On one particular weekend, I was in town for my Intensive Personal Training Program with Paul. I was really excited because I was starting to feel like I knew what I was doing.
Boy, was I in for a surprise!
After training we decided to go out for a couple cold ones.
Long Beach, in those days, was a tough blue-collar shipyard town with more than its share of rough bars, and bad neighborhoods.
As we walked into the bar one could cut the tension in the air with a butter knife.
Apparently, Paul had been in an altercation a while back with one of the patrons of this ‘fine’ establishment.
After a short time, a few of this guy’s friends, wearing leathers, walked in and joined him.
It seemed to me that this fight did not simply start; rather it just unfolded in slow motion.
First, Paul being Paul, went over to this guy.
There was an exchange of words followed by an exchange of blows.
The first guy probably lost most of his teeth when Paul smashed his face with a pool ball.
It then just became a big mess. All hell broke loose. Bottles breaking, yelling and screaming.
Paul was a blur. There was shoving, punching, a lot of elbows and head-butts.
Paul was literally running at and hitting one guy, then turning to grab and head-butt another man.
He turned again and was about to blast what turned out to be the cocktail waitress.
So, in the middle of this crazy mess he was somehow able to stop himself midstream, gently move this little lady aside, and then went on to finish the last guy.
After that he looked over at me and yelled “Come on, let’s get the 'f' out of here!”
Needless to say, I made a beeline for the door, jumped into the car, and we bolted.
This event forever changed the way that I looked at Martial Art training. To this day I still am striving to master the kind of control of emotions I saw that night.
The next day, I asked Paul about what had taken place. His answer was not what I expected.
He said, “The better you become at keeping a cool head and controlling (not stuffing) your emotions, the better you will be at walking away from trouble. And, if the need arises, to engage in violence.”
Whew. What a story!
Can you imagine being in that bar in Long Beach that night?
Witnessing something out of an action movie – one man taking down an entire bar of men trying to attack him.
Except that it was real.
It actually happened.
Thanks to the R.A.T.