Updated: Jan 16
The key ingredient to freedom is FEARLESSNESS! We can never be free if we are afraid of something because it is that which we fear, that has control over our comforts, emotions, decisions, and peace. And that is not freedom.
A career as a professional MMA and Muay Thai Kick Boxing fighter is one of the most intimidating and dangerous jobs that a human being can have. It guarantees pain, injuries, and the possibility of death, especially during the pioneer days where sanctioning, weight classes, and rules sometimes did not exist. And even worse than death to those of us who participate in this high risk deed, is the threat and promise one day of "public humility". And many of us macho men would rather take death over that option.
We all know these risks when we participate. Some of us believe the reality more than others and it's usually those of us who are willing to lose the most inside this arena, who end up being the best and losing the least. It is our mindset to accept not surviving that allows us to survive, and supersede.
During my professional career I took a step above most who were willing to accept being maimed or killed in the arena. I actually set my mind to "want" to die in the arena. Now don't get your panties in a bunch, I was no where near suicidal. I just understood that the Martial Arts were deadly to use and that I was going against the best in the world, who could use these lethal skills just as good as me and possibly even better. Now what allowed me to desire death unlike most if not all of my opponents was the fact that I was not fighting for glory, reputation, money or status. I was fighting for HONOR. And it was that which I was willing to die for. Regarding what this honor was that I was fighting for, read my autobiography "Muay Thaiger" because it's a LONG story.
Now as I expressed earlier, even though I "wanted" to die honorably in the fighting arena, I was not crazy. I had a daughter I loved and many others whom I cared much for. Not to mention a rewarding life. I was not depressed or unappreciative of my blessings. I was VERY grateful. Therefor, when the time came for me to enter the arena and I prepared my mind and self to die there, fear was a sensible element that would sometimes arise. But never was I afraid and here's why.
I always drank tea in silence with lit incense at my prayer alter before my fights. It was a daily thing that I did while in deep thought that sometimes brought me to tears not for me, but for those who were already dead. Some which I didn't even know but the were those who I would never shame. They were warriors of the past who lived and died serving. I never could never allow them to see me afraid of any type of combat if I wanted to be accepted as their equal brother especially since I was still alive and they were dead. I would be pathetic to place the value of my life above theirs by fearing the end result that they had already honorably met. So fear was not an option for my mission.
The life of the Samurai warrior was my biggest influencer for this mindset with Hara-kiri or Seppuku being the reason. At ANYTIME a Samurai warrior could be called by his superiors for no reason at all to commit this painful suicide of cutting out his own guts, and he would proudly do it without question or hesitation. And MANY of them did! Imagine living a life where the leader of your country could send you a text right now to come and stab yourself to death in front of an audience tomorrow morning so he could demonstrate his power to someone that you don't even know. And even though this was a daily reality of the Samurai's life, they led the most exquisite, structured, grateful, and selfless lives of any warrior. How could I EVER be afraid of ANYTHING in my modern life when people such as this once existed? I couldn't and still won't!
My compassion towards the lifestyle and deaths of past warriors empowered me to NEVER feel fear when faced with high risk combat competition or the dangerous of daily living. More important to me even than winning or making money, was to be respected by the dead warriors who we all quote and even mock today. Their deaths powered my life and I became a part of their legend even if no one but me understood it.
To become "fearless" we must accept what we fear as a reality and everyday possibility. When we do this, that which we feared becomes a part of us and eventually submits for us to control. This gives us power that is invisible to most people. We develop a vision to see that which most can not even think about. And it was this mindset that made me FEARLESS and SUPERIOR in the arenas of extreme combat, and life.
And THIS, ...is a "way" of the "Warrior's Edge"! -Jermaine Andre'