IN THE BEGINNING … NO MAN WAS HIGHER IN BIRTH THAN ANY OTHER, FOR ALL MEN WERE DESCENDED FROM A SINGLE FATHER AND MOTHER. BUT WHEN ENVY AND COVETOUSNESS CAME INTO THE WORLD, AND MIGHT TRIUMPHED OVER RIGHT . . . CERTAIN MEN WERE APPOINTED AS GUARANTORS AND DEFENDERS OF THE WEAK AND THE HUMBLE.
—The Book of Lancelot of the Lake
I came across this quote while reading a book on the history of knighthood. I’ve always had an interest in knights and the medieval period, and now that I’m delving into the world of HEMA, I find myself looking more deeply at that era, which is how I came across this quote.
Little of that matters, though, because this spoke to me. It spoke to me on a deep, deep level.
You see, in my life, I’ve found there are people who are wired just a little bit differently. They’re the people who train for violence, who live for it, not because they’re violent people, but because they’re the poor bastards who can’t step away from it.
When people familiar with Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA), their first thoughts tend to be using a sword. It’s certainly mine. However, as I noted earlier this week, HEMA in real life can totally work for self-defense.
Unfortunately, it’s not just so easy as hitting up the internet, watching some YouTube videos on HEMA, and getting rolling.
No, you need to know where to start. As such, here are my thoughts on viable places to begin HEMA training if you’re interested in real-world applications.
Years ago, my wife and I associated with a group of people based on a common interest. It doesn’t matter what it was. What matters, though, is that despite sharing this one interest, we also socialized in general.
Well, until one day when my wife and I got an email asking us to meet up with a couple of the crowd at a local park.
I was deemed a threat. They were scared of me. Why? I liked guns and to shoot. I competed in matches. No one ever expressed a desire to do anything dangerous or anything, but the only real explanation was because I was too scary.
This morning, I woke up with a reminder of just why I want to be scary.
I don’t really know what’s wrong with the world anymore.
I mean, I’m someone who looks at the world on a daily basis. I take in all the insanity and try to boil it down for human consumption. My entire job revolves around comprehending what is taking place at a given moment and to try to figure out just why that is.
The problem, though, is that I look at a glimpse of the world and can figure it out from there, but our world is broken. Horribly, horribly broken.
As I’m sure you’re aware, we had a jackass sending bombs to people he disagreed with politically. Then yesterday, we had a jackass talk into a synagogue and start shooting people simply because they were Jewish.
This comes after months and months of low-level violence in the form of riots and assaults against people because they supported a certain politician and just a year and a half or so ago when a man tried to exterminate members of Congress for being part of the wrong party.
We are living in interesting times, in the Chinese curse sense.
And honestly, no one is ready for this. None of us are. You don’t get “ready” for stuff like this. Not completely.
What we’re looking at is little more than the start of an internal civil war. If something doesn’t give, we’re going to watch our nation torn apart, so it’s time to dig in and get as ready for this kind of thing as possible.
Today is Independence Day, the day we celebrate the birth of our nation. I’d had another post planned for today, but bumped it because, well, I didn’t realize that Wednesday was July 4th. It’s an important day for any true-blooded American. It needs to be addressed.
Thinking about Independence Day, I couldn’t help but think about so many of those who fought to break free of the oppression they saw coming from the British Crown. Men who stood against aggression from not just hostile natives but a malevolent government.
There’s a lot to respect there.
Now, let me get started by saying that if you start with the whole “they stole land from those natives” crap and decide to bash those men, don’t expect your comments to see the light of day. While that’s a topic that gets debated regularly, I’m not interested in debating it here. Understood?