Enough knowledge to hurt someone

In martial arts we have a joke: Orange belts only know enough to hurt someone.

You might think the point of martial arts is to hurt — but it any yahoo can hurt. Just get behind the wheel of a car and start texting.

An orange belt is the first color belt in Tang Soo Do. Generally, it means 3-6 months of training and 1 or 2 tests. Sparring an orange belts means bruises up and down your arms. They are thrilled to make contact. What they don’t always notice is that while they are smiling about their fist hitting your shoulder, you pulled a kick that would have taken their floating rib. A quality, higher belt can tap all the vital points — pulling their power — because that takes more skill.

I remember when I first started writing, I sent a letter to a publisher about how disappointed I was in a book. They forwarded it to the author and I received a response from her. Really, I only had enough skill to hurt someone.

The higher belts, they start to see where they would have been bested. Then they start to see where they can do more damage. Their strikes are more significant, they don’t just fling their arms in excitement. They know where to put them. Sometimes even the orange belts start to do this. We expect it of the Cho Dan Bo (black belt candidates.)

My mom used to tell me that the best parents are those who haven’t yet had children. It tends to be true. People with a just a little science think God and science cannot exist together. Sir Francis Bacon said “A little knowledge of science makes man an atheist.”

Is there an orange belt in your life? Some one with just enough knowledge to tell you “You know what you should try for your pregnancy…your kid’s ADHD…your chronic pain…”

Just enough knowledge to hurt.

I think the way to prevent being an orange belt is: love. Also, be teachable, but remember knowledge puffs up. I can’t dabble or skim an article and consider myself an authority on anything. Learning more often opens my eyes to see that I am taking blows. I don’t know the vital areas. I’m lashing out.

The rest of Sir Francis Bacon’s quote: A little knowledge of science makes man an atheist, but an in-depth study of science makes him a believer in God. A little knowledge leads away, more brings you back.

4 thoughts on “Enough knowledge to hurt someone

  1. Hilarey says:

    If you subscribe to my blog, this version is slightly different than what arrived in your email. Ten minutes after it posted I knew I’d blew it. Knowledge is not the answer even though knowledge is still something worth pursuing.
    Isn’t love always the answer?

  2. Joanne Bischof says:

    Great post, Hilarey. I can think of so many instances where this is true. Also hits home for the moments when I myself was an orange belt *cringe*. There were a few instances early in my blogging career that I posted a somewhat bad book review. 2 to be exact. I felt horrible down the road…realizing that the author may have read it and thus it would have been hurtful in some way. I took them down and while there is nothing wrong with bad reviews, it became my policy that if I couldn’t say everything nice about a book, I’d rather just quietly set it on my bookshelf and move on to the next. OK…I rambled 🙂 Love the heels in your opening pic, by the way! So nice to meet you!

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