In this (meta)post, I want to say a few words about the difference between tokens and types--that is, the distinction between generalizations and the specific instances that fall under them. In philosophy, we often use the distinction and it gets used in blog posts about jiu jitsu all the time. Just google for lists of "types of training partners," "types of coaches, "types of black belts," etc. to get a sense for how ubiquitous the distinction can be. As both a blogger and a reader of blogs, it's especially important to be mindful of the distinction in order to keep previous, current, and future coaches, teammates, class mates, etc. from thinking you are talking about them. After all, if I write a post about a particular type of training partner, I need not have any particular token of that classmate in mind. This is just how the human mind and human language work. I have been training for 10+ years and I have been at gyms around the country and even the world. I need not be thinking of any particular individual when I right a post about a type of individual.
Perhaps an illustrative example will be helpful: I was watching two teammates roll at open mats on Saturday. One teammate is especially flexible and so he often manages to extract himself from otherwise dicey situations. This could have prompted me to write a post about how to roll with really flexible partners who simply won't tap. That is, I could have been prompted to write a post about a type of individual based on my experiences with particular tokens. In this case, the Gumby has a name (it's David) but that really doesn't matter because this meta-post isn't about him. It's not even about people like him! Here, David is merely serving as a token example! Any flexible grappler will do the trick for present purposes!
This is just a polite way of reminding current and past training partners not to take things personally! Just because my posts may sometimes apply to you--assuming, of course, you are a token of the type under discussion-this doesn't mean I had you in mind when writing the post. Perhaps I was prompted by watching open mats or perhaps I was prompted by reading a blog post by someone else. The token rarely, if ever, matter and the types are everywhere (as are the motivations and inspirations for writing a post)! Sometimes the siren song is a current event. Sometimes it is a past experience. Sometimes it is even a passing thought. Anything and everything could have prompted me to think about a particular type (and the states of affairs that tend to be associated with them). Whatever insights I might have will only be useful if my own experiences track yours--that is, if the types I discuss are similarly instantiated by tokens in your own gym. If so, hooray for us. If not, find another blog! Either way, don't take it personally unless I single you out at the token I had in mind! p.s. David, I am thinking of you :)