I think Kacey made a very good stab at encapsulating how difficult and fractious this topic can prove to be :applause:. Given that the thread is notionally about ethics, I think we need to reference another dictionary defiition, the one for irony :lol:.
I also think that it is (sadly) true that a definite conclusion cannot be reached or an accomodational compromise settled upon when a discussion devolves into an argument with a bipolar division, however mistakenly or unintentionally that division arises. If one side feels insulted/belittled and the other side feels affronted/embattled then you have no chance at all of a satisfactory outcome.
Such a state of affairs has the tendency of excluding other points of view, which don't fit into either camp neatly, from the discourse and both entrenched postions then proceed to exhange fire until, in the real world, war is declared or, in the on-line world, the thread is locked.
I know that it sounds 'preachy' but sometimes the best weapon, for settling arguments of a fundamental nature, is silence.
Time for me to go and follow my own advice ... and probably go and open a nice bottle of chardonnay ... anyone fancy a drink?
Just as a matter of interest, has there been any post on any forum on MT where a martial artist has said that ethics and martial arts is
mutually exclusive? How many posts have there been where martial artists have extolled ethical behavior in the dojo and outside?...I have never read a thread on this forum that has advocated anything other than using martial arts in a responsible and ethical manner so we aren't disputing ethics or morals here, we are merely arguing over the English defininition of the words 'martial arts'. As they say, that's a whole different ball game!
Martial artists and...04-23-2007 02:23 PMYou may not realize it, but you are making statements that would disqualify many of the people on this forum as martial artists. Your opinion is not the word of God, get over yourself. (No name given)
Martial artists and...04-23-2007 08:40 AMVery tastefully, honestly done LF. Hope you decide to stick around--we need you. (Name removed by LF)
Martial artists and...04-21-2007 09:42 PMIf I give a bad rep I always sign it and I rarely give them. And you certainly do not deserve them for this post. (Name removed by LF)
Martial artists and...04-21-2007 09:45 AMstand fast. THis post is beatiful and correct (IMHO)(Name removed by LF)
Martial artists and...04-21-2007 07:04 AMGood post and cleared up your position nicely. (Name removed by LF)
Martial artists and...04-20-2007 09:06 PMNo need to insult others with posts like this. Step down from the high horse please. (No name given)
Martial artists and...04-20-2007 07:31 AMYour post #33 is great (Name removed by LF)
I thank those for your kind remarks (I removed your names for your privacy), and pity the others for your cowardice and anonymous insults.
Ok....here it is. I have been giving this some thought, and I feel it is time to take a stand. I have stated a personal and professional opinion here which some people do not agree with. I can accept that. What I do not accept is the fact that there are those few here who have not conducted themselves in an honorable fashion, and abided by the rules of this forum. I am not insulting any person here at MT! I am just stating my view about a topic which some people are choosing to be insulted by. Instead of debating the issue, and only the issue, they have resorted to insulting me personally. Instead of attacking the argument at hand, they have attacked me.
I was insulted, and backed down for a time. I nearly left completely, but then I realized that this is not why I study, and teach the Martial Art in the first place. I do not run from those who band together to tell me that un-ethical behavior is ok, and it is fine for Martial Artists to behave this way. I will not sit idly by while they freely try to convince others that this is an acceptable definition of the Martial Art or of a true Martial Artist.
They might say that I have insulted them personally, but I defy them to quote proof. Don't bother.... I will head you off by stating what you have already claimed, and proving you have made false claims. First, some say that I am being high handed or am on a "high horse." So what! That is an insult on me, not debating the issue. Some say I am pontificating. Again, so what. Sometimes people need to hear some pontification. If you don't want to participate, then don't. If you don't like long posts, then don't read them. If you don't want to be lectured to, then pretend I am talking to someone else who needs a good lecture!!!
It appears that a few people opposing me don't read my entire post anyhow. They skim for what they want, then ignore the core concepts, and my rebuttals where I have already given clear proof to deny their claims against me.
I believe that those who claim their own opposing view of defining the Martial Art are just as arrogant because they believe they are right as well. Who wouldn't ague a point without believing they are right, and most of us have legitimate sources to back up our viewpoints, on both sides of the issue - - we just interpret the evidence differently . What is worse, in my opinion, is that others are defending a position that is supporting un-ethical and even illegal behavior - - whether it's connected with the Martial Art or not.
Yes, I am taking a stand! I am drawing a line in the sand!! I realize there are many different definitions being applied to the terms Martial Art (or Martial Arts if you prefer), and Martial Artist in the world today. It is logical that an English speaking person would run to the English Dictionary to define what is the English interpretation of these terms.
However, I submit that people who assemble dictionaries are not experts on most of the subjects that they are defining. They arrive at the most accurate definitions they can surmise by asking experts in each pertinent field, and then also taking surveys to find out what is the most common usage of that term. Dictionaries have been known to be inaccurate, incomplete, or giving superficial definitions to complex, technical terminology.
Fifty or one hundred years ago, many of the definitions we have in the English Dictionary, were defined much differently than today, and I wager that many will change in another hundred years - - including the term Martial Art. I have been in the profession of teaching the Martial Art long enough to know what the majority of qualified experts say about these terms. There will always be experts in every field that disagree and have dissenting views.
Conversely, the common usage by the average person to any word in the dictionary will eventually have an impact on what is written as the official definition. When enough people mispronounce, and misspell words due to being uneducated and making errors (happens all the time), these mistakes become accepted as alternative spellings and pronunciations. Eventually, they might even become labeled as the most common or correct spelling and pronunciation. Definitions do the same thing.
I acknowledge that the average person has come to know these terms of Martial Art and Martial Artist as meaning a variety of things, and I can accept variations of their application. However, I draw the line in the sand when it come to the exclusion of ethical behavior as a distinct, integral, and mandatory part of Martial Art education, regardless of what that Martial Art variation is called, or where and when it originated. If you do not agree with this definition, then fine! I am not alone in this interpretation (as I have proven).
Those who wish to stand with me on the side of the line that says a person who misuses their Fighting skills is not adhering to the Martial Art code of conduct that ALL Martial Artists MUST abide by in order to be considered a true Martial Artist, and therefore they deny themselves the right to be called Martial Artists, then we stand together against this assault on the integrity of the Art. Those who choose to stand on the other side of the line, then you make your choice.
Am I being pompous, or pious for saying so - - perhaps! But that is not the issue (unless you want to continue personal attacks). I am not attacking anyone in particular. I am stating a personal and professional opinion about what I believe is the only acceptable behavior for Martial Artists. Obey the law. Respect the rights of others. Do not use physical force on others just because you can. The knowledge of the Martial Art is a privilege! Those who abuse the privilege dishonor themselves, and the Art, and while I would be ashamed to be associated with such people, I am not ashamed to state that they are not Martial Artists.
There are those who think, Hey, I know how to fight, and I am good at it. I can beat up anyone I want, and if you look at me wrong, I'm going to take you out. I am a warrior, and I train for combat, and that's all it takes to be a Martial Artist. I understand that position clearly, and I stand with any number of people who agree that this interpretation is dead wrong. If you uphold the belief that you can strike someone down just to improve your skills, then you stand on the other side of the line, and I am not concerned one bit if you choose to be offended because I say that these kind of a people are not true Martial Artists.
If you are not one of them, but you are defending their attitude toward un-ethical behavior in the name of Martial Art training and application, then you choose to stand on that side of the line. In most cases, there is a clear difference between right and wrong. Those who abuse others, and fight for no just cause, are quite simply wrong. If you believe that people can intentionally behave wrong and still be Martial Artists, then we differ in the most polarized way. If you believe this behavior is not wrong, then may God have mercy on you, because our justice system will not - - nor will I.
I am not labeling you, I am stating what a true Martial Artist is. You can choose to behave in an un-ethical way if you want. You can choose to behave ethically, but honor those who have gained reputations by un-ethical behavior, and you can choose to defend their actions. You can choose to be offended about my definition. You can choose to deny my definition (and those experts, and amateurs who agree with me), and make up your own definition, but I am not siding with anyone who condones breaking the law, or using unnecessary physical force for their own pride, egotistical pleasure, or simply to hone their skills.
Like myself, there are many Masters of the Martial Art who have honed our skills without resorting to un-ethical practices and misuse of our knowledge, and I deny that those who do are any better technicians. You might hear about, or read about alleged masters of the past who behaved in such a way, and how great others said they were, but I tell you that you will never hear about the ones even greater who never promote themselves in such a way, and do not misuse the skills. Such behavior will never prevail, and those who think they are great because they have honed their skills in such a way, might some day meet with a true Master.
I will tell you there is a larger reason for siding with righteous and just behavior, and some day those who deny it might well learn a lesson of life. If I am with friends at a social gathering, and one sexually assaults a passing female by grabbing her behind or her breasts, and she slaps him so he slaps her back, I will step in and put a stop to his behavior. If he says he will do as he pleases, and if I don't like it I can leave, he is barking up the wrong tree.
I will stand for what is right, regardless of those who claim they can do what they want. If he says that he will not be my friend because I oppose him, it is not sooner said than it is done. I do not keep friends who clearly choose to stand on the other side of the line of ethical, moral, and just behavior. If a fellow "Martial Artist" were with me in public, and decided to attack someone just to hone his skills, I will knock him to the ground, and tell him that with behavior like that, he is not a true Martial Artist, then walk away without shame.
If you want to separate ethics from Martial Art, I believe this is a grave mistake for the good of everyone - - Martial Artists, and non-Martial Artists - - for society in general - - for this generation and each that follows.
If you choose to apply fighting skills unethically and illegally under the guise of the label of Martial Art, then you are choosing to be a criminal and a person of poor character.
If you do not behave in such a way, but are supporting that behavior, then you are part of the problem.
Perhaps there are two groups of so-called Martial Artists: "Ethical Martial Artists," and "Un-ethical Martial Artists." I contend that the latter is a contradiction in terms, but my choice is clear. I choose to be an Ethical Martial Artist. If you choose to be an Un-ethical Martial Artist than so be it. I am not implying that eveyone has to study the Martail Art to attain ethical behavior. Many learn it elsewhere, but to apply Martial Skills to unjustly hurt people is unethical and is wrong. Some here are trying to make me out to be the bad guy because I hold such a strict view, but I am not the bad guy in this scenario.
I draw a line in the sand. I might stand alone on this side, but I don't think so. However, there is one thing for sure. I would not want to stand on the other side of the line no matter what anyone says.