- between criticism and condemnation -
Sometimes it is hard to understand articles or comments about martial arts on the internet.
They are often unconditional condemnations, which are rather pollutions.
I know I should not say a bad thing about a writing in one's personal space, but quite often they condemn a martial art just because they don't like it without any experience or solid knowledge about it.
Nobody can master all the martial arts in the world.
We just understand others from years of our experience and training and they are incomplete.
It is because it is impossible to completely understand the know-how, the philosophy, and the movements accomplished over a long period of time, through a short video.
So we need to be open-minded toward fields we do not know well. We should also study. Then we can have some constructive discussion with rational criticism. A condemnation only degrades one's personality and yields nothing.
Wittgenstein once said, "what we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence."
Judging with short knowledge and narrow mind only reveals one's personality.
On the other hand, I find a reasonable criticism and sincere interest as a good thing.
A good criticism lets us look from another perspective and take a one step further.
A few years ago, when I was doing a research on Yetbeop Taekkyun, I asked Hyun-Woong Cho for an article about the development of Yetbeop Taekkyun in a positive direction. He not only wrote a good article, but also gave me a sincere advice. His friend, Sang-Wan Kim also sent me a critical article on Yetbeop Taekkyun research and they are still being a great help in my research until today. They showed me different perspectives on the research which I did not think of.
After reading the articles, I adjusted the direction of my research, and it became a chance to examine the theoretical basis. Such criticisms with interest and sincerity are very much appreciated. They become the power for improvement.
What is the 'aesthetic' of martial artists?
Wouldn't it be training every day with 'sweat',
ruling one's 'mind' through such training,
'respecting' others with the mind,
exchanging 'encouragement' and 'criticism' while respecting others,
and becoming 'friends' through genuine discussion?
I hope at least among martial artists there become a lot of people who truly understand 'aesthetic'.