You may have noticed I’m on a kick about how we as grapplers can better understand each other: the perspectives we need to know about one another so we can hear and feel heard. In short, I’m preoccupied with how boys and girls can play nicely with each other, not just tolerating one another, but
In an earlier article, I enumerated some rights I believe every grappler should be able to enjoy in his or her academy. As I mentioned in that article, however, there are no rights without attendant responsibilities: the behaviors and beliefs we grapplers must embody to ensure we are upholding our end of the bargain. Following are five responsibilities I believe every grappler should fulfill.
At my college graduation, which took place on a beautiful Sunday morning in June, I mostly remember being hung over to the core of my very being. But I do also remember snippets of inspired, fly-be-free messages designed to motivate me and my classmates to go forth and do good in the world. Specifically, I remember our college president announcing that the students from our medical and business schools, and eventually we undergrads, were now the official recipients of MDs, MBAs, or BAs/BSs, “with all the rights and responsibilities pertaining thereto.”
A news story is circulating in the grappling world, a horrible story alleging that two male grapplers repeatedly raped a female teammate on New Year’s Eve in a deserted parking lot before abandoning her there. She apparently had a lot to drink, and they offered to see her home safely. But instead, they were said to have performed unconscionable, heinous acts. Acts caught on the garage’s security camera. As women, writers, and members of the subculture to which the perpetrators and the victim belong, we feel compelled to comment on this.
In an earlier article on the responsibilities of an athlete, I mentioned I’d give an example of how I have owned my training in the past, to provide more clarity about what I mean when I talk about it. As I indicated in that article, I ask myself the following questions when I think about
In my most recent article, Why a PhD and BJJ Aren’t So Different, I suggested Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu be studied the way academic disciplines are studied. I also suggested one of the similarities between BJJ and an academic discipline is in how the practitioners demonstrate autonomy. The demands of academe are endless; there is always another
The longer I spend training and thinking about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the more fervently I believe it should be treated and studied as an academic discipline. I would like to see smart people develop theory, collect empirical data, and otherwise treat BJJ with the same respect afforded to fields in which people can earn an advanced
Female participation is becoming quite commonplace at Jiu-Jitsu tournaments. In ever greater numbers, fighter girls put on a show all their own and lend further beauty to the gentle art. At any given championship or academy, the environment becomes less course and the mood, lighter. That’s all quite ordinary when in the USA or Brazil, but in the Middle East, no one was expecting it. At least not so soon.
We have a hypothesis about some women who grapple. We may be projecting, but our wholly unscientific data collection and analysis supports it. Namely, Brazilian jiu jitsu affords women who are looking for such things a mechanism for subversion. Some women who find BJJ, particularly those who find it in their 30s or later, seem