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Everyone Has Their Fight — What’s Yours?

So who we looking at?

Character: Jake Tyler
?Actor: Sean Faris
?From: Never Back Down (2008)

So why look at him?

In my opinion, Tyler is a great character to look at as he embodies the phenomenal change that some dedicated training coupled with facing your demons can bring about in your life.

Yes, I know this film was very ‘Hollywood’ and that you can’t learn Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in a matter of mere months, as the film suggested, but that doesn’t take away from the life altering lessons that Jake provides in the film.

The film like to make the contrast of the humble poor kid making it good over the rich, arrogant popular bully but the message they give is a very insightful message for today’s youth to take aboard.

Jake shows that you don’t need money or the social advantages that being born into a rich family can bring. To succeed in changing your life, you simply need to pick a goal, eliminate what is holding you back and work your ass off daily until you achieve that goal.

If you’re willing, you can do it too – no matter the goal or where you are in your life right now. Your present circumstances aren’t what are truly holding you back – you hold yourself back by not dealing with your issues. Jake shows the rapid growth and success that comes when you stop running and instead beat the shit out of your fears and demons. Want to know how to do it for yourself? Keep reading!

Why should I care about watching Jake?

I’m sure that if you were honest, you’d be able to reel off a number of things that you wanted to learn or change about your life. However, you’ll probably have found that after you tried a few times, you gave up trying and buried the desire to learn or change deep down inside and hoped it never saw the light of day again. However, you soon learn that you can only run for so long before the demons catch up with you.

However, your life doesn’t need to be like this. With a little tweaking to your approach, you can vastly increase your chances of being successful and learning new skills or making that change you want.

If your wanting to learn or change something and you are really passionate about it but unsure of how to make the change then Tyler is a great character to watch. In the film, he deals with his anger issues as he fights the demons that have been holding him back from changing and this helps him win the girl – cheesy I know but she’s hot as hell (if you don’t believe me then google Amber Heard – trust me it’s worth it … OK had your fill? Let’s continue on shall we)!


In all of us, we have something (or a collection of things) that are holding us back from becoming the type of person we want to be. It is typically a belief about yourself or a belief about the past. Worse, it could even be that you start to believe the opinion of yourself that others – for whatever reason – have pushed onto you. These beliefs or our personal demons can be destructive in many ways. They can sap your confidence, stop you trying new things as you feel you’ll not fit in, make you feel unlovable due to a bad breakup in the past and so on.

In the film, Jake’s demon is his anger. He is angry at himself, his father and his inability to control and deal with his anger. This leads him to get into fights, emotionally with his family and physically with anyone unfortunate to push his buttons. As the film progresses, Jake learns through martial arts that he doesn’t need to struggle with his emotions running wild. With some hard work and focus towards his training, he learns that he can let go of his past, forgive his father and more importantly himself and therefore begin a new chapter is his life.

A change like this isn’t just reserved for the movies – you can do this too. However, to do it, you need to stop running and make a stand to face what is holding you back in life. Too many people don’t do any of the stuff they dreamed and thought about. They put it down to being stupid, not good at learning new skills or unable to change. However, if they were to investigate why they felt this way, they’d see that what they believe isn’t true. If you ignore the belief and instead look for reasons why you thought this way, you’d find that the ‘supporting evidence’ isn’t really there. When you look at the context of situations that make you believe something a certain way, its amazing how your opinion changes after you’ve stopped believing the automatic thoughts about yourself and instead looked towards the situation with subjective eyes.

The ‘truth’ supplied by your demons is not your reality. Look at it again and you will see examples of times when you have behaved different to this supposedly rigid truth, where you’ve proven this ‘truth’ to be wrong. Stop letting the demons win. Stop believing their shit. Look at everything, even things you have thought since childhood freshly – really consider if this is the truth or something that a demon wants you to think and feed off. Jake shows that anything can be changed. I don’t care where you are in your life or what you think is holding you back. You can change your life right now and do what you want to. You just need to fight your fight and stop running away.

Think of this as a MMA fight. When you believe the demons, you get hit by them. When you stand up and see the truth, you land a hit. It’s up to you to decide which warrior gets knocked out.

OK, what should I be looking out for?

The Anger burns deep in him. Jake starts the film as a very angry young man. He’s quick to throw the punches and lose his temper. He’s angry at everything – his father’s death, his family life and above all himself. He won’t communicate and instead deals with his anger by exploding at whoever is in the way as he doesn’t know how to deal with it. However as he trains, he learns to control his temper and his emotions. He learns to channel his rage into something constructive and this helps him control his anger and grow as a person. That’s something that we can all learn to do. It doesn’t need to be a sport but it should be something that you can focus on and something that challenges you. We don’t need to be controlled by out emotions any longer. We simply need to show our brains that we are in control again and what we want our reserves to be used on. By taking control of yourself and what we truly believe, we stop giving our demons power and we can make the changes we desperately want to.

He Grows as a Person. Jake starts the film as, well to put it bluntly, a complete tool. He’s arrogant, aggressive and someone you’d try and avoid as he seemed wired to explode. However, as Jake discovers training, he has a change in attitude – he stops being arrogant and cocky and changes to a humble young man, willing to learn. In a way, you could say that Jake’s enemy – Ryan?McCarthy (Cam Gigandet) – is the personification of Jake’s demon and when he fights Ryan, he’s really fighting his demons. Near the end of the film, Jake learns to stop feeding his demons, not let Ryan affect him mentally and instead learns to use his own strengths to his advantage. As he works at sorting his attitude and facing his demons, his behaviour and attitude at home greatly improve. When you stop feeding your demons, they grow weak and you can make the changes you want by giving strength to the new you.

He Keeps Trying. No matter how outclassed he is, Jake keeps trying. Jake has a lot of faith in himself. When he takes the first beating from Ryan, he gets up, which shocks everyone. When he starts the training, he keeps pushing himself further and further. This leads to him getting hurt a few times but Jake learns from the pain and adapts his approach to better his chances of success the next time. Jake is a good example of how focused you can become by something that develops you to your core and you truly enjoy. He is so into the training that he continues learning and practising, sometime alone, on top of what his training partners are doing – he has a deep down desire to change and improve and this fuels his work. That is why you need to pick something that you really want to change. You need to find something deep inside yourself that is holding you back and you really want to get rid of. If your challenge is weak, your attitude to changing it will be too. You want to pursue a change that scares you if it is allowed to change and is something you want stopped with all your might.

OK, pretty cool but how do I become like him?

Pick Your Fight. The first thing that you need to decide is what you really want in life. You need to stop doing what the others (family, friends, teachers, media influences) tell you that you should be doing and decide what you want to do with your life. By deciding what you want in your life, you can then see what is holding you back. Then you know what you are needing to change and you can go at it hardcore. Take a few minutes right now and really think about your life. Look at all aspects of how you live your life. Think about what you want to do and what you’ve hidden away deep down inside yourself. Write down the beliefs and thoughts holding you back. Now look at your list. You will begin to notice common themes such as envy, jealousy, anger, self-doubt etc come up. These are your demons. You may be lucky and only have one but you’ll probably find a lot. For me, it was to stop caring what others thought of me. We all have a fight – it’s not anything to be ashamed of. If your stuck, ask family and friends and you can be sure that they’ll tell you the real issues (our egos want to avoid us being hurt and can sometimes give fake answers designed to protect ourselves from emotional pain). Don’t be mad or upset at their answers. Thank them for their honesty and get ready to begin your fight to resolve it! Write out action steps to fix these sort of problems, look them up online and so on. Get a plan of attack together and start it right now. You don’t know how many more tomorrows you have left to enjoy the life you really want to have.

Be humble. When watching the film, something that you notice is how Jake’s character changes. He goes from being cocky and arrogant to being very humble and thankful. This is something that you need to learn to do too. Being cocky and arrogant will get you nowhere. Thinking you know it all will get you even less far forward. It’s like the old saying, ‘a full cup cannot have anything added to it’. Whatever you decide to change in your life, you should adopt a completely new approach to the tasks to achieve that goal, regardless of how much you think you know. Let go of anything you think you know about it, let go of any biases or preferences. Approach the task as if you are completely new to it. Let others guide you, let your experience and learning’s teach you. Don’t be too proud to ask for help and always be grateful for any assistance that you get. I am a big believer of Karma in this world. Anything you give will be received back stronger. It is the same with anger as it is with thanks – think about what you want back and give it to others first. If you knew it all, you wouldn’t have this demon(s). Listen to your gut but seek out mentors who will help and motivate you. They will be a great help, especially during the tough times where you might have given up if you were doing it on your own. Even an online group on Facebook can be enough.

Start submitting your demons right now. Once you know what is holding you back, you need to work on eliminating those demons from your life. It will be scary, I won’t lie – you’ve be running away from them for a reason. However, this is your fight, your Waterloo in life. It will terrify you but imagine what you can accomplish without the demons holding you back. You can begin again without restriction. Do whatever it takes but you must Start now! Not tomorrow or later. Right now. Start with baby steps if you have to but begin now. Each time you stop running, control your emotions and deal with the problem at hand, is one step less you need to take to beat your demons (mind you, I’d appreciate it if you read the rest of the article and left a comment, before you started … just saying!). Life is finite. You don’t know how many more days you can get – life is too short to spend time running away from things. Man up and take it to the Next Level of Life!

Practice your ass off. Now you know your fight, you need to practice, practice and practice more. You need to work on the fundamentals of the skills that you want to learn that are needed to change. They reckon it takes 31 days for something to become a habit, so you will probably find the first month of practice the hardest. Set yourself mini goals and celebrate each accomplishment.? It can be painful to learn and face your fears but the change in your life it brings will always outweigh the pain of learning. Break what you want to learn down into small steps, then practice the steps that you need to do until they become automatic. When it becomes automatic, that skill becomes part of you. With each new skill, you develop as a person and defeating your demons is one step closer.

Breathe like a Pro. Learn to control your breathing – breathing allows you to focus and aim your strength at whatever you are learning. Using the correct breathing can help you in all aspects of your life. In the film, they show how controlling your breathing lets you focus and put more power on your strikes. However, it can be used for all sorts of challenges in life. For example, approaching a hot girl may be scary but learning to control your breathing as you approach, can greatly reduce the anxiety you’re feeling. Learning a meditative breathing ritual can calm you right down just before a job interview. If you remove your nerves, you will then come across as a calm confident and therefore employable person. There are many scenarios that controlling your breathing can help with. Don’t believe me? Try it, test it and see.

‘You Got this!’ Remember as the film says, ‘You’ve got this!’ No one owes you anything or will provide anything for you in life (excluding your parents). You decide what you get out of this life by what you put into it. You are never too old to make changes or to begin again. Decide what you want and go for it – tomorrow can be anything you want it to be if you’ll work hard enough for it.

A final note: Remember, as they say in the film, control the outcome of whatever you’re doing. The outcome is on you – always has been.

So what’s your thoughts? Do you agree that Jake Tyler is the sort of guy that you’d use for inspiration to change and better themselves? If you’ve finished drooling over Amber Heard long enough, let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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About Ian Dawson Mackay Ian is a blogger and entrepreneur who writes to help men develop and better their lives using examples from popular media. His personal journey has been marked by awkwardness and awesomeness, OCD and 'OMG'. He's 29 and currently resides in the United Kingdom.You can see more at his website here.

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