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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14329
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:22 pm    Post subject: Draw Your Own Conclusions!! Reply with quote

The answers to the following questions will vary from practitioner to practitioner, as well as, individual to individual, those who aren't Martial Artists, and will occupy the minds until the end of time. No answer will suffice everyone!! Still, I feel that I must propose my questions, nonetheless.

Please allow me this, to each question, that, if possible, you'll support your answers/arguments with as to the 'if not', and 'if so', as well as 'not applicable' as to the 'why' in addition. There, imho, are no wrong answers to any of my questions because we're all powered to present, and have, our own opinions.

So...

Is the fiber of morality taught within the context and/or content of the martial arts??

Is it the sole responsibility of the parent(s) to teach, as well as, instill the code of morality to/in their children??

Is it the sole, and/or shared responsibility of society to teach, as well as, instill the code of morality to/in its citizens??

Is it the sole, and/or shared responsibility of the martial art school, and/or its governing body, to teach, as well as, instill the code of morality to/in its student body??

When does accountability begin and end??

And with whom does accountability begin and end??

Are we martial artists, no matter the level of experience and/or responsibilities, bound to obey and/or adhere to the exactitude, or its similarity, of the founded twenty precepts as those penned by Gichin Funakoshi so long ago, and/or its like, no matter the style of the martial arts??

And are those precepts, and the like, the foundation of morality taught within the context and/or the content of both the martial arts and the martial artist??

Without morality in both the martial arts and the martial artist, what are we left with??

Anarchy...Barbarism...Doomsday...Armageddon...or any other possible unnamed catastrophe that's drastically void of morality??

Draw your own conclusions through your own steadfastly belief system in which there can't be any forgone/foreseen ambiguity.

I look forward to each and everyone's opinions with much sincere respect!!

Thank you, everyone!!



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Tempest
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 420
Location: Tulsa, OK
Styles: Judo, HEMA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, I am going to take these one at a time because the answers to each question will be lengthy.

Quote:
Is the fiber of morality taught within the context and/or content of the martial arts??


Sometimes. Not really within the CONTENT per se.. Consider that a punch to the face is a punch to the face regardless of who issues it, but the CONTEXT, oh absolutely.
Consider not only the precepts of Sensei Funakoshi, but the codes of Chivalry and Bushido as expressed at different times and places. Also consider the maxims and aims of Judo.
Additional supporting evidence can be found in the medieval treatises of western martial arts.
Consider this opening line from the lichtenauer Zettel:
Young knight, learn
 to love god and revere women;
2 thus your honor will grow.
 Practice knighthood and learn
3 the Art that dignifies you,
 and brings you honor in wars.
There are similar exhortations on honor and proper behavior from treatises and soldierly manuals throughout the medieval and renaissance period. Teaching someone the use of arms, or even good skill at unarmed combat, is providing them with more personal power than they otherwise would have. From the historical context, the idea that providing someone with this power without a commensurate understanding of their character would ever be socially acceptable is a modern phenomenon.
With that said, there is plenty of evidence that supports the idea that people always HAVE provided such training separate from morality. There just have always also been those that are more responsible with the training.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14329
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do I decide my actions, or are the actions that I choose decided by the situation??

This, I suppose, is where accountability is assigned, yet, once assigned, the situation is temporary, at best, because nothing lasts forever as the inevitability occurs for just that moment.

Morality is without both its rewards and its disappointments. Albeit, as a body can't survive without a beating heart, neither can morality survive without a consciousness. All actions have consequences, whether they be dire or not, are dependent on morality.

Therefore, if I tether my morality loosely, am I accountable, and if so, to whom, and for what ending result(s)?? In the martial art blockbuster movie, Enter the Dragon, starring the late Bruce Lee, one of the beginning scenes, has Mr. Lee conversing with the Shaolin Abbott the exchange between them two builds up in a deliberate crescendo to whereas, upon him being asked the pointed question with an equally pointed answer...

"Shaolin Abbott: I see your talents have gone beyond the mere physical level. Your skills are now at the point of spiritual insight. I have several questions. What is the highest technique you hope to achieve ?

Lee: To have no technique.

Shaolin Abbott: Very good. What are your thoughts when facing an opponent?

Lee: There is no opponent.

Shaolin Abbott: And why is that ?

Lee: Because the word "I" does not exist.

Shaolin Abbott: So, continue...

Lee: A good fight should be like a small play, but played seriously. A good martial artist does not become tense, but ready. Not thinking, yet not dreaming. Ready for whatever may come. When the opponent expands, I contract. When he contracts, I expand. And when there is an opportunity, I do not hit. It hits all by itself."

If "I" does not exist, to such a degree that there is no opponent, then just how can "I" have an opponent to be concerned with?? Furthermore, at the bold type above, if "I" doesn't exist, then just how can "I" not hit, where as, the hitting is without consciousness as "I" hit without morality.

Perhaps, Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc, after this therefore because of this, might suspend morality for the moment, except for one thing, the action remains valid because it did happen. I'm attacked, I defend myself with great resolve, my attack succumbs to my actions, and while I was automatic in my actions...without thought...I didn't hit, it hit all by itself, the morality fiber tends to be frayed, if only for that moment.

Was Mr. Lee, in his own way, saying that morality takes a back seat because "I" am excused of my actions because I was attacked, and my actions were automatic because of my opponents actions. One hand washes the other!! Aren't we the masters of our own self??

I've the ability to end life due to my knowledge and experience, yet, morality has to be somewhere within my mortal coil, and without morality, I doesn't exist as a human being.

What good is morality if I can't defend myself once attacked?! "I" DO HIT, and "it" doesn't HIT because, I made a conscious decision, didn't I?!? My attacker swung, I countered with my own attack. I told my body to do this and that, and it did this and that.

Morality shouldn't exist is excuses!! Either it is or it isn't; not in between!!



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Tempest
Green Belt
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Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 420
Location: Tulsa, OK
Styles: Judo, HEMA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Is it the sole responsibility of the parent(s) to teach, as well as, instill the code of morality to/in their children??

Absolutely not. The idea that it ever could be is laughable. That being said, in our modern society one cannot ASSUME that responsibility for someone else's child just because of contact with them on a regular basis. Communication is key here. Parents often time have very skewed views of how their children behave, but at the end of the day our society trusts parents with raising their children. I for one would not like the alternative. Please see works such as "The Giver" for some idea of how that might work out.
Never forget that parents and children are people, and as such they have a tendency to make mistakes, but they have the right to make those mistakes with their children, as painful as that is to watch sometimes.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27701
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Draw Your Own Conclusions!! Reply with quote

Quote:
Is the fiber of morality taught within the context and/or content of the martial arts??


I think this depends a lot on who is doing the teaching. Many of the eastern systems seem to invoke ideas of integrity, honor, respect, etc. Many of the western styles invoked the ideas behind chivalry. Most, however, came out of societies with class systems, and lets be honest, not everyone was treated equally. Whether it was always taught, it is hard to tell. However, I do think that most societies that trained its warriors trained them to have some form of respect for others. Except the people on the other team. And we all know what happens during the spoils of war.

Quote:
Is it the sole responsibility of the parent(s) to teach, as well as, instill the code of morality to/in their children??


I think it is their responsibility. The parents is where it should start. Some parents don't do a good job, and some kids just don't learn. So we hope they pick it up in other places.

Quote:
Is it the sole, and/or shared responsibility of society to teach, as well as, instill the code of morality to/in its citizens??


Shared, not sole. Society should put forth good examples, and laws are established to determine what is right and what is wrong. Hopefully punishments are the deterrent to doing wrong.

Quote:
Is it the sole, and/or shared responsibility of the martial art school, and/or its governing body, to teach, as well as, instill the code of morality to/in its student body??


Again, shared, but not sole. At the end of the day, my job isn't to raise someone else's child. That being said, I feel like I've got a good moral compass, and if I can help by pointing those I teach in the right direction, lead by example, hold them accountable, then I should do that.

Quote:
When does accountability begin and end??


I'm not sure what you mean by this. Once the age of reason is hit, accountability should be a thing.

Quote:
And with whom does accountability begin and end??


Parents assume some accountability with their children. Once they hit maturity, they need to be accountable for themselves.

Quote:
Are we martial artists, no matter the level of experience and/or responsibilities, bound to obey and/or adhere to the exactitude, or its similarity, of the founded twenty precepts as those penned by Gichin Funakoshi so long ago, and/or its like, no matter the style of the martial arts??


No. Although I'm sure he was a great guy, I'm also sure some of his thoughts, ideas, viewpoints, beliefs, etc, wouldn't match up with mine.

Quote:
And are those precepts, and the like, the foundation of morality taught within the context and/or the content of both the martial arts and the martial artist??


Again, no. I think this will vary from person to person, based on their own life experiences and upbringing. I have a Christian upbringing, so my own morality is shaped by that.

Quote:
Without morality in both the martial arts and the martial artist, what are we left with??


Martial Arts, in all honesty, is just a thing we do. It has no feelings, it has no conscience, it doesn't know right or wrong. It is those who practice and teach and learn the Martial Arts that add their own views and outlooks on life into what they teach. Most people are well-adjusted, and will teach in a well-adjusted manner, and it will usually perpetuate that way.
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LLLEARNER
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Joined: 10 Feb 2016
Posts: 687
Location: Central Maine

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is the sole responsibility of parents to educate, instill morality and respect in children.

Unfortunately to many in modern society have given that role up in favor of schools, activities, coaches or "whoever". To many broken homes and absentee fathers really messes up society. How can a parent expect someone who sees their kid a few times a week to do that huge job. A responsible parent will use other sources as reinforcement. This Sensei teaches values I want my kid to learn, so he attends that dojo.

My parents (father mostly) used to tell principles and teachers that if I acted up they could spank me. No that may go too far, but the idea that parents are actively ensuring the people around their kids hold the same standards and expectations holds true.
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"Walk a single path, becoming neither cocky with victory nor broken with defeat, without forgetting caution when all is quiet or becoming frightened when danger threatens." ~ Jigaro Kano
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Tempest
Green Belt
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Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 420
Location: Tulsa, OK
Styles: Judo, HEMA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Is it the sole, and/or shared responsibility of society to teach, as well as, instill the code of morality to/in its citizens??


Sure. Or, to be more precise, for adults society DOES teach morality. There are laws, rules, taboos, codes of behavior, religions, philosophy and various scientific theories of human behavior that all combine to establish the so called "Moral standards" that any society will rise or sink to. Why is now acceptable, as an example, in the United States, to be homo-sexual, to be black, to be Mexican, to be.. whatever. Being, and proudly being, a member of the minority group of your choice and or birth, is socially acceptable due to our wider society embracing changes in scientific thought, laws, and psychology, rather than religious traditions that do not serve the needs of these members of society.
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Tempest
Green Belt
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Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 420
Location: Tulsa, OK
Styles: Judo, HEMA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Is it the sole, and/or shared responsibility of the martial art school, and/or its governing body, to teach, as well as, instill the code of morality to/in its student body??


No. Not even a little bit. We CHOOSE to teach morality/philosophy along with fighting skill for a variety of reasons, but there is nothing in the laws or traditions of our greater society that states or even implies that a martial artist will be, or even should be, the moral authority on anything.

The truth is, we teach moral philosophies because we and/or our students believe that they are a necessary part of either our skill, or the responsible use of that skill.
Even if that is true though, there are certainly other ways to climb that mountain than the ones laid out in a dojo. If you want morality, I advise you to visit a church, because the morality you will get from me 'on the floor' as you like to put it is that of the great philosopher Kipling.
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Tempest
Green Belt
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Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 420
Location: Tulsa, OK
Styles: Judo, HEMA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
When does accountability begin and end?


We are each of us ultimately accountable to our own conscience in whatever form that might take. Whatever we do, or don't do, or whatever we permit done in our presence or under our name, we have to live with the consequences of. Even, and most ESPECIALLY those consequences that you do not intend.

Beyond that, accountability is a choice. Criminals are criminals precisely because they will not VOLUNTARILY submit to accountability to the legal codes established in a given society.
Someone who will not be accountable to an organization to which they belong will quickly find themselves on the outside of that organization.
Someone who will not be accountable to friends for minor slights and oversights will likely have no friends... so on and so forth.
But at every stage it is a choice. Only the law has the actual authority to take that choice away from you, and then only in specific circumstances that are clearly defined and actually quite limited.
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Tempest
Green Belt
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Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 420
Location: Tulsa, OK
Styles: Judo, HEMA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Are we martial artists, no matter the level of experience and/or responsibilities, bound to obey and/or adhere to the exactitude, or its similarity, of the founded twenty precepts as those penned by Gichin Funakoshi so long ago, and/or its like, no matter the style of the martial arts??


No. At least 6 of them don't even apply if you don't practice Karate. Now, I do think that something similar to them are a good IDEA, but being bound to them is silly for anyone not practicing Shotokan Karate.
I have re-printed the 20 precepts here for reference during this discussion.

1. Karate-do begins with courtesy and ends with rei.
2. There is no first strike in karate.
3. Karate is an aid to justice.
4. First know yourself before attempting to know others.
5. Spirit first, technique second.
6. Always be ready to release your mind.
7. Accidents arise from negligence.
8. Do not think that karate training is only in the dojo.
9. It will take your entire life to learn karate, there is no limit.
10. Put your everyday living into karate and you will find "Myo" (subtle secrets).
11. Karate is like boiling water, if you do not heat it constantly, it will cool.
12. Do not think that you have to win, think rather that you do not have to lose.
13. Victory depends on your ability to distinguish vulnerable points from invulnerable ones.
14. The out come of the battle depends on how you handle weakness and strength.
15. Think of your opponents hands and feet as swords.
16. When you leave home, think that you have numerous opponents waiting for you.
17. Beginners must master low stance and posture, natural body positions are for the advanced.
18. Practicing a kata exactly is one thing, engaging in a real fight is another.
19. Do not forget to correctly apply: strength and weakness of power, stretching and contraction of
the body, and slowness and speed of techniques.
20. Always think and devise ways to live the precepts of karate-do every day.

As an example, trying to apply number 15 to some of what I do is a good way to get injured and not accomplish much.
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