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Monday, June 5, 2017

Censorship or Genron dan'atsu [言論弾圧; Suppression of Speech]

Blog Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

Censorship is the suppression or prohibition of any parts of words, deeds, and expressions; books, films, news, etc., that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat.

Suppression of one’s speech; suppression of one’s actions; suppression of one’s deeds; suppression of one’s words, ideas, theories, beliefs, etc. In Martial Arts and Karate communities there is a huge amount of censorship. It comes when anyone talks, writes, or demonstrates an opinion, idea, theory or concept that does not meet the beliefs of another in receipt of said information, data or practices. It comes with an emotional immature reaction of loud, screaming, spittle producing in your face responses inappropriate to communications so that one is literally forced to believe without mutual productive discussions and communications toward a sole goal of knowledge, understanding and change (when appropriate to the shift of any paradigm). 

For instance, I was once a member of a Facebook wall of a very proficient karate-ka until it got to a point that person could not accept any counter-communications that would refute or challenge their beliefs so that led to my being let go of said wall and group. It was stated in some form that, “I was always dissing him,” so I could not be his friend anymore on FB. Before I continue, that is and was his privilege and as I have a great deal of respect for him and his ability, knowledge and experience in karate I did not take it personal. 

In another instance I spoke in words that were perceived by the wall owner as disparaging remarks about his Sensei’s family member. In truth, the remarks were not kind but they were true as can be attested by those who accompanied me on that occasion when the event occurred. I have a great deal of respect for that person and his feelings on the instance in question but here is the critically important part. He sent me a personal text message and politely explained to me his feelings and his actions would be to remove the comment that offended him. I agreed and thanked him profusely for his letting me know but here is the kicker, he DID NOT unfriend me or remove me from the group. I can and do still comment and participate on his wall while respecting his wishes as to the content of comments. 

It becomes apparent quickly in such media types of communications as to whether one or the other is going to censor your stuff according to their set beliefs, etc., and they often spell our rules to say the same. Most have rules that are general such as not political stuff, no disparaging remarks and not profanity, etc., so it is easy to see when you cross the line but where my line resides is when the communications exchange is censored because it factually or theoretically refutes something written, said or taught without further communications and the accepted possibility that what is said or written or taught is factually true is censorship. Yes, if the theory or idea or fact is presented in a way that is personally attacking another then set that person straight but don’t censor the information. Refute it back, present the facts to your side and allow a proper relevant communication exist so all parties can participate, learn, understand and shift/change for the better. 

I once held a most dogmatic restrictive belief in my karate and its traditions, history and other such teachings until one day another person presented information that triggered a mind shift, a paradigm shift in thinking, that allowed me to grow, prosper and better understand all aspects of martial arts and karate that led to the more relative way of the tao, so to speak, to better grow in depth and breadth my karate. 

It has led to my effort to question everything regardless, regardless of whether it is my sensei, another sensei or some luminary sensei who holds many years of proficient mastery over the subject because what I have learned is this, “We are human and subject to human foibles such as memory, biases and other effects that make a dogmatic adherence to a supposed belief and system questionable at all times.” Such an effort is about avoiding as many biases as possible including both cognizant dissonance and confirmation bias so one can grow and prosper and no remain mired in the quicksand of set traditional dogma, etc.

Recognizing when a tradition and/or belief is holding someone back vs. driving them forward to growth, prosperity and enlightenment is paramount to this effort of study, practice, application and understanding. If stagnation is perceived then it is necessary to seek out that which holds us back and change or remove it even if it is classified as tradition. The only set true tradition is a tradition of relevant change. Simply seeking out that which just self-serves confirmation of set static beliefs is non-productive. Challenging your own beliefs especially when they are uncomfortable and trigger the monkey brains, “I am gonna die if I do this” effect is necessary to stay relevant and productive and efficient to the times, the moments, of life. 

If you are challenges in what you believe take a moment and recognize the monkey kicking in to say, “Not my beliefs,” but letting the anxious stress feeling run its course then ask ourselves, “what is making me uncomfortable with that comment, fact, theory, or idea?” Then ask, “Is it possible then go about doing a fact check with one eye remaining on the confirmation biases so you don’t just seek out confirmation of your belief, etc.” 

Censorship or Genron dan’atsu is not productive, beneficial and supportive to growth in any endevor especially martial arts and karate for the more defensive intentions of practice and training. 

I have and always will invite and expect comments no matter how presented because in almost all cases there are always gems of fact and truth to dig out and check. If what I write, say or do goes against what you believe simply comment and present your side for consideration. You never know just how much more you grow when you are open to the possibilities. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

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