A Message From Lloyd Irvin....I Wish

(Disclaimer:The statement below was written by me. It is in no way connected to Lloyd Irvin, his school or his students and cannot be said to be representative of his views in any way.

But it should be.)

Dear Martial Arts Community,
By now I am sure you have all heard about the horrific acts that were performed by two students at my academy. I view these acts as the lowest form of disrespect and the worst violation of trust that could ever occur between teammates.  I would like to deeply apologize for these men who are unfortunately affiliated with me and my school. Their actions mean that I have failed as a teacher. I have failed to create a training environment where respect and compassion are valued above martial arts prowess. I have failed to create a training environment where the goal is to build better human beings through the study of the martial arts. I have failed to instill in the members of my team the belief that everyone is valued and everyone should be safe from harm.

While I'm at it, I also apologize for my past mistakes. I was young and drunk and stupid and very very wrong.

I did not turn these men into rapists. But if the tone I set at my academy in any way contributed to this crime than I am partially responsible. Therefore I promise to re-evaluate my role as a leader. I promise to re-evaluate the purpose of my martial arts training. I promise to re-evaluate my reasons for teaching these skills to others. Most of all, I promise to do everything in my power to make sure that nothing like this ever happens again. Not on my watch.

Please forgive me.
Lloyd Irvin

Of course, Lloyd Irvin did not say this. (Although he should feel free to cut and paste it as his own.) When the story first broke he released a brief statement. Something about how everyone should stop hating him and focus on the poor woman instead. Since then, nothing, Well except for the dubious choice to purchase Lloydirvinrape.com. Which you could say is a statement in itself. But a lot of other BJJ instructors have had a lot to say. Like Ryron and Rener Gracie. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTxAjN1XSso&list=UUNMZWa1QP42jHrmmzayFEeg&index=1). And Ryan Hall. (http://www.scribd.com/doc/121007439/Open-Letter-to-the-Martial-Arts-Community.) Even my husband, a karate instructor of many years who also practices BJJ,  made a speech on this topic after class this past Friday night.

When I first heard this story I was reluctant to blame a teacher for the actions of a couple of his students. But as more and more time goes by with no comment, and more and more stories surface, I am beginning to wonder. Lloyd Irvin's gym may not be a rape factory. But clearly there were lessons that he forgot to teach.

And perhaps, ones he never learned himself either.