THIS IS WHY WE FIGHT Training June 27, 2018 Sport at it's best is a reflection of the best part of us. Resilience, determination, the ability to overcome adversity, the best sportsmen and women consistently display these traits as a minimum requirement for success. NO other form of sport embodies that better than combat sports. The level of physical commitment and mental fortitude needed to be successful are unlike any other sport on earth. The personal risks are so high and for the vast majority, the rewards so low, it makes you ask one simple question...WHY?

Motivation is a difficult concept to pin down. Mainly because it is so fluid, changing from day to day but also because it differs so much from individual to individual. Two people doing the same task with similar results can and often are, doing it for very different reasons. Combat sports are even more complex because you learn everything at once and with time you become physically & mentally strong. Contrary to popular belief, combat sports do not make a person violent, however they are unapologetically violent sports. Regardless of the discipline, combat sports are a strategic dance, violent chess if you will; with each opponent setting traps, looking for an opening and preparing to attack. There's a savage beauty in it if you know what to look for. When performed and taught in the best way, fighters are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. During our two days at Kops Gym we meet trainer Jamal and he is simply oozing with passion for fighting and more importantly the positive benefits it can give to a person.

"It's not the point that you learn fight sports to beat up somebody or to use it on the street. but it’s more that when you are good in the fight sports, you are a better person and you can control yourself. You become a lot more sure of yourself and more confident."

Jamal has dedicated his whole life to the fight game and now coaches a very talented stable of fighters.

Why? Its his passion...

"The most important thing when you teach people these types of sports, is you protect them from certain bad things. It’s not only that we train them, we try to educate them. I can make a good person out of someone through sport. With sport you learn respect, discipline, how important other people are, and you learn how to keep yourself in bad moments."


One fighter says "I've been fighting for 15 years man and I live for this shit. I don’t know how to do any other thing. It’s simple like this. I can go to the streets and do something bad or I can stay in the gym training. I prefer to stay here with the team."

The feeling of being a part of something bigger than yourself, a place where there are no limits, no barriers,and you are judged simply on the results of your hard work...sounds pretty appealing and makes you wonder how much better life would be if we all thought like athletes, "With sport, there is no limit. between black, white, in the gym we are all one team. one people. We don’t look at the colour, we don’t look at where you come from, we look at what is your quality and what you can give us."

Despite the individual nature of the sport, teamwork and camaraderie is a big theme, and one name pops up more than most, the current best fighter in the world, Gegard Mousasi.
Gegard Mousasi is a different beast. The confidence and perspective that comes with experience shines through with him in a way that just isn't there when you speak to the other fighters. They all recognise it too. It's why they look up to him, he has achieved what they are still hoping for and he is still living that dream. Never looking too far ahead he is acutely aware of the ephemeral nature of the fight game, and therefore he chooses to be more present in his thinking "Fighting is just like when countries go to war, the outcome is never written. When you go in the cage you don’t know what’s going to happen. So I take it fight by fight". Despite the long gruelling hours of training he genuinely doesn't see his job as anything special or difficult "It’s not that difficult, it’s not fun but you do it. I think a lot of fighters don’t like the training but I think it’s just being a professional and doing it. I don’t feel my job is more difficult than someone who gets up at 8 and works till 5 and is let’s say a mechanic. For me its normal, for them it’s normal"

We spent 2 days at Kops Gym in Amsterdam and observed fighters working hard to simply achieve their dreams. Here we profile 5 fighters hoping to find what is their WHY?

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