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#301589 - 11/14/06 09:58 PM Pursuit of Power.
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
Is it "wrong" to pursue power? I dont mean just strength but the ability to dispatch others easily. It seems apparent that MA are primarily for serving this purpose yet this goal is often frowned upon. Why?
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

#301590 - 11/15/06 02:36 PM Re: Pursuit of Power. [Re: Chen Zen]
bo-ken Offline

Registered: 06/07/04
Posts: 1228
Loc: beaver falls, PA, beaver
I think the Pursuit of power is the goal but nobody wants to be labled a tough guy. What I mean by that is you don't want to turn into someone who just goes around hurting people as martial artists we are "good guys".

Not saying if you have to fight try not to hurt them. You should hurt them make they pay that they tried anything on you. How you train is how you act. If you train to attack people you more then likely will someday. I hope you understand what I am trying to say.

#301591 - 11/15/06 02:53 PM Re: Pursuit of Power. [Re: Chen Zen]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Pursuing power, as you define it, is the logical goal of martial arts training. Modern rule of law being what it is, that sort of combat mentality is frowned on for the most part. Remember that 99% of "martial arts" training done in the USA is done as a hobby or recreation. Or day-care, LOL.

PS - I fall in the "hobby" category, so don't take that as a smear to anyone else.
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

#301592 - 11/15/06 04:33 PM Re: Pursuit of Power. [Re: MattJ]
Neko456 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 3260
Loc: Midwest City, Ok, USA
That is true recreation is great amount of why adult say they train, but even these guys believe because they train their better equiped to kick some butt.

As for openly (and I know this is not what you stated, but ist probably the reason why its not put out front) showing or saying that you can wreck a person day on a whim or without half trying. Lets say its true, how long do you think he will let you live, if you threaten him with your fitness and hard worked ability. Colt made man equal way back in the day.

The Pursuit of Power is great as long as you keep it low key and humble. Or stay forever alert, ask Wild Bill Hicock what being better then most will get you. Shot in the back of head while playing cards, not even given a chance. He was too deadly heads up.

my 2 cent.

#301593 - 11/15/06 05:40 PM Re: Pursuit of Power. [Re: Neko456]
IExcalibui2 Offline

Registered: 05/20/06
Posts: 961
Loc: New York City
I guess its frowned upon because some people become too cocky and start to abuse the power. The next thing you know you have some guy judo chopping people down the street. Power is fine, we all train which allows us to become better and stronger. As long as you're humble about it then its fine to have all the power in the world.
"you're going to work till you wish you were dead and then keep going.." -Sgt Slaughter

#301594 - 11/15/06 06:59 PM Re: Pursuit of Power. [Re: Chen Zen]
MastaFighta Offline

Registered: 04/10/05
Posts: 260
Loc: United States
Power is like wine, it tastes good but it can be intoxicating.

I personally don't think there is anything wrong with training for the sole purpose of power. You need to ask yourself, why do I want more power? Is it so I can protect those I care about? Is it so that I can defeat anyone that challenges me? Is it so that I can be the best?

Remember though, no matter how powerful you get, there will be someone out there that can beat you, regardless if they are more powerful than you or not.

#301595 - 11/15/06 08:10 PM Re: Pursuit of Power. [Re: Chen Zen]
JKogas Offline

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina

Is it "wrong" to pursue power? I don't mean just strength but the ability to dispatch others easily. It seems apparent that MA are primarily for serving this purpose yet this goal is often frowned upon. Why?

I believe martial arts aren't for the purpose of developing the ability to dispatch others quickly. I believe martial arts exist for the purpose of strengthening us from within so as to remove the NEED to dispatch others quickly.

The "desire" to want to dispatch others quickly stems from the ego. Good martial arts training should weaken this ego, not strengthen it.

To dispatch others quickly is to center martial arts on destruction. To remove the ego and the desire to "want to be able" to dispatch others quickly is to center martial arts on life and construction.

When you're young, sure you want to stroke your ego and know you have some weird power (like a superhero of sorts). You want to think of yourself as a badass.

When you grow and your inner strength increases (due to a clearly established ability to fight), you no longer have to "prove" anything to yourself. When that occurs, you no longer care about proving it to anyone else either.


#301596 - 11/15/06 09:24 PM Re: Pursuit of Power. [Re: Chen Zen]
RoninKurosawa Offline

Registered: 04/24/06
Posts: 37
Loc: United States
First off i would like to point out that these are completely my opinions and if you believe differently thats cool, i'm not calling anyone wrong or arguing i'm simply posting my own current thoughts.

In fact i cannot call these beliefs because they are a current understanding that may very well change in my future, as for now i may or may not believe them but maybe tomorrow my view will be totally different. Peoples opinions and beliefs change with life so i cannot say i believe these things simply that they are my current thoughts on the subject and are subject to change.

I surpose there is a literal and philosophical way to view almost anything in life, what you have to consider is that martial arts its self is nothing and has no individual purpose.

The purpose or reason for martial arts in modern times is purly based on the individuals own reasoning and own beliefs. That is martial arts originally were created either to kill your enemy in combat or to protect your selves and or friends and family.

To be very literal martial arts are nothing more then tools and its a universal tool at that there is no absolute path or reason in modern times for them in my opinion. A martial arts purpose is whatever a person decides it to be for them and for their own reasons.

For some people they are for fun, some people do them for self defence only, some people do them to help them selves develop as a human being and some people do them for all of those reasons and more. Everything is true and untrue in general but specificly something can be just true.

The pursuit of power is in my opinion when people want to control not just them selves but other people as well. That is one type of power that people lust over. Other types of power is strength, courage, and confidence.

Just like martial arts the pursuit of power is positive or negetive based on the persons desires and reasons for why they want or need these powers. Some people pursue power so that they can protect their loved ones with all of their potencial and that is the right reason for pursueing power. Some people pursue power so that they can hurt others more effectivly and that is of course wrong.

So basicly all things are reletive to the individuals desires and reasons for their interest and training. Martial arts and power for that matter are not good or bad by them selves, rather or not they are good or bad depends completely on why and how they are used.

Anyway those are my opinions i hope i contributed on this subject in a productive way. Everyone have fun and peace be with you all.

PS. Personally for myself i started doing martial arts to be able to defend my self better in dangerous situations, but it evolved and eventually i use them now to help train my spirit, mind and body. They have for me become very philosophical as i myself often use them to explain life and better understand things.

Also its true that people may start a martial art for one reason ie strength and power over others but with time the person matures and their reasons change and now they may do them for spiritual reasons or health or alittle bit of everything.

In short i do not believe that martial arts changes a person for better or worse i believe people naturally change with time and exp so with that natural change their reasons for doing something or continueing it will change as well. But i do not think its martial arts that causes a change but thats how the persons life will evolve with or without them but if they continue them as a mature person their reasons will change along with them.

Specificly for myself martial arts have helped me endure life and have helped me develop as a human being but they them selves did not cause these changes these changes were already underway.

#301597 - 11/15/06 10:52 PM Re: Pursuit of Power. [Re: RoninKurosawa]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
Lots of insight. Thanks for everyones input. I guess the reason I ask is because I train for no other purpose than to defeat my opponent. A pursuit to be the best. I dont spend the time with the Japanese or chinese terminology, or the philosophies. The histories and legend, Im there for the combat and the competition. Perhaps its ego, but im not a cocky guy. When confronted I often try to diffuse the situation rather than bustin heads. The fact that I can handle myself well strengthened my confidence, but I dont think my ego has inflated. Anyone who knew me when I first signed on here four years ago knows that Ive become more humble if anything.Yet my desire to become stronger and more proficient has risen. Its been a lifelong thing. I know that power corrupts, Im just trying to figure out how much can i obtain before it does, I suppose.
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

#301598 - 11/16/06 01:24 PM Re: Pursuit of Power. [Re: Chen Zen]
RoninKurosawa Offline

Registered: 04/24/06
Posts: 37
Loc: United States
I think training for the thrill of combat is fine as long as you only fight with people that are willing of their own accord like other martial artist, I to enjoy the thrill of the fight to some degree in terms of matching my skills up to someone elses i think its an awesome feeling indeed.

If that is what you mean by the pursuit of power i do not think that theres anything wrong with it as long as you do not let it change who you are as a person.

Also Chen you seem like a nice person who respects people so i wouldn't worry about coruption, you do not seem like someone who would ever become corupted to me.

The thrill of matching ones skills against another is a pure feeling of physical essence, excitement and mutual admiration. That is something I enjoy as well.

As long as a person does not hurt innocent people and only fight those who wish to test their skills as well i do not see anything wrong with that.

#301599 - 11/17/06 03:02 PM Re: Pursuit of Power. [Re: Chen Zen]
Demonologist437 Offline

Registered: 03/03/05
Posts: 159
Loc: Hodunk, Illinios
If I may, a quote from Yagyu Munenori:

"It is prejudice to think that swordsmanship is meant soley to lsash an opponent. It is not meant to slash an opponent, but to kill evil."

Indeed, we could do some very bad things with what we know, and with the knowledge we pursue. But, that seems to imply that the martial arts has this unqiue venom to it, and most other things are innocent.

Think of the tongue: how many times more quickly can you destroy a person with a word or an attitiude than a punch?
But, you do nto see anyone chastising any of the Rhetoric teachers out there, do you?

So it again all comes down to where we are as people and why we train. Do we train to watch others suffer under us, for some control over people and the world around us?

Or, do we train to focus and frefine btoh the mind and body, that such a lusting for non-existant control and power no longer matters?

Again, what gets me is: people seem to forget that the martial arts are not the only arts which could cause damage. It's just because it's first purpose is victory in a confrontation, we think of the martial arts first as some nasty thing.

Further, what is power? Dominance over others, or the ability to enact change?

Just because you want to become a better martial artist I do not believe means you need a head/ego examination. Technically then, wouldn't you need to put a doctor through the same thing?

In the end, it really does come down to something as simple, I believe, as "Do you want the Light Side or the Dark Side of the force? Spiritual refinement or dominating control?"

And further no one can answer that question; but you.

Just my thoughts.
"Success is a process, not a destination. Have faith in your ability."~Bruce Lee

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