A Disturbing Topic


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Timthinker
November 8, 2008, 03:46 AM
In the past, I have expressed my views about firearms and knife legislation. As I wrote those postings, I wondered if martial arts training itself might face governmental restrictions in the future. Of course, I never really discussed that topic for fear of being labeled a crank. Well, that apprehension seems somewhat justified. I just read about some proposed New Jersey legislation that would restrict martial arts training in that state. This seems like a very dangerous trend to me. Those interested in this topic might wish to visit www.bladeforums.com for a discussion of this subject in their practical tactical subforum.

As I have stated on THR previously, unarmed fighting techniques are as much a part of realistic self-defense training as firearms, impact weapons and knives. Restricting martial arts training seems like an unwarranted assault on legitimate self-defense training. Perhaps we should pay more attention to those who talk about "the nanny state."


Timthinker

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Hoplophile
November 8, 2008, 04:04 AM
I've always wondered why nobody bothered to restrict training. They basically taught me some truly nasty things, knife fighting, how to stop people from screaming, mall ninja stuff, etc. Except the guys who taught it were definitely NOT mall ninjas. Just old, crazy soldiers. Or maybe they were lying, like so many do. But I'm not going to argue with the huge guy with the knife. It's scary how easy it would be to vilify the group I used to train with (Still do the same martial art, just moved). It's comprised of a few (very patriotic) immigrants from the commie/middle east and Americans, I can just imagine the television reports..."Foreigners engaging in paramilitary training in your city! Story at 11.".

And yet, when I tell someone that I like martial arts, they just beam with pride. I guess they don't really think of it as applicable to fighting? I don't know.

There are already myths of having to register one's hands as deadly weapons, etc. They can't really regulate martial arts. I can just imagine a shadowy group of young men meeting at a darkened house to train in silence with the blinds drawn... As far as I know, the only "regulated" martial art, Krav Maga, is self-regulated (they don't teach killing blows, etc). Fortunately, my martial art has no killing blows, only "it was accident".

My two cents on it.

Timthinker
November 8, 2008, 05:09 PM
While I agree with Hoplophile that it is difficult to prevent martial training, I am disturbed by the principle of the proposed legislation. True, some claim the primary motive for this legislation is economic. But the power to tax (regulate) is also the power to destroy. I do not wish to sound alarmist, but this topic produces a knee jerk reaction from me.


Timthinker

Hoplophile
November 9, 2008, 02:23 AM
I'm going to take a lot of flak for this, but I'd give up my guns before I gave up martial arts. They can't ban you from moving about in a certain way. It's very silly.

FourNineFoxtrot
November 9, 2008, 02:44 AM
I'm not too worried about them trying to ban martial arts, at least not until all the weapons are banned, or until the day they discover a way to read people's minds.

Hoplophobia is a fear of weapons, not of skillsets. It would be a very hard sell, and will doubtless take generations of campaigning before people are afraid enough of martial arts and martial artists to make such legislation possible.

Even if they eventually do try to ban martial arts, in part or completely, it's impossible. Even more impossible than banning a weapon. There is physical evidence of a weapon, as a weapon is an object that exists corporeally.

Martial arts are not objects or items, they are knowledge. Much, much harder to regulate... impossible to ban.


Now, martial art competitions, on the other hand, are definitely at risk. Especially commercialized full contact stuff. Frankly, the UFC is an accidental death away from government interference at any given moment, I think. I would say the same of Boxing and Football, but there's too much cultural resistance right now. Give 'em forty or fifty years, though, and it's entirely possible that we'll be watching a Flag Football Superbowl...

Ultimately, I think that any activity in which a human life may be endangered is at risk of legislation or ban, if not right away then some day. There is a trend in government and among many people that seems to favor protecting people from themselves; "safety" over freedom, fun, or anything else. When I was a teenager, I saw a lot of things like kids being forced to wear helmets when riding a bike, or mandatory seat belt and child-seat laws when in a car. In a fit of pessimism, I predicted that one day soon, they'd have us all wearing helmets when walking. Some people would like exactly that, I think.

wheelgunslinger
November 9, 2008, 09:12 AM
It's happened before in China, Japan, and other Asian nations. No reason it can't happen again.

Hoplophile
November 9, 2008, 05:22 PM
There are plenty of reasons it can't happen again. My first training group was more or less squatting in what amounted to an abandoned warehouse. I'm pretty sure someone owned it, or someone used to own it, or it was bought at some point, and we had a key to the place, but it was pretty run-down.

They could ban martial arts equipment, but we train without pads anyway. They could ban mats, but we do ground-fighting on the concrete anyway. They could ban training knives, but half ours are just crappy old knives with the edges ground off. They could ban fake handguns, but that's why man invented tying two sticks together. They could ban all organizations and instructional tapes, but you can't ban instructors. Banning them doesn't mean they instantly forget everything they know. They could ban doors on warehouses, I guess, and that might be more effective.

Martial arts isn't like a gun, you can't take it away from people. A righteous man who robs a bank might lose his right to own guns, but he's still dangerous as all hell as long as he can get his hands on his opponent. These are people with a "survive" mentality, who believe that your gun is their gun if they can wrestle it away from you, and that a pen is a perfectly wonderful deadly instrumentality.

I wonder why antis don't hate us more. Maybe because they realize you can't really forbid knowledge and exercise.

Can someone link me to the legislation in question?

JImbothefiveth
November 9, 2008, 05:41 PM
If martial arts are allowed in England, and were allowed in Soviet Russia, I don't see them being banned anytime soon.

Timthinker
November 10, 2008, 06:14 AM
Let me repeat what I stated earlier to avoid any misunderstading on such an emotional subject. I did not say NJ was trying to ban any martial art, but rather that it sought to impose restrictions for whatever reason. Now, I wholeheartly agree with those who say that it is difficult, if not impossible, to ban martial practices completely. I think we have an agreement here. What I object to is the principle of restrictions on the martial arts. I began this thread to voice that concern. Remember, we discuss restrictive legislation here on firearms, knives and a wide variety of other weapons. This subforum seemed like an excellent place to discuss this particular legislation. I hope my clearification helps keep things on track.


Timthinker

Mp7
November 10, 2008, 06:21 AM
Here in germany you are considered "armed" if you hold a degree in a martial art.

If u come into a SD situation and harm someone
the standards you have to live up to are way higher.

Shotokan Karate etc have big national registers
that will be consulted, if a witness will tell them
you "karate-chopped that guy"...

my own shaolin-style education is quite a while
back - but im glad to still consider myself armed
with my brain... and at 6,5" enuff force behind it...
...but im also glad im not on record.

(a couple of redlight-bouncers i know told me to always
make the BG fall over things.. or bump into lightposts
for legal reasons.)

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