View Full Version : How will Martial Arts change your psychological mentality?
03-26-2005, 10:14 AM
My buddy and I were sparring in the local gym, and I overheard some teenagers walking into the boxing bag area. They started to say,"Look at those guys doing Karate or some Kung Fu stuff, they're crazy..." I mean I don't think I have become crazy by practicing MA, and at the gym we were sparring semi-serious Muay Thai (16. oz gloves and headgear), it seems that MA has helped relieve stress, give me positive concern for my health, and developed my patience and tolerance. Are there any negative mental aspects of learning MA?
The second part of my question is, a parent walked into our studio being interested in our school, however one of the questions she asked was "Will teaching my son martial arts make him arrogant, or turn him into a bully since he will learn to fight?" The instructor told her that wouldn't happen and gave the parent the usual line of "it's for self-defense, improves concentration, good for exercise...etc."
03-26-2005, 10:29 AM
Well, for a non martial artists, seeing two guys going at it, even lightly seems crazy. This is becasue even light contact to us is beyond what they could handle, so it scares them. Us, we are operateing on a whole different plane, and we can do quite a bit and still be well within our conmfort zone, so to us it's not crazy at all.
A race car driver can go 140 and be in perfect controll. His wife on the other hand is in trouble at 75. For her to go more than that is crazy, since she lacks the ability.
Since we generally percive others through our own eyes, what ever exceeds our ability to remain safe is percived as crazy behaivior, even if it is seen in others who are well within thier skill set.
03-26-2005, 12:32 PM
I think that a martial art can be very dangerous to one whom there is not the right mental stability. These people may learn up to a certain point, and acquire some very deadly stuff, but never completely learn an art such as Kung Fu or Karate because they are arrogant and egotistical to start with. This is not to say that people with shortcomings will not work through them but some people may think they have a superiority over others, that black belt or sash may make them swagger like they own the planet and they may even start to contradict their teacher both in training and outside in the daily life.
That said, I think that martial arts are great for one's mental state and physical state and that if you have the right teacher, and enough dedication and some humility, the art should bring you many great things. I've only practiced for a couple of years but I feel that it has benefitted my life in ways I never thought possible.
As to those guys in the gym, I'd rather be crazy in sparring with a friend where if someone gets hurt you stop then be in a real fight and not know how to bring out that intensity and skill. Many people shy away from sparring and testing against resisting opponents but that is an integral component of martial art.
Of course it changes you psychologically! And NOT for the better!
Most normal people regard someone who stands still for any overly-long period of time to be catatonic. We argue over what's the best position to stand in. :eek:
03-26-2005, 03:57 PM
Personally, I am more aggressive. I am an angry, seething mass of rage.
It's a good thing I'm a grappler because otherwise I'd punch objects. But you can't choke out a car or a wall. WHEW.
03-26-2005, 04:20 PM
See my response on the 'Expanding Personal Boundaries' thread as it relates here as well. I will say, however, that when training for a fight I become more aggressive. I don't think this is a bad thing, just part of the training and cycle. In knowing and training both aspects, you can learn about the opposite by expanding on the other end. You know, the whole 'yin & yang' thang. ;)
03-26-2005, 04:23 PM
I can't think of any traits in MA that are inherently bad or will turn someone into a bad person. I agree that a person may acquire a certain amount of skill and get arrogant and use it for bad ends. But that is an issue of someone who is not responsible and can't handle power. The same thing would happen if you gave them a gun.
The only thing MA has done is enrich my life. Although I've never been injured so much in a short amount of time :rolleyes: . That is my fault anyway, not the art.
Psychological mentality? Isn't that a Don King copyright?
03-26-2005, 08:38 PM
Or maybe a Yogi Berra copywrite???
This is tough.
Some people may get aggressive from just about everything.
Playing chess, running, swimming, grades, job performance, meeting the deadline, playing poker, just about everything involving winning or losing; and 'trying to beat someone else to it" mentality or being competitive.
Watching hockey, wrestling, foot ball or soccer. They all get you violent. Even playing basketball or any sport. They all get you to be aggressive in order to win.
See the national team soccer fans beating one another up over the results of the game.
Driving in the traffic. Some one cuts in front of you or not moving fast at the turn of green light. OOH, it is called road rage.
True. MA is about hand to hand combat and fighting.
People may fight about everything else, too.
Fight for the job, the title, the bonus or even the parking spot closest to the mall entrance.
Question one. I would say that the hockey player or drivers cutting in and out of lanes are crasy. It is called reckless driving.
Question 2. The proud army will lose. or 骄兵必败. MA study makes you aware of your physical ability and skills. We know our limits. If one has to fight, we will assess the opponent with 3 tries. We cover our weakness and make the best of our strong points. Being arrogant is being ignorant of oneself and the opponent.
How do you maintain a balance or a neutral mentality in MA study?
You may need to be aggressive in strikes and attacks.
If you think about defense and offense at the same time? If you practice the attack moves and then you practice defense moves against your attack moves.
We have to uncover the weakness or opening in our attack moves in order to derive defense moves against them.
This way we are fully aware of the fact that in order to gain advantages some where; we are also at disadvantage some where else.
Timing, positioning etc.
Also have non-MA related hobbies or some other activity to balance out. May be something to create and to build instead of destroying something all the time.
03-27-2005, 02:41 AM
Are there any negative mental aspects of learning MA?
Yes kung fu can affect people mentally. People get aggressive. Instead of letting things go, they sometimes push things because if it comes down to it, they are ready to fight.
Kung Fu itself will affect your mind and personality. The effects can be different for different people and depend on how you train. You can go crazy from doing kung fu wrong.
Another big part of Kung Fu is tactics and strategy.
You practice to have good skills.
You also have to practice to analyse and think.
Some people practice with playing chess. You may have to think several steps ahead. You may have to think about moves and countermoves.
We also have to control our temper or our coolness by meditation, fishing or even sailing or boating. Some likes to surf.
This way we know how to have a quiet mind. So that in the fastly changeable wind or roughest waves, we are cool to sail and surf.
So that in the heat of fighting, confusion, pains, anger, fear etc, we will endure and somehow to use the opponent to our advantage. such as get a sail from the wind or a ride from a big wave.--
Kung Fu demands not only your body and physiques.
As in any combat or real life situation, being aggressive alone does not give you the whole story.
In order to be hard, you have to be gentle first. You yield and redirect. That is how you sail and surf.
In order to be aggressive, you have to cool first. You maneuver to create the timing and opportunity.--
Kung Fu fight or any other "fights" in life.
It is all about how to win.
You may win by tricks.
You may win by the least amount of effort which is the best win. Shang Bing Fa Mou 上兵伐谋
You may like to be aggressive, however, you may not be more aggressive than the nature, such as the speed of the wind or huge energy from the waves.
Sun Tzu said military affairs are about tricks. Bing Zhe Gui Zha Ye. 兵者诡诈也
The battle of Britain.
The marshall Goering wanted to be aggressive and bombed London day and nite.
The RAF spreaded out thru out north and south England. Spitfires and hurricanes fought in small groups to save pilots. Reserved and cool.
Heinkel and ME 109 came in such huge groups.
The RAF changed tactics and strategy. Spitfires and hurricanes came in a big wing, gathered around London and shot down Heinkel first.
Despite of huge loss of pilots and bombers, Herr Goering still insisted on bombing.
And said that we have to clear the sky of RAF, so that our army may move across the strait and land.
One day, the bombing stopped.
Winston Churchill said that this is not the beginning of the end but the end of the beginning.
This is tough.
Some people may get aggressive from just about everything.
Tell me about it.
Last time, it was all like, "You sunk my battleship!" and I wound up throwing the guy down a flight of stairs.
03-28-2005, 03:09 AM
Thats what happens when you don't have any training in the internal arts... ;)
03-28-2005, 06:46 AM
Funny how outsiders see us...
I was recently studying in another city, and the teacher there asked me what people thought when I told them I practice kung fu, and my response was that I don't even tell people anymore. I get tired of the look of confusion/fear on people's faces, since the only impression they have of martial arts are from movies that are high on the violence and low on the philosophical aspect of the art.
Recently though, I have started talking about it more openly. The people who I see every day or week know I'm very level headed, and that I don't lose patience either in stressful situations or with very annoying people. So they don't suspect that I'm going to bring my staff in to work and start wailing away on people, just becuase I know how to use a staff.
Boy aren't they going to be surprised on Friday...
Oh %#@$, did I say that out loud? :eek:
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