I once fought on the streets, for about three years all together, and in that time I was arrested several times and found guilty of inflicting everything from G.B.H. (Grievous Bodily Harm) to Wounding on those I fought with. I was stabbed a number of times, and eventually ended up behind bars as a guest of Her Majesty the Queen. I'd like to know how the street-smart seminar instructors of today managed to avoid collecting a similar criminal record for violence, you know, when they were field testing the skills they are now teaching.There's a whole lot more to the post, of course, but this part intrigued me for a few reasons.
Putting my utter stupidity and my teenage years behind me I have, over the past 36 years of karate training...
First, there are not that many people who will just bald-facedly admit to having a past like that. Usually people just make excuses, if they will admit to it at all.
I'm tellin' ya, I wish I had my teen and young adult years to live over again. I wasn't a convicted criminal, mind you, but I made so many idiotic mistakes and committed so many sins, mostly because I was convinced my brainpower gave me a better guide to what I should be doing than the people who were trying to counsel me, people who represented the distillation of generations of experience. I was wrong; they were right. And because I didn't listen, I have experienced only a fraction of the earning power I should have commanded, and that has made life much harder on my wife and children than it need have been.
Now, don't go cryin' for us. We don't starve. I'm just sayin' I could have made things a lot easier on us if only I'd listened, that's all.
Second, he did actually turn things around. I have no idea whether or not he is a Christian--usually I associate turn-arounds like that with Christianity--but really, there are not that many people who start out in life like that who turn things around. He did. Very impressive.
Third, think about what he's telling you. Here's a guy who was indisputably one of those "wily, crafty, desperate, willing-to-do-anything-to-you streetfighters," against the likes of which people are constantly telling you that traditional martial arts are useless--useless!--and what does he choose to train in?
Traditional Okinawan Goju Ryu, that's what.
Think he might have reason to believe that it'd work in the sorts of altercations which he's had in the past?
And, by the by, if you find yourself interested in Goju Ryu as a result of Mr. Clarke's writings, you can fairly easily find instruction in Japanese Goju Ryu in Oklahoma. If you're interested, there are some links in my sidebar.