A martial artist and warrior is charged with defending others. For example: As a soldier in the US Army, I was charged with defending every citizen in the USA regardless of who or what they are or were. As a warrior, martial artist, and former soldier, I defend and protect even those whom I disagree with.
These groups that bully seek to harm. They seek out frauds. Ok, here, I agree that frauds in the martial arts can be dangerous. It would be like hiring a surgeon who has only read a book and claims to be an expert cardiac surgeon.
However, not all martial arts frauds are dangerous:
- Some may have fraudulent lineage.
- Some may have fraudulent credentials.
- Some may have fraudulent ability.
- They themselves are fraudulent and they bully what they label as frauds so that they can focus attention away from their own deficiencies.
- They are horrible teachers and cannot get students and so they label anyone with students as fraudulent to deny their lack of teaching ability.
- They are horrible businessmen and cannot make money teaching martial arts and so they label anyone who makes money off martial arts as a fraud to deny their lack of business sense.
Often, what these bullies attack are:
- People with black belts in multiple styles while following their grand master who has kodansha grades in multiple styles.
- People who claim to be a soke while following someone who holds multiple sokeships.
- People who are self-taught while they themselves lack the IQ to learn via such modes despite and while their grand leader sells books and videos for instruction.
- People who put any martial arts demo or technique out in front of the public eye while they themselves will not produce video of themselves for the public to judge their ability and performance.
Here is what they don't get:
- People who are self taught or learning online may have no other choice to learn but these bullies would rather them learn nothing.
- That McDojo maybe a person's only source of income and these bullies would rather them starve and be on the street.
- People who claim ranks and titles does not matter since rank and title is more of something between teacher & student and organization & member. These bullies go off like they are jealous that their grand leader won't give them that rank and title.
- Illegitimate lineage maybe because the person is just reciting what their teacher told them and their teacher made up the lineage without the person's knowledge. Or sometimes the transmission of lineage gets messed up inadvertently creating a false lineage. Yet these bullies are ok having lineage with people who cannot be proven to have existed; false direct lineage despite the supposed teacher having died some 200 years before the student; and teachers in their lineage claiming that gods descended from the heavens to teach them something that humans didn't know, or demons, or other other-wordly beings taught them.
- Poor skill maybe the best that person could get to with the model they had to emulate. Instead of making fun, why not show them a better model to emulate? The reason I have found for this, is that these bullies truly have poor skill. So poor in fact that most of the people they make fun of are significantly more skillful than the bullies.
These bullies do:
- Instead of showing a person of low skill a better way to do it, they personally attack character, person, and livelihood.
- Never tell someone there is a better way if you are not their teacher. Ask them if you can show them your way and then let them do what they will with it.
- They challenge their targets to fights, but they manipulate the engagement by calling the cops if someone shows up or they fake the target not showing up.
- Challenges are fine if they are kept friendly. No need for someone to be hurt, injured, killed, or maimed. But what does a challenge actually prove in the end? Only one thing and that is that one person was better than another at a specific thing at that specific time. The looser very well could win the next day.
- They stalk their targets looking for where they live and work as well as who their family and friends are. This is outright criminal and there is no asterisk I can place with this one.
- They create fake websites and fake social media accounts in the name of their target to ruin their livelihood. Again, I cannot add an asterisk to this as this is just plain criminal.
Regardless of the legitimacy of a martial artist, there is never a reason or a call to attack them personally. If you don't like their art, then produce videos of you doing their art better. If you think they have bad paper then produce a video of you doing their art better. If you think they have bad lineage then produce a video of you doing their art better.
A note about myself - years and years ago, I was firmly against the McDojo. I was against it because it was play, dance, and gymnastics in the guise of martial arts. Today, I realize that many who attend a Mcdojo attend because that is exactly what they want. They do not want to do what I, and others like me, do. I have also learned that many in the McDojo business feed their families with it and I do not want to mess with someone's livelihood. I will teach what I teach to the few who are like me. Despite my positions over the years, I have never bullied a McDojo school owner.
*Jokes are still funny. I hope when I post a Mcdojo joke that people can laugh at it.
- I have been firmly against the child black belt because I got my training in systems that would not award a black belt to anyone younger than 18 years of age. However, as time goes on, I careless about what rank someone claims and what age they are with that claim. Especially with a little look at history, it really doesn't matter. One point though. I have had several child 4th degree black belts come to my school who have zero clue about martial arts all while thinking they could fight. One of them was still curling his fingers around his thumb to make a fist.
So I will always be against someone being given a false sense of security and false confidence in their ability to fight. Regardless, I never bullied any black belt child or instructor that bestowed such.
*Jokes are still funny. Especially that Bruce Lee meme I made or that satire article I recently wrote.
- I have been know to work with people from all sorts of martial arts backgrounds. I like to train and I like to teach. I will teach a seminar for any group regardless of their martial arts prestige. I will be friendly to anyone regardless of their martial arts prestige. I am also open to practicing with anyone who has legitimate ability regardless of their credentials However, I do suggest that if you know your lineage and/or credentials are illegitimate, then correct it or drop it. After all, ability carries 99+% of a martial artists worth. The remaining fraction of a percentage is divided between lineage and credentials.
There are small select number of frauds out there with beyond outrageous claims such a having an Emperor of Martial Arts diploma. These types have some sort of mental problem that includes delusions of grandeur. These types I would not work with at all because they have an underlying mental issue and wouldn't work with anyone anyhow. Yet, I would never bully them.
P.S. - I would rather hang out with the bullied than be anywhere near bullies.
Inspired by several people I know under attack.
This article was originally posted by and shared with permission from the KBHK. For more information about Hughes sensei and his organization, please click here.