Not on My Watch

Whilst at university there was a program that provided a list of people who could be called for an escort at night when walking across campus. Unsurprisingly, I gladly volunteered to be on that list. More than an evening stroll with a coed, it was the opportunity to protect someone that drew me to the program. Admittedly the chances of an attack on the insular campus in a quiet town were low. But for those who made the call, the chances were high enough to cause some degree of anxiety.

I instructed the escorted that, in the unlikely event of trouble, my job was to engage the baddies and their job was to run for help. I did not, and do not, consider myself a tough guy. But if there was one thing I had learned it was that I could take the hit. At that time I had no striking or grappling skills but I was willing to take a beating if that is what it took. In assessing our relative skills, I figured I was less the runner and more the punching bag.

I have been asked why, given my history, I enjoy watching cagefighting. There may be a portion that is reliving the experience of a fight in a more controlled situation. But I also see it as a very different kind of fight, because in this case the fighters have all chosen to be in the fight and have the skills to defend themselves. If everyone consents, let them fight. But I can not accept beating on someone who either does not want to fight or can not fight.

I would rather that all fighting was in the context of a competition. However, human history and human nature show that such will not be the case. So we ought to restrict aggressors to fighting with those who can and will reply in kind. And be willing to take the hit if that is what it takes.

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