Let me apologize now for the length of this article, but it's time the world got to see exactly what we're dealing with... Because I'll be honest. Nothing is more frustrating than venting about these bullies only to be met with the sentiment "just let it go" from those who have never been attacked like this. There's only so many times a chihuahua can nip at your heels before you turn around and kick the chihuahua. So this is me, punting the yappy little animal that is BSMA across my now barren field of....
Benjamin Lacy was the first to pick up the torch, and so far he's the troll with the most stamina as he's been at this non-stop for over a year, despite numerous attempts at appeasement and his agreement that he would back off (see left). I should point out that Lacy lives about 20 minutes from Hatfield sensei's dojo, and has an open invitation to visit any time to clear up any misunderstandings of legitimacy. But trolls are often safer in packs.
That was when Lacy called in the big guns over at BSMA, putting my teacher on blast to some of the most hateful and vile keyboard warriors that have been plaguing the internet since the AOL chat room days. Once it was made public that my instructor earned his rank from Stern, it just got worse from there. You can say what you want about "Papasan," and the man certainly did his dirt that it's not my place to get into, but he was a legitimate judoka trained by Mifune Kyuzo (and later Shin Bong Yul), as evidenced below. Now, I know a single picture probably doesn't mean much to show the relationship between Stern and Mifune... Except when it's provided to us by the Kodokan directly. listed as "Mifune Sensei and his foreign students." So if anyone tries to tell you that Stern's standing in Judo isn't legitimate, they're full of it, and it's from Stern that Hatfield sensei earned his 5th Dan in Judo/Yudo.
Thanks to this newfound attention, we drew the interest of "Lordus Sapiens" as if the irony of someone using a fake name to call others frauds can be overlooked. The Monkey wrote an impressive 4-part series on both Hatfield sensei and myself, "exposing our numerous lies" through half-truths, fabricated information, and decade-old screen captures. This was accompanied by Don Roley himself contributing several literary masterpieces focusing on one aspect of our history: American Yoshinkan Aiki Jujutsu (the art that I inherited from Hatfield sensei) was founded by Hasaka Yutashi, a man Roley claims never existed.
It would be typical of someone from the Bujinkan to cast stones on not being able to find any public information about historical figures, with their ironclad history of Togakure Ryu that extends over 900 years but actually starts with Takamatsu Toshitsugu (1889-1972). Must be that Common Core Math. Someone really should tell Roley to eat something phallic...
At this point now that we had a real person attacking us and not a pseudonym, we called Roley to attempt a civilized discussion about why he felt the need to engage in this behavior when we have no affiliation and don't even live in the same time zone. He hung up immediately when he found out it was me, and couldn't trip over his tongue fast enough when Hatfield sensei called soon after. I didn't take it personally, most people lose their confidence when there isn't a screen between us. What I did take personally, however, is when one of BSMA's trolls posted a picture from outside my old apartment complex. Not a picture you can find on Google Maps, but one you must be standing on the sidewalk right there to take...
I do find it interesting that neither Lacy, Roley or Greysmith are married though. Apparently being a full-time troll doesn't leave too much time for anything else. Now I'm not married either, but I don't spend my days on the internet tearing down other's accomplishments to satisfy my own insecurities.
Now Greysmith claims to run an investigation firm whose sole purpose is to verify claims of fraudulent martial artists. Of course, he is not a licensed investigator in his home state of Tennessee, and despite whatever loophole he thinks he's found because he doesn't get paid to do this, there is still such a thing as someone's right to privacy. "Investigating" someone without an investigator's license is called stalking. That's something his "legal counsel" Cayce Lancaster should've known, but when asked about his credentials the response I got was "the 6th Amendment." Not sure what the right to a speedy trial or the right to face your accuser has to do with how he became Greysmith's legal counsel, but cool story bro.
So apparently, Greysmith's entire issue with me stems from that article I wrote about Barron back in May. I'll admit, he did disprove one claim I made, that Barron's Judo instructor Terry Tucker seemed not to have existed. But the rest of his debunking falls short. I made the claim that on May 13, 2020, Barron did not appear on the USJA Membership Directory and in Greysmith's article from July 17th, he does. Any logical person would deduce that simply means Barron joined sometime between May and July, but Greysmith likes to hold onto the assertion that I somehow lied (although he specifically calls it an oversight in the screenshot below, as if to admit Barron forgot to join the USJA before claiming he was a member). You know, the obsession Greysmith has with debunking my article on Barron makes me wonder if it's not Shepherd himself behind the Greysmith persona. Anyone can get a Google Voice number with whatever area code you want, and Greysmith freely admits that the "hotline" to his investigation office isn't a direct number and you have to be patched in by Lancaster.
Greysmith keeps dangling another upcoming article, what will be the third in his own series that mentions me. I can't wait to read what revelations he shares that hasn't already been said by the other trolls. I never took them for recyclers, but oh well. I always enjoy learning about myself from these guys. I will say that for being such a seasoned investigator, Greysmith conveniently disregards information that would cut holes in his pedestal, like when Hatfield sensei (and his teacher James Parrish, current head of Wae-Kune-Do Karate) tried to call him to specifically verify the claim that Hatfield sensei was Parrish's successor of WKD and the call couldn't be connected. Odd, right? Considering when I called there were no issues.
One thing that was intriguing, though, is that Greysmith made the point that he'll travel to Japan to verify if Hasaka sensei trained at the Yoshinkan honbu (a claim we never made) when I offered him the opportunity to come here for a fraction of the cost to view all of the historical records I have on Hasaka sensei, including pictures of him with his teachers as well as numerous with Hatfield sensei spanning the course of over a decade, and Hatfield sensei's inheritance paperwork for the American Yoshinkan system. He even rushed off the phone so he could book a flight that minute! I guess I should be honored this retiree would travel across the world just for information about little ole me.
My favorite rookie to join the goon squad is Matt Bryce, who seems to have no connection to anyone above other than being a member of BSMA and he simply enjoys stirring the pot for "likes." Matt has resorted to sharing old videos of both myself and Hatfield sensei half-assed walking through kata (which were originally filmed for students as practice material) and a video of Hatfield sensei playfully point sparring with one of his students as an exhibition fight in a local tournament, in an attempt to show our alleged lack of technical ability. Of course, if someone wanted to know what our actual abilities are, it's not like our schools are off the beaten path. But as skill is subjective, if 100 people say you're great and a few trolls poke fun, I guess we're doing pretty good. It's important to consider the source for such criticisms. I suppose these keyboard warriors know better than some of the most respected people my teacher and I have shared the floor with.
Well James, along with everyone else at BSMA (including today's dishonorable mention Brandon Hileman, a random kid who I think just comments so he has someone to talk to), I guess we're going to be at this feud for a while because my school isn't going anywhere.
Although, for all of their effort their campaign of hate has had absolutely no effect on our affiliations or associates. It's almost as if those who have shared the mat with us and know us personally are better judges of who we are and what we do than those who surf the net for their latest victim.
Now that I've gotten all of that off my chest, I will admit that the best thing would be to let it go. Believe it or not, there's actually a lot more I could've written about but I think I've made my point. We owe these people nothing, and we are beyond confident in the legitimacy of our claims as martial artists, both on the mat and on paper. This is something both Hatfield sensei and I are willing to share if only these trolls would step out from behind their keyboards and grab a bite to eat with us. Cue the fat jokes now, but I've got to keep up this "dad-bod," right Don? In fact, my doors are open to anyone who walks through them respectfully. The scrolls and pictures people are always wanting to see are freely displayed on my wall, and I'm not hiding anything. That being said, I also will not be bullied into running to the computer to post what I hold most sacred and dear just because someone in another time zone demands it, and yes at this point it may just be stubbornness that keeps me from doing so as I'm sure all of this would end if I just complied with their demands. If you want to know the truth about myself or my teacher, come out and play. After all, this is just a game at this point...
I am not Dan Harmon, and I will not be driven to such extreme measures by people who are significantly beneath me and not worth my attention (or anyone for that matter). I answer them and write counter articles to fight against their largely unchecked reign of terror, not because they are worth they are worth the time it takes to write this article but because someone needs to expose them for what they truly are. In fairness, I would rather they continue to attack me than someone as fragile as Dan simply because I can handle it. I don't expect the charade to stop any time soon, but at least it will be documented for those who want the truth.