Last weekend our head striking coach Randy Pogue fought for another World Title in full contact rules kickboxing against an opponent who holds World Titles at 184 pounds, 30 pounds heavier than Randy typically competes at. The one week notice (12 weeks is typical for a title fight) to fight at twelve round title fight against an significantly larger says quite a bit about Randy’s resolve and belief in himself and his skills. Randy has over 20 years experience competing in martial arts and has developed his skill set and mindset for battle at any time. Although one can have many developed skills, some things are innate in us and cannot be taught.
Gameness is one of them.
The term gameness is often used in dog fighting circles, not something I condone, but something every fighter can relate to. A game dog is one who is always down to scrap, just like Randy was this past weekend. One who has fight in him and one whose determination cannot be shaken despite the odds or lack of preparation. Randy is always ready to compete and represent himself and his school at a moment’s notice.
Sometimes a fighter can be game at the start of a bout and end up not so game as the fight progresses due to damage taken, effects of inferior conditioning or a myriad of other things. Heart is the second innate attribute that Randy showed all of us this weekend. Heart is continuing to fight competitively when things have gone terribly wrong. It is my long standing opinion that there are two types of fight athletes. The first are the ones who fight harder during trials and tribulations and the second are those who look for the way out when they enter deep water. Randy has shown us what having heart is all about!
Randy suffered a broken arm in the early part of the 1st round of his fight. It was completely broken in the first round before Randy’s heart carried him through eleven more rounds! Most people couldn’t fight 12 rounds with both arms intact let alone with one of them broken! Randy once again proved what a warrior heart he has! When you do see Randy give him the warriors respect that he is due because his heart and gameness is something we may all aspire to reach.
Gameness and heart along with the many other lessons that we learn through martial arts if handled correctly should carry over to our life situations as well. Ask yourself if you are willing to take on tough challenges? When things get tough in life as we all know they do, do we look for a cowards escape or do we buck up and fight, adapt and overcome?
In short, do you have heart? Are you game?