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BJJGround Forum >> Cameron Earle


1/21/13 11:14 AM
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EazyG
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Thanks for sharing. A fascinating post.

Cameron is tragic on so many levels, involving many people.

I am not absolving him of responsibility for his actions, but it is sad how poorly his parents treated him. He clearly wasnt setup to succeed. Some can overcome this situation and others cannot.

I too hope the best for him but would be scared of him free in society.
1/21/13 11:31 AM
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RadBoy
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Thanks for sharing the story.
1/21/13 11:42 AM
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dcvillain
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Thanks for sharing.
1/21/13 11:48 AM
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ChokeTheFace
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Respect Phone Post
1/21/13 12:18 PM
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Gumby
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PayItForward - respect to you gumby....

i hope you feel even more closure for getting this off your chest.

i've visited your place back in '11 and you've got a great thing going. you're a solid dude w/ solid people around you...


peace.

Thank you.  I'm as proud of my school, Heroes Martial Arts and the people it is comprised of as I have been about anything in my life.

1/21/13 12:21 PM
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Gumby
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CJJScout - Thanks for that, Gumby. I didn't know all of that, basically just knew the BJJ stuff. It's very hard to see talent like that go to waste.

True, but to me it's far worse to see a life (and lives) flushed away like that.
1/21/13 12:26 PM
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Gumby
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Jessy30 -  Also, I work for the Correctional industry. The thing about prison that you cannot forget is there is ALWAYS another person willing to fight. A person like you describe cameron to be I am sure would have picked or been involved in fight after fight. he probably even won most. But eventually, going back to your point the law or karma catches up with you. In jail the law is a whole lot different. The prisoners have their own law and their own brand of justice ESPECIALLY regarding sex offenders. We all know bjj is really only good at one on one weaponless. It would only be a matter of time until a man like cameron was broken. Phone Post

I really hope that I don't become more familiar with the correctional system than I already am, but with what little I do know I am consistently shocked and amused by some of the comments that are made, both relating to this case and elsewhere. I have no doubt that anyone and everyone can and will eventually be broken down particularly someone with Cameron's background. The nature of his crimes, the fact he doesn't neatly fit with any ethnic group and the staggering amount of people he's likely pissed off or beaten up on the outside that now he shares the inside with doesn't make his odds very good.
1/21/13 12:26 PM
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TV
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Much respect to u Gumby. Phone Post
1/21/13 12:31 PM
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Losmeister
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Thanks for this Gumby, I rarely read FRAT stuff on here, but this one hit home pretty hard. I remember training in the 90s and buying your tapes online, one of my favorite matches was Cameron against I think Mark Bocek when they were purples. Great match.

I would go to tourneys and look at Cameron and you and the Camarillo bros like you were celebs, lol. Cameron was one of my BJJ heroes, but like you said, the BJJ is irrelevant in this case, lives were ruined and I offer up my prayers also to the victims, their families, and Cameron himself.
1/21/13 12:40 PM
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Chicago Bum
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Great post, thanks for sharing your perspective Phone Post
1/21/13 12:40 PM
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tf1
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Thanks Gumby. It's difficult to share personal experiences about people you know who have messed up in one way or another but it's necessary for the rest of the community. What I mean is if people don't share what they know in an honest manner like you did, all we have are speculations, platitudes, and anecdotes which really don't amount to anything.

Thanks. Phone Post
1/21/13 12:41 PM
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Furacao
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Gumby - that was an amazing piece and gave a whole new insight into what transpired with Cameron. Thank you for sharing.
1/21/13 12:42 PM
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Gumby
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PrisonMattressPuncher - 

Thanks for sharing your perspective. I really like your last words where you state that one of your main concerns/goals is to only train with quality indivisuals. I agree wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, I have seen instructors willing to teach almost anyone, no matter his/her demeanor/character. There have been some fairly shady people in BJJ over the years, and I blame the culture of thugness that was present earlier on. I left a club because i did not like some of the people that were being trained.

I think in Cameron's case, if we all held ourselves to a higher standards, he would have not lasted as long in BJJ as he did. I think the signs of 'shadiness' and criminality were there earlier on. It's a double edged sword, some people hope to use BJJ to make people better citizens than they were before the entered the sport, but I am not sure this is the case for the most part. Ryon and Rener Gracie discuss this in their video on the situation.


Maybe. There will continue to be shady people in BJJ I'm sure. We don't do background checks when you initially come in, a lot goes on either gut or expecting the system/process to weed those folks out. I guess one point I wanted to make was that sometimes it's hard to see them, even if you consider yourself a morally upstanding person. The point has been made very eloquently in the past week in how well do you actually know the people you train with. I know a discussion I've had with other instructors is how well do you want to get to know them?

And in Cameron's case I surely had no intention to paint him in a favorable light, but I could cite plenty of examples where he demonstrated himself to be a good and honorable guy and a great friend. I think he did genuinely care for the people around him and he had (at least outwardly) a code of honor, however twisted it might be. Again, often times it's hard to impossible to tell what's going on in the depths of a man's soul. If you were to ask me now (in my non-expert opinion of course), I would say in retrospect that Cameron clearly had some sociopathic tendancies, but I would argue not classically so. I think he was/is hardwired for trouble however. Removing myself from the situation completely I think his case is fascinating from a clinical perspective.

Again, maybe because I was so close to the situation that I can't have an objective perspective on this. In that sense his story is my story and a cautionary tale from people who would be in my shoes. As I said, all I can do is move on from what I learned from all this, and be far more cautious about how I deal with people and my own affairs in the future. I think because of all this I am more keenly tuned to character than most, and I'm also very keenly aware of my responsibilities as an instructor. With Great power comes great responsibility.

BJJ is a wonderful thing, but I sometimes compare it to fire. Cooks, your food, made modern civilization possible but it could still burn your house down.
1/21/13 12:56 PM
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Gumby
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TheBearStare -  Out of curiousity gumby, do you know if ralph ever had talks with cameron about his antics(fighting and hurting people?) Phone Post

I do know it was discussed but somehow I don't honestly know the specifics about those conversations, other than a warning to be careful.

I DO know that Ralph would give long speeches to any of the Brazilians who would come and stay with him (including an hours long lecture to Ryan Gracie one time) about how the United States wasn't like Brazil, you couldn't go fighting in the streets and there were definite consequences. Then the students who wind up taking them out would get a shorter and more to the point speech that we better keep our guests out of trouble, or else we'd be in bigger trouble. Made for some interesting nights out.


I think in Cameron's mind a lot of that outside violence was justified. I've seen him @#$! up more than one person if he say someone being picked on in a club or wherever. I wouldn't go as far as to say he would go looking for trouble, but he definitely loved playing the white knight.

I think a few people will recall the Mister Chau's incident, which was remarkable because it was literally in front of the entire school. As in the Mister Chau's Chinese fast food across the street from the academy. Some big dude was in there acting in thuggish manner, threatening customers and employees alike. You could see all this from across El Camino Real from the academy windows so most of the class saw this (I wasn't there) and Cameron, outraged by what he saw ran across the street to confront the guy. The guy apparently lunged at him and Cameron knocked him out with a high kick to the face. Everyone saw how crazy this guy was acting and Cameron was the only one who was going to do something about it. The best reaction to the situation? Debatable but again it makes for a hell of a story.
1/21/13 1:04 PM
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X_Rated
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Thank you Gumby.

1/21/13 1:19 PM
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ThePigpen
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Thanks for putting all of that down Gumby.
1/21/13 1:20 PM
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El_Gato
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Thank you for sharing that. Do you know what year the break-in rape took place? Is this something that happened before he began training with you guys or after?
1/21/13 1:24 PM
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kying418
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Edited: 01/21/13 1:25 PM
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Thank you again for sharing.

As a school owner, if you had a Cameron Earle come through the doors, would you be likely to turn him away?

At what point, do you (or others on this board) feel it is good to try to "help" someone through bjj vs. kicking them out because you do not want to equip them with a deadly tool/knowledge?

As an unrelated note, from the pictures I have seen, Gumby has one of the best looking academies around.

http://heroesmartialarts.com/news/

1/21/13 1:30 PM
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joshjitsu
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Gumby to the inside BJJ podcast Phone Post
1/21/13 2:12 PM
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elburrogrande
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good stuff gumby
1/21/13 2:33 PM
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kying418
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joshjitsu -  Gumby to the inside BJJ podcast Phone Post

I agree- but not even for his experiences with Cameron Earle.

Rumor has it that he became a billionaire after the .com boom, and then decided to retire to teach bjj.
1/21/13 3:01 PM
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Revolting Blob
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. Phone Post
1/21/13 3:13 PM
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007
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Thanks for writing this Gumby. I rememember Cameron Earle from the old tournament scene and how talented he was. It was hard to reconcile that image with the rape charges when it happened.
1/21/13 3:49 PM
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demandango
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Great post gumby, thanks. Phone Post
1/21/13 4:03 PM
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eric-burdo
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Thank you for sharing your story, Gumby. Amazing to hear inside details on such a high profile story in (and out of) the Jiu-Jitsu world. All the best to you.

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