Enforcer of Northeast Anti-Silliness Department Inc.
Posted On:7/14/2006 3:04am
Style: Kaju, BJJ, Judo, Kempo
this post is to explain to all of the outsiders who don't just quite get why Bullshido hates the "Fight without fighting" type cliches.
One of the most common misconceptions about martial arts is the moral implications of when and how to use your skills and the concept of self control. Today the cliche's of "win a fight without fighting" and "be the bigger person" are abused, and made out to be more than the common sense they were meant to be.
The reason why Bullshido posters may appear hold such sayings in contempt isn't because they don't follow them or believe in them, but rather far too often people who lack ability and experience use these lines as a cop-out to avoid testing themselves, and quite frankly to avoid reality. The "I have nothing to prove" response to an offer to spar is usually accompanied by the typical, "my techniques are too deadly to use in a friendly sparring match anyway" comment, which further deludes the speaker into believing this false image they have of themselves and their ability. The second reason why these comments just spit of stupidity and arrogance is the concept of complimenting yourself on having no ego or nothing to prove. To say that you have no ego but then make comments about how you're a "real man" or a "real martial artist" is nothing but hypocritical. It's like they say, it takes a truly arrogant person to brag about how modest they are.
As for "sports" fighters having the bigger ego problem is nothing but laughable. Although I don't compete myself, I train with alot of guys that do, and every one of them has been genuinely the most courteous, helpful, and modest martial artists I have ever met. This is because they honestly DON'T have anything to prove. Because every day in class they prove to themselves how good they are and what they are and aren't capable of. There is nothing left to the imagination. Getting your butt kicked in a sports like environment every day makes it very clear that you are not the best, and you never will be the best because there's always someone better. Instead of seeking to be the best, a true goal of self betterment is instilled in a much more pure and healthier form than any dead MA school could give you (see Thornton + Aliveness on youtube.com if you don't know what "dead" means) A true respect for others and a will to help others succeed can be best forged in this type of environment. A classroom transforms instead of being an individual experience where one gains knowledge from the teacher, but rather a community where every student grows and thrives from each other.
Now as for who I have met that do in fact have a tremendous ego problem seems to be the traditional style martial artists that train in dead environments. Having untested techniques, bloated ranks, and a pseudo-militaristic classroom structure where you get respect through seniority rather than ability is the ultimate breeding ground for arrogance. The amount of lip service that is paid to the practice of humility in these such environments is astounding. True humility cannot simply be taught and conveyed to another by words, it must be experienced.
What I'm trying to say it, sure it's better to walk away from a bar fight than to jump in because you feel you have something to prove to yourself, and sure it's better to talk your way out of a hostile confrontation than it is to start throwing punches, but to use such cliche's as an excuse not to spar or compete is nothing short of lying to yourself, and not facing your own fears of inadequacy.
...Oh yeah, almost forgot. Omega will be by shortly to assrape you. Welcome to Bullshido!
Posted On:7/14/2006 4:45am
Style: No time for training
This is one of the smartest things I've seen anyone write on this board in my 6 months or so of lurking... Word!
Posted On:7/14/2006 8:42am
Then, a somewhat moral question. I'm currently head of a small social organization, and one of our members, who came to jiujitsu with us for some 2, 3 sessions, then bought a gi, and then stopped coming... has become a bully. He used to just be touchy about his possessions, but has since come into some very aggravating "alpha male" frame of mind. Last night he was challenging complete untrained, unconditioned people to "rangori" (ugh), and then bitching about how my training partner and I were pussies for not wanting to go.
We'd trained the night before anyway, and both of us went through conditioning exercises and stretching yesterday. But my more immediate concern is his use of randori to forcibly prove issues for himself, and (presumably), others, especially when they have no understanding of the situation. He repeatedly challenged my drunk-on-the-floor housemate, a real sweet guy who shouldn't have to prove anything to anyone.
I'm expecting similar issues tonight, or very soon. I'm not quite sure how to handle it, although I expect I'll have to acquiese to his need to grapple without the benefit of solid instruction or truly suitable space (we're using the very thick grass in the backyard). Is this right? I'm not sure. I got a very strong feeling of distaste from his abusive methods, as one of the first things I came to accept was the uselessness of ego in training. Is going with him merely going to make this problem grow, or is it appropriate to keep at it until I can move beyond stalemates, and try to (calmly) explain why his actions are reprehensible?
Apologies for any threadjacking this might be? It struck a very strong chord for me, having just seen someone who is doing the work, but in what seems to be a very wrong direction.
Posted On:7/14/2006 8:51am
Style: yang taichi
This need to be a stickie.
Sumus extra manum tuam.
Posted On:7/14/2006 9:08am
Style: Yoshinkan Aikido, MMA
Awesome post Kempofist, I find myself agreeing with you on pretty much everything.
I think there is something to be said about being humble and not having an ego. When you meet these people with nothing to prove you find yourself in the presence of a great person. All of these types that I have ran across are the been there done that types who have seen lots of ****, proven themselves and have no need to accept a challange. They don't care.
As you said, this attitude gets sullied by the individuals who "walk away" but their ego compels them to point out how badass and dangerous they are. Thats completly ego. They choose not to fight but are worried about how they look so have to say something. That in most cases I would imagine, changes with age.
People who constantly challange others (to anything, not just martial arts) have a low self esteem problem. If you feel like you NEED to prove something there is a reason for it. When someone needs something it usually means it's due to missing something.
Last edited by vigilus; 7/14/2006 9:23am at .
Posted On:7/14/2006 9:17am
Style: Muay Thai , BJJ
When I took Shaolin-Do, I had an ego because I thought I was better then every other school (lol). In Muay Thai, I don't have an ego because its beaten out of me. In BJJ, I don't have an ego because its strangled out of me.
Good write up.
Gnarly King of Half-Guard
Posted On:7/14/2006 9:20am
Originally Posted by Wynergy
Then, a somewhat moral question. I'm currently head of a small social organization, and one of our members, who came to jiujitsu with us for some 2, 3 sessions, then bought a gi, and then stopped coming...[SNIP]
This may be the problem right here. Get him to start training again, and they'll soon choke the arrogance out of him.
I would refuse to roll with the silly fucker unless he gets himself some proper instruction.
Posted On:7/14/2006 9:34am
Hrm... I like that second part, PSB, and it's very easily grounded in driving home point #1. I can't teach him, I don't know enough. Last I heard, he was making excuses about how he hosted dinners when we went. That was blown to pieces this week, when we went on an entirely different night. I believe the turning point may come if one of my friends, who went a little bit, stopped for classes, and is now back in business, shows considerable improvement while the bully effectively spins his wheels learning... well, it's gotta be crappling, right?
Posted On:7/14/2006 9:48am
I think the real question you should be asking is "Why is he still a member?"
Posted On:7/14/2006 9:56am
Heh. It's a co-ed frat. Sadly, I have to do this in a more diplomatic fashion than I would appreciate, I think he's got potential, but his mindset lately has been just abominable... It's not so bad, since it's summer and only a few people are about, but I would very much like to stop this before the fall. Also, I do like training with him, or did, but since this has started happening, I've come to understand what Roy Harris mentioned when you became a blue belt (not that I am one). He's no longer sharing in the joy of mutual discovery of one's ability to gently annihilate another.
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