Tom DeBlass is both an experienced competitor and a well-respected coach of his own gym with plenty of top-tier grapplers, as such he has a perfect insight into how to handle the rare occurrence of a new person coming in to challenge an instructor. Back in the 80s and beyond, this kind of behavior was actually pretty common with some gyms even holding open challenges to anyone who wanted to prove their worth. Fast-forward to today and the rise of competitive BJJ has pretty much eliminated the need for “dojo storms” as it’s relatively easy to look up a coach or his gym’s competitive records.
That being said, it still happens. No matter how far the sport has come and no matter how obvious someone’s proficiency is, there will always be people who think they know better. Most recently, a video circulated of a clearly skilled instructor being challenged by someone and then putting an absolute beating on them.
What starts off as morally questionable goes straight to abhorrent when the instructor refuses to respect the fact that his obviously untrained opponent has tapped out and continues in a dominant position. Then the video descends into what could really be considered assault as the instructor proceeds to strike his opponent with bare hands before stomping on his head. All of this happens as the man is clearly asking for him to stop. While it’s worth mentioning that the video does not show what happened prior to this confrontation, there’s realistically very little that could warrant what it does show. Tom DeBlass seems to be of a similar thought process as he outlined in a Facebook post, how any instructor should handle these gym challenges: