Jan 172010

I’ve written about Crusher on my blog in the past. He’s the guy that made me seriously question whether I was right for BJJ. I saw him and thought, “Oh crap. I’m in the wrong place!” As is the case with most BJJ guys, though, Crusher is a very cool guy.

When I began training in 2006, he was a brown belt, Coach Foster’s first student to reach that rank (and until recently, his only student). Crusher is a former power lifter… think world’s strongest man. He was built like that, like an oak tree. He was immune to being choked because his neck was only 2″ long and was as big around as my waist.

In the first month or so of training, I paired up with Crusher in sparring. Coach said to him, “He’s new, so teach him some stuff.” So, he promptly rolled me into mount (yes, he pulled mount on me… how demoralizing!), let me work for a bit, then reversed me and passed my guard. Remembering that he’s supposed to be teaching me “some stuff” he says as an afterthought, “Okay. Right here… you’re losing.” :)

Crusher’s real name is Jason McKissack, and until about a year ago, he was a police officer on the Seattle PD. As he tried to break up a fight, he was jumped by the group, including both parties in the fight. Here’s a link to the original article:


The brain damage he sustained has left his equilibrium completely out of whack. Well, now, because he’s no longer able to serve on the PD, they’re cutting his medical coverage. Since he is no longer a police officer, the only way his family could continue to get medical coverage is if he were killed.

Here’s the link to a video of the story and to the article itself that ran a few days ago locally.

We’ve had 6 officers killed in the line of duty within the last few months and that’s a tragedy. But I know that the families of these slain officers have received an overwhelming display of support, financial and emotional, from the entire community. They did their jobs and the community came through when needed. What really pisses me off about this situation is that Jason says in the article that his family would be better off if he had died. That just sucks. That he survived should be celebrated, not penalized. His family should be better off that he survived, not worse.

There’s a house bill being proposed that would insure that officers injured in the line of duty and unable to return to duty would keep their medical benefits. HB1679 would protect first responders by ensuring catastrophic medical care. Take a look. If you’re in WA, consider letting your State Rep know that it’s important to you. As things stand right now, I believe we’re morally obliged to take care of our first responders. It’s the right thing to do, and this bill does that.

Now, all of that aside, besides the personal interest I have in this story, this also brings up other topical points I’m curious about. What do you guys think?

Regardless of your stance on health care (although if we had single payer, this wouldn’t be an issue), what do you think about the reality that, as it stands, in the case of a medical emergency it’s often better for the family if the person dies than if they live but suffer from a permanent, disabling condition? How would you handle the loss of employment, loss of income and often the loss of medical insurance coupled with enormous personal debt and medical debt wreaks havoc on a family? Divorce is very common, bankruptcy also commonplace and homelessness for the disabled individual is a real possibility if everyone he or she thought was there… suddenly isn’t. “Sorry, honey. I just can’t handle it any more. You’re not the person I married.” Is this an issue for you? Important? Do you guys believe the chips fall where they may… just bad luck? What would happen to you and your families if you were in a car accident or something, could no longer work, lose your medical coverage and wrack up six digit medical bills? Are you prepared?