Within even the most pacifist person among us, there is a quest to emulate, praise, or be a warrior. Grit, determination, and command presence are just a few of the traits that make a warrior. Who wouldn’t want to possess such characteristics?
For those that opt not to serve in combat, there are other outlets to bring out your internal warrior. Warrior Dashes, Tough Mudders, and Spartan Races are just a few physically demanding races that are spiking in popularity across the world. Participants get to train and feel like they are warriors of ages past without the combat.
Another popular warrior outlet is MMA- mixed martial arts and combat sports in general. The conditioning of these athletes is extraordinary. Though mental toughness is a requirement for the endurance races mentioned above, a whole different type of mindset is required to be willing to give and receive kick, punches, throws, submissions, locks, and chokes. Like with the races, MMA is a casual hobby, but for an elite bunch, there are numerous professional circuits – UFC, Strikeforce, and Pride. For the casual participant, the training and conditioning for MMA is quite demanding, just be prepared to enjoy the occasional black eye, puffy lips, and numerous rashes and skin scrapes.
In my line of work, many tactical security professionals commit to acquiring the skills of a warrior, though the chances of an incident are quite low in the continental United States, overseas the chances of engaging in close combat increase. There are many courses offering to train security professionals into becoming modern warriors. Protection work is generally very sedentary and defensive in nature, so buyer beware of tactical shoot ’em up courses unless you are in fact going to work in a dangerous hot zone.
Finally, the largest population of warrior thrill seekers are not athletes; they do not get up at 4:30 am to train, don’t follow diets, and rarely move 10 feet. The group I am referring to are the gamers. The gamers play in a fantasy world where they are the kings of the mountain, elite commandos, spies, and assassins. The gamers identify with warrior-esque characters because it makes them feel good about themselves, offers them the opportunity to encounter and overcome danger in a make believe world.
I’m not passing any judgements but you can figure out how I would prefer to attain warrior status.