Post by James Edwards on Feb 8, 2020 21:44:10 GMT -5
FGA Wrestling is proud to announce an exclusive miniseries coming to the premium portion of our website, "In the Wilderness: James' Edwards Journey to International Incident". Go inside The Burning Heat's training camp in rural Canada as he prepares for the fight of his life, an FGA World Championship match with Fujiko Mine! The series premieres on February 10th.
Post by James Edwards on Mar 2, 2020 21:16:56 GMT -5
A forest green Volvo 240 Turbo Wagon of older vintage rumbles down a gravel road in the open plains of rural Ontario. A flock of birds flies overhead as the wagon comes to a crawl, and the driver-side window rolls down, revealing James Edwards.
James Edwards: Sorry y'all gotta meet me all the way out here, I'll explain why, don't worry, but I guess y'all can follow me back to the gate. It's about a mile or two back. Just stick with me and don't drive over 20, the potholes are pretty damn nasty.
Off-Camera: What are you even doing out here in the middle of nowhere, James?
He shakes his head and sighs, wondering if the camera crew was listening to a word he was saying.
James Edwards: I was gonna wait and tell y'all once we get to the camp, but right now is as good a time as any, I guess.
He taps the side of his head like Winnie the Pooh in "Think, think, think" mode.
James Edwards: I've been doing some thinkin' about what's the difference between me and everybody else that she's beaten?
Off-Camera: You mean, Fujiko, right?
James Edwards: Yeah, anyway, I've been thinkin' about what's the difference between me, Marlon Cure, Sara Mason, and Izzy Anders. With the exception of Mason, I can't say that I'm better than the other two, at least right now. I don't have Marlon's athleticism. I don't have the ruthlessness that Izzy used to have when she was on top. Hell, if she showed any of that, she would've to beat Fujiko at Above and Beyond instead of going down like she did.
He waves off the point about Izzy Anders, realizing he is treading down a dangerous path with his comment.
James Edwards: That doesn't matter. I thought long and hard on this, and what scares me is that I don't have anything that sets me apart.
He raises a lone finger.
James Edwards: If you can't figure out what makes you different, then you've gotta make that reason yourself. The one thing I take pride in is my ability to focus. Now I ain't gonna do something unless I do it right. I ain't proud of it, but you couldn't name a better asshole in the wrestling than me last year, especially all that shit that went down with the US title. People are always gonna talk about that when my name comes up. That's because it wasn't an act. It was legit. I acted that way because I thought it was the right thing to do.
He pats his chest.
James Edwards: Wherever I go, whatever I do, I go with my whole heart. If you've followed my career, you know that I've been a fightin' champion all around the world, even when I had belts on different continents and was dog ass tired. Some of em' might not be that long because that's because I don't half-ass it. I take on all comers and don't ask for breaks. That's the only way I know how to be as a pro fighter. And that's why it's so dangerous for me to say I'm gonna be the one that is gonna end this two-year hot streaks she is on. That's the mistake that Marlon made. He thought he was gonna make history, and his mind wasn't right because of it. If I let that thought leech on to my brain, I'm fucked. You can't be cocky in a situation like this because then you don't put in the work that you, and only you, need to do.
He raises a finger again.
James Edwards: I gotta put the work in until I think I'm good enough to beat her. Right now, the best I can do is a draw. Maybe I can knock her out where she can't answer the bell if I can get a clean shot, but she ain't gonna give me an easy opening. So if I want to get to the point where I know I can win, I gotta give myself over to my training completely. And there is no better place to do it than rural Canada. I know it's weird because there are a thousand gyms that would've been happy to let me train at em'. This place feels right, though. Ontario and the Great Lakes states are where I've had a lot of success. I feel comfortable here. It's the closest place I've had to a home in a damn long time. The best thing about it, is there ain't much out here. That means no distractions. I can train and think in peace. I can devote myself entirely to becoming the most dangerous man I can be, the kind that can kill a Goddess. Y'all ready to go?
Post by James Edwards on Mar 8, 2020 23:18:13 GMT -5
Edwards stands out in front of an old popup camper.
James Edwards: Yeah, it ain't much, is it? All I've got out here is the camper, a campin' or kerosene stove--whatever the hell you wanna' call it inside--and my training shit. Anything else I just go get at a general store 40 miles down the road if the weather ain't shit.
He gestures back toward the mostly wide-open expanse behind him. A small grove of sturdy trees rests behind the camper.
James Edwards: The important thing is I got plenty of room to run, and when the wind ain't howlin' like a damn old dog, I can hang a striking bag from one of the trees and tee off on the sumbitch. You ever tried to hit one of those things when the wind is blowin'? It's a pain in the ass. They move around a lot.
James Edwards: I know people think I'm nuts for being out here like this when a thousand gyms would've let me stay and train at em' for free as long as they could post some stuff on Instagram of me doing my thing. I don't want state of the art for this fight, though. I kept tellin' myself that I wanted to devote myself to training and a nice gym is too much of a luxury; it's a distraction. I'd be too damn satisfied in a place like that. I wouldn't be hungry, and being hungry is important.
He gestures a thumb back to the Volvo.
James Edwards: I was my hungriest when I was first starting out, back when I spent a lot of nights sleepin' in the back of that car or cheap-ass motels. That was a time when I had to think about how fifty bucks was gonna feed me for close to six days until I got paid again. Listen, I'm lucky now, I've got enough money to where this experiment right here can be by choice and not my only option. But money makes you soft, and I wanted to get back to basics so I can go into this fighter harder than steel.
A ferocious gust of wind interrupts him and causes the camera operator to shiver audibly.
James Edwards: It ain't easy out here. I wake every day not knowin' what's going to happen. Somedays I can't strike because the bag keeps flyin' around and I spend more time dodgin' it than hittin' it. One day I might have to run in a foot or two of snow. There may be days where I gotta stay in the camper and just visualize how I'm gonna fight her. Nothing is certain. I gotta deal with adversity every day I'm here. When you're used to overcoming little obstacles, the big ones don't freak you the fuck out. If she throws something new at me in Vancouver, it ain't gonna throw me off. I'll be able to take it as it comes. That might not seem like a big deal, but I promise it might be what decides the damn fight.
Post by James Edwards on Mar 9, 2020 23:15:01 GMT -5
The fiercest wind is the Northwind, especially in the land of its birth, Canada, the country where James Edwards is currently taking a walk.
James Edwards: I get up every morning, and I talk so that I can clear my head. The first thing I feel when I walk out the door of the camper is the wind. That fucker will cut you down to size, but it's honest. The north wind is the truth, man, as crazy as they may sound. You can't hide from it, and when it hits you, it makes you stand still and pay attention to its presence.
He shrugs and keeps walking.
James Edwards: I think I read that somewhere. It sounds like something that Jack London or Gary Paulsen wrote. Anyway, like I said, I've been doing some thinkin' out here and the truth about fightin'. These days it's all about the numbers. Shit like how many days are people are going to be champion. I know she's been talkin' about that a lot. She's coming up on most days with the belt or the most title defenses, something like that, but I forget which one.
He pauses for a moment, letting the wind whistle.
James Edwards: That's my break with the majority of the roster, the obsession with numbers. Don't get me wrong, I used to give a shit about em', but not anymore. They don't feel real or something you should get excited about. Everybody in this sport can go on a ride, good or bad, at any time, whether two weeks or two years. Anybody in this sport can set a record and be a piece of trivia that folks might remember. That's good enough for some people, but not for me.
The wind stops his speech again, this time with the ferocity of a howling, wounded wolf.
James Edwards: Being the kind of fighter who wins a world championship, to me, means you gotta quit caring about being remembered. You can't go in expecting to be the who defines the belt. You don't define a belt; it defines you. You're not the exception in its history but are part of a bigger history. Thinkin' about that makes me feel small in a good way. It keeps me grounded. It reminds me that winnin' a world championship ain't always about God-given talent. Most of the time it's about hard ass work.
He holds up a finger.
James Edwards: It's about rememberin' that success in this sport and life starts with one foot in front of the other. One punch, one kick, one chop, and one suplex. That's the only number I care about: one. One's a number that makes you stay in the moment. It's a number rooted in the basics, and you can bet your ass that's gonna be my strategy in Vancouver. Hell, it's who I am. I ain't flashy. I don't bring sexy to this sport. What I do is that I do the small things well, which the hardest thing to do in the world because it requires effort every second of every day. When you do that, you can handle anything in the ring; you ain't afraid to do what's needed for the win.
A dark look comes over him.
James Edwards: The numbers make people arrogant. It gives them this idea that they need to do anything to keep the numbers movin' in their favor. They don't know when enough is enough; when it's time to quit. Sometimes people like that gotta go down hard, and the man in the position to pull the killswitch can't hesitate. He's gotta be in the moment. He's gotta remember he only has one choice: do the hard thing, do what's necessary.