The mystique of 'self taught'?

Marginal

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"Dude, I'm like totally self-taught!"

Why is that a point of pride? In what other area does someone acheive any great recognition for teaching themselves their own special made up language that fits them better?

Or,
"Wow you use Adobe Premiere."
"Yeah. I'm self-taught."
(First guy faints. Stricken unconscious by sheer awe.)

Does that happen? Why did this romantic notion of self-education emerge in the MA's? Kung Fu movies?
 

Andrew Green

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no, people are proud of teaching themselves a second language, calculus, theory of relativity, ho to fix there car, how to program a computer game... all sorts of things. And when they actually do, it IS impressive and something to be proud of.
 

FearlessFreep

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In what other area does someone acheive any great recognition for teaching themselves their own special made up language that fits them better?

Music
 

arnisador

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Andrew Green said:
no, people are proud of teaching themselves a second language, calculus, theory of relativity, ho to fix there car, how to program a computer game... all sorts of things. And when they actually do, it IS impressive and something to be proud of.
So, we need to distinguish between teaching oneself a traditional form of knowledge, and making up for oneself something new.

Is making your own art more like making your own programming language? I'd be more willing to believe someone taught themselves relativity from a book than that they taught themselves southern praying mantis kung fu from a book.
 

Andrew Green

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Well... the language is the same, and it can be done.

The martial arts problem is that until you go with trained people you got no comparisson.

Let's go to web work as a example... everyone here is familliar with web design.

Now, someone CAN teach themself html, css, javascript, php, mysql, etc. and make very good sites as a self-taught designer.

Of course there are also the majority of self-taught designers that pump out the free anyone can design a site junk and can make "cool" effects in Frontpage.
 
OP
Marginal

Marginal

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Andrew Green said:
no, people are proud of teaching themselves a second language, calculus, theory of relativity, ho to fix there car, how to program a computer game... all sorts of things. And when they actually do, it IS impressive and something to be proud of.

It's impressive when they get it right. That seems to be a rare thing. For example, I can't begin to count the number of folks who call themselves writers, but refuse all advice and classes on no better excuse than, "I can't do that! I'm a writer!" Soon as they write a word on a page, they're done, and it should be good enough for anyone. (Seems to be a popular theory that any instruction at all somehow degrades the great raw talent they posess.)

It's not as much a question of whether or not self-education's a good thing. I'm just wondering what locks people into an obsession with training themselves while actively shunning materials that would make their task easier.
 

FearlessFreep

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Early on in my bass playing career I thought I was pretty hot stuff. As such. I avoided reading articles in bass magazines because they tended to illustrate to me how much I really didn't know...and that was painful to admit
 

Shaolinwind

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FearlessFreep said:
Early on in my bass playing career I thought I was pretty hot stuff. As such. I avoided reading articles in bass magazines because they tended to illustrate to me how much I really didn't know...and that was painful to admit
It's funny, sometimes we have to learn how to learn.
 

bignick

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Yes, anyone can teach themselves a language like HTML or CSS, Java, Visual Basic. I'm in the process of teaching myself C# right now and taught myself Basic when I was younger. Heck, I even taught myself to play guitar.

The difference is that in martial arts, like Andrew said, there's not the same feedback that you get with these types of knowledge....

Let's say I want to write a little program...what the heck, let's use the gold standard. I want to write a program that will display the message, "Hello World.". I can learn a language or use one I already know.....or....I could sit down, design the language, come up the syntactical and semantic structures and guidelines for the language, is it going to be Object Oriented or Structured, how will it handle input and output, what keywords will it use, will it be strongly typed or let you blow your foot off, how am I going to translate it into machine language - use a compiler, what about intermediate code generation or should I make it a translated language, am I going to provide any libraries to the user or are they going to be on there own when it comes to things like data structures and such.., once I'd got that down, sit down and write a compiler or translator...I've done that, albeit small scale, and I'll be damned if I'll do it again unless someone pays me big money, after I've got the bugs in the compiler worked out I could sit back and admire my handiwork, done all by myself....without outside help...oh crap, but I still have to write that program....but I can't remember quite how to do it...oh yeah, I better document my language so people know how to use it...an ubeliavably huge project in itself. Ok that's done, now to that program....and finished....look what I did all by myself....

And wait for somebody to walk by and say, "Hey, that's pretty neat....but all's you had to do was this..."

#include<iostream>

using namespace std;

int main()
{
cout << "Hello World";
return 0;
}
 

Simon Curran

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Although I wouldn't compare it to martial arts training, I taught myself Danish when I moved here, I didn't have much choice, (speak Danish or don't talk), and I have seen some people who were more natural fighters, but I wouldn't say that was the same as teaching yourself a martial art
 

TigerWoman

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There was a time when I had to teach myself from a book and tapes, the last three forms of Chang Hon. I also watched the other 2nd degree and he helped me at times. When my instructor saw I was determined finally he corrected me where needed before I tested. But he probably didn't show me everything in minute detail as he usually does. So I still pick up details.

Self-taught has no judge to say whether we learned it right. No test. No over-seeeing instructor. Too much room for error. There's no one to say, your stances should be lower, your body faces this way etc. This is not partner sparring, no partner is needed for forms. Yet to self teach and think that you have accomplished it to excellence is arrogant without an overseer. When I did it, I wanted to go on learning after six months of stagnation. (Not going to discuss why again). I figured where there is a will there is a way. But I knew I was making mistakes that had to get straightened out. There is a difference. BTW, I wouldn't advise what I did as it is much harder to correct later than do it slow and correctly. TW
 

FearlessFreep

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will it be strongly typed or let you blow your foot off]

Hey!! I'm comfortable with both statically typed languages (Ada, C++, C#) and dynamically typed languages (Smalltalk, Python) and I resent the implication there! :)
 

redfang

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With cooking, I often see it noted if a chef is self-taught.
 

searcher

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The problem with being "self-taught" in the martial arts is the way you prove if what you are teaching is effective or not. In cooking, music, art, etc. you can refine your skills with relative safety. Safety for yourself and everyone else. In the MA's you have to test your hypothesis by fighting, competing or by some other means. Just the same way a chef or other profession would test their skills. That is where an instructor can correct your mistakes and you don't have to make the same ones that they or their instructor did. It is an extension of their knowledge, we just add onto it.

I know that learning a MA is more than fighting, but it is the area that most people want to learn.
 

VSanhodo

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Hmmmmmmmmmm

Are their ppl in various trades, hobbies and yes I will even venture to say professions and Martial Arts??? Of course there are. Some seem to do well. but there is a reason for being taught. I cant imagine my Doctor being self taught or my lawyer. Why should we as consumers put up with individuals who make hugh claims to fame which can never in a million years be verified.
Ive learned those who are well trained and well quailified, like cream rise to the top. And those who claim to be self taught, Well they simply sink. Yes it is true BS floats but it also stinks.
Nope I think I will stick to being taught by those who are qualifed to do so.

Thanks

San
Self taught sure why not.
 

Don Roley

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The problems with self taught people in the martial arts is that they do not have a reference for what they are trying to learn.

I am talking about actual life of death struggles. Not sport competition or spiritual training.

Unless someone has provable experience in life or death situations before they start self learning, what are they going to base what they do off of? And if they have already survived a few situations like that, why bother?

Mind you, there are plenty of trained people that don't know what they are doing. But how can someone who has never faced a real knife supposed to come up with a new, self learned knife defense?
 
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