Hey there, and welcome back. I know I haven't been rambling on as much as I perhaps should lately, so I thank you dear reader for hanging in there and being patient with me.
I was watching a YouTube video this morning while waiting for my son's bus to arrive on "Fake Experts" (I think it was by a man named Paul Harrell), and it got me to thinking. Mr. Harrell is right that there are a lot of so called "experts" out there that really don't know what they're talking about, and I have, whether I meant to or not, set myself up as something of an expert on the various things I ramble on about here. So why then dear reader should you trust me? Am I really as much as an expert as I come across as? I mean, look at some of my rambles! I talk about knives, I talk about guns, I talk about self defense and bugging out, and I talk about Autism and special needs kids. I've even rambled on occasionally about dementia! That's a lot of things! So why should you listen to me about any of them?
Well to be honest, I don't really consider myself a true expert on any of them. "Whoa!" I hear you saying. "If he's not really an expert, why am I wasting my time reading his blogs and watching his videos?" Now I must admit you may have a point, but please, hear me out first. I may not be a true expert in these things, but I do have a fair amount of knowledge; and truthfully, do you always go to a true expert? Let's take the emergency room as an example since that's where I made my living for 37 years or so.
Let's say you have a kidney stone. Now any woman who's had kids and had a kidney stone is likely to tell you they'd rather have another baby without the benefit of an epidural than another kidney stone. In fact, some have used those exact words even. So being in rather severe pain, you head off to your local emergency room; trusting that the doctors and nurses there will be able to take care of your problem. But in all honesty, none of the people who work in the E.R. are likely to be true experts on kidney stones. For that you really need to go to a Urologist who has spent 6 years over and above what was required to make it through medical school learning all about the urinary system, kidney, ureters, bladder, etc, and all the things can go wrong with them. In contrast the Emergency Room doctor has had three to four years of residency after medical school learning how to treat patients in the emergency room; and his or her training had to include not only kidney stones, but broken bones, strokes, heart attacks, cuts and lacerations, blunt force head trauma, internal injuries to the chest and belly, etc. In short, an E.R. physician may be a little more focused than your general practitioner who does your yearly physical and follows your over all medical care, but not by much. So why then do you go to see the E.R. doctor when you have a kidney stone? Because even though the E.R. doctor is not a true expert on kidney stones, he or she has seen them often enough that they know what to do to keep you going until that pesky stone either passes or you can get into to see a true expert!
So how does that apply to me. Well, let's take a look at that part of my life that is applicable to what I talk about. First, I do have 37 years of experience specializing in emergency medicine, first as a paramedic and then as a CT Tech who worked in multiple Level 1 Trauma centers during my career. Trust me when I tell you that it's almost impossible to figure out how to put you back to gather again if I don't know how you can be taken apart in the first place; and in my years of seeing the worst people can do to each other on a daily basis I've gained much more experience in how people can be hurt than I ever wanted.
Secondly, I studied American Kenpo for many years. In fact, before I had to leave the dojo due to being treated for cancer, I had gain a rather high degree Brown Belt, high enough that there was only one more belt between me and my Black Belt test. These years of study included fighting in tournaments, and fights in class as well as mock drills where we went out in the community and faced opponents pretending to be muggers and the like. So I know how to fight and defend myself. I may not like to fight, and since I'm not a Black Belt I cannot teach in my own school; but I do know how to fight. As an aside, I must also say that no style of martial arts is better or worse than any other. The teacher and the fighter using it is what makes it effective or useless. Believe me, I've seen Kenpoists who couldn't fight their way out of a wet paper bag, and completely untrained fighters who could probably go toe to toe with Jackie Chan and hold their own.
Another point I'll bring up is that Kenpo, or at least American Kenpo, is somewhat different from many other martial arts in that we do not learn how to fight with swords, sai, nun-chucks, or other weapons. We do however, learn from the beginning how to defend ourselves from knifes, sticks, and guns. Once you reach a certain point however, you cannot really get better at defending yourself against these weapons unless you also learn how to use them. As a result many of us also learn Kali (or Escrima depending on where your style came from). We may not be in the same class as say, Doug Marcaida, but many of us do learn it, and some of my instructors could probably hold their own against even that most worthy opponent.
In addition, I've loved knives since my days in the Boy Scouts, and I've got something of a modest collection, as well as being a knife vender both here on my web site as well as at various knife and gun shows around the south. I also run a reasonably successful mobile sharpening business, A Sharper Attitude; and I have been teaching myself how to make knives for about a year or so now. So yes, I do know knives.
And finally, as I've mentioned frequently in my rambles, I have a son who is on the Autism Spectrum and a mother who suffers from vascular dementia. I do not have any special training in the treatment and care of either of these diseases (or conditions if you would), but what I do have is years of experience dealing with it on a daily basis. True, if you know one person on the spectrum or one person with dementia, you know one person with that condition. Everyone is different, and my experiences may not be the same as yours. Indeed, they almost certainly won't be. But what they will be is something that may be similar enough to give you an insight or idea that you might not have found somewhere else. In addition, just knowing that you are not alone in your struggles, that someone else, namely me, is going through something similar can often be a boast in it's own right.
So there you have it. These are the reasons why I think I deserve your attention. The question now is, do you think my reasons are enough to trust me and my, sometimes overly wordy, rambles? I hope so. Indeed I hope so with all my heart. But in the meantime, I've once again ran over the time I should have allotted to this and so I must go. Take care of yourself, and I hope I've convinced you to keep reading my rambles. Either way I hope to see you again soon, and remember; if it's worth doing, worth doing at all, then it's worth doing with Attitude!
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