Phish Adventure & the Days That Followed Part 2

Part 2

Before me and Jason split up at the Phish show I told him I need to bring Tara’s car in to his shop for a service. He told me Monday or Tuesday morning would be good, I said I would bring it on Monday at 9:00 am but that didn’t happen, I don’t remember why but I called him and said I would be coming in on Tuesday instead. 

I woke up on Tuesday 2 July 2019 prepared and ate my breakfast then headed to Lodi to Jason’s shop with Tara’s car. I got there right around 9:00 am and pulled the car right onto the lift (with Jasons guidance). Jason raised the car and did the oil change and tire rotation while I just walked around the shop and talked with him and John just like hundreds of times before. When the service was finished Jason lowered the car and pulled it out of the shop and parked it in the driveway and we went into the office, Jason printed up a bill for the service and we talked for a little bit about the typical shit we talked about every day specifically the concert from the weekend. A few minutes later a customer pulled in for a wheel alignment. Jason and I  walked outside to the car and before he got in the car to pull it into the shop I said Tara will be back later today and I’ll stop back in tomorrow to take care of the bill. He said whatever dude no rush, we shook hands, I said see you tomorrow. Jason got in the car and pulled onto the lift, I got into Tara’s car and split.

When I left the shop I drove home to drop off Tara’s car at my house and get my car and head to the gym to lift. While I was working out my phone rang (Eye of the Tiger ring tone), I glanced at it and it was Tony, I couldn’t answer but because Tony rarely calls me I called back right away. I figured he was in the area and wanted to stop over. Tony answered the phone and said Abe called him and said Jason had an accident at the shop and got hurt. I stated I just left the shop and everything was okay but Tony seemed really concerned so I decided to go right back to the shop. 

As I was driving back to the shop I figured maybe he hurt his hand trying to loosen a bolt or maybe something fell onto his foot or something stupid along those lines. As I crossed over Harrison Ave and the shop came into my sight horror set in as the entire corner was taped off with yellow police tape, there were a couple Lodi police cars and the Bergen County investigation truck all parked along the road. I quickly parked my car in front of the county truck and jumped out. One of the Lodi police officers was a friend so I called him over and asked what happened. He wouldn’t tell me much except that a car came off the lift and pinned Jason and it wasn’t good. He also told me that they took Jason to Hackensack University Medical Center. I jumped into my car and quickly started to drive to the hospital. As I was driving down Westervelt I decided to call Kevin (Jason’s brother). Kevin answered the phone with 2 words “he’s gone”. I had to pull over at this point. My phone call back to Tony was a difficult call to make. I didn’t want to say the words. 

I still can’t comprehend that about 30 minutes after I left the shop Jason left us. I’m so grateful for the friendship I had with Jason, and that I was with him for a while on that day. Jason was one of the best people there ever was. 

We had a great time at the Phish show and he owes me a Slipknot concert so Im sure he’ll be there with me. 

Like many others I spoke to Jason every day and stopped in the shop at least 1 time a week.  There’s a huge hole that can never be filled.IMG_8997-2

Jiu Jitsu in St Barthélemy – 1

Question – What’s better than a vacation in the French West Indies? 

Answer – A jiu jitsu vacation in the French West Indies. 

So this was the 6th BJJ camp I’ve been to and although I love them all for different reasons this one I believe to be my favorite to date. More on the reason for this thought later. 

The trip started with a flight to St. Maarten. After getting through customs I jumped into a cab to Philipsburg so I could catch a ferry to St. Barthélemy. When I got there I had a couple of hours to walk around town and grab some lunch. The biggest thing I noticed in Philipsburg is that they have yet to recover from hurricane Irma. The city seemed pretty run down and although there is rebuilding in progress it seems some areas are forgotten and it’s going to take quite some time. I did sit in a small bar/restaurant for lunch (I don’t remember the name but the wifi code is buybeer). The place is what I pictured as a stereotypical Caribbean bar and while I don’t drink I was hungry and the place looked really cool so I felt compelled to get lunch there. My lunch; an awesome vegetable wrap and fries.

Did I mention I ate like shit for the past 9 days? 

*Side note – left Saddle Brook 10 Feb 174.8 pounds, this morning 19 Feb 171.6.. Scratches head…..

Ok, the ferry from St Maarten to St. Barthélemy, where do I start? Do not, and I mean do not under any circumstances sit outside in the last row on the left side of the boat unless you dig the smell of diesel fuel and like being soaked with salt water, by the time we docked it looked like I swam there however, I was in St. Barthélemy and about to begin a week of surfing, jiu jitsu, and all around fun with a group of awesome people.

Now I need to address what’s makes this camp so special,  besides the prefect weather and island life of course. Most of the camps I’ve attended have anywhere from 100 to 200 participants so training partners of all size and skill levels are readily available however, it’s hard to meet everyone and people tend to group off. This camp has about 35 to 40 people in attendance so it was easy to meet everyone and actually get to know them. We ate dinner together ever night, went to the beaches together, trained together and just had a great time hanging out and playing games, one night after dinner I witnessed one of the most intense games of pick up sticks ever played. 

Cliff Hanger…..

To be continued……..

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Bio-Logic

A while back I started writing my story. It started off with the fact that I was adopted from birth and although I grew up in a 100% Italian family I did not know my biological back ground. Before I could finish the story Tara told me she had a gift for me and would be giving it to me later that night. What was the gift you may be asking; an Ancestry DNA kit. At first I wasn’t sure if I would even use it and I let it sit there for a while before I made the decision to spit in the vile.

Now just to take you back a little bit, my family somehow had a connection with the family of the woman who gave birth to me. Also my mother had all the papers from the adoption and gave them to me before she died so I had all the information on the adoption. A while before Tara bought me the DNA kit I did a quick google search and within 5 minutes I knew quite a bit about my biological mother and her immediate family. 

Just to makes this clear I had the best mom I could have ever asked for and wouldn’t have changed that for anything. My father died when I was very young and after that we struggled a bit. My mom worked extremely hard to make sure me and my sister had everything we needed, she sacrificed her time and happiness for us. Im sure she would’ve loved to go out with friends and possibly meet someone but she didn’t because we became her top priority. For this I am extremely grateful but also feeling a little guilt because she deserved to be happy and Im not really sure she was. 

Getting back to the DNA test I really don’t care much about the nationality part of the test. I was born Bayshore NY, grew up in Lodi NJ, and I carry an American passport; I am 100% American plain and simple. I did’t think I would care about biological family, turns out I was wrong about that. 

 

To be continued…….

Sab-Jits The Podcast Episode 3

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Sab-Jits the Podcast Episode 3

Today I sat and talked with my friend, student, and training partner Oscar Martinez at The Edge Ultimate Martial Arts Academy in Saddle Brook NJ. We talked Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Self Defense….

Pulling Guard

 

Let’s get this straight right from the start, sitting down after the fist bump isn’t pulling guard; it’s sitting down. Pulling guard is getting controlling grips on your opponent and pulling them into your guard with control and setting up your attack/sweep, and to be 100% honest with you I’d rather see someone properly pull guard to get a match started than watch two people do nothing standing because neither can score a takedown or a throw.

So; if you do pull guard make sure you have a strong guard game. Pulling guard and then getting passed immediately, or worse yet spending 6 minutes doing nothing but holding guard while your opponent tries to open your guard, is just wrong.

This being said; learn takedowns and throws, practice takedowns and throws, and when you roll in class start standing more often and practice takedown sparring.

In Summary:
Learn Takedowns
Learn Throws
Practice Takedowns
Practice Throws
Start Standing more often
Develop a strong guard game

Develop a complete Jiu Jitsu Skill set……

Train Hard
Train often

Peace

 

Eat Fresh

So let me start off with this; when someone tells you a specific exercise, diet, cleanse, or whatever the latest buzz happens to be will help you burn fat from a specific body part it’s in you best interest to walk away. This also applies to “cleansing” specific organs. Drinking lemon water, ginger water, apple cider vinegar water, salt water, pepper water, or any other spice water isn’t going to make your liver or any other internal organ cleaner and more functional, what it will accomplish is that you be drinking shitty tasting water all day which in most cases will cause you to dink less water than you should be drinking; end result, dehydration.

The people who making these claims come from one of the following groups; people who will gain financially from you believing their claims, or people who are not properly educated on the subject.

The truth is, if you follow a good diet eating fresh food and drink at least half your body weigh in water (body weight 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces of water) on a daily basis, (if you’re very active add 10 to 15 % to this), eliminate processed food, and excessive sugar, and do some exercise daily you will start to lose excessive body fat.

Supplements, do you need to take them; well, the 80 katrillionbillion dollar supplement industry will tell you that you need every vitamin, mineral and herb on earth to maintain a healthy balance, strengthen your immune system, have a strong healthy heart and digestive system. Truth is if you eat fresh foods and in great variety you are most likely getting everything you need to stay healthy. Best way to find out, go get a full physical and blood work to test for deficiencies. Better yet, do you feel good, eat fresh food in variety? Yes, you don’t need supplements.

If your diet eliminates specific foods you may need to supplement, for example if you follow a vegan diet you will need a B12 supplement. Also in the winter when you’re not getting the proper sunlight you may need a D supplement. Of course with varying issues there may be some exceptions to this, but I speaking to generally healthy people.

In summary:
Eat a good variety of fresh food, eliminate processed food and sugar, and move your body.

Peace

Weight Cutting

A couple of weeks ago UFC fighter Uriah Hall damn near died during his weight cut for his UFC Fight Night 124 fight with Vitor Belfort. Uriah found himself rushed to the hospital after fainting and it was reported he had a seizure and may have suffered a mild heart attack. So why does this happen to a 33 year old professional athlete? The short answer; normally weighing 220 pounds and fighting at 185.

This is an issue that has always bothered my for a couple of reasons, first; repeatedly cutting 35 pounds in order to fight will slowly destroy vital organs the body needs to function properly, and second with the weigh in the day before the fight fighters rehydrate and routinely fight 15 or so pounds above the weight class. Sure you may say they all do it, but, if thats the case why cut down so much and destroy your body and possibly take years off your life in the process.

The athletic commissions need to take responsibility for the health and safety of the athletes and put strict, enforceable restrictions in place. This will have a two fold affect, athletes will minimize the risk of organ failure and fighters will be fighting against an opponent closer in natural weight. Answer this question for me, if 2 men are preparing to fight and one weighs 220 and the other weighs 215 what is the need for both these men to risk their health by cutting to 185 and completely depleting their body of sodium and water in the process?

Whats the answer? Well, there are a few options available. One option is to restrict the amount of body weight a fighter is allowed to cut. Come up with a percentage of a fighters natural body weight and enforce this strictly with off contest weight checks and hydration tests, also at the fight weigh in include hydration testing. Another available option is to add weight classes possibly every 8 or 10 pounds. I feel a combination or the 2 would be the best way to go.

If you take the time to really think about combat sports and the toll they take on the body and the brain (this is a subject for another day), why add the possible long term affects that weight cutting can add to the damage thats being done as a natural result of the chosen sport.

This is subject that needs to be addressed by the athletic commissions and fighting organizations to come up with a realistic safe option that in the long run is in everyones best interest. This is long over due.…

Peace

Thoughts V1.0

1. I’ve been training in the martial arts for a lot of years and will continue to do so for as long as I can physically do so. I’ve had my share of injuries over the years which have slowed my training and given me barriers to climb and I have always managed to get over them. I have to admit it’s frustrating as fuck sometimes and I’ve had to change the way I do a lot of things but, I still feel pretty damn good overall.

2. Vegans be vegans, meat eaters be meat eaters, and whatever the fuck else you would like to categorize yourself as do whatever the fuck you want. Can we at least agree on one thing, the animals in factory farms should no be abused. It’s bad enough they’re bred for slaughter, at the very least they should be respected during their short lives. I don’t understand the constant back and forth argument about what we’re “meant” to eat. It’s all bullshit. There’s science to back every opinion because whoever pays for the science gets the scientific result they want. I do realize there are radical vegans who take things to far, there’s a fine line between passion and aggression.

3. Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green, Constitution, Socialist, conservative, liberal, left,right, center, blah, blah, blah.
How about do whats best for the people and stop deciding everything by party lines. Common sense, and right or wrong no longer matter. At the federal, state and local levels politics have come down to just opposing each other without regard for the people they are supposed to be representing and looking out for. What makes this situation far worse is the “we the people” (hahahahahaha) let them divide us, so while they continue to bend us over we’re to busy fighting each other to realize it.

and lastly. I find it funny how many from my generation seem to have forgotten all we did growing up. Constant complaints about the current generation, millennial this and millennials that, well let me tell you this; every generation has its good and it’s bad, and by the way, if the millennials are fucked up please remember which generation is raising them. Oh yeah, I forgot; “not my kid”.

Lastly 2. Hey christians, you can’t pick and chose which parts of Jesus’ teachings you like.

 

If you find anything offensive start by looking at yourself. Typically if something offends you it most likely means it hit home…

Please don’t call me professor.

Have a great day 🙂

Peace

 

 

The Theory of Video Game

So, when you’re sitting in front of your computer playing video games, do you ever wonder if the people in the video game know they’re in a video game, or do you think that they think they’re real, or do you think that’s just a crazy question.
How about you? Are you real, or are you just living inside a video game? How do we know that we’re not just some greater beings version of “Sim City”.
How do you know that the God you pray to daily is not just some teenage kid getting stoned sitting at his computer playing a game.
Ever have deja vu? That’s because Juniors computer crashed and he had to go back to a restore point a few days earlier, and you are in fact re living a recent period of time.

So there’s all these discussions out there, we were created by a superior being (God), science says a big bang and evolution, Lloyd Pye says where were brought here as slaves from an alien race from the 10th planet of Nibiru (of the 3 this makes the most sense), well here’s my new theory, The Theory of Video Game, we are nothing more than a simulated world created within the computer of a greater being, much like the worlds we create within our computers when we play games. That’s all we are, a simulated game.

I know, it sounds crazy, right? Any crazier than a supreme being who lives in a mystical place (Heaven) and created everything (earth, people, water, sky, sun, planets, etc) in 6 days then rested for a day, then just sat back to watch and see what would happen. But, our lives are supposed to be predetermined, so he (or she) should already have known how it was going to play out. But you see, he (or she) didn’t, and he (or she) didn’t like the way things were going, so he (or she) told Noah to build an ark and get a male and female of every animal and take them with him. Then he (or she) flooded the earth to kill everyone and start over again (hey thats similar to my restore point theory).
Then a few years later he (or she) decided that he (or she) wanted a son so he (or she) planted his (or her) seed in Mary, Josephs wife, who Joseph apparently never had sex with, but wasn’t upset or suspicious when she became pregnant, heck of an understanding guy that Joseph.
Anyway, many years later when Jesus was all grown up and banging hookers, he was charismatic enough and had the ability to get people to believe in him and follow him, but than one day he was convicted and sentenced to death by crucifixion and he died for my sins, died for my sins, died for my sins, a couple thousand years before I was born. Then a few days later, he came back to life and hasn’t been seen since. Wow, thats quite the story.

Then there’s science, and the theory of evolution, “theory” of evolution, “theory” you get my point. Ok so lets see, there was an explosion in the middle of nowhere, where there was nothing to explode, and a perfectly formed solar system with the ability to support life was formed from this explosion. But you see there was no life, but just like that explosion (out of nowhere) life was formed and grew and evolved into the beauty you see around you now. Well that makes perfect sense.

Now onto my man Lloyd Pye. I gotta say I love this guy, but he’s just as crazy as the rest, but he has some good theories here. The human race on earth was genetically engineered and brought here as slaves from an alien race from the planet of Nibiru thousands of years ago. He gets really deep into this and if I peaked your interest I suggest you go to youtube and look him up, whether you buy into it or not at the very least it is very entertaining. But my question is where are these slave masters who brought us here now, and how were they created. Were they originally slaves brought from another planet themselves, did they come from a big bang, or did “God” create them first, hmmm, I coming up with more questions then answers here.

So back to my theory of video game. We create simulated worlds inside our computers, we are a created simulated world within the computer of a greater being who is living within the computer generated world of the computer of a greater being who is living within the computer generated world of yet another greater being and on and on. Oh yeah and by the way the worlds inside our computers have computer generated worlds of their own. Wow, this is good stuff.

So where did these greater beings come from, how were they created, “God”, big bang, slaves to an alien race? Shit, looks like we’re right back where we started..

Hey maybe all the different “Gods” that people worship really do exist and are the only true life beings and they’re all hanging out together getting stoned playing a video game….

Think about that for a while.

Peace