Fighting isn’t macho. It’s not how a man proves himself to another man or how he proves himself to a lady. Fighting has nothing to do with anything but the individual and his desire to prove to himself that he can face his fears, that he can take the pain of getting hit and hit back.
Fighting, just as it is in the metaphorical sense as we fight and claw our way to a better position in life, is completely internal. Every guy wants to know how he’d fair in a fight, and I feel bad for those who don’t know; not because they’re better men if they’re fighters, fighting, after-all, is merely a skill like skating or shooting, actually it’s more than that. Fighting is how we prove to ourselves that we’re men. It’s how we prove to ourselves that we’re not pussies, that even though we’re afraid we’ll stand and fight.
Fighting can be, and often is, a good thing, as well as a bad thing. Like most things there’s a double edge to it. It’s great when there’s both a reason to fight and when it’s purely for sport. The sport of fighting in any form is sport at its purest form. After-all, sport and athletic competition began as a means to train for war. Every “sport” was a skill that could be used in battle, be it running or swimming, throwing the javelin or discuss, and of course punching another human in the face or wrestling them to the ground. Competition has changed from being about war but we still war in the squared circle and in the octagon, and that’s where true competition between men resides. It’s bad when the reasoning for the fight is idiotic and unnecessary, which is typically the case when booze or broads are involved.
We’re not going to get into the various different reasons for fighting, going over which are good and which are bad, you can decide that for yourself, and you likely have a pretty good internal compass to determine a good reason for fighting and a stupid one. The only question I want to ask is how much do you really know about yourself if you’ve never been in a fight?
How do you know if you’re tough? How do you know that you can face one of the most basic fears we have, the fear of death through its counterpart, pain?
Fighting teaches us a lot about who we are and what we can do in the real world. It teaches us that we’re gritty and resilient or it helps us develop said virtues. Fighting on the playground in grade school was a fun activity. It’s how we used to settle disputes, shaking hands afterwards, always strengthening bonds in the process. I’ve never actually fought someone in daylight and alcohol-free that I didn’t then respect even more, and that’s how fighting should be.
It should be hand to hand. It should be for a reason or for fun.
Every time I’ve fought I’ve learned a little bit more about myself, which is how I know that a guy who’s never thrown a blow in his life is missing that learning process that was once such an integral part of manhood. Every man used to fight. Every boy used to get in scuffles and their parents would chalk it up to being boys. Today that’s turned into charges imposed on the winner and pity for the loser.
I’m not making a big, bold, brash statement saying that we need to bring fighting back into our every day life. That’s lunacy, although it would be pretty damn fun, our resolutions to problems would be far more immediate and literal and people wouldn’t be able to get away with as much shit as they get away with today, the gossip, the dishonor, the thievery, and the downright mistreatment of human beings, but no, I don’t want everyone to spill on to the streets and start fighting.
Fighting is dangerous. It isn’t always that fun, especially when you get stuck with a well-placed body shot and search in vain for air for a minute that always seems like an eternity. I am calling you to ask those questions about yourself and to leave you with one simple thought…
I measure my best and closest friends as I always have and its been shown to be a great measure of a friend year after year.
I measure my friends based on who will stand with me and fight when my backs against the wall. It’s these same, close few that will stand with me when I’m at my lowest. Our friendships aren’t contingent on surroundings, they aren’t contingent on anything but mutual respect and honor. I know who will stand with me and fight my literal battles because they have, and I know who will run, because they have. And the one’s that have stood and fought have stayed and fought for me and with me for our shared values and for our desire to improve, as men, as people, as businessmen, fathers, husbands, brothers, and sons.
You are a better man if you’re willing to stand and fight for your friends even if they’re in the wrong, and the only way you know for sure if you are that man is if you’ve stood and fought before. Thus, maybe it is time to get in a fight, time to get in the backyard, put some gloves on, a mouthguard in, and have at it.
Fighting is rarely the best solution for all parties. It isn’t very civil or politically correct. It’s not nice or kind, but it does have value. It does strengthen bonds between men of honor and if fought with honor is strengthens that as well. It also strengthens character and grit and it either shows you that you’re tough or weak or it makes you tougher either way.
I hate to long for a time that has come and gone. We have so many advances today that we used to crave and dream about. Our lives are incredibly easy, and that’s great. But this ease has come at a cost and to deny that is ignorance. I don’t want to go back to how things used to be because that’s just not what will happen. But there are things that were once that can be again. A good ol’ scuffle being one of them.