A Healthy Offer For Our Dysfunctional Times


I have included a picture that comes up when I search “cutest cat” because your more likely to click on this. Ha! Gotcha! Now start reading!

Our public discourse is broken. It’s full of bluster, hatred, and pain. I’ve had some interactions lately that rubbed right up against this. I’ve spoken to people I disagree with, and those whom I feel are more aligned with my personal belief systems. Not all of that has gone smoothly, or was productive.

In times like this I try to take a moment, a day, or longer to just reflect. Often once any immediate emotion or reactionary instinct has subsided I’m left with a question. “What are you doing to make it better?” The back and forth, the digging in and taking sides, it’s not helping. I want to be a helper. I want to make some sort of positive impact in the world.

I’m a believer in liberty, and I believe that begins with the ability to protect and own our personhood. Those that have been victimized have had that stolen from them. There is no hell like having your will taken from you. I know.

So here’s where I try to figure out what more I can do.  I offer this, an open door to come and take what little I have to offer. I don’t care if your male, female, black, white, or anything else. I don’t care if we vote the same (spoiler, we probably don’t!). I don’t mind if you’re inexperienced, physically weak, rich or poor. Come down and try one of my classes at Stout Training Pittsburgh / Team Renzo Gracie . Wednesday’s 730pm at our strip district location and Saturday’s 11am in Cranberry. No charge, no pressure, do as much or as little as you can.

Further. If you are not ready for a group class, if you are intimidated of the prospect, or perhaps you have been the victim of an assault. Reach out to me. We will find a time to sit down and discuss what I do and how I can help. I will give freely the thing I have that is of most value to me, my time. The work will set you free. I can’t make the world a place where assaults don’t happen, I can’t fix our legal system, or our public discourse. But I can help you find your strength, and that’s a step in the right direction.

“Because in the end I consider owning the tools of self-defense, including guns, getting the training to use them effectively and having the willingness to employ them if necessary to be the most feminist statement I can make. That I and only I have the right to determine, by force if necessary, who can touch or affect my body.”

-Annette Evans Race Street Range

This isn’t a poorly written inflammatory tweet, it’s not going to generate tons of clicks, all the likes and reposts. It won’t have a bunch of  heated debate in the comments. Therefore the algorithms that decide to large part what gets shoved down our throats day to day will cover it over with fake news, with trolls, with anything that gets your attention long enough to get you engaged. Its a simple well meaning gesture from one person to another, I hope it finds someone that needs it.

Shawn Lupka


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