Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Rant about “McDojos” and Random Thoughts About Training

Last Monday Darren came to class all fired up about something, and waited for class to begin before telling us what was up. He, along with two other Team Evolution teammates, went to visit a “McDojo” before class on Cleveland’s West side that claimed to teach Jiu Jitsu. Now those of you who know me know that I have a lot of respect for traditional Martial Arts, and actually still train in them, for the conditioning and the attention to flexibility and focus has complimented my GJJ game. But one thing that I will never accept is when a “McDojo” dilutes the “Martial Science” that is Jiu Jitsu in an attempt to steal money from students who wish to learn “the gentle art”.

The leader of the “McDojo” had a blackbelt in some sort of martial art and was a blue belt in Jiu Jitsu although he wouldn’t tell Darren where he got it. Needless to say, Darren mounted him with ease and the guy didn’t escape. Either Darren’s a nice guy, I’m an asshole, or both statements may be true, for I would have tapped this guy out in front of his students and exposed him for the fraud that he is. He’s not alone. There are "pretenders" out there who are running Martial Arts academies who are trying to rake in the cash by offering their own brand of grappling and calling it Jiu Jitsu. I had my own “McDojo” experience when I was a 2nd stripe white belt. The “McDojo” owner was trying to brand his own flavor of grappling which has since fizzled, and he couldn’t even pass my white belt guard. The sad thing about these “McDojo” posers is that not only are they stealing money, but they’re teaching things that will get their students really hurt if they try to use them outside the “McDojo” in a real-life situation. I’ll never forget my own experience where the instructor was actually encouraging his students to try for submissions while they were mounted by someone!!!!

I’m all for cross training, and think it’s an awesome idea for traditional martial arts schools to provide Jiu Jitsu as part of their class offerings, but for God sakes, get a solid instructor in there to teach proper technique and principles? I mean, you don’t often see a great Jiu Jitsu fighter teach striking—rather, he defers to instructors whose expertise is striking and the student is best-served by this act of humility!

Enough ranting for this post….Training’s been going well—Andres showed a few more interesting sweeps from Spider Guard last Saturday that I’m beginning to implement when people begin to stand up in my guard. He also showed me a really cool set-up from a scissors sweep into a triangle choke that I’ve really come to like. “Basics” and “self-defense” are on the GJJ menu tonight, and I’ll keep you all posted if I pick up any interesting tidbits, details, etc.

Respectfully Submitted By:

Larry, the LTrain

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