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  1. alex is online now
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    STOP POSTING!

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    Posted On:
    8/22/2007 7:17pm

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     Style: Muay Thai

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    i wont even go into my list of vices, but i dont think ive accrued any new ones from martial arts
  2. DAYoung is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/22/2007 7:24pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Weren't you discussing how fighting heightened your aggression outside the ring?
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  3. new2bjj is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/22/2007 7:35pm


     Style: TKD, MT, KEMPO

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Cullion
    When I was a teenager doing non/light contact MA made me think I was a lot tougher than I really was.

    One thing I've noticed myself doing when sparring hard, is feeling proud the next day around people who don't do MA when I get a black eye or something like that.

    That's stupid.
    At my age, and line of work, people would think there was something wrong with me if I showed up with a black eye. I have a family to take care of, so, why am I going around endangering my health and well being? I must admit, when I was younger, I did TKD and felt like I was much tougher, as well, which was, luckily, never tested to an extreme extent- win some loss some, etc.
  4. DAYoung is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/22/2007 9:32pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Judah Maccabee
    DAYoung, you've thrown down a gauntlet that I wholly intend on picking up after family dinner tonight. This topic is related to my secondary research interests, and I've got some arguments I want to work through.
    Looking forward to it.
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  5. DAYoung is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/22/2007 9:34pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Cullion
    When I was a teenager doing non/light contact MA made me think I was a lot tougher than I really was.

    One thing I've noticed myself doing when sparring hard, is feeling proud the next day around people who don't do MA when I get a black eye or something like that.

    That's stupid.
    Why is it stupid? Isn't it a sign (perhaps an equivocal one) of effort and perseverance?
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  6. Feryk is offline

    Boneheaded Optimist

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    Posted On:
    8/22/2007 9:57pm

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     Style: Wado Kai

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    It's not stupid. It's okay to feel good that you are surviving/thriving in an environment most people would fail at. I know that my MA training caused an increase in my self confidence early on. That self confidence translated into other areas of my life. My wife tells me I'm a happier and nicer person when I'm training, so I would definitely call that a virtue of MA training.

    As for vice, I've become less tolerant of other people's bullshit drama, especially when they attempt to enroll me in it. I've got less time for idiocy. My life is simpler, but I've been told that I've become more arrogant. I'm not sure if this is a vice, but I think it's an outgrowth of greater self confidence.

    Right now, I'm trying to determine whether or not a little arrogance is bad.
    Quote Originally Posted by pauli
    i was once told that "do" means wrecking people's **** for your own philosophical betterment.

    Quote Originally Posted by melvin_peebles
    I could be mistaking dumbness for delusion. I'll have to go dig out my DSM IV. It's great to have stumbled upon this site. The rich fauna and flora of mental dysfunction that exists in the martial arts is amazing. It's like the Galapagos.
  7. Judah Maccabee is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/22/2007 9:59pm

    supporting memberhall of fameBullshido Newbie
     Style: Krav / (Kick)Boxing / BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    One of the common myths of the martial arts world is that training makes you a better person.
    That's not only a myth in the martial arts world; it's an anecdotal observation in general American society with some scientific substantiation.

    First, nothing simply 'makes' you anything. if the world were capable of molding character this efficiently, then notions of freedom and responsibility would largely be irrelevant (to say nothing of individual idiosyncrasies, which resist inculcation). Put simply, humans aren't determined by circumstance or happenstance - there's always an element of flexibility, resistance and liberty.
    I think this assumes a simplicity in thought that isn't prevalent. I would agree with your statement "humans aren't determined by circumstance or happenstance" if you added "solely", as in "solely determined." The whole "nurture" argument is predicated on external circumstances shaping development of the self.

    Second, the notion of what makes a better person is highly situational - claims about virtue in the Japanese Budo tradition, for example, might seem abhorrent to ancient Greeks or modern liberals. It might be possible to make a case for certain universally moral characteristics - but most martial arts schools and traditions are a long way from this.
    Arguably, moral traditions being absent in a household or a regular educational setting would mean that martial arts could provide some form of guidance to someone who otherwise has none or has poor examples of moral guidance in their every day milieu. As for a "lack" of universal moral characteristics in martial arts, the studies done on martial arts by social scientists show a consistency of features among traditional arts ranging from Kempo to Karate: Respect for authority, proper etiquette and behavior during instruction time, and attentiveness to subtle details of technique are three qualities that were consistent throughout these studies, and there are others that could be elaborated. I would consider these universal.

    Third, the skill sets of fighting are amoral. Even if there are some examples of 'skills transfer', this is by no means necessary. It's quite possible to learn all about timing, distance, and develop great cardio without learning a damn thing about ethics.
    Yes, it is possible, but arguably, when one is teaching someone a skillset, it's also appropriate to teach the legal or ethical guidelines one should abide by at the same time. For instance, in a handgun instruction class, the instructors might go over the legalities and ethics of how to use the handgun at the same time they are teaching how to properly aim and fire. The enormous consequences of using a handgun in defense behooves students to learn when to properly employ it. Further, students who may not have fully overcome the possible necessity of using a handgun in self-defense may need to discuss the ethics of protecting oneself superseding the ethics of avoiding harm to others.

    This latter discussion is also applicable to unarmed combat. Techniques like armbars and chokes can also have enormous consequences, and therefore also require instruction in their proper usage, legally and ethically.

    Fourth, it's quite possible that the martial arts offer opportunities for people to become worse (by any standard). That is, it doesn't bring out their best - it encourages their foibles, and then cements them under pressure and habituation.
    This argument is reasonable - studies concerning traditional vs. modern martial arts show that modern students usually have increases on antisocial measures and decreases on prosocial measures. Especially if a particularly antisocial school has students who self-select themselves into reinforcing such behavior (think Cobra-Kai from "Karate Kid.") However, there has yet to be a truly substantiated accounting of what are "good" factors in martial arts study and what are "bad" factors. This is despite 60 years of research. There's only theories.

    ]In simple terms, I never really learned courage in the martial arts. I learned to be foolhardy. In many circumstances I'll brave all manner of threats and perceived dangers. And I'll do so with my wits about me. But in the martial arts, I developed rashness and an inability to smartly and patiently face fear. And this got worse as I got older.
    I think a reasonable argument is that your instructor(s) did not observe these qualities as you were progressing in your training and didn't make suggestions or observations that might have averted this to a degree. Instructors can usually tell the difference, for instance, between someone who is struggling out of a choke because they think they have a legit chance of escaping vs. a "I'll-never-tap-because-I-don't-admit-defeat" spazz.

    One of the consistent qualities of martial arts that are shown to be beneficial (particularly in judo) is the dyadic interplay between participants (tori and uke). If tori is too aggressive in technique for training, uke can provide immediate feedback to reach a more appropriate balance of intensity and caution. Martial arts can be considered as superior to team sports in this regard because knowledge and feedback isn't diffused throughout a group - the individual is the focus.

    ---

    As for "vices" on my part, I truly feel that MA instruction has been nothing but positive for me. People on here have said that martial arts made them less likely to fight because they can appreciate what kind of consequences are possible, as opposed to using movies as a reference point of how fights go. I wholly agree with that. As an example, regularly rolling with guys who are bigger and stronger than me gives a consistent reality check that I can't expect BJJ skills to fully counteract their natural advantages, and rolling with highly skilled guys that are lighter than me reinforces that technique can win (handily, sometimes) over those same natural advantages.

    An area which I have a particular "vice" is depending on natural ability to get me by. It doesn't always work. Me trying to learn Japanese began the life lesson of having to work hard and devote a great deal of time to progress beyond the basics. BJJ and kickboxing have also been instrumental in helping me overcome my tendency to procrastinate and "cram" to do well. You can't "cram" BJJ and expect to get appreciably better.
  8. DAYoung is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/22/2007 10:28pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Judah Maccabee
    That's not only a myth in the martial arts world; it's an anecdotal observation in general American society with some scientific substantiation.
    I wonder whether its anecdotal evidence is any stronger than scouts, tennis or art classes.

    I think this assumes a simplicity in thought that isn't prevalent. I would agree with your statement "humans aren't determined by circumstance or happenstance" if you added "solely", as in "solely determined." The whole "nurture" argument is predicated on external circumstances shaping development of the self.
    I think you're assuming a complexity of thought that isn't prevalent.

    And the 'solely' isn't necessary. External circumstances don't 'determine' anything of any consequence - they sometimes have effects, which are mediated by a number of internal factors.

    Arguably, moral traditions being absent in a household or a regular educational setting would mean that martial arts could provide some form of guidance to someone who otherwise has none or has poor examples of moral guidance in their every day milieu. As for a "lack" of universal moral characteristics in martial arts, the studies done on martial arts by social scientists show a consistency of features among traditional arts ranging from Kempo to Karate: Respect for authority, proper etiquette and behavior during instruction time, and attentiveness to subtle details of technique are three qualities that were consistent throughout these studies, and there are others that could be elaborated. I would consider these universal.
    Respect for authority is in the category of 'moral', but it isn't necessarily accepted as such. And there are different forms of authority, e.g. depending on whether the hierarchy is structural or functional.

    Yes, it is possible, but arguably, when one is teaching someone a skillset, it's also appropriate to teach the legal or ethical guidelines one should abide by at the same time. For instance, in a handgun instruction class, the instructors might go over the legalities and ethics of how to use the handgun at the same time they are teaching how to properly aim and fire. The enormous consequences of using a handgun in defense behooves students to learn when to properly employ it. Further, students who may not have fully overcome the possible necessity of using a handgun in self-defense may need to discuss the ethics of protecting oneself superseding the ethics of avoiding harm to others.
    I agree, but this is beside the point. Learning to fight is qualitatively different from learning to be good.

    There's nothing intrinsically moral in martial arts. There are in martial arts traditions, but not in the arts themselves.

    You could argue that the arts are always situated in a tradition - this I would agree with. But then we'd nee to look at the specific details of the traditions.

    This argument is reasonable - studies concerning traditional vs. modern martial arts show that modern students usually have increases on antisocial measures and decreases on prosocial measures. Especially if a particularly antisocial school has students who self-select themselves into reinforcing such behavior (think Cobra-Kai from "Karate Kid.") However, there has yet to be a truly substantiated accounting of what are "good" factors in martial arts study and what are "bad" factors. This is despite 60 years of research. There's only theories.
    omg thoeries sux

    I agree. It'd be good to see more work done on this.

    I think a reasonable argument is that your instructor(s) did not observe these qualities as you were progressing in your training and didn't make suggestions or observations that might have averted this to a degree. Instructors can usually tell the difference, for instance, between someone who is struggling out of a choke because they think they have a legit chance of escaping vs. a "I'll-never-tap-because-I-don't-admit-defeat" spazz.
    Quite possibly. And perhaps I just didn't face enough genuine threats, with the right guidance on how to approach them.

    One of the consistent qualities of martial arts that are shown to be beneficial (particularly in judo) is the dyadic interplay between participants (tori and uke). If tori is too aggressive in technique for training, uke can provide immediate feedback to reach a more appropriate balance of intensity and caution. Martial arts can be considered as superior to team sports in this regard because knowledge and feedback isn't diffused throughout a group - the individual is the focus.
    I agree. All very interesting. I've touched on this in my article on budo.

    ---

    As for "vices" on my part, I truly feel that MA instruction has been nothing but positive for me. People on here have said that martial arts made them less likely to fight because they can appreciate what kind of consequences are possible, as opposed to using movies as a reference point of how fights go. I wholly agree with that. As an example, regularly rolling with guys who are bigger and stronger than me gives a consistent reality check that I can't expect BJJ skills to fully counteract their natural advantages, and rolling with highly skilled guys that are lighter than me reinforces that technique can win (handily, sometimes) over those same natural advantages.

    An area which I have a particular "vice" is depending on natural ability to get me by. It doesn't always work. Me trying to learn Japanese began the life lesson of having to work hard and devote a great deal of time to progress beyond the basics. BJJ and kickboxing have also been instrumental in helping me overcome my tendency to procrastinate and "cram" to do well. You can't "cram" BJJ and expect to get appreciably better.
    I can identify with this, though the 'natural ability' was never in sports (although I did take to fighting).
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  9. Judah Maccabee is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/22/2007 10:47pm

    supporting memberhall of fameBullshido Newbie
     Style: Krav / (Kick)Boxing / BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I wonder whether its anecdotal evidence is any stronger than scouts, tennis or art classes.
    There is evidence, albeit with small sample sizes, that martial arts promotes greater prosocial improvement than a number of other pursuits, including general fitness classes and other sports. (1)

    External circumstances don't 'determine' anything of any consequence - they sometimes have effects, which are mediated by a number of internal factors.
    I'm going to nip the obvious "nature vs. nurture" argument in the bud. We could get into "risk factors," "protective factors," and "resiliency" and spend hundreds of posts on it. Suffice to say that I have a fairly fluid view of "nature vs. nurture" rather than an ironclad view on which predetermines/supersedes the other.

    There's nothing intrinsically moral in martial arts. There are in martial arts traditions, but not in the arts themselves.
    I can ultimately agree that taking a dump, learning a roundhouse kick, and piling blocks into a semblance of a building are amoral activities. But that's when it's all said and done. Martial arts are inherently based on combative ability. Combat is based on the use of physical means to resolve a conflict between opposing wills. In an ideology where resorting to physical violence is abhorrent, martial arts could be seen as inherently immoral because their fundamental purpose is to willfully inflict harm on another as a resolution to conflict.

    But that's particular.

    omg thoeries sux

    I agree. It'd be good to see more work done on this.
    See Endresen & Olweus (2005) (2) They have done what I consider to be the best study available on a link between modern martial arts practice and antisocial behavior.

    However, my goal, like 10-15 years from now, is to demonstrate the same benefits from modern study as has been observed in traditional martial arts. I think the researchers in this area have been biased in favor of TMA because they were practitioners of such arts. However, work by, say, Twemlow and Sacco (1998) or Zivin (2001) is still of decent quality and worth a read.











    1. Pyecha, J. (1970) Comparative Effects of Judo and Selected Physical Education Activities on Male University Freshman Personality Traits. Research Quarterly 41: 425-431.

    2. Endresen & Olweus (2005) Participation in power sports and antisocial involvement in preadolescent and adolescent boys. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2005 May;46(5):468-78.Click here to read
  10. DAYoung is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/22/2007 10:56pm

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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Judah Maccabee
    There is evidence, albeit with small sample sizes, that martial arts promotes greater prosocial improvement than a number of other pursuits, including general fitness classes and other sports. (1)
    Would you care to generalise from this work?

    I'm going to nip the obvious "nature vs. nurture" argument in the bud. We could get into "risk factors," "protective factors," and "resiliency" and spend hundreds of posts on it. Suffice to say that I have a fairly fluid view of "nature vs. nurture" rather than an ironclad view on which predetermines/supersedes the other.
    This isn't 'nature vs. nurture'. It's a discussion about the kinds of causality at work in 'nurture'.

    See Endresen & Olweus (2005) (2) They have done what I consider to be the best study available on a link between modern martial arts practice and antisocial behavior.
    Can you give me an informed precis?
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