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Humor & The Martial Arts

By Gary Gabelhouse

My belief is that humor is one of our greatest human virtues and it is especially important for those on the path of budo. I love to laugh. I love to be around people who love to laugh. Humor, from my perspective, is a "governor" on our ego. When one takes hardly anything seriously, he cannot take himself too seriously, either. When one finds humor in the worst of life, one can function through a challenge effectively and with a light spirit. Also, when one runs short of material, there is always a treasure trove found within himself -- at least that is the case with yours truly--so, we end up knowing ourselves better.

I don't know about my martial ability, but I own the fact that I can make even the most sour individual . . . laugh. For me, this is much more important than any martial ability. During my youth and growing up in my old neighborhood, every day I had multiple incidents that required me to run away, fight, or talk my way out of a fight. It was in this very negative environment that my sense of humor was forged. I never ran, and occasionally fought, but most often had my opponent laughing with me. Humor is an awesome self-defense technique.

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About the Author:

Gary Gabelhouse is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fairfield Research, Inc. which is a market research and consulting firm in the entertainment and media industries. Prior to his acquisition of Fairfield, Gabelhouse was Executive Vice President and a member of the Fairfield Board of Directors. Prior to his involvement with Fairfield, Gabelhouse was Senior Vice President and member of the Board of Directors for SRI Research, SRI/Gallup, Gallup of Canada, and what is now the Gallup Organization.Gabelhouse trains Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate-do under John Roseberry, Hanshi. Gabelhouse is the Business Director for Roseberry's Sho-Rei-Shobu-Kan Martial Arts Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. Gabelhouse's interests outside of the martial arts or business include mountaineering, bonsai cultivation, fishing and fly tying, oil painting, landscape gardening, writing and watching his 21 year old daughter play rugby. Gabelhouse has been married to his wife Cindy since 1975.

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