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Forgive my long absence.

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I have been battling demons.

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Mostly of my own making.

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I am poor at finding balance. I tend to rush off, first this way, then that way, after the new thing. Or the same old things. But I have two speeds. Off and On.

I am On.

Fighting. Fighting. Shooting. Stabbing. Wrestling.

ARRRRRRRGH.

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No art, no poems, no reading fiction or history.

Just tactics. Self-defense. Armed movement in structures. Defending against knife attack. In fight weapon access. Vehicle jujitsu. Krav Maga. Muy Thai. Shadowboxing. Combat shooting. Force on force drills.

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I have a class coming up in a month that I sought out and am looking forward to. It’s called “Extreme Close Quarters Combat I & II.”

It involves a lot of fighting and shooting and kicking and hitting and trying to kill each other and not get killed.

It is full speed.

Full contact.

No holds barred.

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The idea is to run things in a full-speed environment so you can see what works and what doesn’t when someone stronger than you and meaner than you and better trained than you gets the drop on you and you can’t necessarily get to your favorite tool to try to solve the problem.

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It should be a lot of fun.

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To say that I am scared would be putting it wrong.

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But it is all I can think about.

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I don’t know what it is about being a man, or being who I am that makes me think, makes me believe, that this is what is means to be a man.

But I believe it.

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Of course, I don’t for a second believe that being violent and malevolent and obsessed with shooting and fighting and tactics and bushido and warriorship is sufficient to make me a man.

But it seems to be the necessary foundation. Or maybe its the necessary outer layer.

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I love poetry. I love art. I love gardening and cooking and puppies and butterflies.

goddamn it, I do.

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But I love hitting people, too. I like knowing that I am fast and deadly with any number of weapons. I like being able to walk through a dark and dangerous neighborhood and feeling like I have nothing to fear.

I like that if you were with me I could protect you.

I like that if you are a bad man you had better fear me.

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But I am out of balance right now. I know it.

I am alive with it.

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Of course, I am deluded.

But I am having a hell of a good time at it.

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Namaste, my friends. Please forgive my silence. My rectitude. My refusal to answer emails and cell phones and landline calls.

It never means I have stopped thinking of you.

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