My First Vow on the Warrior Path
Have you ever felt powerless to make the right thing happen as you watched a terrible injustice unfold right in front of you?
Walking home from middle school with a friend, we found ourselves surrounded by the gang of the cruelest violent predator at our school. This guy was no mere bully. A 26-felony teen, he was three years older than us because he had been away from school in a youth prison. This monster had not killed anyone yet, but that was definitely on his list for the future.
Angry, foul mouthed, and hungry for the pleasure of humiliating yet another boy, he barked out taunts and insults. He focused on my friend and closed in on him swearing and shoving. His buddies circled us smirking and chuckling.
Horror in slow motion, he grabbed my friend’s arm and barraged him with punches. My buddy was still trying to figure out what was happening. Neither of us was ready for this – we were still futilely working on talking our way out with dignity. Jerked off balance, my friend went down to one knee with his head ducked to protect from the blunt punches that showed no hint of letting up.
The ring of creeps positioned themselves to block me from aiding my friend, but they showed little interest in me as they hooted and laughed encouragement at their leader. It was his show.
It ended with the monster shouting threats to my downed buddy – say anything to cops or authorities and even worse would happen next time. The creeps flashed me a last mocking look of derision and then they were gone, strutting away with more foul laughing insults spit over their shoulders.
My buddy shakily rose to his feet and dusted himself off. Though scuffed and bleeding, he didn’t seem to be permanently injured. Neither of us said anything.
Furious with anger and embarrassment, my pre-teen mind churned with regrets and self-disgust. Why did I just freeze and stare? Why didn’t I step in and do something? What could I have done? What should I have done?
I made a vow to myself right there and right then that I would never be in that position again. I would never have to stand helpless and watch a good person be victimized by an ugly and horrific one. When slime gurgled up out of the gutter to threaten the right and just, I would be the one to stuff it back where slime belonged.
I vowed that wherever I had to go or whatever I had to study or whoever I had to find as a mentor – I would learn how to prevail over the cruel and unjust and brutal. I would never ever again have to stand helpless and watch the right be crushed into submission by the wrong.
That was way over 40 years ago. In the decades that ensued, I trained with karate and kickboxing champions, judo and jujutsu experts, SWAT specialists, elite military commandos, top-notch bodyguards, and eventually the grandmaster of the ninja in Japan. “Never again!” was my motivation, and I was the most determined and diligent student any of my fighting teachers ever had.
Somewhere along the way I found myself sharing with others the lessons I struggled to learn. Coaching others for power in a time of unexpected invasion became my career. Today, the results of my decades of training self and others in the ways of prevailing over the dangerous and degenerate is what I offer my community. More than anything else, I want you and the ones you love to have this power too.