Open Letter to Matt Morton
Well, you are in deep crap. I am sure it sucks to be you right now. I want you to listen to what I am going to tell you, and i hope you will take it to heart.
Let's say your entire history is a lie. Likely it is not, but I want to paint the worst possible conditions for you. So, for this discussion, everything you said is a lie, and you have been caught.
The question is, what now?
You can run away, hide, turn your anger outward or inward; but there is only one acceptable thing to do at this point. You man up, you say what you did and you move on.
You move on by getting onto a mat, and busting you ass to EARN what you claimed to have. You take that rage and turn it into your training.
Matt, I know about depression. I haven't worked in a year; I have no money. I have teeth rotting in my head and no way to get them fixed. I have tried everything to get a job and nothing is working. My wife of 15 years kicked me out for another guy two years ago; and I have had "friends" screw me over from day one. I sell my plasma twice a week, make $55 a week for that, and am on food stamps. The rest I make though selling off things I have spent my live collecting. It is not fun.
Matt, I know about suicide. In the last two years I have tried it twice. Not a single day goes by when I do not think about putting a bullet in my brain, or a plastic bag over my head. My nightly prayer to God is "Please don't let me wake up."
I have real skills Matt, and I can't sell them to save my ass. My weekend clinic had 8 people on Saturday and 6 on Sunday. So, my self-image is not in the best of places.
So it is safe to say I understand where you are. The question is, how will you be remembered? As the guy who was a bs artist and killed himself? Or as the guy who screwed up, but then saw the light and made things right.
Its up to you; but it starts with the truth. The road in the light is devoid of deception; it must be.
I hope you will walk that path; there are people here who wil help you do so.
No doubt. Depression is a hard road to travel but no one that you have to do by your self. Seek help. There are people to talk to who will help. They won't judge you, they will only help.
Mark's letter makes me feel real indignation. Why is it that in martial arts so many people with real skills and abilities do not get the support they need to at least make ends meet? That is so unjust and I have seen it many times... My karate teacher from Riley Hawkins line, I don't even know where he is now, I can't even show my sons the man who trained me inchoate and made me a martial artist.
I know Plato's republic is a pipe dream but I can wish for it.
Being succesful in the martial arts often involves no money and a few students who are really good and really loyal. Its a mixed up ethic for sure.
Amen to that! If someone like Mark can hang it out there and tough it out, who cannot learn from that? Many of us have had to fight personal demons, some for extended periods. I am one right now to say that if it were not for my MA and my MA brothers and sisters that I might not be here today.
Do you guys remember the days when martial arts taught you about defeating "the bad guy?" You know.... that guy who looks something like a biker, has a lecherous grin, evil laugh, stomps on the necks of little puppies and is mean as a junkyard dog.... That proverbial villian that we should properly encounter in a bar somewhere and whereby our martial arts would allow us, after much struggle of course, to subdue and defeat.
Meanwhile the mole of the bar would patch us up and we could rightfully remember in a flashback the words of our teachers as we used "the technique" you know the one that we have to see deep inside ourselves to use the one that helps us overcome our own worse enemy... which turns out to be our own limitations along with the bad guy....
If it could only be that simple huh?
The bad guy turns out to be Cancer which in my hood kicks a lot of ass... I have just lost a third friend this year to that son of a bitch cancer... and If there is an art or style to take him out at 45 I am there! I have a few more rounds in me...
The bad guy turns out to be little chronic **** like injuries that change our bodies and things that some of you have mentioned like Depression, economic whoes, relationships, addiction, etc....
I submit to you good people that in fact "the bad guy" is real. And the way we deal with these issues says a lot about us as martial artists and our art. I ALWAYS bow to those who have trained longer than I, I don't care about what they study, it could be lotus flower aikido... I bow to them because I know after 35 + years of training how hard it is to keep training... to keep in touch with students and to keep finding sustenance in my art... yet there are people around who have been doing it for 45 years? amazing!! 60 years? Wow!!! I mean with death, with the **** we all have to deal with as sentient beings in the world... these people have found a way to keep training.
I hope you all find a way to keep training. AS martial artists we serve a somewhat fickel master... We are deprived of our youthful vigor and told to become more efficient. We are told at some point that we cannot simply act like puppies and play with each other on the mat until exhausted... that we must find principles to live by and give to others in this play..... And then we are told that the enemy is not so obvious as we thought.... We are told that our character will be tested and that the world will test us. And how many of us fall by the wayside because of these things? What of those? You can list it on a resume but do people truly understand it?
How many talented grapplers, strikers, idiot savantes who could have been the next thing have fallen by the wayside for various reasons?
Let me conclude by saying something to Mike Tripp, to Cougar, Tyke and anyone else who looks at this thread.... this sentence is pure gold and I may very well tatoo it on the side of my face like Tyson did with his tatoo haha.....
May your training sustain you in times of need, may you sustain your art by continuing to find a way to train.
Ummm... its Mark; but the thought is sound, and I thank you for it.
Another great statement I like to throw out there at times like this: Think not of winning, but think of not losing.
Great post Dsimon. Keep taking it a day at a time, an hour at a time, a minute at a time, Mark. You are a tough man and in inspiration.
Mark... I never realized things were so tough for you. Hell, if you lived anywhere near me (Westchester County, then for the winter Rochester, NY), I'd take your class. But that's not really what this thread is about, is it?
Matt... take the guy's advice. Man up.
That was a very heartfelt post, Mr. Tripp. Thank you so much for being alive.
Let your anger be like a monkey trapped inside a pinata; waiting inside, hoping that the children don't break through with the stick.
-Master Tang (Kung Pow! Enter the Fist)
A word to the wise ain't necessary. It's the stupid ones who need the advice.
— Bill Cosby
The believer is happy, the doubter wise.
— Greek proverb
Originally Posted by Nicko1
My respect for you is even higher now.
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