Wednesday, March 5, 2014


I've thought of the 'why' for sometime and dismissed the question consciously because I'd made peace with it. But only after reading this post from Mr. Miller, did I feel a need to articulate it.  People ruminate about the physical and temporal costs of training - I see a post like this on blogs about once a month. I have always framed it in another light: As low as the possibility of violence is for all of us in the developed world, and as high as the rigors of training might be, the physical and emotional costs of peril and violence can be enormous even if it happens once. Training - both physical and technical - is just like buying insurance for your business or saving for the future: just because you might never need that money doesn't mean you shouldn't have it. Having that extra money gives you peace of mind that is disproportionate to the amount of money that you saved. That peace of mind informs dozens of decisions that have nothing to do with the actual investment. There is a tangible value in that. In the same way, training and thinking about minimizing physical risk and danger synergizes with other aspects of your life to make that physical and temporal investment pay dividends in visible and invisible ways.

In short, how much time and money would you invest in becoming a better person, a tougher person?  A person less likely to be confronted, a person less likely to be attacked or victimized?  To do things out of love is a great motivation.  But love can't be the only basis upon which you do things.  There are plenty of things that we don't particularly love or enjoy - like saving money - that we should do and plenty of things that certain people love that they shouldn't do.  Smokers love to smoke - just because they love it doesn't mean they should do it.  I feel as though martiality and thinking about violence, confrontation, conflict are one of those things that we should do and learn regardless of our attitude towards it.  By framing it merely in subjective terms of love, fun and enjoyment, I feel it kind of reduces the endevour to something that is arbitrary and banal - like any other hobby that people delight in.  We should reach for a deeper motivation - a more profound calling to this pursuit. Protecting yourself - being a strong creature worthy of respect from others, a natural deterrent to violence - this isn't something to pursue just because its fun or because you enjoy it.  This is a quality that all humans should build within.  We should teach it to little boys and little girls - little boys should grow up knowing that if they try to hurt a girl, the average girl knows how to hurt boys.  We shouldn't live in a world where everyone can be made a victim.  We should live in a world where people operate with open eyes, know how to protect themselves physically, mentally, spiritually, and prepare for the future.

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