Violent sports

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Training of Sila, the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).

Re: Violent sports

Postby santa100 » Fri May 10, 2013 5:00 pm

Alex123 wrote:
That interesting perspective. Another thing: Is it possible to use combat styles to protect sangha, and aryans from harm that some deranged person can inflict on them?


Shaolin monks?... :smile:
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Re: Violent sports

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri May 10, 2013 5:20 pm

Rather than training women or monks to defend themselves, it would be better to train would-be attackers to control their lust and anger. India needs to address the underlying unskilful social attitudes towards women, and not just patch a festering wound with a band-aid.
Whatever (harm) a foe may do to a foe, or a hater to a hater,
an ill-directed mind can do one far greater (harm).Dhp.42
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Re: Violent sports

Postby Alex123 » Fri May 10, 2013 5:22 pm

Dear Bhante,

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Rather than training women or monks to defend themselves, it would be better to train would-be attackers to control their lust and anger. India needs to address the underlying unskilful social attitudes towards women, and not just patch a festering wound with a band-aid.


While this is correct, it is very idealistic. We cannot expect that everyone will be good and wise. It is just not realistic for today.

It is better to aim for lesser, but achievable goal, then to aim for the best one that cannot be achieved at all.

    "Perfect is the enemy of good."
”Even the water melting from the snow-capped peaks finds its way to the ocean."
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Re: Violent sports

Postby marc108 » Sat May 11, 2013 12:37 am

LonesomeYogurt wrote:One should be especially mindful during these activities so as to make sure that unwholesome aggression does not arise - however, if one accepts the risks and acts to mitigate them, sports like boxing or the martial arts can be fun and productive forms of entertainment and exercise.



:goodpost:
"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."
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Re: Violent sports

Postby zamotcr » Thu Nov 28, 2013 8:32 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:There are some grey areas here. Sports that inflict pain and injury on others is not wholesome exercise, even if human beings are able to consent to being hit or injured by participating in such sports


Kamma is volitional. It depends upon intention. So, why, if two human beings consent, is bad thing?
I cannot find a reference that practicing martial arts (a kind of training) is a bad thing. Of course, you may talk at Bhikkhu POV, but at a lay point of view, I cannot find something bad about it. It does not break any of the precepts.
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Re: Violent sports

Postby kmath » Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:04 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote: Spectators who consent to or approve of cruel and harsh treatment of animals, suffer in hell or are reborn as hungry ghosts. Many such cases are mentioned in the Pali texts.


But it's ok to buy meat at the grocery store?
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Re: Violent sports

Postby kmath » Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:10 pm

pilgrim wrote:What do you think of Buddhists taking up sports like
1. Martial arts
2. Boxing/wrestling
3. Paintball/Airsoft


I couldn't live without aggressive sports. I find them cathartic. If some aggression arises here or there, I still think their overall effect for me is positive.
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Re: Violent sports

Postby mahat » Fri Nov 29, 2013 6:34 pm

Indeed, sometimes aggression helps to pulverize evil samkharas. This is the "Right Effort" aspect in the Noble Eightfold Path. Buddhists must maintain "viriya" or energy to destroy any evil arising in themselves at ALL TIMES.

You can utilize the energy arisen from martial arts and other violent sports to decimate impurities also to realize the impermanence of all samskaras and bring about fearlessness. One can never fear violence.
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Re: Violent sports

Postby Mkoll » Fri Nov 29, 2013 6:45 pm

"Monks, these eight worldly conditions spin after the world, and the world spins after these eight worldly conditions. Which eight? Gain, loss, status, disgrace, censure, praise, pleasure, & pain. These are the eight worldly conditions that spin after the world, and the world spins after these eight worldly conditions.

-AN 8.6
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Re: Violent sports

Postby zamotcr » Sat Nov 30, 2013 12:14 am

Mkoll wrote:
"Monks, these eight worldly conditions spin after the world, and the world spins after these eight worldly conditions. Which eight? Gain, loss, status, disgrace, censure, praise, pleasure, & pain. These are the eight worldly conditions that spin after the world, and the world spins after these eight worldly conditions.

-AN 8.6


Of course that's the goal but we aren't monks neither. If we apply this reasoning to every aspect of our lives then we have to be almost monks. We should abstain from everything, not just sports. Of course if you don't like them, don't practice it.

But saying that a thing by itself is unwholesome it's weird, unwholesome are a mental condition.
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Re: Violent sports

Postby greenjuice » Sun Dec 01, 2013 11:15 am

James the Giant wrote:The intention in those sports is to have fun, exercise, develop skills, socialise.
If the intention was to kick some arse and be violent, that'd be a different story.

That's motivation, not intention. Intention is concerned with concrete actions, and the opposite of intentional is unintentional, accidental. The rule in Vinaya that I know of that concerns violence to others (without intention to kill) says that it is unwholesome to do violence to others out of anger or displeausure, but that it is not unwholesome to do violence out of self-defense. Violence with the motivation of having fun is not mentioned. Maybe in another rule, but idk. There are rules that forbid swimming or hiding someone's belongings for fun, but I don't think those are to be applicable to laypeople.

Alex123 wrote:Another thing: Is it possible to use combat styles to protect sangha, and aryans from harm that some deranged person can inflict on them?

Perfectly fine. According to Tipitaka, vinaya rule Pc 74, there is nothing unwholesome in doing violence in defense.
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Re: Violent sports

Postby Mkoll » Sun Dec 01, 2013 8:39 pm

zamotcr wrote:
Mkoll wrote:
"Monks, these eight worldly conditions spin after the world, and the world spins after these eight worldly conditions. Which eight? Gain, loss, status, disgrace, censure, praise, pleasure, & pain. These are the eight worldly conditions that spin after the world, and the world spins after these eight worldly conditions.

-AN 8.6


Of course that's the goal but we aren't monks neither. If we apply this reasoning to every aspect of our lives then we have to be almost monks. We should abstain from everything, not just sports. Of course if you don't like them, don't practice it.

But saying that a thing by itself is unwholesome it's weird, unwholesome are a mental condition.

The point of me posting that sutta was just to bring the Buddha's teaching on the 8 worldly conditions forth for those who have not heard them before. Even if one chooses to immerse themselves in the world, it is good to know this teaching because one is that much closer to wisdom.

:anjali:
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Re: Violent sports

Postby Anagarika » Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:01 pm

I happen to judge professional MMA events, and also attend Muay Thai events when I am in Thailand. I can vouch for the integrity of most of the combatants, as the level of sportsmanship and respect is very high among the fighters. Still, I have some concern about being in a sport where violence occurs, and has inflicting effective damage on another as one of its scoring criteria. I took some comfort in the idea that as a young prince, the Buddha likely (due to his status) was around archery and martial arts. I took further comfort when listening to Ven. Thanissaro speak of the balanced fighting stance of a Muay Thai fighter as being analogous to the firm foundation needed for meditation. Ajahn Geoff spoke of being around Muay Thai when he was a young man teaching in Chiang Mai.

I hope that my involvement is not contrary to what the Dhamma would require. When in doubt, I think of someone that I met a few years ago, Phra Khru Bah of Thailand, a former Muay Thai fighter turned Bhikkhu that now runs the Golden Horse Temple for orphaned boys. A very compelling man who uses Muay Thai as part of his discipline training for the young men he trains. His story is here for anyone not familiar:

http://youtu.be/wNEBXxahCH8
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Re: Violent sports

Postby zamotcr » Wed Dec 04, 2013 2:19 pm

greenjuice wrote:That's motivation, not intention. Intention is concerned with concrete actions, and the opposite of intentional is unintentional, accidental. The rule in Vinaya that I know of that concerns violence to others (without intention to kill) says that it is unwholesome to do violence to others out of anger or displeausure, but that it is not unwholesome to do violence out of self-defense. Violence with the motivation :hug: of having fun is not mentioned. Maybe in another rule, but idk. There are rules that forbid swimming or hiding someone's belongings for fun, but I don't think those are to be applicable to laypeople.


As far as I know Vinaya is for monks not for laity. For laicism only the 5 precepts are necessary.
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Re: Violent sports

Postby greenjuice » Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:37 pm

Vinaya can help clarify lay precepts. E.g. vinaya rules against killing humans, doing violence to humans or against killing animals can be used to better understand the first precept, rules concerning sexuality can be used to clarify the third uposatha/ anagarika precept, also it should be noted that the five precept are just the beginning of lay ethics, being that they don't even cover all the unwholesome acts that can lead to bad rebirths.
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Re: Violent sports

Postby zamotcr » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:20 pm

greenjuice wrote:Vinaya can help clarify lay precepts. E.g. vinaya rules against killing humans, doing violence to humans or against killing animals can be used to better understand the first precept, rules concerning sexuality can be used to clarify the third uposatha/ anagarika precept, also it should be noted that the five precept are just the beginning of lay ethics, being that they don't even cover all the unwholesome acts that can lead to bad rebirths.


Previous kamma can lead us to bad rebirths. But following the 5 precepts, taking refuge in the triple realm how can then one reborn in a bad destination? Which other acts can lead someone to bad destination? :thinking:
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Re: Violent sports

Postby Mkoll » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:45 pm

zamotcr wrote:
greenjuice wrote:Vinaya can help clarify lay precepts. E.g. vinaya rules against killing humans, doing violence to humans or against killing animals can be used to better understand the first precept, rules concerning sexuality can be used to clarify the third uposatha/ anagarika precept, also it should be noted that the five precept are just the beginning of lay ethics, being that they don't even cover all the unwholesome acts that can lead to bad rebirths.


Previous kamma can lead us to bad rebirths. But following the 5 precepts, taking refuge in the triple realm how can then one reborn in a bad destination? Which other acts can lead someone to bad destination? :thinking:

Here's an example off the top of my head: one who has taken refuge and doesn't break precepts but is gluttonous, lazy and given to inaction, slanders others/speaks harshly/speaks idly, and does all sorts of unwise things but doesn't break the precepts. But who can say whether that person will be born in a good or bad destination? It bears well to keep in mind that attachment to rites and rituals does not take one to enlightenment.

Regardless, there is an urgency to attain stream-entry and cut the first 3 fetters to ensure no more bad rebirths.
Peace,
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Re: Violent sports

Postby greenjuice » Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:24 am

Ten unwholesome actions, injuring a Buddha, creating a schism in the Sangha and being quarrelsome and annoying are thirteen different courses of action that can lead to rebirth in states of deprivation as an angry ghost, hungry ghost, animal or in hell. Five precepts cover only the first four of the ten unwholesome actions.
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Re: Violent sports

Postby guyfromlouisiana » Sun Dec 08, 2013 1:30 am

I've spent a tremendous amount of time over the past few years thinking about this topic, as it pertains to American football. I was a big American football fan since I was a boy, but for two years now I haven't watched more than a few minutes, and I no longer cheer for any team. Scientists have been discovering for the past decade that an unknown number of players -- quite possibly a great many players -- sustain terrible brain damage and develop an illness called chronic traumatic encephalopathy that leads to early dementia, violent outbursts, depression, and frequently suicide. Here's one recent article on this issue: http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/99322 ... src=mobile

I cheered for my team -- the New Orleans Saints -- for many years and I loved the players. I can't stand watching my favorite players slowly kill themselves. I think of my metta practice. "May all beings be safe from danger." Well, these players are certainly not safe from danger; by some estimates they sustain thousands of concussive and near-concussive hits to the head over their careers. "May all beings be mentally happy." This sport systematically destroys the mind. "May all beings be physically well." American football has long been known to leave players completely physically broken when they retire. "May all beings live with ease of well being." Again, systematic brain trauma and heightened risk for dementia cannot be classified as "living with ease."

So I spent much of my life cheering for football players to defeat (destroy is a better term) other football players. Why? For the honor of my city! For social interaction! For entertainment! There's nothing honorable about what is going on in American football -- especially since league doctors for decades denied that there was any increased risk of brain disease. Once I knew the damage being inflicted on countless plays every year, on each player on every single team, the game was no longer entertaining to me.

There's a great karmic cloud over the United States on the issue of American football, which is the country's most popular form of entertainment. I believe most Americans are choosing to live in denial or willful ignorance about this issue. It upsets me quite a lot, actually.
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Re: Violent sports

Postby Dhammanando » Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:57 am

guyfromlouisiana wrote:I believe most Americans are choosing to live in denial or willful ignorance about this issue.


To say nothing of the cheerleading that accompanies this Neanderthal recreation.

The Dangers of Cheerleading

Cheerleading: The Most Dangerous Sport in the World
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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