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Respect versus Will
How Do These Factors Interact in the Combat Space?

Here's a great story, James. Can you share your thoughts on the battle between respect for your opponent and opposing your will on him.

-Big Ron

Ron, thanks for this great story. This is something that happens in small ritual combat fraternities. Stick fighting has an even smaller talent pool—by far—than high level wrestling and we have had numerous of this type of thing happen.

An excellent example of this factor is Mike Tyson's comeback. Just as in his early days, Tyson's comeback after Tyson began with lesser men folding right in front of him. His training and handling was really amateurish at this point and he was getting by on the "mystique" that was the respect awarded such an elemental fighter by others in his craft. This was so well known that one of his hangers on had the job of walking behind him and yelling, "There is power in mystique!"

And it worked, until he ran into Evander Holyfield, a man with greater will, who was immune to the mystique, the man who unmasked Tyson as a bully in the ring and turned him into a mere animal, when Tyson bit Evander's ear off out of frustration.

I'm sure you already know this, but I'll give two examples from my own dubious stint as a stick-fighter.

I was once contacted by a high level kenjitsu man, an expert in the Japanese katana, to spar with hickory and oak blunts. In his art I was a mere crude parody, older and smaller as well. He did not show for one session and I took the bus home. 3 hours later—which was what a haul that commute was—I was home to my wife who was upset over this guy calling her up [this was in 2002 and I had no cell phone] and scolding her. I got on the phone with "my instructor" and said something, I recall not what and agreed to another sparring session. The phone conversation had shaken him and he was nervous. We then went club against katana. He had an oak katana and I had an arnis stick with a tennis ball on the end of it. This guy literally melted in front of me. The week before, with his superior weapon, I could not touch this guy in a pure skill context. Now, with the greatest sword design in history, he crumbled before my rather crude advances with a stone age weapon, modified for safety! His weapon could—and did, years later in other hands—snap my thumb clean in half—could have even broken my leg. Whereas my weapon would just make a "Bong" sound!

I lost respect for him and he of a sudden knew that I had been approaching our sessions as a purely technical skill set and when he saw in my eyes and heard in my voice that I had a superior will, he disintegrated.

Among knife fighters it is known that I have a "steel mind" that I fight better with steel—the higher the stakes the cooler I get. Charles—who I could not touch with wooden blunts—said to me, over why he would no longer do steel with me, that he could see in my eyes that I wanted to put that thing through him. In weapon fighting most men give me more respect than my skill set deserves based only on my eyes. This may have dire consequences when the "respected" fighter is overmatched. In two events Damien and John and I contested against two world class fighters of larger size. Mind you, between the three of us, there was not a dominant fighter. It was always a pick 'em fight. When these men fought John and Damien they masterfully won on points, the middleweight putting on a clinic with John that was a horrendous point shut out, but very civilized. John and I essentially had the same skillset and he hit harder. I met that middleweight 4 times that day and he came for me like an exterminator after a particularly virulent roach. He brutally destroyed me across four fights, even launching me into the audience with a kick.

He had the skill.

We both had the will.

His drive to destroy me was a form of respect, a high form. My will struck fear in his heart, and to cause fear in the mind of a better, stronger and just as willful opponent, amounts to buying a ticket on the trauma train.

When we fight in ritual context we touch souls—this is more intimate than most sex we have with women.

We become known to one another for our force of will, primarily.

Getting away from the metaphysics of combat rites, respect of will plants caution in the mind of your opponent. When that is gone he is apt to take more risks, testing your will further, your will having become his target, a target previously obscured—masked with mystique—by his respect for you.

The time a Cuban Olympic champ challenged Matt Lindland to a fight.

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Add Comment
Bruno DiasNovember 12, 2017 9:37 PM UTC

Mr. LaFond, where can i find more information about he "metaphysic of combat rites"?
responds:November 14, 2017 11:43 AM UTC

Right here, Bruno.

Other than the Evola book by Arktos this is tuff I have been cobling together since 1998. We are, after all, studying something that does not exist in the collective mind we are subject to.