How to Watch a Fight

Here’s a couple tips for how to get more out of watching a fight. 

Fight Watching Tip #1

Remember that when YOU fight, you’re usually trying to process what your opponent is doing and react based on that.

However, when you watch a fight on TV, you’re trying to process and analyze what TWO people are doing… at the same time!  Guess what?

That’s too much info!  It’s enough of a job just analyzing just one opponent. When you fight, you’re fighting one (or more) opponent… but not two opponents who are fighting each other at the same time!

So instead, try focusing on just one of the fighters at a time. If you were facing him, how would you respond to his tactics? Can you  spot weaknesses? Can you spot any opportunities against him?

If you haven’t done this before, I guarantee you’ll get much more useful information just by watching from this perspective.

Fight Watching Tip #2

Do you have favorite fighters? Do you root for someone to win?

If you really want to learn while watching fights, let me explain why being a “fan” might not be such a good idea (pure entertainment value aside).

When you watch a fight, you want to see what’s “really” happening, right? Well, there’s a famous Zen saying about the problem of  using your judgement to determine “reality.”

Pardon my being philosophical, but here’s a couple excerpts:

Neither love nor hate,
And you will clearly understand…

Be off by a hair,
And you are as far from it as heaven from earth…

If you want the Way to appear,
Be neither for nor against…

Get the idea? If you are WANTING something to happen (that is, wanting your fighter to win), you’re not really seeing what IS happening (for example, the opponent demonstrating better skills than the one you’re rooting for).

If you attribute your favorite fighter’s loss to  “the ref wasn’t fair”, you’re not learning from his mistakes.

If the “bad guy” won because he was lucky, you didn’t learn from his strengths.

The next time you watch a fight, try NOT rooting for either opponent, and I believe you’ll see the fight with much a clearer perspective, and you’ll learn more from it in the process.

Keep training!