Problems with implementing background check policies
I just posted about the difficulties in implementing old and new background check policies in the BJJ world, specifically the new IBJJF policy and the old Machado policy, here:
A while back I posted some suggestions for how academies and affiliations could create and execute their own policies, here:
Total Comments 35
1/12/2015 11:58pm, #2
I'm all for background checks within BJJ (and the wider martial arts) although I'm not sure why it would be left until someone is ready to be registered as a black belt to be performed.
Perhaps it is a reflection on the small size of our gym but essentially anyone that may be called upon to assist in the instruction of a class (essentially blue belts up, although a few four stripe white belts qualify) are required to apply for a blue card, which is a working with children police background check. These are registered with the State governing body (although the checks are nationwide) and organisations are informed of any changes in the holder's status.
A similar requisite for black belt registration could be required, which would keep the governing body (AFBJJ) up to date of any changes.Dum spiro, spero.
Tada gan iarracht.
1/13/2015 12:13am, #3
Not just checks, but training in spotting abuse. Instructors should get trained to help spot inappropriate activity, especially for children's classes.
I can't think of any other time I'd be OK watching my 7 year old get that close to an adult than class, and even then I watch carefully. It'd be nice to know not only that predators are being screened for, but that the ones that get past the screening get noticed.
1/13/2015 3:03am, #4
- Join Date
- Aug 2006
In a different setting and country, many churches in Australia run Child Protection workshops which are often compulsory for volunteers as well as a check. Interestingly the guy who runs the ones we go to also offers this training generally which lot of non gov agencies utilise.
I guess this reflects though the benefits of larger organisations. I am sure scouts, the "peak body" reps, maybe dept of sport and rec run workshops for all and sundry. They do help but all organisations are prey for paedophiles.
I work in a CP setting and checks really only detect convictions which in this jurisdiction is not great there are plenty of unconvicted paedophiles. It appears relatively easy to have adverse checks overturned with the help of a decent solicitor. You wouldnt want to infringe on a convicted sex offender's civil liberties.
my coach's check on me when i started working foe him was to tell me he'd kill me if I hurt kids. Works for me but sex offenders at least those good at offending excel at grooming others and deception....fuckers
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1/13/2015 9:52am, #5
- Join Date
- Mar 2006
The last thing you need is some 'expert' with two hours of training on how to spot abuse thinking they see inappropriate behavior hiding behind every bush. I don't need any training to know blatant abuse when I see it. And if it's not blatant, maybe I'm wrong about what I think I see and should keep my fucking mouth shut.
Unless it's my kid, of course. If I get the slightest feeling of uneasiness where my kid is involved, it's my prerogative to deal with it as I see fit. But with other people's kids, it's not my place to act on intuition alone.
Last edited by Devil; 1/13/2015 9:55am at .
1/13/2015 10:48am, #6
It's not so much to hawk over the instructors etc who are 99.999% of the time going to be perfectly OK. It's to watch for obvious red flags known to accompany predatory behavior...instructors going off alone with students, or inappropriate communication outside class..."grooming" etc. There are a whole slew of "abnormal" things that can occur that unfortunately many people will dismiss or simply not notice.
It's also not limited to instructors. Abuse can happen between kids, teens, or even adult students too...instructors should have some basic training to identify when things are wrong. BJJ class is truly intimate in a way that many other arts are not....so I think some extra caution is justified. Obviously witch hunting is not the goal, the goal is to ID repeated, disturbing behavior that might otherwise go missed in a close contact environment.
Last edited by W. Rabbit; 1/13/2015 10:51am at .
1/13/2015 11:01am, #7
1/13/2015 12:53pm, #8
- Join Date
- Jan 2015
- SF area, california
Hey I'm a long-time lurker on this site, but I registered to post just to respond to this article & train of thought. It's important to me because when I was a kid, I _was_ at a school where a lot of...creepiness....occurred between the instructor and some of his adolescent & teenage proteges.
Look, unless you've seen it before in some first-hand way or have had even some minimal training, you actually probably would not be able to recognize abuse patterns. I don't mean to offend, but trust me when I say that abusers aren't stupid, they won't go after kids whose parents have eagle-eyes on them (like you say you do), and they usually won't openly do anything that is super blatant. All the adult men in positions of authority I knew at this school (the ones who weren't the creep, that is) saw a lot of small signs but never did anything because (a) they didn't feel it was their place and (b) they didn't know enough about abuse at the time to recognize that this stuff was all a HUGE WARNING SIGN and something needed to be looked into. Plus like you they probably felt that since they (a) weren't the kid's parent or (b) weren't directly their teacher, they didn't have a whole lot of right looking into the situation. Unfortunately abusers go for the kids who don't have anyone looking out for them....
I don't know, I don't get why so many guys are like, "If I didn't literally see his penis go into her vagina, I can't say anything." I'm not saying tar and feather the guy giving you the creeps, but maybe start asking around, or talk to some of the kids who might be vulnerable and find out if they start disclosing any other warning signs...Christ, man.
Anyway, so at the place I was at, for years and years nothing was done.
I think any kind of training would help mitigate this "bystander effect" problem, and in fact might be more useful than background checks, given how many pervs escape the system. It can teach you what the subtle warning signs are and how to probe to see if more warning signs are present.
On a different note, I totally support background checks on anyone in a teaching position or working with kids, and it kind of boggles my mind how many martial arts places I've been around over the years scoff at the idea. It's like the absolute minimum decent thing to do here.
I don't know, I realize bullshido can be kind of a hostile place, so I hope y'all don't get really vulgar with me for disclosing this stuff about my life, but I do think someone needs to provide the voice of people who, you know, have actually seen and been victimized by this stuff.
1/13/2015 2:02pm, #9
I'm not so sure that support system in in place in the BJJ community based on the OP. I don't just worry about my own kid either none of them deserve abuse and I think MA schools are just a high risk area where this kind of contact is concerned...we read about it too not just in BJJ but every other art...there might be more reports of abuse in the martial arts than in the Catholic church, if we went and counted news reports.
You can call it unnecessary or maybe even a bit Orwellian but what else can you do? Often the only thing that stands between a predator and abuse victim is a 3rd party who doesn't say something.
Last edited by W. Rabbit; 1/13/2015 2:07pm at .
1/13/2015 2:59pm, #10
- Join Date
- Mar 2006
And you didn't describe what these creepy behaviors are that you're talking about. If nobody saw any blatant abuse, maybe this creepiness is just some subjective bullshit that occurred in your mind.
Abuse is abuse. If I saw abuse I'd have my foot directly up somebody's ass and I'd make sure everybody who would listen to me knew about it, including the authorities. But I'm not accusing somebody of being a child molester because I thought he was looking at some kid a little longer than was necessary or because he's a little friendlier than I am. **** that. I'm not trying to ruin somebody's life over a hunch.