Racist martial arts instructor?

WingChunChick

Yellow Belt
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OKay so there is this martial arts instructor in our area who was giving a seminar and during it he was demonstrating a blood choke from a rear position. After he showed it to us he said "You have to be careful because African Americans don't have the same bodies as we do and are susceptible to this choke, it can easily kill them because their (word I didn't catch) won't reinflate"

My question is, is there any credible medical evidence of this or is he just perpetuating a racist myth, I've never heard of this before.
 
Why didn't you just ask the instructor to explain that more then you'd have seen if he actually had any knowledge of it or not
 
It's a little hard to say if that is racist, or just ignorant.

Did the underlying message suggest that African -Americans are somehow inferior? Then he is racist.

Did the underlying message suggest that they have a different anatomy from other ethnic groups? Then he is just ignorant (and possibly stupid) and needs an education.
 
It's a little hard to say if that is racist, or just ignorant.

Did the underlying message suggest that African -Americans are somehow inferior? Then he is racist.

Did the underlying message suggest that they have a different anatomy from other ethnic groups? Then he is just ignorant (and possibly stupid) and needs an education.
To me it sounds like the second. He didn't actually seem to be insulting anyone or saying anything negative about them. People are to quick to call racism on little things these days even if they're not racist. Don't get me wrong racism is wrong but for example people got offended if you say an Asian person is Asian these days that's the kind of thing that's silly.
 
I don't think that's racist, it certainly is stupid though. Black people don't have different bodies or different organs than any other human.
 
I agree with the others, stupid but not really racist. It's like saying women are more susceptible to breast cancer than men are. That is a simple fact and is not meant in a negative or derogatory way at all. As for the statement itself, this is the first I've heard of it, and quite frankly, cutting off oxygen flow to the brain via a choke is going to kill anyone regardless of their race.

There are some differences between black and white people that I have heard of, mostly to do with their bone density and muscle : fat ratio, which is why it is very rare to see black people competing in swimming events. having denser bones and more muscle means you are more likely to sink, which makes it harder to swim longer distances.
 
I would agree with it not being racist, though it does seem questionable at first glance (or hearing). The instructor must be miss informed or misguided in some way.
 
I agree with the others, stupid but not really racist. It's like saying women are more susceptible to breast cancer than men are. That is a simple fact and is not meant in a negative or derogatory way at all. As for the statement itself, this is the first I've heard of it, and quite frankly, cutting off oxygen flow to the brain via a choke is going to kill anyone regardless of their race.

There are some differences between black and white people that I have heard of, mostly to do with their bone density and muscle : fat ratio, which is why it is very rare to see black people competing in swimming events. having denser bones and more muscle means you are more likely to sink, which makes it harder to swim longer distances.

There are minor differences. I'm Hispanic Hawaiian mix and my Hawaiian side tends to be stockier and larger in size compared to my Hispanic family members. From what I've seen in the pictures anyway.

But beyond that stuff we all have the same cardiovascular system and skeletal system. We have identical biology, that's what confuses me about the instructors comment.
 
I don't know the biology here but it is absolutely true that in some ways race matters. Look at sickle cell.
 
I don't know the biology here but it is absolutely true that in some ways race matters. Look at sickle cell.

True, but even then if you choke someone it's still a choke. We all need blood and oxygen to our brains regardless.

But anyway OP. I don't think your instructor is racist. Sometimes instructors just say dumb things, I wouldn't bring it up because it is already in the past, and if you do it may make him think it offended you or something.

Or if you are genuinely curious I guess you could ask him to further elaborate on it?
 
Probably trachea. But you should avoid crushing that regardless of race.

Otherwise I wouldnt have thought it any more racist that saying black people dont get sunburnt as easily.
 
While the racial weakness, is usually, on the white side, I will have to look further into this before deciding. I do know for a fact, that older people are at risk, when practicing chokes, for stroke.
 
The instructor is repeating a piece of misinformation that received wide publicity during the early 1980s, when LA police chief Daryl Gates was asked about the police use of "choke holds". Gates had said that chokes were particularly dangerous when applied to black people because their arteries do not open up again as fast as those of "normal people" (his words), which was obviously a very offensive and controversial statement. It attracted widespread condemnation at the time.

As it turned out, Gates himself had misinterpreted a statement by Dr. Wallace Gaye of Harbor-UCLA Hospital; Gates apologized, but because his comment had been so widely publicized via newspaper and TV reports, the idea that people of African descent are somehow more susceptible to choke holds than other people are passed into the body of "urban myth" or "gym wisdom" in the martial arts community.
 
"You have to be careful because African Americans don't have the same bodies as we do and are susceptible to this choke, it can easily kill them because their (word I didn't catch) won't reinflate"
I guess I better be careful if someone sneaks up and chokes me out from behind lol. I might not reinflate. lol.

This is nuts and I have no idea why the instructor would even think that lol. It could be racists if it was said from the perspective that one race is inferior to another. Most likely it's just ignorance. Racists people usually don't care about the well being of the person they are choking out. I know if I was a racists my statement would be more along the lines of "This choke works really good against black people because they got lazy lungs that don't reinflate." lol Now if he had said this then I would be leaning more to either comedian or racist. lol.

Before anyone kills me for that one. I'm just highlighting how absurd the statement is. In other words no matter if the person is racist or not the statement is still ignorant and it makes an assumption about a ethnic group as if choking out someone is more effective on one race than another.

There are some differences between black and white people that I have heard of, mostly to do with their bone density and muscle : fat ratio, which is why it is very rare to see black people competing in swimming events. having denser bones and more muscle means you are more likely to sink, which makes it harder to swim longer distances.
I'm black American and I can tell you that I have never heard this before. That's nuts. That's almost like what they used to say about black people running long distances, but now guess who wrecks Marathons. People used to have similar thoughts about black people and other sports and each time, it has nothing to do with the person's racial make up or identity.

 
The instructor is repeating a piece of misinformation that received wide publicity during the early 1980s, when LA police chief Daryl Gates was asked about the police use of "choke holds". Gates had said that chokes were particularly dangerous when applied to black people because their arteries do not open up again as fast as those of "normal people" (his words), which was obviously a very offensive and controversial statement. It attracted widespread condemnation at the time.

As it turned out, Gates himself had misinterpreted a statement by Dr. Wallace Gaye of Harbor-UCLA Hospital; Gates apologized, but because his comment had been so widely publicized via newspaper and TV reports, the idea that people of African descent are somehow more susceptible to choke holds than other people are passed into the body of "urban myth" or "gym wisdom" in the martial arts community.

That's some good info. I never knew.
 
The thing most people don't understand about Africa, is that is a very diverse place, and for every bronze athletic god, there is an equally clumsy oaf, who would have a hard time taking on a stairwell. So, I would need further evidence, about who the guy is even talking about, if he knows what he is talking about. There is proof that the mountain people of Tibet are different, but that is because people without a specific mutation for heights,
didn't make it into the gene pool.
 
OKay so there is this martial arts instructor in our area who was giving a seminar and during it he was demonstrating a blood choke from a rear position. After he showed it to us he said "You have to be careful because African Americans don't have the same bodies as we do and are susceptible to this choke, it can easily kill them because their (word I didn't catch) won't reinflate"

My question is, is there any credible medical evidence of this or is he just perpetuating a racist myth, I've never heard of this before.
Not so much racist as stupid, IMNSHO.
 
Devon beat me to it. I knew it was a LAPD chief that had made the public statement some years back, but I couldn't remember his name.

The instructor in question may have just been making a stupid and ignorant statement without malicious racist intent, but it's worth noting that there is a correlation between unquestioningly buying into these sorts of myths and outright racism. (For an easy example, look at Daryl Gates's original statement contrasting black people to "normal" people.) I wouldn't assume the seminar instructor is necessarily a virulent racist, but I might pay extra attention in any future interactions with him.

It's also worth noting that there many degrees of racism. Being racist isn't limited to folks who say "I hate members of <group x> because they are subhuman beasts who deserve to die." You don't have to be a KKK member to be a racist. It can be subtle. Sometimes it can be a subconscious assessment of individuals you encounter that you don't realize is influenced by race. Sometimes it can be a willingness to accept myths and stereotypes about a given group without stopping to think and question them.

People aren't even necessarily internally consistent about their prejudices. I've known people who intellectually have espoused racist ideas in general - but in actual interaction with members of the group in question they (so far as I have observed) treat them as individuals without prejudice. I've also known people who do the opposite - say all the right things in general, but don't act accordingly.

It's also useful to remember that being racist doesn't mean someone is an evil person. Racism is bad and has pernicious effects. However, it's a problem rooted in society as a whole more than a purely individual flaw. If someone grows up in a racist culture it's hard to avoid absorbing at least a little bit of racism into their viewpoint. Even members of a minority group being discriminated against can unconsciously absorb some of the prejudices against their own group.

I think the above factors are worth noting because I've seen a number of my white friends and acquaintances who are highly resistant (or downright upset) at the idea that systemic racism against minorities still exists in the U.S.. As far as I can tell, the internal subconscious process goes something like this: "Racism is bad. I know this. I'm not a bad person. I don't hate black people. I despise groups like the KKK. These protesters are saying that there is systemic racism in this country disadvantaging black and brown people compared to white people. That's the same as saying white people are all racist. I'm not racist. They're saying I'm a bad person because I'm white. Therefore these people protesting racism are the real racists."

Sorry if some of that went above and beyond the original question. I've just seen too much crap posted on Facebook by friends that I don't have time or energy to spend every day arguing with.
 
Devon beat me to it. I knew it was a LAPD chief that had made the public statement some years back, but I couldn't remember his name.

The instructor in question may have just been making a stupid and ignorant statement without malicious racist intent, but it's worth noting that there is a correlation between unquestioningly buying into these sorts of myths and outright racism. (For an easy example, look at Daryl Gates's original statement contrasting black people to "normal" people.) I wouldn't assume the seminar instructor is necessarily a virulent racist, but I might pay extra attention in any future interactions with him.

It's also worth noting that there many degrees of racism. Being racist isn't limited to folks who say "I hate members of <group x> because they are subhuman beasts who deserve to die." You don't have to be a KKK member to be a racist. It can be subtle. Sometimes it can be a subconscious assessment of individuals you encounter that you don't realize is influenced by race. Sometimes it can be a willingness to accept myths and stereotypes about a given group without stopping to think and question them.

People aren't even necessarily internally consistent about their prejudices. I've known people who intellectually have espoused racist ideas in general - but in actual interaction with members of the group in question they (so far as I have observed) treat them as individuals without prejudice. I've also known people who do the opposite - say all the right things in general, but don't act accordingly.

It's also useful to remember that being racist doesn't mean someone is an evil person. Racism is bad and has pernicious effects. However, it's a problem rooted in society as a whole more than a purely individual flaw. If someone grows up in a racist culture it's hard to avoid absorbing at least a little bit of racism into their viewpoint. Even members of a minority group being discriminated against can unconsciously absorb some of the prejudices against their own group.

I think the above factors are worth noting because I've seen a number of my white friends and acquaintances who are highly resistant (or downright upset) at the idea that systemic racism against minorities still exists in the U.S.. As far as I can tell, the internal subconscious process goes something like this: "Racism is bad. I know this. I'm not a bad person. I don't hate black people. I despise groups like the KKK. These protesters are saying that there is systemic racism in this country disadvantaging black and brown people compared to white people. That's the same as saying white people are all racist. I'm not racist. They're saying I'm a bad person because I'm white. Therefore these people protesting racism are the real racists."

Sorry if some of that went above and beyond the original question. I've just seen too much crap posted on Facebook by friends that I don't have time or energy to spend every day arguing with.
For me racism is strictly a hate issue. Everything else is misinformed people. Racism is intentional. Misinformation breeds ignorance. People have different comfort levels with different races and cultures but it doesn't mean they are racist. I knew a lady who felt uncomfortable around a large number of black people. She wasn't racist, but probably had some misconceptions about black people. She actually told me she was uncomfortable one night when we were in a club full of black people. The way she said it didn't have hate in her voice. And I understood that the negative stereotype of black people as being violent and dangerous was probably running through her mind.
 
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