Leggo My Ego

I’ve been waiting for this night for seven years! I write about ego in NIGHTFALL, talk about it, how it can affect choices. I don’t actually lecture about it, making the narrative a freaking lecture, which was how I felt Dan Brown was doing in THE SYMBOL. I just weaved the affects of ego through the narrative, hoping that I’ve communicated my views through subtext.

Broke Back

Broke Back

Tonight was a historic night.

One of the most talked about UFC fights was UFC 162, Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman (pictured left). Silva (pictured right) has been the reigning middle weight (185 lb) champion for the past seven years. In mixed martial arts (MMA), that is unheard of because no one has accomplished that, save Silva.

I’ve always felt that Silva had an ego, though you'd never know with the words he uses. Like a shark that can sense blood from a thousand miles away, I can sense a person's ego. We see evidence of Silva's arrogance in his previous fights when he taunts his opponents, giving little respect, despite the fact that he says he respects every single opponent.

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Actions speaks louder than words. Women know this. I know this. Does this make me a woman?

Silva’s fights always starts with some form of reading his opponent, where they’ll attempt some form of attack, but Silva always evades, doing calculations like a supercomputer, reading their reach, timing, rhythm, skill, mind set, etc. And once he’s done with his calculations, he pounces and often finishes his opponents in the second round.

When the main event of UFC 162 started, I saw Silva come out, completely relaxed. Weidman charges to the middle of the octagon, also relaxed. In spite of Weidman, who is a very accomplished wrestler, taking Silva to the mat, the champion easily evaded all submissions attempts and got back to his feet. A few moments later, Silva’s supercomputer was on its way to finishing the calculations. I know this because when the champion starts taunting the challenger, he'd figured out Weidman. My body reacted from watching all of Silva's other fights, expecting a huge knock out finish of the challenger. From my point of view, Weidman seemed lost, but he also looked relaxed, a good thing. End first round.

Here’s the important part. When the second round began, Silva came out and taunted Weidman again. When Weidman tried to strike, Silva would dodge and move as if the challenger had nothing on him. The champion even pretended he was hurt when a punch grazed by his cheeks, an expert at going with the flow of punches, making him very difficult to knock out. More taunting, show boating ensued, something the fans of the UFC, and me, were used to.

Then it came. Weidman threw a combination, which was a little messy but worked because a half-hearted back fist had forced Silva’s head to flow left, and he blinked. Weidman quickly followed it with a punch to the chin, knocking down (out even as Silva’s eyes rolled up) the former champion. Weidman then followed Silva with punches to the ground to make sure he was done.

Knocked Tha Ef Out

Knocked Tha Ef Out

So this is a long diatribe about how ego can be anyone’s downfall. I’m not saying I don’t have one, but I’m aware of it enough to not let it step in front of me and control my actions. Most of the time.

Ego has brought down civilizations, religions war over which god is better killing millions upon millions, corporations have withered away when the focus is on material wealth rather than serving the people. Sometimes it takes time. I mean, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it took a damn long time before it fell. Israel is still a subject of huge contention. Blackberry and Microsoft were caught with their pants down when Apple released the iPhone.

I’ve written how I’ve left my martial arts school because I didn’t believe in them anymore, their form of teaching, and the egos displayed in every inch of that school. They commented on my website, trying to dissuade me from my opinion, and as I’ve written here, I don’t read reviews unless I’ve solicited for it. My former school, on the other hand, have changed part of their system to accommodate for my criticism, and failed because they simply didn’t understand my article and the simple truth about how humans learn physical movement. The crazy part is that article listed simple things they could do to improve their student’s abilities. Dorks.

Yes, I do have a spy there. And they will never figure out whom. If they did, oops. Sorry, dude. Or dudet.

How Much Risk Should People Take?

Do you take risks?

I’m a huge fan of the UFC.  If you don’t know what it is, look it up.  It’s as close to a real fight as you can get legally.  Right now their greatest and most revered champion, Anderson Silva, is getting a lot of crap from UFC fans.

There are two basic fighters that step into the cage, an eight-sided fenced in platform where the fights are held.  One type of fighter comes in to win.  Another type comes in not to lose.

Silva was on a huge winning streak, winning eight straight fights.  Less than a handful of people have ever accomplished that in the UFC.  His last fight that was held a couple of weeks ago would have marked his ninth, breaking the record.

He stepped into the cage to defend his title.  Without going into details, both he and the challenger fought not to lose, which made for a boring fight.  The president of the UFC even apologized.

When going for your dreams, taking risks is necessary.  That’s the hard part.

I spent more than three years writing my book.  I went in to win.  I didn’t think about winning when writing the book.  But my intention was to get published.

Is there a limit to the risk?

Justin Lin is known for directing movies such as THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS: TOKYO DRIFT, ANNAPOLIS, and FAST AND FURIOUS to name a few.  I first knew of him when he directed BETTER LUCK TOMORROW.  He’d spent about $100,000 on the movie by maxing out eight to ten credit cards.

That's going in to win.

MTV ended up buying the movie, recouping Lin’s cost.  But the win came when we got to direct James Franco, Donnie Wahlberg, Jordana Brewster, Roger Foo and Tyrese Gibson in ANNAPOLIS.  His risk brought him his dream of filmmaking.

Is there a limit to risk?

I think the risk should be somewhat related to the goal.  If I’m writing my fantasy, risking my life shouldn’t be part of it.  What I'm risking is my ego, three years of my life and my dream.  The win in my mind is awesome.  If I’m a fighter, then my life is at risk.  The aims are different, which brings in different sets of risks.

Ultimately, the limits are personal.

I’ve been watching UFC since it first came out in the early 90’s.  And I was disappointed with Silva’s performance, even though he won.  He definitely came in to the fight not to lose.  And the fans are speaking out.