Ken Lay: Cage Fighting, Bloodshed and Resonating Against the Void


To my mind, Ken Lay is more than just a police chief; he’s an exceptional public figure, fighting to make a crucial difference to Australian society.

In the following Herald-Sun article, Ken Lay has taken an articulate, uncompromising stand against violence against women.

“Since I’ve been Chief Commissioner, when you think about key community issues you often think about who are the spokesmen? Who are the community advocates, who are the high-profile advocates? In the violence against women space, there’s no one,” he said. “There’s no male that stands up and says, ‘This is simply outrageous and it needs to stop.”

“How did we get to a space where men think it’s all right to reach out and grab a woman on the breast or pinch her bum in a hotel? How can we think that’s all right?”

Having grown up in a home where I saw my mother abused, and then working for seven years as a bouncer and seeing women constantly sexually assaulted, I share his opinions.

While it is a bit vulgar (like bragging about an act of charity), I recently quoted this article during an altercation in a locker-room in order to do what Mr. Lay thinks is right.

That said, I (predictably) disagree with Lay’s stance on mixed martial arts. He said that

“It concerns me when we start considering cage fighting in the world’s most liveable city, especially when we’re seeing such great progress in reducing violence in our community,” Mr Lay said.

“It would be disappointing if we went down the path of glamorizing this extreme violence.”


I think Lay has a different experience of mixed martial arts to most enthusiasts of the sport.

Dan Kelly, distinguished Australian mixed martial artist, had this to say in an article recently published in what has become one of the best sources for Australian news, The Guardian Newspaper online:

Kelly says,

“I was outright offended by the false insinuations that MMA somehow provokes violence on our streets.

“I’m a husband, father, teacher and four-time Olympian, professional mixed martial artist. I’m not a thug who instigates or encourages any form of senseless street violence. For my government and my police chief to say otherwise is completely insulting to me and my chosen profession.

“In fact, the opposite is true. Anyone who has trained in any form of marital arts will tell you it’s a humbling experience. Martial arts is all about discipline, respect, honour and humility. It’s the answer to street violence, not the cause.”

I agree with Kelly, but there’s more to it than that.


Rather than engaging in a rant (which is very easy to do), I think it’s better to quote Cormac McCarthy, author of All the Pretty Horses, The Crossing, The Road, No Country for Old Men and Blood Meridian, who I believe to be one of the world’s greatest living writers.

“He woke all night with the cold. He’d rise and mend back the fire and [the wolf] was always watching him. When the flames came up her eyes burned out there like gatelamps to another world. A world burning on the shore of an unknowable void. A world construed out of blood and blood’s alkahest and blood in its core and in its integument because it was that nothing save blood had the power to resonate against the void which threatened hourly to devour it.”

– Taken from The Crossing.


Blood is a flag that represents courage, persistence and sacrifice. Just as pain is proof of love, blood is proof of life.

Thanks to William Luu for the use of his exceptional fight photos.

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