Discussion in 'Western Martial Arts' started by Polar Bear, May 6, 2009.
It's good to know that this sort of idiocy isn't confined to the Silat community.
Tellner, there is a lifetime of entertainment and unintentional comedy to be had in the inter-personal politics of ALL martial styles.
Anyone would think we all LIKE fighting or something.....
A Silat buddy of mine, while speaking of the frequent arguments that would break out on a particlar MA forum once opined:
A whole herd of Martial Artists get together and a fight breaks out.
Peace favor your sword,
lkl, how is Chas doing these days?
He's on a new pain med for his neuropathy which is letting him work again. He is now actively soliciting work, though he stipulates that he currently has a 1 month back-log from before his most recent extended convolesence and will not be able to start on new orders right away.
I'm still trying to figure out what I might have him make. It's a problem for me because I WANT to throw work his way but I don't really want most of what he produces and the few things that he does make that I might want I tend to prefer in the "utilitarian, disposable, tear it up and get a new one" category rather than the "made by a craftsman, heirloom" category.
Peace favor your sword,
The bookweight I got from him was a good balance of the two. It was attractive and well constructed but simple. And since it's primarily something for holding books open it can be something semi-permanent which could become disposable in an emergency.
Hmmm. Something to think about. I'm an avid reader but most of the books I read don't frequently require a bookweight. Sometimes when out in the training area and working with my guys, particularly on Bartitsu, it'd be nice, but it's not frequent.
Anyway, it's an idea.
Peace favor your sword,
There has been no meltdown in ARMA. A couple of members were booted for very bad behavior. A side effect was the enforcement of long existing policies, which lead a couple of weeks later to several study group leaders resigning. Saddy, members of those study groups had to be let go of too. There is no edict stating that all interllectual property belongs to John Clements. None of this had anything to do with money. None of this was discussed on the ARMA forum because the forum is for discussing martial arts, not the internal operations of the organization. If any threads were remove from the forum it is because they were not about martial arts. Through out all of this ARMA kept doing what it does and most members did not even notice. It's not unlike work, when a friend is fired or resigns you wish them well and return to your work, a few days later it's like they were never there.
The people who were booted or left ARMA are already interacting with the rest of the WMA community, which is very good since they will basically be taking John Clements' teachings to others. If you get a chance to interact with any of these ex-members, most of whom are now in HECF, I would highly encourage you to do so. My guess is that these ex-members cannot just migrate into the other organizations, since they would have to dumb themselves down to fit in. Some of them might do that but it will be a shame if they do.
That was a good post up to this point ...
That sort of comment. without valid qualification, is in danger of providing more reasons for the anti-ARMA comments that you (as an ambassador for your group) should be trying to negate. The obvious instant reply would be "or raise their standards back up to a martial level".
Don't get me wrong - I'm not interested in taking sides, but I must question these sort of comments.
You are right, I should have qualified that comment.
I think the more senior level former members would have a hard time as members of many of the other organizations in the US since they would have to dumb themselves down to fit in. For example, I don't think the former members are going to be willing to engage in the level of edge hacking that is see in many of the US groups. Hopefully they will soon have a very positive interaction with and influnce upon some of the other US groups.
So what's the total number of people who have left ARMA?
I echo Mark's comment even though you're probably sadly right. The state of things in America really isn't great and atleast ARMA do try to keep it real. I reckon a change of leadership and ARMA would an amazing organisation.
I don't have a dog in this fight but you might want to think of a better analogy than this. The way it reads makes it sound like you "doth protest too much."
Another place where you might want to modify the statement. Saying it as "taking John Clements' teaching to others" has a vaguely apostolic sound to it, know what I mean? Might be wiser to say something like, "taking the theory of hard sparring, etc. with them to other groups." Of course, that will, inevitably, lead to the typical, "we already do hard sparring" from others, but that's the price you got to pay I guess.
Um, I agree with Mark. This statement will do nothing but raise the defensiveness and aggressive attitude of people whom you should be hoping to sway. I know if I were a Longsword stylist (whatever), I'd be pretty ****ed and taking aim at you right now. It just re-ignites the "my way is the only way and you're dumb if you're not doing it my way" argument. That's really how it comes across.
Like I said, I don't have a dog in this fight (I study later periods), just something you should be aware of: how it reads to a third party.
Peace favor your sword,
I don't see how either of my posts could be taken as a protest but in any case it was not. I simiply provided a very short description of what had taken place. Likewise, I'm not really sure how you see my other statements as sounding "apostolic" but I'll guess it is in the ear of the beholder. But the fact is that as the former members interact with the rest of the WMA community they will be spreading John Clements interpretations. The question is will the former members and the WMA commuity gives John credit for his work? In regard to the statement that Mark took issue with please note that I did reply to him.
Of course the ARMA way is not the only way. However, we strongly believe that the ARMA way is the best way, if I didn't I would join another group! The ARMA method of training is well proven and John Clements' interpretations are clearly a generation ahead of what we see in the US. Of course, no one has to believe that. Answer this question to yourself (not to us): If you really had to fight for your life with a sword in one month who would you really want to train with during that month - Clements or one of the SFI experts?
To the best of my knowledge a couple of years ago ARAM's membership stablized around 500 members. Last I heard the rejection rate for membership runs right at 50 percent.
To those of us within ARMA it is already an amazing organization. We actually like the strong leadership John Clements provides. Within ARMA we do not have to deal with BS at any level. The quality of the martial arts is never lessen just for a group hug.
You didn't answer my question Ran, how many left in the events described?
Rejection rate? That in itself is unsettling, why would you reject students. In my case student leave because they don't like the training, they don't like the people or they get bored and want to do something else. What are the screening criteria?
Well I've found that if you build a tight bond between your group, it allows you to train harder. You trust each other more and therefore you can push the intensity further and yup we even hug at the end of a freeplay bout.
To be honest from you posts, I'm getting the sense of an unhealthy organisation. I dunno if it's just your particular writing style but everything you say really rings alarm bells with me.
Take it for what it was intended. It just sounds like you're working really hard to "prove" that the event was "no big deal." Best way to do that is to pretty much act as if it wasn't instead of explaining in excruciating detail, complete with allegorical prose, why it isn't.
Do you really want to know? In my experience, most people don't, but OK, here goes.
Your phrase, "which is very good since they will basically be taking John Clements' teachings to others" sounds apostolic. "John Clements," in this sentence could just as easily be replaced with "Jesus Christ" or "Sidharta Buddha." The way it's stated, makes the Subject of the sentence "John" instead of "teachings." You need to decide what the Subject is because that's what the reader is going to focus on. So you need to ask yourself if you want your reader, those whom you hope to sway or leave with a positive message, to focus on John Clements and all the controversy surrounding him or do you want them to focus on the TEACHING methodology. Which is more important to you, the name or the methodology?
Yes, I'm sure of that. I am merely pointing out how the message is coming across. If you're OK with it sounding condescending, insular, and insulting (regardless of whether or not that is how you actually feel), that is your prerogative.
I don't have a dog in this fight. I don't do longsword, so, to be blunt, I don't really care. But, since you asked, I'd rather fight with people who I KNOW and trust. And, for the record, the few times that I've personally interacted with ARMA folks face to face, they were low level "rank and file" guys and were kinda *male genetalia* who did come across as condescending, insular, and insulting. In marked contrast, the (again) few times I've interacted with ARMA Leadership online, including John, I was treated politely and professionally.
So, right now, I have experience which leads me to believe that rank and file ARMA guys have been somehow encouraged in an attitude of "the ARMA way is the only way and you're dumb if you're not doing it that way," possibly just as an unintended ARMA cultural norm. I don't know, and, frankly, I don't care.
Now, with that particular experience, when I see your posts here and elsewhere and other ARMA "rank and file" members posts such as those of Mr. Heslop "challenging" Hugh Knight, which seem to conform to the pattern, well that just confirms the conclusion.
Like I said, I honestly don't care that much about the various arguments on methodology, pedagogy, or the other dog-n-pony shows in the modern Longsword study and vastly LESS about the internal politics of ARMA (aside from the fact that I find the whole Longsword/WMA politicking from either/any side annoying and distracting). However, if you aren't condescending, insular, and insulting, then pay attention to some friendly observations from a guy who specifically distances himself from the ARMA methodology debate.
Because, truth to be told, this sort of infighting in what is a VERY small subset of martial arts that is STRUGGLING for public legitimacy and recognition as something other than a bunch of D&D LARPing NERDS simply can't afford this sort of negative image.
I mean, heck, when Webster's Dictionary still defines "martial arts" as specifically asian arts and Joe Average thinks Longswords are one-handed cruiciforms from Ivanhoe and Rapiers are the purview of Zoro, WMA in general can hardly afford to be perceived as engaging in snarky backbiting and blogosphere politicking.
No, I'm not saying that ARMA should "lower their standards." I'm saying that you folks might want to figure out a way of presenting yourselves to the public at large in a somewhat more positive light. Yeah, the Leadership might all be bunnies and light but even "rank and file" guys are "ambassadors of ARMA," like it or not, and my experience (and that of several friends and acquaintances as well) is that these rank and file "ambassadors" are busy trying to start an international incident.
Peace favor your sword,
I don't know the actual number but I'll guess between 20 and 30 members.
It's not a ruthless as it appears. Many of the people to attempt to join ARMA are actually looking for something along the lines of the SCA or LARPing. We are more than happy to point them in the right direction. But there are others who are rejected because it is clearly that they are not wanting to work hard or spend any time reading the works of the historical masters. Due to many bad experiences in the past we do reject people who's main interest is in some other martial art or in another group - it just does not work out and becomes a drag on other members. In a few cases in the DFW study group we rejected people who seemed anti-social.
It is these very reasons that we run such a high rejection rate. It's not that the people were bad, rather it is because they just did not fit with the other members of ARMA.
Oh, far from it. Not only is ARMA a very health organization this is truely an exciting time to be a part of it. The new interpretations that are being presented are totally transforming almost eveything we have been doing.
You seem to be caring too much about nothing at all.
Go easy on the coffee and/or tea in the morning, sit back and relax, the world is still turning.
I care about WMA? Quell Surprise.
A stunning, cutting, and insightful rebuttal to my observations on the general attitude presented by rank and file AMRA members such as yourself.
Peace favor your sword,
Separate names with a comma.