The Bushido Bishop
The Mormon bishop who used a samurai sword to defend a neighbor lady being attacked by a stalker is just an irresistible story. So many contemporary memes collide. (Check out this picture. Is it just me, or does he look a little like Glenn Beck?)
First the facts, from Fox News:
Kent Hendrix woke up Tuesday to his teenage son pounding on his bedroom door and telling him somebody was being mugged in front of their house. The 47-year-old father of six rushed out the door and grabbed the weapon closest to him -- a 29-inch high carbon steel Samurai sword.
Hendrix, a bishop in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said it was the first time in 30 years of practicing martial arts that he's used the sword. He didn't swing it at the man, only showing him he had it.
He came upon what he describes as a melee between a woman and a man. His son stayed inside to call 911 while he approached the man along with other neighbors who came to help. The martial arts instructor didn't hesitate in drawing the sword and yelling at him to get on the ground.
'He was staring down 29 inches of razor'
"His eyes got as big as saucers and he kind of gasped and jumped back," Hendrix said by phone Tuesday afternoon. "As he was coming through the fence, this is where I drew down on him and told him to get down on the ground," Hendrix told Fox13Now.com. He continued, "he was staring down 29 inches of razor."
Unfortunately, the attacker escaped.
Liberals currently obsess about guns, fetishizing them into objects with inherent malevolence of their own ("assault weapons") so it is refreshing to remember that razors, knives, and even swords can be equally fearsome and lethal. Particularly so, the samurai sword, a marvel of preindustrial technology that combined advanced metallurgy with disciplined craftsmanship of the highest order.
Prior to the arrival of the Portuguese and Dutch in the sixteenth century, those fearsome swords enabled the military class, the bushi (or samurai), to dominate the unarmed masses. But it was not mere possession of a sword that empowered one, great skill was required. There was never a successful peasant rebellion in Japan, despite the many deprivations and hardships endured by the vast majority, because no effective resistance was possible to an armed bushi warrior. So lethal were the swords that they could literally lop off a head or a limb with one elegant stroke. (See this and this video for examples of the sharpness of these blades. During World War II, recruits to the Japanese army were shown a film of a Japanese sword slicing through a machine gun barrel with one stroke.)
The need to master the demanding arts of swordsmanship encouraged the development of Bushido, the way of the warrior, an extreme discipline of self-cultivation and loyalty.
When the Japanese got access to 16th century firearms like blunderbusses and harquebuses, it changed the course of Japanese history, triggering the consolidation of power under feudal lords who took advantage of the new military technology. Then, once firmly in power, the Tokugawa Shogunate banned firearms, for they well realized the democratizing effect of enabling a mere peasant to aim and shoot a gun at a master swordsman.
Firearms ownership and democracy go together, you see. The Japanese knew that a century and a half before the Constitution got its Second Amendment.
So how did Bishop Kent Hendrix come to be able to handle his sword so well?
A fourth-degree black belt in the Kishindo form of martial arts, Hendrix owns a collection of swords and weapons that he trains with, said his wife, Suzanne Hendrix. He has trained with the sword he used Tuesday for 20 years and keeps it by his bed.
"Some people have bats they go to," said Hendrix. "I have my sword."
As Mitt Romney did in the past, Hendrix serves as a lay bishop, and in economic life is a pharmaceutical salesman. He has cultivated a discipline that obviously not only developed his martial arts skills but reinforced a moral discipline of helping others.
Unfortunately, most of us are unlikely to be able to master swords if our ability to own personal firearms for self-defense is curtailed. But our Democrat and media ruling class seems to share the sort of views toward firearms of the tyrannical shoguns: too dangerous to their rule.