Thread: Another master tome by El Moor
8/12/2008 2:14pm, #1
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Another master tome by El Moor
I know this has been beat to death but its still entertaining when he embarrases himself. His latest.
Post subject: The Corrosive Cultural Influence of BJJ/MAAPosted: 12 Aug 2008, 10:38
Joined: 24 Jul 2008, 09:58
I was walking through the park with my family recently when I saw something that, understandably, caught my eye. A young man, perhaps in his late teens or even early twenties, was performing stand-up wrestling with a young lady in the same age range, while another young lady looked on. They had their hands around the backs of each other's necks and were grappling for position ("the clinch"). Yes, you guessed it -- the young fellow was a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or Mixed Martial Arts (BJJ/MAA) exponent, and he was showing someone (presumably his girlfriend and her cohort) this fabulous means of tough-guy-ification in which he is regularly engaged.
The two disengaged as we walked past. The girl who had been grappling turned to the other girl and said, "That's a really gay sport."
"Yeah, it is. Don't you think so too?" the other girl responded.
"No," said the guy petulantly. "It isn't."
"But it's a bunch of guys doing that, right?" the girlfriend said. "I mean, that's like, gay."
After that we were out of earshot. I smiled, because it was clear that the tough-guy pursuit of BJJ or MMA that this fellow wanted so much to share with his lady friend or friends simply wasn't as cool as he thought it was. That reminded me of something else worth noting.
Apart from amusing me personally, this little episode underscored, to me, the pervasive nature of BJJ/MMA in today's society -- and the corrosive influence this represents to properly holistic, realistic self-defense training. We see more and more MMA/UFC and similar events televised, advertised, and glamorized. UFC and MMA stars are turning up on television programs with the frequency exhibited by "professional" wrestlers in the 1980s. Commercial martial arts schools are offering MMA-influenced side-programs and seminars (though, to be fair, they are also offering Reality Based Self Defnese side-programs and seminars with as much frequency). The United States military has adopted a combatives program that is dominated by BJJ/MMA, despite the questionable martial value of such technqiues in modern warfare. In short, BJJ/MMA is EVERYWHERE, much as Karate (and Kung Fu confused with Karate) was everywhere in the 1970s and Ninjutsu (in varying flavors of legitimacy) was everywhere in the 1980s).
With any luck, the self-defense community at large will manage to weather this as it did the other fads, emerging on the other side more complete, more informed, and more diverse. Certainly there are many benefits to BJJ/MMA and other sportfighting styles, types, camps, and methods, and methodologies. To those with the time, inclination, and athletic skill necessary to engage in them, martial sports provide conditioning, building strength and endurance. They provide an element of competition, which helps those who have difficulty coping with the concept of contest, of facing directly another human being in direct opposition. They include, quite often, techniques that can potentially be of use when self-defense strategy and tactics go awry and a fight ends up prone. They can be entertaining to watch, too, in a way that boxing is not (becuase boxing involves only the hands, dismissing from consideration half the body's weapons).
Sadly, these benefits do not constitute a "better," a "more complete," a "more informed," a "tougher," a more "pressure tested," or a more valid means of self-defense training than do reality-based systems and even many traditional martial arts. This is because a martial sport simply cannot offer elements of reality and mindset that are necessary for self-defense training. The reasons for this are twofold:
1. The sporting, dueling, one-on-one, controlled environment approach of martial sports instills an unrealistic mindset in the participants. Such participants insist that they are capable of switching gears from this symmetrical goal (to win the voluntary contest among two people using similar methods on the same ground with the same approach) to the asymmetrical goal of self-defense in reality (avoiding the fight altogether if possible, escalating to using whatever unfair, mismatched methods yield the maximum chances of no harm to yourself while driving off, neutralizing, or even defeating the attacker -- also given that the conflict is not mutual, is not identified beforehand, occurs under conditions that necessarily favor the initiator, and may involve unfair odds, negative environmental factors, and consequences that run far deeper than "losing the contest," such as rape or death). Of course, they are not, given that all martial sports train the former and by definition do not involve scenario training for the latter (or they would not be martial sports). A few BJJ/MMA programs pay lipservice to reality-based scenarios and scenario training, but this is insufficient to the task.
2. Contemporary MMA and sportfighting culture promotes an attitude of false superiority that precludes realistic exchange of information with regard to self-defense. It precludes even rational discussion of the issues involved in self-defense, in most cases. The contemporary sportfighting acolyte is so impressed with his "tested" methods, so dedicated to his "repeatable physical experiments," so enamored of his "proven" records (in the form of fight cards and Youtube videos), so firmly convinced of his righteousness, that those who disagree with the sportfighter are not just wrong. No, such dissenters are actively bad people who deserve to be derided, and on whom some sportfighting adherents have wished all manner of evils, up to and including assault, rape, and murder, for the crime of disbelief in the sportfighting system. Contemporary sportfighting in popular culture is not just a sport, not just a martial art, not just an alleged self-defense system; it is a cult of personality and of populism whose adherents rarely meet the arbitrary ideals they set for themselves and otherse, but who nonetheless heap invective and scorn on all those who dare to disagree. This does not just make interacting with such adherents unpleasant; it makes dealing with such people as rational human beings nearly impossible, darkening the tenor of the self-defense debate, creating enemies among people who should be focused on society's predators rather than beating one another with their metaphorical penises.
The corrosive influence of sportfighting, therefore, is the false sense of competence and preparation it confers on its advocates, coupled with the difficulty it generates in discussing realistic self-defense methods with those who believe so strongly in this secular religion of martial sport. Until we, as a society -- until we, as members of and participants in popular culture -- collectively get over this fascinating with BJJ/MMA, we will not, realistically, be able to take the rational discussion of holistic, pragmatic, reality-based self-defense . There can be no reasonable discourse among the ardent zealots of the sportfighting mob; there is only derision, gay jokes, and hate dressed in veiled threats and stolen, photoshopped website images. This is an untenable position in the world of Internet discussion, but of course the one positive is that it does not and by definition cannot carry over to real life. For it to do so, the sportfighters would have to stand and face the objects of the scorn directly, and this they will not and cannot do.
It is simply unfortunate that others, who could be learning realistic and more complete means of self-defense, will be sidetracked and possibly led to false senses of security by purveyors of martial sports. The corrision is everywhere and touches everything. We will see if, in a few years, we have found a way to repair the damage of this trend, or at least live with the weak spots left in its wake.
8/12/2008 2:31pm, #2
I think he wrote this to get back at Kid Miracleman for his article.
8/12/2008 2:36pm, #3
So, he is resorting to Reality Based "BJJ IS GAY" jokes in an alive manner?
I was walking through the park with my family recently when I saw something that, understandably, caught my eye.
8/12/2008 2:40pm, #4
8/12/2008 2:45pm, #5
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The rest of the thread spirals downward, with a TKD circle jerk as climax.
Oh he'll go to the park with his "street sword", his gun, flashlight, three knives, can of OC,and most dangerous of all, a half pint of "the martialist mindset"
Last edited by rucass; 8/12/2008 2:49pm at .
8/12/2008 2:47pm, #6
No, see, he is with his family. See street sword only works by yourself.
8/12/2008 2:49pm, #7Originally Posted by rucass
Thanks Phil for your thoughts on the Martial way. Now stand still while someone kicks you in the ass.
8/12/2008 2:51pm, #8
hahashaa logic ftw.
we should give up on ma's that enable us to test our skilllevel under stressfull conditions because if we train for selfdefense in a way we dont spar or test ourselves and stick with theories we're better able to cope with unexpected situations?!
8/12/2008 2:57pm, #9
AH, Philly Phil.
Traffic must be down over at his site. He usually cranks these out when he's low on action over there.
I love how incredibly Elmore-centric his writing always is, and delivered with a haughty air of superiority completely unencumbered by objective critical thinking.
It makes sense that the only arguments he wins are against straw men. It's kind of analogous to his physical fighting style. Only against the absurd does the ridiculous appear normal.
We all understand the difference between a street fight and a cage fight, Phil. Endlessly insisting that we don't won't hide the fact that you are unwilling to make the necessary sacrifices to be any kind of real authority on the matter.And lo, Kano looked down upon the field and saw the multitudes. Amongst them were the disciples of Uesheba who were greatly vexed at his sayings. And Kano spake: "Do not be concerned with the mote in thy neighbor's eye, when verily thou hast a massive stick in thine ass".
--Scrolls of Bujutsu: Chapter 5 vs 10-14.
8/12/2008 3:02pm, #10