I'm With Mace


6/28/17

By now, Jake Mace should have a black belt in the "Put Up With Bullshit Online-Do" style for all the bullshit he has to put up with online. It seems everyday there is some new attacker, misrepresenting what he does, trying to get publicity off of his popularity, rehashing the past, telling him what he is doing wrong, trying to set up actual fights, and so on. I am a real critic, a real skeptic by nature, but most of his detractors don't seem to be. These detractors are really pseudocritics, pseudoskeptics, trolls, and even drift into bully territory, because a real critic would offer positive criticism and then after some time just drop the issue. A real critic would keep a friendly tone and not cause any "bad blood" to the person they are criticizing.

Here is just one very small example. On Jake's YouTube channel Kung Fu & Tai Chi Center w/ Jake Mace, I saw a video from 2012 where Jake and his wife took a vacation to China. Jake did a Hua style form on top of Hua mountain on a very cold day. Pseudoskeptics noted that oh he was breathing heavily, oh his Mandarin wasn't quite right, oh he is stealing from Chinese culture, oh he didn't do the form salutations, oh the Chinese people there hated it, etc. I mean...really people? The content of the video was actually quite good.

Let's look at Jake's impressive martial arts background. Wrestling when he was younger, then practiced Shaolin-Do for a while, then teaching at his own place (see Phoenix Longevity Arts) as well as online at jakemace.com. He has ~25 years experience in the martial arts of some form I'd estimate, hundreds of students, and has done many martial arts demonstrations.

Now, is Jake a master at every martial art style and technique that he talks about? No. Notable examples to me are what he calls Chen style taijiquan and his wing chun. However, more often than not, the martial arts and techniques he shows are quite good. Obviously Jake is healthy and athletic and could easily learn any technique and style with teaching and practice. For example, he could learn authentic Chen style and wing chun, of that I have no doubt whatsoever. Is being a master at everything a requirement for posting content online? Nope.

Does Jake have an MMA approach? No, and that makes some people upset. Like myself, Jake doesn't appear to be too interested in the artificial and limiting sports aspect of martial arts, but more in the avoidance, self defense, and health aspects. What is there left to prove? MMA competitors who have background in traditional martial arts have done well in MMA, as well as some traditional techniques have been used. Martial arts have stood the test of time and we know they work in modern times.

Despite what some detractors claim, Jake is not responsible for one of his students being hurt in a street fight because a technique that was taught didn't work any more than a detractors student would be responsible for a student dying due to not eating right or exercising enough (or getting hurt in a street fight too for that matter). Successful self defense is always up to the student, not the teacher and not the style. If any of his students are interested in expanding their skillset and focusing more on fighting they can always seek it out. The detractor's students would have more chance of getting hurt overall in my opinion because the detractor is, by example, seeking out fights. Think about that for a second.

Does Jake have a business approach? Yes, and good for him. Does he tend to use what could be considered clickbait video titles like "ultimate street fight", but when you click it is two people doing a choreographed routine? Yes. None of his detractors, probably even the sum of them all, are even anywhere close to the businesses that Jake has developed (brick and mortar school, online, and more importantly, relationships). Moreover, these pseudocritics are not putting food on the table for his family. Jake has something of value to offer and people are willing to pay him for his time and hard work.

Jake has golf, gardening, and other interests that he is quite good at and respected at as well. His gardening skills are quite impressive; he is a master gardener. There is a quote by Bruce Lee, something like (I'm paraphrasing here) an American sees an old man catch a fly with chopsticks and thinks how can I possibly use that for fighting, it is useless, while a Chinese sees that same old man and thinks wow, he is a master, I should study with him. I think more "master" than "useless" when I see things Jake does.

Overall, my impression is that Jake Mace is sincere, talented, puts in very hard work, and is a positive role model. He, not his jealous detractors, is doing more than his fair share to keep the spirit of martial arts alive. Keep it up Jake!

It is clear that Jake Mace is being bullied online on YouTube especially. Let's stand up to the bullying. Are you with Jake Mace? I am.


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