It is when one's wife starts taking martial art lessons after 20 years of marriage that one instinctively knows that this country is firmly on the path of militarisation. It also means, as I was to soon find out, that the term 'marital bliss' takes on a whole new meaning.
I know my wife is making progress because her homework is to practice some of the more intricate lethal hand-to-hand combat techniques like chokes, throws and joint-locking manouevres on her better half, viz: me. As a supportive househusband who has always loved being kicked around, it behooves me to provide full encouragement to her latest self-improvement endeavour. She has just been practicing take-downs, ground grappling, palm and pressure-point strikes, and I can now say with some authority that I know what it feels like to be a stuntman opposite Steven Segal in the film, Belly of the Beast.
When one's wife suddenly transforms herself into a ninja, there is really not much you can do but learn to be a crouching tiger oneself as a deterrence. The first step, then, is to research the history and evolution of martial arts so one has a solid theoretical foundation.
Being a warlike species, the human race has been fighting each other tooth and nail since time in memoriam. For instance, ancient murals depict mankind always on a heightened state of alert. They used to defend themselves against marauding sabre-tooth tigers, woolly mammoths or fire-breathing dragons by putting their (mankind's) security forces under unified command and retreating into prehistoric caves.
Even when some peacenik emperors of the Middle Kingdom banned weapons, human beings found ways to tear each other asunder with their bare hands. This art was perfected in China, which through the ages has experimented with Taoism, Confucianism, Shintoism and, later, Maoism. The tradition of martial arts stressed character development, physical fitness and proper decorum towards adversaries, so that when one does break every bone in their body, one does so non-violently, with compassion, discipline and self-control.
The fact that martial arts have endured for so many centuries means that its techniques have been perfected as they were handed down from one generation of Black Belts to the next, right up to the Lagankhel Branch of the Aikido and Kyokushin Training Institute where they teach you the doctrine of preemptively kicking ass.
This is the doctrine that allows one to land a high kick on anyone suspected of harbouring a germ warhead, which can be every second person in this city, and ask questions later. This is slightly different from the Bloody Nose Doctrine, which is a martial principle under which one firmly believes that one's opponent will not agree to resume talking to you unless one smashes him to pulp.
But if you will excuse me, I have a marital law class to go to.