Thursday, March 10, 2011

Be honest? I'd like to see that....

I must say I was surprised to read this author promote a call for credit to the original source. Very UnAmerican, as least as the US 'fitness-industry' has been influenced during the last decade, from 2000 to 2010. A period I refer to as the 'decade of the bullshitter'.

In this recent book this author referred to another coaches plea for respect and credit to be given to his works. 

From what I’ve heard, from the far end of Siberia to Iceland to California, thousands of coaches are performing with their athletes Javorek’s complex exercise, but some of them give credit to themselves. I really worked hard on developing these exercises and I like to share with everyone my ‘little secrets’. Just give credit to the creator.

My original goal with the complex exercises was to find an efficient and aggressive method of performance enhancement that saves time and makes the program more enjoyable. If you choose to use them (in some form) with your athletes, be honest and call your new complex exercises ‘Variations to Javorek’s Complex Exercises’.
--John, D., 2011, Mass Made Simple, Quoting Istvan Javorek's comments on Javorek’s web site, p. 108

This is the first time I can recall seeing a call of this nature. What I have seen a lot of is what Javorek is referring to - people who know the source, yet choose to take credit, or fail to give credit.

After all, the most common term in the US 'fitness' industry lingo of the last decade has been 'Steal'. Everyone wanted to say they 'stole' x from someone else. It was hip. A badge of honor. After all, many of these, especially those who informal education exposure was limited to the period 2000-2011, had been extolled the virtues of stealing. 'It not cheating' etc etc. In fact, they had also been extolled to lie.

It was the first time I have seen the act of stealing (in relation to intellectual property) being discouraged. Isn't that interesting.

As impressive as this is, it did raise a few questions for me.

Firstly, would Americans reach out to non-Americans with the same call? Would Americans encourage their fellow coaches to show the same respect for out-of-country intellectual property? What if those breaching the intellectual property rights of the out-of-country coaches were their mentors, people they had been taught to believe were really knowledgeable, experienced, competent coaches?

I'm not so sure that this would happen. Why? In addition to my belief that America has a history of recognizing only that which is within their own country (have observed this myopic view during my 22 years of travelling in and through North America) it would be a tough pill to swallow for any 'student'.

Another question, inter linked with the first, relates to the Javoreks plea for those using his intellectual property to be honest. Imagine that - those who seek to control and influence the masses in the US fitness industry being honest. I'd like to see that.

"No, I didn't come up with that idea."

"Nor that one." 

"Or that one."

"No, not that one either."

I believe one of the reasons these information brokers fail to give credit when they know the source is that the majority of their publications would be credited. If you took out the credited content, their wouldn't be enough pages left to hold the book up. Who would buy it? What impact would this have on their reputation? After all, they have wormed for years to be in the position they are in.  Why give it up for honesty? I've got certain books on my book shelf where I have color highlighted the copied and / or uncredited content - and there aren't too many pages left unmarked. The 'books' look more like a kids coloring in book than an educational text. On that thought, the kids colouring book would hvae more credibility, and probably more value for a student to study!

Honesty? Istvan would like to see that. I'd like to see that.

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