Dear Jason ,
Thanks for the post as it allows for much needed introspection ..after all the subject matter of this forum is a bit intense for most readers !
A few observations :
1] "But Sensei Canna, with all due respect, I'm
beginning to question the messenger and ultimately myself. "
As well you should ..remember there are no absolutes in life ..and your perception of this forum is as individual as you are >> based on your personality makeup , upbringing , education and life experiences ! But remember , other members of society will be just as passionate in their individual interpretations !
2] "Sometimes - and again, I truly mean no disrespect - you come
across so much larger than life and with a message that's so
intense and unpleasant it rings almost of paranoia."
Any life or death situations are' larger than life' and confronting the same is always intense and unpleasant , as it should be , The difference is that in my work , 80% of all my case load is made up of fatalities , including killings in self defense and mindless violence , such as road rage where one vehicle would intentionally ram another off the road with full knowledge that it contains small children in it ! Lots of the concepts we talk about are exploded in forensic psychiatry for defense trial work !
But be very careful how you use the word "paranoia " because it will boomerang on you ! Most people , including yourself here, use this word lightly without giving your understanding of its definition ! For example most people do not realize that Paranoia is a medically diagnosed condition and not just a catch all phrase ! Paranoid people exhibit certain personality traits which ,I can assure you , I do not possess !
In addition to my intense work , which includes hands on investigations of gruesome events , along with trial prep. And legal management , I have been exposed to the teachings of Mas Ayoob of the lethal force Institute , which is an experience not shared by many and which is a real eye opener to the real world of violence as opposed to some 'black belt ' who has only been brainwashed to think he can deal with it and has only played at fighting ! If you study the martial arts , you have the potential of dealing lethal violence as well as inviting terminal violence for yourself and your loved ones . For these reasons , it is your responsibility to study the entire range of confrontational violence instead of relying on some traditional hokum which may have had application centuries ago , but it is totally outdated today !
A prime example of this is the fantasies we all have of becoming like samurais or 'warriors' in our imagination after working out several times a week in a dojo and otherwise leading a most ordinary life in the 20th century ! I can guarantee you that you will not feel anything like a 'Warrior' or 'samurai' if some punk suddenly pulls a knife on you with your wife and kids standing next to you !
3] Because of the nature of my investigative work , I am licensed to carry a firearm , but I took the time , trouble and expense to learn about the moral , ethical and legal implications of such a great responsibility ! And I do not carry all the time , as I should , according to the expert view on the subject ..has to do with mindset as well ..you either carry all the time or you do not ! And guns are not for everyone , it takes a certain strength of character and conviction to strap one on ! For that matter , martial arts are not for everyone ! As I have said many times before on this forum lots of black belts only think they can handle themselves in a fight ..the truth is , as evidenced by my investigations into karate people in real fights , only a selected handful will really be able to handle themselves ! There are individuals out there who know nothing about martial arts , and yet they'll have the 'toughest ' high dan for breakfast !
combat-readiness doesn't seem all that "out there" to me. But
you've got to know that to "the regular guy," the stories and
philosophies, etc. on this forum seem like something out of "Soldier
of Fortune" magazine."
My 'combat readiness' is a continuos development and is by no means perfect ! The regular guy doesn't even know what a soldier of fortune is and he hides behind his inadequacies when he starts to pontificate without foundation . This is why I do not engage in debate with 'regular guys' unless they first study the subject they are going to debate! Don't get sucked in !
5] "I haven't yet graduated to carrying a weapon - and perhaps never
will - "
From your previous posts , I suspect you are antigun , and that's okay , as I said guns are not for everyone , and I respect other people's choices ! However I draw the line when they attempt to force their views on others especially when they really have no idea which end of the gun the bullet comes out from ! And some people are incurable 'hoplophobes' [ irrational fear of weapons…notice I did not mention paranoia ] , I met quite a few of them in the army and they made pathetic soldiers ! The only adequate reason for shooting a man is to prevent him from doing something awful , usually that will be his killing you ! and even so you will find people hesitating in shooting …there are emotional and moral facets very unique to each individual ! Some people are also very uncomfortable with their karate training and fall prey very easily to the 'regular guy' questioning as to the why they are studying such 'violence' ..and find themselves on the defensive without knowing why and then they kick their asses for it when the argument is over ..sounds familiar? It all has to do with emotional intelligence ! If you have been made to feel like a budding militia type by the regular 'untrained' you need to pull yourself up by your emotional bootstraps !
6] "My father used to tell me that people made their own luck. If you
dwelled on the possibility of getting into a car accident while
driving, he'd say, eventually an accident will find you."
Your father is/was correct ! But it depends on the emotional maturity of the person ! You give some people a drivers license or a black belt , and they feel totally overwhelmed by the experience as they end up , at best , as catalysts for their self destructive impulses ! Allen Moulton will tell you the story of the newly made shodans going to the tough combat zone of Boston with a death wish to prove how good their Uechi really was !
Why do you think there are so many dropouts in the martial arts ! It is mainly due to some flaw in character ! In the end it is who you are that makes all the difference !
Thanks for the stimulating thoughts ,