For those that haven't already read it: http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2013/1/1...-to-the-martial-arts-community-from-ryan-hall I was hoping to discuss this letter on its own merits without any of the Lloyd Irving case getting in the way since it already has its own thread. This letter is exactly the same as something I might have written a number of years ago. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I'm sure at least parts of it echo many people's experiences in the martial arts world. So my question is, have you had some kind of "off" experience during your time in the martial arts, and how long did it take you to have your lightbulb, I have to get the hell out of here moment? The other thing I want to get into is, is there something wrong with the martial arts in general? I mean, in almost no other physical endeavour do we see such narcissim, such hero worship, self promotion, cult of personality and just plain pointless philosophising. For instance, my dad has played golf since he was a teenager. He is now 60. He plays 2-3 times a week, just like many people that do martial arts. However I have never heard him pointlessly drivel on about enlightenment or zen concepts, people do not harbour "secrets" and such about how to achieve a good bunker shot, there is no resentment between the broomstick putter and regular putter camp, it is all just about enjoyment of the game. He tries a new way of driving to get better, it doesn't work. He says meh, moves on and tries something else. Compare this to a friend who won't change arts despite their teacher being dead and having no one to teach them. They refuse to learn anything but that style even when they can't. Contrast the golf examples with what I've seen on martial arts forums over the past decade. People go into some forums and ask questions, they are basically told "ask your instructor, you don't deserve answers just because you asked us a question". We get people saying TMA are superior to MMA because MMA doesn't teach philosophy. We have chunners arguing over who has the "real" wing chun. Those are just a few examples of hundreds of pointless squabbles that go on in our community. People in our community turn into the equivalent of religious zealots much of the time, eschewing rationality and clear thinking in favour of finding some nebulous "truth" or secret about combat. Thoughts?