Martial arts and the male ego on the outside

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Battousai

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I'm wondering what others think about this topic.
It's been my experience that talking with others about martial arts, exspecially my experience in it, is quite frustrating. I've gotten to the point that I never bring it up with anybody. Unless they are a close friend I won't even talk about it, and if they ask about it I say as little as possible unless they express an interest in taking classes.
The scenerios in past have gone like this:

Oh you do martial arts? I have a friend who does it to.
Really? What do they take?
They take blah blah (McDojo trash), they are a quadzillion degree black belt.
Humm ok.
I'll introduce him to you sometime. Maybe you could learn something..
( I don't want to even meet the person, specifically because I don't want to even try to get them out of their neurosis, tryed it before, it doesn't work.)

Or it goes something like this:
Ya they do such and such (mcdojo trash), what do you think of that style?
Umm, well thats fake stuff. He really should try to get out of it.. (sometimes my tact is shut off)
Really? My friend is such and such degree, do you mind if I tell him what you said?
Sure I guess so, I don't care...
He looks like he could beat up just about anyone, (going on and on about whatever they have heard...)
(I just get sadder and sadder..)

When talking about movies;
What did you think of such and such?
It was ok, I didn't like the martial arts in it though. (Flashy hollywood trash)
What!!? I bet that such and such could kick your butt...
(This coming from family members...LOL)

When talking with male friends about martial arts there are always guys that are intimidated by the martial arts, and try to shrug it off and make comments about their history with fighting, or that the martial arts don't work very well, or that they know such and such great technique that takes people down just like that! Sometimes they want to play around, sometimes they take fun playful hits at you, or ask you to show them a move, all the time mocking you, and whatever you show them they are like "that wouldn't work in real life", and I'm like, "umm ya, I'm really going to do this and really hurt you...(sarcasm)." For months people can go off with sneaking up and saying "hi ya!" and making stupid gestures.
I never beef my self up, never do anything flashy to make people think I'm such and such cool guy, yet it doesn't matter. Guys think that you have a superiority complex, or that you are afraid of things, you're so little you get picked on so they think you do martial arts out of fear of big bad men...

I've been at classes held outside at parks. One time there was a baseball team playing at a diamond at the other end of the park. Some guys saw us and one of them flashed us with his front and back side... My instructor waved them to come on over, and was like, man I hope they parked over here... (so that they would come walking by) They never did...
When practicing outside almost everytime people will drive by and yell stupid things out the window, "hai ya!"
There is no end to the stupidity of the male ego when it comes to the martial arts.

One of my friends got into this conversation with some guy in a store. The guy had taken alittle brazilian jujitsu, so my friend was like ya I take japanese jujitsu. And the guy started talking about jujitsu being a native art of brazil, that it came from there, and my friend was like "what!!? Just what do you think "jujitsu" means in brazilian? Its a japanese word..."

So sadly, I just don't like to bring up that part of my life at all. Unless I see a potential student in someone, I'd rather not talk about it. Almost no other activity is as sterotyped, mocked, and misunderstood as the martial arts.
 

Blindside

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"Almost no other activity is as sterotyped, mocked, and misunderstood as the martial arts."

hmm, curling, male ballet dancers
 

Cthulhu

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Had some guy trying to tell my jiujitsu [sic] was the originator of all the martial arts: karate, kung fu, etc. I just tune those people out. I've spent years researching the martial arts. I don't have the time to educate some poor sap who is too brainwashed to want to learn otherwise or too lazy to do his own research about the matter.

If someone has a genuine interest about something they don't know about and I happen to have a bit of knowledge about that something, I'd be more than happy to share my info. I don't do deprogramming, though.

Cthulhu
 
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Danny

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I can relate to everything in your post.
 
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Richard S.

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battousai, whoa,what accuracy! everything you stated rang a bell with me. it sucks that the humility and simple respect that most martial artists live by can be reduced to a "whos is bigger" mentality by folks that dont understand what THEY are telling US about.
 
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Monkey King

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It used to be that any form of martial art was a secret art.

Now, it's like all of the self defense information in the history of the world is available on video cassette.

So much for the element of surprise. What worked in the ancient world may not work now.

Most people don't ask me so I don't tell.

Don't ask , don't tell? Wrong thread.:shrug:

Those whom I have talked to, talk intelligently about it. and respectfully.

No problem here.
 

Jay Bell

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When I was younger, I caught a lot of flack for studying martial arts....pretty much was described above. Now that I'm a smidge older, I don't usually get that taunting. It's more on the opposite end of the field <odd>

I teach in a local park in southern Arizona. It's cheaper on everyone involved...ya know...being free n' all. Back when I grew up there, we'd get taunted with the "HIYAA"s of drive-by folks, but now people tend to plop down and watch at night when we train.

I'm not sure exactly what causes it. At times, we've had young guys get out of their cars with the "bravado" pumping...only to sit down, watch and actually become interested in what we were doing.

One thing that I've learned is what Monkey touched on. I don't bring training up to people. I talk about it with people that train and leave it at that. This prevents assumptions on their part and annoyance on mine.

"Are you a black belt?"

"Not from your understanding, no"
 
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Monkey King

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We also practice in a park by a main drag in the summer. (Outdoor conditioning) and quite often get alot of jeers from passersby. We even get people from other schools sitting down watching our techniques, then we see them trying them out.

But when you see 1 to 2oo practitioners in full uniform all doing the same movement, it's quite impressive.

Sort of like watching a Bruce Lee movie.
 

Cthulhu

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We have our Sunday morning workouts in a big park in Melbourne, FL. I think the reactions are a bit different with us, since we're usually swinging sticks or training knives at each other. That, or my instructors are tossing me around like a rag doll.

We did some stick sparring a couple of weeks ago with hockey helmets, hockey gloves, and some very nice padded sticks that arnisandyz made. We got a few driveby spectators with that as well. I didn't get a good gauge on reactions, as I was either getting my head pounded on, or watching someone else get their head pounded on.

Damn, that was fun :)

Cthulhu
 

Carbon

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This makes me think of a kid in my Study Skills class who was bragging to some girl about being a blah blah black belt and I guess he was just trying to impress her. As I listened he was talking about all this spiritual crap that kinda freaked me out as he was saying all this weird stuff? Also there is a TKD girl in our school that is so freaking annoying. Both these kids are my age and she always talks about all this crap and how she was going to be on the olympic team of TKD and how she can beat all these people up. It was funny when I said I wish I could knock her out and she said she would just take out my leg? It made me think why on earth would I run up to someone. I guess it makes me laugh. I am no martial artist but I have read up on it quite a bit and own books on alot of different styles. So I try not to talk to people about it either since they think its fake. When I wore my budowear t-shirt and all this peopel kept grabbing my wrist like I was going to do something? Maybe if I was in Aikido and I knew a wrist lock taht would break your arm I might of shown them so next time they read my shirt they would know that I wasn't joking :) Hehe I hope someone replies to this lol.
 

Zoran

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The best defense I've found to those situations is to keep my mouth shut. First off, I've learned the hard way, not to tell people that I'm a martial artist. For those that find out anyway, and start asking dumb questions, I find a quick excuse to leave their presence. "Oh, excuse me, my cell phone just vibrated. I have to take this call." ;)

I posted a similar thread in the humor section. Pretty funny story.
http://www.martialtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1189
 
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islandtime

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Originally posted by Cthulhu

Had some guy trying to tell my jiujitsu [sic] was the originator of all the martial arts: karate, kung fu, etc. I just tune those people out. I've spent years researching the martial arts. I don't have the time to educate some poor sap who is too brainwashed to want to learn otherwise or too lazy to do his own research about the matter.

If someone has a genuine interest about something they don't know about and I happen to have a bit of knowledge about that something, I'd be more than happy to share my info. I don't do deprogramming, though.

Cthulhu

.....................................................
To use a Southern expression "You guys are preachin' to the Choir"

I think anyone who has been in the art for any time has run across this type of crap. I just keep it to myself. Usually if anyone asks me if I study and what rank I am .
I just say I used to and I have forgot most of it except for one move..
When they ask what it is i say "the most important movement is the handshake"

Yes, I know, get off the zen soapbox Gene!


Gene Gabel
 

Jay Bell

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When I wore my budowear t-shirt and all this peopel kept grabbing my wrist like I was going to do something?

haha...the founder of Budowear is a dear friend of mine. That reminds me when I was wearing the yari shirt, visiting my folks. My Mother looked at me pretty oddly and then said, "Jas...what's a "yari"?".

She got the joke when I explained ;)
 

Carbon

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I like those shirts but they draw alot of attention to people that don't know what they mean? Like people are like I don't get it? I don't understand? And I'm like er its just a martial art and a shirt I like lol. I was also going to tell you about this asian kid who had taken martial arts and who I heard was good he was a foreign exchange student but I never got to ask him about it. I think he moved away though :( hehe.
 

Yari

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Originally posted by Jay Bell



haha...the founder of Budowear is a dear friend of mine. That reminds me when I was wearing the yari shirt, visiting my folks. My Mother looked at me pretty oddly and then said, "Jas...what's a "yari"?".

She got the joke when I explained ;)

Okay, now I'm curios (sp?)....... even though it's my nick...

/Yari
 
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Stickboxer

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I bought a book from a book store recently. I think it was a JuJitsu book. The guy who checked me out wasn't a martial artist, but rather a student of Asian history. Of course, he had to delve into a full diatribe on the TRUE origins of martial arts, how books like the one I was buying were wrong. I should have told him to just keep the book then.

Like many others who have posted here, I, too, worked out in a park. Advanced Arnis students met there on early Friday evenings to hit sticks. It was the sole city park, with a baseball diamond and jogging trails around us. I can empathize with the scrutiny of "real athletes" looking at the martial artist-wannabes everyone assumed us to be. Not real practitioners, mind you; they all assumed we were idiots pretending to be something we're not.

There's another stereotypical response not yet mentioned, although I'm sure we've all experienced it. A doofus--sometimes a so-called friend--finds out that you train in the martial arts, acts calm, then suddenly throws out a limb they pathetically claim is a punch. They then laugh, "Woah! I could have got you! What terrible reflexes! You obviously couldn't ever defend yourself!" The only thing we could do to set them straight and regain our pride: open a can on him!!!

Of course, we all know how some people also say "Yeah, my second cousin's hairdresser's roommate has a nineteenth degree in Tae Kwon Do, so..." EITHER "...you could learn from him" or "...she could kick your ***!"

OK, I can understand how some people effortlessly conclude that I'm less than others. In the high school where I work, National Guardsmen taught self-defense to students, and I later admitted that while some of the material was good, I thought some of it was not all that effective. Students from the PE class doubted the validity of anything I had to say, because after all, I was a mere employee of the school, while these were highly-trained soldiers. However, what the students neglected to consider was that while I've put in thousands of hours of training, the soldiers spent just a few hundred hours working hand-to-hand material (that was watered down to make it applicable to the masses, but that's a whole other topic).

But then again, we've all probably encountered egomaniacs like these students, who take a self-defense course for a couple hours and think THEY can suddenly kick our butt! I can understand the mistake when the instructor of a martial school Im visiting offers to teach me, not realizing that I hold high rank myself in the same style; teachers like that are just quick to make a buck. But when its a snot-nose teenager trying to prove how tough he is by challenging a guy who outweighs him by 100 pounds? How about when that big guy trains more per week than the tiny twerp spends watching TV and playing video games combined?

Still, we may be guilty of the same crime ourselves...

One arrogant, geeky high schooler--nicknamed "Burp"--was shown an armbar, and suddenly he thought he knew a secret technique he could use to take out anyone. Boasting to me, I said that I felt it was nearly impossible to pull off such a lock in "real time" against a wildly-swinging opponent. Minutes later, the guy began punching at me like a madman; I let him get out his frustrations as I simply parried his strikes. Finally, I did the armbar on him, sending him face-down into the pavement. I had to laugh at him and say "Well I guess you were right. It IS possible to use that technique in a real fight!" :D
 
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Stickboxer

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Wow. Please forgive me. I know not the length of my ramblings until I've posted them.
 

Carbon

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I enjoyed the reading of the stories and the philosophy on the subject. There are kids in our school the ones who hang out with the so called Olympic TKD rank holder girl in our school who is 16? Even though when she competed I believed that the rules state now that you have to be like 17 or something to be in the olympics anyway I won't get into that. These kids in our school during pep rally's practice capuweda the brazilian dance game the jinga or wahtever and think they can kick anyone's ***. They walk around with wife beaters on and try to work out and do fancy kicks and do hand stands and all this bs, I don' t know for a fact if they could kick my ***, but when they intentionally beat up on the younger freshman of their group with sticks to show off their skills I highly doubt their actualy self control and martial discipline. I also had a friend who used swing a stick at me and all this or move his hands real fast at my fast and say like oh I could of gotten you and I'm like er? I don't think those hits would of really hurt me. Also I didn't want to seriously move fast in fear that I would wound him with a stick when i brought it to his side so I just played along and really didn't move all that fast to give the impression that I am slow as hell. Well this is my story for now :)
 

Klondike93

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Originally posted by Stickboxer

Wow. Please forgive me. I know not the length of my ramblings until I've posted them.

No, thank you, that was one hell of a post and right on with most of the stuff I've encountered in my 25+ years in martial arts.

:asian:
 

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