I think you maybe letting the whole media pre fight hype cloud the real picture that allot of these guys live by.
This has nothing to do with media hype. I train in an MMA school, Muay Thai is my current style. I am not attacking the quality of the character of MMA guys or schools, nor am I saying you don't find fakes and arrogant a$$'s in TMA.
Exactly. MMA and TMA clubs attract human beings. Humans who have a history of social interaction and immersion in the morals of their culture long before their first kata or knee-bar. This is why TMA classes are not choc full of enlightened awesome people, and MMA clubs full of baby-raping tattoo'd lifers in waiting. People are just people, no matter what their hobbies, and on the whole, know right from wrong long before engaging in free time activities.
Some people see the pre-fight hype and the occasional winning celebration in poor taste, and decide that MMA is full of unpleasant, ignorant and uncultured morons. They are wrong.
What I am saying is that MMA schools strip away the pomp and circumstance of the Arts. People all over my schools have TMA backgrounds, but our schools is run like a boxing gym more then a Dojo, that's not a bad thing simply a choice.
That is the difference between a fighting gym and a class talking about how to be a fighter. If you look at accounts of karate schools in the west in the 50's and 60's, they were fighting gyms. I am not saying that they do not exist now, but TMA in the west has changed focus, and now markets itself like this:
'Do you want to get fit? Improve your confidence? Make new friends and learn skills that could save your life, and those of your family? Then come to *insert school name* for a free trial lesson and a chat with our friendly, professional instructor(s)'
CMA, JMA, JKD, FMA, you pick a flavour, and you wont have to look hard to find a template similar to the above. That doesnt attract fighters, that attracts people who think
they will benefit from learning to cope with the threat of fighting. Classes and philosophy will then reflect that. The only way the code of Bushido will help you in a fight, is if you happen to have a hardback copy that you can slam in to your attackers throat.
I come from a Okinawan Karate background that can be traced backed to the late 1800's and before. The history and tradition, richness of the art is very appealing to me, especially as I get older and can find the beauty in all of it.
I also note that you are now training MT. Here in the UK, as well as in the Netherlands, the standard of MT available is very high, and all clubs teach the opening ceremony dance, the significance of the headband, and encourage/insist on a functional familiarity with the Thai language, at least as it relates to the art.
Doesnt stop the gyms being sweatboxes full of competetive fighters. Friendly, focussed, fighters, who would rather do an extra 3 rounds sparring than read 5 Rings, as means to the same end.
Everything written about warrior mentality, philosphy of conflict etc, is the product of what real fighters learned for themselves through fighting, and then articulated via written word.
Of course reading about others fights, and waxing lyrical about warrior code is a hell of a lot safer and more pleasant than being punched in the face and dealing with the realities of physical pain and agression, but without that, you can read, but never learn, the lessons in any warrior code; and by doing, not reading, you discover your own truths, and need not rely on vicarious wisdom.