Anarchism and Martial Arts

The Left and Anarchists have usually had a strange attitude towards martial arts. Preaching 'revolution' and 'self help' on the one hand, whilst not actually being able to defend themselves, never mind fight in the streets. So we've got self help on one hand that strangely does not apply to people's own capabilities to look after themselves on the street.

We are aware that macho sexist behaviour can be a problem, but people like the prominent activist Becca Kirkpatrick in Birmingham combine gym work with trade union activities (& there are more). They are not incompatible. There can be hierarchies between teachers and students in some martial arts clubs, but we aim to disolve these barriers and work in a supportive cooperative way.

Throughout much of Europe there is a severe fascist/far-right problem, and in response anti-fascists organise training and popular MMA forms. In true anarchist fashion, makeshift gyms, classes and skill shares have pushed the anti-fascist scene in a truly new and professional direction. Self-defence has become a way of learning the street crafts of defending ourselves in dangerous situations. Using the DIY (Do it yourself) anarchist ethos, which is one of skill sharing without prejudice or hierarchy.

Let's see videos:

Italy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_wrukRdyV8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkawe-0HzZI

Russia:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNRazWuSlzQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hv8JxRWn-VY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsB-boYMaQ4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uf-dNLXLKkI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQqjvPf0Rfg

Ukraine:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4EEx9gJf9I

Poland:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEuPnCVOSas
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMsHklBZ_S0

Category: 

Comments

Yes, you too can be a thug for the left. Since most of the left are weaklings they will be relying on anarchist militancy to keep the fascist threat at bay. What a bunch of hooey. Prepare for combat, but instead of preparing to fight dumb fascists, prepare to do propaganda by deed against the very system that creates such threats to *occupy* our time and effort with.

Anarchists would do well to steer away from being a pawn in the political game of left vs. right; the political game of false oppositions to keep people divided on each other while the system continues on.

have you ever tried to be involved in an active anarchist space in a town with a militant fascist presence? This shit is real, and important - training ourselves to be able to defend ourselves - whether against fascists, or rapists, or cops, or on some rare weird occassion a leftist peace marshall or something - is not allowing our selves to be "pawns in some game of left vs right." Its important and valuable.

In some places, fascist and right wing nationalist movements are an important, integral part of the states strategy for control and recuperation. in those places, our training takes that into account. in other places, those forces are in the background or irrelevant, in which case our training takes that into account. But we still train.

It would help if you read what I wrote and challenged that instead of what you wish I had said.

Responding to your first question:

I have been involved in active anarchist space with a militant fascist threat and it is scary. Which is why you prepare for combat, but they aren't the target, nor are the police. These are people we conflict with when we are doing other shit. We occupy space, the police come, we attack shit, the police come, we go to a meeting the fascists come, so whatever on that shit. Practice security culture.

The only thing that is good about taking on the fascist threat is the increase in numbers. If it can't be translated into a gang with analysis approach, with a theory to practice, a praxis, that extends beyond fighting thugs in the streets, it isn't worth an anarchist's time to participate.

The left is also an integal part of the state's strategy, yet we aren't beating them in the streets either. Yet this false opposition is the primary reason people put more effort into backing institutions and bureaucracies rather than destroying them. They control the protests, they dominate community meetings, they are tied to members of the clergy, universities, academia.

Open anarchists that are wanting to define themselves from the left would do well in exposing their purpose as employment in such roles and that to be an anarchist in such a role would be to take advantage of it and use it against the system in some sort of way. What I'm saying is any anarchist that is employed is just being a normal person. Going through strikes, you are helping you and your fellow workmates, perhaps other workers as well, good for you, also normal and part of the system.

Protests led by institutions? Yeah, you've mentioned them. You see where I'm going here. People act out when they aren't being controlled. It is inside them. We are there to unleash those feelings to escape control to show you are a real thing and not just a fucking drone. Everyone feels this inside them, burning deep in their heart. This is why people are susceptible to anarchist agitation. They want to be free and institutions are slavers on the streets, demagogues whipping their dogs into shape to put symbolic fear into the system...they might make people vote democrat! OMG!

So anyways, I think avoidance of fascists is better. You may think they will grow if I have a different view, but you probably have noticed that most people don't listen to anyone when they want to beat someone's ass real bad. That's the general feeling anti-fascists attempt to create...their like "hey, justifiable violence y'all!" and the dogs come barking, ready for the brawl. If martial arts are supposed to be of service to us, they might need to focus on armed combat with rifles and bombs instead of unarmed combat.

avoidance is better, perhaps, but isnt always an option. In a lot of places where the antifa identity is a large thing, fascists are strong and regularly attack anarchist spaces. The antifa-identity as a reaction to this makes a certain logical sense, even if as it is (also) highly limiting and short sighted as a political praxis. Shit is complex. Meh. After spending a good deal of times overseas, in places where antifa is a dominant political identity that can seriously overshadow more developed or nuanced analyses, im inclined to crtique this phenom more on the basis of it being a shortsighted identity with a badly developed understanding of how the state actually works in the 21st century. I dont think this inherently is the same critique as the first commenter with the "left vs right game" quote...Local context is everything, in any case, but really the left and right present different kinds of threats of different intensities in different places. The popular frontism of antifa is fucking stupid, and historically ignorant, but the commenter is erroneous if they think every single squat or participant in the martial arts training in these videos is only understanding their activity through such leftist terms.

I agree with your comments generally, and certainly in many places what we call the Left is both a larger threat and a FAR more functional actor for recuperation and control. It, and perhaps "democracy" generally, is a more important thing to critique and combat, in most countries where anarchists are active.

And yes, the form that the Left takes in many of these countries is pretty different from fascist street thuggery; learning unarmed combat techniques is less relevant to our everyday conflicts with the Left or whatever reformist manager types we re likely to confront.

But i would argue that martial arts training, whether as antifa or not, can have other values: In addition to helping prepare one for those instances when street conflict does happen (whoever it is with), also it is useful in a number of other ways, from increasing self confidence and physical health to building affinity with friends whom one is likely to roll with in the streets. We're arent going to knock out capitalism with a left hook or a thai kick, but training can be an indirect path to other benefits.

bullshit. the nazis werent some singular phenomenom, they were just more flagrant about it and the got CAUGHT by 'the world'. there are nazis 'fascists' in every country in the world, was, were, and are now. they are just sick 'secret' groups of men who are usually sadists: closet homosexuals, pedophiles, animal torturers, genocidal, and enjoy torture. in the usa we call them the cia fbi cops and etc. nothing retrograde abt antifa. need more antifa, in fact. thers nothing fucking nuanced abt it.

closet homosexuals????

wtf?

its well documented. and obviously part of their fascist rage, sadism, and secret boys club hijinks.

I know I am a closest homosexual and sadist!

Although Dahmer was insistent he had had no hatred or animosity towards any of his victims, some doctors theorized he projected his self-hatred as to his sexual orientation onto his adult victims through his actions[216]—a classic borderline personality disorder defense.

The forensics team that examined Dahmer's apartment and possessions following his arrest and who conducted the autopsies upon the remains of his victims he had opted to preserve or otherwise store as opposed to destroy or discard, concluded that the murders were rooted in an unconscious hatred of his victims and were the result of Dahmer's "ambivalent homosexuality." All agreed that he suffered from borderline personality disorder.[217]

What exactly are you defining as "the left" here? I, personally, call myself both an anarchist and a radical leftist.

Thank you for your honesty. I'm talking about the culture of false resistance to the dominant order. The institutions of the left include political organizations, community organizations, unions, and activist organizations. The left emphasize change through institutions. Some may reject political and governing institutions but they then respond by over emphasizing the institutions of civil society.

In addition to these institutions the left relies on building large numbers, building a mass to make change, typically the change is done to provide leverage to the institutions building this mass.

I got it, but I've yet to understand this issue: If mass social/cultural change does not rely on large numbers, how compatible is said change with non-coercive and non-authoritarian anarchist values?

The left = everything that's bad

Anarchism requires the support and active participation of large sections of society (primarily amongst the working class and other oppressed groups). I'm baffled by the suggestion that anarchism could be actualized without mass movements/mass struggle.

...at the suggestion that mass movements can bring any good whatsoever, as if recent and older history wasn't filled with massive liquidation of social uprisings resulting in the restitution/reification of an even tougher social order.

And what's that thing you call "anarchism"? Is that, like, some liberal socialist philosophy from hipsters with horse teeth? Looks good on paper, I suppose...

" I'm baffled by the suggestion that anarchism could be actualized without mass movements/mass struggle."

that is why i seek anarchy in my own life, not some global, mass "anarchism".

Too bad anarchy in your own life can't actually exist without anarchy in your surroundings, you fucking idiot. Your version of egoism is just a rehash of really old and bad CrimethInc pamphlets.

that's a misrepresentation of even the oldest and worst crimethinc pamphlets. even then, crimethinc material pointed at the necessity of collective change for individual freedom to be possible (and of individual change if collective freedom was ever to be possible). i dare you to cite something to the contrary.

meanwhile, yeah, egoism, not really feeling that.

They are baffled!

we are all baffled. It is a baffling life.

Anarchists have always supported spontaneous revolt. Anarchists need not build mass anything. It happens without anarchist intervention. About the best way to ensure this happens anarchists would do well in either: 1. Delegitimatize the left among their rank and file or 2. Acting as an autonomous example. We aren't here to manage massses of people. Rather to challenge people to break the hold institutions have on struggle. Make it uncontrolled rather than steer people.

Yeah yeah I got that! But it has nothing to do with my question.

Your question needs to be rephrased as it sounds like nonsense. How are non-mass anarchist methods non-coersive? ...They aren't. I don't know how else to answer as you phrased it.

Hm, here it is re-phrased: If spontaneous action results in change affecting masses of people, is it consensual, non-coercive and non-authoritarian for those that did not participate? My historical understanding of many instances of spontaneous revolt resulting in massive change is that it is not those things.

Well it is not coercive. It is not domination, oppression or exploitation. So what are you wanting to be said? Shit happens?

The first part of your question relates to the quantitative order, while the second relates to the inhenrently qualitative nature of the anarchist perspective. Can you make babies with the tree in your backyard?

yes!
go gardeners!

oops,
never mind. carry on.

Anarchists vs. fascists is not a "false" "game of left vs. right" To put it as simple as possible, fascism is nationalism and authoritarianism, anarchists are anti-state, and anti-authoritarian.

Fascist ideology should be fought at all levels, from our personal relationships to global political structures. Trust me, a little bit of street combat goes a long way. In the area of Kentucky that I grew up in, in the late 80's and early 90's, attitudes among the youth changed drastically as far as racism and homophobia go. I think a large part of that shift was a result of a fairly small S.H.A.R.P. crew and a hand full of anti-authoritarian punks. Street fights rarely happened, but the willingness to fight and the occasional dust up with fascist types made a huge impact.

I think anarchists would do well to train, and be ready to fight when it's called for. Some of the lines that we are divided on, are very real, and should be addressed and dealt with whenever possible. Fighting national politics ( "the system" ) is fun and all, unifying even, but I would say identifying and challenging authoritarian social structures at a local level is probably more tactically effective.

Don't piss on me and tell me it's raining. It is totally a false game. The left is false opposition and fascists are extra-legal enforcers of the dominant cultural order. Fascists in the United States can't exist without white Western culture justifying the exploitation of populism. Nobody takes on the police in the same manner, yet they are the largest local threat in most areas.

Your expansion of fascism to be inside every authoritarian structure is ridiculous and makes it difficult to expose the behavior of authoritarianism without your hyperbolic nonsense confusing things. It is like when people equate work to slavery. Yes, they are definitely comparable and if the general consensus had already categorized it as comparable, it would work, but like most things, the argument become about the side issue. Is work slavery? Should we fight fascism? How about, should we fight authoritarianism? Notice I'm not saying "don't fight fascists" but I don't feel if the police aren't being attacked that wasting time chasing around fascists with such justification makes any sense.

If fascists are in your neighborhood...but so are heroin dealers, which is the bigger threat? How about the church in the neigbhorhood? How about the television station on the other side of the city? It beams its message right into people's homes. How about Microsoft or Google? They are expanding threats to our autonomy more than most powerful forces in the world. How about the U.S. military, they kill millions of people, all the time and drop nuclear bombs on their enemies.

Give me a break dawg.

my simple response to all of your last paragraph:

yes. lets fight all of those things. not mutually exclusive. the person who youre replying to didnt say it was either. all bad. fight them all. different skills are appropriate in different situations. different contexts demand different foci. different temperaments among different comrades will results in different priorities, even aside from finding any kind of unified strategy (which would be a bad idea, anyway).

pointing out that fascists violently desire everything we hate about the world does not make one "a leftist." It's not mutually exclusive from pointing out that the Left functions to preserve this world as well, in different ways, also depending on context.

its true we often dont attack the police with same level of force or agression - i think we can think of some logistical and very real reasons why that is. Im not saying we shouldnt aspire to, or organize ourselves for that possibility, or that we cant in certain circumstances--but there is a commonsense reason for the fact.

again, i totally agree that a narrow antifa political identity is a sorry basis for a coherent, three dimensional anarchist praxis - no argument with you there. but talking about the importance of fighting fascists does not automatically make one a leftist. ima aim for nuance over name calling on this one.

Not who you're replying to, but: wasn't the whole point of that post to point out how fascists are constantly prioritized for attacks even when it might not be necessary to do so?

That's my biggest problem with organizing as "antifa" - even if they admit that there are other (bigger, perhaps more important) threats around, their opposition is nothing but lip service compared to the constant attention paid to self-identified nationalists.

Okay, some people have their opinions on fighting fascists. I suppose I'll give it to you that an anarchist that isn't a leftist could fight fascists at their primary thing to do. I'll stand by my opinion on fighting fascists being a distraction or obstacle, but some people get something out of it. Good luck on the martial arts stuff.

Get trained, get in shape: a warrior needs to be able to fight. The neo-Nazi menace is but the beginning. Keep in mind that lobbyists from TransKlanada and other resource-extraction corporations are pushing law enforcement to regard protest against their destructive activities as all-out terrorism. That means more cops picking fights so they can assault peaceful protesters-UNLESS they think this will put them in ice packs for their bruises. Remember also that if protest is outlawed, only outlaws can protest, so train with that possibility in mind. If an all-out conflict ignites over fossil fuel extraction, especially an all-out Native American uprising to defend sacred lands from pipelines, fracking, and mining, we need to be ready. Lakota elders are telling people to "Warrior Up" and that goes for all of us in ALL the Occupied Nations of Turtle Island.

I have seen training and experience pay off in the streets during protests that escalate. In the opening days of Occupy DC people took far too many injuries during minor confrontations that would have been unlikely to result in injuries at say, anarchist protests of the IMF and World Bank meetings. Over time this soon changed. By Mayday 2013 numbers were down but an iron-hard core remained. A week before Mayday 2013, 1200 workers were killed in that infamous Bangladesh sweatshop complex collapse. At Mayday 2013 in DC, marchers stormed the GAP (a notorious Rana Plaza sweatshop customer) and the shit hit the fan.

The cops assaulted an elder inside the GAP, triggering a furious response. In the ensuing fighting all arrest attempts were defeated except one. I saw a pig go down hard as the crowd roared. Cops were outnumbered 4-1 and got hammered so hard I thought they might go to guns. Instead, they beat up the one person they had trapped and then gave up. Things happened after the fact, but that too didn't work out for the cops, and in the end the cops did not show up in court against those they had arrested earlier, the one person they beat and arrested inside, or the people they arrested a week later on those bullshit warrants. They had had enough, and at Mayday this year the cops were on their best behavior, so no fighting resulted.

Video of Mayday 2013 (DC) fighting at the GAP:

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=fe2_1367471673

One of my personal friends is an anarchist with several MMA belts, who once challenged the Maryland State Skinheads to take on their best-in their OWN gym! Even in their own dojo they were afraid to meet the challenge, so their MMA guy forfeited by refusing to fight. Typical fascist bullies would not dare risk even a match in the ring under MMA rules against a trained fighter but love roaming in packs to beat up people.

that liveleak video is what you consider furious streetfighting? its police successfully preventing access to gap, making an arrest, and generally manhandling protesters. half the crowd is media anyway which prevents any movement.

Both protesters and cops gut bruises in that-but we dished out a lot more than we took At least as many people were unarrested at the scene as they got warrants for later, probably more. Cops would have arrested dozens if they could have, but it's hard to do that when you are outnumbered 4-1 and having to give some to get some. That rolling ball of anarchists, communists, and cops was a FIGHT, not cops in control. Lots of ice packs were used by both sides that night.

Keep in mind, I did NOT film the cop getting put into a submission hold and bounced off the street, nor would I have published such a video clip before all the warrant cases were dropped. The initial police line after Charge #1 stormed the GAP was pierced by Charge #2, you can see some of those folks pushing past the pigs at the start. That is not cops "preventing access" when the second charge went right through their line.

When the cops assaulted an elder the situation blew up. Some of the other videos really show the cops getting their asses kicked, but all the videos except mine (the one linked) were later used against protesters in court. I could not show certain things that happened that day and in fact will not point a camera at a cop getting an asskicking in case I get cornered or someone comes up with a crack against the encryption on my computers. Had I got footage of that pig going down with a bunch of people on him, I would have had to smash the camera card after copying and using only the footage that could be safely published.

All charges were dropped after the pigs declined to show up in court.

Cool. Not doubting the account. Just saying maybe not best to accompany such an account with video that seems to show the usual. If the other videos were already used as evidence perhaps they would make a better link.

I have downloaded copies of those other videos but lost the links long ago. Those links were stripped out of our news reports after word got out about the other videos being used in court, as part of a probably too late campaign to get videos that were being used against us removed. The real point was to encourage people to check what they posted to make sure they would not help their enemies and ours put people in jail.

I editied my own video carefully, taking hours of extra work even though I was exhausted that night. I expected the pigs to be sore losers and get ideas about later. I have to make damned sure the folks I run with and trust to watch my back can in turn trust me not to let my camera rat them out.

Still, in the end it was one of those other videos that showed how the whole thing really started: with aggro cops assaulting an elder. You can also see a bit of that in mine, when the older guy in the bike helmet on your left just inside the doorway is being pushed and the sound of the crowd suddenly rises.

The link I posted was essentially the only one I felt I had the right to use.

please don't generalize

I always found it kinda weird how a lot of anarchists talk about fucking up cops or Nazis or rapists but very few people actually work out or know how to fight or anything...

because it's not a question of knowhow it's a question of power.

You have to be able to organize, to organize you have to be able to speak, to speak you have to be brave and to be brave you have to be fairly assured that speaking won't get your arms and legs cut off.

I can assure that practical ability on an individual level matters in addition to practical ability on a social level.

As the above commenter has stated, it is through quality of comportment and action that one comes to achieve that which is sought, not a quantitative conception which corresponds to the Marxist notion of the mass line.

i was trained in japan in a martial art that cannot be named. i can literally tear the skin from the faces of my attackers without even touching them, among other wondrous and fascinating self-defense tactics. i have never been raped or mugged. animals sense.

"In true anarchist fashion, makeshift gyms, classes and skill shares have pushed the anti-fascist scene in a truly new and professional direction."

wut?

yeah I stopped at that too, typo I guess

Many of the comments here speak to the problem alluded to by the article. Are you dissecting the wording they used, focusing on semantics? Good job! You missed the point completely. Are you rationalizing why you have no interest in learning anything like martials arts and then projecting that on to everyone else? Congrats! You're part of the problem.

Of COURSE anarchists movements benefit from some presence of self-defence/martial arts oriented culture and why the hell would you say "No, don't learn martial arts. Learn how to use guns instead." That's ridiculous. Learn BOTH, just like the enemy does.

Look at what your enemies do and flip the model around. Cops and soldiers and paramilitaries of all stripes learn as much of this type of stuff as they can and if you seriously ever plan to fight them, you'd better learn too. If you want to argue identity politics, then you learn about intersectionality and getting your ass kicked after trying to de-arrest a friend is a bad time to realize you've never put much energy in to physical fitness or combat training. Get real kids …

As for the suggestions that it's somehow automatically not anarchist anymore when people start learning how to fight/and/or defend themselves because they get "type-cast by leftists" or whatever the hell that person was talking about … just … stop. You should shut up and try listening for awhile friend, you're waaay off … or possibly trying to confuse the issue?

The connections between issues like self-defence, violence and autonomy are as obvious as the rising sun.

Silly anarchist brings fists to nuclear bomb fight.

Are you rationalizing why you have no interest in learning anything like martials arts and then projecting that on to everyone else?"

Nailed it.

Good rule of thumb: if something requires work, discipline, commitment and/or pain, whiny anar-kids will find a way to denounce it as "leftist".

Nobody is dismissing martial arts. Some people are talking shit about other stuff, but you dream whatever argument you wish you were having and tell us more about it.

Actually the only arguments against martial arts I've seen in this comment thread have been from a leftist perspective.

The only people I know who actually train themselves physically are antifa and post-left people. Anarchists talk a lot of game about rioting and fighting cops and whatever but it seems like few of them consider that cops actually have to engage in some physical conditioning.

i can understand your cynicism...but i know quite a few anarchists who train. (hell, i also met people at my gym who were anarchists and just not involved in local politics, but are now. martial artists definitely makes sense to many of us).

i teach at an mma gym, where some friends also train, or have trained off and on. in my experience the things that get in the way are actually the same as what gets in the way for most others in this culture: work, the transience of 21st century life, not being able to pay the gym regularly, having a kid and no time, going back to school for some reason. Its true that discipline can be lacking in our scene sometimes, but thats no different than in the rest of the culture.

the biggest difference in countries where more anarchists train is not some existential presence of discipline but a material reality: those countries have had successful squatting movements that have taken over the kinds of large spaces necessary to have a gym. Its really a practical explanation, and one that i think holds a lot more water than the cynical "why do we (or they) suck, are whiny, no discipline" whatever. Self congratulatory cynicism might feel better, but in this case i think a more material explanation is much more useful and on the mark.

OP here: couldn't agree more. We secured an anarchist space for a year or so and one of the first things that happened was a bunch of comrades doing martial-art self-defence skill-shares. There was a bunch of interest and knowledgeable people and as soon as they had the space to meet and train, everything happened quite naturally. It piqued my interest in that stuff for sure and it helps break the ice between people too. Not to mention the obvious other benefits, just a total win.

Unless the skills being shared aren't good and/or they're taught poorly...

and they won't/will on anything explicitly called skill sharing

agreed. i know im just some rando on the internets here, but i STRONGLY encourage people reading this or who are thinking of training to do so at a real gym with real instructors. do it two or three times a week, take it serious, and dont just do it with your friends. itll cost a little money - its worth it. unless youre lucky enough to live in a town that has a comrade who is themself a fighter or instructor, willing to teach you on the side consistently, you need to suck it up and find a solid gym. dont try and go through the scene for this knowledge, if the scene cant really provide it. dont waste your time with one off self defense workshops or seminars. find a gym with students and instructors that you can stand, that teaches practical arts that involve regular live sparring and rolling (bjj, muay thai, boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, etc.) and where at least some of the people there regularly fight.

no gyms are gay

OP again … maybe your comrades suck and mine don't? Maybe my town isn't as lame as I thought?

Why the fuck are anarchists fronting like you have to PAY a "real instructor" in order for the knowledge to be of any use?

Actual advice would sound more like, accept whatever training is being offered freely and then contrast it with different material to verify it's quality … you cynical fucks.

i've trained both formally (for money) and informally (for free) and for me at least, the formal training -- because it's regular, defined and disciplined -- has given me the skills i'm confident will be most useful in any physical confrontation. the informal training was haphazard, more social than teaching, and in the end, did not give me any confidence. your mileage may vary of course.

any idiot can claim they have mad skills in street fighting or self-defense, but how do you know? unfortunately, in this capitalist culture, paying for services is understood as the most professional and accountable way to learn. shitty skills equals no business...

in terms of anarchists and others offering their skills for free, the fact of the matter is this: not everyone who has skills knows how to transmit them to others. not everyone who has skills knows how to use them effectively when the time comes. and not everyone who has skills is willing to share them all. just some human nature shit, ya know?

and not everyone has time to check out all the various possibilities that exist in their town, so accepting and contrasting is not really realistic.

way to talk a lot for no reason … you had a negative experience with martial arts skill-shares, I will continue to have a positive one. You're stumbling with a pretty simple logic fallacy right now and you don't really have a point except that your comrades didn't meet your lofty standards. Dicky for you.

plenty of us commenting here talk a lot for no reason. just like you just did. at least the last anon had a few things to say about actual experiences. all you've done is complain that your experiences have been different. which is exactly what the previous anon said. reading comprehension fail.

Actually what they were trying to say was that there's some qualitative difference between training that you pay for and skill-shares based on one bad experience they had … which is a logic fallacy and pointlessly tries to invalidate other training.

Maybe you should read it again? and also fuck off?

how do you know it was only one experience? the term is logicAL fallacy anyway, and nobody was trying to invalidate anything -- that's what you're trying to do. maybe you should pay attention and not bring so many presumptions to your posts.

butt srsly u rite punch micawww!! punch micawww! hiya!

bunch of politicians, all of ya'll

ha, all the people who are like "we won't really need to use these tactics against liberals and protest managers, except in weird situations, we fight them on a different level" all the people who only talk about fighting fascists physically, and not even mention liberals, or mention them a tiny amount in comparison to fascists, a certsin ratio giving more attention to fascists, all these people really demonstrate how most anarchists are still biased towards the left, still practice a sort of entryism towards the left and a sort of popular frontism

"how most anarchists are still biased towards the left"

*still have sympathies towards the left

smash the liberals especially the liberals

I would like to hear Emile's opinion on this. Where is Emile??????

this is a cut and paste from my previous comments on this topic.

“Taoism & Anarchism
.
ANARCHISM IS USUALLY CONSIDERED a recent, Western phenomenon, but its roots reach deep in the ancient civilizations of the East. The first clear expression of an anarchist sensibility may be traced back to the Taoists in ancient China from about the sixth century BC. Indeed, the principal Taoist work, the Tao te ching, may be considered one of the greatest anarchist classics.
.
The Taoists at the time were living in a feudal society in which law was becoming codified and government increasingly centralized and bureaucratic. Confucius was the chief spokesman of the legalistic school supporting these developments, and called for a social hierarchy in which every citizen knew his place. The Taoists for their part rejected government and believed that all could live in natural and spontaneous harmony. The conflict between those who wish to interfere and those who believe that things flourish best when left alone has continued ever since.” – Peter Marshall, ‘Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism’

In the taoist tradition, the ethic was to protect against interference with the natural unfolding of things. Taoism was the source of martial arts, which contended that the heart must be free of violence, this view of ‘violence’ [what is in one's heart] over-riding the understanding of violence as ‘physical violence’.

In other words, the taoist ethic did not support ‘physical violence jumpstarting from rationality’ [see 'The Mistake in Assuming Anarchism is Rational' On the other hand, if others were interfering in the natural unfolding of things by imposing rational violence, the non-violent heart could throw plenty bodies around; i.e. the heart that is free from violence can source physical violence where it is unavoidable.

one hears this philosophy echoed by indigenous aboriginal traditionalists, as in standoffs which arise from defending against interference in natural unfoldings, such as the abuse of nature [one can also sense this non-violence of heart in marie mason, daniel mcgowan and others who have defended against interference in natural unfolding]. other non-violence-of-the-heart defenses that may incur physical violence include; -defending against interference with the mother and developing child, defending against interference with community etc.

the warrior, in upholding wu-wei, keeps his/her heart free from self-initiated 'rationalization-based' violence that pivots from hate, vengefulness, jealousy or personal status/gain orientation. of course rationality will be used in the violence that comes from defending against interference into the naturally unfolding,... but there is a difference in launching physical violence that jumpstarts from rational plans as a means to an rationally desired end. e.g. rationally launched physical violence targeting particular people, as in ‘playing the good guy’ and attacking the axis of evil differ fundamentally from physical violence arising from defense against interference into natural unfolding.

Summary: In the writings of Taoism, defense does not constitute violence if one’s heart is free from anger. Lao Tsu argues against non-defensive violence driven by rational agenda, and does not say that weapons will never be used in the defense against interference in the natural unfolding of things;

“Weapons are instruments of fear; they are not a wise man’s tools.
He uses them only when he has no choice.
Peace and quiet are dear to his heart,
And victory no cause for rejoicing.
If you rejoice in victory, then you delight in killing;
If you delight in killing, you cannot fulfill yourself” --- Lao Tsu, ‘Tao Te Ching’

for this nice review.
just reading it gives a sense of
proportion, balance. it certainly points out the
negative consequences for being mired in a Heart of Darkness.
in place of resenting, affirming.

i think the taoist-anarchist tradition opens a door into a new and better way of feeling and acting that we can't get to in a moralist society. it makes me think, as nietzsche does, that rationality can be a curse. as soon as one knows 'what's up' it knocks you out of that equilibrium mode and you go into self-driven mode where you shut down input and operate solely on an inside-outward asserting basis. but always, our knowledge is limited, and we become like a bull in a china shop. this is not 'martial art'.

the only thing worse than this that i know of is when you agree to get together, which a bunch of others, climb under a giant bull hide costume, and do the same thing as a group. to me, this is what is familiarly called 'western society'.

at least quote yourself instead nigga

.

it varies

"who isn’t happy to be a killing machine?,"

I'm not responding to any of the comments or even the original post necessarily, I'm merely sharing my experience as someone who has been a practitioner for about a decade but only really a serious one for a year or so. All of the opinions that follow are based on personal experience as someone who has tried lots of things but really only stuck to two (at the moment).

Move. Find a movement discipline you like and stick to it. It will improve your life in every way. Take care of each other, let your combat training be an extension of that. If you have limited time, study an art that deals with weapons. You can be a great martial artist and still get really fucked up if you don't know how to deal with weapons. Look up Guy Mezger if you don't understand why. Avoid things that are mystical or esoteric unless you have an immense amount of time. You can become an amazing wing tsun practitioner who can handle most situations in 10 years. You can become a competent kickboxer in 8 months and deal with most problems. Learn to deal with multiple opponents (weapons training makes this a whole lot easier). Stay clear of Systema or Krav Maga or Army combatives unless you can verify the credentials of the instructor. A lot of people teaching "reality based" systems have very little actual training outside of the equivalent of Basic.

Think about the reality of how we as anarchists fight, and who we fight. If your opponents like to run in large gangs and use clubs, prioritize that over rolling around with someone on the ground one on one. Be realistic, violent confrontation often sucks, and people who win lots of fights have usually lost more than a few.

I'm surprised nobody's brought up Ukraine yet. Right Sector played a pretty decisive role in events there, without a lot of people or any really sophisticated training (mostly shields and clubs).

and loads of molotovs. Organized through paramilitary hierarchy. People were organized in battalions with officer types and centralized command, people in command have been active in paramilitary groups, the most famous having fought in Chechnya.

You are deeply underestimating the amount of training that can go into seemingly basic things like hand-to-hand combat and group cohesion.

Not to mention underestimating the amount of training those Right Sector peeps have actually had.

Firebombs, a few small arms and a bunch of veterans. Possibly some foreign assistance. More organized than a game of road hockey but pretty much par-for-the-course for any real political militancy (and really nothing special). If this kind of coordination is beyond us, we might as well give up now.

a "menace" or violence can come from any fucking indentity you coin, it can come from fascists, it can come from leftists, it can come from the cops, the paramilitaries, it can come from men, it can come from women, it can come from animals and it can come in many different contexts. Your just better prepared to the eventuality of physical violence being inflicted upon you if your not totally defenseless as domestication has made most humans.

your comment is violent

You're

plz and thx
bye bye :)

Anarchists should be torching any schools and gunning down any martial arts instructors who teach cops. And there are a lot of them.

hrmmm. um. wow.

so first off, have fun with that. you do like realize that is a huge amount of schools, and that most instructors dont ahve a lot of control over who they teach, right? are we also gunning down grad students who TA classes in which future bureaucrats and politicians are learning?

BTW. um. you would get your ass kicked probably. and probably not just by the cop or whoever, but by all the people there who love and respect that space, who have a spiritual or physical connection to it.

wow. level of dumb here is pretty staggering. god bless the interweb!

"gunning down grad students who TA classes in which future bureaucrats and politicians are learning? "

I came

That's just some halfwit troll … who knows if they're even trying to be serious? Just tune that shit out ...

YA-TAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

Systema: Toward a Radical Martial Discipline
By Howle
"The style was natural and free while having no strict rules, rigid structure or limitations (except for moral ones). All tactics were based on instinctive reactions, individual strengths and characteristics, specifically designed for fast learning."
Imagine for a second, we live in communes, villages, squatted and reclaimed commons, autonomous territories that are inhabited and defended by the communities that live there. Imagine a post collapse world and the democratic and sustainable alternatives we all work so hard to develop become village institutions. Imagine more so the seccesionist future ahead of us in the new Global Corporatist World War on the commons, on the indigenous peoples left, and all of those trying to find our way back to the lost territory we know exists!
This essay is a brief introduction the ancient Russian martial art known as Systema and its viability in developing new radical warrior cultures. Not only do we have to know how to defend the land, through protest, reform, revolt, and building, but we also need to know what it's like to train with our comrades. Imagine developing almost a parallel shaolin monk style culture that is anti-authoritarian, truth-serving, democratically and land oriented, and honest!
"The key principle of the Russian Systema is non-destruction. The goal is to make sure that your training and your attitudes do no damage to the body or the psyche of you or your partners." (http://Russianmartialart.com)
Systema has no formal structure when a person comes to train with their study group. They could train in their ecovillage on weekdays, or in the town square, possibly in a squatted camp high up in the mountain, or behind the barricades of our most sought after dreams. The martial training style starts with drills, helps to unmask and work through personal trauma, builds spiritual understanding, and is then closed with a group dialogue to understand the experiences of the participants.
"Reinforcing this emphasis on adaptability was the absence of a formal army to protect the people. As civilian warriors, fighters of this era required an art that was quick and easy to learn on top of their daily obligations as farmers, hunters and merchants. Emphasis was placed on natural body movements and the goal of training was always to improve health and general well-being in the process, while mastering the art of fighting." (http://combatsystema.com)
Martial arts originally came from the people to protect the land and territory they inhabited. This piece is a small, but minor proposal for radicals to try Systema and to make it a given element in our communities and regions.
Here is a piece called "Of Martial Traditions" by the anarchist author Seaweed:
"Even those of us in apparently open and peaceful countries are deeply involved in a war. It is a social and a political war. It is a war of ideology versus freedom of thought. It is a war of industrialism against healthy environments. It is a war between the included and the excluded.
The vast majority of the world’s population consists of defeated peoples in this war. And in fact, we are more than just defeated. We are kept. Kept in fear, kept in awe, kept out of touch with each other and the earth that gives us life. It has been said that our chains are long and our cages big, yet this still implies that we are prisoners. Coercion is everywhere, including the necessity to sell our labor for a wage, forced obedience to laws, conscription in imperial armies and compulsory moralities and schooling.
The occupying physical forces are essentially the police and the army. Over the centuries we’ve internalized much of the values and ideas of the conquerors. Most of us have now been assimilated into the ways of the obedient and the domesticated. But I’d like to explore our physical occupation, not the various skins that we must shed and the fears we must lose. If people want to claim space then they have to be prepared to fight and defend it. This space could be permanent (a liberated region or village) or temporary (squats, wilderness camps, legally and illegally built shelters or autonomous neighborhoods). It could be based in village or regional secessionist movements, access to land by popular movements or indigenous assertion over traditional territories."
Here are some links if anyone is interested. I hope this piece generates some discussion.
Systema Summer Camp: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgou0njmguI
Systema Psychic Extension: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWE7kCXnRd0
Systema Strike Work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9PLm5qbrJU&list=PLC1044D35DBCF8C80
There are plenty of videos out there to view this!
In solidarity,
Howle

no

systema is bullshit. instead of doing a made-up magical russian martial art of dubious origin just do a real one and learn combat sambo

all martial arts were made up at some point. just because a style is old doesn't mean it's better. mma didn't exist 20 years ago.

yes, and saying that your martial art was secretly used by cossacks for a million years but no one knew about it is dubious. Lying about origin should be a red flag when lots of the concepts seem to have little to do with any existing philosophical tradition or movement tradition. Russians love chinese and japanese mysticism, but they hate people from the asian pacific, so a couple of conmen made up so goofy shit and nerds buy it.

MMA has always existed, always, forever. The organized sport has only existed for like twenty something years. So what?

doesn't radical just mean something like getting to the root of things, from the latin radix, meaning root"? so, i think Howle's piece is worth considering. Systema is apparently a very unusual martial art, no memorizing moves, emphasizes innovation, etc.

the etymology of words doesnt is not quite their "meaning"

systema just sounds gay

Martial arts are about self defence, and training the body and mind. The health and well-being of the individual and the society are mutually dependent.

As for 'hierarchies' (aka authorities), there's a BIG difference between legitimate and illegitimate authorities. As a student (of anything) I will accept that the person/people I hope to learn from has a legitimate authority in the subject I am hoping to learn about, whether it be carpentry, farming or martial arts. This does not mean that they have authority in any other aspect of existence, but to deny the legitimate authority of subject that an expert has is quite simple stupidity.

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