Early in January, the MMA and BJJ world was shocked to learn of two male jiu jitsu students who were arrested for brutally raping their female jiu jitsu team mate. The internet forums, blogs, websites and social media have exploded in their condemnation. But the story is deeper, way more insidious.
MMA news and commentary website Bloody Elbow summarise the developments in this selection of posts here: http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2013/1/10/3861544/two-lloyd-irvin-martial-arts-school-students-arrested

Many prominent members of the BJJ community have already spoken of the situation. For an example of some more personal thoughts, blogger Georgette sums up her thoughts here: http://georgetteoden.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/its-not-rape-culture-or-is-it.html

But I strongly recommend everyone read the words from former Lloyd Irvin student, Ryan Hall.
He writes a beautifully thoughtful essay on the darker side of life under a cult-like martial arts organisation. He implores us to take a deeper look inside ourselves and ask questions about what it is that is important to us, as decent human beings. It's a strongly worded and deeply heartfelt message that applies not just to martial artists among us, but to everything in life in general.

Here is the link to Ryan's essay:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/121007439/Open-Letter-to-the-Martial-Arts-Community

Finally, I, along with a large group of others in the BJJ community, will be doing something to support victims of sexual violence. The recent news surrounding Lloyd Irvin students are not just a one-off local incident. Sexual violence, especially those against women, happens everyday, all over the world and in every strata of society. A number of charities are devoted to spreading awareness, empowering and supporting victims and educating the masses. But really - as one commentator noted: we should ALL be anti rape.

Here are some awesome charities that help victims of sexual violence:

RAINN
Women Win
Equality Now


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1 comments:

Juno said...

Terrible thing that happened. I read Ryan's paper, it's very insightful and I think every martial artist should read it.