“Secrets” of the Filipino Fighting Arts
Words from a Modern-Day Warrior

A Man Trains His Entire Life

A man trains his entire life, just in case–and when that moment comes up, what happens?
I am going to get very personal with you.
I had a dream that my kids told me they had been to a man’s house near the park we live by, and that they had taken a nap there. After some questioning, I was unable to draw any real information from them other than the fact that they went to his house, had a snack, and fell asleep. Then, in the dream, I took a nap, and in that nap I was shown the man drugging my children and then molesting my daughter. I immediately woke up and went to the park, seeing the man from my dream (my kids were on the swing nearby waving to him), and–very vividly–I ran towards him, threw him to the ground and pounded him into unconsciousness, darn near death. People were screaming around me, my kids were crying and asking me why, and then the police arrested me. In his pockets, they found cookies laced with the “date rape drug”. As I woke from this nightmare, I heard the words I speak in my classes very frequently:  A man trains his entire life, and must ensure that he does not fail when he needs those skills.

It was a very painful dream. Seeing your child molested, even in a dream, is one of the worst experiences I wouldn’t wish even on my enemies. For minutes after awakening, I was angry enough that I actually wanted to kill or hurt someone. I couldn’t sleep the rest of the day. But not before going to the printer and designing a self-defense/streetfighting flyer with this incident in mind, wanting to arm potential students with a weapon that will not fail if the day arises that they will need to protect self and family, or carry out justice on someone who has hurt self or family.
I am not going to get into the conversation about whether it is ethical to commit an act of vigilantism after a child is hurt–even if your only “proof” is a dream or the words of a 9 year old. Excuse me, but if my 9 year old tells me that she is hurt by someone, that person will be punished terribly. And yes, my 9 year old has told lies before. And yes, I understand that I may hurt the wrong person. But I did not train my entire life to keep those skills on the shelf of doubt or hesitancy. I would hope that you would do the same if someone hurt your child. Look at a deer, defending its child from a bear. It would fight like a tiger, giving all–even its own life–to protect that baby. A deer. An animal not known for its fighting skills; an animal with no prey… It will kill a man, a bear, a dog, if you attack its child. Yet, we have people, many that are martial artists, that will not physically attack a person who has hurt their child in the name of abiding by laws or waiting on the police.
When I was living in River Terrace, a community in Washington, DC., a man raped an 11 year old in his apartment. Her father was blind and a disabled veteran. By the time the police arrived, the man was severely beaten and dying. I applaud them.
Same community, when the crack cocaine drug trade first started, the police were ineffective in stopping it. A group, called the Fruits of Islam, led by a gentleman named Michael 5X identified the drug dealers and one by one severely beat all of them, until our neighborhood was quiet at night. Not even the drug addicts would come down 34th Street NE. They repeated this feat in many neighborhoods, outclassing the police dept, even after several members had been shot. Regardless of what you may think of their politics or religious views (I am not a fan), these men get my utmost respect.
You may recall that when my house was broken into, I confronted the neighbors I suspected of doing it, angering my wife. When the smoke cleared, three of them went to jail, children were found to be abused, and the house was turned back over to the owner. Today, we have a new family next door and the house is cleaned up. ALL of the problems we’ve had on our street–fights, loud music, parties, teenagers hanging out late at night–have ceased. All because one person confronted them and refused to tolerate it. And they had been doing this for years on this street!
One night I was in a gas station talking to a friend of mine who is a school teacher at a nearby charter school. While we were talking, we were approached by a man asking for money (mind you, it was 10 p.m.). We told him we did not have money, and then he insisted that surely, we were lying–that we had just bought gas. I then told him, yes, I did have money, I was not going to give it to him, and if he kept pressuring us I would treat it as if he was going to take the money, so what did he want to do? He walked away. Some of you may think I was asking for trouble, but I did not train my entire life to sit and wait on being attacked. If he was bold enough to take an aggressive stance with us at 10 p.m., any weakness on our part would have invited him to elevate to the next level. The message I chose to send was, “I know what you’re doing, and if you want to try me out, I am going to hurt you.” We don’t spend our nights training for combat when we could be watching Seinfeld reruns, just to leave our safety up to chance when it counts.
When a man is a warrior, he fights less because he is provoked less. It is the guy in the “Save the Trees” T-shirts with the slender arms who faces danger more often because he fits the description of the kind of person you take from when the bad guys want trouble. When you wear the uniform of a warrior–not clothing, but your demeanor, your build, your language–people may underestimate you, but they will rarely choose to try and make you a victim. We train to become warriors by building our strength and character, by strengthening our bodies, by living healthier lives, by treating people well, by developing tools of combat, and ultimately, by mentally preparing ourselves to do damage when we need to.
That is one of the secrets of the masters:  to learn to take on the mind of a killer when the time calls for it; practice the art of hurting people and then develop the mindset that is capable of doing it. The martial arts are not as much a technical skill as one would think. Just look at the Youtube videos of FMA demonstrations. It’s basically a set of patty cake skills and neat demonstrations of how you can twist a guy up if he lets you. Some people like to show how quick they can swing their sticks, knives and hands. But the art is not about all of that! The art is how much damage can you inflict on a man when he deserves it, and how much you can take when he dishes it out. This can’t be learned in a four-hour seminar. And if won’t be learned in a comfortable, painless martial arts class format.
Hang around, and I’ll show you the way. Thanks for visiting my blog.
Advertisements

4 Responses to “A Man Trains His Entire Life”

  1. So valuable. I always enjoy your posts, but this one is a jewel. I’ll be sharing it. Maraming salamat po, salam alaikum.

  2. My neice was molested, and we found out who did it before the police got to him. after a lot of contemplatin, we chose to let the authorities handle it. immediately after sentencing (he only got 4 years of actual incarceration) i was overwelmed with the desire to put him 6 feet under. this was my greatest regret, along with my brother, her father.

    he is now out, and i still struggle with the temptation to find him and to give him the punishment he rightfully so deserves. i find it hard to believe that after 8 years he has actually paid his debt, and even harder to believe that my neice is teh only girl hes done tis to, or that he would ever stop. my brother has since passed away.

    that ordeal still hurts all of us, especially my brothes family, butit has made us closer and more careful and protective. i am a martial artist, and as you said, my hesitation failed me in what i prepared for. this art is not always, as you say “for defernse only”. sometimes a man has to go on the offensive.

    guro, your wisdom has touched a lot of lives, and this article in particular is espcially powerful. thank you.

  3. That’s my Big Brother! Moe! I have always admired you and your outlook on the martial arts(even tho you younger than me)! Even as a teenage fighter you were years ahead of your age. Glad to see that your still laying the smack-down all these years. I know those Cali fighters be wondering where all them extra hands be coming from! This honorary-DC-negro-for-all-those-that dont-know is the “real deal”, keep keeping it real baby! Greatings from #1 DEATH-KIDO aka B-More Underground

    One…

  4. Many who practice the arts never consider the decisions they may face one day. Those who are untrained have no choice but to do nothing. We karateka & Eskrimadors do have a choice, and if you hadn’t considered it before, which is to take matters into your own hands or not, it is one you may one day regret. Good reminder of the reality of real-world self defense and martial arts.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: