8 Life Lessons from the World of Mixed Martial Arts

A while back I spent several years traveling the world and observing the best martial artists up close and even training and competing myself. As a writer I was always most interested in these fighters, not so much for their exploits in the cage but as models of excellence and fortitude. Counterpoints in a time of widespread cultural distraction and fractiousness. I looked for things that I could take away from what I was learning to help me in my everyday life. The following are the core principals I took from my experiences in the world of fighting that have helped me in my quest to live an authentic and empowered life.

  1. Don’t give up: This doesn’t mean charge blindly into destruction or court hardship just to prove how tough you are, but always recognize your authentic will instead of your animal appetites and develop the first unfailingly as a means to master the second.
  2. Use everything you have: Commit, and don’t hold back. Choose wisely what you do then expend yourself fully in whatever you put your hand to. In this way you will marshal all of your resources and develop new ones as well.
  3.  Always attack: Eliminate every vestige of passivity from your mind. Never hold back because of a fear of failure or disappointment. 
  4. Be courageous: Courage devours aggression because courage increases and reinforces itself while blind aggression burns out. Fortitude beats cunning in the end.
  5. Be first: Seize the initiative. Wake up. Be alert to as much as you can. Live with energy.
  6. The Killer Instinct: Always think in terms of winning. Don’t just survive. Be constantly aware of the circumstances for victory and watch for them. Close the show when the chance comes.
  7. Prepare: Focus on technique. Details matter. A mastery of practicalities will produce confidence and eliminate indecision.
  8. Visualize success: If your limbs are tied up, move forward with your mind until you free yourself. When you do, the power of Providence will be at your back. 

Donovan Craig

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