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  1. EternalRage is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/02/2007 2:55pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by glad2bhere
    I guess my question would then be does a person fight to accomplish some greater good, or does a person fight to "**** some **** up" and little else? Thoughts?

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce
    Well, that depends on the person. My point is that to be considered a martial artist, one must be studying systemized fighting, and trying to improve one's fighting skills. Then with these tools, people can do whatever they want. A person can fight/practice martial arts because it is a fun hobby. Some do it to stay in shape. Some do it to reach some sort of spiritual enlightenment. Who cares what people do with it, some people just try and earn a buck with it. The common thread that makes them all martial artists is that they train in systemized fighting and try to improve their skills, not that they memorized some ancient code of conduct from eastern Asia.
  2. EternalRage is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/02/2007 3:04pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by glad2bhere
    Then does one make a distinction from those who fight simply for the sake of fighting?
    No. If one practices a systemized form of fighting, then they are a martial artist, regardless of whatever their purpose.

    Historically, those times in Human history when people fought simply for the sake of fighting seem universally characterized as periods of devolution. The Period of the Warring States, both in Japan and in China, the tribal period prior to the Three Kingdoms in Korea, and the European Dark Ages have all been regarded as rather low points in Human history.
    OTOH the development of various systems that came OUT of those chaotic periods have stood as signs of considerable development such as Chivalry in Europe, BUSHIDO in Japan and the O-GAE in Korea, right?

    My sense is that the distinction is not about fighting but rather the willingness to forment change for the better SOME of which might require the need to fight. Afterall:
    Youre saying that this "willingness to forment chage for the better" is the distinction between a martial artist and simply a fighter? If so, I disagree. To me the latter is the base definition of the former. If you use martial arts to improve the world around you, more power to you. I salute you. But it doesn't make any other practitioner any less of a martial artist
  3. HonkyTonkMan is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/02/2007 6:32pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by EternalRage
    I figure people can do whatever they want with their fighting skills. Be athletes, be fighters, be hobbyists, even be students of philosophy and use them to better themselves. But the point is all of them should be doing it through fighting, and the improvement of fighting skills.

    If they are fulfilling their purpose of say, becoming better people or becoming enlightened or whatever without fighting, then they aren't achieving their purposes through martial arts, they're doing it with something else. Following the Flower Boy codes doesn't make you a martial artist - learning to fight does, and it's by learning to fight that one can learn to appreciate the Flower Boy codes, and thus become a better person. A better person that if need be, could throw down and **** some **** up.

    Best pst EVAH. This is a wonderful post on this subject.

    The (to borrow a phrase) hocus pocus bullshit , of tenets, and values is for marketing and soccer moms.

    The MA's were created to teach you how to fight. They werent designed to make you a better person. If this happens along the way , then great, if it doesnt, then so what? (Of course this has already been said better by someone else)

    My whole point in starting this thread was that many styles/schools espouse the "goodness" in all of us that the MA's can bring out. All the while they are trying to fleece you by telling you that you can defend yourself by learning to point spar, and other such nonsense. This is utter bullshit.
  4. glad2bhere is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/02/2007 9:33pm


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    ".....The (to borrow a phrase) hocus pocus bullshit , of tenets, and values is for marketing and soccer moms.

    The MA's were created to teach you how to fight. They werent designed to make you a better person. If this happens along the way , then great, if it doesnt, then so what? (Of course this has already been said better by someone else)

    My whole point in starting this thread was that many styles/schools espouse the "goodness" in all of us that the MA's can bring out. All the while they are trying to fleece you by telling you that you can defend yourself by learning to point spar, and other such nonsense. This is utter bullshit....."

    Unfortunately I have not been able to find any documentation or historical perspective that supports your position. I honestly wish I could since it comes up over and over again in so many discussions. Fact is, though, that there simply is no historical perspective that supports the idea that the sole raison d'etre for martial arts is only to fight. Now, in contrast there are any number of military personalities who have advocated that individuals be endoctrinated so as to build unit cohesion, e'lan, and investment in accomplishing a joint goal. Perhaps this is the "bullshit" that you are referring to. If that is the case I suspect that any number of heroic efforts which occurred in a military action where people transcended their humanity and natural instincts to accomplish a higher good would also, likewise, be "hocus pocus bullshit , of tenets, and values is for marketing", yes?
    For instance, I wonder if Pilot Thompson who halted the My Lai 4 Massacre knew he was acting out of "hocus-pocus Bullshit". Thoughts?

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce
  5. EternalRage is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/02/2007 10:35pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by glad2bhere
    Unfortunately I have not been able to find any documentation or historical perspective that supports your position. I honestly wish I could since it comes up over and over again in so many discussions. Fact is, though, that there simply is no historical perspective that supports the idea that the sole raison d'etre for martial arts is only to fight. Now, in contrast there are any number of military personalities who have advocated that individuals be endoctrinated so as to build unit cohesion, e'lan, and investment in accomplishing a joint goal. Perhaps this is the "bullshit" that you are referring to. If that is the case I suspect that any number of heroic efforts which occurred in a military action where people transcended their humanity and natural instincts to accomplish a higher good would also, likewise, be "hocus pocus bullshit , of tenets, and values is for marketing", yes?
    For instance, I wonder if Pilot Thompson who halted the My Lai 4 Massacre knew he was acting out of "hocus-pocus Bullshit". Thoughts?

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce
    I know you're addressing oldman34, but I just wanted to point out that regardless of what history says about martial arts, it still doesn't change what it IS. You mentioned fighting in your post as "raison d'etre" - it isn't a reason for using martial arts, it IS martial arts.

    Somehow over the years we have taken the definition of martial arts, systemized fighting, and turned it into a separate purpose. Perhaps it was all the flowery talk, such as "there's more to martial arts than just fighting" or maybe it was a necessary change to peddle the arts to small children and their soccer moms - where all the money is at.

    This is why I think that MMA type of training has been invaluable to the world, as a reminder of what martial arts IS, systemized fighting, and not a reason to do martial arts, like athleticism, enlightenment, or whatever. I'm not denying the postive benefits that training martial arts for improving the world has had, I am just saying that is just one of many purposes for martial arts, and regardless of why you do it, you better be doing it through systemized fighting, or you're not doing martial arts.
  6. glad2bhere is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/02/2007 11:49pm


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    Thanks very much for your comments.

    I guess I am rather at a loss to understand what the last 6 pages of discussion have actually been about. I have been given to believe that one discusses matters with an eye towards clarification and ultimately with a goal of reconciling disparate positions. The sense that I am getting is that there is a vested interest in viewing these matters in the most pedestrian manner possible. The reason I draw this conclusion is that Oldman's motive for beginning this thread seems to be little more than an opportunity to deride beliefs which he himself does not value and in the most affrontive manner possible.

    But that withstanding I would take this opportunity to offer that you may want to reconsider your view that "martial arts is systemized fighting. To my thinking the only way that one can make such an assertion, is to reduce anything noble in the Human condition to its most pedestrian definition. In such a case, religion could just as well only be commerce in superstition. In such a case, governance is oligarchical illusion. In such a case all things sexual, whether marital or social, is reduced to mere fucking. I have been party to a great number of such threads and the only quality that I have found that they all share has been that folks who espouse the position you have put forward are usually speaking at the expense of something they have not experienced for themselves first hand. In such cases it is quite easy to deprecate values for which one has not seen body bags stacked, or to speak of success of a military action in terms of the number of enemy bodies tallied.

    Please understand that I appreciate that the greater number of folks who banter on a forum such as this do not invest themselves in the terms that they use beyond the status of "buzzword" and "catch-phrase". However this does not cover all people, such as yours truely, for whom the values I have commented on are a realistic and living code to followed and practiced.

    Thanks for your comments.

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce
  7. glad2bhere is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/03/2007 12:05am


     Style: Yon Mu Kwan Hapkido

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldman34
    It has become a bone of contention around here, with some of us that TKD has core values that as TKDoist we MUST adhere too.


    Courtesy
    Integrity
    Perseverance
    Self Control
    Indominable Spirit.

    I find that most TKD schools are hypocrites when it comes to their tenets.

    I find it hypocritical that many TKD schools spout that they live by these tenets, yet they gouge the hell out of their students at every turn.

    Many BB's feel that because they have a BB or a higher rank than you the they AUTOMATICALLY deserve your adoration and respect.

    I believe the opposite of this. I feel that respect is EARNED by the belt wearer and not just given out because they are wearing a Black piece of cloth around their waist.

    The tenets of TKD, as I have experienced them with MANY TKD schools.

    Courtesy- Be nice to the customers until they sign a Black Belt Club Contract

    Integrity- Make sure that you pay your Benz payements promptly

    Perseverance- Never stop looking for ways to add costs to your schools curriculum

    Self Control- refraining from just reaching into their pocket and taking their money. Make them hand it to you.

    Indominable Spirit- No matter how many times someone tells you, "Why is testing fees going up?" continue to raise them anyway.
    I wanted to say "thank you", Oldman, because I am not sure that the hypocrisy of how these beliefs are misused and abused gets all that much attention. And like the attention-grabbing headlines, I am afraid I have to admit that much more energy gets drawn by the hypocrits who misuse and abuse these values than the people who actually choose to live by such codes. Admittedly there are not many. Quite recently the KMA world lost a couple of well-known teachers. The one that I am familiar with, the late HAN Bong Soo, was an incredible example of a person who lived by a martial code that included both bravery and compassion; strength and flexibility. Further his example was a beacon to thousands who passed through his school over the years. Unfortunately his single life cannot make-up for all of the fraud that we have probably both seen in the KMA and that is truely a tragedy. And while, yes, GM HAN could fight, he is best remembered for the fact that he never had to and was never known to have represented that MA such as he lived them was only a matter of combat. For whatever its worth.

    Thanks, again.

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce
  8. EternalRage is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/03/2007 2:36am

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    Quote Originally Posted by glad2bhere
    Thanks very much for your comments.

    I guess I am rather at a loss to understand what the last 6 pages of discussion have actually been about. I have been given to believe that one discusses matters with an eye towards clarification and ultimately with a goal of reconciling disparate positions. The sense that I am getting is that there is a vested interest in viewing these matters in the most pedestrian manner possible. The reason I draw this conclusion is that Oldman's motive for beginning this thread seems to be little more than an opportunity to deride beliefs which he himself does not value and in the most affrontive manner possible.

    But that withstanding I would take this opportunity to offer that you may want to reconsider your view that "martial arts is systemized fighting. To my thinking the only way that one can make such an assertion, is to reduce anything noble in the Human condition to its most pedestrian definition. In such a case, religion could just as well only be commerce in superstition. In such a case, governance is oligarchical illusion. In such a case all things sexual, whether marital or social, is reduced to mere fucking. I have been party to a great number of such threads and the only quality that I have found that they all share has been that folks who espouse the position you have put forward are usually speaking at the expense of something they have not experienced for themselves first hand. In such cases it is quite easy to deprecate values for which one has not seen body bags stacked, or to speak of success of a military action in terms of the number of enemy bodies tallied.

    Please understand that I appreciate that the greater number of folks who banter on a forum such as this do not invest themselves in the terms that they use beyond the status of "buzzword" and "catch-phrase". However this does not cover all people, such as yours truely, for whom the values I have commented on are a realistic and living code to followed and practiced.

    Thanks for your comments.

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce
    You're looking into this too deeply, and I think we are arguing different things. First of all, I have no qualms against using martial arts for improving oneself and the world around them. I am just saying to make an argument for this purpose instead of fighting doesn't make sense, since fighting would not be a purpose - it is the definition of martial arts.

    Take driving to work, and driving in NASCAR. Both have a purpose - the former is to get from point A to point B, and the latter is competition. But what links the two is the base definition - operating an automobile. Same thing with martial arts. You can choose to use this tool to improve yourself as a person, or you can use it to compete, or you can use it just to have a good time and make friends. What links all types of practitioners, is the base definition - that they are learning systemized fighting.

    Your example of sex applies as well. Sex is not about love to everyone. Different people have different purposes for sex. Some just like having it. Some use it to pump out kids. What links all these things back to sex is the physical act of copulation.

    Again, since you are starting to become defensive, let me reiterate. I have no problem with using martial arts to improve yourself and the world around you. You are probably having a positive impact in your community, in your family, and improving yourself. But to say that this purpose somehow makes you more of a martial artist than the guy who comes to class just for fun and to make friends, or the guy who wants to win his regional competition, is completely wrong. And furthermore, what makes you all martial artists is the definition, not the purpose by which you use this tool - the definition of systemized fighting.

    You are right in that it is dehumanizing to look at things in basic definition, because you are looking at the martial arts as a tool, before human influence, before the purpose is applied. But this is the way we define the universe - is a television only a television if the purpose of its use is educational? Is sex only sex because the purpose is for love? Is driving a car only driving a car when done for NASCAR?

    Of course not. The purposes of each are not limited to one, and neither should things be defined by their purpose (or at least not by one purpose, but a conglomeration of all of them). Since it has become custom for martial arts to not follow this model, it leaves room for charlatans to peddle what we have labeled as "bullshido" under the guise of purpose, and ignorance of definition.

    More specifically, in this instance, OP is referring to the use of philosophy in martial arts. When teachers tell students things like "there is more to martial arts than fighting" or "there is a higher purpose to martial arts than fighting" - or any sort of philosophical statement where they put philosophy above the definition of martial arts, they run the risk of nurturing an attitude where a stigma is placed on combat. Where combat is seen as "barbaric" and "uncivilized." This leads to erosion of the definition of martial arts - systemized fighting, and thus students are transformed into doing something other than martial arts. They no longer use this systemized fighting as a tool to improve themselves, or whatever purpose they choose; in fact, the purpose ends up defining the tool, and it becomes something else.
  9. glad2bhere is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/03/2007 11:13am


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    Quote Originally Posted by EternalRage
    You're looking into this too deeply, and I think we are arguing different things. First of all, I have no qualms against using martial arts for improving oneself and the world around them. I am just saying to make an argument for this purpose instead of fighting doesn't make sense, since fighting would not be a purpose - it is the definition of martial arts.

    Thanks for your observation, and I would agree that I am looking into this probably much deeper than many might. I hope we are not arguing as much as discussing, and trust you will let me know if my defensiveness gets worse. I can't think of too many things that will kill a good discussion and I probably would not see it in myself until its too late. We probably both know how THAT works, right?

    Take driving to work, and driving in NASCAR. Both have a purpose - the former is to get from point A to point B, and the latter is competition. But what links the two is the base definition - operating an automobile. Same thing with martial arts. You can choose to use this tool to improve yourself as a person, or you can use it to compete, or you can use it just to have a good time and make friends. What links all types of practitioners, is the base definition - that they are learning systemized fighting.

    Your example of sex applies as well. Sex is not about love to everyone. Different people have different purposes for sex. Some just like having it. Some use it to pump out kids. What links all these things back to sex is the physical act of copulation.

    Between both of your very fine examples I think the one about sex probably comes closer to the position we have in mind. Most people when they think of sex probably think of the genital focus of copulation. However, we sometimes forget that sex is also often what defines social image, responsibilities, income and career choices and relationships. Certainly one can reduce sex to simple copulation, but one could even go deeper than that and identify the very root of sex in the X and Y chromosomes, or differences in metabolism, yes?

    To relocate this thinking back to MA one could say the same about military practices from which martial practices are derived. I think we all know that being a soldier, a marine or a salior is much more than simply putting on a uniform and performing a task such as shooting a gun. At its most pedestrian level I am sure many people think in these terms and that is why the advertising always shows these archtypal behaviors. What they don't show in the advertising is the indoctrination that shapes the circumstances under which the task is performed. This is why a military man may, at his base, learn how to fire a gun, but much time is spent indoctrinationing that people to obey, say, the Rules of Engagement or Uniform Code of Military Justice. To my mind, this is where that which is "military" (IE. an act like fighting) becomes "martial" (IE. a fundamental change in the person's values). Thoughts?

    Something I did not mention before but wanted to comment on was the concept of MMA that you brought up and its "invaluable" contribution. I truely think that MMA could make an invaluable contribution if there could be some increase in the character-changing aspect to it. Right now I think MMA enjoyes popularity because a great many young people see sound parallels with such activities as Western Wrestling. Since we are talking about values I have been thinking that it may be worthwhile to increase the amount of emphasis on developing a mind worthy of critical thinking rather than always place the emphasis on who wins and who loses. In this way I think training would be far more cooperative and I can say that I have found this productive in theHapkido classes that I teach. Thoughts?

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce
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