Emotions are not evil. They are; however, easily profoundly misapplied.
The previous 48 hours my text messages, IM, and FB feed have been peppered with posts warning and inquiring about the new bill proposed in Virginia's Senate.
The bill is supposed to outlaw all forms of martial arts. Outlaw teaching your family member how to fire a gun. Teaching anyone anything that could be construed or utilized as a paramilitary activity. Posts like Tyranny Alert and Did you SEE this??? And what will you do? Mirror to the reactions.
People who are students at our training center, have been in the past, or are martial colleagues have been blowing up my feed. I cross their minds, they think of me and it's a nice boost to the old ego that I'm remembered by people who don't see me every day. And - this is a misapplied use of how emotions serve us best. Emotions are fuel. Energy. E (energy) + Motion = energy for movement, Fuel.
Emotions make a shitty compass and an inaccurate source of hard data. Here's the hard data as best I understand it.
SB64 is a proposed amendment to a law passed in the late 1980's. A few word tense changes and an additional paragraph adding in verbiage that makes it criminal to march as a unit with the intention to intimidate other folks (can you say backlash to Charlottesville?). A link to the current legislation is posted at the end.
Do I agree with it? Nope. Does the existing legislation make a ton of sense? Not really. Loosely worded - open to a ton of interpretation and that marching business...who decides intent? Who determines whether or not someone was victimized by intimidation? Open for corrupt application? You betcha'.
Are they outlawing martial arts? Well. Here's the thing. The language being interpreted to mean Krav Maga, BJJ, even Tai Chi will be illegal to teach and learn has been law prior to 1990. Do you know how many martial arts programs are in Northern Virginia alone? I live in the McDojo Mecca.
Is the attitude behind the proposed amendment worth watching? Yes. In an effort to protect our freedoms, our freedoms are at risk. The down side to living in a country that gives you the right to worship as you choose, speak what you believe and peaceably assemble to discuss your beliefs means people who believe in things I don't like get to do the same.
Freedom shares a trait with Truth. It cuts both ways.
My training center, Kore Self-Defense & Krav Maga, is not about to be illegal if the bill becomes law because that part of the bill is already law and no one is putting me in pretty silver bracelets.
Take this emotion, this fuel, and use it as energy to drive your commitment to our freedoms. Drive the commitment, the intelligent research, the honest dialogue, the power of debate, and the capacity we possess to disagree.
Hold the fear for when Fear is duly warranted. We don't make great decisions in fear. Be conscious. Be aware. Be alert. Be alive. Be passionate even, But when emotion becomes the source of our cognitive resources we become firecrackers; a bright, beautiful big BANG gone more quickly than ignited and as ineffectual.
(oh - and I'm fully conscious I am talking to myself as much as to anyone else - this is a human struggle and none of us are immune).
here's that legislation: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?201+ful+SB64+hil
Live well - Live Fiercely,
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia: