Fight Quotes – A Compilation

by Al Alvir

This is a compilation of quotations that I’ve read over the years, each of which have “struck a chord and my fancy” as I have found them to have some relation to the elegant and ultra-violent world of fighting.  A crude few are excerpted from my writing, but they are, at least, honest.  Check it out.

“Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

“Boxing is the best and most individual lifestyle you can have in society without being a criminal.” – Randy Neumann

I’ll beat him so bad he’ll need a shoehorn to put his hat on.” – Muhammad Ali

“Thus, what is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy’s strategy.” – Sun Tzu

“A professional soldier understands that war means killing people, war means maiming people, war means families left without fathers and mothers.  All you have to do is hold your first dying soldier in your arms, and have that terribly futile feeling that his life is flowing out and you can’t do anything about it.  Then you understand the horror of war.  Any soldier worth his salt should be antiwar.  And still there are things worth fighting for.” – General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, quoted by Joseph L. Galloway in U.S. News & World Report

“The bite of conscience teaches men to bite.” – Nietzsche

“As soon as a black guy straightens out his hair, throw him out of the gym.” – Gleason’s Gym manager in the early years

“You may be the greatest martial artist in the world, but can you fight?” – Bob Lindsay (ASLET)

“The toughest guys have the biggest hearts.  The biggest hearts – because they have to be tough to protect it.” –DMX

“Men adore fighters, the purest of whom must get up. We fall in love, the closest thing to a love for a brother, when we witness even a stranger traversing through the blood and sweat straining his mind to find an angle, omitting emotion, deferring affliction, and battling back from the very position where he birthed his wounds… On ground that bares no advantage at any moment, but of will and skill.  And as he appears to be beaten, men of all applaud him, their eyes embrace their tears, in victory or loss.” – self

“If you don’t have enemies, you don’t have character.” – Paul Newman

“Civilization turns big strong men into mewling sissies.” – Puck (Wolverine #35)

“If you’re strong enough, there are no precedents.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

“The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them.  They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care.” – Colin Powell

“The victor belongs to the spoils.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Winning is overemphasized.  The only time it is really important is in surgery and war.” – Al McGuire

“Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them…” – Joseph Heller

“Never strike anyone so old, small or weak that verbal abuse would have sufficed.” – P.J. O’Rourke

“When a man is determined, what can stop him?  Cripple him and you have a Sir Walter Scott.  Put him in a prison cell and you have a John Bunyan.  Bury hum in the snows of Valley Forge and you have a George Washington.  Have him born in abject poverty and you have a Lincoln.  Put him in the grease pit of a locomotive roundhouse and you have Walter P. Chrysler.  Make him second fiddle in an obscure South African orchestra and you have a Toscanini.  The hardships of life are sent not by an unkind destiny to crush, but to challenge.” – Sam E. Roberts, Exhaustion: Causes and Treatment (Rodale)

“Faith is the path of least resistance.” – Nietzsche

“In me you’ll find things like guts and nerve, but not the kind things that you deserve.  And so, while there’s a fighting chance, just turn and go.  I won’t send roses, and roses suit you so.” – Robert Preston from I won’t send Roses from Mack & Mabel

“Be quick but don’t be in a hurry.” – John Wooden

“Bravery is being the only one who knows you’re afraid.”  – David Hackworth

“My toughest fight was with my first wife.” – Muhammad Ali

“A combination of a pit-bull dog, a young Mike Tyson and an alligator.” – Richard Williams, father of Serena Williams, describing his daughter after she defeated Jelena Jankovic for the 2008 US Open championship.

“Creative minds have been known to survive any kind of bad training.” – Anna Freud

“Confidence is always overconfidence.” – Robert Byrne

“The only thing worse than a coach or CEO who doesn’t care about his people is one who pretends to care.” – Jimmy Johnson

You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.” – Albert Einstein

“Two kinds of ballplayers aren’t worth a darn: One that never does what he’s told, and one who does nothin’ except what he’s told.” – Oail (Bum) Phillips

“There’s nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you.” – Woody Hayes

“There must always be some who’re brighter and some stupider.  The latter make up for it by being better workers.” – Bertolt Brecht

“One of the principal functions of a friend is to suffer (in the milder and symbolic form) the punishments that we should like, but are unable, to inflict upon our enemies.” – Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

“Boxing is the sport to which all other sports aspire.” – George Foreman

“Don’t tell fighters how to do things.  Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” – George S. Patton, Jr.

“If it’s not worth getting killed or killing someone, it’s probably not worth fighting over.” – Philip Messina

“Boxing is about ten times as hard as football… training, the commitment, is tremendous.” – Adrian White, pro-football player/pro boxer

“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse.” – John Stuart Mill

“A just fear [or precaution to] an imminent danger, though there be no blow given, is a lawful cause of war.” – Sir Francis Bacon

“Among the evils which being unarmed brings you, it causes you to be despised.” – Niccolo Machiavelli

“A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.” – John Wooden

“…politics exist in lieu of fighting.” — self

“Even victors are by victory undone.” – John Dryden

“The truth comes out in a boxing ring.  I’ve seen a lot of guys who are tough on the streets come into the gym and turn their backs once they get in the ring.  Boxing does one of two things. It makes a coward out of you or it makes you a man.” – Paulie Malignaggi in “Box: The Face of Boxing”

“Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.” – Eric Hoffer

v  “From the Black Dahlia movie: “You’d rather fuck me than kill me but you don’t have the guts to do either.  You’re a boxer not a fighter.”

“If your attack is going too well, you’re walking into an ambush.” – US Army Infantry

“In a world in which most lives lack drama, we all nominate a circle of people to -represent our larger-than-life selves.  For many men these representatives run, punch, bat, skate, kick, serve, dunk, throw.  They live in prime time.  They must make instant decisions in win/lose contests with real people and clear-cut rules.  They have no excuses.  The ball is in the air, and when it falls it is either in their grasp or it is not.// That’s what, beyond the hype, any sporting event is irreducibly about.” – Lionel Tiger, Family Circle

“Boxing is like jazz.  The better it is, the less people appreciate it.” – George Foreman

“Power is more than the punch.  I get so much power and belief in myself from God, and from God the power passes through my legs, through my hips, up to my shoulders, through my arms, and into my fists…I’m written to be a legend.” – Naseem Hamed

“To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.” – George Washington

“If a man thinks he is too much a man to fight, he may also be a prevailing coward.” – self

“If a sane dog fights a mad dog, it’s the sane dog’s ear that gets bittn off.” – Burmese maxim

“The angry man will defeat himself in battle as well as in life.” – Samurai maxim

“If I was mentoring a young fighter, I’d tell him to spend more time on boxing.  That doesn’t mean I would ignore kickboxing – you still need to learn the defenses – but in stand-up, it’s hard to beat good, solid boxing.”  – Chael Sonnen

“Guns will make us powerful, butter will only make us fat.” – Joseph Goebbels

“There are good points about all… wars.  People forget self.  The virtues of magnanimity, courage, patriotism, etc., are called into life.  People are more generous, more sympathetic, better, than when engaged in the more selfish pursuits of peace.” – Rutherford B. Hayes

“Control your emotion or it will control you.” – Chinese maxim

“Let loose the whole contagion of hell and open a vein that every [enemy] to death.” – Thomas Paire

“It is by no means self-evident that human beings are most real when most violently excited.” – Thomas Elliot from “Violence”

“The wisest decisions are of the ones we suffer the most for.  Self-contentment only comes to those who are willing to suffer.” – Philip Messina

“It is in the blood of genius to love play for its own sake, and whether one uses one’s skill on thrones or women, swords or pens, gold or fame, the game’s the thing.” – Gelett Burgess

“For souls in growth, great quarrels are great emancipations.” – Logan Pearshall Smith

“Cowardice, as distinguished from panic, is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend the functioning of the imagination.” – Ernest Hemingway

 “Boxing increases levels of self-esteem, fitness and mental courage.  Boxing breeds stoicism.  And boxing – more than other sport – gives hope to those who have none…. It is better to come to boxing with a degree of humility – with the knowledge of how tough you are not.”  Tony Parson in British GQ

 

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One response to “Fight Quotes – A Compilation

  1. What a quote, “traversing through blood and sweat”. This explains everything. I will quote you to everyone. That should be a famous saying.

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