What We're About and why Phil Elmore is Still a Twit
I literally just wrote this. In browsing around the Internet on a Saturday morning I came upon a discussion thread on BladeForums.com, about our humble website and its merits. Perennial LARPer and Walter Mitty, Phil Elmore had done his best to defecate all over it, so reason and good faith dictated that I should respond.
Here's the response, as I posted it a few minutes ago.
Whoa, hey... I do have an account over here. Nifty.
Hi Phil. I tried to register for your forums a while back to politely discuss things (with all sincerity), but you refused to let me. That's unfortunate because there are one or two things we actually do agree on.
But I understand why you couldn't. After all, you have notable forum members who want to, literally, kill me and my family (I've got screen shots) for exposing them as liars.
Back to the topic; this discussion could have had some merit. We're open to criticism because it helps us improve at what we do. Instead, however, the main criticisms here read like the pining of jilted girlfriends. I'll explain why, later.
If you want to know what we advocate I'll do a swanky little bullet point list for you:
Martial Arts Training
- Get a CCW permit
- Learn to draw and accurately shoot your firearm in a threat situation
- Practice regularly and compete in shooting competitions to hone your skill
- Use common sense and situational awareness
- Learn basic throws/trips so you can extricate yourself from a situation as fast as possible
- Learn how to sprawl/stay on your feet
- Learn how to get back to your feet if knocked/taken to the ground
Notice that we don't mention MMA in any of that. However, it's the logical extension of many of our views that training and competing in MMA would be one of the best ways of achieving the goals needed to become good at empty handed fighting.
- Regular full contact sparring is absolutely essential
- Fighting is an athletic activity, and your ability to do it successfully is built upon the foundation of a healthy, fit body. Everything from your reaction time to your ability to continue fighting after injury, to the amount of stamina you have are determined by your physical condition.
- Competition is essential to a healthy, realistic understanding of your abilities and limitations
- Focus on both Sport and Self defense applications of every technique (learn to "add dirt").
If you want to become good at anything, you need to do that thing, over and over again. If you want to be a good race car driver, you don't sit in your car, parked in your driveway, and make "vroom vroom" noises; you go to the track and burn through a few sets of tires. Similarly, the idea that you can learn to be good at fighting by standing in lines and learning dead patterns is just as asinine; you need to fight to be good at fighting.
Now, here's why the criticisms of our philosophy don't stand up. We'll take Phil as an example. Mind you that these aren't simple ad-hominem attacks. These go to the credibility of the individual's opinion and the agenda behind it.
Phil is actually a very typical case of the individuals who take exception to our views and approach to things. Many of these people simply don't have the character, discipline, or dedication it takes to commit to keeping themselves in shape and working on their athletic abilities. So instead, they attack the notion that you should pursue such things either directly or indirectly, by going out of their way to try and marginalize the need to do so.
- Has never served in the Military, yet does everything he can to affiliate himself with the culture and lifestyle.
- Is visibly overweight, out of shape, and unathletic.
- Quit his Wing Chun school in a huff when the instructor started including more sparring in their training.
- Operates a forum where he bans anyone who demonstrates an opinion contrary to his, and pressures the staff of other forums to ban those who disagree with him there.
- Quit Bullshido.net's forum when we wouldn't ban individuals with whom he disagreed (labeling them "trolls").
- Has, presumably (no evidence to the contrary, if so, please provide it) never been in a full contact fight of any sort in his entire life.
For lots of folks, the idea that you should have to fight to be good at fighting is a threat to their entire self image. And like anyone whose fundamental concepts of reality are threatened, they lash out. This is because deep down, they know they can't empirically prove what they want to believe is true. Whereas some who believe they have psychic powers or talk to fairies or other such nonsense weild a plethora of excuses as to why they can't or won't demonstrate said abilities; individuals like Phil have to work overtime to justify why they can't or won't demonstrate theirs.
And the reason for that, is MMA. MMA provides a means for individuals to demonstrate mastery of fundamental empty-handed fighting techniques, or lack thereof. The advent of MMA effectively blew down the straw houses in which many so-called Martial Artists sheltered their beliefs from scrutiny or the need of proof.
That's why we're here. We represent the idea that in order to be a real martial artist, you have to be a fighter. We've held "Throwdowns" on 3 continents in over a dozen different countries, for regular folks to get together and test their skills against each other. We've exposed frauds who professs and/or claim to teach fighting ability, while having demonstrated none themselves. And we expect people to put up, or shut up.
It wouldn't take much imagination to see why these "lofty" views would be a threat to those individuals who know themselves to be unworthy of living up to them.