Critique vs Criticism

Xue Sheng

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By supplying evidence that casts doubt upon those claims and allowing people to draw their own conclusions.


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been there, done that and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it all depends on the tenacity of the one making false claims or suggesting dangerous training methods.

Thank you
 

Gnarlie

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been there, done that and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it all depends on the tenacity of the one making false claims or suggesting dangerous training methods.

Thank you

I have been there too and I agree, but, I would credit the readers of this forum with enough nous to decide for themselves...therefore it would be less important to 'win', and more important to supply enough information for the reader to form their own conclusions in support of your own. It is not necessary to 'convert' or 'break' the person making the claim, to have them capitulate and say 'okay dammit you are right'.


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Dirty Dog

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'Attack the post not the poster' as a guideline would be IMO fundamentally flawed in that the emphasis is still on 'attack'. Why do we need to attack? What's wrong with:

Your experience leads you to conclude x.
My experience leads me to conclude y because ABC. In the light of ABC, you may wish to reconsider your conclusion.

Part of the problem here is that both in the OP and the following discussion, people make statements that are based on their isolated experience and research, but stated as cold, hard fact.

People do things differently and understand things differently all over the world. Recognising this and tolerating it would go a long way towards promoting a sharing environment instead of a bitter, competitive one where we all have to prove ourselves right. Always having to win and be right comes at the cost of possibly missing a real truth when it is staring one in the face.


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There's a lot of truth to what you say, when the subject under discussion is one of opinion or conclusion rather than fact.
If you say "meditation helps me feel more balanced and that makes me move more smoothly and faster", then ok, that is your experience, and it's reasonable for someone else to say 'my experience is different in this way...'

If you say " meditation allows me to levitate while causing all the car stereos in the neighborhood to blast the Jedi theme", then that is a factual matter, and it is reasonable for someone else to say 'what a load of hokum, do your meds need adjusted?'
 

Gnarlie

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There's a lot of truth to what you say, when the subject under discussion is one of opinion or conclusion rather than fact.
If you say "meditation helps me feel more balanced and that makes me move more smoothly and faster", then ok, that is your experience, and it's reasonable for someone else to say 'my experience is different in this way...'

If you say " meditation allows me to levitate while causing all the car stereos in the neighborhood to blast the Jedi theme", then that is a factual matter, and it is reasonable for someone else to say 'what a load of hokum, do your meds need adjusted?'

It's reasonable for someone else to say 'there is no evidence to support your claim, in fact all evidence points to it being highly unlikely. And extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The burden of proof lies with the person making the claim, so please provide us with evidence that what you say is true, otherwise the readership here will likely come to the conclusion that what you claim is indeed false.'

It could however be considered mean-spirited and not in the spirit of a friendly forum to cast aspersions about the poster's mental health based on a post like that. Doesn't that stray into personal attack territory?
 

Steve

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If you say " meditation allows me to levitate while causing all the car stereos in the neighborhood to blast the Jedi theme", then that is a factual matter, and it is reasonable for someone else to say 'what a load of hokum, do your meds need adjusted?'
Why not stop with, "What a load of hokum?" I mean, there are more diplomatic ways to say that, but you really have two clauses in your sentence. "What a load of hokum" is essentially challenging the claim. "Do your meds need to be adjusted?" is an unnecessary and destructive personal attack.
 

Transk53

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Why not stop with, "What a load of hokum?" I mean, there are more diplomatic ways to say that, but you really have two clauses in your sentence. "What a load of hokum" is essentially challenging the claim. "Do your meds need to be adjusted?" is an unnecessary and destructive personal attack.

Huh, an interesting reply!
 

Kung Fu Wang

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It is not necessary to 'convert' or 'break' the person making the claim,
Agree!

Instead of trying to point out the errors in someone's post as in the following example.

A: aaa bbb ccc ddd eee fff ...
B: aaa bbb should be aax bbx.
B: ccc ddd should be ccx ddx,
B: eee fff should be eex ffx,
B: ...

Why not just express your own view instead of pointing out what can be wrong in someone's post.

Also there is no need to bring the "style" into any discussion. Judo guys like to "grab" and Taiji guys don't. It's better to discuss the PRO and CON of the "grab" instead of saying, "In Judo, we do ..." or "In Taiji, we do ...". The moment that "style" is what you are trying to defend, the discussion can be easily get into argument.

When someone starts a thread, "What MA style should I train?" That thread will soon get into "my style is better than your style" argument. Do we really need a thread like that to tear us apart instead of bring us together? Can we have general MA discussion without trying to drag "style" into it?
 
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Steve

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I don't know how successful we can be without ever bringing style into a discussion. I'm a fan of being specific. There's a middle ground between questioning or critiquing a style or a training model, and style bashing.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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I don't know how successful we can be without ever bringing style into a discussion. I'm a fan of being specific. There's a middle ground between questioning or critiquing a style or a training model, and style bashing.
If we don't bring style into discussion, there will be no style bashing. Style means there are principles that you (general YOU) want to reference. Unfortunately when you only reference those set of principles, you may ignore principles used in other styles. Sometime, that will cause argument.

Of course if you don't cross train and you only train one style, your style will be your bible. But if you have cross trained, you may like to look at things from different angles and consider principles from all MA styles.

For example, if you only consider

- "defense your center from inside out", you may forget "defense your center from outside in".
- "keep your center within your base", you may forget "move your center outside your base and take advantage on the gravity".
- "body lead arm is more powerful", you may forget "arm lead body is faster".
- "when you grab, you will have less freedom", you may forget "when you grab, your opponent will have less freedom."
- ...

When style is not involved, we can look at things from all different angles and have a pleasant discussion. When someone said,

- "We don't do this in my style".
- "It's against our style principles".
- ...

The discussion will only be looked at from a certain angle and the discussion will start to become personal.
 
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Steve

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If we don't bring style into discussion, there will be no style bashing. Style means there are principles that you (general YOU) want to reference. Unfortunately when you only reference those set of principles, you may ignore principles used in other styles. Sometime, that will cause argument.
I hear what you're saying, and it makes sense in a discussion about principles and such, but we aren't always talking about principles.

In a discussion about a style, it's kind of hard to dance around references to that style. There's a thread right now about tessenjutsu, which seems to be a style that is often rolled into many other styles. Different styles seem to use the fans differently. Avoiding any reference to style might actually cause more trouble than it resolves, as you could end up with two people saying contradictory things and both be completely correct.
 

drop bear

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I don't know how successful we can be without ever bringing style into a discussion. I'm a fan of being specific. There's a middle ground between questioning or critiquing a style or a training model, and style bashing.

You would also have to remove all the appeals to authority. Which brings your own style into the discussion.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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as you could end up with two people saying contradictory things and both be completely correct.
That's the famous paradox theory.

1. My spear is so sharp that it can penetrate all shields on earth.
2. My shield is so strong that no spear on earth can penetrate it.

1. If you can't get a head lock on your opponent, you are not a good wrestler.
2. If someone can put a head lock on you, you are not a good wrestler.

1. If you can break my grip within 30 second, my grip is not strong enough.
2. If I can't break your grip within 1 second, my MA skill is not good enough.

I have 2 MA teachers in my life. One teacher told me that MA is cruelty, poison, kill. My other teacher told me that MA is patient, kind, peaceful. When your enemy kills your father and you want to apply patient, kind, peaceful, you are wrong. When someone just call your name and you want to apply cruelty, poison, kill, you are wrong too.

Sometime, both can be right. Everything in MA is "relative" and not "absolute". If you have 30 years of MA training and I only have 10 years of MA training, the normal logic may not apply between you and me.
 
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Steve

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That's the famous paradox theory.

1. My spear is so sharp that it can penetrate all shields on earth.
2. My shield is so strong that no spear on earth can penetrate it.

1. If you can't get a head lock on your opponent, you are not a good wrestler.
2. If someone can put a head lock on you, you are not a good wrestler.

1. If you can break my grip within 30 second, my grip is not strong enough.
2. If I can't break your grip within 1 second, my MA skill is not good enough.

I have 2 MA teachers in my life. One teacher told me that MA is cruelty, poison, kill. My other teacher told me that MA is patient, kind, peaceful. When your enemy kills your father and you want to apply patient, kind, peaceful, you are wrong. When someone just call your name and you want to apply cruelty, poison, kill, you are wrong too.

Sometime, both can be right. Everything in MA is "relative" and not "absolute". If you have 30 years of MA training and I only have 10 years of MA training, the normal logic may not apply between you and me.
That's really interesting, but I wasn't referring to any kind of a paradox. I was referring to stylistic differences. In the example I mentioned, it appears that more than a few traditional styles teach tessenjitsu. Some include no techniques that use the fan in an open position, and may teach that this is never done. Others teach that there are a few specific applications for the fan in the open position. They're both teaching tessenjitsu.

Who is correct? I'd say both, but you wouldn't know it if you didn't get specific and carefully reference the style.
 

Xue Sheng

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I agree with Steve

I don't know how successful we can be without ever bringing style into a discussion. I'm a fan of being specific. There's a middle ground between questioning or critiquing a style or a training model, and style bashing.

You can't be, you end up with a generic Martial Arts discussion and if you are posting in the general section maybe that is what you are after. But if you post in the Chinese martial arts section and you are discussing taijiquan, or Xingyiquan or Baguazhang or even Sanshou for that matter or BJJ, Wing Chun, Karate, Kali or JKD you have already brought a style into it and it IS part of the discussion. If you are having a discussion and attempting to justify your POV by talking about a Style then again, style is part of the discussion and should not be stripped out. I someone is making blanket statements about a style that is incorrect you should challenge that, not bash, not call them names, challenge, use examples to the contrary and debate the issue

I hear what you're saying, and it makes sense in a discussion about principles and such, but we aren't always talking about principles.

In a discussion about a style, it's kind of hard to dance around references to that style. There's a thread right now about tessenjutsu, which seems to be a style that is often rolled into many other styles. Different styles seem to use the fans differently. Avoiding any reference to style might actually cause more trouble than it resolves, as you could end up with two people saying contradictory things and both be completely correct.

If one is "only" discussing principles then it is principles, but if someone is discussing principles and throws in they only do this in this style and they never do that in that style...well...all bets are off...it is a style discussion. IMO avoiding or stripping out any reference to style is simply ridiculous and opening up MT to anyone who wants to come along and make ridiculous claims or talk about training that WILL hurt people .

We are a bunch of martial artists for crying out loud, we get knocked around, thrown, punched and beaten for fun.... so we can't take a little criticism or take being asked to back up a statement or take the hit on a webpage...please
 

Chris Parker

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Nice posts and I agree with both of you. Thing is though, and yes I am being negative to pose a point, do you really belive that threads are going to stop going south. Was pretty shocked to see a long term members post yesterday. Don't think there is a need for friendly warnings when a post was made in jest.

Hmm it seems like you're referencing something familiar there

Little peak behind the curtain with myself, then. Nothing I do or say is in isolation. In other words, I was not responding to a one-off comment, but looking at a pattern of behaviour and interaction, and offering a genuinely felt push towards a more useful and positive way to engage here. And believe me, it was very friendly.

I appreciate that it's coming back up. Thanks, jks9199 for expressing it, and to geezer for bringing it back to the top of the list for discussion.

Truly, if we "attack the post and not the poster", if we discuss the posts and avoid judging the posters, we'd all be in better shape. Threads wouldn't go south very often at all. If a person has something to add, they should feel free to express it, whether they have been training for days, years, or decades. I've seen some alarming ignorance in my life, personally and professionally, from people who have been at it for a very long time (whatever "it" might be). i've also benefited from profound insight and brilliance by people who are relatively inexperienced.

With regards to "attack the post, not the poster", in some cases it's simply not that easy to separate them which is where that entire line of reasoning falls down. And the basic reality is that not everyone has something of value to offer despite their beliefs. The idea that "everyone is entitled to their opinions" is often misconstrued to be "everyone is entitled to have their opinions heard and given equal weight with others". Simply, no. There are some examples coming up, actually

That said, personally, I don't think that the threads going South is entirely a courtesy or friendliness issue. I think it's also a clique issue. We have a few cliques, and no matter how friendly and courteous people are, cliques can be destructive. One person says something, and someone else disagrees because of who said it, even if there's a lot of common ground. Intent is misconstrued and sides are taken. And if a person from one clique disagrees, it's not long before the rest of the gang joins in.

I don't know that that's really the way things go in many cases (it certainly does in some, but I don't think that's the majority of cases). The real issue is more along the lines of "frogs in a well"

My suggestion, for what it's worth (maybe not even 2 cents), is that we could all stand to be a little more tolerant. Tolerant of ignorance and/or youthful enthusiasm for some (because, afterall, haven't we all been guilty of both in our lives?). Tolerance of a little crotchetiness and a curmedgeonliness for others. And tolerance for ideas that are contrary to our own, regardless of how sensible and "educated" we may believe them.

I get where you're coming from, Steve, I really do but honestly, I don't agree. I know, big surprise

The issue I see with "be more tolerant" is that, in many cases, it's simply not warranted. Tolerance, when taken to an extreme, is just enabling it's enabling false beliefs it's enabling bad ideas it's allowing the bad to be given equal voice with the accurate and correct. And, in that view, tolerance leads to a lowering of positive communication.

The best way to critique, is to use the Oreo cookie effect. Hey, I like that, you could fix this part, but over all it was awesome. :)

That only works if all parts are equally correct giving "positive" critiques when you have to invent them, or stretch to find them, only serves to bolster the idea that the person has more positive to offer than perhaps they really do.

Agree!

We should not involve "YOU and I" in any discussion. IMO, instead of saying, "I want to ...", it's better to say, "you (general YOU) may want to ".

But what if I'm, for example, directing my comments towards you? I mean to be frank here, John, you have a tendency to try to enter into discussions of specific aspects of specific arts, ignore what's actually being asked, and give general "advice" on what you think all martial arts should have, or be about in many cases, being completely out of your depth in regards to the art you're supposed to be discussing. In those instances, I think it's perfectly appropriate to ask you, specific and in particular, what you're talking about, and why you think what you're saying is even relevant.

To put it another way you (generic "you") might want to stop and think if you actually understand what you're talking about, or have any understanding of the topic and subject before you tell people how they should do things. Oh, and that wasn't such a "generic you" there, by the way

When someone asks a general question, you may want to give your suggestion. After all, if the OP can ask his teacher, he won't need to ask here. When you do that, if others may not agree with your suggestion, you don't really need to respond to them. After all, it's the OP who is looking for suggestion. There will always be someone who does agree with your suggestion. To respond to those posts will definitely bring you into endless argument.

Or, by responding to those who disagree, you might be given the opportunity to solidify your beliefs, demonstrate why you're correct, or re-assess your understanding

Here is an example and it had happened in the past.

A: What should I do if ...
B: you may try ...
C: What make you think that you are qualified to give any suggestion to A?
D: That's the worst suggestion that I have ever heard.
E: Are you stupid or something? You are totally clueless.
B: ... :(

Well, let's look at some such examples, yeah? You've entered into specific questions about specific training methods in judo forums (on another forum, for the record), ignored the fact that you don't know anything about the training method (or judo itself, for the record), give your (frankly, uninformed) views which not only ignore what was actually being asked, but in cases directly contradict what was being asked about and then wonder why you're asked about your credentials and ability to answer such questions? Or we could look at a thread here, on self defence books where the OP asked for specific recommendations on books covering self defence (which is not fighting, nor martial arts) and your answer was "why would you want books? Martial arts are for doing! If you can do this (picture of a comic character punching through someone's head), why do you need books?" again, completely ignoring the thread, the OP's request, their context, and everything else. Frankly, when you do that, I feel it's more than valid to pull apart your posts.

But...but... what if they have offended my family and they have offended the Shaolin Temple. :D

Now to put my more serious hat on, I agree with this post, but there have been occasions, on MT in the CMA section where there were outright lying frauds (lineage claims) or those suggesting types of training that if done wrong are harmful or are harmful not matter how they are done..... how should one deal with that?

Good question.

By supplying evidence that casts doubt upon those claims and allowing people to draw their own conclusions.

Yeah of course, when the original claimant continues with their claims, you need to keep supplying more and more evidence repeating over and again what's been said. And, honestly, that gets old. And, again, we get back to the idea of frogs in wells

I have been there too and I agree, but, I would credit the readers of this forum with enough nous to decide for themselves...therefore it would be less important to 'win', and more important to supply enough information for the reader to form their own conclusions in support of your own. It is not necessary to 'convert' or 'break' the person making the claim, to have them capitulate and say 'okay dammit you are right'.

Yeah not sure I'd agree that the readers have enough "nous" to decide for themselves the problem is that, in many cases, these areas are highly specialised if you don't already have a fairly thorough background, it can be very difficult to discern what's real from what isn't. In Koryu forums, it's not uncommon for people to put up examples of groups claiming to be "traditional, samurai martial arts" that have no real basis in anything of the kind but, unless you know what you're looking at, it's not easy for people to see. I mean in a lot of cases, it looks just like what people might expect.

It's reasonable for someone else to say 'there is no evidence to support your claim, in fact all evidence points to it being highly unlikely. And extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The burden of proof lies with the person making the claim, so please provide us with evidence that what you say is true, otherwise the readership here will likely come to the conclusion that what you claim is indeed false.'

It could however be considered mean-spirited and not in the spirit of a friendly forum to cast aspersions about the poster's mental health based on a post like that. Doesn't that stray into personal attack territory?

Possibly. But then again, possibly not. As in everything, context is king.

Why not stop with, "What a load of hokum?" I mean, there are more diplomatic ways to say that, but you really have two clauses in your sentence. "What a load of hokum" is essentially challenging the claim. "Do your meds need to be adjusted?" is an unnecessary and destructive personal attack.

Or it's an expression of cynical humour designed to underscore how far from the expected reality the original comment was. It emphasises and strengthens the conviction behind the first part ("What a load of hokum") without explicitly saying "you're a complete lunatic who has no idea what they're talking about. If you honestly believe what you're saying, then you have either been lied to and been too stupid to recognise it, or it's a conclusion you came up with yourself, in which case you're a gullible fool with no filter for garbage, and no sense of critical assessment and thinking. I feel you are a danger to yourself and society, and should be heavily medicated, and likely sectioned away from the general public or, at the very least, your interaction in any sense of "teaching" should be limited to nothing at all.".

What it really comes down to, though, is the perception in the reading. Is it really an "unnecessary and destructive personal attack"? I don't think so and I think that those who feel it is are far, far too overly sensitive about such things, or are looking for ways to interpret such comments in an overly negative fashion.

Agree!

Instead of trying to point out the errors in someone's post as in the following example.

A: aaa bbb ccc ddd eee fff ...
B: aaa bbb should be aax bbx.
B: ccc ddd should be ccx ddx,
B: eee fff should be eex ffx,
B: ...

Why not just express your own view instead of pointing out what can be wrong in someone's post.

Because sometimes you really do need to simply correct errors. Frankly, if you're wrong, I will say you're wrong. And I will commonly demonstrate why. It's got nothing to do with "views", it's to do with correct or not.

Also there is no need to bring the "style" into any discussion. Judo guys like to "grab" and Taiji guys don't. It's better to discuss the PRO and CON of the "grab" instead of saying, "In Judo, we do ..." or "In Taiji, we do ...". The moment that "style" is what you are trying to defend, the discussion can be easily get into argument.

Garbage. When discussing different methods/approaches/systems, it's essential to bring "style" into it. That's the whole discussion. This bizarre idea of yours that you can keep it out of discussions is why you keep jumping into threads and forums concerning systems you don't have a clue on, and trying to discuss without any knowledge which is why you get the responses you do (such as you listed earlier).

When someone starts a thread, "What MA style should I train?" That thread will soon get into "my style is better than your style" argument. Do we really need a thread like that to tear us apart instead of bring us together? Can we have general MA discussion without trying to drag "style" into it?

You know, I've been involved in these forums for a while now and honestly, threads such as "What MA should I study" usually don't go anywhere near "my style is the best" at all. Most commonly, it's a series of questions about what the poster is after, what's around them, and some suggestions based on people's experience. These threads pretty much never "tear us apart" bluntly, I don't know what threads you've been reading but that doesn't happen here, or on MAP (where you're also a member).

I don't know how successful we can be without ever bringing style into a discussion. I'm a fan of being specific. There's a middle ground between questioning or critiquing a style or a training model, and style bashing.

True.

If we don't bring style into discussion, there will be no style bashing. Style means there are principles that you (general YOU) want to reference. Unfortunately when you only reference those set of principles, you may ignore principles used in other styles. Sometime, that will cause argument.

Again, garbage. Discussing within a style/system is done to, well, discuss within that system/style. Certain aspects will be highly specific others will have some cross-over. It's got nothing to do with ignoring "other principles" it's to do with having a common understanding. When discussing one systems approach within a larger framework/discussion, then you're talking about how that system does things which again will reference the terminology/principles/concepts of that system. Without such specificity, there's not really anything to discuss.

Style bashing, on the other hand, commonly happens when people with no clue about the system try to criticise it from outside. But stylistic discussions are not automatically "style bashing".

Of course if you don't cross train and you only train one style, your style will be your bible. But if you have cross trained, you may like to look at things from different angles and consider principles from all MA styles.

Which will only be applicable to some discussions, not to all of them. For some, stylistic specificity is required.

For example, if you only consider

- "defense your center from inside out", you may forget "defense your center from outside in".
- "keep your center within your base", you may forget "move your center outside your base and take advantage on the gravity".
- "body lead arm is more powerful", you may forget "arm lead body is faster".
- "when you grab, you will have less freedom", you may forget "when you grab, your opponent will have less freedom."
- ...

When style is not involved, we can look at things from all different angles and have a pleasant discussion. When someone said,

- "We don't do this in my style".
- "It's against our style principles".
- ...

The discussion will only be looked at from a certain angle and the discussion will start to become personal.

And, one more time, absolute garbage.

Look, if we're discussing differing methodologies, tactical approaches, and so forth, looking at how different systems do things (not uncommon), then yeah, you kinda have to point out what is done or not, why and why not, in a particular system.

I hear what you're saying, and it makes sense in a discussion about principles and such, but we aren't always talking about principles.

Yep. Even then, though, I'd say that what John is talking about is of limited genuine application.

In a discussion about a style, it's kind of hard to dance around references to that style. There's a thread right now about tessenjutsu, which seems to be a style that is often rolled into many other styles. Different styles seem to use the fans differently. Avoiding any reference to style might actually cause more trouble than it resolves, as you could end up with two people saying contradictory things and both be completely correct.

For reference, "tessenjutsu" isn't a style it's a skill-set, a combative application of a particular weapon. There are "styles" of tessenjutsu, of course but "tessenjutsu" isn't a style any more than "kicking" is a "style".

You would also have to remove all the appeals to authority. Which brings your own style into the discussion.

I have no idea what you're talking about what "appeals to authority"? And what do you mean by "your own style" being brought into the discussion?

That's really interesting, but I wasn't referring to any kind of a paradox. I was referring to stylistic differences. In the example I mentioned, it appears that more than a few traditional styles teach tessenjitsu. Some include no techniques that use the fan in an open position, and may teach that this is never done. Others teach that there are a few specific applications for the fan in the open position. They're both teaching tessenjitsu.

Psst "jutsu" not "jitsu" wrong word there

Who is correct? I'd say both, but you wouldn't know it if you didn't get specific and carefully reference the style.

And here's what I was talking about earlier, in regards to people being able to make up their own minds. Bluntly, the simple lack of knowledge means that people like Steve here, who's an intelligent guy, can come to the conclusion that "both are correct" or that, in traditional systems of tessenjutsu, some teach that the fan is never open, and some teach that it sometimes is yet, when you look at the thread itself, the only people who have trained in anything like a genuinely traditional system incorporating tessen will tell you that it's always closed. The thread starter, training in a modern Korean form of karate, who have imported (created) a weaponry syllabus, doesn't train in a traditional (historical) system of tessen most others saying it is used open qualify their statements by pointing out that they don't have experience in this area and cited Chinese systems and anime, rather than anything Japanese yet here we have Steve saying that he'd say "both (are correct)". No.
 

Transk53

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Hmm it seems like you're referencing something familiar there

Little peak behind the curtain with myself, then. Nothing I do or say is in isolation. In other words, I was not responding to a one-off comment, but looking at a pattern of behaviour and interaction, and offering a genuinely felt push towards a more useful and positive way to engage here. And believe me, it was very friendly.

Okay. Perhaps I viewed that post as being something more then. Yes it I was referencing yourself, but did want to appear I was accusing you. As I often have to say, I read things a little to black and white sometimes. For what it is worth, no personal offence was meant.
 

Steve

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With regards to "attack the post, not the poster", in some cases it's simply not that easy to separate them which is where that entire line of reasoning falls down. And the basic reality is that not everyone has something of value to offer despite their beliefs. The idea that "everyone is entitled to their opinions" is often misconstrued to be "everyone is entitled to have their opinions heard and given equal weight with others". Simply, no. There are some examples coming up, actually
It's VERY easy to attack the post and not the poster. It's a choice to do it or to not do it. I presume you are self-aware, and so when you attack the poster, I am pretty sure you do it with intention. You are making a choice to do it. So, I absolutely believe that you have a reason (presumably what you would consider to be a very good reason) to attack the poster when you do it. But it's simply about making the choice not to.

I think we can agree that there are some posters who have little to offer the forum. I would bet, though, that my list would be fewer than 5 (and I can't think of any who haven't already been banned) while yours is much, much longer. :)
I get where you're coming from, Steve, I really do but honestly, I don't agree. I know, big surprise

The issue I see with "be more tolerant" is that, in many cases, it's simply not warranted. Tolerance, when taken to an extreme, is just enabling it's enabling false beliefs it's enabling bad ideas it's allowing the bad to be given equal voice with the accurate and correct. And, in that view, tolerance leads to a lowering of positive communication.
Simple. Don't take it to an extreme. I'm certainly not suggesting that you do. What I am suggesting is more tolerance, not absolute tolerance and anarchy.
Or it's an expression of cynical humour designed to underscore how far from the expected reality the original comment was. It emphasises and strengthens the conviction behind the first part ("What a load of hokum") without explicitly saying "you're a complete lunatic who has no idea what they're talking about. If you honestly believe what you're saying, then you have either been lied to and been too stupid to recognise it, or it's a conclusion you came up with yourself, in which case you're a gullible fool with no filter for garbage, and no sense of critical assessment and thinking. I feel you are a danger to yourself and society, and should be heavily medicated, and likely sectioned away from the general public or, at the very least, your interaction in any sense of "teaching" should be limited to nothing at all.".
Ah, the, "Just kidding," approach. You're a jerk... just kidding. LOL. Don't be so sensitive. Personally. I don't care for that approach. It boils down to, "I disagree with you for these reasons, and you're a jerk." More often than not, it's a clumsy approach at establishing a heirarchy. It's usually irrelevant to the point, and it often weakens the message and clouds it in subjective judgement.
What it really comes down to, though, is the perception in the reading. Is it really an "unnecessary and destructive personal attack"? I don't think so and I think that those who feel it is are far, far too overly sensitive about such things, or are looking for ways to interpret such comments in an overly negative fashion.
Fair enough. You and I have different opinions on this matter, and I'm okay with that.
Because sometimes you really do need to simply correct errors. Frankly, if you're wrong, I will say you're wrong. And I will commonly demonstrate why. It's got nothing to do with "views", it's to do with correct or not.
If it's a fact, then it can be independently verified. That doesn't mean that we now have to cite every source. But it points to the distinction between fact and opinion, once again. Facts can be verified. Opinions are just that. Now, is your opinion more credible than mine? Well, how solidly grounded in facts is your opinion? Are your facts independently verifiable?

But, even the most credible opinion is still not a fact. I remember a discussion we had regarding language a while back that comes to mind regarding how the Brazilians were spelling jiu-jitsu wrong. :)
 
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