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Thread: Announcements, promotions and new moderators...

  1. #1
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    Announcements, promotions and new moderators...

    Hi All,

    The first piece of business is something some of you may already have noticed. For those who haven't, our own Jonathan Hopkins has agreed to accept a senior staff level position here at SFI. Though he is primarily found on the Antique & Military Forum, Jonathan has been a stalwart and ubiquitous global moderator as well. His characteristic cheerfulness and engaging style is matched only by his expertise in the subject matter and his dedication to the Sword Forum community. Over the years, he's done immeasurable service to our members and has been one of our best ambassadors. Frankly, his move to a senior position at SFI has been long overdue. Congrats, Jonathan, and thank you.

    The second piece of business concerns our HES community. From the very beginning, Greg Mele has been a fixture on Sword Forum. As the anchor moderator on the HES Forum, Greg's contributions simply can't be overstated, nor can they be quantified. Unfortunately, due to pressures from his teaching and publishing endeavors, Greg has decided to hang up his SFI moderator spurs. For everything Greg's done here and for all he's accomplished on behalf of the discipline as a whole, we owe him a tremendous debt and his presence as a mod on the HES will be sorely missed. That's the bad news. The good news is Greg will be staying with us and transitioning into the SFI HES Educational Adviser position. Though he won't be moderating, he will remain on board as an adviser and in-house authority on HES matters.

    Back on the subject of the HES Forum, though Greg is stepping down from moderating, we will actually be expanding the HES moderating team. More on this to follow.
    mark@swordforum.com

    ~ Hostem Hastarum Cuspidibus Salutemus ~

    "Those who beat their swords into plowshares usually end up plowing for those who don't."
    Benjamin Franklin

  2. #2
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    Hi all,

    Adrian Ko asked me to anchor the new HES forum back in 1999 - when the HES community was a very small, very different world. A lot has changed since then, most for the good, some for the worse. Whatever the case, there are now many forums where people discuss HES, blogs, Facebook, etc.

    Through that time I have been honored to work on the SFI staff, and to lend my assistance where I could, when I could, and to work with a great group of folks on this forum over the years: Ashley Bishop, Oz and Bill Grandy. We have not always agreed, sometimes violently disagreed, but I do believe that everyone who put in time as as moderator based their decisions on what they honestly thought was for the best of SFI.

    When Adrian created this board, and when Mark took over, they both were emphatic they wanted the level of discourse here to be:

    1. academically rigorous - if people were going to discuss interpretations, history, etc, then their positions and evidence should be held to the standards it would be on any academic forum.

    2. cordial. Adrian explained it as "not 'polite' just by the Vegas rule, but by behaving the way you would sitting around a table in someone's kitchen."

    3. accountable. Own up to your behavior.

    I've tried to adhere to that, sometimes very well, sometimes less so. It is no secret that there have been some huge blow-ups on this forum, that some people have left in anger. (I'm waiting for someone to post the link to the Munchkins of Oz singing "Ding-Dong the Wicked Witch is Dead".) It is unfortunate that some folks feel that way, and that there are people I have never met who actively post defamatory things about myself or SFI on other forums and Facebook, but I signed up for that when I took this job.

    In 13 years, seven people have been permanently banned from SFI - three by myself, two by Gus Trim, two by Adrian Ko. One was banned for using the IM system to threaten people with physical violence - a federal crime. Another for using a false identity. The rest were for fights and trolling - two from the ugly ARMA vs the World days, the others are probably still open wounds. A few others got 30 to 90 day vacations. That is a lot more than many HEMA forums, a lot less than many other forms of forum. All I can say is that we have tried to do our best.

    Anyway, life moves on for us all. I now own two businesses and am a part-time care-taker for my ill father. I simply cannot give this forum the time that it deserves, and that is not fair to anyone involved. So I told Mark that I needed to resign, and he asked me to stay on the educational staff, which I am honored to do. He also asked me to work with Bill to find a replacement.

    Bill and I have put our heads together and actually decided to add TWO people to the staff - one from Europe and the other from the USA. So without further ado...

    My replacements are Thomas Stoeppler and Sean Hayes. Both long-time posters and respected students, researchers and teachers of their respective disciplines. Both are very different in personality, but both are people that Bill and I felt would understand and enforce those three points that Adrian outlined all of those years ago.

    Truly, I think that these two gentlemen will do an excellent job as moderators, and frankly, a far better one than I am capable of doing at this time. I hope that you'll give them your support and wish them well.

    Best wishes,

    Gregory Mele
    Last edited by Gregory Mele; 08-02-2012 at 10:18 AM.
    Greg Mele
    Chicago Swordplay Guild

    Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

    Chivalric Fighting Arts Association

    "If the tongue could cut
    as the sword can do,
    the dead would be infinite."

    Filippo Vadi, "Arte Dimicandi Gladiatoria" (c.1482 - 87)

  3. Sean Hayes

    All,

    I'm glad to have been asked by Mark and Greg to take this job, and glad to join Thomas Stoeppler and Bill Grandy as moderators on SFI's Historical European Swordsmanship forum. For those who don't know me, briefly, I run the Northwest Fencing Academy in Oregon, a school of classical and historical swordsmanship and martial arts. I'm a classically trained fencing master who employs his training in the study of what is variously called Western Martial Arts, Historical European Martial Arts, or Chivalric Martial Arts.

    I say "variously," as if those labels all meant the same thing to all people, but in reality we all view this study from different perspectives and have different emphases and goals that we attach to that study. I think that diversity of view and opinion, cheerfully and courteously shared and accepted, is a strength rather than a weakness. That's what I hope to help foster here at SFI. We're now a low traffic board compared to the past, and much conversation has shifted to other boards. This may or may not change, and in the greater scheme of things it doesn't matter if it does. What does matter is that this board be a place where anyone can come to exchange information and engage in spirited debate, and come away more informed and with a greater knowledge of these arts, and a greater sense of the breadth of ways in which they can be practiced, and a greater appreciation of the people who practice them.

    Cheers,

    Sean
    Sean Hayes, Maestro d'armi
    Northwest Fencing Academy

    Chivalric Fighting Arts Association
    San Jose Fencing Masters Program Examination Board

    One should never confuse the rules of a competition with the rules of an art.

    People talk a lot about speed, but not very much about control, safety, tactics, and trying to get close to the reality of sharps. When simulating sharp fights, how fast one charges in depends on how quickly one would like to die.


  4. #4
    Hello everyone,

    Together with Sean and Bill I´ll be the third moderator and I´m looking forward to working together with these fine gentlemen as a now international & intercontinental moderation team.
    As for those who do not know me, I´m a native German living, working, training and teaching martial arts (of both the east and the west) in the city of Bonn.
    The SFI has always been a great source inspiration to me, because in hundreds of discussions and thousands of postings a lot of information and ideas have been exchanged. This is what the Forum is for - for learning and of course, for making friends all over the world.

    Cheers, Thomas
    Erschrickstu gern /
    Keyn Fechten lern.

  5. #5
    I think it is safe to describe this as the end of an era. It's a big decision to make to step back from something one has invested in so heavily.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Mele View Post
    Through that time I have been honored to work on the SFI staff, and to lend my assistance where I could, when I could, and to work with a great group of folks on this forum over the years: Ashley Bishop, Oz and Bill Grandy. We have not always agreed, sometimes violently disagreed, but I do believe that everyone who put in time as as moderator based their decisions on what they honestly thought was for the best of SFI.
    I can't disagree with that, whilst we may have disagreed about what the best thing was we all strived to accomplish it in our own way.

    Good luck with your future endeavours Greg, and best of luck to Sean and Thomas.
    Learn English Martial Arts

    "I have declaired in my prdoxes of defence of the false teachinge of the noble scyence of defence used here by the Italyon fencers."

    "The time of the foot is when you step forward to strike"

  6. Thanks, Oz!
    Sean Hayes, Maestro d'armi
    Northwest Fencing Academy

    Chivalric Fighting Arts Association
    San Jose Fencing Masters Program Examination Board

    One should never confuse the rules of a competition with the rules of an art.

    People talk a lot about speed, but not very much about control, safety, tactics, and trying to get close to the reality of sharps. When simulating sharp fights, how fast one charges in depends on how quickly one would like to die.


  7. #7
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    Well said, Greg. Again, we appreciate all you've done here and look forward with you in your new role.

    Also, I'd like to thank Sean and Thomas for stepping into the gap! Your experience and efforts here will not just serve as a source of guidance, but will no doubt enrich our HES community. Welcome aboard!

    Mark ~
    mark@swordforum.com

    ~ Hostem Hastarum Cuspidibus Salutemus ~

    "Those who beat their swords into plowshares usually end up plowing for those who don't."
    Benjamin Franklin

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Location
    Gatineau, Québec
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    I, for one, welcome our new alien overlords.

    I think I may have posted to the wrong forum...

    Ah, well, welcome aboard, gents. Sorry to see you go, Greg, but all good things must come to an end. Rather than lament it, let's raise our voices in welcome to the new moderators.

    Cheers,
    Jason
    ... above all, you should feel in your conscience that your quarrel is good and just. - Le Jeu de la Hache

    Jason Smith
    Les Maîtres d'Armes
    Secretary, Chivalric Fighting Arts Association

  9. #9
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    Both Sean and Thomas are highly respected in their fields of study and I'd like to wish them both every success in their new role at SFI.

    May the Forza be with you
    Bob Brooks
    Marshal of the School,
    Hotspur School of Defence

    "There are four D's which I never refuse: A Dinner, a Duel, a Drink and a fair Dame!"
    - Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821-1890)

    "I worship the Prince of Peace ... not the Prince of Pre-emptive War.
    - Former US President Jimmy Carter

    "May I ask one more question?" said one of my friends. "I have often heard it said that if you don't know much about fencing the best thing to do is, as soon as you come on guard, to make a sudden rush at the other man before he has time to collect himself."
    "Well," I replied, "if you wish to make sure of being incurably spitted, that is the most infallible way to set about it."

    - Baron Cesar de Bazancourt, Secrets of the Sword, The Tenth Evening XII.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by M J Austwick View Post
    I think it is safe to describe this as the end of an era. It's a big decision to make to step back from something one has invested in so heavily.



    I can't disagree with that, whilst we may have disagreed about what the best thing was we all strived to accomplish it in our own way.

    Good luck with your future endeavours Greg, and best of luck to Sean and Thomas.
    Well said, Oz, and thank you for the well-wishes! I'll be around, but enjoying my "retirement".
    Greg Mele
    Chicago Swordplay Guild

    Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

    Chivalric Fighting Arts Association

    "If the tongue could cut
    as the sword can do,
    the dead would be infinite."

    Filippo Vadi, "Arte Dimicandi Gladiatoria" (c.1482 - 87)

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