Why Martial Artists Have to Be Mean

Why You Have to be  a Mean Martial Artist

It’s true, you do have to be mean, so let me explain how this thing works.

My instructor was the most polite person I have ever met. Haven’t met anybody so polite and caring…ever. Period.

Interestingly, he taught Hell’s Angels, Gypsy Jokers, and other outlaw bikers, and when they were in class they became polite. Imagine 20 outlaw bikers spread out through a class, all being polite, being careful of stepping on toes, saying ‘excuse me,’ and thank you,’ and other such phrases.

Getting along in the middle of one of the most violent martial arts classes I have ever seen.
They were polite not because they were scared, but because they were met with politeness and respect from Bob, the most polite martial arts instructor I have ever met.

Bob didn’t talk rough, never swore, looked at you with a level and honest gaze, and treated you like a human being. And you wanted to respond to that because it was the best feeling you ever experienced: to be treated like a human being.

Bob never told anybody to be polite. He never raised his voice. He just talked to you.

Compare that to today’s martial arts, which are either about violence, or behavior modification.
Violence if they are heading towards MMA, or military training, or some such.

Behavior modification because they went main stream, and became politically correct.

So let me ask you, if you have some thug come out of an alley with a club swinging at you, are you going to be polite?

If you have been trained to be polite in a school, then you are going down.

But if you have become polite because you want to treat people like human beings, then you will retain the ability to be violent as necessary.

If you have been trained to be polite, then you have been trained to be politically correct, and you will not have enough violence in your soul to survive.

If you have retained violence, and made the choice to be correct, then you are a larger human being with extra abilities.

And the ability to be violent, or mean, or impolite is an important ability.

I have different methods than Bob, my instructor; I am a different person. If I find somebody being too polite in class, trying to do the right thing, I will swear at him, bully him, throw him down and choke him, because I can’t have him learning to be polite.
It is sometimes a shock to people when I do this, but I make it all right when I explain that they must become polite by choice, not by indoctrination.

And, though my methods are different than my instructors, they are working, because I have some of the politest students you will ever want to meet.

The last thing on this: when I achieved my black belt,back in 74, I had a realization. Actually, I had a ton of realizations, life was forever changed, but the specific realization I had concerning politeness was this.

‘I can really hurt somebody!’ which was following by the decision: ‘I don’t ever want to hurt anybody.

So I cultivated politeness, not because my instructor, or my school, or my peers demanded it, but because I wanted to be a human being.

It’s a pretty nice place to be: I can kill somebody with a punch or two, but am so polite I never get in a fight.

I am a tiger without a cage.

I am a human being.

Al Case has been doing martial arts since 1967. If you want more than 45 years martial arts experience, check out Monster Martial Arts.

3 thoughts on “Why Martial Artists Have to Be Mean

  1. Anonymous

    This isn`t boiling down to any palpable essence:-) Morals and MA stand sperately on the shelf of life. You absolutely wanna mix the two is your soup. Me no like the taste:-)

    1. aganzul Post author

      Actually, morality (ethics) and martial arts are totally the same thing. This is only obvious if you study a true martial art. You simply can’t make the break into intuition and higher abilities unless you are moral/ethical. The true art builds this into you. With all respect, if you don’t understand this, or try to differentiate here, you have been studying an art for violence (mma, military, etc.) and not for personal betterment. Have a great work out! Al


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