Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Taking a step back
Sometimes we forget exactly how hard this sport is. The training involved for even a recreational participant is a tall order. It takes both commitment and heart to learn Muay Thai properly.
It take even more to compete.
If you've ever found yourself critizing professional fighters, it's a pretty normal thing to do. Words like lazy, sloppy, disgraceful, weak, douche... etc may enter into your friendly conversation about said fighters. That's ok. You are entitled to your opinions and your observations.
Just remember to take a step back and realize exactly how much is on the line for a fighter. Remember to take into account that a "bad day at the office" for them has much more lasting results than it may for you. Remember that if you haven't been through it, then you couldn't ever completely understand it.
Kaoklai is among the many fighters out there who face constant criticism. Some say he's lazy, some say he's sloppy...but I've even read some really disrespectful things about him in video comments. Truth is, I don't have the highest opinion of him as a pro fighter. I don't think he's the most skilled or strongest.
Regardless, Kaoklai is a fighter. One of the few who embody the word at its core: He has never backed down from a fight, even when the odds were against him. He continues to fight in a weight class that's still technically too big for him. He continues to fight younger fighters who are clearly on the rise, while his own star fades.
But that star? It's pretty bright. It's the same star that blinded K-1 fans when he knocked out Might Mo (despite what was approximately a 100 pound difference). It's the same star that went to war (not just to fight, but to war) twice with Clifton Brown.
At the end of the day though, Kaoklai is human. So are all the other fighters in the game, whether or not they have the same spirit as Kaoklai. They are just trying to make a living, while doing what they love.
It all started somewhere. For Kaolkai and many others, humble beginnings have lead them on a humble path. Try and keep that in perspective, both for when you choose to critcize others, and even yourself.