When I told my teacher, Mark Johnson, that I was going to have to take a sabbatical from BJJ when my boy was born, he was gracious enough to offer that I could come in now and then for free. I know other schools or dojos offer something similar to promote cross pollination and good will exchanges. I know that I can go to most of my local BJJ schools and get in for free if I don’t show up to often and don’t abuse the privilege. I even know of some dojos that have open map or free nights.
I myself haven’t had a chance to get a real nights sleep since my son was born let alone attend any class. What I’m wondering is if there are people who use the generosity of others to train full time for free? I understand that BJJ can be expensive and some times you can be hard up in these economic times to pay. But are there people who intentionally avoid paying because they know how to work the system? Maybe if I was working a circuit and knew a larger body of the Jiu-Jitsu practitioners I might spot a few. Has anyone else noticed this?
The other night I was watching a documentary on China. In due course they got to Kung Fu as expected. You can’t have a documentary about China without including something of their martial arts. They talked about its spiritual aspects and its history. They showed the monks doing some kata. It was all so beautiful, flowing, and acrobatic. During the demonstration I just kept thinking, “that is wonderful ballet and I don’t see how it would help against someone that knows BJJ that got in close and did a takedown”. We all saw it in the Gracie In Action 2 DVD when Royce Gracie took out a non-MMA Kung Fu expert. Towards the end they had a monk channel chi and break a brick. That was kind of the final straw for me. I realized they were trying to show how tough they were but I kept thinking why? Bricks don’t fight back. We don’t break bricks in BJJ because its useless in practical situations. I’d rather practice breaking arms. Notice in the background of the picture the women’s face. I’ve seen that same face but it was usually in the audience of a MMA fight where some one wouldn’t tap.