I have friends at Crazy 88, a powerhouse BJJ academy, historically a Team Lloyd Irvin affiliate in a tiny town in Maryland, under head instructor Julius Park.
Back when Lloyd Irvin announced he was disbanding the affiliate program, my Crazy 88 friends were super happy-- the big dumbass TLI bulldog logo got painted over and people felt Crazy 88 would finally get its own time in the spotlight.
Fast forward to Wednesday. The Crazy 88 twitter feed starts posting the brackets for Worlds. People there are so excited for a major event where Crazy 88 gets its name in lights again because they have so many bad asses that train there. They used to carry TLI in those standings, and it always confused people why Coach Julius would let someone else take the credit. But then, it's politics.
Students start pinging teammates that were unhappy when shit blew up in January. "What's going on with Crazy 88 and TLI?" There's a lot of questions and no real answers coming down.
One of my friends at Crazy 88 told me, "It's just fucking sad. Disheartening. This fucker, LI, has just trashed so many people's shit, and he continues to pull strings and manipulate people. He continues to play on the bonds forged in training over years for his own gain. It's so disgusting. And he's using that to turn teammate on teammate putting young, impressionable athletes in what has to feel like impossible positions."
Hours pass. Results roll in. Team Crazy 88 would be in first place at Worlds at the end of Thursday, except they're registered as TLI. "This little gym in tiny Elkridge, MD that has so much athletic talent, so much great coaching from a name nobody would otherwise know if it weren't being made infamous for its connection to LI - this incredibly fun, amazing environment is now drowning in a toxic pool because of this association."
I'd like to encourage everyone to show the owners of Crazy 88 that people aren't going to shut up, and they're not going away. This is a hard choice because the students there feel there is no other gym nearby with the caliber and coaching of Crazy 88. To find a similar level means driving hours north or south. All these people who love jiu jitsu stand to lose the thing they love, with the people they love doing it with, because of Lloyd Irvin.