Your Enemy Is Training...

MadMartigan

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I know some may vehemently disagree with this, but let's have some (respectful) fun.

We've all seen some version of this mantra a thousand times: 'While you sit on the couch, your enemy is training '.

I have to say, this notion is such a pet peeve of mine. It gets used as a marketing tool, or people use it to try and motivate themselves or others... but how many enemies do you actually have? (and as a follow up, WHY?)

Now, I get that there are times that it is quite applicable (active duty military in a war zone for instance). Where I find it somewhat silly is seeing it posted in some gym that costs over $100/month just to get through the door (meaning you're probably living fairly comfortably if you can afford to be there).

If you are routinely rubbing elbows with people who want to hurt you; perhaps larger scale lifestyle and environment changes are in order.
If that isn't the case for you... who do you really think it is that's out to get you?
While I could wax on at length about prevention tactics (best way to not get hit by the bad guy, is to not be anywhere around when the punch gets thrown); reality tells me that you're not likely to be attacked by an elite mma fighter (who are generally really great, peaceful people).

That leaves your most likely assailant to be someone drunk or high on the street or some neanderthal with no temper control (rarely do you see that paired with high level training... it obviously exists, but I believe they are in the minority as most reputable schools weed those losers out asap).

All that to say, in most cases I don't believe your enemy is actually training... but YOU ARE. Any training with resistance has some value. Even if you're studying something a little more on the esoteric side; it's still more than this 'enemy' is doing. So I say just keep going.
 

Shatteredzen

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I know some may vehemently disagree with this, but let's have some (respectful) fun.

We've all seen some version of this mantra a thousand times: 'While you sit on the couch, your enemy is training '.

I have to say, this notion is such a pet peeve of mine. It gets used as a marketing tool, or people use it to try and motivate themselves or others... but how many enemies do you actually have? (and as a follow up, WHY?)

Now, I get that there are times that it is quite applicable (active duty military in a war zone for instance). Where I find it somewhat silly is seeing it posted in some gym that costs over $100/month just to get through the door (meaning you're probably living fairly comfortably if you can afford to be there).

If you are routinely rubbing elbows with people who want to hurt you; perhaps larger scale lifestyle and environment changes are in order.
If that isn't the case for you... who do you really think it is that's out to get you?
While I could wax on at length about prevention tactics (best way to not get hit by the bad guy, is to not be anywhere around when the punch gets thrown); reality tells me that you're not likely to be attacked by an elite mma fighter (who are generally really great, peaceful people).

That leaves your most likely assailant to be someone drunk or high on the street or some neanderthal with no temper control (rarely do you see that paired with high level training... it obviously exists, but I believe they are in the minority as most reputable schools weed those losers out asap).

All that to say, in most cases I don't believe your enemy is actually training... but YOU ARE. Any training with resistance has some value. Even if you're studying something a little more on the esoteric side; it's still more than this 'enemy' is doing. So I say just keep going.
By the way the Aikido threads are going you would think every physical confrontation is a carefully arranged duel between competent fighters in a ring. This concept is part of the fantasy in martial arts and its what leads to these style and dojo wars arguments. The reality is that most martial artists will never use their training and its all just good exercise. Some people will compete and an appropriate level of training for that is also good to have but that's not what I see in most cases. Very few people put the time and effort in to learn a martial art, fewer learn more than one, fewer still train to use it at one hundred percent in a realistic scenario.

Even people who could benefit from more training don't have the dedication to pursue actual mastery, there are lots of cops and Marines who take the mandated training and never seek out a single class on their own time. This said, we have the one percent out there who do put the time in, who train full time to the point of extremes because they love martial arts or are highly competitive. Even professional fighters fall into a certain level of comfort, Ben Askren is a former champ, but I bet you he is wishing he spent a few weeks training and maybe practicing his boxing guard before he walked into the ring with Jake Paul and got his bell rung in the first round.

For every maybe one hundred students taking classes, a handful of them are serious fighters who are going to get anywhere with their martial arts. For the few instances of them who will end up in a violent confrontation at some point in their life, this extra level of training above and beyond the general public is fine, it will protect them and be enough to control their drunk uncle Ronnie at the family barbecue, scare away the crackhead robbing them, etc. Are there hardcore "enemies" out there for the average person? Nope, that's the fantasy. If you go to work and have a good job and get a decent house in a decent neighborhood, that rabid dog of a human being you are scared of probably can't even get into your neighborhood. If you are the truly dedicated martial artist, you are likely not putting yourself into situations or ending up in situations where your skill is going to be truly tested. The people who will mess with you when you walk around don't know what time it is and if they did, they saw how you carry yourself and will look somewhere else to make their joke, start their fight, etc.

But everyone here is a totally competitive level fighter, putting in forty or more hours a week training if you ask them, they know more than you and can prove it because they can link a you tube video of some pro athlete doing what they are talking about. That's what's more fun. The people training for their debut ninja street brawl are self deluding but hey, if they stick with it they will eventually get to a place where they mature enough to admit to themselves what experience they do or don't have, hopefully. Personally, I enjoy hanging out with martial arts nerds and training for the love of the lifelong pursuit of knowledge, I just am at an age where I don't have time for the teenage level machismo and peacocking. I wish there were more true nerds to hang out with, because its much more common to run into the egoists and the number of people who have legitimately trained to mastery in one or more systems is super rare.
 
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MadMartigan

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Urban Trekker

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I know some may vehemently disagree with this, but let's have some (respectful) fun.

We've all seen some version of this mantra a thousand times: 'While you sit on the couch, your enemy is training '.

I have to say, this notion is such a pet peeve of mine. It gets used as a marketing tool, or people use it to try and motivate themselves or others... but how many enemies do you actually have? (and as a follow up, WHY?)
I don't think there's anything wrong with this. You don't need to have enemies, least of all ones who train, to use this mantra. It's designed to get you to take your training seriously and give 100% of yourself.
 

Shatteredzen

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I don't think there's anything wrong with this. You don't need to have enemies, least of all ones who train, to use this mantra. It's designed to get you to take your training seriously and give 100% of yourself.
But then it leads to fantasy, like imaginary scenarios about how you need to be prepared for street fighting ninjas with lightsabers. It's great to be motivated and to try hard, but its pretty silly to delude yourself into thinking that you are ever going to use more than a slight percentage of what you learn in MA if that. That's why the character building is actually more important than most of it, but, like leg day, lots of people skip that part.
 

Urban Trekker

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But then it leads to fantasy, like imaginary scenarios about how you need to be prepared for street fighting ninjas with lightsabers. It's great to be motivated and to try hard, but its pretty silly to delude yourself into thinking that you are ever going to use more than a slight percentage of what you learn in MA if that. That's why the character building is actually more important than most of it, but, like leg day, lots of people skip that part.
Only leads to this type fantasy for people who've had other issues long before they've heard the mantra.
 

Shatteredzen

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Or refusing to open their claims to criticism to the same people they assume will validate them.
That's assuming someone is looking for validation, which is a big assumption, since we are just talking martial arts on the internet. That in itself should be a hint. I don't go into call of duty lobbies looking for external validation of my worldview, its for the dynamic conversation.
 

Urban Trekker

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That's assuming someone is looking for validation, which is a big assumption, since we are just talking martial arts on the internet. That in itself should be a hint. I don't go into call of duty lobbies looking for external validation of my worldview, its for the dynamic conversation.
But you are. Like every other aikidoka. Trying to get that seat at the table. "My martial art works toooooo…."

Yeah, okay, kiddo. Go have a seat at the kid's table.
 

Blindside

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My friends are always training, and they are going to kick my *** the next time I see them if I don't get better. I can't imagine studying martial arts for 20 years with the target of skill acquisition being "being better than a drunk mugger." Is any practice better than nothing? Maybe, is what you are training actually functional? How do you know? Because your instructor beat up a drunk mugger twice in his life? Because of my friends I am going to be better than my "enemies" (as if I had any.)
 

Shatteredzen

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But you are. Like every other aikidoka. Trying to get that seat at the table. "My martial art works toooooo…."

Yeah, okay, kiddo. Go have a seat at the kid's table.
What table? Where did we get tables from? Last time I checked, we are all just random internet karate nerds. Is there going to be food later?
 

Shatteredzen

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@Shatteredzen by the way, out of respect for the OP, let's not hijack this thread. Instead of following me around with your petty beefs, keep them in the thread where they started.
I was here first, you came in with the chip on your shoulder. I don't have any beefs pook, they must be at the big kids table you were talking about where everyone shares the world star videos of people sucker punching homeless dudes and talks about the real martial arts.

If you want to make assumptions, here is a safe one, assume all of my commentary is voiced in the tone of Rob Schneider from Surf Ninjas


If sarcasm hurts, its a definite indicator that you are taking yourself too seriously.
 
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Shatteredzen

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My friends are always training, and they are going to kick my *** the next time I see them if I don't get better. I can't imagine studying martial arts for 20 years with the target of skill acquisition being "being better than a drunk mugger." Is any practice better than nothing? Maybe, is what you are training actually functional? How do you know? Because your instructor beat up a drunk mugger twice in his life? Because of my friends I am going to be better than my "enemies" (as if I had any.)
I think he is trying to advocate for a more realistic outlook more than mediocrity. When you get spun up too hard in a competitive outlook, you tend to say mean things to people on the internet, style bash, etc and the toxicity comes from unrealistic views as to what is out there. Peer pressure that is positive like what you have is great, I try to use it myself because its such a positive motivator. I think the takeaway is lets have fun and train hard without getting into actually breaking out the measuring tape and calling for a contest no one wants or being too full of ourselves. You should of course, train how you intend to fight as much as possible.
 

Urban Trekker

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I was here first, you came in with the chip on your shoulder. I don't have any beefs pook, they must be at the big kids table you were talking about where everyone shares the world star videos of people sucker punching homeless dudes and talks about the real martial arts.
😅🤣😂
 

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Blindside

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I think he is trying to advocate for a more realistic outlook more than mediocrity. When you get spun up too hard in a competitive outlook, you tend to say mean things to people on the internet, style bash, etc and the toxicity comes from unrealistic views as to what is out there. Peer pressure that is positive like what you have is great, I try to use it myself because its such a positive motivator. I think the takeaway is lets have fun and train hard without getting into actually breaking out the measuring tape and calling for a contest no one wants or being too full of ourselves. You should of course, train how you intend to fight as much as possible.
Maybe I misinterpreted, it sort of seemed to be a defense of mediocrity to me.
 
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