A CRITIC TELLING OUR ADMINSTRATOR HOW TO RUN OUR FORUM
As a supporter of Wahnam, I'd like to share a concern regarding the Forum. This may be relevant to the resignations of prominent members in the past few months. In brief, the Forum is a powerful network and a way to ensure the spirit of Wahnam presents in a positive light. I believe this power has been eroded and hence share my thoughts.
— Erik, South Africa
I have followed the relevant discussion in our Discussion Forum, which is also our Virtual Kwoon. My students in the Virtual Kwoon were polite to you, which I am proud of, but I shall be blunt.
You are not even a student of Shaolin Wahnam, and know little or nothing about our school or about the background in the discussion. Yet, using a pseudonym, Hellsviking, which arouses suspicion rather than respect, you suddenly came into the discussion and started giving advice as if you were an expert or authority.
Your concern is grossly unfounded. The two students in question who resigned from our school were not prominent members as you wrongly believed. One was actually ungrateful. By his own admission, he literally owed his life to our training, yet citing our fee as too high he resigned. The other resigned to follow his sifu, who had resigned earlier because he wanted to teach our arts differently from what we are doing.
While we value every one of our students, we do not want anyone unhappy with our school to remain. And we walk our talk. We prefer those who are unhappy to leave. Some have, including some prominent members, and we sincerely wish them well.
More than 30,000 people have learnt from us. While many of them may not be practicing our arts actively, less than 20 people have explicitly tendered their resignation. If we take a very conservative estimate that only 10% of those who have learnt from us are actively practicing, we have at least 3000 active members, from whom 20 have resigned. This works out to a resignation rate of less than 1 percent. So why are you so concerned when you are not even a member of our school, and especially when our instructors have patiently explained to you that we prefer undeserving students to leave.
Some senior Forum members appear to be extremely defensive in response to certain questions e.g. regarding the efficacy of Wahnam methods in relation to other styles, financial issues and the question of respect. I believe Wahnam has little to be defensive about with respect to the core value of its teachings, financial and otherwise; however, some "scholar warriors" have been ineffective in reflecting this value and have, I believe, diminished its light and potential contribution to the community.
Are you a grandmaster or an authority in management? If you were, you should know that it is none of your business to interfere into how we run our school. If you are not even an instructor or a forum administrator, you should not be so arrogant to tell successful instructors and forum administrators how to handle their students or forum. In colloquial terms, don't teach your grandmother how to suck eggs.
This does not mean we do not listen to others. When our students, instructors or other people give their opinions, we listen. If their opinions are commendable and appropriate, we act on them. But we do not want someone like you who stubbornly tell us what to do, despite having been politely told to mind your own business.
We need not be defensive regarding our training methods, fees and questions of respect. While we genuinely respect other schools and would not argue with them what they think is best for their students, we are authoritative in regards to the affairs of our school. We speak from the position of strength, we do not entertain bargaining.
If a student does not agree with our training methods, says our fees are high, or does not respect his seniors, we ask him to leave. Similarly, if an outsider comes into our Virtual Kwoon and tells us that internal force is bullshit, we should make our teaching available free for any Tom, Dick and Harry, or students can treat their teachers like buddies, we throw him out.
Time and again, such requests or queries arise. Time and again, the individuals are attacked personally, undermined and -- if they persist -- banned from the Forum.
This shows how tolerant we have been. If you check the records of our Virtual Kwoon, you will find that time and again those who are banned were the ones who came into our Virtual Kwoon persistently telling us that our philosophy or methods were wrong, and they were also rude to our instructors.
They told us, for example, that kungfu techniques could not be used for fighting, that we could not handle a shoot, that bouncing about and punching like Boxers were Taijiquan, and that chi was unreal. We did not attack them personally. We were courteous to them even when we disagreed with their philosophy and practice. We also had no quarrel with what they chose to believe and practice, but we did not want them to come to our Virtual Kwoon and tell our students that what we taught was rubbish.
We also did not ban them because of their different opinions. They were banned because eventually they became rude and abusive.
The above is taken from Question 1 of June 2010 Part 1 of the Selection of Questions and Answers.
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