Let me set the stage for what follows with a beloved quote: Recently, we’ve had a spate of cases where people have decided to post either: a. big claims about themselves or their schools, b. or videos/photos of themselves or their instructors in action. In most cases these folks became agitated when they discover that members of the community questioned their claims and critiqued their footage. Before anyone else goes down this path blindly and another war erupts, let me spell a few things out: While we are all involved in the martial arts in some capacity or another, Martial Arts Planet (MAP) is an internet forum with members spread out across the globe. Most of us will never meet outside of this virtual space. That means that our interactions typically take place though text. For all intents and purposes, you write yourself into existence here. Therefore, the MAP community expects that the “you” on MAP more or less matches the “you” off MAP. The only way a forum like this works is if we are all honest about who we are and what we can do. Posting Claims Ok, so say you’re feeling your oats and decide to let us all know about what a bad mofo you are. Posting a claim, while pretty pretentious, is within the MAP Terms of Service (TOS). BUT, if you make claims IT IS UP TO YOU TO BACK THEM UP. “WHAT???!!!!” you say, “Why can’t my claims be taken at face value?” Well, text is cheap and easy. Posting that you can perform 70 sidekicks in less than a minute doesn’t make it anymore true than my posting that I’m a small furry marsupial makes me a possum. In western cultures there is a well established notion of the burden of proof: What that means is that if you write it, you better be prepared to back it up with proof. And that proof will be judged by the MAP community because this community is founded on being able to trust what every member posts. The Burden of Proof places all responsibility on the person who makes the claims. So, in response to someone questioning the kick claim, I shouldn’t respond “Prove I can’t!” It is my responsibility to prove it. Further, we have numerous members who are masters in the modern art of Google-do and are more than happy to look up current work records. The best way to make yourself look like a jackass is to have someone post proof that your claims are "inflated." Simply put: If you don’t want to stand up to community scrutiny and play by the rules, then please don’t click the temping blue New Thread button. Sit on your mouse hand. Trust me, it’s better that way. Videos We all love watching videos. There is an entire sub-forum dedicated to Movies. And we always dig people sharing videos of themselves in training and competing. But please understand that if you post a video, it will undoubtedly be critiqued, whether you ask for the feedback or not. Why? This is an internet forum, and at the end of the day all internet forums are about discussion. MAP members have critiqued videos of Bruce Lee, why should you be any different? We all are here because on some level we all feel we have something to share. Many of us are teachers. And we really enjoy helping each other out. So when we can provide constructive criticism we typically do. You need to be prepared for this! Responding to criticism with “let’s see you do better” doesn’t cut it. This falls back to the general idea of the burden of proof. You made the choice to post the video, and you need to live with the consequences. Plus, you’ll find that most responses will provide ideas about how to do it better. Again: If you don’t want the community scrutiny, please don’t click the New Thread button. And please, please, please understand this: Combining claims and videos is the quickest and most efficient path to pain. Big pain. Big, big, pain. The community has a special place for this and you need to have a thick, thick skin for the volume of responses that you will get. So please: if you don’t want the community scrutiny, please don’t click the New Thread button. Calling people and critiquing videos (This section is for the rest of the community.) Please don’t take the above as a free pass to bash away. Questioning the claim or constructively critiquing the video is ok. Attacking the character of the person, making outright fun of them, their teacher, their relatives, their dog, etc. is bad… as in unacceptable… as in an Ad Hominem attack… as in against TOS… as in you will be sin-binned or banned so fast your family will be dizzy for generations. So for all of you, follow your mother’s advice: If you don’t have anything good to say, please don’t click the temping blue Post Reply button. In all cases, remember that we mods are watching. We dig good conversation and dialog, but will not tolerate violations of the TOS. Plus we’re a lot more friendly and helpful when we don’t have to act as referees.