Snobbery is Hurting your Academy

How many times has a potential new student walked into your academy and given you the rundown of their training? “I did taekwondo for five years," they begin. You wait for them to finish, then launch into an explanation of how your martial art differs. You make sure they understand that they may not be good in the new style at first, since your Brazilian jiu-jitsu is very different than their TKD. You caution them to temper their expectations. That's what you're supposed to do, right?


Wrong!

Instead of, “Oh, they're going to struggle," you should immediately think, “Fantastic – this person knows how to learn."

I make a habit of asking new students if they have any other hobbies or skills. Even in something as disparate from the arts as woodworking, there is a translatable skill. You cannot make a gorgeous deck on your hillside without learning to make a basic chair.
While writing this article, I Googled "hardest pieces in woodworking." My search sent me to a blog on woodchoppintime.com: "Setting Goals in Woodworking". I guarantee any similar search on specialized crafts geared towards beginners and experts you will find similar results.

As a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and an MMA coach training out of American Top Team Headquarters for nine years, with a total of 18 years on the mat, I have met experts in every discipline. The respect they hold for their art is steadfast. Stepping out of their comfort zones into a newer mainstream martial art whether it is BJJ, muay thai, or even judo (an art that isn't exactly new) takes a lot humility. I have to remember I wouldn't want the hard work I have put into my art to Thanos-snap away. What we know is that martial arts as a whole is an ever-changing organism and that our arts can just as quickly become dated and viewed as incomplete.

I pose this very real scenario to BJJ snobs: I trained exclusively MMA-style grappling for eight years. I never put on a gi because I didn't know how to wear the uniform and thought it looked too much like karate.

Then I injured myself. I wasn't able to take the collar ties I used to in no-gi grappling. I didn't want to give up on ground game, so I reluctantly switched to learning BJJ. I fell in love with the sport and with the use of the kimono. I was able to pull off highlight-reel techniques while improving my grappling. In our sport there is a divide happening between the rules of gi jiu-jitsu (IBJJF) and no-gi jiu-jitsu rules (ADCC) in regards to reaping and leglocks. It Is very similar to what happened when judo stopped allowing competitors to grab the legs, to prevent wrestling-based takedowns, and limited the amount of groundwork, or newaza (essentially Brazilian jiu-jitsu).

In short, reality has come crashing into what we enjoy. The truth is that leglock systems work and are dominating the no-gi grappling scene. Those of us who enjoy the gi rules want to continue using the techniques that would otherwise put us in leglock danger. This could be an entirely new article so I will cut this short. But it is apparent that something about our system is incomplete and the longer we look away the more steam it will pick up. Eventually we will be forced to learn the application or be deemed ineffective.

Whether a BJJ or JKD practitioner, your belt color doesn't transfer over into another art, but your experience surely does. Ask yourself: What am I looking for today? Is it the similar to what I was looking for in my first art? Is it to get out frustrations? Protect myself? To learn and obtain new skills? Meet new people and gain new perspectives? Luckily, all these goals are obtainable, just like before.

Here is the best part of entering a new sport, craft, language, or martial art: You have already learned how to fail, how to correct failure, and how to master yourself and your learning. Time taken to learn is transferable.

Here is a quick rundown on my must-have list for students joining a new art:

1. Save your story for another time. We all have an origin story, but let it come out organically.

2. Take notes. Treat learning this new art like you would taking a college course. You will learn more quickly and get better faster, which will make training more enjoyable.

3. Visualization is huge in all sports.

4. Assessing your inventory of goals and techniques.

5. Forget about belts, past or present. No one starts a martial art with the sole purpose of becoming a black belt – rather, it's about the learning, hard work, and effort that will put you there.

Dr. Craig's Martial Arts Movie Lounge

When The Fast and the Furious (2001) sped into the psyche's of illegal street racing enthusiasts, with a penchant for danger and the psychotic insanity of arrant automotive adventure, the brusque bearish, quasi-hero rebel, Dominic "Dom" Toretto was caustic yet salvationally portrayed with the power of a train using a Vin Diesel engine.

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Sean Strickland turned in a solid, workman-like performance to extend his UFC win streak to five defeating Uriah Hall by unanimous decision in the main event of UFC on ESPN 28 Saturday in Las Vegas. The pair had been in the cage as training partners before but, when it counted, Strickland had the edge with the harder punches and the superior clinch and ground games.

Hall looked like he had trouble getting off all evening, occasionally showing flashes of his exciting stand up skills but at other times seeming a little lackluster. Strickland dominated much of the middleweight bout with solid jabs and thudding overhand rights. Whenever his opponent did seek to make something happen, Strickland seemed largely unfazed. By the end of the fight he appeared to be walking through Hall's punches and simply shoving Hall back against the fence to control the action.


The skill of stick fighting as a handy weapon dates from the prehistory of mankind. The stick has got an advantage over the stone because it could be used both for striking and throwing. In lots of countries worlwide when dealing with martial arts there is a special place for fighters skillful in stick fighting. ( India, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, countries of Africa, Europe and Americas etc).

The short stick as a handy weapon has been used as a means of self-defence from animals and later various attackers. Regarding its length it was better than the long stick, primarily because it was easier to carry and use. The short stick as a means of self-defence was used namely in all countries of the world long time ago.

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