I have lots of weird thoughts go through my head at times. Sometimes, a certain thought justifies an in depth look. And in many of those instances, it gives me a good blog post. Other times, the thought is only worthwhile as a passing fancy. So, when I have a number of those built up, I will just get them out there as sort of a catch-all anthology post!
Thought #1 – Why do people care so much about what other people do? I was reading a recent article on the concept of “press checks” (where you check the status of your weapon by making sure it is loaded) and the vitriol on either side is crazy. Why does someone care so much that they have to say ugly things about another person who press checks? It makes no sense. It does not affect the first person at all, so just go your own way.
Thought #2 – I have absolutely no problem with a blue belt teaching jiu-jitsu. That may be the best level of instruction available. If you are in an isolated area like a smaller town, or have a weird schedule (for instance, you work night shifts and cannot get to the standard class and your only option is a class run by a blue belt), then it is certainly better than nothing. HOWEVER, if you live in an area where there are legitimate higher belts actively teaching, and you instead opt to get online training so you can stroke your own ego and be the big man, than you are a toolbag. If you run a BJJ “school” as such an instructor, and there is within 10 miles a black belt teaching and you refuse to train at that place, you are being deceitful to yourself and to your paying students. Stop letting your own ego guide you and be willing to be humbled through real pressure. Stop fooling yourself that you have anything more than the tiniest bit of a superficial understanding of the material. If you can’t even teach a fundamental technique like a straight armbar, then you have absolutely no business teaching jiu-jitsu.
Thought #3 – As an adjunct to the previous thought, if you are that kind of blue belt who thinks online video training puts you on the same level as those who train in a legit gym on a continuing basis with high level of partners and instructors, than you are the absolute worst kind of martial artist. Your ego is out of control, and you really need to stop fooling yourself that you are on some enlightened journey. The Hero’s Journey is always based on the Hero overcoming authentic obstacles and challenges. Training in your own garage with a handful of people, none of whom have even your level of experience, is not an authentic obstacle. You are entitled to your opinions, but that does not mean your opinions are valid and have to be accepted as valid. You can have the opinion that the world is flat. That is your right. However, it is my right then to publicly point out that you are wrong, especially when I can empirically prove you are wrong. And don’t get butthurt when that happens.
Thought #4 – It may seem on a first glance, superficial level that thought #1 conflicts with thoughts #2 & #3. It actually does not, at all. If something someone does, does not affect you, then there is no reason to get upset about it. However, in the case of the situation of 2 & 3, those things affect me deeply, because it is a deep wound to the art that I love and have devoted over 21 years of my life to. When lunatics, egomaniacs, liars, and narcissists jump in and try to steal something that does not belong to them, I get angry, and I will speak out. If only so others don’t fall into their web of deceit and waste time and energy.