When in Rome…

I am surprised by how many people there are that seem to view the right to self-defense as being something strictly associated with the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

The Soldier vs. The Gladiator.

I’m surprised because I cannot understand the mindset that, when it comes to being able to defend oneself, or someone else who can’t act for themselves, why would you knowingly limit yourself to only being able to do so with a gun or other physical forms of combat? No soldier goes into battle untrained in at least some form of hand-to-hand combat, because it would be utterly foolish to rely on the fact that your gun, or ammunition for it, will always be available on a battlefield when you need them most. To think this way is severely limiting to how well one is likely to do when having to improvise in battle. Ask any United States Marine or Special Forces soldier what his most important weapon is, and to a man they will answer “my mind.” These soldiers know that it is their mind, their ability to critically analyze, plan, and act in an instant on the available information is what will keep them alive and fighting.

Soldiers are also taught how to think strategically and pre-plan their course of action to the best extent possible. The smart soldier also plans for multiple contingencies that account for both the success and possible failure of the primary and secondary mission objectives. But the truly wise soldier plans not only for all for these things, but also with the constant reminder of the primary rule of war, that no battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy.

The ability to plan ahead-of-time is the primary difference between a soldier of war and a gladiator of the Colosseum. While a soldier will usually have the opportunity to survey the field of battle beforehand, or at least to study a map that will provide some sort of useful information and intelligence about the terrain and what does or may exist there, a gladiator rarely has such an opportunity. A true gladiator would be forced to enter into the arena without any idea of what was on the other side of the hypogeum doors until they were opened. He was usually driven onto the killing grounds at spear point if he would not enter willingly to face whatever was awaiting him and his companions there. Sometimes it would be other men, sometimes animals, sometimes machines, and sometimes it may be any combination of these. Sometimes the gladiator would have comrades to battle beside him, and at others he would have to battle and kill those he had come to know as friends off the field. A gladiator had to be truly adaptable and willing to do whatever it took to win, because it was the rarest of occasions when he would step into the arena with the odds of survival and victory already in his favor.

In addition to the real gladiators and battles that the Colosseum accommodated, it was also host to the Praegenarii, or ‘mock gladiator,’ who served as a fill-in act during intervals and scenery changes between battles. They usually conducted their mock fights in a comical and clownish manner for the entertainment of the crowd and the Emperor during the lulls between games. They would conduct mock recreations of the days highlights in the gladiator games or other historical battles of other legendary gladiators. They even sometimes performed mock versions of great historical Roman campaign battles, that is, when the Emperor was not forcing real gladiators to shed real blood to reenact them. It was not even unheard of that, if the Praegenarii were particularly displeasing to the crowd or the Emperor in their antics, the next battle to be watched could very well be between the clownish and unskilled Praegenarii and the real gladiators.

The Original Roman Colosseum.

In ancient Rome, the Colosseum was a huge open arena that covered approximately six (6) acres. Its seating capacity allowed it to hold between 50,000-80,000 Roman spectators. The arena floor of the Colosseum had 36 individual trap doors installed, allowing for what was then considered some very elaborate special effects by modern standards. But these trapdoors could also contain hidden dangers that were yet to be unleashed on the combatants, or even be rigged as a trap to injure or kill them. It is said that more than 700,000 people of all races, religions, and descriptions, died on the bloody arena floor over the years that it was active. The Colosseum of Rome was an extremely dangerous and ugly place to be a combatant, whether voluntary or involuntary.

 

The New American Colosseums.

Ancient Rome may have had the Colosseum, but modern America has its own smaller scaled version of this dangerous battlefield, we just have a less grand name for them, courts. This new form of the ancient Colosseum has guards and games masters, just like the original. Also just like the original, they are each presided over by their own little black toga-wrapped Emperor that thinks him or herself to be a god in their own right. Despite the egocentric nature of their own self-importance, we normally just call them judges.  By Comparison, if you think the Colosseum was a rigged game against the original gladiators, you haven’t seen anything that compares to the rigged game that is the American court system.

The New Gladiators.

Did you know that there were more than twenty (20) different types of gladiators that appeared and fought in the Roman Colosseum. But despite all of that diversity, it is a drop in the bucket compared to the diversity of new American gladiators that exist today.

It should go without saying that, considering the potential consequences of having to fight in the Roman Colosseum, it would be hard to imagine that someone would actually choose to voluntarily become a gladiator to do battle there, much less to do so on an ongoing basis. This wasn’t really a problem in the days of the Roman empire, as most gladiators were prisoners, slaves, or otherwise conscripted into service. It is in this sense that the American People have been compelled to participate in the ‘just-us’ system as one of these new types of gladiator. This happens because they are being forced to enter into this new American Colosseum we call the courts, where they have to defend themselves against an often much more powerful foe. One who is well known for not fighting fair or following the rules in order to win its battles. This foe is the State, its agencies, and its actors.

This means that the American people now face a choice much like that faced by those who were unfortunate enough to have been conscripted into the role of the Roman gladiator. Learn, train, fight, win, or perish (lose).

 

The New Praegenarii.

The only bright side of this new system is that the role of the gladiator victim is not the only one that has been carried forward in a new form, there is also a new kind of Praegenarii. Be aware that the new Praegenarii in our modern version of the Colosseum comes in two different forms, that of attorneys, and the other as Patrinuts. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, and both are usually pretty reliable for providing the crowd with a good laugh or eyeball roll at their antics and stupidity.

The Attorneys.

The attorneys act more seriously and gladiator-like, much as the Praegenarii who were reenacting true-to-life versions of Rome’s most glorious campaigns and battles, but would still do so with some small comedic elements if one watches closely, and, occasionally, even with a grand explosion of clownish and ignorant behavior. The truly nefarious thing about the attorneys as modern Praegenarii is not really their level of actual skill in the use of the normal weapons, but rather their unscrupulousness and totally underhanded methods of combat, which is usually done by completely twisting and corrupting the weapons themselves beyond recognition. While most attorneys that you will encounter in these arenas have all the skills necessary to look and act like real gladiators, they almost never have the skills and expertise necessary to engage in a real fight and win it. The key is in knowing how to tell just when and how a battle is winnable, and what tactics will work best to accomplish that end, which you can best learn and apply by watching and listening to other attorney(s) and comparing what you hear and see them do to what you should have already taken the time and effort to know for yourself about the proper way to engage in these fights, and that is through the learning the rules of engagement and other information described below.

The Patrinuts.

Then we have the Patrinuts. When a Patrinut dons the garb of a gladiator, it is truly a sight to behold. Not because of how awe-inspiring and fearsome they look, sound, or conduct themselves in battle, but because of how the complete massacre of the Patrinuts that usually ensues more closely resembles that gaggle of foppish and totally unskilled clowns and buffoons with inferentially poor acting skills who pissed off the crowd of Roman spectators or disappointed the Emperor to such an extent that they were forced to fight to the death against a group of real and battle-hardened gladiators. A gladiatorial battle involving a Patrinut will almost always provide some level of entertainment, usually ranging from sheer cross-eyed boredom, to slack-jawed disbelief, to outbreaks of belly laughter so uproarious and voluminous that the Emperor orders the entire Colosseum cleared until he can decide upon a course of action. Which usually winds up being that the Patrinut is stripped naked and thrown to the lions for the sheer entertainment and appeasement of the crowd.

 

How to Survive the Colosseum and
Retire as a LIVE Gladiator.

If you wanted to survive the Colosseum as a gladiator, you had to learn how to be the best and most awesomely skilled gladiator you could be. This means that those men and women had to become skilled in every manner of weapon, shield, and hand-to-hand combat technique they could learn and master in whatever time they were allotted to make ready. They not only had to master the weapons of war, but also the accompanying accouterments by becoming masters of horse and chariot, conventional and unconventional battle tactics, and thinking and acting on their feet in the heat of battle. It meant learning how to think, act, and react very differently than they once did, or ever would again.

This leads us to the as-yet unrealized problem faced by most Americans today, that these preparatory requirements have not actually changed for any of us as the new American gladiator. Why you might ask? Well, like it or not, there is always the possibility even today, a much greater one in fact, that, just like it was possible in the days of Rome, you could just as easily be conscripted to appear in one of these newfangled Colosseums and coerced into engaging in a fight you never asked for or wanted.

Learning how things worked on the arena floor, and how to adapt to whatever situation or enemy that may arise, was extremely important to a gladiator’s survival. In our modern-day arenas, just like the gladiators of old, you need to learn several things before you have to enter if you are to survive to see another day. The longer you have to prepare and train to sharpen your skills before that day arrives the better. The wise gladiator is one who knows that, even though he has yet to actually enter into the theater to engage in a real battle, he should take advantage of the time he has to make himself as battle-ready and survival -prone as possible.

By studying the rules and tactics necessary for waging these new kinds of engagements, you can be far more successful than you might otherwise think. The primary rules and weapons used on today’s field of battle are the Federal and State Rules of Evidence, Procedure, and Judicial/Professional Conduct. These are formidable and trustworthy weapons in the hands of a skilled gladiator. Augment those skills with an irrefutable understanding of the multitudinous variations of the other weapons and skills of war used on the battlefield, meaning the modern laws and statutes, and you become an awesome gladiatorial force to be reckoned with. It is not nearly as difficult as many would have you believe to become equally or superiorly skilled compared to most of the attorneys that you will face in this arena. Remember, far more of them are really just a bunch of clowns and buffoons who are merely playing at the role of being a real gladiator than even they tend to realize. This usually makes them overconfident and foolish in how they will try to duel and deal with you more often than not. Which means that the better you prepare and hone your skills at being a real new American gladiator now, even if you currently feel that you have no need of such skills, the more likely it will be that your newfound talents will enable you to more quickly draw your opponent within reach of your legal weapons for a quick and clean kill if and when the time to fight finally arrives.

But, beware still the fickle and spiteful Emperor, for he is the most dangerous opponent of all. His is the power to overrule everything, even your hard-won victory, at least for a time. However, the better you handle these weapons and yourself, the more likely that the Emperor is not going to be willing to risk angering the crowd when they are showing overwhelming support for you as the victorious gladiator, no matter how much the Emperor might secretly wish to do you harm. The more knowledge and skill you have, the more likely the Emperor will not act upon his own capricious whims or out of sheer envy and jealousy over your popularity with the People when you finally stand as an uncoerced and free man at the end of the day.

Just try to avoid stepping in all of the Patrinut blood pooling on the ground as you leave the arena.

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