What Do You Want To Be

What do you want to be? This is a question often asked to children as they grow up and progress through their school years and life experiences. The question is usually asked as what do you want to be (when you grow up)?

A few questions immediately come to mind when I hear this question, first how would a 10 year old have an idea of what he or she wants to be “when they grow up” when they don’t really even know what is available to them. My second question is how many “grown ups” really know what they want to be? 

Here’s the bigger question, why is this usually defined by the job people decide to pursue? If you chose to be a doctor, lawyer, police officer, teacher, custodian, or burger flipper is that really who you are, or is it just what you do?

One more question, why do we not ask this question to adults? Do you know what you want to be? Do you define what you are by what you do to earn money? Does what someone does for a wage define what they are, or does someones character and value set define what they are. Is the person who decided to be a doctor more valuable than the person who decided to be cashier? What you decided to do is not what you are, it does not define your value versus what someone else decided to be.

So what do I want to be? Honest, reliable, kind, healthy, a good father, boyfriend, and friend. In short a good human being who cares about others.

What do I want to do? Now thats a whole other question.

Stay Human 

Peace

Step 1

Step 1, start. Doesn’t matter how you start, just start. If weight loss is the goal and you don’t know how to lose weight starting may be reaching out to a trainer or a nutritionalist, it can also be as simple as a 10 minute walk after dinner, or skipping the sugary coffee drink you pick up on the way to work. 

The important thing is to do something, and keep in mind, the easier the first step is, the easier it will be to stick with and build upon. If you decide your first step is an hour of cardio followed by weight lifting and a 900 calorie diet I can pretty much assure you will fail.

Start with small easy steps, but START…

Peace

Behavior Change for Health

In order to achieve long term success in your health and fitness you need to address the thought process that brought you to your current state of being. Trying to start a new diet plan and exercise program without addressing and correcting negative thoughts and behaviors will inevitably lead to failure; to have good physical health you need to have good mental health. All 3 areas are important to address, however your thoughts drive the entire experience and must be in order to lead you on the path to success.

The behavioral change process is based on self reflection through guided sessions where we find healthier thoughts to replace less than healthy thoughts which usually lead to less than healthy actions and a less than healthy life. You cannot control the thoughts that enter you mind but you can control your reactions to them and replace them with constructive helpful thoughts to move you onto a productive, healthy life.

 

Mobility Vs. Flexibility

Mobility is the ability of a joint to move actively through a range of motion.

Mobility is based on movement and motor control.

Flexibility is the ability of a muscle to move passively through a range of motion.

Flexibility is temporary. 

You can’t effectively stretch a muscle that crosses a joint with limited mobility. 

Proper execution of mobility exercises will improve free movement through a joints full range of motion. When performed consistently mobility training may help correct imbalances, help reduce the risk of injury, and help with the performance of resistance training and free movement. 

Mobility movements are ideal to use as a lead in to resistance training as they prepare joints to move through their full range allowing proper form and full range throughout each exercise.  

Stretching muscles prior to resistance training may result in decreased performance as stretching muscles sends a signal to the muscle to relax and will have a detrimental effect on the muscles ability to fully contract for maximum strength. 

Stretching is most effective post resistance training. 

Peace

Getting Older in Jiu Jitsu

As an older, not old (53) jiu jitsu practitioner/instructor I can easily admit that my physical abilities are weening. After a lifetime of physical abuse to my body by way of sports and martial arts training resulting is several surgeries my body just doesn’t do everything I ask of it with the same efficiency it once did. I’ll continue to roll as often as I can but, my focus has shifted.

On the other hand my knowledge continues to accumulate and my ability to pass that knowledge as a coach/instructor continues to expand daily and at this point in my life my main goal is to the best possible instructor I can be.

The best coaches are not always the best competitors and the best competitors do not always make great coaches.

I feel that as a coach/instructor I have far more to contribute to the growth of our martial art/sport then I could ever contribute as a competitor and at this point in my life I feel good about this.

Why Does Press 1 Bother You So Much?

I really don’t care which tribal label you give yourself, whether you’re republican, democrat, libertarian, socialist, green, communist, or team Renzo. I don’t care if you’re black, white, red, or yellow. I don’t care if you’re a man, woman, SIS (I don’t even understand what that means), gender fluid, trans, gay, straight, bi, or still confused where you fit in. I don’t care if you’re  a vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, or carnivore. I don’t care if you’re Christian, Catholic, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, or Atheist. I don’t care if you like rock, country, blues, disco, jazz, classical, electronic, R&B, or even opera for that matter. I don’t care if you like the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, or White Sox, Go Pirates. I don’t care if you like baseball, basketball, football, hockey, or soccer. Merry Christmas, happy holidays; who really cares, someone is wishing you well why do you care how they say it. On, and on, and on. Sorry if I excluded your tribe. 

While I agree far too many are looking for reasons to be offended, far to many are also going out of their way to intentionally be offensive.

I think that wherever you fit in we all have the same goals and that’s to be happy, healthy, and loved. If everyone put it a little effort it would really be quite easy. Let me be me while you be you. 

Be Kind

If everyone would just be kind to others this trip would be way easy. 

Peace

Fall Camp, Heidelberg Germany

 

Fall Camp Heidelberg Germany

I guess to start by saying the camp was awesome would just be redundant as all the camps are awesome. This was my third BJJ Globetrotters camp and the best to date. As always I met and made friends with great people from all around the world, but this time, for the first time, I taught a class at camp. My fear was an empty mat, the reality was just over eighty participants, how awesome is that. My class was on passing the butterfly guard and I taught with my typical combination of technical instruction and sarcastic wit. I received a lot of positive feedback from many of the students and some great feedback from a couple of the other instructors. I would say my first class teaching (of hopefully many more) for the BJJ Globetrotters was successful.

The second reason this camp was so important to me was because just like the first globetrotters camp I attended it helped my overcome an anxiety trigger. The prospect of sharing a cabin with 9 others and sharing a bathroom was a total nightmare; however, I decided I needed to do this to overcome one aspect of my social anxiety and I did. The trigger to overcome this time was to travel outside the United States; yes, in my 51 years this is the first time I left the US, you would think as close as I live to Canada I would’ve made that trip at least once by now but; I have, well had this thing about leaving the states. Anxiety trigger 2 conquered.

The camp itself is an amazing experience. You get to meet and train with others who share the same passion for Brazilian jiu jitsu that you have. These other campers come from around the globe and bring their style of BJJ with them. Although we all train the same art it is a very personal and unique experience for every participant due to all the variables that come from everyone’s individuality. Seeing other people’s little variances on techniques is a great way to improve your training by opening previously overlooked options.

Heidelberg, Germany was an excellent choice for a camp location. The sports complex was quite large and the mat space easily accommodated 200 plus globetrotters. Classes transitioned smoothly from one instructor to the next and the open mat periods flowed nicely. The sports hall also had clean locker rooms equipped with showers and a great cafeteria that offered inexpensive food options for those who did not participate in the food plan.

I wasn’t sure what it would be like staying in a hostel but even that turned out to be a pleasant experience. We were 4 to a room and we had a private bathroom and it was clean with comfortable bunks.

The city of Heidelberg may be the coolest place I’ve ever visited. The old part of the city with its narrow cobble stone roads and small homes was like traveling back in time. In the city center the streets were lined with small shops, bars, and restaurants were you can get any type of food you could possibly want. Then there’s the castle overlooking the city, a nice climb to go in the back way, or you can drive up to the main entrance, a great experience regardless of your choice with breath-taking views out over the city and the Neckar River.

Speaking of the Neckar River, there’s a really cool park on the riverside that has beach volleyball courts, and outdoor bar, and music playing continuously, a great place to hang out and just relax and soak it all in. There is also a bike/walking path that extends for miles on the riverside.

The other thing that struck me about Heidelberg was that a large percentage of the residents ride bicycles as their primary mode of transportation. They have a rent a bike system in place with pickup/drop off points all over the city and virtually every place you go there are bike racks, also there are bike lanes on almost every road and they even have traffic lights specific to bicycles.

The one negative in the entire trip was the lack of internet access. Heidelberg has free wi-fi in the city which I was able to access however there was no internet access. The only 2 places I was able to get online were the cafeteria in the sports center and the hostel lobby.. Oh, hold on a second, that’s actually a good thing too. Never mind it was 100% positive.

All in all this was an amazing trip with great Brazilian jiu jitsu, great people, great food, and I cant wait to do it all again…

 

Peace

But I Thank………..

I don’t necessarily believe in the concept of God as this supreme being that has created everything and has predetermined our existence, however I find myself thanking him (or her) every day. I do believe that most of the stories written in the Bible are true, however in the cases where God is speaking to some of the cast I feel there is another explanation. Don’t ask me what that explanation is as I don’t know the answers, all I have is more questions.

 

All Time Low

“We all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future, and we are all mortal.” — John F. Kennedy

Regardless of who wins the election a few things are clear.

  1. The people who voted for the winner will be happy and continue to defend their candidate regardless of good or bad performance. The good will be I told you so and the bad will be blame on everyone else for not letting the new president accomplish goals.

2. The people who voted for the loser will continue to cry foul (rigged election, voter fraud, etc) and continue to attack the winner and all who support the new president. Hillary is a killer crook who belongs in the big house not the white house, Donald is a sexist, racist, and so on.

3. The conspiracy theorist will continue with the man behind the curtain pulls the strings and the president holds no power so it really doesn’t matter who the president is anyway.

4. The media will continue with attacks on the party opposite of the signature on their paychecks, which ensures we never get any real news or facts as to what is actually happening.

5. The internet will continue to have equal stories to support both sides of the coin so whether you a heads guy or a tails guy you will be able to easily find information to back your stance. The problem is most of the info is bogus like the sites that publish it.

6. Far to many people get their information from memes. Most memes are created by people with a specific agenda. So whether it’s political, health related, or my favorites; quotes (the same quote on 6 different memes crediting 6 different authors) the accuracy of that meme all always be questionable at best.

I’m going to stop counting now because this can go on for ever, but here’s what I will say.

I’ve been voting since 1984. I’ve seen quite a few elections from local on up to presidential in that time and I’ve never seen anything like this current election. Election campaigns should be focused on 1 thing and 1 thing only; the issues facing the office of which the candidate is running for, and how that candidate will tackle the issues to best serve the people he/she is representing. Unfortunately no campaign in the history of this country has followed that simple criteria. Go back to day 1 and you will find attacks on opponents has always been the norm. However, I think this current presidential campaign has turned it up a notch.

Now what has changed over the years is the size and presence of media. Included in this is ALL media, television, radio, news papers, magazines, and internet. Included with the internet, social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, blogs, pod casts, Youtube, and everyone and their mother has a personal website now-a-days. While this is great it also creates the overabundance of false information. Satire websites by the dozens writing off the wall articles that the majority believe to be real news stories (this to me is the most scary of all).

Now here is the biggest issue of this current election and something I have never seen before. People disagree, everyone has their own opinion on everything and that’s good. Debate is good, you may get me to see things from a perspective I’ve never seen before which in turn will change my mind on a subject or a the very least get me to respect it even if I continue to disagree. Debate or have a conversation, a civilized debate or conversation; but that’s where this has taken a dramatic turn.

On Facebook in the past 6 months or so I’ve seen friendships end, strangers, complete strangers who have never met or talked and know absolutely nothing about each other venomously go at each others throats. Why? Because they have different opinions on who would best run this country, all civility has gone straight to hell.

Here’s a few things to think about. How hard is it to be respectful of someones opinion whether you agree or not? How hard is it to think before you speak? How hard is it to just be kind to each other? Remember once you say it, you can’t take it back; so does it really need to be said in the form of disrespect or in an attacking manner. Just because my views differ from yours does not make me blind, ignorant, uninformed, or whatever other names every is calling each other.

It’s really mind-boggling how so many adults are acting like 5th graders over the current political landscape. I feel in the long run we all basically want the same thing. Peace, health, wealth, and happiness for ourselves and friends and family and everyone else we share to planet with.

It all starts from within.

Bottom Line: Everyone has their own truth. Regardless of the election outcome, if we continue to act this way we all lose.

 

 

“Oh no I’ve said too much, I haven’t said enough”

 

 

Peace

 

 

BJJ Tournament Rules

It seems like every week a new grappling federation is popping up and holding tournaments. I think this is both good and bad. Good in the way that our sport is growing in popularity, and bad because with this growth usually comes the watering down of the original intent of the “art”. The original intent of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was self protection, self protection in the way that a smaller person could defend themselves against a lager attacker. The original intent of Tae Kwon Do was self protection, typically meeting force with force with defensive maneuvers and punching and kicking. With the popularity of Tae Kwon Do tournaments the rules slowly began to change. First the punching began to fade then the contact began to fade. When I trained in TKD we fought when we sparred, there was contact and if the fight went to the ground as most fights do you’d better know how to fight there as well. We didn’t go for points for one simple reason; if you get attacked your attacker will not stop attacking because you scored a point.

While I feel that sport martial arts are good it’s the rules that water down the martial art itself. Traditionally speaking, if you got a black belt it meant you could fight and defend yourself, now if you get a black belt in a martial art designed for competition that meaning isn’t necessarily true. A lot of black belts today have a false sense of security due to the sport aspect of the what they are learning.

Now here’s the issue I have with all the grappling tournaments that are popping up every week, each one has a different set of rules, and much like what happened to TKD this is watering down BJJ. More and more schools have a sport based curriculum (if they have a curriculum at all) and this takes the self protection out of the art. While I agree that for children there are certain things that need to be modified in both training and competition for safety, however adults need to train the art as it was meant to be. Therefore as an adult in competition there should not be limits on the moves and submissions that are (or least least should be) part of every adult BJJ academy curriculum. I realize there is no easy answer to this issue, however I feel it needs to be addressed.

 

To be continued…

Peace