RIP Evan Tanner

You may or may not be aware of the name Evan Tanner. He was the former author at fighting championship middleweight champion. He always seemed to have a taste for a challenge.  Whenever I see him fight or something disciplines are motionless and mysterious about him. He became known in his recent competitions for the great beard he’d grown, I can remember wondering if the bid offered some form of protection in all areas some kind of an advantage in the ring. Anyway, Evan has recently made a comeback after a couple of years layoff from mixed martial arts and hadn’t fared very well. He like many traditional martial artist for him decided he needed to train with mother nature had to face the roughness of the natural world.

  He wrote the following on his blog

I’m hoping that very soon I’ll be sitting out in the quiet of the desert beneath a deep blue midnight sky, listening to the calm desert breeze. The idea going into the desert came to me soon after I moved to Oceanside. It was motivated by my friend Sara’s talk of treasure hunting and lost gold, and my own insatiable appetite for adventure and exploration. I began to imagine what might be found in the deep reaches of the untracked desert. It became an obsession of sorts.

“Treasure” doesn’t necessarily refer to something material.

Today, I ran to the store to pick up a few things, and with the lonesome, quiet desert thoughts on my mind, I couldn’t help but be struck with their brutally stark contrast to my current surroundings, the amazing congestion in which we exist day to day. The landscape as far as I could see, crowded, choked, with me and the rest of the species, an almost writhing mass of organisms, fighting over space and resources,….on the highways, in the parking lots, on the sidewalks, and in the ailse of the stores. And to think, there are still places in the world where man has not been, where he has left no footprints, where the mysteries stand secure, untouched by human eyes. I want to go to these places, the quiet, timeless, ageless places, and sit, letting silence and solitude be my teachers.

I’ve been gathering my gear for this adventure for over a month, not a long time by most standards, but far too long for my impatient nature. Being a minimalist by nature, wanting to carry only the essentials, and being extremely particular, it has been a little difficult to find just the right equipment. I plan on going so deep into the desert, that any failure of my equipment, could cost me my life. I’ve been doing a great deal of research and study. I want to know all I can about where I’m going, and I want to make sure I have the best equipment.

One more week. I think one more week, and I’ll be ready to go.

Evans body was found in the desert. I suspect he gone for a run on the gone too far and could make his way back. It’s terrible that this motivated spiritual one day warrior has left us. It makes me think of the Ninja tradition which I’m studying whereby one enters the mountains to challenge the forces of nature and find oneself. It makes me realise the true danger behind some of the things I’m attempting to do. It also inspires me. I feel we’re at the start of a rebirth in martial arts. I believe that somewhere in the brutality of mixed martial arts is becoming reborn the true way of warrior. Something I believe the heart and spirit Evan Tanner represented.

Sun Watch


Return from Ninjutsu Training in Japan


Leave a Reply