Hippie’s First Kick Boxing Experience

GameStop, Inc.

by Diana Conway
Contributing Writer

I’ve really hit one person in my life. He was a dreadful little ginger named Derick. We played baseball together, and he wouldn’t stop pushing me so I punched him on the nose one day after practice. My life as as a scrapper started and ended there, at the age of nine, and fights haven’t interested me one bit since then.

Truth-be-told, I’m not merely not interested in fighting – boxing, UFC, bar brawls, whatever – I am actively grossed out by them. I would rather cover my eyes or leave the room than watch people bloody and mangle one another. It’s just icky and violent and deeply unpleasant.

FanboyNation’s editor knew all of this and was amused when he invited me to Glory 16 in Denver, CO. He told me it’d be a whirlwind, all-access weekend of adventure. We’d meet fighters. We’d sit ringside. It’s the chance of a lifetime. He made it sound glorious and ridiculous and random enough that I had to go. So early last Friday morning, R.C. Samo and I hopped on a plane to Denver to sit ringside for the fights.

Raymond Daniels on his way to a knockout victory.

Raymond Daniels on his way to a knockout victory.

The first fighty event was the weigh-in, and I loved it. Kickboxers are surprisingly, wonderfully attractive as a people. I just assumed they would all look like Russian super-villains. Giant shapeless hulks with smashed noses, fattened lips, blank stares, etc. But they looked like a bunch of models; ripped pretty boys tottering around in skimpy underwear for my endless amusement.

I was over the moon, snapping away greedily as the fighters paraded around. They would walk to the stage, have their weight announced, give the other fighter a dirty look, and walk away. It was heaven, being in this room, and my first impression was that I loved kickboxing. But first impressions are often wrong, and the next day was fight day, and lo, it was a doozy.

About two o’clock R.C. and I got to the 1st Bank Center. There were sculptures of river otters and a rather large crowd, so I felt pretty good. We got our credentials, got seated about ten yards from the ring, and settled in for a long day.

The bouts themselves were significantly less diverting than the weigh-ins. For one thing, the shorts the fighters wore were nowhere near as revealing. Second, kickboxing is incredibly violent. As predicted by virtually everyone, there was a good amount of blood spilled during the day. The nose is eager to bleed when kicked. Thirdly, boxing is just not my bag, man. It’s not fun to watch. I can appreciate the athleticism and the skill kickboxing takes. I see how gifted, trained and conditioned the fighters are. They are literally perfectly suited to knocking the snot out of one another, but for the life of me I can’t figure out why they would choose to. Why fight? Why, of all possible careers, would you pick getting punched repeatedly in the face?

Maybe this is me being a silly hippie, but I don’t understand choosing the whole violence thing. Why choose to bash another living being over and over again? These poor fighters would develop the most awful welts from being kicked repeatedly in the ribcage, and it just bummed me out to see it. They didn’t even flinch, again, they’re trained not to, but I did for them! It hurt me to watch them hurt each other. I spent half my time flirting with the adorable young reporter next to me (call me, Jon!) and the rest of the time covering my face because OMG THAT LOOKED PAINFUL!

My dear editor brought me to the bout because he knew that I would have a perspective different from his. He loves this stuff. He’s an athlete, a former wrestler, and I am not. So here it is, in a nutshell. Fighting is gross. The fighters are hot, but fighting is still gross and you know, I won’t be going again.

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