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Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 25 Jan 2002
Posts: 1033
Location: England (int'north west)

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2002 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all

I was thinking about things after pondering on AnonymouseOne's "Sigfile of No Sigfile".

Do you seek the approval of others? Is this important to you? I have mixed feelings depending on who "the others" are...

Strangers? Nope.
Colleagues at work? Nope.
Friends? A little.
My Wife & Children? Sure

I like quotes - you'll notice that if I stick around here

Here's one from the great Authoress - Susan Jeffers...

"Remocve those imaginary "like me" stickers from your forehead and, instead, place them in the only place they will do you any good... on your mirror!"

- Hey AnonyomousOne - you made me think! This is a good thing!

2nd Degree Black Belt : Doce Pares Eskrima
Instructor : JKD Concepts /

[ This Message was edited by: YODA on 2002-01-31 14:36 ]
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SBN Doug

Joined: 04 Nov 2001
Posts: 3767
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Kuk Sool Won

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2002 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My reply would kind of depend on what you're asking if I'm seeking approval for.

At work, for how I perform my assigned responsibilities...then yes.

At work, for how I run my life, that I practice martial arts....then no.
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Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 21 Jun 2001
Posts: 910
Location: North Vancouver Canada

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2002 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great topic guys... work for the work I do, then yes of course. Strangers...don't care what they think. Family...well I used to when I was younger, but I don't anymore. Friends, well yes, but in the end it's all about what I think or choose.

If you think something small cannot make a difference - try going to sleep with a mosquito in the room.

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Joined: 28 Oct 2001
Posts: 6397
Location: Ohio
Styles: Shotokan, Shorin Ryu, Shi-to Ryu

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2002 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whether we like it or not approval is a sort of basic human need.

I remember a discussion a while back with a group of catholic converts. One person had a concern that his father, a protestant minister, did not approve of his choice to convert. After discussion it was discovered that this person was only in contact with his out of state father on a limited basis due to the distances involved. Allthough he very much wanted the approval of his father he could not offset the factor of who he was in contact with the most. Those living in daily contact with him where the ones who's opinion that mattered most.

Don't know why I told this now. I guess it just seemed to come to mind. Who are we around the most? Who matters the most to us? That is who's approval we seek the most.
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Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 01 Jan 2002
Posts: 95
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2002 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are very few people whose opinion I value, at least regarding my life or the things contained within. I do agree with Sai however, that the approval that we most seek is from those that are most important to us.
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Red Belt
Red Belt

Joined: 22 Jun 2001
Posts: 786
Location: North Vancouver, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2002 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do not seek the approval of others because others taint their opinions to make you feel better. The true critic is yourself, because yourself never lies to you, and it always tells you you can do better.

"Never hit a man while he's down; kick him, its easier"

Sensei Ron Bagley (My Sensei)
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Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 12 Aug 2001
Posts: 104
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2002 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sai is right, approval is a sort of basic human need. Would I be correct in assuming those who say such things as "I do not seek the approval of others", "there are few peoples opinion I value" etc. are actually surrounded by a group of friends, colleagues, teachers, and/or family members who are supportive and give approval without judgement?
Sure you didnt ask for their approval, they gave it willingly. But you gotta admit it's a good thing.
And frankly I wouldnt like to be part of a team with a member who claims to put no value on the approval of the group or individuals. A team would operate more effectively without that member.
Karateka: the self is not faultless; consider the negative effects of the ego.

[ This Message was edited by: Slim on 2002-01-31 15:50 ]
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Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 01 Jan 2002
Posts: 95
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2002 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The people that I do surround myself with are the very people whose opinions I value.
It's a small, but select group.
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Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 10 Aug 2001
Posts: 1047
Location: Australia
Styles: BJJ, Kickboxing

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2002 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It takes sacrifice to be the best.

There are always two choices, two paths to take. One is easy. And its only reward is that it's easy.

Last edited by Bon on Sun Sep 29, 2002 1:08 am; edited 1 time in total
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Red Belt
Red Belt

Joined: 27 Jan 2002
Posts: 812

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2002 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately many people seek approval in the martial arts and I even see that here.

Sadly this means that peoples self worth is dependant on the approval of others and I think that is a sad state to be in.

I learnt years ago that I would not hand over control of my emotions to others by letting them make comments that would effect me. I am in control of me, not them!

No great man ever got to the top without being criticized. If they took that criticism to heart it would limit their growth, maybe even stop them.

When you get close to or to the top, people don’t want to climb up to you, they want to drag you down.

In martial arts schools we must conform to certain rules and perform to our teachers expectation to further develop ourselves. But that does not mean we must give up our individuality or integrity by seeking approval of every Tom, Dick and Harry that comes along.

If someone cannot handle the way you are or what you stand for, if what you are doing is right, beneficial and lawful, don’t change to make them happy. Be yourself, keep your integrity and love others even though they may not approve of what you are doing or are.

If you truly have a destiny and a great cause in your life, then maybe one day they will come to see the light that shines so wonderfully in your heart.

In Jan 1981. I gave up my job, left my family and friends and traveled some 4000 miles to Western Australia to where my sister was living in an isolated mining town. It was a perfect opportunity for me to train full time (on my own) in preparation for a visit to Japan in Feb. 1982.

I wanted to get away from the city and I also wanted to be somewhere where I did not have to work and my younger sister and her husband offered to sponsor me into their home. Of course I had money and was able to pay my way.

My parents thought it was a senseless activity being away from the whole world. And believe me this place was really isolated. The nearest sealed road was 2.5 hours away. If one needed a doctor they had to fly in by plane. The nearest Policeman was 170 miles away. There was one shop in the mine and one telephone. No TV, no radio no take outs no nothing.

My friends thought it was uncool. There were no girls available really. No clubs, bars etc. It was really a recluses haven.

But for me after having previously visited there, it was perfect for training. There was a town hall that no one hardly ever used, that I could train in. There were great roads for running over hills, as well as sand dunes for the same purpose. Also it was extremely hot which meant being able to train under extreme conditions to develop mind and body.

I knew Japan was a tough school. One of the hardest in all Japan I was told. I wanted to arrive in Japan so they would know we have good students in our country and I wanted to make the most of my visit. So I saw going there as a wonderful opportunity to isolate myself from the distractions of the world and get down to the heart of the art I love so much. I was never one for contest nor did I seek to become a teacher. I just simply loved the training and what it did to my mind and body.

But my friends and loved ones could not see that. They tried to talk me out of it. They felt the money I saved would be better spent on buying a home or new car. Or perhaps get a business.

If I had submitted to that pressure I would be a much different person today. Karate had given me an unusual level of self discipline. I was aware of this after only 1 year of training. I wanted to harness this and take advantage of it. I am not saying that this was a "Gone up the mountain, trained and then received a martial arts revelation" like some had done or claimed. It was just simply an opportunity I saw and I wondered how I could face myself not ever having taken advantage of it.

So after dismissing the objections I had got, I found myself aboard a non-stop flight to Western Australia. My goal was far more important than the well meaning objections of others. In later years they have come to understand my mind. They see the benefits of what I did. And I have a deep peace with myself having not faltered from what my heart truly desired.

Despite this, while I was away, friends and relatives would write and ask things like "What is it you seek, recognition, fame, a school of your own, success in competition?"

The answers were all an emphatic no! The only thing I really wanted was mastery of the techniques. I just want to be all I could be physically, to satisfy me. They couldn’t understand that at all. They saw no greater purpose. In my mind, I laughed to myself and thought, if only they understood the mind of the martial artist.

Even when I was in the mines and had started running in temperatures of 50 degrees Celsius. Not sure what that is in F. But man that’s hot! I would have guys in the trucks slow down on the mining roads and saying "You are %^$ing crazy man!"

Again I laughed to myself thinking "If only they understood the mind of the martial artist"

When at night I would be training in the town hall alone and my Kiai's bought in the towns people who were coming to see what Hulla Baloo was going on, they too thought I was nuts.

Then at one of the local beaches that was some 7 miles from the town (where I ran to) and I had erected a makiwara, kick bags and other apparatus, people came to swim, neck or whatever, seeing me dressed in a Gi and training in the heat, bought thoughts to their minds that I was indeed a strange man.

Then often at night I would run down to see the guys who were working night shift on mining equipment, and there was a long steep gangway that I would sprint up and down over and over, which made loud noises in the dead of the night, this also puzzled people.

I knew what these people thought. But I simply didn’t care. What I was working toward was a far greater purpose to submit to the thoughts of others.

I only wanted to seek approval of myself by completing the tasks I had set and was forever pushing the barrier.

I still get this attitude a lot today. Its true that I have a fairly rigid and demanding training schedule. But despite what others think I work on my role of being a student. I will always be a student.

I simply don’t care what others think and the only ones that come close to understanding it are other martial artists or sports people. And I guess that’s one of the reasons why I am here on this forum.

I simply say don’t worry about seeking approval of others. Set your goals based on your dreams, plan it out meticulously in writing and work on it with all your heart and soul day by day, believing in yourself!

But … there are times when I do get outside benefits from my training. Recently I was helping out a friend who is in charge of a group of men who are doing community work which is ordered by the courts. I had decided to spend the day with my friend and help out with the supervision. I am not a big man and I am certainly not one that looks formidable. In fact I am starting to get a few gray hairs! Anyway … I worked most of the day with these men and it was quite a hot day, its summer here right now and some of the younger men were doing the usual macho stuff and teasing each other. I am quite an outgoing jovial person and I was having a lot of laughs with these guys and they were calling me granddad. I had developed quite a good rapport with the guys and I had picked up some bricks which had been in a fire but had cooled down. They were laughing at me saying what was I trying to do to pick up hot bricks, was I trying to be a Kung Fu killer. Then some said “Grand Dad you are too old for that, leave that to the young people”.

So I put the bricks down and turn and asked “Do you really feel its not possible for an old man like me to start learning martial arts?”. One replied “No, Pops, you are too old for that, you have to start when you are young”. Then they enquired of my age and I told them I was 45. The laughed roarously and said I was way past it. So I too laughed. Then I asked “What do you think is the hardest martial arts movement do to”. One said “High side kicks”. So I asked him to come closer. Then I said “Do you mean like this?” I stood upright and lifted my right foot as quickly as I could to about an inch under his jaw, then I held it there and asked “Is this what you mean?” His eyes nearly popped out of his head. I just held it there while he looked at me then looked across to the others, then back at me. He just said “Whoooa”. Then I put my foot down. Then I said. “I have learnt another trick”. Then stood back slightly and * a head level round to right beside his ear and then placed my foot back on the ground and smiled. Just as that happened my friend arrived on the scene and smile and said to them, “I see you have discovered he's not that much of a Grand dad after all”.

Then one asked “Where did you learnt that?”. Before I could speak my friend said “He’s been training all his life, he’s a 6th Dan in Karate”

Well, they all completely changed their tune and for the next hour I demonstrated various advanced Kata and some basic self defense techniques. As well as some strength exercises because my friend had beconded me to show them what he had seen.
I never again heard the “Grand dad” word.

I have to say my pride got the better of me that day and I feel a little ashamed that I had decided to “Show off”, and this is rare for me.

I guess I broke one of my golden rules of not allowing others to affect me, but I guess the ‘Grand dad’ bit was what motivated me to show these young men that they should not dismiss people because of their age.

Anyway, we had a good hour and I enjoyed demonstrating Karate to them, something I rarely get a chance to do. And I had to remind a couple of them, that these aren’t tricks one learns but it’s a result of many years of dedicated training in which 27 years was the case, in my case.

7th Dan Chidokai

A true combat warrior has to be hard as nails in mind, body and soul. Warriors are action takers and not action fakers. If you are cruising, make time for losing
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