By Josh Rosenblatt

Amazon link.

When Josh Robenblatt got to the age of 32 and realised he wanted to fight in an MMA match, he had to confront a lot of physical problems as well as inner demons before he set foot inside the cage. While the physicality of fighting is explored, this book is mostly about Josh’s internal struggles as a lifelong pacifist coming to terms with the casual  approach to violence that MMA engenders. For many people Josh’s exact internal struggles wouldn’t exist (especially his frequent reference to his Jewish ancestry), but in a general sense they do exist in some form in all of us, and that’s what makes this book fascinating for anybody who trains in a martial art. It’s also a rare insight into the realities of training for an MMA fight – how much training is actually required, dealing with injuries, how it affects your relationships with friends and family and what the brutal realities of weight cutting are all about.

Josh writes well, particularly when it comes to articulating his inner thoughts on the subject of dealing with actual violence, either as a participant or an observer, and the transformative, almost transcendent, power that coming to terms with it often provides. I found he had managed to put into words something I’d felt before in my own life, but never stopped long enough to really think about and verbalise. As such ‘Why We Fight’ kept my attention constantly until the end, and you do become drawn into his underdog story and intrigued to find out what happens when he finally gets into that MMA match. I won’t spoil it here.

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