(ABOVE: A Filipino Kalinga Warrior with Spear and Shield. Since the dawn of time, men have been raised to be protectors of their land and communities)
In one of my previous articles entitled “The Three Elements of Manhood”, I discussed the three key aspects that define manhood. The article received a lot of positive feedback, and I felt it would be good to go further with the discussion. As the Chief Instructor of Bayani Warrior (www.bayaniwarrior.com), I intend on discussing why I feel that protection is the most fundamental among the three aspects of manhood.In my previous article “The Three Elements of Manhood”, I explain that there are three primary aspects to being a man. These are the abilities to:
–Pastor: to guide and lead–Protect: to possess the skills needed to protect people physically as well as emotionally –Provide: to be able to provide sustainability for your loved ones In my humble opinion, each of these points are equally important. It’s similar to a tripod: take out one of these points, and the man begins to lose balance. However, I personally believe that the most fundamental of these three points is a man’s ability to protect himself and those that he loves. It is the most basic aspect of manhood. Look at any history book and you will see that traditionally, the man is the protector of the village, the tribe, and of course, his family. Without the skill sets and mindset to protect himself and those he loves, a man cannot truly fulfill the fundamental purpose for which he was designed and born to do. Imagine if you will, a man who can Pastor and Provide for his family. He is an excellent role model. He is an excellent mentor. He is also capable of feeding his family and keeping a roof over their heads. However, without the ability to PROTECT them, his ability to pastor and provide is in vain. You cannot Pastor your loved ones, or Provide for your loved ones, if they are DEAD…because you lacked the mindset, training, and tools to keep them alive. Now, allow me to make one thing clear: While having the ability to fight is part of what it means to be a Protector, it also involves knowing how NOT to fight. A man who only knows how to fight is not a Protector, but a brawler. A true Protector knows how to put systems and protocols in place to ensure he and his loved ones are safe. A Protector should know how to fight with and without the use of weapons, but they should also be educated in First Aid, know how to drive in an emergency, and how to store extra food and supplies for natural disasters. These are all aspects of Protection that are often overlooked in 99 percent of martial arts programs. On a deeper level, a Protector knows how to protect those he loves not just from physical danger, but emotional danger as well. A Protector’s family should not just feel safer physically, but mentally as well. A Protector should know how to protect those he loves from fear, fits of rage, and impatience. More often than not, we as martial artists and fighters focus so much on our physical skills that we sometime neglect the fundamental skills of being able to listen to someone when they are having a bad day, support someone through a hard time, or being able to lend a helpful word of advice. Being a Protector is not just a duty as a man, but it is also a lifestyle that requires constant maintenance and training. It also requires a great deal of maturity and patience, which translates not just to the combative realm, but to every part of our lives.
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