Now and then, somebody stirs up the silat-war mud down on the bottom at the ole swimming hole and I feel the need to speak to the cloudy water that results. I should know better by now.
Recently, I've done a few posts (this one, especially, apparently) that have been taken the wrong way and thereby pissed people off. I've been asked -- well, actually not "asked," but told -- I better offer an apology. I thought about it; and here, my explanation:
When I spoke of certain students of a certain guru who were somewhat disparaging about my teacher's abilities, I perhaps didn't make it clear that they weren't saying anything negative about him personally. What those old discussions went to concerned the training, and how much of our art my teacher had access to. (I normally don't name names, to protect both the innocent -- and the guilty -- but I'm gonna make an exception here in a minute; let me finish my set-up first.)
The whole question of lineage and who learned what from whom, when and how, is complicated, and there's no reason to go into it in depth -- it's a snorer for anybody not up on what we do, and I'll spare you. The gist of it is that some of the senior students of another teacher, whose name I'm not going to mention, and that teacher himself, allowed as how they knew way more than we did.
I disagreed, and we had a bone of contention. We argued about it, didn't get it resolved, then eventually let it alone and went about our respective businesses. And that was that.
Time passed. Months ... years ...
Some of these folks subsequently emailed or spoke to me, to allow as how they no longer believed what they'd offered earlier. They had come to realize, like Rick in Casablanca when he tried to explain about the waters, that they had been misinformed.
I must admit I felt a certain sense of vindication when I heard this, but bygones and all like that, so I smiled and went merrily along.
(I even came to think some of these folks had come to be my friends. Apparently I was also misinformed ...)
Now, my recent postings have stirred that old stuff up. Yeah, yeah, I should have let it lie, left it alone, shoulda-woulda-coulda, but ... I didn't. (I am, I have been told regarding this, a mouthy keyboard martial artist; a silat simpleton who doesn't move well; and one who isn't serious about my art. And, really -- who could argue with that? Well, save for the "serious" part, which I did dispute, but hey, I'm a simpleton, whaddya expect?)
I've also been taken to task for things I never said.
Did. Not. Say. Them.
My blog postings are public, and anybody who wants to read 'em versus what somebody said I said, have at it. I don't see a lot of ambiguity myself, though I confess to some snideness here and there. But I will be rolled in corn meal and deep-fat fried crispy golden brown before I apologize for something I didn't do.
Still, there are a handful of people who might know enough about all this, and who might read my posts and jump to unwarranted conclusions. So, to avoid tarring somebody with a brush they don't deserve, hereunder my caveat:
The people named below never said anything to me that was personally insulting about my teacher, Maha Guru Stevan Plinck:
Guru Robert Vanatta.
Gurus Guy Bowring, Alan Nicol, Jerry Phillips Jason Heffler, Scott Geiger, and students Brian Hunt and Cory Hughes.
Guru Mike Roberto.
Gurus Mike Choate, Ron Miller, Chris Geilan and Jerry McCleary.
These men all have the highest respect for Guru Plinck, as a teacher, silat player, and a man, and I did not say, nor mean to imply, anything else.