Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Internet flame wars. What are they good for?

I've found myself in the middle of yet another useless argument for no real reason except for ego. In reading the linked thread above, I was very interested to see how much other people claim to know about the WTSDA dangum and janggum hyung. Better yet, these folks seem to "know" why these forms were added in the first place.

Naturally, feeling insulted, I felt the need to weigh in with my own opinion on the matter. Obviously, I'm proud of my Association and the people who work hard to make it better everyday. Certainly no group is without their critics. Anyone big enough to have even moderate success has probably managed to offend somebody along the line.

If I wanted their opinion, I would join their (certainly perfect) organization. So I should just continue along my own happy way and keep doing my thing, right?

This is one of the many pitfalls of sharing information on the Internet, and it's one that is big enough to prevent a majority of users from wanting to get involved. There is a group of users all over who have nothing better to do than to post negative comments on everything, while sharing nothing positive of their own. Doing a Korean art? Don't worry, someone will come along and "educate" you about how all the hyung you do were either "stolen from the Japanese" or "just made up." I guess no one created their hyung, they just magically appeared in a vision from the Gods. Other groups will completely bad mouth an Association on one hand, and save/copy all of their curriculum with the other.

There are people who will look at a youtube video of a 5 year old "little dragon" and tear him apart, telling everyone who reads that the art is "crap" and that we should stop wasting our time and switch over to MMA, UFC, ABC, XYZ. All this because a proud parent wanted to share a pic of little Susie at her first tournament.

So, the natural response is to push back when pushed. Unfortunately, it doesn't do anything to change the mind of the original commentor, and probably just makes you look stupid to everyone else for getting dragged into the discussion in the first place. So just like sparring, try stepping offline and re-directing with a more positive comment. Maybe along the line, someone will learn something in the process.
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