I really thought we had a winner with this forum. What a natural extension to the martial art experience. Perhaps we have separated the use of our mind, as viewed by Dr. Elgin, from what many of us consider self-defense. Lets talk about this soon. . .
Although Suzette will not be moderating this forum, I hope she will drop in from time to time and share her knowledge and experience with us. In the meantime, I will be looking for a new moderator for the Verbal Self-Defense Forum. Any takers?
I received Suzette's newsletter today and would like to quote the section she wrote concerning her six month stint with Uechi-ryu.com:
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EDITOR'S NOTES [snip]
2. I also want to comment briefly on my past six months as moderator for the Verbal Self-Defense Forum at http://www.xpres.net/~gmattson/ubbs,
a task that has just ended. The initial question was whether the project was even possible. That is: for a culture of physical martial artists, mostly male -- none of whom had ever taken a course from me and almost none of whom had ever read one of my books -- could an aging female (untrained in any physical martial art) manage to get across any useful information about a verbal martial art using only written language? It's hard to answer, since the feedback I got had to be based on e-mails to the forum, and many people who follow such discussions don't post any messages themselves; the owner of the forum assured me that it had a great deal of traffic, but I have no way of knowing how the people who didn't post reacted to what they read. I can only say that I do think it's possible -- but only with a very large investment of time and energy. I could easily have written a book in the number of hours I've spent composing my responses to the forum during these past six months. However, even that amount of time isn't going to produce more than a modest result; to accomplish anything substantial, either the moderator's job would have to be a _fulltime_ job, or the forum would have to be open only to people who had some advance preparation.
The most difficult problem, as I perceive it, was this: Despite the fact that the most constant expressed interest was in information about specific verbal self-defense techniques and strategies, most of my time had to be spent dealing with philosophical questions ["Is violence ever justified?" "What constitutes a valid definition of a term?" "Is a discussion using undefined terms ever valid?" That sort of thing.] I tried a variety of ways of dealing with this problem, none very successful. It may be that a more experienced moderator would have been able to work around this; I wasn't. Still, I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to give it a try; I was given strong support throughout, and I learned a great deal. THE VERBAL SELF-DEFENSE NEWSLETTER Volume 1, Issue 4 -- July/August 2000 =============================================The Verbal Self-Defense Newsletter is written and published every other month by Suzette Haden Elgin, Ph.D. (linguistics), from the Ozark Center for Language Studies (PO Box 1137, Huntsville, AR 72740-1137 USA, e-mail OCLS@madisoncounty.net). It's available by e-mail only, in plain text, and is free to members of the World Verbal Self-Defense League (annual dues, $5.00). For more information, contact OCLS; a sample issue is posted at http://www.worldvsdleague.com.
[This message has been edited by gmattson (edited June 29, 2000).]