When I was 18 years old it was the year 2000. I had the bright idea to want to be an MMA fighter. I attribute it to having too much testosterone and too little common sense.
Common Sense; n
1. “Common sense is the most fairly distributed thing in the world, for each one thinks he is so well-endowed with it that even those who are hardest to satisfy in all other matters are not in the habit of desiring more of it than they already have.”
The local gym in the area didn’t have a name, but was run out of the Acrovision Sports Center in Bend OR. The fight team was named “The Desert Dogs.” I figured I’d just walk in and ask to train.
It was sometime in early winter, and the night had already set in. The entire building hummed with the sounds of the fluorescent street lamps, drooping to a lower hum of overhead lamps when you stepped inside. After some asking around I discovered the person that ran the club. Of average height with an extremely muscular build and a shaved head, this guy seemed to know what he was doing. His ears were “cauliflowered” a soft tissue injury common among MMA athletes.
“I want to fight MMA,” I said.
“You want to fight MMA or train MMA?”
I had already made a terrible mistake.
The trainer had thought that I had just walked in the door asking to fight somebody. An old school occurrence though not unheard of, a young tough sometimes would walk into martial arts gyms and challenge all comers to a brawl. I certainly had little experience.
“Oh no. I meant train,” I replied know that I was about to be crushed with little effort.
Thus would begin my initial foray into the world of MMA.
Wearing a cheap gi, I began to learn some of the basic maneuvers involved in the ground fighting aspects of MMA. Inexperience as well as conditioning would quickly take its toll on my body in the form of injuries. Is this something I really wanted to do? Just what was I getting myself into anyway?
And yet, at the time I was fully confident in my abilities to withstand whatever punishment was necessary to reach my goal of having at least one fight in the cage (and win). The reality of what I wanted was quite different from what I expected what I was capable of.
(To be continued)