I am sorry my friends. I have not been a good friend. I have not done my part in battling the martial arts crappola online. It is not like I have not been thinking of you. I have, almost every day. But I am going to get up off of my knees, stop with the puppy eyes, and jump back into the fray.
Today, I am going to jump on the practitioners of Brazilian jiu-jitsu and submission grappling. Now, I am a fan and a practitioner of both. While it is not my forte, I do appreciate it, as a viable and practical art in most instances. My problem is with the practitioners themselves. Many times, they are quite holier than thou as it pertains to their martial arts studies.
Now as a person with a healthy respect for tradition, I am a little put off by the arrogance of many grapplers. Now, the grappling world in general seems to be populated by a group of folks who totally disregard martial arts tradition. They talk about how they don’t have to call their teacher “sensei” or sifu, and that they don’t have to bow in class. I think that people in America still think that bowing is capitulating. It is not. It is an Asian handshake. And it is not like the teachers don’t bow back to you. They bow also. But hey, what do I know, I just work here.
Kind of piggy-backing from an earlier thread, we need to realize what is goin to happen to the grappling styles if there is no philosophical or traditional base. One, the sport will NEVER grown behind the tiny niche that it currently occupies. For a sport to grow, there has to be leadership, focused leadership at that.
Second, the image of grapplers needs to be softened. I have never seen a bigger collection of tattooed muscle-heads than the times I have been to Brazilian Jiu-jitusu tourneys. Kind of pathetic actually. Shaven headed, acai-drinking wanna tough guys all doing exactly what they claimed to hate about traditional martial arts. They don’t want to bow out of respect to their classmates and teacher, but they touch or clap hands at the beginning of matches. They do not like learning the Japanese terms of their old art, but run around using Portuguese words and flashing hang loose signals in pictures.
And I can hear it now, ” but Brazilian jiu-jitsu works in a real fight.” News flash jerky, long before you had ever heard of jiu-jitsu, people were defending themselves with traditional martial arts every day. Now go put on your over priced kimonos and pick up a copy of Portuguese in 10 minutes a day. Tchau!