Showing posts from November, 2008

Thanksgiving Day Thoughts

Here it is a day after Thanksgiving and I was thinking about how grateful I am for so many things in my life. My loved ones, my health, all of those who have helped me and others, our service men and women out there in the face of adversity who are fighting so that we can be safe, all of our police and emergency response personnel who ensure our safety within our communities, our teachers who are helping raise our understanding to encompass more than just our own views, our leaders who hopefully will set the pace for greater justice, compassion and respect for all of us, and thanks to all of you who I have had or will hopefully have the honor of meeting and/or training with to share in learning, growing and "mowing the lawn" so to speak. (If you don't know what I mean when I say "mowing the lawn" give me a shout and I will explain). In light of my thankful thoughts I'm doing some more down to earth worldly activities such as cleaning my condo when I came a

Winning vs. Not Being Beat

Here is a good story that I read in Saulo Ribeiro's new book "Jiu-Jitsu University." The book is one of the best Brazilian jiu jitsu books that I have read and I thought his story about Helio and surviving was great! When I was out in California training at the Gracie Academy I almost met Helio a couple times. One time I arrived a day late and another he came a few weeks after I had gone home. Too bad that I missed him...who knows though maybe our paths will cross sometime, someplace... Well anyway, here's Saulo's story: The last time I trained with Helio Gracie was a truly memorable experience and is to this day the most important class I ever had on Jiu-Jitsu. What struck me most was how Helio addressed me. He did not hold me in awe for my titles or championships, and what he said more than surprised me. He said, "son, you're strong, you're tough, you're a world champion, but I don't think you can beat me." At the time I just looked at

What if...

you faced a situation that you couldn't win? A circumstance or adversary that would crush you if you went toe to toe with them. What then? How would you endure... Persevere... escape... survive... Sometimes when we come up against something there is no win or lose. There is survive or not survive. Live or die. Escape or be conquered. This could be physically, psychologically and/or emotionally. Sometimes when someone "win's" they really lose because their psychological make up cannot withstand the trauma. This is often called "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder." It happens when someone is put in a highly stressful environment often dealing with violence, death, and/or the fear of them. The person could be on the giving or receiving end of this spectrum. Many of our soldiers & Police officers get this disorder after serving active duty in some type of a crime or combat zone where they were subjected to an intense amount of this type of experience. How does t

The Olympic Swimmer & The Life Guard

The other day someone asked me if I would train them to fight in a MMA match. I explained to him that I had a different view. I told him that I train people to live, not to fight and although there are many aspects of class that are physical and involve combat training, that aspect was a small part of a larger picture. At first he looked a bit confused and then a look of almost disgust came over him like I was trying to pull some Kwai Chan Cane philosophical BS on him or some how attempting to mask that I couldn't fight or that my classes were not practical because we didn't train to fight in the cage. So instead of challenging him to a duel or something crazy like that, I explained it to him another way. I told him that I train Life Guards, not Olympic Swimmers. Both train to be good swimmers and although the Olympian could probably win in a competition against the life guard, that's not how or why the life guard does what he does. Life guards learn to swim for altogether