Just because you’re a martial arts master who’s been teaching a specific fighting style for years, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn a lot from BJ Penn. In fact, Penn would like to help 300 hand-picked martial arts instructors improve their minds, bodies, and spirits through a year-long training camp in Hawaii called "The Live Like a Champion Project." (The press release is after the jump, in case you don’t feel like clicking on that link.) This is troubling for a number of reasons:
1) So basically, the Prodigy is luring the world’s most skilled fighters to an extended stay at his shadowy island fortress. Yes, that’s the exact plot of Enter the Dragon.
2) It’s such a perfect expression of BJ’s hubris. Penn has gained fame as a brilliant fighter, but he’s not really known as a talented teacher. (Sorry, Rude Boy, it’s not your fault.) Yet he feels he’s qualified to tell hundreds of instructors how to do their jobs. Particularly, he aims to train the minds of these people. The irony of a blood-licking crybaby obsessive holding seminars on inner tranquility is apparently lost on him.
3) The fact that the program requires its participants to spend a full year in Hawaii will generally attract men without families, who have no problem quitting their paying job and living off the food and shelter that Penn gives them — in other words, disturbed loners who will be easily influenced by the Jim Jones-like sway of BJ. Okay fine, I’ll spell it out for you: BJ Penn is obviously trying to start his own cult. Check out his Christ-like pose in the above image. You wouldn’t drink cyanide-laced coconut milk for this man? Of course, before the mass suicides, the Penntown 300 could be sent on revenge missions against Georges St. Pierre and Keith Kizer. Far-fetched? Maybe. But don’t say you haven’t been warned.
Time: January 1, 2010 at 6am to January 1, 2011 at 7pm
Location: BJ Penns Mixed Martial Arts Academy
Organized By: BJPENN.COM
BJ PENN ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF LIVE LIKE A CHAMPION PROJECT
BJ Penn Invites 300 Martial Arts Teachers to Join Him for a Year of Intensive Training
March 17, 2009, Hilo, Hawaii – World Champion mixed martial arts fighter BJ Penn has been fighting on the mat, in the ring, and in the “cage” for more than a decade; now the popular Hawaiian-born fighter has decided to take on the world, the martial arts world that is. Penn has announced the launch of a one-year martial arts teacher training program called “The Live Like a Champion Project”, set to begin January 1, 2010.
Penn, the first non-Brazilian to ever win the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Championships, a former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight World Champion, and the current UFC Lightweight Champion of the World, will lead 300 hand-picked martial arts teachers, of all styles and from around the world, through an experiential training program that will include martial arts and fitness training, meditation, philosophy, a strict dietary regime, anger management classes, and extensive community involvement. Penn’s goal is to improve the way martial arts instructors learn and practice their craft.
“Fighting is just one part of the martial arts,” says Penn. “Half of The Live Like a Champion Project is about expanding the public’s awareness of what martial arts are about, beyond fighting and self-defense; the other half to expand the kind of education available to people who love teaching martial arts.” Participants will diary in on-line written journals and via video a year of their life as they work with Penn and a team of experts to upgrade their knowledge and live in a way that sets an example for their students –and the international martial arts community.
“The ring is small and the world is big,” says Penn, “knowing how to fight like a champion has its value, but living like a champion is the ultimate aim of the training; and to teach it you have to live it first.”