Monday, 10 September 2012

Swords at home.


                                Another interesting passage from Marc MacYoung:-


            For obvious reasons this reminded me of the passage in Robert Heinlein’s “Glory Road”, chapter 15:-
“A properly balanced sword is the most versatile weapon for close quarters ever devised. Pistols and guns are all offense, no defense; close on him fast and a man with a gun can’t shoot, he has to stop you before you reach him. Close on a man carrying a blade and you’ll be spitted like a roast pigeon—unless you have a blade and can use it better than he can.
A sword never jams, never has to be reloaded, is always ready. Its worst shortcoming is that it takes great skill and patient, loving practice to gain that skill; it can’t be taught to raw recruits in weeks, nor even months.
But most of all (and this was the real reason) to grasp the Lady Vivamus and feel her eagerness to bite gave me courage in a spot where I was scared spitless.”
            Marc expands further on his rationale for this idea, and I will refer you to the book “Cheap Shots, Ambushes, And Other Lessons”, which is well worth reading for numerous other reasons.

Wants and Needs


            I am currently reading Marc MacYoung’s excellent “Cheap Shots, Ambushes and Other Lessons”. Like all of his books I have read so far, it is entertaining but also full of valuable information. I strongly recommend buying a copy. Marc is a great guy and was kind enough to help me with my own book on self-defence.

            The following passage particularly struck me:-

            Even if we allow for the fact that this lady is probably from L.A, a rather large dose of “get over yourself” is probably in order.  Personally I think a sensi that has the honesty and humility to admit this truth to his class sounds like one to be valued. Actually this lady seems to be displaying an attitude that I have been noticing a lot in the past few years. Too many people seem unable to distinguish between wants and needs.

            I was supposed to clear a room the other week only to find it was still being used, so I arranged the deadline to be shifted a week. The next week I had the following conversation with a student:-

            “You know you guys have got to be finished and tidied up by Friday?”

            “But some of us still haven’t finished”

            “That doesn’t matter. You have already had extra time and the room is needed. The world will not rearrange itself just because you are not ready.”

            So often do I hear “But I want…” used as a justification for doing something, often something stupid or selfish.

            A girl nearly walked into me the other day. I saw her coming but was curious to see what would happen. She was busy looking at her phone while walking (a very foolish practice). What makes this memorable was her reaction of surprise and bafflement that she could walk into someone while she was  ”busy”.

            Learning to distinguish between what you want and what the universe is going to give you is an important step in life. Some people never seem to manage it, and being able to recognize this is also important.

            A mugger will not decide not to attack you because you are late for an appointment. The rapist will not hold off grabbing you because you are busy putting junior in the childseat. That you have a text to read will not stop cars hitting you as you cross the road. That you want to use your phone does not allow you to drive without paying full attention.