Hello Rob (hope you don't mind the first name use).
By all means, feel free.
No, I meant it in a general sense only.
Everyone critiques the obvious bozos and ner-do-wells of budo by the building of a consensus among an established community. There are quite a few "communities" out there, aren't there? And there is also one in every forum on the web.
If we can't critique and examine the movement of established teachers in the martial arts without "offending" people, then I am no longer willing to critique some lesser guy just to fit in to the "club" and have a laugh. I don't see an *honest* means to resolve that other than to not respond at all. Otherwise I would have to lie.
I got ya. Take the high road. Some of us do tend to find ourselves dragging parts in the gutter while well meaning but lacking a bit of aplumb and decorum. I do tend towards the bull in the china shop on ocassion ... I do have to say that fitting into the 'club' has never been of any interest to me so that part of it does not ring true to me and I'm certainly no alone on that point either.
I don't mind offending folks (some can't help but be offended) if the criticism is well intentioned. Simply asking a question should not evoke rancor. If it does then one tends to have the answer they need without actually getting a direct answer to ones question.
Case in point Rob, What would you say to me stating that:
"Tony A is as good as Saotome."
Do you have a problem with that?
Do you disagree?
How will you make the case______________?
Every teacher; TMA or bozos, have fans and loyal students all their own, who all see something magical in their sensei, so there ya go. Unfortunately none of that helps anyone at all.....on the web.
So you have to continue to dig around behind the scenes and look for a different more candid consensus, just like it always was.
I originally had a great verbose reply but instead I'd opt not to make direct comparisons. Instead: Does 'A' have what I'm looking for? Does 'B' have what I'm looking for? Not so much is 'A' better than 'B'?
Do I have a problem with that? Nope.
Do I disagree? Yup.
Of course Tony A has got nothing on Saotome ( I know , I just made a direct comparison). Prove it? I don't feel a compelling need to ... Besides, it would depend more on what you would accept as proof than anything I'd have to offer. I don't think '4 out of 5 dentists' would cut the mustard.
Make the case? I'm only going on the vids I've seen of both and have no first hand experience of Tony A or Saotome. If you are going to claim that my assessments are colored by consensus (I don't think they are) then I got nothing. Bald faced (despite the goatee) assertion will be my MO!
Trying to bring this back around to the OT ... I certainly have seen and experienced dive bunnies but never saw anybody flop around like the DR guys referenced. Any diving I saw was mostly from folks that really didn't know any better - they kind of thought they were supposed to (resistance=conflict=bad, etc) until I tried to explain to them a better way. Some have come around but some have not. Never have I experienced anybody gyrating themselves into positions like those on the Tony A youtube either.
If somebody starts flopping around like that for me I'd call an ambulance because that is sure signs of brain damage 'round these parts.