Before I began to seriously practice Martial Arts, I thought that guys with the biggest muscles and the meanest looks were the toughest fighters. I would always be awed by guys in my secondary school (that's high school for you Americans) who could lift lots of weight and had big biceps. I bought body building magazines and went to the gym so that I could look like them, thinking that as soon as my chest muscles appeared, I too would be a tough guy. I went to the gym to get as big as possible, equating muscle with fighting ability, and mean, aggressive behavior as a sign of strength.
This was my world aged 15 -- a world the president of the United States has apparently still lives in. While Trump clearly doesn't do any fitness training, he is a big man who routinely puts on his tough-guy impression. This was on full display this week, when Trump attempted to bully fellow NATO members and show his dominance, most blatantly when he literally shoved aside Montenegro’s prime minister, Dusko Markovic. You can see the extremely embarrassing interaction here:
After training seriously in Tae Kwon Do, Kick Boxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Krav Maga for many years, I quickly learned that men like Donald Trump are not the tough guys they think they are. In fact, the total opposite is almost always the case, as many, many experiences facing bigger, physically stronger opponents taught me. Donald Trump's attempt to needlessly dominate someone else is a sign of his inherent weakness -- a mental fragility he is attempting to disguise by putting on a grand display of what he believes strength and power to be.
At one point in my early adulthood, I was training and sparring with professional kick boxers and boxers -- an invaluable experience that taught me perhaps the most about myself and what true toughness meant. From the hundreds of rounds I sparred with some incredibly tough men, I learned that looks can be deceiving, that the loudest, brashest fighters almost always crumbled if you stood up to them, and the nicest, most normal men (and women) were some of the most dangerous human beings on the planet. I've taken some terrifying beatings from people who you would never know could fight and would never think were tough. After many, many months of intensive training and sparring I began to view myself completely differently -- I no longer felt the need to show anyone how big or strong I was, and was no longer intimidated by people who just looked tough. In fact, I welcomed sparring with them in order to test their mental strength. I recall one particular incident when a new, cocksure young guy with lots of tattoos came to boxing training and attempted to take my head off when we started sparring. I weathered the storm for the first round, then started giving it back to him in the second. He couldn't take the pressure and fell apart completely -- a lesson I'm sure he didn't take onboard as he never showed up to class again.
The Donald Trump's of the Martial Arts world never, ever last. They come unstuck when stood up to, and fall apart when challenged. As one popular internet meme went, "Donald Trump is a weak man's ideal of a strong man, a dumb man's ideal of a smart man, and a failure's idea of success". Most importantly, Donald Trump is Donald Trump's idea of what a strong, intelligent and successful man should be --