Megan over at Tangled Triangle recently wrote a post about the weight of responsibility when it comes to public relations and the BJJ community. I agree with Megan when she says we are basically all marketers now for jiu jitsu- from the highly acclaimed black belt down to the 3 month white belt.
Funny enough, it sort of reminds me of highschool (flashback time, y’all!). I went to an all girls catholic highschool- which may explain a lot of things, or lead to more questions, who knows. But, I do remember one of the administrators speaking to the student body and explaining that even outside the four walls of the institution, when you wore the school’s uniform (plaid skirts, sweaters and knee socks, whoo!) out in public, even after regular school hours, you were acting as a representative and ambassador for the school, and should behave as such.
We represent the culture and spirit of the sport, on and off the mat. Every time you tell someone you train jiu jitsu, every time you wear your academy’s shirt, or slap a jiu jitsu decal on your car, whether you like it or not, you have become an ambassador for the sport to the general public.
The post also mentions some misbehavior from grappler Dean Lister- as I’ve mentioned before, I seem to live under a rock and have no idea what anyone is talking about, but apparently it involves a lewd gesture at a seminar that was recorded? Anyway, it boils down to this: while we are indeed all ambassadors for the sport, some certainly have more clout than others, and need to keep that in mind, particularly in a more formalized(ish), public event . There’s a big difference between drinking with your buddies and joking around, and teaching a seminar that could potentially be recorded.
That’s all I’ve got for now- have a great day everyone!