In any fight, there's always a way to change your position.

A couple of nights ago, I was watching Never Back Down. It's a fast-paced, high-intensity movie about a young high school football player, Jake Tyler, who finds himself in the midst of the Mixed Martial Arts scene when he moves to Orlando, Florida. When he joins a gym and begins training under the MMA champion, Jean Roqua, Jean is equally trying to strengthen him physically but also mentally and emotionally. Using fighting as a textbook for life, he begins teaching Jake that he can't go through life blaming others for his situation or being reactive to his circumstances. Rather, he must live pro-actively and take responsibility for his life.

Jean Roqua: "In any fight there's always a way to change your position."
Jake: "So it's on me?"
Jean Roqua: "Always has been."

Our position in life is dictated by an overwhelming number of variables that have all led to the present. Some people are born into wealthy, privileged families. Some are born without a place to call home. Some stumble upon a chance encounter that rockets them into stardom. Others work diligently for a lifetime and never reach their goals. Yet despite the circumstances that are beyond our control, there's a sense in which we are responsible for the life that we make for ourselves. How do we react to what has been thrust upon us? What are we doing to change our position?


1. Breathe

Jean Roqua instructed that the quickest way to lose a fight is to forget to breathe. More fighters lose their fights because they become winded. So stop struggling for a second... and breathe. When you're rested, you can think clearer, act quicker and fight harder.


2. Find your grip

When you're finally in a position to act, don't act with reckless abandon. Before long, you'll find yourself out of breath again. Assess your position and your opponent's position. What hold do you need to break? What limb do you need to pin? What needs to shift to give you leverage? Find your grip. 


3. Turn the tables

You're rested. You're aware. Now act. Upsets are invigorating and can carry with them a lasting momentum that (at least in movies) can push you to victory. In any fight there's always a way to change your position. It's on you.