I ask a question about Aikido and films. I asked because I was interested and thought it would be on-topic. I was (for a different reason) looking at the list of questions we should be asking in the help: oh look, it's right there in the on topic help page:

Martial arts movies, comics, science fiction, or fantasy (off-topic, please ask on Movies or Science Fiction & Fantasy)

So, either we need to improve that help or we need to close that question.

Also, see Are questions about martial arts films on topic?

  • Then either improve it or close/delete it. I feel like you're already answering your question here.
    – user15
    Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 14:24
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    @MattChan asking the community what they think is the right way to proceed. Unilateral decisions are a sure way to annoy everyone. Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 14:47

2 Answers 2


In my personal opinion, your question is not off topic. Sure, the movies are fictional, but your question was (implicitly) about the real portrayal or usage of an actual art in that medium - and it even produced an interesting answer pointing out a usage well before most of us would remember.

Speaking as the ♦ mod who actioned your flag, my observations are:

  • the responsibility of a ♦ mod is to act as an exception handler, dealing with things outside of the processes and handlers already built into the site. I declined your flag because it didn't need moderator attention.
  • whenever practical it has to be a community decision to close a question. The only time I will vote to close a question is when it blatantly needs it - if there is any doubt then my job is to stay out of it and let the community decide. Moderator votes are instantly binding and at no stage should a single moderator dictate the direction of the site by closing questions or deleting things they personally don't like.
  • if you are so sure it is off topic you can just delete the question yourself. There are ramifications to that because there are already votes and an accepted answer, but those are ramifications you should own if you do it - you shouldn't avoid those ramifications by raising a mod flag and getting a mod to do it.
  • maybe you are totally over analyzing it. Like I mentioned above there is a way of viewing your question where it can be totally on topic. Maybe your view is too narrow and/or fixated and your question is fine in the view of the majority of the community?
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    Unless more people comment, I'll follow this,… Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 8:41
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    Just now noticed the topic, but I approve of your question, and not only because I gave an accepted answer on it. :-D The historic portrayal of a real-world martial art is very much on topic. Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 21:41

This is a conflict between what is written in the help section and how we handle questions.

Personally, I see no problem with the question because it is basically about real martial arts, as opposed to people flying or throwing fireballs. There are now multiple questions about television which seem to be off-topic in the spirit but not the wording of the current help section:

There is also a new question Is there any Systema in John Wick 2?, that I think also meets the threshold of being about real and not fantasy martial arts.

I would vote for a refinement of the help section.

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