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Something Nice To Say

There is a saying that "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all." This particularly applies to statements about other martial arts and martial artists. It is not polite to say negative things about other martial arts and martial artists. It is better to say nothing at all.

Who is to say that we are correct? We might think that a certain martial artist lacks ability. However, we are viewing his skill through our own eyes. We can only see what our level of ability will allow us to see. It could be that the other martial artist is quite advanced. But to our beginner's eyes, he looks weak. It might just be that his movements are more internalized (compressed body dynamics with less observable external movement). We should withhold negative comment because we could be wrong.

It might also be that the other martial artist is trying his best and will improve with time. What good will criticism do in this case? The student is progressing as he should. He just needs more time and practice. It would be better to encourage him than to speak negatively.

We should recognize that different martial arts emphasize different things -- striking, grappling, throwing, etc. One way is not better or worse than other, it is just different. Diversity makes the martial arts as a whole better.

If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin