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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27757
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 9:00 am    Post subject: What KarateForums.com Means to Me Reply with quote

When I signed up at KarateForums.com on March 31, 2006, I was initially looking for a martial arts chat room to connect and interact with other martial artists. I was looking to network with others sharing my joy of training in the martial arts. My youngest brother was familiar with chat rooms, but I was not (and Iím still not, for that matter), and I was looking for the ability to interact with other martial artists in that instant back-and-forth messaging format. So, I went searching. I never did find a chat room for martial artists, but KarateForums.com kept popping up as one of the top searches, so I checked it out. Iím glad I did.

KarateForums.com has meant quite a bit to me over the past several years, and it will for the years to come. KarateForums.com allows me to come out of my martial arts box and learn about the experiences of other martial artists and their styles, training methods, and philosophies. KarateForums.com allows me to compare what I do and how I do it with other martial artists from various styles and training backgrounds. You might say that these same things can be found in books and magazines, and you would be right. But I donít want to always hear from the popular or published guys, or the professional martial arts athletes. I like hearing from guys and gals like me; people I can more readily relate to. Logging into KarateForums.com is like plugging into an extended local dojo discussion. Itís being able to openly and comfortably discuss what I love with like-minded individuals in a relaxed, constructive environment.

KarateForums.com has also become the opportunity I wanted to be able to network with other martial artists on a global level. I have had the opportunity to interact with individuals from other states in the U.S. as well as individuals living in Korea, Germany and England, just to name a few. And just as valuable as the diversity in nationalities in the members of KarateForums.com is the diversity in the styles these members study. Now if I have a question or an idea to bounce off someone, I can go to KarateForums.com and put it out there and I know I will get suggestions and comments from various points-of-view that will help me become better. Iíve received advice on various topics, ranging from Karate practitioners helping out with power generation in the hips for striking, grappling advice from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and weight training advice from various members.

There are several people I have met through my time at KarateForums.com that I consider my friends and through interaction at KarateForums.com and social media outlets such as Facebook, Iíve been able to become even more acquainted with members of KarateForums.com. Patrick and I were actually able to meet in person for the first time at Podcamp Topeka 2010 and I hope that I get the opportunity to meet more KarateForums.com members down the road as well.

When I joined KarateForums.com, I never thought I would become a member of the staff. Being given the opportunity to be a staff member by Patrick has been great. I enjoy being able to be a part of the process that keeps the quality of the discussions at KarateForums.com so high and being what sets this site apart from other sites.

In conclusion, what KarateForums.com means to me is that I have a place to come and share my thoughts and ideas on the martial arts with other great martial artists. I also know that whether these other contributors agree or disagree with me, I know that the praise will be genuine and the criticism will be constructive. KarateForums.com means I always have a place to discuss martial arts when I want to. KarateForums.com is like my martial arts supplement. I feed my body in the school and I come to KarateForums.com to feed my mind more. KarateForums.com is as much a part of who I am as a martial artist as the martial arts are a part of my life. Thank you, Patrick, for creating this great community and making it what it is and thank you to all of the great contributors for bringing the value to this great community.
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http://www.sunyis.com/
www.aikidoofnorthwestkansas.com
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Patrick
KF Administrator

Joined: 01 May 2001
Posts: 27039
Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brian was one of a handful of people that I asked to contribute his thoughts on this topic. Thank you, Brian, for your kind words. It means a lot to me to hear this, not only the stuff about me, but about the community in general. I am glad that I had the opportunity to start the community.

Thank you for everything that you've done to help it reach this point.

Sincerely,

Patrick
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gheinisch
KF VIP

Joined: 09 Jan 2003
Posts: 2140
Location: Newnan, Georgia
Styles: Hon-Shin-Do - Shodan

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too was looking for a place to share my experience in the Martial Arts as well as learning from others out there in the community. It was great to find a community that was ran very well and didn't allow "my way is best" attitude to dominate the boards. You can still have a debate on a topic without it getting out of hand thanks to a great staff. I was lucky enough to be on staff for a while and really enjoyed my time there. Thanks Patrick! It's rare today to be able to ask a question on a forum and be able to get some great positive feedback from it's members. As long as this community has been around speaks volumes of how good it is and how well ran it is.
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"If your temper goes forth withold your hand"
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14404
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although February 23, 2008 seems like a long time ago, it truly only seems like yesterday. I found KarateForums.com through Brian (bushidoman_96) when we were both members of another well known forum, that has since then closed its forum section.

The KF world was so much different than that other forum, and by that, KF is strongly structured, closely monitored, and professionally controlled. Don't get me wrong. This is a great thing across the board. The other forum was only managed by its moderators, and this is a bad thing because that managing style was the down fall of that forum section. The other forum's managers and owners wouldn't ever show up to critic, correct, or to help us moderators and members. I wasn't made aware of my unprofessional tone, and I was a moderator, bad habits started to emerge in me; I hated it. I quit that one, and then I came to KarateForums.com...and I'm so glad that I did. Thanks Brian for introducing KF to me, it's made a world of difference to me.

Please bear with me for just a moment so that I might be able to paint a picture of where I was when I came to KF. This painting would use a lot of dark colors at first, but then, slowly but slowly and surely, bright and vibrant colors would replace those dark hues.

Those bad habits of mine that I brought from that other forum had started to infect KF across the board. It seemed that with almost every post of mine, I'd be called unto the carpet by Patrick or one of his staff for something I posted. So much so that one day, Patrick sent me a pm that had no ambiguity whatsoever...he was to the point and guess what, he was RIGHT and I was WRONG across the board. Patrick warned me that if I continued in the manner of which I was going, I was more than likely going to find myself being banned from KarateForums.com forever!!

This got my attention quickly. However, because of Patrick's compassion, and because of the his staff's compassion, I was given a second chance. I was wrong, and I'll admit it to everyone...I WAS WRONG!! I'M SO SORRY FOR THOSE TIMES!!

To Patrick, to his staff, and to each and every KF member...I'M SO SORRY AND I CONTINUE TO ASK FOR YOUR FORGIVENESS EVEN TODAY because I was dead wrong, and whenever I think about my early KF days and how close I can to ruining a great thing; it saddens me.

Friday might be here, but Sunday's coming!!

I would like to think that since those early KF days of mine, I've done a full 180 degree turn around across the board for the better, and that those bad days are far, far behind me/us forever!!

KarateForums.com means everything to me and these are not idle words; I mean it with all of my heart and soul. I come to KF because it's number 1 across the board imho. No other forum can touch KF's professionalism and the like!! Other forums can try, but I believe that they'll fall quite short.

Outside of the Shindokan world, I'm nothing, but with KF I'm someone of value that can tap into the strength's of each and every KF member ...I'm Robert Mitcham, and I'm accepted as a person first, and then as a martial artist second.

We KF members are part of a bigger picture. We're part of Patrick vision. We're part of a family. We're the essence of what embodies the martial arts, and KF is part of that because KF reminds us the importance of values by teaching us KF members that discipline and respect is not a lost art.

I'm so thankful that I've a place to unwind, kick my feet up, have some Ice tea/Lemonade, and talk to all of my KF family not only here in the USA, but in every four corner of the world. A place where all can exchange everything from recipes to favorite books to movies and of course, the martial arts.

Proof is on the floor, and KF is a proponent of just that!!

The martial arts is that shared bond amongst us member of KF. Even if you're not a martial artist, you're still welcomed at KF. There's something here for all walks of life to experience for both the young and the old.

For me, being at KF is like sitting around a warm campfire and toasting marshmallows while sharing stories with loved ones!! It's home!!


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SBN Doug
KF VIP

Joined: 04 Nov 2001
Posts: 3767
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Kuk Sool Won

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love to hear stories like this. Having been on staff in the past, I know we struggled to gently guide the community in the right direction, without dampening the spirit of those wanting to trade ideas and points of view. So many would see their own conversation going in an unproductive manner and correct themselves quickly when it was pointed out. But a few let pride , experience on other forums, or whatever blind themselves into thinking they were doing nothing to degrade the level of conversation.

I can say from experience that we tried to our very last breath to open the eyes of the members that continually tried to crush the open exchange of ideas and opinions, because everyone's opinion counts. I'm so glad to hear the membership still apreciates the hard work the current staff does to create a forum of friends, sometimes competitors, but never rivals.

Cheers to the KF Staff, and membership.
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Evil triumphs when good men do nothing.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27757
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kudos Bob! I remember the days of the other forum, and you have come a long way since then. I'm glad we were able to hook up there, seeing where it has led.
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www.aikidoofnorthwestkansas.com
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14404
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
Kudos Bob! I remember the days of the other forum, and you have come a long way since then. I'm glad we were able to hook up there, seeing where it has led.

Thank you Brian, I value your friendship more than you can ever know!!


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Patrick
KF Administrator

Joined: 01 May 2001
Posts: 27039
Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, Greg, Bob and Doug, thanks so much for sharing that. This is all pretty amazing stuff to read, with all of the various perspectives in mind.

Greg, thank you for the kind words and for all of the important contributions that you made while on staff.

Doug, your post was exceptionally well said and meaningful to me. You hit the nail right on the head, as far as what we try to do.

Bob, that is some powerful stuff to share. What you said about this community and the staff and myself means a lot to me and thank you doesn't necessarily do it justice fully, but thank you.

I am glad that everything worked out as it did and it is a testament to you that you put in the effort that you did and were open minded enough to do so. Thank you.

To read all of these posts is pretty touching. Thanks everyone.

Patrick
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monkeygirl
KF VIP

Joined: 22 Feb 2002
Posts: 3677
Location: Oregon
Styles: Tae Kwon Do

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. Where do I even start?
First, thanks to Patrick for reaching out and inviting me to be a part of the 10-year anniversary celebration. It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating 5 years. I probably won't be able to make the live celebration, but I'm so excited for you all. Congratulations, Patrick.

I've been away from this community for a long time now. Looking at my user profile, it seems that I first joined in February, 2002. I was just 14 then - barely old enough to use the internet without serious adult supervision - and had been practicing TKD for about 2 years. I don't remember how I stumbled upon KF, but I immediately felt like a member of the community. I loved reading about other styles and felt a connection to the vision of a respectful community of practitioners but also friends. Patrick and I shared the connection of being homeschoolers. After a while of steady posting, Patrick asked me to be a Sempai. It was a huge honor and gave me a real taste for being involved behind the scenes of a community. It was challenging to be in that role at that age. I'm sure many people thought that I was just a kid (and I'm sure I gave them plenty of reason to) but Patrick was always very supportive and I learned an immense amount about earning respect and deserving authority. We (the Sempais and Senseis) dealt with issues ranging from simple trolling to pretty epic user problems that made it into Patrick's book (in redacted form with names changed, I believe). I learned so much about people and conflict resolution. I also remember winning the Funniest Member award a few times and feeling like that was the highlight of my year(s).
I turned to the community for a lot of things - friendship and entertainment, and also support for teenage inter-dojo drama (OMG DOES HE LIKE ME?) and the heartbreak that separated me from martial arts when I was 16. My life started to change very quickly after I left the TKD school, and I didn't have the time or emotional energy to devote to staying in the KF community for long after that.

It's very strange to think about how much has changed. I've graduated from college, gotten married, moved across the country and am doing the whole career thing, maybe grad school in a few years. Things that seemed totally beyond reckoning when I was an active member here.

Although I'm not very active now, I think of KF and chat with Patrick from time to time. For years now I've been hoping for the right opportunity to come along and get back into martial arts. If I ever find that, maybe I'll make an appearance again. Until then - thanks. I learned so much here, and the lessons have stayed with me.
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Patrick
KF Administrator

Joined: 01 May 2001
Posts: 27039
Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tammy! Awesome. Thank you!

I appreciate you stopping by and adding your thoughts, which I really enjoyed reading. It's interesting to learn what people take away from their time, not only on this community, but also as a member of the staff, which is a completely different experience.

It's funny to look back, isn't it? You're absolutely right, some of what we dealt with made it into the book, without names, of course. "Pretty epic" about covers it. Hahaha.

Congrats on your continued advancement in life, Tammy. Even if you never pick up the martial arts again, you'll always be an important part of the history of this community.

For those who don't know, Tammy was a fairly early and long time member of the staff. She hasn't been active in a number of years, but was a very important part of the team during her tenure as we dealt with, probably, the biggest challenges that we've ever faced as a community. Doug and Pat were part of that time, too.

Thanks,

Patrick
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