November 17, 2016
“There is no challenge in breaking a board. Boards don’t hit back.” – Bruce Lee
Taking a look at the modern martial arts scene with this quote in mind makes me sad. I’ve been all over the city to martial arts studios and witnessed trainings where students are learning to do things that simply have no practical application.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s a reason why it’s called “martial arts,” as it most certainly is an art form. I absolutely agree that students should study foundational techniques, even those which have little practical application. Watch any martial arts movie and it’s like watching ballet in a way. (Don’t laugh … hear me out.) Ballet takes an amazing amount of poise, strength, and self-control. I’ve actually been to a ballet performance and cried over the sheer beauty of it all, and I know the same thing can happen when you watch a martial arts “performance.”
But unlike ballet it’s not all about performance, at least not in an aesthetically pleasing sense. While certain poses and techniques can be beautiful, the end goal has always been and will always be self defense. If you’re not learning how to defend yourself, then you’re paying hundreds of dollars to attend dance classes that will afford you nothing when someone is holding a gun to your head and threatening your life.
Yes, all of the other benefits of martial arts are great. You’ll get stronger. You’ll build solidarity with like-minded students who are “in the fighting ring” with you. And it’s definitely a confidence booster, especially for women (at least from what they’ve told me.) In short, you’ll feel like a badass if you master martial arts. But feeling like a badass and actually being one in the middle of a life-threatening situation are two different things.
We’ve got to stop teaching fighters to break boards. Just like Bruce Lee (one of the greatest martial artists who ever lived) said, “boards don’t hit back.” You gotta learn to fight against a person who will fight back. Actually, in most cases (if you’re applying the rule of self-defense that they teach you), they’ll be the instigators, which means you’ll be fighting back.
I understand why they teach people to break boards. It’s the mastery of a certain technique that perfectly balances strength, agility, and form to accomplish what seems impossible. But breaking a board is far from impossible. In fact, it’s actually pretty easy to learn, and there’s really no challenge once you learn it. Challenge comes when you’re in a real-life situation where you need to apply what you’ve learned in order to safe yourself from being seriously injured or killed. Boards don’t move, and they don’t hit back, so if you don’t know how to defend yourself against a moving, living being without killing them in the process (unless it becomes absolutely necessary), then you’re gonna be in trouble.
This is a call to martial arts teachers today. How can we bring the techniques of Bruce Lee back into our classrooms? What can we do to ensure we’re not only teaching people martial arts as an art form, but also as a practical, life-saving, set of techniques that will be extremely valuable in a life-threatening situation?
Thoughts? I’m definitely not trying to start a fight here. (Ha ha, see what I did there?) Just looking to have an honest conversation about a subject that’s very near and dear to my heart. Feel free to leave a comment below.
(But be nice or it’ll get deleted.)
September 28, 2016
In my previous post, I shared some of my favorite inspirational quotes for fighters. One of them was “an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.” I wanted to expand on this idea a little more by talking about one of Jesus’ most well-known pieces of advice: turn the other cheek.
Some people believe that turning the other cheek essentially means becoming a doormat or a pushover, and that it instructs us never to defend ourselves against our enemies. I do not believe that to be true.
Although I advocate responding to hurt with love, sometimes, “turning the other cheek” (as the world defines that phrase) is simply not practical. In some cases, self-defense will be necessary to ensure your very survival. In those extreme situations, I advocate self-defense as a means of continuing your life and maintaining your own well-being, as well as the health and well-being of those around you.
Let me put it another way: if a man showed up at your front door in the middle of the night with a gun and threatened to harm you and your loved ones, I would absolutely condone self-defense in that situation. You don’t need to shoot to kill, but shooting him in the foot, or using your own strength to disarm him so that he’s no longer able to hurt you would be appropriate.
Sometimes, we have a tendency to get defensive and if not careful, we end up being hurtful towards others who hurt us (intentionally or not). I believe that in calling us to “turn the other cheek,” Jesus is simply asking us to respond to hurt as lovingly as possible, and to only put up our defenses when it’s absolutely necessary, and to do so in such a way as to minimize harm to the other party.
These are my thoughts. Do you agree?
September 20, 2016
I’m a lover, and a fighter. What I mean is, when I fight, I do it out of love. Meaning I don’t do it to harm anyone. I do it when the outcome is certain to showcase my love for other human beings.
Sometimes, it’s necessary to fight for things. Things you believe in with your whole heart and that you know are for the good of humanity. Fighting to harm others is bad, but fighting for things that will only improve the world is good and very necessary in my opinion.
I seek to be a resource and an inspiration to everyone with whom I come in contact. As part of that goal, I frequently find myself sharing inspirational quotes and sayings that will uplift the spirit and feed the soul. That said, here are 3 of my favorite quotes about fighting that I hope will inspire you as you stumbled upon this post today!
Quote #1: “An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Like I said, sometimes fighting is necessary. But when you’re doing it for revenge, it’s likely to create more harm than good. Only engage in physical force when it’s absolutely crucial for your own well-being or survival. Never put down others or verbally abuse them. Karma’s a bitch, and I can tell you from experience that it will come back to bite you. If someone tries to put up a fight in your presence, turn the other cheek and encourage others around you to do the same. Who wants to fight a guy whose hands are up in the air as a sign of surrender? No one.
Which brings me to the next quote:
Quote #2: “Nobody can hurt me without my permission.” – Mahatma Gandhi
I think that speaks for itself, but I’ll elaborate a bit more. Offense is a choice. If someone emotionally hurts you, it’s because you allow them to get under your skin. Choose to keep your chin up when adversity strikes, and you won’t get hurt.
At the same time, don’t put up walls. Create transparency and friendship and you’re sure to receive those things a hundredfold.
Quote #3: “Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it.” – Bruce Lee
One of my favorite fighters of all time. Wise words, Bruce. Wise words.
Don’t swing your fist at someone if they’re throwing emotional swords at you. Physical fighting does not remedy emotional hurt. At the same time, swinging back emotionally won’t do much good either. The only thing that works to fix hurt is love. So love passionately, and love more.
Has this inspired you in any way? If so, please leave a comment below and share this post with someone you know and love. If I start to get a lot of responses, I may turn this into a regular series on the blog!
September 13, 2016
5 Functional Ways to Maintain a Positive Attitude In the Midst of Hardship
Life’s not always rainbows, butterflies, hearts and flowers. The trick to being happy is maintaining a positive attitude even when you’re going through tough times.
Winston Churchill said it well:
“A pessimist sees the problem in every possibility; an optimist sees the possibility in every trouble.”
I’ve chosen to put together a list of various strategies that you can use that will certainly help you be more positive, even in the midst of hardship.
Every day I prefer to use my positivity as my stamina. I select not to stay “in the pits,” so to speak, but instead to overcome my battles as I look toward the future. Yes, there are days when I cannot do so, when I collapse under life anxieties, yet those days are a reminder of why it is so essential for us to remain positive and to pick joy, even in the meds of destruction and calamity.
1. Post a motivating quote on social media.
We might also make use of the forever-growing social media sites as a means to proclaim positivity over our lives, as well as to urge other individuals that remain in our inner circles. Specifically on those days where I simply really feel helpless, I recite bible quotes and publically share them on Instagram.
2. Live a healthy lifestyle.
Improving your self-esteem with a healthy and balanced way of living will lead to a generally positive perspective on life. I wake up in the early morning, drink a bottle of water, and exercise. Then I eat a healthy breakfast and take about 15 minutes to meditate and be alone so that I can ground myself in my purpose for the day. It’s not only important to take care of yourself physically. Meditation allow your mind to be cared for as well, which will help you to be more productive throughout the day.
3. Try to see the good in all things.
There’s a positive side to every scenario. Occasionally, as you may know, good things can actually come from bad situations, and you may be able to find good in unfavorable circumstances. Maintaining a positive attitude and seeing the good in every situation is a choice, and one that I intentionally make each and every day.
4. Lower negative thoughts in your life.
There are lots of pessimistic people out there that see the glass as half-empty by default. If you spend time with pessimists, you will probably become one yourself. You are who you associate with.
5. Do activities that bring a smile to your face.
Listen to tunes from by your favorite band, go running, write, drink coffee, take pictures, hang out with your closest friends, call your family members, play golf, take a Zumba class, talk to that person you haven’t seen in a while, prepare a healthy dish, learn a brand-new language, flatter someone … the opportunities are endless! Do anything that makes you happy! If you are really feeling down, do not simply mope around by yourself. That encourages depression. Be aggressive in your quest for happiness, peace, and love!
What are some other tips you have for staying positive when life sucks? Share your strategies in the comments below!
April 29, 2016
I once worked for a manager who was a complete pushover. Her boss would ask her to jump and she’d say “how high?” In fact, her boss might has well have been my boss, because she pretty much ran the show for our whole team. She never let our actual manager do her job — lead her team in the direction we should go in order for our department, and the company as a whole, to be successful. It’s like as soon as she discovered that our manager was a pushover, she capitalized on the situation.
Our manager eventually got fired and was replaced by someone who was basically a complete 180-degree turn from what we’d been used to. When this new guy came in, he did something that made me want to keep my job, where before I’d spend half my days scouring Indeed.com for other options.
He fought for us.
Good leaders fight for their people.
There’s a pretty popular saying out there: “if you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything.” I wholeheartedly believe that’s true. Good leaders stand up for their people. If you believe in your people, you’ll fight for them. You’ll stand up to your boss’s boss, pushing back on stupid policies (even going so far as to call them stupid, if necessary), so that your people have a better experience when they come to work.
Optimizing employee experience is key to optimizing customer experience. After all, your employees are the face of your company. They are the ones who determine what kind of experience your customers will have. And in a fast-paced, digital society, where people are paying bigger bucks for better experiences, your employees sure as hell better matter to you.
This new manager pushed back on stupid policies that were making our jobs harder and negatively affecting our productivity. He implemented new policies that just. made. sense. And you should have seen how happy we became as a result.
He didn’t just change a few policies though. He literally changed our job descriptions. We went from doing menial, soul-crushing, task-based work, where quantity mattered most, to doing work that we enjoyed, that activated our brains on a daily basis. Work that counted quality above quantity, and above everything else for that matter. We went from sitting in isolated cubicles for 8 hours straight with our headphones in and music blaring to actively participating in meetings, where people appreciated our input as experts in our field. We went from being bored and actively disengaged to being stimulated and actively engaged in the work we did every day. Suddenly, our jobs mattered.
This guy also took the time to ask us how we were doing on a daily basis. And he genuinely cared about the answer. He wanted to get to know us personally and took the time to find out what made us tick. By tailoring our work to what he knew would keep us motivated, he engaged us and made us want to work hard.
Good leaders do this. They fight for their teams, because their teams are worth more than anything. Their teams will make or break their success as leaders, upon which the success of the entire business hinges.
If you’re a leader, I challenge you to fight hard. Fight hard for what matters. Fight hard for your people and they’ll work hard for you.
March 23, 2016
With the upcoming presidential election, I wanted to provide some food for thought. Hopefully this post will motivate you to really think about the state of our nation and the direction we’re headed in.
But before I go there, allow me to briefly apologize for being MIA for so long. I’m a fighter, not a writer… heh. Seriously though, I’ve been going through some personal things that have prevented me from being entirely present on this site, but I’m doing my best to get back in the trenches again, starting with this post. So, I hope you can forgive my absence and move on with me as we continue these fighting conversations!
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about all of these battles we’ve been fighting. And by “we” I mean the good ol’ US of A. We have wars for just about every conceivable thing – a war on terror, a war on drugs, a war on poverty, a war on cancer… etc. But is all this fighting really doing us any good? Furthermore, what are we really fighting for?
The war on terror isn’t working. The war on drugs has done little to eliminate drug abuse and addiction and a lot to increase incarceration rates in our country. The war on cancer? Well, that’s just laughable considering that 1 in 2 people will get cancer in their lifetime. And this war on poverty will do nothing to benefit the powers that be, so the way I see it, it’s just lip service to appease those to whom socialism appeals.
The upcoming election has us all fighting each other on social media newsfeed and forums. Disagreements are rampant. Differing opinions over candidates’ beliefs and proposed policies have served to divide us as a people, rather than unite us. Long-term, this is detrimental to our nation.
So my question is this: what are we fighting for? More importantly, what are you fighting for?
We should all be fighting to reestablish the USA as a great nation. We should all be fighting for true freedom. True freedom means being able to make decisions without government intervention. It means that if someone wants to use a drug for recreational purposes, they should be able to without the threat of incarceration, as long as it’s not hurting anyone. It means that if someone chooses not to vaccinate their children, they shouldn’t be reprimanded by the media or by their healthcare professionals for making that choice. It means being able to pay into things that will improve our communities voluntarily instead of being automatically forced to pay taxes. It means being able to opt for private health insurance, or no health insurance, if that’s what floats your boat.
We have stopped fighting. We’ve given up and we keep telling ourselves that it’s perfectly okay to just vote for the lesser of two evils and hope for the best. But what if we refused to vote for evil at all? What if we refused to go along with this whole charade and decided to unite together, as a people – one nation under God (or Buddha if you prefer that sort of thing) – and stand up for what we believe in? When did we become so damn apathetic?
It’s time to stop complaining and to start fighting. I keep seeing all these memes on Facebook joking about how this election might come down to Trump and Hillary and how awful that would be. But we just go laughing about it and accepting this as our reality instead of actually doing something to change it. Either we don’t know how to change it, we’re lazy, we believe we’re powerless, or we just don’t care. I hope for everyone’s sake that the latter is not the case…
I ask you again: what are you fighting for?
September 30, 2015
Being an athlete, I know how important good health is for top performance. It is especially vital to be pain-free without being dependent on drugs and other substances that give rise to unhealthy side effects. I personally like to use alternative and holistic remedies for managing pain and improving overall performance. This is where a good, reliable Charlotte chiropractor comes into the picture.
So what qualities should one look for when selecting a Chiropractor?
Any chiropractor Charlotte NC has to offer will be able to help you manage and alleviate pain but only a competitive team of practitioners can help you avoid subsequent injury and provide rehabilitation during and after recovery. I personally stress the importance quality care and personalized services when seeking any alternative therapist.
The chiropractor you choose should have a very high standard of ethics and should not reveal your personal health information to any person or organization under any circumstances whether it is for insurance purposes or any other purpose.
To find a local chiropractor, search Google for chiropractor near me and do some research to make sure you find one that meets your criteria.
What can you expect when you see a chiropractor?
An experienced Charlotte chiropractor will take down your complete and detailed history and plan comprehensive care that goes beyond simple pain management. S/he will holistically analyze your health conditions ranging from minor digestive disorders to more serious conditions like fatigue, performance related factors etc. S/he would then advise you about spinal adjustments and lifestyle changes if you need any. Your chiropractor will also provide a regular check-up on your health and improvement.
Services provided by chiropractors of Charlotte NC
A good Charlotte chiropractor will have extensive knowledge of conditions arising out of different types of injuries and overuse of muscles and nerves in athletes. I consider my chiropractor to be like a family doctor – one who can even treat minor ailments including ear and throat infections, general injuries like wounds or scratches, apart from the more serious ailments that arise from sporting activities. Pain management is just one of the services provided by the chiropractor Charlotte NC community. Chiropractors around the world are famous for pain management, but the one you select must be able to render several benefits by getting to the root of the problem and treating you holistically.
- Rehab—After an injury has been treated, your Charlotte NC chiropractor must provide rehabilitation and education about how to aid faster recovery and avoid further injury.
- Keeping your body in top-notch condition—An average Charlotte chiropractor can do wonders for pain, but the good ones will be able to help you improve your overall health and keep your body in top-notch working order. He/she must help you perform better in sports as well by working on appropriate nerve endings and muscles.
Additionally, Charlotte chiropractors can generally provide the following health benefits to both low and high-impact athletes:
- Whether you are a golfer, tennis player or bowler, a chiropractor in Charlotte NC must help relieve strain on your muscles.
- They should help provide stability and support to the muscles and joints and enhance and stimulate the body’s natural healing mechanism.
- Herniated discs, lower back pain, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, knee or shoulder conditions, ankle strains and even post-surgery edema can be managed with help of an experienced chiropractor.
I personally use a Charlotte chiropractor for preventive athletic injury and support. I highly recommend the same to all athletes looking to better their performance.
April 21, 2015
Welcome to my new site. So glad you stopped by.
Check out my “About” page for more info on what this blog is all about.
This is my first post, and I’m going to keep it short. As a fighter, I tend to stay pretty busy, so I don’t have time to write a whole lot. But when I do, I promise to make it count.
If you’re a fighter like me, then it’s likely you found my site by searching for MMA training. Well, sorry to disappoint you, but I’m no longer an MMA fighter. I am, however, still a fighter (as I mention on my About page … if you haven’t gone there yet, be sure to check it out after reading this post.)
So this – my first post – is dedicated to all the fighters out there. I just want to encourage you to keep fighting. For whatever it is you’re fighting for.
Most of us MMA fighters do it for the thrill. But whether you’re into mixed martial arts or not, if you’re living life the way you should be living it, then you’re fighting for something meaningful.
Something. If you’re not fighting for something, then you’re not living.
Choose, this day, to believe in something and fight for it. Stop daydreaming, and take action. In all my years as an MMA fighter, that’s the number one lesson I took away from every session in the ring – take action.
Sure, you can stand there, and wait for your opponent to make the first move. But if he has the same mindset as you, you’ll both be waiting for a long time. And where’s the thrill in that?
The thrill comes when you take action. When you make the first move. So, go for it. Stop waiting. Stop dreaming. Do something for God’s sake.
That’s all I have to say for now. Come back later for more inspiration.