The need to feed?

CoryKS

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So, I am curious as to whether or not anyone else has experienced this as apart of their training? Do you find it taking you to darker places? Do you have to feed the need (Violence and negative), if even a tiny bit? (Yin and Yang- creating one, creates the other at the same time). Honesty would be great!

This is fascinating because my experience has been the complete opposite. I've always been a bit on the dark side and had a pretty fierce temper. Prior to beginning kenpo, I took an anger management course and through talking with the counsellor I discovered that much of my anger originated in fear. It was a defense mechanism for coping with socially anxious situations.

I didn't start MA to address this; we had enrolled my son and it looked like so much fun that I joined too. It slowly dawned on me that I was becoming more comfortable in my own skin and, incidentally, much calmer than I had been. I'm continually amazed by how much happier and more peaceful I am since I started training. I only wish I had started much earlier.

MA is one of those things about which it has become a cliche to say that it changed your life but... it changed my life.
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Tez3

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This is fascinating because my experience has been the complete opposite. I've always been a bit on the dark side and had a pretty fierce temper. Prior to beginning kenpo, I took an anger management course and through talking with the counsellor I discovered that much of my anger originated in fear. It was a defense mechanism for coping with socially anxious situations.

I didn't start MA to address this; we had enrolled my son and it looked like so much fun that I joined too. It slowly dawned on me that I was becoming more comfortable in my own skin and, incidentally, much calmer than I had been. I'm continually amazed by how much happier and more peaceful I am since I started training. I only wish I had started much earlier.

MA is one of those things about which it has become a cliche to say that it changed your life but... it changed my life.
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This is what I have seen in people who do martial arts, being able to take control. The calmness comes with knowing you can kick off if you need to but you don't have to anymore just to make a point. as you so rightly put it, it's being comfortable in your skin.
 

Brian R. VanCise

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Fascinating topic! Every human has good/evil within them. Personally I have yet to meet a Saint or someone who has not committed some sort of dark deed. (though for most people they are very minor :) ) Your friend when training went down a path that ultimately he figured out was not right for him. I think it is great that he moved on and found things that he loves to do. Life is to short to do some thing that does not bring you happiness and over all good feelings! Hopefully he will never have to be in a violent encounter because those skills that he once honed will probably not be there for him. Martial skills have been used for good and bad throughout the course of human history. The key here at least for most is to get better and train so that in a violent encounter you will hopefully be able to protect yourself and your loved ones. Still in the end life is full of choices that only each indvidual can make!
 

Brian R. VanCise

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This is what I have seen in people who do martial arts, being able to take control. The calmness comes with knowing you can kick off if you need to but you don't have to anymore just to make a point. as you so rightly put it, it's being comfortable in your skin.

Very nice point Tez3. Being in control but yet also able to handle business if needed. However, no need to prove anything via a monkey dance, etc.
 

Tez3

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Very nice point Tez3. Being in control but yet also able to handle business if needed. However, no need to prove anything via a monkey dance, etc.


Ta! It's something I see in the SAS troopers or the Royal Marines here, the sitting back letting the world go by,casual look but if something kicks off all of a sudden they are there on top of it. It's almost magical, totally fascinating to watch. They don't start trouble, they go to great pains not to (usually lol) but boy do they finish it!
 

Thesemindz

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As I got better and better, and moved forward on the continuum of skill, I definitely felt a growing urge to do violence.

I was a fat, smart kid. I didn't get in fights. Which is part of why I learned kenpo. Because I was insecure about exactly what would happen if I did. And as I developed the ability to win fights, it introduced to me an entirely new aspect of conflict resolution which I had to learn to control.

When we are babies we are learning how the world works and what we have to do to get our way. We learn that crying, might work, or silence. And as we age we learn that we can manipulate with lies, or righteousness, or money, and we learn how to make our way through the world. And some of us learn to use violence.

But I had not learned at a young age that violence worked, and so I didn't consider it an option worth exploring. Certainly I was the victim of bullying, but my intellect allowed me to manipulate people verbally instead of physically, and that was my weapon of choice.

But as I trained more and more, and saw more of my fellow students falling away from training, I slowly began to realize my options had expanded.

I didn't go out and get in fights, but over time, if I was in an oppositional situation, I had a new method to get my way. Physical intimidation and force. And I had to learn when and where to use that. I think this is a place where some people get stuck, and it leads to physical bullying whether in children or adults.

Rational people just learn that like any other tool, you use it when it is appropriate and not when it is not. Yes, hitting someone may get them to give up their parking space, or their ideals, or their wallet, but it's just not appropriate for those roles. It is appropriate in situations of immediate self defense and the defense of others.

And it's not always pleasant. Putting your fingers in someone's eyes, or breaking their wrist, or kicking them in the head, these are not things that everyone is comfortable with. And to some degree becoming comfortable with these things changes a person as well.

I felt the same thing when I got my first firearm. I certainly didn't realistically entertain the idea of robbing a bank. But intellectually I understood that to some degree I now had that option.


Learning to fight, or buying a weapon is simply an increase in power, and the two great statements about power are that it corrupts, and it comes with great responsibility. It is something people have to learn and internalize. Some people do, and they are fine. Some people don't and they are bullies. And some people just walk away from power, and refuse to drink from it at all. Which is of course their prerogative.

Martial arts aren't inherently evil, or sinister, or corrupting. But they can be powerful. How we use that power is up to each of us.


-Rob
 

mcmoon

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I've always been interested in martial arts but due to where I lived I was never able to take any kind of classes (up until like 2 years ago). Then I was hanging out with some friends one night and there were some other guys and they were boxing each other and saw us and asked if we wanted jump in. I didnt think anything would happen so I strapped on the gloves and went up against a bigger guy and did ok i guess considering after that night everyone was talking about how I did, which from my point of view wasnt all that great, but I did enjoy it and I went and bought a punching bag and I found that when I was mad I would go and wail on the bag for a while and it would make me feel so much better.

Now I've never had anger issues, in fact I'm a very calm person but hitting something does make me feel good. Now I'm not saying I want to hurt anybody because i don't but I've found that its one hell of a stress reliever, for me anyway, and the fact that your learning something useful as far as self defense makes it even more worth it.

Also when me and my girlfriend have an argument or anybody else for that matter I know that after I go train that I will feel so much better and probably apologize to my girlfriend just because I've let out all that anger and just wanna make up.

But to answer yours question: No I don't feel the need to start fights but I do feel confident that if one arises I'll be able to handle it without much of a problem.

P.S. I train with a guy and from what I've heard he used to have real bad anger issues until he started martial arts
 

seasoned

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I feel that through Martial Arts I am in a much better place mentally and physically. I feel that it has put everything into prospective pertaining to the way I interact with people, on a social level, as well as a self defense situation. I never once entertained not training, or leaving the arts, because the benefits, totally out weighted any ill feeling,
 

ATC

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....Can it be that training causes the need to know if it will work and possibly make you now a "little less likely" to walk away and maybe, even if for an extra few seconds, be bolder than you are normally? Doesn't this count as darker, as you are more aggressive? (even though you call it confident) Speaking honestly, isn't there now a piece in you that just "wants" or "dares" some action to take place? If no, then why all the constant competitions? Why a fan of watching fights? Etc... Aren't you feeding a dark desire?
No. When I was a kid (my teens and 20's) I fought a lot. But since the MA's I found it easy to walk away. I knew I had nothing to prove and found it easy to laugh it off. Not having confidence and needed to prove I could beat someone up made me more violent. Now was that just being young and dumb? Maybe.

And you are correct. It was bad of me to blame the teachings or teacher. Each has to be accountable for his/her actions.
 

kkallio88

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I feel the same way as most of you do, how martial arts don't necessarily put you in a bad place mentally or physically, but I do think that "need to feed" can actually exist in certain circumstances.

Through my personal experience, when word got around to my friends at college that I train in martial arts, people occasionally seemed to want to try the things they know from their different martial arts backgrounds against mine. In these situations, there was never any malicious intent, no one ever wanted to actually hurt each other, and if we were to try techniques on each other, we were always friends afterwords. I feel like those situations right there certainly represent that "need to feed" but not necessarily in the way that you mentioned.

Perhaps it could be said that the humility that becomes part of your personality through martial arts, where you don't try to be the macho man who goes out and picks fights, where you do try to end the fight before it starts, and knowing that the highest form of martial arts is not having to use them, is what drives this friendly need to feed.

So what I guess I'm saying is: we gear ourselves so much towards only using our martial arts when we really need it, in real life self defense scenarios, so the need or desire arises to "test" yourself so to speak, in a friendly, controlled manner, especially when your friends want to see what your martial art is made of. I am still early in my training and I realize too that once at a certain point, I will no longer need to engage in these friendly... whatever you want to call them.
 

wushuguy

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Well, as the post said, since he got away from the arts, he has found more peace and happiness. ... Speaking honestly, isn't there now a piece in you that just "wants" or "dares" some action to take place? If no, then why all the constant competitions? Why a fan of watching fights? Etc... Aren't you feeding a dark desire?

I think there are two kinds of people who like to watch competitions or partake in them. one kind enjoy it for the sportsmanship, to see who is better, and while the sport may be violent, they don't wish serious injury to the competitors. there is another kind, that when they see or partake in competition, they indulge in the thoughts of how to bring further harm or even serious injury or death to the other.

so while some people watch or do the competition in a light-hearted and competitive yet respectful way, but there are some who just love violence for the sake of violence and love the imagery of maiming, killing, or injuring. those people may be calm and loving as long as they stay away from it, but if it's like an addiction, the more they get it, the more it takes over them.
 

Tanaka

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I don't necessarily crave violence, but I do crave challenge. So I'm constantly looking for someone with spar with. And I do sometimes in public places look at people and say, "hmmm if this guy were to attack me... how would I defend myself?"
But I'm still new to martial arts, and I guess I still feel the need to prove myself.

But as far as desiring violence and wanting to cause someone great physical harm. I don't think martial arts has done that to me.

My sensei told me that usually people who are just starting out might be jumpy. Mostly due because they feel the need to prove something etc etc. Then he told me as they progress they already know what they're capable of, and have no reason to feel the need to prove themselves to anyone. So they can walk away from a fight much easier.
These aren't his exact words, but its something along the lines of what he told me. But I guess the point was... The more you feel the need to prove yourself, then the more prone you are to get into a fight or even start the fight.
 
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Tanaka

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I think there are two kinds of people who like to watch competitions or partake in them. one kind enjoy it for the sportsmanship, to see who is better, and while the sport may be violent, they don't wish serious injury to the competitors. there is another kind, that when they see or partake in competition, they indulge in the thoughts of how to bring further harm or even serious injury or death to the other.

so while some people watch or do the competition in a light-hearted and competitive yet respectful way, but there are some who just love violence for the sake of violence and love the imagery of maiming, killing, or injuring. those people may be calm and loving as long as they stay away from it, but if it's like an addiction, the more they get it, the more it takes over them.

I agree. I myself look at it as sportsmanship. For example(popular example) MMA. It sometimes looks pretty violent to people who may not understand. But most of those guys love and respect each other. Most of them are even good at taking a loss. They don't go stomping off, but will come to congratulate the winner. You'll see hugs and handshakes all the time.

Granted there are some guys who dislike each other.
 
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Xue Sheng

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Hello all!

Last evening I came across an old friend that I remembered as one hell of a martial artist back in the day. When I asked if he was still a practitioner he said no, which surprised me. He was still in incredible shape, as he's into weights, and running. He said that he remembers everything but no longer can practice do to the negative feelings that training in the arts created. My first thought was confusion as I immediately thought back into the "company line" of the martial arts as building positives, like character, humility, etc... He shook it all off and said those are nice theories but in reality "when you feed the need, you create the need to feed!" He claimed that training in the arts actually sent him into darker places internally and hating to go there, he had to give it all up, though it was his passion. He did say that he is happier now, but, even in "retirement" from the arts, he gets that need to feed (More violence is what he was referring too or negative qualities) every once in a while.

So, I am curious as to whether or not anyone else has experienced this as apart of their training? Do you find it taking you to darker places? Do you have to feed the need (Violence and negative), if even a tiny bit? (Yin and Yang- creating one, creates the other at the same time). Honesty would be great!
Thanks!

Actually I don’t crave violence but I do crave crushing my enemies, see them driven before me, and to hearing the lamentation of their women. And it was soooooo much easier "back in the day" than it is now…… :uhyeah:

Actually I do not crave violence at all, never have. And I have been at this for over 30 years

And for the record…:ticked: I can’t stand the phrase “back in the day” :cool:
 

Miles

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I started training in the mid-70s when I was 12 but had been interested for several years before due to the Green Hornet and Kung Fu series. My folks had a party and there was a gentleman who learned martial arts (I believe it was Karate) while serving in Viet Nam. He was aghast that anyone would want to learn or teach martial arts. It was because he had trained only with a mentality to kill. He told my parents that no matter what, I should not be allowed to learn. He could not see that there was another side to the martial arts.
 

David43515

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As a young kid I had a very violent temper, so my dad and uncles began teaching me kung fu when I was 8. The discipline of training helped me get it under control and by the time I was an adolecent, I was known for my patience and self-control. I`m still a self-control freak. I bought into the idea that MA training instills discipline and self-confidence etc. Then in high school I had my first couple of "real" fights. On the one hand training really helped me be in control (I knew what to do, what not to do, and when to stop) of the situation. On the other hand it took me to a dark place too.

The adrenelin rush that came from having to really hit and kick someone with intent, was suprising. I`d never felt something like that before.Your reactions seem 10 times faster, the punch landing and the decision to hit seemed to happen at the same time. So when my mind said "I`m gonna drop this guy".....he was already falling. That was an ego rush that made me feel like a god. You think something and it happens. And on one occation I hit a guy and broke 2 of his ribs. The physical sensation when I felt the bones break was so intense I would say the only thing close to it is sexual release. So I felt cocky and full of myself. And being a friendly guy I felt really guilty about enjoying the way it felt when I injured someone. I remember thinking I must really be sick. It alot of new and conflicting experiances for a young kid. It took a couple years for me to accept that and decide what kind of person I wanted to be. I almost gave up MA in my 20`s because of it, so I can understand what the OP`s friend meant.

Nowadays, I just think that MA is a catalyst. It doesn`t give you confidence or dicipline if you don`t already have them, it just makes them more pronounced. The same with cockiness and violent behavior. I`m 43 and have been training alot of years now. Now I can say I`m patient, tolerant,kind, and confident. (I`m still working on the self-disciplined part) But I think if I made the effort I would have gotten those things from piano lessons, football, or some other activity just as easily. I was never good at the team sports my friends played in school. For me MA was something I could be good at and I think that helped me stick with it, that`s all.
 

Blade96

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No violence need. The opposite, actually. though shotokan is a MA one of funakoshi's sentences are 'There is no first strike in karate' And that's what it teaches us.

Of course I do not have a violent agressive personality (though was quite so as a kid and teen but i was being abused then.)

But Shotokan makes me feel less so, not more so.
 
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Tez3

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No violence need. The opposite, actually. though shotokan is a MA one of funakoshi's sentences are 'There is no first strike in karate' And that's what it teaches us.

Of course I do not have a violent agressive personality (though was quite so as a kid and teen but i was being abused then.)

But Shotokan makes me feel less so, not more so.

The 'no first strike' thing is open to debate as many believe it doesn't mean it literally as in you can't hit someone first if you are in fear of your life but that karateka don't start fights...... but that's a debate for another thread :) If I have time I may post up on it.

I'm not a violent or aggressive person but can turn it on when needed and I don't allow someone the chance to hit me first before striking. I come from Wado Ryu orginally and I know the founders of Wado and Shotokan had a disagrrement on things like sparring and the no strike first philosophy before they split. Oops I'll keep that for the other thread I may get around to posting lol.
 
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