Why do so many Westerners have a "Paris Syndrome" to style's origin country (often laser focused)?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Bullsherdog, Dec 26, 2019.

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  1. Rat

    Rat 3rd Black Belt

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    not nessisarily replying specfically here. but there are some styles that havent made it intertnationally, that are only present in any meaningful number in their home country, or X countries. So if you want to learn them you either have to host somone from there or go there. and you generally adopt some customs etc from the place you are living in its semi unstoppable.

    There are a few japanese fighting styles i know of that are only really of any significance in japan and are very rare outside it, or rarer while being slightly less in it. Plus you generally learn about your own nations history primarily in school, which would lead people to try and reserect styles etc of their homeland being from it.
     
  2. Gweilo

    Gweilo 2nd Black Belt

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    Speaking from experience, when I was in my mid 20's, I went to Korea to train in Hapkido for 6 months, at the time, I did beleive, all the best teachers were there, when I got there I met a great teacher, and had an excellent experience, after this I learnt that all the most senior Hapkidoist had moved to the USA, so travelled to the US several times for seminars, and 1 or 2 weeks training as a guest. It was not an idioism of mystic teachers in the land of origin, it was a desire to learn from some of the best, I did not beleive that everyone in Korea trained all day every day (although I pretty much did train all the time I was there), and had a higher understanding of the art, just a desire to learn, no disrespect from the teachers on my country, but at this time, access to top instructors was very limited. Had I known at the time, what I now know, I would have gone to the US for 6 months, but I do not regret my time spent in Korea, and the kim chi is great in both places.
     
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  3. Martial D

    Martial D Senior Master

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    You know, this isn't quora. You don't actually get paid to post random uninformed clickbait questions here

    Just thought you should know.
     
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  4. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Drat! You are on to me!
     
  5. Bullsherdog

    Bullsherdog Yellow Belt

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    Almost everyone else has avoided the main topic and your post is precisely what I was commenting on in my topic. Lets just concentrate on Korea for now .Almost every Americans who are big into TKD (but still only have a superficial understanding of the art) I know often keep saying they wish to go to Korea because they want to become top level of martial artists and they have this perception hardcore training is common in every town in Korea has a Dojang doing brutal bone breaking training. Most of them do not know anything about Korea, not even having tasted daily Korean staples like Kim Chi or knowing what Korean TV show is the most viewed right now. Some of them don't even know Korean American trends such as actors Steve Yuen and John Cho or TV shows showcasing Korean American life played by American Korean actors and such. Their view of Korea is almost solely on TKD and perhaps other martial arts.

    Now a more personal example, Thailand in recent years suffers this trend. So much for year I wanted to move to Thailand to become champion level MT fighters so I was surprised myself when a new gym was propped up by run by a former pro MT fighter from Thailand and mostly having Thai immigrants as gym staff and janitors, etc. I was pretty taken back by how they insisted on sparring with padded knees and elbows and they laughed when I asked. The former pro himself told me my reaction is typical of Americans who visit Thailand because they want to partake in hardcore training only to discover notonly is MT gyms not as common as they'd expect but most gyms aren't necessarily bone breaking, many even only practise point sparring or fighting with pads ( even with full body armor in some) to prevent injuries and for the safety of gym members.He ended with a chuckle saying most American visitors are better off seeking a Western MMA trainer if they want to learn hardcore MT since most MT gyms and clubs in Thailand are just clubs and the hardcore ones are not only extremely expensive they usually require "rising through the ranks" for years before a new member is even taught the pro level MT stuff.

    Practically every new martial art trends has this similar experiences. I know old white kung fu masters who tell me their first timein China was disappointing because a lot of the Kung Fu teachers-even in the fancy temples and school-only taught them simple punches rather than fancy flowery movement and kicks and other advanced techniques. It wasonly after they learned "boring" straight punches that they finally were slowly taught more techniques (but still boring) such as simple stomp kicks to stomach and leg, backfists, etc. It would take them years they tell me while in China before the masters would start teach them the typical flowery arm motions and the Chinese masters told them the boring simple stuff like straight right punch was needed to be mastered before they can even be effective at kicks. These now master ranked white practitioners tell me the amount of disappointment the few trips to China.

    Thats the point of my post. The assumptions of Westerners that all schools are hardcore in the East and more importantly how they view the culture through ADHD lenses of only related to martial arts. I for example never was interested in Thai cuisine and only cared about MT until one day one of the gym members brough thome food cooked by his wife. Literally fell in love with Thai food and now I'm far more interested in Thai cuisine than MT. As well as Thai movies and other parts of Thai culture.

    Excepting Japan (with its famed anime and manga along with video game industry), most Western martial artists I know are quite pig ignorant of what people in these foreign countries actually are into. Too many Silat practitioners from Europe don't know about ikan bakar and other Indonesian food, too many people interested in Indian martial arts don'tknow anything else about India such as Bollywood aside from maybe Yoga and Gandhi.

    Its like many Western practitioners only expect martial arts and are ignorant of basic mannerisms, popular music, etc of the Asian countries these styles originated from except maybe Japan (thanks to anime/manga and video games).
     
  6. Bullsherdog

    Bullsherdog Yellow Belt

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    It already happens as far as the West is concerned. Paris Syndrome anybody?
     
  7. BrendanF

    BrendanF Green Belt

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    No, no one else has 'avoided the main topic' of your post - disagreeing with you is not the same thing.

    I answered you directly and you avoided my reply. Idiots associate with idiots, so what can one expect?
     
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  8. Rusty B

    Rusty B Green Belt

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    This makes zero sense.
     
  9. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    There's a bit of irony here, that it seems you have a bit of Paris Syndrome about what this forum is.
     
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  10. Gweilo

    Gweilo 2nd Black Belt

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    I think maybe for yoyrself, you over thought the whole experience, maybe what you expected to receive in the training, did not meet your expectations, of course if you go to a quality instructor their job is to make sure you have the fundamental basics correct, I can remember spending days on rolling, breakfalls, I can also remember a certain technique, I thought, and had been told before, I was good at, the Korean teacher told me no, do it again, about 50 or so times, after the session I asked what I was doing wrong, he replied nothing, I just wanted to see if you could execute it under pressure, but this is what I went for, not the food, or the tv programs, or the pop music.these were experiences for rest time, if you had the energy. My over all experience was get the basics mastered, and the rest is an option.
     
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  11. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Wait a second here... you mean every single MA club/school/whatever doesn’t go full beast mode all day, everyday? You mean to tell me every Asian MAist doesn’t train all day, everyday? MA training isn’t the only thing they live for?

    I’m not going to meet a secret pack of ninjas in Japan and become one of them? I’m not going to go through that walk down the hallway in a Shaolin Monastery while fighting my way through it, and in the end lift the scorching hot cauldron that brands a dragon on one of my forearms and a tiger on the other, thereby making my badassness official?

    So they’re basically like us - some people train in their free time, some like to train just for the sake of training, some train harder than others, and some run schools either as part time gigs or full time jobs. Most people don’t train at all. Who would’ve thunk it?

    I guess I’m one of those “stupid Americans” who believes everything I see in movies. I’m so glad you came here to set the record straight. You saved me a lot of money, and more importantly a ton of heartache. I wasn’t sure if I should’ve gone to the Shaolin monastery, Muay Thai teacher deep in the jungle, ninja camp in the mountains, or the Mr. Miyagi like backyard dojo first. I planned on all of them and was just getting ready to make travel arrangements. Now what am I supposed to do? Stay home, work and support my wife and kids? F that! There’s a guy in Albuquerque who’s teaching this style of fighting that has the best of every martial art, and the worst of none.

    Gotta run. My bags aren’t going to pack themselves. Then again, all I need is my gi and some underwear, so it won’t take long.
     
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  12. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    The Shaolin monastery is probably a good example as I think it is basically a tourist trap these days.

    We force other cultures to be like us so we can better experience them?

    Anecdotally I think Ninjitsu for example is chock full of white guys.

    Join the Shidoshi on his annual Japan Ninjutsu Training Trip with the Masters!

    Get the authentic ninja experience?


    Because I thought the black pajamas was a movie thing.

    And so people become heavily invested in the caricature of Japanese culture rather than Japanese culture.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2019
  13. Rusty B

    Rusty B Green Belt

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    It is. The origin of those "black pajamas?" Prior to modern theater technology, Japanese theater didn't use curtains between acts. They simply darkened the stage, and had guys wearing these "black pajamas" to rearrange the props. The audience could still see this happening.

    "Ninjas" wearing "black pajamas" actually started out as a joke during plays in the late 19th century when they had "ninjas" pretend to attack the stage crew while they were moving the props.
     
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  14. Gweilo

    Gweilo 2nd Black Belt

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    didninjawearblack1.jpg didninjawearblack1.jpg
    I dont think this is accurate, as most of the time the ninja would wear ordinary clothes, to blend in, the black pjamas as you put it would have been used as camoflauge for night missions, where intelligance gathering and assasinations took place. The truth is when it actually started we dont kniow, but to put the theartre story to bed, here is a picture of a drawing of a ninja didninjawearblack1.jpg from a Japanese museum dated 1817.
     
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  15. Gweilo

    Gweilo 2nd Black Belt

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    Dont know what happened there
     
  16. Rusty B

    Rusty B Green Belt

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  17. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Oh let's not.

    This is you assuming you know what all 'Westerners' assume isn't.




    Oh gosh how frightfully about you this whole thread is, it's actually you lecturing, hectoring and telling us how awful we all are while you are the epitome of the perfect martial artist. I love that you come on here without knowing squat about anyone who posts here and what they do or know, I must reiterate you really are on the wrong site if all you want to do is bad mouth martial artists.

    Btw if you want a cross culture experience try training TKD with the Gurkhas.
     
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  18. Rusty B

    Rusty B Green Belt

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    Come to think of it... I don't think it's limited to the Far East.

    I mentioned earlier in this threat that as a child, I literally thought that China was a place where "everybody is kung fu fighting."

    Hell, around that time, I thought that if you went to Ireland, you'd see nothing but a bunch of drunks fighting each other.
     
  19. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Really? I was taught geography at school, and it's part of the national curriculum here and in Europe. We'd learn about other cultures in primary school ie from age four and half. Ireland was never about drunks fighting for us but of bombs, shootings and terrorism which has stopped to a certain extent but still happens.
     
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  20. Rusty B

    Rusty B Green Belt

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    On your side of the pond, it's going to be way different due to the geographical proximity between the UK and Ireland... and the intimate history between the two countries.

    We're aware of the Troubles here as well, but the Troubles haven't defined the American perception of Ireland the way it may have for Brits.123
     
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