Monday, February 18, 2013
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
My family belongs to and trains at a martial arts dojo. For some reason this makes some people who do not participate in the martial arts uncomfortable.
It's often said that how we train and what we do is akin to being in a "cult". Even fellow members of our martial arts dojo sometimes refer to our group as a cult. Normally I laugh this off...but it usually sticks in the back of my mind for days after hearing the comment. Recently however, it has started to stick in the forefront of my mind.
Yesterday, while putting an inordinate amount of time into thinking about this concept, I started to get somewhat annoyed that people label what we do at our dojo in such a negative sense:
Define: Cult - The word cult in current popular usage usually refers to a new religious movement or other group whose beliefs or practices are considered abnormal or bizarre. [American Journal of Sociology 85 (1980), p. 1377]: "Cults[...], like other deviant social movements, tend to recruit people with a grievance, people who suffer from a some variety of deprivation."If you think of any sort of group/organization that people commit themselves to, you could label them all cults...especially religious organizations, since the definition of a cult is usually specific to religion. But seriously...think about it for a minute. People who "religiously" follow any sort of group or ideas could be labeled as being part of a cult.
Those who follow specific music groups - ie: Phish-heads, Deadheads, The Dave Matthews Band followers, etc.These examples are socially acceptable though...right?! So no one really refers to them as "cults" ... even in jest...well...maybe the religious examples, but not really because those listed are socially acceptable religions...right?!
People of socially acceptable faiths - ie: Catholics, Jews, Episcopalians, Baptists, etc.
Participants or Supporters of specific Sports - ie: Soccer Moms, Hockey Moms, NASCAR Dads, etc.
Social Servants - ie: Police Officers, Fireman, EMTs, etc.
...really this list could go on and on...
So now why is my dojo and martial arts affiliation looked upon as "cultish"? Do we join and try to recruit others? Sure...but does that make it a cult? Followers of DMB are constantly trying to win me over. Christians regularly preach their beliefs in my general direction. All athletic groups recruit regularly. Why don't I call them "cults" or "cult-members"?
In our dojo we are "preached to" about:
Modesty: the quality or state of being unassuming or moderate in the estimation of one's abilities...hmmmm...none of that sounds "deviant", "negative", "abnormal" or "bizarre" (well...maybe "abnormal ;)
Courtesy: the showing of politeness in one's attitude and behavior toward others
Integrity: being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness
Perseverance: steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success
Self-Control: controlling of one's emotions, desires, or actions by one's own will
Indomitable Spirit: having the spirit, courage and determination when meeting challenges head on
What it does sound like to me is positive and progressive groupthink as define by Paul 't Hart: "collective optimism and collective avoidance". Sounds good to me. I'll take it! :o)
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
In fact...we laughed, we giggled, we smiled and best of all EVERYONE GOT DESSERT !!!
Monday, April 25, 2011
Framily is nothing more/nothing less than "Friends" who are like Family. These "friends" can be biologically related, non-biologically related, 6th cousins twice removed...quoting the old movie Meatballs: "It.Just.Doesn't.Matter."
The people you can call on day or night; rain or shine; after 10 mins or 10 years of seeing each other last and you can just pick right up where you last left off...THESE are the people who make up your Framily.
Think about it for a few seconds or minutes...you too, most likely, have a number of Immediate and/or Extended Framily members dating back to your childhood, teen years, post-college years and/or pre-"responsible adult" years. Whoever they are...be them mothers, fathers, sisters, brother, cousins, best friends, college roommates, old co-workers, step-siblings, half-siblings, teammates from yester-year or yesterday..."it just doesn't matter".
Embrace Framily :o}
Monday, March 21, 2011
From my recent perusing and reading on the topic of being a Martial Artist, all art-forms appear to teach the same basic principles: Modesty, Courtesy, Integrity, Self Control, Perseverance and Indomitable Spirit.
Modesty: possessing and exhibiting humility; behavior, manner, or appearance intended to avoid impropriety or indecency and expressing these traits through work ethic & motivation for self improvement
Courtesy: gentle politeness and courtly manners; kindness and consideration expressed in a sophisticated and elegant way
Integrity: a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes; honesty and truthfulness of one's actions
Self Control: the ability to control one's emotions, behavior and desires
Perseverance: continuing in a course of action without regard to discouragement, opposition or previous failure; persistent determination to adhere to a plan of direction; insistence
Indomitable Spirit: a refusal to be beaten, no matter how tough, talented or big the obstacle
Lately, I've been faced with a few situations recently, both personally and socially, that has lead me to the point of researching the true meaning of being a Martial Artist. As I sit here and type out the definitions, I'm comfortable enough in my own skin and character that I can consider myself a Martial Artist. I post this out here for others to read, then ask themselves as straight-forward as possible: Do you walk the walk or simply talk the talk?
Only the deep, down inside 'You' can answer this...
* ya know...like with Integrity and all ;)
Monday, February 7, 2011
As always, I will first go to the definitions and then ramble on from there...so as to not be ignorant myself ;)
Naïve : "a French loanword (adjective, form of naïf) indicating having or showing a lack of experience, understanding or sophistication; in early use, it meant natural or innocent, and did not connote ineptitude."
Ignorance: "a state of being uninformed (lack of knowledge). The word "ignorant" is an adjective describing a person in the state of being unaware and is often used as an insult."
By definition, one who is Naïve is simply inexperienced & does not understand that they are unaware. To me the implication is that as you gain experience you would naturally lose a level of naïveté.
Unfortunately, if you are deemed Ignorant, your uninformed state is caused by lack of knowledge, which I see as a willful condition. A condition that one can quickly alter by seeking out the knowledge that he/she lacks. Once confronted with said knowledge, you can no longer plead ignorance. At this point your denial of information that is at your fingertips results in what I call "Intentional Ignorance" --> a completely unacceptable state of mind.
Intentional Ignorance has been a pet peeve of mine since my earliest memory. I've found that most people who appear to be ignorant, choose to be as it is less complicated than to acknowledge the information that has been demonstrated or explained to them. Those who willfully choose not to see what is right in front of their very own noses are in fact denying knowledge.
The denial of knowledge leads to the use of my #2 pet peeve: the belief in the phrase "it's just the way it is."
"It's just the way it is"...another completely unacceptable way to look at the world around you. If the likes of Elizabeth Cady Stanton or Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr held fast to the thought of the masses during their times, Black people would still be sitting in the backs of buses & Women would still be unable to vote.
...and while the examples I reflect on are extreme situations...they stemmed from what was commonplace and acceptable. If you personally contribute to the mindset that "it is just the way it is" for ANYTHING...you personally contribute to suppression and oppression of others.
If you are faced with factual information and you choose to deny it...you are being part of the cause and in no way, shape or form, being part of the solution.
...just think about that for a moment.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Take our musicians...and I mean TRUE musicians. Not folks who enjoy music or those who can simply play music...I mean the ones who live, breath and create music. I'm starting to believe that they actually think, perceive and see musically. My husband doesn't just 'hear' a song...he hears every single component of the song...including the artist's intent. He doesn't just take a walk on a wooded path...he absorbs the sounds and sights around him and appears to translate them in to music.
My father does the same thing using Math. Every thing he sees, hears or deals with, he seems to perceive as or in a mathematical equation.
I believe every "style" of person (musician, artist, teacher, engineer, chemist) has a very specific creative ability that they perceive, feel and experience life through. If we can get educators from the top down to see and feel this...then we can tap in to each child's creative ability resulting in their success.
...and this is where I will start the next phase of my life coming from...stay tuned... :o)