May, 2018
Archive

By In Mixed Martial Arts

Knowing When To Quit

“It is generally accepted that toughness and perseverance are fundamental prerequisites for success. Life is hard and adversity is inevitable; you have to be able to overcome the obstacles in front of you, whatever they may be, in order to achieve your goals. The word “grit” has gained tremendous traction in this context, especially in the world of education. One of the most prominent researchers on the subject, Angela Duckworth — who literally wrote the book on grit — defined grit as: “… passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

As Duckworth noted in the same speech, grit is the single most significant predictor of success, more so than talent or intelligence. Most professional fighters would probably agree. Fighters are lauded for their toughness, for “embracing the grind.” The weeks spent preparing for a fight, as well as the minutes spent actually fighting, are among the most physically and psychologically grueling contrivances in modern sport. Anything short of a quick knockout requires a type of determination that is alien to most of us in the audience.

Yet unconditional grit can be a flawed virtue. Sometimes a challenge is not worth the effort, or simply impossible to overcome. In such cases, it’s in a person’s best interest to give up. A recent study led by researchers from University of Southern California and Northeastern University put hundreds of people through various tests of grit. In light of UFC 224, the findings were discomfortingly on-the-nose…”

 

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By In Social Media

O Kyoji, Where Art Thou?

“When Kyoji Horiguchi fought out his contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship at the end of 2016, he left under peculiar circumstances. Zuffa had just sold the organization to Endeavor, and a subsequent bloodletting of talent took place. Horiguchi was part of a wave of top-tier fighters — it included Ryan Bader, Rory MacDonald, Lorenz Larkin and Nikita Krylov — who left the UFC, not because they were cut but because they couldn’t come to terms with the promotion. Translation: They wanted more money than the UFC thought they were worth.

In some of those instances, the UFC’s rationale was understandable. Bader, for instance, is an exceptionally skilled fighter who, if it were up to me, would still be in the UFC for the simple reason that he’s an elite talent. However, I can understand not wanting to pay more for someone that is not known for putting on exciting fights and definitively lost to the best fighters in the division.

Horiguchi was and is different, though…”

 

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By In Korea

Making Sense of the Inter-Korean Summit

“The April 27th summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean president Moon Jae-in was rife with symbolism. The two leaders shook hands across the demarcation line dividing the Koreas before stepping across it; they sat exactly 2018 millimeters across from each other on a table designed to look like two bridges merging together; and they planted a “unity tree” using soil from Mount Paektu in the North and Mount Halla in the South, then watered the tree with water from both the North’s Daedong River and the South’s Han River.

But the summit was not just symbolic. Concrete—albeit unspecific—commitments were made. A North-South liaison office will be established, separated families will reunite, and there will be a cessation of hostilities—specifically in the Yellow Sea where fatal attacks have occurred as recently as 2010. Most notably, both Koreas vowed to work together to achieve a denuclearized peninsula and to establish an official peace treaty to end the Korean War this year. Such a treaty will require an American cosign, as the 1953 armistice agreement that brought the War to a truce was not signed by South Korea.

The news was dizzying, leaving all who watched in a vertiginous state of skeptical disbelief and hopeful optimism. As developments continue to unfold, there are three essential questions to address in the immediate aftermath…”

 

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By In Mixed Martial Arts

Back To The Future

“You’ve probably seen this concept in a sci-fi movie before. A scientist, trying to explain how space-time works, punches two holes in opposite sides of a piece of paper. He or she then folds the paper in half so that the holes align, thus demonstrating how going through a black hole can theoretically allow people to travel a great distance in a short time — faster than the speed of light, so fast that time itself is warped into a maelstrom of past, present and future.

That was how Bellator 198 was to me on Saturday: a blast from the past and a look into the future all at once…”

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