During Jiu-Jitsu class yesterday, one of the white belts asked if I used to be in the military. I was surprised by the question, it’s certainly not something people usually ask me. I don’t know what prompted it, but maybe the fact that I did three one-handed push-ups on each arm had something to do with it! We were supposed to do five on each arm, but whatever. In response to his question I simply said “No” but what I was thinking was “Oh, hell no!”.
I’ve never been a soldier, but I was raised by one, and like many military parents, my dad wanted his daughters to follow in his footsteps, but we did not. I wasn’t even remotely interested, but I think if my sister Lori had it to do all over again, she would probably join up. She’s now married to a Seabee who was recently deployed. The Army brat in me wants to give him a hard time about being in the Navy, but hey, at least it’s not the Air Force! I jest, but I thank him for his service, and I look forward to his safe return.
Even though I never wanted to enlist, there are many similarities between the military and martial arts training, which makes sense to me, not only because most of the American MA pioneers were military men (including John Roseberry-Shihan, Marine), but also because it’s all about mortal combat, right? We wear uniforms that signify our rank, we salute/bow, and we operate on a hierarchy, just to name a few of the things we have in common. So, I guess in some small way, I did follow in my father’s footsteps, and I know he would be proud and happy. However, if the dojo really was the military, I would’ve probably been dishonorably discharged for insubordination by now. There’s only so much authority I can take!
“I fight authority, authority always wins Well, I fight authority, authority always wins Well, I’ve been doing it since I was a young kid, I come out grinnin’ Well, I fight authority, authority always wins.” -John Mellencamp