A concern addressed.

Robert Barton 

I would like to address one specific question concerning my past which comes up from time to time and which has led to a few rumors relative to the martial arts. And I want to clear it up since it arises from time to time. 

In the late 1980s while I was studying and teaching in Tallahassee Florida there were some problems with bigots. The police seemed blind to it. There were threats made toward a group of men at a local university who were trying to start a new predominantly gay fraternity. There was a homemade pipe bomb which never went off thrown into the parking lot of an alternative club called Billy’s Place which was in my neighborhood, near my Dojo and at which I and several of my adult student were not infrequent patrons. The police were called and did respond and investigate that incident. 

In response to the perception of police inaction quiet measures were taken to help secure the safety of patrons at two clubs in Tallahassee. This action was taken by a few people experienced in martial arts and security issues. Quiet measures were taken also to insure the safety of the students involved in the failed attempt to establish a primarily gay fraternity. 

No person was ever killed or permanently injured. There were never charges filed or even any official investigations, to my knowledge, of these events or the people involved in them. It was officially a non-event and didn’t even make the papers. Yes, four people were turned over to a police officer, one night, who said they would be charged for mugging but the witnesses were never called. And any efforts to secure the safety of those clubs and the people in them took place on the property of those clubs and was treated as a security issue. The security of the students was secured through direct peaceful discussion with the primary instigator responsible for threats against the students. I have never denied or claimed to have been involved aside from the known fact that I was present when the four young men were handed over to an officer (though I personally believe that they were let go a short time later) and the known fact that I was involved in the altercation with the ‘gang’ of which these young men were members. 

Did I ever misuse my martial arts training? I don’t think so. As to the rumor that I ever apologized to my instructors, that is a lie, they never requested an apology and would not have gotten one if they had. 

I hope that this clears up any rumors or concerns.

Robert Barton

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