Trash Talk Tuesday: Loaded Question

Time once again for us martial arts bloggers to learn:
1) How NOT to make a case for or against someone or something
2) Why certain comments set our teeth on edge
3) How to stay focused when discussing our arts

It’s Trash Talk Tuesday!

Cultist: So when are you going to start studying a real martial art?

White Belt:  I’m quite content with my dojo, thanks.

Sometimes loaded questions are asked out of sheer ignorance and/or arrogance.  However, all too often someone will come up with a loaded question in an attempt to make the other guy look bad.  The famous loaded question, “Have you stopped beating your wife?”  is an example of this.  Loaded questions sometimes are an attempt to manipulate people.  In my example, Cultist is trying to shame White Belt into joining Master Trik-Kee Woo’s organization.

To deal with loaded questions, find the assumptions.  Find the hidden questions.  Then answer accordingly.

Cultist’s question contains two assumptions:

1) White Belt is going to change schools
2) White Belt isn’t studying a legitimate martial art

The hidden question within the loaded question is whether White Belt is going to study a different martial art.

White Belt’s answer addresses the hidden question graciously.  He could choose to tell Cultist about what he likes about his dojo, relate his concerns about Master Trik-Kee Woo, or simply walk away.

If you’d like to learn more, you can follow along in the book The Fallacy Detective by Nathaniel Bluedorn and Hans Bluedorn

Author: Joelle White

I began training in Karate in June of 2014 after a 27 year hiatus.

2 thoughts on “Trash Talk Tuesday: Loaded Question”

  1. As an outsider looking in, I have to ask the question: What the definition of a “real” martial art? In my uneducated opinion I believe that all styles of martial arts have benefits to everyone. Course some styles may be right for some and not for others but who are we to judge or say that one style is the “real” one. If I studied say Shotokan Karate and someone said to me that I should take up “X’ because it’s better, I would just tell them that I’m happy with what I have and move on. I respect your opinion but no thank you. If after a while I don’t find what I’m studying fulfilling, I can always look elsewhere. But for someone to say that “X” or “Y” is a true martial art shows to be arrogant. And that has no place in the martial arts or being a black belt. Be humble, be respectful, be accepting, be a person of good character. Be a true martial artist. Well that’s my 2 cents. Hope you were able to make it to class last night. 😎 All the best and full respect

    1. Yep, for sure! Excellent thoughts and advice, Steve! I did make it to class yesterday afternoon, and I’ll be posting a blog about it and other adventures on Thursday. I had a very precious milestone. Exciting things are happening! Hope you can start having your own martial arts adventures soon 🙂

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