How to Feel Safe

Martial Arts Philosophy


(October ‘96/#24)

Consider this philosophical argument…

Two human beings have decided to destroy the universe starting with two bodies. Thus, they throw the bodies at one another until they collide. The purpose of this collision is to create an explosion which will…destroy the universe.

The funny thing is…if they are successful in creating such an explosion…all they have really accomplished is destroying their perception of the universe.

To make a philosophical allusion….

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘I think therefore I am?’

This is a crucial sort of concept to man being able to justify his existence.

And the opposite is also true. To the extent that you are not able to coherently think you are not.

The martial arts make you think.

They don’t make you fight, unless, of course, you are practicing how to be tough (especially at the expense of your fellow man) instead of how to be yourself.

One of the safest experiences I ever had, in my adult life, was in Compton. Compton has children, people that care and…gangs and drive bys and people that shoot cops. It is a wonderful example of Americana.

Some years ago I went to a martial arts demonstration there. Standing in line with 300 other martial artists, all of who were discussing such things as style, technique, and the joy of dismembering bodies, I suddenly noticed a half dozen gang members swaggering down the walk. They had baggie pants and shirts that were fastened only at the top button and bandanas around their shaved heads.

And when 300 well trained, disciplined, hard-bodied pairs of eyes suddenly cast their gaze upon them, they shrunk and began looking around nervously.

No more braggadocio.

No more shove the kids and the old ladies off the walk.

And when a low rider drove by with just squinty eyes and the tips of gun barrels showing in the windows…same thing.

Slink, slink, slink.

None of the 300 wanted to fight, you see, but man…were they willing!

Thus, interestingly, a man of violence assumes the place of a Ghandi, or a Christ, or a Buddha, or some other great pacifists.

If you want freedom you must be willing to earn it.

You must earn it on a personal level. And you must earn it as a society.

If you want to keep freedom you must be willing to guard it.

You must guard it on a personal level. And you must guard it as a society.

Thus, it is imperative that you train, and practice, and share with your fellow man all that you know in honest and sincere fashion.

Or you could throw two bodies together until you become blind to the universe. Not a very sound martial arts philosophy, eh?

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