Block or get out of the way

August 26, 2007

“White belts block. Black belts get out of the way.” – Overheard in the locker room of J. K. Lee Black Belt Academy

It was an observation about sparring, meaning that the more experienced practitioner is better at simply not being there when his or her opponent tries to land a punch or a kick. But I think it applies in a more general way, too. Steering away from conflict before it becomes violent is usually the wisest course.

Does this have relevance for blogging and online communities? In the many heated political debates I have been involved in I have seen tempers flare, insults hurled, and – rarely – even threats made. But if you engage in these debates and you are threatened by someone, does it make sense to continue? Maybe it’s wiser to avoid these kinds of conflicts by simply not being there.


No comments yet

  1. In today’s world you just never know. My first thought is that people talk big when in the confines of their home engaging relatively anonymously in the blog world. But, I too have seen some very heated off the scale remarks blogged.

    Why take a chance? How well do we really know everyone?

    I agree. Walk away.

  2. I have always taught me children to use words, then if that fails, leave. The only time they were permitted to use physical force was if they had no choice: cornered, outnumbered, knocked down. They had not had martial arts training, by the way.

    Now, as teenagers, they agree with what I had taught them. 🙂

  3. Yeah… you talk big now, like you’re better than the rest of us. I oughtta come out there and watch Sara kick your a$$.


  4. First, a story. My son got himself into a fight once. Only once. He was 10 years old, but already had a good deal of martial arts training. It was the other kid who became violent first. Dan defended himself and won. That was, however, when the adult authorities became involved and treated him as the aggressor. That was, I think, the worst part of it for him: being mistaken for the villain. All was explained and put right shortly thereafter, but I think it hurt him more than the physical fight itself.

    I didn’t have it in me to punish him for his behavior. He’d tried to get an adult involved. He wasn’t the instigator of the violence. He defended himself admirably. Not bad for a 10 year old.

    Don’t bring Sara into this. She has teh black belt in cool. Her chic-fu is strong.

  5. As Fonzie has taught us, cool trumps a black belt anyday.

  6. I learned to avoid punches at an early age. Yes, I fought a lot as a kid. When I started in Tae Kwan Do, that only enhanced my avoidance ability. Good one, Scott. Yes, it does have life applications. That’s why I’ve always loved Martial Arts. Wish I had more time…

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