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Angus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 21 Jun 2001
Posts: 1064
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2001 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No no people, if you're looking for a forum on Sun Tsu you're gonna have to go somewhere else....

Each of us learns the Martial Arts for very different reasons. Some want exercise, some want to commit themselves to something with discipline, some just want something to do... But i, humble and honourable 'Gus, am interested in the Art of Warfare. I always have been.
Now, i don't go putting on camo and shoot birds outta trees and bite their heads off and stuff, but i am simply interested in learning that which has shaped our world for centuries... Think about it, nothing has shaped the course of the human race quite like warfare. There have been more conflicts that have changed the world than good people.
As the wise Arnold Schwarzenegger said in the movie Terminator 2, it is in our nature to destroy ourselves (i know he didn't write it but don't burst my bubble).
It seriously has been a lifelong study for me, ever since i was handed my first toy gun at the age of four. Before i was offered a place in university i was sheduled to go into the Australian Army and eventually try out for the elite SAS.
But the most intricate part of human warfare, i must say, is the martial arts... It amazes me that someone with an uncanny knowledge of the human body was able to create and perfect a series of moves which can give someone the edge in unarmed and armed combat.
It must have started somewhere.. Some people think it was the Indian Buddhist monk Bodhi Dharma, some think it was Alexander the Great's armies that devastated asia (carrying the art of Pankraytion).

What are your thoughts on the Art of War? Not just the martial arts, but all aspects. How do you think the human race could have eveolved without the technology brought about by warfare? How do you think great nations would have sprung up? by all means if you do not agree with my views please try to refute them. I think there could be some interesting discussion over this!

Cheers peoples,
Angus

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Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.
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Karateka
Red Belt
Red Belt

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

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2001 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Warfare has been a facination of mine as well. Not because of how it shaped the world. I was interested to how you can see the actual personality of the person who was fighting it. The British always faught in the traditional style because they felt they could not be beaten at it. The Romans always did line because they looked better. The Indians never faught anyone outside their country. The Japanese had everything to do with honour. That is what I look for. Warfare has changed the face of the world, but I think more can be done if we can find out the cure for cancer or aids or the code for cold fusion, then a weapon that will eventually kill us all.

"I do not know what World War Three will be faught with, but I do know that World War Four will be faught with sticks and stones!"
Albert Einstein

Peace everyone,



ARIGATO GO JI MASTA

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

Sensei Ron Bagley (My Sensei)
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Angus
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Joined: 21 Jun 2001
Posts: 1064
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2001 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, quite right...

But the fascination with warfare has led us to spend more on weapons of mass destruction that on means of curing disease...

Angus
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Karateka
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Joined: 22 Jun 2001
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2001 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite true, but the efforts that we have seen from the truly grim side of war has led us in many peaceful directions. Look at the Holocaust in WWII. That has led many Human Rights efforts and changes in the law. That one incident has led us to change the entire face of the future. It is amazing that if this never happened, more things would have taken a longer time to achieve. That is what I look forward to from the war's. A war may be a mistake, its the cleaning up that makes me wonder.

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Sensei Ron Bagley (My Sensei)
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Jennifer
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Joined: 23 Jun 2001
Posts: 13


PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2001 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very philosophical post, Angus...

I too have an interest in warfare. I am fascinated and, at the same time, horrified by the psychology of humanity as a race. What I enjoy most about combat is the study of the human body. To know one's weaknesses is to know one's strengths.
I don't feel that Martial Arts originated in any one place. Where ever humanity existed, in however small a number, there were M.A. Whether it was fighting off a saber-toothed tiger or some greedy neighbors, the martial arts were necessary for survival.
I'm not sure that it's a fascination with warfare as much as it's a desire for power that shapes our general interest and persuit of war. One party wants to control another party but that second party doesn't want to succumb to the rule of the first, thus we have war.
There have always been warmongers and there have always been pacifists, but what makes the difference in how the world is impacted by either group is communication, education, and financial freedom. I personally, feel that the ease by which these three things are aquired today has done more for pacifism in general than did any war. The description of the atrocities performed during WWII is an offense to anyone with a conscience, but to be able see pictures or films of said events hits one on a much deeper level. There have been many rulers, worldwide, who did things every bit as heinous as Hitler and Stalin etc. Vlad T'episch(spelling ?) was an absolute brute and yet his people loved him. He butchered his own people and for that they feared him, but he saved them from the Turks and for that they loved him. If his people weren't so desperately poor and ignorant perhaps they would've felt differently.
I don't feel technology is evidence of human evolution, only human ingenuity. How we apply our knowledge is a much better guage of evolution. I think it's humanity's sense of morality that shows it's evolutionary progress. And, personally, I don't think we've improved all that much.
There's an element of Jewish mysticism called the Kabballah. (I'm not an officianado on this, I just have some rudimentry info.) Within the Kabballistic teaching exists "The Tree of Life." It shows the different paths Man can take to reach God, or Heaven. One of those paths is the "path of pure intellect." On this path we can advance intellectually but w/o the tempering of God, or for my purposes morality, we can't advance as a race. When we reach the height of knowledge that is God, or any equivalent concept, we won't pass into Heaven or Nirvana or any higher plane of existance. Instead, we'll lose touch with the higher consciousness and go insane. I feel that it's how we treat the world around us and each other that better shows our evolutionary progress.
Just my take...,but this is a very complex subject you brought up, Angus. A discussion could go on forever.
- Jennifer
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Karateka
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Joined: 22 Jun 2001
Posts: 786
Location: North Vancouver, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2001 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is true that a discussion such as this is a long and lengthy one. We all seem to agree on the same thing. War can be used to show human evolution. That much is certain. Now I pose another question relating to this.

Should we then discourage violence or encourage evolution? Think hard. I await any reply.

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Sensei Ron Bagley (My Sensei)
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Angus
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Joined: 21 Jun 2001
Posts: 1064
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2001 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I consider that one cannot encourage or discourage either of the two. You can not halt or quicken what comes as natural human behaviour. We are violent beings by nature, and through this violence springs our evolution.
The use of the atomic bomb on Japan made the human race evolve. We knew what this could do, we know now, and we have the bombs but it is very unlikely that we'll ever use it again.
Trying to encourage evolution? Now i think about it... i don't really understand what you mean by that. To encourage evolution would be like sitting next to a monkey and saying: "Hurry up dude, turn into a human!".
One cannot encourage or discourage that which happens naturally.

Just my thoughts,
Angus.

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Jennifer
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Joined: 23 Jun 2001
Posts: 13


PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2001 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, that's another complex topic guys...

Is Man a product of environment, or genetics if you will? Or, if you're spiritually influenced, does Man have free will enough to transcend the trappings of the corporeal self?

Certainly, I believe violence for it's own sake should be discouraged, but violence in defense is justifiable. To eliminate it altogether the nature of Humanity would have to change. For that to happen we would all have to be on the same level of consciousness at the same time. I don't know if that could ever be possible.

Hmm...encouraging evolution, interesting phrasing.
Physically speaking, evolution happens constantly. Every little change we create in our environment forces us, and every other living thing, to adapt to the change. The change may only be cellular and not necessarily visible or even healthy, but it occurs nonetheless. As far as how we impact our environment we have control, but how we adapt to Mother Nature's changes is well beyond our control.

Here's where it gets really rocky...
Evolutionary change on a spiritual or conscious level. One could argue that we are totally free willed, but then there are many examples of how we're affected by our genetic trappings. Mental illnesses or mental deficiencies dramatically affect our behavior and understanding. How does one trascend such disabilities and achieve enlightenment?

I feel it's an undeniable fact that we're influenced by our physicality. However, I don't think that we're slave to it. I really do think it's possible to transcend the physical self, to consciously evolve. Buddhists believe that this world is the illusion and that it's laws don't apply to the rest of the universe. The spirit world is the only reality. B/c we're both physical and spiritual, we can change or bend the rules of the physical world until we finally shed the corporeal vessel and move on to a higher plane of existance or evolution.
-Jennifer
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Angus
Black Belt
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Joined: 21 Jun 2001
Posts: 1064
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2001 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, there are two arguments now i think about it...

Sociologically speaking one could consider that we are not free willed, Jen. Sociology is the study of the social, and within its boundaries we argue that we may not be as free willed as we may think we are. It would take forever to explain what i mean (more time than i have left on my internet account), but basically we are the product of our society and our morals are shaped by those we have around us. Just as your father taught you chin na (?) and you gained valuable knowledge, i doubt you would be as interesting had not such a wonderful man existed (no offense).

I will continue this with more info later
Angus

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"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." - Freidrich Nietsche.

This Message was edited by: Angus on Jun 25, 2001 6:20pm
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Karateka
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Joined: 22 Jun 2001
Posts: 786
Location: North Vancouver, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2001 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mental disablities are caused by our lack of understanding of the human brain and our lack of using its true potential. Perhaps those who we think have mental deficiancies are those who are just thinking differently than we are. They maybe in a higher state of evolution than we are. No one ever considers that.

However, back to my question. I personally think that we may not survive without any sort of violence or conflict unless we somehow get rid of wants. All conflict is created through wants. If we wish to get rid of wants, then and only then will there be no conflict. Sadly, I do not think that this could ever be done. I believe this because of the fact that if we give up wants, then we give up the "want" to live. To give up that would give up life. There are people(the ones who created Star Trek) who would think that we can work in peace to better ourselves. Yet in that whole series, we see conflict with other races. The Buddhists believe the same thing. To atain enlightenment, we must give up wants. Wants goes towards grief. Desire towards sorrow.

Thats what I think. We can never get rid of conflict and violence. True that we may think of violence as physical and the future may think of it as something else, there will always be conflict and violence unless all wants are diminished away. Maybe that will occur with technology, but only time will tell.

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Sensei Ron Bagley (My Sensei)
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