Seriously, I cant’ make this sh*t up. Hopefully you read my last blog Death by Keyboard. If you didn’t, take five and click the link and go read it because what happened Friday with Tim Larkin is so ridiculous you’re going to think I’m bullshitting.
You read it? Good. This all happened in the space of seven minutes:
I’m in Las Vegas this weekend for our forty-seventh consecutive Personal Defense Readiness (PDR) Coaches course. We’ve run this weekend self-defense instructor’s course for over 20 years.
I had set up a meeting with my friend Tim Larkin, founder of Target Focus Training to discuss some collaborative projects. Near Tim’s private training facility is a well-known MMA gym. Tim wants me to see the place and meet the owner. We walk over. It’s like 100 yards.
On the way over we’re chatting about about the martial art cyber bully blog. I thank Tim for re-posting it and we’re both laughing at how weird and asinine it all is. Tim later points out “Don’t people know you’ve been around for 30+ years, all the special units you’ve trained and still do? How can people be so ignorant.”
We walk through the doors – I’m not joking – within one minute one of the employees walks up to me and says “So you teach any fake self-defense seminars recently?” Huh? The words don’t even register – I ask him to repeat. “I said have you taught any fake self-defense seminars lately?” I ask him his name and then suddenly it clicks. He was one of the guys who attacked me online last March. [one of his tweets is to your left]. Seven months ago. Never met him. He’s never trained with me. I laugh and say “Twitter, right, c’mon man you’re not still mad about that are you?” He stares at me and says “No, I’m not mad. When are we going to have that conversation about real self-defense? You know a ‘real’ conversation.” I’m expecting Ashton Kutcher to pop out “Punk’d!” Nope. This is really happening. Tim is looking at me trying to figure out WTF. Things are awkward. I walk away looking at the gym. He calls out “When are you and I going to have our talk?” I look at Tim and say, “Time to go.”
Now before any of my readers post something like, “He was lucky that day, imagine Tim Larkin and Tony Blauer blah blah…“. STOP! That’s NOT the point!” This scenario isn’t self-defense. It’s [dangerous] non-sense. It’s bullshit machismo and it’s what makes our community look like we’re uncivilized, unprofessional thugs and punks.
There was a time, not long ago, where dignity, respect and honor were a part of our martial arts community.
In recent years we’ve seen an increase online verbal assaults. Why would someone jump up on their metaphoric soap-box and scream obscenities via the Internet at people they don’t know about systems they’ve never even tried?
IMO there are several factors. How’s this for a chemical cocktail? Kids from the entitlement generation grow up as part of the Internet subculture where texting has replaced real conversations, the ones that require eye contact. Result? Smart phones and dumb thumbs.
This epidemic describes most of the crap we all read on social media. But what accounts for the sad display of arrogance, anger and bullying displayed by a small demographic of martial artists online?
Rodney King of Crazy Monkey has a theory about the generation of martial artists only studying the martial. You’re going to love this interview!
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