Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy
As Sir Alec Guiness’ character in Star Wars said of Mos Eisley Spaceport,
“You will not find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.”
I feel the same about most forums. That’s right. I said it!
I’m speaking primarily about martial art forums (as I don’t have much use for other forums). As fellow Combatant Sifu Lee said in his latest status,
“I don’t understand why so many practitioners of the martial arts are fighting amongst one another. It’s ridiculous!”
And I couldn’t agree more. I recently had a brief (online) exchange with a fellow martial artist who said that he will no longer be subscribing to our channel because of who we (as the CombativeCorner) ‘endorse.’
First of all, I hate to lose anyone from the family of martial artists that we are building here but if I might throw in a simile –
“In order to make the steak healthier, we must trim the fat.”
In this case, the ‘fat’ just fell off the bone. Some may argue that the fat is what makes the steak tasty… You’re wrong. It’s the Texas Pete.
It is important to understand that the martial arts hold a different meaning for different people. You will… We will… never appeal to everyone. And I learned long ago, if you try to play that game, you’re just setting yourself up for a big fall.
Some people view the martial arts as ‘truth.’ Others (like myself) view the martial arts as ‘sharing.’ I may have been tainted long ago with Mr. Miyagi, but (I feel) one fundamental lesson that should and must be instilled in every martial artist is this:
The martial arts involve your mind and your heart. This is your bedrock. You disconnect the heart, you become a scientist. Even though you occasionally make forward progress in skill, the ultimate goal of peace is still out-of-reach. Often further.
It’s those directed at ‘truth’ that often get so ‘caught-up’ in this tacky spiderweb. And ironically, this ‘web’ creates enormous amounts of disinformation. For example, if you go to any martial art forum (I’ll leave out the sites, as you can easily find them) and look up names that have been under fire like Greg Park/ChosunNinja or Luke Holloway/Raw Combat, you’ll undoubtedly uncover a string of hatred, bashing and lies. For some reason, the website and the people, feel the need to ‘police the streets.’
The Hater’s stance is often one of “saving others from making a mistake in following or learning from them.” Their so-called evidence is usually second or third-hand information, a disgruntled (often ‘ex’) student, or someone who is so damaged emotionally (and/or socially) that they have to retaliate, draw attention, or make themselves out to be ‘holier than thou.’ [Read our article on ‘Fakes‘]
Like all humans, we are curious. Can this be true? Drama is so much more exciting. Right? But does anyone know what the opposite of drama is?..
Peace is the antonym for drama. Peace (apart from Freedom & Love) is what we strive for. Aikido, an amazing artform literally means – The Way of Peace*. We as humans want peace, but often make war. We want to be martial artists, but often end up directing our energies along an unhealthy path. This is something very important that I wish more people would connect to and at the very least, attempt to understand within themselves.
What might be the answer?
There is never going to be just one answer. But in my personal opinion (an opinion that I hope to share with many others) is that we must seek what we love and share that passion with as many people as we can. It’s all very simple. There are people that will lie, some will pad up their resumé (so-to-speak) and some will speak negatively about others and their styles. Let that be about them; not about you.
When, for example we are given the privilege to learn from someone, the information given to us is personally filtered. We will, most certainly, lean a certain way based on our personal beliefs, biases and associations. While learning correctly is ideal, it is only with personal dedication, ingenuity, making mistakes (yes, it’s true), time and patience (among other things that I may have left out) that we develop into the artist we hope to become. And the definitive truth, we never truly reach the destination. Bruce Lee and Dan Inosanto never had a limit. The Gracie family and many of the jiu-jitsu practitioners that I’m running into these days are continuously evolving.
Regarding Greg & Luke
We are happy to have them as a part of our martial art family (as we would just about anyone). When you watch their videos, the one thing you’ll notice is that they share – and continue to share, despite the haters and personal attacks. This should account for something, but to the haters, Greg & Luke are just ‘remaining in the game.’ The second thing you may see from their videos is a passion for teaching. Thirdly, and most obviously, you’ll see and hear the lecture or demonstration presented. Whether the technique or tactic is practical or not to the viewer, it is up to the student-viewer to filter the information themselves.
Now, granted, teachers should be held accountable. But what you know is what you know. (And keeping in mind that you’ll never be 100% in agreement with the masses)… You must (in Obi Wan Kenobi’s words),
“Do what you feel is right, of course.”
When coming across something new, even disagreeable it might be helpful to view it as Master Feng (Zhiqiang) would. He would say something along the lines of, “Interesting” or at worst, “I don’t understand it.” Never this is right, this is wrong… but this is “something I don’t yet understand.”
Master Feng knows this and is fundamental in becoming a Jedi. Avoid becoming a Sith.
I leave you with these words:
“As soon as you concern yourself with the “good” and “bad” of your fellows, you create an opening in your heart for maliciousness to enter. Testing, competing with, and criticizing others weakens and defeats you.”
― Morihei Ueshiba 植芝 盛平 , The Art of Peace
We, at the Combative Corner are looking forward to your thoughts and opinions. Knowing fully well the hypocrisy that this may ‘seem‘… the difference is respect. Be respectful.
*Aikido is made up of essential three parts: “Ai” which means harmony or union and “Ki” which the energy-spirit of the universe and “Do” that means way or path.
This entry was posted on April 4, 2012 at 2:58 pm and is filed under Day's Lesson, Discussion Question, Martial Arts, Miscellaneous, Philosophy, Teaching Topic with tags Blogging, Choson Ninja, Chosun Ninja, Disinformation, Forums, Haters, Jedi, Lies, Luke Holloway, Martial Morality, Message Boards, Miscellaneous, Musings, Opinion, Raw-Combat, Sith, Slander, Star Wars, Thoughts, youtube. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.