Sunday, September 23, 2012

Big Question

Just finished the Bujinkan Camp.

Good times, good people.  Largely due to Jack Hoban.  Some of you have heard about my first exposure to the Takumatsuden arts...

"My black belt," he actually hitched his thumb in it and sneered, "Is in Ninpo.  What you civilians call ninjitsu."  Followed by an epic rolling session where the 'unbeatable ninja master' submitted at least forty-five times in less than thirty minutes.  Epic is the wrong word.  "Pathetic" would be giving this young shidoshi-ho more credit than he deserved...

Anyway, suffice it to say my initial exposures to modern ninjitsu were not positive.  But I have since met some good people- Mariusz and Earl and several of Dale's students in SF are damn good people.  I like Don (although some day we are going to have a serious talk about the view from the outside).

But Jack Hoban is something special.  Former Marine.  Disciple of Robert Humphey, who may have cracked the code on natural ethics.  Good (maybe great) man and a good (maybe great) martial artist.  I like the way Jack plays and I love the way he thinks.

Today I heard his theory on PTSD and PTSD treatment.  It works for me, but in the conversation leading up to it there was a gem of a question.  Not about PTSD but about people who are robust against extreme stress in general.  The answer, almost universally, is love.

You can become addicted to the danger.  Addicted to the feeling of reality and importance when you do big, dangerous and impossible things.  But that is only unbalancing if that is all you do.  As long as you come back to the world and put equal weight into loving something or someone who is good, you'll be okay.

So here's the big question:

Of those of you who have spent four hours or more this week training to hurt someone who is bad... did you spend at least four hours being nice to the people you love?

Think about it.

10 comments:

Tiff said...

Great post, Rory. I know that, no matter what life throws at me, the bond I have with my family has kept me together at the seams. That epiphany alone instantly changed my world for the better.

Wayne said...

I am glad to say I spend more time doing nice things for those I love and care about then training.

Kai Jones said...

Studies have shown that in human relationships, people are content and assess their relationship as good when there is a ratio of four or more positive interactions (such as praise, or spending pleasant time together) for every one negative interaction (such as criticism or an argument).

Miriam said...

It's not that simple. Sometimes the ones you love are the ones who hurt too.

Earl love jr said...

As always Rory, your questions are always thought provoking, time to be nice to my loved ones, see you in a couple of weeks!

Unknown said...

Or trying to show love to the people you *don't* love so much? That's a good test.

Love that thought, though. Thanks for putting it out there.

Eddie said...

Rory - Great having met, learned from and chatted with you during your visit at Jack's. Hope to see you back next year. You brought a lot of valuable insight to add to our training, some thought provoking and some physically stimulating, but every bit of it was something we could take back and apply to make our training more reality based. At least that's what Bobby and I talked about the ride home.

Good luck on your travels. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us. Look us up if you are in Maryland. I will email you our contact info.

Eddie (the overshooting minivan guy)

Mark Bruns said...

Interesting.


I have sort of assumed that PTSD is mostly about losing who you love, not so much about being attacked personally ... but I don't know ... I know that watching people close to you really suffer is tougher than going through similar events yourself; it's even tough to watch people choose to give in or even commit suicide. Losing the five people that you are closest to within a year or so [while you try to do everything you can to help them] pushes you into an odd place, maybe that place might not be PTSD.

As a Christian [or one who anthropomorphizes Reality in order to make explaining stories easier], I think God knows what are limits are and is quite happy to devise a set of circumstances to push any inconsequential piss ant human well past those limits. The bottom line is that after life is done and everything has been crushed into nothingness ... and everything in the universe collapses because it's has been driven to some sort of maximum entropy or "thermodynamic heat death" or whatever your version of the final END is ... what remains is Love. God is Love.

Anonymous said...

I train because I love to, not to hurt people. Like a swimmer training, he is not training for a shipwreck, but if one comes along it's useful being able to swim.

David said...

Nice. Thanks for posting that Rory. Hope you are well. David