Obviously, I fell off the wagon some months ago and never got back to this. We (well this was mostly one person's work but I had 2 buddies feeding me ideas) had some additional blog topics along the lines of "Got my first student!" and "Why stretching is overrated" but, alas, it wasn't meant to be. Real life can do that to you sometimes.
Speaking of real life, I'm not really a black belt. Yeap. Surprise. Surprise. Several of you cared enough to send me heartfelt emails that really brought the lulz. Now that I'm wrapping up this site with an epilogue, I will be publishing/approving the handful of testimonials that have been submitted over the past several months. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
And, to further set the record straight, I've never met David Lang. If I did, I imagine it wouldn't end well for him.
If you looked at this site and thought I'd be a good BJJ teacher, then I hope you now realize how easy it is to get fooled by a con artist or fall for a too-low-to-be-real price. There is, however, a very real price to attending a school run by a fraud. Or even a school that is run by a real black belt but that has a terribly destructive culture.
Here's my $0.02:
1. Do a free trial. (Most schools let you attend AT LEAST a week of classes without any obligations.) Make sure you are comfortable there.
2. If you want "self defense," I recommend BJJ. Why? Because you can actually practice it with active resistance. (As opposed to eye gouges, etc.)
3. If you think you may want to venture into MMA, stick to a more traditional BJJ school as newfangled guards such as the X aren't very applicable to anything outside sport BJJ. If you later decide you want to pursue sport BJJ, you can always change schools. (Though there are plenty of traditionalists who do very well in this arena.)
4. If you're not positive what the heck you really want, do plenty of gi BJJ. It's the way to move up in rank. If you eventually earn that black belt, it's a bit like a college degree in that it could allow you to more easily start your own school. Now mind you you probably won't become a multi millionaire running a BJJ school, but it could be a cool way to stay involved after you get old and start to break down. (Please note I'm not trying to accuse any instructors or gym owners of being old or broken down!)
5. Feel free to use a popular and heavily trafficked forum such as UG (mma.tv), Bullshido or Sherdog if you want to gauge opinions on your local schools. I wouldn't let ANY anonymous poster make a decision for you, but you might just find some good insight from someone who has attended the school and/or knows the instructor.
6. There are multiple correct choices. Just as you can't say an Italian restaurant is better than a Mexican restaurant, you can't generally say one BJJ gym is better than another. See my first point about taking advantage of the free trial.
I appreciate those who linked to this blog to keep the heat on David Lang. I believe if he hadn't been stopped this (read: Mystic Dragon) wasn't far off in the future and BJJ could end up with the same belt confusion that plagues TMAs such as TKD.
Thank you for visiting this site. I wish you all the best in your martial arts journey!
P.S. Fuck David Lang from McGraw, New York who falsely claimed to be a black belt under Wallid Ismael.
LINKS THAT MAY BE HELPFUL: (I'm putting this here because I apparently have to pay if this site goes over 10 pages!)
Main David Lang Thread - Link to UG thread that shut down David Lang's fraudulent BJJ gym. Twice. Great work, Phil. (If you read the blog, no, I never really intended to fight him; he'd kick my arse anyway!)
Part 1 of 3 Article About David Lang - This appears to be January 2014, so it's much more recent than my site. (I just come in periodically when I'm bored to do site maintenance.) A long read, but also a lot of damning allegations that appear to be supported by the author.
Lloyd Irvin Investigation - Bullshido has a thread on a Lloyd Irvin investigation.
Open letter that appears to be directed to Lloyd Irvin - Ryan Hall wrote an excellent open letter about rape allegations involving his old team. Though not mentioned, Ryan Hall was with Lloyd Irvin and it's widely believed this open letter is directed at Lloyd Irvin's BJJ schools.
Wallid Ismael's video response to David Lang- Love him or hate him, Wallid certainly has every right to be upset about a fraud who not only claims to have received (is "earned" a better word?) a black belt, but one who also claimed Wallid was the liar because of a financial dispute. I can't make this stuff up people!