Saturday, February 11, 2012

Young Guns & Gossip Hounds: What to do both on the mat and off

You know you liked it. This was back when Lou Diamond Phillips & Emilio Estevez were still cool. 4 or 5 DUI's aside, Keifer Sutherland is still cool.
If you want to be successful, you have to learn and follow the traits and beliefs of others who have been successful.

Jimmy Harbison of Lloyd Irvin's Academy is a great example. As a brown belt he won the Grand Slam of BJJ that is the Pan Ams, Worlds/Mundials, and the Euro. Impressive for anyone. What's also impressive is the stories of how he went underground in terms of distractions in his life to focus on Jiu-Jitsu. That and his age being in the early 20's.
More on Harbison's relatively meteoric rise to prominence through Brown Belt.

Harbison VS "the Jiu-Jitsu Outlaw" Barbosa - coincidentally, I saw this match in person as I competed as a blue belt at the Pro Trials in New Jersey that day.


It's a dirty word in the world of men, and rightfully so.
The urge to participate in gossip abounds in the gym. From who tapped who to why so and so left and trains elsewhere. It may have to do with an incident during training or someone censured by an Instructor. It may have to do with a visiting member of a different team/gym. Whatever the case may be, it is a virus, a cancer, and an unavoidable ill of combat sports.

Here is an article about Shawn Williams and Hollywood BJJ parting ways. I post the article not to continue the vicious cycle of gossip but as an exhibit of how quickly a statement or fact like someone announcing parting ways becomes a firestorm of gossip. Anonymous claims via the internet or otherwise, gossip is prevalent in BJJ. You've probably read similar articles about Koscheck leaving AKA, and Camarillo leaving as well. Camarillo and his feud or bad blood (whatever you call it) with Ralph Gracie is also relatively well-documented both in Camarillos' Guerilla Jiu-Jitsu book and on the internet.

I saw the politics and gossip in Judo before I committed myself to training Jiu-Jitsu full-time. With different coaches under one roof, and different mindsets, variances in techniques et cetera, it's practically inevitable.

My point being, in the gym, your job is to train, represent the team, and outside the gym and off the mats to represent your team and your coaches.
It is not to spread lies, repeat what is told to you in confidence, nor talk about who tapped who.

There is a fine line between repeating what you are told and gossip mongering.
When in doubt, keep your f*cking mouth shut.
Your job is to train, represent the team, and help your teammates.
And remember....those who gossip to you....will gossip of you.

 - Happy Trainingz

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