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Pet peeve #326 - Open Knowledge — LiveJournal

Apr. 9th, 2004

06:32 pm - Pet peeve #326

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It's a stupid pet peeve, but here it is:

Martial arts that advertise themselves as "practical self defense", yet require students to wear white loose fitting uniforms. Basically pajamas. How often are people attacked in their pajamas? What are you gonna do if you're confronted in a non-pajama wearing sitution? "Oooh, I'd kick his ass if my jeans weren't so tight." If you're gonna train for practical self-defense, it seems to me you should be training in street clothes.

Comments:

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From:cjsmith
Date:April 9th, 2004 10:46 pm (UTC)
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Or insist to your boss that showing up to work in your pajamas every day is a matter of personal safety.
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From:visgoth
Date:April 9th, 2004 11:06 pm (UTC)
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Thinking outside the box. That's what we like to see.
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From:evelynne
Date:April 9th, 2004 11:07 pm (UTC)
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ROTFLMAO!!
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From:crasch
Date:April 10th, 2004 02:29 am (UTC)
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Good point.

"Yes sir, I'll change out my flannels. But if I get mugged on the way home, I'm holding you responsible."
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From:denshi
Date:April 9th, 2004 11:08 pm (UTC)
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You can buy jeans that are stitched like gi pants. They're mucho comfortable, too, since they're designed for those leg movements you make in martial arts, which are closer to your body design than this year's fashion.

Also, this is the old applied vs practical debate. Why learn differential equations, when you can just ask Mathematica for the solution? For the versatility, obviously. Martial arts is more about learning how to use your body to its full extent rather than about a set of ways to hit someone.

Thirdly, take your question and apply it to other cultures with even more restrictive fashions; say 19th century Europe. Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it?

Fourthly, go get some of those Balinese pants. Muy comfortable.
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From:crasch
Date:April 11th, 2004 09:19 am (UTC)
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Yes, you could change your entire warddrobe. But most of these places don't say "Oh, and by the way, for the training to be of much use you need to replace your pants with Chuck Norris jeans or Balinese pants."

Martial arts is more about learning how to use your body to its full extent rather than about a set of ways to hit someone.

O.K, but then they shouldn't advertise their services as being useful for practical self defense.
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From:denshi
Date:April 11th, 2004 05:05 pm (UTC)
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O.K, but then they shouldn't advertise their services as being useful for practical self defense.

I totally agree with you there.


...but these Balinese pants are *really* comfy. :)
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From:pacotelic
Date:April 9th, 2004 11:13 pm (UTC)
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Well, on the assumption that the most vulnerable time is when you're sleeping, maybe pyjamas is the natural choice for Karate-wear. These days, I would be coming to Karate practice in Long-Johns and a T-shirt
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From:pacotelic
Date:April 9th, 2004 11:14 pm (UTC)
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is there honestly a series? I'd like to reference pet peeve 179.
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From:cjsmith
Date:April 9th, 2004 11:46 pm (UTC)
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I'd like to hear pet peeve 212, please.
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From:crasch
Date:April 10th, 2004 02:27 am (UTC)
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Pet Peeve #212

Companies that automatically renew subscriptions by default. I don't mind if it is an option, but I should be required to check the box to select it. It should not be on by default. Companie do it, hoping that people will remain subscribed out of inertia. But I think mostly it just pisses people off. And what does it say about the value of your service, if you have to rely on people's laziness to keep them as subscribers?
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From:crasch
Date:April 10th, 2004 02:22 am (UTC)
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Pet Peeve #179

The use of the word "social justice". What the hell does that mean? How is it different than just plain old "justice"? Nobody really explains, but from the context in which it's used it seems to mean "Your ancestors might have been really mean to my ancestors. Therefore, you owe me money." And that seems antithetical to real justice.
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From:chutzpahgirl
Date:April 9th, 2004 11:28 pm (UTC)
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Considering how many women are attacked in their homes during robberies, I'd say it's pretty damn practical.
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From:crasch
Date:April 10th, 2004 02:18 am (UTC)
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I'd bet that attacks outside the home are much more common. Moreover, if you train in non-pajama pants, you can still use those techniques in pajamas. The reverse is not always true.
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From:hoolifan
Date:April 10th, 2004 01:23 am (UTC)
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Well, if you were attacked in your pajamas, you'd want to be as prepared as possible. Perhaps they're just getting you ready for the worst possible scenario (being attacked in your sleep.)
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From:crasch
Date:April 10th, 2004 02:19 am (UTC)
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Yeah, but techniques that would work in a non-pajama situation would work in pajamas. The reverse isn't necessarily true.
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From:smjayman
Date:April 10th, 2004 02:46 am (UTC)
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And that is why I sleep naked, absolutely no restrictions.

Of course, that begs the question, for self defense courses, me trying to be "practical" is likely to offend others. "Seriously, sensei, I need to try this move naked."

And then there's the firearms classes.... hot brass is likely to sting on the delicates...
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From:crasch
Date:April 11th, 2004 09:14 am (UTC)
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Walking down the street naked with a gun in your hand will probably reduce the likelihood of a mugging dramatically. However, it does introduce certain other difficulties...
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From:perich
Date:April 10th, 2004 02:50 pm (UTC)
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Ah, someone's been clicking my links again.

(I was going to make a joke about "training for practical economics," but it wouldn't go anywhere)

I actually made the same presumption you did; I showed up to the first class (lo these 42 months ago) in jeans. The instructor suggested I might work out more effectively in sweatpants or exercise pants. Never made that mistake again.

To answer your question: it's a convention of working out. No, you're not likely to be attacked in loose, flowing, breathable, triple-heavy-woven cottons. You're also not likely to be attacked while wearing a cup, or while wearing workout shoes that provide excellent traction without restricting movement. These are safety considerations, that make it easier for you to focus on executing a technique properly and worrying less about "what if I get hurt."

And jiu-jitsu, to its credit, doesn't stress techniques that require a lot of intense physicality. You'll never see someone get kicked above the waist in my class (unless they were already lying on the ground). Half of the instructors are in what I could charitably describe as "cab-driver shape." The other half are 6'5", 275 lb. musclemen in a 5'10" frame. It works with any body type. In that vein, I would not sell tae kwon do as "practical self defense" (though I would not pick a fight with a TKD black belt, even for money).

Sensei prides himself on teaching techniques that "could be done in an Armani suit." Joint locks, arm bars, throws which require minimal projection. I've seen them. Granted, he's been doing this about as long as I've been alive, so his control and execution are effortless, but it is possible.
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From:crasch
Date:April 10th, 2004 10:40 pm (UTC)
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But handling the fear of getting hurt seems like a major part of self-defense training. Real life opponents are not going to have much compunction against punching you in the balls, so it seems to me that you should train to defend yourself against such moves. If you train 90% of the time with a cup, you're likely to get used to having the cup in place, become overconfident, and therefore may make moves that would expose your genitals to attack.

Similarly, if you train in loose flowing robes, you may get used to performing moves that would be difficult to perform in street clothes. Although the training may have value even if you're wearing unrealistic clothing, I would prefer to see more self-defense instructors emphasize realistic situations in realistic clothing.
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From:perich
Date:April 11th, 2004 01:01 am (UTC)
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Hm. It might be worth looking into courses that teach self-defense in and of itself. There's a difference, though perhaps a very fine one, between "martial arts being taught for self-defense purposes" and "self-defense being taught." Examples of the latter category would be rape prevention courses taught to women, or kidnap evasion courses taught to executives in sensitive arenas.

So, in other words, jiu-jitsu is still a martial art first and foremost.
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From:qweltor
Date:June 10th, 2004 10:25 am (UTC)

No nonsense Self-Defense

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Self Defense Forums is a good place to check out for no-nonsense, no-bullshit techniques and info. For folks that want, ahem, 'practical, er, feel-good self defense' the stuff offered there is a little bit rough. If your priority is to home alive, the group there can help you do that.

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