005: Knocking Down a Bully

The first time I knocked someone down during a fight, they collapsed and couldn’t continue sparring.

I‘m not bragging or super tough, but it felt good. It inflated my ego.

My opponent was younger, shorter, bulkier, muscular, and aggressive. 

Every gym has a few of them. Those guys who didn’t get the memo that sparring should not be a fight to the death. 

When faced with frustration and fear, most of us decide to never spar again, ask the bully to take it easy, or ask a trainer for help. 

It’s the bully in the classroom who makes your life hard. This isn’t school, and you’re not six years old. You can’t run and hide, or go to your teacher, crying for help.

Bullies are everywhere. They could be your managers, investors, co-workers, or opponents. 

You can’t create a world where you never have to deal with bullies.  

Whenever I’m in a new environment, I try to be overly nice and respectful to make myself and others comfortable. 

Mental side of martial arts: 

  • Focus on being technical, light, loose, timing, and skills; not trying to hurt someone. 
  • Show no signs of weakness or emotion – no pain, no exhaustion – just keep going.

Otherwise, expect the bully to beat you twice as hard. No matter what you do, the bully doesn’ t stop making you the victim, as long as you let them.

Despite limited sparring experience, I’ve never been knocked out. 

Who’s actually the weakest? Me or the bully? 

Show Notes:

How to control and deal with a bully: 

  • Match aggression
  • Escalate session
  • Stay confident and calm
  • Take lucky shot
  • Intent isn’t to injure 
  • Apologize for inflicting pain 
  • Bully wants to be friends 

Links and resources:

Steli Efti on Twitter

Hiten Shah on Twitter


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