A thought about philosophy in the martial arts.

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PhotonGuy

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In MA training, if you have to force yourself, you will quite someday. You train MA because you enjoy of doing it. This way, when you are 80, you will still enjoy your MA training. You should not set any time limit for yourself.

When I was young, I committed myself to spend 10 years to develop my "head lock". Everyday I forced myself to hang on the pole for at least 1 hour everyday (break it apart in many sessions). Oneday I stopped watching the time. I just did it until I no longer enjoined of doing it. Today, I have spent more than 35 years on my "head lock" development and I'm still working on it everyday.

The most important thing is "will you still enjoy of doing it again tomorrow, day after tomorrow, the next day, and ...?"

I have to force myself. By forcing myself that's how I improve and not just with martial arts but anything I choose to pursue. That's what taking on a challenge is all about. Sometimes we choose to make things hard because we want things to be hard, we want a good challenge. Even with stuff such as video games, a fun pastime of mine, I would sometimes play it on "hard" because I want the challenge. If I don't challenge myself I get bored with what Im doing. As a coach once said that in practice you've got to push yourself to your limit, and you've got to go a little bit beyond that limit, and this wasn't even a martial arts coach who said that it was a swimming coach, but the same concept can be applied to anything. I've got to push myself and take on challenges, otherwise I would be a "bump on a log," and that's not something I would be satisfied with.
 
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PhotonGuy

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As with every other time you've approached this exact same issue (albeit with different wording each time -belt ranks, Boy Scouts and foot races) you're focused on the belt rather than the training.
Get over it. Frankly, I wouldn't promote a student who (like you) was focused on the belt instead of the training.
We have one who has made it to 3rd geup. She won't be promoting again until she grows enough to realize that it's the training, not the belt, that matters.


Sent from an old fashioned 300 baud acoustic modem by whistling into the handset. Really.

In this thread I never said anything about belts. As for your student who you say won't be promoted until she realizes its the training that matters, in most dojos you get to certain levels, belts or otherwise, by obtaining a certain level of skill. It takes patience to get to a certain rank or skill level because of the time it takes to get there, you aren't going to be there on day one. Once a student has obtained the required level of skill I see no reason not to promote them, after all they've shown they have patience in the time it took to get their skills up, so that's where the patience comes in.
 
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PhotonGuy

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the way you worded it, in the first example you are saying the time is set by your boss and you have to follow. In your second example you are saying the student sets the time limit, not the master who would equate to the boss
Just about all instructors leave it up to the student to decide how quickly they want to improve. A student who wants to improve faster will work harder. The more the student puts into it the faster they improve. My point about time limits is that for most of the things we do we've got time limits in which to do them. Those time limits can be put in place by somebody else such as a boss or they can be put in place by yourself.

And a thing about Americans. Americans tend to be goal oriented. That is how the American culture is different from the Asian culture where that story about the master telling the student that the more he focuses on the goal, the longer it will take for him to reach it.
 
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PhotonGuy

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I don't think I like that kind of finish line but true though, dirty dog does have a point though. The belt isn't important, it's the experience and skill through training. That's the only part that matters if you are at a certain level of training that is what matters and some styles give belts to show other people that you have been recognized as that skill level. A belt only serves two purposes; to show someone has earned an amount of skill through training(but you don't need a belt to know you are skilled) and to hold up your pants.

The belt itself isn't so important. After getting a certain belt that you've been working for, black belt or whatever, you can hang it up on the wall or for that matter throw it in the closet. The important thing is that you've reached a certain level of expertise under a certain sensei. Whether you think its worth it or not is up to the student. I wouldn't be satisfied getting a high belt under a sensei that hands it out or for that matter sells it, I would want to get it from a sensei that would make me earn it. Then I would know I've achieved something under an instructor who sets high standards but it is by no means the end. It is the beginning of the next level.
 
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PhotonGuy

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I think the whole race metaphor is flawed...races have a finish line.

If a belt/title is seen as a goal you are in for a let down once you get them.

The only finish line any of us really has is death....

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The belt/title is a goal but it is not the goal. The overall goal is to keep getting better no matter how good you are. To see the belt or title as the ultimate goal would be a letdown once you get it, but it is not the ultimate goal, it is just the beginning although I see it as an important step.
 

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In this thread I never said anything about belts. As for your student who you say won't be promoted until she realizes its the training that matters, in most dojos you get to certain levels, belts or otherwise, by obtaining a certain level of skill. It takes patience to get to a certain rank or skill level because of the time it takes to get there, you aren't going to be there on day one. Once a student has obtained the required level of skill I see no reason not to promote them, after all they've shown they have patience in the time it took to get their skills up, so that's where the patience comes in.

Rewording it (belts, Boy Scouts, Foot races) doesn't change that fact that you're doing nothing other than bringing up the same issue every time. It's the same issue, and the answer is the same. Get over it. Stop focusing on the belt and maybe, just MAYBE you'll get somewhere.
 

Xue Sheng

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Just about all instructors leave it up to the student to decide how quickly they want to improve. A student who wants to improve faster will work harder. The more the student puts into it the faster they improve. My point about time limits is that for most of the things we do we've got time limits in which to do them. Those time limits can be put in place by somebody else such as a boss or they can be put in place by yourself. .

Well yes and no. I've been training this MA stuff for over 49 years and I have had multiple teachers and although it is true that the more you put in the more you put out it is always the teacher that decided when you are ready for something, not the student. I found a long time a go that a good teacher knows what you are ready for before you do and things get a lot easier when you shut up, listen and train. And there are no time limits in MA (period) only self imposed time limits... so what do you do when a teacher says you are not good enough train harder and it is going beyond your self-imposed time limits. And if anyone, absolutely anyone, who is teaching you guarantees you a rank or mastery in a predetermined period of time, walk away because they are only interested in your money.

And a thing about Americans. Americans tend to be goal oriented. That is how the American culture is different from the Asian culture where that story about the master telling the student that the more he focuses on the goal, the longer it will take for him to reach it.

Yeah I grew up in American culture, but I train in a Asian one and it has been my experience that as soon as you decide y9u are not going to take the time to understand something and instead change it to your ideas it is no longer what it was and many times that results in something less than what it once was *see belt factories and 10 years old black belts)


What don't I get?

I'm not ballen but reread what I posted because I already told you that .Now you can come up with as many scenarios and change them any way you want to try and come out right on this but you never will....good luck to you in your training...you'll need it.... for the record I tend to agree with Dirty Dog here, that is if I trained and art that used belts, I wouldn't promote a student who (like you) was focused on the belt instead of the training.

I also recommend you stay away form traditional Chinese martial arts because it has no belt ranks... and no time limits
 
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PhotonGuy

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Oh my. :facepalm:

If you got it, there wouldn't be so many threads open, all started by you, all on the same issue.

Well if you're getting tired of my posts you don't have to respond to them.
 

donald1

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The belt itself isn't so important. After getting a certain belt that you've been working for, black belt or whatever, you can hang it up on the wall or for that matter throw it in the closet. The important thing is that you've reached a certain level of expertise under a certain sensei. Whether you think its worth it or not is up to the student. I wouldn't be satisfied getting a high belt under a sensei that hands it out or for that matter sells it, I would want to get it from a sensei that would make me earn it. Then I would know I've achieved something under an instructor who sets high standards but it is by no means the end. It is the beginning of the next level.

Afcoarse, it's good to want to train with a good teacher. A teacher that doesn't teach has students who can't use proper techniques.
 
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PhotonGuy

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Well yes and no. I've been training this MA stuff for over 49 years and I have had multiple teachers and although it is true that the more you put in the more you put out it is always the teacher that decided when you are ready for something, not the student. I found a long time a go that a good teacher knows what you are ready for before you do and things get a lot easier when you shut up, listen and train. And there are no time limits in MA (period) only self imposed time limits... so what do you do when a teacher says you are not good enough train harder and it is going beyond your self-imposed time limits. And if anyone, absolutely anyone, who is teaching you guarantees you a rank or mastery in a predetermined period of time, walk away because they are only interested in your money.
The student can influence when the teacher would decide if he's ready for something. For instance, a student that does put more in will improve faster and thus the teacher might decide he's ready for something sooner. And Im not necessarily talking about rank, it could be learning a new technique or techniques and so forth.

And I wouldn't train under somebody who guaranteed me a certain level in a certain amount of time. And I don't necessarily mean rank with this either. A teacher who guarantees I will reach a certain skill level in a certain time I wouldn't trust because its really up to the student. The more the student puts into it the faster they improve. Even if the teacher decides when the student is ready for something, like I said, the student can influence that decision.

Yeah I grew up in American culture, but I train in a Asian one and it has been my experience that as soon as you decide y9u are not going to take the time to understand something and instead change it to your ideas it is no longer what it was and many times that results in something less than what it once was *see belt factories and 10 years old black belts)
In the martial arts, ultimately you do change it to your ideas. That's why there is a martial art for every martial artist. The roots of the martial arts comes from your instructor but ultimately the martial arts comes from inside you. Eventually you do it your own way. And I never said I approved of belt factories. In fact, quite the opposite. I think belts should be earned but a student should know what they need to do to get to their next belt and if they aren't clear they should ask. That shouldn't be seen as disrespectful, to simply clarify something.

I'm not ballen but reread what I posted because I already told you that .Now you can come up with as many scenarios and change them any way you want to try and come out right on this but you never will....good luck to you in your training...you'll need it.... for the record I tend to agree with Dirty Dog here, that is if I trained and art that used belts, I wouldn't promote a student who (like you) was focused on the belt instead of the training.

I also recommend you stay away form traditional Chinese martial arts because it has no belt ranks... and no time limits

I see, so another words, one of your requirements for promotion would be that in order to promote, a student shouldn't be too focused on the promotion itself. How about a student in academics who is focused on getting As? Is there anything wrong with that?

And I've done some of the traditional Chinese martial arts. I know they have no ranks and I like them. Especially Tai Chi which really gets into the mental aspects. And everything has a time limit. You only have so long to live. That in and of itself is a time limit.
 

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How about a student in academics who is focused on getting As? Is there anything wrong with that?.

Yes if all they focus on is the grade and are not learning and thinking. Anyone can study for a test to get an A. But are they learning anything or just memorizing the little they need for the A.
 

Dirty Dog

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How about a student in academics who is focused on getting As? Is there anything wrong with that?

Yes. I've worked with a number of students who were book smart, while at the same time making it painfully clear that they ought never ever for any reason be allowed to touch a patient.

The best students are not focused on making As. They are focused on learning and thinking. Much like a martial arts student who is focused on a belt vs one who is focused on technique and application.

But you still won't get it, I'm sure.
 

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Philosophy in the Arts is an interesting question to me. I guess unless a dojo has a written rule about what, if any, philosophy is taught to students, we, as teachers, relate whatever philosophy, or examples of philosophy, we deem helpful. I would imagine it's done to help in Martial Arts in one way or another. I hope we do a good job of it. I'm sure we all try.

Martial arts should be more than punch, kick, choke.
 
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PhotonGuy

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Zen or Chan was always hand in hand with the arts. Unfortunately, different cultures, eras, and "needs" have changed the philosophy of teaching the arts and what's the primary focus.

That's how it always is when you bring something from one culture into another culture. Baseball originated in the USA but eventually it was brought to Japan and became very big in Japan. As such, if you play baseball in Japan under the Japanese league you will find they do stuff differently, even if those differences are at the philosophical level. The basic rules for playing baseball are the same but the Japanese have incorporated some of their philosophies, such as the idea of "honor," into the sport.
 
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PhotonGuy

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Yes. I've worked with a number of students who were book smart, while at the same time making it painfully clear that they ought never ever for any reason be allowed to touch a patient.

The best students are not focused on making As. They are focused on learning and thinking. Much like a martial arts student who is focused on a belt vs one who is focused on technique and application.

But you still won't get it, I'm sure.

So how about this, a student who is primarily focused on learning and thinking and also wants to get As or for that matter a martial arts student who is primarily focused on technique and application but also wants to reach a certain rank, be it black belt or whatever.
 
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PhotonGuy

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Speaking of time periods in which to accomplish stuff, I always give myself time periods of some sort or at least I try to get as much done as best I can in as short an amount of time. Even if Im training in a martial arts style that doesn't use rank or for that matter, even if Im learning something other than martial arts that doesn't have rank I still want to learn as much as I can and get as good as I can as soon as I can. You've only got so long to live and I prefer to be efficient with my time. The more you get done as soon as you can the more time you have to get even more done. If you don't push yourself your life will pass by and you will not have done much. I prefer to get as much done as I can as soon as I can but that's just me, other people might be different but that's them.
 
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