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Always Someone...

My second son, Charles, is almost 6 feet tall. I am only 5 foot 8 inches tall, so he is much taller than me. My other sons are about 5 foot 11 inches tall. They all tower over me.

But the other day, my second son was playing basketball and had to guard a person who was 6 foot 6 inches tall, much taller and heavier than my son. He towered over my son.

My point is that there is always someone bigger, always someone heavier, always someone faster. If you compete head to head (based on size, weight, speed, etc.), you might win or you might lose. If you are my size, the odd are that you will lose.

And you never know when an attacker might have a weapon. You might be taller, heavier, and faster than him, but a knife or other weapon has a way of changing the equation, especially if you do not see it.

But even a taller person has weak eyes. Even a heavier person has weak testicles. Even a faster person has knees that can be strained or broken. It is possible to exploit a stronger person's weaknesses.

It is easy for me to keep in mind that there are always taller, heavier, faster and stronger people out there. My sons have to keep this in mind too. Even a person who is 6 foot 6 inches tall may encounter a bigger attacker. And even a giant has to worry when there are two or more attackers.

When I was a child in Misawa Air Force Base, Japan, I studied Judo. When I started, I was among the shortest students. The only way I could win was to get in close. From that time until today, I consider that to be one of the most important principles in martial arts. It certainly applies to Karate. When I say close, I mean literally crashing into the attacker -- trying to move through him. At that range, my height is actually an advantage.


Charles C. Goodin