Thread: Blog post about Bullshido
6/03/2013 9:17am, #1
- Join Date
- Jan 2010
- Southeast WI
Blog post about Bullshido
I don't usually try to hype my blog on internet forums, but I felt compelled to share this particular post with you guys because it is about you. I've been enjoying my time on Bullshido so far, and I don't want to be talking about the Bullies behind their backs. So here is this one post from my blog, shared with you guys for the sake of full disclosure, and I promise not to flood the boards with any more of them.
Swimming with Sharks
(Originally from The Young Grasshopper here: http://yghmartialarts.blogspot.com/2...th-sharks.html)
Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
- Proverbs 17:28
"Take that meathead rhetoric to Bullshido."
"Don't post stuff like that on Bullshido -- they'll eat you alive."
"Are you going to challenge me to a fight like the goons on Bullshido?"
If you frequent martial arts-themed internet communities, you are likely to occasionally hear things like this. Bullshido.net has built up a rather a scary reputation in the martial arts e-world, and I think it's fair to say its members like it that way.
Back in 2010 I decided to make a Bullshido account. I'm not sure what I was thinking; perhaps I got it into my head to go defend the honor of stylized, traditional arts like aikido against the evil hordes of MMA exclusivists rumored to dwell there. I never gathered up the courage to actually post there, but I'm sure that I had Bullshido in mind when I wrote "Haters Gonna Hate" in February of 2011.
My perception of Bullshido started changing last spring, when I began looking up information about infamous "ninjas" Frank Dux and Ashida Kim in preparation for the writing of "We're the Problem". In the cases of both men, Bullshido's Martial Arts Encyclopedia proved an invaluable resource, full of well-researched information from credible sources and solid investigating and reporting done by Bullshido members themselves. Perhaps, I began to think then, this was more than just a hangout for Tapout thugs.
Even that, though, wasn't enough to actually convince me to post there. I still feared an aikidoist like myself would be chewed up and spit out by Bullshido's famous "Bullies". Every once in a while, I lurked on the forums or read through the investigations on the Martial Arts Encyclopedia, but that was as close as I was willing to get.
What finally changed my mind a few weeks ago was a desire to start an "investigation" of my own (I won't go into the details here, but those interested can follow this thread on Bullshido). I didn't want to be that guy who shows up out of nowhere, asks for help with a particular matter, and then disappears, so I browsed around the forums a little bit, hoping to contribute a little to some discussion without stepping on anyone's toes.
Wonder of wonders, these supposed MMA-minded thugs had a whole board devoted to traditional Japanese martial arts. That didn't sound too scary, so in I went. Inside, I even found a thread about aikido. It was a longish thread, already eight pages, so rather than try to read it all and respond to everything, I just gave my two cents in response to the OP.
I braced for impact, not sure what to expect. A caps lock rant? A condescending lecture? A warning? A ban?
"I like this n00b," came the first response. "We shall keep him." It was one of the forum leaders.
It's a strange feeling having all one's preconceptions shattered by a few words.
It didn't take me long to figure out that I'd pegged the Bullies all wrong from the start. Bullshido, I quickly discovered, isn't about declaring the supremacy of a few full-contact martial arts, but about exposing the dishonesty and delusion that plague the martial arts world. Most of its members are more than willing to converse respectfully and open-mindedly with an aikidoist, so long as said aikidoist isn't delusional about the applications of his training and is willing to remain silent on subjects he doesn't know anything about.
That last point is one I can't stress enough. If the stories of Bullshido's single-mindedness about MMA are exaggerated, the stories of their harsh treatment of those who earn their disfavor certainly are not. I know of no faster, more effective way in the world to have one's ego taken down a peg than to spout off on Bullshido without being able to prove oneself.
The Bullies take their proof very seriously: anyone making a bold claim had best be prepared either to cite evidence from a credible source, to participate in one of Bullshido's many meetups, or to be carried away on a wave of condescension and ridicule.
This dynamic, while some find it harsh, certainly has its merits. Many martial artists claim to train "scientific" arts (some Wing Chun players come to mind), but Bullshido is the only group of people I've ever known whose approach to the martial arts resembles anything genuinely scientific. Their acceptance of a claim is not based on who makes it or how eloquently it is made, only on whether or not that claim can be or has been confirmed by experiment. Those who make claims that they cannot substantiate in this way can expect the same reception on Bullshido that a young-earth creationist might receive at a convention of evolutionary biologists.
The internet martial arts community is awash with horror stories about Bullies' disdain for traditional martial arts, and indeed for anything that doesn't belong in a cage match. Many of my friends from AikiWeb and Martial Arts Planet talk about Bullshido the way Tolkein characters talk about Mordor.
I have a hard time feeling sympathy for those who cannot manage these two things. About a month ago I watched the Bullies embarrass and then run off a Bujinkan stylist who was lecturing on unarmed defense against weapons but was unable to provide any evidence in support of his ideas. He seemed genuinely offended that people were not willing to blindly accept his words at face value, and mistook that unwillingness for a refusal to listen to him at all and a disrespect for his training.
He was a living personification of obsolete martial arts thinking: a guy with a black belt told me stuff, therefore I know all I need to know, and therefore anyone who disagrees with me is an ignorant fool. He probably still believes it all, and probably has added to the horror stories swirling around the internet about the evil place called Bullshido where there is no respect for traditional martial arts. The truth is that the lack of respect he experienced was only for him, specifically his willingness to lecture on things with which he had little or no experience.
Socrates tells us that the only true wisdom is the recognition of one's own ignorance. My message to my fellow internet aikidoists -- and, more broadly, to traditional martial artists of all stripes -- is this: if you are willing to accept the truth of your own ignorance, then you have nothing to fear from Bullshido. It is not the boogeyman, and it is an informative and interesting resource.
6/03/2013 9:37am, #2
My response, "Nice dangling preposition, dad." He trained me too well.
That's a nice assessment of BS. In the past, I think the frothing-at-the-mouth MMA fanboy factor was a valid concern, and to some degree, it still is today, but the site has definitely grown up to some extent.
When I first got here, I knew nothing about any martial art besides Judo, BJJ and wrestling. As far as I knew, random Wing Chun guys could kick my ass with their Eastern martial mystique. After browsing and lurking for months, I swung in the opposite direction. The majority of TMA's sucked because of their lack of live sparring.
Eventually, I realized it doesn't matter what art you train, what matters is the method in which you train. Training in an alive manner, under skilled and qualified instruction, is the single most important aspect of gaining martial skill. All else is window dressing.
6/03/2013 11:31am, #3
Props"To sin by silence when one should protest makes cowards out of men".
6/03/2013 11:37am, #4
Bullshido is like the SomethingAwful of martial arts satire. Dead on, balls accurate.
Last edited by W. Rabbit; 6/03/2013 11:47am at .
6/03/2013 12:21pm, #5
- Join Date
- Nov 2007
6/03/2013 12:30pm, #6
6/03/2013 12:39pm, #7
- Join Date
- Jan 2010
- Southeast WI
6/03/2013 12:57pm, #8
It's really weird when somebody gets it.
6/03/2013 1:48pm, #9
Now he has lowered his guard and published how good people we are.... can be aikin00b raep time nao ?
Seriously, this is a good article about the misconceptions on what this site is about. I'm glad I've vouched for you.
Last edited by DCS; 6/03/2013 2:04pm at .
6/03/2013 3:06pm, #10
What martial art did I spend over 20 years studying to middle senior dan grade ?
That's right AIKIDO. I was a fully fledged, "skirt wearing tree-hugging ******" club member until my last operational deployment to Iraq put the mockers on my club commitments so I stopped. I'm also a long term student of Koryu Iai and shinai Kendo but I've happily existed on this site since 2006.
It's not what you study which is often the problem, but the attitudes and hero worship of teachers which get those who study gendai budo into hot water here. Anyone and I do mean ANYONE is welcome to participate on this site provided those individuals are willing to have their opinions and attitudes challenged, and sometimes with gusto !"To sin by silence when one should protest makes cowards out of men".