I do have a man question for James, however. Sorry that I am off topic.
I have been curious about the role that rage/anger plays for the serious fighter types. When i was young i literally saw red on three occasions (yes Virginia it is real thing). It felt glorious. Does rage enter into the equation for boxers and MMA fighters during a match? Is anger the enemy, getting them to expend themselves too quickly? I apologize if you have covered this before.
Good question, SidVic.
Trainers and coaches in the combat arts distrust anger and work it and beat it out of their fighters in order to be able to train them up to the point where they can learn in contact situations. This is a huge issue in boxing. Angry fighters wash out early due to adrenaline and related bi-products fatiguing them and also making them easy to read and bait by a cagey fighter. I am the kind of fighter—or was—that was always good at beating up angry men, big angry men, by walking them into traps. Wisdom has it that the more small motor skill and precision required of the combat form the more bad effects anger cause.
That said, anger, for the untrained person who needs to be a threat "right now" is nature's method of giving you a burst of animal aggression—your very own Chimp Out button. It is not sustainabke by the normal person, highfunctioning while angry being the province of perhaps the rarest predatory head cases in the human family.
Some notable fighters of great ferocity who supposedly fought angry, were Jack Dempsey and Mike Tyson, both whirl winds of devastating aggression. The truth,however, is they fought scared. Dempsey and Tyson both admitted to fighting afraid. First, they had both been attacked by adults as youths and both fought men who were much larger than they, which brought back that fear. A trained guy that is afraid can have considerable gas in the tank because he is used to being afraid. Fear is a way of harboring and husbanding aggression, dispesnsing it in bursts of fury, that only functions among the insane and the highly trained without causing a cardio collapse.
I once fought the most skilled stick-fighter in the country and was unable to hit him the first two rounds. In the third round I smashed his collar bone and I saw his eyes widen in anger, and then smolder to dark slits as he brought the impulse under control to pay me back right then and instead used it as banked coal of the soul to fuel his diabolic payback, which consisted of getting me to block a descending stick stroke and then kicking me in half as I raised my guard. I folded around his foot and he felt pleasure [he later told me] as I was launched in perfect horizontal flight across the ring and into the third row.
This is how a trained fighter uses the bursts of anger that occur to him—largely consisting of being angry at himself for slipping up—and then tamp it down as emotional fuel for his clinical response.
The single boxer I know of who said that he fought angry was Marvin Hagler, second best middle weight of all time in my book. Look at film of Hagler stalking his foes and you will see in his eyes that banked fury, smoldering but not flaming out.