Better to not divulge.

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Better to not divulge.

Postby Van Canna » Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:34 pm

Implied Threat ?

Every once in a while people hear "I practice karate" or "I have a black belt" and hear it as an implied threat - as if someone said, "I could totally kick your ass." Now when someone tells you that they could kick your ass it isn't just a statement of fact - it's not the same as me saying, "I can type faster than you can" - it's usually a veiled warning (depending on context, of course). So sometimes people get defensive, thinking that the karateka is asserting dominance or threatening to use violence to resolve any conflicts.

Implied Fighting Ability

Other people hear "I practice karate" and think I mean to say that I could beat up either anyone who doesn't practice, or anyone of lower rank than me. So they sometimes ask if I could beat up a particular person or type of person, to put me in the correct spot in some imagined global pecking order. The answer is always "maybe," because the outcome of a fight depends on so many things. I could lose a fistfight with my seven year old daughter if I get hit by a stray meteor before landing a punch.

There is another aspect to this that we have to consider: age. I'm 40. 50 years from now I'll still be at least a 3rd degree black belt - maybe higher. Chances are that despite my best efforts I won't be much of a fighter at that point, despite my rank. There is always, or almost always, a loss in overal ability due to the accumulated injuries and the effects of aging and training on fast twitch muscle fibers.

Does that mean that person deserves your respect? Probably, at least a little bit. I have respect for anybody who works hard to achieve a goal - I respect people who can play musical instruments. My cousin Ed is a hell of a photographer, I respect him for that tremendously.

Does it mean you need to tread lightly around a black belt or worry about them beating you up? Only if they're also an ass-hole - which is possible, but actually not that likely. Violent people don't often last long in martial arts - bullies and hot tempered people don't do well when they have to regularly spend time in rooms filled with people skilled enough to kick the crap out of them.

Treat your black belt wearing friends the same way you'd treat someone who has any weird but interesting hobby - an amateur painter, long distance runner, or whatever. Try to avoid talking about violence and dominance issues. We don't practice martial arts so others will fear us, we do it because we love it.
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Re: Better to not divulge.

Postby harry » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:37 pm

Hey Van,

This topic has been bugging me lately. What's the difference between the phrases:

"I have a gun"

and

"I have a black belt in Karate"

For me I won't offer unless asked. Which begs the question, if I'm in a situation where I have to use one or the other do I divulge first? Is there a legal precedent for divulging martial art skill or a gun?

--Harry
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Re: Better to not divulge.

Postby Van Canna » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:11 pm

Good question, Harry. I think the quoted article was making reference to how people generally might interpret someone's voluntary statement that he is a karate black belt etc., and by so saying might somehow antagonize the sensibilities of the listener, whatever they might be. There are some strange people out there.

I agree, I would never divulge voluntarily the having of a gun or the taking of karate [perceived with possessing the potential for deadly violence in defensive action] _ to anyone, except to close friends.

Also I would not place a karate sticker on my car, as it might trigger some sociopath to take you on just for kicks.

And no, there is no case law requiring to divulge either one before using it for self protection.
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Re: Better to not divulge.

Postby Stryke » Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:09 am

I got to wonder at the folks that wear there tshirts and hats etc proclaiming there aleigance to there badass style/sport ...... :roll:

I mean even if its true your only real advantage is they dont know it right?

talking about it , well depending on the company , even worse , Im even selective amoungst close friends.

at risk of quoting myself

The two things most likely to improve your self protection in the long term is controlling what goes into(what you eat/drink fuel yourself with),and what comes out of your mouth.
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Re: Better to not divulge.

Postby Van Canna » Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:52 am

Excellent post Stryke. I agree with you totally on also being very careful in divulging such information to 'friends' _coworkers and the like, though such knowledge will filter out one way or another. And then it will be 'mouthed off ' to other people in the know of the 'friends' and 'coworkers' etal.

The thing to understand is that people conjure up images of martial arts that don't match yours.

So if say…something should happen at work or when you are out with 'friends'…you will be expected to 'front' the dangers with all the others 'duck tailing' behind you, because, after all, you are the 'killer machine' _

Then there are the 'assholes' of the world rubbing elbows with you… constantly in 'gas crepitating' mode, and you will smell it…i.e.,

"Hey, I understand you're a karate black belt…are you trying to be better than anybody else? …And what are you afraid of? And could you really use it in a real fight?"

I suppose you could answer that you could never use your 'dangerous' karate techniques in a fight because their impact is so great that it would dislodge all the breast implants of the nearby clapping women.

And, yes, the advertising T shirts will cause people to think you are 'superior' to them triggering their insecurities……and also guarantee that if you are sitting in a restaurant while some robbers come in with guns, you will be the first one to be shot.
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Re: Better to not divulge.

Postby Van Canna » Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:41 am

Interesting:

What the philosophy of karate addresses is fear of other people. If I am afraid of others harming me, I must do karate to become more powerful. It provides false connection with others uniting them in a social hierarchy which gives them station but no intimacy.
Karate provides rewards which carry no value outside social groups and vaporize under the disapproval of those in power.

The arrogant man who struts, wears a uniform to make himself more comfortable, insists on kingly deference, and romanticizes his positive impact and abilities is the output of seeing karate as a life solution rather than a fun activity.
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Re: Better to not divulge.

Postby harry » Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:41 pm

A couple of points in decomposing this quote:

1) Is less vulnerable the same as more powerful? Most Karate philosophies have an emphasis on defense not offense.

2) I have many friends, some lifelong friends...sorry connections which may or may not have station and certainly have intimacy. I met my wife through Karate ;-)

3) About rewards provided by Karate...clearly someone who has no understanding of all the benefits that can be had from training. Self confidence, for example, is valued greatly in business, politics and life certainly doesn't vaporize under the disapproval of those in power.

4) The arrogant man sees Karate as nothing more than another badge of pride or trophy to brag about. The confident man takes from Karate what he needs and transforms himself into better man.

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Re: Better to not divulge.

Postby Van Canna » Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:15 pm

Good points, Harry, and I agree. I posted this just to show the perceptions some people have about others who study martial arts.
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Re: Better to not divulge.

Postby harry » Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:33 pm

Hi Van,

I was giving the arrogance statement a lot of thought when I suddenly had to put my coffee down before I passed some through my nose. :lol:

I remembered the first time I took a seminar with Art Rebessa, he asked me how long I had been training...then corrected his question to ask not how log I owned a gi but how long I had actually trained. When meeting martial artists I can tell what type of person I'm dealing with at the introduction.

The arrogant martial artist always introduce themselves with their rank or title. The humble ones most always introduce themselves as members of a dojo and their training partners.
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Re: Better to not divulge.

Postby Van Canna » Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:51 pm

True, Harry_ and sometimes we do see a 'strut' along with what regurgitates out of mouth upon introduction...then the + 0ne_i.e., they can't stop talking about it...the smugness is palpable.

We have known a few, even in Uechi. It is the human condition.

Rabesa has some unique ways to shut people up...like the punk at Summer camp who challenged the seniors claiming he was a karate champ who fought in the 'tough man' contests.

Art believes real karate is you go down at 'first touch'...that punk went down like he had been hit by a hand grenade.
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Re: Better to not divulge.

Postby Van Canna » Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:27 pm

Here are some of the questions that might be popped at you by some people, friends included, when they find out, as you tell them, of your martial arts 'interest' _

"Why do you train/have you trained/in so many styles, why do you need to wear martial arts T shirts/jackets/patches, why those stickers on your car/and why do you go to so many different martial arts classes/seminars...what do you need this stuff for?"

Some will ask this just to get you going and see how you react in order to prove you are 'insecure' _
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Re: Better to not divulge.

Postby Jason Rees » Sun Feb 24, 2013 3:32 am

"It's more fun than watching paint dry."
"I needed a more useless hobby than being glued to the television during football season."
"My couch was taken over by the dog."
"There's no good place to fish around here."

They will get frustrated all to hell because you won't take their questions seriously, even though they would never seriously consider your real reason valid. Make them chase their tail, instead of letting them make you chase yours.
Life begins & ends cold, naked & covered in crap.
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Re: Better to not divulge.

Postby Van Canna » Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:21 am

I guess it would depend on who is asking the questions and what 'vibes' you perceive from the individual asking the questions, friends or just acquaintances.

If the person asking the questions…sort of 'rubs you the wrong way' you want to politely 'attack the attack' by responding to his questions with questions of your own, until he gets the message and shuts up.

It is better not to be sarcastic in first response and not to provide any answers that would trigger more questions or be perceived as insults.

We could respond with this:

* Interesting questions…Why do you even ask? Do you train martial arts? Would you want to?

*Why do you want to know?

*What do you even care?

*Does that bother you?

Question:Why is it necessary for you to carry a gun on your person?
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