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Empathy and Martial Arts.

topic posted Wed, July 13, 2005 - 8:25 PM by  SENSEI
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I have read many posts bemoaning the empathic talent "curse".

Yes, it can be very difficult, but as with many things in life, we have to find ways where our unique ablities can be best fit and used.

I have been raised in a family of martial artists. I have found that empathy gives one a clear advantage in martial arts. While its no substitute for training or practice, it can come into play when sparring or fighting someone.

Combat situations are so fast that thinking has to switch into alternate modalities. Reflexed are trained to react to situations and one must be creative and in the moment to deal. Since I was a kid, I was able to better anticipate attacks. It wasn't like mind reading or anything like that, it was more like feelings of what state that person was in. If someone was going to plan to fake you out, you can sense a deceptive vibe. If they were going to try to draw you into attacking in order to counter your moves (a good tactic) you can sense this too. You can especially sense if the person is just going to come at you aggressively. Knowing this kind of stuff gives a martial artist an edge.

I thought I was the only one around who felt this stuff, but the more I competed and checked out other forms, the more I met opponents who I sensed were empathic as well. THEN things would get VERY interesting!

Aikido and Hapkido seem to have a good number of empaths, from what I can sense. I know one JuJitsu competitor who is VERY empathic. It seems to me that Escrima, Tai Chi and Capoeira actually develops a sense of empathy.

Anyone else here a martial artist?
posted by:
SENSEI
SF Bay Area
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  • Re: Empathy and Martial Arts.

    Wed, July 13, 2005 - 10:04 PM
    I have studied several different types of martial arts, but I'm still far from where I would like to be. I do believe that being empathic can help quite a bit, but it really depends on the opponent. You can also use chi attacks against opponents who aren't aware of how to shield and that can lend additional advantages.

    I have studied some brazilian/Gracie jiu-jitsu, Shaolin kung fu, some Hapkido, Western style collegiate wrestling, boxing, tae kwon do, and judo. While I am not the most adept practioner I feel that being empathic can be useful even at low levels especially in conjunction with body language.

    that's about it for me.. I need to go read or something.

    very interesting topic.
  • Re: Empathy and Martial Arts.

    Thu, July 14, 2005 - 6:34 AM
    Karate, tae kwon do, judo, and jujitsu chick here --- I found some probs, too. I was always concerned about hurting other people because I couldn't handle how them being hurt made ME feel ... Even if I won a match, I felt like I lost if they were disappointed.
  • Re: Empathy and Martial Arts.

    Thu, July 14, 2005 - 9:01 AM
    I study sword fighting. My boyfriend is teaching me. Recently, we were working together and I felt like he was sending some kind of aggressive energy my way. I really felt a hostile vibe coming off of him. It totally freaked me out. I had to sit out for a while. I asked other fighters about it, and they said, "Yeah, he's really good at projecting that energy."

    I tend to crumple when that energy is focused at me, especially if it's from him. I guess what I'm trying to learn is how not to.
    • Re: Empathy and Martial Arts.

      Thu, July 14, 2005 - 9:27 AM
      One of my SOs also has that problem when we spar sometimes. More so when it is very combat oriented mix martial arts, but sometimes even when it is something like tae kwon do (which she has a black belt in).

      It's not a bad thing to not want to get hurt by your loved ones, but learning to dissociate when entering a combat mode is very beneficial in case you do ever have to go up against someone who has serious malicious intent.

      I would talk to your partner about this and see if perhaps he can tone it down intially a little bit and give you time to learn how to build shields.

      Having encountered those who harbor ill intent towards me I have learned this skill, but it might take a little time. You'll get there. :)

      There is a difference between aggressive and malicious energy, but for functional purposes it doesn't make a difference to most people.

      good luck and stay strong. :)
    • Re: Empathy and Martial Arts.

      Thu, July 14, 2005 - 11:12 PM
      There is a place where you can do to find your streangth against those who will try to "vibe" you to death. Let go and know that pain doesn't always hurt. You CAN take it. At the same time do not allow the option of losing focus. Not in a sword fight. Not in any combat situation.
      I have found in my life that those people who expect you to react in a certain manner, lose their bluster when you decide not to.
      Keep practicing.
      -My .2 cents
  • Unsu...
     

    Re: Empathy and Martial Arts.

    Thu, July 14, 2005 - 9:30 AM
    Greetings Sensei,

    Sensei, I am into Shotokan and have just recieved my yellow belt. I have actually discovered what "this empathy was" through karate ,as before I knew I had these feelings ,but had no idea as to what "this 'was ,or what it was called.

    Sensei, John, taught me about this and thanks to him, I am also now involved in Reiki ,and the healing arts. I do agree that one can "feel' and use this empathy, for getting the "vibes ' from ones opponent. I will be forever grateful to my Sensei ,John, for helping me find and discover this wonderful art of healing,as well as putting a face and name to understand something that I didn't know about, nor understand for many years. Thank you ,Sir , for your post and input.

    Respectfully,

    ~c~
  • Unsu...
     

    Re: Empathy and Martial Arts.

    Thu, July 14, 2005 - 9:36 AM
    I'll just simplify it to fighting in any fashion, but if I have to respond on what I write, know it won't be until the end of the weekend, as I am outta here within hours, woohoo.
    I never really thought of empathy being used in fighting, but there is probably a ton of truth to that. My anticipating what others were going to do is probably the reason for never losing. That isn't for bragging purposes, it is to make the point of empathy plays a strong role in battling others from what I can now see in hindsight.
    Somebody else commented on this thread about holding back due to feeling anothers pain empathically. If you aren't going to fight the full fight, then ya shouldn't be fighting at all, even if it is just for fun with swordplay, as you are limiting yourself. That doesn't mean cut off an arm or the like, but learn the point spots and strike efficiently. They may be harmed slightly, but in the case of martial arts contests, they know what they are getting into and your weakness for what they project, reall or unreal, is your weakness. Regular streetfighting: I blanked out anything of the emotion spot and probably used clairvoyance a bit more is what I am thinking. It is so confusing to have both and label which lead to what in fighting, ughhh. maybe it was the clairvoyance that told me what to anticipate and the empathy that told me the weaker they got or their commitment to the fight in general. I think that is it.
    Yes, I ramble with my thoughts and don't take back what I type, as I feel it makes me a mask wearer if I hold back anything in speech.
    Anyway, have a great weekend all.
    Shadow Walker has left the building, lol
    • Re: Empathy and Martial Arts.

      Thu, July 14, 2005 - 10:31 AM
      For a real street fight I don't hold back, but I don't want to hurt my friends while training. I am much stronger than I look and easily hurt others if I don't keep a strong check on it, plus I have to deal with people who don't have a high pain tolerance like I have or are just whiney.

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