Crisis in America, can we help as martial artists?

Hung Fa Moose

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Crisis in America, can we help as martial artists? Hello all,

Lately I've been noticing alot of troubling things in the States, just through news and other media. Many Americans seem to be suffering from an identity crisis of some sorts. Very few individuals these days seem to be sure of who they are. Look at our movies and novels of late, many deal with this problem for the main character, they are searching for their purpose, their identity. As martial artists, we train to find this so that we are able to act without hesitation when pushed into threatening scenarioss. We are sure of ourselves and know what we can do, should do, will do when presented with challenges. Not too many people in my experience are able to hold their own, whether it be mentally or physically. As a teacher, I see this more, with parents who should not be having children (due to lack of emotional/mental maturity, finances, and many other reasons), don't want the ones they have, etc. What happened to the days of owning up and taking responsibility for one's actions and their consequences? Those days seem to have gone away. Can we as martial artists possibly strive to being some sanity to this situation? Any thoughts?
 

hongkongfooey

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What are we going to do, kick their butts for screwing up their lives? This may sound a bit selfish, but I do martial arts for myself, not to provide direction for other people in their lives. My participation in Kenpo is personal, not some noble crusade to win the hearts and minds of others.

Please don't take offense by my candor, it's nothing personal.
 

Grenadier

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The best that we can do, is to simply offer to help others learn the martial arts. Would such training help some of these people? You bet it would... Some people need discipline in their lives, others need challenges, etc. Some encouragement would be a good thing, but in the end, it has to come down to the individual deciding to take us up on the offer to learn.

You can lead a horse to water, but only he will decide when he'll drink.
 

MartialIntent

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I think it's a great question - for me, martial arts are often hidden away from the society in which they operate. Let's be honest, many arts [and many practitioners] like to be esoteric at best and cloaked and obtuse at worst as though that gives us some sway over the non MA-ists.

True, we no longer need traditional martial arts to defend our lives and our communities from pillagers and invaders so it stands to sense that our arts can be employed elsewhere in the real world of today - after all, what are our martial disciplines if they're not adaptable to changing circumstances??

And on your original point - why shouldn't martial artists provide the impetus to turn things around?? There are many FAR worse cited as role models and masquerading as heroes.

As Grenadier alluded to - genuine martial artists are disciplined, motivated, adaptable, resourceful, determined, tenacious, streetwise and possess a myriad other skills that society is buckling and breaking for lack of - why shouldn't martial artists be role models and try instigating some changes of our own??

I try my best to get out into my community, local schools etc. and I'm encouraged so many other MT guys are warriors in the real world and not just fighters in the safety of the dojo - I mean, I'll take the attitude of MLK over George WB anyday...

Good luck to us all! :asian:
 

Brad Dunne

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The thought of martial arts folks being role models in TODAY'S society is nice at best, but unrealistic. People today, in general, are prone to the easy way out. Martial arts demand hard work, dedication and determination. Those attributes seem to be in very short supply in todays world. Nobody is at fault for anything anymore, something or someone else is really to blame for any and all problems that they may have. With this mindset, how would we expect them to straighten up and fly right, so to speak? The moral fiber and the willingness to do what's right is at an all time low and sinking lower each day. Even within the martial arts themselves, we have all heard or seen of greedy and dishonest teachers and organizations. One would think that we must/should clean up our own house before taking on another cause.
 

MartialIntent

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Brad Dunne said:
The thought of martial arts folks being role models in TODAY'S society is nice at best, but unrealistic. People today, in general, are prone to the easy way out. Martial arts demand hard work, dedication and determination. Those attributes seem to be in very short supply in todays world. Nobody is at fault for anything anymore, something or someone else is really to blame for any and all problems that they may have. With this mindset, how would we expect them to straighten up and fly right, so to speak? The moral fiber and the willingness to do what's right is at an all time low and sinking lower each day. Even within the martial arts themselves, we have all heard or seen of greedy and dishonest teachers and organizations. One would think that we must/should clean up our own house before taking on another cause.
Personally, I've seen tangible results working with teenagers in some local community groups. I think part of the little I do is to show them that by taking a disciplined and structured martial arts approach, there really is an alternative to hanging street corners or running with gangs. I'd certainly never single myself as a role model but for many people, just being given an alternative path or being shown another possiblility for themselves is all they need to make changes.

I take your point of course: as nothing more than a practitioner of a martial discipline, I may be unrealistic in thinking I can change the world, but I do what I can. I try to apply my martial training to everything where I can. If whatever enthusiasm I have is passed on to just one young man who the night before, strayed onto railway tracks after getting a headful of solvents he stole from school, well, I'll take some encouragement in that.

I'm UK based and am of course giving you my local perspective btw so you are well within your rights to say I have no notion of what goes on over there...

Respects! :asian:
 

Ian wallace

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"The universe is not hostile, nor yet is it friendly. It is simply indifferent."

martial arts can help but all people are diffrent you could start by opening a schools and not just teaching techniques but philosophy, help them to create good thoughts while their mids will see the benifit and instantly erase the bad ones, you have to understand that good martial arts is motavated by compassion, but on the understanding that we are still tough martal artist constantly in action with our opposits (like the ying yang) althow we have cultivated compassion our tachiniques will protect ourselfes with a negative reaction (by negative i meen endangerd)
 

painstain

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just a thought, just because we are martial artists doesn't make us perfect. we still have the same issues in our households as every other american. i say this because there are all walks of human life that study martial arts. its not the perfect father or the great buissness man or doctor. i agree martial arts has made me a better individual and a better father and husband, but far from perfect. my oldest son was born when i 17. he had a really tough fist couple of years. no matter how much i train that will never change. he now trains with me though and we can grow as martial artists together. we are also pretty pinched on the finacial side of life. no matter how much i train that won't change. so we are not so much different than the average joe in most aspects. but as martial artists we learn to deal with tough situations and we learn to help others who need it the most, not just walk on them like the rest of the world.
with respect,
doug hilton
 

matt.m

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You do understand that you can lead a horse to water but can't make it drink. In other words, it is hard to save yourself in many cases so how are you going to do it for others?

I believe that if people look at you leading a good life and being a decent cititzen then maybe they will want to do the same. If not then they are not yours to help or influence.
 

Ian wallace

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our training is good you are right and we may be just the average joe aswell, i must say i dont understand where the problem is we are motavated through our martial arts, diseplined training with constant reactions to most problems, and when one gets to big we find solutions, problems will come!, knowing and understanding that helps us see them as ways of creating solutions. one person carnt do alot for others but if all clubs had the same thought then the word whould be bigger, martial arts is a "way!" the way you chose matters!!
"Doubt is the father of invention."
With respect"
 

Dark

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Warning Very Direct Comment:

Ok my opinion of the US is pretty bad, basically we are a bunch of weak minded, weak willed and apparently weak fat-bodies who spend more time on the net (this goes for all of us, myself included) and infront og the TV on an X-box then living life...

How can we as martial artist help, by bringing back the "old school" mindset and quit catoring to those who want life handed to them. All we can do is set and example and let others follow...
 

hongkongfooey

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Talk to the Baby Boomers. It's their generation that screwed everything up.

Us GenXer's that grew up in the 80's and early 90's are the people who will have to pay for all the screw ups for the next couple decades.
 

Dark

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hongkongfooey said:
Talk to the Baby Boomers. It's their generation that screwed everything up.

Us GenXer's that grew up in the 80's and early 90's are the people who will have to pay for all the screw ups for the next couple decades.

I blame the hippies to lol
 

Xue Sheng

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hongkongfooey said:
Talk to the Baby Boomers. It's their generation that screwed everything up.

Dark said:
I blame the hippies to lol

I too do suspect the hippies did it, being part of the baby boomers myself :)

Seriously, why blame anyone?

That is just a great way to avoid the problem, it's their fault, not mine so they should fix it not me. And it never gets fixed. The next generation will just blame the previous over and over again.

What can we do as martial artists, not much actually, we are by far out numbered.

All we can do is try and set some sort of example of dedication and responsibility and hope it rubs off on someone.
 

Dark

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Xue Sheng said:
Seriously, why blame anyone?

Because blaming others means I don't have to take responsibility for ****ing up my life. One down and just how many more Americans to go lol. I'm joking but I am so right to, its kinda sad...
 

beau_safken

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Lets get back to the topic of discussion:

What makes me or any member of the martial arts better than the non-MA? Do you know the definition of the word Hero? A hero is someone that gets others killed.... Sorry was watching Serenity tonight and when I watch Firefly I forget to stop thinking so shiny.

Honestly, people in this society don't have anything to direct their energy into that they deam helps them. Having lived on my own now for a whole week...I have been making a couple observations. (Allow me to put on my "Hat of Youthful Knowledge +10"

1. People are bored, and must find something to change their reality. Many people get really into church groups, volunteering, helping others, youth sports coaching or something society thinks is positive. However, there are those that need to feel powerful or in control. Those people must get that feeling thru dominating the weakest people of our society. Those are the people that allow themselves to get killed when they can easily get away, of weak mind to believe someone else can help them, and the like. Those people that need the feeling of power prey on those kinds of people.

2. People who need to feel powerful usually see themselves as powerless or dominated. For the most part you will see this problem in people of low income, grew up thinking everyone was better than themselves and having that same group of people reinforce that preceived weakness. A lot of the times you will see this issue with the so called "minorities" of any society. Be it race, religion, gender, etc....These people in some way have two choices.

First choice: Accept the fact there are those around them that will never get past issues that happened and cant move forward. These people will feel empowered that they have control and aren't allowing themselves to be lumped into a socially precieved minority that must be protected from a majority. They hate being called a minority because they view themselves as an individual and thru their own efforts can change their own world and better those they love.

Second Choice: Become a victim and allow yourself to be under the guise of controlled, suppressed social minority. They believe that their own wills are subjegated by the majority. They lash out in fits of rage to express their feelings by hurting those around them, but mostly against the majority they were brought up demonizing since birth. The only thing they know is to attack and regain the loss of power that society took from them. These are the unstable element that you are thinking of Hung Fa Moose. Mind you, minorities can be anyone and anywhere. You see them everywhere in every color skin, religion and ideal. From fundimentalist christians assuming they know better than everyone else to illegal immigrants thinking they are holding our country hostage.

It all comes down to the maturity of the personality. In our society the mind is not allowed to do as it pleases. Society changes the human will thru reprogramming it. I can't say for sure what methods you all think are used but you know what I mean. We are what we eat per say.

Take the following under consideration:

Young Child:
choice #1: Grows up in a household that is stable with the balance of two parents. He is brought up to think and question the world and to be curious. Finds pleasure in making himself happy thru whatever doesn't harm others but helps expand his mind. Can grow up in a positive loving environment where the community is as much a part of his life as his own family.

Choice #2: Grows up in a environment that pushs the preception of your minority/cause/ideal etc, and makes you believe its true. Finds pleasure in making himself happy. A community that embrasses the full social image of their minority and cant look past it. The youth will grow to think he is what his peers and parents fear.

In my eyes the problem is a lack of maturity in the parents of this country. When you make the decision to bring people into this world, your life isn't over...its changed. Your role is that of a piller of strength for your child. Not to shelter them from the world but be there to help them embrace it. Show them strength thru your charactor and decisions. We are a country of individuals that believes that we are all that matter. But I really feel for the youth of this country...Being brought up to think that television, the internet and god knows what else is what life is like. But that is for another time and thread.
 

Ian wallace

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im sorry but i bulieve diffrent. we all come across problems! but makeing one person change his/her prospective in life, in turn can change more, loseing site is easy but as martial artists we are motivated with compassion ,its true it takes time, "we carnt chang the world but we can change someones world" playing the blameing game only makes us loose site while adding problems and to be true these problems did start from the past generation they needed something to start off with and if you look hard enough youll see that every fire comes from a spark,its just the way it is i truelly builive that change makes a diffrence even if its limited and to say that it doesnt , then where is the hope in our type of life. i have 20 students 3 of them would not speak as if they where mentally not allowing themselfes, young kids aswell! there moms upset!, the doctor a good friend of mine sujested that training martial arts would be a good idear, building confidence, i loved the change it made , now i carnt get them to stay quiet! self confirmation or just another hope call it what you want, i call it liveing hope, not just for myself but for others and others beyond that, why are we here? i dont builive just for ourselfes
 

still learning

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Hello, Children need role models to follow,as they grow into an adult.

As martial artist we can be role model for our students and the people we meet.

There is only one way to change the world..if each of us can leave one good child and they in turn leave one good child, we can change the world..one at a time.

If you spank you kids (hitting them)& (verbal abuse is not good too)you are adding to the abuse of kids...there are many other ways to discipline kids....Aloha
 

painstain

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i think a lot of people don't fear consequences, kids imparticular. whatever the dicipline, the kid/young adult needs to fear the outcome of doing something wrong. one main problem with that is parents don't spend enough time to even get to know there own child let alone set forth a structural rule system and known consequences. the kid can go out break someones window, steal, fight, do drugs and feel no guilt cause no one took the time to realize thats what kind of kid they had. as far as spanking goes, spank a thirteen year old in front of his friends and hes likely not going to do whatever it is that made it happen. as far as older screw ups, well old habbits die hard. but it really has nothing to do with economy or finacial standing as much as it does the parents in general.

with respect,

painstain
 

trueaspirer

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The world is screwed up. Frankly, there's not much one person(or a small group of people) can do about it. Either the world will sort out its own problems, or this whole world is going to go down the drain.
We can, though, do something about it, at least slow it down a little, yeah.
 
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