|Don't you mess with my friends!|
That attitude has always bemused me a little. Maybe it has to do with my upbringing and maybe it has to do with my initial training in martial arts or even my introduction to Buddhism 5 years or so ago but I think it mainly has to do with a wider point of view. I feel it all has to do with how I look at luck, serendipity and randomness.
While I do believe there are fundamental differences between how a , for instance, Goju ryu karate practitioner practices and executes a cross punch to the way a taekwondo stylist does and I don't think silat throws and jiu jitsu throws are all the same, I do NOT believe for a second that the majority* of practitioners know this when they first stumble into a karate dojo, taekwondo dojang, kung fu kwoon, Brazilian jiu jitsu academy or MMA gym.
|The CFS BJJ Team Annual Grading and Seminar 2011|
Brand New Beginner, let's call her Brandy, starting her first session of martial arts does not know the difference between Karate and jiu jitsu, let alone Wado ryu vs Kanzenkai or Gracie Barra vs Nova Uniao vs Alliance. Yes she may have done some research online (unlikely), sent a few critical questions on an email to the instructor (forget about it) or even read a martial arts magazine article or book (what? why?) but even in the very unlikely event she may have done that, there is no way it could have prepared her for what the class actually feels like or (and here is the silly part) the nuances between different brands and styles of that particular martial art.
You are most likely to build some kind of a feel for BJJ or the martial art you are practicing after some time (say, 6-12 months) on the mat. Only then can you say you have really tried jiu jitsu (or krav maga, Shotokan or silat) and only then can you claim an affinity (if any) or lack thereof. That's another reason why I hate the "first session free" mentality. What is one session going to show you? How do you expect a martial art that takes a life time to perfect to be condensed into 60 minutes?**
|Friendship is more valuable than any team badge|
When this happens, it is easy to understand that you feel excitement when these friends compete or when your instructor is mentioned in a favourable light in an interview or even a random online conversations (hello forums!) and since teams are symbols, they carry that value of uniting the affinity of many team players. All this is fine and natural and human. I like my instructor and BJJ friends a lot so it is not weird to assume that he/she also likes her instructor and BJJ friends and they the same so it is not strange to assume that people who choose to train under the banner of my team kind of like each other and care for each other's well being. Yeay for my team and boo for other teams.
|It's never easy to roll with a black belt, |
but the hardest part was getting Eddie Kone to
take the session seriously!
I recently stumbled across this beautiful video on the healing powers of martial arts. Not chi or something like that but the positive effect they have on our being. I hope you enjoy it too.
*some do, but they are a tiny minority and half their information is wrong or out of context.
**to some extent, I understand that, say, a purple belt who is looking for a very competition-driven school may get a good feel for a new academy within a couple of weeks or so but certainly not from a single session.
Liam "The Part Time Grappler" Wandi
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