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  • May 24, 2014
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Another ho-hum day for a swordsman.

Behind my desk in my office is a rack of training gear which includes basket hilt swords, bokuto of various sizes, shinai, mokuju, and even a jo stick.  I like to think it makes a visual impact on anyone entering my office.  Truth be told, I do get some perverse pleasure when I overhear Marines whispering about all that, “crazy $#[email protected] behind SgtMaj’s desk.”

Plus it’s handy to have nearby when counseling sessions turn ferocious.

Last drill the Reserve Bn Commander asked me if I really knew how to use “all that [email protected] or if it was just for show. Discretion being the better part of valor, I decided a live demonstration was not in order and merely replied: “Of course I know how to use it.”

I prefer training in a traditional Japanese battlefield system as opposed to other “martial arts” as I’m mostly interested in putting steel on target. The cultural aspects are unimportant to me.  I’m infamous within my koryu for mispronouncing Japanese names of various kata and concepts. For me it’s a warrior thing vice a cultural thing. You won’t find me doing a lot of grappling or MMA type of training as those are just not my interest. Again, it’s about putting steel (or lead) on target.

The other day I was wearing a t-shirt from the Spartan Training Center when I walked into a sandwich shop. I was wearing a light jacket that obscured the text printed on the upper right of the shirt. The young lady at the register said:

“Do you mind me asking what your shirt says?”

With a smirk I lifted open the lapel of the jacket so she could read: 

It’s not about making them tap out … it’s about making them BLEED OUT.
 
Her eyes got big: “Are you a fighter?”

 
“I’m a Marine.”

 
“Oh, that makes sense then.”

 Semper Fidelis,
America’s SgtMaj

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