Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Welcome To The Rat's Nest

Welcome to the opening salvo of Dojo Rat.
Those who have spent years of punishing (and rewarding) training know who the dojo rats are.
A dojo rat did not simply take a Karate class for P.E. one semester at college, or attend a self-defense course so they could walk from the office cubicle to the minivan on a dark night.
Dojo Rats have bled and caused others to bleed while training. They have happily scubbed mats, repaired shreaded training gear and damaged body parts. They've shown up to train when they felt like crap, and always felt better later. In other words, dojo rats have put their time into a persuit that only a small percentage of people ever achieve: the rat has become a trained martial artist.
In the case of this rat, it's been (with the exception of a few breaks) twenty-seven years of training, but more on that in further posts.
The picture at the head of the Blog is that of the legendary (in his own mind, perhaps) Count Dante. All right, I couldn't resist inserting it. I'm of the generation where Dante, who billed himself as "The world's most dangerous man" was selling Karate manuals out of the back of comic books in the 1960's. It was in this era of emerging Karate gangsters (as in Dante's pictured rat pack), the tv series "Kung Fu", and the breakthrough movie "Billy Jack" that the junior Rat grew up. Dante's picture and biography:(http://www.chicagoreader.com/features/stories/countdante/) epitomize the classic "Karate Kitsch" of an era where the martial arts were becoming popularized in America. Unfortunately, Dante appears not to have lived up to a motto of the same era; "To live outside the law, one must be honest". If you read the bio, maybe you will agree.
As a dojo rat, one must also shoulder a sense of martial responsibility. It's a common code of chivalry that is found in the warrior class of all nations and people throughout history. As a rat skirts the system, he/she must remain responsible to friend, family, employer, dojo and self.
In this blog, Dojo Rat hopes to explore not only aspects of training and combat skills, but how we are affected by current events and the way we live... Welcome to Dojo Rat, and feel free to contribute!

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