Boxing and karma

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Boxing and karma

Postby Stephen K » Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:20 pm

Just out of curiousity, do boxers create negative karma when they play their sport?
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Re: Boxing and karma

Postby Individual » Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:53 pm

I think so. Violence is regarded as unwholesome.

From playing their sport, boxers get cauliflower ear:
Image

They lose teeth:
Image

Worst of all, they have brain damage... And they are often exploited financially by their managers. In some cases, especially unregulated MMA, a person can even die from such activities. Then there is also the organized crime involved in running boxing rackets, where the matches are fixed.
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Re: Boxing and karma

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:03 pm

Inflicting violence is bad, but in boxing it is consensual. There are some drawbacks to boxing such as the above, but there are drawbacks in most livelihoods and corruption in most livelihoods.

The intent is to "entertain" though it is not entertainment for me, personally. :smile:
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Re: Boxing and karma

Postby Individual » Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:25 pm

TheDhamma wrote:Inflicting violence is bad, but in boxing it is consensual. There are some drawbacks to boxing such as the above, but there are drawbacks in most livelihoods and corruption in most livelihoods.

The intent is to "entertain" though it is not entertainment for me, personally. :smile:

In the Talaputa Sutta, the Buddha mentions how a seemingly benign livelihood like being a comedian or actor can lead to rebirth in hell. If this is true for comedy or acting, why not boxing? If a person boxes out of greed for wealth and status, and his career encourages a lust for violence in others, this is really no different than a vulgar and foolish comedian.
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Re: Boxing and karma

Postby cooran » Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:50 pm

Hello all,

In order to be able to engage in a boxing match with monetary prize or not, one first has to have a lifestyle where the training is about how to inflict the maximum damage on an oponent, how to continue attacking a weakening opponent, how to rejoice in his injury and show no mercy - all for the money or prestige. It is not done out of kindness to 'entertain' people. There would also be the kamma of encouraging unwholesome mindstates in those watching. All involved create bad results for themselves - the promoters, the owners of the venue, the fighters and those who watch and enjoy.

Evil kamma is made whenever one supports and encourages the evil deeds of others. Fox-hunting, fishing, horse-racing, boxing, etc., all encourage violence of one kind or another. Football, rugby, ice-hockey, and other contact sports also involve incidental violence and injury, but that is not their aim, so one will not make evil kamma unless one approves of violent tactics contrary to the spirit of fair play.
http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Ledi/Intox ... cants.html

197. And then there are certain respected samanas and brahmanas who, living on the food offered out' of faith (in kamma and its results), are given to watching (entertainment) that is a stumbling block to the attainment of morality. And what are such entertainments? They are: dancing, singing, music, shows, recitations, hand-clapping, brass-instrument-playing, drum-playing, art exhibitions, playing with an iron ball, bamboo raising games, rituals of washing the bones of the dead, elephant-fights, horse-fights, buffalo-fights, bull-fights, goat-fights, sheep-fights, cock-fights, quail-fights, fighting with quarter-staffs, boxing, wrestling, military tattoos, military reviews, route-marches and troop-movements. A bhikkhu abstains from watching (entertainments) that is a stumbling block to the attainment of morality. This also is one of the precepts of his morality.
http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/samana1.htm

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Re: Boxing and karma

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:16 pm

Individual wrote:In the Talaputa Sutta, the Buddha mentions how a seemingly benign livelihood like being a comedian or actor can lead to rebirth in hell. If this is true for comedy or acting, why not boxing? If a person boxes out of greed for wealth and status, and his career encourages a lust for violence in others, this is really no different than a vulgar and foolish comedian.

True, but then do we also want to ban actors and comedians and put them in the camp of wrong livelihood?

During the Buddha's time, I think the actors were seen as deceivers and looked down upon in that way. Today actors sometimes portray positive traits, even Dhammic overtones of wholesome behavior and provide good moral lessons (if it is a good script).
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Re: Boxing and karma

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:20 pm

Chris wrote: Football, rugby, ice-hockey, and other contact sports also involve incidental violence and injury, but that is not their aim, so one will not make evil kamma unless one approves of violent tactics contrary to the spirit of fair play.


Really? It is not the aim to tackle and bring down the opposing player in rugby, hockey, and football? Must be a U.S. thing, I guess because here the players definitely try to bring them down.

A bhikkhu abstains from watching (entertainments) that is a stumbling block to the attainment of morality.[/color] This also is one of the precepts of his morality.
http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/samana1.htm


Yes, it would be unseemly for monks to be seen sitting around and watching sports and other entertainments, but this is not a rule for lay people.
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Re: Boxing and karma

Postby Stephen K » Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:30 pm

TheDhamma wrote:
Chris wrote: Football, rugby, ice-hockey, and other contact sports also involve incidental violence and injury, but that is not their aim, so one will not make evil kamma unless one approves of violent tactics contrary to the spirit of fair play.


Really? It is not the aim to tackle and bring down the opposing player in rugby, hockey, and football? Must be a U.S. thing, I guess because here the players definitely try to bring them down.

In football (soccer) players usually go for the ball, rather than aim at bringing the opponent down.
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Re: Boxing and karma

Postby cooran » Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:31 pm

The whole point of boxing is to punch and inflict pain and suffering sufficient to knock the opponent out of the contest.

This is not the main aim of other sports.

All drama and cinema encourage illusion, and most competing for the box office are based on crime, sex, or delusion of one sort or another.

But boxings' main aim is to inflict damage and pain on the opponent in order to overcome him. This cannot be done without continual unwholesome mindstates.

Those who support it, and those who make money directly or indirectly from it accumulate unwholesome kamma.

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Re: Boxing and karma

Postby Individual » Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:59 pm

TheDhamma wrote:
Individual wrote:In the Talaputa Sutta, the Buddha mentions how a seemingly benign livelihood like being a comedian or actor can lead to rebirth in hell. If this is true for comedy or acting, why not boxing? If a person boxes out of greed for wealth and status, and his career encourages a lust for violence in others, this is really no different than a vulgar and foolish comedian.

True, but then do we also want to ban actors and comedians and put them in the camp of wrong livelihood?

During the Buddha's time, I think the actors were seen as deceivers and looked down upon in that way. Today actors sometimes portray positive traits, even Dhammic overtones of wholesome behavior and provide good moral lessons (if it is a good script).

The kamma of boxing and the kamma of trying to ban boxing are two separate issues. A person can recognize the unskillfulness of stepping on a piece of glass without believing it's skillful to eliminate all glass everywhere.

Although it is theoretically possible, I can scarcely think of an actual example where a person could be an entirely "wholesome" fighter, in a full-contact sport like boxing or MMA.
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Re: Boxing and karma

Postby Dhammanando » Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:57 am

Hi David,

TheDhamma wrote:Really? It is not the aim to tackle and bring down the opposing player in rugby, hockey, and football? Must be a U.S. thing, I guess because here the players definitely try to bring them down.


As Ledi Sayadaw ordained very young and was reputedly strict in his Vinaya observance, I suspect he may not have had a very accurate idea about rugby etc.

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Re: Boxing and karma

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Jun 09, 2009 1:09 am

Dhammanando wrote:As Ledi Sayadaw ordained very young and was reputedly strict in his Vinaya observance, I suspect he may not have had a very accurate idea about rugby etc.

Hi Bhante,

:D Thanks.

In the U.S., in rugby (rarely played), hockey, and American football, the intent is definitely to bring the other players down. But if you have not watched much sports, I suppose you could get that wrong. In the U.S. I think there are more deaths, paralysis, and injuries from American football than there is from boxing.

Now there is UFC, MMA, and probably some others that make boxing look pretty tame, though I know that still does not condone or justify boxing.

On another note, Buddhism has a pretty long history with a connection with the martial arts, though not much with the Theravada.
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Re: Boxing and karma

Postby Individual » Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:08 am

I think that boxing is closer to MMA, whereas stuff like football and other sports would be a grey area, as with rugby... The goal is to take the person down, but not to cause serious injury, especially in American football, where this would be various penalties in different contexts. Actually, I'm not too familiar with rugby, but I suspect it's as dangerous as boxing. I think I've heard of players dying before.

TheDhamma wrote:On another note, Buddhism has a pretty long history with a connection with the martial arts, though not much with the Theravada.

Its connection with martial arts is different in character, though: Its connection was for the sake of self-defense, artistic form, and mental discipline, not for the sake of aggression, personal fame, or violent entertainment.
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Re: Boxing and karma

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:37 am

buddhism's conection with martial arts is mostly myth though, at least in china* . in japan they had warrior monks that fought monks from other sects over temples, land and political issues.. not very buddhist at all. not too sure about other buddhist cultures.


*MA for health reasons the earliest i can date is Sun Lutang (孫祿堂, 1861-1932), the founder of sun taichi. the earliest conection of bodhidharma with shaolin kung fu is a novel writen post the boxer rebellion.
also qigong IMO is not a martial art but more akin to yoga so i'm not counting that
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Re: Boxing and karma

Postby Jechbi » Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:09 am

Buddhist boxing gym
BOULDER, Colo. — Only in Boulder: a Buddhist boxing gym.

The walls of Front Range Boxing are lined with Lao Tzo quotes, alongside photos of Dave Gaudette with famous boxers and trainers.

Gaudette was 16 years old when he fell in love with boxing. Another twist: At the time, he was studying to be a Franciscan priest.

"I've always been drawn toward the ultimate, the bigger picture," he says. "Every once in a while, the time and the ego melts away. And that's the closest you're ever going to get to God. I'm talking about the 'dis-ease' of philosophy. If you're satisfied with everything, there's no impulse to look beyond your next experience."

He continues, without a breath in between: "Do you know the story of the Buddha?"

...
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
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