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A wee while back on Martial Arts Planet I read a thread by a guy who had witnessed a late night stramash, as they say here in Scotland,  in which he saw some guy raging in a poor woman’s face.

Long story short, watching the happening didn’t make him feel good as in the end he just kept on walking, even as there was something inside him that wanted to help.

You can view the thread here.

To this there was a few varied responses before I made mine.  

Something was stirring…

You probably did the right thing hanging back there friend, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it, but there’s still that nagging feeling that you didn’t feel manly, right? That if you were a real man would’ve gone to her rescue, or at least have had the guts to step in if it really kicked off…because you know you’re a good person and just at that time you didn’t feel strong.

M8 I well know the feeling, a few years ago I stepped in to help a friend in need and let’s just say that things didn’t go well, and I exited the affray to go call the cops. Afterwards I felt like a coward; that if I was any sort of man I would’ve stayed and fought the losing battle right to the end.

Another time on a drunken night out I went for someone who had slapped me on the dish for next to no reason, again only to fail and feel less than a man.

I guess what I’m trying to say through my example is, do not feel bad, it’s all to the good and can be used as motivation for use on your journey – and our journey together.

I mean, I know – even though time and again I’ve recognised the lost cause I’m fighting, and I’ve appeared to give up – even though I’ve lost a few battles – I’ve not lost the war because bad experiences are cause to train harder, to build up my skills and answer that call to be in a place where the next logical step is to “go save that lady” or “go save my friend” – because that’s the kind of person I’m wanting to be – I want to have total faith in myself, not worrying about the “other” because I have tested myself to the extreme and I know I can do it – because that’s the kind of society I want to live in.

Easier said than done, I know, but hey, get motivated, the world does need people with guts; the guts and the skill to sort out those who would wreak their havoc unhindered by you, me, the police, whoever.

At the end of the day we get what we tolerate and good people walking by doesn’t make the world a better place; good people need to be strong and stick together to weed out the scum. Otherwise if we’re completely happy to defer all responsibility to the police for our safety and the safety others, sadly one day we may have to wake to the fact – all battered black and blue and maybe to within an inch of our life – we live in a very weak society where help comes late if help’s coming at all.

I’m not saying we have to rush into battle, but that if we’re going to do it then we should from a calm and centered belief in ourselves, grounded in training. Otherwise, why are we here? Are we practising martial artists to become stronger people and put pay to the chaos, building stronger communities in which we care for each other, or have we merely embarked on some misguided adventure where the blind lead the blind, modelling nothing but some indifferent route that preaches the self over the whole?

I don’t know, maybe I’m a dreamer, but I’d like to think there are those amongst us who have moved beyond the “I’m alright Jack” attitude and the rivalries of the various martial arts, who through actually being motivated to confront such violent behaviour are at the least prepared to stand together on issues like this. Even if it’s through talk, at least that’s a start.

The sad thing about your post my friend is not that you felt hesitant – that’s perfectly understandable – but that you sensed no-one else seemed bothered around you. It shouldn’t be that we see these things happening and not come together because we are scared. Or is it we are scared because we know we’re alone?

Hat’s off to you, at least you showed care.