Monday, July 31, 2017

On Mr. Jake Mace — Kung Fu and Tai Chi Master, and Idiot

Anybody out there ever hear of a Mr. Jake Mace, of Phoenix Longevity Arts?

I recently ran across his YouTube channel, and as a practitioner of martial arts I found myself enjoying his take on techniques I know (usually by a different name) and learning a few new things, too.

Unfortunately, he has an "opinion about guns", too.

No, he's not strictly "anti-gun", per se. He's... well...

I'll just let him say it:

My attempt at a transcript (bold emphasis in original)*:
Hey, everybody, it's Jake Mace, with

During meditation, my unconscious mind and the universe send me thoughts sometimes, and I wanted to share with you guys one of these thoughts today.

I live in the U.S.A. and a lot of people around me — friends, and family members — they own guns, and they use guns. A lot of them have guns, but they don't use guns; they just feel safe having a gun in the house protecting them — "protecting them".

And the way that I've always thought about guns, comes from the path of a martial artist, Chinese kung fu and tai chi guy, who thinks about guns like he thinks about any other weapon in the martial arts.

And so when I have brand new students join my program, they first learn empty-hand skills, of some grappling and some striking, some fitness, conditioning, breathing, meditation, and stance work.

And then once they have that down they go on to the bo staff. The bo staff is the first weapon that they learn how to use, and you guys have been getting our bo staff DVD and bo staff from

Once they learn the bo staff they go on to many other weapons in a proper order: nunchucks, short stick, then they go on to the broad sword, sometimes they go on to daggers, chain whip, and the highest state of weapon is the straight sword, called the
jian. The Chinese martial artist values the straight sword as the elite of the elite in terms of weapons.

And in my opinion the reason why this is is because back in ancient China, of all the modern-day weapons that were available to the ancient warrior, the straight sword was the most advanced form of weaponry of the time.

I've been to the
Bing Ma Yong, the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an, China, and you can see that China was the first ones to bronze and chrome out their weapons, so that when they would go against an opposing army it was no contest! The chromed out steel weapon or bronze weapon is infinitely stronger and more modern, and therefore better at killing, than a futile weapon of the other countries at that time.

But China has a tumultuous past, and many of those ancient warriors died out through the ages, through the millennia. And so in today's world, guns and bombs are the most advanced form of human weaponry.

And so it blows my mind when a lot of human beings, especially in my social circle in America here, have guns, because guns should be valued as a weapon that is more advanced than even straight sword. And so I feel that if you're going to own a gun, and use a gun in life, you should have to earn your keep by learning bo staff, nunchucks, stick, dagger, broad sword, chain whip, sai, etc., etc., on up the chain, and prove your worth to get to the gun level.

And the reason why this is important is because when you are able to buy the most elite weapon just because you give somebody money, and you now own a killing tool right in front of you, you don't have any of the discipline, and the focus, and the training, that goes behind the responsibility of owning a killing tool of that magnitude.

So I'm curious right now, what do you guys think? In the comments down below, tell me your thoughts. Do you think that anybody should be able to get a gun, the "most modern form of killing" in today's age? Or should a gun owner have to prove themselves with horse stance, empty-hand fighting, grappling, stick fighting, bo staff fighting, chain whip, dagger, and on up the chain, and then, when they're a 5th Black Master of whatever style that they're studying, they have a ceremony, bow to the teacher, and the teacher presents them a certificate of mastery, with a gun on top. Because now you have the focus, training, determination, and responsibility that goes behind owning the gun.

Because if you guys are like me, the more skillful the martial artist that you meet, the better the fighter that you meet, the martial artist with more deadliness in their hands and more training in their experience, is usually the most responsible with that training possible.

I can't tell you how many gun owners are so proud of their guns, they want to show them off to all their friends all the time. Well, I'll tell you what: a martial arts master doesn't go into their friend's situation, into a social situation, and show of all their punches and kicks and throws and grappling, OK? They're humble about it, and they keep their killing abilities safe and humble on the inside. I think gun owners should do the same thing.

So tell me in the comments down below what you guys think. I really want to know what you guys think. Hit 'Like', subscribe to my channel, and get yourself the training, because as martial artists, we have to prove ourselves on up the chain, from empty-hand, weapon, to ultimate killing tool, because if we don't train, we won't have the responsibility and the focus needed to handle a weapon of that magnitude.

Thanks for watching guys. I can't wait to see you back here for our next video, and also on any of my social media, like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
In short, he's OK with you having a gun for self-defense, but only after you've also trained for a couple decades in empty-handed defense and a plethora of traditional martial arts weapons (bo staff, nunchaku, three-section staff, butterfly sword, broadsword, chain whip, straight sword) to develop your focus, discipline, and humility** the exact same way he has. Then, and only then, would he "allow" you to own a gun.

Needless to say, anyone older or more frail, or who doesn't have time or money to devote several hours of every day — for several years — to training (read: anyone with school, a job, life, or family), need not even apply. The Carol Bownes of the world, who need a means of self-defense right now, are equally on their own.

In his mind, the prerequisites of gun ownership — focus, discipline, and humility — can only be learned via martial arts. So if you instead chose to spend your child- and young-adulthood in school and college and earned an advanced degree in a STEM discipline, learning skills like logic, advanced mathematics, critical thinking, analytics, etc., you still don't have the focus or discipline to own a gun. Nope, you don't know kung fu, so even though your life's work keeps his lights on, keeps his car running, and — oh, yeah — keeps the spectacle of the Internet alive so that he can continue posting videos ... you aren't worthy of owning a tool to defend your life.

There's a word for this mindset: elitist.

It's a basic "might makes right" mentality. If you don't already have the might, you never will.

What's interesting to me is not only how devoted he is to elitism and "might makes right", but also how far off he is from the very principles of kung fu he professes to teach. Taking kung fu as a tangible skill, it is very much like a gun: a smaller, less-physically-strong defender can prevail over a larger attacker, or even several attackers. Often, just the difference in carriage — the confidence and posture with which the intended victim moves — is enough to deter an attack even before it starts. The defender doesn't even need to be a "master"; in many cases, mere proficiency is good enough.

I did leave a comment or two on that video (hey, he asked for it, didn't he?). However, YouTube's comment filter being what it is — a giant ball of mystery fail to anyone outside YouTube Corporate HQ — you cannot view my comments unless you are logged into YouTube or Google as me. Therefore, here are the screenshots for posterity (click to embiggen):
If you feel like leaving your own, maybe you'll have better luck getting through YouTube's insanely stupid filter.

Or, you can not feed the troll. That's OK, too. :)

Stay safe, and don't give your money to charlatans pretending to be experts.
* - Wow. Writing out that transcript and putting [strong] tags on his emphasized points makes him sound even more off-base than I originally thought, and that's saying something.
** - We won't even get into how "humble" a person could be, when they make their living showing off on YouTube.