FYI: Jiu-Jitsu is not a homosexual approach to fighting, it’s a superpower.
Homophobia in combat sports
Growing up I was always a fascinated observer of martial arts, my father is a purist boxing fan and any time I put UFC on the television he would complain that it was ‘garbage’ and make comments about the low quality fights because ‘Who wants to see two men hugging each other, if I wanted to see that I’d just watch gay porn.’
Time and time again as I grew up, I would have toxic masculinity overwhelm my curiosity to understand this approach to fighting, and it wasn’t until I heard Joe Rogan explain the martial art in more detail that I realized this was a skill worth learning.
The greatest explanation I can think of, and a comparison I constantly draw when explaining what Jiu-Jitsu is to people is this: Imagine a boxing match between two evenly matched competitors. Same weight, same height, same amount of fast twitch muscle fibers and same level of fitness. Fighter A has been training boxing for years and understands the proper technique to throw a punch without overcommitting on your shots and also has an understanding of ring generalship and how to cut off an opponent and trap them in a vulnerable position. Fighter B is a street fighter who likes to brawl and is confident that Fighter A will never be able to withstand his power. Every single time these two opponents fight under the rules of boxing, fighter A wins. Every time. This is because boxing technique is the accumulation of centuries of study and analysis passed on from generation to generation.
As much as fighting seems like a barbaric sport to outsiders, at the highest level it is an intellectual as well as physical endeavor. If you take the above example and apply it to running, do you think that an athletic person could outrun a trained sprinter, who has dedicated years of their life to understanding micro efficiencies of their biomechanics in order to shave milliseconds off of their finish time? Not a chance.
Jiu Jitsu is exactly the same. If you don’t understand the game and it’s intricacies you will be lost and will feel yourself being manipulated until the other person has you in a compromised position, where they will finish you with a submission. Sam Harris described it amazingly in his blog post titled “The pleasures of drowning”
‘To train in BJJ is to continually drown — or, rather, to be drowned, in sudden and ingenious ways — and to be taught, again and again, how to swim.’
So why do we label things that we don’t understand?
Why do we discredit the newest and most efficient approach to fighting since boxing?
Our fathers are meant to be examples of strength and integrity, so why do they show weakness in attempting to put down things that they can’t comprehend?
These days I have trained BJJ and understand it is a superpower. I have rolled with guys smaller than me and been absolutely dominated, and as my knowledge grew, I have also experienced humbling a beginner to the game who does not yet understand the limitations of their physicality.
However, when I get excited about BJJ and try to convince a friend that they should give it a go, I am met with the same trepidation and disdain that my father gave all of those years ago.
“That’s not how real men fight, rolling around on the ground.” Is the most common answer.
Yet none of those people could ever compete in a grappling scenario with a BJJ practitioner unless they had some knowledge of the game.
Men are literally ignoring a superpower that we all can learn because they believe it is homosexual.
To me, that is weak.