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Toughness

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  • Toughness

    One of the qualities most necessary for, and developed by, wrestling is toughness. Now, I don't mean 'tough' as in the kind of nonsense put on by poseurs and idiots as an affectation inspired by an adolescent urge to play out fantasies or as motivated by some existential cowardice, but actual useful toughness.

    Wrestling will, if you stick with it, teach you physical toughness. This includes a familiarity with pain in several forms. There is the kind of sudden and intense pain that most people are afraid of, and the draining pain of exhaustion from the build up of lactic acid and limits of cardio endurance. Familiarity with these forms of pain will, over time, eliminate the fear of them (but increase respect for them). Someone can 'master' a hundred kata or perform a thousand role-play scenarios, but if if you don't know what it feels like to take a very hard shot from an adult who is not holding back or to have a bone broken, tendon torn, muscle ripped, joint dislocated, then you will always have a degree of fear and will be unprepared to deal with such things if and when they happen. Pretending isn't preparing. And you can rationalize over the 'average' length of 'most' confrontations, but if you don't know what it's like to demand more of yourself when you are approaching your limits, you will fold when that demand is imposed upon you.

    Perhaps more importantly, wrestling will give you - if you are willing and able to accept it - mental toughness. This starts at the beginning, when you are faced with the inescapable reality that you are not very good and cannot do what you want no matter how urgently your ego demands it. A lifetime of pandering and self-affirmation goes right out the window when you are being beaten and brutalized (or so it may seem). Patience is part of this. You don't get better at wrestling just because you 'learned' something. Accumulating 'moves' doesn't mean squat. Whether or not you can perform them - and against whom and when - is all that matters. This means not only practicing thousands and thousands of times, but also putting in the work to get stronger, faster, and more aggressive and technically proficient. And despite all the effort and patience there will still be limits to what an individual can do. Wrestling does not provide opportunities to avoid the reality that all men are not created equal. But if you don't give up on yourself you will get better than you were over time. The applications this kind of understanding provides for life off the mat are endless. Too many big mouths and idiots never learned these lessons (or didn't learn them well enough - or are too stupid to remember them) and sooner or later pay the price unless they are lucky enough to be allowed by benevolent providence to hold on to their illusions too long the way so many people hold on to their childhoods too long these days (with play houses and make-pretend and the like).

    Wrestling will not teach you everything - wrestling is just wrestling after all - but what it does teach you can be applied to many things, unlike the fantasies that too many people pay big dollars for these days.

  • #2
    ...like boxing.

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    • #3
      Boxing is similar in many ways.

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      • #4
        Welcome back Jubaji

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        • #5
          If you are training any type of fighting art, and you don't expierence the qualities mentioned above, then in my opinion you are not training hard enough or long enough.


          I first expierenced the kinds of "toughness" mentioned when playing HS football. You force yourself to ignore the discomfort and keep on driving.


          The part of you that mentally fights the physical pain and fatigue with help you in all sorts of situation in life.


          It's a good quality to have, not giving up.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by kingoftheforest View Post
            If you are training any type of fighting art, and you don't expierence the qualities mentioned above, then in my opinion you are not training hard enough or long enough.


            I first expierenced the kinds of "toughness" mentioned when playing HS football. You force yourself to ignore the discomfort and keep on driving.


            The part of you that mentally fights the physical pain and fatigue with help you in all sorts of situation in life.


            It's a good quality to have, not giving up.
            ..........................


            Agreed.

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            • #7
              Nicely written, Jubs.

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              • #8
                Agreed Jubaji.

                Most MA's that actually train with a decent degree of physicality and intensity will also give you the same results. Just as contact sports such as American Football, Rugby Union, Rugby League, Ice Hockey etc will also do.

                I think whenever you start to develop some form of complacency about your abilities and your training, you need to go somewhere to give your ego a good shock and bring you back down to earth.

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                • #9
                  I also think conditioning can be improved.. and fight conditions can mirrored..

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