“Quality Time” The Art of Invincibility

It’s been a while since I looked at it but my grandkids have discovered an old video of me called “Quality Time” which was a demo reel of some of my whip work from about 15 years ago. While the quality of the video itself certainly isn’t great it was fun to watch it with them again. It was that video that actually did create some opportunities to work in Hollywood a bit and it was fun to reflect upon all those events that were in those videos. I had written a book called The Symposium of Justice so the demo reel was to set up book signings and all the other kinds of activities that go along with publishing a book. But my problem with the book was that I wanted to be the character of Cliffhanger in real life, so what followed these days of bullwhip work for me was doing in real life what I wrote about in the book. I didn’t want to grow up to be one of those pin headed authors who just thought and wrote about things. I wanted to actually do the things I wrote about, so that set my course into the politics that I have been so well known for. Yet again, things do evolve over time and now that I have grandchildren, and they are eager for knowledge of any kind, they are having fun discovering my past, and I’m having fun sharing it with them.

My daughters were in that video as little girls and so is my son in law before he married my oldest daughter. Bullwhips in my family has always been a thing and there was never anything fringe about it. For us it was part of our lifestyle and it was for me a way to encourage my kids about traditional American values. These kinds of things have always meant a lot to me so it was quite a wonderful thing to have my grandkids, all of them, suddenly have this interest in my work with bullwhips over the years and wanting to suddenly learn all they could. My oldest grandson especially is at that age where he’s starting to wonder what kind of person he might become, so he is starting to show a desire to learn bullwhip work. I have a tendency to let people come to their own way in life, but I won’t disguise my happiness that he is showing an interest and asking a lot of questions. He’s already showing great poise in the activity which for any kid is a great thing to learn.

Before my leap into political matters there was a lot of discussion on the family end about getting involved. Our life at the time was film festivals and invites to Hollywood events so why get involved in political activity? Because in doing so it would surely have an impact on my good bullwhip life and the future publication of books I wanted to write. Yet in my mind I had to know that I could be as authentic in real life as the characters I was writing about, otherwise I would feel like a phony. It’s not like I hadn’t been in lots of fights before and I felt I could take on anybody, anywhere, at anytime. And I did have a past with knowing hitmen who killed people for a living. Knowing politicians and corrupt judges who would jail one person for spitting on the sidewalk but let murderers go free only to kill again because they were friends of the political establishment wasn’t enough for me. Many of those people I actually knew in my even wilder days of my late teens ended up in my book The Symposium of Justice. However the lingering thought in my mind was I wanted a real challenge, I wanted to take on an established social system that was behaving as a villain, and to get through it. I always felt my use of bullwhips would carry me through anything, but I had to know for sure.

Happily, I can report that in the 15 years or so since many of the events in that demo reel occurred the whip has never let me down. People often say that a gun can trump a bullwhip in a combat situation but to my experience that just isn’t the case. While everyone knows I am a big advocate of the 2nd Amendment my first love will always be bullwhips. When I have one in my hand I don’t think any person or any group of people can launch a fantasy of attack against me. And that is a great feeling of freedom to have, to be able to function in the world without worrying about the intentions of other people. If you can do two things in life, maintain great intelligence where you can outthink your opponents, and then defend yourself from physical harm when they realize they can’t beat you any other way, then you can be truly free as a person. You can only give this to yourself. No government can give that freedom to you. In the East they have their version of martial arts. In the West we have ours, and I know enough to feel I can make myself invincible to any kind of melee attack. And that is the point in learning those types of things, not so you can go around beating people up, but so that you can gain the freedom of defending yourself.

And that’s the way it should be, I’m now at an age where I have something very valuable to offer young people and I can actually teach it beyond any kind of theory. The attribute that has plagued our societies over the years is this trend to bully people into doing things they don’t want to do, and governments are some of the biggest perpetrators. Prior to 2011 nobody had the stomach to take on the big government labor unions, they would threaten you with physical violence, and complete social castigation. They would vandalize your home, destroy your car, anything they could to bring harm to you if you stood in the way of getting what they wanted. And yes, when I became the face of standing against those activities they did try all those things and I did what I do. I felt I was uniquely positioned to stand up to them, and I am happy to have those stories to tell now as not just a writer’s theory but a practitioners expertise. There is a great freedom in being a master of something that everyone knows they can’t duplicate to use against you.

In that regard it gives me great joy to pass this stuff along to this new generation. Its nice that they are interested but its even better to know that they are learning the art of invincibility in the process. The old stories that there is somebody out there who is always faster, stronger, and better than you are falsehoods. It is possible to be the best and to stay that way. And with that comes a respect that can’t be bought or taken from you no matter how much others want to work to do so. Admittingly, it has been an obsession of mine to put myself in the worst case scenarios possible and see if I still land on my feet. In that video I had accomplished so much up to that point, enough to make a nice demo reel. But I didn’t really want to be just another writer, actor, or celebrity. I wanted to be the real deal. And the benefit of that is that I can honestly tell this new generation how to get through life honestly and without any paralyzing fear, which is the best freedom that there is. I may have traded some fame and fortune for the experience, but believe me, it was very much worth every bit of it.

Rich Hoffman

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