2/01/2012 8:51am, #1
Staying professional in the face of misinformation
So, it's story time. The other night I had just finishing teaching one of the kids Jiu-Jitsu classes, and one of the mothers approached me on the side to ask some questions. At first they seemed standard and expected enough.
"When do they learn to punch, kick or block?"
"Do they test for belts?"
"How long does it take on average to get to black belt?"
All fair questions, so I explained how Jiu-Jitsu was a grappling art, and that the goal of the Kids program was to instill a solid foundation of position and control, so they don't have to resort to punching and kicking when defending themselves. As for testing, I explained how we don't test but rather reward them with stripes and childrens belt ranks as they perform in class. And finally, of course explaining that at the age of 16 they could attain their first adult rank of blue belt as they finally can perform the art against adult level competition, and earn their way at their own pace up to black belt.
Here's where the conversation took me on a time warp back into familiar yet somehow unsettling territory..
"But, if they are only learning to grapple, what if they are fighting against an adult in self defense?"
"What about real self defense stuff, like pinching the inside of the thigh to get someone to let go of you, or attacking the eyes?"
"Wow, he's gonna have it easy. No tests? I had to test for everything."
Now if it wasn't for the genuine sincerity I saw on her face, I would have thought one of you sent someone down to come troll me. But as I found, she trained at one of the more unsavory (by her own admission) MA gyms in the area which taught "Aiki Jujitsu Kung Fu." She was very much impressed with the "cheats" (a term my old Kempo instructor also used, sending a shiver down my spine) that he taught women in fighting, supposedly giving them the capability to subdue a bigger and stronger foe by fighting dirty, and not resorting to conventional combative technique like punching, kicking, and wrestling.
THE ROUND-UP OF THIS WALL OF TEXT
So here we are, and I bring us back to the title of this thread. I have multiple "bullshido" claims from a local martial arts school -such as pinching and biting for self defense, teaching children how to reliably best grown men in hand to hand combat, and belt testing being a sign of quality control- that apparently were accepted at face value by this unknowing former student and now parent. I have the task of not only presenting my gym in a positive light, but also not to inadvertently insult this woman, not to start bad-mouthing her former school, and still yet still refute the tidbits of pure BS that can be countered with our differing training philosophy.
I smiled, kept things light, and explained my background, also explaining that outside of my rank in BJJ, I also hold a 3rd degree black belt in Kaju, which is a more striking oriented self defense style that was closer to what she was accustomed to as opposed to Jiu-Jitsu. She seemed pleased with that. I then explained how over the years, I've seen many different approaches to self defense, and that I could tell her with the utmost confidence that if self defense was what she was concerned with for her son, that nothing beats having a solid foundation of the basics that Jiu-Jitsu teaches. I also explained that the kids learn the basics of covering and blocking, with the goal of them putting the situation into grappling range where they can defend themselves using the tools they learn here without needing to hurt anyone at school.
As for "dirty fighting" goes, I also added in, asking her experience with the pinching the thigh thing, since she swore it worked in training, and I kindly reminded her that may work with someone in training, but in self defense men tend to wear denim jeans on the street, and if they pinch isn't iron-clad it may not work out so well. She laughed and agreed, and seemed content enough with my answers.
...Crisis avertedKnowing is not enough, you must apply...
...Willing is not enough you must do ~Bruce Lee
2/01/2012 10:08am, #2
- Join Date
- Nov 2006
- Central Maine
Sounds like you handled that extremely well. And she was reasonable enough.
Some people won't be as reasonable, but you can only do so much.
2/01/2012 10:54am, #3
Good job. I don't have patience for this **** any longer. Was getting a lecture from someone the other day (I trains for the streetz where there are no rules, eye gouge, heart explosions and throat ripping). I just told him that after decades in MA I no longer talk to or train with people who claim they can win in the street but are unable to win on the mats. I got a blank look. "Who do you think is going to be able to swim in the ocean at night in a storm, the guy that swims laps every day in the pool or the guy who stands next to the pool waving his arms like he's swimming?" Another blank look and a walk away. Jesus.
2/01/2012 11:03am, #4
- Join Date
- Feb 2012
I find it amusing that the self defense eeeexperts always bring up eye gouging or nut stomping as if they have oodles of experience with such, or that you need some kind of a degree to perform such feats (!)
2/01/2012 11:12am, #5
2/01/2012 11:28am, #6
2/01/2012 12:04pm, #7
- Join Date
- Dec 2011
Way to go, Ke?po. Foundation is key.
2/01/2012 12:23pm, #8
You could also mention that "cheats" are a fast road to trouble in schoolyard fights compared to pinning someone down and controlling them.
2/01/2012 12:36pm, #9
2/01/2012 1:18pm, #10
- Join Date
- Nov 2011
I have violent allergic reactions to stupidity. It usually causes me to slap the source of it in the mouth, or flame people on the internet.
Training has actually calmed me down a bit.