Do you know Karate?

Ronin74

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This is just something I was pondering out of my own personal amusement. It's not a rant or complaint, but just a thought that gives me something to chuckle about on occasion.

I'll be the first to admit that when I was a kid exposed to te martial srts movies of the 70's, any of the martial arts featured on TV or on the big screen were practically indistinguishable for me. However, thanks to an interest, I have a better understanding about the differences between the different arts out there. Add to that, someone once told me that artists (martial or otherwise) were a different breed, and for someone not versed in that culture, there wasn't any difference. So to anyone who didn't even have a passing interest in martial arts, I'm sure it might seem like we all do the same thing.

So here we are, not far from completing the first decade in a new millenium, and the common question is still asked (though maybe not in verbatim): "Do you know Karate?"

It can be a funny question for anyone who does martial arts, and it can go beyond that. It's sometims followed up with "So are you a black belt, or something?" or "Do you know how to break bricks?" When an old co-worker found out that I used to teach Filipino Martial Arts, he asked me, "Is it true you're like a Karate master?" I calmly replied that I wasn't, but I was qualified to teach Arnis. On the inside though, I was trying to restrain myself from bursting out in laughter because it's a question I've heard from a quite a few people from when I first started learning martial arts to now.

Anyhow, this isn't a rant against any art, but I guess I'll throw this out there: what's a prevailing question you've heard over and over since your time in the arts began?
 

Thesemindz

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In my experience, when people find out I do martial arts, I get one of two responses.

Dude, you could probably kick my ***.

or

Dude, I could probably kick your ***.

Neither has much substance, so I usually say no to the first and yes to the second, just to keep them guessing.


-Rob
 
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Ronin74

Ronin74

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In my experience, when people find out I do martial arts, I get one of two responses.

Dude, you could probably kick my ***.

or

Dude, I could probably kick your ***.

Neither has much substance, so I usually say no to the first and yes to the second, just to keep them guessing.
LOL... now there's another classic I forgot.

Another standard usually has to do with asking about doing some technique demonstrated in the media.
 

jarrod

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i tell people i have black belts in three different ways of rolling around with other men. that usually dissuades further questioning.

jf
 

Thesemindz

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LOL... now there's another classic I forgot.

Another standard usually has to do with asking about doing some technique demonstrated in the media.

I'm always willing to talk and demonstrate martial arts with the uninitiated. Usually they get bored in a hurry when they realize it isn't supernatural, it's just hard work and discipline.


-Rob
 
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Ronin74

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i tell people i have black belts in three different ways of rolling around with other men. that usually dissuades further questioning.

jf
Now that's a good one.
 
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Ronin74

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I'm always willing to talk and demonstrate martial arts with the uninitiated. Usually they get bored in a hurry when they realize it isn't supernatural, it's just hard work and discipline.


-Rob
Or they'll go back to referencing a movie. I still hear, "did you see that Seagal movie on USA this weekend?" LOL
 

searcher

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Or they say, "Hey, show us some moves." When I ask them what they want to see it is usually some referance to killing people with your fingers.


Then they procede to talk about how so and so is the fastest guy in the world, normally Jackie Chan or Jet Li.


I also get a kick out of, I can kick your a** or the like. Then it is, what would you do if I did this?
 
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Ronin74

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Then they procede to talk about how so and so is the fastest guy in the world, normally Jackie Chan or Jet Li.
Now when they start name-dropping the celebrities (not to discredit their abilties), that goes into a whole other level of funny questions.

I have a friend- and REALLY I wish I was joking on this one- who actually thinks Jet Li's performance in 1982's "Shaolin Temple" was actually footage of his life as a monk. What makes this even funnier (and I can't stop giggling as I type this) is that he's really adamant about his belief. He also claims (thanks to Hollywood's portrayal) that there is footage of Bruce Lee in underground fights. Now whether there is or isn't, I don't know, but his basis for this is the "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story".

Going back to my original musings, I have to admit that I almost feel bad trying to explain to folks the reality of martial arts training. It doesn't stop it from being funny, though.
 

suicide

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its like this girl i once dated she would tell people i do kenfo ? kenpo baby kenpo baby :shooter:
 

Zero

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When an old co-worker found out that I used to teach Filipino Martial Arts, he asked me, "Is it true you're like a Karate master?"

It can be interesting when work colleagues or clients find out you train or compete in martial arts. They often say "hey, you're the man to have around on a Friday night out" implying you're going to kick **** if any trouble in the bar starts up or any punks look at you wrong. Truth is, having been there and having hurt others and been hurt, while you're normally the first to take decisive action if something actually kicks off, you're generally the last to stick around in a place with a bad scene or to be involved in trouble.
 

searcher

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Or they start asking if "death matches" take place anywhere around where you live.


Like we have some insight into the criminal underground and fights to the death.
 

astrobiologist

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Or they start asking if "death matches" take place anywhere around where you live.


Like we have some insight into the criminal underground and fights to the death.

Quite. Quite.

(psst... so are we still meeting up Thursday at midnight at the old warehouse for a blood brawl? 'cause I've totally been sharpening the spikes on my flail...)
 

Grenadier

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So here we are, not far from completing the first decade in a new millenium, and the common question is still asked (though maybe not in verbatim): "Do you know Karate?"

If someone's serious about it, then I'll invite them to come on down to the dojo for a visit, and if they're still interested, then a free lesson. Otherwise, it's pretty easy to see if someone's not serious about that statement.

In those cases, I usually tell them "Of course! That, and a few other Japanese words!"

My best response, though, was when a lady named Kara Thompson asked me if I knew "Karate," and I told her "I'd darn well better... After all, I'm talking with you right now!"

There was a rather confused look on her face, until I had to point it out (Kara T).
 

astrobiologist

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I think in my past there have been two common responses when someone learned of my martial arts background:

1.) respect. I mean it. I have seriously had a very good many people who showed sincere respect when it came to my background. Almost all were ignorant to the martial arts and would ask "are you a krotty master?" or "can you teach me the touch of death?" or other such questions, but there were a good deal who still had respect for my knowledge and background. In those cases, I have usually enjoyed disseminating martial arts history and knowledge to those people so that they may become less ignorant.

2.) fight. As was mentioned before, there have been a lot of dudes who, upon learning I had some martial arts training, decided that they could kick my **** and wanted a shot at it. Nothing erks those jerks more than laughing at their attempts, but it'd be a waste of my efforts to go brawling with every prick who thinks he knows something.
 

Aiki Lee

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Or they say, "Hey, show us some moves."


I HATE this remark. When an untrained, idly curious person asks you to "sho' me some moves" How are we to respond? I usually tell them that I don't like to show off in public or that I'm not qualified to teach them anything.

If you try to show them something, you get the response:

"well what if I did this"

then I'd do this

"What if I didn't let you"

I do somthing else

I'm just going to start replying with "you should come to my dojo"
 
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Ronin74

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As funny as this all is, I'm definitely glad to say that never have any of the sometimes-serious/often-funny questions degenerated into some sort of confrontation.

Something that's always reminded me that, as martial artists we should know better, was an incident when I first started Kenpo back when I was in high school. The senior student instructor- who was about a year or two younger than me- got into some petty argument with another student at his school, that resulted in a fight (our high schools were local homecoming rivals, so word travelled fast). It resulted in him being suspended for about a week or two, which for some reason he bragged about to other students at the dojo.

The head instructor found this to be disappointing, and told the student instructor that he wouldn't be allowed to teach (and as a result miss work) for as long as his suspension was in effect.

So while these off-beat queries will probably never stop being funny, I think it's also important that we remember that our training gives us as much knowledge to avoid confrontations, as well as ending them.

But returning to the spirit of the orginal post, how many were asked during the Van Damme era, if they could do the splits? LOL
 

Chris Parker

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Hi,

One of my favourite questions came via text from one of my dearest friends one night when Batman Begins was on TV...

HER: Hey, have you seen Batman Begins? It's got all this ninja stuff in it, is that real? (Gotta give her credit for remembering what I do...)

ME: Absolutely. We only ever fight overly-theatrical uber-villains. Otherwise it's just not fair.

Can you believe it, she accused me of mocking her?! Love her to death, though.
 

Hagakure

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I simply don't tell people for many of the reasons listed above. Some of the guys in the office know, and don't hassle me about it, and some friends, but I rarely advertise it. I just find life is much, much simpler when I don't. Besides, there are people in my company I don't like, why let them know what I do? I'd lose the advantage of surprise. ;)
 
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Ronin74

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Hi,

One of my favourite questions came via text from one of my dearest friends one night when Batman Begins was on TV...

HER: Hey, have you seen Batman Begins? It's got all this ninja stuff in it, is that real? (Gotta give her credit for remembering what I do...)

ME: Absolutely. We only ever fight overly-theatrical uber-villains. Otherwise it's just not fair.

Can you believe it, she accused me of mocking her?! Love her to death, though.

LOL.. you should've told her ninja-fighting was a requirement for rank promotion.
 

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