From my mailbox

Over the years, I’ve gotten all sorts of mail. Some good, some bad. Some flattering as hell, some cursing me out like a sailor. And also everything in between those extremes. With broadband becoming common place, Youtube and forums taking over the world, it seems everybody has an opinion (however misinformed it may be) and absolutely has to share it. If I write something they don’t like, they start spouting bile via e-mail.

Nowadays, I don’t respond to hate mail anymore. Thanks to technological advances, it automatically gets transfered to a special folder where it gets logged for future reference. But when I started my first site over ten years ago, I took the time to reply to everybody, regardless of how rude they were. Here’s an example of those early days:

Your review of his book was not accurate. You have a very “know it all attitude”. Your lack of knowledge and discipline to the art was obvious. It is scary and depressing that an aspiring student could be misled by your comments. Also, it appears you have applied some of the techniques in experimental fashion while sparring. Your martial arts experience and friendship with a doctor did not prepare you to understand Master Long’s book. As for driving someone’s nose up into their brain, it is a 2 move technique. It is very obvious that you lack the maturity to accurately evaluate texts such as Long’s. Please re-read the book and amend your review.

My response:

Hi,
I notice you don’t really like the review, an opinion to which you are obviously entitled.  But it is a bit difficult to comment on your mail because you do not identify yourself.  Do you know Hei Long? Have you studied with him?  If so, how long?  Basically, what makes you qualified to criticize my review?  For all I know, you might be a 14-year old having fun with e-mail.
All the best,
Wim

His reply:

Hello,
I owe you an apology for the scathing review. Your response was very polite compared to my initial appraisal. I am not a medical doctor. I am a chiropractor (now ten years in practice). My education took ten years of college specialized in the neuromusculoskeletal system. As this material was rather dry, I would also study books such as master Long’s and Dim Mak. I’ve always held an interest in martial arts but have never struck another person; it is not my nature. However, my job requires moving articulations in a precise direction, with specific depth, speed and force – very similar to the martial arts. In studying master Long’s book, I understood the mechanisms and their application. I do not doubt the effectiveness of these strikes if executed correctly. I wish you well in your studies. If you know of interesting texts, please let me know.

 

More often than not, I got a similar response to this when people realize they were mouthing off. Sometimes it only made things worse. This one here was the last one of some nutcase:

Your end will be damnation if you don’t repent to Christ you demented antichrist propagandist.

Yup, that’s me, the antichrist propagandist…

The Antichrist, aka me…

Then there’s the mail I get with a certain type of question… How about this:

The Fila Brasileiro Association wishes to invite Jerome LeBanner to be a FBA Delegate in France. Please ask him to contact Mrs. *******, the FBA Secretary in **********.  Thanks.

Errr… How am I supposed to know JLB? I only did a review of his video, that’s it!

This one here was also a bit special:

Hello Dim
I have visited your website and enjoyed viewing the video clips,great combinations and techniques.
As you have been the national coach to the belgium you certainly know about iranian san shou fighters.
It will be my honor and pleasure to cooperate with you in various fields related to martial arts.I have moved for permanent residnce to ************.
I will send you articles and also video clips in the near future and hope you find them interesting and useful,your ones were absolutely useful for me and I will train them.
I invite you to visit my website and take a look at page “About US” to
become more familliar with each other.The website address is: ******************
Do you want to know what are the most important lessons,I have learned in martial arts:
“There is always something new to learn’ and “Never get selfish cos there is always someone better than you”
Looking forward to hear from you friend,I have made many friends all over the world,but you are my first one in Belgium.
I wish you merry christmas.
Kindest Regards
Friend *********

Imagine getting that one out of the blue…

First of all, I’ll pick who gets to be friends with me, thank you very much. Second, if you start off by calling me “Dim” instead of getting my first name right, you’re probably not going to make it to the friend zone…

Apparently, I am….

Then there are the freebie searchers:

i would like a kick boxing inst tape i would like to get into kick boxing could u help me out   thank you *******

or this little gem:

dear sirs i like to learn your style but i have no money would a book help me out please right back any advise for me

****

No worries, I’ll send you a couple thousand $ worth of instructional material right away! Just because you asked and I have nothing better to do. ..

This is just a sample of the funniest ones but I get loads more mail in the same vein. Just to be clear, I don’t mind people contacting me, not at all. I do mind:

  • Rudeness. I don’t need to take abuse.
  • Instant best buddies. Somebody once called me “motherfucker” in their first contact via email and probably thought he was being friendly. I’m also not your “Bro” or “Buddy” or “Son”. I Don’t Know You And You Don’t Know Me… Common courtesy is you introduce yourself and be polite to strangers. Once you get to know them and a friendship follows, the banter and giving them grief can follow. You don’t just start at that point, you earn your way up to it.
  • Freebie seekers. Why on earth do people expect me to send them free books and videos, make them a personalized training schedule, etc. just because I have a website? You want something? Buy it like everybody else.  If I walk into a bakery and ask for a free loaf of bread, they’ll laugh or call the police.  I don’t mind helping people, but I do mind people expecting me to feel entitled to my help when I don’t know them. Newsflash: I train people for a living. It’s my job. Is it OK for me to ask you to work for free, simply because I like your site?
  • Time wasters. Reading this blog doesn’t entitle anybody to my time, in particular for things you can find yourself if you spend one minute and half a brain cell figuring it out. No, I’m not going to search for Remy Bonjasky’s telephone number for you. No, I’m not going to look for a Tae Bo club for you in Amsterdam. And the list goes on and on. You want it, do it yourself. Google is your friend.

You notice I was kind enough to obscure the names and other identifiers from the mails. I have that information of course but there’s no need to plaster it all over the Internet. They know who they are…

Comments

  1. Funny stuff! When things slow I plan to post the “Eye on Seagal” greatest hits!

    I’ve received some very…interesting e-mails from his legions of Wal-Mart fans.

  2. Cool, I look forward to reading that… fan mail. :-)

  3. Wim,

    Since I have had the privilege of you staying in my home, I know without a doubt you are not the Anti-Christ. I am truly sorry that some Wacko made that comment. The message is God loves us all. I don’t mean to be “preachy” on your Blog, just feel that it needs a reponse.

    I don’t respond to any hate mail, or someone who will not say who they are, are fake e-mails, like, KillerKarate101, etc. You already know where I stand on this one.

    All the Best,

    Danny

  4. Hi Wim,

    I would really like to be your friend and train with you. And now that I contact you, could you send me all your San Shou DVD’s???
    I will arrange to especially not pay them and further, I would want to know the address of your colleague Jean-Claude vanDamme……..

    On second thought, I just wanted to say that I really like this article you wrote. I don’t get many mails like that, but it is indeed stunning what you can get in your mailbox.

    And don’t worry on the J-C vD remark, that’s just to rattle your cage in a friendly manner ;-)

    Cheers,
    Bert

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