The first time you comment, your comment will automatically go into a moderation queue. If it is approved, after that you will be auto-approved.

This blog is a place where intelligent and polite conversation takes place. That only happens because it is moderated; unmoderated websites tend to be full of assholes. This means that you don’t have to agree with anyone, but you need to interact politely and in a way that facilitates rather than impede conversation. It is absolutely possible to disagree without being disagreeable. Think of yourself as a guest we invited over to have a cup of coffee. How would you engage in the conversation in a manner that would encourage us to invite you back? 

You are welcome to comment anonymously; consistent identities are preferred.

When I delete comments it’s because you’ve violated one or more of the following rules. In general, I will email you to let you know and give you the opportunity to reword it. This may not always be the case, especially if you are extremely rude or patronizing. It’s my choice whether or not to interact with you.

1. Play nice and friendly. As the blog owner, I get to play tone police and decide if you’re being rude. If your comment makes me feel gross because of how you said it, I’m deleting it. It’s totally cool to disagree with me or other people! But it’s not cool to be rude.

2. Certain comments/topics ARE off limits. Victim blaming is NOT okay. Transphobic, homophobic, racist, sexist comments are NOT okay. Comments telling people to politely STFU and train are NOT okay. Comments that shut people down and impede conversation are NOT okay, such as saying “You’re just jealous.”

3. Personal insults are off limits. Disagree with what someone has said, don’t just call them stupid. Go to Youtube if you want to do that. I’m trying to facilitate a conversation here. In general, you can comment on concrete behaviors, not on their character.

4. Commenting on someone’s grammar/spelling is not cool. Respond to what people are saying, not their autocorrect fail. Not everyone is a native English speaker, and I will staunchly defend people having their voices heard even if their English is not perfect. Plus, they might be an eagle. At the same time, please do your best to write complete words and sentences.

5. In general, keep it relevant. This is not to discourage “oh holy crap I found your blog!” comments, but rather, please keep the comments limited to the matter at hand and don’t derail.

6. Write a short story, not a novel. I’m guilty of violating this myself, so this is not set in stone. Part of it is that if you REALLY have that much to say, write a blog post about it and link to the original article. It’s hard to digest really long comments that hit multiple main points – but if it’s all about the same thing, not really a problem.Screw it. You guys are interesting people with cool stuff to say. Ramble on, friends!

7. No spam. Period. Yes, this means that even if you leave a REAL comment, if you have a spammy website or a spammy address, you’re going in the spam bin. Log in with your personal website or your personal email, and you’re golden. Caveat: if you’re a bjj company that is actually interacting with content and adding to the conversation, AND you have a jiu jitsu gear site, that will probably be okay. Please use an actual name, though, and not just your company name – people have conversations, companies don’t.

Me and my babies

My babies are trying to tackle-hug me. They haven’t quite mastered the group hug yet.

As I tell my kindergarten students:

  • “Does Miss Johansen like when you are nice?” “Yes.”
  • “How does Miss Johansen feel when you are rude?” “Angry.”
  • “But she started it!” “I don’t care. Don’t be rude back.”

Be nicer than my kindies, please – they’re 5 and don’t know any better.