I absolutely love martial arts. I love it in film, I love to go to practice, I love to learn new techniques but recent events have shed light on what I always sorta knew was true about the place where I have been going for training and in a lot of ways I completely understand how trying to keep business afloat when the state has closed them down as well as so many other non-essential businesses is rough.
Back in 2007 my husband and I lost everything and made hard choices which included completely new jobs and roles as well as giving up everything we had to make it work. That was a hard time that took a long time to come out of and here we are again except this time I made moves that I hoped would keep us in our homes and afloat in the event another hard time came and it has…. sooner than I imagined it would but yet here we are and of no fault of anyone really.
That said, I DO know how hard it is. I KNOW, I have been there and I was mad. I was mad at how To Big To Fail businesses got a bail out while the rest of us got ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. We didn’t get a stimulus check, we didn’t get waivers on paying rent, we didn’t student loan forgiveness or help from the government for small business owner with things like Payroll Protection. We literally had to do what we needed to do and it fucking sucked to do a 360 and change everything just to make it.
I miss living in San Diego. I miss my friends and family. I miss that more than anything else but we made sacrifices (as hard as they were) to ensure that our kids didn’t become homeless or that we did not become really homeless forever. Both things did happen back then. We were temporarily out of a place to live and we did HAVE to get assistance from the state because at one point we were literally out of money and there was no way around that.
So today we are doing okay. I hope that we will still manage to keep things going and it does scare me that things could get even worse so I know too well the feeling and it scares me. Nonetheless there are millions of people dying and as a collective whole, we do have to work together on keeping the spread down yet there are millions, maybe billions of people who simply do not care and will continue to believe that it’s nothing, a hoax, some sort of government take over, and whatever else eases their conscious’ for having to choose between their livelihood and other people’s lives.
It is without a doubt, unfair to everyone. I do wish the government would do more but they won’t and I don’t even know if they really truly can at this point because people refuse to work together. So because people have refused to do such as small thing like wear a mask or temporarily change their schedules or the way they operate to help with this very big problem yet some just flat out refused to do even that until eventually over 1.5 million people have died and 10% of the population is infected and that number will soon be over 2 million in just a year. (as of today, 12-9-20)
So instead of this particular franchise saying okay, let’s do what we can to both stay open and reduce the spread, they have taken to campaigning with lies saying things like “gyms are the safest place” and “go see your family because people die all the time anyway” and fudging the statistics by millions so that it looks like more people die from obesity every year and no one cares but “3000 people die of covid and we shit out pants”… and so it goes.
They aren’t taking into account how the virus spreads or the families of their members and outside of their families. They simply do not care about anything other than their own and that’s just not okay with me. I would have been happy to keep paying my dues to keep them from going under but to just straight up lie, to get messages from other members that are meant to be intimidating, to have people have the nerve to tell me to take off my “stupid mask”. FUCK THOSE PEOPLE for sure.
They make themselves out to be the nice guys, that they really care about you but the truth is that they don’t. They care about the money and their bottom line. They care about loyalty and a strict adherence to their way, their thoughts and yes even trump of all people. They believe they are free do do whatever they want to, they are above the law and where the law doesn’t align with what they want then surely it is a bad law.
So I quit. I didn’t tell them the reasons why because it’s not like I think they are truly horrible people. I actually do care about a lot of them and I wish them the best but I just cannot be on board with intentional lying. There are so many other ways they could go about it but their refuse to be team players in the world and flat out lie… it’s disappointing more than anything.
See, I always thought martial arts was more about integrity and self defense (which includes protection innocent people), self discipline, to make yourself like Palm Tree (strong, rooted AND flexible), to be able to adapt to change and adversity and to be kind and respectful above all else because that IS the way it was with the Father of Martial Arts, the Bodhidharma and these people have zero concept of what that means. As I have come see over the last couple months (years actually), they are bullies, they are assholes (for sure not all of them, some are really sweet and just afraid to speak their truths or don’t want to be bullied or loose their jobs too) and as much as I don’t want to quit that particular art, I feel like it’s poison and it gives the martial arts community a bad reputation and does not represent what is truly valuable about martial arts in the first place.