The Illusion of Jockdom is an erroneous belief that muscle power is omnipotent in a self-defense, competitive or hostile engagement. A concept often held and promoted by naïve, self-absorbed, testosterone-laden, and clueless young men devoid of any understanding of combat, battle or war, the Illusion of Jockdom usually afflicts men in their teens, twenties and thirties, but it can affect anyone of any age. Sadly, The Illusion of Jockdom is a recipe for injury, even death.
History gushingly overflows with examples of major wars, battles, one-on-one clashes, and mano-a-mano confrontations in which a smaller, less ostensible force or person destroys a larger, more seemingly powerful one. The story of David and Goliath is a good start for those who think otherwise. If more research is needed, the battles of the ancient warlord, Sun Tzu, the Roman defeat of the English in the Battle of Watling Street in 60AD, or the Greek Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC are worthy of study.
On a personal note, as having studied and taught martial arts professionally for decades, I can honestly say that an average individual who is well-trained, determined, and knowledgeable in the fighting arts will defeat an individual suffering the pangs of Jockdom. Muscle power alone is no match for warrior power. Furthermore, to a well-trained martial artist, opponent size is no deterrent.
Fighting is an art and science. It engages the body, mind, and spirit and imbues the individual with the knowledge of war, tactics, strategies. Fighting is more mental than physical. In his famous treatise The Art of War, Sun Tzu states: War is a grave concern of the state; it must be thoroughly studied. Notice that Sun Tzu not simply says war must be studied (a mental function) but it must be thoroughly studied. If war were only physical, why do nations have war colleges? Why does the United States have military academies of West Point, Annapolis, the Air Force and the Coast Guard? Academies exist to teach the art of war, not the size of one’s biceps.
True story. A middle-aged male was acting very strangely outside a local gym. The sole trainer in the gym was notified of the man’s presence and to be cautious. When apprised of the situation, the trainer flexed his right bicep, then his left, and commented that if the man caused trouble his (the trainer’s) biceps would protect everyone. Really? Are biceps bullet-proof? Can they stop knives, clubs or other weapons? Can they neutralize an individual with superior knowledge of fighting? The trainer was approximately 6′ 3″, a college graduate, good physique but still, unfortunately, blinded by the malignant malady of Jockdom. Perhaps he was unaware that just a few weeks earlier a young strength and conditioning coach of a hockey team at a local high school was stabbed to death as the result of a fight. All his muscles didn’t help him. In fact, they may have been the result of him getting killed if he subscribed to the Illusion of Jockdom, which basically says, “I’m tough, I’m strong, I’ve got muscles. I can’t be beaten.” Such naiveté may well have been instrumental in the cause of his demise. Muscles don’t win wars. Brains do.
The moral of the story and a word to the wise: don’t fall into the egocentric trap of Jockdom-of thinking that muscles alone will save you or save the day. Such thought is immature, foolish and potentially lethal. Too, never underestimate the ability of an opponent, regardless of size, age or gender. You may be a great jock, an outstanding athlete, an imposing figure, but if you’re going to engage in battle-which is always potentially damaging, even lethal-you’d better bring more to the party than just your muscles.