A Dose of Reality

by (2010-04-04)
What you are about to read is as the title of this section professes, "In My Opinion". I have sat at the feet of some of the greatest Masters of Violence ever. No, not the ones you may think, but the ones who gave me a shellacking, beating, a humiliation and physical injury throughout my earlier life. No belts, except the ones with buckles, nor trophies, except the gnarled hands, crooked noses, and the occasional ones with the knife wounds. They indeed taught me that violence is really something MOST people do not understand, nor wish to.. And why not? Why can't we live in peace and safety, raise a family, etc, etc.? Because there is an ever increasing acceptance of violence that seems to turn attacker to victim and the assaulted into someone who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, or worse, was asking for it. All of which might have some truth to it, however.. This will not be a political treatise on what is wrong with society, but what could be improved Martially. I will only address what I have actually seen, taught on occasion, more than one occasion, and what I learned, tried and failed to control while a Police Officer, only to become enlightened with time on the job and many years of life. Preachy? Maybe a bit, but with all the sincerity and care that I can muster with such an oft visited subject in Martial Arts circles. If I had a commercial school, or if I had a large following of students locally, I would teach what I am about to present even more passionately than yesterday or 30 years ago. So, while this will be a two part series which won't cover everything, at least I'll have my short say and then the readers can decide for themselves to read on or move on.. Here goes.. The reality vs. the fantasy. Many authors relate their training to this saying, including my late teacher Edmund Parker Sr. I too, have used it so many times, but truth be told, leaned to the fantasy side more in the early days if for nothing else, the relief that I might be able to actually be one of those Gung-Fu warriors of the early, no sub-titled, glitzy, Hong Kong movies of the 50's and 60's. I was SO wrong, very wrong. I didn't really have too many "fights" in the early days of my Judo, Kenpo training. For a while I was a bartender in a working class bar in San Francisco, and mostly anything that resembled a "fight" was more of a pushing match and required more 'clinch' work that punching a kicking. Even then, however it hit me that this was real and had potential to turn at any time. Reality, was fast approaching. In the next segment, I'll continue with how I see most artists train, and those brave enough, change..