It’s not the fight that matters

Last week I wrote an article about the bare-knuckle fighting champion, Bobby Gunn. Over the past week, I couldn’t get this guy’s story out of my head.  It made me realize there’s much more to this guy than his 73-0 professional fighting record.  Bobby has learned some things about facing bullies and overcoming obstacles that everyone can learn from.

Bobby started fighting at a young age. As I was thinking back on Bobby’s fighting career it wasn’t the way that he fought or his success in one of the most brutal of all combat sports that impressed me- it was why Bobby entered the world of bare-knuckle fighting.

I’ve been thinking about the man behind the fists for the past couple of weeks.  The more that I learn about Bobby Gunn the more that I respect this man. Any other brute with a perfect boxing record would leave me with nothing but disgust.  Bobby on the other hand continues to inspire me as I think about the most important aspect of his fighting career.

Don’t focus on WHO you fight

Occasionally, you’ll run into someone who seems to be looking for a fight. However, the average person will go to extremes to avoid a fight.  Most people are so averse to fighting that they never get a chance to learn some of the deep, powerful lessons that Bobby has learned facing off against some of the world’s most impressive opponents. 

It’s a natural human tendency to fight someone who has done you wrong. Often our natural reaction is to try and hurt someone who has hurt us. We do this with almost all aspects of our life. The old phrase, “Don’t get mad, get even” dominates most aspects of our society. Interestingly, this is not how Bobby gets mentally ready for a fight. Bobby goes into a fight with deep respect for his opponent because he realizes that there is something far more important than who you’re fighting against. 

Don’t focus on HOW you fight

Every warrior that I know goes on to the battlefield with a plan. However, every warrior who has ever been in combat knows the plan typically doesn’t survive the 1st exchange of gunfire. This is also true of every fighter. Mike Tyson once famously said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” [1]

It would be absolute foolishness to go into a fight without a plan. It’s equally foolish to handle challenges or face difficulties without some plan of how you will get through the hardships. During his fighting career, Bobby Gunn has faced more than a few challenges in back alleys and under bridges. Of course, Bobby goes into a fight aware of his opponent’s strengths and weaknesses. However, Bobby’s most powerful preparation Doesn’t focus on who he’s fighting or how to fight this opponent. Rather Bobby focuses on one far more important aspect of the fight. 

Focus on WHY you fight

As a career warrior in the United States Army, I have learned that it is far more important to internalize why someone is willing to fight than all of the other aspects of lethal combat combined.  Before his teenage years, Bobby started fighting to carry on the family tradition. Bobby was born into a family of multi-generations of bare-knuckle fighters.  However, at some point, Bobby started fighting for the future of his family, not the past.

In a country with a professional, all-volunteer military, people join the United States Armed Forces for a lot of different reasons.  But most of these reasons disappear when they are deployed to war and caught in the middle of an intense firefight.  I’ve seen countless examples where warriors on the battlefield fight, bleed, and die for the same reasons that Bobby maintained his skills as a world-champion fighter… for love!

The strongest of all human emotions will motivate a bare-knuckle fighter or warrior in combat to sacrifice themselves and endure pain, unlike any other motivation.   It might sound strange the outside observed but the strongest force on the battlefield is always motivated by love.  Just like the toughest opponent in a fight, will always give their best out of love. 


[1] https://www.sportskeeda.com/mma/news-everybody-plan-get-punched-mouth-how-famous-mike-tyson-quote-originate

Listen to my whole interview with Bobby HERE

Further reading

Why injustice is your fight

It's time for you to stand up and speak out against discrimination. If not, what prevents others from doing it to you in the future?