Anger: Your ally or enemy? Part II

keep calmI had once written about how anger can be bad for a Martial Artist in a fight. You can read it here: https://artofvailaya.wordpress.com/2013/11/24/anger-your-ally-or-enemy/ 

Well, that was the first part. It covered only one side. I wrote only about how it can be bad for a fighter and it took me nearly two years to realize there is another side to it. 

First part covered only about the part where you get angry and make mistakes. But, today I realized that when you can get your opponent angry, you stand to be at an advantage. Where the first part covered the dark side, today we shall dip into a pond of magical waters that will enlighten us about the bright side.

This thought really occurred to me when I read about the mishap(Promoters of the fight won’t consider it as a mishap) which took place during the weigh-ins for UFC 193. I am sure many fight fans already know about this, but for those who don’t, here is what happened. Both fighters weighed in and during the face off photo shoot, Holly Holm’s (un)fortunate fists happened to touch Ronda Rousey’s face and that instigated Rousey to such an extent that she started swearing right there.

This might have been accidental, but the psychological factor might have lingered in Rousey’s mind even when the fight was about to start and that might have been the reason for loss of focus during the fight. She was charging right into Holm and that might have been a great strategy.  Of course, this is just my speculation. Many would disagree and say that it was her natural way of fighting and she charges ahead all the time. But, then that is your perspective and this is mine. So, long story short, Rousey lost in a devastating fashion which is totally unprecedented.

I had never seen Rousey lose focus during a fight and never seen her attempt for an arm bar and miss it. That is what anger can do to you. So, if you want to win a fight, you can try to get your opponent angry. I know for some martial artists, this might be against the principle of humility and respect for your opponents. But when your opponents are trying to rip your arm off or snap your neck, I think it is fair to employ some out of the book techniques so that you can be safe. 

In closing, I would like to quote the great philosopher and guide “Buddha”.

“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”

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About Karthik S Vailaya

Martial Arts enthusiast, Karate Black Belt 2nd Dan, Earnest Reader, Out of the Box Thinker. View all posts by Karthik S Vailaya

2 responses to “Anger: Your ally or enemy? Part II

  • Sylvan Clarke

    Good point, the dreaded red mist of rage, if uncontrolled can be the rager’s own worst enemy. Every once in a while someone or something manages to find the right trigger that sets off the flow of red mist rage that can linger for months, days, hours, mins or seconds.

    There are many tricks/tactics to try and unnerve champions or people who we deem more powerful, usually these are done outside of the fight arena i.e. threatening family members, slashing car tyres, public humiliation etc. In the world of the pugilist this is expected to be part and parcel of their lives, but they are only human(not machines), all skin and bone with thoughts and feelings like you or I so they will have some thoughts(whether negative or positive) on what is going on around them and to them.

    I look at the results of the red mist rage in two ways; It can make the pugilist feel powerful beyond measure without giving thought to what the opponent can do to them. The red mist pugilist believes they will be victorious because of this power and that nothing their opponent throws at them will cause them any concern. My second view is would the pugilist have been victorious without the red mist rage, maybe at that given moment in time the opponent was just better.

    I’ve watched Ronda’s trials and tribulations and look forward to reading her book ‘My Fight Your Fight: The Official Ronda Rousey autobiography’.

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