Permission

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by jks9199, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    I don't at all claim this to be original; take a look at Rory Miller's blog and book. That's what got me thinking.

    First... Permission is a really powerful idea -- and really simple. Many of us seem to need to be given permission to do lots of things; meet a stranger, use force to protect ourselves, be better than our teachers... The list is kind of endless. Lots of things have conspired to create this perception, like societal conditioning (good people don't hit, nice people wait to be invited, etc.) and outright prohibitions (GOs that say you cannot use a particular tactic, or laws against assault & battery). Not all cases of this are negative... but how many times do we bog ourselves down in our training or in what we do because we are waiting for someone to say it's OK?

    Rory describes an training exercise, where students are told the goal is simply to escape if an attack occurs. One person in the group is the designated attacker, and the set up is a receiving line. As they pass by, the designated attacker attacks... And, typically, he says, when the attack materializes you get all sorts of responses. People running for corners, people fighting back... What he hardly ever sees (and I've tried it myself, and agree!) is someone simply making a beeline for the door... Because nobody explicitly said that it was OK to run out the door! Or running for a phone to call 911...

    A more insidious case of permission... We all hear stories about how great our teachers are. And how much better their teachers were. It would seem that each generation is getting worse and worse... rather than better and better as they stand on the shoulders of yesterday's giants. Why is that? How often is the reason simply that we haven't given ourselves permission to be as good -- or even better! -- than our teachers?

    Take a few minutes... Assess yourself. Where are you holding back because you've lacked permission to act? Give yourself the permission today to become better than you were yesterday. Give yourself permission to live... and to do what it takes to do so!
     
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  2. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Excellent post jks9199! Very thoughtful and provoking.

    The last point is interesting in that it is true that we always give our teachers and their teachers credit and I think this is really important! However when we look at the Martial Sciences in general I think it would be very, very hard to argue that we have quite a few more people practicing them now a days and that we have bigger, stronger, better athletically gifted people than ever before. The best time to practice the Martial Sciences is of course now with the increased diversity that is out there and the barriers that have been broken down. Having said all of that their are some people back in our past that I would dearly loved to have trained with. Like wise there are people in the future who I know I will enjoy their company as we work out and learn together!
     
  3. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

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    I'd rather ask for forgiveness than permission ;)
     
  4. terryl965

    terryl965 <center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR

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    Very interesting thread, need to take it all in. Carol brings up a great point though.
     
  5. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Easy to say.

    But examine your own actions. How well to do really live up to that idea?

    This is sneaky. Lots of times, this is going on invisibly; we wait for permission without really thinking about it. Or we don't do something because it's "cheating" or "not allowed." WHO SAID? Why do you need to be told it's OK to stand up for yourself or to do something that sounds interesting?

    I'm far from claiming that I've got a total handle on this in my own life; I can think of lots of times in the last few weeks alone that I've waited or held back -- or simply not given myself permission to do something. (Or not do it!)

    It's also insidious as a teacher: do you really give your students permission to exceed your skills? When you tell someone that they can't do a particular thing they've done, or a technique is wrong -- are you protecting them, or your ego? Questions to make you go h'mmm, as Arsenio Hall used to say.
     
  6. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

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    Meh. Easy to say. Easy to do, also.

    Of course, if one has an overbearing teacher and has gotten in to the habit of taking a rather submissive role, that could add a different dynamic.
     
  7. Guardian

    Guardian Black Belt

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    A very good post and I must say I like where it was taking me in my thoughts. I found myself thinking about why don't we believe that why our instructors/teachers of yesterday were darn good and theirs were darn good, but so are we, look what we've done, how far we've come, the advances we've made. We are pretty darn good in our own rights.

    Darn good post.:)
     
  8. Archangel M

    Archangel M Senior Master

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    I think much of this phenomena is simply not having a "plan". I don't know if it's as much about "permission" as it is simply never having thought about it. As serious martial arts students you should be running through "IF-THEN" scenarios at every opportunity you get.
     
  9. Bruno@MT

    Bruno@MT Senior Master

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    In all fairness, it depends on how much head start you have.
    I am all in favor of running, and indeed there have been instances in the past where I made my way out of somewhere as soon as I could after being confronted. But if someone is running at you with the intention to attack, and you still have to turn around, then turning around to run may open you up in a dangerous manner.

    This is normal.
    If our sensei are really good, they probably keep training and improving until the day they die. We know them for a long time, and for the entire period of time that we enjoy their teaching, they are way ahead of us. In the end, we may or may not surpass them, but that will probably not happen while they are alive + active. So we will never have memories of actually surpassing them.123
     

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