Last week a friend of mine was severely injured during an MMA fight. He is a fan and follower of our Comcast Cable Show and youtube channel Taking It To The MMAT. He has won fights with techniques he’s learned from watching our videos and has made a point to give credit where credit was due. In person he has always treated Kiser and I with the highest level of respect despite our coming from rival camps.
His name is Daniel Grass and
he suffered a catastrophic fracture of his jawbone
in the midst of his fight and before I go any further I want the message of this blog post to be perfectly and crystal clear. I am not bashing or poking fun in any way of Daniel or his situation. I like Daniel a great deal and I wish him a speedy and full recovery. I simply want to use his situation as a teaching tool for others.
Daniel can be seen in the clip above at 7:49 in.
It has always bewildered me how many of my regular, average Joe type students take their training more seriously and more consistently than their fighter counter parts. Common sense would tell you that the exact opposite would be the case. And on occasion, I do have students who double or even triple their efforts when they chose to fight. But they are the exception rather than the norm.
So what does all this have to do with Daniel and his horrible injury? Well, it has to do with the fact that most of my most serious students have no aspirations whatsoever to fight. And I think it’s because they have such a high level of respect for what can happen in one (as in Daniel’s case). And I think most of those that come in wanting to fight have no idea what can happen or how easily it can. I think they watch TV and see fights and always relate to the champion or the guy with his hand raised. Rarely do they say to themselves, “geeze I could have my jaw wired shut for the next 5 weeks, have metal plate put in my head, or lose the ability of speech for a while”. I don’t think they have the slightest clue as to the fact that getting hit hurts. I know it sounds ridiculous but I swear most of these guys just don’t get it.
I don’t corner fighters who haven’t prepared properly because it hurts me to see them broken and battered. It takes a serious emotional toll on me. Daniel literally lives at a gym and trains very consistently for his fights. If this can happen to him, the chances of it happening to someone who doesn’t take their training as seriously can only be higher. I don’t know how much time he spends on striking and I am not criticizing his preparation I’m just saying to take a long hard look at what can happen to you during a fight and think of this every time you think you want to. Meditate on it and use it to motivate you to train, to train hard, to train smart, to train consistently and to do everything in your power to prepare yourself properly, Mentally, Physically, Emotionally and Spiritually.
“Death is Life
The Way of the Samurai is found in death. Meditation on inevitable death should be performed daily. Every day when one’s body and mind are at peace, one should meditate upon being ripped apart by arrows, rifles, spears and swords, being carried away by surging waves, being thrown into the midst of a great fire, being struck by lightning, being shaken to death by a great earthquake, falling from thousand-foot cliffs, dying of disease or committing seppuku at the death of one’s master. And every day without fail one should consider himself as dead.”
– From the Hagakure –
“A Samurai must keep first and foremost in his mind at all times, the fact that he must someday die.”
– From Bushido Shoshishu –
Daniel is not a personal student of mine or Kiser’s but as I said before he is a friend and a fellow warrior. And we wish him only the best.
God Speed Daniel for a fast and full recovery. We’ll be rooting for you!