I refer to the 'community' quite a bit on the blog and use the term in reference to the body of BJJ/Grappling practitioners of Southeast Asia or Asia as a whole. It's the audience that I am directly in touch with and to whom I dedicate this blog.

Recently my concept of the community was challenged when it came to what the qualifications are to be included as a part of that community. Does it require an active role in making something happen? organizing an event? writing a comment about a post? or is it just by default that you live/work/train in Asia that qualifies you. For me it's those that have a passion for, actively train and positively represent jiu-jitsu on and off the mats. There's no litmus test on who's more passionate or the better representative but it's a hope that I have for our jiu-jitsu-life to promote positivity. On whatever scale, if that is possible then I think we've collectively done well.

Let's not waste our time with drama and ego-driven politics. You don't have to like everyone but it's still in your power to leave them be. Let's be tribal during competition but when it's all done, get back to being a community of like-mind/spirited folk.


Anonymous said...

Amen brotha Luke. BJJ/Grappling/MMA wateva...is a passion for me. Not all shares it, but a few do (and 'quite' a few do if i may add) and that is what makes a 'family' or a community if one will.


2Old said...

I felt a strong sense of "community" when I participated in the Bangkok tournament last year. I was blown away by how friendly, supportive, and welcoming almost everyone was.

In terms of "going tribal" at tournaments - it's a sport, not a war, even though some players amp themselves up to fairly high levels ("kill him!"). Even then, most people recognize the importance of being good sports and keeping a sense of humor. I saw the "sense of humor" aspect defuse a couple of situations that could have gotten nasty.

Hopefully the desire to build a pan-Asian/Middle East jiu jitsu community will override the kind of boorish behavior I see in the States where people get in extended arguments with referees at tournaments (I'm not opposed to calling out to the ref when they miss something, but insults and badgering have no place). And of course there was the famous snake brawl incident at one L.A. tournament. If you haven't heard about THAT one, just ask.

In more than a small way, this blog helps set a tone for establishing a community. By being open minded instead of a bully, sensible instead of judgmental, the blog goes a long way to letting people realize that joining an academy is not joining a gang, and that the BJJ "connection" not only extends across town where friends train, but also extends across nations where tournament rivals train.

Bar said...

very well put.
thanks again for the work you put in this excellent website.

omer hk

hoin said...

lets keep the drama and ego driven politics off the mat. we build our respect through training and competing together. let our community grow strong and most importantly have fun!

hoin from hk

Chatri said...

at the end of the day, luke has done a great job creating a place where all of us can keep informed and help each other on bjj and mma in asia. so we all owe him gratitude and appreciation.

LUKE said...

Thanks guys

Abdul Rahman said...

Best post and very Informative

The Punisher: said...

With the exception of Japan, one could assert that BJJ is a new and potentially fleeting art that could come and go like a fashion in our respective areas of Asia. Ridiculous arguments, politics and just general in-fighting is something that could definitely lead to the art's demise here. So, it is up to all of us to 'MAKE' BJJ survive and thrive here for generations to come. This is not something that will just happen on it's own, but something that must be actively established through the 'extra' off-the-mat voluntary efforts of individuals, such as Luke and others helping to organize competitions, seminars, community blogs, ect. Thus, if BJJ is to survive here, we have no choice but to work together and support each other, regardless if we get along as people, but, obviously, we should always work towards the latter as well.