Beating the Odds

Making Stories Real

Let me ask you a rhetorical question. Do you know the percentages of beating the odds? I know by now you do or at least you are somewhat familiar with them. The chances of flopping a Royal Flush is virtually impossible. While the chances of winning the lottery is roughly one in three hundred million in the USA today. It’s far more likely that in the course of your lifetime that you will be struck by lightning. Last time I heard this percentage was somewhere around 1 in 15,300 for being struck by lightning. That is based on your chances in an 80-year lifetime. These figures are calculated on death or the survival rate but merely on the possibility of being struck. So this includes the possibility of being hit and injured or walking away from the lightning strike.

You have far greater odds of earning a black belt in one of the Eastern martial arts. They say that for every 10,000 people that join a martial art system only one will achieve the skills and proficiency deemed necessary for what we envision of being a black belt is about. Still this is a great improvement on your chances over lighting and the lottery. That of course is not referring to the hordes of students that join a school that guarantees a black belt after a set amount of years and/or money has been spent. What I’m talking about here is a person that has the ability to walk away from a fight but is still capable of incapacitating, maiming or killing an attacker with a single move. It doesn’t matter if this movement is a joint lock, throw or any kick, punch or any other strike. This also could include the ability to do the same with any hand-to-hand weapon found in this type of system.

So we are not talking about someone who joins a dojo and quits after three years of training. Which is the average length of time it takes to become a first-degree black belt in most systems today. That is if you’re very dedicated on the other hand many schools require six or seven years of dedication for this nomenclature of being a black belt. Yet many people who reach this level drop out after fifteen years or so because of the ordinary struggles in life. These could include time, money, personal injuries and/or family hardships. Even so many of these people that quit attending a school of martial arts because of these reasons are forever transformed in their outlook on life. Although there is an even smaller percentage of individuals that will adhere to the martial arts as a way of life. This exclusive group of dedicated devotees are more like one in 1 million. However, one in 1 million still isn’t that unheard of in a world of billions.

Of course there are other percentages to take in consideration. For example what is the chances of walking away from a hit-and-run accident? Then again falling off of a cliff or being knocked or thrown off of moving vehicles and/or jumping off of a four-story building may seem near impossible. The same is true about being shot or walking away from a motorcycle accident after skidding to a stop on your feet. The chances of having lightning strikes passed to either side of you, or tornado skipping over your head without touching down would also qualify as an oddity. What would the chances be if a person was forced into child labor working anywhere from twelve to eighteen hours a day for a worldwide oligarchy. On top of this you might conclude being abducted by an UFO or having secret societies or shadow government contacts also trying to control you somewhat rare.

So if you really want to hedge your bets the odds would become very narrow if you calculated the percentages for all of these things happening to a handful of people. It takes years of hard work to overcome the physical and emotional traumas of these types of experiences. Nonetheless these elements were part of my first-hand experiences and they served as a catalyst in formulating characters in my Mystic Dream Walker book series.

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