15 Minute Philosophy: Martial Art

“Martial Arts is a way of life, an all inclusive system and method of combat. It is any and everything and excludes nothing.” – Master Kafi Roberts

MP3: 15MinPhi Martial Art

This was originally written for a certain instagram boxing troll that still lives with his single mom, along with people outside of the school and organisations I have worked and partnered with that think they can give me orders. But I realized: not only do these mere mortals not matter, but I never put into writing the training and experiences I’ve been through that qualify me as a quote unquote “expert” in combat, let alone at least one asshole you don’t want to piss off. Original quote I had for this essay: “The tragedy of the stupid is they almost never know what danger they’re getting in until it’s too late. If you only knew just who were talking to, you’d need a change of underpants.” Don’t say you weren’t warned after reading this!

“Pictured: not someone I’m worried about”

Back to the original quote. Not much up there about not picking fights even if that was what I was doing. So who is that guy I’m quoting up there? Oh nobody, just one of the people that contributed his own style of martial arts to the school (Universal Kenpo & Ju Jitsu, or UKJJ in short), and one of the masters that I have a black belt under, an honorary one to be clear. He also has the distinction of hosting one of the training locations I almost died at! He is not, however, the main instructor I was and still under should my services be needed again. That would be Grandmaster Dennis Horton, who actually recruited me from the now decommissioned school that taught Shorin Ryu Karate (which is where I got my start, and also my first black belt, 1st degree), put me through quite the training regimen, some of which I am sworn to secrecy to this day (again, almost died), and where I got the main black belt I wore until I retired and moved away.

“I have my doubts she has gotten that kind of conditioning.”

What did we teach, and what did I learn while there(yes, I was also an instructor which is a 3rd degree black belt or Sensei, and if you noticed there are only 2 stripes, the reason is I was ceremonially promoted after I moved, given I was doing that job for years anyway): Combat Martial Arts. Not BJJ (which we think stands for BlowJob Jiujitsu), not MMA, not McDojo Taekwondo; actual hand to hand and weapons training meant for real world combat situations. It includes (but is not limited to): Shotokan & Shorin Ryu Karate, Kenpo, Sanuces Ryu Eye To Eye Ju Jitsu, Tai Lau Kune Do, Hun Gar Southern Kung Fu which incorporates Tiger, Crane, Shaolin & Dragon fists(they started teaching Northern Kung Fu after I left, the bastards; that’s the fun one that fits my frame a lot better), other fists of kung fu including Snake (yes @journal_of_anthro_engineering, I know a bit of your style), Eagle, Monkey, Leopard, and Mantis, Muay Thai kick boxing, a bit of stand up boxing even though it’s a bit redundant, defence against Brazilian Jiujitsu, and a bit of Drunken Kung Fu technique.

“Pictured: none of the above. ”

But wait: there’s more: weapons forms including Bojitsu (Staff, my first weapon actually, and I still have it), Kenjutsu (katanas or really any long bladed weapon; I specialised in duel wielding so I could utilise my favored machetes more effectively), Silat (knife techniques), escrima (Filipino fighting sticks), okinawan weapons like Sais, Kamas (basically sticks with hooked blades at the end), nunchucks, hatchets (yes, we got some Native weapons in too), and others I can’t remember, along with pistol, shotgun and long rifle marksmanship.

“pictured: 74″ of social distancing. ”

” pictured: diversity. ”

Basically, if you made it to brown belt (we’ll get to why that’s important in a moment), you could effectively take on just about any style out there and use just about anything as a weapon (including a dinner plate once, true story), the latter being what I specialised in. If you were one of the 8 or 9 people out of 5000+ attendees to come through and most likely wash out of the program that made it to 1st degree black, you can do that against an entire room and make it out safely; a comparison I give to make it easier to understand us versus other martial schools is that we’re the Green Berets to the rank and file U.S. Army, or Seal Team 6 to the average Navy Seamen. I made it to 2nd before I left and got the teaching rank of 3rd later. So one might say I was an exceptional member of this society. But what is all of that without experience? Glad you asked!

“Here to answer any questions you wish to “axe” me. See what I did there!?…. I’ll see myself out. ”

Classified field assignments aside, we went through many tournaments: local, statewide, and world wide. Keep in mind: one requirement was that we always fought at least one rank above our current one. A quick story to showcase this along with our own reputation: 3 of us ended up stopping 15 other guys (that’s 5 on 1 for those of you raised by public school), half of them wearing black belts, from charging a ring our instructor got into an altercation with his combatant and 3 other people. We were wearing brown belts; we were actually green belts. I’ve told the story of one of us ruining some poor guy’s Rocky 4 moment with an actual doctor intervening to end the match (“Come on guys, I’m wiping the boy’s blood off my foot!”), and another of us during a weapons match hilariously choosing an escrima stick in one hand and a nunchuck in the other, and mercilessly beating the hell out of the founder of the event (it was their inaugural one, I don’t think they ever held it again). As for my own exploits (which, looking back as the main photographer, I regret not getting most of this footage), I have a few that stand out: facing off against a 300lb linebacker (the match had to be called early due to both of us continuing to fight despite the rules, I won), the founder and grandmaster of a martial arts school who previously lost against my own instructor (he’s dead now for an unknown reason, allegedly), a back to back to back 3 round 3 minute continuous sparring match with fresh opponents, losing by a single vote in the last round (anyone that’s fought for at least a minute nonstop knows what that means), and an actual U.S. Army Ranger that attends our school during off time and is also larger than me (he gave me the best challenge out of everyone outside of my classmates, though I managed to accidentally throw him into a pile of chairs); just in case you think me comparing us to the Green Berets was hyperbole, we actually helped train one, and last I heard he made it into the SEALS. Weapons mastery aside, one of things that makes me dangerous is I have a knack for pulling the most random moves out of the box: case in point, I have the distinction of being the only student (or at least one of the only) to ever knock my instructor off his feet, using an angled flying leg sweep not taught in class, and he isn’t exacly new to dealing with off the wall techniques, especially mine. No worries, he continued to kick my ass after as per usual, but unpredictability, or chaos, is another skill set I bring to the table.

“Meanwhile, at least she’s working on her form and actually hitting something. (last one I promise.) ”

So how about application outside the field? Again, a whole lot of classified tales aside: one time I had to pull a guy off the host of a party I was attending, utilising a Japanese death lock (one of the choke holds taught, also my personal favorite): no matter what flailing and swinging the poor schlep did he couldn’t get out, eventually everyone there had to pull us apart. Another time was at a hot springs: some fat chick for whatever fucking reason picked a fight with me, and one of my deflection moves made her hit herself in the face, prompting her to stop and cry (why don’t I take women seriously @nick_schulaner?). This also prompts the natural male response of some giant Texan to get involved, asking if I just hit a woman. After trying and failing to explain what happened, I lost patience and just said “yeah, and what the fuck are you gonna do about it?” He swings, I evade and promptly lost my footing in the muddy hot spring we were in (failing the 3rd step of awareness: know your environment), and he gets on top of me and pushes me completely under water; most others would be completely at the mercy of their opponent at this point. A side note: I was known as the “nice” one compared to the other instructors there, meaning I tend to be more gentle and playful with both students and opponents, fighting without really trying to hurt them, sometimes to my own detriment. But once you piss me off, that unlocks a very brutal side of me, one few have ever seen (visited the folks a while back and saw the solid oak front door where I lost it for a flash and tried to pull back a punch aimed at it: the crack in the door is still there; pretty sure had I not I would have penetrated. For a nice visual, here’s a Bleach reference: https://youtu.be/Ul5J2gjJPcI ). This was one of those moments where I lost it: I managed to get my feet under me, stood up with him on my back, and threw him out of the tub and proceeded to reach out of it to continue attacking. This is when (finally) everyone else decided to intervene. I managed to escape out of their grasp, make it to where my pants were, and draw a blade, commanding everyone there to stand down and the fat bitch to leave immediately (she actually walked the 3 or 4 miles back to the highway still in her bathing suit). A happy side note, the guy that was thrown out of the tub and I ended on pretty good terms, something guys usually do after a good fight. Quite a few more stories, but I’ll save those for another time.

“Pictured: 8” of “shut the fuck up and do what I say”, favored by actual border guards. Ask me how I know! ”

One last thing about my training. Brown belt. The hardest rank to attain in my school, physically speaking, even beyond black belt. It requires 3 days of testing. Day 1, a Wednesday, given classes are Mondays and Wednesdays. The standard 50 pushups & sit ups warm up, about 8 or 9 different katas/forms to pull off flawlessly including the Hun Gar kung fu form, 7 throws, 10 takedowns, the standard ukemi/break fall techniques, staff & escrima forms and techniques (fun story: I performed my staff blocking techniques against my instructors master staff: mine broke in half halfway through, and I managed to continue defending myself with the remaining half. One of my other classmates that had the same happen to him? Not so lucky, or intuitive I guess. Arrogant to claim the title Weapons Master? Maybe….), and after all that, recite all of the martial arts definitions, lessons and mantras taught. There’s more to that which I have forgotten, but most people don’t make it through that. Day 2, Thursday. You go with Grandmaster Horton himself to Venice Beach. You begin with a 3 mile run in the sand, perform a 45 minute session of calisthenics exercises, run the 3 miles back to the starting destination (sidenote: if you paused or walked during any of this, you failed), and performed decline knuckle pushups well beyond failure, the count going to at least 600. You were encouraged to stop or quit at any time if you wanted, though again you would fail in doing so. Day 3, Friday. How I wish I could tell you what that entails, but I am sworn to secrecy about that. All I can tell you to give you a hint is that a week later, when I came in to receive my new brown belt, I could barely walk.

“meanwhile… (I lied.)”

As I look back at this and everything I haven’t written, I for one find that incredible. Not just for the accomplishments themselves, but the fact that through most of that I was overweight and not nearly as powerful as I am now, although I had a fair amount of strength, speed and endurance back then, and built it up to quite a decent level. This training, in case it wasn’t already made clear, had a core tenet to it: you had to be willing to accept death, and therefore be willing to die (this is one reason why I can’t talk about a lot of stories); if you weren’t, you washed out. I made it through all of that and even farther than even most of the handful that do, purely through some intellect and mostly from sheer willpower. These days I wonder, with the power I have now, how I would fare enduring those trials today. So when some front desk guy or a bus driver tells me I’m not allowed to use certain language because I correctly labelled the local population Retards (it is the middle of March 2020 as I am writing this, look up Coronavirus and Toilet Paper Gate), I find that hilarious: on what authority are you giving me this order, and do you have what it takes to make me comply with said order? Give it your best shot buddy. Some black kid just getting into boxing like @georgemsimpson2000 guided by testosterone poisoned by cortisol thinks he’s badass enough with his USDA Prime marbled muscles and his rent free address he invited me to so his homies can back him up in kicking my ass? Aside from the fact that his sport is sanctioned ring centric yet he pussies out of having to sign a death waiver to fight me, then accusing me of not being a mature martial artist by picking a fight even though I merely asked him to put his money where his mouth was, I’ve been training to fight longer than he’s been able to walk. You think I fear this steroid taking fucking kid? Perhaps you should consider thinking again, and to help with that, let’s give some tactics that I might possibly employ should I take this poor boy up on his offer. And boy, if you’re reading this, and still think you and the home boys have the upper hand, take a seat while I tell you just who you’re talking to.

“Pictured: my worst nightmare, allegedly.”

First problem with inviting me over to where you live: you ever consider why I don’t let everyone know where I am? For one, SWAT has been here, twice. But second is if someone were to track me down, I would go to jail where there’s no tequila, and they would go underground forever. As far as your offer: it assumes I would engage you in the visual arena to begin with. And I have quite the roster of tactics I could theoretically employ (this ambiguous enough for you FBI?), the most conspicuous of which would be a .22mag from a bolt action ruger or crossbow bolt at range. Poisoning the household tap water (unlike the armed forces, I don’t mind a bit of collateral damage: they raised you, they’re responsible for your action’s consequences), microwave gun to your head and equipment, leaking your info to certain outlets in your area (you are in Georgia after all), to name a few. Should I actually get kinetic with you in the visual arena: again, not counting the rage factor, I was trained to take out an entire room if need be and to fight in several directions at once; you think I’m worried about a roided up boxer trained to fight one person in one space? And that’s considering I’m completely unarmed: this doesn’t bring into play the hand to hand or ranged weapons I might employ, the steel plate armor along with the hand and foot weights I walk around with daily that gives me exponentially more kinetic force than your weighted gloves do. This also doesn’t take into account that I might employ the slow poison method prior, nor any back up I might have, who would also be trained to the same degree I am. So while you message me in private about how bad ass you are but want me to show my face (what’s the matter, afraid someone might hold you accountable?), you might wanna take this into consideration, provided you have the capacity to do so. Then again, you and your single mommy probably ran to the store last night and tried to buy toilet rolls lysol and water that were all out of stock weeks before. So why did I write all of this? Well aside from being entertainment for myself, at least my followers get something to read when the Simpson’s Dome drops on th eir cities, right?

“Also applies to apparent Navy SEAL Snipers that are also comedians. Still waiting on this to be signed.”

“Take a wild guess what I’ve heard back since these were taken? Go on, I’ll wait. *crickets*”

Update: actually found a couple of old videos, knew there were a few up there! Check them out, down below!

There’s even one of me there doing an absolutely terrible job. If you want that one, email me at bacon@thegoddamnbacon.com and I’ll send it to ya! Be chaos my friends!

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