Edge of Faith July 2017 - Page 7

Faith to share about what God is doing in the ministry that we have. We are talking today about your book, Fight for the Forgotten:  How a mixed mar- tial artist stopped fighting for himself and started fighting for others. Perhaps you could share what made you decide to go into cage fighting?  Cage fighting is even better described as the sport of mixed martial arts  and so it combines the Olympic sports of wrestling, both freestyle and Greco, and the NCAA folk style. It also combines the Olympic sports of judo, taekwondo and box- ing and it puts them all into one sport against each other. The standout is the striking aspect of boxing and kickboxing and the ground game is the wresting, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and joint manipu- lation. So, for me, the reason I decided to go into it (probably secondarily) was because of the human chess match of it. I just loved the technique and the discipline and the strategy. I absolutely love it. But the first and foremost reason was that I grew up getting heavily bullied and when I found the sport when I was 13 years old, I had been sit- ting at the lunch table by myself getting pelted in the back of the head with chocolate milk and spit wads. I had no confidence and was picked on, bullied, beat up on, and when I found the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) and the sport of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) I thought, “Well, these guys probably don’t get bullied. These guys are big. They are strong and they know how to defend themselves.” I just loved it. At that time, it was not a mix of the sports, although it was called mixed martial arts. Most of the fighters knew just one aspect, so they were very one-dimensional. So, it was boxing versus literally Sumo; or karate I don’t think that a human being can be fulfilled with- out a relation- ship with God versus Olympic wrestling; or Brazilian jiu-jitsu versus kickboxing. And so, there were these very unique matchups. It was advertised wrong, for sure. The promotors wanted to promote it as kind of a blood sport. But the fighters and the people who were drawn to it, Olympians, were drawn to it because of the discipline and because of the challenge. The challenge of having to learn mul- tiple sports and think that way all at the same time.  That’s what made me decide to get into it. One, I got bullied and two, the dynamic aspects of the sport. I’m sure it’s very dynamic. Being in even one of the disciplines requires that every- thing has to be instinctive. You don’t have time to think it through. So, to have all those flying through your mind at the same time would definitely require a lot of disci- pline. You made it to the top. You were on a reality TV show. But you still didn’t seem quite fulfilled. Why was that?