Dog Brothers Public Forum
Return To Homepage
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
December 20, 2014, 05:07:21 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Welcome to the Dog Brothers Public Forum.
83731 Posts in 2261 Topics by 1067 Members
Latest Member: Shinobi Dog
* Home Help Search Login Register
+  Dog Brothers Public Forum
|-+  DBMA Martial Arts Forum
| |-+  Martial Arts Topics
| | |-+  Rambling Rumination: In Search of the Totality of Ritual & Reality (c)
« previous next »
Pages: [1] Print
Author Topic: Rambling Rumination: In Search of the Totality of Ritual & Reality (c)  (Read 1719 times)
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31832


« on: January 24, 2008, 05:24:19 PM »

Some of you may have noticed in our catalog that we have begun organizing our DVDs into two basic categories:  Ritual and Reality and this thread serves to introduce a new chapter in the DBMA mission of "Walk as a warrior for all your days". 

We call it "The totality of Ritual & Reality" (c).

What I have come to appreciate is that because we are a diverse system, people come to us for diverse reasons.  Stated thus, the point is blindingly obvious, but that did not stop me from not appreciating it as much as I could and should have.   And it is because of these diverse reasons that we are now entering a period of reorganization.

What are these diverse reasons?

Some people come to us due to their interest in the ritual space, e.g. a Dog Brothers Gathering of the Pack and/or the health, fun, artistic and philosophical aspects of our system.   At the other end of the spectrum are people who are intensely interested in developing real world skills for real world problems.  In between the two are people who may not have pressing immediate real world concerns, but like the idea of using the ritual space of a DB Gathering as a moral venue to explore and prepare their adrenal state skills should the flying fickle finger of fate ever reach out and touch them to say "You are on, right here, right now." 

What I have come to appreciate is that many members of the first group explicitly prefer to have their experience with us free of what Carl Jung might call "the shadow issues" of real world applications.  Similarly, many members of the third group seek precisely to deal effectively with the shadow of those serve or are in the thrall of the Dark.  Typically these people prefer to have their experience devoid of what might playfully be called "martial arts & crafts", "dead patterns and tippy tap drills" and the like.  And there is a third group  --those who prefer a blend and a balance of the preceding two archetypes.  Personally, this is where I find myself-- in search of the totality of ritual and reality.

Concerning the matters of the Reality dimension, as I get older I have come to appreciate with greater depth than before the moral complexities of teaching the reality dimension of a weapons oriented martial art that originated in jungle warfare.  I sometimes joke about how I used to be a lawyer, but decided to go for the big bucks in Real Contact Stickfighting-- the meaning of course being that there really is not very much money in this path.  Although it is my profession, I am not a mercenary.  I do it because I believe in it as part of my path in walking with our Creator.  And because I believe in it I respect the power of its shadow.  There ARE people for whom this Art is not intended.  The reality dimension of this Art is for those who serve the various paths of the Heart-- those who seek to Protect.  In a complementary fashion, in some cases the Ritual side of the Art can be a place of healing, forgiveness and transcendence for those who have spiritual wounds to heal, perhaps due to previous engagements with the Dark.

The Adventure continues,
Guro Crafty
« Last Edit: January 25, 2008, 12:43:02 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31832


« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2008, 05:37:10 PM »

Whoops! Here is version 1.1
=============================

Totality of Ritual & Reality

What I have come to appreciate is that because Dog Brothers Martial Arts is a diverse system, people come to us for diverse reasons.  Stated thus, the point is blindingly obvious, but that has not stopped me from not appreciating it as much as I could and should have-- and sometimes this has led to confusion.

Now that I have begun thinking about it, it seems to me that there is a continuum, which in order to have a manner of talking, I divide into three sections.

Some people come to us due to their interest in the Ritual Space, e.g. a Dog Brothers Gathering of the Pack and/or the health, fun, artistic and philosophical aspects of our system.   At the other end of the spectrum are people who are intensely interested in developing real world skills for the challenges of Reality. Typically these people are the Protectors.  In between the two are people who may not have pressing immediate real world concerns, but like the idea of using the Ritual Space of a DB Gathering as a moral venue to explore and prepare their adrenal state skills should in Reality the flying fickle finger of fate ever reach out and touch them to say "You are on, right here, right now."  In short, they seek to Totality of the Tao of the Dog.

What I have come to appreciate is that many members of the first group explicitly prefer to have their experience free of what Carl Jung might call "the shadow issues" of real world applications. 

Similarly, many members of the second group seek precisely to deal effectively with the shadow of those serve or are in the thrall of the Dark.  Typically these people prefer to have their experience devoid of what might playfully be called "martial arts & crafts", "dead patterns and tippy tap drills" and the like. 

And there is a third group  --those who prefer a blend and a balance of the preceding two archetypes.  Personally, this is where I find myself-- in search of the totality of ritual and reality.

Because it contains unique questions, let us turn to matters that pertain specifically to the Reality end of the spectrum and its denizens--  the Protectors.  As I get older I have come to appreciate with greater depth than before the moral complexities of teaching the reality dimension of a weapons oriented martial art that originated in jungle warfare.  I sometimes joke about how I used to be a lawyer, but decided to go for the big bucks in Real Contact Stickfighting-- the meaning of course being that there really is not very much money in this path.  Although it is my profession, I am not a mercenary.  I do it because I believe in it as part of my path in walking with our Creator. 

And because I believe in it I respect the power of its shadow.  There ARE people for whom this Art is not intended.  The reality dimension of this Art is for those who serve the various paths of the Heart-- those who seek to Protect. 
The people for whom this Art is not intended I organize into three basic categories:
1)   The emotionally unsound and/or immature;
2)   Criminals;
3)   Enemies of Respect, Reason, and Reciprocity e.g. Islamo-fascists and others of this meme.

First, concerning the emotionally unsound it is my belief that teaching applied knife awakens some very dark energy, perhaps much more so than a gun.  In a sound Protector awareness of this energy and be able to tap into it is a good and necessary thing, but in the emotionally unsound or immature the consequences can be tragic.  For a fuller discussion of this point, see the clip titled “Rambling Ruminations: Knife” at www.dogbrothers.com

Second, obviously criminals (In defining criminality, I do distinguish malum per se from malum en prohibitum in this regard) also should not receive this training. 

Turning to the third category, I’d like to share a little story.  In the year 2000 I received an email that in a simple sentence of imperfect English asked me to teach knife to his group.  I responded by asking who he was.  “a syrian kickboxing club” he replied.  I did not respond further.  In the aftermath of 911 I remember reading that some of the hijackers had received close quarter combat training from a American martial arts instructor (in Florida if I remember correctly) and wondered if the group that had approached me was part of the same conspiracy.  Since then I have had a couple of other incidents wherein I was left wondering if someone had been pinging me.

I mention these things to give a sense of where I’m coming from with regard to security issues.  Yes, I know that with a knife what matters most is the will and the understanding of how to use it.  Yes, I know that plenty of people out there are teaching really deadly knife technique.  Yes, I know that most people have access to guns and that again, and again, that what matters most is the will and understanding of how to use it.  I know this!  I know this!

To the extent that what we offer is generic, I suppose it is relevant to note that “everyone else is doing it”—although even that doesn’t really suffice morally or spiritually.  And to the extent that what we offer is not commonly found, and I think it is, we need to look to ourselves to determine right action, not to others.


The criterion I use when teaching our Reality material (known variously as “DLO: Die Less Often” and “IGKEH Interface of Gun, Knife and EH”) to the general public be it through our DVDs or personal instruction is to avoid teaching things that will improve the level of the bad guys—the thugs.  For example, in DLO 1 we show the good guys something that thugs typically do— the “prison sewing machine” and what we think is a good way to solve both it and empty handed attacks on the same lines.  In the DVD we most certainly sought to provoke awareness of the dangers of this kind of attack, but by so doing we did not raise the level of thugs—they already know how to do this after all —but sought to raise the awareness of good people to what we believe to be a primal reality of knife attacks. 

Still this leaves the question of how to teach the things which are not for everyone.  As I have discussed previously (see e.g. our clip “Rambling Ruminations on Knife) training knife for application, as versus the Artistic/Ritual flow drills, disarm patterns, etc., can call to something very dark that sleeps within us and that once awakened in unsound people it can lead to tragic choices in pivotal moments.  Indeed it seems to me quite likely that this is why many FMA teachers go the artistic route—the physical knowledge is transmitted, but cannot be readily activated without certain keys of understanding.

One option certainly is simply not to go into these things-- but is this really a solution?  In today’s world even on "youtube" and its like we see an ever accelerating rate of dissemination of knowledge and information which proceeds with or without Dog Brothers Martial Arts and the Protectors whom we seek to serve. 

The first step as I see it is to filter whom we teach.  The second I think is to anchor the physical training with morality.  This latter point is an important discussion in its own right, but I do not enter into it now. 

Concerning the filtering, first and foremost the main line of defense is the traditional responsibility of the instructor to "smell" his (her) students.  Of course filtering out those of bad intention or unsound emotions can be a good trick.  After all, many people come to martial arts for some sort of emotional healing and we would like to be able to help them if we can.  And people of bad intention have been known to dissemble about their true intentions.

With the Dog Brothers Martial Arts Association the question presented becomes complicated by the absence of face-to-face relationship with many of our members.  To a limited extent we already have been doing filtering for some time with the application for our Association, and the rigor of this process will be increased to the extent reasonably feasible.  For those within the Association we will be developing a separate category dedicated to more complete study of these things for which the filtering process will be even more thorough. 

This filtering process is very much a work in progress.  For example we would love to be able to simply run a criminal and immigrations records check on all applicants, but apparently this is not possible.  We are looking into what it will take for applicants to provide it themselves.  It is also important to understand that we are humble about what this work-in-progress for filtering can accomplish.  To state the matter plainly, given the limitations of what we can bring to bear we know that we may not catch everyone who should be excluded.   Similarly, there will be cases where we turn someone down unfairly because we cannot bring enough to bear to make a fair determination.  By definition those who are unfairly turned down will not be offended or angry because they truly get who we are, what we are about, and what we are trying to accomplish.

The Adventure continues,
Guro Crafty
Logged
maija
Power User
***
Posts: 299


« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2008, 08:58:28 AM »


Before his passing, Maestro Sonny Umpad asked me to teach his system, and though I suspect I will not have to deal with this question at the level that you do, it is still something I have thought about.
Quote:
 "Still this leaves the question of how to teach the things which are not for everyone.  As I have discussed previously (see e.g. our clip “Rambling Ruminations on Knife) training knife for application, as versus the Artistic/Ritual flow drills, disarm patterns, etc., can call to something very dark that sleeps within us and that once awakened in unsound people it can lead to tragic choices in pivotal moments.  Indeed it seems to me quite likely that this is why many FMA teachers go the artistic route—the physical knowledge is transmitted, but cannot be readily activated without certain keys of understanding."

Maestro Sonny Umpad had seen "the dark side" and understood very well the implications of the knowledge he possessed. He was very aware that he could pass on skills to save life as well as, potentially, to take life. This is obviously why he taught privately out of his home, vetting potential students before taking them on, and even then watching for undesirable changes in those he chose to teach.
Interestingly I learned pretty much everything I know about tactics, human psychology, weaponry and 'dirty tricks' from him. Perhaps the equivalent of the 'keys of understanding' you mentioned? So he wasn't averse to sharing his experiences and knowledge when he thought it appropriate.
I believe Sonny's method of dealing with this dilemma was different from the norm, it was to focus on EVASIVE skills above all else. (DLO ?!)
Learning first and foremost how to 'not get hit' , or at least improve the odds, created a very different mind set than learning the '9/12/20 slashes of death' or whatever.
Targeting, weapon manipulation, follow-through etc were all mounted to this evasive foundation but were only added according to the maturity level of the student.
His basic message was, learn how to get away, not how to kill. If getting away entails harming another, then so be it, but understand the consequences.
One of his many great gifts IMHO was his ability to push peoples emotional buttons to see what was underneath, and hence how much he was willing to teach them.
He used many ploys: He would back you into corners to bring out aggression, go full speed with a slightly blunted machete, sending sparks flying by your head to bring out fear, he would tag your hands over and over and over again, for hours (or so it seemed!) to bring out pride, or sometimes he'd use me as a 'ringer' to flow with potential students, having me progressively hit them more and more to see how they would react to getting hit by a girl, to bring out ego!!
It was fascinating watching him work.
Anyway, your post got me thinking about this again, and recalled to me his most common answer to the question "What's my focus today"?
The first answer, always: "Don't get hit".


Logged

It will seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first.
Miyamoto Musashi.
Maxx
Power User
***
Posts: 482


« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2008, 10:31:54 AM »

Seems fair enough. I can totally understand not wanting to teach one of the bad guys how to attack a normal in a new way.

Good show Marc..It shows you actually care about what happens to the rest of mankind.
Logged

Karsk
Power User
***
Posts: 100


« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2008, 01:03:44 PM »

This thread once again touches on what I would call the "knighthood".  In another thread I asked you the question "Are there Knights?"  I think this thread has given me the insight on your answer to this question.   Knights, by my definition at least, couple capacity with character and nobility and that is what I think you are talking about.

This may sound naive or goofy, but I BELIEVE in this.   I think that capacity (realistic ability) coupled to character is ultimately stronger than the shadow.  I do not mean that bad guys cannot clobber good guys (at times).  THAT would be naive.  What I mean is that the knighthood that you speak of builds people up, makes them stronger, creates comrades that can be trusted, and builds a network of people who collectively create strength among themselves and others.    The shadow side may result in individuals who are temporarily powerful but who eventually fall because they base what they do on fear and suspicion and greed. That kind of strength feeds on itself and eventually breaks down.  Character matters in real ways.

In this day and age something out there tries to convince us that this is not true.  Maybe the contest between faith in character and doubt and fear has always been there.  In fact I am pretty sure it has.  If it weren't for that  "the Tao wouldn't be what it is" so to speak.

Karsk



Logged
Pages: [1] Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!