YouTube, Comments and the Joy of Being Martin Wheeler

Martin Confession time.

I am a big fan of Martin. I trained with him 3 or 4 times and thoroughly enjoyed each one. I learned a great deal and best of all actually remembered and applied a fair amount of the information. His seminars are typically physical and not for the faint of heart. At the end, you are sore, tired, sore and very happy. And sore.  At least this has been my experience.

There was a post of one of his clips from YouTube. The comments made by some 15 or so “martial artists” who viewed the clip were nothing short of harsh and brutal. Toss in the adjective “nasty” and you should start to get the picture.

Mind you, NONE of the commenters trained with Martin. In fact, none actually knew who he was. Nor his background. Nor his skill level. Nor been the recipient of one of his strikes that “would never work against me.” (Yes, I did make the mistake of asking these questions.)

Each comment was based on what they thought they saw via YouTube. I do not know what the creators of YouTube had as their incentive for designing this search engine. It may have been something as pedestrian as making money. Or perhaps something noble like sharing information with the world. Be that as it may, the end result has been the closing of minds and shutting the doors to possibility thinking. Descartes said, “I think, therefore, I am.” Today it would be, “I saw, therefore, I am an expert.”

martinTo draw conclusions and assume they are truisms based on a 3-minute clip borders on the idiotic. You may love it or hate it, find it entertaining or boring but in terms of accurate conclusions, none can really be drawn. You were not there. You have no idea. If you want to understand Systema, go to a seminar. If you want to question Martin’s skills, take a class with him. Until a person does this, there is a grand total of zero credibility.

In many ways, YouTube is a miracle maker. It can mold fools into “masters” in 3 minutes. People now “know” because they have seen the clip. Outcomes can be accurately concluded in less than 4 clips. Remember, “I saw, therefore, I am an expert.”

The prolific American writer, Rita Mae Brown once said,

“Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.”

Had she taken Martin’s Systema seminar, it may have sounded like:

“Good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from actually taking a strike.”