Tuesday, January 24, 2012

fightin words

Despite recent evidence that might suggest otherwise, I've never been punched in the face.

I've never punched anyone, either, in the face or any other body part. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever really even seen a bona fide fistfight in person. That might not be true, though. I have a lot of fuzzy memories from college and NFL games. But I can't bring an eyewitness account to mind, so it seems like I've never seen a punch up close.

You should see me kick my own ass in the mirror at the gym, though. It's one thing to jump and punch along to Kei$sha in my beloved Turbo Kickboxing classes, but my favorite is the street fighting smackdown we get to simulate in the Muay Thai section of Body Combat. Badass. And 164 jabs? I die of glee.  I was recently threatened by someone who wanted to fight, and this person (who shall remain nameless but let's just say that  we have the same parents) even warned me that she owned boxing gloves. My response? "bring it on"

What's this about, this affinity for pretend punching stuff? I often wonder what I'd really do in a fight, or if I had cause to defend myself physically. I watched a news story this morning about a woman who'd been relentlessly beaten for years by her husband, and I felt awful that this type of story has enough precedent to not even seem overly shocking to me. She eventually killed him. Her kids testified on her behalf, but she's on trial for continuing to shoot him after he was down for the count. Larger issues aside, it got me thinking about how that woman got punched in the face. A lot. My new found understanding of the sensation of blunt force impact to the nose face made the realization that much more visceral. That shit hurts! I can't imagine that it's as easy as it seems in the movies to just shake off a punch and carry on.

So why is it so fun to play fight?


Me, You, or Ellie said...

As a wise man once said, "Why can't we all just get along?"

(And you and your nameless adversary wouldn't last a *round* in a bout -- you'd be helplessly giggling in seconds.)


Me, You, or Ellie said...

hmm, so curious..........but I think it's gotta be Julie.

I took a kick boxing class once, it was fun, but I did feel a we bit silly punching the air. I did enjoy the actual punching bags though. Kendra got me in there, thougt it would be good therapy during my divorce, but honestly I'm more of a crier than a fighter ;-)

You could definitely kick my ass Jacquie! No contest.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

lol all the day. And sorry I sort of wrote half a post, I think I meant to go back and somehow tie it together into some nice, cohesive ball of wit and insight. Whoops.



Me, You, or Ellie said...

Oh, and for the record.. the woman who killed her husband did not shoot him, she stabbed him. 10 times. While he was sleeping.


Rita said...

Why is it fun to play fight? I don't know, really. I know real fighting is NOT fun at all--take it from someone who's had her ass kicked in real life. Maybe play fighting is practice for real fighting, to give yourself the confidence to know that if a real threat emerged, you'd be able to handle it.

I enjoyed sparring in tae kwon do. It's not the same as kickboxing for exercise at all. It's closer to real. You feel the punches and kicks for sure and it jars you and rattles you, but you feel alive and then you feel confident to throw hits and punches yourself.

Roller derby is a physical sport, too, and hits are practiced as well (taking them and giving them), although far from Whip It in intensity (that kind of violence gets you kicked out) and of course derby is a big sisterhood, so there is not malice intended when you give a hit and no offense taken when you take a hit.

There's something about literally being knocked on your ass that's unlike anything else in the world. It's humiliating and humbling and I think it somehow makes you a better person. It makes you more empathetic when it's your turn to knock someone else on his or her ass, too. I think it's just all very human and the testing of those limits and feeling knocked around while also knowing you're relatively safe (nobody sparring you is out to injure you, neither is anyone in derby) but also putting yourself at very real risk for injury (accidents happen!) somehow brings it all to a very basic level of human-ness.