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Stephan Kesting on bullshido and BJJ

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  • Demon Eyes
    Unfortunately, his views on the current standing of the martial arts community seems to optimistic. There's still just as much bullshit today and just as many people willing to believe it and defend it.

    Other than that, nice little write up.

    Leave a comment:

  • honest_truth
    started a topic Stephan Kesting on bullshido and BJJ

    Stephan Kesting on bullshido and BJJ

    As some of you already know, stephan kesting is an awesome BJJ teacher who produces lots of high qualiy material and has a whole bunch of stuff on youtube that is very useful.

    When i recently started the beej i signed up for his "beginning BJJ" e-mails, and today i got this great read, just wanted to share it with you my lovey doveys.

    Hi Dan

    Today I want to congratulate you on choosing a very challenging path.

    You see, when I was introduced to BJJ in the early 1990's, I thought that this art would NEVER become popular. In fact, I was fairly certain that it was doomed to obscurity.

    The main reason for this, I felt, was that BJJ was inherently too much of a reality check for students.

    It might have been a bit cynical of me, but it seemed that the vast majority of people would always prefer 'hands-off' and/or traditional and/or non-contact martial arts.

    Basically I believed that people would choose martial arts where their fantasies about their own deadliness WOULDN'T be challenged. (And if you never road test your martial art skills against a resisting opponent then you can delude yourself about your own effectiveness for a very long time).

    Even non-contact sparring allows a lot of room for self delusion. In fact, point sparring usually reminds me of those Cowboy and Indians games we all used to play as kids. Remember how they always went?

    "I got you!"

    "No you didn't, I got you first!!"

    No! I got you before you got me!!!"

    And so on...

    Sometimes the self delusion (and willfully misleading others) got really bad.

    For example, as a teenager I ran into several Kung Fu teachers who never, ever sparred. When I asked their students why this was, they'd tell me in hushed voices that their instructor was so deadly that they'd likely end up crippled or dead if they actually sparred against him.

    I even heard of one guy claiming to have such a highly developed Iron Palm technique that he couldn't hold babies with his striking hand. This was because his internal energy in that hand was so focused and strong that just holding a child would hurt them.

    How very wise and compassionate these teachers were to avoid hurting lesser beings...

    ...and full of crap!

    Now I've got to admit it: I was young and some of this mumbo-jumbo was appealing to me at first. I didn't know exactly what to think.

    This whole 'too deadly to spar' excuse, always seemed somewhat suspicious to me though. If their Kung Fu was so highly developed, then shouldn't they also have sufficient control of their immense skills to NOT cripple their students?

    In the current climate of MMA-madness this might all seem strange and far-fetched, but beliefs like this were pretty common not that long ago. And I'll bet that it wouldn't be too hard to find people who still think this way today!

    Maybe it's because the Iron Palm Death Touch doesn't have a very strong track record in the UFC, but people are beginning to see these 'too deadly to spar' fantasies for what they are. (And also that Santa Claus and Easter Bunny don't exist).

    So perceptions are changing.

    And I was wrong when I thought that BJJ and grappling would never become popular. It's exploding in popularity, and that's a good thing.

    BJJ has a very short feedback loop that allows you to quickly find out what works and what doesn't. If you see a new technique today then you can try it out on someone tomorrow. If someone claims to have an unstoppable armbar, then he can prove it to everyone in tournament competition.
    For many students the brutally honest and instant feedback from a sparring session is the BEST part of BJJ, and NOT a deterrent.

    It's true that sometimes this process can be hard on the ego, but it can also be very exciting and confidence building.

    So you've taken the harder road, where feedback is instant, self-delusion is difficult, and the learning process is never done.

    Good for you! I think you've made the right choice.

    Stephan Kesting

    Did anyone try to get him to join us ?, he will probably fit in at the grappling forum. I should also try sending him a link to gracie combatives university, beej is getting all D34D1Y there.
    Last edited by honest_truth; 12/04/2009 10:52pm, .


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