In their efforts to find any dirt on me, it appears they've contacted nearly every martial arts school in Clermont where I taught from 2007 to 2018 (I am now in a different county entirely). From referencing a 13-year-old feud with a former instructor of mine, who was upset that I opened up right around the corner from him although we've since shaken hands and moved on, to even throwing out that at one point after moving to a new location it took a few weeks to get the utilities sorted and we borrowed electricity from our neighbors, they really are grasping at straws as if any of that relates to my credentials or abilities.
One school owner's response, which they posted, was the apparent coup de grace of this article, although they apparently missed the part where it backs up things I've claimed in the past. Let's start there...
But let's move on. Yes, I did show up at your school and challenge your husband to a match. Watching him try to climb the brick wall behind him was rather amusing as he felt more than safe to run his mouth online like all the other keyboard warriors do, yet when confronted to be held accountable for his words it was all he could do not to hide. It's not about "proving one's legitimacy" but it is about backing up what you say, and yes, at the end of the day, martial arts are about fighting and survival. If you can't fight, you're not a martial artist.
As for making a post afterwards claiming to be threatened, that is an outright lie. The post I made about showing up at your school can be found here. I also never threatened to "mess" up my former partner, though I did offer to have a "discussion" with Anibal Cruz, the guy who bought her school.
I do want to apologize for suggesting you should be making a sandwich instead of posting online, as I am definitely not a misogynist. If anything, I am a pro-sogynist (those who don't get the joke, click here). What I probably should've said is "shouldn't you be training?" That's just not something I assumed you did, so I'm sorry.
The truth is that every single person that has run their mouth about me has turned into a complete gentleman when we're in the same room. Even Dale, who after spending months flooding the internet with semi-coherent, profanity-laden rants and videos about how he was going to dismantle me, was nothing but cordial and polite when he walked in my door. If he was really set on stepping on the mat with me, he would've suggested we settle our differences right then and there when he knew he had me outnumbered 3-1. No one in their right mind drives 90 minutes just to drop off a piece of paper with two bodyguards and leave. It was that fact, along with the repeated statement from BSMA that even if I won any fight between us they'd still continue their harassment, that led to my decision to call off the later meeting we had set. I had already proven I wasn't going to run and hide, or call the police when Dale showed up as they claimed, and if there was nothing to be gained aside from "street cred," I don't need it that badly. And yes, it was my decision to call it off, not Hatfield sensei's (more on that later).
Before I move on to the recent video posted by Dale, apparently there is some confusion regarding my partnership with Richard Hackworth that has been referenced by Greysmith, since I have stated before that I am co-owner of the school but it's his unit that I teach out of. American Dragon Martial Arts Academies, the chain of schools overseen by Richard Hackworth, has multiple locations in several states. He opened and operated the school in Ocoee long before I came into the picture, and although I have since become a partner in this location, it is solely his name on the lease and all official paperwork for the business. My own school, Trio Martial Arts Academy, rents space from American Dragon to run an entirely separate program and business as well.
Now, yesterday Dale posted a video on BSMA claiming that my instructor, Steven Hatfield, called his elderly mother from a fake number to harass her and demand to know where Dale is. Of course, this never happened as there's no need to know "where Dale is" since he gave his (work) address to me on the waiver that he signed and he's easy enough to find. Not to mention that the number Dale claims Hatfield sensei called from (513-542-6174) is out of service and doesn't exist. But more importantly, that's just not something we do.
We're not the ones who bring family and other people's students into our disputes. We're not the ones who publish contact information for someone's family, including pictures and home addresses, or the fact that someone might have 2 small children. We're not the ones contacting their students or their students' families. Despite it being a clear violation of BSMA's own rules (see below), these are things that they have done when all other efforts to intimidate or hurt us have failed.
Apparently they fail to understand the relationship that Hatfield sensei and I have. Every article and post I've made has been a team effort, and as his inheritor and representative I speak for both of us unless specified otherwise. When all of this started, I made the decision to step to the forefront and address the situation. That is the student's job, to protect their instructor. Regardless of whatever rank, title or license I hold now or will hold in the future, Hatfield sensei will always be my instructor and it is my responsibility to do so. This is a tradition that extends well into history, stemming from the Samurai era where lower ranked Samurai would sit closest to the door to deal with intruders while protecting the higher ranked warriors and their lord. The remnants of this tradition can be seen even today with how students line up in class in a traditional dojo (an excellent article on this can be found here). Tradition forms the foundation of Budo, without which we'd all just be doing MMA.
Therefore, to suggest that Hatfield sensei is using me as his "meat shield" and hiding behind me from the "safety of his fortress" in Ohio (yes, this is really what they said) is both amusing and insulting to the amount of effort I've put into dealing with these trolls. While he is more than welcome to issue a statement or address things on his own, as long as I am able, he shouldn't have to. That is the choice I made, and that is the responsibility I have taken on. You can say what you will about our relationship, but if more people adhered to the tradition and values of Budo, there wouldn't be any trolls in the first place.