An online nickname is a wonderful thing. It provides for anonymity, to a degree, whilst in theory allowing the recognition for online activity to be assigned to certain people. It is, effectively, a nom-de-plume, or pen-nameÖor it used to be.

Online anonymity (or even anonymity in real life) can be useful, for all sorts of reasons. I wonít go into those reasons here, as Iím sure most readers will be able to address them for themselves. But I would argue that being another anonymous poster (and that includes using a nickname without any way of identifying the person behind it) on a site like Bullshido is somewhat going against the spirit of the thing.

See, Bullshido is dedicated to eradicating bullshit from the martial arts. There are certain important factors that come into play when you set yourself up to pursue a goal like that. First and foremost is to look at your own situation and eradicate any bullshit you can. No point fighting bullshit if youíre bullshit, yeah?

Of significance here is addressing the issue of identifiability. Some nameless **** calling himself HotWaterSnotball and decryingÖ well, anything, really can generally be safely ignored. Thereís a reason scholastic and journalistic credibility came into being, and that is simply because track records do mean something. They are not the be-all, end-all, but they do count. It isnít unknown for someone to post articles or exhibit behaviour in an online setting under a name that is intended to reflect badly on someone else. Less easy to do, if that person is readily checkable.

Hereís an example: me. Iíve been online (on and off) since 1993. Since I first got online (even back then, before there was the www) I have had two online nicknames that Iíve commonly used. One is Goldenmane, the one I use here. I have no idea how many words Iíve written under that moniker since, but I do know that back when I was first on the net nicks were considered exclusive property. Now, if you put Goldenmane into the Google searchy, you find a whole lot of folk going by that name.

If it doesnít have my real name appended, it ainít me.

But thereís a lot of Goldenmanes out there.

Now, I would never presume to write under the name Hunter S. Thompson, or Raoul Duke. If I did, Iím fairly sure Iíd be exposed as a fraud pretty quickly.

What does this have to do with Bullshido? One of the central tenets of Bullshido is integrity. The guys who created the site are largely concerned with it, and Iím a Supporting Member and contributor because I am too. The main folk here at Bullshido are open about who they are, their backgrounds, and their desire to learn. You canít seek to propagate integrity in any field if you donít have it yourself, and the way things have turned out you have to be identifiable.

So I, a man who has never fought professionally (or even amateur for that matter), who pretty much doesnít really train at all at the moment, who smokes and drinks (hey, my sifu told me toÖ.) say to you: be honest. Put your balls on the plate. Sign your name and take part.

Fight the bullshit. WWPD?*

*What Would Penn Do?