Tuesday 1 May 2018

Blog Tour / Guest Post - Girl Fighter by Cyan Night


Welcome to the blog tour of Girl Fighter by Cyan Night. I am hosting the guest post by the author for my stop.

Battle of the Sexes 

Featured Image:

“Girl Fighter” explores the difficulties of women thriving in a male dominant field. Aliyah Kang, a female software engineer in her mid-twenties struggles to be taken seriously by her middle age male white colleagues. Outside her work hours, her battle with the opposite sex continues in her only hobby of combat sport. When a woman fights a man in a physical environment, everyone including other women, expects the woman to lose. Yet there are several combatants in history who had bravely defied the odds. 

Battle of the Sexes - Tennis
“No woman ever lived who could compete with a man on an equal basis.” These are infamous words of Bobby Riggs in 1973 before he went on to defeat his first women challenger Margaret Court. The better-known battle, however, was fought between Riggs and Billie Jean King that same year. The match had an estimated audience of 50 million in USA and 90 million worldwide. It remains as one of the largest audiences to see a tennis match in the United States.

King’s win over her opposite sex did not convince men of her superior athleticism over Riggs. Speculations of Riggs deliberately losing the match to win a financially lucrative bet threw a dark cloud over the glory of her victory. Fortunately, for a man who once professed his desire to be the number one “chauvinist pig”, Riggs acknowledged the legitimacy of his defeat as he declared, “People said I was tanking, but Billie Jean beat me fair and square.” 

Battle of the Sexes – MMA Take I
“99% of woman are too weak and lack the reflexes to do enough damage to stop 99% of men”, said the previously unknown Kristopher Zylinski. He was more commonly referred to as the Sexist Internet troll that eventually signed up to fight a female professional MMA fighter in early 2018.

45 years after King defeated Riggs, many men still see women as an inferior counterpart in sport. What has changed, however, is the willingness of women to step up to defend themselves. A number of women MMA fighters put their names down to go against the Zylinski, including the terrifying 6 ft. 2 tall, 236 lbs. Brazilian Fighter Gabi Garcia. Zylinski then clarified that he would only fight someone his weight class – at 160 lbs., but he would gladly take on a pro female fighter. Eventually, Tara LaRosa, an MMA veteran of 27 pro fights stepped in as the female representative in that battle.

Battle of the Sexes – MMA Take II
The fight was recorded and broadcasted on 22nd Jan 2018. In contrast to King vs. Riggs, the MMA Battle of the Sexes had a live audience of one man – the videographer.

Zylinski – a fit, muscular young man was worn down by his female opponent. He surrendered twice, first time due to exhaustion and later due to an arm bar. He claimed that LaRosa won because she was better conditioned to fight training. He considered the experience ‘eye-opening’ and did not expect for someone with his sound fitness level he would be gassed out within 4 minutes.

Any viewers who had expected Zylinski to win probably imagined a victorious knock out. Even LaRosa admitted as much, “Yeah I was nervous as hell… I thought to God … he was going to start like, swing on me and knock me out.” The reality, however, was that Zylinski had little grasp of striking distance and could not get close enough to attempt a punch. “The distance was very tough,” he explains. “You expose yourself a lot”. In his second effort to defeat her, he tried to wrestle her to the ground.

Unfortunately for Zylinski, grappling was where LaRosa was most advantageous. “My game plan… was to go to the ground immediately”. Nonetheless, she still needed to utilise her years of muscle memory, manoeuvring her opponent using her body weight instead of brute force. “Even on the ground he was stronger than me,” LaRosa conceded.

Mind, Muscle, Memory
Aside from luck and other external factors, Mind, Muscle and Memory are three main aspect of an athlete that can influence the outcome of a match. Men usually focus solely on ‘Muscle’. Undoubtedly, pound for pound, men are generally stronger and thus they decide that women will always lose.

In the battles of the sexes, from King vs. Riggs to LaRosa vs. Zylinski, the women won their tournaments via a superior mind game that drew on the wisdom of their memories. King changed her aggressive style and adopted a baseline game to counter Riggs’ defensive methods. She gained insight from the loss of Margaret Court earlier that year. Eventually, King wore Riggs down after forcing him to run far more than he was accustomed to. LaRosa observed that Zylinski “was not conditioned mentally. I know the drill, to relax, to breath regularly.”

“Sorry I could not do better,” Zylinski apologised sheepishly as he collapsed onto the mat at the end of his fight. When asked if he felt humbled by this, ‘Sexist Internet Troll’ followed the lead of his ancestor ‘Number One Chauvinist Pig’ and agreed readily.

Video footage of the match can be seen:

Follow the blog tour via the stops mentioned below.

And want to know more about the book?

Read on!

What kind of person signs up for a cage fight? 

 A novel that goes behind the scenes in the life of a female MMA cage fighter - the training, the dedication, and the danger. Written by a former competitive martial artist who can talk about the life and motivation of women who fight.

 Fighters are rarely the brainless thugs we imagine. Many are intelligent, highly-qualified and looking for an outlet. Most are marginalised, have experienced tremendous hardship and are looking for the only way out of poverty and/or abuse. 

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a real risk and fighters who suffer repeated head damage often show symptoms such as a negative shift in temperament and a severe reduction in productivity. While writing the novel Cyan Night joined several forums and support groups for TBI survivors and caregivers and included their experiences in the book.

 Aliyah, a mixed race Australian lives a solitary life as a computer specialist in London. She is born with an exceptional intelligence but her gifted mind does little to alleviate the pain she carries inside since her childhood. One day Aliyah stumbles upon a mixed martial arts gym. Like many fighters before her she finds peace in a sport that is seemingly violent. She takes on training with a military discipline as an easy substitute for any meaningful bond in her life. Her journey to her debut cage fight is challenging, but it does nothing to prepare her for the biggest fight of her life. Girl Fighter explores the motivations of a mixed martial artist, the challenges of women in combat sport and the unseen struggles of a brain injury survivor. 

About the Author 

Cyan Night is a self-professed martial arts junkie with training in Chinese Martial Arts (Wushu), Thai style boxing (Muay Thai), Brazilian Ju Jitsu, Judo, Fencing and MMA. She grew up in Asia, holds degrees in Design and IT from universities in London (where she lived for 6½ years) and currently lives in Melbourne. 

Girl Fighter is available in paperback and ebook 

For more information: 

View the trailer at: 

Connect with Cyan on social media: 

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