Moss-covered Monk

Moss-covered Monk


Friday, March 8, 2013

Master - A Matter of Distinction

Masters - A Matter of Distinction
Does Goodness Matter?

What do these men have in common? Each could be referred to as a master. Two of the men are merely characters, fictional creations given life by the actors who were chosen for the movie.The other two men are also very disturbing characters, but they do not reside in the fantasy world which Pai Mei and John Kreese inhabit. They made their niche in this world in the shadows, working behind the scenes to give life to the visions in their heads. They are Master, but only in their mind.

John Kreese ruled over the Cobra Kai with an iron fist. He taught his students that compassion and empathy were hindrances to being a true warrior. Victory must come at any cost. Even though his students sometimes showed hesitation, the bullying manner of Master Kreese overwhelmed their better sense. When commanded to sweep the leg, a Cobra Kai did as he was told...or else.

Pai Mei used a brutal training regime to strengthen the body and the mind of the Bride. He did not show any empathy towards his student, but he did appear to be dedicated. He could have killed her any time he wished, but he did not. Why? Did he care for her? Did his affection for her cloud his judgment, or was simple companionship his only reason?  

His interactions with Elle Driver reveal the true depth of his character. Against those he perceives as arrogant, Pai Mei is unwavering. He strikes out to chastise, or to defend his honor. Since the Bride was deferential, she remained on the Pai Mei's good side. Through her special relationship with Pai Mei, she gained access to secret techniques, previously hidden from the other disciples of White Lotus. Something was different in the Bride; perhaps Pai Mei sensed a kindred spirit. Without his instruction, the Bride would still be buried.

This is the same Pai Mei who massacred the inhabitants of a Shaolin temple for a simple slight. One of the monks did not return the bow, so Pai Mei and his White Lotus clan executed every single monk. He established his school in its place. He does not hesitate to kill, when he deems it necessary. He is for the most part devoid of conscience. And yet, we may begin to be attracted to his way of living. Why is this?

Power is attractive. The allure of acquiring power may lead us to sublimate our better instincts in hopes of ingratiating ourselves to a master. Once we have placed the opinion of another person above our own, we allow momentous decisions to be made without giving them a second thought. You cannot imagine what you may be asked to do, until the moment comes to act and you have no way to escape. These traps are set for people on a regular basis, but not everyone falls in.

Who is in danger? Some people might think themselves immune to this kind of danger, due to a perceived advantage in intelligence or reasoning skills. Unfortunately, even trained professionals are susceptible to manipulation. The psychologists and therapists who
work every day in facilities with criminal psychopaths must constantly be on their guard against the subtle influence exerted by these dangerous minds.

excerpt from interview posted on
What is your personal philosophy on BJJ and life?  

Lloyd Irvin

You’re either winning or losing.  And each and every day you’re either moving closer or further away from your goal.  No matter what your goals are.  For BJJ, no matter if you want to compete or not.  In life, deciding on what you would consider success and putting yourself in a position to become successful.  97% of the population is losers and only 3% of the population is winners and you have to decide what percentage group you want to be in.  Then surround yourself, or find a way, to get around the 3% group.  For example, in BJJ, if an instructor makes excuses for their students losses like, “Don’t worry about it, he was stronger than you, he outweighed you, he’s a 3 stripe purple belt and you just got your purple belt” then that instructor is in the 97% group, the 3 % group doesn’t make excuses.  I could go on and on about this but hopefully you get my point.  I believe that in everything that you do you’re either winning or losing, either doing what it takes to win or lose and you just have to be honest with yourself and decide if you want to be a winner or a loser.  If you want to get your masters degree, then winning will be actually getting your masters degree.  So. if in your quest for your degree and you skip a class, then you’re losing that day.  If you fail to complete your homework, you are a loser that day and so one.  You’re either winning or losing.  This applies to everything.

Please excuse my indirect diagnoses of psychopathy, but from Lloyd's own statements, the conclusion may be drawn. Setting himself up as a winner, compared to the vast majority of humanity who is designed losers, is a classic psychopathic trait. Existing in what they believe is a hostile world, these individuals see potential conflict in every interaction, and a potential adversary in every person. Some adversaries may be dangerous, but the vast majority are prey to the psychopath. Hence, setting up a distinction between the suckers (the 97%) and the strong (3%).

Let's take a short moment to go over some definitions:

I would like to start with a few terms that seem to refer to the same kind of people, in different ways.

Psychopath- is a personality disorder characterized by shallow emotions (including reduced fear, a lack of empathy, and stress tolerance), cold-heartedness, egocentricity, superficial charm, manipulativeness, irresponsibility, impulsivity, criminality, antisocial behavior, a lack of remorse, and a parasitic lifestyle. The main diagnostic tool used by prisons and parole boards for identifying psychopaths is the PCL-R, a checklist designed and revised by Dr. Robert Hare.

Sociopath- A term that is used synonymously with psychopath, referring to individuals displaying the largely the same characteristics as above. Theories may differ on the genesis of sociopathy/psychopathy, regardless of which definition is used.

Malignant Narcissist- (from Wikipedia) - Social psychologist Erich Fromm first coined the term malignant narcissism in 1964, describing it as a "severe mental sickness" representing "the quintessence of evil". He characterized the condition as "the most severe pathology and the root of the most vicious destructiveness and inhumanity" Edith Weigert (1967) saw malignant narcissism as a "regressive escape from frustration by distortion and denial of reality"; while Herbert Rosenfeld (1971) described it as "a disturbing form of narcissistic personality where grandiosity is built around aggression and the destructive aspects of the self become idealized". Not currently in the DSM-IV; considered too experimental at the moment.

Antisocial Personality Disorder- The only DSM-recognized condition, described as such by the Mayo Clinic and the DSM:

Antisocial personality disorder is a type of chronic mental illness in which a person's ways of thinking, perceiving situations and relating to others are abnormal — and destructive. People with antisocial personality disorder typically have no regard for right and wrong. They may often violate the law and the rights of others, landing in frequent trouble or conflict. They may lie, behave violently, and have drug and alcohol problems. And people with antisocial personality disorder may not be able to fulfill responsibilities to family, work or school. Antisocial personality disorder is sometimes known as sociopathic personality disorder. A sociopath is a particularly severe form of antisocial personality disorder.

A psychopathic individual is much more likely to be considered anti-social than an anti-social individual to be classified as a psychopath. It may be easier to think of ASPD as a broader descriptive grouping, while psychopathy, also a spectrum disorder, is a more extreme and serious personality disorder. Even so, psychopathy is a spectrum disorder, a range of linked conditions with varying singular symptoms and traits. If you were to think these disorders on a color spectrum, then different individuals fall on the scale according to the severity of the disorder.

Not every fits on the scale in the same way, nor could we consider the personality of such individuals to be static. Psychopaths may become less violent late in life, but their personality does not move greatly towards benevolence.

Although a psychopath may admit to participating in dubious actions, he will invariably seek to greatly minimize the extent of his involvement or deny the consequences to others.

Consider the following exchange between an offender (O) and an interviewer (S) -

S: "Did you get any feedback from the psychologist?"

O: "She told me i was a...not a sociopath, but a psychopath. This was comical - she told me not to worry about it, cause you could have a doctor or lawyer who was a psychopath. Imagine this: If you were sitting on a plane that was hijacked, would you rather be sitting next to me or some shit-his-pants neurotic or socially-inept sociopath. He might get us all killed. When I told her that, and she nearly fell off her chair. So if someone wants to diagnose me, I'd rather be a psychopath than a sociopath."

S: "Aren't they the same thing?"

O: "No, they're not. You see, a sociopath acts up because he's been brought up wrong, maybe he's got a beef with society...I got no beef with society. I'm not harbouring any hostility. It's just the way I am. Yeah, I guess I'd be a psychopath."

Inside BJJ
You’re a mysterious figure in the BJJ World. Is perception more important than reality?
 Lloyd Irvin
The only thing that matters is Reality for me.  When it’s all said and done the only thing that matters is the results.

Another person said something awfully similar. After failing to pass a college entrance exam, this individual set himself on a new path. He gathered very bright but emotionally unsatisfied individuals around himself, indoctrinating them into his doomsday cult. He sent them on a mission to bring about Armageddon; their weapon - Sarin nerve gas. How did this half-blind, overweight, former Yoga instructor rise to the level of prophet? Through the Force, but not the kind that pop-culture would have us believe. Force, Will, Power.

He preached that the end would justify the means. How could he convince educated, previously lawful individuals to follow through such a heinous crime?

According to Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Michael Stone, a leader (mastermind?) who wishes to inflict violence on such a massive scale would likely have a delusional view of the world, and his place in it. He must be a master of manipulation, and devoid of remorse. Mercifully, it is rare for an individual to possess both of these traits. Unfortunately for Japan, one was born/made in the form of Chizuo Matsumoto, later to be known as Shoko Asahara.

Inside BJJ
I see people accuse you of recruiting guys from other teams. Can you respond to this?
 Lloyd Irvin
Yeah, people seem to always want to find a way to hate on me and what I’m doing.  Here are the facts; I have never recruited a BJJ player in my life, as of this interview.  Every single person that has come from another team and switched to my team has come to us, or came to one of my students, and asked to switch teams.  People act like it’s a bad thing or something; it’s a force of nature.  If you have a team that is totally focused on winning and being the best, they will naturally attract people that want to win and be the best.
I read a story about how the great Terere recruited Cobrinha as a brown belt and brought him over to Alliance.  No one says anything bad about that and as far as I’m concerned there is nothing bad about it.  We may have never come to experience the great Jiu-Jitsu that Cobrinha has graced us with if Terere hadn’t done so.
If you look at the BJJ powerhouse teams, like Alliance, you’ll see lots of guys from other teams that have switched.  Just look at Atos, they are full of people that have switched teams.  But no one says anything, only about me.  LOL The fact of the matter is that winners want to be surrounded by other winners.  Team Lloyd Irvin is like America’s Team and everyone is very clear on our objectives to be the best in BJJ.
For all of the people saying it’s a bad thing, they need to get over it. This is where the sport is heading, whether you like it or not.  Top guys are going to get to a point where they want to train with other top guys.  Just look at great guys like Margarita and Jacare, they both switched teams to get better training/training partners.  If a school can’t elevate their training floor to higher levels they will most likely lose their top guys to stronger teams at some point.  If I did ever decide to recruit everyone in the World would know it.
 Quite grandiose, wouldn't you say?