Sunday, July 20, 2014

Why the Elephant Logo?

 Why the Elephant Logo? by W. Hock Hochheim

     Happened again today. A few always ask, "Hock, why an elephant as a logo?" For starters, I was looking for something different from the usual "fists, sticks, ... etc. 

     Veteran insiders in the military and police world have long used the expressions shown below when talking about experienced operators.

     “Work with him! He's seen the elephant,"
     "Train with him - he's seen the elephant."

     The elephant symbol and expression has come to represent real action and real experience. If you can't live it, then train with the people who have ... kind of thing. The training mission is to collect this type of information.

     That is why I selected the elephant as the CQC emblem. We try to be a repository for as much of this type of information as possible. Our books have true stories from all kinds of vets, this talk forum, etc. It is a never-ending and somewhat ever-changing process, of course.

     The mad elephant is really the symbol of the CQC Group, shown here on this page to the left. The SFC Congress - the big umbrella - has the classic eagle. We have other symbols. The knife course has its logo. The PAC course, its logo. The Stick course has two logos actually, the two fists on a stick and the radical Killshot skull logo.

     The elephant in the room. We already know about the "seen the elephant" phrase, but another one of the main reasons I have chosen the angry elephant as the symbol for CQC Group is that it represents the old expression, the "elephant in the room." The big elephant in the room is symbolic of the unspoken truth that so many know but so few dare to talk about. In one definition, the room is the martial arts room, or dojo if you will, and the unspoken truth is that common martial arts are abstract renderings of realistic fighting in a mixed weapon world.

     Another point is the unspoken and missed aspect of the room itself. Where IS the "room" you are fighting in? You cannot properly train for a fight unless you know where the fight will actually be.

     Missing in the dojo is the real context of the fight. What will be the real, chaotic situation in which the fight will actually occur? There is an elephant in the room when it comes to traditional martial arts.

     I also thought that the "Elephant and the Blind Men" story was such an interesting study. People only perceive what they touch in the story and cannot describe the elephant.

     Soldiers, cops, and fighters train in this small-minded manner, also.

            - each martial art is but a blind man's perception.
            - each martial sport is but a blind man's perception.
            - we forget the bigger picture, often completely naive and ignorant of it.

     The raging elephant logo represents this issue. Probably, directly hunting the elephant and getting guides to hunt the elephant has to be origin of the expression. Hunters always wanted a guide who has "seen the elephant."

     But it caught on worldwide as having been experienced in something round and/or dangerous.

     It was used for war vets in the Civil War or if pioneers made it all across the Oregon Trail.
It was somewhat popular in the 1900s on to maybe the 1980s. Or so.  Nowadays people do not use it in their vernacular, and it means little to folks without an explanation.


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