Thursday, March 18, 2010

By popular demand, 
Other People's Pain: Pt. II
People seemed to really like the story I posted about karma and the guy who got it where it counts.  Everybody loves hearing about other people's pain.  With that thought in mind I'd like to tell you a little story I was recently reminded me of.  Don't worry, it doesn't involve the mutilation of any sexual organs this time.

Me and my brother, Mitch, were born four years apart.  That seems like nothing now that I'm 28 and he's 24.  People who meet us now assume that he's the older one as often as they get it right.  He's a pretty big guy these days and a National Champion as a wrestler.  He can generally handle himself.  That wasn't the case  when I was 10 and he was 6, though.  I was by no means a big kid, but my brother was definitely small at that age.
During these years we took the school bus across town to go to school.  Some of the kids on our bus were less than class acts.  One kid in particular, Tanner was his name, fancied himself a tough guy and was a bit of a bully.  Tanner was right between me and my brother age wise, meaning he wouldn't mess with me but had no problem picking on my younger, smaller brother.  I didn't know this had been going on until my brother said something about it.
The jist of it was that my brother wanted me  to beat up the older kid who was picking on him.  This was something that I wasn't opposed to; my brother and I had been taught, even at this early age, that you always stick up for your family, no mater what.  I told him that I would handle it but he should try sticking up for himself first.  I told him that I would watch and if something happened I'd drop the hammer.
The next day as we got off the bus I hung back but stayed close enough to my brother to see what would happen.  I watched as Tanner walked up behind Mitch and pushed in the back, knocking him down with the palms of his hands skidding on the loose concrete.  As if he was in a movie, Mitch slowly picked himself out of the dust and turned towards his antagonizer.  In one hand he had his backpack that had fallen off his back during the tumble.  In the other he held his marble bag. His 'David's sling', if you will.
It's important to remember that in the year 1991 the best marble player was king of the playground.  By this point in the evolution of competitive marble playing all of the good action was in 'Jumbos' and 'Super Jumbo's' that were about the size of golf balls.
Mitch stood there, hesitating for a few seconds, and let the marble bag slide through his hand until he was holding it by the end of the drawstring; a full two feet of slack holding five or six 'Super Jumbos' at the end.  When Mitch finally swung that marble bag at Tanners head he did so with every ounce of strength his six year old body could muster.  The sound the marble bag made when it hit Tanner in the temple is what I imagine it would sound like if you hit a watermelon with a ball peen hammer.  Tanner dropped like a sack of wet noodles.  If there was a referee hiding in the bushes he would surely have stopped the fight because of the flash KO.  If there was a fight doctor on the scene he would have stopped the fight because of the massive cut on the side of Tanners head.
There was a lot of blood right away.  Tanner was just lying there and Mitch was standing there staring at him, not sure what to do next.  I decided for him.
"Run!" was the only logical thing I could think of.  Mitch came back from whatever place he was mentally visiting and ran home as fast as he could.  Tanner eventually picked himself up and carried himself home, wailing like a banshee the whole way.
I don't remember the exact time frame, but eventually Tanner's mother called our house to raise hell.  Mom was pissed.  Dad was pissed.  Mitch got it pretty good.  Eventually my parents came around to ask me what exactly happened.  I told the whole story, right from the start, and that changed things.  Sticking up for yourself and giving a bully his deservesies was different than smacking some kid in the head with a sack of marbles for no reason.  That was pretty much the end of Tanner picking on Mitch or anyone else for that matter.  Once everyone knew that the bully had been dethroned kids weren't as scared of him anymore. As for Tanner I have no idea what he's up to in life but I know that he has a permanent reminder about the dangers of bullying in the form of a scar from eight stitches in the side of his head.
I guess this could be another story about karma, but I like to think of it in terms of a funny T-shirt I saw once.  "Violence is never the answer, but sometimes it's the solution"
I'm fully against fighting outside of a sanctioned, organized and refereed sports event, but sometimes sticking up for yourself or others trumps that.

Frustration Mounts
I still haven't found a fight in Asia.  I have a line on a few possible events in May, but still nothing solid.  It's frustrating on it's own, but even more so because I just found  out that a guy (Kyung Ho Kang) that I stomped in Combat Sambo not too long ago just fought in Sengoku.  The guy didn't even last three minutes with me and he followed that up by fighting in one of the bigger MMA events in the world.  He lost, but he sure had his moments, almost catching his opponent in an omoplata.  Further investigation reveals that this guy has also fought in DEEP and the Art of War promotions.  Seriously... somebody give me a shot somewhere... please.

Alternative Treatment
I'm not really into holistic medicine as a rule but I'd been having some back pain that was nagging and making it hard to sleep at night.  I'm sure that there are solid physiolog9ical reasons why a lot of eastern remedies work, I could just do without all of the airy fairyness that goes along with it.  A few friends had recommended a local acupuncturist so I figured I'd give it a try, despite not wanting to listen to someone tell me about why my chi is out of alignment, my chakra is all wrong and my aura is suffering. 
I was pleasantly surprised when I got the the office.  Dr. Lim (I know, it would be funnier if it was spelled Limb, but still funny) is a western trained M.D. who happens to have some other certifications including acupuncture.  To boot, the guy spoke great English.  I was in to his office with some needles stuck in various parts of my body within 10 minutes.  I was out the door in 20, feeling amazing and didn't have to listen to anything about my physical/spiritual balance.  The pain isn't completely gone, but there was a definite and immediate improvement.  There are lots of different kinds of acupuncture and I can't say much about  most of them but Intramuscular acupuncture sure has it's place.

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