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Paula Lydon
11-05-2003, 08:51 AM
~~Hi All!

I didn't know where to stick this one (no funny comments, please) as I'm not sure on how to word the question, as it's a multiple. Here goes...

1) As a martial artist with more than five years training, do you ever feel a little out of step with mainstream America pecisely because of your training? And as you train longer you notice, when events arise, that the majority act one way and you another? Things like that.

2) Is being a 'martial artist' as part of one's core identity inherently different, in mental/psychological structure in regards affect on personal or collective reality, than being a practitioner of the martial arts?

Good day, All! :D

11-05-2003, 08:59 AM
1) Being of the European persuation I have always completely felt out of touch with mainstream America. I therefor translated mainstream America into your own country :D. The answer is yes. I have no clue what the people surrounding me are doing.

2) And again, yes.

Paula Lydon
11-05-2003, 09:03 AM
~~Thanks, Erik! That's what I meant; my appoligies to the rest of the planet (mental note to self: think more globaly even before coffee). :)

Brehan Crawford
11-05-2003, 12:02 PM
I don't have more than 5 years of experience, but I'll say that my core beliefs about mutual respect and the way people should treat each other (some might call these "morals") come from a really wise Karate teacher who greatly affected my life around the age of 10, and that yes, this is significantly different than what the mainstream American population believes.

About #2, I would say that being a practitioner of a martial art would make you a martial artist, in just the same way that modifying your favorite spaghetti sauce recipe makes you a chemist. It's all degrees.

Jim ashby
11-05-2003, 12:35 PM
I think that being "out of step" predisposes one to be a martial artist. In my twelve years of Aikido I have met people from all walks of life, ALL of whom could be classed as non-mainstream. I always felt that I was an observer, with groups but not OF them, until I discovered MA.

Have fun.

Chris Linneman
11-05-2003, 02:05 PM
I have just a little thought here:

I'm wondering if ones propensity to be attracted to MA is more of a symptom of "being out of step" rather than the practice "causing" one to be out of step. From my own point of view - I started studying MA in 4th grade as a means to deal with a learning disability (already out of step from the get-go) I'm now 30 with a child, and still quite out of step.

However, an important componant of MA study is the observation of our surroundings, including the behaviour of those around us. I think as we gain more MA experience, we become aware of the differences between us and the rest of the community (our "out-of-stepness") - pretty much what James said, just wordier.

11-05-2003, 02:09 PM
I saw a poster about 9/11 showing a fireman which read, "when others rush out, you rush in."

Yes, IMHO, there is a big difference between those who have accepted martial arts as part of their identity and those who identify it as just soemthing they do.

Warriors ususally make people uncomfortable during times of peace, but love us to protect them in conflict. Little do they know that in times of peace we are still standing our watch and covering their backs so they have the freedom to complain about us.

When I look at what is normal for the masses, I realize its not too healthy. I like being different, a step to the left.

One thing I like about other martial artist and other veterans is I don't have to explain or justify who I am and that if anything hits the fan, I won't be the only one standing there.

Lan Powers
11-05-2003, 11:15 PM

I think you could become my new hero..:)


11-06-2003, 07:15 AM

what you say very much reflects what I've been thinking about for the last couple of years. The standard self-interested person is essential for the continuing survival of society and it's day to day running. However to develop society often requires those who are considered outcasts to change the perspective of the body of people. If we all ran around trying to be heroic it would be a ridiculous situation - the only reason there is meaning to any heroic act is because most people wouldn't do it. I don't believe following a 'martial way' is any better than any other way, but for some people it suits them, because that is part of who they are.


P.S. this also means that it is difficult to judge others in any ultimate sense.

Paula Lydon
11-06-2003, 08:37 AM
~~Damn! You're a group I'd love to go out for a drink with; much in common, much to talk about ;) Thanks one and all~~

11-06-2003, 01:57 PM
1)Hmmmm, doesn't all just boil down to typical group dynamics? Every group likes to claim uniqueness from one facet of society or another. I find politically anyway that Aikido people are as diverse a group as most to the general population. One interesting thing that I do find is that assimilation into the "Aiki" group is relatively rigorous and rigid. In regards to most Aikidoists behavior being different from the majority I see an overwhleming tendency to accept the status quo of the Aikido society first and foremost at the expense of the individual.

2) Regarding the term Martial Artist connotation, I reserve the "Artist" word to denote someone with ability to transend the "everyday" given their chosen medium. I think most of us are Martial "Practioners". Note that this is no reflection on our enjoyment or pursuit of perfection.