Spend more than a day in the “tactical” industry and you will easily be consumed by an over-saturation of hyper-masculinity in all the wrong ways.
Nothing displays this point further than the use of punisher skulls and Spartan imagery. From backplates to brand names there is no shortage of how to display the conformist outlaw on the inside dying to come out.
The most troubling observation for those in the know is the unconscious incompetence of most people when it comes to performing acts of violence. There is also no shortage of eye-poke-fu trainers to facilitate that attitude.
To be fair some of these brands I wholeheartedly support. None more so than Spartan Training Gear.
The real tragedy of it all has nothing to do with a large group of poorly trained combatants (even though that does remain a problem). Most of the hyper-masculinity revolves around the over valorization of anyone who’s been an “operator.” What this hero worship does to men in the industry is placing a socially acceptable belief that a man is not man if he’s never been to battle.
Young men often question themselves in many different ways about;
“How do I cultivate the Warriors spirit in myself?”
“How do I know if I am a man?”
The late great Colonel Jeff Cooper once said “A man doesn’t know if he’s a man until he’s been to battle.”
What of the men who can’t, won’t, or don’t go to battle? Can we make these blanket statements and broad generalizations to a society where less than 1% of population served in the military?
This problem has been solved for many centuries by the Deeds of Arms.
During the late middle ages in the absence of war or just to maintain proficiency in combative skill sets; knights and professional soldiers would exercise as well as compete against one another (sometimes to the death) in various events to prove their societal worth. Bravado aside this was a way to earn social prestige in the eyes of their countrymen.
This is what Combatives is about.
It’s one thing to tell people what you can do it’s a whole other thing to show them. Understanding what’s expected of you even in times of peace also carries with the merit of knowing your own limits and working to exceed them since you’re abilities or lack thereof directly translate to what your wealth and social status will amount to.
Despite lacking the training most of the people are STILL willing to put things right if need be. We are still safer because of these people but understand that ready and willing aren’t mutually exclusive attributes. It’s rare at best to meet a man immersed in a lifestyle of training that has unresolved manhood issues.
No one wins them all. If fact there is nothing more definitive than you will experience defeat and discomfort. When done correctly this lifestyle is physically, emotionally, and spiritually demanding.
For those reasons everyone who takes up this lifestyle is respected. Shooting is a skill a warrior must master but warriors are not built on gun ranges.
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