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Author Topic: Explaining all this to civilians  (Read 3034 times)
Crafty_Dog
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« on: June 27, 2003, 01:55:07 PM »

Woof All:

  A humorous email to me about the response of co-workers to viewing our Promo Clip combined with watching former UFC Heavyweight Champ Ricco Rodriguez on "Blind Date" (see the DB on MTV thread below for the URL) gave me the idea of starting this thread.

  Martial Arts can seem weird enough to the lay people out there, and the seemingly psychopathic implications of dedicating oneself to sticks and knives and other similar impliments of destructions can really weird people out.

  So question presented:  Who do you tell, when do you tell, and how do you tell people about all this that we do?  This can be particularly tricky/amusing when it comes to dating and relationships-- as Ricco's performance  embarassed on BD so clearly illustrates.   wink

Woof,
Crafty Dog
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sting
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2003, 03:58:24 PM »

I guess I've been around in the martial arts long enough that I don't feel the need to explain what I do.  These days, it seems even worse due to
the conditioning by the cinema with choreographed martial arts scenes in major releases.  On the other side, there's Fight Club.  When it comes to
girlfriends, actually, I've learned that their interest is a qualifier in the
relationship.  If they're less than neutral to negative, they're out.
Most people don't think that this stickfighting was real.  I remember
hearing stories of this massive guy that wiped out everyone in a tournament in San Jose.  Now, in retrospect, I think they were talking
about Top Dog.  In the story, they didn't mention fighting with any
body armor.

I played one of my own fight footage while shopping for a TV at Good Guys.  I wanted to see if my stuff looks good on a big TV. Most people walked by with zero interest.  A few stopped and
watched for a bit.  The sales guy told me he heard about these
crazy guys in southern California on a top ten martial arts show.
(Yes, this is the one with you Dogs)  While watching rougly
the equivalent stickfighting, he commented that these crazy guys didn't
even wear helmets while stick fighting and blood was flying everywhere.  
He said that he though people died doing this and many ended up in the
hospital  When I told him that I participated at one of those events (July 2002) and that what he was seeing was training for such an event, he just shut up.  No more questions or comments.  Nada.  Zip. You can bet he augments the next telling with "Yeah, and one of those stick fighting guys was in here shopping for a TV."
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Baltic Dog

Go Shin Jutsu Kenpo (Prof. Richard Lewis)
3rd Degree Black Belt Instructor

Bono JKD/Kajukenbo (Prof. John Bono)
Gentlemen's Fighting Club
Stickgrappler
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"...grappling happens. It just does." - Top Dog


« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2003, 04:47:03 PM »

woof:

good q. they know of my MA interest and sometimes they see me surfing the MA forums and when they see pix of guys grappling, they do tend to think of some deviant behavior to which i say you ever watch the UFC. some of them did and immediately they understood. the others who have not seen the UFC, i just say it's like HS/college wrestling. however, ihave not dared to show them the DB gallery yet smiley

i have brought in my photo album of MA instructors doing various stickgrappling techniques on me and show them. and they take it in stride. there's a picture of a 70+ year old GM stickchoking me and they ask he could be your grandfather, why don't you kick his butt? to which i just laugh and say, this 70+ year old GM could probably kill each and every one of us all together if locked in a room.

funny thing, they are intimidated by me thinking i'm into MA and must know how to kick their butt, even by guys who are taller and outweigh me. but predominately, they are misinformed and go by what they see in the movies. i do not bother to correct them as they would not really understand or take the time to understand. so i let them think i'm a killer MAist smiley
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"A good stickgrappler has good stick skills, good grappling, and good stickgrappling and can keep track of all three simultaneously. This is a good trick and can be quite effective." - Marc "Crafty Dog" Denny
xtremekali
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2003, 09:41:58 AM »

Woof all from Africa,

I brought my wife Cheyenne to my first training session with Guro C. After spending time with Guro C. and watching the session her response was I always thought you where insane this just proves how much.

Also with friends and others I just toss in the composite tape(the one from the fox net,ect) and let them witness for themselves. I get alot of heads shaking and asked why alot.

Myke
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For those who fight for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know
lynda
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« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2003, 02:29:14 PM »

All non-MAists / "civvies" are informed on need-to-know basis.  Non-committal grunts whenever I can get away with it.  Actual dialog may follow if they display genuine, lucid interest.

Like I really need to deal with another yahoo making Bruce Lee noises at me.
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SB_Mig
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« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2003, 03:59:46 PM »

I have always been fairly open about not only by training, but my enthusiasm for the arts. The general public is kind of weird (like we're not wink ) in that 90%  love to watch kung-fu movies, are crazy about wrestling, and love to see a good knockout every once in a while. But only about 5% of these people are interested in learning what the story is behind all of the "violence". They dig watching, but they get confused or freaked out when you say that it is something you train to do. After all, "normal" people don't actually do this stuff...do they?  Cheesy

My wife, for example, has always (even in the dating days) known about my training and supported my studies. But she has only had a couple of chances to see the training in person. Fortunately for me, her reaction went from "Who are these maniacs?" to "Whoa, that's really cool". At the most recent Gathering, she came away not only impressed by the fighting, but more importantly by the sense of brotherhood that accompanied it. To quote her, "I love the fact that two guys can go at it and not come away posturing or posing for the crowd." A testament not only to the respect the participants have for each other, but to the spirit of competition and the arts.

I think that if more people were exposed to the non-physical (i.e. spiritual, technical, theoretical) side of the arts, they would realize that there is far more to them than fists, sticks, and submission holds. If the moniker of "martial artists" is one which people wish to use, they must be willing to embrace and share the artistic part of the equation with others. By doing this, we would not only open more eyes to what is really out there, but open more minds!

Just my two cents...
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lynda
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« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2003, 05:08:41 PM »

I take it you haven't encountered many bruce lee soundboxes.

True story, and not atypical reaction: was on a date with a guy who thought it was 'cute' that I did MAs, and said, 'So you do stuff like this! *makes bruce lee noises*'

Spread the joy, Mig!  I just don't think I have the right karma.
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carlo
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« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2003, 05:28:27 PM »

Maybe it's the way I look but most people assume I know something without me ever mentioning MA and are genuinely interested in understanding what I do when the subject of martial arts pops up.  I am always patient in explaining and they are often very polite and if they are ignorant, they try not to show it by making bruce lee noises.  Maybe if I weren't a scary looking gorilla and looked more like Lynda I would attract more jerks.

As for women.  I have a tendency to attract women who are into martial arts or even find it downright sexy.  My lovely wife is often my training partner.  So again no problem there.

In fact I only get "YOUR CRAZY" looks from other martial artists when I tell them about the dog brothers.

BTW I know I told you before, but great work at the Gathering Lynda.

-C
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A nation of one ancestry and race is weak. We must hold strong our custom of welcoming all foreigners who seek to join our cause, treating them with dignity and respect and teaching them our language and customs.

-Attila the Hun
lynda
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« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2003, 05:30:11 PM »

um, different lynda here...couldn't make it down unfortunately.
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carlo
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« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2003, 05:32:29 PM »

my apologies.

-C
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A nation of one ancestry and race is weak. We must hold strong our custom of welcoming all foreigners who seek to join our cause, treating them with dignity and respect and teaching them our language and customs.

-Attila the Hun
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