Skip to main content


One thing I can say is that when I step outside now, I can feel the sun on my face and it feels good. I can't remember the last time I felt at peace, and it did not come easy.

I love fighting. I do. I always will. I absolutely love that first rush when my hands go up, I love the second rush when my opponent comes at me, I love the look in the other guy's face when he realizes that I'm better than he is, and I love it even more when I realize I have encountered someone who is at a higher level than I am. I love the seconds that decide winning or losing, when there is a technique coming at me that I haven't seen before, and I wonder if the defense I have spent so much time perfecting is good enough. If it isn't, is my mind and body strong enough to withstand the impact? What if it isn't? Am I really ready to accept the fact that I can lose?

When you fight, you don't think, you act, and this is how I became such an instinctive person. You learn to read little nuances in people, watching how they walk, talk, gesture, and use their body. You figure out weaknesses and exploit them for all they're worth. Best believe they'd do it to you.

I've been studying martial arts since I was around six, first mimicking what I saw in Bruce Lee films and then moving on to actual styles. I've been formerly schooled in American Tae Kwon Do, but over the years I've studied kickboxing, muay thai, aikido, wing chun, ninjitsu, boxing, and a whole bunch of other stuff. I'm not really proficient in any of them, now that I think about it. I have realized that I might be a good fighter, but I'm a lousy martial artist.

When I was training, I eschewed forms but excelled at sparring. I didn't see a point to forms. I mean, if I get into something on the street, I'm not going to go into a series of movements and hope I bore the other guy into submission. I'm going to kick the shit out of him. When I trained, I didn't bother with forms. I wanted to increase my speed and hitting power. I wanted to turn my blocks into something that injured my assailant.

That's the destructive lure of martial arts; the more you learn, the deadlier you become. Knowing that you can cripple or kill with a well-placed strike is an addictive feeling. It makes you feel like you're better than everyone else.

Within the last two years, all the injuries caught up to me and left without the ability to fight, I felt empty. I still feel empty. I know that no matter how hard I train or practice (roughly five hours a day, off and on) I will never be at the level I once was.

A friend of mine, one I hope to spar with one day, told me simply to "relearn".
The road takes you to some amazing places. At thirty-one, I am now taking to heart every lesson I eschewed as a child.
I can't give up the martial arts, even if I have to give up fighting. I sincerely believe that part of the reason why I'm healthy is because I spend so much time training. Martial arts is what you make of it; it has the power to heal, as much as it does to destroy.

So I study forms now. I rehearse them a few hours a day, and my body is still getting used to it. My knees hurt and buckle when I try to maintain a front stance. I really did a lot of damage to myself over the years.

I don't have it in me to quit, though. I'll keep studying and finding ways around my own weaknesses until I strike the balance between instinct and logic. I'm told that the ultimate goal in martial arts is to learn to avoid confrontation.

Yeah, right.
I'll let you know how that goes.


Popular posts from this blog

The Long Road Home

I will end you tonight. No, wait. That's not where the story starts. The story starts two and a half years before this, when Michelle (referred to as Michelle for legal reasons because SATAN was too heavily trademarked) reached out to me by Facebook. She mentioned that we played the same Facebook game and she wanted to say hi. I had never, in fact, even heard of the Facebook game. But I was freshly broken out of a relationship and she was pretty with a good body so I said "Hurr, okay." Conversation ensues. She tells me we came up in the same place. We did not come up in the same place. We spent one night in San Francisco talking. But I really wanted to sleep with her. So, "Hurr, okay." Fast forward a few months. I've left Missouri for the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I've settled into the ass end of Lynnwood, a suburb of Seattle. The apartment was so bad that the landlord wrote the mold on the wall off as "crayon coloring

America: A True Story About Hatred and Unity

I wanted fast food tonight. That was all. I found myself at Burger King to pick up my wife's order. I was a few cars deep when I spotted the Confederate flag. I surreptitiously snapped a few photos. This was going to be a very different story. When I pull out of Burger King, it turns out there's more than one. In fact, there are four trucks, each flying variations of the flag. I have to go around the front of them to avoid an accident. They're parked right in the middle of the road. As I drive around them, each person in the vehicle makes it a point to ensure I see them. I do. They see me too. When I get to McDonald's (which is in the same lot), I learn that they're not taking debit cards at the moment. Terrific. I wanted chicken nuggets and instead, I get a run-in with the new Confederacy. So I make my way back to Burger King, again appearing in full view of the trucks. I place my order, get it, pay, and pull out. Then one of the

Wave Rocketbook Reviewed

I love writing by hand, and I love notebooks. I'll often devote entire budgets to them and when Officemax has one of their twenty-five cent sales, I'll buy them out. I often draft by hand, finding that the scene comes together more purely when it flows from a pen rather than a keyboard. So when DailyDot advertised a durable new type of notebook that you could use over and over again for the cheap price of twenty-five (thirty after shipping) US Dollars? I'm down. The Wave Rocketbook is meant to be elegant in its design and simple in its execution. The instructions come on the bag itself, and only the pen and notebook are included. The pen feels like any other, so you have to be careful not to mix it into your collection or you will end up marking your notebook with the wrong pen (like I did). The ink is erasable, which is a bonus. A place to put the pen would've been nice, but it clips easily, if not securely, into the ringed binding. The paper is thick and