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Reality Bites... Hard
by Marc Ste. Marie and Richard Dimitri

     Routine… same ol' boring crap… Get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, fight with the wife over something insignificant, hop on a train… 12 hours of your life elapses… work… and for the life of you, you don't have a clue what you have accomplished in the grand scheme of things.

    Your footsteps echo like a cerebral metronome regulating the flow of thoughts invading your mind. Drifting through all the clutter like the "flying Dutchman", you mechanically set a course for home oblivious to your surroundings… and of course, don't notice a pair of dirt bags on a parallel course with you until they rudely block your path, demanding something you probably don't have or don't want to give.

    Funny… actually NOT funny… well, you know what I mean. Funny how your metabolism goes from 0 to 60 in a tenth of a second. From insensitive torpor to feeling like your nerve endings are crackling like live wires. "I'm sorry, I didn't get that…" sounds like the thing to say, but somehow, I felt like there was no acceptable answer for those lads. "I don't need this crap" rings in my head; I sidestep and take my leave right? Wrong. Step left, step right, your stepping in it, ankle deep. Adrenaline starts to drip at an ever-increasing rate leaving you with the taste of ashes in your mouth, Jell-O legs and the feeling your lunch is on its way.

    "Alright, what do you want?" Simple question… who would expect a fist across the face for an answer? Apparently, I didn't. Crack! I'm down, fireworks in my head and coals burning in my jaw. "Get up, c'mon" the little voice inside my head says… easier said than done. Performing a drunken jig, I make it up, gather my thoughts. It is so damn fuzzy… shadows are dancing around me, pain is on the way. Like a moron, I pat my pockets. Really, maybe I can hand them money… right? Wrong. All I can come up with is a stupid pen. "You guys take checks?" Here comes the big shadow… In goes the pen… Out comes the scream. "Fuuuuuuuuuuuucccckkkkkk, my eye, my fucking eye, my eye!!!". You get the picture.

    I stumble away, still groggy, a voice screams at me… don't ask why, I don't look back, maybe I only hope I hear one voice. Wishing distance between my lone pursuer and me hopefully lone, my right thigh seizes, the baseball bat probably had something to do with it. I whirl around. Suddenly my wife does not piss me off anymore, I want to hold her tell her that I don't want to fight anymore… so many things are unsaid. But hey! Life dealt me a shitty hand right now. I look at those two, yes two mutts; reality sets in, and, I reflexively drop in a stance, desperate. Can't say it's a fighting stance but the stance of a man who wants to go home, the stance of someone who's brain has numbed the pain centers and has accepted his faith… Crack, the goddamn bat again, my arm is broken… Shit…. There are instants in a man's life where his pain becomes his fuel, the whip that drives him. I wish I could describe what happened next, but all I can remember swims in a haze. Metal flashed, bodies tangled. "I'm coming home baby…" All I can remember is kneeling on someone's chest and pounding him, using my broken arm as a club. I lost it bad. They are lying there inanimate like grotesque puppets. I wished they'd move, I could pound them again. I'm in a different fight now. I've picked up this brick and I'm battling the urge, I have to turn them into dog meat.


    What kept my hand? Hell if I know. The Spartans use to say that the mind accesses "rooms" where there is no mercy, no quarter while in combat… to later pull back in rooms where love and decency dwell. Well, shit, something busted me out of room number one… what? You tell me smart-ass.

    So, the worst is over? Nope, my body allows the pain to creep back… It's awful man I need help. Everything is closed; I catch a glimpse of myself in a window… Lopsided and pathetic, a real Dickens character. Two thousand dollars worth of designer clothing and I look like the "artful dodger" yes I read Oliver Twist…. A few more excruciating steps bring me to Tim Horton's, twenty four-hour donut and coffee joint, and hopefully a phone I can use. I'm so happy I'm weeping.

    I approach the nice lady at the counter and ask for help. My jaw is badly dislocated and although I want to say: "Can I call my wife, I've been mugged", all that comes out is spittle, blood and grunts. The concerned cook comes out with a pipe and tells me to get "the fuck out of there". I pass out.

    So… why do I write this? My arm 's healing… slowly, my jaw is back in place thanks to a surgery (I look like Frankenfiuckinstein) and my wife still drives me nuts. I know I should feel good but I don't. I feel like crap. I hate those punks. They brought the worst out of me, they made me lose my humanity for a few fleeting moments, the elation I felt after thrashing them is not something a decent human being feels like. On top of it, they are suing me! Now I wish I'd switched them off… well not really… I don't know anymore… The head shrinker told me to put it all on paper; he said it would help me… it doesn't.

                    Marc Ste. Marie (The Malevolent Preacher)

The above story is a pretty accurate description of surviving real violence. No Bullshit stories of how a secret Russian combative technique was used, no crap about flying arm bars or extreme detail about every technique used or angles appropriated, just the reality of being caught off guard at the wrong moment. Why? Because unlike a NHB event a self defense situation presents a different perspective:

There are no weapons in NHB events. Your opponent won't pull out a knife in the middle of your bout and start gutting you with it. He won't crack your arm with a baseball bat. He won't break a beer bottle and try to sever your jugular with it. He won't pull out a gun and shoot you with it.

There are no multiple attackers in NHB events. Your opponent's friend won't jump in and kick you in the head while you have your opponent in your guard for 10 minutes. His friends won't jump in and smash a bottle or crow bar against your skull in the ring or octagon. You don't have to worry about being blindsided.

You fight in a controlled environment in NHB events. You don't grapple on gravel or broken glass or cement in NHB events. You don't have to worry about a slippery or icy surface in NHB events. You don't have to worry about knee high snow or its suffocating you while in the guard for 10 minutes in NHB events. You don't have to worry about blizzards, rain, winds or low visibility in the ring or octagon. You're not in a train, staircase, elevator, subway in a MMA fight therefore you have no worries about falling into subway/metro tracks. You don't have to worry about being pushed through a plate glass window and get disfigured by broken glass or get tossed off a balcony of a 10-story building.

Your clothing and variables won't limit you in NHB events. You're not wearing a suit and tie or skirt and heels in MMA. You're not wearing winter boots, gloves and a 3-quarter winter jacket in the ring or octagon. You're not carrying your 10-month-old baby in your arms while fighting in NHB events. You're wife or mother isn't next to you while fighting in NHB events.

Your health isn't an issue in NHB events. You don't compete if you have a flu or fever or sickness when fighting in the ring or octagon. You don't compete and fight if you have a sprained ankle, broken wrist or bad back in NHB events.

Your state of being isn't an issue in NHB events. You won't compete if you only had 4 hours sleep per night over the last 3 days due to a hectic work schedule. You won't compete if you had too much to drink with some buddies to kick back after a long workweek.

Your opponent is not jacked on Heroin, Morphine, Cocaine, Crack or any other substance while fighting in NHB events. Or… maybe he is actually. Are they drug testing in MMA?

You know your opponent and what style of fighting he trains in before the fight and can therefore prepare for him weeks or months in advance.

You know when, what time and where you are going to fight in advance and can train, eat, sleep and supplement accordingly prior to the fight, you even have the luxury of warming up before the fight.

You can tap out, the ref can stop the fight or your corner can throw in the towel in an NHB fight.

We can see the difference; can you see the difference?

Please... Train intelligently and diligently.

          Richard Dimitri

"Reality Bites... Hard"
© Copyright 1994 to 2002
All Rights Reserved

If you would like to learn more about Senshido: Combative Science Technologies and owner Richard Dimitri, visit the Senshido home page. You will find many more informative articles by both owner Richard Dimitri and Marc Ste. Marie.


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