Fighting Spirit! Can it be Taught?

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: karate, martial arts, Self-defense
31 Oct 2011

6 Responses to “Fighting Spirit! Can it be Taught?”

  1. Matt Klein Says:

    Liked this post John. Agree with you fully that fighting spirit can be taught. Have seen so many kids in our schools scared to death of sparring, flinching, looking away, but through many rounds they slowly get used to it. You can see the confidence in the way they move. An attacker can sense it and that is half the battle.

    Assailants do not expect a good fight in most cases. You read so many stories in the paper about an abduction attempt that was put to a dead halt by a kick to the groin or a punch to the nose. Many times the defender was untrained. Survival instinct kicks in. That girl swinging the belt buckle surprised the devil out of those boys.

    Remember sparring with Andy Selcer. He could hit me with everything but the kitchen sink. A true legend.
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  2. Dr. J Says:

    Excellent discussion, John!

    I would like to think that, just like bedside manor for a doctor, fighting spirit can be developed. It’s part example, part learned, and perhaps most important, part desired.

    I’ve been in a few battles, but nothing brought out my spirit more than that day when I faced that pack of pit bulls and was not top of the food chain! I had no idea that I could draw on that kind of spirit, not having really faced a situation quite that serious ever before. I definitely reached back into my primordial roots :-)
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  3. jason @ security door chains Says:

    I would like to think that we all have that fighting spirit within us and use it when we have to – even though we don’t know that it is there – along with strength we don’t know that we have either. How else would people be able to lift cars off of others as has happened?

    I remember being cornered by a gang of young lads when I was 20. Thought on my feet, broke through them and ran to a skip where there was a large piece of wood. I screamed at them and swung the wood. Their pack mentality disappeared and I escaped.

    Fighting spirit!
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  4. edmonton dude Says:

    In my opinion fighting spirit can’t be taught but it can inspire people to have a fighting spirit to themselves.

  5. Leo Says:


    Thanks for an amazing post! I believe that fighting spirit must be inculcated from childhood but it must be done very carefully as it may result in development of aggressive behavior. The spirit of fighting is adversity needs to be taught to every individual.
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  6. John W. Zimmer Says:

    Hi Matt,

    Great point about assailants not expecting a good fight! I found when I was a doorman most of altercations I got in – they should have just walked away rather than try to rough up the doorman (me). :)

    Hey Dr J!

    I think the learned and desired is a good combination! When I was a kid – it took just a few bullies to develop my burning desire. :)

    Hi Jason!

    Great strategy with the wood. It sounds like you unnerved them allowing your escape!

    Hey Edmonton Dude!

    It kind of sounds like you are saying it can’t and can be taught? I think if the want is great enough – it can be learned. Thanks for opining.

    Great point Leo!

    Yes it could inadvertently form a bully if the instructor does not nurture it. Thanks for commenting!