But in the last few weeks I've noticed a few people picking up on a trend in martial arts/ boxing posts: do we all need to be a world champion to succeed in our sport?
One blogger answers this pretty definitively, but in book form unusually.
My copy of 'Bangkok Beat' by Kevin Cummins got squashed through the letter-box this week and includes an interview with female MuayThai fighter Melissa Ray.
The book itself is more a fascinating catch-gatherum of foreigners who move to Thailand to produce art - books mainly but also jazz music, photography and painting. You forget these people exist behind the more obvious sex-tourists, backpackers and MuayThai fans.
Among the usual questions asked of Melissa (who blogs at MuayThai on the Brain) about women's role in the sport, the buzz of fighting Cummins got in a rather brilliant open-shot when he asked what she hates being asked about.
Reply: “I have always hated answering questions about my record. In the West people can be quite judgemental about records, however I don't believe a boxer's fight record necessarily provides an accurate reflection of their fighting abilities.
"A friend of mine has had a few losses in a row against top Thais in his weight division. Another fighting might have had a string of easy KO wins against less opponents but accord to this record looks the better fighter on paper. People say you learn from more a loss than a win and that is certainly true.”
Of course the average fighter, myself included back in the day, will take opportunities for belts - that's what you have after you retire. It makes people sit up and listen when you drop 'champion' into the conversation at job interviews, or if you're setting up a fitness-releated business. It's a smart thing to have some - but do you have to have one to be successful I wonder?
More thoughts on this:
- Irish kickboxer Caradh O' Donovan wrote a great post on this for Sportswomen.ie. Follow her journey on Twitter @CaradhODonovan
- American amateur boxer Lisa Creech Bledsoe explains how match-ups are made - you will never look at a winner in the same way again.
- FightlikeaLady looks at the humility we can take from boxing
- Girlboxing has some thought-provoking Q&A with fighters on her blog, esp this one w Elisa Collaro