Question on martial artists

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Gweilo, Aug 23, 2019.

  1. Oni_Kadaki

    Oni_Kadaki Orange Belt

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    I take issue with this post for multiple reasons.

    First, needing to defend yourself is a low base rate occurrence for most people. So, by your definition, a Sensei who has trained for twenty years but never had occasion to defend him/herself, is not a true martial artist.

    Second, as someone who HAS used his martial arts training to defend himself, your logic leads to a slippery slope. I primarily used BJJ to stop my opponent, even though I'm actually not that good at BJJ and am much more comfortable with Karate and Aikido (caveat, I did have the opportunity to strike, but chose not to because I didn't want to hurt him). So, by your logic, am I neither a true Aikidoka or Karateka because I haven't used either in hand-to-hand combat? Does my Sensei not "know" a given technique unless he has applied it in real life? Where does the "used in real life" criterion end?
     
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  2. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    As much as some believe they have had "end all/be all" experiences regarding fighting, there is no absolute definition of what exactly the word fighting means. It has become a very, very general term. Clearly, personal experience and perspective influence its meaning for different people.
    For example, a new mother may say "my baby "fights" me every time I try to put a diaper on". Or a soldier who spend years in a war zone on the front lines may mention (probably not) that he fought in the war. There is truth in each statement as far as English language/grammar is concerned but the word fight in each sentence has a very different meaning.

    In the context of MA,s or sport fighting, even though they are close cousins the term fight takes on different meanings. You mentioned you practice TMA. Many will argue that has it's own meaning for the word fighting.

    So I have said a lot without really giving an answer to your post. My best suggestion is to try and be more specific about what you are asking. That can be hard early on in the MA journey but very eye opening. It is a good question.
     
  3. snake_monkey

    snake_monkey Orange Belt

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    Valid points, but without being specific I was referring to the term ‘fighter’ when used contextually as in the type of fighting which many associate with sport combat or mma and unregulated bouts outside the ring. Exceedingly difficult to discuss when taken out of context so I just try to keep it plain and simple. However I stand by my point - whether you are calling yourself a martial artist, fighter, or pretty much anything there must be some experience and proof to substantiate the claim or else it is just for appearances (which is not wrong, but is not backed by any substance to make it real). That is to say it’s not about appearance, it’s about experience.
     
  4. snake_monkey

    snake_monkey Orange Belt

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    My Sifu said he doesn’t fight. I hopefully don’t have to fight unless I have agreed consensually. I don’t spar or compete currently but call myself a traditional martial artist and a fighter. Different strokes for different folks I believe the saying goes.
     
  5. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    It's kind of like "never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience."

    I don't have the name to attribute it to (I remember content, not names) but I've always loved that quote.

    Like @gpseymour said, though, it's very easy to fall victim and let yourself be dragged down.
     
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  6. snake_monkey

    snake_monkey Orange Belt

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    'The Detective' answers this question...
    (thanks for the inspiration)

     
  7. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    It's a matter of opinion. The dictionary doesn't actually dictate definition - it follows common usage. And that common usage is not necessarily the common usage within a given population (they try to gather the most common uses, but will inevitably miss some).
     
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  8. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    Easy. A person that fights.
     
  9. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    If you don't fight, then you aren't a fighter. You can't be a swimmer unless you swim. You can't be a runner unless you run. It's just one of those things.

    There's a difference between knowing how to fight and being a fighter. Knowing how to fight requires less knowledge and effort than being a fighter.
     
  10. snake_monkey

    snake_monkey Orange Belt

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    This is an interesting discussion, as I was wondering if someone would pick up on this when I posted it. In any case, it doesn't actually come down to a hard 'yes' or 'no' answer - because most people don't actually want to fight very often. Additionally, I simply don't have any other players to tournaments that I currently associate within my area for competition sport, etc.

    I hope that gives you some perspective on my thoughts and situation, as it is different for everybody.
     
  11. Gweilo

    Gweilo Black Belt

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    Imo, you are not entirely correct, yes you become a police officer once you pass the test, once you attain a certain level, a hunter who has never made a kill, has only stalked. The martial art term, could be used in the same context, you train in Karate, when you start you are a practioner, when you grade or attain a certain level, you technically have proved you deserve that grade/qualification be it 9th kyu or 4th dan, police officer, hunter, electrician. Is a 14 year old child, a martial artist, once they have walked into a dojo and paid the fee? I personally beleive there has to be a level of comitment orr experience to call yourself a martial artist, but you are correct, it shouldn't matter to the individual.
     
  12. Gweilo

    Gweilo Black Belt

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    No offense taken, I started my post with IMO, which means in my opinion, and the statement about the 14 year old was a question, as a person whom likes to quote a dictionary, I presumed you knew what ? Meant.
     
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  13. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm not sure the last statement is true. "Fighter" doesn't mean someone wins - just that they fight. Being a bad fighter requires very little knowledge. :D
     
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  14. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    There are some who say the term "____ka" (Karateka, Aikidoka, etc.) is reserved for the folks who've attained a certain level (usually expressed either as BB or more vaguely as "experienced" or "competent"). I think that's the same idea you're talking about.
     
  15. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    You say "no offense", but you clearly refer to folks who make a different distinction than you as "cocky". Those are not in sync.
     
  16. Gweilo

    Gweilo Black Belt

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    It's not being cocky, I originally asked the question to find out what the general consensus was, I do not mock beginners, I would encourage anyone to try, or get more involved in to the art they train, in another post I mentioned someone I met in a motorway service station, who mentioned they were a martial artist, and had a combined experience of 4 or 5 months in 2 arts, I did not mock this person, but thought it a bit cheeky, knowing the amount of years of hard work and comitment myself and others put into their art and training. Yes, martial artist is a generic term, and means different things to different people, but do not assume others with an opinion that differs from yours, means they are being rude, or disingenuous, we should leave that sort of polarised view to the politians.
     
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  17. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    You can be a bad fighter in MMA but still be better trained than does who don't train to fight.
    A bad boxer would still be dangerous to most who don't box or spar.
     
  18. donald1

    donald1 Senior Master

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    This might offend some people (I hope not) but to me a term is a term. Just like a belt is a belt. I don't see reason to avoid the term. In a conversation it would kinda sound weird.
    Person a: are you a martial artist?
    Person b: no I just practice martial arts.
    Person a: yeah... a martial artist.
     
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  19. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    What's up with my typos
     
  20. Gweilo

    Gweilo Black Belt

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    I don't think there was anything offensive in that post, however, in real life, thetc conversation would have been:
    Person A: are you a martial artist?
    Person B : well I have been training in ?? For ?? Months/years.
    The problem is the term martial artist being generic, I am sure most of you have heard someone saying they are a martial artist, when asked, what martial art do you train in? They say oh, Karate or kung fu, what style of Karate? Oh Japanese style, which one, Shotokan?, Wade ryu etc? Oh sort of, it's a blend, at which point you know they are talking garbage. Anybody I have ever met, that has had any experience in a martial art, in conversation about martial arts disclose the facts as, I'm Karateka, or judoka, or they have x amount of years in ?? And/or x amount of years in 2+ arts. So in my experience if someone introduces the self as a martial artist, its usually followed by exaggeration or lies.
     
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