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#435219 - 05/27/12 01:55 AM Character developement and values in MA
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
Over the past couple of years, with the rise in popularity in MMA, it seems that many MA are moving towards MMA and competition and away from TMA. There is also a large rise in MA who never studied any TMA.

You watch a lot of guys who have none of the traditional MA core values such as humility, respect, and patience. Far too often you see these guys mouth off on tv or on the radio and even all over the net, with no regard to others, themselves or the art and people they represent.

So are these types of virtues being tossed to the wayside in favor of a good armbar and a dream of making it big? Are these things taught in your school?Are your instructors choosy about WHO they teach?
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#435220 - 05/27/12 02:35 AM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Chen Zen]
hope Offline
Member

Registered: 07/12/09
Posts: 149
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
I'm in a cynical mood so I'll open a can of worms to see what birds are around. THere's a lot of talk about the values and virtues of MA, and little action -- not only in sport MA, but all MA.

It all seems to be image and marketing. Putting the values on the wall is great for marketing to concerned parents. What difference does it make within the clubs? None. Clubs choose members based on ability to pay. CLubs may evict actively sadistic members because they chase away other paying customers, and that's about it.

Humility? Trophies don't encourage it, in sports MA. TMA is full of egos feuding.

Values? Better to find and build them at home and work, not in the dojo. MA probably contains as many good mentors and role models as any office or law firm; a bullsh1t meter is necessary as well.

Rant over.
_________________________
God grant me a good sword and no use for it. -- Polish proverb

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#435221 - 05/27/12 02:44 AM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Chen Zen]
Zach_Zinn Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
It's funny, I'm not even 36 yet, but sometimes when I survey the general martial arts world, i'm starting to feel like an old man. Not because i'm good or unique in any way, just because i've done it for a while, and I think I can see some of the larger patterns at play there.

So yeah, there were plenty of asses doing TMA long before MMA was even a blip on the radar, I think the difference is as you say...there are some MMA gyms that don't even seem to care who they are teaching. I remember being at karate tournaments in the 80's though where the people that lost literally threw tantrums and tossed chairs around, stuff like that.

Neither MMA nor TMA is like this across the board though, i've read bits about Crazy Monkey defense and similar programs..being a TMA guy they don't interest me on a personal level, but they look very good as far as being training for people who want to train in an MMA type fornmat, but not train with, or act like meatheads. There is no reason at all that MMA cannot carry all the same values that TMA supposedly does, if I had to pick out anything standing in the way of it i'd say it's the marketing and culture of the sport itself, and to some degree simply the culture at large.

Anyway, young men are young men, what can ya say really, neither TMA nor MMA is going to prevent, youth, stupidity, and testosterone, alcohol from making fools of people. personally I hope "Joe Average" MMA training continues to evolve programs and such that are geared not only towards competition..but also just training in MA because it is fun and good for you.

That kind of training -genuine effort for it's own sake- no matter TMA or MMA is what can calm people down, and help people reach (maybe) a place where all those "traditional" values can flourish.


Edited by Zach_Zinn (05/27/12 02:49 AM)

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#435222 - 05/27/12 02:49 AM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: hope]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
That is rather cynical. So then, what about clubs that are non profit?

And as for students, shouldnt teachers be responsible for whom they teach?

Also I offer that it makes a huge difference in the dojo. These people often take time away from the class unnecessarily, bully other students and people outside of dojos at times, belittle people,and countless other undesirable behaviors, so to say that they have little affect isnt accurate.

I agree that values start at home,but they should be taught in any learning enviroment, just as they are taught in public school systems.

Trophies may not teach humility as you put it, but losing at competition often makes even the "tough guys" humble most times.

And a BS meter is a good thing but what about New comers who have no idea if they are being duped?
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#435223 - 05/27/12 02:53 AM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Chen Zen]
Zach_Zinn Offline
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Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
For the record I think I agree Chen...
To me a teacher of martial arts has responsibility to teach a simple, core set of values along with the stuff by default. This has always been the case for martial arts, it doesn't need to be over the top or ridiculous, but a simple basic code of conduct is necessary as far as i'm concerned.

I remember once my first Karate teacher made us gather around after some of us started abusing partners in training, generally acting cocky. He pointed to the kanji on the wall for "Karate Do" and asked if we could tell him what it meant. Of course everyone gave all these different esoteric answers.

He just shook his head and said "No, what it really means is don't be an )(*hole".


Edited by Zach_Zinn (05/27/12 02:55 AM)

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#435224 - 05/27/12 03:01 AM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Zach_Zinn]
Chen Zen Offline
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Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
I had a teacher in TKD that often had students run or do pushups for all manner of things.I got busted more than a few times for "celebrating" after a match or landing a good shot.

At the time it seemed a little extreme but looking back on it, I may have caused peoples feelings to be hurt in one way or another. In any event, it certainly didnt help anyone.

Its amazing that a teacher who teaches history or ABC's has to have a liscense and background check and yet another person can call themselves teacher and teach someone how to choke another person or how to use a knife or sword with no more than a empty roomand a "Martial Arts" sign.
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#435234 - 05/27/12 03:08 PM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Chen Zen]
hope Offline
Member

Registered: 07/12/09
Posts: 149
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
Originally Posted By: Chen Zen

And as for students, shouldnt teachers be responsible for whom they teach?
...etc.

Yes, Chen Zen, I agree completely and wasn't arguing against that.

I was talking about what IS, not what SHOULD BE. Actual conditions need some oversight, especially when they differ from public image. As you say in your later post, "It's amazing that a teacher who teaches history or ABC's has to have a license and background check and yet another person can call themselves teacher and teach someone how to choke another person or how to use a knife or sword with no more than a empty room and a "Martial Arts" sign."
_________________________
God grant me a good sword and no use for it. -- Polish proverb

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#435251 - 05/30/12 06:25 AM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: hope]
gojuman59 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 223
Loc: Missouri
I'm so glad that I train in a non-commercial dojo. We don't do tournments and aren't burdened by ego driven competition.

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#435253 - 05/30/12 10:27 AM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: gojuman59]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Ditto! smile

Originally Posted By: gojuman59
I'm so glad that I train in a non-commercial dojo. We don't do tournments and aren't burdened by ego driven competition.


As for the original post, 'Yes', I am choosy - because 'No', it's not my job to instill any values.

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#435255 - 05/30/12 06:20 PM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: harlan]
Chen Zen Offline
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Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
Originally Posted By: harlan


'No', it's not my job to instill any values.


Even in younger students?
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#435256 - 05/30/12 06:54 PM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Chen Zen]
iaibear Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
The more of this thread that I read, the more grateful I am to my instructor who told me that at sandan I was not yet qualified to teach.

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#435257 - 05/31/12 07:59 AM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: harlan]
duanew Offline
Member

Registered: 06/28/08
Posts: 326
Loc: MN
Originally Posted By: harlan
Ditto! smile

As for the original post, 'Yes', I am choosy - because 'No', it's not my job to instill any values.


I would respond to your comment like I would several pro basketball players who got busted for crimes and then said, "I don't want to be anyone's role model."
Regardless of if you want the job or not it's yours. If you choose to do the job or not is your choice-it is still your job. Teaching is not just passing on information and techniques it is being a model of what the student should strive to be.
_________________________
Duane

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#435258 - 05/31/12 08:51 AM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: duanew]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Please do not preach to me about what MY job is. I don't take on inferior students, and the ones I do take I don't expect to become little 'mini-me's'. I am too old a beginner to take on that responsibility and know my limitations.

I have ALWAYS stated that one should choose one's teacher carefully. Character has always been my most important criteria because trust is so integral to transmission. I tell my students to 'Choose carefully...and NEVER leave your mind at the door.' My feeling is that a lot more than technique is transmitted when someone puts their hands on you. I tell them, 'Never let someone you don't trust put their hands on you, and only train with good people.'

So, if they are developing character or absorbing values from me, that is what they are getting.


Edited by harlan (05/31/12 09:05 AM)

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#435259 - 05/31/12 09:20 AM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: harlan]
Cord Offline
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Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
I am with Harlan on this one - if TMA is so damn awesome at instilling some hybrid east-west hybrid fortune cookie morality into people, then why get sniffy about 'wrong types' of students? Hell, you should be seeking out thugs and a-holes to help them out right?
If the morals passed on by an MA teacher only resonate with the already law abiding, modest and peacefull, then they are not being taught, nor changing anyone for the better.

If a MA teacher thinks that getting a kid to bow and pull a couple of shots in sparring in the 2 hours they see them per week is going to make a difference where parents and schools have not, the that is true arrogance and ego far greater than a bit of trash talk before a sporting contest, which is all theater to sell tickets anyway.


Edited by Cord (05/31/12 09:21 AM)
_________________________
Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'
http://cord.mybrute.com

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#435260 - 05/31/12 10:02 AM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Cord]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
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Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Wow, the world must be ending because I agree with Duane! LOL
_________________________
"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

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#435261 - 05/31/12 10:15 AM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Cord]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Well, I suppose I might have been a bit hasty in my reply...but I am starting to see it more of a case of splitting hairs on exactly what it means 'to teach'. Duane, I think, is correct in that one is always a model, even if one is unaware of one's impact on others. I see it more of an unconscious thing...as meant by my insistance that 'a lot more than technique is transmitted'. When training, one is completely present, is 'all there', the whole package focused on the task at hand - in sharing everything with one's partner. The person goes along with the knowledge. (At least, I hope it does.) And, I've learned recently by starting teaching, that that process goes both ways.

Don't want to belabor it, but I'm of the opinion that one should try TO BE a better person, and have only recently discovered that many people do not share that same view. That they are 'fine' and that 'self-improvement' is not necessary nor something to strive for. This is why one chooses carefully one's students. Yes, it sounds very elitist, but I teach and train with people I like. Of similar mindset. As Cord states, folks that resonate.

Originally Posted By: Cord
If the morals passed on by an MA teacher only resonate with the already law abiding, modest and peacefull, then they are not being taught, nor changing anyone for the better.

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#435263 - 05/31/12 01:28 PM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: harlan]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
Matt, Cord, Hello again.Long time.

I can understand not necessarily striving to get these points across to adults, however I think younger students deserve and require these things.
You are teacing them how to effectively hurt people, you should also be teaching them why they shouldnt. Remember that for most children, Mommy didnt sign them up to improve their hook. They likely put them there because perhaps the child needs more discipline,respect, selfcontrol, or patience, or a rolemodel to look up to.
Im not saying those are the only reasons a student joins but a a large portion do.I was one of those kids.

If you are ina teachingposition, you are a rolemodel whether you choose to be or not.
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#435264 - 05/31/12 03:19 PM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Chen Zen]
Zach_Zinn Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
I think it's not about "fortune cookie wisdom" or any of that..it's a simple thing.

If you teach people things that our potentially dangerous to themselves or others, you have a responsibility to vet the people somewhat, and to at least make sure there is a very basic code of conduct going along with the training IMO.

You don't need to try to actively convert people to any kind of philosophy etc...but I think we do need to make sure the people we are teaching are getting all the caveats that go along with stuff, for instance if someone teaches people to spar or train with stuff like kicking a downed opponent, we'd better be damn sure to include not only some basic ethics there, but the bare bones understanding of the legal possibilities of a thing like that as well.

If that isn't happening, IMO bad news - people always have less common sense than we think.

It's worth noting, there is plenty of both TMA and MMA that is probably deficient with stuff like this, in fact i'd wager the majority of publicly available training is. It's easier to put out a bunch of platitudes about building character and such..so that's usually what you see.


Edited by Zach_Zinn (05/31/12 04:09 PM)

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#435265 - 05/31/12 04:12 PM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Zach_Zinn]
gojuman59 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 223
Loc: Missouri
I agree Zach. One shouldn't just teach sometimes brutal techniques and then not shoulder some responsibility should they be misused by the student. I'm not saying that the charactor of the student has to be sterling, but thugs need not join either. Have seen people join in the past who only wanted to learn to **** people up as they put it. Usually they don't have the disipline to stick around anyway. These types should just keep on walking to the local Mcdojo who will meet them with open arms.

Mark

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#435266 - 05/31/12 05:15 PM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: gojuman59]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2572

Couldn't the whole "ethical teachings" some martial arts schools offer muddy the water a bit? Could a student hold back from using their training when they actually need to use it because "Sensei told me not to" or "I must follow the way of the warrior and refrain from violence". Couldn't the whole dynamic of telling your students when to use their training/when not to use their training inhibit your students ability to think for themselves?

Personally speaking as an adult, I'd be highly alarmed if a person I was training with was getting their information on what was right and wrong from a guy with fancy pyjamas and a black belt, or some guy wearing a Tap Out rash guard. Adults should have enough about themselves to know right from wrong without being told. And as for kids, surely Ma and Pa should be helping them calibrate their moral compass, not someone, as Cord said, they see a couple of hours a week in a martial arts class.
_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#435267 - 05/31/12 06:01 PM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Prizewriter]
gojuman59 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 223
Loc: Missouri
You make good points prizewriter. I guess I just see it in another light. We don't train children in our class, so it gives a different perspective on this topic. My instructor is my friend, but there isn't any hero worship going on. We train hard but don't just beat each other senseless in the name of training.
I guess I do have trouble with the notion of children training to fight without any ethical teaching. They need more than a set of techniques. They need examples.


Mark

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#435268 - 05/31/12 07:46 PM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Prizewriter]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
Originally Posted By: Prizewriter

Couldn't the whole "ethical teachings" some martial arts schools offer muddy the water a bit? Could a student hold back from using their training when they actually need to use it because "Sensei told me not to" or "I must follow the way of the warrior and refrain from violence". Couldn't the whole dynamic of telling your students when to use their training/when not to use their training inhibit your students ability to think for themselves?

Personally speaking as an adult, I'd be highly alarmed if a person I was training with was getting their information on what was right and wrong from a guy with fancy pyjamas and a black belt, or some guy wearing a Tap Out rash guard. Adults should have enough about themselves to know right from wrong without being told. And as for kids, surely Ma and Pa should be helping them calibrate their moral compass, not someone, as Cord said, they see a couple of hours a week in a martial arts class.


Im not sure I agree with that.At least not all of it. I understand your feelings towards adults,and agree with it,but not when your talking about children.Your teaching them violence,and something should be in place to counteract that to some degree.
Im not saying as an instructor that you're their ultimate life coach but a person needs to know what they are doing to another human being when they perform the actions that YOU TAUGHT them. Just like training a dog, you might teach him to growl and attack,but you teach him not to bite you or your loved ones as well.

As for your opening statements about clouding the minds of students,I dont buy it. If you are teaching a student how to handle themselves in an appropriate manner,and how to appropriately defend themselves, then you have taught them the difference between being a bully and self defense.
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#435269 - 05/31/12 08:48 PM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Chen Zen]
Zach_Zinn Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
Most adults don't know much about violence either, it's not like the majority of adult dojo shoppers are clued in about this stuff magically by no longer being kids.

For better or worse, people who come to martial arts classes expect something like "self defense"..though they generally have little idea what that entails. Someone who teaches that kind of class is also somewhat responsible for covering the legal and ethical sides of self defense stuff IMO, not just the physical acts.

That's what it should be - coverage of all the stuff surrounding violence that isn't just the physical stuff...i'd argue that in fact for people seeking self defense, the vast majority will benefit more from that kind of knowledge than the physical stuff alone.


Edited by Zach_Zinn (05/31/12 08:49 PM)

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#435270 - 05/31/12 09:07 PM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Prizewriter]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
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Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Interesting points, Prize. I agree that people probably should have *some* idea of right and wrong before stepping into a martial arts school, and it isn't the teacher's responsibility to instill those virtues. However, teachers do have influence, and that influence can help steer people into a path of self-enlightenment. I was amazed to find that kind and honest people could be KICK-ASS like the baddest thugs. It gave me strength to stop being a lying, sniveling douche. Well....mostly, LOL.

It takes some on the instructors part, and it takes some on the student's part.
_________________________
"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

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#435273 - 06/01/12 05:39 AM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: MattJ]
duanew Offline
Member

Registered: 06/28/08
Posts: 326
Loc: MN
Pick your school carefully.
Pick your instructor carefully.
Pick your students carefully.
Pick your friends carefully.
You are stuck with your relatives.
You are judged and influenced by the company you keep.
Your students will be effected by you by what and how you teach.
Your school will take on the personality that you allow it to.
The schools personality will effect the student.
The amount of the effect will be differant in each person based on who they are.
Mr. Miyagi vs the Cobra Kai for a Hollywood example.
Whether you stand up and preach or you lead by example or a little of both you influence.
You will change a few lives but not all.
I have had students change their lives around, I have had students who have been arrested and I have arrested some of my former students.
Teach the ones you can teach, reach the ones you can reach but you won't get them all.
THAT'S not your job.
_________________________
Duane

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#435276 - 06/01/12 10:25 AM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: duanew]
Dobbersky Offline
Peace Works!!!!
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 892
Loc: Manchester United Kingdom
Agreed Dwanew-san

I've seen some clubs/schools/gyms/dojos in my time and they vary from
Cobrakai - so full of ego you can smell the testosterone, and that's just the kid's class!!!!

Then you got the bottom level

The McDojo - a school which is a mix 'n' match but no lineage, no history claming to be Freestyle effective non-contact karate-jujitsu-whaever the market is pointing to these days style.

I got myself a small school, I'm a Mr Miyagi, no egos, just training for the love of it. Its Karate, not jujitsu or kenpo or anything else and that's it with lineage to Japan/Korea (although I have got a offshot (Black Tiger Street Boxing) which is still being sorted)

One thing that truly disappoints me is that I've met a few Hanshi level Martial artists and they were so full of their own stuff etc, but being a good martial artist DOESN'T automatically make you a nice person! Its made a point that I refuse to be called anything more than Sensei, because if I have to behave like that as a Shihan etc, I'm sorry but you can keep the title!

OSU!!!
_________________________
A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.

Ken

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#435292 - 06/12/12 02:19 AM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Dobbersky]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
I don't know what I could teach anyone about virture or character. I think that the teacher student relationship is much like any other relationship. In relationship we have the opportunity to help each other see ourselves and the world as it is and as we are. Each of us has different life experiences, levels of willingness and capability to bear the truth. Training of any kind (martial or not) can help us to become courageous enough to speak the truth with compassion and strong enough to recieve the truth without being crushed. We can create an ideal or set of virtures (martial/secular/religious)to adhear to. We can even convince ourselves that we have become successful in achieving the standards we set, only to fall prey to our own arrogance. All of us, TMA or MMA, the debauched and the noble, in course ways or refined ways seek our own self interest first. In that we are the same.
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#435293 - 06/12/12 10:35 AM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: oldman]
cxt Offline
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Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5811
Loc: USA
Oldman

Well put.
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#435294 - 06/12/12 03:04 PM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Chen Zen]
Ironfoot Offline
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Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 2682
Loc: St. Clair Shores, MI USA
My sensei's attitude was that he didn't teach values, but he refused to teach someone without good ones. Personally, I try to straighten people out.
_________________________

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#435296 - 06/14/12 07:55 AM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: oldman]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
Oldman,

Hello Old friend, Id wondered if id get a chance to speak with you again. Based upon our past conversations, public and private, Id say that you are wrong, on at least one count.

You say you dont know what you could teach about virtue or character but I would say that you are quiet the virtuous character indeed. You have handed down words of wisdom to many here,myself included. Glad to see you

CZ
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#435298 - 06/15/12 08:43 AM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Chen Zen]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
A "character" for sure. My exercise of virtue is much like my martial arts... mostly theoretical and apt to crumble when facing a resisting opponent. wink
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www.prairiemartialarts.com

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#435299 - 06/15/12 12:02 PM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: oldman]
Chen Zen Offline
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The thread has brought about a new question for me. If these things arent to be taught, if we are to assume that these things are simply issues for the individual to explore, then how do we feel about said student using his skills in a less than honorable manner?

If you have prior knowledge of this do we teach anyway? Knowing that johhny wants revenge against the man who raped his sister, for example or perhaps he plansto use this knowledge to rob or hurt people himself. If we have prior knowledgedo we teach and if we dont haveprior knowledge, do we stop when we learn of these things or try to prevent them in the first place?
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"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#435300 - 06/15/12 12:03 PM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Chen Zen]
Chen Zen Offline
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Tried to send you a message Oldman but your box is too full.
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"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
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#435301 - 06/15/12 02:48 PM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Chen Zen]
cxt Offline
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Chen Zen

re: post # 435299

Sometimes I think that is exactly why the old timers were so adament about not teaching people with "poor character"--whatever that term might mean to whomever is teaching.

I imagine that we have all seen that rather than the martial arts creating "better people"--which for some it certainly does--BUT for others it just makes them tougher, stronger, better trained bullies and ego-monsters.

Maybe they knew the chances of really changing people were really pretty small and they tried the best they could to keep their teachings from the ones they thought they could not help.

In your example--back in the day "revenge" might well have been seen a "proper" motive with much support from socitey at large (depending of course on region, time period, culture etc.)

I've often though that one of the reasons the really dangerous stuff takes so long to get to in many traditional systems is that the teachers want to have the chance to CLOSELY observe their students for a period of years to determine exactly whom they were teaching.

IMO its not that "traditional" systems "take too long" its that many of them are using a very different approach in what they teach and to whom.

There are of course any number of people that abuse it and simply want to string the paying customer along for as long as possible--or worse.

And for the "masters" that abuse and take advantage of their students---well now we are back to square one in terms of martial arts as "character development." frown
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I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#435303 - 06/15/12 11:38 PM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Chen Zen]
hope Offline
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Originally Posted By: Chen Zen
Knowing that johhny wants revenge against the man who raped his sister, for example or perhaps he plans to use this knowledge to rob or hurt people himself. If we have prior knowledge do we teach and if we don't have prior knowledge, do we stop when we learn of these things or try to prevent them in the first place?


As responsible people, I assume we'd call police if we had evidence of violent crimes or threats to commit them. IMHO, we should also avoid training people (providing the tools) to accomplish those plans. If a student in this situation was a longtime member of a dojo, I assume an instructor would wish to discuss with the student why s/he was being excluded. Would this hold in other readers' dojos?
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#435304 - 06/16/12 02:38 AM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: hope]
Chen Zen Offline
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Ah but by then couldnt that be considered "too little too late"? After all isnt prevention always best?
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"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#435314 - 06/20/12 07:45 PM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Chen Zen]
Ronin1966 Offline
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Hello Chen Zen:

Some day perhaps we shall be able to meet and have a soda, some tea, discuss these things in person! grin

===============================
DIGNITY, maturity, humility... fundamental qualities entirely absent, non existent from most TV presentations: American football, TV wrestling, MMA...

The ability to hurt, be hurt is something that all of them possess. Hurting is the lowest, simplest skill. There is no evidence of any emotional maturity, or simple humility which makes the ART component of any true martial arts practice in any of those activities. The emotional control is core to serious traditional practice.

The ability to hurt someone any three year old child can do quite easily with the right circumstances. MMA are simply older, wearing childish billboards, pompous tattoos....
Can they hurt me... probably. Would I ever have a single one to a family dinner... not likely.

Getting hurt is really easy. Learning to do it easier. But having the mental self control, the emotional maturity to remain in control of yourself. Be conscious about your abilities, your weaknesses that requires a long time, and daily practice to explore deeply.

Doing something that is not easy, or that you already can do, and still want to improve the skill/technique... still are interested in looking closer day after day.... these are traditional qualities.

I do not care if "you" (generic) win. How you conduct yourself during/after the combat for me is far more important. Pumping your arm, jumping up and down, dancing like an imbecile is all pure spectacle. If that is how they act, whatever the activity it is not something I ever want to witness.

It is undignified and fundamentally pathetic...
Jeff



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#435315 - 06/20/12 08:52 PM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Chen Zen]
Ronin1966 Offline
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Hello Chen Zen:

How are these things taught... to know HOW to drive a car, takes only a few minutes. To have serious skill at it takes far, far more time, TMA are identical in that manner.

Learning the nuances, the subtleties how to handle the different class personalities,intensities as training partners demands the most time you can give the activity. Done only once in a while, you will not understand how to cope too easily. You will use an impulsive unconscious responses, rather than technical ones, active choices.

Given enough time, given enough partners, we look at ourselves, our weaknesses and make a basic choice. Stay or leave. Every time we do return, we've made that basic choice. We may get shown a weakness(es) about ourselves, by someone smarter, faster, far more skilled than us on some level. With a decent teacher (positive/healthy motives), good classmates our excuses, our emotional disconnects, get uncovered, revealed. The basic reason (pick one...) I cannot X is not because of my age, but because I'm too concerned about winning, and if I am not once I realize it, I hesitate, pause, get mad, and then get slaughtered because I take my mind off the fight angry about the perception "not winning" in that second.

Helping someone figure out their head space as relates to practice combat is one of the reasons this stuff is a lifetime thing IMHV. Figuring things out takes an insane amount of time and energy. Don't need to know my childhood history, my dreams only that the way my mind processes things, the way my body reacts because of how we process, think, react... improving that, changing it, exploring it needs time.

If you teach me how to kick, and I used the technique on my dog, is that YOUR fault, I did so? I do not believe so beyond a small point. If you learn I did something wrong with what you taught me... if I want more instruction from you, IMHV you are required to point out, if I wish to continue then I must not do X ever again.... for stopping myself, changing what you ask you will then continue my instruction, improve my skills.

If we teach someone to hurt another person, and they do so with no thought... we bear some burden. As the original source of their information, their technical understanding/ability I feel some responsibility for the outcome.

If you are dangerous to your training partners. You cannot stay. If you are dangerous to other people, stupid how/when you use our techniques.. a judgement is necessary. Can you alter my path, change the direction which I intended to use this knowledge originally... hopefully.

Uncovering the stuff, the hidden truths below the surface for everybody time is necessary. Why are you here... being abused? Are an abuser? Want to build emotional confidence for/against something you believe/perceive?

Not simple things to discover. Can I use knowledge badly, sure. The trick is not to do so more than once >: > ! If that once does occur, why did it happen? Should it not have occurred? Should it have been entirely, completely avoidable?

Being a decent teacher is more than teaching the physical part. When , why, how are far harder things to learn...

Jeff

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#435324 - 06/23/12 12:41 AM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Ronin1966]
Chen Zen Offline
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You bring the tea,Ill bring the soda,and we can chat for days my friend.Two excellent posts that mirror my own sentiments.
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#435327 - 06/23/12 08:24 AM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Ronin1966]
MattJ Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ronin1966
DIGNITY, maturity, humility... fundamental qualities entirely absent, non existent from most TV presentations: American football, TV wrestling, MMA...

The ability to hurt, be hurt is something that all of them possess. Hurting is the lowest, simplest skill. There is no evidence of any emotional maturity, or simple humility which makes the ART component of any true martial arts practice in any of those activities. The emotional control is core to serious traditional practice.


Hmmmm. Not sure if serious......?
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"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

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#435473 - 09/23/12 11:17 AM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: MattJ]
Ronin1966 Offline
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Hwllo MattJ:

Forgive me, had zero time to contribute even a single syllable lately. Trying to survive...

<<Hmmmm. Not sure if serious......?

Dead serious my friend. Which aspect do you disagree with? What sentiment would you explore?

Jeff

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#435476 - 09/24/12 04:59 PM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Ronin1966]
MattJ Offline
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You can't really think that things like dignity, maturity and humility are absent from MMA practice (much less football), do you? Surely, there are plenty of knuckleheads in MMA - but there are just as many in TMA. To train MMA or BJJ requires lots of humility, since you will certainly run across people better than yourself on a regular basis.
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"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

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#435490 - 10/02/12 04:09 PM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: MattJ]
Ronin1966 Offline
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Registered: 04/26/02
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Hello MattJ:

<<You can't really think that things like dignity, maturity and humility are absent from MMA practice

With regret and profound respect I am afraid I do. crazy
Fundamentally I propose that martial arts practice, study are not supposed to be "megaphones"... never intended as "specticle".

MMA costumes cannot be dignified (I use the term costumes specifically). There isn't that much blessed advertising on the entire Los Vegas Strip as there is on their crotch, groin, rear-end! There is nothing dignified in their costumes on any conceivable level.

TMA knuckleheads likewisee easily identified... they too wear the noxious "blinking billboards", patches, stripes, colors. Surely not the sole indicator but a pretty good warning of a serious potential lack.

I offer that uniforms of martial arts are not for the purpose of advertising or drawing attention. Functional yes with a side-order of anthropology (ie original cultural context). But martial arts should not fundamentally be about advertising...

Those who wiggle, dance, shimmy, climbing the ring fencing, performing backflips, pumping their arms jumping up and down proclaiming their "prowess" with the injured body of their opponent still laying at their feet...

Classic demonstrations of the same toxic masturbations. Dignified, mature, humble... which quality does such offensive behaviors demonstrate to you?

At the core they are blatent specticles... How about a little dignity boys crazy?

=================
Does that explain my basic perspective better?

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#435495 - 10/02/12 07:39 PM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Ronin1966]
Matakiant Offline
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Registered: 02/08/11
Posts: 114
And just as that there are also many MMA/other sport fighters who do not perform the backflips or throw their arms up in the air until at all or until they at least confirm their opponent is not seriously injured.

Though I do agree that the more money making gets involved the less important values become in the MA.

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#435498 - 10/07/12 11:44 AM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Matakiant]
MattJ Offline
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With all due respect Ronin, you are making the mistake of tarring all MMA practitioners for the sins of the few, which, as you noted, also occurs in TMA - check any local karate tournament if you disagree. The vast majority of MMA practitioners and instructors are indeed humble and respectful, the very same qualities edified in any other legit martial arts practice. As far as martial arts not being a spectacle, I will leave you to discuss that with Kano, Oshima, Jhoon Rhee, Bruce Lee, and many others more qualified that I. smile
_________________________
"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

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#435499 - 10/08/12 02:10 AM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: MattJ]
Zach_Zinn Offline
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Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
Originally Posted By: MattJ
With all due respect Ronin, you are making the mistake of tarring all MMA practitioners for the sins of the few, which, as you noted, also occurs in TMA - check any local karate tournament if you disagree. The vast majority of MMA practitioners and instructors are indeed humble and respectful, the very same qualities edified in any other legit martial arts practice. As far as martial arts not being a spectacle, I will leave you to discuss that with Kano, Oshima, Jhoon Rhee, Bruce Lee, and many others more qualified that I. smile


In a general sense Matt I think you are correct.

However TMA doesn't have televised events that have quickly degenerated into WWE -style behavior in some cases. Well ok, bit of an exaggeration maybe, but I have to agree with Ronin that mainstream competitive MMA eventsdon't have much of an upside in terms of character, certainly not in any way that would matter - such as positive role models for kids or whatever.

Not saying that's anyone's job as martial artists, or martial arts teachers - just saying there's almost zero of that kind of thing in the culture that is presented in televised MMA events. I realize this is no way reflects what most practitioners or athletes are like, but it IS the public face of the phenomenon, and that counts somewhat IMO.

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#435547 - 11/04/12 01:41 PM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: MattJ]
Ronin1966 Offline
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Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
hello MattJ

Nice to be able to type without those pesky icicles getting in the way wink

<<you are making the mistake of tarring all MMA practitioners for the sins of the few

And I accept, surely there must be one(s) somewhere... I have yet to see them on the TV specticle pretending to be martial arts. The blatent clear majority by their own ridicilous actions are not when in front of a camera. Are they performing for the camera, I think not.

<<any local karate tournament if you disagree.

Can you find me one without a musical division?
One without a dozen divisions under the age of 10 years old? How bout one or two which at the end have some food together afterwards, while cleaning up the space we used?

I dont disagree that what is passing as "martial" too often misses the boat entirely. I contend that mere technique is not remotely sufficent.

<<I will leave you to discuss that with Kano, Oshima, Jhoon Rhee, Bruce Lee, and many others more qualified

So I ask then how do you address Chen Zen's original question(s)? Do you disagree with the perspective there seems to be very little public presentation of such qualities?

I stand respectfully by my earlier sentiments, too little is seen, and as a general rule the MMA presentation offends me severely. I will watch them at times, but have no respect for their presentation. In front of a camera or not, should be the same thing.

Silent, respectful, dignified, humble, intelligent... would LOVE to see far more!

Jeff

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