Salt Lake City | Mixed Martial Arts Gym Doesn’t Need Violence

We had an interesting event at Absolute MMA last Friday evening. We were about to start Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class and had the front and back doors open as well as the warehouse door. There were two men in the alley behind the gym, walking around. This was a little unusual but nothing too out of the ordinary. We have the neighborhood kids come watch class often enough when the doors are open.

One of the men, quite drunk, decided to walk in and demand to teach our class for us. The instructor listened to the man and then let him know it was time for him to go. He argued for a minute about what he knew and could teach the class. The instructor had the class begin warm ups to take attention off the individual and persuaded him to leave as the students were already practicing. That seemed to be the end of the excitement.

The man decided to try again, demanding to use the cage to box his friend. When denied, he demanded to fight the instructor. The instructor stayed calm, didn’t engage the man and eventually the man left with the threat of police being called.

It would have been fairly easy for the instructor, a martial artist of over twenty years, to physically remove the drunk from the school. It would have been easy to find insult in the names and insults thrown at him and resort to violence. It would have been easy to rationalize. However, that is not the code of martial arts that we teach and follow at our gym. There was no actual threat. There was no need for self defense as the man did not put his hands on anyone or attempt to strike. Martial arts practice should teach us how to control ourselves, not others. If they decide to be rude, obnoxious, belligerent or even threatening, we can control our own actions. We can keep ourselves safe and not engage in fighting unless it is a real risk to our safety or that of our loved ones.