Many of you know that on occasion I write on the topic of personal self defense. This is typically done in other forums, as I usually reserve space in this blog for strictly financial topics. I had to make an exception today to share with you what may be the most disappointing and shameful conduct of a martial arts student I have ever witnessed.
Radio talk show host Sean Hannity is now practicing the martial arts. If you don't know this, you have probably not listened to more than five minutes of his radio program in recent months. I have to tell you that I am no fan of Sean Hannity. Although I am a fellow conservative, I have serious issues with many of the financial products he has endorsed over the years. I won't get into any of that in this blog post as I want to focus on something of far more significance here. I have studied the martial arts most of my life. In December of last year I earned my second degree black belt in Taekwondo. I am a martial artist, and have the years and years of experience and the belt rank to weigh in on the disgrace that Hannity is bringing to our art and fellow martial artists worldwide.
I don't know the entire back story, but apparently Hannity has begun training in the martial arts in recent months. Many public figures train in the fighting arts as both an excellent way to develop self defense skills and as a means to relieve stress. You will not hear true martial artists, however, taking to national radio to brag about their skills (especially when they have only been training for a few weeks or months). Hannity's new status as a 'tough man' reached new heights when I heard him yesterday tell his producer that he could take him down in less than six seconds and have him crying like a baby. He went on to add that since he is talking so much about his new martial arts skills, someone might try and test him on the street. He followed up by adding that it would be no problem if someone wants to take him on.
These are the rantings of an immature child, not a true martial artist. His instructor, his school, and his fellow students should be far more than ashamed of his behavior. He is an outright embarrassment to the martial arts and to all martial artists. A true practitioner would never publicly brag about their skills. They would never make public statements about being ready to take on all comers. A legitimate martial artist would be more proud of their ability to walk away from a fight than to win one. This is the strength and maturity that one learns from getting genuine martial arts training. The martial arts have given me the opportunity to develop a confidence and an inner strength. It is the kind of quiet strength that someone can see in my eyes that would likely persuade them that there is a far better target somewhere else.
There is no pleasure in winning a fight, and there are no true winners. This is a lesson taught in any well-founded martial arts school before you learn your first punch or kick. I don't know where Hannity is getting his security advice, but to go on national radio asking for someone to take him on because he is ready, really? I can't think of any worse thing that he could do to bring risk to himself and his family. True martial artists know that there are no real winners in a physical conflict. Ask me to see my bruises after sparring day at the dojang. Yes, with full equipment on, and fighting mostly lower belts, I take plenty of lumps.
Even if I take down an attacker on the street and am the one to walk away, I might lose an eye or sustain a life changing injury if my attacker has a knife or a gun. A family member with me could be injured or killed. No matter how tough you are, or what your training is, you don't want to enter into a physical altercation unless you have absolutely no other choice. What's even worse for a public figure like Hannity would be a physical altercation with a truly mentally ill individual. Assume that Hannity rises to the occasion and wipes up the floor with him, do you think that will be the end? Nope. It is likely that a person like this will be back for their revenge at a time and place of their choosing.
I, for one, deeply resent what Hannity is doing to damage the integrity and reputation of legitimate martial arts practitioners. How can he get out of this mess? Shut up, don't bring it up again, and quietly train in your art hoping you will never have to use it on anyone.
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