I’ve seen a number of the biggest names in our industry here on Facebook exhibit extreme arrogance (critiquing and mocking others’ videos at every turn), spewing propaganda that begins at elitism and ends at borderline racism, throw people out of their organizations for teaching people of different Asian heritage, talk ad infinitum about who could kick whose ass and talk immense bravado and how you know more than others online here because you trained with Jim Bob Asskicker. You’re not a special flower. (As an aside, some of the absolute most talented martial artists/combatives experts/weapons men-and women-I’ve met and seen on here I had never ever heard of before joining Crackbook, what a pleasant surprise! Some of the most impressive I’ve seen are the quiet, unassuming ones that simply go about their bloody business at an extremely high level with no name value and, often therefore, no politics) The other side is continued videos in the name of beautiful heavenly flow cut someone to pieces after throwing a punch (otherwise known as “murder” in modern society, not exactly imparting valued in-depth knowledge of the blade although I have been guilty of this in the past as well until doing some deep internal thinking on what it is exactly that I’m demonstrating), demonstrate very little in the name of modern legal restraint and claim it in the name of “art.” Or the perpetual arguments about which is more “authentically-Filipino”: arnis de mano, escrima or kali. (My argument: “Who gives a shit. Same thing, different locality, different take, different name but far more overlap than difference or effectiveness) Others who’ve claimed a 200-0 record in full-contact stickfighting or streetfighting. (Clearly not been fighting the right people as most have even an off day now and then even if you’re that damn good, fluke knockout shots exist and happen and EVERYBODY loses who’s thrown their ass on the line in the name of full-contact against trained opponents….Kramer karate episode from Seinfeld anyone?) Others are actively (just saw this one yesterday although I point out that the FMA, if you believe it’s heavily Spanish-influenced or not, is a living breathing art with no gaps in its evolution where it ceased to be practiced), I see, trying to disprove the legitimacy of FMA by promoting their own newly re-born European/African/modern fighting system. (Individual. It’s the individual. You’ll get that one day but be patient) I’ve been actually pseudo-annoyed lately and a little bloody awed at the online bullshit that I’ve seen peddled. (And have deleted some accordingly as I choose to surround myself, even from those I’ve only met digitally, with those of like mind and open mentality) I don’t claim to be some all-knowing-supreme-grand-poobah-from-the-sky-coming-directly-from-God but (I realize the “but”, for some, can cancel out everything that came previously but I digress) I have paid my dues and earned whatever titles I’ve received. (And, by the way, my students call me “Darren” in spite of the titles and I don’t kiss others’ ass because they have a bigger name than my own…pants/one leg at a time or something like that) I respect the right of others to express themselves in whatsoever way they choose but I am so f-ing sick of politics, propaganda, which art is better than which other, what’s in a name, how you’re going to kick what’s-his-name’s ass and how you would’ve beat the shit out of so-and-so if you were put in that situation where someone else reacted differently in real life. (And, maybe, we’re all, me very much included, guilty of this on some level as combative martial arts is often an ego-driven entity, I realize but that doesn’t make it right) Really? “You never know until walk in another man’s shoes”. “It’s always the individual.” “It’s easy to talk shit about others when you weren’t in the situation.” All metaphors that come to mind. Real violence has an ingrained effect on a person. For life. It’s not a topic to take lightly and the older I get and more I learn I know I don’t want to participate in violence in any way unless absolutely necessary as nobody wins or benefits, social vs. asocial violence being very very different entities. (Although I absolutely get the need to use sarcasm and crack jokes to lighten the mood of a topic all too serious at times)
*By the way, I just read from Ron Saturno that he inevitably took his name off the market as his functionality doesn’t sell in comparison to the flashy, Hollywood crowd in FMA. Makes me sad to hear it, although I unfortunately get it entirely.