Do you ever sit down and think about the absolute random things that came together to create you? Not just the one in a million chance that that particular sperm would fertilize that particular egg in order to make your particular genetic combination. Other stuff.
I'm priveleged to know a few of the people who read this: extraordinary fighters and musicians; insightful, incisive, curious, warm friends. What magical combination does it take to make a Mac, a Kami, a Kevin or a Kai? (that's what you get for signing your comments).
The intersection that is shaping my life right now is twenty-five years of martial training combining with fifteen working the jails. But that's not the whole story. From listening to my seniors in the exciting, fast-paced world of Corrections it seems that a few years before I joined there was a level of unprofessional brutality and corruption that was tolerated and encouraged. I could not have stayed in the field if that was the case. I have no problem with using violence for a clear, justified and legal goal. I DO need a clear difference between the good guys and the bad guys and I need to be one of the good guys.
So I entered the field at the time when we were still expected to have the old skills- to be able to enter and finish a fight quick and hard, to recover from ambushes and prevail, not to back down from weapons or numbers but were discouraged from using them just to bolster our authority. Without moral hesitations, I could get into the physical stuff with an inner purity which made a lot of things possible.
If I had come in ten years later when the attitude had shifted to a very hands-off approach and the introduction of OC (pepper spray) to the facilities had started making people more tool than skill dependent, it would have been a different story. I might have been one of the "Five year rookies" still waiting for that first big fight.
When the corrections tactical team started it was essentially an unarmed SWAT team. Hostage rescue, riot control, cell extractions, barricaded threats... and no firearms. No problem. Strategically and tactically, it was a bad concept. But there was no more perfect way to intersect unarmed martial arts and real life.
This window of time fit perfectly with my training and my temperment. That's a lot of coincidence. Or a lot of luck. Give a thought, today, to the intersections of your life.
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