It seems like wherever I go, I bring this atmosphere that instills fear in the air. People stare, maneuvering themselves away from me. They whisper to each other, rolling their eyeballs at my sight. I have come to a realization that the reason this happens is because I used to beat up people for a living (in the cage, of course). Yes, this job exists and it is called being a mixed martial artist. I lived a warrior life for almost three years before switching to an exciting but challenging job at a prominent investment bank, Sucorinvest.
I think that people are blinded by the fact that martial arts and self defense can be used in different ways. People tend to think that martial art is only intended for submitting one’s opponent. The truth is that the biggest enemy in martial arts is yourself so the ultimate goal is not to defeat one’s opponent but to master our own body and mind. Once we did this there is no desire to fight nor will it likely being found in such a situation. Martial arts helps us to learn how to deal with adversity. That’s what sets it apart from most other sports.
Back in my childhood, I was a meek and insecure child, as thin as a rod and as pale as milk. I was always stuttering and everyone looked down on me. I was the ultimate target for bullies. I would come home all bloodied and bruised, trying to hide my pain.
About the age of ten, I was on my summer break, and my mother allowed me to take a stroll around the neighbourhood. Then, I stumbled upon a gym at the corner of the street. It was not a fancy gym with AC and tons of gym equipments, instead it had many windows to let the fresh air in, and not too loud music playing in the background. Being a curious cat, I decided to check out what the people were doing. Turns out that they were training kickboxing and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Later on, I managed to persuade my mother to get a membership at the gym and began training daily. I can say that it was an escape from the torment I received at school. Training martial arts was one huge way I overcame the fear I had within me.
Out of the many days I got bullied, there was one I remember vividly. It was recess, and as usual, The sun casted down warmth onto the brightly painted school playground. I sat in the corner, my nose in a book.
Suddenly, my bully swiped my book out of my hands and shoved me onto the grass. Almost in an instant, the spotlight was directly onto me. It seemed like I was the sheep, cornered by a pack of wolves. The sound of my classmates laughing humiliated me. The bully then hollered words I didn’t care to listen to. I felt him yank my short hair with his iron clench, then proceeded to bash my head onto the concrete ground. My classmates gasped in horror.
Blood trickled down my forehead, and I started to feel more infuriated then shaken.
I knew this time he took it too far. I won’t let him push me down and step on me any longer.
I mustered all my strength and slowly stood up on my shaky knees. The bully threw his head back in mocking laughter. Without any warning, I launched my fist at him. Even if my fist was the size of a peanut compared to his head, it still caused some damage.
The bully grunted loudly before I took him down to the ground. Speedily, I locked him into an arm bar position and instantly the sound of the bully’s screams penetrated my ears. He screamed like nobody in the world was watching. All I could hear was my classmates screaming in horror, unable to process what I had just done.
Next thing I know, I was sitting in the principal’s office, still cleaning up my hands. I had a conversation with him. He spoke loudly and all he did was put fault on me. I thought of this as unfair because he only heard the bully’s side of the story and not mine. It had been purely self-defense. If I had not gotten myself out of the situation, I would have been badly hurt.
I might have received severe scolding and punishment from my school but that day changed my life. Forever.
No longer was I the target for bullies. I have gained the respect from my peers.
In addition to the ability to defend myself, my martial art training has prepared me well for a career in the investment world. Stock broking is an unnatural job. After all, quoting Warren Buffett, stock broking is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls Royce to get advice from those who take the subway.
Martial art requires lots of unnatural motions. For example, in boxing when going backward it is super important to pick up your back foot first. Because if you get hit while walking the natural way, it is game over. An unnatural sport for an unnatural career.
Also, a career in stock broking requires a lot of persistence and one will struggle a lot to learn. Learning Brazilian jiujitsu (BJJ) follows the same process. Walking into a gym after spending months learning a technique or two, trying to apply it, and being crushed by a smaller opponent is hardly a good feeling. But what is good is walking in the next day and trying again. The mental strength to keep trying when things aren’t going my way has prepared me well for a career in stock broking.
Finally, any serious student of eastern martial art understands the philosophy of keeping death in mind at all times. I believe this principle is the reason why the traditional karate or BJJ or judo gi uniform is white, the symbol of purity. Keeping death in mind means living as though each day might be our last and as such we will conduct ourselves properly. Quoting Steve Jobs, if we live each day as if it was our last, some day we will most certainly be right.
As a stock broker, I follow this principle of the Bushido, the way of the warrior. I feel that I am ready for the challenge. Following this principle, you will reach a certain level of focus where everything around you is not important anymore. There was no yesterday, there is no tomorrow. There is only the moment. I feel that that I am ready for the moment… at Sucorinvest.
By: Joelle C. Warsono, Interned at Sucorinvest
Sub Category : fantasy