I used to have a friend that was a boxer. He wasn’t a professional or anything, he belonged to a boxing club, and he went to sparring practice a couple times a week. Once a month or so, they would have several boxing matches. There were about twenty or so members, and the first Sunday of every month they would have several fights that members of the community, as well as friends and family of the boxers could come and watch. They fights were only two or three rounds, and they wore that thick protective gear. None of them were serious enough about it more than just thinking of it as a hobby and a very very good form of exercise.
I don’t know if you’ve ever boxed before, or if you’ve ever trained before, but training to box, even if you never step inside of the ring against an opponent can be an incredibly thorough workout. When I was in high school I was on the wrestling team, and those workouts were murder. It’s no wonder that boxers and other fighters are in incredibly good shape. I think one of the main reasons that training for fighting of any sport is not so popular is not because it is not effective, but it is incredibly intense. If you train as if you are going to fight, then you will get the best workout you can imagine. Sometimes It’s a good idea to train for something even if you aren’t going to do the actual thing you are training for.
Some people practice public speaking and public debating, not because they ever intend to run for political office, but because simply practicing these skills can make you incredibly confident in your communication. And when you can become incredibly assured in these areas, they will undoubtedly bleed over into other areas of your life.
My friend had one main problem when he boxed. He had only been in one fight in his life, back when he was in fourth grade. It wasn’t even a fight. He said him and some guy he really didn’t know were talking, and then they started insulting each other, and the guy just suddenly hit him in the side of the face, with a left hook. Not too many fourth graders are skilled in the defensive arts, so my friend naturally was completely caught off guard. So when he used to box, he always had a deep fear of getting caught by a left hook. He said that his boxing coach did a really cool experiment with him.
He asked him to think of what makes him feel the most invincible in the ring. What feeling, what pictures he saw in his head when he felt like he could beat anybody. He thought about, and he felt really good when he landed a very strong right jab against his opponents jaw one time. He was able to do this because his opponent had lowered his left arm momentarily, and my friend felt a sudden rush of excitement, and snuck in a quick right jab, that connected so well, they decided to call off the fight.
So what this coach did, was he made two videotapes. One was of some opponent about to land a left hook, just like the one that hit my friend in fourth grade. He made another video of an opponent dropping his left hand, and opening up his face for a right jab. He then spliced these two videos together, in about a three second movie. There was one quick one of the opponents winding up for the left hook, and then it switched to a slow motion video of the same guy dropping his left arm.
My friend said he watched this three-minute video about ten times, and after he was finished, and interesting thing happened. Whenever he was in a fight after that, and something caused him to remember the left hook, he immediately got the feelings of super confidence and invincibility he felt from when he landed the right jab. He said that he fought a lot better after that.
I guess when you brain is giving you information, you can choose to accept it, or make a habit of changing it into something else that is more resourceful and useful. After all, it only took my friend a few minutes to re train his thinking from fear and defensiveness to confidence and power. How many ways could you apply this?