Old Guard, New Guard

Edward Carbajal
2 min readAug 29, 2023
Photo: UFC

It seems now more than ever, we see fighters who were the new hot contenders at one time hang up their gloves. This past weekend, Jung Chan-sung better known as “The Korean Zombie” hung up his gloves in Singapore when he lost to Max Halloway in the latest UFC event.

I know it’s been written about here before but something in martial arts culture, because it truly is a way of life makes moments like that stand out. Martial arts often teach us the importance of keeping a present mind during stressful situations. It’s healthy, to not dwell on the past or worry too much about the future. But the future still comes, and often with a message that it’s time to evolve into something else.

Professional fighters try their hardest not to hear that call. The call to train and compete is more easily answered than the call to take a seat when it might be past your prime. The good thing about it though, in martial arts anyway is that it can be a sign of maturity. Transcendence into something or someone that has nothing left to prove anymore, and there is freedom in that.

If this edition of the newsletter seems a little somber, it’s because someone I know also transcended this past weekend. Victor Garcia-Canela was the first striking instructor in American Kickboxing that I had when I decided to take martial arts seriously at age 16. He would put me in my first smoker where I got to feel the live stressors of a fight. I learned basic punching and kicking combos from him and would be the first of many tools I would add to my arsenal. My 30-plus-year journey started with him, so when I heard he passed away this weekend. It reminded me of how long the journey of training I have been on has been, and that everything eventually has its end.

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Edward Carbajal

Interests in Martial Arts, Literature, Civil War History, Horror. Contributor to; Sherdog, MyMMAnews.com, One37 PM & TheBlogboardJungle.com