The SRVHS Wolfprint

Fight the good fight

Zayd Shihab

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Combat is a word often associated with everything that’s wrong with the world. When you think of combat, you think of war, rage, violence, blood and death. K.I.A., one of the most infamous acronyms to ever be used, is almost always directly associated with combat. But learning how to use combat to your advantage can, if you employ it correctly, save lives and help you prevent a scarring experience, such as a mugging.

Combat sports include a variety of sports that involve one on one, hand to hand combat. These include martial arts, boxing, fencing, kickboxing, kendo, archery, and many more. There are many benefits to teaching a combat sports apart from allowing someone to defend themselves, including discipline, confidence, and encouraging physical activity.

One benefit is discipline. When a combat sport is taught, the student must be willing to listen and apply themselves to the sport. They must also follow the instructions given by the instructor to avoid being injured in the ring or simulation fight. With this skill, they enhance their ability to do well in school. By learning that something is required for a goal to be achieved, a student is more likely to study harder, work harder, and therefore receive the better grades that they earned from all their hard work.

I fence, which is a combat sport that involves attempting to impale your opponent on a 3ft piece of steel (titanium and other metals are also used). Due to safety reasons, you no longer really try to impale your opponent anymore, now it’s more like touch your opponent with enough force to press down a button. Targets on the opponent are often on the wrist or forearm, safety gear is involved, including a helmet that can withstand a car running over it. I started in 2015 and have been fencing ever since. I learned that by following the instructions given to me by the instructor as well as employing past knowledge and tips helped me gain an edge over other opponents.

As I learned this in my sport, I also started using that skill in school, helping to benefit my grades exponentially. I figured out that as long as I listen to the instructions, retain the information given to me and notice the right time to employ the information, I could get great grades on things I wasn’t normally so good at. This showed me that discipline was a key skill to master in order to gain entry to a college and a decent career. As well as discipline, combat sports can also help in other ways, such as boosting one’s confidence.

Before I started fencing, I had a much lower confidence level that I did after I started fencing. As it turns out, having a skill that can help you in the real world can basically be translated into a massive confidence boost. As I became more disciplined and found how to follow instructions well, I became more aware that I had a rare(ish) skill. This allowed me to be able to say “I did this” and have it be a decent and interesting thing to have done. The discipline skill that I learned from fencing also helped with confidence. Because my grades went up, I became more confident and willing to try and solve different problems. This became a repetitive cycle as I became slightly more confident with each problem I was able to solve. However, while all this is beneficial for your mental health, combat sports can also help you improve your physical health as well.

Because combat sports involve a lot of active movement and thinking on your feet, you have to be in a high standard of physical, and in some sports, mental health. Participating in a combat sport is a great way to stay fit, and if you decide to stay with that sport, you sometimes need to exercise a bit outside of training to keep up with the regiment. Because of this, it can be said that combat sports promote physical activity. TBC states that “It’s pretty apparent that we live in a technology-focused society and this makes it difficult to pull kids away from the television screen in order to get them to do something physical. By enrolling them in an activity that they enjoy doing, they’ll be much more likely to stick with it and be more active overall.” It’s true that most of society today is centered around ‘Who has the most “streaks” on Snapchat’ or ‘Which TV show won a Grammy’ (I have no idea what any of these things are, I don’t really follow any of these things and don’t have any social media accounts). With all this technology, it becomes less appealing to try and exercises when you can just sit around, staring at a screen for hours on end. By trying a combat sport, you are getting up and moving. This is much better in comparison to doing nothing, even if you don’t really like the sport. Combat sports require a lot of physical movement and actively fighting against an opponent is a lot of fun and a great stress relief, so it’s unlikely that you won’t like at least one type of fighting, and even if you don’t, any sport is better than no sport.

Combat sports really are incredibly beneficial. They can teach discipline, an essential skill for later in life. They can boost one’s confidence and increase their self-value. And to top it all off, they provide an excellent way to exercise and enjoy yourself. Trying a combat sport is a great way to exercise as well as relax. But not forgetting the original purpose, combat sports also provide one more major benefit compared to other sports such as football, they teach self defence. So even if you think that you’ll never need to fight someone or something off, look at the benefits and consider, this could be useful later in lif

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Fight the good fight