Sunday, June 15, 2014


I recently listened to a story by the revered martial artist Enson Inoue. Inoue is a Japanese-American whom has held the Shooto Heavyweight Championship and operates multiple mixed martial arts studios across the globe. Considered one of the progenitors of the MMA sports field, Inoue is highly regarded. Amongst the Japanese people, they call him 'Yamato-Damashii', which in essence means 'Japanese Spirit'. The Japanese consider him to contain and harness all that which makes Japan unique and special. He is a warrior and guide to them, and rightfully so.

In this story, Inoue-san spoke of an altercation he encountered when he was young. To paraphrase, he watched as a young friend was beaten within inches of his life. Already fairly proficient in the martial arts, Inoue locked up from fear. From what, he asked himself? Having a broken rib? Being cut? Perhaps snapping a leg? The anticipation of physical harm scared him from getting involved. Fear conquered him on that day, to which he still regrets as an older man.

At the end of his tale, Inoue-san made a powerful point. Had he of stepped in and helped defend his friend, he most assuredely would have been injured. Yet, physical wounds heal. Bones can become unbroken. The flesh will stop bleeding. Instead... many decades later, he still has an emotional wound by not stepping in to help. Emotionally, he has not healed... and probably never will. Fear damaged him in a way that physical harm can not. Fear cut to his very essence, to forever be left with a scar. The emotional wound proved far more permanent than any physical wound he could have potentially received on that day so long ago.

I can relate to Inoue-san in way that many can not. He understands how emotional trauma can have a lifelong impact.

As a child, I preferred the shoving and beatings over any amount of yelling... any amount of degradation and torture. On multiple occassions, I can directly recall simply asking my dad for a beating, just to get the whole altercation over with. It's disgusting... but it's the truth. At least I can move beyond the pain.

Pain is temporary.

No comments:

Post a Comment