Marketing hype and challenges

Oct 11, 1998
After reading some of the posts on "the other forum" which get a little bit out of hand, as this seems to be the case from time to time, I wondered a bit. Is a duel still concidered a valid form to settle disagrements in America? The idea seems a little bit far fetched for my European eyes, even though we have a much older tradition in theese things. My imagination is a little bit hard pressed here. Do I really have to imagin Fred Perrin or Lynn Thompson walking up to the table of Kevin Mac Clung on some shot or knife show and saying something to the effect, "Hey man, let´s settle this matter once and for all!"? (Before I draw some flak here, this is just an example o.k., no diss to the persons mentioned here).
Do the persons then step out, call in some witnesses and go for it? And wouldn´t this be at least a little bit political incorrect, if not even plain illegal? Or do they sign some letters of indemnities and draw up their last will or what? Or is this more some full contact sparring?
To me this seems to be more a nice pr gag (lets face it, wouldn´t we all love to see some matchups like the a.m. in some tournament?), I find it hard to belive that they are really intended on doing some real harm to each other. But maybe I´m wrong and there are real duels. If so, what etiquette do I have to follow, should I ever feel the need to challenge someone (besides starting some flaming on different internet forums?
Net challenges are never taken seriously, and no one who issues one is ever taken seriously again (if he ever was). There was one that actually led to a fight ... kind of. The owner of a martial arts school posted challenges to the owner of another martial arts school -- the two schools were in the same building, though, and there was probably more to it than that. After weeks of provocation and many challenges to fight anyone from the rival school, any time, any place -- you get the idea -- finally several students from the rival school visited him during a class. As you might expect he was in terror -- threw himself on the floor as soon as one of them approached him.... He sued them for assault and the trial was possibly even more humiliating than the "fight" in front of his students. If you're interested go to dejanews and search the old rec.martial-arts -- the thread where he posted his version of the "assault" was titled "Now it's really war" if I recall correctly, and that should lead you to the other threads. The whole thing was pretty entertaining if you find people making fools of themselves on the net amusing.

Other than that, though many teenagers and a few grown adolescents have displayed their immaturity on the net for the world to see, nothing but bluster has ever come of it as far as I know, and even in that incident no one got hurt, only embarrassed.

The strange thing is the same individuals keep humiliating themselves before the world, over and over -- they never seem to learn anything from it. They seem to think there's something scary about issuing a threat over the net, and no matter how many times they find out otherwise, they always think their next "victim" will be frightened.

rec.martial-arts.moderated does not allow net challenges, one of the reasons that group was formed. Some of us were amused by the adolescent flame wars, but it got old after a while....

Etiquette: use an anonymous account, preferably aol -- that seems to be the popular method, anyway. As far as I can recall none of them have ever used mixmaster or even an anon-server -- you might take that as a measure of their intelligence, but I prefer to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume it's etiquette instead and they would consider it rude to make it difficult to identify them and have their accounts lifted. A few particularly bold (or computer-illiterate) players of the sport don't even use anonymous accounts.

Choosing your victim: the most popular choice is another phony martial artist like yourself. With a careful choice of victim you may be able to get a blustering challenge from him in response, and keep it going for weeks to the great amusement of all (except a few people with no sense of fun, and they probably killfiled you long ago anyway). Next most popular is someone famous, such as one of the Gracie family, one (or all) of the Dog Brothers, Mad Dog Mclung, etc. It's probably best to choose someone who lives thousands of miles from you, just in case. Be cautious; although you are unlikely to suffer any consequence beyond the posting of your true identity, address, and phone number by some evil hacker and your humiliation before the world, there's always a first time.

Be sure to post your challenge somewhere the whole martial arts world will see what a dangerous fellow you are. Sending it in email would defeat the whole purpose.

-Cougar Allen :{)