Author Topic: Is it right to practice martial arts as a Buddhist?  (Read 2683 times)

Offline BlackLooter

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Is it right to practice martial arts as a Buddhist?
« on: January 22, 2018, 12:12:19 am »
I think that maybe defending your life..

Or competing in martial art tournaments might be valid as a buddhist..

But im overcome with the idea that attacking someone for any reason is wrong..

So maybe just the soft or internal martial arts might be valid for a pacifist?
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Online IdleChater

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Re: Is it right to practice martial arts as a Buddhist?
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2018, 03:37:24 am »
I think that maybe defending your life..

Or competing in martial art tournaments might be valid as a buddhist..

But im overcome with the idea that attacking someone for any reason is wrong..

So maybe just the soft or internal martial arts might be valid for a pacifist?

If you want to define these things in terms of "right" and "wrong".....

It's never "right" to "attack" someone.  Regardless of what the martial art may teach,  attack and defence are not the same thing.

I would approach this question from the standpoint of not doing harm.  If your intended action causes harm, don't do it ..... or do it, but realize there are karmic issues at play here.   
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 09:57:08 am by IdleChater »

Offline Shogun

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Re: Is it right to practice martial arts as a Buddhist?
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2018, 12:26:43 pm »
Its right to use it to defend yourself.  Theres a vast history of Buddhist, "warrior monks" who were very accomplished martial artists.

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Re: Is it right to practice martial arts as a Buddhist?
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2018, 01:14:21 pm »
Its right to use it to defend yourself.  Theres a vast history of Buddhist, "warrior monks" who were very accomplished martial artists.

It's not a question of right/wrong.  There were, for all these warrior monks, karmic consequences to using their martial training to harm someone - even is self defense.

I'm not saying it's wrong to be a martial artist or to use that art to defend yourself or others, but just because you're a Buddhist doing it, doesn't let you off the karmic hook, so to speak.

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Is it right to practice martial arts as a Buddhist?
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2018, 01:54:16 pm »
First Precept:  "Cause no harm!"....straight forward.

Assuming martial Arts may be practiced for the purpose of "self"-defense.  What is the point of it, if there is no self to defend?
What Makes an Elder? :
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-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline meez

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Re: Is it right to practice martial arts as a Buddhist?
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2018, 02:03:27 pm »
I uphold the view that defending yourself and/or others from harm is a perfectly acceptable thing to.  Whether it is through the use of martial arts knowledge or other means, I believe each person has the right to defend themselves against those that are trying to bring harm their way.

Offline Shogun

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Re: Is it right to practice martial arts as a Buddhist?
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2018, 02:48:07 pm »
First Precept:  "Cause no harm!"....straight forward.

Assuming martial Arts may be practiced for the purpose of "self"-defense.  What is the point of it, if there is no self to defend?
I believe that brings us back to the, "practical" self.

Offline Shogun

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Re: Is it right to practice martial arts as a Buddhist?
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2018, 02:49:33 pm »
I uphold the view that defending yourself and/or others from harm is a perfectly acceptable thing to.  Whether it is through the use of martial arts knowledge or other means, I believe each person has the right to defend themselves against those that are trying to bring harm their way.
And you could also argue that the actions of others caused their harm, you were merely the vehicle. ;)

Offline Anemephistus

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Re: Is it right to practice martial arts as a Buddhist?
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2018, 08:02:28 pm »
There was the karma of the oath I swore to uphold the law. There is also the karma of using force on others to stop them from causing greater harm to those who they are attempting to make victims out of.

Personally I use as little force as possible to control a situation and try never to feel any pride or joy from it but see it as unfortunate and a sad outcome of bad circumstances not fully in my control. I am however grateful when everything happens in a way that no serious bodily harm is done.

One man may try to kill another, I took on the karma of making it my responsibility to try and stop him in a direct manner. The foundation of his actions and his choices have little effect on what actions are taken in the immediate sense to impede him. If all good people stand aside it is as good as watching two people drown it seems to me, but if a skillful person acts then not only is no life taken, but little physical harm might be done.

It is true that it is not ideal for one to enjoy the idea of using a skill inherently violent, but if it is right to save a fly from a pool of water, it is right to save a person from an attacker that means to harm them and to do less harm than otherwise might be inflicted.

I actively do everything I can to not cause harm to others, at a certain point there is a problem where two people are harming each other, perhaps neither of them wanted it, maybe they both did, maybe it is more one way than the other, it no longer matters...I would say It is good to know how to stop it, and good to know how to do so,  but I would say that it is bad to enjoy stopping it because it must exist in order to have that enjoyment and that's a bad thing for thinking and for karma.

I have stopped lots of fights, usually just by my presence and words, but I have used martial force as well, those are bad days but I have not ever felt like what I had done was wrong.

Online IdleChater

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Re: Is it right to practice martial arts as a Buddhist?
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2018, 08:27:29 pm »
I uphold the view that defending yourself and/or others from harm is a perfectly acceptable thing to.  Whether it is through the use of martial arts knowledge or other means, I believe each person has the right to defend themselves against those that are trying to bring harm their way.
And you could also argue that the actions of others caused their harm, you were merely the vehicle. ;)

You can't really cop out on karma with that.  You generate karma because you choose a course of action.

But don't worry, there is no karma that cannot be purified.

Online IdleChater

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Re: Is it right to practice martial arts as a Buddhist?
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2018, 08:35:02 pm »
First Precept:  "Cause no harm!"....straight forward.

Assuming martial Arts may be practiced for the purpose of "self"-defense.  What is the point of it, if there is no self to defend?

C'mn Ron, for all your scholarship, you should know better.

There is self-defense, because relatively speaking there is a self to defend.

 :smack:

Offline Shogun

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Re: Is it right to practice martial arts as a Buddhist?
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2018, 12:50:10 am »
I uphold the view that defending yourself and/or others from harm is a perfectly acceptable thing to.  Whether it is through the use of martial arts knowledge or other means, I believe each person has the right to defend themselves against those that are trying to bring harm their way.
And you could also argue that the actions of others caused their harm, you were merely the vehicle. ;)

You can't really cop out on karma with that.  You generate karma because you choose a course of action.

But don't worry, there is no karma that cannot be purified.
Clearly, my attempt at humor was an epic fail.

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Is it right to practice martial arts as a Buddhist?
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2018, 02:18:44 pm »
I wonder what Buddha meant when he taught this?:

Quote
The Parable of the Saw
"Monks, even if bandits were to savagely sever you, limb by limb, with a double-handled saw, even then, whoever of you harbors ill will at heart would not be upholding my Teaching. Monks, even in such a situation you should train yourselves thus: 'Neither shall our minds be affected by this, nor for this matter shall we give vent to evil words, but we shall remain full of concern and pity, with a mind of love, and we shall not give in to hatred. On the contrary, we shall live projecting thoughts of universal love to those very persons, making them as well as the whole world the object of our thoughts of universal love — thoughts that have grown great, exalted and measureless. We shall dwell radiating these thoughts which are void of hostility and ill will.' It is in this way, monks, that you should train yourselves.

"Monks, if you should keep this instruction on the Parable of the Saw constantly in mind, do you see any mode of speech, subtle or gross, that you could not endure?"

"No, Lord."

"Therefore, monks, you should keep this instruction on the Parable of the Saw constantly in mind. That will conduce to your well-being and happiness for long indeed."

That is what the Blessed One said. Delighted, those monks acclaimed the Teaching of the Blessed One.
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

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Re: Is it right to practice martial arts as a Buddhist?
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2018, 02:35:12 pm »
I wonder what Buddha meant when he taught this?

You don't know?

Offline Anemephistus

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Re: Is it right to practice martial arts as a Buddhist?
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2018, 04:15:53 pm »
I thought on this for awhile when last you shared it. I really appreciate that by the way. It helped a lot and was very relevant!

 I am not very wise and the Dharma is very wise, but it seems to me like It speaks of not harboring Ill will,  and instructs us to keep our minds full of kindness and pity for those who wish to do us harm and who are unkind to us.   We should love them and have great wishes for their well being. We should not ever let their ill will and evil make us think that they deserve less than loving kindness.

I have not attained this to the fullest, or even a majority extent but as one who uses force more regularly as a tool than others might, I think it is completely true.

Forgive the distinction, but I feel like wishing to harm someone is not the same as being able to stop them from causing harm to themselves or others. We say "self" defence but what about the defense of others, of those who wish to do harm to themselves?

Martial arts can give a person a weapon or a tool. If the world were a place where people did not try and slice themselves to death, we might not need a shotgun sock round to knock them over in order to save them and to reduce the risk of them either dying or killing. The important thing is the mindset of the person who is holding the tool. Do they have a desire to save the people involved, are they trying to preserve life and do they feel love for others...have they tried everything they can to avoid using any physical  force to control the situation and when they did was it motivated by a feeling of concern for everyone involved? 

There are those who are eager to use force and to cause hurt. In my experience we think that if we fight better we will be ready to fight them and then we will prevail in some way. This is not a correct way to do this in my opinion.  If we learn how to save others and we care about people and we act out of a concern for others and try to help them and understand the need for actions under the right circumstances which do not involve anger or hatred then maybe this is more proper. If you live in the United States, call the police and carefully exit the situation.

I have never used force out of anger, I have been frustrated by the need to do it, but not at the person who is subject to it, they are mostly a subject of pity for me...and of contemplation and and understanding, some of the men I work with are not as good at this though and that is difficult.

So I guess I would say that it is a matter of intentions to the OP. Will you lose your loving kindness, your pity and your concern, will others anger and hate drive you to create reasons for "defense" or is your understanding such that when faced with the evil hatred of the world your intentions can maintain the proper integrity of a Buddhist despite the outward look of violence, will your actions save the subject of the force as well as the person they threaten? Be careful there can be repercussions for actions in life that are not desirable for getting involved without authority.

I hope you live in a way where such a thing will never matter to you, if such a thing becomes a concern, keep your mind calm, look and speak if there is time, use your understanding of the teaching and try to bring peace with every fiber of your being and engage your heart fully. If that fails do your best to keep your actions in control and motivated out of the desire to genuinly help.

Personally.... Talk.... And call the police... And try to exit the situation.






 

 


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