Fighting is hard! I mean really hard. It's nearly impossible to relate what it is like through any form of media. To begin with, there's the training. Now we're not talking some cardio and a leg day. If you're getting ready for a fight we're talking weeks of continued high impact activities. Strength and conditioning of course but also countless rounds of shadow boxing, bag work, Thai pads and sparring. Accompanied with weeks of banged up feet and shins, bruised ribs, headaches, bruised knuckles, muscular injuries all topped off with a healthy dose of mental fatigue and anxiety. It's not for everyone. The truth is not everyone can do it.
This past weekend saw five competitors from New World Combat who did do it at the IKF World Classic Amateur Muay Thai Championships. All first time fighters. They put their work in. They controlled their fears and they stepped into the ring despite whatever obstacles were thrown at them in their individual lives. They fought. And that's a tough thing to define. To "fight" doesn't mean to hop around and throw some cute punches and kicks. It means to be challenged. To not have something handed to you. You hit someone and then they hit you back. The opponent has the same drive as you. To win. To eliminate the obstacle in their way. You push back against each other hard and you relish the difficulty of the situation. It is unlike anything else.
Over the weekend, Chandler Wagner, Breanna Drake, Justin Croom, Seth Pelusi and Bryan Viera did their best. They witnessed blood, broken ribs, broken noses and the ferocity of dozens of knockouts. These were fights. No place to run and no tapping out. The weekend offered hundreds of fights for spectators including 131 participants in the adult men's division, 38 participants in the adult women's division, 56 junior boys and 14 junior girls. That's a lot of fights. Not to mention it was a tournament so if someone got banged up in their first fight, they had to fight again either the same day or the next. No whining please about the little black and blue spot on your toe.
In the end, we came home with two runner ups. Chandler Wagner who stopped his first opponent with a series of powerful punches that left him with a broken nose and covered with blood and Breanna Drake who's first opponent was also left battered and bleeding. In their final fights Chandler succumbed to a vicious and well timed spinning back kick and Breanna was overwhelmed by the strength and knees of her opponent. Both stepped into the ring and fought. Something most people will never do.
Prior to the finals, Bryan Viera gave an outstanding performance in the open class division versus his opponent who boasted a fight record of 9-4 against Bryans 0-0. A fair but difficult decision left Bryan with his first loss but I assure you, that is not the end for him. He's got a lot of things in store for us all.
Seth Pelusi also lost a decision in the open class. Albeit a controversial one. Plenty of people including some officials were baffled when his opponent was announced the victor. Seth gave an outstanding performance and fought hard. Weathering a brief storm in round one, he came back to dominate the remaining rounds with punches, knees and kicks.
Justin Croom came out in round one with what looked like the best technique and Muay Thai form of our group. He gave a hell of a first round and during the second round began to succumb to fatigue. Perhaps a little prematurely in round three the referee stopped the fight. Justin was never damaged in the fight but unfortunately the ref decided it would be safer to end the fight early as Justin was not able to put forth anymore good attacks.
All in all it was a good tournament and one hell of a weekend. A weekend that would not have been possible without the kindness and generosity of our sponsor Dan Eggleton and Raider Express. We all sincerely thank you Dan for an opportunity that changed people's lives that you and Raider Express made possible. For those of you reading this, please take a moment to click on the links and share the story if possible to help us give thanks for everything he has done.
So in the end, we return to the fact that fighting is hard. For those of you out there that are curious, think it through but don't give up. If you think you have what it takes, then we will be here to help you at New World Combat. Fighting isn't for everyone. But ya never know if it's for you till ya try it.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot... CONGRATULATIONS NWC FIGHTERS! In this event or past. Whether it was your first fight or you had many fights with us in the past. I will always be proud of you all and I will never forget any of you.