Popularization of Martial Arts

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Popularization of Martial Arts

Postby Sorcerer » Sat May 14, 2011 4:10 pm

Hi everyone,

I have two questions Id like to get peoples' thoughts on. First, as I told people here I practice Lohan. Recently me and some people I know want to start a public martial arts club that will train regularly here in a park in my city. However, I am hesitant to do this! because I do not know who will show up and what type of person they are. I am concerned that people will use these spiritual practices and their martial applications to do and promote things that are wrong.

Second, what do people here make of the general growth of interest in martial arts? Good? Bad? I like the fact that Dr Yangs retreat center is a nonprofit.

S.
"There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy" FW Nietzsche
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Re: Popularization of Martial Arts

Postby Josh Young » Thu May 19, 2011 7:33 pm

Sorcerer wrote:Recently me and some people I know want to start a public martial arts club that will train regularly here in a park in my city. However, I am hesitant to do this! because I do not know who will show up and what type of person they are. I am concerned that people will use these spiritual practices and their martial applications to do and promote things that are wrong.

There are at least two common approaches to this, one is that if the teachings have the capacity to benefit those who practice them, then they may actually allow people to refine their character, thus improving them to a large degree.
In this line of thinking, bad and good are what you do, not what you have done or how you look at things, thus a person who has saved lives can take them, a person who has done good things can do bad things, a person who has done bad things can do good things. In and of this a teaching has the capacity to allow so called bad people to realize the error of their ways, so to speak. Likewise the destructive potential for martial arts techniques can be abused by good people, no person is free from the ability to make bad choices and any increased ability or capacity to harm people that may be entailed in martial art teachings and training methods can provide a source of temptation for any human being. It is a tool, so to speak, and no tool is incapable of being misused or abused, nor is there a person alive who does not have the capacity to make mistakes or poor decisions, particularly when acting in haste or under duress.

The second approach to this topic is discretion, in this there are two major methods, the first is refusing to teach any person who has not met specific requirements in terms of moral character and personality, this is typically determined through carefully devised tests of a persons behavior, patience, determination and choice patterns. In this method a teacher typically teaches only one student at a time and does so in an in depth and one on one approach that demands a great deal from both the teacher and the student.

The other method employed regarding discretion is to have public teachings that are engineered or designed for general public consumption, and then supplemental private teachings that are reserved for specific students who have met requirements such as both showing the proper level of commitment, ability and right moral character and mentality. In general the public teachings are those, which do benefit people in general in both mental and physical ways, but yet are not easily utilized in a way that can be abused to harm others or the self. The supplemental teachings tend to include application information as well as further details, meanings and methods, which build upon the public teachings as their foundation.

In an analogy the public teachings are like learning to speak, the private teachings are like learning to read and write. Martial arts is like language in general and different martial arts are like different languages, different styles of specific martial arts are like dialog. I am interested in the linguistics, how the languages originate, develop and diverge.

Sorcerer wrote:Second, what do people here make of the general growth of interest in martial arts? Good? Bad?

I view the general growth of interest as inconsequential in general and individual or varied in specific context. It seems to be a facet of the communications media age in which the world has much greater access to information in general.
I do not know that there is more interest in martial arts in general, or if there is greater interest then I do not know that it equals more widespread practice of martial arts, or if there is more widespread practice I do not know if it equates to more widespread violence or applications.

As a species we are incredibly violent, always have been and always will be. Ever human is by nature violent and cruel, as well as peaceful and benevolent. It seems that the more a person puts into practice teachings of traditional martial art, the less likely they are to use those teachings in a bad way, however history is full of examples of both violence and retribution in the martial arts community. Some martial art styles became family teachings because of revenge killings, the teachers wished to prevent future loss of life.

In one story a specific martial art was used by people who acted as hired bodyguards, they were hired to guard some valuable property and when thieves tried to violently take those valuables a thief was killed by one of the martial artists. The family of the thief then went and murdered the innocent members of the family of the bodyguard martial artist and several others as well including many of the family of the person who taught the martial art to the bodyguard, the family of the teacher was targeted for attack in these revenge killings.

The point is that in some cases if you give a man a gun, and he commits a crime with that gun, you will be held legally responsible for that crime, but in other cases if he prevents crime with that gun, you may be held responsible still by those who feel wronged by the use of the gun.

Violence breeds death, regardless of the way it is used. Martial arts are best used to prevent violence, not to promote it. If you harm a person, regardless of why, when or how, it can and often will come back to haunt you and can even end up harming those you love. Retaliation is a very common human behavior regardless of the perception of justification of action. In general harming anyone, even if they are trying to harm or kill you can have negative consequences regardless of a persons moral character. In this way teaching a so called good person is no different than teaching a so called bad person.

You may find that being no human is a good judge of good or bad, particularly in terms of the character of others. In general those who are not worthy of the teachings do not have the patience, dedication or willingness to learn them. Those with the attitude that it takes to learn a martial art are seldom not worth teaching and no person is who they seem to be.
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Postby Sorcerer » Thu May 26, 2011 3:55 pm

I understand what your saying but Im not sure I agree. In an age without firearms, whom would you rather have learn Kung Fu, the Buddhist monks or the SS? I know the term good and bad are fuzzy and perfunctory, but, if you have values (regardless of what they are) you can still deploy those terms. And, I believe that some people are not nice people and I will not teach everyone how to thrust their fingers into someone eye sockets so that they can take control of their skull...
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Postby Josh Young » Fri May 27, 2011 2:27 pm

If martial arts are merely techniques of death, then by all means feel the way you do, but if they are ways to benefit people and allow them to better themselves, then perhaps those are the people you should be teaching.

Anyone can hurt someone, those likely to do it tend to know how to do it.


In an age without firearms, whom would you rather have learn Kung Fu, the Buddhist monks or the SS?

The SS, because they need a way to better themselves as people, the monks are already working on bettering themselves.
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Postby yat_chum » Sat May 28, 2011 3:31 am

"It is easy to learn how to fight you don't have to learn ngo cho for that!" "To fight just pick up a knife, any weapon or better a gun, attack your enemy in the dark or ambush him.", "Why learn ngo cho?"
The late Master Lo King Hui

What are you going to be teaching exactly? I'm not sure that I'm am comfortable with the the martial arts in such a way. I have heard it said a few times that you should not teach if there are more than three pairs of ears around. If you are teaching for health that is fine.

"Biu jee but chut mun" (Thrusting fingers do not go out the door) Wing Chun Kuen saying, another saying is "The Biu Jee is not taught to outsiders." Wing Chun Kuen's Biu Jee form contains emergency techniques.

As there are techniques that you can not teach, are you not in danger if watering down your art?

I think that the approach mentioned by Josh is a good idea, to use the open air classes to teach a foundation and supplement the teaching of those with good character privately.
yijing zhidong

use stillness to overcome movement
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Postby Sorcerer » Sat May 28, 2011 10:57 am

I also agree with JYoung's exoteric and esoteric teaching style. I think it is a great approach. However, Josh, my experiences have led me to see more of a division between good and bad people than I read into your reply.
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Postby Josh Young » Sat May 28, 2011 6:05 pm

I am young (32) and so do not have that much experience with people.

In my experience good and bad people do not exist in a clear cut way.

To me human judgment is deeply flawed and largely a matter of narrow expectation. We "see" our expectations and seldom let things speak for themselves, including people.

In my experience all people deserve respect as being able to choose either good or bad, and no person is incapable of choosing either one. Often a so called good person will make a bad choice in a specific type of situation or set-up, much like a so called bad person will make a good choice in a certain type of situation or set up.

Each of us is like a flower, good and bad has more to do with what we expect the flower to be like, than letting it bloom for itself.

I don't think martial arts are any mote than a tool for personal cultivation in this day and age, where violence and cruelty are intimate parts of popular culture and society in general. Our heroes are frequently murderers and we view violence as glorious, especially in the West.

Sometimes those who think they are the good guys are the worst ones. The reverse is also true.
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Postby Sorcerer » Sat May 28, 2011 9:18 pm

Good and bad are philosophical terms. That said, I probably used them a bit to readily. Whilst what I know about psychology makes me (also) hesitant to judge others and their actions I still think that there are certain values which I think are right and others which are wrong, just because of their practical implications (ie war and violence) and what they mean to me subjectively. Perhaps my post was subjective.


Again, philosophically it probably makes more sense to understand good and evil as arising from the same basic substance (ie being human) but I still think they are useful categories and getting rid of them itself has problems (we no longer value someone who is "good") [?]
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Postby Josh Young » Sun May 29, 2011 10:42 am

they are useful categories and getting rid of them itself has problems (we no longer value someone who is "good") [?]

I don't believe there are good people, or bad people.

I believe that in context good and bad are clear and useful, and by no means do i reject the concepts of 'good for' or 'bad for' however as an assessment of character I cannot employ good and bad in any meaningful way. If you can, then so be it.

To me all people are both good and bad.
I'd rather not put my energy into making a call this way, I prefer to let actions speak for themselves and observe that actions have consequences that are far better at determining good or bad than I can ever be.
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Postby Sorcerer » Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:48 am

Do you think that having someone learn martial arts necessarily makes them a more ethical person?
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Postby Inga » Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:26 am

Perhaps studying or training martial arts gives people the opportunity to see more "good" choices and encourages them to make more "good" choices.
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Re: Popularization of Martial Arts

Postby yeniseri » Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:54 pm

Sorcerer wrote:Hi everyone,

I have two questions Id like to get peoples' thoughts on. First, as I told people here I practice Lohan. Recently me and some people I know want to start a public martial arts club that will train regularly here in a park in my city. However, I am hesitant to do this! because I do not know who will show up and what type of person they are. I am concerned that people will use these spiritual practices and their martial applications to do and promote things that are wrong.

Second, what do people here make of the general growth of interest in martial arts? Good? Bad? I like the fact that Dr Yangs retreat center is a nonprofit.

S.


Realistically, the same applies to all of what we do in life! There is nevera guarantee of anything but you do what you do because of your interest that you want to share with like minded individuals.

You seem to be implying that you have no choice in the matter. i.e. ability to know if someone is 'bad", which is not good.
Regading the interest in martial arts, I see people have less interest in long term study and practice and they rarely incorporate it into their life scheme. SHort term interest is rampart but then they stray to the flavour of the month spritiual or martial materialistic attitude.
Statistics show most people stay for 2-4 years (I don't recall the source) then quit!
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Postby Josh Young » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:49 pm

Sorcerer wrote:Do you think that having someone learn martial arts necessarily makes them a more ethical person?

True martial arts, yes I do.
False martial arts, no I don't.
It depends, what is a martial art?

Ethics are learned, not ingrained, many martial arts have ethics training, thus to learn them one also trains ones ethics, however some so called martial arts have no ethics training.

I'd consider any martial art that does not train ethics to be incomplete or deficient.
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