Fighters are born and made better.
Many people are born fighters even if they and their families and friends don’t realise it, many martial artists think that they are made, but a good coach finds those instincts and brings it out in them. Some people will just never have that instinct in the first place and will spend their life as a victim and/or too weak and lazy to fight.
Just look into a persons eyes, watch how they move, not what they are doing, but how they move, you can tell a lot about someone from just these two things. Nurture teaches us to hide our fighting animal, and the more civilised we are the more we hide it behind good manners and little rituals – but if you look deep enough you can see who has it and who doesn’t. People say ‘the worm has turned’ but the worm only turns if the capacity was there in the first place, otherwise they’ll just roll over and die – and history has a long list of those.
Some people make great sportsmen – but that doesn’t necessarily make them a fighter, you can be both, or not. A fighter wins. A fighter just ‘goes’ for it. The Martial Art, style or technique is the training that will bring about the instinctively trained movement, but the fight is in the eyes, heart and spirit. A Lion or Tiger just ‘goes for the kill’ when it hunts, it wants it’s dinner, it doesn’t care how it looks, it just kills. The human animal is aware of the social constraints and when released still has that capacity to straight for the jugular using instinct and cunning and can also with training restrain with a hint of the capacity for greater violence.
Most ‘sparring’ is sexual preening, it’s a game where no one is in any real danger, everyone just wants to look good. Instructors trying to recreate a ‘real’ situation will get people shouting swearing and dressing up in padded suits….. – but it’s still your mates and ain’t nothing like the real thing. It’s only when the chips are really down that the animal is released and the eyes, spirit and heart will come into play.
This can be trained, but only by the mind of the trainee, whatever Martial Art, style or technique being performed, wether slow or fast, wether solitary or with a partner, that total engagement in the moment is necessary and it’s in your heart and spirit showing through the technique, not in the technique itself!
For many years as a Martial Arts teacher I would say that anybody can do this with the right training, but I’ve come to realise that is not true, some people just don’t have it in the first place. They can wear the skin of the animal but weren’t born with the capacity to be the animal. They can wear the uniform and do the techniques and get the grades, but if it came down to it, any born fighter would simply walk straight through them.