A Man of Letters Learns to Fight with an MMA Team


A few months ago, in a rash moment, I took up with an MMA team. I wanted to learn how to spar, and they seemed the likeliest teachers. The team—which includes a professional MMA fighter, several younger guys preparing for their first fights, a boxer or two, and a bunch of jiu-jitsu players—is generous with me, a permanent amateur late to the game, with more heart than skill. They welcomed me into their fraternity, sensing, I guess, that I wouldn’t (couldn’t) cause any trouble and might even prove useful as a moving punching bag.
I move pretty well, too. Setting aside my rounds with Matt, the one pro in the bunch (rounds that consist of him peppering my face from great distances with quick double-jabs and short hooks that scramble my brain and make me apoplectic with annoyance).  Jameson, who has a few boxing matches under his belt, is too fast for me, but if I cover up and concentrate on movement and counterpunching, I can usually deflect most of his hardest punches and get a couple of licks of my own in. The other week, however, he caught me clean with a right cross that brought tears to my eyes. He apologized but I waved him off — my hands were down, not his fault. For my troubles I now have a Roman swell on the bridge of my nose, probably temporary, and I would be lying if I said it upset me.
Read the rest at FIGHTLAND.

A Man of Letters Learns to Fight with an MMA Team

A few months ago, in a rash moment, I took up with an MMA team. I wanted to learn how to spar, and they seemed the likeliest teachers. The team—which includes a professional MMA fighter, several younger guys preparing for their first fights, a boxer or two, and a bunch of jiu-jitsu players—is generous with me, a permanent amateur late to the game, with more heart than skill. They welcomed me into their fraternity, sensing, I guess, that I wouldn’t (couldn’t) cause any trouble and might even prove useful as a moving punching bag.

I move pretty well, too. Setting aside my rounds with Matt, the one pro in the bunch (rounds that consist of him peppering my face from great distances with quick double-jabs and short hooks that scramble my brain and make me apoplectic with annoyance).  Jameson, who has a few boxing matches under his belt, is too fast for me, but if I cover up and concentrate on movement and counterpunching, I can usually deflect most of his hardest punches and get a couple of licks of my own in. The other week, however, he caught me clean with a right cross that brought tears to my eyes. He apologized but I waved him off — my hands were down, not his fault. For my troubles I now have a Roman swell on the bridge of my nose, probably temporary, and I would be lying if I said it upset me.

Read the rest at FIGHTLAND.


"But before we dump his collected writings into the marina with which he is so often confused, bidding good riddance to once-sacred rubbish and forget about Hemingway altogether, let’s remember that Hemingway left a sizeable chunk of his fortune to his many cats and their successive offspring, who still enjoy a life of feline luxury in Florida. So Papa wasn’t all bad after all. Meow!"
—Gary Indiana is not a fan of Hemingway (nor Fitzgerald, nor Bukowski).
PS Gary Indiana is now writing for VICE!

"But before we dump his collected writings into the marina with which he is so often confused, bidding good riddance to once-sacred rubbish and forget about Hemingway altogether, let’s remember that Hemingway left a sizeable chunk of his fortune to his many cats and their successive offspring, who still enjoy a life of feline luxury in Florida. So Papa wasn’t all bad after all. Meow!"

Gary Indiana is not a fan of Hemingway (nor Fitzgerald, nor Bukowski).

PS Gary Indiana is now writing for VICE!