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Thursday, August 04, 2005

Well, unless and until I step into a training hall here, there's no getting around the fact that I've got to start training on my own again. The recent photolog we've taken during our move highlighted this fact. It's been over a month since I've trained, and with the hectic pace of the past two weeks, my diet has been basically crap, and it's beginning to show.

It's one thing to eat crap when I'm working out. When I'm not, it definitley wreaks havoc on the waistline. So, at minimum, I'm going to pull out the old MMAC summertime curriculum and see what I can't do about starting up a small curcuit routine again. At least I finally managed to get in touch with the local FMA/WMA instructor via email.

I admit that I made a pre-judgement based on some of the photos I've seen of this person and things I've heard about his associates. Our email conversation shattered those prejudices a bit. I started out, thus...
I was writing to inquire about the [school's program]. I have recenly moved to Ithaca from Athens, OH where I trained with [my old club]. While there, I trained (among other things) [two styles of kali]. Also, I got to know two of the officers at the time, [guys I trained with whose names I dropped, and why the instructor would care]. While I possess a stick, my training with it has been minimal, but I would be very interested in expanding my skills there, too.

I'd really appreciate any and all information about your school. Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
Don
Now, one would think, based on common sense, that this should be Standard Operating Procedure for anyone looking for, well... anything. I didn't think this email was anything more than a solicitation for information. So, I was pleasantly surprised by this response, which began...
Don,

First off, thank you for writing a very nice, polite letter of introduction. That is a rare thing these days and much appreciated.

[stuff snipped]
I was wondering what kinds of letters of inquiry he usually gets. Knowing some of the freaks that inhabit the martial arts world, I shudder to think. But, it saddens me in a way. Are manners, even in the martial arts world, so passe that to see them is that much of a rarity? Even in the Filipino Martial Arts, where one misspoken word or stick pointed in the wrong direction in a salutation is enough to get that stick jammed straight up your earhole?

I remember when I first met DATU_B in Club. We were as polite and cordial with each other as we could be, for fear of putting off the other one. Of course, he found out in short order how much I sucked compared to him, but at the time, he saw a Filipino with sticks walk into the room. For all he knew, I could've been GM Cabales's grand-nephew or something. For all I knew, he could've been a recent grad of Hock's Scientific Fighting Congress.

But, even without the fear of unintended insults turning into challenge matches, you just don't walk up into someone's house for the first time and immediately announce that you're going to raid their 'fridge. But, maybe that's just me. Like a wise person said, "Common sense ain't so common anymore."
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5 comments:

Steve VH said...

Check Mushtaq's rule# 12. "I am so dangerous I can afford to be polite, reasonable and mellow."
Perhaps, this is something many MAers have yet to prove to themselves. Too bad. Pride is one thing but being quick to anger is not the same.

Datu_B said...

That is terribly unfortunate.

You are right I was terribly polite to you since at first appearance it is quite clear you are from Cleveland ;) I also made it a rule that I'd remember everyones name always. One of the pieces of advice my old instructor gave to me as a new "shower of things" (I'm not an instructor) is to remeber names and while talking to a clubber make them the most important person to you for those brief seconds, because to them they are the most important person. Also how can a person feel like you care if you don't know their name?

Datu_B said...

"Check Mushtaq's rule# 12. 'I am so dangerous I can afford to be polite, reasonable and mellow." Maybe the opposite is the reason all the Jean-Claude Segal's of the world are so..abrasive.

I'm also curious about Guru Mushtaq's previous 11 rules? ;)

Steve VH said...

Go to http://www.zulfakr.com/html/adventures.htm for the other 19 rules. Bottom right hand side.
Another addition is "introduce them to the earth, they will never find the murder weapon.

Don said...

My personal favorite has to be...

11. How badly I hurt you depends on how much of a physical threat you offered me