Taking on the Bad Guys in Karate Class
I was a real drub when I started my Karate Training. A white boy from suburbia. A scaredy cat. I would look at a big, tough, bearded, tattooed guy, and all sorts of alarm bells would go off in my head. Then, I started my karate training at the Kang Duk Won, I met some Hell’s Angels and other outlaw biker types, and things changed.
The Kang Duk Won, you see, was filled with gnarly outlaw bikers. There were Gypsy Jokers and Hell’s Angels, and all sort of other tough looking fellows. And they all had beards, and tats, and they weighed a lot, and had big muscles, and…they made me nervous.
So training started, and I was paired up with one of these guys, and my nervousness showed, and he looked at me with disdain.
But over time, my nervousness wilted.
I was smashing my forearms against their forearms, trading kicks to the belly, stopping my fist a hair from their noses, and…I got over it. And, I learned one of the most fascinating lessons of my life.
Tattoos are like some kind of mystic armor. People cover themselves with tats because…there is a certain kind of fear within. Something like…they haven’t been accepted, so they flaunt their difference, and that is their armor.
And the facial hair, it stops people from looking at their faces, stops people from seeing them, so they can hide.
Do you wear sunglasses? Don’t want people to see your eyes, eh? How come? The eyes are the windows to the soul…are you hiding the soul that is you? How come?
Interesting questions, eh? But the point is this: this is why you study the martial arts. You study them so you can get over your nervousness, look your fellow man in the eye, aren’t hiding yourself behind anything.
So I stopped being nervous, and the big, hairy, muscular guys accepted me, and I found out something interesting. The big guys wanted friends. They didn’t have many, so they wanted, and they were among the most loyal people I have ever met.
Mind you, I never grew beard or got tats, but I managed to hold my own with these guys, and, you know…somehow…they managed to get over their fear of me!