Punch-drunk in Public

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”

Mike Tyson

Deontay Wilder recently stated that the man that will date his daughter needs to spar him for three rounds so he knows he can protect her. Powerful words from a powerful athlete. But those words have quite the ring of truth to them.

Throughout my trials and travels, I have spoken at length with many men about what recurring fears they harbor. Once engaged in honest and authentic conversation, the ego and the false bravado slip away. There, lies the fear. Being rendered unconscious at the hands of another man. And I concur.

Nothing would be more humiliating to many men, including myself, than being put to sleep unwillingly by violence. Much less in the presence of your mate, who would undoubtedly have a hard time ever feeling safe in your arms again. But you cannot blame her, for the reason we walk Earth in this modern age was our maternal ancestor’s mating choices and internal biology. It was and still is, survival of the fittest.

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We were on our way to the hardware store. I sat shotgun in my father’s Toyota Tundra pickup. I was eleven years old, nerdy, with glasses and a skinny fat body type. My Dad never tolerated stupidity on the road too well. My first memory of the word fuck was the result of some road rage. So, as my father picked a prime parking spot and positioned to reverse into it, a teenager, with his girlfriend also riding shotgun, darted into the spot before Pops completed his reversal. My father was enraged. I saw the carotid artery bulging on the right side of his neck. In true Dad fashion, he reversed his bumper within centimeters of this kid’s Honda Civic and layed on the horn for what seemed like an eternity. This kid was definitely in a fight or flight moment, and to his credit, he chose to fight. Or so we thought. He flicked his cigarette and whipped double birds and cracked the door as if he was ready to get out and throw down. My father held up his index finger and mouthed the words “wait here”. He then peeled off to the nearest parking spot. Looking in his rearview mirror now to assess the situation, he said to me – “Hey J, this kid may be minor, looks like you’re gonna have to fight him.” Time froze. One second I was an eleven-year-old prepubescent kid wondering if Taco Bell mild sauce is hotter than fire sauce, the next I’m fighting a 17-year-old kid who already smokes and bangs his girlfriend. I was in a state of paralysis, but somehow I willed myself to ball my fists and step out of the truck, acid in my throat from sheer terror. My Dad right beside me now, we made our way to the Civic, which strangely now had its red brake and white reverse lamps lit, and the exhaust pipe was humming. As we neared, tires chirped as the kid floored it in reverse, then dropped into drive and got the hell out of there, yelling “Fuck you guys!” through his quarter cracked window. I bottled my fear that day, made my Dad proud, and rode a high through that hardware store I may never replicate again. I showed courage, without a punch being thrown.

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Many times fear is greater than the danger that lies before you. It can cripple you physically, render you seemingly paralyzed. However, your body WILL move when the brain orders it to move. Contol your breath and give the order. It is what you do in these situations that determine your character.

The single greatest way to prepare for these situations of violence and not get “stuck”, is to train for them. Take jiujitsu, box, wrestle. Get punched in the face, get choked out, get slammed on a mat. Better to sweat in peacetime than to bleed in war. You will be better prepared physically and mentally when a most likely untrained douchebag starts putting his finger in your face. You’ll have the ability to protect your family, but also the now irrational fear of being humiliated at the hands of another man will slowly dissipate…. almost to the point of excitement during these situations, as you might get a bonus sparring session.

Let me know what martial arts you’ve tried or situations you have been in similar to this, I would love to hear them. And as always, if it doesn’t instill fear, it is beneath your true potential.

Jason Peterson

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