Thursday, September 29, 2016

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Swelling the ranks

Changing the opinion and beliefs of others via the use of reason and evidence (or violence for that matter) is a surprisingly ineffective strategy. People will fight tooth and nail for their beliefs and ideologies; reason and evidence are like jabs and fakes; they may pave the way for change but are rarely responsible for the coup de grace.
Back in the late 80’s I wrote a number of articles about BJJ, hoping to persuade a segment of the martial arts community toward interest. From my perspective, the functionality/efficacy of BJJ (let alone the complexity/challenge) provided sufficient reason start down the BJJ pathway … but it still took almost a decade before the public started to sit up and take much notice.
The wider martial arts community, even now, has struggled to come to terms with how very difficult it is to prevail over a seasoned grappler in a one-on-one contest. The majority still believe (yes they do) that the grappler would find it difficult, if not impossible, to safely ‘bridge the gap’ and take them down.
I have met several very high profile fighters and martial artists who still think this is the case.
People hold on to ideology like a drowning man clings to a life-buoy. The trick to bringing people into new paradigms of thinking is to get to them early (something the religious zealots have worked out long ago).
Forget the martial arts community - I realised sometime ago - instead, focus on the, as yet, unindoctrinated. Those who have never trained in martial arts provide us with the best source of candidates for the future growth of BJJ.
- JBW

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