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Thread: Breaking Tradition

  1. #1
    sifuroy is offline In Memory of our Departed Friend
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    Default Breaking Tradition

    In the old days there was a tradiition that we could not visit other schools and we pretty much obeyed it. Even other Kenpo schools. When 25 years ago we moved to the Northwest we made a decision to change that. We were now a tiny minority of one of our style in the area. We decided to go to the tournaments and meet as many of the other styles and instructors as possible. We decided we should to go to as many as we could of these other schools and introduce ourselves and show what we do. Also We wanted to learn as much as possible about them and their style. Their history, their Katas and their Philosophy. This way we better understood what they were all about. Over the years this has really paid off. We have made so many friends in the other styles and mutually respect each other. We each are welcome visitors in each others schools. The Shotokan is a very formal school. If I should enter their school and if the first person to see me did not stop the class to acknowlege me and have the class bow to me they would be admonished and probably be doing push ups until next week. Thats a lot of respect and that is a mutual thing.
    I am on the Black Belt examining board for Shotokan,Isshinryu,Gun fu Kenpo and several others.
    They want and respect our help. All of this would have never happened if
    we had continued with our old isolation policies that we were under in our home school. We have made so many good friends in the other styles and learned so much from them. After all we are all heading the same direction only some of us take different paths. Do We regret breaking tradition? Definately not!!!

    Most respectfully
    Sifuroy

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    Default Re: Breaking Tradition

    What branch of Kenpo/Kempo do you come from?
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: Breaking Tradition

    Well, I think you were smart. I don't know how that got started in Kenpo in the first place, but I think it is counterproductive. I've worked with Kenpoists who were angry with me for working out with other systems and stylists. I find it narrow minded and counterproductive, and it's a lot less enjoyable to work with them than to get with someone who loves the martial arts and dig out the gems in each others system. I allways thought I came away with a better understanding of Kenpo after working with an Arnisidore or TKDer, or any one who does it different. My opinion.

    Dan C
    There are things that are worth knowing for their own sake, worth finding for the pure joy of discovery.

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  6. #4
    SifuDangeRuss is offline
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    Wink Re: Breaking Tradition

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Broad View Post
    What branch of Kenpo/Kempo do you come from?

    Tis true, our own home school discouraged active interaction with other schools/systems. I think the primary reason behind this was, to pomote becoming proficient in one method, before confusing the waters with a variety of methods. However, even then, we were kind of rebels. We spent a great deal of time with the late Bob Perry and notable Lua proponant Sol Kaihewalu among others. (We were bad!) However we met some good people and made some great lasting friends because we broke the Isolationism.

    As Papa~san said, it served us well, when we became ambassadors of the system in the Great White North.
    Last edited by Rob Broad; 11-18-2006 at 09:23 PM. Reason: Edited as per Sifu DangeRuss's request
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    SifuDangeRuss is offline
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    Talking Re: Breaking Tradition

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    Well, I think you were smart. I don't know how that got started in Kenpo in the first place, but I think it is counterproductive. I've worked with Kenpoists who were angry with me for working out with other systems and stylists. I find it narrow minded and counterproductive, and it's a lot less enjoyable to work with them than to get with someone who loves the martial arts and dig out the gems in each others system. I allways thought I came away with a better understanding of Kenpo after working with an Arnisidore or TKDer, or any one who does it different. My opinion.

    Dan C
    Amen, brother. Celebrate the differences and swipe what works for you.
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    Default Re: Breaking Tradition

    Quote Originally Posted by SifuDangeRuss View Post
    Amen, brother. Celebrate the differences and swipe what works for you.
    Actually, you usually find out that we aren't all that different, and it's in Kenpo somewhere. The biggest difference I see in most martial arts is the principles they emphasize and the concepts they use.

    I used to spar regularly with a TKD black belt whose blocks looked a lot like the ones Doc has described here (though he didn't index the same), and hurt like the devil! He used to launch me across a full size gymn with some of his kicks, and, talking to bujuts about the way he does kicks, I'm beggining to see how the guy did it! It's all there, and I look back at some of the people I worked with both in and out of Kenpo and the light glows a little brighter now talking with someone on a forum about these things. I just didn't understand it at the time, and would certainly understand less now if I had never seen something at least similar before.

    Maybe if you can study under a Doc Chapel or Larry Tatum you could afford to be more focused within your system until some point after black. But here in the hinterlands, I'll take what I can get, and be better for it I think. 'Course, right now I'm not takin' much of anything except pain pills to keep goin'. But, that's another (sob) story.

    Dan C
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    Default Re: Breaking Tradition

    I started Kenpo after the UFC, so I definately think it's a good idea to learn what you can when you can. If I trained somewhere who couldn't or wouldn't accept what I personally wanted to do with my training-I'd leave.
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    Default Re: Breaking Tradition

    When I first started training I came from an organization that was not big on relationships with other schools, especially EPAK schools. In our small town we would often do events with TKD schools and let anyone on the floor to train with us.

    Through going to tournaments and doing demos at community events we met a lot of good and not so good people out there.

    It is funny that we are discussing this today, I was an old class made earlier today and he gave me a DVD the he created from a video tape of our Demo at the 1984 local fair. Our instructor was a professional photographer and one of the first people to have access to a video camera so he taped everything taht went on at the fair which also include demos by two local TKD schools as well.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: Breaking Tradition

    If I attended a school that hindered my learning in any way then I would not attend it for very long. I feel that any school/art/styel secure in it's curriculum would have no problem in encouraging learning through as many avenues as possible. I just recently advised one of our students that is in college to take a BJJ class offered for PE credits. I can't wait till he has his first class and comes in to show us what he learned.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    SifuDangeRuss is offline
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    Thumbs up Re: Breaking Tradition

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler View Post
    If I attended a school that hindered my learning in any way then I would not attend it for very long. I feel that any school/art/styel secure in it's curriculum would have no problem in encouraging learning through as many avenues as possible. I just recently advised one of our students that is in college to take a BJJ class offered for PE credits. I can't wait till he has his first class and comes in to show us what he learned.

    CC...I'm with you. I wholeheartedly encourage my people to get out, explore and see what else is being taught out there. If they find something of value, to drag it back in and share with the rest of us. I am of the firm belief, that he who dies with the most knowledge wins.

    I think that some schools discourage this practice, because they fear how they might stack up against other classes. This is too bad, because it doesn't help anyone.

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    shesulsa is offline
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    Default Re: Breaking Tradition

    A saying I've heard is "Learn from many teachers, have one master." Thoughts?
    Experience is the best teacher ... and it teaches backwards.

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    Default Re: Breaking Tradition

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler View Post
    If I attended a school that hindered my learning in any way then I would not attend it for very long. I feel that any school/art/styel secure in it's curriculum would have no problem in encouraging learning through as many avenues as possible. I just recently advised one of our students that is in college to take a BJJ class offered for PE credits. I can't wait till he has his first class and comes in to show us what he learned.

    One major problem is that beginners don't know any better and accept the edicts of the school to not go to other schools. By the time they would start to know better tey are so brainwashed into the schools way of thinking they themselves become part of cycle and start to put forth those menatilities themself.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: Breaking Tradition

    Quote Originally Posted by shesulsa View Post
    A saying I've heard is "Learn from many teachers, have one master." Thoughts?
    Sort of like saying get a good base then draw ideas from other systems- except it doesn't put the usual restriction that you have to be a 3rd black before working out with other stylists.

    Dan C
    There are things that are worth knowing for their own sake, worth finding for the pure joy of discovery.

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    Default Well I guess I'm a narrow minded bigot then

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    Well, I think you were smart. I don't know how that got started in Kenpo in the first place, but I think it is counterproductive. I've worked with Kenpoists who were angry with me for working out with other systems and stylists. I find it narrow minded and counterproductive, and it's a lot less enjoyable to work with them than to get with someone who loves the martial arts and dig out the gems in each others system. I allways thought I came away with a better understanding of Kenpo after working with an Arnisidore or TKDer, or any one who does it different. My opinion.Dan C


    Well,

    I guess I’m a real narrow minded bigot then.

    Here’s one incident.

    I had a beginner come into my school.

    We signed him up for the intro series.

    And he learned well for a kid 14 years old.

    But when he came back for his second lesson, he was crap, doing real worthless technique. Cocking his arm away from the punch, before he blocked. Pulling his hand back to his hip to punch. Etc.

    So we retaught him, and then taught him some new master keys with basics and Waza.

    He came back, and he was once again doing crap. Especially on that front snap kick. He was kicking off the rear foot, and then stepping back to where he came from. That stupid stepping back sucks all the power from the kick. Some real retarded basics, basics that we virtually NEVER teach in our schools.

    So I took him aside and said, “Jimmy, you are a smart kid. You learn real well. But when you come back it’s all changed around. What’s happening?”

    His answer, “when I get home I show my dad what I’ve learned and he corrects it”.

    I call in dad. I ask him “what’s going on?”

    His answer, “you guys are teaching my kid wrong. His blocks have no power, so I correct them. He’s got to cock them to get power. His punches have no power, so I correct them. I teach him to pull his hand back before hitting, like he’s supposed to.”

    I told him “cool”, and wrote him out a check for what he’d paid on the intro and sent him and Jimmy out the door. He got real pissed.

    Notice there was NO anger on my part, but there was anger on HIS part?

    Here’s another story.

    About 7 months ago one of my better orange belts started getting real shxxty in his sparring skills. He started doing some really weird stuff. Bouncing up and down like a jumping bean. No centering, not using the 5 sparring closing gaps like he’d been taught. Things like that.

    So I take him aside and ask him “what’s going on?”

    He tells me that he’s also decided to work out with Suck Lee who goes to college with him.

    I ask him if he’s going to continue working out with Suck Lee?

    His answer, “yea, I think I need the experience”.

    I tell him “fine, I’d be back in a minute”.

    The guy had paid off his yearly contract, so I

    subtracted his lessons taken from the total amount paid, wrote him out a check for the lessons NOT yet taken, and went back and gave it to him. I told him, “now you can spend all your time with Suck Lee. Have a great time”. He was real pissed.

    Again, notice there was NO anger on my part, but there was anger on HIS part?

    I will NOT have a rotten apple in my apple barrel, especially one that will teach bad habits to my students from ego driven reasons.

    They come to me to learn, and I expect them to learn what I have to teach.

    Keeping either of the above students would cause other students to pick up inferior habits.

    I honor my commitment to them. I expect them to honor their commitment to me. If they don’t, then I immediately, with no hesitation rectify the error of my judgment for accepting them in the first place.

    It’s pretty simple.

    I also have a 5th Dan training with me (20 years now) that also is a part owner of Valor fighting and is their business manager. He also has his own dojo in Los Angeles. He comes to me for specialized training. I honor my commitments to him, and he honors his commitments to me. He does not tarnish my students with other stuff.

    He is very happy with the training he receives from us.

    I am very happy having him as my friend and my student.

    It’s pretty simple.

    ©Dr. John M. La Tourrette


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    Default Re: Well I guess I'm a narrow minded bigot then

    Quote Originally Posted by John M. La Tourrette View Post

    Well,

    I guess I’m a real narrow minded bigot then.

    Here’s one incident.

    I had a beginner come into my school.

    We signed him up for the intro series.

    And he learned well for a kid 14 years old.

    But when he came back for his second lesson, he was crap, doing real worthless technique. Cocking his arm away from the punch, before he blocked. Pulling his hand back to his hip to punch. Etc.

    So we retaught him, and then taught him some new master keys with basics and Waza.

    He came back, and he was once again doing crap. Especially on that front snap kick. He was kicking off the rear foot, and then stepping back to where he came from. That stupid stepping back sucks all the power from the kick. Some real retarded basics, basics that we virtually NEVER teach in our schools.

    So I took him aside and said, “Jimmy, you are a smart kid. You learn real well. But when you come back it’s all changed around. What’s happening?”

    His answer, “when I get home I show my dad what I’ve learned and he corrects it”.

    I call in dad. I ask him “what’s going on?”

    His answer, “you guys are teaching my kid wrong. His blocks have no power, so I correct them. He’s got to cock them to get power. His punches have no power, so I correct them. I teach him to pull his hand back before hitting, like he’s supposed to.”

    I told him “cool”, and wrote him out a check for what he’d paid on the intro and sent him and Jimmy out the door. He got real pissed.

    Notice there was NO anger on my part, but there was anger on HIS part?

    Here’s another story.

    About 7 months ago one of my better orange belts started getting real shxxty in his sparring skills. He started doing some really weird stuff. Bouncing up and down like a jumping bean. No centering, not using the 5 sparring closing gaps like he’d been taught. Things like that.

    So I take him aside and ask him “what’s going on?”

    He tells me that he’s also decided to work out with Suck Lee who goes to college with him.

    I ask him if he’s going to continue working out with Suck Lee?

    His answer, “yea, I think I need the experience”.

    I tell him “fine, I’d be back in a minute”.

    The guy had paid off his yearly contract, so I

    subtracted his lessons taken from the total amount paid, wrote him out a check for the lessons NOT yet taken, and went back and gave it to him. I told him, “now you can spend all your time with Suck Lee. Have a great time”. He was real pissed.

    Again, notice there was NO anger on my part, but there was anger on HIS part?

    I will NOT have a rotten apple in my apple barrel, especially one that will teach bad habits to my students from ego driven reasons.

    They come to me to learn, and I expect them to learn what I have to teach.

    Keeping either of the above students would cause other students to pick up inferior habits.

    I honor my commitment to them. I expect them to honor their commitment to me. If they don’t, then I immediately, with no hesitation rectify the error of my judgment for accepting them in the first place.

    It’s pretty simple.

    I also have a 5th Dan training with me (20 years now) that also is a part owner of Valor fighting and is their business manager. He also has his own dojo in Los Angeles. He comes to me for specialized training. I honor my commitments to him, and he honors his commitments to me. He does not tarnish my students with other stuff.

    He is very happy with the training he receives from us.

    I am very happy having him as my friend and my student.

    It’s pretty simple.

    ©Dr. John M. La Tourrette
    Excellent points and I can definately see where you're coming from in forming your opinion.

    I firmly believe that an instructor has a responsibility to their students. If a student attempts to apply their skill when it matters and gets injured (or worse) and the instructor has not done an adequate job in training them then that instructor shares the blame for the outcome.

    With that in mind, I do not tell any student they can not explore. I feel that hinders their learning.

    If I see them doing something ineffective, I correct it and explain why. I've had similar situations to the ones you cited. In almost all cases the student actually asks why the other "school" executes something a certain way. We discuss it and it actually helps the student apply kenpo principles because I will in turn ask them in regards to a correction, "What principle does this violate?"

    Then again, there are other legitimate arts and schools out there. We do sometimes also pick up something useful from them and form relationships of friendship and brotherhood. There's good along with the bad.

    We can afford to take the time with each student as we are a small school, but I can see how this could become time consuming and take away from the other students in a larger school or chain.

    I suppose there is no "black or white" answer here. I guess the decision to allow or not allow other training would be based on things like school size and would be at the discretion of the owner/head instructor. I think it's important that students honor the rules of whatever shcool they attend. If they don't like the rules they can always go elsewhere.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Well I guess I'm a narrow minded bigot then

    Quote Originally Posted by John M. La Tourrette View Post
    Well, I guess I’m a real narrow minded bigot then. ...
    No, sir, you were correct (my opinion). And what you did in no way conflicts with the values I, and others, have stated here.

    In the examples you cited, those people were bringing what they learned elsewhere back and polluting what you taught. They waste your time retraining them, and probably wasted more time by causing you to answer a lot of questions from other students they talked to.

    The difference is in the attitude. When I work out with other stylists, I take what I learn and try to find it in Kenpo. How does Kenpo accomplish the same thing? Where are the similarities, and what is different? Why? How does Kenpo deal with this?

    I'm in a position of being able to practice what I want right now, and I still use this aproach. I do try what forum members here suggest (it's all Kenpo here) and have adopted some of it. The primary influences have been yourself, Doc Chapel, Dr. Dave, and bujuts. But there have been many others. However, if I was in a regular school, I'd learn it their way and the experimentation would be subsumed under their system, not imposed on it.

    You say that we are both wood elements, and your observations on my wood tendencies have been pretty much spot on. So, it would follow that there is a good chance that you would share some of my other character traits. One that I've fought hard to correct is a tendency to see things as either black or white. I've noticed that you often set arguments up as extremes, with little or no middle ground. This is one case where I think there could be more agreement in the middle if we look for it.

    Another wood trait- when analyzed, we tend to analize the analist. Woods are really butt-heads, when you get right down to it. So, with apologies ...

    Dan C
    There are things that are worth knowing for their own sake, worth finding for the pure joy of discovery.

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    Default Re: Well I guess I'm a narrow minded bigot then

    Quote Originally Posted by John M. La Tourrette View Post

    Well,

    I guess I’m a real narrow minded bigot then.

    Here’s one incident.

    I had a beginner come into my school.

    We signed him up for the intro series.

    And he learned well for a kid 14 years old.

    But when he came back for his second lesson, he was crap, doing real worthless technique. Cocking his arm away from the punch, before he blocked. Pulling his hand back to his hip to punch. Etc.

    So we retaught him, and then taught him some new master keys with basics and Waza.

    He came back, and he was once again doing crap. Especially on that front snap kick. He was kicking off the rear foot, and then stepping back to where he came from. That stupid stepping back sucks all the power from the kick. Some real retarded basics, basics that we virtually NEVER teach in our schools.

    So I took him aside and said, “Jimmy, you are a smart kid. You learn real well. But when you come back it’s all changed around. What’s happening?”

    His answer, “when I get home I show my dad what I’ve learned and he corrects it”.

    I call in dad. I ask him “what’s going on?”

    His answer, “you guys are teaching my kid wrong. His blocks have no power, so I correct them. He’s got to cock them to get power. His punches have no power, so I correct them. I teach him to pull his hand back before hitting, like he’s supposed to.”

    I told him “cool”, and wrote him out a check for what he’d paid on the intro and sent him and Jimmy out the door. He got real pissed.

    Notice there was NO anger on my part, but there was anger on HIS part?

    Here’s another story.

    About 7 months ago one of my better orange belts started getting real shxxty in his sparring skills. He started doing some really weird stuff. Bouncing up and down like a jumping bean. No centering, not using the 5 sparring closing gaps like he’d been taught. Things like that.

    So I take him aside and ask him “what’s going on?”

    He tells me that he’s also decided to work out with Suck Lee who goes to college with him.

    I ask him if he’s going to continue working out with Suck Lee?

    His answer, “yea, I think I need the experience”.

    I tell him “fine, I’d be back in a minute”.

    The guy had paid off his yearly contract, so I

    subtracted his lessons taken from the total amount paid, wrote him out a check for the lessons NOT yet taken, and went back and gave it to him. I told him, “now you can spend all your time with Suck Lee. Have a great time”. He was real pissed.

    Again, notice there was NO anger on my part, but there was anger on HIS part?
    So you couldn't be bothered with re-educating the father of one of your kids that you teach a different method, and maybe explain to him why you do what you do.

    With regard to your second student, if his sparring skills sucked so bad, you don't think that losing to other orange belts might have made him think "what am I doing wrong?"

    In both examples you don't even try to justify why you did what you did. You didn't do your best by your student, you basically said; "if anyone even thinks that someone has something to offer, don't waste my time." If I've got a student who is learning something "bad" from outside fine, I'll do my best to fix it. The alternative is to give up and gaurantee that student learns crap. This is your perogative of course, just one that wouldn't do.

    Lamont
    Pekiti Tirsia Kali and Kenpo Karate
    www.blackbirdmartialarts.com

    “He, who will not reason, is a bigot; he, who cannot, is a fool; and he, who dares not, is a slave.”
    ~William Drummond

    "This person is as dangerous as an IED."

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    Default Re: Well I guess I'm a narrow minded bigot then

    Quote Originally Posted by Blindside View Post
    So you couldn't be bothered with re-educating the father of one of your kids that you teach a different method, and maybe explain to him why you do what you do.

    With regard to your second student, if his sparring skills sucked so bad, you don't think that losing to other orange belts might have made him think "what am I doing wrong?"

    In both examples you don't even try to justify why you did what you did. You didn't do your best by your student, you basically said; "if anyone even thinks that someone has something to offer, don't waste my time." If I've got a student who is learning something "bad" from outside fine, I'll do my best to fix it. The alternative is to give up and gaurantee that student learns crap. This is your perogative of course, just one that wouldn't do.

    Lamont
    Nice questions Lamont,
    Since they are concerning studio training behavior, and the reasons why, I've put those answers on the "instructor's forum for business owners".

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Well I guess I'm a narrow minded bigot then

    Quote Originally Posted by John M. La Tourrette View Post
    Nice questions Lamont,
    Since they are concerning studio training behavior, and the reasons why, I've put those answers on the "instructor's forum for business owners".

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette
    I don't believe I have access to that forum, would it be possible for you to repost it here?

    Thanks,

    Lamont
    Pekiti Tirsia Kali and Kenpo Karate
    www.blackbirdmartialarts.com

    “He, who will not reason, is a bigot; he, who cannot, is a fool; and he, who dares not, is a slave.”
    ~William Drummond

    "This person is as dangerous as an IED."

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    sifuroy is offline In Memory of our Departed Friend
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    Default Re: Breaking Tradition

    I think this has gotten away from my origonal post. I said "WE" visit other schools. The "WE" meaning me and our management. I did not say we let our people train with other schools. That would be counter productive. I never advocate anyone under Black Belt level delving into other styles. That would only create confusion. I fully understand where Dr. La Tourrette is comming from and agree about our students not going to other schools to train.

    My purpose of visiting other schools was to learn more about them and
    have a better understanding of them and to try and promote a friendship
    between the other styles and ourselves. That has happened and we have a lot of friends in other styles. It has been a community relations thing that has worked out well for us. Also I have learned a lot about the other styles and have better understand them. We respect each other.

    Hope this clears up any confusion about my origonall post.

    I am Most Respectfully,
    Sifuroy

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