Trusting in Authority

I noticed a certain phenomenon in martial arts years ago. It was the issue of the difficulties with mastering an art or a class of techniques, based upon work load, time investment, and dedication over the years.

Many people who jump around the martial art schools, getting a black belt here or there, think they have mastered something. When in fact they have barely graduated apprenticeship school. They are still at the level where they are copying the instructor’s moves and can’t fight without the instructor telling them in their ear what to do and why. I often think that these individuals won’t have their instructor telling them what to do, when they actually come up against a threat in life accidentally or surprisingly.

To begin with, a black belt or shodan is a first degree black belt generally speaking. Every franchise school, every individually owned school, and every bloodline artistic style has their own determination of what makes a person promotable to a certain rank. There’s no E-5 or O-2 category that harmonizes the differences in ranks. The franchise setups like ATF attempt to do so, but quality control is wild.

What this translates to simulation time and competence is that mastery generally occurs around 10,000 man hours of practice/experience in something. A shodan is generally awarded to most modern karate students at around the 500-1000 man hour mark, and that’s not considering the quality of the simulation time. Given that 1 year on the battlefield equaled about 10 years training in the dojo.

Even though (some of) these arts and techniques should have been passed down unbroken and inherited by the instructors, it is incredibly difficult to get a student to proficiency and it’s impossible to get them to mastery since that requires independent thought.

Other than the DNA heir that inherits the techniques through his body, the rest of us have to supply hard work and our own experience to the dojo floor. It’s not something we inherit.

It’s more like something I backwards engineer and de-construct to reconstruct it in my own fashion.

A lot of the practical problems with using complicated hand to hand techniques is that people can “learn” or memorize a list of things to do. But they then won’t do it in a battle because they are still waiting for someone to tell them what to do, like they always did in the dojo. They’re always sitting at the feet of the masters listening to the stuff that is dropped unto them, to the point where they stop thinking for themselves. As a result, their combat effectiveness drops, even though some of them have had 10 or 20 or even 30 years of continuous training. Not 30 years of simulation time. 2-4 hours a week perhaps. Maybe 5-10 hours a week for serious hobbyists?

Even if we use a optimistic estimate of 5 hours of practice per day for the serious student, that’s only 1460 hours per year. Because of the lack of battle experience or fighting experience, even after 10 years people are still having problems thinking on their own, as their training time is not as effective as ancient methods that presumed students had at least some real world experience with violence. Many of those hours are spent in repetition training, where the brain just turns off due to following a habit. Good for obeying orders, not so good for figuring things out at a higher level. So 1500 hours per year, after 10 years you should certainly be proficient but only beginning, perhaps, the road to mastery.

It may be necessary for people who are new to be given a rigid format to learn from. But it should not be applied past its expiration date. People should not be using the same formal methods of learning via lecture and absorbing the words of the instructor, in their 10th year in a school. But because they never have to use this stuff for real or never have to test it out, people do sit around for 10, 20, 30 years and their fighting potential is still incomplete and often insufficient.

For martial arts, that’s just a hobby many Westerners take up given modern times. At most, they can only get themselves and anyone around them killed as a result of overestimating their knowledge and abilities. For politics, the economy, and military practices, the stakes are slightly higher and the consequences slightly more painful for the rest of us. Slightly, as in way more than should be reasonable.

But we’re overlooking how that can be a good thing.-Nick

Those who abdicate their judgment to others, can no longer complain about it afterwards. What are they going to say, that they didn’t “know what was going on”, that they were just doing as they were told to get by? That level of ignorance can only go so far, as consequences for a nation’s actions do blowback after awhile.

There’s a certain domestic sentiment in Europe and Japan, that says since America is paying for security we might as well rely on them to be the world’s police as they pay in gold and blood for our safety. But that means if America wants something, it’s hard to deny America what the hyperpower demands. That may be tolerable if people’s interests are in common, but what if Obama demands that a nation disarm and allow itself to be invaded and burned to ash so that Obama can sit and watch it on tv with Michelle for joys and giggles? Are people going to resist American power after decades of relying on American security guarantees and promises? Of course not; it certainly won’t be easy even if they try.

Europe has been stuck on that kind of parasitism for so long they have rotten. And Japan is only beginning to introduce counter-propaganda to counter the domestic concept that it is perfectly okay to rely on a foreign power, America, for most things in life. Israel has already been forced away from the American sphere, because of you know who. They had to go on their own way whether they liked it or not, because America is not always going to be there to protect people. And relying on such a power, abdicating one’s national interest in favor of somebody else’s guarantees, isn’t sustainable. It doesn’t produce independent individuals and it doesn’t produce strong nations.

The peace, prosperity, and security America offers is like a drug. People can become addicted to it. It’s like charity. First time they are grateful. Second time they are expectant. Third time they feel entitled to even more of your charity. Not only does this apply to foreign nations and their people, but it also applies to our own blacks, Jews, gays, lesbians, Democrats, and Republicans. Peace that they do not pay for, security that they do not bleed for, they will throw that stuff away as fast as someone promises them an even better deal. They know not the value of what people worked and died for, because it’s not in their experience/value system. They inherited the money, but not the virtues.


Just a little comment I wrote in reply to this post.

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