Member Since: 1/1/01
This guy gets me in an armlock and I can hear the ligaments pop, on hearing that I’m thinking -- That mother fucker! Before he breaks it, I’m going to hit him right back with a punch, just as bad. You know what I mean? It depends on what you’re focusing on. If I’m focusing on the penalties of failure when my arm is going to break…I’m going to sleep and I don’t know when I’m going to wake up – I’m going to tap because I’m going to be scared. But that’s not what my fear is going to do. My fear is going to make me stronger. My fear is going to make me want to get out before he breaks my arm. My fear is going to give me adrenaline to punch, even if I am so tired.
I was brought up on a situation when I was a kid where this philosopher came and talked to me. I always went to sports psychology for racquetball. This guy told me this situation, which is an exact situation where your arm is going to break – if you’re going to focus on the penalties of failure or the benefits to success. Benefits of success meaning, getting my arm out and stomping on his face or something. Penalties of failure, not tapping and having my arm broke. Which one you’re going to focus on, is what you chose.
Say if I were to tell you, a 2 X 4 about a width, a foot long… say 20 yards long, a plank. And what I do with the plank is I put it on the mat, this soft mat right here. Enson is referring to the floor mat in his gym. The same kind of mat you can find probably in most MMA and BJJ schools. And put $1,000.00 on one end and tell you, you walk from one end to the other without touching the mat, a foot long, that’s pretty long, you can keep the $1,000.00. What would you do? You’re going to go shit and get the $1,000.00 and walk back and your done. Now what if I were to do this, the same $1,000.00, the same plank but I stretch it across to the other side of that building and say if you don’t fall off, you can have the $1,000.00. What are you going to do? Your probably going to wobble or say fuck it, you know what I mean? It’s the same plank, the same money, the same atmosphere, the same everything except what I’m doing with the situation is …. When you have the plank lying on the mat, the only thing in your mind is if you fall of the plank you’re not going to get the $1,000.00, you’re not going to lose nothing; you’re not going to lose your life. Your mind starts focusing right there on when you get to the other side, what I am going to do with that $1,000.00. But when I put you in the different scenario and I control your fear, I control how you’re going to think. All of the sudden, BAM, instead of the rewards of success what your focus is going to be on is….Shit, 7 stories up, shit, if I fall – I die. Right there, you’re not even thinking of the $1,000.00. You’re not even thinking of one way of how you’re going to spend the $1,000.00 because you’re so worried about falling.
I believe every fighter has that, whether it begins at the beginning of the fight or when he’s getting arm locked. I believe every fighter has that in them where they have fear and at that point, where you’re going to become a Yamadamashi fighter or you’re not, is what you do with the fear and how you look at it. And what you focus your mind on. If you focus on the fear you’re going to tap. No one is going to fight with all they have. But I’ve been living my life by giving 100% until the very end and focusing on what you’re going to gain from it. And if you don’t, then that’s something you learn.
People think that I’m a crazy guy or a bad ass warrior. I threw down with Igor because I don’t fear anything. When I threw down with Igor I feared it. I threw down with Igor because I knew that was a situation that I’d never be able to be in again. That fear of his…one punch can knock the shit out of me. You know what I mean? Like that Brazilian guy* he fought that he fell forward and his eyes rolled back after one punch. So one punch can do that to me. Can you imagine that fear, being in that range? I know that I’m hitting Igor so if I can hit him, he can hit me. And we’re throwing down, one blow after another. Like walking into a danger zone – walking into a fire and trying to save some people in the fire and think straight. Yeah, so it’s a misunderstanding that Yamatodamashi is not a machoism, not about being tough, it’s not about no fear, no pain. It’s about what you do with that fear and pain. How you live your whole life that will affect how you react in these situations.
*Francisco Bueno, Pride 8
IRONLIFE: For people who don’t seem to understand. How does that transition into training? Cause sometimes you have to tap.
ENSON: OK, yeah. Training is a whole different thing. Training is not a life or death situation. Training, your there to learn your there to get better. I’ll tap in training. I think tapping is good in training. If there is any situation that is even near an armbar or is bad enough, I’ll tap. I won’t risk injury in training.
Like I said, getting into the ring, fighting, it helps put your self into a life and death situation -- without really being in a life or death situation. But training isn’t like that. Training is a different thing. You know I always emphasis to my students, all this discipline that I’m setting in you, all this thing I’m talking about, you pushing yourself is not only about fighting it’s about your whole lifestyle. I don’t want them to learn and go out and train hard and be a pussy in their work. Don’t wanna go to work and they call in sick. You know what I mean? I’m trying to emphasis that. Training is a part of life, I believe. Tapping in training is very different than tapping in the ring.
It’s like having a negotiation with your mother or your father and giving in on the negotiation, even if you think you’re right, because it’s your family and you don’t want to get into a fight with your family. Same thing, you don’t want to cause this funny aggression against this fellow member/fellow teammate. You don’t wanna break your arm – same thing. Same thing that you don’t wanna have a family argument. But if you’re in a misunderstanding with another Yakuza group or you’re in a misunderstanding with a promotion – that’s a whole different thing. It’s like fighting in a fight. Training is like having an argument with your family. But having an argument in a business negotiation is a different thing. That’s like fighting, I think.