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
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