Why we fight : one man's search for meaning inside the ring

by Rosenblatt, Josh,

Format: Print Book [2019]
Availability: Available at 3 Libraries 3 of 5 copies
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CLP - Downtown and Business First Floor - New Books GV1102.7.P75 R67 2019
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Call Number  GV1102.7.P75 R67 2019
CLP - East Liberty New Books GV1102.7.P75 R67 2019
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Call Number  GV1102.7.P75 R67 2019
Millvale Community Library 796.801 ROS
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CLP - Main Library First Floor - New Non-fiction CHECKED OUT
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A physical and philosophical mediation on why we are drawn to fight each other for sport, what happens to our bodies and brains when we do, and what it all means

Anyone with guts or madness in him can get hit by someone who knows how; it takes a different kind of madness, a more persistent kind, to stick around long enough to be one of the people who does the knowing.

Josh Rosenblatt was thirty-three years old when he first realized he wanted to fight. A lifelong pacifist with a philosopher's hatred of violence and a dandy's aversion to exercise, he drank to excess, smoked passionately, ate indifferently, and mocked physical activity that didn't involve nudity. But deep down inside there was always some part of him that was attracted to the idea of fighting. So, after studying Muay Thai, Krav Maga, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and boxing, he decided, at age forty, that it was finally time to fight his first--and only--mixed martial arts match: all in the name of experience and transcending ancient fears.

An insightful and moving rumination on the nature of fighting, Why We Fight takes us on his journey from the bleachers to the ring. Using his own training as an opportunity to understand how the sport illuminates basic human impulses, Rosenblatt weaves together cultural history, criticism, biology, and anthropology to understand what happens to the human body and mind when under attack, and to explore why he, a self-described "cowardly boy from the suburbs," discovered so much meaning in putting his body, and others', at risk.

From the psychology of fear to the physiology of pain, from Ukrainian shtetls to Brooklyn boxing gyms, from Lord Byron to George Plimpton, Why We Fight is a fierce inquiry into the abiding appeal of our most conflicted and controversial fixation, interwoven with a firsthand account of what happens when a mild-mannered intellectual decides to step into the ring for his first real showdown.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Rosenblatt was the editor of Fightland, a website that covers mixed martial arts, when he got the bug to take up the sport. It was a long journey to the ring for a 33-yard-old man who was overweight, smoked heavily, and drank too much. In this memoir, he uses his training regimen as a stepping-off point to discuss particulars of fighting, such as the development of the jab, a fighter's best tool but one mastered by very few. He also examines the nature of fear and the sources of pain from a physiological perspective. The culture of the boxing gym plays a big role, too, as fighters support each other, trading tips, critiquing technique, and commiserating when things don't go well. (Then they get in the ring and try to clobber one another.) As his first fight approaches, Rosenblatt resorts to the time-honored tradition of abstinence, and he also must drop some weight, making him horny, hungry, and angry when he climbs into the ring. A very entertaining and informative chronicle of a quixotic journey of self-examination.--Wes Lukowsky Copyright 2018 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "In his erudite yet solipsistic memoir, former Fightland editor-in-chief Rosenblatt contemplates the impulses that brought a 33-year-old, self-proclaimed pacifist and dandy to the cage. After Rosenblatt realized that "part of me had always been attracted to the idea of fighting," he began studying Krav Maga, then Muay Thai, Brazilian jujitsu, and boxing until, seven years later, he entered his first mixed-martial-arts competition. As the date of his bout approached, Rosenblatt grappled with anxiety, self-doubt, and self-denial, and he offers musings on the mental and physical aspects of competing, including one on a moment he'd been dreading: the weigh-in a week before the fight, when, if he was over his target weight, he'd have to forfeit ("On the day of the weigh-in I consume nothing at all.... I run on the treadmill for twenty minutes somehow wringing from my dehydrated body a few last drips of sweat"). He also discusses histories of combat sports (until the late 18th century, "the jab was viewed skeptically by boxers... for being insufficiently masculine"). Rosenblatt can distract with internal monologues (as an Ashkenazi Jew, "shame is in the blood... the thought that my people didn't do enough to defend themselves, in Kishinev or Odessa or Auschwitz") rather than focus on his sparring partners, training, or coaches. Instances where his gaze does turn outward are vivid and entertaining but all too infrequent. Ultimately, Rosenblatt makes it hard for readers to care about his story, or perhaps even remember that he's training for a fight. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Martial arts -- Psychological aspects.
Publisher New York, NY :[2019]
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description 207 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 9780062569981
Other Classic View