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MartialTalk.com - Douchebag of the Month - September 2009
Fair warning: in order to explain the following concept I'm about to pummel the English language harder than Dan Henderson flying across the ring to drop a fist on a smug, water-squirting Englishman.
When you've spent enough time blasting weasels in the hen house with a shotgun, you eventually get desensitized to the ruffled feathers and clucking of the bystander chickens.
I warned you.
Artist's recreation of the MartialTalk logo, which isn't much better and looks like it was posted by some weirdo Otherkin on DeviantArt
The shotgun, in this case, is evidence; the weasels, Matt Morton and others like him who lie about and forge credentials; and the chickens are the staff and many of the members of MartialTalk.com.
You see, so far we've never featured another website as a DBOTM here, for several reasons. One of which is the fact that many websites (especially the shady ones) don't particularly care where the traffic comes from or whether or not it's hostile; traffic is traffic and any coverage is essentially "good coverage" when you're in the business of getting eyeballs on a webpage. This isn't exactly true except maybe in the short term, but I'm not here to give a lesson on Internet Marketing so just take my word for it.
What's more important though, is that some webmasters and community owners feed their personal egos off of the number of given people online, even if the bulk of those are directly hostile. That makes as much sense to me as a gawky freshman thinking he's popular by virtue of a large crowd of seniors gathered around to make fun of his wolf t-shirt and World of Warcraft lunch box.
I digress. Still, there are multiple reasons for why we haven't featured other Martial Arts sites in this column, even when so many deserve it.
But there's only one reason why we've bucked our own logic this month. And that reason is because MartialTalk.com actively shelters from criticism and therefore condones the behavior of, fraudulent Martial Artists, as a matter of site policy.
If that last sentence didn't make you cock your head to the side and exclaim "DAAAMN!" like a character in a Tyler Perry movie, then you're probably on the wrong piece of Internet real estate.
That's right. Here's the actual post:
Now that's a lot of goddamn text if you're only wanting to convey "this isn't the kind of thing we do here", but it's what got republished after we discovered Matt Morton using three false documents to claim various ranks in BJJ and Judo. Morton started a thread on MartialTalk, whining about how he was being persecuted, partly because we discovered that he had photoshopped his name onto Neil Ohlenkamp's Kodokan certificate in order to claim they recognized him as a first dan.
When we confronted Morton on Martialtalk, their staff had an issue, not with the individual who had been found repeatedly forging martial arts documents, but with the people who pointed out such disreputable behavior.
Now we're used to the standard sniveling, whining, and "who appointed you to police the world" comments by people who'd apparently prefer if there was an official government agency to cover everything from fraud in the Martial Arts, to Silly Walks (some of the folks over at JudoForum, for example). Of course, we take exception to this kind of thinking, largely because it betrays an attitude of individual disempowerment and moral flaccidity (although in many cases it's just sour grapes by people who'd enjoy the cover provided by entrenched bureaucracy). But this is the first time we've seen a policy document which aggressively promoted and rationalized the online propagation of the "good old boy network" which is largely at the root of many of the problems in the Martial Arts today.
Shame on you, MartialTalk. Whereas we occasionally write up someone as a Douchebag for mostly harmless things, your policies deserve genuine scorn.
For more reading on the ongoing investigation of Matt Morton, click here. To visit MartialTalk.com, just stab yourself in the face three times and repeat "I AM A WORLD CHAMPION".