Thread: Critical thinking and MA
10/04/2009 12:26am, #1
- Join Date
- May 2008
- Perth, Aus
- Jiu Jits, MT
Critical thinking and MA
Recently a thread on our website has come to my attention.
Religion and MA - No BS MMA and Martial Arts
The OP raises an interesting, if not easily refutable point about the interrelatedness of Religion and MA.
I don't know how many of you think the two (martial arts and religion) are connected, but I first got my inspiration to do MA, or one of the insiparations for me was by reading a book by Wong Kiew Kit on Shaolin kung fu. NOw mr Kit is clearly an authority on the matter, and him as a Buddhist.
I would like to pose a point about the interdependence of good/effective martial arts/sports and critical thinking.
lets start with a few definitions and we can build on these thus forth.
Martial arts or fighting arts are systems of codified practices and traditions of training for combat. While they may be studied for various reasons, martial arts share a single objective: to physically defeat other persons and to defend oneself or others from physical threat. In addition, some martial arts are linked to beliefs such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism or Shinto while others follow a particular code of honor. Many arts are also practiced competitively, most commonly as combat sports, but may also take the form of dance.http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/martial+arts
noun any of the traditional forms of Oriental self-defense or combat that utilize physical skill and coordination without weapons, as karate, aikido, judo, or kung fu, often practiced as sport.
If anyone disagrees with these statements feel free to say so.
When you are thinking critically, you are not just thinking passively and accepting everything you see and hear. You are thinking actively. You are asking questions about what you see and hear, evaluating, categorising, and finding relationships.
Some critical thinking activities are listed below:
SOME OF THE ACTIVITIES INVOLVED IN CRITICAL THINKINGInterpreting according to a frameworkRelating theory to practiceMaking a claim and supporting itUsing appropriate evidenceMaking links between ideasAsking questionsEvaluatingPredictingDescribingAnalysingSynthesisingCategorisingEstablishing cause and effectComparing and contrastingIdentifying problems and solutions
Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth, and fairness.http://www.yourdictionary.com/dictio...-Thinking.html
The term critical thinking refers to;
the thought processes used to evaluate information and the practice of using such conclusions to guide behaviour. The process of critical thinking is associated with accuracy, logic, depth, fairness, credibility, and intellectual clarity. The word “critical” is not used to imply negativity or pessimism, however. Critical thinking merely means that one must not automatically accept the validity of the information he or she is given.
Therefore our ability to think critically and our effectiveness as martial artists are closely related.
Different philosophers throughout time have described our orientations to authority, one of my favourite definitions is;
Role based, Rule based and Values based.
Courageous Resistance: The Power of Ordinary People (Paperback)
by Kristina E. Thalhammer (Author), Paula L. O'Loughlin (Author), Myron Peretz Glazer (Author), Penina Migdal Glazer (Author), Sam McFarland (Author), Nathan Stoltzfus (Author), Sharon Toffey Shepela (Author)
Role based orientation is feeling direct role (LARP?) toward authority, subservient to all demands of ones chosen or forced authority figure or figures, and a desire to promulgate that authority.
Rule based orientation is understanding the benefits and consequences of your chosen actions. For example, not wanting to be polite to a Police officer, but having the understanding that you may end up in jail should you pursue this course of action.
Values based orientation is comparing every action of every authority figure / group with your own values and attitudes (Yr 12 english lol) and throwing consequences into the wind.
The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (Polish: Powstanie w getcie warszawskim; German: Aufstand im Warschauer Ghetto) was the Jewish resistance that arose within the Warsaw Ghetto in German occupied Poland during World War II, and which opposed Nazi Germany's effort to transport the remaining ghetto population to Treblinka extermination camp.
Now you may be asking what does this have to do with Martial Arts? I just like punching people. So do I, This is why I wrote this article.
How many of you have been told something in a martial arts class that, by using critical thought you would quickly dismiss as irrelevant and/or impractical.
Mine would be in the high hundreds. If we take a rational approach to martial arts styles such as Ninjitsu, Wing Chun and Akido, the techniques taught would not be given any credit.
I think that students giving their "masters" god like piety and infallibility while are not applying critical thought to their training is always a detrimental behaviour in the interests of the students.
Comments, Questions, Suggestions, Insults welcome.
10/04/2009 12:39am, #2
- Join Date
- Aug 2009
- Oakland, CA (East Bay Area)
Interesting post. I like to fancy myself a critical thinking martial artist, so I'm always trying to question the methods and applications of fighting arts. I approach it from the Rule-Based perspective, since I liken combat more to a game than a fight for values. I haven't read the religion and MA thread, but I shall go read up on that to contribute more to this topic.
10/04/2009 1:00am, #3
- Join Date
- Oct 2008
- Tulsa, Oklahoma
- Kendo, Krotty
Critical thinking is the primary nemesis to all the martial arts I've enjoyed but found to be worthless bullshit. Without critical thinking I'd still be happily tippy-tappy instep kicking **** in TKD. Without critical thinking I'd still be convinced that the Shorin-ryu I was learning the way I was learning would result in me being any more capable of actually fucking fighting than a retarded gerbil.
Without critical thinking I wouldn't be saying "**** THIS WRISTLOCKING, GRAB ESCAPING, RIDICULOUS SWEEPING, KESA GATAMEING, ONLY ROLLING FOR MAYBE FIVE MINUTES A MONTH, WHEREIN ALL THE INJURIES WERE STUPID INJURIES FROM DOING STUPID ****, AND NEVER, NOT EVEN ONCE, MENTIONING ONE OF THE SIMPLEST AND MOST USEFUL OF ALL TAKEDOWNS, MOTHERFUCKING O SOTO GARI, BULLSHIT" to Matsuno-ryu Jujitsu and seriously considering just learning wrestling from Drew Fickett, master of grappling and embarrassing himself by getting really goddamned drunk right before fights.
Seriously, **** you, critical thinking. Why can't I just do stupid **** and accept it as useful instead of actually questioning the utility of what I'm doing?
10/04/2009 1:07am, #4
- Join Date
- Aug 2007
- Tulsa, OK
- Ex-Tomiki Aikido
10/04/2009 5:03am, #5
Libertad: Wellcome to 2002.
What you just posted is articulated and stuff, but it is nothing new under the sun. It basically outlines what this site strives for: to promote critical thinking in the MA.
I'm sure most of us have some McDojo background, so probably we could fill this thread ad infinitum with the bullshit we've been taught.
So, unless that's what you want, I don't know what you're trying to accomplish here.
10/04/2009 8:54am, #6
- Join Date
- Mar 2009
- sw va
- bum rush karate
Let's apply some critical thinking:
Unless you're military or LEO or really like going for long walks alone in bad parts of town at night or are an asshole around drunk douchebags, its quite unlikely that you will ever need to fight anybody, much less defend your life.
By training hard with effective techniques, you risk injury, possibly serious injury.
The health benefits of martial arts can be attained more safely in other activities, such as swimming, wieghtlifting, biking, etc.
The challenge, focus, and continual improvement aspects of martial training can be attained more safely in chess, video games, or really any sport.
So, if the actual skills learned in martial arts are not applicable outside a dojo or competition, the training is high risk and competing is even higher risk, all of the associated benefits with martial training can be gained at much less risk in other activities, why is this not a soccer forum?
10/04/2009 9:31am, #7
- Join Date
- Oct 2009
- Mouth Boxing
10/04/2009 10:21am, #8
- Join Date
- Mar 2008
- Fargo, ND
- Judo, BJJ
10/04/2009 11:53am, #9
10/04/2009 4:00pm, #10
- Join Date
- Dec 2008