Why Do Men Fight???


So the other day I had my ass kicked…and
it was awesome! But what about fighting draws people in like
an accident on the side of the road that you can’t seem to look away from? Let’s take a look. To be clear, I DO NOT condone unnecessary
or cruel violence. When I say “fighting” in this video, I’m
purely referring to martial arts as a sport or recreational activity carried out in a
controlled environment and systematic manner; or just roughhousing with some friends for
fun. And this is NOT to exclude women, as we all
know you ladies can make some great fighters too! Social justice warriors: please leave me alone. Number 3: Genetics
Let me start with a brief history lesson here that I found really fascinating to help put
things into perspective & provide better context for you. In a traditional hunter-gatherer society,
it was the norm for the men to hunt while the women stuck behind to forage and raise
the kids. This was the primary method of subsistence
for us anatomically modern humans for almost 200,000 years. This is because we survived & thrived in groups
aka social circles. That’s why humans are oftentimes labeled
as social creatures. And as is normal in social circles, the natural
development of hierarchies within our societies began to form. Side note: triggered liberals and die-hard
socialists & communists will oftentimes deny the existence of hierarchies within our society. To summarize the words of the wise Jordan
Peterson, lobsters share a common ancestor with us humans dating back 350 million years
ago, and even amongst lobsters there exists a hierarchical structure. To deny the natural development of hierarchies
within humans would be to deny 350 millions years of evolution; you CAN’T deny what
350 millions years of evolution has proven! Anyways, within our hierarchical societies
grew the concept dominance, or what some of you may know as alpha. This can also be seen among dogs and monkeys
alike. Most—but not all—of the alphas in ancient
human history were males; for example, Genghis Khan, Julius Caesar, or Sargon of Akkad to
name a few. The struggle for power—or dominance—over
a society often came down to a “kill or be killed” survival strategy. Thus, we have fighting. Fighting amongst humans was not only a means
of survival & self-defense in which you were able to protect your family & loved ones,
but also a way for one to convey their dominance over another. Martial artist & professor of Asian philosophy
David Tian summed this all up perfectly in a recent video on Lawrence Kenshin’s channel,
stating: “This indomitable warrior spirit—what the best martial arts instill in us—this
warrior energy, is in fact, a part inside all of us that has been passed down from generation
to generation over hundreds of thousands of years…Out of all sports, it’s in martial
arts where this warrior energy is most fully embodied, getting the closest to the literal
and physical fight for survival and reproduction we all evolved for.” Number 2: Sociology
Not only is “dueling” behavior common across different species of animals, but fighting
cultures have developed throughout the years in almost every human society. A quick cross-examination from one society
to another shows that almost every human culture has developed their own unique fighting tradition;
most of which we can assume formed organically & independent of any outside influences. But why men? Throughout modern history, we’ve been raised
to value “brains over brawn.” But it wasn’t too long ago that it was the
other way around. Going back to our hunter-gatherer roots, while
the men were out hunting & chasing mammoths, the women stayed behind with the other women
and the children. This led women to evolve as predominantly
social and emotional creatures…and I mean this in a good way! Whereas men were valued based on how much
they can contribute to their society (aka how much food they could bring home aka how
good of providers they were aka how strong & capable they were). Thus, differences were settled based on strength,
or who can out-power who. While women became skilled at psychological
warfare, men were developing their visual & spatial senses for physical warfare (be
it against the animals they were hunting or against one another). Not only that, but if we delve deeper on a
more psychological level, you can argue that—again, in the words of the great Jordan B. Peterson—it
stems from boys’ innate desire or need to find order in seemingly-chaotic situations. Boys fight, for the same reason that they
drive fast cars, which is also the same reason they do extreme sports like cliff diving from
a high ledge or balancing on handrails with their skateboards. Now despite all these reason as to why men
fight, are there any advantages to such practices today? Before I move on to this, be sure to like
this video, subscribe and hit the bell button to get notified of new releases, and feel
free to reach out to me at any time in the comments section below. Number 1: Benefits
We all know sports are a good, fun way to stay in shape. Fighting—like any other sport—provides
a good workout that helps improve overall coordination, discipline, strength, and stamina. But is there more to it? And staying true to the title of this video,
why do men fight? Referring back to David Tian on Lawrence Kenshin’s
channel once again: “Above all, martial arts unlock, unleash, and strengthen a powerful
masculine archetype in all of us who practice it; the unbreakable warrior spirit to conquer
adversity and rise above it even stronger than before. It is that anti-fragile part of us…This
warrior archetype in you is positive masculine energy.” The way that it was best described to me that
I really took to heart, especially after learning to fight is that it’s not about conquering
your opponent but rather, conquering yourself. “It’s about about getting up after the
fall. It’s about learning from the mistakes and
failures, regrouping, and taking another shot. Above all, to forgive yourself when you tried
your best but still failed.” Now let’s take a more scientific approach
to the benefits of fighting. Anyone who knows anything about masculinity
knows that testosterone is an extremely vital hormone in men. That’s why it’s important for men to do
what they can to naturally increase their testosterone levels. In other words, don’t be a soyboy! Now a study published in 2012 by Wood and
Stanton outlines the effects of competition on testosterone. They reference “the ‘challenge hypothesis’,
which posits that during mating seasons and times of scarcity testosterone concentrations
rise to facilitate competition, particularly amongst males. The challenge hypothesis is relevant to human
competition in the world of sports.” AHA! So this is where the history lesson I gave
you earlier is starting to all tie together. “An athletic match is a competition between
individuals over a scarce and valuable resource (e.g. victory itself, prize money, fame, prestige). As predicted by the challenge hypothesis,
pre-competition concentrations of testosterone rise in male and female athletes in anticipation
of the impending competition. We speculate that the pre-competition increase
in testosterone may facilitate competition by both increasing motivation to compete and
physical ability.” So we can see here that a competitive nature
(which is another way of saying combative nature) dates back to our hunter-gatherer
roots, when resources were scare and we had to compete (or combat) against each other
for survival. In addition, our desire to win in combat is
further explained in the article: “In men, testosterone commonly increases
following victory and decreases following loss, including experiences of vicarious victory
and defeat.” If you’ve ever read ’12 Rules for Life’,
you’ll know that this goes hand-in-hand with the lobster theory outlined in chapter
1. And remember what I said earlier about dominance
and the struggle for power? Well check this out: “Several studies have shown that other factors
like context, individual differences, e.g., power motivation, social anxiety, and motivation
to win, as well as cognitive appraisal can play an important role in predicting post-competition
testosterone changes. Dominance-motivated individuals, who positively
value interpersonal dominance and dislike submission, are those most likely to experience
outcome-dependent changes in testosterone.” So basically it’s saying that the more dominant
an individual is, the more their testosterone levels will fluctuate based on whether or
not they won or lost the competition. Now remember when I mentioned powerful historic
figures like Genghis Khan and Julius Caesar? “It is possible that high-testosterone individuals
have increased motivation to compete in sports. High-testosterone individuals may select into
sports as a function of testosterone’s positive influence on dominance striving, also known
as power motivation. Basal testosterone is positively correlated
with power motivation in men, whereas basal estradiol is positively correlated with power
motivation in women. High concentrations of testosterone are also
positively associated with selection into power-laden careers, e.g., trial law and acting. Knowing that power-motivated individuals are
motivated to pursue dominance and find dominance experiences rewarding, the positive association
between testosterone and power motivation suggests that high testosterone individuals
may be the individuals most motivated to pursue athletic competition.” So now are you starting to understand why
men—especially high testosterone men—gravitate towards fighting as a form of competition? “In addition to motivating dominance striving,
testosterone is positively associated with a number of traits and behaviors that we speculate
might foster advantage in competitive sports…Testosterone is also associated with reduced empathy, reduced
perception of negative emotions, enhanced attention to social threat, and enhanced amygdala
responses to social threat, which may promote an increased willingness and interest in attaining
dominance over one’s competition independent of the consequences for one’s competition. Additionally, testosterone has been linked
to increased risk-taking in economic domains and social domains. Lastly, testosterone is associated with enhanced
visuospatial ability which may provide greater abilities in the perceiving critical targets.” And THAT right there folks is our link between
man’s modern-day participation in fighting and how we’ve evolved from our hunting ancestors. It’s inherent that learning how to fight
will increase your confidence in a wider range of situations, as well as improving your self-defense
skills. But did you know that it’s also a safer
alternative to other sports? For example, a study of injury trends over
635 professional mixed martial arts matches shows that concussions occur in 3% of matches;
compare that to 20% in American football, and that’s just in high school football
alone (not including college or pro football)! In addition, martial arts training has been
shown to DECREASE violence rather than increase it. Three elementary schools in the US were enrolled
in a martial arts training program called the Gentle Warrior in an attempt to reduce
bullying among 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. What it showed was that the longer a participant
stayed in the program, the more they displayed empathy, less aggressive behavior, and an
increased willingness to help out others who were being bullied. It’s also worth noting that these effects
were exhibited only in males. And to cover you ladies out there, female
veterans who were suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after being sexually violated
by other soldiers during their time served showed improvements in their mental states
along with a reduction in their PTSD symptoms after taking part in a self-defense program. After six months of this program, they also
showed decreases in depression and behavioral avoidance. So there you have it! I hope that this video serves you well in
providing you insight as to why men fight, along with reasons why YOU may want to start
learning a martial art for your own benefit.

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