David Flynn was born in the textile mill company town of Bemis, TN. His jobs have included newspaper reporter, magazine editor and university teacher. He has five degrees and is both a Fulbright Senior Scholar and a Fulbright Senior Specialist with a recent grant in Indonesia. His literary publications total more than two hundred. David Flynn’s web site is at http://www.davidflynnbooks.com . He currently lives in Nashville, TN, where he is director of the Musicians Reunion, an annual blues festival now in its 35th year.
Martial Arts in the Age of Automatic Rifles
Martial arts in the age of automatic rifles
seems sad, seems like surrender. Hands and feet
and hips and leverage evaporate when bullets fly,
hundreds per minute. But
why be military? Why eat your hamburger
at a fast food booth with a Glock strapped to your belt?
Martial arts are arts are arts are arts.
A human faces another human,
not a drone raining fire from the sky.
They move, revealing their strategies.
They react, the smarter, in the arts, manipulating
the opponent’s arms, the neck with its vein, the legs,
sliding, pivoting, stepping
in a dance
until one is on the floor,
pinned not potent.
Painting, an art.
Writing, an art.
Why, because they are ways of being human,
with an infinity of variations.
The artist chooses, uses, expresses what is inside
in one or more of the five senses,
There are many martial arts,
judo, karate, kung fu, aikido.
The movements are infinite,
the results a transference: stop!
An expression: stop!
A result: this transgression is over.
In aikido we fight with wooden swords.
There are Japanese names for everything,
Shoshin, Nagare Uke, Ukemi.
If I would fight a hater with fantasies of killing a hundred
infidels, blacks, police, women in shorts, federal employees, drinkers in a bar,
and that hater held an AR-15, twenty clips of bullets in his belt, his pockets, his person,
he might break into laughter.
Then I could use Tenkan,
swirl him around and around,
use my other arm to push his throat backward
until he is flat on the floor.
Pin him at the elbow and shoulder,
knee against his ribs;
it is done.
Fall for advantage;
he wouldn’t know that.
Make your parallels with fighting and writing,
fighting and painting,
fighting and dancing,
fighting and office work.
fighting and carpentry,
fighting and sales
All the five senses.
We are all artists.
We are all fighters.