Who wants to fight?

Martial artists are a demographic replete with douchebags, right? I mean, who wants to spend their free time learning how to efficiently beat people senseless? Douchebags, that’s who.

Yes, most martial artists are assholes. But that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily terrible to associate with them. You just have to make sure you don’t become a jerk yourself. And that’s tough, because you’re studying martial arts so there’s a good chance you’re already in that 95% demographic of people practicing who are jerks. Ah…but isn’t this the case with everything? It’s just scarier when it’s a mean, bullying Aikido-shihan-tulku, am I right?

A good martial artist (and teacher) should be able to isolate and/or incubate the asshole element prevalent in every group of annoying tough guys or macho romantics. Macho tough-guy bullshit is a character flaw that arises out of ignorance as to the nature of proficiency in survival technique and ability. And it’s some weak emotional self-involved fear of weakness, impermanence (which is inevitable, oh snap!) and repressed homo-eroticism.

Now, firstly – violence is bad. And people often romanticize about the good old days when martial arts schools were really proficient and legendary. But this kind of ability just arises out of necessity because of the common violence of the time. Which is to say, people will always adapt and develop proficient methods of survival inside and outside of society. Living in constant fear of day-to-day violence is a pretty shitty situation, and those are the parameters that create skilled fighters. Paradoxically, when life is dangerous is when people are most “alive”.

The fundamental motivator for learning martial arts is usually this: in life and society, many people are assholes and will try to fuck with you incessantly or try to humiliate you (hell, you’re probably doing it to them!). You try to stay out of the way of the serious jerks who run the world and drive aggressively and think they’re important, and if all that fails and you find that someone still is trying to hurt you (after making yourself out to not be a target or a threat, and trying to walk away) you might need the ability to defend yourself.

But you know what? Chances are, you won’t get attacked walking in the street at night. And yet the chances are still good that you’ll get done over by some portion of society. Hell, to me, the scariest people are lawyers or doctors who carry guns. You know what I mean? Those guys are the real macho tough-guys to watch out for.

Don’t worry. One day we won’t need fighting techniques to defend ourselves. Actually, scratch that… you don’t need them now!

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4 Responses to “Who wants to fight?”

  1. parallelsidewalk Says:

    Very good post. I’ve spent most of my adult life training in some martial art or another, and yeah, a very large percentage of people who do them are cocks ( I don’t know if I’d say 95%, but I don’t know if I wouldn’t). It does vary somewhat depending on what you train; internal Chinese stuff attracts a much mellower, more balanced crowd than say, Brazilian Jijitsu or Capoeira, though the former brings in the occasional moron who thinks he’ll learn to throw people without touching them by manipulating their qi (those people usually get frustrated and leave quickly anyway). I think a lot of people train because they’ve seen too many movies, and think that a few weeks in a dojo will show them how to kick the ass of the next Hells Angel who looks at them funny. Trouble is, that Hells Angel has never taken a day of Karate, but he’s had a whole life of Ka-ray-zay, and he’s gonna fuck you up before you even hit fighting stance (which generally you don’t do in a real fight anyway).

    To be fair, I have been attacked walking down the street, more than once in fact, and had to intervene when others were, but I’ve lived in a lot of bad areas.

  2. wizardsmoke Says:

    What’s your area of expertise?

  3. parallelsidewalk Says:

    I don’t really have one, I trained the longest in Capoeira, but most of my training in the past few years has been Aikido or Bagua/TaiJi/HsingI.

  4. wizardsmoke Says:

    Ah that good stuff, eh? I think I can relate. I’ve gone: Karate–>Judo–>Taiji

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