Author Topic: Is it right to practice martial arts as a Buddhist?  (Read 3815 times)

Offline Shogun

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Re: Is it right to practice martial arts as a Buddhist?
« Reply #30 on: January 28, 2018, 01:10:17 am »

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Killing is never skillful. Stealing, lying, and everything else in the first list are never skillful. When asked if there was anything whose killing he approved of, the Buddha answered that there was only one thing: anger. In no recorded instance did he approve of killing any living being at all. When one of his monks went to an executioner and told the man to kill his victims compassionately, with one blow, rather than torturing them, the Buddha expelled the monk from the Sangha, on the grounds that even the recommendation to kill compassionately is still a recommendation to kill — something he would never condone. If a monk was physically attacked, the Buddha allowed him to strike back in self-defense, but never with the intention to kill.
To be fair, the Buddha said you shouldnt kill sentient beings.  He never said you shouldnt kill at all.  You can kill as many plants as you want because they dont feel fear or pain, so theres no suffering.
I think the last sentence above, which I've placed in bold, answers the original question. If a person is not skilled in the Martial Arts, or other defensive measures, it's quite likely he will overreact in order to avoid a prolonged combat which he might lose. The overreaction could cause the death of the opponent, like hitting him in the head with a brick, just to be sure.

However, a person who is skilled in the martial arts should be able to defend himself in a more skillful manner by placing a swift blow in the right place to disable the attacker without killing him.

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: Is it right to practice martial arts as a Buddhist?
« Reply #31 on: January 29, 2018, 04:27:34 am »
Right action teaches that you should not kill.  It doesn't say anything about not using force to defend yourself, as long as you don't kill.

So where does this logic end?  Arguing that it's OK to shoot somebody, providing you don't kill them?

But of course Right Intention teaches harmlessness
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream"

Offline Shogun

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Re: Is it right to practice martial arts as a Buddhist?
« Reply #32 on: January 29, 2018, 02:28:41 pm »
Right action teaches that you should not kill.  It doesn't say anything about not using force to defend yourself, as long as you don't kill.

So where does this logic end?  Arguing that it's OK to shoot somebody, providing you don't kill them?

But of course Right Intention teaches harmlessness.
My understanding of right action is that we should abstain from destroying life.  I would think that shooting to injur would fall under that.

Offline Anemephistus

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Re: Is it right to practice martial arts as a Buddhist?
« Reply #33 on: January 29, 2018, 04:10:48 pm »
The killing part. It is really, really ugly. I have never killed anyone. I do not think it is proper to do so. I am aware we might all find ourselves in a scenario where such a thing might present itself as the only option to stop something which we must stop...and then we are faced with doing something we cannot live with doing in order to stop something we cannot live with.  The reason I have  mentioned my oath was because of the Karma associated with with being willing to make this decision despite the distant possibility of being faced with this since there are a lot of force options in the place where I work.

Another user has called me a liberal from time to time...I request that this does not devolve into a political issue because it could very easily but if we could, I would like to keep it to the religious teachings and understandings we have.

This subject....the above paragraph, It is why I don't really like guns very well. I own one, I use them at work (carry them sometimes) and am fairly well trained with them but in general a person trained in the physical discipline of martial arts is able to make decisions about the level of injury that they inflict and they have taken years of focus spent with effort to develop their skills.  When they use this type of force it is very personal and the hundreds or thousands of hours they have put into the skill if coupled with proper thinking and the mental components that classically have been taught along side this discipline give them room to make better decisions and to be less moved by anger or fear and more moved by experience and training and restraint. They have the option to approach a situation out of compassion, or pity. I feel a Buddhist is particularly responsible for considering the impact of their actions if they are to consider force as an option because there is Karma either way, but knowing better and doing something anyway

A gun can cost less than three days work at a pawn shop, it is available to almost anyone of almost any mindset. When a person chooses to use it there is no real underlying effort required to pull it out and no underlying true mental discipline in using it, there is very limited choice about what level of damage it is going to do.  Another person, even one with a lot of fighting skill may suddenly be in a situation where they are faced with a hopeless scenario, its easy to decide "I am not going to kill this person over my own life" but what about the lives of the other people in the room? As a natural function of our biology one person does not have the ability to threaten fifty people. My main martial training when I did it was with European renaissance era swords I was very good with them, at the height of my ability I might have even been able to threaten five people with a rapier had I ever been ignorant enough to do so. But a gun? That's something different, and it has changed things a lot.

One person can kill many, for a fairly cheap price,  in this situation where words have failed and bullets are flying and taking lives and the attacker is not going to stop, it is heartbreaking....I am not a street officer, my compassion for them in this situation, and for the poor pitiable attacker and his broken mind, and the victims who were just going about life it's very deep...but he has to stop and I cannot see anything short of killing him in several cases I have looked at that will make him, often if the officers do not shoot him he will shoot himself after he has killed as many people as he can.

Killing him is not acceptable in this case either, but there is not another option to actually prevent him from killing possibly many others, since the dynamic has changed to this degree with humanity we need to address our moral foundations and our understanding and compassion to match our technology. Seeing the scope of the problem from this perspective I often abstain from violent entertainment and try to encourage others to consider their motivations when speaking about violence, which I see in real life often.



I work front line with some of this in a way. I am not in an office when the news shows a story about an officer shooting a man, or when a gunman fires into a crowd. It may surprise you, but even the very violent criminals who I deal with often express disgust with these outcomes, though they are ignorant of the underlying reasons that give rise to them. I have been spoken to before just because a man needed to talk to an officer to remind himself that what he was seeing was not the whole world.


I feel like we are responsible for carefully encouraging others and ourselves to consider why we are in a position to feel the need to contemplate using a deadly instrument as a force option. Regardless of where we aim it. I am in this position because of my livelihood but a cavalier attitude for violence coupled with a lot of tension and a romanticized view of the power derived from guns is something worth thinking about.  If you can avoid any situation that would ever call for one, unless you are helping the world in a real way, and I don't mean a hero fantasy here, I would skip a gun altogether. Go train with a good instructor, in a physical discipline, it's better in my opinion. Having been under pressure and used even large OC a lot, I can tell you, aim for whatever you want, but you hit what you hit, and it is not always what you aim for, not ven usually by the numbers, and that's with a lot of real scenario training.

 


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