Kym Robinson Blog: Fighting on Home Soil – Part One

Kym Robinson MMA

So MMA has finally come to Adelaide. I mean real, no kidding MMA. I must say that to me this is a bitter sweet realisation. In a decade of fighting as a professional combat athlete in the sport I have never once been allowed to fight here in SA. Not once had I ever been on the ‘home team’. Instead in all those bouts I found my self squashed on tables, in change rooms and hotel rooms with the other guys. The opponents, the internationals and guys expected to lose against the local names. Now I am the one who is fortunate enough to be fighting in my back yard. What took so long? I could ask. But we all know internally the answer to that question. So I shall refrain from directing this blog down that path.

On the sixteenth of March I shall face four time Judo Olympian, Daniel Kelly. A man who has stepped onto the mat of competition and represented his country with pride and talent more often than most other competitors that make it into the one percent of their sport. What greater honour could one find in facing a man of such mettle as the main event on the first REAL MMA show in Adelaide and I doubt that you could find many other men who would be as credible an opponent as Mr Kelly.

I have found that in preparing for this fight I have pushed myself harder than in all other previous camps in the lead up. Maybe this is because the promoters booked me well in advance so as to allow me time for a training camp, however it is also no doubt due to a great many factors both personal and professional. In any case the result has been that I have managed to find a fire deep within that has sustained me through great pain and sacrifice so as to assure that victory will be deserved and not assumed on fight night.

While I have been a part of the sport for some time, I am fortunate enough to have been one of the more obscure and unknown back ground figures of it. The fame and celebrity that goes with being a sports star has for the most part eluded me due to my own failings at times inside the Arena and my inablity to market myself beyond gaudy white trunks and an adequate fight record of 14-6 (1 No-contest) and just maybe because the City I lived in has only just now allowed me to fight here. What ever the case because of this I have been able to observe with greater ability the growth of the sport and the sports subtle developments with the eyes of a fighter, a coach and a fan. This has allowed me to have a ‘fly on the wall’ stealth so as to give me the chance to hear what others have to say about the sport. To listen in on the varying opinions and perceptions of the sport. It is in having this anonymnity that I have been able to enjoy the growth of the sport with a pure sense of reality.

And yet despite all of this growth and expansion of the sport in most areas from pop culture to actual appreciation of the craft itself…the fighters the actual principles who are the very core, the fundamental essence of the sport are the ones that continue to struggle the most. They are the ones who, short of selling their souls, sweat and bleed in obscurity, while others who sacrifice less and risk little enjoy so much. Perhaps this is a true fault of our great sport in that unlike other professional athletic endevours the principles are often at times misused and expected to fight under less than ideal circumstances, because after all it is what they are expected to do. And while many promotions (MMA Downunder is far from being one of them) will publicly say that MMA is not human cock fighting, their treatment of the fighters as two bit game-cocks however would perhaps suggest otherwise.

Kym Robinson MMA TrainingPerhaps it is because it is what we do and because the blunt honest truth is this. If we did not have a professional avenue, where we were with no pay, with no spotlight (however brief) we would still do it. Not as some thugs punching knuckle into lip in a drunkards back yard or inside a ring of cars beneath a casino (though that would be cool). Certainly, No. But no doubt many of us would find our selves upon barges or in vast fields facing our foes in some obscure location as our combative ancestors had done years past. And while the packaging would be different and the sizzle and sazz of professional marketing would no longer be apparent the fundamental core, the ingredience that makes this sport what it is would still be there.

And That is the fighters. Those unlikely and misunderstood few who despite all of the obstacles get into the arena and do what many simply do not care to understand and what many more would never even dare risk. Regardless of where you are from on this Earth no other sport has such pure and simplistic appeal, no other sport needs so little explanation as does ours in order to understand it. No one would ever dare go to outer Mongolia and expect to start a cricket team straight of the bat nor would you expect to find people in the depths of the Sahara and have them dive straight in for a game of water polo. But a circle to be made whereby combatants could attempt to best one another under the least amount of rules until one is rendered incapacitated or surrenders, that would be less a challenge wherever you found yourself.

And therein lies the controversy, the unease of those supposed civilised types who decry the sport as barbaric and a throw back to some pagan Empire. Whatever the case it is my sport and I do not wish to defend it nor explain it. I can not ask you to see or know what I do if you wish not to understand or appreciate it. I do not demand anything of you other than accepting that some of us do not find the safe and generic as appealing as others may do. If something so despises you simply do not participate in it. But please understand that some of us will still do so despite legislation and judgemental frowns. And under neath this blanket of taboo, condemnation, violence, hardship, low reward vs risk and struggle we find those few who day in and day out live it. Those few who despite all of that still return to the Arena. It is in their company that I find myself truly at home.

What makes me so excited about fighting on home soil is not so much the fact that I will fight before friends and family. Certainly not, every fight card I have found familiars amongst the stables and changing rooms of fighters. Whether they be foreign, interstate or Kiwi we speak the same language and understand one another. Whatever they may be during the week matters little to who they are on that weekend. So fighting before those who I grew up with matters not as much to me as perhaps it should. The thing that I really am excited for is that my home town, Adelaide shall get to meet these people. They shall get to see them perform, compete and risk all. They shall get to see… my friends for the first time.

And it is with a degree of pride, honour and a dignity that I can not truly explain that I should stand responsible as the head line on this show, perhaps as an ambassador for Adelaide but in truth I am really an ambassador TO Adelaide. It will be to this City that I shall represent another entity. And that entity is my craft. My trade. As misunderstood as it really is, It will be up to myself and those other men and women on the card to stand defiant before both ignorance and dislike in order for us to show case what it is that we do. That is where I feel the greatest amount of pressure.

And so I shall continue this next week with more on my pre fight ritual but for now I shall wish you the best until next time.

And on a parting note, if home is where your heart is then so long as I was inside that cage. I have always been a home town fighter.

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