I'm normally a positive and happy person and I rarely wish malice to anyone, but tonight that positivity is replaced by anger. Some huge guy at the gym today decided to assert his superiority by fucking up my already injured arm. Had he exerted so much force on my good arm it probably still would have caused damage, but on my bad arm, it probably set back all the things I've been trying to do for the four weeks since I first injured it. For the last month I've tried to be excessively careful with the arm. I trained limited standup, I protected it at the expense of position when doing jiujitsu, and if anyone got a hold of it, I tapped *way* before I really needed to tap. I did this because my training is more important than my ego.
I simply cannot understand the mentality of what makes a 230-pound man go full force in training at the limb of a 140-pound man. It would be like me going apeshit on a child or a small girl. It's ridiculous. What does it prove, anyway? Does injuring someone half your size prove your jiujitsu? Does it impress your teammates? Will it help you win in your own weight class? It's incomprehensible to me.
Just last class I rolled with two big guys, one purple belt and one black belt. They were both awesome. I felt their weight crushing me but I also felt their movement and technique, twisting me up in inescapable positions. It was, without a doubt, an uncomfortable beating, but they did it with minimal force. It was utter control and dominance. And truth be told, everyone else that I have trained with here at CM has been great, regardless of skill level.
I forget who said it, but I recall reading from someone famous that to train with someone is to receive a great gift from them. After all, when you train with someone, you lend them the use of your body, and what greater gift can there be than that? Unfortunately there are those who do not respect that gift. I personally have never injured anyone in four years of training. I mean that's a little bit lucky (on expectation I probably should have injured someone in some fluke accident), but it's also something I've taken care in. It's partially a function of my size but it can't just be that, because I've tapped a lot of people and landed a lot of punches in the gym. The key is simply control. Especially in jiujitsu; if you have a submission locked in on someone -- and I mean really locked in -- you have them dead to rights anyway. You can go as fast or as slow as you want and they are not getting out. This is true dominance. The spaz needs this submission now; his window is a split-second because he does not have control. The elite grappler will gradually make the situation worse and worse for you; he has all day, and he will tap you when he is good and ready to tap you.
But I'm now way off the topic of taking care of your training partners. I just want to be clear on why I'm angry about this because some people reading this might call me butt-hurt or a baby. I understand that fighting is, by its nature, is a rough sport. People get hurt, and I accept that. When I get hurt through some bad luck, I am upset, but it's just bad luck and part of the game. I've been hurt many times. I injured my meniscus and my MCL last year in a freak accident on a throw, but that was fine. It was nobody's fault. I injured my right arm in 2009 because I was too stupid to tap in a tournament, and that was my fault. That was dumb, but ultimately I was the only one who suffered the consequence of my stupidity. When I injured this left arm a few weeks ago it was also in a tournament -- this time I tapped quickly -- but I hold no malice towards that person because it was a fight. The goal in competition is to win and if you can do that within the rules, you should.
But in the gym it's a different story. You can't get better at this sport without training partners. And the nature of the sport is such that you should be aware of the potential to hurt your training partners. And quite simply, when you're in the gym and you are training with someone whom you have a distinct advantage over in some capacity, you have a responsibility to that person. If this unspoken contract did not exist, no one would ever train because people would only be willing to train with people that they were better than. If you could not trust someone who is more skilled or stronger than you to not injure you when they have the opportunity, you could never train. There would never be training, only fights.
And this is not size-specific. Back home we have a lot of newbs and while I have never spazzed a submission, I have let go of submissions if I thought the newb was too dumb to tap. I have even done this in tournaments when I had a very clear skill advantage. Even though I think if you're too dumb to tap in a tournament you deserve to have your arm or leg ripped off, I still don't think I have the stomach to do it to someone else (unless it were an MMA fight or a self-defence situation).
But today happened in the gym. It was preventable, it was ego-driven, it was not my fault, and that's what upsets me. Because of someone else's need to stroke his ego by going after someone half his size, I can't participate in this sport that I love. I feel cheated because of that. And I will make this clear: in my entire life, this is the only sport that I have truly loved. It matters a lot to me. I may not all that good at it, but it is what I love to do. And I can't do it without training partners. Ninety-nine percent of my training partners are just awesome people and I learn from them. But it only takes the one guy to make me unable to train with the other 99.
Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.