Why is there now a narrative that it was only aristocrats who could practise martial arts?

Tez3

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Back in the 70, one may only need to pay $20 per month to learn MA. Today, I believe it will be at least $150 per month.


What was the average wage in the 70s though because $20 then could easily be as expensive or even more expensive than the cost now.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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What was the average wage in the 70s though because $20 then could easily be as expensive or even more expensive than the cost now.
I remember that after I had worked for Kentucky Fried Chicken for one year and half, I got a wage raised from $1.50 to $1.60. The dish washer job that I had before was $1.25 per hour.

- My 1 bedroom apartment in UT Austin Breckenridge marriage student apartment costs me $30 a month (1972).
- The UT Austin tuition was $200 for out-state and $50 for instate (1972).
- The gasoline was as low as 23 cents (1970).
- The Dow Johns Industrial Average was as low as 600 (1976).
 
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Bullsherdog

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A street fighter may be able to teach his "street fighting" skill/experience to his students. He won't be able to teach a complete MA package to his students.

Back in the 70, one may only need to pay $20 per month to learn MA. Today, I believe it will be at least $150 per month.

First of all you aren't taking inflation into account. Secondly you also miss the fact that poor people can afford martial arts training. Which is why the Chinese proverb is nonsense. Because not all poor people are dirt poor enough they couldn't afford to eat 3 healthy meals a day and have lots of bottled water to drink. Hell upper class poor and middle class poor who did have luxuries like fancy silk kimonos and could afford theatre once in a blue moon.

Andit also ignores the upper class people of Chinese society who were police and military. As well as mafia families (richer than average).

Free lessons by some teachers who are passionate about the art rather than money? Or poor students who offered other stuff like dojo cleaning services? Or war veterans who came back home?

The fact that a number of systems were developed by soldiers or commoners who have first hand violence?

You also forget that fighting sports like wrestling were universal and practised even among slaves in their free time. I mean even Dalits in India wrestled each other for fun as did black slaves (who also boxed) and Latin America with stuff like Capoiera coming out. So did random serfs in Europe.

Did I forget hunting for food and local home defense esp in poor villages too far away from the city? Many people often had to not only be their own town militia but even do the local policing of their villages and slums. Martial arts would definitely passed down that way, if not learned from scratch through brawling.

Also boxing can often be $100s a month esp a great gym (and evne mediocre gym costs over $50). Yet many poor people pay for lessons.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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poor people can afford martial arts training.
Our definition of "poor" may be different.

Your definition of poor - I'm so poor. My chauffeur is poor, my gardener is poor, my servants are all poor.

My definition of poor:

- I wish before I die, I will have chance to taste meat at least once.
- When I sleep, my upper body is in a backward slope, this way my food can last longer in my stomach.

head-down.png
 
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Buka

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Not exactly the same circumstances as the thread title, but far worse...

I competed in South Africa back in the day, Apartheid was still in effect. We were part of a team of fighters, five of our guys were black. Our black guys were all celebrated there, because we were from the USA. I found that very odd.

We found out that black people down there were not allowed to study any Martial Arts, not only could they not afford it, they were not allowed to.....period.

Some of our guys found out that some of them had been training in secret for years. They agreed to take some of us to where they trained. They liked us because we treated them the same way as we treated everybody else. We drove a couple of hours into the middle of nowhere, to a ramshackle place where they trained in secret. We taught them as much as we could in the time allowed. We wanted to give them all of our equipment, even our gis, they trained in their street clothes - our competition was over - they wouldn't take anything because it might be used latter as evidence against them.

It was a very odd experience.
 

WaterGal

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Back in the 70, one may only need to pay $20 per month to learn MA. Today, I believe it will be at least $150 per month.

Your image says the regular price was $30/month. Adjusted for inflation, $30 in 1975 dollars is the same as $148 today.
 

Flying Crane

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Not exactly the same circumstances as the thread title, but far worse...

I competed in South Africa back in the day, Apartheid was still in effect. We were part of a team of fighters, five of our guys were black. Our black guys were all celebrated there, because we were from the USA. I found that very odd.

We found out that black people down there were not allowed to study any Martial Arts, not only could they not afford it, they were not allowed to.....period.

Some of our guys found out that some of them had been training in secret for years. They agreed to take some of us to where they trained. They liked us because we treated them the same way as we treated everybody else. We drove a couple of hours into the middle of nowhere, to a ramshackle place where they trained in secret. We taught them as much as we could in the time allowed. We wanted to give them all of our equipment, even our gis, they trained in their street clothes - our competition was over - they wouldn't take anything because it might be used latter as evidence against them.

It was a very odd experience.
Thank you for sharing that very interesting story. And those honorable actions taken by you and your companions deserve a lot of respect. Well done sir.
 

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Jesse's main premise is historically correct. There were alot of "myths" about karate in the early days that are still being passed on in some circles. A couple of those being that karate was developed by "peasants" (not really a middle class back then like we have now). Then the story that the makiwara/thrust punch was designed to punch through samurai armor was passed on, and that jumping kicks were designed by peasants to kick a man off a horse.

Now, what needs to be distinguished is karate's early days prior to it being introduced to the school system and post WW2 with the development of "styles" that we have today. If we look at the lineages, they were all upper class persons that developed the main Shuri/Naha karate styles (shorin-ryu and goju-ryu). I think this was the point Jesse was trying to make, what we call "karate" as a style was not developed by peasants/commoners. The systematic training/approach through kata was not done in the early days by peasants/commoners that we have any documentation of.

That being said, it does NOT mean that hand to hand tactics were not taught/practiced by families in Okinawa. Just like in the early days of the USA, fathers would teach their sons basic boxing techniques to protect themselves, it would have occurred in that manner as well on Okinawa. The Okinawans referred to this type of stuff as their "te". This is different than what the upper class developed into "karate" and taught.

Much of what was passed on historically in the early days of karate was done through oral traditions and not actual written documentation that is being looked at now.
 

Tez3

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A couple of those being that karate was developed by "peasants" (not really a middle class back then like we have now).

The American class system though is different for the class system in other places, for one thing you seem to be able to change classes!
 

WaterGal

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The American class system though is different for the class system in other places, for one thing you seem to be able to change classes!

IIRC, the US has one of the lowest levels of class mobility of any developed country.
 

Tez3

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IIRC, the US has one of the lowest levels of class mobility of any developed country.

We don't in reality have any mobility at all, in the UK you are what you were born regardless of how wealthy you are. Class here is nothing to do with wealth so you can't move. Lord Alan Sugar, is titled, wealthy and working class, he always will be. We have dukes and lord who are bankrupt but are still upper class/aristocracy because they were born into certain families.
 

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First thing that went wrong there, didnt define if it was social class or economic. (they are tied together in some places, not in others and everywhere inbetween) And to avoid politcs (lest i get smithed) economic class is almost always changable. Social is pretty much worthless in most places anyway,unless its inately tied to economic.

And for the U.K, you can switch classes, both social and economic. Pending the title in question, you can marry into it or apply/be assigned it. and for sure you can change your economic class. thats all i have on the matter as its poltical, i jsut cant let class discussions go.
 

Tez3

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nd for the U.K, you can switch classes, both social and economic.

Well no not really. You will always remain what you were born, you can change how much money you have, you can marry an aristocrat but you won't actually be regarded as one by those who were born as one. You can change the category the social scientists put you in, but you can't escape being labelled at the class you are. Too much gives it away, what school you went to, how you hold your knife, what newspaper you read, what words you use, things like this define your class even today in the UK. This why the Duchess of Cambridge may be a Royal Duchess but in aristocratic circles she will always be middle class lol.
 

geezer

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Well no not really. You will always remain what you were born, you can change how much money you have, you can marry an aristocrat but you won't actually be regarded as one by those who were born as one. You can change the category the social scientists put you in, but you can't escape being labelled at the class you are. Too much gives it away, what school you went to, how you hold your knife, what newspaper you read, what words you use, things like this define your class even today in the UK. This why the Duchess of Cambridge may be a Royal Duchess but in aristocratic circles she will always be middle class lol.

Unlike a true caste system, as in India, or like being black in the South in the era of slavery and Jim Crow, you can change your class in society, even a society with a rigid class system like the UK. At least you may do so for your heirs. But in such a socially rigid system, that may take several generations. If a person has a large fortune and marries into status, he/she may always be regarded as nouveaux riche, but if they send their sons to the right schools and if they marry equally well, they will be regarded a bit better, and certainly if the next generations do the same, they will gradually gain acceptance. Of course the higher the class, the longer the transition. To ascend to the pinnacle of society, you might also have to kill off most of the existing aristocracy. That seemed to work for William of Normandy. :D

So, while in the UK it may take several generations to really move up socially, here in the States, it can be done it one generation. The problem is, that works both ways. Both in income and status I have fallen a long way down from where my parents stood socially! :eek:
 

Tez3

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Both in income and status I have fallen a long way down from where my parents stood socially!

Again though here it would take generations to also fall, we have many very poor upper and middle class people. quite often the upper and lower middle classes are the ones who fall between two stools in this respect.
William of Normandy.

who although illegitimate was still aristocracy and related to the English King Edward. William didn't destroy all the aristocracy some of whom were related to him anyway, they were fighting among themselves before he arrived anyway, some supported him, he gave them land, he took land of other and rewarded his own men with land, he spent of his time in Normandy anyway.
The land around me was given by William to Alan ar Rouz, in 1071, the previous owner Eadwine was taken hostage by William, but rebelled when William reneged on his promise that Eadwine would marry William's daughter. William later pardoned Eadwine who then set off for Scotland, three of his men then killed him, in the meantime the new Earl of Richmond, Alan built a rather nice castle, much of which is still standing.
 

Rat

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So, while in the UK it may take several generations to really move up socially, here in the States, it can be done it one generation. The problem is, that works both ways. Both in income and status I have fallen a long way down from where my parents stood socially!


Social cast really doesnt matter. Economically speaking the U.K is among the fairer countries for it just down to free education until 18 and plenty of schemes and grants for households that make little money.

Anyway, politics be politics.

Just again i point out there is economic caste and social caste, the two are not intertwined everywhere and the amount they match up is not the same everywhere. Traditionally speaking if you were of high social status it would lead to economic status, or the two would lead to each other, not so much anymore in the west. Economic matters far more than social.
 

Tez3

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Economically speaking the U.K is among the fairer countries for it just down to free education until 18 and plenty of schemes and grants for households that make little money.


There aren't 'plenty of schemes and grants' especially not grants. I'm not getting into political debate but we have food banks, people committing suicide because their benefits are stopped etc etc etc.

.
 

WaterGal

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First thing that went wrong there, didnt define if it was social class or economic. (they are tied together in some places, not in others and everywhere inbetween) And to avoid politcs (lest i get smithed) economic class is almost always changable. Social is pretty much worthless in most places anyway,unless its inately tied to economic.

That's a good point. Americans don't really.... believe in social class as a concept, for the most part. Like, we make a distinction between, say, "old money" vs "nouveau riche", but for the most part, the idea that you're a certain type of person because of who your ancestors were just isn't really that much of a thing in the US.

So, my comment about class mobility was about economic class, which (despite popular belief) does tend to be somewhat rigid across generations in the US. Hard work might get you from really poor to less poor, or from middle to upper-middle, but "rags to riches" is rare.
 
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Rat

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That's a good point. Americans don't really.... believe in social class as a concept, for the most part

i was going to write a (upper) social class doesnt really exist in the U.S, in the same way it does in many places. Its literally just on economic lines as there is no nobility above you.

Also dont mis construde my point being that money doesnt help you (it does), but rather the class lines arent as fixed in the west as they used to be and are in other places.

I'm not getting into political debate but we have food banks, people committing suicide because their benefits are stopped etc etc etc.

2 things you have listed which are schmes to aid poorer households. The latter is a collective term for a specfic type of govenrment aid. In addition to this there are bursaries you can get for education, free school meals, discounts to uniform, they suppliment and pay for transport in various ways, they give grants to schools for aid to SEN students etc etc etc. Not getting into the university schemes that vary from all expenses paid to just the course or accessieres. And also not specifying govenrment grants or private ones that a university might do. And there are probbly plenty more i havent heard of being done. Also not including charities.

This is just me relaying facts and avoiding the political aspect of opinion of them and arguing their effectiveness/want/need.
 

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