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  1. Torakaka is offline
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    Posted On:
    11/10/2005 10:09pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR
    Kidspatula,

    maybe this is part of the problem; I don't see it as being an "either/or" situation.

    I doubt that anyone here would knock Muay Thai as a highly effective fighting style, within it's own parameters (the rules of the ring, weight divisions, etc.) - but knowing that to be so, should we drop the Ram Muay, as being irrelevant to the art's ring effectiveness? Should Thai boxers start wearing speedos when they compete?

    Apply the same logic to "archaic" or "anachronistic" martial arts like classical kenjutsu. Probably deadly as all hell if you happen to be attacked while carrying a sharp katana, but does the fact that the weapon has been outmoded by custom, fashion, law, etc. mean that the art loses its value?

    Antiques have value that goes beyond their utilitarian function. They may also still be used for their original purpose; a restored Model T will get you where you need to go (relatively slowly) and an Edison phonograph will still play the music it was designed to play; but their greater value is no longer dependent on utlitarianism, as explained in the quote by Dave Lowry.

    in many cases the Ram Muay has been dropped. The ram muay is not a martial art and has no relevance to the martial aspect of the art. There is no necessity in teaching the ram muay as part of muay thai. If the ram muay in and of itself were being taught as a "martial art", that would be bullshido.
    Ranked #9 internationally at 118lbs by WIKBA http://www.womenkickboxing.com/wikba...rch%202009.htm
  2. Matt Bernius is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/10/2005 10:11pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR
    Apply the same logic to "archaic" or "anachronistic" martial arts like classical kenjutsu. Probably deadly as all hell if you happen to be attacked while carrying a sharp katana, but does the fact that the weapon has been outmoded by custom, fashion, law, etc. mean that the art loses its value?
    You are the only one here creating either/or. And you are too blinded by ideology to notice it.

    Kenjutsu still works under the cultural context that it was designed for. I've seen Kenjutsu people. They train alive sword drills. They beat the heck out of each other. I truely believe that the folks I watched could duel. So it's martial.

    If the couldn't duel. If the material they were learning did not functionally prepared them to fight under the cultural conditions of the art, they would be learning dance/movement. AND THAT WOULD NOT BE A MARTIAL ART.

    The only one suggesting that MT people should move to speedos is you! We are all saying, except you, that if it can fight under its cultural context, it's a martial art.

    Now if the cultural context is "it should work on the streets on the US today" and you need to be in a hakama to execute, or carry a sword, or a blunderbus for that matter, then it's a failed art.

    They may also still be used for their original purpose; a restored Model T will get you where you need to go (relatively slowly) and an Edison phonograph will still play the music it was designed to play;
    Again with the crap analogies. None of us are deriding either the model T or the phonograph. But we are saying that:

    1. if the model T no longer runs, or the phonograph is busted, then it's functional value is USELESS. And after that it's only not scrapped because it's form has cultural value for preservation. But if you need to go somewhere or play a spindle YOU ARE **** OUT OF LUCK. They've ceased to fulfill their function. In otherwords, as an analogy, they're no longer MARTIAL ARTS!

    2. If you need to go on a highway or play a CD and all you have is a Model T or an Edison Phonograph (even if they work under the intended conditions), YOU ARE **** OUT OF LUCK! They can't fulfil the needed function. In otherwords, as an analogy, they're inapplicable MARTIAL ARTS!

    If you've been convinced that what you've been given will work under either condition then you've been sold bullshido.


    - Matt
    Last edited by Matt Bernius; 11/10/2005 10:19pm at .
    Student of Wan Yi Chuan Kung Fu,
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  3. Matt Bernius is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/10/2005 10:12pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kidspatula
    in many cases the Ram Muay has been dropped. The ram muay is not a martial art and has no relevance to the martial aspect of the art. There is no necessity in teaching the ram muay as part of muay thai. If the ram muay in and of itself were being taught as a "martial art", that would be bullshido.
    And by the way, this is what we consider to be a localized site of practice in Anthropology. Culture is always local first and foremost. And the choice not to use is a site of mediation. We like those. Those let you write papers about things like the martial arts when you normally couldn't write an anthrological study of martial arts.

    - Matt
    Last edited by Matt Bernius; 11/10/2005 10:50pm at .
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  4. Matt Bernius is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/10/2005 10:24pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR
    My argument is that there is another set of values, which does not threaten anyone's street cred., but which acknowledge the historical and, if you like, anthropological worth of these elements.
    Ok, I should note here that I am an anthropologist. So I can answer this directly. Cultural components are worth a lot. And folks like me love to study them. BUT IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT BEING A MARTIAL ART.

    God! Trobrian Cricket. If you're going to throw around anthropology, at least know something about it.

    A localized reformulation of Cricket that fuses tribal war traditions with English Cricket. Really crazy stuff. Very famous anthropological film. At no point do the natives or the anthropologist suggest that this local form of cricket (played with a war bat and an overhand spear throwing style), though it derives from war-like traditions is a martial art or war system. They do say that it is analogous to a martial art and has in many ways filled its role in the structure of tribal culture. But part of the anthropological values is exactly how and why this substitution has occured.

    But the cultural value is an entirly separate packet from the martial values. And it's just as interesting for us to see where the traditional cultural aspects have been removed because it represents a point of mediation.

    So no, that arguement doesn't hold either.

    - Matt
    Last edited by Matt Bernius; 11/10/2005 10:26pm at .
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  5. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    11/10/2005 10:39pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kidspatula
    in many cases the Ram Muay has been dropped. The ram muay is not a martial art and has no relevance to the martial aspect of the art. There is no necessity in teaching the ram muay as part of muay thai. If the ram muay in and of itself were being taught as a "martial art", that would be bullshido.
    Yes, I know that the Ram Muay is not a martial art. It is, or has been an important part of the art of Muay Thai; one of the features that distinguished it from kickboxing, kyokushinkai, and similar fighting styles. I'm sorry to hear that it's being dropped; why do you think some Thai fighters are retaining the tradition?
  6. Torakaka is offline
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    Posted On:
    11/10/2005 10:42pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR
    Yes, I know that the Ram Muay is not a martial art. It is, or has been an important part of the art of Muay Thai; one of the features that distinguished it from kickboxing, kyokushinkai, and similar fighting styles. I'm sorry to hear that it's being dropped; why do you think some Thai fighters are retaining the tradition?

    It has no martial application and so those that do not have an interest in cultural preservation do not practice it. Many martial artists interest in martial arts is PURELY an interest in martial arts and not an interest in cultural preservation.

    EDIT: personally, I do wish to go to thailand at some point in the not too distant future. I find Thai culture to be very interesting and I would like to learn a ram muay from the camp I stay at.
    Last edited by Torakaka; 11/10/2005 10:45pm at .
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  7. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    11/10/2005 11:09pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Bernius
    You are the only one here creating either/or. And you are too blinded by ideology to notice it.

    Kenjutsu still works under the cultural context that it was designed for. I've seen Kenjutsu people. They train alive sword drills. They beat the heck out of each other. I truely believe that the folks I watched could duel. So it's martial.

    If the couldn't duel. If the material they were learning did not functionally prepared them to fight under the cultural conditions of the art, they would be learning dance/movement. AND THAT WOULD NOT BE A MARTIAL ART.
    Yes, I'm with you there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Bernius
    The only one suggesting that MT people should move to speedos is you! We are all saying, except you, that if it can fight under its cultural context, it's a martial art.
    I'm assuming that you did actually understand my point about the speedos and are being facetious here. I agree with you about cultural context - where have I given the impression otherwise?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Bernius
    Now if the cultural context is "it should work on the streets on the US today" and you need to be in a hakama to execute, or carry a sword, or a blunderbus for that matter, then it's a failed art.
    I don't think it's even rational to expect a method of swordmanship (European or Asian) designed for personal duelling hundreds of years ago to have much direct application to the streets of the modern US. But why on Earth does that mean it's a "failed art"? In my opinion, it has a cultural value that goes beyond street effectiveness; I guess you don't see things that way.

    Regarding the Model T/phonograph analogies, you're pointing out the obvious and still, seemingly, missing my point. I'm really not interested in the semantic argument about what a martial art is, shouldn't be, is allowed to be, etc. - take it up with the classical TMA practitioners, wushu stylists, et al who refer to what they do as "martial arts", and maybe offer some other term that they could use. Best of luck.

    I think I have seen the Trobrian cricket film you're talking about - ANTH 101, "oh,. my hands are like PK", etc. Have you ever seen kilikiti in action? Samoan cricket, similar stuff.
  8. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    11/10/2005 11:13pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kidspatula
    It has no martial application and so those that do not have an interest in cultural preservation do not practice it. Many martial artists interest in martial arts is PURELY an interest in martial arts and not an interest in cultural preservation.
    Yes, I agree; they might even be in the majority. Other martial artists have a stronger interest in cultural preservation. Still others manage to combine both interests to varying degrees.
  9. Torakaka is offline
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    Posted On:
    11/10/2005 11:18pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR
    Yes, I agree; they might even be in the majority. Other martial artists have a stronger interest in cultural preservation. Still others manage to combine both interests to varying degrees.

    yes, however, it is an interest in cultural preservation SEPERATE from the interest in martial arts that incorporates the tradition. The interest in martial arts is merely for the fighting aspect, since that is what it means to be a martial art.
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  10. Matt Bernius is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/10/2005 11:41pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR
    I don't think it's even rational to expect a method of swordmanship (European or Asian) designed for personal duelling hundreds of years ago to have much direct application to the streets of the modern US. But why on Earth does that mean it's a "failed art"? In my opinion, it has a cultural value that goes beyond street effectiveness; I guess you don't see things that way.
    Failed art was an incorrect phrase on my part and counter to my arguement. If that Hakkama/Bunderbuss art was being sold as modern self defense its BS. If it worked under it's cultural context and practiced to be successfully executed under that context, it's a martial art.

    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR
    take it up with the classical TMA practitioners, wushu stylists, et al who refer to what they do as "martial arts", and maybe offer some other term that they could use. Best of luck.
    Acutally, despite my arguing, I'm pretty much live and let live. It's just if the semantic arguement comes up I'll explain my point. And as far as the part I quoted, I have no issue with classical TMA (heck I am a TMA person for the most part) as long as they are practicing to fight within the context of their art and can execute within the context of their art. As far as Wu Shu, I've had the arguement. Many of the Wu Shu folks I've met will pretty readily admit that it's Martial Performance/Cultural Performance... and I'm cool with that. If they don't want to say that, then I usually offer to spar with them friendly like.

    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR
    I think I have seen the Trobrian cricket film you're talking about - ANTH 101, "oh,. my hands are like PK", etc. Have you ever seen kilikiti in action? Samoan cricket, similar stuff.
    Yup... great stuff. You gotta apprecaite any sport where on the field witchcraft is allowed. I think I read about kilikiti... Most of my recent sports anthro studies were focused on cricket. Though I'm developing a paper on the effects of nationalism and the olympic movement on the development of modern martial arts in China, Japan and Korea.

    - Matt
    Student of Wan Yi Chuan Kung Fu,
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