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So I’ve been working out a little bit with my little brother at this mixed martial arts dojo. He’s a lot more serious about it than I am, been doing it a lot longer, but he invited me to work in with him and the other guys and for the past few months I’ve been hitting the bag and working the mits and sparring once a week.

I’m a total spaz in there, but the guys we train with are the real deal and very cool. They don’t have any ego at all, they’re just very straightforward and businesslike. The only thing they ask is that you never quit and that you don’t lose your cool and go apeshit. They have a very direct way of letting you know if you’ve broken etiquette.

Today I’m in the ring with this guy who is on the fight team and he’s showing me the ropes, just working real light with me cuz I’m such a bonehead. He’s tagging me with snappy stuff when I leave my punches hanging out there, when I drop my head or my hands, when my head’s not in the game, but he’s only hitting me hard enough to keep me really focused. Halfway through the round I start noticing that he’s got blood spatters on his torso, on his shoulders and stomach.

I’m pretty sure he’s not the one bleeding.

When we finish the round he’s like “You’re leaking a little bit there.” So take off my head gear and take a peek in a mirror. My nose is bleeding, not bad, but I took so many shots after it started that it’s kinda smeared all over my face.

I’m all “Cool!”

I felt like a man, man.

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Now I’ve got a big, red nose and a shiner and I can’t stop grinning. My ears are ringing and I’m limping and I’ve never felt better.

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My wife says it’s the gayest thing she’s ever seen.

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