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  1. Epeeist is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/02/2010 4:51pm


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    Quote Originally Posted by Styygens View Post
    Every example of a warrior code in this thread comes from a traditional, agrarian society. "Warrior" was a lifestyle, not a chosen profession. And when I say lifestyle, I mean it was something you were born into, lived with whether you liked it or not, and died with. One way or the other. It wasn't a job, it was an identity.

    The only possible exception I've seen is the Roman Legion. The Legionnary was a professional soldier during the late Repulic and Early Empire. After that, the Roman military machine gets more complicated as the "barbarians" enlist and bring their cultures with them. I'm unclear about this code to which you refer. Is there a citation? Can you point me at said code? They were regulated by law. And we can argue semantics about whether or not that's the same thing.

    How does the concept of a warrior code from these times relate to the post-modern society we live in?
    Well as a Christian and a southern gentleman type I consider it somewhat easy to adhere to rules like defend the faith, protect women, don't be a jerk, but the more martial issues such as never flee a battle except as a feign or tactical withdrawal I can only adhere to in ideal because I have never had any fights besides a few street fights where after I dropped the guy I ran away so that I couldn't be called in excessive force.
  2. W. Rabbit is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/02/2010 4:54pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Epeeist View Post
    The Mongols and Alexander somewhat succeeded for the reason, I believe, the fact that they spread their culture far and wide and assimilated peoples along with spreading the fruits of advanced civilization.
    Now there is a great comparison of discordant vs. concordant warrior codes: Mongolian vs. Greecian. Look at ancient Sparta, the spartan code, and the Battle of Thermopylae.

    The Mongol empire didn't last very long....a handful of decades, before it splintered (and certainly did some cultural pollination). Greek nations and city states survived centuries and form the basis of much of modern civilization today!
  3. W. Rabbit is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/02/2010 5:03pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Styygens View Post
    How does the concept of a warrior code from these times relate to the post-modern society we live in?
    Because nothing has changed really, even 4000 years after Hammurabi. To learn how to maintain and protect "post modern society" or any civilized society at all against the forces of chaos which are every bit as bloodthirsty and cruel as in the BC era, we have to look to the greatest concordant warrior nations and their codes. Japan, Rome, Sparta, England (sorry if I miss any, there are plenty). That is not to say political/social tides involving warriors did not cut down a lot of life, but these codes were also a large part of why those empires stood for ages.

    And all empires fall eventually...but if some form the code is preserved, that can help spawn whole new civilizations.
  4. Styygens is online now
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    Posted On:
    8/02/2010 5:04pm


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    Quote Originally Posted by W. Rabbit View Post
    Now there is a great comparison of discordant vs. concordant warrior codes: Mongolian vs. Greecian. Look at ancient Sparta, the spartan code, and the Battle of Thermopylae.

    The Mongol empire didn't last very long....a handful of decades, before it splintered (and certainly did some cultural pollination). Greek nations and city states survived centuries and form the basis of much of modern civilization today!
    No. The Mongol Empire split into several separate empires after Genghis. The Chinese Yuan dynasty was Mongol rule. The Russians were ruled by the Golden Horde. The Mughal Dynasty ruled India... It was very much like the split-up of the Hellenic World after Alexander. And the idea that the Hellenic civilization forms one basis for "Modern Western Civilization" is certainly true, but is very much a matter of perspective. There are plenty of other threads in that tapestry. And you're ignoring Non-Western Civilization.

    In any event, I think a number of you are projecting your 21st Century Middle Class Western values backwards on civilizations and cultures that had very different ideas...
    Last edited by Styygens; 8/02/2010 5:07pm at .
  5. JKDChick is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/02/2010 5:05pm

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    Well, given that the vast majority of "honorable and chivalrous" warrior cultures defined those things as solely male, where does that leave me?
    Monkey Ninjas! Attack!
  6. Styygens is online now
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    Posted On:
    8/02/2010 5:11pm


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    Quote Originally Posted by JKDChick View Post
    Well, given that the vast majority of "honorable and chivalrous" warrior cultures defined those things as solely male, where does that leave me?
    Exactly.

    And the whole "protect the womenfolk" common to many concepts of the warrior code really needs to be understood as "Protect OUR womenfolk from those bad guys over the hill. And protect THEIR pretty womenfolk when we steal them." (Oversimplification, I suppose, but not far from the truth.)

    These were not universal, altruistic codes. It was one way to define US versus THEM. "WE adhere to honorable codes... THEY are barbarians who will salt our fields and rape our women." (Or was it the other way around?) And conveniently ignores the fact that "we" will gladly do the same to "them."
  7. W. Rabbit is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/02/2010 5:11pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Styygens View Post
    No. The Mongol Empire split into several separate empires after Genghis. The Chinese Yuan dynasty was Mongol Rule. The Russian were ruled by the Golden Horde. The Mughal Dynasty ruled India... It was very much like the split-up of the Hellenic World after Alexander. And the idea that the Hellenic civilization forms one basis for "Modern Western Civilization" is certainly true, but is very much a matter of perspective. There are plenty of other threads in that tapestry. And you're ignoring Non-Western Civilization.

    In any event, I think a number of you are projecting your 21st Century Middle Class Western values backwards on civilizations and cultures that had very different ideas...
    I know enough history to look at this from all angles, and if you've read Humphrey's book (I know you have) you'd know that there is, in the end, no difference between what people in the East vs. West want: to be left in peace. This is aligned with the honorable warrior's code, and is discordant with the code of, say, the Mongol.

    I was talking about the longevity of civilizations with respect to their warrior codes. By that comparison, the Mongol Empire was dead on arrival. They won the battles and then lost the war. But their downfall seeded other cultures, I agree, just like Greece city-states or Rome's downfall did the same.

    And I cited the oldest warrior code: Hammurabi's which is hardly a Western civilization. I argued Hammurabi influenced both Eastern AND Westen warrior codes, straight up through Chivalry, Bushido, and even mythological/Arthurian concepts.
  8. Styygens is online now
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    Posted On:
    8/02/2010 5:15pm


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    Quote Originally Posted by W. Rabbit View Post
    Because nothing has changed really, even 4000 years after Hammurabi. To learn how to maintain and protect "post modern society" or any civilized society at all against the forces of chaos which are every bit as bloodthirsty and cruel as in the BC era, we have to look to the greatest concordant warrior nations and their codes. Japan, Rome, Sparta, England (sorry if I miss any, there are plenty). That is not to say political/social tides involving warriors did not cut down a lot of life, but these codes were also a large part of why those empires stood for ages.

    And all empires fall eventually...but if some form the code is preserved, that can help spawn whole new civilizations.
    Rome, Sparta, England... All defended ideas we would find indefensible today, such as slavery, pederasty, tyranny... Are we picking and choosing what to steal from the codes?

    No. We're back to the idea that a warrior code is supposed to subordinate the warrior to the service of the community institutions. Again, I ask, what community institution is the martial artist qua martial artist serving?
  9. W. Rabbit is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/02/2010 5:18pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by JKDChick View Post
    Well, given that the vast majority of "honorable and chivalrous" warrior cultures defined those things as solely male, where does that leave me?
    I would argue that many chivalry and honor codes still valued women as more than just objects, but this is certainly debatable and would depend on the specific cultural context. In many cases, women were indeed seen as "property" and "protected" as such.

    With respect to martial arts/warfare and solely from a strategic, non-values standpoint, protecting women is important for obvious reasons, since they propagate and nursed the populace (at least traditionally). In modern contexts this is still seen in military regulations that don't allow women to partake in front-line combat. Which I think are absurd, but probably have some form of chivalrous origin.
  10. W. Rabbit is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/02/2010 5:23pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Styygens View Post
    Rome, Sparta, England... All defended ideas we would find indefensible today, such as slavery, pederasty, tyranny...
    Respectfully...you're taking aspects of those societies not directly related to warrior code and using them as a strawmen against the warrior codes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Styygens View Post
    Are we picking and choosing what to steal from the codes?
    Exactly, but I'd argue the warrior codes have not changed a lot (in concept) in 4000 years: protect yourself, protect your neighbor, don't steal your neighbors ****, help him protect his ****. And it'll be best for everyone.

    When we combine codes like Bushido with social values codes like Humphrey's, everyone wins.

    Quote Originally Posted by Styygens View Post
    Again, I ask, what community institution is the martial artist qua martial artist serving?
    Mankind and Womankind.

    "Get beyond love and grief: exist for the good of Man."
    Miyamoto Musashi
    Last edited by W. Rabbit; 8/02/2010 5:28pm at .
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