As a practitioner of Taekwondo, one of the core teachings of martial arts that is attractive and alluring to me, is the emphasis on discipline.
Every martial art that I’ve ever heard of, teaches the discipline of utilizing your skill only when absolutely necessary; as in the case of self-defense.
This is a fundamental principle of Libertarianism as well: quite simply, don’t initiate aggression onto others and defend yourself when necessary.
Many Libertarians are armed with intellect, reason, the capacity to argue valid points, principled adherence to philosophy and ideology, as well as a stockpile of guns and ammunition.
People like to exaggerate boisterous declarations of what they would do in situations that may involve them having to use a gun, but the reality is that you should only draw a firearm on someone if:
- They pose an immediate threat to your life
- You are actually prepared to use it
Martial arts is quite useful in situations where fatally injuring someone would not be the best solution.
The discipline of martial arts (emphasized strongly in martial arts such as Aikido) teaches that the minimum amount of damaged inflicted, necessary to subdue a threat, is the honorable course of action.
For example, if an older man at a bar, who has had a few too many drinks, decides to flirt with your wife. You tell him politely to back off, but this enrages him because he is fueled with liquid courage and a skewed sense of judgement.
He swings at you…
Now, many people like to think that the act of aggression demonstrated by the attacker is justification for any level of retaliation.
The noble, dignified & disciplined martial artist, however, would simply block the attack, administer a take-down and submission hold, and let him go once he’s agreed to disengage and leave you alone.
So, why not just pummel the guy into the ground? I mean, he did swing at you, right?
Implementing reason, the gentleman, the martial artist, understands that the aggressor is being foolish, is liquored up and not acting in his normal state of mind. His actions, if remembered, would likely embarrass him enough without the addition of a serious injury.
There’s no need to injure the man. He doesn’t pose a real threat to you if you’ve acquired the necessary skills in order to defend yourself properly.
Compassion, in this case, would be the better option.
Martial arts philosophy is congruent with Libertarian philosophy in many ways. As such, I recommend that Libertarians learn a martial art.
The art and training will fortify the mind and body, as well as add further conviction to the principles you adhere to.