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Monday, April 4, 2011

Self-Defense: It's Not Just a Freakin' Hobby

More than a few times, I have read people pontificating on why they study martial arts. Some will tell you that they study to cope with stress, for physical fitness, for the cultural aspects, for the mental/spiritual effects, and so forth. Those are all valid reasons, too, and I don't wish to denigrate them, and yet...

It's amazing to me how many people study martial arts and are apparently utterly unconcerned (or else outright delusional--as in the case of people who study "martial arts" but spend most of their time on point sparring and so forth) about their applicability in real-world self-defense situations. It's like they just don't see a need to prepare themselves for conflict. It's like they think martial arts is a hobby, like tap or jazz dance, or ballet, or golf.

It's not. At least, it's not intended to be.

Let me suggest to you, if it hasn't occurred to you already, that you live in a world where people will cheerfully threaten you over your political views, as described by the father of one young lady, emphasis mine:
Kristen wrote this editorial (No thanks, Mrs. Obama ..) for her high school newspaper in February of this year. After the article was published, she underwent attacks from African-American students, parents, local church groups, and members of the community. She was called a racist, threatened with a knife, attacked verbally and physically in the hallways at school, and her vehicle tires were slashed in the school parking lot. Members of some local minority organizations even met to discuss how to retaliate against her and a boycott of her school newspaper was launched.
If you're interested, I believe that this is the text of article she wrote.

You live in a world where, through no fault of your own, you may, like a co-worker of mine, wind up the object of some drug-addled, bi-polar weirdo's obsession.

You live in a world where someday, they may be coming for you...

and you may find it vitally necessary to be able to break the grips of people attempting to take you somewhere you don't want to go, or to put a man on the ground with one technique.

And so many of you just don't seem to care. Frankly, you people freak me out.

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