What fighting did for me.

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Ero-Sennin, Nov 26, 2006.

  1. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Highly Skilled Peeper Supporter

    This is a paper I had to write for a Public Speaking course in something that influenced my life. Just thought it would be an interesting read and since this is a martial arts forum and it's about fighting, I thought it would only be appropriate.

    Many people are influenced by cultural, idealistic, or philisophical views in their lifetimes. It shapes who and what they are, how they react in situations in life, and their general outlook on their very existence. For me, the exposure to fighting has inspired and changed my outlook on life, as well as my interactions with others and my own philosophy on life and religion. Through fighting I have reached what I would call an epiphany on the very existence of the foundations of society and the meaning to the human race in general.

    When I first began learning how to fight I realized the logic behind violence. Through violence we are able to control or force people to do things they don't agree with, force them to keep their subjective views and emotions in check, and keep secure our own existence. I came to the realization that any organized society is based upon the ability to use violence to enforce the law. Laws which are seen as beneficial to the whole while keeping the individual perspective free of opression. When I came to this conclusion I then realized that there are people out there who use this "control by fear" philosophy in other ways. I realized that people use fear to control others through religion, war, crime, and in every aspect of life in general. For example Evangelical Christianity preaches that "without God you will burn eternally in hell."

    This gives off a horrible picture of eternal torture from burning. But the description of Hell within the Christian's religious text portray hell as the complete seperation of God rather then being tortured for eternity. In Christianity God created the world, thus God being the essence and justification in all that is in existence. To be completely seperated from him would mean the complete destruction of what is percieved to be a soul. Justification for this view can be found in MAT 10:28 in saying, "fear not those who can destroy the flesh, but fear him who can destroy both the flesh and soul." The justification behind the belief that hell is a place of eternal torment is based on the explanation of hell being a lake of fire. Fire destorys things to the point of nothing which further justifies the destruction of the soul rather then eternal torment. This interpretation no longer instills the fear of burning forever and being tortured, but rather that you will truthfully not exist anymore. The offer of Christianity then becomes, "follow this and your existence will continue, reject it and you will no longer exist."

    People in power generally try to use the fear of threat to one's existence as means of controlling the whole of a population. Hitler did this effectively with the german people, America with it's fight against communism, and myself when I want my brother to stop being annoying. After I realized how people are being controlled in their everyday actions, how I was being controlled, I was able to think for myself. I was able to pick out logical fallacies in other people's arguments in order to be the absolute ruler of my own life. This in turn helped me to develope my own philosophy on life: That we all mean nothing. The individual, the whole, all of it means nothing unless given a reason to be justified. This justification became God, which led to the conclusion that we are to live our lives as we have been created to do so, and that since we are all created as human beings, we all have human rights. The individual perspective on things no longer matters as long as it does not violate the well being of the whole of humanity, and as long as the whole of humanity does not opresss the individuals ability to be an individual. Since this conclusion was understood originally from learning how to fight, it was only proper that my way of life philosophy was to be molded in to the want to protect other's rights in any way I can. This is the adaptation of the martial arts philosophy.

    Fighting has been one thing in my life that has had a profound affect upon my reasoning and interpretation of the world around me. Learning to fight has freed me from the intimidation of being hurt, which in turn lead to my own ability to think for myself and how I percieve the world about me, and finally to my own philosophy on life. To say fighting will do this for anyone is a very big slippery slope, but for me fighting has been the one influence that I believe has freed me from what I would call the chains of opression. I also believe that my philosphy founded on the ability to fight has/will lead me to a productive life as well as any contribution to humanity I will make.
  2. relish

    relish Valued Member

    Coincidentally enough your views are rather similar to my own :) Nice paper! Hope it went down well as some of your views are quite controversial by some people's standards!
  3. hux

    hux ya, whatever.

    Violence solves everything.


    It's a fair point IMHO - send in the politicians and the intellectuals...if that doesn't work the Marines aren't there to talk about feelings ;)
  4. Lily

    Lily Valued Member

    Nice paper Sparkle, well written. Good boy :Angel:
  5. Mei Hua

    Mei Hua Banned Banned

    Great article, well thought out and expressed.

    This above is very similiar to myself and how it has worked for me...
  6. Timmy Boy

    Timmy Boy Man on a Mission

    Nice article Sparkle, very well written!

    Violence also influenced my outlook on the world, but this happened through experience of fighting rather than learning how to fight in martial arts lessons. My mother taught me that violence was wrong from an early age, whereas today it's more the principle behind that violence that matters to me.

    When I became a teenager, violence unfortunately became an ever present part of my life, either directly or via the perceived threat of its use. Testosterone levels were flying high and people would start fights with me for the flimsiest of reasons, or even none at all. Looking at someone, having the wrong hobbies or wearing the wrong clothes were all considered complete justifications for a serious beating, both by those who used violence and the majority of my contemporaries who accepted it as the norm. If I got into a fight, people would say it was my fault for wearing a Marilyn Manson t-shirt, and this confused me because I didn't feel that, by wearing such a t-shirt, I was doing anything immoral to justify an attack.

    My experiences as a teenager led me to a few conclusions on violence which I still hold today:

    1) People who live in fear of violence would rather sacrifice their personality and morality for the sake of avoiding a beating and actually believe it is your obligation to avoid violence rather than someone else's obligation not to attack you.

    2) Trying to reason your way out of a confrontation is futile when the person who attacked you has no real justification; out-arguing such a person is easy, getting them to care that they're wrong and change their behaviour accordingly is impossible. In such situations the only resolution is to escape or to return the violence.

    3) The Prussian military philosopher General Carl Von Clausewitz argued that, in the case of a violent confrontation, to hold back with the amount of force you use is merely to invite defeat against an opponent who isn't playing by the same unwritten rules. He attributed Napoleon's devastating success in his early campaigns to the majority of Europe's adherence to such a code, whereby small professional armies would mainly just try to out-maneouvre each other like a game of chess played between nobles, and were not prepared to handle Napoleon's Grande Armee, which utilised the entirety of the resources of the nation in a battle of total annihilation.

    There are numerous other examples from history where breaking the rules led to victory, e.g. the American Revolution, and I believe that this philosophy applies to interpersonal combat as well. Many martial artists or lawyers argue that one should use as little force as is necessary in order to subdue an attacker without hurting him too badly, and I believe that this attitude is unrealistic in the extreme. If you go soft on an attacker you are merely inviting defeat, especially as martial arts is no guarantee of superiority in a fight situation, and as much as I would not like to instigate a fight I believe one should not hesitate to use as much force as one feels is necessary when you can't get away.

    Now I understand that the point of this thread is not how you see violence, but how violence affected your view of life, so at this stage I'll get to my point. My personality and my views on life in general have been very greatly affected by my experience of violence. I have no respect for people who give in to convenience at the expense of morality, but every respect for people who stand their ground in the name of what's right. On the other hand I'm very disdainful of utopian political and social theories and I'm very cynical; I believe most people are inherently weak morally, and they find it easy to pay lip service to right and wrong but fail to uphold their beliefs when push comes to shove. In short, it's how you handle a difficult situation that determines the quality of your character in my eyes, and I try my best to adhere to this rule.
  7. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Highly Skilled Peeper Supporter

    ::in the future 2020::

    So I got an alert that this post was moved to another area, and I saw it is an article I wrote from 2006. I haven't re-read it yet, I'm friggen scared of the embarrassment xD. Why the hell did it get moved from one place to another?
  8. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    MAP had a redesign to make it simpler to navigate.

    That was a good essay, by the way.

    I'm interested to know, Sparkle :)D), was this written before you enlisted? If so, would you say your views on violence have changed much, and do you consider your time fighting overseas to have contributed to any change in opinion?
    axelb, Ero-Sennin and David Harrison like this.
  9. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    ^^^ This

    Enquiring minds want to know.
    Ero-Sennin likes this.
  10. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Highly Skilled Peeper Supporter

    Duuuuddeee I HATE reading things I wrote in the past. Mostly because it's a direct way to measure how much of a total numpty you were when younger ::tear::. Really hurts when you realize you're still a numpty!

    I was actually thinking about this very thing while driving around doing payroll today, looking at the abnormal vacancy of the town and thinking about how things will probably proceed if things take a real bad turn in the near future. It was written two years prior to service, was 18 at the time, and I think I had been training in mma during that time. I think I'll take you up on your suggestion though, although later in the evening. For everyone else's entertainment, least I can do in these troublesome times xD

    Hope you guys are doing well during this pandemic!

    Sparkle, Sparkle. (very few people will know what this means nowadays xD)
    axelb and Pretty In Pink like this.
  11. Morik

    Morik Well-Known Member Supporter MAP 2017 Gold Award

    I see things fairly similarly... life is layered. At the lowest level, you have the physical. When you strip away all the social niceties, social contracts, etc, it all comes down to the physical. This layer is what things break down to when forced.

    E.g., taxes are part of a higher layer; government/social contract. If you resist, you can stay in this layer a bit (obtain a lawyer, argue about taxes owed/etc). But if you lose your arguments and don't pay, or if you just go straight to refusing to pay, eventually the taxing authority will use physical force to either make you pay (come take your stuff, using force against you if you physically resist them), or take away your freedom until/unless you pay.

    If the taxing authority did not eventually resort to physical force (or, at a slightly higher layer, armed people capable of using physical force politely asking you to accompany them to a cell where they will keep you locked up), many people would just not pay up.
    The same holds true in every group, whether at the level of a gang of school children or an entire nation. You build it all on top of the physical.

    We all live in this physical layer. We build layers on top of it because societies and social contracts are very useful to groups of humans; it is nice to not have to always worry someone is going to just attack you, take your stuff when you aren't looking, etc. (I mean, people still do all that anyway, but I think much less often than if there was just total anarchy with no social layer in place.)

    Further, anyone can strip things back down to this layer. The most socially powerful person in the nation (president/prime minister/queen/whatever), if alone in a room with a very angry person, still needs to be aware of this lowest layer. (I realize such powerful people generally wouldn't get themselves into that situation.)

    It is important to know when to switch layers. If you think you are still in the social contract layer, but the guy walking next to you on the street pulls out a knife and stabs you, that social layer isn't going to be doing you any good. If you are 100% focused on your todo list and get smashed by a car you didn't see, that todo list doesn't really matter anymore does it?
    If you catch someone stealing from you and they threaten violence, you can try to use the social layer to fend them off--threat of consequences/jail/etc if they get violent, but that all goes out the window if they are actually physically attacking you. They can force you into the physical layer. Anyone can.

    And so we do our best to keep things out of that layer (when it comes to violence), but we need to be aware that anyone can at any time bring things back down to the physical. And all the nice social rules and such have no force at all (in terms of protecting you) in that moment.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020

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