Following a series of long threads in which Tigerfly and Djimbe attacked the views of Straight Blast Gym founder Matt Thornton, and subsequently ended up getting an 'invitation' to a SBG seminar, we now have some video footage of the incident.
Draw your own conclusions about what happened. Personally, I think the music was a nice touch. :)
On November 15th this 6’ 6” 386lb. guy named Djimbe showed up at a Matt Thornton Seminar with his wife after a few harsh words with him on the internet. He came in knee pads, wrestling shoes, rash guard and all for reasons not completely clear to anyone there. Many reasons have been given on the net but the bottom line is that his presence and intentions were said to be many things after the fact but he walked in that day dressed and ready to experience “something” and with an attitude to match.
After at least half an hour if not more talking with Matt outside it was decided after lunch he would participate in the seminar since Matt grew tired of talking in endless circles with him and his responsibilities were to the seminar participants, not to stories of the prowess of Kung Fu masters.
After a very brief warm up he did not complete due to gassing out, the knee pads were removed and he began his participation in the seminar a few minutes later and after everyone else had warmed up.
The first training drill was him trying to pass Luis’ guard without being swept or submitted. He forgot that wrestling with glasses is a bit of a negative and Luis suggested he remove them. He immediately gassed while trying to pass and said he had to stop so Luis patted him on the back and said to take a brake and come back out when he was ready. The clip only shows only one of two sweeps that occurred and were witnessed by everyone there during this portion. He was swept again when he returned from the bathroom and once again asked to stop due to exhaustion.
The second portion of the training drill was Luis having to pass his guard without being swept or submitted. The big guy went for a “thumb hold” just before he got passed. He immediately tapped as Luis secured top position.
The third part of the drill was to wrestle for submission from kneeling. The big guy once again tapped as Luis took top and cross sides position. Luis explained to his wife that he was winded and needed to regroup his breathing again.
Luis spent the entire time with him talking and actually coaching him about his breathing and movement. He did the same after the practice and training drills. Though the big guy claimed he could dead lift 1,100 pounds, his breathing and energy expenditure was that of someone not trained in anything resembling competitive athletics.
It is important to state that these were just the starting drills for the ground portion of the seminar. Had he stayed he would have worked clinch (takedowns) and stand up (striking) as well as putting it all together as did everyone else there. He instead left shortly after his few and short moments on the mat and it was clear that had he stayed, his performance in any range would have been as equal to his lack of conditioning or experience with “aliveness” and any resisting and able opponent or training partner.
First and foremost, please understand that this clip, its contents, all the noise and static on the web, and the boring reality of those few moments are something quite rare, unnecessary and truly inconsequential to my own time and quite frankly and hopefully to all of yours. I apologize you have even decided to watch this and my hopes are that you forget it as quickly as I will the moment I complete this. All of this is taking place only in some great scale only in the heads of two individuals. The objective reality is something entirely different and miniscule in proportion.
In regards to the organization that I represent and naturally believe in, I still can neither believe nor fathom the depths to which two otherwise warm, kind and gentle people can sink to in order to discredit, slander and vilify an organization in order to propagate what can now only be described as their own pathological needs and intentions.
In reference to my personal experience with Djimbe and his wife that day and to help clarify some of the myths being so quickly created through the gossip and rumor mill that are some MA forums…
I worked with Djimbe on what was the first part of the two day seminar, the ground game. Initially not knowing where he was at with any of it psychologically, having seen him walk in dressed to go and all intense, and having personally heard him respond to his wife outside that he was waiting and ready to see what Matt would do, I was ready for whatever would come. Needless to say, as I ran the warm up portion after lunch and he gassing out after 4 laps around the wrestling gym, his 200 pounds plus on me and towering size weighed a little less on my mind.
When he was ready to go on the mat, the drill we were working on was guard passing. His goal was to pass mine without being swept or submitted but if I did either we were to start again. I was not to engage after any sweep or submission nor was he to engage if he passed my guard. I explained the objective of the drill but he was anxious to just go. He came in hard and tense but so much so that he forgot to take off his glasses. I reminded him they were on and suggested he take them off. I went to give them to someone on the sidelines but he just threw them aside eager to get on with the training. After that it was more of the same for a few seconds and he immediately started breathing hard, mouth open, and he looked like he was having a heart attack. I swept him once as he stood to pass and went back to the drill as explained. He gassed soon afterwards and was saying he needed to stop. I patted him on the back and said to take a breather and come back when he was ready. I got up and helped others who were working the same drill.
When he returned to the mat, we returned to the drill and once again when frustrated passing from his knees he stood and I swept him again but this time on top up two other guys working the same drill. (I think Paul Myatovich was one of them.) When we moved back to center to continue Matt called switch which meant that it was the other person’s turn to pass. I started in his closed guard and he locked in tight. His grip was so tight my fingers grew numb pretty quick but while he was doing his thing, I wedged in a knee and got my hands free. He then grabbed my thumb but I was already opening his guard (applying pressure to his hips) and thus made my way passed it. He tapped the moment I took cross sides from exhaustion or what I really think was just consistent frustration. Whenever he started on top he tried hard even though he was gassing out, sick, tired whatever. The second the tables turned he quit. I then looked towards his wife to assure her he was ok and just out of breath. I talked to him at that point even more about his breathing so he could last longer and train more.
He had to sit out, drink water, and chatted with his wife for the rest of that drill. He returned when we were to go for submissions from kneeling. This was simply the next progressive phase of the training. He clinched with me and once again used only muscle and weight with no strategy or technique I could feel so I played conservative and kept inside ties and braced. When the opportunity presented itself, I went for a sweep, he sprawled (fell) into me so I took a hip bump. From top I then went to cross sides as it was clearly a better position to work from considering the strength and size factors but he tapped and claimed exhaustion once again.
Thus ended his training as he could (chose not) to continue. They watched a few more minutes and I walked them outside. We talked a bit out there and what was said is best left alone as it falls into the he said they said non-sense that hopefully this video clip will put some rest to. Hopefully. I thought Djimbe and his wife were gentle and kind people but felt they were simply not informed (experienced) training the way we do. I thought miscommunication stemmed from this lack of experience, her passion for it, and little else.
After all the fall out after the seminar, I have come to question their intentions a little more as I was kind, generous, and amicable with them from the get go and it was clear to all witnesses there that he was completely out of his scope of ability or understanding. I will say this though, the conversation after their time inside was me trying to get it back to training and theirs was trying to get it towards mutual understanding of the ability, prowess, and proven record of TMA in MMA venues. For what its worth, looking back on my working with Djimbe and talking afterwards with him and his wife, I am saddened to know that they continued and actually increased their blatant and unprovoked attacks on the gym. Out of the thousands that have attended similar seminar…those two completely and diametrically oppose and stand against every single experience and testimonial that states otherwise to their views.
As to his not working in strength or size, that’s all he used and paid for in endurance.
As to his not being able to use foul tactics, was that ever his intent? If so, why did he not use them outside when he and Matt “talked”? He had ample opportunity while standing on the “street”. Matt certainly left that door wide open for him. Was he planning on using them full out while training with me on the mat? What makes him think this would have helped him any considering he could not even play within the rules? When I started working with him, I was all smile, positive coaching, and consideration where he was all business, physical aggression, and sported that (who farted) intense look. I knew as everyone else he was bigger and stronger than me yet I was my self regardless of what he might or might not bring into this exchange. Might that or could that actually be the best measure of experience and ability right there? It usually is but that is no evident more in the fact that he eventually had to ease up on all the seriousness and get real with the problem at hand, the objectives of training.
As to his being a striker or his ability to throw, had he stayed that is exactly what he could have shown everyone there (including himself) and I would have been more than happy to assist him with as well. In fact he would have learned exactly what I was hoping he learned on the mat, that he could be beat with a smile and good intentions due to the training method and performance of what we do, not being able to dead lift 1,100 pounds like he said and I believe he could do. Every single person there from 125 pounds to 225 pounds and from ages 16 through 52 worked hard at all ranges and at the end of the seminar, put it all together. Tired, exhausted, with injuries whatever….everyone stayed the course and had blast learning….no excuses and much laughter, some soreness and loads of fun productive work.
The audacity to come in, posing and posturing big man dressed to go and to interrupt a seminar, cut into a man’s living, time and business, then start strong only to talk illness, out of breath, lack of sleep and all other excuses once going hard failed you is not acceptable in my eyes. You say you know, you show, then you must go. Period. After working as hard as we all did and watching everyone work the distance with zero excuses, I’m sorry…at almost 400 pounds and standing 6 foot 6 inches and dead lifting over 1000 pounds, you had to stay the course whether you shat yourself, threw up, or blew snot all over the place. Otherwise, you should not have bothered to dress up in clothing and attitude if you were not going to stay your intent and complete what you started. And by the way, don’t build a library on a total of minutes spent at a two day seminar or from picking bits and pieces off a web site. Instead, live your vision and see yourself grow within it!
Like I started this explanation from my end of the experience, I thought and still believe Djimbe and his wife are good and gentle people but….let’s let this go now. C’mon already. Thank God it was an SBGi seminar and with certain coaches present as opposed to the many other possibilities that could have occurred otherwise. I personally know it was to be this way as I this is exactly what they needed to see with their hearts. Yes, their minds may make all this noise and static in fear of what they know is true but in their hearts they are left with knowing they were treated kindly, with their good in mind, and shown their limitations. Djimbe would be a monster if he trained alive in a functional art. Hell, he would be a force if he simply would have stayed the seminar’s course.
If I am in-deed wrong in this assessment, no worries as I will continue to be myself as it comes but…what unfortunately awaits them is a much harsher awakening. I hope we am not incorrect and they let this go and start again anew.
Again, I apologize for the length of this but I wanted to speak once and end it. I hope in turn its read once and ended as well.
Enough said. Best of fortune,
SBGi South East Regional Director
Before this thread devolves into a ninety-page shitstorm...
Before we hear the inevitable lamentations of OMG THAT CLIP WAS DOCTORED...
Before Tigerfly just has a chance to bitch things up and challange people on her husband's behalf...
Let me just say that I was here when it all started. And that I threw the first stone. If you listen carefully you can still hear it skid across the dusty road.
So Djimbe, I'm assuming you were attempting to use the "Beached Whale Gets Poached" technique in there?
Where does Wing Chun come in?
how do you get the video ?
I had to stop back in to say...AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Fisting Kittens' signature is J-Kid's old one?
Judo-kid cracks me up. so I stole his sig.