Through a series of unfortunate events, surviving two decades in a violent, volatile, crime-ridden neighborhood and one particular incident where I had two guns pressed into my head, I realized something: what is taught and practiced in a dojo, doesn’t really translate to the street.
Reality isn’t so neatly packaged.
For 17 years after the gun thing, I sought out, researched, practiced, studied, read, and trained with some of the scariest, most intelligently dangerous people on the planet. I formulated a program and taught private clients how to survive violent confrontations.
Real life violence is ugly, brutal, bloody, injurious, fast, painful, unexpected, and mentally, psychologically, and emotionally incomprehensible in real time. I taught war and I was good at it.
One of my clients, an Air Force Intelligence Specialist, asked me, “What brought you to teach war?” Hmm. I replied, “It’s because I love peace.”
And he said, “Then why don’t you teach peace?” Ouch.
There’s a line in the movie, Hotel Artemis, where Nice (that’s her name), a highly sought-after female assassin says, “You can’t pick what you’re good at. This is what I do.”
I began to feel that way, until my client’s question.
There’s a thin line between war and peace, love and hate, yin and yang. Actually, the line is only perception. There is no physical line, but a sharp transition between the darkness and the light in a continuous swirl, with a bit of one inside the other. You know the symbol.
Back to Hotel Artemis: When Acapulco, played by Charlie Day, offered to hire Nice to use her dark skills to protect him, she replied, “That’s not what I do”. What a shame. Maybe we can’t pick what we’re good at, but we can use what we’re good at for good.
I love peace, so now I teach peace. Namaste.