Saturday, December 5, 2009


No point pretending otherwise, folks. I'm growingly feeling a profound, deep and comprehensive loathing of everything connected to the martial arts. This is a surprise to me, as I'm sure it is to you. I'm sure you can imagine the embarrassing position this puts me in, seeing as I've been going on and on about how much I love the martial arts. But actually, I think I hate them all.

I don't want to go to class. I can't seem to force myself to go. I do remember that not so very long ago, I felt interested in this whole business and even quite enthusiastic, but I can't for the life of me figure out why. And in the absence of a good reason, why would anyone do this?

Everyone involved in the martial arts, and I do mean everyone, is keen to impress upon me that everyone else in this world is fraudulent, vainglorious, greedy and peddling techniques that in no way would be useful to anyone should ever she really need to defend herself.

I think you have all succeeded in persuading me that you are right.


  1. Hate martial arts while writing a martial arts blog....uh, this can't be good.

  2. Yep. You've grasped the problem.

  3. Hahah. Yeah it's somewhat true. Not everyone actually is fraudulent, etc though. McDojo types are the only truly fraudulent ones and those are easy to spot. The rest of it is just a lot of misunderstanding and ego. It is a world full of testosterone-filled individuals who train to fight, but never actually get the fight out of them. And the ones who do fight competitively are in a completely different world.

    It's the same as the rest of the world - everyone will try to convince you that their way is the 'right' way. Martial arts today is fighting where you can't fight, politics where you can't vote, layers of bureaucracy all over the place and all art where there should be some science. Nothing ever gets decided or proven so everyone just yells about whatever they want to yell about and there is little voice of reason to be found.

    The good news is that there is a lot of great knowledge out there, you just have to know how and have the patience to sift through it and find what is valuable to you. Some of the best stuff I've learned has been through people who I thought were 90% full of crap. That doesn't make the other 10% worthless. I liken it to almost any formal schooling, especially that which is in highly subjective fields of study (not as much math and a couple other fields) - most of it is crap and most of what your instructors say is personal beliefs. There's plenty to gain even from the ones you disagree with.

    I always tell people getting into martial arts that "there's a lot of pain involved, no matter the art you study". The non-physical portion is at least 50% of that pain.

    Imagine sciences early in the United States. Medicine, psychology, geography, etc. Lots of it even just 100 years ago was just guess work and pseudoscience. We're still doing that in some respects, but most areas have advanced at least a little bit. Martial arts is still stuck at that early stage. You are at the forefront of an era that can revolutionize martial arts.

    Stick it out. If you've got the balls to tough out the world of politics, you can make it through the world of martial arts just fine - if you're willing.

  4. Fantastic!

    It's always a shame to see a person give up on the things they enjoy, but whatever, it'd make this blog way more interesting.

    You write in a way that'd make the boring parts of calculus entertaining. It's a testament to your talent that you make the fighting material not-tedious, but it's dragging you down.

  5. I hear you can get a good workout in ballet too!

  6. Well . . . that was quick. Hit the wall, maybe? I take the point about the internecine jealousy of the various schools. But, as the saying goes, "a black belt is a white belt who never quit." Meanwhile, guns are good too!