non-BJJ: McDonald’s vs Nigel Haskett Follow Up

 Non-BJJ  Comments Off on non-BJJ: McDonald’s vs Nigel Haskett Follow Up
Mar 022009

Following up on the Haskett vs McDonald’s post, from the emails and comments I got, I think the post sounded a little harsher than intended. Even my brother told me I was too harsh. Believe me, that really wasn’t my intention. So I want to clarify a few things.

First, I’m sympathetic to the guy and think that his friends, family, coworkers and employers SHOULD help him pay his hospital bills. He did what he thought was the right thing to do. He was brave. He got involved. The right thing to do is to help him pay his bills. I have done similar things on impulse and I know many of my friends have done similar things. I would like to think that I would continue to get involved in the future, if the situation warrants it.

My point regarding McD’s as an employer is that I don’t personally think that they should be mandated to pay for his bills, particularly if Haskett’s actions were in violation of a known company policy. There’s a difference between doing something because it is the right thing to do, and doing something because the government makes you do it.

The rest of my previous post can be summed up in one sentence: this is what happens when people lose their cool. Mike and Sean are good friends of mine, and their strong reaction prompted me to go back and take another look at my post. I said to Sean, in response to his comment, that I don’t think people should stand around wringing their hands. It’s more a matter of wisdom, knowing that what you are doing is making things better, not worse. I mentioned in the comments, in contrast to Nigel Haskett, Captain Sullenberger who landed the plane in the Hudson River. Captain Sullenberger is the epitome of keeping one’s cool under pressure. He was well trained and experienced. Listening to the audio from that emergency landing is amazing. Everyone involved was calm.

So, ultimately, I don’t fault Nigel for getting involved. I applaud him for it. I do believe, however, that the moral of his story is, “Don’t lose your cool.”

Don’t forget, if you’re looking for BJJ gear, check out Razorback Jiu Jitsu. Douglas sells the full range of Atama gear, including the Mundial #7, and if you use the coupon code “STEVE” you’ll save 15% off of your offer.
 Posted by at 9:32 am
Feb 252009

Not a BJJ post, but kind of a self defense related post. I read a lot of blogs. One that I enjoy is Black Belt Mama. She is neither a black belt, nor a mama… wait. Scratch that. She’s a great mama, and is working toward her black belt. I like her and her blog very much, even though we agree on little and both tend to be opinionated.

Recently, she posted an article on the case mentioned in the title: Yet Another Reason to Boycott McDonalds. The blog refers to a situation that happened last August. Here’s an article on the subject and you can check out the video here if you can’t see it below:

Okay. So, here’s the thing. BBM believes this man to be a hero. I encourage you to go read her post for what I think might be the more popular opinion. Personally, I think the guy’s an idiot and culpable for his own injuries. I think he’s very, very lucky to be alive and that the person with the gun didn’t bring that weapon into the store.

  • First of all, the guy didn’t call the police and nowhere does it mention ANYONE doing this before or during the confrontation.
  • Second, he escalated the situation all the way, right away. No attempt to de-escalate. No attempt to defuse. He charged out and tackled the guy.
  • Third, he drug the guy out of the restaurant and followed him out. The guy might have had friends in the parking lot in addition to a gun. Or friends with guns. Or who the hell knows?
  • Fourth, he clearly had no sense of situational awareness. It obviously didn’t occur to him that the guy might just have a gun, nor did it occur to him that the guy might be psychotic enough to not stop with him.
  • Finally, it’s the company policy of every place I’ve ever worked in public service to avoid confrontation and call the police. You don’t make a show of writing down license numbers or confronting the individual (or tackling them and dragging them outside). This was true even when I worked for McDonald’s a few decades ago. Believe it or not, it’s for everyone’s safety, not just yours.

I said on BBM that, if things go completely nuts, if someone’s life is in danger, if the guy HAS a gun, by all means do what you have to do. But by his actions, he obviously put his own life in danger and certainly put every other person in that restuarant’s life in danger as well. Through his actions he escalated the situation and I think they are all lucky that more people weren’t shot.

Grabbing a person who is known to be violent, tackling him, dragging him bodily from the store and standing in the doorway like Rambo is ridiculously stupid. While I can empathize with him and his family, he’s not a victim in this, nor is he a hero. He’s just very, very lucky to be alive.

I do think it would be a nice gesture for McD’s to pay for at least a portion of the guy’s medical expenses. I just don’t personally believe that they should be legally obligated to do that. The company has a policy for the employees’ safety and for the safety of the customers. His actions, which are in violation of the McD’s policy are his own, and if anything, he should be reprimanded if not fired.

The only real question is whether or not this policy is well defined and whether the McD’s documented the training on the subject. This guy’s only real defense is that he was ignorant of the policy and completely devoid of common sense.

What do you think? Am I completely out in left field on this?

Don’t forget, if you’re looking for BJJ gear, check out Razorback Jiu Jitsu. Douglas sells the full range of Atama gear, including the Mundial #7, and if you use the coupon code “STEVE” you’ll save 15% off of your offer.
 Posted by at 6:49 pm
Jan 202009

Whether you’re a Democrat, Republican or Independent, we enter a new era of politics. Good luck, President Obama. I sincerely hope this is the first day of a new stage of politics in the USA. Only time will tell, but I will admit to cautious optimism.

 Posted by at 11:18 am
Jul 192008

Did anyone else watch the first season of Tapout?  Well, it looks like Versus is getting ready to air Season 2.

I have to say I’m looking forward to it. I’m not all that crazy about the WWE style promotion, the war paint or the generally obnoxious behavior. What I do enjoy is the highlight of a young fighter and the focus on that guy’s training. There are a lot of very dedicated young men and women who train for MMA in various gyms throughout the country.

According to the press release:

In the season two premiere, the TapouT crew travels to San Luis Obispo, Calif. to ‘The PIT’ to see one of John Hackleman’s up-and-coming MMA fighters, Scott Lighty. Scott is accompanied by his best friend and training partner, Glover Teixeira and the crew quickly realizes the potential Glover has, and decides to sponsor both Scott and Glover who are fighting on the same card. UFC legend Chuck Liddell, who is both Scott and Glover’s trainer, makes a special guest appearance.

“MMA has exploded, and our Crew has been there since the beginning finding and supporting fighters,” said TapouT Founder Mask. “TapouT shows viewers what goes down on the road and lets fans be a part of the action. There are unbelievable fighters with incredible stories, as well as TapouT friends old and new, including MMA superstar Chuck Liddell and UFC President Dana White.”

New episodes of TapouT featuring the bad boys of MMA will premiere on VERSUS each Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET from July 30 through September 24. The full-length episodes will be available on VERSUS on Demand the Thursday prior to the network debut. For more information, including complete episode descriptions and complete schedule information, visit

I’ll be setting the TiVo.

 Posted by at 10:17 am
Jun 282008

Having fun so far, in spite of a little rain. My kids are at a great age for the parks, although having a pregnant wife means that I have to do more of the thrill rides than I’m used to.

Here are a couple of quick pictures from this morning. I was pleased that my son finally jumped in and joined the fun. I like pictures like these, but he’s usually too shy to be in them.

 Posted by at 8:41 pm
Jun 252008

I know. It’s the season of “staycations” and gas prices going all wonky, but we’re going to DisneyWorld, dammit! With the baby coming in a few months, and my daughter being so damned cute, this is likely our last chance to “get away” for several years.

So, I won’t be around for a week or so. But while I’m gone, if you need a grappling fix of some kind, I’d like to refer you to the Mokuren Dojo blog. Patrick Parker is a fascinating guy. He teaches Judo and Aikido and from reading his blog and my own limited interactions with him directly, he is a passionate martial artist, a very knowledgeable grappler and a genuinely interesting character.

Take some time to check out his interview with Dave Camarillo or Gene LeBell. Or if you’re not interested in his personal interviews, check out this video he’s found of a pre-WWII Judo kata.

Unlike many traditional grappling instructors, I respect Patrick Parker for his obvious appreciation of grappling arts of all kinds. He doesn’t see BJJ as a threat to Judo or anything else. It’s one of many different styles derived of a ruleset and a particular emphasis. He writes about wrestling with the same passion that he writes about Aikido.

Enjoy, and I’ll be back after I’ve spent some quality time with Mary Poppins… hubba, hubba.

 Posted by at 10:50 pm
Jun 142008

I was talking to a friend about the Kung Fu Panda movie out, and that led to the old Kung Fu movies… which led inevitably to Kung Fu Theater. Anyone else watch this? I did just about every weekend on the USA Network back in the 80s.

Not everything in the 80’s was bad! 😀

 Posted by at 11:01 am
Jun 072008

The kids and I have pretty much finished painting the baby’s room. While I came up with the basic plan, I have to give a lot of credit to my son and daughter for the decorative painting. Basically, I told them what I was looking for and then went and had a cup of coffee, curious to see what they came up with. They did a terrific job, I think.

The only thing I plan to do is to paint the baby’s name on the brown wall, as well as a simple mural. No hurry on that, though.

Here are a few pictures of our work. They’re snapped with my iPhone, so the resolution is pretty bad and the colors are wonky (it’s a pale pink and brown). But I think you can get a sense of what’s happening. Enjoy.

 Posted by at 5:08 pm
May 292008
I got an interesting email asking if I would help promote the upcoming WEC event:  Faber vs Pulver.  My answer is simply this, “Hell yeah!” I’m really looking forward to this event.
Urijah Faber is an animal.  I first saw him fight back in King of the Cage and he hasn’t slowed down since.  Jens Pulver is certainly on the down side of his career.  He’s been around a long time.  But he has great hands, pro boxing experience, and as the media machine has mentioned many, many times, he has never lost at 145 lbs.  
The rest of the card looks good, too.  Check it out.  
So, head over to, make your picks, and then watch the fights on June 1st on free TV (Versus Network).
 Posted by at 1:24 pm
May 232008

Just really quick.  I don’t know how many people watched the Season Premiere of So You Think You Can Dance last night, but this guy was incredible:

(Direct Link for those who need it)  

I had a good time watching this show. Never seen it before, but I’m glad my wife stumbled on it. It was pretty cool, and there were some terrific dancers.

 Posted by at 5:05 pm