Origin of a Saying

Reply Wed 29 Jun, 2022 10:10 pm
Today, this is attributed to Wonder Woman...

"We have a saying, my people. Don’t kill if you can wound, don’t wound if you can subdue, don’t subdue if you can pacify, and don’t raise your hand at all until you’ve first extended it."

Now c'mon, I am pretty sure this is a much older saying than the Wonder woman comics or videos... I heard this one when I began training in karate in 1974, but I never knew who or where it came from originally. I think it was a bit more complex than the WW saying, too.

Does anyone know the real origin of this? I Googled it but most of the references are to Wonder Woman...!
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Reply Thu 30 Jun, 2022 06:55 am
I heard that same thing while watching an episode of the 70s Kung Fu series when I was in my teens. Young Caine asked his master what to do if attacked. The master repeated the same protocol you are asking about, with the exception that it begins with running like hell. So we know it goes back to at least the 70s. Smile
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Reply Thu 30 Jun, 2022 07:18 am
Here is something I wrote for fun some years ago concerning that very philosophy.

There came a time in life when I thought it prudent to pursue a path of nonviolence. If you've ever watched the Kung Fu TV series, you'd see that my decision was based on sound principles that were taught by the Shaolin Masters who taught young Caine (Grasshopper). In one episode, one of his masters tells him and the others that, though they were being taught Kung fu, it is best to avoid confrontation and walk the peaceful path.

"But master, what if someone is coming at me for the purpose of doing me harm," Caine asked. "Should I not then fight?"

The master replied, "No, Grasshopper. First you run."

I've seen martial-arts movies based on this principle, and they were b-o-r-i-n-g. The whole movie was nothing but a series of verbal confrontations followed by close-up camera-shots of some guy's legs running full speed to get away from his attacker. You'd really have to have a deep-seated leg fetish to get even halfway through one of those movies.

Going further still, Caine says, "But master, what if I cannot outrun my pursuer, and he catches me? Should I fight then?"

"No." the master replied, "In that case, you must then bind him, Grasshopper."

I haven't seen any martial arts movies based on this principle, but it would have to be even more boring than the movies showcasing the running-legs style Kung Fu. You'd have to be into bondage to enjoy something like that.

After thinking a bit, Caine asks, "But master, what if I am not strong enough to bind my attacker?"

The master answered, "Then, Grasshopper, you must maim him so that he can no longer pursue you."

Caine scratches his young, bald head and says, "But master, what if it's a girl? Should I maim even a girl?"

The master says, "Of course, Grasshopper. A bitch is a bitch, and must be treated as such. Indeed, maim her, lest she pursue you to the ends of the earth and be a scourge to you and your loved ones until the end of your days."

Caine thinks for a moment and then asks, "But master, what if I try to maim her, and she fights back and keeps trying to maim me? Should I not then fight?

The master sighed heavily while shaking his head. "Grasshopper, you aggressive little bastard you. You're just looking for a fight, aren't you?'

"No," Caine replied. "I just want to know what to do if I am unable to maim her and she keeps trying to maim me."
The master says, "Then, Grasshopper, you must fight her and kill her if you can."

After thinking a bit, Caine asks the master, "And what if I try to kill her, but she doesn't die because she's somehow a zombie or something and can't be killed? What then?"

The master gave another heavy sigh and said, "Then, Grasshopper, you are truly fucked. Run where you will and as far as you want, but she will eventually catch you and kill you with her teeth very slowly--Kung-Fu or no Kung-Fu. And then you, too, will be a zombie. And if that happens, don't even think about coming back to this temple because if you do, I will not hesitate to stab you in the face with the sharpest garden tool I can find; probably that small trowel that nobody uses because they keep cutting their fingers on it."

Horrified, Caine looked up into his master's eyes and said, "Really?"

"Of course not!" the master barked in a scolding tone. "No more TV for you, Grasshopper. It's turning you into a moron."

Anyway, these are the new principles by which I am going to attempt to reduce tension. I'm a little concerned, however, because in real life, I am easily caught because I'm not that fast of a runner. And since I rarely--if ever--carry any kind of twine to bind the bastard who catches me (plus, who sits still while you bind them, right), I'll be forced to kill him. I skipped over the maiming option because . . . well . . . quite frankly, maiming someone is actually counterproductive in this day and age because ultimately they plot revenge. Then the stalking begins, and you're screwed. Caine was traveling all the time; he didn't have an address with his name right on a frickin' mailbox, or a phone number right in the phone book like me. So I have to make adjustments to the principle, like skipping the maiming part and going right for the kill.
Reply Thu 30 Jun, 2022 07:43 am
Huh!! Reminds me of Catechism lessons, our nuns were tough.
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