On Tag lines and Personal Creeds

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On Tag lines and Personal Creeds

Postby Kevin Mackie » Fri Jul 29, 2005 3:06 pm

About tag lines.

I’ve been following the thread on Van’s forum and would like to add a few comments here as that thread has gotten off topic and morphed into something less than a civil discussion between several participants. Labeling people as trolls is personal. The forum moderators have a mechanism in their arsenal for managing genuine trolls.

From my perspective, a tag line such as the “offensive” one in question is simply a personal statement of one’s attitude towards conditioning in the Uechi tradition. I cannot see how anyone could be offended by it. Someone may take exception, but that should only provide a spring board to launch a discussion about how a choice to use/avoid makiwara training does not diminish/enhances one’s martial ability. (Which it started to do on Rick’s forum)

Here’s an example. If this were a forum about field sports and a rugby player tagged “We don’t need no stinkin’ pads!”,an American/Canadian footballer could think, “hey we’re just as tough” and perhaps take offense where none is intended. Again, no personal insult or attack on any other sport/style there.

In my analysis, what was intended to be a personal statement, and it was clarified as such in Rick’s forum (not too far unlike Tony’s prior avatar with the shotgun, or Van’s gunslinger avatar, which some may find cause to dislike), evolved into “shots” at dojo’s that don’t have that training tool. Perhaps a moderator should have nipped it somewhere in the middle of that thread.

And on a side note, I don’t recall Van’s Walpole dojo having a makiwara, for no other reason if memory serves, as a courtesy to the restaurant tenant on the first floor. I’ve been in others that didn’t have one and some that had one and only a few people worked out with it. It’s never been mandatory training in my experience.

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Hi Kevin..

Postby gmattson » Fri Jul 29, 2005 9:39 pm

All good and valid points you make. Tag lines are particularly visual because they are repeated every time a poster writes something. Kind of a "in your face" message.

Like you, I can ignore the message that "if your dojo doesn't have makiwara, it is a dance studio"!

But as a site administrator, or John as the person who helps me enforce the EA rules, emotions or personal feelings can't enter the equation. . . as difficult as this may be to accomplish.

These things don't come up very often and if people were a bit more supportive, the process could be seamless and painless. In a short time, John would be out of a job.

Now, back to the tagline. On many sites (and it is an option I can turn on here) taglines aren't possible. Many are truly funny and creative and I would like to keep them. But in this case, John and I both feel the tagline message violates these two rules:

CC5. Do not belittle anyone for any reason.

CC6. Do not criticize another style/art.

No one feels Randy posted it to belittle anyone or to criticize any dojo. However, because the statement is pretty clear in its message, we felt and feel that it violates EA rules.

John wanted to discuss the whole subject of tag lines when he returns from vacation. I just wanted to clarify our position and the reason for taking the action we did.
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Postby Stryke » Fri Jul 29, 2005 11:48 pm

Rugby players dont need no stinkin pads .

and they are tougher :lol:

Padding just reduces the mental toughness and increases the risk of serious injury IMHO .

But I acknowledge my Bias and apologise to any of those tough guys in there body armour . I`m sure your very strong :shocked!:

The biggest problem with this pc attitude is it takes away the ability for one to make mistakes .

I can no longer make comments on what I feel superior training , and If i am wrong , I will never have the oppurtunity to stand corrected . And If I am right I will never pass the knowledge on to other Martialists .

I miss the oppurtunity to make mistakes and learn , in a civil and polite manner .

Feelings have little to do with it IMHO

Is the world so far gone that agreeing to disagree is no longer enough , do more than sticks and stones break my bones ....

cant we all just get along

Apples and oranges Marcus

Postby gmattson » Sat Jul 30, 2005 12:51 am

It's all about intent.

I can offer my opinion all day long on a subject.

"In my opinion, if a dojo doesn't have makiwara, it is simply a dance studio."

This might piss off some people, but its your opinion relating to your training beliefs. I would recommend to word the same sentiment in a little less confrontational manner:

"In my opinion, makiwara training is essential for martial artist."

As friends, I would think we would elect to word our thoughts so as to not insult or ridicule those who read our forums.

When someone makes a general statement of fact:

"Anyone who does not train on the makiwara is not a martial artist."

is a statement of fact, albeit an unsupported fact. This would not be welcomed here.

Pretty simple to me, but even I screw up sometimes, even when I really try to post in a friendly manner.
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Postby Stryke » Sat Jul 30, 2005 3:32 am

I get it , there must be a caveat on all opinion on opinion forums

so a tagline that reads ?

IMHO a dojo without a Makiwara is a dance studio

this is acceptable .

so the problem is that people reading cant distinguish that what one writes is the posters opinion and not a fact .

this is good we can now move on , I`ll put a caveat to that effect in my signature .


Postby gmattson » Sat Jul 30, 2005 10:48 am

If that makes you feel OK, go for it.
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Postby Bill Glasheen » Mon Aug 01, 2005 3:57 pm

I'm happy to see this thing settle down without too much controversy. Van and I were e-mailing each other about it over the weekend. Like a fight on the court or playing field, it's generally best to let the individual parties settle it.

There are some observations I'd like to make, partly because Van asked me to. I waited, because I didn't want to be part of the problem. But I think some things are worth discussing.

First... I don't think Randy meant anything by his tag line. It was a joke - period. I don't have a makiwara in my dojo, nor do I ever plan getting one. I have no use for it. Meanwhile, Vinny talked about what he heard concerning training methods (rolling pin on the shins) that someone reported to cause long-term damage. Something about bursting capillaries, and discolored skin on the shins. Well... We do rolling pin training in my dojo. At the end of the day, I did not worry about someone's opinion about my lack of a makiwara in the dojo, and I didn't worry about someone's opinion about the presence of rolling pins in the same. I personally am happy one dojo embraces something I don't and another avoids something that I do. This way I get to benchmark what we do. It's the best thing we have to a controlled study. Everything else is just an opinion - even if well-informed. Under the right conditions, I'll discuss it. I've learned long ago (the hard way...many times...) that issues can wait, life isn't that serious, there's no reason to find conflicts where they don't exist, and there are better ways to win friends and influence people. I personally am not offended by Randy's tag line, and I don't worry about my rolling pin training right now.

But yes, it was JUST A JOKE! As I told Van, it reminded me of an old song by The Charlottesville Blues Allstars.

My girl is red hot; your girl ain't diddly squat!

Are those fighting words? When the band plays this raucous rockabilly song for a dancing crowd, do fist fights break out because someone's woman was dissed? Of course not. The author of the song is just having a little fun with being in love.

That being said...

This forum has a serious problem with backhanded comments. There's a bad habit of making a point at the expense of others, when it really isn't necessary. And yes, I am guilty as charged. How many times have I said takeyourdo...I mean taequondo to be funny? It's funny - partly because it's ridiculous but has a small kernel of truth to it. The Koreans have one of the better business models on the planet, and their numbers speak to it. Martial arts are martial arts and business is business. Purists will gripe, and joke, and - yes - disparage. But... I really shouldn't do that if I want the opinion of very good TKD martial artists. And I've been the benefit of black belt TKD students who subsequently became very good Uechi students under me.

With the right company, you get away with stuff like this. With the right company, I can look at an Asian friend and say something like "Y'all look the same to me." It's funny to him because he knows me and prejudice is something that isn't part of my makeup. But I can't say something like that at work, because I don't know who will be listening and I don't know if someone will be offended by an off-color remark like this.

This is a public forum. We don't know who will be reading these threads. We don't know what effect our words have on others we don't know and can't even see. Doesn't it make sense to shape our language in a fashion where we minimize the risk of offending someone else? And knowing whether or not you will or will not offend someone is made easier by having a few basic rules to operate by, right? Occasionally the rules will seem a bit strange in isolated circumstances but... Rules are rules. Is it proper for Don to be able to decide when the rules do or do not apply to him?

Then there is the discussion...

This is the way I see it. It is my opinion, so take it for what it's worth - probably not more than 2 cents.

Neil asked Randy a legitimate question. Randy could have answered the question and some follow-up questions without getting emotionally hijacked. That would have been nice. Neil could have stayed in the discussion and seen it to the end. On more than one occasion, Neil has said something and then dropped out of sight. Sometimes it's something like 'You all don't want to know what I really think here...' and then refused to say anything when people encouraged him to speak his mind. If you really didn't intend to say something, why bother mentioning there was a thought in the first place? In like fashion, it would have been nice to see the line of questioning to the end. To do otherwise is like throwing a smoke bomb in a crowded room and running.

And all the rest of us should let two people have a decent discussion without piling on. Randy's a big boy; he can explain himself. Neil's a smart guy; he can articulate his thoughts. No need to take sides. Asking about the tagline was a legitimate question, and it would have been interesting to see an unemotional discussion of it all. In a perfect world...

Another issue...

I do not envy John's job. It's not a fun one. And John's new to this. He will screw up at least as many times as I have; that's the way I see it. I think we should all give him a little bit of slack. If you don't like what he said, say you don't like it. John will learn.

And finally...

"Fair fighting" means sticking to a subject. If you still have issues with being slighted about this or the other insult or phantom insult, well... Go start a thread on it. Talk it out. Talk some more. And then, GET OVER IT. Whatever your do, stop bringing your old problems into new discussions. Life is short, and there's a beer in the refrigerator.

There, I've spoken my peace, piece, or whatever. There's a bullseye pinned to my back. Have at me! 8)

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Postby Oldfist » Mon Aug 01, 2005 4:58 pm

Kevin, George, Marcus, and Bill thanks very much for sharing your very helpful and insightful thoughts !! :D

In order for real, meaningful communication to occur, all the participants must care enough to make it happen, which all of you clearly do.

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