You know I am against rape. I am against any type of violence, domestic, urban, between countries or whatever its may be. This is obvious. I think everybody who follows me or GRACIEMAG has the same opinion.
I was avoiding speaking about this recent case involving three Jiu-Jitsu practitioners in Maryland for several reasons.
The main one is that Jiu-Jitsu cannot be blamed for anything. Human beings are capable of doing bad things, students, teachers, competitors, practitioners, etc… I do believe with all my heart Jiu-Jitsu can make people better. But sadly it doesn’t always make changes in them.
The case is being covered by many news outlets with commitments beyond our mission that is “To Promote Jiu-Jitsu”.
I fully support the victim and stand in sprit with her in her recovery. That said, we at Graciemag to this point didn’t think we had anything greater or positive to contribute to this story. Actually we felt that the more we addressed it the more Jiu-Jitsu would suffer, which is not our mission.
However, for the last two weeks people took advantage of the situation to practice what a famous Brazilian journalist calls “reputation murder”. In this case specifically the murder of Lloyd Irvin Jr.’s reputation.
Is there anyone seriously thinking he has a “rape culture” in place?
Even if you don’t like his teaching style or marketing style or anything about him, how is it possible to blame him for the actions of two of his students (one with him for less than a month, the other for seven months).
Look, it does seem that these two guys truly did something despicable. But the truth is… no matter how bad the circumstances seem and how strong are the evidence is against them, the world we live in gives people the benefit of being innocent until they are proven guilty by the legal system. As much as I don’t approve of the circumstances as fellow human beings we owe them this.
I understand that people have differences with Lloyd Irvin, his language, his way to do business. I’ve disagreed with him on a few things in the past. I have called him and told him directly. We talked about my disapproval, he explained his side. I may not change his views, and he may not change mine, however at least we respect each other and speak honestly to each other.
But now I must speak equally as honestly to some in the Jiu-Jitsu community and say that I think using this sensitive moment to attack him is cowardice and disrespectful to both him and the woman who suffered the night of this attack.
People are kicking the dog, because they think it’s dead. They didn’t stand against the dog when he was alive and barking.
Bringing past stories (no matter how unsightly they may be) to associate with this isolated case will not push me to judge him.
Lloyd has wife and son. I know this man NOW and have for many years. He has been a significant contributor to the betterment of our beloved Jiu-Jitsu for over a decade and a half (admittedly not I am not in agreement with ALL of his contributions but on a whole they have done far more positive and good for us than anything else) And unless something relevant that links him DIRECTLY to this particular case comes out I’m backing him.
Because I feel the information he has shared with me CAN make a positive come from all the negative I’m providing a forum for him to share his side of this story and hopefully bring some healing and growth for us.
If any of you should ever find themselves in need of a safe haven to fairly tell their side of a story I am open to listen. Our channels are closed however, for attackers, or reputation murderers, whatever reasons they have.