Sad News

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Master Barry Collings succumbed to cancer and passed away this past Saturday. Barry was a Guest Blogger who had many great insights into the Martial Arts and life. Barry was the first to admit his fears and fought hard to lengthen his time here. There is much that I did not know about Barry Collings so I feel ill equipt to write a fitting memorial, so I decided to use Barry’s own words mark his passing. Barry had given me permission to use any of his stuff so I am sure he won’t mind this. I found it very touching when I read it but have found new meaning since hearing of his death. He title this piece “Why we fight…

Why we fight” was a Hollywod movie series commissioned by the government in World War II to bolster the spirit of a nation at war. It was played in movie houses all over the country and it helped unite everyone to participate in the war effort anyway they could. It worked very well. WWII is often called “the last good war”. Every citizen felt like he/she had a vital role in fighting the war. As important is if they were carrying a weapon into battle.I’ve never been a soldier at war, in combat. How I feel about that is captured pretty well in Shakespear’s St Crispin’s day speech from HenryV (“…hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks that fought with us…”). I do sometimes hold my manhood cheap while I listen to the vietnam vets that I work with tell their war stories. A country goes to war for it’s reasons. People join the Armed Services for reasons. Soldiers become combat troups (in any given battle only about %10 of troups are in combat, the rest are there to support) for reasons. From everything I’ve ever read and heard (as I said, I’ve never been there myself, but this is the feeling I get) the soldiers that are actually in combat, under fire fight for one reason. They fight because they don’t want to let their friends down. The other memorable line from the St, Crispin’s Day speech is “…we happy few, we band of brothers…”. That’s just what combat soldiers become, a band of brothers and they fight because they don’t want to let their brothers down.

In the mass patriotism of WWII nobody wanted to let anybody else down. In Britain the “stiff upper liBarry Collingsp” came to mean the united grit and unwillingness to be defeated of the average British citizen.
When it comes down to the simplest terms; we fight because we don’t want to let the people we care for and the people that care for us down.
Sometimes we forget that. Sometimes we feel so….or feel that we need to act so…..individual…that we forget that we are not in this alone. We have people who are looking to us for hope. We have people to fight for.
Even in these cynical, you’re voted off the island. I’ m in this for me and I don’t care who gets hurt as long as I win, greed driven reality show, it’s only a crime if you get caught (nice role model George W) times in which we live… I (everyone say your name) still fight so that I won’t let the people who care about me down.
Even if the results of the fight are a foregone conclusion, we fight.
This blog entry, just like all the others, is about me.
I’ve written this blog to make up for what I said in the last blog. I may be escaping mentally and emotionally but I can’t escape the inevitability of my situation so I’ll be here for it. As long as there are people who need me to be strong and fight then I’ll fight. To the end. To the last day. With my last breath. I’ll fight.

Greater words I could not have written…Goodbye Barry and may our thoughts and prayers help your family and friends find comfort and peace.

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