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Jason Lester
Jason Lester's picture
Having a bad day

The following video shows a blue belt jujitsu instructor losing his cool because a throw he is demonstrating doesnt go his way.


What are your thoughts please?

Kind regards,


AndyC's picture

Just a normal training session when my wife-to-be can't get her bunkai drills right... :-)

deltabluesman's picture

The blue belt totally overreacted.  That being said, I have encountered this sort of behavior several times during my training.  These are the individuals who refuse to ever “go light”, even when the instructor is obviously requesting that they assist him in a technique demonstration.  I have had training partners who would challenge an individual to an immediate sparring session for this, just to make a point about appropriate levels of resistance.  Personally, I find that excessive.  I think it is better to explain to the individual that sparring and demonstration are two separate things.  If your club always demonstrates techniques against willing opponents, then the uke may have a point; otherwise, they should reserve that for sparring.  The blue belt even says something to this effect in the video, although he later loses his temper.  An individual who refuses to go light at all should be asked to leave the club.

I no longer feel comfortable sparring or training with someone who does this.  There have been two occasions in my own life where this behavior escalated into something that was unnecessarily dangerous.  The first occasion involved an old training partner who believed he was “impossible to submit.”  He would try to “tough out” kimuras, armbars, or chokes, even in light sparring.  I caught him in an absolutely perfect kimura during sparring and he did not tap.  He tried to roll out of it, so I adjusted and pressed just a little further.  Unfortunately, this went past his tolerance and his shoulder popped, leaving him with problems that took several years to heal.    

An even worse incident occurred to me while doing a grappling demonstration at a local karate club in my home town.  I had agreed to a light warm-up rolling session with several guys that I did not know; light rolling meant no strikes, start from the knees, catch and release, etc.  I was grappling with a guy a little bit larger than me.  He told me that he had been ground fighting for several months, but in truth he had spent most of that time worrying about submissions and ignoring his positional skills.  I was able to hit an armbar and then an omoplata without too much trouble; after each submission, we restarted from our knees.  On the third try, I caught him in a rear naked choke.  I squeezed slightly and let go.  As soon as I did this, he whipped back and elbowed me hard in the nose (intentionally).  A light rolling session had suddenly turned very serious.  I was fortunate that he did not knock me out and only rocked me a little bit.  He tried to keep striking me but I was able to secure another rear naked choke on him after a quick scramble.  This time, I applied it with some venom, and he started tapping.  It was an unpleasant situation because I did not want to choke him out but I also did not want to let him go!  I let him tap for a second and then I shoved him back, leapt to my feet, and created as much distance as I could in the dojo.  His temper dissipated after that but I still no longer train with that club.

After these experiences, I have no patience for people who do not have an off switch.  Resistance is great during sparring, but trying to show off during a technique demonstration is not helpful and will only lead to problems.  I have learned this lesson the hard way myself and I now prefer to tap rather than let someone crank a submission on me.  The same goes for striking training; I am okay with a few bruises but I will let someone know if they are consistently rocking me.  

The blue belt should have recognized this problem from the start and should not have escalated by slapping the guy.  

ky0han's picture

Hi everyone,

I don't know what I should say to this kind of behaviour in the dojo. Both did not act the way it is supposed to be.

Just for demonstration purposes the brown belt should have eased up on the grip like the blue belt requested him several times. I would have told the brown belt to do it once without resistance and the next time with. But I figure that the brown belt just wanted to be a d!ck and that all the talking wouldn't have helped anyway.

When training with a partner I always remind my students that they should help their partners to achieve certain training goals. So being a good partner is crusial for the success of both.

The shown scenario is totally counterproductive and will result in a bad training atmosphere. Nobody will learn anything there.

Regards Holger

Th0mas's picture

Firstly there is more to this video than what appears on the surface. The Uke was a more senior grade... it did not look like a judo dojo more like BJJ. The "instructor" looked more like a guest, with the other three known to each other...(maybe he was a Judo Instructor, but only a blue belt BJJ player?).

Clearly there was far too much testosterone/ Alpha-male rubbish going on here and although the Beardy giant seemed to have a hair-trigger temper, I would agree with Deltabluesman that the uke was acting like a complete tw*t - there is an appropriate time to apply an increasing level of resistance when training new techniques...but it is a mutally agreed thing...else it leads to injury and unpleasantness.

The brownbelt clearly had a beef with the big beard and it ended badly for them both, like a rather pathetic school playground thing

Black Tiger
Black Tiger's picture

I thought it was funny

It shows that we always go on about Budo and Respect for each other in our respective training areas but in reality there's too much testosterone and Ego to play with. Especially with the "I know you're a Blackbelt Nth Dan in X-Ryu but as you've started training with me you'll have to begin at White Belt in Y-Ryu and if the other studnets see you with a black belt they may complain" in reality its saying "I'm scared if others see you with a blackbelt they may look to you for instruction rather than me, I know a punch is a punch and a kick is a kick but I need to be the Alpha male here not you" - fact is you're the senior Instructor and its YOUR rules not the students

I think the main "Trigger" for this was when the BJJ Blue/Purple (I'm colourblind) didn't even acknowledge the Uke by name or Shuck the outstretched hand and just responded "Whatever" and went straight to grab his new Uke's collar, it was downhill from there. I think the "JudoKa" spat his dummy out, but rightly so, I bet if the BJJ player had given a little respect to begin with, he would have been a more subtle Uke

Th0mas's picture

Good spot.. Beardy was a bit of a prat too.

Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

I've been told this is fake...but obviously this kind of thing happens all the time.

Really when someone acts like that when simply learning a throw, they either don't get how throws work (with the body), or are just being an ass. Alot of beginners do things like that just out of lack of understanding, but it's just ego with more advanced people, unless they also simply never learned good training habits.

Anyone can resist something they know is coming in the practice of static techniques, or adjust to to mess you up (such as throwing a 'magic bullet' punch to where they know you will be moving) there's really no good reason to do it if you are not training the technique in question at a level where resistance is needed...

Providing it was real, the instructor should have just grabbed another uke the second time it became clear (after the first time he asked the uke to loosen up) that the uke was going to root and not allow him to do the throw.

I've found that at seminars about one out of ten people is "this guy", and you just have to sigh, get on with it as he smirks that he "proved something", and wait for the next partner..hopefully one that's more interested in learning than measurement contests.

Dale Parker
Dale Parker's picture

I've been seeing this a lot with MMA groups.  I think it partially stems from the fact that they are not being taught proper dojo etiquette.  

MykeB's picture

Killed the video before it finished, right after everyone jumped between the two to keep things from getting worse.  Blue/purple belt(I'm not color blind, just couldn't make it out on the video) got off on the wrong foot.  Maybe he thought he was cutting right to the chase and wanted to get on with the demo and start working.  I don't know, but a simple "hey bro, thanks for being uke" and a fast hand shake and you are good to go with a touch of respect.  The brown belt was being...pick your name here, in part to salvage the ego I believe.  The way the instructor in this kept coming back to this being a "really nice judo throw" makes me think he's a dan grade in judo and trying to bring some throws to a BJJ academy.  Looked to me that the brown belt was trying to make him look bad by resisting after being asked several times to go easy for the demo.  The instructor could clearly strip the grip and likely pull the arm into position to throw if he weren't "walking" the technique through to demonstrate it.  I can see why he lost his patients.  Slapping the brown belt was uncalled for.  Two solutions are there.  One, just tell him bluntly, lets cooperate for the drill or sit down, and he grabs someone willing to work.  Or he can strip the grip, drag the arm over hard and throw him at a competition level intensity...then ask for someone who wants to walk it through at a slower speed.  The brown belt obviously wanted to act like it was time to roll hard and apply force.  Which one of these you go with has a lot to do with the way you came up in the arts.  Some older instructors would find this kind of behavior very disrespectful and wouldn't tolerate it at all. 

There was enough ego in the air to cut it with a knife, on both sides of this video.  Some guys are hostile to others bringing in skills and knowledge that they don't have.  I've seen, and had, several who try to wreck the transmition of knowledge with this sort of behavior.  They make sure that what you do doesn't look good to discredit you so people don't look at the holes in their game and ask why they didn't know these sorts of things.  MMA/BJJ don't have a lock on this sort of thing.  I had a Hapkido instructor I was partnered with at a seminar nearly rip the legiments out of my wrists and then refuse to tap as I applied the techinque in return.  He'd told me he brought several students with him and I'm sure that this played into his behavior.  The cool part was Leon Jay coming over and giving me a pointer on how to make it hurt really badly and dropped the guy to his knees.  Saw the same when I was a guest in an Aikido class, and a karate class.  I've been treated great by another Aikido class and shown great respect for what I knew there and in another karate club when I started.