Updated: Apr 24, 2022
I first heard this expression from John Valentine, a friend of mine and fellow combatives instructor. The phrase was in reference to people with little to no knowledge actually fighting telling people what is the right and wrong way to fight. Check out any mma, bjj or combatives video on social media and inevitably you’ll have the know it all keyboard commandos chime in with “what shoulda happened”.
But talk is cheap from that side of the keyboard. Nearly all of these people have lofty ideas about what they woulda done, but have no actual skin in the game. They sit on as spectators and make propositions about how to correctly deal with this situation or that but suffer no consequences for their decisions. Until recently I thought this was centered around the fight community. I was wrong.
There is actual social engineering going on in our schools, on social media, in the mainstream media, and in our churches. There’s a push to redefine language and vocabulary, which in and of itself might seem trivial except that the overarching goal is to undermine right and wrong. Disagree with someone, you’re unloving, if you’re a Christian, now your faith gets called into question. But we often selectively like to fall into one of two categories: truth or grace. Both can be used for good, but both can also be used to feed our self righteous egos.
Jesus came full of truth AND grace. He sat and ate with sinners, but didn’t hesitate to tell them to repent, to go and sin no more, forsake all and follow Him. Those who did He extended the greatest amount of grace to. Your past didn’t matter, but you weren’t bringing it with you either.
Today we are suffering from the effects of high ideals within liberal academia. As adult college students my wife and I have seen it first hand. Professors who influence and selectively push an agenda based on a social engineering ideology that they feel will usher in a utopia of sorts. Here’s the problem... many academics are just that. Academics. Their high lofty ideals have about as much weight as the keyboard commando that makes suggestions from the safety of his keyboard. It’s the masters in business with no business experience. The child rearing experts with no kids. The social justice or social engineering academics who see the world as their Petri dish.
The problem though, much like the keyboard commandos is that there are no repercussions for getting it wrong. In the 60’s a child rearing academic made propositions that children shouldn’t be spanked. Positive reinforcement was emphasized while negative reinforcement was minimized. The result was an entire generation of kids that grew up in the 70’s and 80’s with no discipline. By the 90’s these kids had kids and the result is what we’re witnessing today. People who have no accountability or responsibility for their actions. And why should they? They predecessors didn’t. You see in combatives if I propose a method or technique and it fails under testing I get the benefit of negative feedback to help guide me toward correction. The results are instantaneous or close enough to it. But in social engineering, the repercussions can take decades to be felt and a ship as large as that of society cannot recognize and change course quickly. Thus academics with no real world experience will push ideas that have never been tested, or worse, some ideas that have been tested and failed yet they feel that somehow they will rectify the course this time.
I see the analogous of this in combatives when a guy is faced with the fact that his ideas are flawed yet refuses to let them go. Instead of recognizing he pridefully reassserts and tells himself, let me do it again, and again, and again...
But one thing is remain. Those seeking truth and not confirmation are those with the wisdom that comes from experience, success and failure. There is no substitute for wisdom and wisdom cannot be attained in a classroom or behind a textbook. So before the academics and students out there see fit to make lofty propositions about the workings of the world ask yourself. Are you seeking truth or confirmation? Do you have the wisdom that comes from living and learning? Opinions matters, all of them. But not all of them have the same weight. There are to many virgins in life, society, business and combatives teaching sex. Understand that this is rooted in pride and arrogance against those with wisdom.