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Wounded Ronin
I was recently reading a thread on bullshido.net where someone came and whined how it's not honorable to call bullshit on peoples' arts. The resulting thread was really long and a few people dissected Bushido from a historical perspective. This is my favorite quote from the thread and I think that it could be used as an interesting role playing perspective for the next time you play an honorable samurai type character.

QUOTE

QUOTE (elnyka)
A lot it is being said about honor and respect as if they are an intrinsic part of martial abilities. That is not so. The reason most Eastern martial arts come with this 'code of honor' package is because that's a legacy of a bygone era, and because most people automatically think MA == wise oriental old man sitting on a rock contemplating a flying crane while grassopah walks on rice paper.

As wagamichi mentioned, warriors of old needed a means to come to grips with the certainty of death. But I would extend to say warriors of old needed to develop a code of honor, a code of conduct by which they could see themselves as more than butchering animals. For war was and is the business of maiming, injuring and killing if necessary.

No matter how a warrior or soldier despises his enemy (or the ideals his enemy fights for), there is a point in which a normal person cannot go on without having the comfort to think he fights and kills, and possibly die for a higher, nobler purpose. That's why the different ethical codes of conduct have been developed by those in the business of fucking people up.

Having said that, a code of honor does not make one a better warrior. Much has been said about the Japanese willigness to die fighting, but not much it is being said about the unwilligness to change their battle tactics (which after a certain point, accelerated their demise as a fighting force.)

But that mistake is not only exclusive of Asian warriors. Nazy Germany troops got sandwiched in Stalingrad because their officers and staff had this code of conduct that required them to be steadfast against their "inferior" opponents, and a belief on the infalibity of Hitler's tactics. Foot soldiers also believed in that code of honor tripe, and never questioned it until it was too late.

But perhaps the best example that can come from the west is the infamous "charge of the light brigade" during the Crimean War. As martially beautiful, glorious, brave and honorable as it may have been, it was, for lack of a better expression... major clusterfuck. French Marshall Bosquet is famouly quoted as saying that "it is magnificent, but it is not war."

Why all this rambling? Well, let me get the point accross. A code of honor does not make you a martial artist. A code of honor exists to give moral and legal boundaries to the application of the martial arts, of the arts of war, of the arts of fucking people up. It is a means to achieve some moral comfort to those in the business, science and art of war.

With that said, do not forget that martial arts are about combat, about the arts, techniques and methods of inflicting injury, of winning combats, of achieving a particular objective (defensive or offensive) by means of violence. Their effectiveness in achieving those goals are independent of the existence of a code of honorable conduct.

A code of honor is not a means to disguise defficiencies in a martial discipline. And it is not a requirement to achieve efficiency in martial arts. And in a website such as bullshido where the main aim is to call bullshit in martial arts, it is ridiculous to attempt to ameliorate the tone of the discussions.

[COLOR="Yellow"]IN SUMMARY...[/COLOR]

People use and invoke the calls for a "code of honor" and respect as a means to defend their sacred cows. And the only sacred cow acceptable in bullshido is the actual ability of a martial arts in achieving the primary and original goal of a martial art - to fuck people up.

I seriously doubt that the most foul-mouthed posters in this site actually go around their lives brawling without some ethical limits. They already practice martial arts without having to explicitly sing and praise the ways of bushido or whatever you want to call it.

In this virtual octagon of the Internet, you don't need that shit. In fact, it hinders the exposť of all the martial arts bullshit that exists out there. Be polite in real life. In the internet... well, just FUCK IT.



http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread...ad.php?p=926911



You see, in 1980s American fiction there's typically been a big deal about samurai codes making you a better warrior and enabling you to punk whiney drunk high American midwestern auto workers. That's all well and good and it's extremely suitable for a typical 1980s style SR campaign.

But for when that cliche gets sort of old you can use the above post to kind of put a negative or pathetic spin on that. You have a character who is a formidable opponent and who uses a combination of skill and strategy to almost systematically slaughter his enemies. He has a bushido code but rather than being something that really empowers him in any way it's really just a psychological device that lets him cope with the stress of killing so many people. Every now and then your character can have mini nervous breakdowns over the stress but bounce back after a while talking about his "warrior code". I think that you could really effectively portray a really tortured soul barely making it through ups and downs. The best part, of course, would be that even though the character is mentally suffering he is still the consumate tactician/killer when it comes to actual conflict which is more interesting IMO than someone who is just a whiney victim through and through.
Adarael
Play Legend of the 5 Rings.

You'll learn to adapt Bushido to a wide variety of situations and attitudes, or you'll go through a lot of characters.
MK Ultra
rotfl.gif bullshido grinbig.gif sorry rotfl.gif bullshido biggrin.gif

Have to read this now, for my upcomming L5R round.

biggrin.gif bullshido grinbig.gif
Wounded Ronin
QUOTE (Adarael)
Play Legend of the 5 Rings.

You'll learn to adapt Bushido to a wide variety of situations and attitudes, or you'll go through a lot of characters.

You know what? For a long time I've wanted to play some systems that seemed pretty cool, notably Legend of 5 Rings and GUPRS. Intellectually, I really really wanted to try them out.

But I have never, ever been able to find a game that is something other than Shadowrun or D&D, with Shadowrun being quite rare. In fact, I've never successfully convinced anyone to take up RPG gaming.

So, I would go and play Legend of 5 Rings, but I can't. So there.
mfb
my main character, Italy, works something like that, minus the self-torture. he very cleanly divides himself between the man who has a wife and son he loves and cares for, and the killer who will do anything the job requires. the only interaction between the two of them is that the man occasionally gets to say "no, we're not taking this job". it's not quite a split personality, but it's a very definite split in his psyche. he doesn't draw any power from it, or anything. it's just who he is.
Arethusa
I read a bit of Bullshido and found it obnoxious and acrimonious, not to mention wrong more often than they'd like to admit. I'm honestly not sure which is worse: witless Japanophiles or the kneejerk against them.

This article, in particular, is mostly not bad, but still pushes too far in the other direction from what I'm guessing was a silly post in praise of the "wise oriental old man sitting on a rock contemplating a flying crane while grassopah walks on rice paper."
Wounded Ronin
QUOTE (Arethusa)
I read a bit of Bullshido and found it obnoxious and acrimonious, not to mention wrong more often than they'd like to admit. I'm honestly not sure which is worse: witless Japanophiles or the kneejerk against them.

I've been a pretty enthusiastic martial arts hobbyist for around 8 years now and bullshido.net is the best place for martial arts information on the internet. I like it so much that I spend most of my online time there.

You do occasionally get people making statements that are factually incorrect but that's because there's tens of thousands of members. Of course some people are going to make silly statements.

On the other hand, though, there are people there who really know their stuff. One example would be the poster Asia who is a very experienced long-time martial arts practitioner who also serves in the Army where he's done martial arts instruction. He typically displays a wealth of knowledge about traditional asian martial arts, Japanese language, and Japanese cultural detail.

A lot of people go to bullshido.net and the first time out because of the high volume of insults, ragging, and jokes, they think that it's all angry middle schoolers who started wrestling last year. But the fact is that that's only the superficial appearance. There is extremely good discussion and work being done there and very thorough investigations of frauds.

How many martial arts forums on the internet can say that they busted frauds like David Bannon? I personally have participated in that investigation by translating some legal inquiries into French which were sent to the town hall in Marseille, France. I have physically visited the French Quarter and courthouses in New Orleans (looking through court records) to help investigate the claims made by Dan Webre, and found them to be totally unsubstantiated.

The fact of the matter is that there is no other forum on the internet which has no-holds-barred discussion, which was directly responsible for so much investigation against frauds, and which dosen't have rules that prevent you from calling bullshit on a man who posts. Once you've settled down in bullshido.net most other internet forums lose their appeal.
mfb
QUOTE (Arethusa)
This article, in particular, is mostly not bad, but still pushes too far in the other direction from what I'm guessing was a silly post in praise of the "wise oriental old man sitting on a rock contemplating a flying crane while grassopah walks on rice paper."

what about it goes 'too far'? from a psychological point of view, i found it to be pretty accurate. guys who kill people often need some sort of psychological construct to deal with the act of killing people; bushido works as well as any other method, in that regard. i have a hard time believing that thinking a certain way all the time will make you swing your sword more accurately, or parry more effectively, or (to bring things into more modern times) shoot straighter. i have a very easy time believing that thinking a certain way all the time will help you process the effects of accurate sword swings and straight shooting.
Dawnshadow
QUOTE (mfb)
QUOTE (Arethusa)
This article, in particular, is mostly not bad, but still pushes too far in the other direction from what I'm guessing was a silly post in praise of the "wise oriental old man sitting on a rock contemplating a flying crane while grassopah walks on rice paper."

what about it goes 'too far'? from a psychological point of view, i found it to be pretty accurate. guys who kill people often need some sort of psychological construct to deal with the act of killing people; bushido works as well as any other method, in that regard. i have a hard time believing that thinking a certain way all the time will make you swing your sword more accurately, or parry more effectively, or (to bring things into more modern times) shoot straighter. i have a very easy time believing that thinking a certain way all the time will help you process the effects of accurate sword swings and straight shooting.

Actually, MFB, carrying that thought further could result in more accuracy..

Depends on personality type. If you're going to agonize over pain, suffering or death inflicted by your hands, then not having a construct to deal with that can seriously impede your ability to let yourself use your skills to the fullest. Hesitation, flinching.. inability to focus entirely on the fight..

Hardly everyone, and I have no idea if it's minor or major portions of people.. but a non-zero amount, I'm sure.
ShadowDragon8685
Then of course, you can simply rationalize everything through the simple arts of denial.

IE: "Everyone in here is a fake. The whole world is a fake, and we're making fake worlds within our fake world. Only those awakened to the possibility that the world is a fake are real, and those people are the ones like me anyway. The rest don't deserve to live, and though I won't go out of my way to kill them, I won't feel bad about dropping them in their tracks if they get in my way."

Ahhh, psychopathy. smile.gif
Kremlin KOA
"Call me Neo"

that would be the explanation for the 'nobody is real' philosophy

oh and on the bullshido is wrong

I first encountered it when someone used a 'disproof' on it to 'prove' that certain nerve strikes were ineffective and useless.

unfortunately when a set of researchers on the web disagrees with my Eyeball Mk1, eyeball wins out
Voran
On a side note, I feel the role of the samurai in SR is getting less and less clear. With the inclusion of adepts, mercenaries, weapons specialists, the duties get a little hazy.
Wounded Ronin
QUOTE (Kremlin KOA @ Apr 10 2006, 08:10 PM)
"Call me Neo"

that would be the explanation for the 'nobody is real' philosophy

oh and on the bullshido is wrong

I first encountered it when someone used a 'disproof' on it to 'prove' that certain nerve strikes were ineffective and useless.

unfortunately when a set of researchers on the web disagrees with my Eyeball Mk1, eyeball wins out

Seeing should definitely not always be believing. Just ask James Randi about this. There were plenty of people who saw, believed, tried to claim the $1 million prize, and were proven wrong in laboratory settings.


I'm not sure if the bullshido.net video archives are up right now or not, but normally at this link you can view an investigative news clip where a journalist exposes the ineffectiveness of a fat Dillman-trained pressure point martial arts instructor. In the case of this instructor he had a school full of students with two mk1 eyeballs who saw...and were completely wrong.

http://www.bullshido.net/modules.php?name=...warticle&id=122

(Incidentally, if you look closely at the footage of the school you notice there's a printout on the wall that says www.deathtouchdemo.com; snork!)

EDIT: The file seems to be there, yay. If the embedded video dosen't play the link just below that will let you download dimmak.rm (7.28 megs) to your machine.
mfb
QUOTE (Dawnshadow)
Depends on personality type. If you're going to agonize over pain, suffering or death inflicted by your hands, then not having a construct to deal with that can seriously impede your ability to let yourself use your skills to the fullest. Hesitation, flinching.. inability to focus entirely on the fight.

with the vast majority of people who commonly fight other people, it doesn't work that way. people don't, as a general rule, break down during a fight; they break down after a fight, when they have time to sit and think about what happened. once they get back into a fight, they're okay, because they've got other things to think about--unless they're really broken, in which case it's still not a matter of how accurate their swing is or how straight their shooting is.
Kremlin KOA
Not all nerve strikes are one shot Dim Mak KOs

The Nerve strikes and pressure points I was referring to were all pain oints, the discussion was trying to claim they were useless in a fight

Funny how some of the more respected Security training centers teach them as a means of subduing people
mfb
i don't believe WR is discounting all pressure-point techniques.
Kremlin KOA
no he was trying to discount eyeball MK1 as a valid evidence measure

OTOH I find WEBspeak less valid, but hey YMMV
Dawnshadow
QUOTE (mfb)
QUOTE (Dawnshadow)
Depends on personality type. If you're going to agonize over pain, suffering or death inflicted by your hands, then not having a construct to deal with that can seriously impede your ability to let yourself use your skills to the fullest. Hesitation, flinching.. inability to focus entirely on the fight.

with the vast majority of people who commonly fight other people, it doesn't work that way. people don't, as a general rule, break down during a fight; they break down after a fight, when they have time to sit and think about what happened. once they get back into a fight, they're okay, because they've got other things to think about--unless they're really broken, in which case it's still not a matter of how accurate their swing is or how straight their shooting is.

As a general rule, I fully expect you're correct mfb -- although it does depend on how involved you get in the fight. It's just something that can happen -- and would very likely only matter at the start. That first exchange, for instance, when you haven't gotten into the correct mindset.

I am not saying that it is common. I'm saying that it can happen, where someone has the mental stumbling block on hurting someone, so they aren't at their best. The fistfighter who has a mental block on hitting women, so always hesitates, and can be blocked, parried, dodged, whatever, is an example of what I mean. A mental situation, which affects accuracy and effectiveness.
Deamon_Knight
What a mean thing to say about poor Emo
Wounded Ronin
QUOTE (Dawnshadow)
The fistfighter who has a mental block on hitting women, so always hesitates, and can be blocked, parried, dodged, whatever, is an example of what I mean. A mental situation, which affects accuracy and effectiveness.

Yeah, I think I remember some people claiming they were really hampered in rolling vs. women because they had a hard time attacking them all out.
mfb
eh, yeah. like you said, though, that's more of a personal quirk than a general rule. in general, bushido or whatever is useful for keeping your shit between the ditches after the fight, rather than making you a super-samurai during it.
Wounded Ronin
QUOTE (mfb)
eh, yeah. like you said, though, that's more of a personal quirk than a general rule. in general, bushido or whatever is useful for keeping you shit between the ditches after the fight, rather than making you a super-samurai during it.

Yeah. After all, I think it can be argued that longer successful in-between maintenance is more useful than an in-action mental high.





BTW, re the pressure point argument. No one is arguing that pressure points don't exist. The problem is pressure point proponent who vastly overstate their effectiveness and tend to make up bullshit arguments like, "if an enraged boxer kept trying to punch me in the head I'd just grab his arm and drive my thumb into the meaty top part of the forearm and pwn him because I know t3h pressure points", or "grapplers can't beat me because I'd use a pressure point and then go for t3h eye gouge."

I used to play judo as an undergrad and my judo instructor told me the story of a man he knew who kept trying to use pressure point as a way to circumvent having to go through the seemingly difficult steps of learning judo grappling from the ground up. For years instead of just trying to grapple, accepting defeat, and continually just trying new strategies until he found something that he could make work, he was obessed with trying to get a shortcut. Every time you did randori with him instead of working with positioning, joint locks, or any of the meat and bones of grappling, he'd just go and use his arms in an isolated way to try and gogue your pressure points. Grappling with him was painful, yes, but he also never won because he was too afraid of going through the work he needed to do to build a firm foundation for himself.

So, basically, the problem is that usually the marketing of pressure point and dim mak is designed to appeal to people who want to be able to win fights and feel sure of themselves without having to exercise, feel pain, or struggle at something difficult for years to build truly solid fundamentals.

By and large I don't think that respected posters at bullshido.net will deny that pressure points can have their place as a supplement to a solid "delivery system". The reason that bullshido.net tends to come down hard on pressure point proponents is because there's really a big problem right now of pressure points being touted as vastly more effective on their own than they really are. In my opinion the marketing of people like Dillman is designed to appeal to people like I described in the above paragraph; people who are in search of the quick fix. It is because of this facet of the marketing of pressure points to martial arts consumers that people like me have a problem with how they're usually presented.
Snow_Fox
Good point. I have belts in Judo and Akido and have had to use them to defend myself in RL against muggers. For those who don't know, I'm female, 5' 1" and use to live in NYC.

Sure it would be great to pull off text book moves to do max damage with the minimum of exertion. BUT real life is NEVER as clean and dried as hwat happens on the mat. You try to make it perfect on the mat so that if you have to use it in RL a perfect mat routine will give you a better than average performance.

Looking back on the last time it happened, I can safely say no one practices on a mat in pumps, hose and skirt suit. I ended on my rump, broke a heel(of a shoe), scrapped my knee and tore the hose. Oh, and I broke his arm in 3 places, but it was a damn sloppy move.
PBTHHHHT
Sloppy move or not, you succeeded in defending yourself and pulled off the move. That's what counts.
Kremlin KOA
QUOTE (Wounded Ronin)
QUOTE (mfb @ Apr 10 2006, 10:34 PM)
eh, yeah. like you said, though, that's more of a personal quirk than a general rule. in general, bushido or whatever is useful for keeping you shit between the ditches after the fight, rather than making you a super-samurai during it.

Yeah. After all, I think it can be argued that longer successful in-between maintenance is more useful than an in-action mental high.





BTW, re the pressure point argument. No one is arguing that pressure points don't exist. The problem is pressure point proponent who vastly overstate their effectiveness and tend to make up bullshit arguments like, "if an enraged boxer kept trying to punch me in the head I'd just grab his arm and drive my thumb into the meaty top part of the forearm and pwn him because I know t3h pressure points", or "grapplers can't beat me because I'd use a pressure point and then go for t3h eye gouge."


I get what ya are coming from
so combining what you say with my experience over there, the excessively Anit PP asshats I encountered were a reaction to the BS excessuvely Pro PP asshats that had been all over there in the months before I got there

That makes more sense

my own fighting background is mostly a smattering of various martial arts with a lot of dirty streetfighting experience

am seriously out of practice and shape thesedays, but in my day used to have a lot of fun going up against the kinds of Black Belts that are all like "OMFG I have a BLACK BELT I am 133t Ninja Badass lolololol"

In my experience knowinga few pain and muscle fucking PPs, combined with techniques and strategies that allow you to reach the points, can improve your overall effectiveness, possibly by up to 50%

then again in reference to ya shortcut guy 50% improvement from crap is just 'crap and a half'
emo samurai
I use my name as an insult to samurai. I am not offended.
Wounded Ronin
Heh, foiled again I guess.
emo samurai
You were TRYING to insult me?
Wounded Ronin
QUOTE (emo samurai)
You were TRYING to insult me?

No, my last post was a joke.
emo samurai
So was mine. I'll do biggrin.gif from now on.
Wounded Ronin
My sarcasm detector is broken. frown.gif
Daddy's Little Ninja
"My 'give a damn' 's busted"
Shrike30
And yet you posted anyway...
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