An acquaintance of mine mentioned a while back that he felt like a sinister force was in the air these days. It has stuck in my mind ever since. I feel it, too, in many ways. How about you? Maybe it’s always been there. Christ did say Satan was the Prince of the Air, did He not?
(By the way, I’m going to practice what’s left of my First Amendment Right to express my own faith in this article.)
It all gets me to thinking about fighting–not just physical fighting per se–all fighting, in general–spiritual, mental and physical. We all fight everyday, on some level, no matter who we are. That’s just a fact. It doesn’t matter what gender, or age, or color, or time. It is what it is, like a good friend of mine always says. I imagine we all “fought” when we came out of the womb. I was a month late. I don’t think Mom appreciated that. Sorry, Mom. Maybe I knew “something.” Yeah, we all fight.
You know, there’s so much horror and terror going on around the world right now–war, war, war. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by it all in this new digital age … overwhelmed by information, we are (channeling Yoda).
The stuff coming out of Syria right now, for example, will turn your stomach inside-out. And don’t forget about our brave military that has experienced numerous violent deaths and wounded among their ranks in over 10 years of continuous combat operations. Fighting, fighting, fighting–it never ends. Unfortunately, it’s nothing new. It’s the history of mankind! OH BOY!
So, with that in tow, we know it’s not going to end in our lifetimes. So what do we do? Well, we better learn how to fight, huh? I think it would be “prudent at this juncture.”
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to spend some time with a friend of mine who was a crew chief in the Air National Guard. Chris is one those guys that my friends and I describe as having a “spring up his ass” (lovingly, of course)–meaning, he is a boundless ball of energy, and his physical prowess is undeniable. As a matter of fact, he was a very experienced caver, as well. I even wrote about a cave trip he led not too long ago. You can read about it here.
Chris was a big proponent of a fighting style (i.e. martial art) called Jujitsu. He was quite adamant about it, by the way. He had studied Tae Kwon Do and Isshinryu Karate, but insisted that Jujitsu was his favorite form of martial art. Once again, he was adamant about it. I was intrigued. We discussed it a great deal.
I finally asked him if he would train me in the basics–from square-one. He agreed to it. Another friend (AAABTonto) joined us for about three months of training in our garage a few times a week.
Trust me, I’m no expert in Jujitsu, even after Chris’ lessons. It takes up to 10 years to receive an official “black belt” in the art of Jujitsu. Chris was a “brown belt”–which is very impressive. The first belt is “white.” That’s my belt! WINK! This was not “official” Jujitsu training, but Chris was a very good instructor. I’m very grateful to him for teaching us what he did.
Now, if any of the information I provide here is unorthodox, I blame Chris (no offense, Chris), for this was the only real exposure I ever had to Jujitsu. And let me reiterate, once again, that I am by no means an expert in the impressive art of Jujitsu–for all you men and women who are. No. This is just an article about my experience and thoughts about Jujitsu–in both the figurative and literal sense, and how it changed my own views on fighting–for the better, as far as I’m concerned.
One of the first things I learned about Jujitsu is the concept of dhan-tin (very loose translation)–meaning: always calm. No matter what, one must remain “calm” in the face of extreme adversity, otherwise one expends energy needlessly. This does not come naturally. You must acclimate yourself to it via learning total control. And nobody masters it. You just do it. It gets right down to how you breath, and even how you use your eyes–a technique known as Kamiya (another loose translation)–once again, as Chris taught me.
Jujitsu is a Japanese art–a deadly art, thus the need for total control during training. Chris explained to me that a true proponent of Jujitsu does not engage in competition. Why? Because it is lethal. If it doesn’t kill you, it will bust you up and break bones.They used to practice Jujitsu in full-contact combat back in the “day”; but after so many broken bones and corpses hauled out of the ring, they came up with Judo–a subset of the lethal art of Jujitsu. Although, as you well may know, UFC fighting is quite popular these days. I don’t think it would make the True Master happy, but … whatever you’re into, man! WINK!
Now, it was explained to me this way: the true student of Jujitsu does not throw the first punch. As a matter fact, if you were trained in a true Japanese Dojo, by a Master of Jujitsu (Sensei), and you used the training he taught you for your own gain or vengeance against others, you would fight the Sensei (Teacher) in mortal combat–such is the graveness of misusing the art to those who teach and respect the art. There is a strict code. The point here is if you think you’re badass enough to learn from the Sensei, and take that training to do harm to others, then you’re badass enough to fight the Sensei in mortal combat.
Jujitsu is a fighting style that uses an attacker’s own momentum, aggression and hate against the attacker. It’s really physics in practice–using the mass and momentum of an object to increase its own velocity against itself. But, of course, it requires lots and lots of training–for humans are wily critters–definitely easier said than done. Besides, physics can be quite complex!
Chris was adept at taking down several big guys rushing at him using a rather (or what appeared to be) simple tactic. When his opponent is rushing at him, at the right time, he will simply step to one side and use both hands, in a controlled maneuver, to send the attacker forward ever faster–which would result in the attacker going much faster than they expected and they would crash to the ground. (By the way, Jujitsu does its “best work” on the ground.)
If you are a running, and I come up behind you, and push you, your own momentum, with just a bit of effort from me, will send you crashing to the ground; it won’t matter how big or small you are.
If you’re a watcher of NFL football, you’ll notice many great wide receivers (not to be confused with Operation Fast and Furious–which is fundamentally different from Wide Receiver) are very good at recovering their equilibrium when pushed from behind. It is not easy to recover! And many times they go down. That’s why they get payed the big bucks–and are physical specimens to boot.
Which brings me to a question that Chris first asked me …
QUESTION: “What always happens in a fight?”
ANSWER: “Somebody always ends up on the ground.”
What really fascinated me about Jujitsu was the emphasis on meditation. We would start off a training session with meditation in the proper lotus position. We only concentrated on our center of mass–our chi–(right below the belly button) and just concentrate on breathing–attempting to expunge all thought from our minds and just listen to the world around us. It was so hard to do this, for even five minutes, when we first started–my mind raced. But, after a while, we were meditating for upwards of an half-an-hour, but it felt like five minutes. Mediation of this sort truly does center and crystallize your reflexes and responses, in my very humble opinion. You become attuned to what is going on around you instinctively–very powerful–highly recommended.
We would then would do a lot of stretching and cardio exercises. This was the bulk of the training session–to the point where we were pouring in sweat and panting for breath (stretching and cardio helps prevent injury during training). Then, we would practice the different katas, or fundamental fighting techniques, and always with “total control.” We didn’t want to hurt each other, but we still need to learn how to fight. If things got too painful, we tapped twice and let off, and vice versa. TOTAL CONTROL … ALWAYS! That was the rule of the day.
Now, what fascinated me about Jujitsu was what I would call its morality. It’s not about competition; it’s not about using it for your own gain; it’s not about throwing the first punch; it’s about throwing the last punch, and only if required, and only to point that it is required. It’s about self-defense, and for the defense of others, but not for self-gain by doing harm to others.
I had a bit of a revelation while I was meditating once during one of our training sessions. It had to do with the teachings of Jesus Christ. Many talk of Jesus saying turn the other cheek, in reference to violence. It is written that way, no? I also believe Christ said “don’t resist violence.” It’s like spiritual Jujitsu. It never throws the first punch, but it sure as hell (forgive me) will throw the last one … if it is forced to!
Recently, I watched a documentary about the SAS. The narrator was a grizzled twenty-year SAS veteran. One thing he said really stuck in my mind–“war is not science.” It’s about fighting! It is not science. Science may be employed to assist war (i.e. weapon systems), but it’s an art–and a lethal and brutal one at that.
The ancient Chinese military philosopher Sun Tzu, who wrote the book The Art of War, points out in his maxims that the warrior must be knowledgeable of “earth and sky”–meaning, one must understand the environment in which one will fight, or not fight. Remember: there is a season.
There is a similar theme with the Samurai Warrior. One that surprises many Western minds when they hear about it for the first time. Samurai Warriors were accomplished florists, in addition to being fierce warriors. Why? They appreciated symmetry and beauty; and believed that their warrior craft was perfected in symmetry and beauty. Powerful indeed, if you ask me.
By the way, some NFL football players have studied ballet for the same reason. It’s an art. It opens your mind; you develop your own style, not to mention the great shape you’ll be in!
One of my favorite heroes of hand-to-hand combat will always be Bruce Lee. He was the real McCoy. One of the downsides of being a badass like Bruce Lee was the fact that there is always some yahoo willing to see if you’re really “all that.” There is a famous story of some mental-midget knocking on the front door of Bruce Lee’s home to challenge his fighting prowess. Lee knocked him out in seconds (maybe with his famous one-inch punch) and slammed the door shut. Reminds me of the adage, “All that macho shit will get you as far as the front door!”
Bruce Lee taught that one should not become locked into any one style. Bruce Lee believed in “no-style,” but learned many styles! He would employ boxing, Kung Fu, Jujitsu, Karate–whatever the situation required. He learned it all, but was subservient to no style. But you have to start somewhere … Jujitsu is a damn good start, in my opinion.
Bruce Lee also taught students that everyone has a fighting style–no matter gender, age, size … you have a fighting style. Perfect it!
It is written in Scripture that God is the One who creates he who forges the weapon:
“I have created the blacksmith who fans the coals beneath the forge and makes the weapons of destruction. And I have created the armies that destroy….”
–Isaiah 54:16 (New Living Translation)
The Progressive Left just loves to use Scripture when it may further their political goals. And there are those admitted Christians who are prone to total pacifism, in my opinion. Scripture does not support this, in my humble opinion. I don’t believe that God requires us to be a doormat. As is stated in the Book of Ecclesiastes (Old Testament), there is a season for all things. For example, sometimes it’s a Russian Winter … sometimes it’s an Arab Spring.
When I’m dealing with an opponent who will use anything against me, and that opponent is telling me I can only use A, B and C–like progressives are wont to do–well … it’s instinct … Homey don’t play dat!
This is what I see from some on the right-side of the political spectrum: they seem fearful to put everything on the table. I don’t get it. I don’t ever want to get it–for I know it to be suicide. If you’re not willing to fight–or even learn how to fight–then get out of the way and let someone who is.
I believe it would behoove those who wish to win the fight against the Progressive Left’s onslaught on individual sovereignty to learn the spiritual principles of Jujitsu and use the Left’s own momentum against them. Use your enemy’s strengths against them. Like the Evil Emperor Palpatine ominously said to his enemy, “Yes, yes, let the hate flow through you!”
No one ever said this was going to be easy, i.e. preserving a republic–freedom and liberty. But could you think of more worthy thing to fight for? Are you not going to put it all on the table? Your enemy is!