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 Post subject: Confused and Disapointed
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2001 2:48 pm 
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First; I must say that I am once again "disappointed" that some members and moderators of this forum cannot discuss issues without insulting each other however slight or implied.

Second; the deletion of JD’s fish post is my decision.

Third; in the past few months this forum has been pretty much ignored (no posts) by the members of this site. I do not mind that everyone discusses issues in other forums that are more pertinent than "verbal self defense". Some issues on other forums have similarities to verbal self defense issues and I have had to comment on those issues without using my forum. I am very grateful that GEM gave me the opportunity to moderate this topic that others may consider a "trivial" part of martial arts. Heck, most sensei’s never even bring up verbal self defense in the course of their studies with their students. I do not pretend to be the "know it all" about verbal self defense. Discussion is what these forums are all about. I always ask for opinions and solutions to scenarios that I have imagined or participated in. Everyones comment is appreciated and discussion without personal insult is not to much to ask. To question a source of information by asking for documentation, while in the business world, is good practice. However, in a discussion forum it is PERCIEVED to be insulting. Especially if the content can not be documented because of the era that the information occurred.

Fourth; when a moderator, whom has never posted to this forum, uses it as a tool against another moderator disappoints me even more. I know how busy every one of the moderators are. We all have lives outside of the forums and many of us run a karate school and maintain full time jobs. If a forum is receiving many posts, the members can scan the posts and reply if they wish to enter the discussion. Moderators, however have to read each one and decide whether they are valid or detrimental to the discussion. I do agree that a moderator should maintain a certain neutrality in each discussion. Nevertheless… I will retain some comments for future references. My comments are italicized.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
I would like to thank Lenny for the opportunity to post on a forum other than my own. I appreciate the opportunity to step down from my own moderator status and discuss on a level playing field.

Everyone is welcome to post on this forum. I just wish you had not used this particular topic to be your first post. I have enjoyed many discussions with members and moderators on all the forums. Although many of the moderators appear to only discuss issues on their own forums, I condone the participation and am very disappointed in the lack of it.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>1) It is difficult to be both moderator and participant in a heated discussion. As a moderator, one must necessarily give equal "treatment" to all ideas posed. As an individual passionate about ideas, one feels compelled to present one's case. When disagreement arises, the moderator must then decide whether (s)he must take on the role of preacher or referee. The middle ground is very muddy.
2) It is difficult to separate the individual from the ideas. Indeed I believe it unwise. What is so compelling about forums like these is to see fallible humans succeed (or not) in spite of themselves.
3) Anything that applies in life applies especially so in a forum. We are limited in the range of venues we use to convey ideas. There is no body language to read. There is little ceremony, except for the attempt by some to use a protocol for addressing each other that seems a confusion of cultures. There are no eye contact or facial expressions to read. There is no touch. It is easy to understand why misunderstandings proliferate.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Number three is the reason that I retain some of the discussion on this thread.
All the more reason to be careful when choosing what words to put in your posts. The next quote by David reiterates this and states exactly what is desired by most of the participants.


<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
. We need to be extremely careful how we word things and we need to allow leeway for folks who may have worded too quickly and carelessly. But a certain amount of good faith must be taken and given, or we risk losing any chance for true exchanges.


<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
As I for-noted, some forums have become pulpits. Responders rant about what they think a poster wrote or--even worse--what they consider to be a poster's inner motivations and character.


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I find it puzzling that there should be so much - perhaps justified - anger over words spoken that offended...and yet the reaction itself begs to question what the real issue is.

The questioning of historical methods of training for determination of who’s method is correct. No one said that this historical information is to be taken by all as "the law" (Holy?) and that the methods that are being used today are not worth the practice. Documentation is easy for our modern society with these forums as tools we can forever put our mark on the future generations. Many members print out these comments and who knows where they may resurface in the future. There was no vehicle such as this in our founders time and it is important to some of us to want to know how our founder practiced

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
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It is clear in this latest of tempests that words can hurt. But where has this begun, and where does it end? Is it the topic, or the reaction to the topic that creates the problem?

Yes words can hurt and this is another reason I wish to keep some of these comments. Easily we can see by what has been taking place the last few weeks that words start more confrontations than defuse them.

If we want our readers to participate more in these discussions, we moderators and members who post frequently need to choose our words carefully.

It is situations such as these that make our readers stay out of these discussions.
Avoiding the confrontation by non participation is a quality that will save many in self-defense situations, and inadvertently we are teaching this principle to our readers.

These are of course only MY views.

I have no animosity toward any member or moderator.

Please posts comments on this forum anytime, and please re-read any posts to be certain that if your words will be perceived by you as a possible insult, they will certainly be taken that way.


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Len Testa


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 Post subject: Confused and Disapointed
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2001 6:05 pm 
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Location: Boston, MA
Len,

My sincere apology if my previous post put you in an awkward position.

As a fairly long time participant in this site, I have my trepidations about jumping into a situation that involves folks I know and have respect for. Since I rarely engage in email conversations about topics or situations in the forum and prefer to say what I have to say in public, I chose to do the same in this particular situation for better or worse...

It was and still is my hope that the misunderstandings can be cleared among the respective parties directly and privately.

david


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 Post subject: Confused and Disapointed
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2001 10:07 pm 
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Len - ditto for me.

Although I will say that what I read on your forum seemed to be a logical & plausible explanation of the events that had transpired. In addition, I witnessed two participants step up to the plate, take responsibility for their actions, and provide insight into their internal dialogue for public scrutiny. Based on the reactions of others, I wonder if we read the same thing.

Perhaps there was more going on behind the scenes that I don't understand. I have nothing but respect for all those involved in this event and am sad that this disagreement arose. Now that this event is over, the focus can shift to healing, seeking common ground and striving to become brothers-in-arms.

------------------
D. Steven White
swhite@umassd.edu



[This message has been edited by Steve (edited January 16, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Confused and Disapointed
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2001 2:15 am 
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I can see how things can get confusing when posts are constantly deleted. Then others come into the fray thinking "Where did this come from?" I have many times.

However... (Oh ****... I feel another rant coming on)
I notice I never see any low ranking people duking it out on the forums. Why are some seniors so thin skinned? You all may not even realize it but I see it constantly. It's like talking to the wife during that time of the month. Like walking on egg shells. (Ladies, Don't be offended. I am a blunt talker and I speak from experience. To my friends I say it much worse)

Rebuke me, beat me, banish me... I am starting not to care. But this is how have been seeing it. Right or wrong this is the message "I" am getting about one particular topic...

This is how they/we train on Okinawa. Doing it the old way. I will bless upon you these words of wisdom. DO NOT QUESTION IT!!! DO NOT EVEN ATTEMPT TO REMARK ABOUT IT!! YOU MAY HOWEVER... PRAISE IT! WORSHIP IT! BEG FOR MORE!!! ALL INFORMATION WILL BE CUT OFF IF YOU DO NOT OBEY AND OTHERS OF YOUR ILK WILL NOT BE BLESSED!!

Simmer down now. I am NOT saying this IS the message. I am sure it is not (at least I hope it is not). I am saying this was how I comprehended it when combined with the initial messages and the subsequent bull**** that followed.

I must be missing something big time otherwise.

I have the utmost respect and admiration of just about all the regular longtime posters. I guess the forum is running out of idiots like Sigman who had come here talking smack about something they know nothing about. Now that stuff was offensive.

I think I'll stop posting for a while except on my forum. I'll be around in case one of you "karate chop" the board up. I'll be there to apply some "computer chi healing technology".

This is SCOTT T D
OUT!


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 Post subject: Confused and Disapointed
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2001 5:04 am 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
I notice I never see any low ranking people duking it out on the forums. Why are some seniors so thin skinned? You all may not even realize it but I see it constantly.


A good question Scott. But a better term than duking is arguing __

A possible answer is that seniors have accumulated more martial arts baggage over the course of twenty, thirty, or forty years of practice than lower ranking students.

This is a trait in common with seniors in every walk of life, whether it is martial arts or pottery. They simply are more passionate in their arguments; thinner skinned, if you will.

Very natural progression, if you keep in mind that seniors are first fallible human beings and next __ high ranking Dans.

You should have witnessed the “duking” of the Okinawan masters back in the seventies, at GEM sensei’s dojo in South Boston, over perceived political slights, as only one example of it.

Wait until you become a senior with the same length of experience under your belt, and the answer to your question will be very clear. Image

Arguing and “duking” is a natural instinct. Here is a quote I like:

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
Everyone wants to argue. Everyone does. Everyone needs to. Sometimes the argument is screamed through tears. Sometimes it becomes only a paroxysm of impotent rage. Sometimes it is a tiny mumble in the corner of the room. Sometimes, in the dark of night, in a lonely bed, the argument we wanted to make is shouted silently, safely, into the mind’s desolate ear.


It has been written that argument is the affirmation of our being, and without it, the species would perish. It is an assertion of the self and devotion to a cause.

Compared to a low ranking student, who may or may not even have the commitment or fortitude to stick it out to first Dan, and most likely quit after reaching that goal, seniors of twenty, thirty, forty years study of the art, argue as a definition of who they are in support of their system's convictions and purpose as they envision them.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
This is how they/we train on Okinawa. Doing it the old way. I will bless upon you these words of wisdom. DO NOT QUESTION IT!!! DO NOT EVEN ATTEMPT TO REMARK ABOUT IT!! YOU MAY HOWEVER... PRAISE IT! WORSHIP IT! BEG FOR MORE!!! ALL INFORMATION WILL BE CUT OFF IF YOU DO NOT OBEY AND OTHERS OF YOUR ILK WILL NOT BE BLESSED!!



Well I am glad you hasten to add that this is not the message, but how you comprehended it. So we are back at the old perception quandary again, aren’t we!!!

And re-read your quote above. Even though you don’t mean what you write, the very fact you wrote it may be perceived to be insulting to Toyama sensei. This is what Panther wrote about in his post.

And if you had been privy to the background on this, the previous “wars” over the very subject matter, you would understand the reluctance of Toyama sensei not wanting, his protégée, Breyette sensei to engage in debate __ yes debate__ ! The kind of Holy Grail__ documentation ….bizarre debate.

What you have to understand very clearly is that the initial wishes of Toyama sensei were not to have any of that information posted on an open forum, but he had extended an invitation to anyone to peruse the Zankai website if they wished.

It was I, who convinced Breyette sensei to allow snippets of historical information to be posted more openly on my page. He also agreed to answer any questions, but without intent to debate, insult and inflame as it were.

Again it must be said that regardless of how “wrong” we may have thought the posting process was, or that we might be missing something out of the whole thing, the fact remains we should have been more respectful in avoiding inflaming language, and being considerate of Toyama sensei and Breyette san’s wishes, as posted.
The argument really , boils down to this point.

Don’t misunderstand… I am not chiding you..I can understand the frustrations at this mess, and if I seem a bit wired it is because I am posting while fighting a bout of high fever from a nasty touch of the flu. Image


A reasoned dialogue is what we hope and envision, but to not keep the inevitable emotional maelstrom at bay in our gap to be heard, is sheer folly.

We are all guilty as charged, sooner or later. It is part of life. Image



------------------
Van Canna


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 Post subject: Confused and Disapointed
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2001 12:29 pm 
Breyette Sensei's posts were in their infancy and it is a shameful mark that the beginnings of a potentially great series of writing to adorn your forum came to as screeching halt, and not without forewarning that things were going to stop if there were difficulties.

I view the transgressions as the old game of "King of the Mountain" we used to play as kids, Van, except some never grew out of that phase. I definitely do not have a good opinion over the latest fire storm at all, but no matter where one goes in life, there are always those lurking in the shadows waiting to jump all over someone else for a number of reasons.

I know Gordi very well. I provided gb, as he once liked to be addressed as, with a web page on my site until he decided to remove himself from public eye, and experienced a number of mixed thoughts when Breyette's protégée [goes downhill? Please no offense Van, you know me] began to publish insights from Okinawa. So I followed his posts, what he wrote, why, how, etc. with great personal interest, and wished the best for him.

The overwhelming thought I fostered was from Gordi's writings was "Great, this is a tremendously powerful resource; I'd like to meet Toyama Sensei someday!"

I can fully understand why Gordi was reluctant to post as I can remember he was also flamed in these forums in the early days of them while there were only several forums out here, therefore I was quite surprised that Gordi would share with us all substantial knowledge that he has while probably knew he was going to get it again.

I knew something this was going to happen from the onset; just had a strong feeling that history was going to repeat itself.

And now I suspect it will never be again. Shame! He already turned his cheek. Our loss.

And we who have been around for years in Uechi-ryu who post frequently set the example for the young pre-dans and for those of other styles to observe and develop their opinions. Not a wonder many don't want to post.

------------------
Allen Moulton from Uechi-ryu Etcetera


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 Post subject: Confused and Disapointed
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2001 12:50 pm 
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David, Steve:

No need to appologize.

David, your post that was deleted is being placed here because I agree with it entirely.
Thank you for posting on my forum and please add your valuable insights anytime.

Original post by david
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>I have to say that I have found the tension of the past week troubling. I can't say I fully understand all the specifics that occurred, knowing that there have been behind the scenes communications and such, deletion of some posts, and maybe personal histories that I am not aware of.
What I do know is that forums exist as vehicles for discussions. I value these opportunities to hear and discuss the varying approaches to practices. I value the opportunity to meet with some and explore/experience personally the things we discuss. Ultimately, I may leave feeling different than a viewpoint/approach expressed. This, however, does not diminish that viewpoint. It just means that it does not jive with what I believe or have experienced thus far. There have also been viewpoints that I initially disagree with but have come around to adopt.
For me, the beauty of these forums has been the exchange of ideas and the connections made. But these can be jeopardized when parties cannot respect the views of others, are not careful with their words and/or are quick to conclude personal offense where none was intended. And as has been said before, there are limitations to a cyber discussion where participants cannot see each other face to face. We need to be extremely careful how we word things and we need to allow leeway for folks who may have worded too quickly and carelessly. But a certain amount of good faith must be taken and given, or we risk losing any chance for true exchanges.
Finally, if indeed, these forums should become places where exchanges are stifled either directly, or by fear, or the desire to avoid even polite differences, then the value of these forums have been lost. This site will be no different from the many martial arts website out there that are nothing more than mere advertisements for one sensei, one organization, one approach. There is nothing wrong with this but it should not be promoted as a forum.
For me, it would be a sad day if this place becomes devoid of the exchanges and connections that I have gained much from.
david
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


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 Post subject: Confused and Disapointed
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2001 2:04 pm 
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Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
I feel horrible about everything.

I have faith that all involved will rise above this.

- Bill


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 Post subject: Confused and Disapointed
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2001 3:27 pm 
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Lenny

I want to start by apologizing.

You didn't ask to have any of this thrust upon you. However Verbal Self Defense was indeed the topic. Someone (now censored and deleted) came to your door filled with anger about a matter that is simply tragic when you consider it involves two good people - men who were friends. "Verbal Salvos" were indeed being fired in many different places - some online, and some in private. As in many situations of conflict, confusion reigns.

I intentionally stepped into a path of anger. I was also involved. In doing so, I knew more would come of it, and perhaps less would be thought of me by many. I do not regret standing beside some in this situation - however flawed. In all the confusion and disappointment, I had a clarity of purpose. My bonds with all involved remain, in spite of what may come of this. I accept any consequences that come of it.

You have behaved admirably, Lenny. I appreciate how you have handled things. There are many more I wish to thank, but that's another subject. I hope everyone involved knows my friendship and respect remains.

- Bill


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 Post subject: Confused and Disapointed
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2001 7:12 pm 
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Bill:

Thank You, but...

Your apology should be directed toward someone else because of the hard work he has done to maintain a connection to our founders past when no other has been able to do this. To see that this connection is now closed forever makes me sad. However, I will still have avenues of information that will be avavilable to me through this person. I hope that these historical facts will still be shared with our readers.

If it appeared I have put the blame solely on you, I am truly sorry.

I have probably already lost one friend from this matter. I will not let this situation stand in the way of friendships. I am pleased that your comments have also alluded to this. Nevertheless, I cannot speak for others who were involved.

I have great respect for you and your thoughts, and I hope to continue discussing many items of interest in these forums with you.

It does take an exceptional and courageous individual to admit a mistake, especially in a public forum.

I hope that I will have the same fortitude in the future when I make a mistake.


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Len Testa


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 Post subject: Confused and Disapointed
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2001 7:34 pm 
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Len

That apology was given on January 11 (on Dojo Roundtable), was re-issued (quoted) on January 17 (Van's forum), was commented on by GEM (on January 12 I believe), and still stands. It was a general apology, as it needed to be. There are many not listed who are affected, and it is pointless to draw negative attention their way.

The difficult thing about all of this is the geographic isolation. Outsiders probably assume we all work out together. That is far from the truth. Being a 13 hour drive from New England means I make personal contact perhaps once or twice a year with many who frequent the forums. But there will be a time and a place to do what is best done in person.

- Bill


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 Post subject: Confused and Disapointed
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2001 8:17 pm 
this simple apology has evolved into a NATO peacekeeping treaty. There is a very complex set of paradigms present which will make it difficult if not impossible for one to express their deep, emotional regret. For this reason, I can understand why an apology presented on this forum is less then moving. The "juice" has been wicked off by the obstacles in place and all that is left is eyecandy.

The truth is I know that all those are sorry. In fact, I know that we are all sorry. I am. I have 2lbs of aged Java from Indonesia and Mocha frome Yemen I purchased because I was going to share some fine coffee with a friend whom I havn't seen in a long time. Now I learn that my favorite karate teacher may not be coming to Florida because he has the flu.

I'm sorry, for all of this.

Tony


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 Post subject: Confused and Disapointed
PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2001 5:27 am 
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Len,

Thanks. I think I learn more in this forum from reading rather than writing, as I don't consider myself a man good with words. (It's a self-perception thing that I have.)

david


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 Post subject: Confused and Disapointed
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2001 10:10 pm 
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Location: Randolph, MA USA 781-963-8891
Gosh, I just read through all of this and I still don't know what happened and why everyone is pissed off and apologizing. Maybe someone could let me in on it (and other moderators) so we don't let it happen on our forums.

Anyway, let me get off track here a little because it seems from all the talk that something has happened with Gordi Breyette.
I don't know how many people know him personally, but allow me to lay on a shameless plug. I have never met Gordi-san in person, but I can tell you, I have never been in contact with someone who has such dedication to what he believes as he. Gordi-san has done so much for me in the past via the email, etc., that I will never be able to repay him. He did this out of the goodness of his heart, with no reward and with nothing in return. My wish is to someday go to Okinawa and thank him personally.

I know that whatever occurred, Gordi-san will rise above it and continue on his chosen path. I have great faith in his ability to see past all the muck (whatever it is).

Well, that's my blind two cents worth,

mike


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 Post subject: Confused and Disapointed
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2001 2:02 am 
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This is seriously not my business, different style, different philosophy and I am very aware of my status as a guest on this board.

Mike, you are not alone in not knowing what went on, but my ignorance was deliberate.

Some time ago, Van Sensei posted:

"One thing to keep in mind as I begin posting historical information as related to me by Seizan Breyette sensei: He will not engage in debate concerning Kanbun’s training methods or teaching concepts. There are sources other than Kanei sensei who trained with Kanbun and offered this historical information, and such sources are proved beyond question. He feels no need to argue, debate or defend what he knows to be true. He has agreed to share and to clarify a bit here and there, but will not debate.
The best way is to post any questions to the forum, then I will relay the post to him via e-mail, he will respond to me, and I will post his reply.

Do not insult or challenge Breyette-sensei on my forum or you will be flushed down the cyber toilet in a heartbeat."

Between the dogmatic demand than anything said be not questioned and the clear threat of the last paragraph I made the decision to avoid any thread where Mr. Breyette's name came up.

I don't like the insecurity the threat represents. I don't like the papal infallibility attributed to the source. But anything that required this statement as a preface... well I don't discuss religion with emotional people.

Van was probably just being extremely protective. Still, I see the turmoil on threads and discussions well removed from the source. I see the insults (including some very personal ones aimed at JD) and I desperately hope the smell in the air is not friendships burning.

Rory
kamila@teleport.com (home)
rory.a.miller@co.multnomah.or.us (work)


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