The Subject of Steroids
I wanted to write a blog about steroid use in MMA after reading that an instructor at the original Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy tested positive but forgot about it. Keith Owen, a Pedro Sauer blackbelt from Idaho, (kudos Keith ) wrote a blog this morning and got my juices flowing again. Those who know me know I am very anti-PED (Perfomance Enhancing Drugs). I am overcome w/ sadness after reading this piece of news this week. BJJ athletes all over the country and world are getting popped for PEDs. I will never understand this. Are we this weak? For the last 18 years, I have been studying this GREAT art of ours and still hold the belief that it is the most effective 1 on 1 martial art on the planet. The level of our best practitioners in at an all-time high. Many got there through hard work, dedication and gaining mental strength over a period of training. What happened to these attributes? When did we become so weak and insecure that we lost the confidence and drive to apply the principles and techniques that our instructors taught us? Do you think that Helio and Carlos would ever turn to steroids it they failed? Do you think our art would be so strong without testing itself? Steroid users go against everything a martial artist should be. Where is your spirit of the art you represent? The spirit of art should be the celebration of the human spirit, body and mind, and characterized by the following values: Ethics, fair play, honesty, health, excellence in performance, character, dedication, respect for your opponent and rules, courage and commitment. If you are doing drugs, you hold NONE of these attributes. Taking steroids is fundamentally contrary to the spirit of our art. I see practitioners of all belt colors in tournaments now using drugs. It disgusts me. Remember that athletes don’t take these drugs to level the playing field, they do it to get an advantage. And if everyone else is doing what they’re doing, then instead of taking 10 grams or 10 cc’s or whatever it is, they’ll take 20 or 30 or 40, and a vicious circle simply gets bigger. The end game will be an activity that is increasingly violent, extreme, and meaningless, practiced by a class of people who lack honor, respect and all the attributes mentioned before. The use of performance-enhancing drugs is not accidental, it is planned and deliberate with the sole objective of getting an unfair advantage. The IBJJF has started testing. Not strongly enough IMO. How about your new Hall Of Fame? Will steroids users be allowed in? I know for sure of World Champions past and present who use drugs. Your HOF is worth nothing IMO if you allow steroid users in. I know people and athletes have been using for years, that doesn’t make it right. Major League baseball seems to finally have evened the playoff field, why can’t BJJ? Put all the $ you are raking in to good use and test all the blackbelts one year. I would rather fight clean and lose than win a World Championship (or any match for that matter) being dirty. That that is me. I can look myself in the mirror and students in the eye knowing that I am teaching the right way. If you are using, you are mentally weak and know in the back of your mind that your wins are fraudulent. Practice, compete and fight without using. It’s the right way and nobody can ever question your morals or accomplishments. oss.