Victory without Fight is Triumph without Glory

The Fighter Still Remains

(Para ler este post em Português: Vitória sem luta é triunfo sem glória)

Last Friday I woke up at 5am with severe muscle aches, abdominal cramps and fever. My guts were inflated like a birthday balloon and I could feel my entire skin burning. I was feeling so much weakness I could barely remain seated. I couldn’t go to work nor even perform home office (it was my first absence of health in four years!) and spent the whole day bedridden as a dying person. I couldn’t eat breakfast, lunch or dinner. I was feeling so sick I started to cry realizing that I wouldn’t be able to join the regional Kung Fu championship on Saturday. Why would I have to be defeated by this stupid virus one day before the tournament?!? Why didn’t I get sick one week earlier or one day later?!?!?

Six months of so hard training for what? To end up like this, lying in bed like a zombie?!? (Not to mention the distressing month of May that I did my workouts even with a painful sore on the sole of my foot!!!)

Then I recalled an evening from my first trip to SanFran some years ago when I met a peculiar girl, Maurine was her name. She was all by herself having a beer in a pub, just like me, and we started to chat. She was a traveler too. I can’t remind exactly how we came up with this subject, but I complained to her about how I didn’t like the meaning of my name – which is usually described as ‘lame’ – and she arose with a new version for it: ‘persevering’. She clarified that Claudia doesn’t mean ‘the one who walks with difficulty’ but rather ‘the one who walks through difficulties and reaches success struggling’. (Isn’t amazing how there are some awesome people in this world that can always change the sense of things for the better…?)

All I can say is that I’m very thankful to her and since that day I adopted this meaning for my name. (As I never met Maurine again she certainly doesn’t know how much she helped me with that simple statement but that’s how life is for travelers… We’re always having last conversations… I hope I had helped her in some way too…)

And so… I did it.

Thanks to my family members that took good care of me I woke up on Saturday morning still sick but feeling a lot better. Took a quick shower, ate some breakfast, put my uniform on, tied my black belt on my waist with determination and got in the car toward the gymnasium. Though I was still feeling occasional cramping I was able to do all my three performances (hands form, long weapons form and combined struggle with sijeh Maysa) and I won two gold and one silver medals AND the most important: we got classified for the next round, the state championship that will happen one month from now.

As it could be read in the banners spread all over the gym,

‘Cowards never try,
Losers never finish
and Winners never give up’.

I believe that this is the true meaning of being a martial artist. It’s not about how strong, flexible, balanced nor how much ability to jump or fight we have. It’s more about how determined, disciplined and persistent we are.

My partner sijeh Maysa is another good example of overcoming. She has been recently diagnosed with a tendon disruption of her shoulder and still she has not left me in our training. By the way Maysa means ‘graceful’.

‘Pain is temporary but to give up lasts forever’.

Thx very much to all my good friends & family who have been supporting me during all this time!

And the fighter still remains…


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