Martial Arts Charity Drive 2009

Our recent and spirited discussion of “McDojos” and mob justice was recently picked up at another forum. Apparently, the forum administrator is upset that I turned off comments on the original post, because he didn’t get an opportunity to express his dissenting viewpoint. In the interests of fairness and education, I will summarize his rebuttal here.

My Point: McDojos exist only because customers want them. These customers are not always honest about their motivations, especially during a hostile interrogation.
Counterpoint: No comment.
My Point: When given a choice between looking foolish in front of a crowd (by admitting their voluntary participation in a McDojo), and looking smart (by accusing their former McDojo of fraud), people will naturally choose the latter, whether it is true or not.
Counterpoint: No comment.
My Point: While McDojos are typically attacked for failing to satisfy their inquisitors’ definition of “martial arts,” that definition is itself fraudulent, i.e. without basis in cultural or historical fact.
Counterpoint: No comment.
My Point: Attacking so-called “martial arts frauds” online is far easier, and more profitable than actually teaching martial arts.
Counterpoint: No comment.
My Point: Those who would shut down the McDojos do not offer a compelling alternative, and are probably incapable of doing so, lacking an understanding of McDojos’ real function as defined by their customer base.
Counterpoint: No comment.

At this point you may be wondering, what is the rebuttal that we all needed to hear?

Here it is: I am a 90lb twat who types with his pinkies in the air, and you are all developmentally disabled.

In other words, they desperately wish to change the subject.

OK. I accept the concession, and will not belabor my point any further, as that would be unsportsmanlike. But before dropping it altogether, my dear disabled readers, let’s squeeze these lemons dry!

Martial Development Charity Drive

If you have enjoyed Martial Development this year, I now ask for a small token of your appreciation; not for myself, but for the less fortunate among us. Five or ten dollars is enough; give more if you can, less if you must. Here is a list of deserving charities to choose from, or you can go with Special Olympics.

(In the spirit of the season, why not make your donations in honor of “Jack Frost”?)

Special Olympics replies to Jack Frost

After doing that, I would like you to leave a comment below, with the name of the charity you have chosen, and the amount given. (Feel free to omit your full name for privacy reasons.) Let the sum of those comments serve as evidence that martial artists can make a positive difference in the world, if they are properly motivated.

Given the number of subscribers and daily visitors here, I hope for at least 50 comments! (Until that number is reached, there will be no more posts on this blog.)

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

26 comments on “Martial Arts Charity Drive 2009”

  1. I think I addressed a lot of these points in the last article, but perhaps I wasn’t clear or specific enough.

    Point: McDojos exist only because customers want them. These customers are not always honest about their motivations, especially during a hostile interrogation.
    Counterpoint: You can say that they exist because people want them, but this is an unfalsifiable argument. Who can say what people want or really want? As far as I know, none of us have mind-reading abilities. You say they exist because customers want them, I argue that the customers patronize them because they do not know alternatives. I support my argument with the number of people who switch schools when evidence of fraud is brought forth. How do you support your argument?

    Point: When given a choice between looking foolish in front of a crowd (by admitting their voluntary participation in a McDojo), and looking smart (by accusing their former McDojo of fraud), people will naturally choose the latter, whether it is true or not.
    Counterpoint: I imagine this would seem true, except that there are many who willingly admit that participation. A cursory browsing of introduction threads on the site shows that. Furthermore, those who attempt to accuse a facility of fraud without evidence are quickly recognized and dealt with, as far as I’ve seen.

    Point: While McDojos are typically attacked for failing to satisfy their inquisitors’ definition of “martial arts,” the definition is itself fraudulent, i.e. without basis in cultural or historical fact.
    Counterpoint: The definition of “martial arts,” as you pointed out, is debatable, and will not be settled any time soon. However, the definition is irrelevant when discussing a teacher’s claims of credibility and the factual evidence affirming this or proving otherwise. Bullshido simply deals with those that label themselves as “martial artists.”

    Point: Attacking so-called “martial arts frauds” online is far easier, and more profitable than actually teaching martial arts.
    Counterpoint: You have yet to supply any evidence that this is true. While it may be easier, I doubt that it is more profitable, considering that no one works the Bullshido site full-time that I’m aware of, and many of the prominent members are, in fact, martial arts instructors at their own respective schools. If it was more profitable to attack frauds, why would any of them still be teaching?

    Point: Those who would shut down the McDojos do not offer a compelling alternative, and are probably incapable of doing so, lacking an understanding of their real function as defined by their customer base.
    Counterpoint: The compelling alternative is any school that does not forge its credentials, and is staffed with teachers who have verifiable evidence of their experience and competence. What exactly is the real function of a McDojo, as defined by the customer base? This is a rather vague statement, and clarification would be appreciated.

    I’ll see what I can do about the charities. Tis the season, after all.

  2. Point: McDojos exist only because customers want them. These customers are not always honest about their motivations, especially during a hostile interrogation.
    Counterpoint: Or because they don’t know there is an alternative, What you are saying is that Proffering is fine as long a no one notices

    Point: When given a choice between looking foolish in front of a crowd (by admitting their voluntary participation in a McDojo), and looking smart (by accusing their former McDojo of fraud), people will naturally choose the latter, whether it is true or not.

    Counterpoint: evidence please? some stats say? Have you spoken to lots of people who quit McDojo’s and they on mass prefer to make accusations? Is the validity of those accusations relevant?

    Point: While McDojos are typically attacked for failing to satisfy their inquisitors’ definition of “martial arts,” the definition is itself fraudulent, i.e. without basis in cultural or historical fact.
    Counterpoint: Nope, They are attacked for making CLAIMS that are untrue, most commonly we will teach you how to right effectively then failing. But also how many people out there are ex special forces or FBI trainers etc who also need to teach MA on the side for cash

    Point: Attacking so-called “martial arts frauds” online is far easier, and more profitable than actually teaching martial arts.
    Counterpoint: Profitable how? If it was then Phrost should be congratulated as an amazing entrepreneur for being the only person to spot it” and where are the big corpertion intending to snap up this lucrative new market?

    Point: Those who would shut down the McDojos do not offer a compelling alternative, and are probably incapable of doing so, lacking an understanding of their real function as defined by their customer base.
    Counterpoint: That why post asking for where often get many detailed responses, from recommending styles to specific schools, and that a couple of school owners are regular posters.

  3. Uh huh. So which charity have you two chosen? No need for further comment unless it specifies your donation.

  4. $50 check sent to Special Olympics. These bullshido “lord of the flies” keyboard warrior scumbags are now mocking the less fortunate with developmental issues? man, talk about a bunch of socially useless bottom feeders. I wonder how many of them killed their own parents and raped their own sisters with their superior “real martial arts” fighting prowess. It’s only a matter of time before these violence promoting scumbags end up in prisons or morgues.

  5. r prsn-mrgs, whr dth-rw nmts r frcd t xct ch thr nd thn ntrn n nthr. Yr sphstr nd blthr s stndng, Mr Blggr. f y thnk mrtl rts r prprl rprsntd b McDjs dn’t thnk y ndrstnd wht mrtl rts ctll r. t’s rthr rnc tht y clm dssntrs hld ncrrct pnns bt th cltrl cntxt f mrtl rts whn ctll fghtng (nd lrnng hw) hs lwys bn th prps mrtl rts. Sprtl dvlpmnt nd thr sch ls nd tmflr r tckd n whn qlt nd mrtl-prwss s drppd, t cnfs th byr nt thnkng wht h’s pyng fr s wrthwhl (whn t sn’t).

    [This comment was dis-emvoweled because it did not reference a donation to charity. Yes, the rule will be enforced. Season’s Greetings! –Ed.]

  6. S, y lck cmmnts n n pst t nd n rgmnt, thn y mk nthr pst whr y clm vctr n th prvs rgmnt, thn whn thr ppl rpl t th nw pst prvdng cntrs t th pnts y drv yr ‘vctr’ frm y rfs t rspnd t thm. Nc. nyw, wth rgrds bllshd y r cnfsng tw thngs: Frstl thr s th nvstgtn f mrtl rts frd nd dshnst, tht s th ncvrng th trth r ntrth bhnd spcfc clms rltng t mrtl rts. n xmpl f ths s ppl clmng hgh rnks n rts tht th hv nt bn wrdd. Ths s clrl frdlnt; ppl s thr rnk t sll thr tchng srvc, f th r nt nttld t t th r msrprstntng thr srvc fr prft. Nt tht ths s nt dpndnt n vl jdgmnts bt th rts bng tght. Scndl thr r th pnns f pstrs n th Bllshd frms. Thr s n dnyng tht th mjrt f ctv pstrs r strngl n fvr f th d tht mrtl rts shld b bt lrnng t fght nd tht ‘sprt’ rts rltd t MM r sm f th th bst rts t ths gl. Hwvr, ths ds nt ntrfr wth th frst pnt. B ths mn tht lgtmt prcttnrs f rts nt rspctd n th frm r nt hndd b nvstgtns nc thr lgtmc hs bn stblshd. s y s, ppl wnt dffrnt thngs frm thr stds. Bllshd sks t mk sr tht ppl r prprl nfrmd bt thr ptns, nd tht whn th hv chsn th wll nt b vctm f dshnst mrtl rts ‘slsmn’ whtvr thr chc.

    [Please include a reference for your charitable donation, Rob. I didn’t close the other thread because I was “losing an argument”, but because at that point there was nothing but childish personal attacks in lieu of an argument. I might add that after many demands for “evidence”, the references I provided have been ignored–no big surprise there. I’ve already said enough on this issue, and for a small donation I’ll let you have the last word. Don’t miss the opportunity. –Ed.]

  7. s frl stndrd bllshd “bll”, wld lk t tk th tm nd rspnd whr y s w hv n cmmnt. s y knw, w ctll hv cmmnt fr vrythng, t m jst nt b n tn y prfr. Pnt: McDjs xst nl bcs cstmrs wnt thm. Ths cstmrs r nt lwys hnst bt thr mtvtns, spcll drng hstl ntrrgtn. Cntrpnt: Th hrt f yr rgmnt s ll bt th cnsmrs’ mtvtn. Y clm tht th sk t ths bhvr sll t ct t thr jpnphl fntss. wld dsgr, smpl bcs f th wntd tht, thr r plnt f cspl nd cltrl grps tht r cmpltl hnst bt wht th d t fll tht vd. Th rsn cnsmr wld chs mrtl rt vr smthng lk tht s dsr t LRN T FGHT. Ths rgnztns prms t tch thm tht, wtht ll f th nplsnt wrkng t r gttng hrt tht tht hppns n bxng r wrstlng tht th cld gt fr fr t thr schl. S ptntl cnsmr s gvn chc btwn smthng tht s rds nd vr prctcl, s ppsd t mldl txng nd strc, wth bth prmsng th sm nd gl. blnd cnsmr, thnkng th rslts wll b ql, wll chs th sr rt. Ths s bth dcptn nd frd, nd tht s wh bllshd s nt fn. Pnt: Whn gvn chc btwn lkng flsh n frnt f crwd (b dmttng thr vlntr prtcptn n McDj), nd lkng smrt (b ccsng thr frmr McDj f frd), ppl wll ntrll chs th lttr, whthr t s tr r nt. Cntrpnt: blv nswrd ths bv, bt t xtrplt slghtl; mst bllshd mmbrs hv t sm pnt n thr lvs bn n th rcvng nd f pr qlt nstrctn. Mst f thm, r t lst th ns hld n n rgrd, s th cs f t ws cmbntn f th nstrctr lyng bt hs/hr blts, nd thr ltnt stpdt fr nt pckng p n th B.S. Tht s bllshd’s mst mprtnt fnctn; nt t ncssrl dbnk ll frds, tht s n mpssblt, bt rthr mprss pn cnsmrs wht schl tht cn tch y t fght wll lk lk, s th cn mk nfrmd dcsns. f th wld stll prfr t d wsh, thts fn, s lng s th g nt t knwng th wll nt knw hw t fght t th nd. Pnt: Whl McDjs r typcll ttckd fr flng t stsf thr nqstrs dfntn f mrtl rts, th dfntn s tslf frdlnt, .. wtht bss n cltrl r hstrcl fct. Cntrpnt: thr r n cltrl r hstrcl spcts t th blt t fght. Th “mrtl” spct f mrtl rt; whch tslf mns th w f wr. f y cnnt fght, y r nt prctcng mrtl rt. Tht s ll w jdg mrtl rt n; ts blt t prdc fghtrs cpbl f hldng thr wn n fll cntct mtchs. f y wnt t tk kry mrtl rt tht s fn, jst knw t s std n pr wr jpns cltr mr thn t s w t fght. W d nt cr wht ntnlt, crd, r clr n rt sscts tslf wth. f th cn prdc fghtrs, th r gvn rspct. Pnt: ttckng s-clld mrtl rts frds nln s fr sr, nd mr prftbl thn ctll tchng mrtl rts. Cntrpnt: sr ys, bt whr s th prft? Mst nvstgtns r dn fr fr n n d-hc bss, smpl b ppl wh cr bt th rpttn f mrtl rts s whl. m sr Nl mks mn frm hs dvrtsmnts, bt mst f ths, t lst tht gt, r fr dtng sts. N cnflct f ntrst thr Pnt: Ths wh wld sht dwn th McDjs d nt ffr cmpllng ltrntv, nd r prbbl ncpbl f dng s, lckng n ndrstndng f thr rl fnctn s dfnd b thr cstmr bs. Cntrpnt:s dfnd n m frst rspns, ths tht wnt t rll lrn t fght wll mv t mrtl rt wth hstr f prdcng fghtrs, th rst wll mv t cspl, lrpng, nd cltrl scts. s fnl nt, hv nt cntrbtd t n f th chrts y lstd, t lst thrgh y. Tryng t lmt th cnvrstn bsd n mn s n ld trck t tr nd lmt tsd thght. n f th mn rsns st spnsrshp n bllshd s ptnl

    [Good points Daniel. And you may be right, calling for donations at Christmastime is just “an old trick”. If you aren’t willing to pay, and would rather try to spite me at the expense of the underprivileged, then you’ll have to repost your good points elsewhere. Or cite your donation and I’ll reinstate your comment. –Ed.]

  8. Th cmplnt gnst “McDjs” s vr smpl n, n mttr hw mch y tr t bscr t: Th ngg n frd. t m b vr sncr frd n sm css — vn slf-dlsn — bt t s frd nnthlss. Smtms th frd s th dffrnc btwn wht th tch nd wht th s th tch. Smtms th frd s n th crdntls f th nstrctr. Smtms t s bth. Fr ths ppl wh wnt t lv n fnts wrld, blv tht th r rcvng sm knd f mystcl wrrr trnng r thr sch nnsns, McDjs srv grt prps — y ppr t spprt ths wllng vctmztn nd dlsn. Tht s yr frdm. Prhps y hv prftd frm t. Myb y’v bn vctm nd cn’t s r dn’t wnt t dmt t. Bt fr ths wh r gnnl skng ffctv slf dfns sklls fr thmslvs r lvd ns, McDjs r pstvl dngrs. Th r dngrs bcs th prtcpnts wrngl blv tht th hv lrnd slf dfns tht wll mk n dffrnc whtsvr gnst vlnt ttckr. nd th fnd t t prcsl th wrng tm tht stp sprrng, n-cntct pnt sprrng, frms nd ll f thr thr sll lttl drlls nd frmlts wr wst f tm nd mn. Thr crtfcts, frmlts, slf stm, dscpln, blts nd trphs mn nthng n rl sslt. Th thg brks rght thrgh ths fntss, bts thm snslss n fw scnds, nd thn rbs, rps r mrdrs thm. Thn lf gs n (r nt). Th brkn vctm trs t rcvr, nd th McDj dmts nthr rnd f stdnts, pshs thm t b stff, nd sts p nthr schdl f blt tsts wth ll f th ssctd fs. Mn ppl wh r vctms f frd *prpsfll* chs nt t fc t, dmt t, tc. t s mbrrssng t rlz tht y wr s wrng, tht y wstd s mch tm nd mn. Th wll cm p wth ll flvrs f xcss t spprt thr nd t blv tht wht th r dng s wrthwhl. nd prhps t s n th sns tht t gvs thm psychlgcl cmfrt — bt tht s n llsn. f smn tchng TKD, fr xmpl, wnts t clm tht t cn b gd xrcs, mk fr fn sprt nd fml ctvt, tc., tht s ll tr nd fn. dn’t vn hv bg prblm whn smn sys t s “grt w f lf.” k, crng lttl. Bt whn h clms tht t s frst nd frmst slf dfns, thn h s smpl lyng t hmslf nd t thrs. Sr, t cn b *dptd* t slf dfns wth prpr tttd nd trnng, bt t sn’t slf dfns n nd f tslf, nd th trnng ncssr fr dpttn s vr rrl prsntd. n fct, ‘v nvr sn t dn. ‘v prsnll mt r knwn hndrds f ppl wh prtcptd n s-clld “trdtnl” mrtl rts nd wr tght nd ctll blvd tht th wr lrnng slf dfns. Fr mr thn dcd ws stdnt nd nstrctr n sch systms. Thn wk p. t tk hvng chldrn, strngl. wntd t mk sr tht th wld knw hw t dfnd thmslvs nd whn lkd t wht ‘d spnt th lst + yrs dng, nd th rlt f wht vlnc s rll lk, rlzd tht t wldn’t ct t. thn lkd t schl ftr schl, nd mst dd bscll th sm thng: Prsntd wht th dd s slf dfns, whn t rll ws jst fr dmnstrtn, sprt, r prsnl dscpln. n m wn gym nw tch prctcl, brk-thr-kns-nd-rn-w-slf-dfns t mn, wmn nd chldrn. ‘m ttll pn wth thm tht ths s nt fr th fnt-f-hrt, nd tht ths sn’t yr typcl “mrtl rt.” Th prbbl rn’t gng t wn trnmnts wth th sklls w tch, nd ‘m nt gng t sll thm rnks, crtfcts r pl f thr mgnr grbg. Bt hpfll, t wll mprv thr chncs f th r ttckd. ls rnt m gym t lcl TKD nstrctr wh tchs n th nghts ‘m gn. H tchs Km’s TKD, wth n mphss n frmlt, frms, rt drlls, bscs, tc. H nd r plr ppsts n prctc nd prgrm phlsph. Th wll s lnd wth trphs fr hs styl, crtfcts, mdls, flgs, drgns, pth qts (n nthr lngg), tc. Bt ‘d pt n vrg prsn wth -mnths trnng n mn gnst n qvlnt wth -mnths n hs, r jst pt thm bth n slf dfns mrgnc, nd mn s smpl gng t hv bttr chnc t srvvng, scpng r prvlng. nd tht s th dffrnc. f h wnts t prsnt hs s smthng fr dmnstrtn, cndtnng nd trnmnts, nd prsnt mn s prctcl slf dfns, thn w r bth nggng n trth n lblng. Bt f h prsnts hs s slf dfns, r prsnt mn s “grt w f lf,” thn w r lyng t nd stlng frm r stdnts. t dsn’t mttr whthr th r wllng prtcpnts r nt. t s frd, t s shmfl, nd t shld b clld t. Nw, f y nd thr brwsrs f Mrtl Dvlpmnt wnt t rg th prsnl dvlpmnt sd f mrtl rts, ‘v n prblm wth tht r wth y. M prblm s whn y nd thrs msrprsnt mrtl rts s sfl fr slf dfns whn th mjrt r nt. Whn y prptt ths myth, y pstvl plc lvs t rsk. f y dn’t lk bng clld n th crpt fr ths (nd md fn f n th prcss), thn y wdd nt th wrng blg vr t Bllshd.

    [I’ve been told repeatedly over the past few days, that Bullshido is all about making this world a slightly better place for martial arts and martial artists, by exposing fraud. Mostly, by people who balk at donating a measly five dollars (minimum) to charity, as you can see above. All I can say now is, Money talks and bullshit walks. –Ed.]

  9. s yt nthr f th bllshd msss t wndr n ths drctn wld lk t rtrt tht r nvstgtns, nd ndd r prmr fcs, s t b crtn tht ptntl cnsmrs f Mrtl rts nstrctn hv th TRTH bt thr ptntl nstrctrs. Ths llws thm t mk n nfrmd dcsn bt whr th wll trn. nyn wh s thrtnd b th d f thr ptntl stdnts knwng th trth bt thr trnng s mst lkl bng dshnst nd knws tht th wll b dscrdtd. r prmr tnt fr VRYN s tht y mst prv wht y clm. Ths ppls t r mmbrs s wll s th ppl w nvstgt. Fl fr t cm jn th brd nd lnd yr wght t th nvstgtns. S lng s y rn’t pntlssl trllng w wlcm dssntng vws. Rmmbr ls tht Bllshd s nt mnlthc. W hv mmbrs frm ll vr th wrld nd wh hv xprnc n lmst vr pssbl mrtl rt. W wlcm n mr ptntl vc.

    [Thanks for the invitation. On the subject of proof–your donation will help prove that this crusade was about something other than self-aggrandizement. –Ed.]

  10. Regarding my charitable donations: My entire organization is non-profit, and I personally donate several hundred dollars per month towards other people’s physical conditioning and self defense training costs. In addition, I’ve personally set up a separate 501c3 foundation that helps provide training to people who can’t afford it.

  11. What is the name and address of your foundation, in case anyone wants to donate, or just to confirm your registration?

  12. gv grt dl t tys fr tts t m plc f mplymnt. Tk t fr wht y wll. Rqrng mn, vn mn gng t gd cs, t pst ns pnn, s stll n m pnn mrl w t lmt ths n th cnvrstn. Mn ppl smpl cnnt ffrd t dnt mch f nythng n ths tms

    [The rules are simple Daniel: name your charity and name your amount, or remain silent. Any American who can find time to debunk McDojos online, in the name of public service, but supposedly can’t afford a five dollar donation, is…dare I say it?…a fraud. –Ed.]

  13. I told you the organization I donated to. I donated to toys for tots, several toys amounting to about 20 bucks. Do you need me to find the receipt or can you take my word, like you have for all the people who agree with you?

    [Will I demand the evidence for your claim? No. One comment redeemed… –Ed.]

    —-

    As a fairly standard bullshido “bully”, I would like to take the time and respond where you say we have no comment. As you know, we actually have a comment for everything, it may just not be in a tone you prefer.

    Point: McDojos exist only because customers want them. These customers are not always honest about their motivations, especially during a hostile interrogation.

    Counterpoint: The heart of your argument is all about the consumers’ motivation. You claim that they seek out this behavior solely to act out their japanophile fantasies. I would disagree, simply because if they wanted that, there are plenty of cosplay and cultural groups that are completely honest about what they do to fill that void.

    The reason a consumer would choose a martial art over something like that is a desire to LEARN TO FIGHT. These organizations promise to teach them that, without all of the unpleasant working out or getting hurt that that happens in boxing or wrestling that they could get for free at their school. So a potential consumer is given a choice between something that is arduous and very practical, as opposed to mildly taxing and esoteric, with both promising the same end goal. A blind consumer, thinking the results will be equal, will choose the easier route. This is both deception and fraud, and that is why bullshido is not a fan.

    Point: When given a choice between looking foolish in front of a crowd (by admitting their voluntary participation in a McDojo), and looking smart (by accusing their former McDojo of fraud), people will naturally choose the latter, whether it is true or not.

    Counterpoint: I believe I answered this above, but to extrapolate slightly; most bullshido members have at some point in their lives been on the receiving end of poor quality instruction. Most of them, or at least the ones I hold in any regard, say the cause of it was a combination of the instructor lying about his/her abilities, and their latent stupidity for not picking up on the B.S. That is bullshido’s most important function; not to necessarily debunk all frauds, that is an impossibility, but rather impress upon consumers what a school that can teach you to fight will look like, so they can make informed decisions. If they would still prefer to do wushu, thats fine, as long as they go into it knowing they will not know how to fight at the end.

    Point: While McDojos are typically attacked for failing to satisfy their inquisitors’ definition of “martial arts,” the definition is itself fraudulent, i.e. without basis in cultural or historical fact.

    Counterpoint: there are no cultural or historical aspects to the ability to fight. The “martial” aspect of martial art; which itself means the way of war. If you cannot fight, you are not practicing a martial art. That is all we judge a martial art on; its ability to produce fighters capable of holding their own in full contact matches. If you want to take a koryu martial art that is fine, just know it is a study on pre war japanese culture more than it is a way to fight. We do not care what nationality, creed, or color an art associates itself with. If they can produce fighters, they are given respect.

    Point: Attacking so-called “martial arts frauds” online is far easier, and more profitable than actually teaching martial arts.

    Counterpoint: Easier yes, but where is the profit? Most investigations are done for free on an ad-hoc basis, simply by people who care about the reputation of martial arts as a whole. I am sure Neal makes money from his advertisements, but most of those, at least that I get, are for dating sites. No conflict of interest there

    Point: Those who would shut down the McDojos do not offer a compelling alternative, and are probably incapable of doing so, lacking an understanding of their real function as defined by their customer base.

    Counterpoint:As I defined in my first response, those that want to really learn to fight will move to a martial art with a history of producing fighters, the rest will move to cosplay, larping, and cultural societies.

    as a final note, I have not contributed to any of the charities you listed, at least through you. Trying to limit the conversation based on money is an old trick to try and limit outside thought. One of the many reasons site sponsorship on bullshido is optional

  14. You said you would allow posts from people who donate to charity, yet you rendered my post unreadable, misrepresented its content, and referred to it as “bullshit.”

    [You’ve broken the clearly stated rules of this thread, repeatedly. What’s the bullshit? No, not your last comment; the fact that out of hundreds of alleged Good Samaritans visiting today from you-know-where, approximately 3 have put their money where their mouth is. They should probably take another look in the mirror before hunting down frauds outside their door. –Ed.]

    That is dishonest and cowardly… but that seems to be the usual treatment of anyone who differs with your point of view: Misrepresent them, distort their posts, and when that doesn’t work, just close the comments.

    [I’ve edited and deleted more comments in the last week, than in the prior three years. For good reason. I’ll happily stand on my record, and you haven’t a clue about usual treatment. –Ed.]

    Some people talk/write about making donations and try to get others to cough up cash so they can feel good about themselves, while others do things that actually make a difference. I donate more money (and time) to individuals and charities every freakin’ month than you probably do in a year, if not in your lifetime Chris. I’m talking five figures every year. Hundreds of hours and over $25k out of pocket in just the last six months alone to create a non-profit training facility and cover tuition for people who couldn’t pay. Thousands to kids who can’t afford college tuition.

    In any event, the foundation I mentioned is listed at http://www.viapotentia.org/index.php?r=foundation. The name and address are at the bottom of the web page, along with the registration numbers with the state and fed.

    [Maybe you should have said this first, and saved yourself the trouble. I hope you are not annoyed by a request for evidence; it’s just sauce for the gander, isn’t it? Another comment redeemed… –Ed.]

    The complaint against “McDojos” is a very simple one, no matter how much you try to obscure it: They engage in fraud. It may be a very sincere fraud in some cases — even self-delusion — but it is fraud nonetheless. Sometimes the fraud is the difference between what they teach and what they say they teach. Sometimes the fraud is in the credentials of the instructor. Sometimes it is both.

    For those people who want to live in a fantasy world, believe that they are receiving some kind of mystical warrior training or other such nonsense, McDojos serve a great purpose — you appear to support this willing victimization and delusion. That is your freedom. Perhaps you have profited from it. Maybe you’ve been a victim and can’t see or don’t want to admit it. But for those who are genuinely seeking effective self defense skills for themselves or loved ones, McDojos are positively dangerous.

    They are dangerous because the participants wrongly believe that they have learned self defense that will make any difference whatsoever against a violent attacker. And they find out at precisely the wrong time that step sparring, no-contact point sparring, forms and all of their other silly little drills and formalities were a waste of time and money. Their certificates, formalities, self esteem, discipline, belts and trophies mean nothing in a real assault. The thug breaks right through these fantasies, beats them senseless in a few seconds, and then robs, rapes or murders them.

    Then life goes on (or not). The broken victim tries to recover, and the McDojo admits another round of students, pushes them to buy stuff, and sets up another schedule of belt tests with all of the associated fees.

    Many people who are victims of fraud *purposefully* choose not to face it, admit it, etc. It is embarrassing to realize that you were so wrong, that you wasted so much time and money. They will come up with all flavors of excuses to support their need to believe that what they are doing is worthwhile. And perhaps it is in the sense that it gives them psychological comfort — but that is an illusion.

    If someone teaching TKD, for example, wants to claim that it can be good exercise, make for fun sport and family activity, etc., that is all true and fine. I don’t even have a big problem when someone says it is a “great way of life.” Okay, I cringe a little. But when he claims that it is first and foremost self defense, then he is simply lying to himself and to others. Sure, it can be *adapted* to self defense with proper attitude and training, but it isn’t self defense in and of itself, and the training necessary for adaptation is very rarely presented. In fact, I’ve never seen it done.

    I’ve personally met or known hundreds of people who participated in so-called “traditional” martial arts and were taught and actually believed that they were learning self defense. For more than a decade I was a student and instructor in such systems.

    Then I woke up.

    It took having children, strangely. I wanted to make sure that they would know how to defend themselves and when I looked at what I’d spent the last 20+ years doing, and the reality of what violence is really like, I realized that it wouldn’t cut it. I then looked at school after school, and most did basically the same thing: Presented what they did as self defense, when it really was just for demonstration, sport, or personal discipline.

    In my own gym I now teach practical, break-their-knees-and-run-away-self-defense to men, women and children. I’m totally open with them that this is not for the faint-of-heart, and that this isn’t your typical “martial art.” They probably aren’t going to win tournaments with the skills we teach, and I’m not going to sell them ranks, certificates or a pile of other imaginary garbage. But hopefully, it will improve their chances if they are attacked.

    I also rent my gym to a local TKD instructor who teaches on the nights I’m gone. He teaches Kim’s TKD, with an emphasis on formality, forms, rote drills, basics, etc. He and I are polar opposites in practice and program philosophy. The wall is lined with trophies for his style, certificates, medals, flags, dragons, pithy quotes (in another language), etc. But I’d put an average person with 6-months training in mine against an equivalent with 6-months in his, or just put them both in a self defense emergency, and mine is simply going to have a better chance at surviving, escaping or prevailing.

    And that is the difference. If he wants to present his as something for demonstration, conditioning and tournaments, and I present mine as practical self defense, then we are both engaging in truth in labeling. But if he presents his as self defense, or I present mine as a “great way of life,” then we are lying to and stealing from our students. It doesn’t matter whether they are willing participants or not. It is fraud, it is shameful, and it should be called out.

    Now, if you and other browsers of Martial Development want to argue the personal development side of martial arts, I’ve no problem with that or with you. My problem is when you and others misrepresent martial arts as useful for self defense when the majority are not. When you perpetuate this myth, you positively place lives at risk.

    If you don’t like being called on the carpet for this (and made fun of in the process), then you waded into the wrong blog over at Bullshido.

  15. I’m currently microlending to a few people in Ghana and sponsor a child through Worldvision, so I suppose I’m now holier-than-thou enough to comment, right?

    [Wrong. From you, I will require proof. You can submit the scanned receipts through my contact form. Or return to the troll-pit, from which you may continue to mock the disabled with impunity. –Ed.]

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  16. Hi Chris,

    Hey, I think I was a little hard on you in my prior comment. I apologize for that. I’m sure you are a nice guy who means well and is just doing what he believes is right.

    Over the years I’ve been on the receiving end of some of the blog gang rapes, for lack of a better phrase, and so know both what it can be like and that the first victim is usually rational, useful discussion.

    No one has to pass a psychological health exam to get a computer, get on the internet and start spouting. That is both good and bad. A couple decades ago if someone was an offensive idiot, you could just walk away. They (usually) didn’t follow you or write you letters like some kind of deranged stalker intent on sending you into a depression. These days things are pretty different.

    In any event, irrespective of the differences between specific disciplines and their relevancy for self defense, sport or whatever, I do agree that many people find ways of improving themselves through their various martial arts experiences. At the very least they find an enjoyable pastime, good friends, and a structure that helps them cope with whatever they’ve got to deal with.

    We all find what “works for me” eventually. I encourage to you continue to explore genuine ways of doing that, no matter what criticisms you encounter.

    Best wishes.

  17. Hey I donated to the Zhi Dao Guan in Oakland CA. $75.

    Kind’a funny really, those folks at Bullshido are on a moral superiority trip. Their the flip side of the Aikido moral superiority trip we’ve often seen.
    My own experience: if I talk too much about my super powers and my sifu’s royal lineage fighting the greatest of the great…then my students become skeptics. If I spend too much time debunking historical inaccuracies they start begging for a more information about flying monks!

  18. Hey I donated to the Bay Area Derby Girls! $40. My local girls flat track roller derby club…B.A.D. A.S.S.

    You gotta love the puritanical quality of Bullshido’s honesty. If only fighting were more virtuous!
    I can imagine an on-line self reporting site that also did verification of credentials. That would be fun. I sign up, reveal everything about my training in years and people, how much I charge, how often classes are offered, how long I’ve been teaching-where and whom. What sorts of results I promise (if any) what types of advancement (if any) happen at my school.. etc…
    Put that all in a searchable spreadsheet database thingy…it would really help people figure out who is who.

  19. Hey, I donated to Dao Yuan Circle. Only $25 this year but I’m planning on giving more next year.

    Dude can you believe it? This Mount Song Shaolin Temple from 426AD opened up around the corner from my house on Geary St. in San Francisco, CA?

    They are real monks! With real monk outfits! And they do kicks just like ballerinas! They came straight from China to teach, I see them at Starbucks too, and they don’t speak English yet.

    Only problem is, most of the story is a sham and they certainly are not an unbroken lineage of martial monks dating back to bodhi dharma. that’s what they say too, “All of out teachers are 64th Generation Monks from the Shaolin Temple.”
    It bothered me quite a bit at first but acrobatics aside, their gongfu sucks, so who cares? It looks like fun!

  20. Hey I donated my Levenger adjustable reading desk ($140) to a young scholar in need.

    I also bought a tee-shirt from the Global Cooling Collective, they are a 501c3, but I did it because I thought it was ironic.

    Really what do you do with a martial artist teacher who is over playing his/her skills? You punch them. Problem solved.

    Now, a much bigger problem is what to do with all the Qigong masters who make up the craziest biographies. It’s like, I’ve got to give a three day long history seminar just to extricate them from their claims.

  21. I donated a performance for kids to Ronald McDonald House Charities, SF Branch.

    That was as close as I could get to donating dircetly to McDojo’s which are a wonderful part of Team America! Go team!

  22. Alright, my life is one big donation. I donate all the time and don’t even think about it, much less remember to keep the receipt. I know I donated to the JCC and to a Temple or two in Taiwan, and to at least two of my artist friends 501c3 projects, one at the Old Alameda Naval Base and one who went to Compose music in Antarctica. But I don’t remember any of the dollar amounts….

    I forgot what I was going to say…oh yeah instead of dis-ing people for making up martial arts stories—we should be holding competitions for the most outragious yet possible just maybe martial arts bio!
    We could really develop some skill in this area.
    ______________________

    Does anyone know what self-defense is anyway, I mean besides……..yikes……run….away……

  23. I did a performance with my kids at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco…it was a donation.

    I have been known to challenge students to a fight to the death. I wonder what Bullshido would make of that?

  24. OK last one.
    I teach for a non-profit 501c3 called Performing Arts Workshop! They don’t pay me nearly what I’m worth. I take below market pay as a donation to the good (and not so good) kids in the public schools (which I also pay for with my tax “donation”).

    I’ve got to hand it to you Chris, your prophecy that martial arts blogs would use the excuse of an economic down turn to drop out of the picture was spot on.
    I’m trying to get you up to 50 comments so that you won’t add yourself to the list of contemptible martial ragamuffins who have been shirking their volunteer writing duties.

  25. Hey Chris,
    I just donated $25 to Partners in Health http://www.pih.org/home.html
    for earthquake relief efforts in Haiti.
    I was in Japan during the Kobe earthquake back in 1995 and saw quite a bit of the aftermath. Earthquakes are terrifying and certainly give you a fresh perspective on things.
    Looking forward to more posts from you soon – maybe this latest disaster will stimulate a new wave of donations to help reach ’50’ – at least something good can come out of it.
    See you in the Spring for more Tui-Shou!

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