(Now, before anyone thinks that I‘m advocating using Martial Arts for senseless violence, let me assure you that I am not. Please read this post carefully. Hopefully you see the lessons I’m trying to share.)

Most people during their lives have either encountered or will encounter a bully.

A bully is a sad, pathetic creature who thinks they need to push others around because their own lives suck.

Bullies tend to prey on those they think are weak. Unfortunately, some of those people being picked on by bullies don’t know how to handle this situation. It can be daunting, but easily remedied with Martial Arts. (FYI, I have experience in several different styles.) Of course, my love for Grappling (BJJ, Sambo, Catch Wrestling, Judo, etc.) makes me a little biased on my choice of Martial Art. (^_~) So, the basis of this post will be on my experiences during my time in BJJ. Both from the perspective of a student and an instructor.

As a student, I’ve come across my fair share of meatheads who walked into our school thinking they were badass and that learning something like BJJ would make them more badass, just like the fighters they saw on TV. (Thanks a lot for TUF, UFC.) These simple-minded ogres would come in and try to smash everyone smaller than them once they were allowed to Roll with people. (Note: at our school, we don’t let newbies Roll right away. They need to get a little familiarized with the concepts beforehand.) Of course, their egos will not allow them to lose to anyone, especially anyone smaller than them, regardless of experience level. Now, those of us who train know firsthand that an ego can be a dangerous thing on the mats. We also know that these meatheads never last long because they get weeded out. Here’s an example of something that happened:

Back in the day, before I was instructing classes at our school but after I’ve had plenty of experience, we had a new person come in wanting to try BJJ. We welcomed him just like anyone else to our school. (From this point on, I’m going to refer to this guy as “Meathead”.) During class when we were learning & drilling techniques, Meathead would kind of just go through the motions like he wasn’t really interested. He believed that his size would get him out of trouble. (Really? Then why take BJJ?) Of course, Meathead was also just waiting until it was time to Roll. He would pair up with smaller White Belts and try to smash them with very little to no technique at all. To me, it seemed like Meathead just wanted to hurt them to prove that he was better because he was bigger. It was as if Meathead’s only reason for training in BJJ was so he could have an excuse to hurt people. This sort of behavior is inexcusable and pisses me off.

Your training partners are family.

You don’t mess with family.

After seeing this, I decided to Roll with Meathead next. Now, this guy was about 5 inches taller and outweighed me by at least 50 lbs. I could tell by his eyes that Meathead not only wanted to hurt me but he was going to enjoy it. He honestly believed that his size made him superior to me in every aspect. We started Rolling and Meathead went right after me like I kicked his dog. I neutralized everything he did and attempted submissions but never finished them. Why? Simple. There was no need for me to hurt him. I wanted Meathead to know that I not only possessed the skill to finish him whenever and however I wanted but that I also had the discipline to hold back regardless of how angry he made me. By doing so, I proved to him and everyone else in class that I was better than him. After our Roll, the only thing I hurt was Meathead’s ego. For bullies like Meathead, that’s all it took to take away his power. The smaller guys that he tried to smash saw what I did and I explained to them when class ended (after Meathead left for the night) my reasons for the way I handled it. In the end, the smaller guys worked harder to improve their BJJ so something like this never happens again. As for Meathead, after a couple weeks, he stopped coming to class. We never saw Meathead again. The smaller guys continue to improve.

Early on when I first started as an instructor, there was one particular young student who needed some help. (From this point on, I’m going to refer to this guy as SHY GUY.) Shy Guy was in high school. He stopped by our school and decided that he wanted to try BJJ. Now, Shy Guy isn’t exactly a Grappling newbie. He was on his school’s Wrestling team. However, it was kind of obvious that Shy Guy didn’t exactly talk to people. You could kind of tell that he probably had some issues with people just because he didn’t seem to fit in as well as other new students at our school. It was even hard for him to talk to us in the beginning. (If you ever visit our school, you’ll see that is pretty tough to do.) It took some time, but he started coming out of his shell. Class after class, as his mat skills continued to improve, so did his social skills and mannerisms. Shy Guy started talking more, asking more questions, and he eventually started joking around like we do. As his confidence on the mats grew, you could see the change in his demeanor. He carried himself differently, like someone that knows he can’t be hurt by idiots. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen him in a while due to school and (I’m pretty sure) a budding social life. At this point, I can no longer refer to him as Shy Guy. However, he knows that he is more than welcome back to our school anytime.


Did you learn anything from this post? If so, what?

You don’t have to tell me. I just hope that it was something helpful.

Happy Training~!!!

  1. amy leonard says:

    All so true, after my 13 son was hit in the face and called a ****** he retreated into a shell. Bjj was a hope for him to learn self defense but more so self esteem and confidence. As spf told him Ull only have to stand up once.!
    His posture, him looking me in the eye when he talks, his bjj family….priceless.

    • turtleguard says:

      I’m glad training has helped your son. Bullies come and go all the time, but the discipline, knowledge, and confidence from training last forever. As long as he continues to improve, I think he’ll be just fine. Good luck to him in his training!

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