View Full Version : fighting spirit/ attitude
04-05-2005, 03:33 PM
I have been a martial artist for some years now. I am pretty passive by nature, which in some ways is good however in other ways has been a flaw (letting people get away with things and take advantage of me ect.) I recently have had a majior attitude change in training putting more spirit and focus into my workout and when these 2 guys gave my girlfriend a hardtime i confronted them, they both screamed they were going to stomp me (as they were backing up ;) ) and i stayed calm and felt completely confident in my abilities to hurt these two. (they walked away, no fight :( ) Does anyone else have experiances with these sorts of attitude changes? How do you keep these positive changes in attitude and training? I don't want it just to be a phase. thank you
04-05-2005, 06:56 PM
It's interesting you posted this. I'm sitting here on my second day of being kicked out of high school for fighting. This would be my first fight, ever. I'm alot like you in the sense that I'm very passive. I couldn't count the number of times I've let people walk all over me. So passive, in fact, people believed I have no fight in me and that I was a push over.
I told myself that I'm not letting that happen anymore. Whenever somebody would say something rude about me I'd stand my ground and dish it back. What surprised me was how quickly most people backed down. It seems the majority of people don't want to fight, they want to watch their ego and reputation swell. Keep in mind I'm only 5"9, 160lbs so I don't look too threatening. Even worse so when you consider the fact that computers are one of my hobbies and I openly flaunt it.
So something happened (it was inevitable) and I ended up fighting some bloke who had alot of weight on me. I was way too emotional when I was fighting, so I don't remember a thing. Apparently I flipped out and started beating on him like a crazy man while shouting "you ****ing *******!" Heh, not a good display of martial arts, but it certainly made me feel a heck of alot better.
Thinking back, I can now understand what all this talk is about staying in control of yourself when you're fighting. You can kind of understand when you're told, but actually experiencing it is a good learning experience. All though I apparently "beat him" (however you judge that I'll never know), I could have easily been taken out by a few well placed punches.
Heck, even the principal said I had a right to stand up for myself in the situation. He told me that it was the right thing to do, but even right things have their consequences sometimes.
All in all I'm better for it. I have a pretty good idea of what I need to work on mentally; I look at what happened as a pressure test. In the mean time I don't think any other jerks will mess with me too bad, and that's all I wanted.
04-05-2005, 11:02 PM
I understand where the attitude of not backing down is coming from; I mean I used to be exactly that way with raging hormones and emotions. In a way I sort of blame it on not focusing on some internal arts and slowing it, because back then I was heavily based in Muay Thai and trained for the sole purpose to win and mess people up. I had nothing to slow me down and remind myself about the main reason for martial arts. The main goal of any good martial art system is basically for self-defense, whether you use passive aggression or lethal force is based on the individual style.
When you let yourself just flow naturally in a fight sometimes you cant control what happens and go "crazy". I have done that and probably done some f**ked up things to people when I let loose, probably under the influence or something in that sense. Responding to Hearwa, I say its perfectly naturally and part of the learning phase of trial and error. Every practioner experiences this type of situation sometime in their life. Learn to control and manipulate the other person to your liking is what separates the students from the masters. My old kung fu teacher used to tell me that students would usually fight, leaving their opponents far away from them, but a master can force a person down in front of his feet. That type of control is hard to learn, but that's also part of the joy in Kung Fu.
As for a permanent attitude change, I basically let people talk as much lip as they want to towards me, having read in some Buddhist scripture," A person can only yell, degrade, and torment you for seven full days before they have nothing left to say." It helps me keep patience and humility in mind, but I will easily try to defend others around me, like my friends and family. Defending a girlfriend/ future soulmate is within bounds, as people have no right to talk like that to the people you care about. I let others talk as much as they want, because I have the confidence to back up my skills if I need to.
bodhitree, et als;
First off, I've got a little more mileage than many of you guys. I'm 43 and have been in the arts since that late 70s. I've personally went thru many "stages" in my develop as a person and a martial artist. Several years ago, one of my instructors told me the following reasons for training. To paraphrase:
"We train to protect ourselves, our loved ones and those that cannot protect themselves."
In reflecting on those words, I think that many of us can grasp a deeper understanding of the reason that we train. If you are training for egoistical reasons, for competition, or so that you can beat up someone at a bar or at school, then I suggest that you take a long hard look at the quote and stop and really consider what it says.
Now, as far as "loosing control" during a fight, I feel that isn't always a bad thing. I use the term "letting the animal out of the cage". If you are faced with a confrontation, then open up that cage door and let the animal out. Your training will engrain the technique, but having the power to let out the naked aggression is something that many do not possess. It is extremely important in increasing your odds for being the one that walks away in a street encounter.
I'm not advocating walking around looking for a street fight, but I am under the belief that if someone is threatening you, someone you love or are hurting someone that cannot defend themselves, that it is our moral obligation as martial artists to confront the situation. Not just turn a blind eye. The arts, in general, have suffered in the public's viewpoint on effectiveness. With that being said, many "street tough guys" do not have any respect for the martial arts. (Thanks to all the McDojos, etc). One of my instructors states that if you are faced with a street predator and you hurt them both physically and emotionally then there is a strong likelihood that that person will think twice before jumping someone else in the future. Which is a positive for the rest of society.
Food for thought.
Yours in the arts,
04-06-2005, 01:16 PM
It's good that you "won". You probably learned a few things. It is also good, assuming you don't get hurt too bad, to lose. I have learned much more from losing a fight than winning one. Not that it should be anyone's goal to lose. :D
Just something to keep in mind.
04-06-2005, 02:25 PM
just because you can beat someone up, does not make you a martial artist. to protect someone takes courage and compassion. martial arts can help you with this, but the true goal for a martial artist is to master himself, not to hurt others, but to live in harmony with them.
04-13-2005, 04:00 PM
One of the major benefits you will ever recieve from the practice of combative arts is this:
Discipline. Through the discipline you will recieve from martial training you develope the mindset you need in order to achieve your goals in life. Including self control. You will build a relationship with your animal instincts, and will learn to trust them and when to let them out. You will constantly build willpower in the face of pain and suffering. Study hard and there is nothing you cannot achieve.
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