If you’ve never been in a fight before, have you ever wondered how you’d respond to getting punched in the face?

My guest today found the experience pretty delightful. Which is all the more surprising given that he’d lived more than three decades of his life as a self-described pacifist, who abhorred violence, thought fighting was barbaric, and feared he was a coward. His name is Josh Rosenblatt, and he’s the author of Why We Fight: One Man’s Search For Meaning Inside the Ring, which describes his decision to enter an actual MMA fight at the age of 40.

Today on the show, Josh talks about why after a lifetime of being a hedonistic, non-physically oriented, intellectual type of guy who thought mixed martial art fighting was dumb, he decided to climb into the cage as a MMA fighter himself. Josh describes how he first got interested in MMA fighting in his early 30s, started studying Muay Thai, Krav Maga, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and boxing, and discovered the joys of getting in touch with his long submerged aggression. We then discuss what it was like to train for an actual MMA fight as an older guy, how fighting has influenced his writing, and what getting into the cage taught him about sacrifice, asceticism, transcendence, and the potential for human transformation.

Show Highlights

  • What Josh was like before he decided to start punching people 
  • How Josh ended up being drawn to MMA fighting 
  • What Josh discovered about himself when he started getting into Krav Maga
  • Turning from Krav Maga as self-defense to sport fighting in MMA
  • What is like getting punched in the face the first time
  • The storied history of writers who also fight, and why writing is like fighting 
  • Being an older guy in the ring 
  • The asceticism of fighting 
  • What it’s like to optimize your body and mind for fighting, and how it ironically makes you more fragile 
  • How Josh dealt with an injury while training for his fight, and the mental toll it took
  • What Josh’s wife felt about his fighting 
  • Were there life lessons or bigger meanings that Josh found in fighting?
  • The value of training even if there’s no fight to train for 

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

Connect With Josh

Josh’s website

Josh on Twitter

Josh on Instagram

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Recorded on ClearCast.io

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The post Podcast #484: A Man’s Search for Meaning Inside the Ring appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

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