Standing by Your Words - With a note to Tensin/Gerald

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Standing by Your Words - With a note to Tensin/Gerald

Postby Lori » Tue Nov 10, 1998 2:02 am

The Chinese Character xin depicts a man beside the sign for "word." Ezra Pound defined this as "Fidelity to the given word. The man here standing by his word." North Point Press describes this idea in a book of essays by Wendell Berry, as follows:

Such fidelity to the word, as evidenced by clarity of meaning and intent, would go far to reconnect language to life. Without a renewed sense of language we cannot hope to restore balance, harmony, and coherence to our lives, our land, and our communities, for these must be joined "as marriage joins them -- in words by which a man or woman can stand, words confirmable in acts."


Sometimes the nature of these forums allows a certain degeneracy of language - and at times it becomes necessary to re-establish, in time honored martial tradition, an accountability, not only for actions but also for words. I have been waiting for your response to Van Canna Sensei's riposte to your inflammatory and insulting remarks. Cultured warrior that he is, he gave you an incredible reprieve and a chance to redeem your somewhat hasty words - I don't believe you fully appreciate the magnanimity of his actions. As a newcomer to this website and to these forums - a degree of politeness is called for, and, while we as moderators and with most all of the participants are advocates of free speech and the right to self expression - I now politely insist that you re-evaluate your hasty entry into these halls of discourse and consider your personal accountability to your words. Wendell Berry writes of "language that is diminished by subjectivity, which ends in meaninglessness." Your posts Tensin/Gerald-san, contain such language.

Again, let me re-state a position I believe is held by all of the moderators on this site: we welcome dissenting opinion as a vehicle to productive discussion. However, speaking for myself, I find at times that I question some of the loosely volleyed verbal assaults unleashed on these cyber pages as incomplete and incomprehensible pedantic fluff. I hold with Mr. Berry's definition of a complete and comprehensible statement as meeting three conditions:

1) It must designate its object precisely.
2) Its speaker must stand by it, must believe it, be accountable for it, and be willing to act on it.
3) The relation of speaker, word, and object must be conventional: the community must know what it is.

Tensin/Gerald-san, I do not see your posts fitting those requirements very well. Perhaps I am grossly misunderstanding your intent - hence statement #3. If you truly wish to be a participant in meaningful verbal interchange, I suggest the following:

1) A bit more clarity in your language - hence those of us in the community with any type of ethnic heritage that has received racial slurs regarding hairstyle will not take offense when you are referring to some "Elvis" joke.
2) When expressing an idea to a community you are not familiar with, it might be beneficial to do as previously suggested and "lurk" a bit to acquaint yourself with the "who's who in Uechi-ryu" before going off half-cocked and shooting yourself in the foot!
3) Lastly and no less importantly, know that you will be held accountable for your words - some of us feel more strongly than others about this, and know this Tensin/Gerald-san, not only do you need to believe what you say, which I think that you do, you must be willing to act on it - I for one am ready to "kumite" if that's what you are looking for - I will act upon every word I say here - since my 1st post on these forums, I speak from the heart, with respect, and will back it up to the end.


[This message has been edited by Lori (edited 11-10-98).]
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Standing by Your Words - With a note to Tensin/Gerald

Postby Van Canna » Tue Nov 10, 1998 5:48 am

Tensin san ,

You continue with arrogant response and disjointed inanities>>> i.e., "I didn't feel that most of what had been said on this thread had been well thought out." Unfortunately , Your ripostes quite lack the impact of so-called earth shaking epiphanies , which cause one to slap one's head at the sudden insight ! You would do well to learn the art of communication without injuring yourself in the process! Yours, a well reasoned dialogue , it is not !

Apparently you believe that having Irish and German grandparents and a school trip to Germany in the summer qualifies you as an authority on contemporary European lifestyle , enough so to be shrilly contemptuous of it !

I don't know what martial discipline you hail from and what "rules of engagement " you have been schooled in by your "sensei" , but the consensus of opinion here and from the volume of e-mail I have received on your posts , it appears your arguments are being recognized as the pettifoggery of a less than proficient parrot !

Without realizing it , by the tone of your arguments >> designed to confirm your being , you may be giving the impression of baring your structural weakness as Anthony san and Lori san have already astutely discerned ! Your bickering and balking out of "protocol" may well mark you for extinction as Anthony has already predicted !!

Your vocabulary is full of "Anarchy " and "counters" relegating you to the "cluster concept" of certain personalities who cruise these forums from time to time with attitudinal immaturity and a death wish !

I have been accused of being a bit "autocratic" in the administration of this forum ….and so be it as I run it as I would run my dojo in accordance to the code of bushido ! As a newcomer , you have already antagonized a number of my readers who do not have time for the wastelands of your mind ! Lori san is right on target with her post and my advice to you is to practice polite retreat lest you really p*** someone off ! Watch the tone of any future posts or I will promptly delete them and you into oblivion !

Van Canna
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Standing by Your Words - With a note to Tensin/Gerald

Postby tensin » Tue Nov 10, 1998 1:37 pm

While I am not sure how I managed to some across they way you describe, I apparently have. Again I apologize. It seems the nicest thing to do the the people already established on this board would be to stop posting. Sorry for the inconvience. Best of luck, enjoy the journey.

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Standing by Your Words - With a note to Tensin/Gerald

Postby Jason Bernard » Tue Nov 10, 1998 2:35 pm

>While I am not sure how I managed to some >across they way you describe, I apparently >have.

If you honestly cannot see how your
posts may have been somewhat inflammatory
then some please go back and re-read them.
Think about them intently. If you are a
martial artist on a journey towards self-
cultivation then this kind of internal
and self study must become one of your

However, I suspect you have in fact do
realize the nature of your posts (reading
the "Gift of Fear" has given me the
remarkable ability to read through the words
to the meaning ... thanks again to Kyoshi
Van Canna for suggesting this book so long
ago ... it has made a tremendous difference
to me). You say you are not sure, but you
are sure ... you are as sure as somebody
who walks out of a store because the hair
on the back of their necks stood up and
then later said "I don't know why I did".
You know deep down, and maybe higher up too.

>Again I apologize. It seems the nicest >thing to do the the people already >established on this board would be to stop >posting.

No, the nicest thing would be to involve
yourself with the discourse that goes on
hear and learn like we all do hear. Nobody
has asked you to withdraw completely. The
people on this forum are true martial
artists. They do not turn thier back
completely on those who are seeking .. but
that is the key. Are you seeking?

Ultimately, remember this. It is your choice
whether you choose to withdraw and hold the
people here with contempt in your heart. It
is also your choice to remain and learn. But
always remember it was your choice. If you
have some spirit and character this will mean
something to you. If you don't then it won't
and that's okay too.

Jason Bernard
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Standing by Your Words - With a note to Tensin/Gerald

Postby JohnC » Wed Nov 11, 1998 6:19 am


Since your posts alluded to grappling and appeared a bit brash, it reminded me of an evening at our dojo sometime back ...

A young man had been training in the judo class that meets just after our karate class. He proudly wore his judo gi with a particular prominent grappling style of jujitsu and held a blue or brown belt. He was particularly skilled in his art, was quite fast, adept and bizarrely flexible. He loved to do his splits for all to see in warm ups and to bounce his nose off the mats with exuberant glee!

Further, he would leave big books of martial arts encyclopedias, not to share or provide upon request, but I suspect to let us know he "got game".

1 Friday night after a few weeks of training in our dojo, he was the lonely straggler that showed for Judo following our karate class. Our Uechi teacher, in the spirit of budo and without a Judo teacher or player for the moment, offered to warm up with him until someone showed up.

Now, this guy was licking his chops - a chance to strut his stuff with us pitiful stand up karatekas - and a dan/teacher to boot!

He proceeds to inform our teacher that the gi tops should be removed for "realism" and that there are no limits save biting and gouging, etc. He hands me his watch and says "2 minute rounds"(My teacher is playing along, sort of the "don't throw me in the briar patch of grappling")

Now, what this guy had failed to realize was Uechi's more than cursory grappling input, nor the fact that my teacher's teacher holds a dan in jujitsu, nor that my teacher was a high school wrestler of some ability, nor the fact that my teacher sponsors judo and aikido in his very own dojo, the list goes on. His youthful arragance and blissful ignorance of the opponent was amazing!

At 20 seconds with shock on his face came the young grappler's first tap out. Next came a wicked arm bar that he refused to tap out of until ... well it gets ugly from here...imagine a crackling noise ... Needless to say he vanished after that evening(and sufficient first aide) never to be heard from again, at least in our dojo.

Be careful how you approach a dojo, even a "cyber" dojo or forum.


[This message has been edited by JohnC (edited 11-11-98).]

[This message has been edited by JohnC (edited 11-11-98).]
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