January 10, 2012

Young Guys and Warrior Energy

Testosterone has been called the aggression chemical. An average adolescent male is experiencing five to seven surges of this chemical a day, increasing the presence of that hormone in his body up to 800% over the course of a day. This results in new and confusing feelings of physical and sexual energy, increasing strength, muscle growth, and feelings of personal power. This is part of the reason young males show up so full of themselves, aggressive, restless, moody, and looking for any opportunity to test their newly-discovered potential. Another way to say all that is adolescent males, full of testosterone, are perfectly primed to hear the call to become warriors.

When I think of a "call" to be a warrior, there is nothing I've come across that can match the War Haka from the Maori people of New Zealand. There are different types of hakas, and they are performed by both genders, but the most fierce is the War Haka. It was traditionally used by male warriors before battle, to demonstrate their viciousness, aggressiveness, strength, and battle skills, in order to discourage and scare the crap out of the enemy. It's still used that way today.

The first video clip of two just below, shows the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team doing the War Haka at the 2011 World Cup tournament. As someone commented on YouTube, It looks like those guys will eat your liver for breakfast and your kidneys for dessert. Yikes! This clip sets the War Haka bar for the boys in the next video.

The second video shows hundreds of adolescent males at the 2011 Westlake Boys Haka Competition. I couldn't help but feel this was a great way for all these high school guys to channel all that young dude warrior energy.

BIG QUESTIONS: Adolescent males don't have a choice about what's going on in their bodies. Does your community provide a variety of positive outlets for this powerful warrior energy? Another question that haunts me is, what is a normal adolescent male to do if there are no positive outlets? If you have answers to these questions, please tell us about it in the comments section for this post, or contact me with your response.

Use this link if the All Blacks Rugby Team clip doesn't show up.

Use this link if the Westlake Boys Haka Competition clip doesn't show up.

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  1. Spot on Earl. The Haka is an amazingly positive channel for excess male energy, and despites its supposed intent for me is just part of nature and its outcome peaceful.
    In Australia, we have lots of wonderful nature, deserts rainforests to be explored. Ideal places for teenagers to expend their energy purposely and to learn to connect with the nature and its wildness.
    It would be great if there was more of it for our teenagers. Paddy

  2. Tim W.9:12 PM

    Another interesting blog, and (you guessed it) my ambivalent feelings about the aggressiveness / violence it seems to celebrate, Although I really appreciated how you discussed (at the end) about how to channel this energy / hormones "positively".

    I've been thinking about your/our mission and have been thinking about how, in order for men to fully actualize themselves as they grow older, it's essential that we (in whatever means seem appropriate)mentor younger people. This may be as a grandfather, scout leader, teacher, etc. Men must recognize what's in it for them, not just as an altruistic endeavor, although I think the latter has merits too.

  3. Terry S.10:57 AM

    I just finished your latest post, always a delightful read. Friday night one of our men's groups watched and later discussed the movie, "The Warrior." If you haven't seen the movie, it may be available on DVD and is well worth viewing. The father wound is beautifully played out by Nick Nolte as well as his two sons. The real gem of this movie, in my mind, is the powerful force of male violence as manifested through mixed martial arts. Our group of men had an enlivened and vulnerable discussion around male violence in the culture and the reality of this dimension of masculinity in our own lives. Male violence, even as it is played out in this particular art form, is visceral and powerfully expressed in this movie.


Your response to this blog post is appreciated and welcome.