MMA-trained delinquents beat a kid to death

Discussion in 'General Self Defense' started by O'Malley, Sep 7, 2020.

  1. O'Malley

    O'Malley Blue Belt

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    Yep, so I have heard. There are also reports of organised group fights between hooligan factions. The nexus between soccer hooligans and extremist groups/organised crime is pretty well-known but it would be interesting to look at these groups' involvement in martial arts.

    It's never fun down there, right? Unless you're a BJJ guy and you're isolated from the opponent's buddies, then it's a cakewalk.

    That's interesting, how do you run your school? Do you have some kind of disciplinary policy?
     
  2. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    There is also a gang in Timor? That are all martial artists. P24 or something.

    East Timor bans martial-arts clubs as gangs wreak havoc on island

    Straight out of King fu hustle pretty much.
     
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  3. Cynik75

    Cynik75 Orange Belt

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    Some of football hooligans in Poland train martial arts, some of the fights in MMA/boxing/MT, some just lift weights. If you want to be a part of football street gang and fight other gangs it is better to be skilled and strong. During my 15 years adventure with boxing, judo, bjj I have met and trainded with many of them, but I know hooligans with zero connection to MA or any sport at all too. It is a private matter.
     
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  4. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    You're missing the point. "Ethics" is something that doesn't have universal agreement.


    And so is far-left extremism. You're missing the point. Politics is verboten on this forum.

    Frankly, I'm under no obligation to tell you what little was told me. I will, again, tell you what I was given (more or less) permission to repeat. The Italian Mafia had (has) a tradition of knife training/fighting coming from Italy. Just because they were living in a new nation doesn't mean that they stopped. It's foolish to think otherwise. This is all pretty much public anyway.

    So, anyway, back to your question. I'll be (more) blunt. No, there's no way to police who you think should or should not get martial training from anywhere or anyone. Thinking you can is like thinking you can hold back the tides with your palms.
     
  5. ShortBridge

    ShortBridge 2nd Black Belt

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    I only teach adults.

    Our kwoon has no street presence, so it's not possible to "drop by". It's also not possible to join on-line.

    I ask people to contact me if they're interested in training and we work through what they are looking for and why. I almost always recommend other clubs and styles depending on what they say. If they are interested, then I invite them to visit and join us for a class. We agree that at the end of that class, we'll each thank each other and part ways amicably. If they want to train with us, I ask them to contact me again and let me know why, that way no one is on-the-spot on the night of their visit. If they plan to visit x other clubs, then there's no time limit on getting back to me (within reason). If I don't think that I can support their objectives or if I think they would disrupt our club, then I don't invite them to join, but normally if they've made it this far things work out.

    When they visit, I alter things a bit to give them a view of what a normal class might look like combined with an overview of our system, what we do and why. I never explain why we are superior to anything else, but I do tell them why I chose the system and why I think it works for me. We always have tea at the end of the night and they get a chance to talk to the other students and ask whatever questions they may have. I make the point that the best way to judge a teacher is by their students, so I encourage them to touch hands with everyone ask them questions about their experience and training.

    We're a club, people are in or they are out. There's no coming and going. 5 years in, we have a near 0% attrition rate. Occasionally someone will move away or something, but people don't disappear and then show back up months later with an expectation.

    If they are in, they are expected to come. Of course, people have jobs and get sick and take vacations, but there is an agreement to not take soft nights off. Communication is mandatory.

    Dues are simple and they are due by the last class of the previous month. I don't advertise what they are, but I will tell people when they visit or maybe when they call if I think they are for real.

    We don't do much bowing and uniform wearing and stuff, but there are a few protocols and observances. For the most part, the senior students pass those on to new people. When we have visitors or visit other schools, which we generally do once a month, things are a little bit more formal and if visiting, we observe the traditions and rules of the host, of course. Once a year or so, I might have to stop class and tell them that the floor is dirty and we're not going on until it gets cleaned, but for the most part, the students self-police.

    Generally, I would estimate that:
    About 1/2 of the people who call get invited to visit. With people who email it's closer to 20%. Those who text...lower still.
    Of the people who plan to visit, to keep the math easy, I'll say about 1/2 of them show up.
    Of people who show up, maybe 70% get invited to join. Most of those accept. Probably about 20% of those who accept back out before they start.
    Once people start, they tend to stay. In 5 years, a few people have moved away or something, but that bi-lateral selection process has helped avoid problems like ones we've been discussing and I feel like people know what they are getting into, there's no surprise.
    Generally senior students and/or people who work harder are clearly better. There's not a lot of mystique sold about it, so people start with the understanding what progress looks like and what their role in that is.

    I do take input from my existing students on accepting a new student, but ultimately it's my decision. Rare problems get dealt with pretty directly by me or the class. We don't let things linger.

    Of course, all of this is pre-covid. My students and I are all in touch with each other and have seen each other a few times for back yard cookouts and things. They have keys so people have gone in to train on their own, but I haven't held class or collected dues since March. I expect that not everyone will come back and we'll have some decisions to make when the world returns to normal, but that's how things have generally run in normal times. There's a bit more, but if I publish it on the internet it will lose it's effectiveness when people participate in real life.

    The short version of all of that is that I carefully chose who to train and I encourage them to mindfully chose us if they join and then commit, though I don't require any kind contractual commitment. We are all protective and respectful of what we have and we've done a good job of avoiding any real problems.

    EDIT: Oh, and a big one - No posting anything on the internet about what we do. No YouTube videos, no style or lineage debating. I participate here, of course. I could lift that for a senior student, like my SiFu did for me, but we are generally private about our training beyond a certain point and respectful of other people's. A few of my students spar or train outside of the club, but they are transparent with me about it and we bring their successes and failures into our work. Generally, no one would be encouraged to do that until they had reached a certain point in their training and only with full disclosure and on-going dialogue with me.
     
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  6. ShortBridge

    ShortBridge 2nd Black Belt

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    Did you teach him parkour?
     
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  7. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    It seems that there is an assumption that martial arts is honorable by default. Historically I think it may be the opposite. I think we confuse the system with the people. The reality that bad people train to fight shouldn't be shocking
     
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  8. O'Malley

    O'Malley Blue Belt

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    No need for universal agreement, though. You can agree at the federation level about the standards that you want to uphold and suspend athletes that don't comply. It happens in other sports. The problem is enforcement, as said by other posters here.

    I work as an analyst on organised crime matters in Italy, I know a bit about mafia. Apart from a book mentioning a group in Hillsville, USA, I found no sources (in Italian or English) on any form of knife training among mafiosi. I can imagine that in some cases newbies have had to prove their worth by fighting with a knife but it's not even common, and there's certainly no tradition of knife training. The mafia's methods are pretty well-known but I have yet to read an antimafia report mentioning that. That's why I'm very skeptical about your comrade's statements.

    I agree that it's impossible to enforce completely and that it's ultimately up to the coaches to decide who they'll teach. That said, I was curious about the mechanisms that gyms and federations use to deal with this kind of people. ShortBridge has a pretty thorough screening system, for example.

    Thanks for this great answer.

    I don't disagree. That said, in a modern society, martial arts have the potential to train strong, reliable and righteous people that contribute positively to society. But yeah, it's impossible to keep all bad apples from training.
     
  9. Ivan

    Ivan Green Belt

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    The places gangsters train at? Look no further than my place of origin. Eastern Europe. Specifically Bulgaria. It is seen as a sort of boast to train MMA. And there is also the stereotype of built gym lads, usually the ones who have trained in at least one combative sport, to go out looking for trouble in groups. And stereotypes are usually there for a reason.
     
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  10. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    In the U.S., it was once considered a career ending offense for a public worker or civil servant to have an extra-marital affair, while at the same time it was considered common in many other European areas. There was no agreement about sex outside of marriage even among cultures from the same linage. What constitutes an "under-aged" sexual partner? How big a deal is "theft?" Do you want to use Moslem standards for ethical norms; they represent a huge percentage of the world's population? What about Christian standards? Catholic or Baptist? Is caning a reasonable punishment? In a Dojo, is it OK for a Sensei to whack students with a Shinai?

    Maybe you can get the IOC to agree about doping but it's gonna be hard to enforce the IOC's Ethics document on [fill in the blank dojo] or MMA school. Heck, you can't get the Gracies and the Machados to agree on whether or not it's BJJ or GJJ.


    OK. Maybe I was lied to. Maybe the person who showed me some stuff was lied to and he was honestly perpetuating it. Maybe it's just stuff that criminals aren't willing to talk to antimafiosa cops about. Whatever. The end point is that I was told by someone I trust not to lie to me that there is an living and oral tradition.

    No, I don't really remember anything about the specific techniques except that they seemed basic, solid, hi-percentage techniques which fit the stiletto well and could reasonably be believed to trace to the Renaissance weapon of the same name based on the recorded material of that weapon. It worked and looked like any other knife fighting associated with a narrow-ish thrust oriented blade not exceeding 8-9" or so. <shrug>
     
  11. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    My minimal experience with some different styles leads me to believe most schools teach their students not to engage in fights if it can be avoided.

    That said, for a very long time in Korea, "Judo School Dropout" has been a euphemism for a gangster thug. They would study Judo to a high level but never test for belt levels. That prevented charges against them in Korean courts.
     
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  12. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    I just love this post.
     
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  13. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    Ref underlined: The way it seems to work, is that if there are problems or just perceived problems, and if the organization/federation doesn't change them, the government likely will make some hopefully well intended, but actually all totally screwed up attempts to fix the problems. Including problems that do not exist.
     
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  14. Rat

    Rat Master Black Belt

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    Funnies thing about that is, you would get that in a tactical shooting class. they generally cover cover and concealment or should cover it.


    Also taking a paraphrase from the anarchist cook book: "this book serves as a guide for civilians should they need the skills, as the XYZ group(s) have their own manuals and training programes etc and dont need this book." No idea if its relvent, but i still like that one.
     
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  15. MA_Student

    MA_Student Black Belt

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    Unfortunate but very little that can be done about it
     
  16. AceVentura

    AceVentura Green Belt

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    I have found that sport competition martial artiest are sometimes more aggressive and more eager to use their skills than those who train for other reasons. Maybe that was the case here? A group of young, stupid, and violent people decided to train mixed martial arts then used it irresponsibly.
     
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  17. JP3

    JP3 Master Black Belt

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    I'd agree with that. Never underestimate your opponent. It's good sense.123
     

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