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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 1999 3:06 pm 
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Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
I don't know if what I want to say will get across, but I'll give it a try. Perhaps others who know what I mean and are better writers than I will carry the message a little farther.

The purpose of this forum is information exchange, period. Unfortunately it sometimes degrades into political battles and personality clashes. To the extent that politics affect our ability to study the arts, then it is a relevant topic of discussion. But when the discussion becomes political warfare, then the purpose of the forum is lost. Fortunately the brief spats that have transpired on this forum are nothing compared to what I have seen elsewhere. One forum in particular that I subscribe to has been so bad lately that I only briefly scan it to see the flame wars between the DSI and the DKI and the ABC and the BFD (right Maurice??). Even very good moderators operating extremely strict formats have their hands full.

As long as people have developed styles and followed great leaders, then there have been differences of opinion and time-wasting clashes. Occasionally the competitiveness results in better martial arts for everyone. Sometimes it brings everyone down. Now it's one thing when those who choose to wage wars behind their keyboards waste THEIR time. But it's tragic when hundreds or more lurkers either have to endure the drivel, or those who wish to post (and most definitely are entitled to do so) are intimidated from participation.

What I find fascinating in the conflict is how quickly people want to stereotype and cluster those who disagree with them. On the one hand, those that disagree with you label you via some association that, in many cases, isn't even true. Now and then I begin to wonder whether or not Mattson-sensei has a mail-order certification business for the many non-Soke and non-Uechi folk who get tossed into some convenient homogenous barrel. This labeling and group-casting is mental laziness.

But this labeling is not confined to "those guys". There is a pattern of behavior that I have noticed recently. Someone presents a controversial position or makes an inflammatory statement. This person presents him/herself as a representative of a group. Others who disagree with the STATEMENT choose to assault the GROUP. This then becomes a little embarassing when they realize they are firing salvos that affect others beside them that they respect. I know this phenomenon well. A month or so ago I "ate crow" when I apologized to someone who was victim of some "colateral damage".

The good news is that what I find often happens is that brothers and sisters among us learn more about each other. Sanchin and the system that builds on it is capable of being practiced and interpreted in many ways. Going to camps and group functions gives many of us an opportunity to see the tremendous breadth of expression among us. Yes, those lotus eaters and bowling ball bashers may not last long, but open eyes and an open mind can only serve to broaden and deepen our understanding of principles that - on the surface - seem so simple.

In the end, who should post? If you spend all your time behind your keyboard and neither practice the art with others (by choice) nor operate a school, well...this isn't the place for you. If you are actively teaching or learning, well then activity on this forum can supplement (not substitute for) your training.

In the end, what should be posted? Got a question? Post. Got a problem? Post. Looking to learn something? Post. Looking for converts? I believe maybe you belong at the airport along with all those other people in the funny clothes.

But...there I go again.

Respectfully
Bill


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 1999 3:54 pm 
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One comment here.

If you think I am talking about you and you feel really bad, well....I am most definitely NOT talking about you. It's fascinating how those who deserve reproach deny it, and those who don't deserve it feel badly for not living up to a better standard.

95% or more of the people who participate on this forum are the best. Even when you disagree with someone! Even if (hide the children) you have a sense of humor.

I can't begin to convey the thanks I have to the many who have made this place a great success.

Sincerely
Bill


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 1999 6:17 pm 
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Sometimes studying Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is very refreshing. Many people view this art as barbaric, but there is one redeeming quality the art offers, when you are on the mat, you can't hide. Unfortantly, too many people like to hide.

In a real fight, you can't hide.

You CAN hide behind, esoteric language, political organizations and a fragile little keyboard. I often tire of the "my martial art is superior to your martial art" syndrome.

It doesn't matter if Yang Lu Chan or Chogun Miyagi invented "your" martial art. The question is, "what can you do with it?" Can you fight or do you just train to talk? "Oh, I know, let's just talk of philosophy or the mysteries of life and not of training." OH THAT'S RIGHT, ALL THE FOUNDERS OF THEIR RESPECTIVE ARTS JUST WANTED TO HIDE BEHIND THEIR KEYBOARDS. THEY WEREN'T CONCERNED ABOUT THE FIGHTING ASPECT OF A MARTIAL ART. Excuse me, I forgot.

Instead of a motto of "shut up and train" on the back of the t-shirts, let's have "let's fight my friend!" Those Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu guys are very smart. I respect them for their attitude.

Joe


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 1999 6:29 pm 
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Joe

Your T-shirt idea cracked me up. "Let's fight my friend!" Reminds me of something that happened to me.

About 21 years ago I was in a restaurant called The Virginian in Charlottesville near UVa. It was a great place for poor students to go. They would serve you the special of the night (if there was anything left) for a buck after 11 PM. One night they had this (literally) coked-out waiter working there. He got ticked off at our table and offered to fight me. I responded that I only got into fights with my friends. Those at the table with me (who knew me) laughed; the waiter just gave me a funny look and then strutted off.

By the way, the waiter got fired for the treatnment of the people at my table. He got re-hired a year later, and (once again while on coke) punched out a fellow waiter the same night. Needless to say, he didn't stay long that night either.

Bill


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 1999 9:52 pm 
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Location: MARSHFIELD, MA. USA
Bill Sensei:

Hope to meet you soon.

I we get to be friends, will we have to fight?

Sorry about the oversensitivity.

JOHN T

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 1999 10:06 pm 
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P.S. I love the forums but I think Sensei Tomoyose was once quoted as saying "Karate is for doing-not for showing."

So I will try to contribute and continue to work out in complete agreement with the fact that the forum is no substitute for a "good sweat."

Having said that, I have learned a lot from the many posts and expect that this will continue despite rough spots.

Also, Master Heung says the best way to learn something is to try and teach it.

I guess that's what we posters are, in part, trying to do, teach, even though the forum is not as effective as the Dojo.

Since we can have both; why worry? I love to write, I love to work out, If I have to fight, I will. I can't say love to fight, but there are people who do.

Some people get into the arts to control their temper. Some, like myself, do not have the "fire in the belly" naturally and undertake to learn it. That's hard.

The point behind "hey friend, let's fight" gets to the root of matters rather quickly.

JOHN T



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 1999 10:48 pm 
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John

My very first karate instructor (of a hard Japanese system) had a penchant for brutalizing his best students to make them stronger. He also had a sick sense of humor. As he would say, "you only hurt the ones you love."

No, John, not a requirement for friendship. As they say, only among consenting adults! :-)

Bill


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 1999 11:18 pm 
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Bill Sensei:

Good. I'm glad the whole mater is permanently behing us.


The point I was trying to make was to agree with you and point out that the forum is a teaching tool as well as a learning tool.

I was poking a bit of fun after having been egregiously over sensitive.

JOHN


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 1999 5:55 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 16, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 670
What to do.. what to do?

Perhaps we can ignore the offenders? When they get no response, It’ll be us! This is my first line of defense, “don’t be there!”

Perhaps the self appointed experts and masters do indeed have all the answers and we should pay them heed and learn something? (BTW, I did type that with a straight face). The only way for one to do that is to consider the source and if credible, then respond intelligently and politely. But only if the motive of the first party is to engage in an intelligent debate in the first place. If the motive is simply to spew forth some self-promoting drivel with the intent of provoking others, then I agree, they have no business being here. Trash ‘em and let’s move on!

VTY
Kevin


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