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Matthew's Blog Blog Tools Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 02-19-2008 11:49 AM
My cyber sounding board...
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 104 (Private: 18)
Comments: 57
Views: 363,730

In General Generalization Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #15 New 10-27-2011 11:23 AM
People make too many generalizations.
Of course it's a natural part of learning and operating, but it is something that seems to make a lot of problems. It's based in presumption, which leaves a person somewhat more dependant on outside factors. In conversations it can distract from valid points; in fights is can get you hurt. My attraction to martial arts has to do with the general idea of awareness: both internal and external awareness; each one informing the other. One of the key aspects to this that comes to my mind is the ability to perceive subtle differences. When I was training regularly there wasn't an uchi deshi program at my dojo, but I often served similar functions (small parts of the role). I consider this kind of training to be very useful, even though there isn't often any kind of obvious "martial" technique/method involved, because it forces you to pay very close attention to what is going on around you; to read the needs and wants of the people around you.
Recently I read the chronicles of D'artagnan (didn't end anything like I guessed it would), and one of the characters, Athos, has a lacky named Grimaud whom he has trained to understand what to do in any situation without many, if any, verbal cues. It describes how Athos would make a slight gesture most people wouldn't even notice, but Grimaud would be able to figure out everything that would be needed.
Interestingly enough, the training was described as being very severe by today's standards. In short, Grimaud was beaten every time he misunderstood. This was a very martial discipline given by a soldier to his servant who also served as a de facto soldier. Almost no one in our modern society has any need for such severity, but the seriousness it exemplifies still holds validity, particularly in training which emulates martial practices like Budo. The benefit of such seriousness is to draw the attention and focus it to a sharp edge.The benefit of that focusing of attention is, hopefully, to cause an ability to recognize subtle cues which can have potentially dramatic results. If all you see is the smiling face of an elderly guy walking across the street, you might miss the palmed knife. If you assume all Japanese people are friendly to gaijin, you might not notice the slightly disgruntled one who's been trailing your tour group through the geisha district.
Views: 2116 | Comments: 2

RSS Feed 2 Responses to "Generalization"
#2 10-28-2011 09:53 AM
mathewjgano Says:
My pleasure! And thank you for the great Blake quote. Sometimes it's a little too easy to generalize, and I'm as guilty as the next guy, but I'm always impressed when people can point out subtle differences to things or make very specific claims/observations.
#1 10-28-2011 01:40 AM
guest1234567 Says:
Thanks Matthew for your thoughtful post, I'd like to quote William Blake To Generalize is to be an Idiot. To Particularize is the Alone Distinction of Merit General Knowledges are those Knowledges that Idiots possess.

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