Some Questions and thoughts on Investigations.
First let me say sorry if this isn't the right place for this thread, I've lurker here for a long long time, and probably should know for sure, but i think this is on topic enough to be here, if not mods please move it to the appropriate place.
Having read many of the serious thread investigations, i have noticed a common theme in them with regards to how exactly a legitimate investigation is started. Among the early questions posed to any person who brings attention upon a club is: Do they know the owner of the club/what is their relationship with the club? i understand the importance of these questions, Bullshido doesn't want to get pulled into a petty mud slinging attempt by one coach on his nearby rival, however this does bring me to my questions/point.
Would Bullshido, and in particular those that often contribute and get involved in the investigations, ever consider offering it's services for coaches who are concerned, but cannot get involved personally due to their proximity and prior relationship with said club, and be willing to keep the name of the concerned coach out of the investigation?
To share my own example, i have in the past had clubs in my local area that have made outrageous claims in their advertising, truly cringe-worthy examples of 'empty empowerment' about small women easily defeating 8 attackers, or over exaggerated competition claims, etc. however because i don't find any integrity in advertising myself in this fashion, i am burdened with a sense of honesty in advertising that my competitors aren't. I have found myself secretly hoping that someone would spot it and raise the issue on here, in the hope that the ominous spectre of an official bullshido investigation might convince them to play fair. But as yet this has been to no avail, and i refuse to try to raise awareness to it anonymously as for me there is no integrity in going down that avenue, and that is exactly the kind of thing Bullshido is trying to avoid. That leaves me with approaching the coaches directly, and so far i have had no luck this way, apparently "hyperbole and over exaggeration are a marketing tool" "everyone's doing it" and " [I] should get with the times". bringing something like this to a public forum openly as myself would also potential ruin any relationship built up between clubs, sometimes local clubs in small communities band together for interclub competition or to gain enough numbers to be able to afford to bring over a guest instructor for a seminar, and in situations like this you can't always afford to be choosy about who you join forces with.
To get away from specifics and back to a more general view point, the only other avenue i could see open for coaches in a similar position, would be if they could bring matters of concern to a impartial person/group privately who could then set the standard for a fair investigation. They could do this without revealing who has made the complaint, but because they have full knowledge of who did raise the issue or concern, they could make some preliminary digging before bringing it to the public forum, indeed they need only bring it to the public forum if there was a cause to do so. And because they know that the person who has raised the issue is a local coach, they are pre-warned that there might be a personal bias and the investigator can approach the subject accordingly. Coaches who had then benefited from being able to call in outside assistance and hadn't misused it, might well be willing to acts at the unbiased party for another coach and in that way the investigation team grows.
In my own case, due to the close nature of my local martial arts scene, the fact that i have several of the other local coaches on my facebook, and i often see them on a night out while i'm working the door, it makes it almost impossible for me to rock the boat without it having serious repercussions on my students, they might lose invitations to upcoming seminars or might no longer be welcome at the other clubs open mat sessions. or their students might not participate in our events, meaning we probably couldn't afford to put on as many.
I might be over thinking it, but i am torn between my responsibility as a coach to foster a good working relationship with nearby clubs for the benefit of my students, and my responsibility to the public with regards to the potentially sub standard practices or irresponsible advertising of (some of) my peers.
This is only a hypothetical really, as the kind of behavior i am talking about has really quieted down in my own area recently, but i imagine it is only a matter of time before it starts up again, perhaps once the rush of new years resolutionist's quiets down and the gyms start to empty again with the drop off those whose good intentions are not matched by their willpower. And i can imagine that i am not the only one in this situation.