You may know him as Mankind, Dude Love, Cactus Jack, or that pro-wrestler who really, really loves Tori Amos. I now know Mick Foley as the guy who taught me to kick ass.
After writing a post headlined , "Mick Foley Is Blowing Our Collective Minds" — so wowed were we by his advocacy for sexual assault victims — I received an email from the man himself with the subject line, "Mick Foley is very flattered." Foley wrote,
"I am occasionally criticized by wrestling fans for writing on subjects non-wrestling related. Your article and the response to it has strengthened my resolve to write about and speak about matters that feel important to me, especially concerning the challenges facing women— both in the US and around the world."
Not only does Foley prep for going balls-first into barbed wire by listening to Amos' "Winter," counsel rape victims anonymous online through RAINN, and donate his book advance to RAINN to boot. He also has beautiful manners — and is a really nice guy.
I got to learn that a few days ago in person, where Mick talked in greater detail about his devotion to what are traditionally known as "women's issues," and how he reconciles it with the world of the wrestling. And to further bring together those two worlds, I asked him to teach me some self-defense tips he learned from his 25 years of wrestling.
With his new book, Countdown To Lockdown, Mick has only recently become more vocal on the topic, and recently gave a speech to servicemen about preventing sexual violence. But in doing so, he risks being called on the treatment of women and the alleged glorifying of violence in his industry — which recently resurfaced around Linda McMahon's Senate campaign. (By the way, Mick says he "doesn't tend to vote Linda McMahon's way," but that he thought trashing the WWE would be a "losing argument for Democrats," because it seems classist.) Here is he is explaining how he reconciles these two sides of his life.
Oh, and he has a special message for the Jezebel commenter who said he had a mullet.
And here, the video of Mick passing on some tips on how to fend off a potential attacker. Watch me "put a healthy dose of punishment" on him, as he put it.
(Some necessary disclaimers: Most rapes do not involve a stranger attack, and "self-defense" can only go so far. The world of professional wrestling is entertainment, and rape is not entertaining. But there's nothing like getting your aggression out to get your confidence up, and it can't hurt to get some headbutting tips. Though hopefully it can hurt a deserving party.)
Camera work: Annie Fleming. Special thanks to The New York Health And Racquet Club.
Countdown To Lockdown
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Earlier: Wrestling Star Mick Foley Blows Our Collective Mind