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  1. DAYoung is offline
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    Crouching Philosopher, Hidden Philosopher

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    Posted On:
    8/25/2007 11:06pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by jackrusher
    The first question that comes to mind about this sort of study is whether they were tracking change over time per individual or simply assessing a pool of individuals at a moment in time. If they did the latter, it would be very hard to tell whether they were documenting a correlation between an antisocial predisposition and longer training times or a personality profile that actually resulted from the training itself. I've not read the literature in question; can you give me some idea of which methods were used in the studies?

    Thanks in advance.
    I think this echoes my earlier question.

    Though one of the studies was genuinely longitudinal, if I recall.

    I suspect Steve's well aware of many of the shortcomings of the literature, and wants to remedy them with his own research.

    This, of course, would be very cool.
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  2. DAYoung is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/25/2007 11:16pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by ignatzami
    I have experienced the same, and feel the same. However, I have also noticed that BJJ has helped with my anger issues. I'm calmer when I've been choked/tapped out recently. As for the arrogance, I've found I'm more arrogant but am also mosre willing to accept that others are better. I'm much less tolerant of people telling me I'm less then them. Dunno, I think it's a good thing.
    How does your arrogance express itself? For many, it just comes out as angry bluster. For others, it's just a heightened sense of perspective, and a kind of 'distance' from drama - you don't get sucked in any more, and you leave people to their own asshattery, 'cause you've got better things to do.

    Aristotle's notion of the 'great-souled man' (megalopsychos) is interesting in this regard. In some ways, he resembles many great fighters. He's disdainful of small men and their petty concerns, but he doesn't trample them, simply because this is beneath him. He's not pretentious or up himself either (this is “as vulgar as a display of strength against the weak” says Aristotle). He expects recognition, but doesn't get giddy over it, because he knows his achievements. He's polite, respectful, but not a suck. He's neither vain, nor unconfident, but legitimately proud - partly because he's earned all this through hard work and discipline, rather than luck or birth. he also avoids gossip, which is interesting (he's got better things to do).
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  3. Judah Maccabee is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/26/2007 12:06am

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

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    The first question that comes to mind about this sort of study is whether they were tracking change over time per individual or simply assessing a pool of individuals at a moment in time. If they did the latter, it would be very hard to tell whether they were documenting a correlation between an antisocial predisposition and longer training times or a personality profile that actually resulted from the training itself. I've not read the literature in question; can you give me some idea of which methods were used in the studies?
    Ok, if we're talking about studies that used martial arts as an experimental method for dealing with antisocial tendencies (1), or if we're talking about studies that assessed the characteristics of martial artists in training (2), by and large, these types of studies:

    1. Had relatively low sample sizes - 100 people broken down into 2 groups would still be very sensitive to outliers or bogus data, to say nothing of groups broken down further.

    2. Cross-sectional in design, rather than longitudinal - they examined one point in time, and consequently couldn't determine the proper direction of causation.

    3. Usually involved the researchers administrating the martial arts condition, which affects study outcome and objectivity

    4. Even the longitudinal studies up until 2005 were at most one year in scope, with an assessment at the start and end of the evaluation period. They compared two administrations when it might have been effective to have a third administration at the 6 month midpoint.

    5. What defines a "martial art?" Studies could have used anything from judo to ATA TKD to Kempo and so on, and there usually wasn't much in the way of construct validity.

    6. Related to 5, some researchers didn't do as thorough of a job (IMO) of investigating the mechanisms of why martial arts was so effective. To give a fair contradiction, a researcher named Madden looked at self-defense classes for women and found that under some circumstances, women could become MORE hesitant and MORE fearful about using force to repel an attacker. She found that in co-ed classes, instructors generally taught in a male-centric format, and by that, I mean that they emphasized the potential trouble they could get into if they used "too much force." Women, based on the literature I've seen, are generally hesitant from the start about being physically violent, and the warning of caution by instructors towards the men made the women more hesitant.

    7. The fact is, there are few, if any researchers that are explicitly dedicated to investigating unique psychological benefits of martial arts. The main exception to this is investigating the health benefits of Tai Chi, particularly in the elderly. There's a shitload of research on this topic, complete with reviews and meta-analyses. But for everything else, not much. I'm hoping I can rectify this in the future.
  4. DAYoung is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/26/2007 1:40am

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Best of luck. I realise I haven't read your thesis yet, but I'm genuinely interested in what you come up with.

    Mazel tov, boychik.
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  5. Lebell is offline
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    Just waiting for the paperboy.

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    Posted On:
    8/26/2007 5:45am

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    Very good and interesting thread Dayoung.

    The biggest trap you can walk into is arrogance i think.
    People who just started get it, i call them the converts (as new converts are always the most fanatical, be it reborn christians, ex smokers, etc.),
    Then you get the 2 year itch as i like to call it: people train for 2 years ALREADY so they think they are now getting on top of things.

    I've had arrogance but it sort off died off, no thanks to martial arts itself though, i picked up zen budhism a couple of years back,it makes you aware of your own thought processing and you start to map yourself out, what triggers what reaction in your head etc.

    Heightening or eradicating vices through ma is a pretty difficult subject, although i've never seen schools that give good training and a spiritual education, i can't rule out the possibility that they exist.

    Still i would say that full contact sports do trigger some good things with most people: by training alive and spar or compete you will have to face the fact that there are, were and always will be people who are better then yourself.
    And thats ok.
    When you realise this and you see how most practisioners who are better then you treat you respectfully (in most cases at least) you automatically return the favour to the next noob coming to train at your school when you are a bit more advanced.
    It's not so much spiritual /ethical its more a social mechanism.

    Schools that do not train alive or don't spar tend to be more of a monkeyrock, with the alphamale with the most stripes on his bb on top of it.

    Now that i've highlighted this factor which i think is an important one i want to say that in general its just hard to say its:
    what kind of person you are
    what kind of school you train at
    your relationship with your teacher
    the type of fellow students
    your age
    your social background
    the reason why you took up on ma
  6. Cullion is offline
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    Everybody was Kung Fu fighting

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    Posted On:
    8/26/2007 5:57am

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    The prospect of real violence rarely shows up in my real life.

    The last time it did, I felt less anxious than I would have done in the past.

    Not because I felt more confident of winning so much (I've had it beaten into me that you can't assume too much about how good somebody is just by looking at them), but because I was thinking 'well if this asshole really _must_ push this, it's not like I haven't been hit before'.
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  7. bob is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/26/2007 6:23am


     Style: MMA

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    On fear and fearlessness:

    I think in any potentially dangerous pursuit there's a balance to be struck between fear and fearlessness. If you're mastered by irrational fear then you can't perform properly but conversely, if you completely disregard fear then you're liable to get your wings burnt (duh).

    To me this really hit home for me with rock climbing (off topic a bit but bear with me). When I was younger I moved from being irrationally fearful (as most people are when they first start) to a point when I almost completely disregarded fear and consequences. I did a lot of solo, unroped climbing and grew addicted to what I felt was a complete mastery over a life threatening situation.

    You genuinely get consumed by hubris, almost as if, by conquering this feat, you're proving that you're indestructible. But more than that you seek those absolute transcendent moments where the danger is at it's peak and your mind is focused only on what it needs to do. It's like being the tranquil eye of a hurricane.

    It's stupid of course. Nobody's indestructible. Various incidents and accidents where friends were injured, a few acquaintances killed and near misses to myself made me realise this. What I thought was courage was just a fairly simple mental trick that I'd mastered. Fortunately the lesson was learnt gradually, not suddenly and dramatically.

    That perfect tranquility is hard to give up though. I doubt I'll ever find a feeling that quite matches it. The problem is, as with most drugs, that the threshold keeps increasing.

    So when I first started MA I could recognise the same patterns. To me, it's always about finding that calmness at the center of it all. These days I try to inject a bit more rationality into it though.
  8. Cullion is offline
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    Everybody was Kung Fu fighting

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    Posted On:
    8/26/2007 8:44am

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    I'm no expert but I think that part of what people think of as 'courage' might be a trainable quality which is about becoming familiar with and learning psychological coping mechanisms for the adrenalin rush accompanying impending danger or perceived danger.
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  9. Cullion is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/26/2007 8:54am

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     Style: Tai Chi

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lebell
    Still i would say that full contact sports do trigger some good things with most people: by training alive and spar or compete you will have to face the fact that there are, were and always will be people who are better then yourself.
    And thats ok.
    It sounds a little odd but one thing that's changed since sparring hard is that I no longer attach as much pride to the prospect of losing a physical brawl.

    People who know I do MA sometimes ask stuff like 'how would you handle it if 3 guys/some 7ft tall dude/a guy with a knife jumped you' or things like that.

    I just say 'well, I dunno really. I'd probably get seriously hurt. I can't pull off that stuff you see in movies. I find it hard enough dealing with one person about my own size when I've got headgear and a gumshield to protect me. It's not like there's anything to be ashamed of if 3 guys/chewbacca/knife-wielder get the better of you, most people would lose against those odds, it's not like it makes you a *****. I'd just try and get out of there, you've gotta be realistic about these things'.

    They are often surprised by that response as if they were expecting me to go into some explanation of deadly infallible techniques or 'one time there were these 3 wookies and...'
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  10. Jack Rusher is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/26/2007 9:39am


     Style: ti da shuai na

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Cullion
    It sounds a little odd but one thing that's changed since sparring hard is that I no longer attach as much pride to the prospect of losing a physical brawl.
    I think this is a natural outgrowth of what Lebell mentioned with regards to realizing one's position in the skill hierarchy, which in turns helps one to overcome the fantasy of fighting ability that most men carry. This leads us, I suppose, back to the observation that many practitioners of non-competitive MAs increase rather than decrease the power of that fantasy by pretending to train rather than actually training.


    J.
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