Has your character ever been misjudged because you study the arts?

oldmusic6080

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I took up the martial arts because I wanted to learn how to defend myself and because I enjoy working out. I have had this passion for 25 years. I no longer have the resources to take lessons, but I enjoy watching videos of different styles and am fascinated by the many different methods and flavors of executing the same techniques.

I am a peaceful person with a college degree who has never hurt anyone, and yet I feel that I have often been mislabeled in some way. I am someone that respects women and treats them with great esteem. I am the type of man that would not be intimidated by an equal or stronger woman, and welcomes their success and strength.

I am a martial artist and seek self-improvement. I don't study to learn to hurt anyone as I take no pleasure in causing anyone harm. I study because I don't want to be harmed. I don't bully, provoke, nor cause anyone mental distress.

Has anyone else been perceived as being violent, aggressive, etc. solely because they have an interest in the arts? I have no delusions of being Rambo or some commando. It is quite ironic, since I have never been in a fight. I even put spiders outside rather than killing them.
 

Bill Mattocks

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I took up the martial arts because I wanted to learn how to defend myself and because I enjoy working out. I have had this passion for 25 years. I no longer have the resources to take lessons, but I enjoy watching videos of different styles and am fascinated by the many different methods and flavors of executing the same techniques.

I am a peaceful person with a college degree who has never hurt anyone, and yet I feel that I have often been mislabeled in some way. I am someone that respects women and treats them with great esteem. I am the type of man that would not be intimidated by an equal or stronger woman, and welcomes their success and strength.

I am a martial artist and seek self-improvement. I don't study to learn to hurt anyone as I take no pleasure in causing anyone harm. I study because I don't want to be harmed. I don't bully, provoke, nor cause anyone mental distress.

Has anyone else been perceived as being violent, aggressive, etc. solely because they have an interest in the arts? I have no delusions of being Rambo or some commando. It is quite ironic, since I have never been in a fight. I even put spiders outside rather than killing them.

I have had coworkers compliment me on my obvious weight loss and increased energy level (I'm 48 and just started martial arts training seriously for the first time last September). They ask my how I'm doing it and I tell them 'martial arts' and they get kind of a scared look in their eyes. Which I enjoy.

I feel like the Kurgan going "Happy Halloween, ladies!" and then complaining that nuns have no sense of humor. THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!
 

Thesemindz

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I had someone seriously offer me money to kill someone they didn't like.

Seriously. As though simply because I am a martial artist I would be willing to accept an offer like that.

I thought that was pretty offensive.


-Rob
 

Chris Parker

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Both variations, actually.

I had a friend's mother express concern at her daughters spending time with me, because, as a martial art student, I would obviously be carrying weapons with me everywhere I went, which was far too dangerous for them to be around. Ironically, she also insisted that the elder daughter carry a knife everywhere for her own defence... go figure.

On the other hand, when a small gang of guys apparently pulled a knife on a couple of girls in the park next door, one of my colleagues told me that he wanted me to come out and confront them because I had some training. I told him I had no interest or need in getting into a knife-fight with 5 other guys, and he should call the police. He didn't get it.
 

stickarts

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I wouldn't say my character has often been misjudged, however, many people definately don't have a clear perception of what it is all about or how it relates to me.
 

sgtmac_46

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I never thought about it too much. I'm a cop, so most folks consider the martial arts to be par for the course (though that's not accurate on their part as most cops aren't martial artists). It's actually the cop thing that the average person judges me by, not the martial arts part.
 

Aiki Lee

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Welcome to MT!

I used to get asked the question "Can you beat up____?" Just insert any random person's name in there. I also had some people do a "mock" karate kid crane pose around me or do a mock kata.

I found that some people think I'm a killing machine, some people think what I do is a joke, some people think what I do is cultish for some reason, and rarely I get a person's respect for it. Which gives me some hope for the future.
 

searcher

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I have been accused of being a Knucke-draggin Caveman on several occasions, just by being a MAist. Many people move away from us like we are going to become violent at any time.

I try to tell them that being a MAist is not why I would explode in a fit of rage, it is because they listen to country music. That is enough to make anyone go insane.
 

Jenna

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A very interesting question :) I generally keep my martial studies as "my little thing" that not too many outside know of. Of course word gets around or slips out indirectly in conversation and I find the reaction is most often based on preconception of the arts and of me.

Among those who believe the arts to consist of kicking each other into an early grave, I am usually told I look nothing like a martial artist.

Among girl friends, I am maybe regarded as tomboy, pffft, though I think this is one of the biggest tragedies - that although it is wonderful that more unblinkered women are coming to the arts, too many are deterred by the persisting stereotype of it either being for boys only, or being in some way de-feminising to teh women who practise it (as though it is akin to female bodybuilding, eww).

Also I think the portrayal of martial arts in our media has offered less than it has taken away. I think it offers unrealistic expectations. It also offers some ridiculous stereotypes, though there are exceptions! The problem here as well is that even the MA movies / games and many new RB courses are oriented towards male audiences and participants and so women often do not have a chance to see the strong, self-confident Kate and Milla and Carrie-Ann characters and become inspired to take up an art seriously.

Sorry, that is very divergent. Yes, I have been misjudged. I am not a stereotype; none of us are! Likewise there is no "typical" martial artist. It is simply an activity we do, so in a sense, all preconceptions are incorrect and all bets are off :) Again though, a very good question :)
Yr most obdt hmble srvt,
Jenna
 

Sukerkin

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Interesting response from your female friends, Jenna. I don't think that the women in this shot would react in a pleased fashion to being told they aren't feminine:

picture.php
 

shihansmurf

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I particularly enjoy being informed by the helpful gun advocates that what I study is worthless since firearms have been invented and I would be much better off simply carrying a pistol around with me. Now I usually forgo pointing out to the person that I have a concealed carry permit and, in point of fact, am armed most of the time but I instead simply ask the invariably gunless person if they have a weapon on them at the moment. When they answer in the negative I smile and illustrate, after fighting back the urge to pummel the person as a means of counter point, that I am still capable of defending myself sans weapon. Ususally works to end the discussion.

The worst experience that I've ever had at being prejudged over my involvement in the martial arts was upon my initial meeting with my father in law. Everthing had gone swimmingly and I had pulled him aside to inform him of my intention to marry his daughter and ask his blssings(I'm from Wyoming, we're still kinda traditional up in those parts). I had made a good impression, was a bright college student, and his daughter was crazy over me, so he granted his blessings. He did, however, take great care to ask me not to beat his daughter, when we had arguments. Jim assumed that since I was involved in a violent sport that I would naturally solve disputes with the future Mrs Smurf thusly. In what I still consider a stunning act of self control, given that how I fell about guys that abuse woment, I calmly explaned to him that I don't engage in that sort of behavior and that it would be better should he and I not engage in that type of conversation again. I did, however, punch the almighty hell out of the heavy bag that night. I don't take well to being insulted in that manner, but for a myriad of reason popping him in the face didn't seem like the appropriate response. Ironic in the Bill Engvall joke sense.

Mark

P.S. He has sense apologized, and I have come to understand that he was just concerned for his daughter, not trying to actively offend me. He and have a good relationship nowadays. That initial meeting, though....
 

jks9199

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Interesting response from your female friends, Jenna. I don't think that the women in this shot would react in a pleased fashion to being told they aren't feminine:

picture.php
I dunno... I think everyone it that pic looks kind of feminine, wearing skirts and all! ;)

Seriously, though, I just take the approach that it's something I do, just like woodworking or mountain biking or visiting this website (among others). I don't go out of my way to advertise it or share it...

I get the occasional ribbing from my colleagues sometimes... but I just try to laugh it off.
 

Sukerkin

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:lol:

Hmm .. mayhaps the fine gentlemen in his rush to comment might have overlooked the fact that all present are armed :D. There is little that is more dangerous to insult than a Western man, in a dress, in possession of a sword that he knows well how to use :eek:.
 

Ken Morgan

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The worst experience that I've ever had at being prejudged over my involvement in the martial arts was upon my initial meeting with my father in law. Everthing had gone swimmingly and I had pulled him aside to inform him of my intention to marry his daughter and ask his blssings(I'm from Wyoming, we're still kinda traditional up in those parts). I had made a good impression, was a bright college student, and his daughter was crazy over me, so he granted his blessings. He did, however, take great care to ask me not to beat his daughter, when we had arguments. Jim assumed that since I was involved in a violent sport that I would naturally solve disputes with the future Mrs Smurf thusly. In what I still consider a stunning act of self control, given that how I fell about guys that abuse woment, I calmly explaned to him that I don't engage in that sort of behavior and that it would be better should he and I not engage in that type of conversation again. I did, however, punch the almighty hell out of the heavy bag that night. I don't take well to being insulted in that manner, but for a myriad of reason popping him in the face didn't seem like the appropriate response. Ironic in the Bill Engvall joke sense.

Mark

P.S. He has sense apologized, and I have come to understand that he was just concerned for his daughter, not trying to actively offend me. He and have a good relationship nowadays. That initial meeting, though....[/quote)


LOL!!

My inlaws all think Im insane doing Japanese sword and staff work, Hell they thought I am/was insane to do weight training/bodybuilding. Most folks kinda glaze over and say, oh, ok, thats nice.

Ive told my 15 year old daughter that if anyone ever hurts her in anyway, shape or form I will deal with them, and they will not like the results. She has heard me say it so often she knows that Im not kidding.

Im not sure what course to takewhen she finally brings a boy home should I be cleaning my shotgun or my sword at the kitchen table? Or should I just challenge the kid to a bench press contest and spot him 100# and still beat him?

 

Omar B

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I briefly dated this girl who would get into it in the bar with people then come get me to beat up whoever she offended. Yeah, that got old pretty quick. Because I can fight does not mean I want you to be obnoxious in a social situation ... my friend who owned the bar was not happy with her way of conducting herself.

Also, girls tend to think it's cool that I am a martial artist till they realize that it also means they can't dominate my time, I'll be at the gym 3 nights a week and all day Saturday. They love telling their friends about their boyfriend who can do, I don't know whatever they tell them about me because they all seemed to know. It just pissed her off that I had a life that consited of martial arts and my band and not her.
 

Aniela13

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Im not sure what course to takewhen she finally brings a boy home should I be cleaning my shotgun or my sword at the kitchen table? Or should I just challenge the kid to a bench press contest and spot him 100# and still beat him?


hm...I think I'd say the sword, but have the shotgun propped up in the corner for effect :ultracool And, of course, if the opportunity for the bench press contest presents itself...well, never turn down a gift ^_^
 

just2kicku

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Yeah, some people think that just because you're an MAist you can pretty much catch bullets in your teeth, break concrete with a drinking glass and block everything that they can throw at you.... I have to tell them that just cause I can, doesn't mean everyone can.
icon12.gif


Really, I have been called everything from bad *** to pagan to crazy. I can't stand people who are too ignorant to find out what the MAs' are all about.
 

jks9199

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:lol:

Hmm .. mayhaps the fine gentlemen in his rush to comment might have overlooked the fact that all present are armed :D. There is little that is more dangerous to insult than a Western man, in a dress, in possession of a sword that he knows well how to use :eek:.
Nah, the weapons weren't overlooked. Just figured that you'd be tripping over your hems before I had to worry! :D
 

morph4me

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I tend not to mention the martial arts in casual conversation, if it comes up, the usual reaction I get is total surprise, and then the lame jokes or fear. I've learned not to pay much attention to it, and not to get dragged into conversations with people unless they are genuinely interested.
 

chinto

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no I can not say I have been judged in any way.. but then, I DO NOT tell people I train in martial arts at all.

I figure if I ever need it I will want it to be a very nasty surprise for that attacker, regardless of whom it may be!
 
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