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I am taking martial arts classes, and I keep having same sort of conversation with the instructor:

Him: "Hey, be more aggressive. Get in there with a couple of combinations."

Me: "I don't feel aggressive."

Him: "Pretend you're kids and he's your brother. Think about the way you and your own brother used to fight as kids."

Me: "My brother and I didn't do that."

Him: "Okay, think about mixing it up in a basketball game, and - "

Me: "I've never played."

Him: "But you've watched it."

Me: "No."

Him: "What sports do you watch?"

Me: "I don't."

Him: "Well, you've seen people fighting before."

Me: "Only in the movies."

Him: "You've never seen a real-live fight before?"

Me: "Nope. Never."

Him: "You're how old?"

It's true. I have never, in 39 years of living, seen two live people fight one another. I think it's possible that as soon as I got a whiff of potential conflict, I went elsewhere. The bottom line is, I have no comprehension of what would prompt one person to become violently aggressive toward another. I have never experienced that state of mind. I've always known that if I ever determined that I had no choice but to kill someone, that person would die. I would simply methodically, efficiently, and dispassionately apply the most lethal force available. But beyond that, until I have arrived at the very end of need, I can't comprehend aggression. Anybody have any insights?


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Cerb, I just finished Hard Rain, by Barry Eisler. It's set in Japan, so that was a plus for me, but there's some good fighting scenes and...erm, what goes on in the person's head. Yes, that.


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My brothers are attempting to make me love Jackie Chan and other films of his genre. They're succeeding.

I haven't kicked the shit out of anyone since I was in fifth grade, but that was more blind and desperate self-defense in a schoolyard where, in addition to the standard bullying the teachers never saw fit to stop, I was also receiving death threats from a harelipped creep with a vendetta against my father. I think I was justified.

I took capoiera for a bit. I sucked mightily.

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Fight Club, the movie might provide you some inspiration Doctor of the Deep. That's cool that you're doing that. I think it will help you get rid of some anger you don't know you have. <stroke Lily's Freudian beard>

I grok. You grok we alll grok, even Olga!



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My husband had tried to teach our youngest (pdd-nos) how to hit. Hubby and my oldest had taken martial arts classes and were trying to show Max how to defend himself. Max understand's MAD and ANGRY, but he would hit himself...or the poor hollow core doors. Never another person.

There are times when Max would have been totally justified in popping his brother in the mouth, but he could never do it.

Nope...not a lot of fighting between my boys. They actually got along very well as kids. Only 16 months apart in age, they always found ways to interact and play together depite their completely different hard-wiring.

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I don't really have any interest in hurting anyone if at all possible (disarm, disable, damage, destroy, in that order, with the last two only in life-threatening situations if possible...definitely the last one...which is why I'd like to learn something like Aikido), but I don't have a problem with being aggressive in a situation like what you're describing where it's "ok" to be for whatever reason.

I used to fool around with a couple people on the wrestling team in high school when they were trying to get me to join (before I dropped out of school) and have played various sports over the years, some on real teams, some not, some of which have involved plenty of contact. When we played football, we were pretty aggressive, and we knocked each other down all the time.

With football or wrestling or sparring at your lessons, it might help to have some of the same energy as in a "real" fight, but it's not the same thing; you're not trying to damage/destroy your opponent. It does help to have some of the heightened competitiveness (but not carried away like some people, since you're supposed to still be learning together, although I don't see this as your problem, heh) and "look what I can do" that sometimes comes with it.

It's a challenge, a chance to test what you can do, and to show them what you can do. When you get into it, it becomes the same thing to them, too. It forces them to raise the level of what they're doing to meet you, and there's more tension. When all of those things become more important, it can force you to focus even more on what you're doing. Hooray for the fight or flight response. When it kicks in and you can keep it under control, it's pretty useful.

I guess the moral of this somewhat meandering story is that you have to invest yourself in it somewhat and have some sort of reason you're doing it, whether it's to defend yourself, because you like competition, just for the sake of hitting things really hard, or for whatever other reason you come up with, or you won't have anything to build on. If you do find something, it can be fun and exciting, but without that base, it will probably be hard to put anything on top of it. In my completely non-professional opinion, of course.

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