I have met Matt Thornton and...
well, I have to be honest - my opinion of how he has marketed himself hasn't changed. Since I have now met him in person, I can say that he is rude and his interpersonal/communication skills are lacking. I tried desperately to communicate with him but he was so rude that it was impossible. He was unreceptive to anything that varied from his party line.
Before I begin to explain all that happened, I just want to say that we met Louis, one of the guys giving the seminar with Matt. Louis was a TOTAL sweetheart. I totally adored him, he is a decent and respectable human being that - literally if he called me tomorrow and need anything and it was in my power to help this guy I would immediately do so without thought or question. He is a great representative of BJJ and the MMA community.
Djimbe and I arrived at around 1pm. The seminar started at 11am, however we had my moms surgery yesterday and class last night so it was impossible for us to get there any earlier considering we had to dirve two hours to get there.
Our expectations may have varied about what would happen at the seminar, but I personally fully expected to meet the man, have a discussion as adults and have a good time - possibly even catch a beer after the seminar. Honestly THAT was what I expected to happen.
We went in and quietly sat down on the side lines. Matt was talking to the group at that time. He immediately had everyone start drilling when he saw us and walked directly over to us and said "you're the people from the internet". Djimbe and I said yes. He said "let's go outside". We followed him outside and he stood between us and the door to the gym. He (somehow with a straight face) said "why are you here". :eek: *pause*
Now, I don't know if you all read the other thread - but him asking "why are you here" BLEW my mind. It made me wonder for a moment if the person posting as Matt Thronton was REALLY Matt Thornton. I quickly realized that he knew we were "from the internet" - - and quickly assessed that he was playing a game - however I was intially shocked.
*play* Djimbe responded with something like "you said for us to come, we are here". Matt Thornton said something like "you challenged me on the internet". I then said "NO, that is not what happened. I said that your marketing practices/business was unscrupulous and idiotic on the internet. You DARED me to say that to your face - I came to do so and I just did." MT attempted to play physical dominance games with me at this point - towering over me (he is like 6'9" tall - but skinny as an anorexic teenager) trying to make me feel intimidated by his presence. It didn't work - I stood in his face and told him EXACTLY what I said in the original thread. He honestly didn't know what to do or even say. He actually said that he challenges people to show up at seminars all the time and "no one else has ever shown up". I had to cut him a break on that - I am sure he didn't expect us to show. *pause*
I will say it once more, I have not ever, nor will I ever say anything on the internet that I am not willing to say in person. Even more, I won't say anything ABOUT anyone that I wouldn't say to thier face. I am very direct in all aspects of my life both personally and professionally. It has served me well thus far, I see no reason to change - most people respect that I am direct and to the point.
*play* When he figured out that he wasn't going to intimidate me (Djimbe is much larger than MT, and I have a brother that is his height and TWICE his size that slaps me around I knew that if he came after me - it might hurt, but he wasn't going to damage me before Djimbe pulled him off of me), he moved on to Djimbe with his intmidation tactics - I will let Djimbe insert his comments about this - but it was amusing. BUT - he did things like forcefully putting his hands on Djimbe's shoulders and leaning his weight into Djimbe trying to casually shove him (funny thing was MT was the one that moved not Djimbe). This wasn't friendly in anyway, however he wasn't hitting Djimbe either - it was an intimidation game - it was quite amusing for me to witness, considering he didn't get a single reaction out of Djimbe.
Basically, he refused to talk to me from that point forward. I didn't expect a hug and a kiss. I did however expect that he would respect the fact that I (especially considering I am the ONLY one) showed up to say to his face what he said I wouldn't. After this point, he wouldn't let me get a word in edgewise. He actually used things like putting his hand up in my face when I spoke and wouldn't allow me to talk. He then said that Djimbe Called him an Idiot - it was at this point he couldn't have shut me up if he wanted to. I said "THAT was ME, not him and if you would shut up and listen to him you might just learn something." He did the equivelent of a child putting his fingers in his ears and saying "I can't hear you, I can't hear you." He refused to listen to anything Djimbe said. When Djimbe offered proof to refute ridiculous statements that MT had made - he would say things like "I don't believe it" or "I don't have time to go see that" etc etc.
Alot was discussed, I will let Djimbe elaborate on that later in the thread, however when he pulled is fingers out of his ears (NOT LITERALLY), he said the "discussion was over" and asked us to leave. Djimbe said "Wait, you invited us to come here free of charge and observe your seminar are you saying we can't do that". MT hemhalled around a bit saying **** like "I can't let you stay for free - other people paid good money for this seminar". *pause*
Did you not read that he offered the seminar to us for FREE? I believe that was GROUND into my face wasn't it? Isn't that what you all PRAISED him for? Just checking :)
*play* Djimbe reiterated that we had no intentions of being there all day today much less tomorrow. But since we were invited to observe, that is what we intended to do. *pause*
We honestly weren't sure what to expect in this respect - but we were fully prepared to accept observing or some hands on stuff - but understanding that we weren't paying participants we didn't want to intrude on the time that others had paid for.
*Play* MT said "If you stay you have to participate", I think he thought that we wouldn't be willing to "roll" with them. He was wrong. Djimbe JUMPED on that Idea. He was fully ready to do so. We had brought all of our gear and he was dressed and ready to go. I really don't think MT knew what to think about that.. but he did concede that we could stay - an ACCOMPLISHMENT on our part.
I honestly couldn't believe that he was turning us away from a seminar that he publically had invited us to for FREE.
At this point they broke for lunch - an hour later we were waiting in the gym when MT came back. I don't think he actually expected us to be there... but we were
Djimbe walked over to Matt, shook his hand and told him that he was going to participate (against my wishes, honestly Djimbe has had the flu (diarrhea, fever, 4-6 hours sleep in the last three days etc) for days and isn't himself), but he also told Matt that I wasn't going to participate, that I didn't feel prepared and if he wasn't comfortable with me sitting it out that I would LEAVE and comeback later to pick him up. Matt said that it was fine that I stayed - the first unpricklike thing we had witnessed him do all day. He wasn't exactly in a position to say NO, tho. We had been hanging out with the participants of the seminar, joking about with them etc and were doing that when Matt came back from lunch - Djimbe walked over to him infront of those same people - What was Matt going to do? He couldn't possibly be the prick to us in front of all those people that he was out of their site - afterall they had all "paid good money" (his words not mine) to see him.:D