The Meaning of Life through Martial Arts

I’ve started a collection of quotes from various martial artists on the meaning of life. I’ll placed them into the schools of thought they’d roughly fall into.

Stoicism
Damian Maia Source

“I think I’m certainly more prepared now as I’m more experienced, and I’ve also evolved all aspects of my fighting since then. But, with that said, I don’t really think being a champion or not will affect how happy I am in around four or five years from now.

“Happiness comes from the simple, little things, in our everyday life. My journey is about evolving and being the better person I can be, for my family, my students, my friends and society. Being a champion won’t make me a better person; the experience and the journey will.”
But having a championship belt around his waist would make for a heck of an early birthday present for Maia, who turns 40 in November.

“Being a champion will be awesome if all goes well Saturday, but all I can control is doing my best to put on a good performance,” he said. “The rest is not in my control and therefore I’m not thinking about those things. All I’m thinking about is taking the steps I need to take every day and fighting Woodley on Saturday. That’s my reality now.”

After his loss to Colby Covington:

Hours after losing a unanimous decision to Colby Covington in the co-main event of UFC Sao Paulo at the Ibirapuera gymnasium, Maia posted a statement on his social media, giving props to Covington while admitting a few mistakes he has done in the welterweight bout.
“I would like to thank everyone’s support in one more step in my path,” Maia wrote. “The big lesson in sports is knowing that competing always brings lessons, and we have to be grateful in victory and in defeat for the learning. I did my best, made a few mistakes and got a little excited, which might have hampered the execution of my strategy, but that doesn’t take the merit away from my opponent, who deserved the victory, and I leave with my head held high, knowing that I have done the best I could, and I move forward onto the next step of the journey. Thank you all!”
Maia (25-8) dropped to 10-4 since cutting down to 170 pounds in 2012, but said after the bout that he’s not considering to retire. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace has one fight left in his deal with the UFC.

 

Machida Source

“I’m a guy that always had positive thoughts in every situation in my life,” Machida said. “The moment everything happened was really hard for me, emotionally speaking. I’m a martial artist who trains as a lifestyle first and foremost, not only for competition. I like to empty my mind and focus on developing my abilities in training. When it all went down, I didn’t look on the negative aspect of it, only on the positive side.
“I had to go through this moment. There’s no explanation, the universe conspired so I had to go through this moment because I needed to fix some things, have a time for myself, enjoy my family a bit more, work on other aspects [of the fight game], things I wasn’t doing because I had one fight after the other.
“Coming back now, I had an incredible mental and physical gain because I was training regardless of not being competing. I was training at Kings MMA and Black House. I travelled in search of new training, went to Brazil and other places, because this is my life. I truly believe that my mission is much more than just compete.
“Everything that happened was really positive and only made me hungrier and more excited to come back. It was a test of patience and persistence for me. I had to keep my mind strong,” Machida continued.
“I had the support of my family, my wife, kids, father and brothers, and friends and coaches, who believed in me since the beginning. I don’t want to think about the past. It was a learning experience, and now it’s time to think about what I’m living today.”
After facing a long suspension for a product he bought over the counter in a supplement store, the Brazilian veteran promised to be more cautious going forward — but he won’t freak out about everything. In fact, Machida has learned another lesson after being the target of critics for more than a year.
“The supplements I use are pretty simple, whey protein, thing like that,” Machida said. “Sometimes we tend to judge people for what happens, but everyone is subject to this because many people don’t know that doping is not only anabolic steroids. It can be a lot of things, and anyone is subject to going through a situation like this. I learned a lot.
“I never liked to judge anyone, and much less now,” he continued. “[I see] colleagues going through similar situations, but no one knows what really happened. Sometimes you take a medicine for cold or something like that, you have to be careful. If you do something unintentionally and gets tested and pops, you have to give an explanation.
“You have to be alert, of course, but even if you’re alert it doesn’t mean it can’t happen because we know how strict USADA is. This is how I think today: I take care of everything, but I leave it to the nature,” Machida continued.
“I live my life, I walk the right path, but I can’t be like ‘oh, I’m scared of this or that.’ I have no control of life. I have to prepare myself for any situation. This is my goal, this is the message I learned through this period of time. Sometimes it’s tough moments that I didn’t choose, but you have to go through.”

Rashad Evans: http://www.espn.com/mma/story/_/id/23704574/ufc-225-my-life-fighter-rashad-evans

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