking with someone who may be uneducated or broken in some way.

So why do we fight? Well I think this question comes down to a number of reasons but here are a few of the influences that I believe guide people to becoming competitive fighters.

george st pierre


If someone asked an AFL athlete why they like playing football then they may reply

*I love the fast paced action

*The skills needed to play the game

*Excitement of competition

*I admire the athleticism needed to take part.

Well I’m sure if you asked someone why they loved doing BJJ, Boxing, MMA or Muay Thai they would answer in a very similar way. I believe to compete in combat sports you need amazing athletisim, a solid skill set, coordination, technique and self awareness to compete at a high level. Not only are you in a sport where you must judge what the other person is about to do but you must reply with the correct answer for that technique, as well as having a high level of fitness and mental toughness.


Discipline and Growth

Often people only see the fight itself and don’t understand the sacrifice and discipline needed to compete in a combat sport. The growth as a person and as an athlete from taking part in this sport is amazing and you can literally change someones entire life for the better.

A fighters is always striving for technical perfection in their art all year round but coming up to a fight their life revolves around training, eating and their recovery for at least 6-8 weeks prior to a competition. You have to sacrifice time with friends or even social events you can’t attend, you must make sure your eating is on point and is often restricted to make the weight needed to compete at your category and you have to train everyday even if you are tired, sore or bruised from the training the day before.

People don’t see this sacrifice they only see the few minutes spent in the ring. They don’t see the emotions you wrestle with including the games your mind plays on you, doubting yourself and your ability time and time again.

If you can control the overwhelming feelings that you encounter making that long walk into the ring before a fight then all the sacrifices are worth it to forge a champion mindset.

mohamed ali

Physical & Mental Strength

The benefits from this kind of competition are unmeasurable.

You will become physically stronger, your body will be placed under major stress which will make it a higher functioning and efficient machine. Your reactions, coordination, movement, power, technical ability and self confidence will improve through this training and competition.

You will increase your mental focus and find a mental toughness you never had before. If you can compete in combat sports then everything else in life becomes that little bit easier. What once stressed you out or made you more anxious will pale in comparison. Now I’m not suggesting that you will not feel stress again, as the feeling is a natural bodily reaction but it will be dulled down by putting things into perspective.



People often say they never really live in the present, they refer to this feeling of life being muffled or always  responding to what they need to do for the future. The past and future are illusions, they don’t exist. By living in the present you are aware of all your actions and you notice more of your environment.

When you fight the focus you have in the moment blocks out everything else, nothing comes into your mind other than the competition and this this makes for a centred, almost zen feeling before and during a fight that most will never encounter.

The passion you have for the sport, the challenges you overcome preparing and perfoming in a fight plus the excitement you feel when you step into the arena all come to mind when answering the question of why you fight.

Most people will never understand why you fight no matter how much you explain the benefits from doing this amazing sport and they will often just focus on the possible negative outcomes that they believe will happen.

It takes a special kind of person to compete in combat sports but if you persist and learn to enjoy the journey the rewards to your life are amazing!

Stephen Walton