When you begin to feel like you are a tough guy, a warrior, a master of the martial arts or that you have lived a tough life, just take a moment and get some perspective with the following:
I've stopped knives that were coming to disembowel me
I've clawed for my gun while bullets ripped past me
I've dodged as someone tried to put an ax in my skull
I've fought screaming steel and left rubber on the road to avoid death
I've clawed broken glass out of my body after their opening attack failed
I've spit blood and body parts and broke strangle holds before gouging eyes
I've charged into fires, fought through blizzards and run from tornados
I've survived being hunted by gangs, killers and contract killers
The streets were my home, I hunted in the night and was hunted in turn
Please don't brag to me that you're a survivor because someone hit you. And don't tell me how 'tough' you are because of your training. As much as I've been through I know people who have survived much, much worse. - Marc MacYoung
WARNING, CAVEAT AND NOTE
The postings on this blog are my interpretation of readings, studies and experiences therefore errors and omissions are mine and mine alone. The content surrounding the extracts of books, see bibliography on this blog site, are also mine and mine alone therefore errors and omissions are also mine and mine alone and therefore why I highly recommended one read, study, research and fact find the material for clarity. My effort here is self-clarity toward a fuller understanding of the subject matter. See the bibliography for information on the books. Please make note that this article/post is my personal analysis of the subject and the information used was chosen or picked by me. It is not an analysis piece because it lacks complete and comprehensive research, it was not adequately and completely investigated and it is not balanced, i.e., it is my personal view without the views of others including subject experts, etc. Look at this as “Infotainment rather then expert research.” This is an opinion/editorial article/post meant to persuade the reader to think, decide and accept or reject my premise. It is an attempt to cause change or reinforce attitudes, beliefs and values as they apply to martial arts and/or self-defense. It is merely a commentary on the subject in the particular article presented.
Note: I will endevor to provide a bibliography and italicize any direct quotes from the materials I use for this blog. If there are mistakes, errors, and/or omissions, I take full responsibility for them as they are mine and mine alone. If you find any mistakes, errors, and/or omissions please comment and let me know along with the correct information and/or sources.
“What you are reading right now is a blog. It’s written and posted by me, because I want to. I get no financial remuneration for writing it. I don’t have to meet anyone’s criteria in order to post it. Not only I don’t have an employer or publisher, but I’m not even constrained by having to please an audience. If people won’t like it, they won’t read it, but I won’t lose anything by it. Provided I don’t break any laws (libel, incitement to violence, etc.), I can post whatever I want. This means that I can write openly and honestly, however controversial my opinions may be. It also means that I could write total bullshit; there is no quality control. I could be biased. I could be insane. I could be trolling. … not all sources are equivalent, and all sources have their pros and cons. These needs to be taken into account when evaluating information, and all information should be evaluated.” - God’s Bastard, Sourcing Sources
“You should prepare yourself to dedicate at least five or six years to your training and practice to understand the philosophy and physiokinetics of martial arts and karate so that you can understand the true spirit of everything and dedicate your mind, body and spirit to the discipline of the art.” - cejames
“All I say is by way of discourse, and nothing by way of advice. I should not speak so boldly if it were my due to be believed.” - Montaigne
To Ask for Help
Pride is something that has to be resisted a lot in life. Pride is one of those things that gets folks into trouble, sometimes trivially and sometimes to a point of damage both physical and psychological. When you achieve a level of practice and training - longevity of say twenty or more years - you can fall into a mode where an assumption you need not ask questions or ask for help becomes an unconscious thing (for lack of any better descriptive word). The reverse is kohai who don't question or ask questions of either sempai or Sensei.
I have to say that as a person of a particular gender this is more of an issue for that gender than the other one. It comes down to the perception of face, to the teaching that a certain gender cannot allow things to be expressed or admitted or lived because one may lose face (with all the baggage that comes with that).
The moment we allow ourselves to "not ask for help" we stifle our growth; mentally, physically and spiritually. I think of it this way, as a Sensei or a Sempai I do an injustice to those who choose to follow my example if I allow myself to stop asking questions, seeking answers and asking for help.
SG's theme in the post of hers was a bit closer to a personal need for help but that is not the limit she seemed to convey to me. Like my post of face, asking for help is not just about when you are in danger, feeling those emotions that hurt but rather whenever your in need of some help from any and all sources.
A key to asking for help is to let go of your ego, let go of your pride and take that step - a most difficult step in certain instances for certain genders - and ask. Communications are such that you can contemplate the situation and then compose the question in a form that will allow you to preserve face, if needed, and allow both parties to come to a synchronistic joining of the minds that helps you and in almost all cases teaches both something, important.
Building a bridge between others is crucial to communications and to tribal cohesion (think family, friends, and dojo mates). Building a bridge that transcends any face, ego or pride means survival at it its most basic level and at the fundamental level means learning, growing and attaining knowledge that hopefully meets the "do" of karate-do, to attain enlightenment and all it entails.
When you know you need something, personal or non-personal, don't allow that instinctive resistance to stop or hinder; consider it, contemplate it, and then ask for help.
Rank, age, style, system, race, creed, country, beliefs - none of it should stop you from getting help especially if of such a personal nature it causes you harm. After all, self defense is all about avoiding damage.