We start with the bottom line: I and I alone am responsible for what is on this site. All the stupidities are mine, thank you very much. If you care to repeat them, I can even charge you royalties for them. Many people have helped me increase my understanding and this section is dedicated to them. Do not construe that my sometimes overpowering feelings of gratitude are in any way shape or form an endorsement from them. A lot of these people are professional martial artists and unless otherwise indicated are my friends, not my teachers.
So here goes. First and foremost I should thank my instructor, Jim Thompson of the hakko denshin ryu. He is one of those martial artists you read about and hope you might meet some day. His ability to clear my befogged understanding always delights me and he is one of the all-around great guys I've met. It's always a pleasure to see and train with him and he has invested quite some of his precious time on my behalf. I can only hope that by being a good student I can do justice to how good a teacher he is. Thanks.
I have also had the pleasure of getting to know Marc MacYoung and Dianna Gordon. Marc too has a formidable reputation, albeit as something of an anti-martial artist. I found reading his books that I was cheering at his oddly but artfully turned phrases (leaving me again to think of Victor Hugo's observation that humor drives the spikes of reason deepest into the brain). I have gotten to know him and his wonderful wife Dianna on a personal level. Their openess, honesty, intelligence, wit and just plain good common sense never fail. I am pleased and honored to call them friends.
My teachers and friends past and present I would also like to thank, these are David Gibson, Eric Richards, Steve Scott, David Shames, Kevin Lindsey, Kevin Miller and Mike Hanna. I have been enormously enriched by my experiences. Particularly influential have been Michael LaMonica, Yashushiro Irie and Antonio Garcia, the three headmasters of the hakko denshin ryu.
In this day and age of email, I have garnered many virtual friends. I should thank everyone on the Animal List, one of the all-time great groups of eccentrics and in particular Drew Anderson, Alain Burrese, Wim Demeere, Ed Fanning, Tristan Sutrisno, Barry Eisler, Frank (Pancho) Garza, Sharon Tkach, Toma Rosenzweig, Bob Orlando, Montie Guthrie and John Finch. All of these folks I have corresponded with and all of them deserve thanks. I've learned a lot. Being tongue-tied about what to say does not diminish my indebtedness to you.
Lastly, I want to thank my students. Plato once put it best when asked why there should be teachers when he responded that it was so they could finally learn the material. I've had a blast teaching and in particular with IJJ. I couldn't ask for a better group of buddies to tossed, whacked and twisted by.