We All Have a Reason for Fighting

Arron "Bad Man" Barringer

We all have a reason for fighting.  For some, it is a love of the game. For others it is the need to compete. While there may be a love for the science and competitiveness, many of us have demons that haunt us. For some, fighting is the only way to control those demons, to master ourselves with discipline and honor. I know men that are felons. They have spent time locked away for crimes they committed while walking on the wrong side of the line. I know fighters that grew up abused, neglected, and forsaken. It doesn’t matter where a person comes from; it could be the hood, the suburbs, the country or the city.  In the end it just doesn’t matter.

I had an interesting childhood. My mother raised my sister and I by herself. I’ve had five step fathers, and I did not know my real father until I was 23. My mother did an amazing job, despite alcoholism and poverty. She always provided love and understanding. She always urged me to better myself and not make the mistakes she made. Fighting was a solution to being bullied, but it quickly became a way for me to tame the angry side of me.

Sometimes I do not sleep too well. I am a Marine and a veteran. I have taken human lives. I was in an elite unit, and far more psychologically prepared for this than most might have been. Regardless, there is a toll that is paid. I have nightmares. Sometimes I get depressed. I seek the counsel of other warriors in an effort to better myself. I am not afraid to ask for help in the long dark night, for fear and shame are the real enemy. I also have my fighting, my team and my integrity.

I fight with aggression. Speed, surprise, violence of action; these are the fundamentals of close quarters battle. I do not fight with blind aggression, however, for to do so weakens one’s abilities. I’m at peace after a hard practice. The pain reminds me I am alive. I know too many who do not feel pain anymore. I am thankful for the pain.

I have not seen as much as most. I know warriors that have fought house by house during Phantom Fury. One of my best friends fought in a battle in Afghanistan that will soon become legend (once all the details are cleared for release).  I did my part, no matter how great or how small, with honor.

Why do you fight? What demon do you seek to control?

The first task of a Marine Corps leader is to “know yourself and seek self improvement”. MMA and Music provide this for me. My team gives me the strength and camaraderie I seek. I am not simply a fighter, I am a warrior.

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