Those of you who know something of silat, and particularly Silat Sera, know there is a fair amount of politics and no small amount of contention among the various branches.
I won't go into it here; suffice it to say that there is mucho sangre mal -- bad blood -- and no end to the old arguments in immediate view.
However, now and again, I get a note from one of the other schools offering a kind of olive branch. Usually this takes the form of them saying they aren't all insulting blow-hards over there, that some of them are willing to live and let live, and they hope that we aren't tarring them all with the same brush. The trash-talkers, they say, don't speak for them all, and they hang back because they don't want to get involved in the war of words.
I appreciate this kind of overture. But after a recent exchange from one of the more reasonable guys in another lineage of the art, I realized what will take is for that kind of position to become an official one. That if they don't agree with the strident among them, they need to say so -- otherwise it becomes the default position, and why should we believe anything else.
The solution, as I see it, is if you are the ranking guys, you need to step up and say the loudmouths are wrong, in public. Those yahoos got it from somewhere, and if that's not the official party line, then you need to say so.
That would go a long way to cessation of hostilities. But tacit approval by not pointing out the error of the dweeb ways is also a default position.
Of course, I don't see how this can happen until the most senior teachers pass away, since a lot of this crap comes from the very top down. And if you get crosswise with the senior teachers, they have shown a quick willingness to boot your butt out the door ...
Ah, well. Like Chas Clements says, when you get a bunch of martial artists together, why are you surprised if a fight breaks out ... ?