The following is a conversation with Brian Hall, one of the most insightful minds and systems thinkers in the martial arts world. He's a black belt in jujitsu, accomplished competitor and enemy fighter, undefeated in the UFC and truly a philosopher who seeks to understand the underlying principles of the martial arts. Jujitsu is such an important part of who I am, and I was hoping to share that with folks who might know me only as a researcher. I think there is no better person to do that with.
And Ryan, who somehow remarkably I can say is a friend and also a modern day warrior philosopher of the Miyamoto Musashi line, how especially dangerous and brilliant humans. Also, his amazing wife, Jane Hall, was there as well. So if you hear a kind of voice of wisdom coming from above, you know who it is.
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Who, in your view, is the greatest warrior in history, ancient or modern? That's a tough question. And again, I'm no historian by any measure, so I'll probably do the worst. Like, what are your best bands ever, like Metallica? And, you know, I'll pick the music. Could just come out with a new album by the entire orchestra. That's kind of cool. Yeah.
It's important that Metallica will always be one of the greatest. Yeah. So I agree with that example. If they were a well-known yet awesome Bayliner, say, like Nickelback or something like that. And I mean, I feel that feels cheap because everyone makes fun of Nickelback. Yeah, I don't know. I guess it depends on how you want to define warrior. Something to think about when it comes to trying to evaluate various people or situations or things that I've read about or heard about are.
The circumstances that they were involved in, because I think a lot of times it's easy to look at the outcomes and obviously outcome will have an outcome driven world and, you know, outcomes do matter.
But at the same time, like, you know, you look at, let's say, what Cuba has been able to pull off. You know, from a combat sports perspective, it's staggering, you know, like the amount of successful Olympic level competitors they have in wrestling, boxing, judo. I mean, there are tiny little island with no money and no people. It's that's shocking. You know, when you you think about the Olympics in the United States doing well, of course we should do well.
I mean, Russia should do well. China should do well. India should do better than they do honestly. Obviously means like they're not into it as much or at least certain sports because they have the resources people wise. So talent is not going to be an issue.
So there's something to like where the starting point is like. That's the argument with like why people say Madonna. I don't know if you're into. Oh yeah. Big soccer.
OK, they say Maradona's is better than Messi because he basically carried the team and won the World Cup with a team that wouldn't otherwise win the World Cup. And then Messi was only successful in Barcelona because he has like superstars. He's playing with other superstars, right? Yeah, that's fair to say. I mean, like like, you know, there's there's a lot of factors that go into, let's say, winning, winning a soccer game or, you know, obviously Barcelona, you know, particularly for various points in time at a ridiculous all star squad of world class players.
But and, you know, let's say, for instance, maybe they didn't have the creative players in Argentina. They needed to get the ball up to Messi. You know, they didn't have, like, the Iniesta and, you know, the you know, the again, the backing there in the midfield. But because obviously Argentina has always had ridiculous attacking players like even alongside Messi. But they're like the three killers up front and then little left behind.
So it's interesting you say that depends how you define warrior, because you can probably take like some of the civil rights leaders you can go into. They are actually like leaders in general. But if we just look at, like the greatest martial artist in history in that direction, do you have somebody in mind?
I would say at least three, three that popped into my head and would be Hannibal Alexander the Great and then maybe Miyamoto Musashi, you know, the two commanders and then one guy. But so it's, it's interesting. And then again you mentioned warriors being able to make a lot out of a little. Musashi is famous for winning duels, you know, that were often times when there were one on one, you know the Alexander and Hannibal were, you know military commanders and one of them faced Rome.
And that was an interesting thing. Oftentimes, you know, coming up with novel tactics, different strategies, sometimes under resourced doing having to do novel and crazy things. There's skin in the game. That's an interesting thing, too. I think a lot of times, you know, it's if you're playing a video game, I don't think you can be a warrior because there's just no skin in the game. You get hurt, you lose. That's a bummer.
It stings a little bit, maybe makes you feel slightly disappointed. But you know, Musashi loses you loses.
Hannibal loses. He loses. Alexander loses, he loses and they lose. I guess the people around them lose. So that's almost like you could use even from a combat sports perspective. Muhammad Ali. I mean you consider also the quality of opposition. Musashi was fighting high quality opposition. Obviously Hannibal and Alexander, particularly Hannibal, were fighting unbelievable opposition. Muhammad Ali fought phenomenal opposition, but he had skin in the game, both in the ring and out.
And that actually meshes with, as you mentioned, like a civil rights, you know, type of situation where you are under-resourced, you're pushing the stone uphill. And that was a neat thing, I think, about Muhammad Ali was how much, you know, personal conviction the man had to have in order to pull off what he was able to pull off both in, in and outside of the ring. And that reminds me of of again, some of the other great leaders are great fighters throughout history.
So what do you make of the kind of very difficult idea that some of these conquerors, like Alexander the Great and somebody that if you listen to hardcore history, Odan Karlen, who apparently Elon Musk is also a big fan of the Genghis Khan episode, you know, a large. Percent of the world is is a you can call Genghis Khan an ancestor.
So the difficult truth is about some of these concours is that there's a lot of murder and rape and pillage and stealing of resources and all that kind of stuff. And yet there are often remembered as quite honorable. I mean, the case of Genghis Khan, there's a lot of people who argue, if you look at the historically the way he's described.
In full context is he was ultimately like, given the time he was a liberator, he was he was a progressive, I should say, you know, like in terms of the the violence and the atrocities he committed, he, at least in the stories, has always provided the option of not to do that. It's only if you resist do so, you basically have the option. Do you want to join us or do you want to die and die horribly?
And that's it. That's the progressive sort of that's the Bernie Sanders of the era. Nice. So what do you make of that? That is so much of these great concours. There's so much murder that to us now would just seem insane.
It's funny you mention that. I think that maybe it's a human nature thing that we want to or, you know, maybe or maybe a misunderstanding thing that we want to cast all of our characters and ourselves maybe as entirely good or entirely negative when, you know, I guess the phrase or they're saying, you know, one man's freedom fighter is another person's terrorist is accurate. And a lot of times I think you can understand as long as you're able to look from various people's perspective, like if you look at the TV show The Wire, which is obviously widely, everybody loves the wire.
I thought that there were everyone it's I'm not saying anything that's that's not been said before. Compelling characters from all angles, whether you like the character, dislike the character, you were able to understand the motivations of people doing various things. Even if they did wrongly, they did rightly.
You know, we want to cast all of the demons throughout history is as completely inhuman when I think that makes it difficult for us to understand them. And we want to look back at the people that we think of as great and entirely great. And I think that we're we're experiencing the problems with this, you know, even right now, socially and politically, as we're trying to look back and decide the people we thought were good or not good or people we thought were better.
Now good, rather than going, hey, there's there's good and bad to all things. And there are as you mentioned, the gang is thing.
You don't have to fight back. You do I respect you for it, but then we're going to have a conflict and then we'll see what happens and if you lose, you're going to be sorry that you did, because I have to make it that way if I want to continue utilizing this this kind of ammo, because I need to discourage the next guy from doing what you're doing right now. And ultimately, though, I guess that's an interesting thing.
Imagine you put every single person on planet Earth in a cage. Crime drops.
You know, also, there are certain positives to that. And it's just things are as they are. It's difficult, but that is ultimately more the law of the jungle. And I think that we're able to supersede some of that now in modern times. And I think we're fortunate. But as you mentioned, we look back and say, oh, this is horrible. So they know that that just is what it is. That's how life is at a base level.
And, you know, again, if you're a lion and I'm a gazelle, I don't I don't really like it very much.
But we don't call the lion the bad guy. We don't sanctify the gazelle or the other way around. So it's just it's interesting when you pull back some of the controls that we put on our behavior and, you know, in modern life, which I think are generally speaking, positive, you know, we get down to how things often are. And at the same time, we could modern life was built by people like Genghis Khan. So then you get down to the ends, justify the means.
It's a tough question. These aren't things with easy answers, or at least if they are, I certainly don't have the the smarts to figure out the answers to them, but. It's difficult, I would just say people in the world are complicated and layered and depending upon which side of the line you're standing on at various times, you know, you may like or dislike someone, but I can't remember. It's like who's whose idea was this is killing me.
But it's the veil of ignorance, I guess the philosophical, you know, you know, idea of the veil of ignorance. Where I go is is sticking everyone in the cage the right thing to do. And I say or everyone to me and I say, well, no, why? Well, it would make my life easier if I just went over and took all of your stuff as long as you couldn't stop me. I mean, of course, that's a great idea.
That's what everyone does in every video game. But in Skyrim, you steal stuff when people aren't around. But ultimately you go, well, this isn't the right thing to do, because if I were on the other side of it, I would I would not appreciate it. It's it's inherently not a good thing to do. I'm only doing it because I think I'm going to win. And that's a fine way to be. But you don't have the white hat on, I guess I would say so.
I think without those philosophical underpinnings to in you know, I guess morally speaking, it's very difficult to say what's right or wrong.
And you'd say certain actions have a reaction, almost like a physics sense.
If you kill everyone in your way for as long as you're able to, your life will be easier.
I mean, you're setting the table for someone doing the same to you when you're no longer the tough guy. But it is what it is. Yeah.
If you look at like the Instagram channel, nature has metal. It hurts my heart to watch, to remind me a comfortable descendant of ape, how vicious nature is just unapologetically.
Just I mean, there's there's a process to it where the bad guy always wins, the the violence is the solution to most problems or the flip side of that running away from violence is the solution, depending on your skill set.
And it's funny to think of us humans with our extra little piece of brain that we're somehow trying to figure out, like you said, in a philosophical way, how to supersede the how to move past the viciousness, the cruelty, the just the cold.
Exchange of nature, but perhaps it's not so maybe that is nature, maybe that's the way of life, maybe we're trying too hard to where we're being too egotistical and thinking we're somehow separate from nature.
We're somehow distant from that very thing. I couldn't agree with him more.
In fact, I think actually Orson Scott Card, you know, was the writer of a great book called Ender's Game was this was a statement that the main character, Endor, made in the book, his brother was brilliant. His brother was like kind of sociopathic, brilliant kid that was ended up kicked out of the school that they were all into for battle. Commander dealing with his brother taught him that ultimately strength, courage, the ability to do violence for all the good and the bad of that is one of the fundamental, most important things to be able to do in life.
Because if you can't cause destruction, if you can't cause pain, you will be forever subject to those who can. And I think that you mentioned egotism. I think that that that's a disease that could obviously strike any of us. But it's something that we're looking at now where, you know, I think we should be unbelievably thankful as people that live in the world that we do, that we can walk down the street without having to worry that I'm like, well, don't worry.
That six foot six, two hundred and seventy pound person over there is just going to leave me alone. And I have a Rolex on, but whatever. And I'll be fine because that person is going to leave me alone because we've all agreed to live in this relatively, you know, sane and or, you know, constrained society because it benefits all of us. And we're doing it because of a philosophical underpinning, not because nature dictates it be that way, because nature dictates it go in a very, very different direction.
And the only person the only thing stopping that person from doing something to me is either me, that person or someone else that will stand in between us. And if I can't do it and there's no one there standing between us, then the only thing stopping that person is that person. And I have to hope that they're either disinterested or disinclined to do that sort of thing. And I think that, you know, it's keeping in mind that that that is the fundamental nature of the world.
Whether we like it or not is important. And I think the the quest to fundamentally alter human nature is going to be ultimately fruitless. And then also it's it is a little bit egotistical.
The lion does what a lion does. You know, we we can try to box it in and we can try to, you know, guide this direction in that direction. But, you know, the nature is as it is and as it always will be unless we want to start to constrain it significantly. But now I'm starting to get into individual rights. Who put me in charge? Who says that I should be the one to make the choices constraining?
Because many of the most awful things that have happened throughout history, one group or one person has decided to constrain others. And we don't like Genghis Khan doing that. Well, I'll do that on a little level. Are there going to be beneficial benefits and beneficiaries? Absolutely. But they'll be losers in that, too. So I guess it's a it's a dangerous game. It's almost like putting on the one ring with no one offered the one ring to Gandalf.
And Gandalf said, no, no, I would take it away. I would put it on, I would use it out of the desire to do good. But through me, it would wield a power so terrible you can't imagine. I think that's that's the big question for anyone that decides that's able to have reach and able to have power. I mean, obviously, I can't speak to that. But imagine you did have national level, global level power.
How would you use it? Would you try to change the world? Would you be glad that you did down the line? I don't know.
Yeah, there's I mean, that's the thing we're struggling now as a society, maybe it'd be nice to get your quick comment on that, which is the people who have traditionally been powerless are now, you know, seeking a fair society, a more equal society and.
In in attaining more power justly, there's also a realization, at least from my perspective, that power corrupts everyone, even if you're even if the flag you wave is that of of justice. Right.
And so, you know, not to overuse the term, but it'd be nice if you have thoughts about the whole idea of cancer culture and the Internet and Twitter and so on, where there's a nuance, difficult discussions of of race, of gender, of fairness, equality, justice, all of these kinds of things. There's a shouting down oftentimes of nuanced discussion of kind of trying to reason through these very difficult issues, through our history, through what our future looks like.
Do you have thoughts about the Internet discourse that's going on now? There's something positive. Yeah, I mean, I would pull out of this.
It's an interesting thing to see. I guess, as you mentioned, any time you're wielding power, whomever you are and doing so carefully is important. And it's very, very easy to look at the people that have power and that are using it poorly or have used it poorly and go, hey, you're the bad guy. And then go, well, of course, if I had power, I'll use it properly and I may intend to use it properly and maybe I will.
But at the same time, we see a lot of times people are people or people. I think that a lot of the I think if you if you believe that human beings are all one, which I do, you know, no matter whether you're here, you're there, you're you're you got two arms, two legs, a heart, a brain. And we all live a similar experience, you know, and obviously with variations on a theme.
But, you know, you're no less a human being if you're a person I've never met from China than than some person in Virginia. It's we're all we're all people. And I guess ultimately, if I believe that human beings are corruptible and that power corrupts and that we're all fallible and we say and do things that either intentionally or unintentionally that we wish would not.
I think that the I have to allow for a subspace, I guess with the word it's almost a religious term, but I guess I would just say Grace, and that's something that I see disappearing from discourse in the public or maybe it wasn't there. I'm not sure. But it's interesting, you know, watching this occur on the Internet, because also now no longer are you and I just having a talk sitting on a on a bus stop. It's now in writing, everything's in writing the all the old saying, like, don't put that in writing, don't put anything in writing until you get in trouble.
And basically, you know, with with the degree to which everything is recorded but recorded in tiny little bites, it's very, very easy for me to wave every little foolish, ignorant, incorrect or correct thing that someone has ever said or done in their face to support whatever argument that I'm trying to make about them or a situation.
And I think that you mentioned cancel culture or, you know, as it seems to exist, obviously, this is poisonous on its face. This is poisonous. It's it's the sort of thing that doesn't incentivize proper behavior. I mean, you look at, let's say, one of the great monsters of history, Adolf Hitler, obviously, who's done awful, awful things, but also for anyone that's even a minor student of history, did some positive things as well.
We don't have to I don't have to embroider this person's crimes. I don't have to act as if there was nothing good a monster has ever done and nothing bad that that a great person throughout history has ever done. But imagine the ghost of Adolf Hitler would pop up and go, oh, my gosh, guys, I'm so sorry. I know what I've done, but I'd like to apologize and start to make it right, lol. I mean, you'd hope that, you know, if he popped up over here you go.
Well, I don't really like what you've done and I don't like you, but at the same time, I'm glad to hear that you're attempting to make this right and push in a positive direction if we can't make it right, because otherwise what am I doing? I'm dis incentivizing change for the better. I'm looking to wield whatever power I have in a punitive fashion which does not encourage people to do anything other than double down on on the wrongs that they made, knowing that at least they're going to have some support from the people that support that.
And I guess I want to, you know, hopefully look at the use of the Internet as a as a tool that can educate. And I guess that I don't like the word empower but empower people to do various things, extend their reach, but but educate and learn rather than to further solidify little tribal things that that exist, which I think everyone in humanity and human history is is vulnerable to. I mean, look at the course of human history.
It's deeply tribal. And the tribes are the groups that have been on top at various points in time, have done a lot of times bad things to the ones that have not. And you'd hope that we can learn lessons from the past and rather than, you know, committing the crimes that were, you know, that were committed against us, recommitting them, when we slide into the top position, say, you know, I could do this now, but I'll not you know, I understand the urge to to seek vengeance is strong of anyone that says differently.
I, I wouldn't trust, you know, but at the same time we go I've we have enough experience in history, enough experience in life, enough hopefully wisdom, you know, time enough to go. This isn't the right answer. This is only going to replay the things, the worst parts of our history, not the best. And I want to encourage positive behavior. And if I just again, further lash out at people, although understandably done, done, understandably, I'm simply just going to just perpetuate the cycle that's gone on to this point.
So you hope that even though we're seeing a lot of a lot of turmoil societally at the moment and globally at the moment, that I guess our better angels can prevail at a certain point. But it's going to take a great deal of leadership. And I think that we're we're sorely missing like a Martin Luther King style character at the moment or a great leader. And I just I'm hoping that one will show up for sure.
And by the way, a word I don't hear often, and I think it's a beautiful one, which is Grace. That's a really interesting word. I'm going to have to think about that. It is there is a religious component to it, but it's exactly right. It you have to somehow walk the line between. You know, you mentioned Hitler. I've been reading the rise and fall of the Third Reich.
I'm really thinking about the 1930s and what it's like to have economic. My concern is the economic pain that people are feeling now quietly is really suffering. That's not being heard. And there's echoes of that in the in the 20s and 30s with the Great Depression. And there's a hunger for a charismatic leader. Like you said, there's a leader that. Could walk with grace, could inspire, could could bring people together with what sort of dreams of a better future that's positive.
But Hitler did exactly everything that I just said except for the word positive, which is he did give a dream to the German people who were a great people, who are great people of of a better future. It's just that a certain point that quickly turned into the better future requires literally expansion of more land. It started with, well, if we want to build a great Germany, we need a little bit more land. And so we need to kind of get Austria than we need to kind of get France, mostly because France doesn't understand that more land is really useful.
So we need to get rid of them and look what they did to us in Faci anyway.
But so the Jew, the Jewish. The Holocaust. Is a separate thing. I don't know. Well, I don't know. I don't know what to think of it, because to me, being Jewish and having a lot of. So the echoes of the suffering is in my family, the people there are lost. I don't know because Hitler wrote all about it in Mein Kampf. So I don't know if the evil he committed was there all along.
I mean, and that that's where the question of forgiveness I mean, Hitler is such a difficult person to talk about, but it's the question of a cancer culture who is deserving of forgiveness and who is not like the Holocaust survivors that I've read about, that I've heard the interviews with.
They've often spoken about the fact that the way for them to let go to overcome the atrocities that they've experienced is to forgive. Like forgiveness is the way out for them. It's interesting to think about I don't know. I don't know. I don't know if we're even a society ready to even contemplate an idea of forgiveness for Hitler. It's it's an interesting idea, though, and it's a good thought exercise at the very least, to think about, like all these people that are being cancelled for doing bad things of different degrees because like Louis C.K. or somebody like that, for being not a good person, but like, what is the path for forgiveness?
So what's a good person and what is a good person, if that's a sliding scale that we could all find ourselves looking at the uncomfortable end of a gun on, you know, particularly down the line. I mean, you hope for the best. But these definitions, I guess, like you said, are important. And who's doing the counseling, who's being canceled? I'm not necessarily, as you said, saying that that's entirely unjustified or certainly not.
It's certainly understandable. And particularly you mentioned like a monster, like an adult Hitler. But it's also interesting. I couldn't help but notice, like you mentioned, that as a society, us being able to apply forgiveness to someone who's done so much harm, but people who are personal, I mean, of course, many that so many people aren't personally affected, but directly, personally affected someone, a survivor of the Holocaust, being able to let go on that.
I'm nowhere near big enough a person for that sort of thing. But I guess that's that's an interesting thing, you know, being the person who was physically there, potentially able to be able to let go, I don't know. That's unbelievably powerful.
It's it's interesting. I guess you have to wonder sometimes and this is obviously in regards to that to the Holocaust. But why why? I'm holding on to various things of why what is it doing for me and what is it doing to me is a facilitative, is it not? And I guess that's something else that I really enjoy. When I was on Ultimate Fighter, they are they don't let you have any music or any books on religious texts. I bought a Bible and I brought a Koran and I started to read them side by side.
And it was it was really interesting reading the Bible, a little drier Korans, more interestingly written. But I think something that that was consistently brought up was the way most merciful people want.
I don't think any of us want justice. We think we want justice, but I don't think we want justice. Justice is dangerous, dangerous, dangerous game, because maybe this person's wronged me deeply and I want justice. I want to balance it out because what is justice is not a balancing of the scales. And sometimes you can understand it on a societal level. I think it's fine. I mean, there's crime and punishment and we can go for the benefits and the drawbacks of that.
But I think what any of us want is mercy within reason. You know, Grace, as you mentioned, because justice is a very, very, very dangerous thing and it's a valuable and important thing. But who gets to decide what's just what justice is actually meted out? Maybe I get to meet out justice, but it's not I don't get my comeuppance. Well, that sounds great. But what happens when it's pointed back at me and I guess that comes back to the veil of ignorance.
You know, the idea that that one day I will have to live in the world in which I've envisioned the world in which I've created. I think that a lot of times people love the idea of their a judge for your crimes and a lawyer for theirs. And I heard that the other day. I thought that was great.
And I think that's a that's a dangerous thing. And hopefully it gives us all pause before rightly or wrongly, but always understandably, you know, wielding, wielding serious power at justice is a kind of drug.
So if you look at history also, I've been reading a lot about Stalin. I mean, all those folks really I don't know I don't know what was inside Hitler's head, actually, that he's a tricky one because I think he was legitimately insane. Stalin was not. And Stalin was like he literally thought he's doing a good thing. He literally thought for the entirety of the time that communism is going to bring like that to Utopia and he's going to create a happy world.
And in his in his mind were ideas of justice, of fairness, of happiness, of of. Yeah, human flourishing. And that's that's a drug. And it's somehow, sadly pollutes the mind when you start thinking like that, what's good for society and believing that you have a good sense of what's good for society that's intoxicating, especially when others around you're feeling the same way. And then you start like building up this movement and you forget that you are just like you're like barely recently evolved from an ape, like you don't know what the hell you're doing.
And then you start like killing witches or whatever, and you start you start doing they did math.
Let's be honest, though.
I mean, sometimes you got which has to go and we say, yeah, we can all agree that a witch which has to go if it floats or sinks, which one I forget which which one, whichever one we need at the time.
It's a floating. It should have sunk. Yeah. Yeah, but, yeah, we can definitely agree that we just have to go. Because you brought it up, I tweeted recently, but also just one of the things I'm really ashamed of in my life is I haven't really read almost any of the sci fi classics. Really? Yeah. So like I my whole journey through reading was through like the literary philosophers. I would say, like Camusso has said, just Yassky Kafka, like that place, like that's a kind of sci fi world in itself.
But it's, it just it creates a world in which the.
The deepest questions about human nature can be explored. I didn't realize this, but the sci fi world is the same.
It just puts it in a it like removes it from any kind of historical context where you can explore those same ideas in space or elsewhere in a different time and different place, and allows you almost like more freedom to like construct these artificial things where you can just do crazy, crazy kind of human experiments. So I'm now working through it. The books on my list are the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov, Dune Snow Crash by Neil Stevenson and Ender's Game.
Like you mentioned, that's just kind of. And then so I posted that. And then, of course, like Elon Musk, John Carmack, and if you creator of Doom and Quake. Oh, cool. See, they all pitched in. These nerds, these ultra nerds just started like going like these. You need to read this, that and the other. So I've started working out OK, but it seems like the worst I've mentioned holds up somewhat.
Is there a book? Is there sci fi books or series or authors that that you find are just amazing? Maybe another way to ask them is like, what's the greatest sci fi book of all time?
Well, I'd like to start by sharing something that I, I'm embarrassed about is that I haven't read anything other than, you know, Orson Scott Card and J.R. Tolkien. Frank Herbert Tolkien. Yeah, yeah. I'm aware through Wikipedia and through through surface reading of things that, like a book called The Republic was written once there was a mother, a mother.
You read you're a prolific reader of Wikipedia articles or occasional.
Exactly in between whatever else it is that I waste my time on. But but yeah. So I also I should say, I posted on Reddit questions for Ryan Hall and there's like a million questions, but like half of them have to do with D'une. No, not really. But like people bring them down. I don't understand. Why did you mention Dune before?
Well, I actually actually have a short roll. Actually made a GUI Dune themed GUI one time, which I thought was kind of cool. I said, well, I'll give you one. We got exclusive. But actually to your to your point, actually, this is Orson Scott Card, quote, actually the writer of Ender's Game fiction because it's not about somebody who actually lived in the real world, always has the possibility of of being about oneself.
And I think that's a neat thing because I have heard, you know, other people whom I respect very short people actually every now and then dig their heels and go. And I don't like fiction. I only like nonfiction. It's more it's more instructive. And I would go I completely disagree with that. I think we have a hard enough time figuring out what happened at Seven-Eleven three hours ago that let me tell you what happened 600 years B.C. I'm like, hey, I'm interested, but don't tell me this isn't a story to.
Yeah, there's there's there's actually there's factual components, I have no doubt. But we struggle sometimes to like. I guess what I like about fiction is that you can tell me a story. It's all about people. I mean, every night there's more and less believable things. And I think D'une would be an unbelievably well written, in my opinion, for the you know, what do I know? But I really like doing I'll say that well-written example of, you know, human beings interacting with one another, the political component to that, the emotional, the intellectual, the relationship components, all of that.
And I think that doonas need because it's a sci fi novel, but only in the only loosest sense. It's really a story about religion, about group dynamics, about human potential, about belief, learning, politics, governance, ecology.
It's the best stories remind me of history, the same way history hopefully is not just a list of facts that I try to be able to recall or factoids that I try to recall, but a story that I can understand and see how how the threads of time kind of came together and created certain things. And a lot of times, like we say, like how the heck is what's going on right now or 100 years from now or hundred years in the past happened.
And you can look back far enough. If we had accurate knowledge, if we had that like that hypothetical perfect pool shot, you know, at the beginning of time, we would see an unbroken chain of events that led us to where we are and where we are will potentially lead us to where we're going, which is, again, why hindsight's helpful. But I think it's neat. Like, I guess I really enjoy, for instance, a book like Dune and they're actually making a movie out of it, which I'm skeptical of it, to be honest, because it's going to be difficult to bring that to the screen for a variety of reasons.
But when there is at least one hundred questions, ask Ryan. What do you think about the new Dune movie?
I am not enough of an authority to have any sort of decent opinion. But I guess what I would say is so much of it goes on in the character's mind, like how much of any of our day is any lived experience, as it were, is internal.
But the majority, how many times are people walking around? And, you know, they can be like, hey, what you see right now, I'm like, oh, well, I see this picture. I see a why there's. But really, what I was paying attention to it was what was going on inside of my head for a moment. And almost the rest of the world tuned out and kind of dimmed. And I guess that I think that's going to be a struggle to say any time you want to bring that type of a written story to to the visual medium, I think it's going to be more difficult.
But it'll it'll be interesting. It's definitely one of my favorite stories. And it's been it's honestly helped me become better at life, in my opinion, better the martial arts. And I think the writer I think Frank Harper was absolutely brilliant, whether those were all his ideas, which in reality none of us or all of our good ideas aren't ours were combination. Maybe come up with something. You're a curator of other good ideas and some things you borrowed from somewhere without even realizing it.
But I think the way the messages and the themes and the ideas that were conveyed, particularly in the original novel or just absolutely brilliant, is that the is that to you one of the greats?
And and the flipside of that, like or another way to ask that is like if somebody is new to sci fi, is that something you would recommend that that is an entry point? I'm not.
Well, read enough in the sci fi world. I haven't read a lot of like Isaac Asimov or anything like that. But I just I'll recommend doing I'll be an obnoxious, like evangelist for doing to anyone who will listen. So I would strongly recommend it.
So the other thing you mentioned, now, I should probably be talking to you about much more important things. The other thing is Skyrim.
Do you play video games? What's your favorite game? What's what would you say is the greatest video game of all time? Because I'm a huge fan of Elder Scrolls. Oh, yeah.
I mean, I play a little bit at this point, you know, a little little less finally moves into a new house. So you're like an adult. No. Oh, no, no. I'm like a better funded 12 year old.
Yeah, that's yeah. That's entirely that's entirely accurate.
Better funded 12 year old, but somewhat better funded to it or not, as well funded as I wish.
But historically as you play video games. Oh yeah. I played as a kid. I was you know, again, I always like playing sports and liked reading and I always enjoyed video games. But my favorite video game I think I've ever played was nicely. The Old Republic was a Star Wars game, a huge Star Wars fan until it become less so. So recently, Disney.
You don't like the. I haven't watched it yet. Oh Mandalorian. Oh go.
Oh I actually like Mandalorian. That was, that was actually pretty. Just waving this off. Yeah. Yeah. I would if I could cancel one thing I would cancel Disney so I'm going to edit that part out.
OK, let's go to the next one.
This is where if people are one, if you're watching this on YouTube and like the dislike amount is like eighty percent, that's because of that comment. So good job.
Good job for making the Internet. Nothing. Now what about baby yota. Yeah.
I guess there is like little has got ears and use of force sometimes when he passes out. No, no qualms with baby yota. Yeah.
You don't have a heart.
OK, let's go to Git's if it's OK. Uh so the audience of this podcast may not know much about jujitsu or they do because it's really part of the culture now, but they don't really know much.
They see that so many people have fall in love with it, have been transformed through it, but they don't know much about like what is this thing? Is there a way you could sort of try to explain the what is jujitsu was the essence of this martial art that's captured the minds and hearts of so many people in the world?
I think that jujitsu is is a philosophy that's expressed physically and that it's the kind of development of the mental capacity and physical capacity working in unison to move efficiently and almost flowing.
We unresisting along with with a given situation with a with or physically resisting opponent, learning how to generate force on your own and how to steal force from the floor, how to steal force from the other person and move in concert with it, as opposed to clash against which if you watch two untrained people fight, it's almost entirely a clash. It's a runaway and clash or runaway and clash. If you watch jujitsu done well, it's it it looks like water moving around a solid structure.
And I think that that is expressed physically. And I think that all of the things that anyone have really been able to do very, very well in jujitsu end up kind of exemplifying that. But I think that's true of martial arts in general. I think that a lot of times, like the clashing that we see going on and working well is just the fact that, you know, you get very, very physically powerful people every now and then they're able to get away with this.
But I don't think that that's and that's fantastic, because ultimately it's a results driven thing. But I think that the essence of the martial arts is learning how to make more of less and how to move with and. Yielding me almost like real life, Akito And so you think of martial arts jujitsu as. Like water or flowing, so I get also moving around the the force, as opposed to sort of maybe the wrestling mindset is finding a leverage where you can apply an exceptional amount of force.
So, like, it's like maximizing the application of force.
I guess maybe that's a better way to I'd like to marry the two ideas, you know, because I think you flow until the point at which you are the greater force, at which point in time you can apply. But if you look at the best wrestlers and when I say best honest, I mean most successful, although of course most successful are always very, very good throughout the course of history in boxing, in wrestling, in judo, they're magical.
They disappear and reappear. It's like fighting a ghost that that is like incorporeal when you want to find it. But then when you don't want to find it, when you don't want to find it, it finds you. And I think that we see that in the like the movie Society of Wrestling. And, you know, I guess you could look at Floyd Mayweather or Willie Pep or, you know, Pournelle Whiteaker in boxing as brilliant examples of disappearing and reappearing.
And when you're strong, it's almost like guerrilla warfare when you're strong. I'm nowhere to be found. When you're weak, you can't get rid of me. And I think that's what we're looking for.
Yeah, the city of brothers are incredible at that. They look like skinny Starbucks baristas and they just manhandle everybody like effort effortlessly.
They look like they just kind of woke up, rolled out of bed, fighting for like the the gold medal at the Olympics and just effortlessly throw like there's a match against you, I guess, your romeril. Yes, like, you know, if you look at like who is the guy who's intimidating in this case and the terrifying looking, it's your romeril, just like a physical specimen, obviously like a super accomplished wrestler. I think this is for the gold medal.
And two 2000. Yes. And and then there is the year you all took silver.
And what is like just to show you, like there's a inside trip, effortless Uchi, he does it again, you know? You know, it's a really creative kind of wrestling where it's organic. Yeah, you throwing all of these kinds of this is a mix of judo, a mix of, like, weird kind of moves. It's not like as funky as an Oscar. And it's it's just like legitimate basic.
It's not funky for funky sake. And I'm not poking and asking to imply that that's what he's doing. But it's like it's funny. It's like a lot of times it's almost like a Musashi talked a lot about that. You know, that the only goal of combat is to win is the outcome. It's outcome driven versus like flourishing, you know, cool looking movements. It's like unless that had a utilitarian purpose like what are you wasting your time with that both in the fight and also, you know, in practice.
But but as you mentioned, it's almost like it looks like judo. It looks like wrestling. It looks like jujitsu. It's almost like I guess that reminds me all of the martial arts against deeply tribal as well. I want to learn Lex Fridman, martial arts, and then I want to learn another, you know, I guess transcend a person's martial arts. And it just happened to be the set of movements that you tended to do most of the time, thanks to your body type and your opposition and whatnot.
But then I try to codify that and force those to work as opposed to going. I want to understand how the body works in concert and in Congress with something else and other forces and move appropriately. And that's why it's like it always struck me. The Sitesi brothers are great examples of just moving like water, but they use Bruce Lee was a little trite, but again, it's brilliant. It's like water can flow or water can crash and they would crash when they needed the crash and they would flow when they needed the flow, but they would flow for the purpose of dissipating and then crash when they would win and at the right moment, then go back to flowing the second that the other person found them.
And it's just it's beautiful to watch. It's artistic. And I think that that great expression of anything physical is ultimately studies science, but expressed as an art. And I think that that's something that gets lost in jujitsu. A lot of times when it gets a little bit a little nerdy, like do this hand here, hand here, like, it's like the more details I have, the better when in reality that's just not not in my experience.
How it's done might be fun exercise of saying like, what are the main positions and submissions in the art of jujitsu. You don't have to be complete. That's a ridiculously I apologize for putting on. No, not like this, but it might be nice exercise to think through it. Sure.
I mean, I would just say that there are there you have your arms bend in various ways. You have Killock Americana, straight arm locks, Canmore. I'm a plot on a plot that is can work in horizontal plots. It's just missions. Does I submission just breaking off your arm and all kinds of ways. But ultimately the question is, let's say you were a Terminator, like a robot that I which of course you are going to go on.
It's like we're being completely literal. But and I and I couldn't harm you with any of these things. What I still use these positions. The answer is yes. They create leverage, they create control. They create shapes that I can affect and that can affect me. And they can be effected through other forces and other objects or structures like the ground of the wall. I really enjoy mixed martial arts because there's another component rather than just me and you and the floor.
There's me, you, the floor on the wall, and it's another player in the game that doesn't exist in a grappling context with an in a non enclosed, I guess, area of combat. But you can strangle me or choke me, what do you call it, without my arms being involved? Or you can use one of my shoulders to pin one side of my one carotid artery. Often you can enclose the other. You can turn my knee in the exact same ways that you can turn my arm straight this way.
And that way you can add a rotation to that or it can be directly linear against the joint. So I guess what I would say is the more that I've been able to understand jujitsu, the more that I've been it's given me a look into how we learn language where rather than learning five bazillion adjectives, I go, I understand what an adjective is. And of course, we are all read into some degree of vocabulary. I understand what an adverb does and I understand what an adverb is.
I know what a noun is. I know what the component parts of a sentence are. I know what you know, I guess a clause or contraction, any of these things. And it allows you to be interesting and artistic with your language to the extent that you can. But I can't like I can speak a degree of Spanish, but I'm not even slightly artistic in Spanish. I would be something I speak like like a child with a head injury.
And anyway, your basic understanding of the English language allows you to then be a student of Spanish.
One hundred percent. But I'm limited by my experience. I'm limited by my understanding of techniques. I'm limited by my understanding, almost like, let's say techniques are like these are like vocabulary. So even if I kind of sort of grasp the sentence structure and the thought process and the thought patterns of of Spanish, which it's interesting because just even though the orientation of the organization of language, I've thought about this a great deal, you know, the way that I perceive the world is affected deeply by the language that I learned.
You know, the again, if I learn I have no idea how the Chinese language structures, but I can only imagine that it would be that it would affect it's like a different lens. We're looking at the same thing. But I have I have a different set of sunglasses on than you do. And that's that's very interesting. I'll use the Koran as an example, you know, apparently it's it's unbelievably poetic and in Arabic, still neat and was interesting reading in English.
But I'm told by people that I trust that it just one doesn't bear a resemblance to the other. And I think that's a very interesting thing, that you may be able to say the same thing, but in a more I guess, in a different way, in a more artistic way, that that may not translate on a one for one kind of fidelity. But the more that we're able to understand about how the body works, the more examples of the body working this way, the body work in that way, the body working that way, the more that I'm able to eventually become an artist.
But it has to be studied as a science first. And it does start with technique collection, vocabulary collection in the same way we learn in school. You remember how to say quickly 17 different ways. And let's say I speak Spanish. I'm only I only know three. So you might use quickly. You might use an adjective quickly in Spanish, but use one of the many, many options to describe that that I don't understand. Now I sit there and like, wait, what?
I can't be artistic. I can't be is organic with the languages I like. So I believe that you just do a lot of time starts with the acquisition of a lot of, hey, do this, this, this drill, this technique. Here's an Americana Americana to an arm lock unlock to a triangle.
But the problem with that is oftentimes we get stuck in that phase and I people eventually become move collectors or sequence collectors. And I notice this when I'm trying to do DVD or I guess like an instructional series now or even teaching in class. I don't believe in that form of learning anymore. Not that it's not valuable, but I don't believe I don't understand jujitsu on that level anymore. So what I'm trying to do is get across the basic ideas to people and say, hey, you need to fill in the gaps with going to class all the time.
You need to go, hey, learn this move, learn that technique, learn that technique, because otherwise I'm basically just throwing at you like seventy five different words that you could use. But that hasn't really taught you how to how to speak a language. Whereas if you give me a language structure, you can fill in these pieces on your own and then eventually speak organically in leks form, which will be ultimately unique to you, because otherwise you just end up being like a weird facsimile of whatever it is that I'm doing for mostly the words I say.
But yeah, that's what I mean. People comment like is this especially people of having listened to me before, is this guy drunk or high?
Does Mitt really allow slow people to be like, what is it like? What's what's wrong with him? Is he getting sleep?
Are you OK? And does he need help? So that's similar with my jujitsu is like, is this guy is this guy really whatever rank I was throughout, I remember just like, is this guy really this rank? I just have a very kind of certain way of sitting and being slow and lazy looking that there was all to me the language that I had to discover. And it was it was yeah. It was a very liberating moment, I think.
Of probably a few years of getting my ass kicked, especially with open guard and butterfly, to where you really allow yourself to take in the entirety of the language and realize that. That I'm not I'm I'm a unique, I'm unique and like I have a very I have a language, I have a set of techniques. The way I move my body that needs that. I'm the one to discover, like it's you can only you can learn specific techniques and so on.
But you really have to understand your own body. And that's the beautiful thing about jujitsu, like you said, is like the connection about your philosophy, your view of the world with the physical and the connecting those two things, how you perceive the world, how you interpret ideas of the world about exhaustion, about force, about effortlessness, like what it really means to relax all of these kinds of loose concepts and then actually teach your body to like do those things and like, you know, and be able to apply force and be able to relax and sports and figure all that stuff out for my for my individual body.
But as you mentioned, that's I couldn't agree with you more. It's a discovery process and no one can cheat that process, which is at the same time, it's almost like, imagine I want to start writing books in second grade, unless maybe I'm, like, staggeringly brilliant, like which I can only conceptualize from being able to do that. But maybe the Mozart of the English language where you're out there doing it. But for most of us, we don't have enough knowledge, enough information, enough experience to be able to be to express ourselves.
So we have to basically input repeat, which is important.
But it's the process, as you say, of going through that of getting your ass kicked just like that didn't work. Well, that didn't work. That felt right. But I don't know. Nobody else does that. I guess I don't believe in that versus eventually going. I don't know. I'll just try going my own way and see what happens and I'll get yelled at and people won't like me. And if it works, they'll say, I got lucky.
And if it doesn't work, they'll say I was dumb, but which maybe all is right. But basically, you know, going through that iterative process that allows you to eventually find your self-expression and find your voice so that you you fight the same way that you speak, the same way that you write, the same way that you think in a way that that is uniquely you, that will also ultimately allow you to understand other people being uniquely them.
Because even if you can only conceptualize and I think about this a lot for society stuff, I go, well, this is how I feel about this. But all my objectively right. Maybe about a couple of things, but that's a small box that I have to be very, very careful about what I think is subjective versus what's not. And I have to be open to the possibility that all the things that I think are objectively correct may or may not be.
And that should allow me to have some degree of compassion or consideration for other people, both in their martial arts journey and in their in their journey, you know, as people, as human beings, because I understand that they're on a it's a we're all on a path where it's all, again, an iterative process of of eventual self-expression. But I think that's one of the things that we see having trouble when we see tribalism, which I mean racism, suppression of that political affiliation, free expression of that, all of these things that can go in really uncomfortable directions.
People are looking for, hey, where do I plant my feet over here? Where's where's the thing that I know is right and that we can all agree on the following. And I think that we see that in martial arts. We're like, oh, I do this style. Why be that style? I do that style which I came in. We're all just pushing forward in a certain direction here, trying to do our best. I understand why you feel the way you do.
I may have felt like that at one point, too, but, you know, I'm just trying to learn and understand versus I've already acquired enough knowledge. Let me cross my arms and start to to look who's fucking up around here. And I think that that's an it's an interesting trap that I think it's a very human trap to fall into. But it definitely happens early on. It's I mean, it's a joke in the digital world, right? Like out of the blue belt that that knows everything.
Well, initially, it's like what? I know nothing and I at least think I know nothing. Then I'd learn a little bit and I think it's a lot bit. And then, you know, the more you learn, more you go like, I don't even know what I'm doing.
Yeah, that's exactly right.
We kind of talked about it a little bit. But once again, a lot of people that listen to this have never been on the mat, have never tried jujitsu. But I'm really curious about it. Everybody at all positions like I think you almost kids, you're not doing jujitsu. Andrew Yang is like they're all you know, the world is curious. It's a it's a nice it seems to be a nice methodology by which to humble your ego, which to grow intellectually and physically.
So people are curious about it. So the natural question is, if they're curious about it, how would you recommend they get started? Maybe like. What do you recommend the first day, week, month, year? First couple of years look like like how do you ease into it and make sure that it's a positive experience and you progress in the most optimal and positive way?
The first thing you can do is simply ask yourself why, why you want to be involved. You know, I remember the first day that I walked in to run an athletic center in New York City to train under a godfather of my son. Now, Chris romances. And I didn't know what I was getting myself into. I played baseball through high school and I wanted I was at Manhattan College in the Bronx and I wanted to go and learn martial arts because it was always something that was interesting to me.
But it was never something that was that I knew was accessible. And it definitely wasn't really around in Northern Virginia where I grew up. Whereas then you stick yourself in Manhattan and there's stuff everywhere. So anyway, I guess I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know if I was going to get beat up. If people are going to be nice to people, we're not going to be nice.
But what I began with was, I think, expectation management.
And I think that that's something that I would be the first thing that I would start is almost imagining. What is it that I'm getting myself into? Because I love the martial arts with martial arts has given me everything in life and I'm so thankful I wouldn't be sitting here without without that that experience, a journey of the people that I've met, the place that are gone, I could never, ever have ever imagined. And I'm just unbelievably thankful for that.
But I think that the thing that that helped me most of all was starting with, you know, my mom said something to me one time and she said, you know, there's two types of people in various situations. There's Y and there's one not. And, you know, it's understandable to have questions, concerns, things like that, but maybe sometimes a little bit easier when you're when you're younger to just trust people or to say, oh, you know, but we go, hey, you want to climb that rock?
Like, Yeah, why not? Let's go. I want to jump in that room. Sure.
Versus if I have to reason my way into everything I have, I have to be talked into everything. A lot of times I taught myself out of it. And I think that a lot of times this is the thinker's disease. You want to figure out what's going to happen and what you should expect to have happen before you get involved versus going using the old Bruce Lee saying, again, it's like no amount of thinking or training on the on the side of the river will teach you how to swim.
You have to jump in and there are risks associated with that. And so I guess psychological are usually the biggest ones. That's the biggest hurdle and physical. But the biggest thing that I guess I would suggest anyone to say, why do you want to do this? You're like, well, I want to challenge myself. I want to learn. I would like to learn to fight. I want to learn to fight so that I could protect myself.
And if and if anything else, other people, if only within arm's reach.
I perceive that if I had some small degree of power, I generally wouldn't use it, which is why I was like, I'll give it a try.
I'll try to be reasonable. And hopefully if I make a mistake, I'll apologize to people, but basically said, yeah, I'd like to have that. And I want to I know this is be challenging and we'll see what happens. And that means that getting beat up and I didn't get like hurt, but getting roughed up and getting my arm bent this way or that way getting choked, I was like, well, this is all supposed to happen.
That's no big deal. It would be like going and joining the army during peacetime and then going out. I'm just doing this for college education, you know, like, okay, that's cool, man. And then all of a sudden war breaks out and they want to send me somewhere and I'm like, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. I didn't sign up for that. I actually did. Whether you realize it or not, you may not have thought that you did, but you did.
So getting your mind right and just going, what are my expectations for this activity? What is it that I'm looking to do? And of course, you know, you're you're going into a gym. You're going into a place that you don't know people, you probably don't know people and you don't know the coach. And even if you do want to, hey, how you do and shake your hand kind of level, you know. Ninety five percent of my students don't know me.
Not really. And I'll try to be polite and not ignore them too much. But they don't know me and I don't know them. I understand. If they don't trust me, I wouldn't trust trust me either if I were them. But at the same time someone has to take that leap. And one of the things that I've noticed as a martial arts instructor, that's the biggest struggle with dealing with adults, which is why a lot of people like to teach kids because kids don't ask, don't argue.
Now, that also means there's there's all sorts of pitfalls with that sort of thing. And that can be an issue. But, you know, I guess a lot of times people get to a point in their life, you know, in their 20s, early 30s, where now I'm a I'm a manager. Now I know what to do. And I no one talks to me like that first, like, hey, man, you go join boot camp.
I don't care if you are Elon Musk, it's OK to shut up and do push ups. Yeah. And that's what's great about it. Yeah.
So you are taking a leap of faith into a world that you're going to be a tiny fish and you've got to hope that the people who are who are guiding you in that in that journey are going to have a chance to even say your best interest at heart because they don't even know you. But they'll they'll try to do no harm and they'll try to help you in the way that they would understand. And I guess that's for instance, that's what I would try to do with anyone that that comes into my gym.
I would try to help them in the way that I understand they need as best I. And a safe and reasonable away as possible, but sometimes in a way that's going to make them uncomfortable, particularly if physical combat and it's not something they've done before, if they have a lot of people go in without even having played contact sports. And so that can be a big jump. And you have to understand if that's where you're starting from, no worries.
But you're going to have to kind of work your way to it and it's going to be uncomfortable. And that's OK as part of the process. And you can have some bumps and bruises and you're not going to want to roll with that guy in the corner because that that person's rough and they beat you up. OK, but is this a big hurt or is it a little hurt? If it's a big hurt, OK, if it's a little hurt, I need you set up a little bit.
Yeah. It's such an interesting balance because to find, I think, one of the most important things, as in anything I think in life is the selection of the people that you put around you. I mean, that's true with like getting married. That's true with like if you go to if people ask me that graduate students like your adviser can can be the difference. It's everything. It's like you spend five years with somebody. They're going to basically define that more impact on you than anybody you marry, anybody you hang out with has a huge impact.
And the same with the coach selection, which is like the school selection is. It's going to be really important about in terms of like who you select will define how happy, like the trajectory of your growth and how happy you are with the entirety of the experience. And yet. The flip side of that is if especially if you have an ego, especially if you are the manager, then you need to let go some stuff. You're going to feel like shit.
With the good with the best kind of coach, that's that's what you need, right? But there's a night there was a weird balance there to find like I mean, and everybody needs a different thing. Like, I'm much more I enjoy being sort of like sounds weird, but like I'm from the wrestling background. I enjoy feeling like crap in a sense, like the coach, like getting beat up. I don't actually enjoy it. It's not like some masochistic thing or whatever.
I mean, it's the growth. Like I like the anxiety. I like feeling like like shit when I go home, like emotionally, physically, it's like it's growth.
It's a sign of growth. Right. Like if you're not having to feel those things, you're probably in your comfort zone, which is fine. But that's not your growth zone. Right.
And everybody has a different threshold for that. I mean, the beautiful thing about jujitsu is like it's also has like a yoga feel to it, like you're learning about your body. So depending on the gym and depending on, in fact, the coaches, the people around you within the gym, you can select little groups to kind of like the people with who you're all like. If you're a smaller person, it doesn't mean you have to go against big people.
You can go against the people who, like, smoke a lot of weed and they're chill. Or you can go against like that crazy red blue bluebell competitor who is like out to destroy everybody. And depending on, like, what your mindset is, you can kind of select that. And it's such a fascinating journey of like basically self discovery.
I couldn't agree with you more. It's been what you need may change over time. Right. And maybe what you needed, what you need today could change six months from now or a year from now. And that's something that I experienced. I'll use my my first coach, Christian, again, is a great example of someone who I really look up to and respect and someone who helped me a lot, like at a time when I really needed some guidance and I needed to learn martial arts.
But get into Henzell Gracies gym was right down the street from where Christian was teaching and Christian was a blue belt at the time.
It was he was teaching at a place called Fight House, which is this awesome, like, you know, like 90s, early 2000s, you know, warehouse area down on Fashion Avenue in Manhattan off like between seventh and eighth. And it was like like two basketball courts were like there was the Zombo guys over here. There was the college guys over there. There was a wing China where there was jujitsu in the corner. And Hans's was one of the most famous academies in the world at that time.
Still is. And I just didn't know what Renzo Gracie was. And I mean, it's a great gym and it's a fantastic place for people to train. But I think what was right for me at the time was to I stumbled into, you know, like a two person elevator up and found a place where six people trained at that time. And I had someone that that I could that could give me some like in addition to martial arts advice, like personal guidance.
And that made that made a big difference. And then when initially we would have like competitions or like intra intra gym competitions with the Zombo guys, we would we roll with them. And again, it was great. They were just a bunch of like like Russian dudes from like Brighton Beach. And they would come down and then we would all fight and then everyone would train and we'd all drink tea and then go home.
And anyway, what was it was super, super tough. And they were like, again, just a tough group of people. It was great. And then I remember when I decided after like four or five months, my men, I really want to try to take this seriously. And I told Kristen about that. And he's like, well, hey, I think you need to do the following. And it was, you know, like, hey, here's there was a guy named Jeff Ruth who was at the time, which was a much bigger deal than it is now.
But was tenant always an enemy fighter? A lot of amateur boxer and super tough dude. And Jeff was was the best person at that time that I'd ever train with Edge got squashed. Christian beat me up too, but like, Jeff would just absolutely kick the crap out of me. And I was like, this is awesome. And this was back when I was at home. I went home for the summer for that. And Chris, like, I think you should stay because I told him I thought I was thinking and this was a coach that, you know, when it's like when initially was exactly what he needed.
And then he's like, well, hey, that's not what I'm doing here. Maybe they're going to be able to help you want to a path that's that's kind of commensurate with what your goals are at the moment. And then, you know, that was an that was an interesting thing. And I really got I feel that I was fortunate to start at a place where my coach was able to transition roles and and do so comfortably. And I think that that also was probably a factor.
The fact that, you know, where he'd done some of his training prior, like there have been issues with with the coach there. We like not supporting, not having the support, you know, feeling like, hey, like I'm going to hold on to my students. I don't hold onto my best guy from the best girl, even if I can't take them where they need to go. So that was an interesting thing. And just recognizing also, though, that the people like the same way you're an individual going into a gym and you don't know what you're getting into.
Your coach is a person to and he or she you know, they may have been doing this activity longer than you, but they're not they're not some weird little, you know, all knowing God, they don't know anything. They and they may say something that pisses you off. They may they may yell at you, they may help you. They may inadvertently cause you some sort of, you know, some sort of issue and just being able to recognize the.
Even though I say this to people and I've said this to people in my gym, I'm like, you know, we're in the service industry, man, but I'm not at your service. Like, don't get it twisted. I will absolutely do my best to help people. I'm there to do my best as a martial arts coach, but I'm here to do my best as a martial arts coach and I'll do my best periodically. I make mistakes and I owe an apology or two and I'll try to give them out when I can.
But we're not McDonald's. It's not. Oh, you gave me a hundred bucks. So you do whatever you want in here. This is my house is my gym. This is my daughter. This is this is the martial arts. This is not a basketball team.
There's something beautiful about martial arts. Like exactly as you said, is the coach like in wrestling at least collegiate, like high level wrestling. It's like there's a dictatorship aspect to a coach that is very important to have. Like, this is ridiculous. Sometimes nature of like master and so on and borrowing all these traditions. There's something it seems ridiculous from the outside, perhaps, but there's something really powerful to that because that process of you said, why not of letting go of the leap of faith requires you to believe that the coach has your best interests in mind and just give yourself over to their ideas of how how you should grow.
And that's the interesting thing. I mean, I've never been able to really see coaches I've had as a human there. Always you always it's like a father figure or like you always put them in the position of power. And I think that's I think at least for me, it's been a very it's been a very useful way to see the coach because it allows you to not think and let go and really allow yourself to grow and emotionally deal with all the beatings they'll push.
You were passed oftentimes where you would have stopped yourself. Right. Which is great. And hopefully they know they if they're paying attention and there's still a person, they can make mistakes, but they'll push you further than you would have gone. But not so far that it's not facilitative. Right. Right. That's something that I can stay like for as a hobby. The head coach at Tristar, my head coach from California, one of the head coaches from me, have both been phenomenal influences.
Paul Schriner, who's one of the assistants emotional legacy as Academy, coach me in jujitsu for a long time. Brilliant instructor. They've all been able to do that. And I think what's interesting about all of those guys is they're very sharp, but they're very intuitive as well. And I think that for us, actually, you know, told me about some of the John Wooden, said John Wooden, the legendary UCLA basketball coach. Just a simple philosophical idea, just said some people's life is a bullshit.
It needs some whipped cream in it. Some people's life is a bowl of whipped cream and he's a little bit of shit in it just to balance it out. And it's an interesting thing. Coaching everyone the same way doesn't work. You know, that's what I think the difference in a coach and an instructor. And a lot of times people think they want a coach, but they really want instructor. I'm like, hey, tell me what to do, not how to do it.
And then other times people think they want, you know, an instructor and they really want to coach. I'm like, man, this guy's just giving me information. A coach is so much more than an instructor. And that's a huge leap. And that's something that I think that people need to understand when they're going into martial arts. And I understand I can totally grasp why they don't because how would they know?
But I think about this a lot, like me giving you one hundred and fifty dollars for a month, which is not nothing, that's for sure. That does not that pays for instructor really coaches relationship that gets developed because you can imagine like just the amount of emotional investment and time thinking away from from like, oh, election here anymore. What can I do to help him. What does he need? Like, that's that's serious. And that's the difference between that's that's oftentimes the difference that getting getting over the hump in various situations.
So it's it's an interesting, you know, bargain that's being made like commitment by the by the instructor who becomes a coach, commitment by the student. You know, like there's a financial transaction. There's a lot of things going on there. But I feel very fortunate to have had not just instructors in my time, but coaches. And that means sometimes we've butted heads and sometimes I look back and I think I was right. And other times I look back on my own.
No, they were definitely right. But there was always the trust, with the exception of one time, that I feel that trust was greatly betrayed, that rightly or wrongly, whether mistakes, mistakes will be made. But everyone is attempting to do do the right thing. Under no circumstances would I intentionally do anything malicious, you know, versus, hey, I might have done I'm going to burn your house down, but you can be darn sure it wasn't on purpose.
And I think that as long as there's that mutual understanding and mutual belief of goodwill, which, again, doesn't just magic up out of nowhere, I understand. I think that that's when then great things can happen. And I look at all the athletes that I know, you know, the guys and girls that I've watched become fantastic in various places. Almost invariably it never happened alone.
Yeah. Yeah. I'm I'm really torn about that. Like, maybe you can help. Have you seen the movie Whiplash? So it's I would say from an outsider's perspective, people should watch. It's a, I guess, jazz band if it's a movie about a drummer and the instructor and he it's a basically I would say from the outsider's perspective, it's a toxic relationship. But he's really the coach. Whatever we call them pushes the musician, the drummer to his limits, like to where he just feels like shit emotionally is that it looks like a toxic relationship, but it's one that ultimately is very productive for the improvement of the musician.
I have the same like in my own experience, and I got a chance to train at a couple of places regularly. And so one of my coaches who is a great human being, a lot of people love them. But when I was a blue belt, he was pushing me a lot for competition. And every time I step on the mat, I was anxious and almost afraid of training because of the places I'm going to have to go.
And then the I can't I don't know what's good or bad because I think I've become a better person because of that experience. Like, I needed that. And on the flip side, like the place I got my belt from Bounce Studios, I remember also Blue Belt, the coach sitting down and I was going to competition and he saw something in me where he said, you know. Like, good luck, but win or lose. We always love you like I, I, I remember that because I really needed that at that time, like I was putting so much pressure on myself, like I'm not an actual professional competitor, you know, I just competed like I'm a student, like but like it was clearly having a psychological effect on me.
And that's what a great coach does, is like, you know, it's like life is more important than you get bigger.
So they find you use digits when you need it to grow as a person. And when it overwhelms you, you have to pull that person out.
Like, look at the bigger picture. Always look at the bigger picture is fascinating. And I don't know what to make of it. I don't think I would have it any other way. Is both the anxiety and the and the love.
Yeah, I think that that's a really interesting thing that you're describing that I guess it kind of brings me back to a lot of the other things we've been discussing is just almost like the reciprocal nature of everything where no pressure. That's great. Everyone's happy all the time. It's I mean, let's use the example of sci fi movies to see The Matrix, which, of course, was the first one was amazing. And then each subsequent movie made the series worse.
But look, basically the work on the new one, by the way. I've heard. We'll see. I was hoping for the best. But but basically, you know, it's say hey, which we started our first initial world. Agent Smith says the Neo's like our first world, was a utopia where everyone was happy and nothing ever went wrong. It's like your primitive cerebrum rejected it. And I think that there's obviously I mean, what do I think?
But I guess, well, I'm here, so I might as well say what I think.
I guess, you know. Great things are fantastic, a kind, gentle place is fantastic, and this is, again, why I love Dune, because I think Dune does such a great job of expressing it. Frank Herbert does such a great job of expressing, again, the reciprocal nature of these ideas.
You know, look at look at Sparta, for instance, or at least what I understand of Sparta from the reading and also watching three hundred, you know, and reading the Wikipedia and reading the Wikipedia article about the movie at the other place.
But it's that's a hard, brutal place. And that was their benefit to that. Absolutely. Was their drawback to that. Absolutely. Is it sustainable. I should. I would think probably not. I mean, granted it hasn't sustained. But I mean, that type of of a thing, it it burns too hot almost. And it it it destroys the host at a certain point. And, you know, I guess that that type of unforgiving nature, but entirely, entirely permissive, has its own issues.
And I guess coming back to you, what your description of like describing a toxic relationship is a very dangerous and tricky thing, because it's almost like a it's like bird's eye view. What you know, you see, let's say a husband or wife arguing they like. All right, well, sort of somebody hitting somebody. I need to keep myself out of this because I have no idea what I'm seeing something. But I don't know what's going on or why specifically.
And again, short of it going to a place that that just out of bounds, I don't know who's right here.
I don't know who's wrong.
And I don't know what phase of this things are in. So I guess long term was good for both people, right? It's dangerous. And so if I want to put my finger on the scale, I can understand the desire to do them. I hate to break it up. Yeah, but and that may be the right thing at the time, but at the same time, I'm not sure.
So I think back to all of the times that, you know, that like you mentioned, your coach pushing you when very, very hard and then other times going like, hey, let's put in perspective here. I think that's an interesting thing for high performance. And I think that we're seeing that again societally, you know, now or at least maybe that's just pops up on my Internet feed periodically. But coaches shouldn't be allowed to do this or yell at this person to yell at that person like, well, have you ever been to a boxing gym?
It's not a commercial entity, not really a real not L.A. boxing, not a Ushijima like a real place. You're going to see what things are like when it's entirely Performance-Based go to wrestling room at a high level. You know, again, there's there's left and right limits and there are such things, obviously, as abuse, of course. But and that should never be tolerated. But it's not a commercial entity. I don't need to be sweet to you if you're if you're screwing up, you're dropping the ball.
And in fact, recognizing that I'm not doing you a favor or the team a favor by by being permissive of that type of behavior, I think is important. Everything in its context and at its time is important. And I guess I can think again of the times that have been put, put or had put on me like a great deal of pressure to do X, Y or Z or to succeed or to push for success.
And I can't look back fondly enough on those times. And they were tough at the time. But without that, I'm not sitting here. Without that, I don't go from growing up in a very nice family in the suburbs to fighting at the highest level in jujitsu, GI Nogi and now in mixed martial arts, starting a career at age twenty seven. You know, I don't it just doesn't happen because people, generally speaking from that background, don't get pushed hard enough physically to be able to make that transition.
And that has benefits and it has drawbacks. You know, when you stare into the abyss, it stares back. And I think that that's an important thing to understand. You know, you stare long enough, you you can become something that you don't that you would be sorry that you did. You don't look enough and you don't have perspective either. You know, I think that that's an interesting thing. I can speak to someone who's relative to being someone who's relatively articulate and reasonable, I try to be reasonable.
But in all, it's boring. If people get crazy with me, they get a warning and then I'm a crack them. And what do they expect? Oh, they hear the guy on a on an interview. But who do they think they were meeting? Because there's also the guy in the ring and there's layers there too.
I remember training with you is kind of funny. There is like there's no way you to know who I was.
I mean, it's like I haven't really histrionic a lot, by the way. Yeah. That so I don't remember what rank I was, but it might have been purple or something like that. And I did some like I you had this look on your face which I've often seen in black belts. It's like here he goes again, like here, here's him trying this thing. And then when I kind of annoyed you a little bit with it, now I get that it was a good at like I you know, I did something somewhat effective, like some like maybe a little bit off balance.
Yeah. There's I just peeled off a little layer of Rhinehart where I was like, OK, let me let me like there's like layers underneath it, like Mike Tyson somewhere in there, like I saw it was like, OK, this is like new guy rolls in here. He thinks he can do this stupid thing. And then and then you started to beat the hell out of me. But the point is, there's layers here from the guy who was being interviewed now to like Genghis Khan.
But it's but it's all in the same body. Right.
But it's like all of us are like that. Right. In various different directions and recognizing that's OK. It's just there are consequences to all every choice that we make as a consequence. Sometimes there's like objectively wrong or objectively right. But at least in my mind, that's a pretty small box. Everything else is just as a consequence of that. Do you like that consequence? Do you not? And who do I want to become? What do I want to try to hone myself or anyone else into?
And also like this is something I screwed up as a coach plenty of times. You know, like if someone says if you're if I come to like Lex, I really, really want to take, you know, research very seriously, like, OK, I believe, you know, I haven't shown you that. But I believe you're like, OK. Now, me not showing up to research or to study or not being up until 3:00 in the morning thinking about this is no longer acceptable.
There was a time like five seconds before me making that statement that if I went to bed without reading the book that I needed to read, no worries. But the second that I made that statement, your expectations for me changed. And maybe it's something that's something that I've screwed up a whole bunch of times in my as a teacher, because it's an interesting thing, obviously, you know, being like running a martial arts school is, as you're principally an athlete is sometimes I don't pay enough attention to what people are doing.
I just go, OK, you say X, Y or Z. I'm like, Roger that. I believe you call. I will now put you in Category X. And whether rightly or wrongly, like maybe this person didn't understand what they were asking for or I didn't express this or the other, and it just it caused cross wires. And then I'm just I'm sure you hash it out, you have a discussion, you figure out get to the bottom of what people are trying to do or what they want.
But if I was paying more attention, I think I could have been a lot more effective or if I had more experience and sometimes I'm not sharp enough. Right. I'm not perceptive enough to be able to to see what's going on. And maybe with years more down the line, I'll be able to have a sharper perception. But I think that's another one of those interesting things that some that sometimes I would caution or not caution just inform a prospective martial arts student depending upon where you're going.
You know, you both you and also your coach or other people in the room, they wear many hats.
And sometimes there's a I had the wrong hat on. You were talking to me. Lex, the guy I didn't realize you were talking to me, I thought you were talking with Lex, the guy didn't talk me as Lex, the martial artist. I'm like, oh crap. I was talking to the wrong person.
So it's almost like if you had a like I run my gym with my wife. She's a black belt. So she's my wife. She's my peers as a martial artist in jujitsu here, by the way.
And judging. So. Exactly. All right. Well, a fellow black belt and I guess like another, he doesn't have a microphone, so you can't hear all the trash he's talking. Exactly.
But it can be tough. And that's something we've had to work through a lot. And it's like looking back and it's like not being where I'm at now. And it's easy for me to say that she's in the room and I don't want to stab me, just continue to slowly poison me over time, which frankly, I understand. You know, it's the sort of thing that is now way more effective than anything else I could really reasonably expect to have.
But there were times when both of us were justifiably annoyed at the other because of crossed wires. And sometimes, you know, you just have to scream in anywhere and Mr Standing anyway. But again, like, I've I coached some of my friends, I've coached a coach, my friend, who I've known since I was four years old. You know, sometimes I don't go, Hey buddy, how you doing. I'm just like, what the fuck are you doing?
Put your hand over there. How many times we talked about this? And then you walk away and you can see him look at you crooked and you're like, oh, crap. Oh, yeah. He thought I was talking to his friend. Yeah, well, all right. We need to talk this one out, hashing out and not he's wrong. How could he possibly think that way? Like, oh no, I totally understand that. But if I was twenty two, doesn't he know I'm some nonsense like that and it's and it doesn't come from a bad place, but it's just I guess that comes back to society, to anything.
People only have the perspective that they have and the awareness that we have. And so again going back and going hey guys, Grace like I don't expect it's not fair for me to go out for UFC. Why doesn't this guy who came in as an attorney understand how hard core this needs to be? And like, how could he? And at the same time, though, if I'm using the language of someone that is interested in at least performance from a martial arts perspective, I understand how that could be Off-putting.
Let's say, for instance, someone that's like all of that will be out of bounds in their normal workplace. But if they think of the gym as my office, then whether they agree or disagree with what's going on here, I see why that might happen. Let's talk about this. And we can, again, all push forward in a positive direction that benefits, I guess, everyone's journey throughout the activity.
And on top of all that, there's moods, OK? I mean, especially lately, I think two days ago, maybe yesterday. No, two days ago.
I've never been that cranky in my life. I think I don't know what it was, but I wanted to tell everybody how much they enjoyed me. It was like I was just very conscious of this feeling of like, why why is this happening right now? So I consciously decided, as I usually do in those cases, to not say anything to anybody. How do you do that?
Well, I you know, it's it's. Yeah, meditate because it's not I tend to I tend to then visualize what's going to happen in the next, like how is going to make my life better like. If I say something. That mean to somebody else? I have just started a conflict that will just escalate, it will continue, will add more conflict to my life, it will make things I just don't like the feeling it will create. And so you live and enough life to know that, like, it's just like with like street fighting.
And I will get into a lot of fights when I was younger, just on the street. But then you realize like it's not like a jujitsu match or something like that. It's not. It'll escalate. It'll might come back at you like that person might find you again, but more importantly, the anxiety of it.
Of having created little enemies in this world distorts the way you see the world. So I've noticed that, like if I am shitty to people on the Internet, which I haven't been, I think in a long time, is like it is somehow brings the shadiness to you more and more. It escalates. Like the more love you put out there, the more like the people who put love out, like surround you when you mention forgiveness as well. Like you said, you get like, I guess back to the original, you know, the Holocaust survivor scenario where like, oh, my God, like you think of the ultimate in like I've never experienced one one billionth of that level of of pain and horror.
And it's like and I can't let this little thing go. And I guess that's an interesting thing. I think you're just making the point in your personal life, I guess, the same way, right?
Yeah. The yeah. And on the Internet, it's hard somehow. I've gotten I mean, you've you've had a level of celebrity for a while. I've recently gotten some level of like celebrity and like these people who are just shitty for no reason come out from all, from all places, like calling me a fraud or anything else.
I'm Jay and Silent Bob strike back. They find out a movie is going to be made about them and people talking shit on the Internet and they're like, what's the Internet? And then someone shows them and like, what? And they go to a message board and they go to Hollywood to try to stop it from being made. And they eventually get money for their likeness and they use the money to buy plane tickets and fly around to beat the shit out of all the people that talk bad about them.
Yeah, it's tough.
I mean, it's I'm having trouble with it because there's people like, yeah, there's you know, there's posts and forums and like heated discussions about is like being a fraud. I don't know what has he really done.
And there's like and then there's people like, well I think he's a great guy, but I'm not sure like like there's like little discussions and I'm like like a no no.
But like, if you increase the level of celebrity, there's going to be like one of the things that hurts my heart a little bit is like some level of toxicity around Joe Rogan, for example. There's like communities of people that now like talk about him selling out, for example, all that kind of stuff.
And I don't you know. And Joe. I've talked to him about it is amazing that he he says, don't read the comments, he legitimately doesn't read the comments. His heart and his soul doesn't give a damn about the comments. All he gives a damn about is his friends. Like, one of the things that's really inspiring to me, and that's I've had a conversation with them offline about Spotify and. The removed episodes, people are curious, we have to find.
It's it's a thing on the Internet where I think you can play Taylor Swift songs on.
Write that down.
But you can also now play Joe Rogan podcast. Oh, cool. And they gave him one hundred million dollars.
So that that's you know, that's awesome. It's yeah.
But the thing I've had a discussion with him and I made a video about it that Adam, because of the toxicity, is like it's hard to put into words, but he will give away the one hundred million in a second if he ever has to compromise who he is. Like, he doesn't. I mean, he already said, as he talked about, he's made quote unquote, fuck you money a long time ago. He doesn't need any more money.
He doesn't care. It's nice to have money, whatever, but he'll give it away. So the it's nice to see when people like him. A level of celebrity level success and financial success don't change at all. They're just the same thing that makes you happy.
Is talking, in this case talking shit with his friends in case most of us really just just hanging out with friends, doing the things you love in his case, doing the things he loves without any like, you know, the Texas way, the freedom, like without any corporate bureaucracy bullshit that rolls in and says, well, maybe you shouldn't say fuck, you know, like more than 20 times a podcast or something like that, like those kinds of like rules like people like he says in a suit and tie, they show up and say stuff, oddly enough, people that could never have done what he did.
Yeah, exactly. And it's kind of inspiring to see that. And I hope people I hope people realize how special of a human he is. He's inspired like people like me, like I'm just I'm a scientist. Right. So he inspired somebody like me from a very different walk of life to be like kind to others, to be open minded. I don't know that it's a special dude. So, like, people need to support that and treasure that as opposed to as opposed to be toxic about it.
I mean, what people really for a long time have told me that it would be awesome to find.
Hawson goes on Joe Rogan. I definitely think there will be an awesome thing. Have you listen to Joe? Has he been a part of your life in some kind of way?
You know, well, Joe's always, I'm sure, watching Joe on Fear Factor when I was a little kid, which is cool. So I've actually gotten to like from a from a bird's eye view watch, you know, his his kind of just path through life. Yeah. But one of the things that I always appreciate and again, I barely know Joe, other than to shake his hand, interview me after the briefing in the ring, after the BJP fight.
But one of the things that I've always admired about Joe is that I think he had fucking money from the start. I think that zero dollars is fucking money for Joe, I think. And that's something I respect about him a great deal, because, as you say, it's interesting to watch. It's like you hope that Joe Shakespeares like this. It's really neat. I'm not super close to George, but we're teammates at Tri-Star and he's never been anything but a gentleman is one of those people that if you didn't know George was famous when you walked in the gym, you'd have no idea.
He's not holding court, not doing that. He's just, you know, training. And how about an amateur doing this? If you have a question for him, he'll help me like I'm nobody. And he would give me advice and train was super cool and he didn't kill me, which I really appreciate it.
He's a gentleman. But, you know, it's like you meet someone and you go, oh, man, I'm so it's so cool that this is the guy who's the best, that this is the guy who who's been successful.
And then you go, well, why are they successful? Like I said, true to what they're doing. They haven't changed. They're the same as they've been. I remember I got to Tri-Star in twenty twelve and George has already pretty sure same here. But I remember watching and talking to people and they're like, oh man, George is the same as he's always been and it's neat. I see him in the gym training now and again giving advice now.
And it seems like Joe has always been consistent and it's neat to watch someone not compromise on their values and not change who they are not, you know, periodically, like, you know, again, we all make mistakes, like we have a bad day or this or that, and an apology needs to be issued or even my bad or this or that. And I can just move on. They're not afraid to be themselves and they're not afraid to be wrong.
They're not afraid to make a mistake because, as you mentioned, open, I'm like, so what are the correct beliefs to have about this that I know going in? Everyone's going to be OK with what I'm saying, which is usually the beginning of a conversation that's going to go nowhere. Right. And it's it's neat to see the things, I guess, that he's created on his own as a result of the authenticity that's there. And it reminds me of like Dave Chappelle.
And again, I don't know, I've never met Dave, but it's neat to see someone that's clearly, again, authentic in their own way, doing their own thing. And there because of that, they're above the. Corporate nonsense, but what's funny, I think the message behind all of it is, hey, guys, we all are. I can't promise you that I'm going to have money. Joe couldn't promise you that he's going to have money now and end up working out.
But he was above that nonsense from the jump and he just continued to be above it by never giving it any mind and just going like, yeah, I'm a be a reasonable person. I'm going to try to learn. I'm going to try to grow. And if I say something annoying, knowing you can come and talk to me about it and get to the bottom of it. And I'm like, if I need to say my bad thanks. Appreciate it.
You know, I will. And if I don't need to, I'm like, hey, I still appreciate the talk. Thanks. Shake your hand and we carry on and we go our separate ways and hopefully I'll treat you respect you treat me with respect. And that's about it. And I guess I think it's a lesson that it can work out no matter what. You don't have to kowtow to like these weird powers that be and whether you're at this level or at this level.
But you can live your life the way that you want to, as you mentioned, talk to your friends, hang out, be happy. And it just so happens that that resonates with people. It actually reminds me of like speaking at MIT and being in Boston is like good will hunting. You know, again, that's what do you really want to do? He could have gone this way, could have gone that way. And it was an interesting story.
But it's like this person wants to hang out with his buddies and wants to do other things and again, happens to be brilliant and happens to be able to do all these other things.
But there was it I guess it's like in my mind, a story of authenticity as well. And it was both the same thing in the Robin Williams character. And I just think that that's a message because watch watching things occur on the Internet as they do now, think some so many things playing out in the public eye. I feel like so many private or otherwise formerly private discussions and disputes and interactions now become they all have a well, what is this going to say when it goes public?
So how can I couch what I'm saying? Or how can I word this in a way that's going to get people on my side to use the right buzzwords and not use the wrong buzzwords.
And it's just neat to see people, you know, in their own way flip the bird to that, because I just think that that's that's just not how a human being is meant to think or interact.
I'm curious what you think about the thing that recently has, you know, me like hosting this podcast. I sometimes think about like, who should I talk to and not? In terms of like it's the old Hitler question now, Hitler, I would definitely talk to because post-World War Two, because everyone else is evil. The question whether you talk to Hitler in 1937, like when? People who are really students, what's going on, understand that this is a very dangerous human being, but a large part of the world are like, well, he's a leader who cares for Germany.
So the question I have, it's interesting to me, involves a particular person named who also lives in Austin, Texas, named Alex Jones. I don't know if you're familiar with the guy. I am familiar with Mr. Jones.
I've actually recently just listened to Infowars like one episode of his show, I guess, that he does every day.
And it kind of reminds me of a time in college when I drink too much tequila, there's no turning back like. No, it's like like the mistakes you make that like it's I mean, you don't know where you're going to wake up. You don't know who you're going to kill or not kill or steal or rob it. It's it's unclear so that it felt like I was getting pulled into a dark place where pretty much everybody is a pedophile that's trying to control the world.
So Bill Gates definitely is a pedophile and everybody in power, anybody in power. This is a kind of a deep skepticism about power and a conspiratorial way to see the world where everything is like dark forces in all corners. It's like the way you feel when you're a kid that there's a monster hiding in the closet, which is also why you sleep over the bed from like four feet away. There's a strategy. Yes. So but he says that you're just being weak.
You need to look under the bed, under the bed. There's monsters. And we need to be aware of them because they're growing. They're multiplying.
You should be. And they're touching children. They're touching children. Exactly. So it all connects.
But the the I when I listen to him and I thought about, like, do I want to talk to him on this podcast, for example. When I listen to his conversation with Joe Rogan, the two times he talked to me, it was somehow entertaining like it was fun to listen to. It's fun to listen to a mad man go on for four hours because it's almost like theater. Like this is what I talk to Joe about. When people try to censor Alex Jones, Joe says that the people who try to censor him don't give enough credit to the intelligence of human beings to understand like that.
What a person says on a large platform does not necessarily is not the truth. You can be a mad man and say crazy things. And people are intelligent enough to hear certain things when they're said, like the earth is flat. They can be can be intelligent enough not to all of a sudden start believing that the earth is flat, like they're intelligent enough to sort of select different ideas and be able to enjoy the theater of a particular ridiculous, over-the-top conversation without being sort of influenced the where they start believing like toxic set of beliefs.
Now. There's a lot of sort of other kinds of people, especially now with cancer culture, that say, well, you don't want to give platform to crazy people, that ultimately whose beliefs might lead to dangerous consequences. Like and I see it very often now with conspiracy theories that go that go like way too far, like, for example. Well, I'm not I haven't looked into it, so I'm sorry, I will look into it, but.
It hurts my heart to see that when Bill Gates. In my opinion, the person who has saved and improved more lives than probably any human history, literally because of the money he's invested in helping, like just just the work he's done. Unlike malaria in Africa, the number of people he's helped is huge. And yet every interview, anything you see now on Bill Gates, everyone is calling him, I believe, haven't looked into it, but I believe everyone's calling him a pedophile.
I don't know the full structure of it, but it's it's just a very it feels like an army of like it feels like it's hundreds of thousands of people.
That's what it feels like. It might be a much smaller percentage, but it feels like a huge number of people calling him a pedophile. So that's the that's the flip side. If you allow if you give platform to conspiracy theories like that, then you start to have bigger and bigger percent of the population believing these crazy things. I just I wanted to put it out there because I don't know what to think of that.
If you put yourself in Joe Rogan's shoes, if you put yourself in my shoes, if you put yourself just in your own shoes, I mean, when I'm in my shoes right now, great.
If you stay in your shoes, just stay in your shoes. Can I have your life?
Would you talk would you give platform to people like Alex Jones? Would would you talk to somebody like Alex Jones or or not?
Yes, I would. And I feel very strongly about this, honestly. Well, I think that it's an interesting thing.
And I I would just say a lot of times I can understand very, very clearly why people would take issue with the idea of, I guess, what they perceive to be amplifying this man's voice, this man's reach, you know, as as a demonstrable negative.
But I think, you know, when you take a step back further, the cure is more damaging than the disease and significantly so. I guess I think that.
I'm very, very wary of, I think, being where you mentioned Alex Jones, being wary of power and people with it, that's a lot of times there's a lot of truth and validity to crazy things that people say.
It's the conspiracy theories that stick are the ones that sound credible, at least quasi credible in some aspect. And it's almost like it seems to me like an anchor in people's mind. And it is also funny to me, obviously, the Bill Gates, it's so funny to tar people with things like pedophile, racist, rapist, like these are things that we're basically trying to pick words that no one can ever support someone who does these things. Yeah. And that's, you know, and that changes year by year.
Currently, pedophile is totally in as a thing to call somebody just just as it used to be, communist or Marxist, the Cleveland Browns fan, you know, like, come on, you know, actually, nobody likes the Browns.
So I'll agree. I felt like that was that's why I picked them. That's the trick, is you find a group of people that nobody likes. We we're good here. All right. That's the move. But, yeah, that's a creepy thing, though, because that is that is the creepy thing is like people are always looking for groups of people are always looking for.
And I find this really deeply disturbing, like, hey, so who's the guy that we can all get away with, you know, just treating like dirt? Who's the guy that I can be a dick to?
I can just walk up and punch in the face and no one is going to say anything. Yeah. And it's even if, you know, people do that, whether it's literal Nazis or someone like called Nazi, you know, I guess what's the bigger issue, this person's ridiculous beliefs or what I'm doing and you mentioned Hitler before and obviously Mein Kampf being, you know, like the outline for some of the things he did later on when the evil.
Was it always there?
Did it did it take root later on or flourished later on?
But was was Adolf Hitler a problem because he had crazy ideas or because he did things? I think it's because it's not. I think I know it's because he did things. Now, if I'm going to start punishing thoughtcrime, I'm going to have to start punishing thoughtcrime. And that's a terrifying concept. Even if I'm right about the certain about the objectively correct, about the things that I decide to call out of bounds, who put me in charge made me arbiter of good taste and how long until I decide that something else is is out of bounds.
It's always a sliding scale. It's always a sliding standard. And I find that that, you know, to be more of a concern than people doing crazy things, because I guess if you mention Alex Jones, you know, putting out ridiculous, ridiculous ideas, ridiculous theories, I think that most people don't look at Alex Jones as a credible person. Now, I'm not going to pretend to be deeply read into all of his beliefs or the things that he's trying to peddle.
But there's plenty of things that are quasi mainstream that I think on with this side or that side that maybe not comparably ridiculous, but. Ah, yeah, you know, particularly in hindsight or, you know, or were not or were silly. And I guess the idea of of getting a group of people together to decide what we're not going to tolerate is a very, very tricky thing.
And I think that, you know, it reminds me of law or, you know, even, you know, religion when it gets to like, what are the things that we don't like? How do we feel about rape? It's like, no, under no circumstances is that an acceptable behavior, murder? No, that's not acceptable behavior. Killing long kind of depends on the situation.
Are you at war where you justified, where you acting in self-defense? OK, so it's not now murder is a specific type of killing the same way, you know, other things should be a specific type of something else. But I guess we draw the line in murder. We say if you want to exist in our society, you can't do this.
This cannot be done. And then we go theft. If someone said, hey, I murdered that guy, can you understand where I'm coming from? I might say, yeah, well, that doesn't mean that I think you're right. But I'm like, have you ever been wrong so deeply that you could imagine that you could kill someone? I'm like, no, I haven't. But I could conceptualize someone doing that. And I'm like, yeah, OK.
And you still need to go. You still need to face criminal justice as we have it in our system. So we've decided.
Yeah, it's interesting. You have to be able to like there's if you look at the history of discourse in this country, I think it's still true. But I'm not sure it's changed since 9/11. Is it used to be impossible to criticize. A soldier. It was easier to criticize war. It was harder to criticize soldiers for allowing themselves to be the tools of war, I tend to be maybe the Russian. I'm bringing the combat thing. I tend to romanticize war and soldiers.
I see soldiers as heroes. But I've also heard people that not only say that soldiers are war is bad. They say soldiers are bad. What's their argument? It's the kind of a libertarian view that they're basically slaves to evil, right? Wars, evil, and they're they're given they are suspending their moral and ethical like like duties as a human being to become the tools of evil. That's sort of the argument. If you see war is evil.
I mean, I think it's useful to hear that. But there for a long part in history, that was completely unacceptable. Same with abortion. If you see abortion as. Murder. I mean, if I classify it in that if I put it in that in that basket. It starts we're living in the midst of like a genocide. Look at it from that perspective, could you feel how people could be deeply upset by abortion? You, of course, looked at from a different perspective.
You say, I don't believe it to be murder. That's not how I see it. Then you go, well, if that's the genesis of your thought process, then you're like, OK, now now I see how we can come to a different thing. But I guess we go, well, abortion is murder, period. Therefore, if you support it, you support murder. That's a convenient way for me to tell you. Right. But I guess that's kind of coming back to the Alex Jones.
I'm I'm missing you nuance.
It's you have to have the nuance in these kinds of conversations. And I have to be willing to have the conversation and I have to be willing to sit down if I can't sit down across from, like, the most violently racist, angry, hypothetical Internet, you know, conceived person that none of us have ever actually met in real life, but are hopefully not, you know, and go like. Well, of course, I believe that this person is wrong, but allow me to change, do my best.
I'll hear them out and I'll go now. I can go point by point, explain why this guy or this girl is wrong and hopefully bring them over to a more reasonable position where they will have better beliefs and they will like objectively better beliefs and beliefs that will, will and they'll treat other people better.
Why would I want to marginalize this person? I might not want to talk. I'm going to want to invite them to my barbecue if they're acting like a jerk all the time. But how could I would it not make the world a better place, but hear them out and they go, look, if you're going to sit down and talk with me, we're going to have a discussion. I'll hear what you have to say. And if I can't, if I can explain to someone why their ridiculous belief is wrong, then I might I must not be so confident in my position.
And I guess that's where I come back to the Alex Jones thing, as you mentioned with Bill Gates.
And you're much more familiar with the specifics of all the good that he's done. But, you know, again, he's been an unbelievable force for good. You know, in this world, you can list A, B, C, D, things that the man has has done, its foundation has done and, you know, positive things.
And then the other people could speculate about ridiculous, crazy levels of evil. But you can't produce any evidence for that sort of thing, because if you could, the men will find themselves in trouble, you know.
And anyway, I guess what I would say is that why you can't force me to accept the truth the same way you could write down two plus two equals four on a piece of paper and show me how it works. And I could say no, but that doesn't make it not true. And you still giving yourself an opportunity to present your case. You've presented it to me. And you've also for anyone listening and watching, you know, you've been able to critically assess what's gone on, you know, critically address back and forth kind of the discourse.
And I think that you almost you're making your case for the public. So I guess, like, you know, when it comes to just never not engaging with these people, that seems to me to be cowardly. And I think that that's a something that we're seeing in society right now. I think we're seeing a crisis of courage in society all over the place. And I think that's where we're seeing poor leadership. I think we're seeing understandable things happening everywhere.
But we need stronger voices and stronger, stronger beliefs that have a conviction and are willing to engage with others, not just turning into a shouting contest and not I didn't win because there's more of me. Oh, I voted outvoted you. That's nice, too. But that's a stand in for bullets. That's saying I won because there's more of me. That doesn't mean that I'm right, because plenty of horrible and unpopular now things have been very, very deeply popular in the past and would have won a popular vote.
Does that make them right? I'd say clearly not. So I guess you'd hope that we engage with these people and that you can do your best to bring them over to a more reasonable position if you believe that you have one. And if you can't, well, at least you made the effort. And I think that that's something where martial arts shows the value. It's like art. You know, if you're going to go when you're next fighting, like, I have no idea, I will proceed forward with with full effort.
And, you know, I will fight with dignity. I'll fight with honor and I'll fight with courage. And I will use everything I have and I will play within the bounds of the game. And that's that. And the result will be what it will be. But I'll walk into and out of that ring with my head held high because I will know that I did my part. I did my job. The outcome, the specific outcome is not in my control.
It's just strongly in my influence. And I think that that's something that helped me but that martial arts has taught me, because other times, even when I was successful or unsuccessful, I would focus on if I won, I won. Therefore, I'm good. I lost, therefore I'm bad. This other guy won or lost, therefore, as opposed to evaluating their method. And I think it's so easy when we're taking a bird's eye view of things to not evaluate how someone's doing things.
You're not evaluating my process. You're simply evaluating my outcome. And I could have stumbled into something very, very good or very, very bad. And we can look back. And I think that's the value of history. I mean, I don't mean to get on my high horse, but it's like this value history, as we can see, the unbroken chain or the chain of events that led us somewhere. And then only with only with the eyes of history can we truly evaluate things unless we're in the room watching it happen.
And I guess that's again where we start to go. Most of the big, bad, scary things that have happened in history that are done, particularly on an industrial scale, which implies governmental power and things like that, or the equivalent involve groups of people getting together and going, hey, we're not going to deal with that guy, giant groups of people. So maybe we're right this time. But maybe we're wrong next time, and I guess I would be back to the Gandalf putting on the one ring, I would be very, very hesitant, even if we thought we were in the right to simply try to try to marginalize just on general principle.
Even people like Alex Jones on their face are pretty ridiculous. Like you said, you should sit down with Adolf Hitler and talk to the man.
I agree with you to play a little devil's advocate. This is. Alex Jones might be a bad example, but if we look at because he has a face, he is a human, he's a real person.
There is also trolls on the Internet, 4chan, the worry I have with those folks. Is that and there might be parallels to martial arts is they practiced guerrilla warfare, meaning? They don't necessarily want to arrive at the truth. They just always want to cut at the ankles of the powerful, like they want to always break down the powerful. And even if they mean it, they turn everything into a game. So they let's see if we can make the world.
Let's see if we can make a trend that Bill Gates is a pedophile. Right. They make it into a game. They get excited about this game. They see the powerful. Let's see if we can convince that, like, who is the most positive person we can think of. Let's see if we can turn them into evil. And they've tried. They would like would like everybody and in the end seems to stick and they're good at it.
Some would argue or whatever you think about our current president, that he has some elements of that, which is he's figured out whatever this music of social discourse that's going on, he's figured out how to always troll the mainstream like flow of consciousness. That's the media. He always kind of says stuff that annoys a very large number of people. And he enjoys that because it's like taking the powerful, taking the way things were before. And he shakes it up by saying the most inappropriate thing almost on purpose or instinctual.
So the problem I have with that is that doesn't. The powerful thing there is, it brings the power, the those in power down a notch.
That's a great thing. The negative thing is it doesn't push us closer to a nuanced, careful, rigorous discourse towards truth. It's like showing up to a party and just like starting to yell, it doesn't create good conversation. It just makes everything into a game where truth doesn't even seem like a thing we can even hope to achieve.
That makes sense. And I guess, as you mentioned, that will come back to the movie because I don't think books and movies, some people just want to watch the world burn. Right. And I guess there's that's a creepy, creepy, you know, kind of urge that some people have. And it also is some people you're like, hey, would you like to throw a brick through that glass window? Yes. You're like, no, I'm not going to do that because I think about what's going to what's going to what's going to occur, like something's going to be hurt, someone's property not going to do it versus how you want to see what will happen.
Like, you know, kids are always like my son who's grabbed Spider-Man and dropped small table Spider-Man film or Spider-Man didn't fall, Sean. Like he dropped them. You knocked them off the table and he'll grin. And basically, you know, it's an interesting thing, like you said, a plan that these people are appealing to. And, you know, and also almost like the little dog factor of like people do want to watch the powerful get taken down a notch for all the good and the not good of that.
Just plenty of people, it seems to me, that have found their way to incredibly high positions. Some some have just found themselves there in many, many, many, many, many people.
You know, men and women of all backgrounds are brilliant and have worked hard. And, yeah, of course, there's luck and there's good luck into everything there. You know, LeBron James, in spite of being the best basketball player on God's green earth, is fortunate that he didn't get hit by a car. You know, it's fortunate that didn't tear his knee, you know, but thankfully, we get to see all these things, you know?
But I guess it's if people don't have any skin in the game, you never know what they're going to do. And I think that's the problem with the Internet. You know, that people get to be nameless, faceless, why guerrilla fighters are outside of the bounds of war. Like you don't have a uniform on you. Like I don't know who you're from. You don't get the same treatment that a soldier gets for and people all that's crazy.
I'm actually there's reasons for this because otherwise people are able to assail things and there's no there's no one responsible. There's no way to go and say, hey, where's where did this come from? What's the root of this? What how can I address this? And I think that's the problem of the Internet, sprawling Twitters from places like 4chan. I wouldn't mind seeing that type of stuff go away if I'm frank. But that's not the same thing as people with a face, people with people who are willing to stand there and say, hi, my name is so-and-so.
Even if I have ridiculous beliefs, hopefully, you know, people will hear me out and then if I'm wrong, educate me. But I guess you hope that the real I guess in my mind, antidote to all of this silliness is education. And I think that that's something that were, you know, critical thinking is is not necessarily I went to school in America and I feel very fortunate. But critical thinking is not something that's that's focused on.
I mean, and it's tough. It's almost like talking about jujitsu. It's tough to teach critical thinking when I don't know any words. You have to teach me techniques. You can't teach me to be an artist, but recognize that the techniques are the beginning, not the end. Ultimately, it's the artistry that we are searching for, not just the not just the science or there are the by rote memorization. And I guess, you know, you'd hope that people's ability to think critically and recognize that majority rule or whoever is loudest does not mean that they're right by any stretch of the imagination.
And we don't appeal to that and we don't bow to that will help them to help inoculate them against the ridiculous things that come out of these places, these dark places that that are objectively not great. But I guess all circling back if even if we swatted these, you know, these bad things out of existence right now.
We've got to be very, very careful doing that because it's who's doing the swatting at this political group that's in power right now, the people that support a current president would maybe feel a certain way. The people that support another option would feel differently as to what exactly defines toxic. And I you know, I guess that that's what gives me pause.
Yeah. And but also the great thing, I tend to believe that the technology you said education, but the platforms we use, like Twitter and the Reddit and all these platforms have a role to play to teach us grace, meaning they they should help us incentivize the kind of behavior that is incentivized in real life, like being a dick in real life is not incentivized, like one on one interaction. There's cases where it is, but usually being kind to each other, it's incentivized on the Internet.
It's not like you get likes for being for mocking people in a funny way, in a humorous way. And it can be dark, kind of mocking depending on the community. You can go you can go to the parents.
If somebody is a little fat or a little too skinny, you can comment on their appearance, the hair, the way their hair looks like appearance stuff. It could be on the people comment all the time. On the level of eloquence of my speech. Go fuck yourself.
I like it. It's creepy, though. Watching, watching previously like this used to be lowbrow, though, like people doing this type of stuff. It's creepy watching like our political figures get into this type of game.
Yes. But again, it's a little bit refreshing, right?
It's that my hope with Donald Trump was. Is that he would shake up the the people who wear suits, usually the the like, if you're from D.C., I remember like showing up, I actually didn't wear what I usually wear in D.C. because I was like, everybody's wearing a suit and tie when I was there giving talks and stuff so much. Who wears jeans and a T-shirt doesn't give a damn.
So much is a renegade, but.
I remember what. Oh, yeah, so my hope with Trump was the huge shake up that system to say, like, I like to inject new ideas to inject new energy. Of course, the way it turned out is different. But like. It turns out that you might want to have somebody who's like like an Andrew Yang type character who is full of ideas that are very different and inject the energy, new energy into the system through youthful new ideas versus through the troll that like that's very good at sort of mocking and like playing outside the rules of the game.
But Trump did reveal powerfully, I don't know what to think of it, that it's just the game and you don't have to play by the rules. That's both inspiring and dark. Deeply depressing, right? Yeah. And I don't know what to do with it. I don't I mean, the same I'm not drawing parallels, not drawing parallels between our president and Adolf Hitler, but it's certainly and there's a lot of in history, a lot of positive and a lot of negative things happen when charismatic leaders realize they don't have to play by the rules.
You can just flip the table.
It's that Kevin Spacey show, House of Cards, House of Cards, where you just flip the table or whatever. You don't have to play by the rules of the chess game. You can flip the table.
One wonders if that's always been done in private. You know, I guess because that's the I mean, even look, obviously the United States is a republic, but we had we had Bush that we had Clinton, that we had more Bush than we had President Obama than we were about to have another Clinton.
That's fairly creepy. Yeah. Even on its own. But now we added another.
I mean, I'm sure we'll have a generation of Trump's. No, gee, we you know, I'm Russian, so I think we humans like kings still and queens. There's something we're attracted to. The thing we talked about, Coaches', there is something in us that longs to towards that authoritarian control. One of the beautiful things about America, the Second Amendment, is we also like individual freedom. That's one of the one of the unique aspects at the founding of this country.
And still and for me is the beacon of hope that somehow there's the fire of freedom burns in like that Texas feel that gives me hope that few energy, that revolts against the power which, as we discussed, power corrupts and ultimately leads to sort of degradation of the whoever's ruling the people.
It's interesting, though, like it seems to me, maybe I'm just I don't know if I'm reading this properly when I when I see it, but it seems to me that that, like you said, that that, you know, flip the bird, I'm going to do me within reason, like as long as I'm not hurting you is idea that that very much, at least in my mind, defines the American ideal, or at least part of the consciousness of the United States is is under attack to a certain extent.
You know, if only like I can think to like, you know, maybe a generation behind us, it's it's becoming more collectivist, you know, for all the good and also the not good of that. And it's, you know, not in not in terms not in terms of policy at this point, but just in terms of like the consciousness. And I wonder if that's an Internet thing. You know, people are more in touch with one another than they've as far as I'm concerned, they've ever been, or at least more than that in my lifetime.
And, you know, the rest of the world seems much closer than it did. You know, living in Virginia, California seems very far away, being on the Internet. It's just right there. I can hear about it. I can see it. I can I can interact with people from there. You know, I remember, you know, being in Tennessee, you know, one time and then and reading about, you know, events taking place in, you know, the Middle East.
And that just seemed like a mile away. It seemed like unbelievably far distance. And then another time when you're in DC, you just feel like all you read about something happening in Paris and it just feels like it's just right around the corner, because D.C. is a seat of a seat of power where things are just occurring all the time.
And, you know, I guess you wonder about that's where I come back to the group decisions to not listen to this person or to cancel this or, you know, we all the Moral Majority shall do the following as opposed to as long as you're not hurting me, as long as you're not hurting anyone else, I have to let you do I have to let you be on general principle. Even if I don't like you, I'm very free to not like you.
I'm free to speak out against you. But I'm not it is not within my right or and not with it. And it's not I. I would not be right to attempt to attack you. And that is an interesting thing though. When we see words being redefined or words being defined, whether it's toxicity, whether it's violence, if I think that.
What you're saying is, is your speech is by itself a violence or a precursor to violence, I'm justified in doing all sorts of things, you know, and and that creeps me out significantly because, again, even if it ends up being pointed in a good direction initially, it's only a matter of time. And actually, that brings me to another tune. Yeah, I got all day. How much are they paying you? But what about, say, the the Frank Herbert estate?
Not enough. Frank Watts. And how many books are there in June? That's a good question.
You also have I read the whole series, but not a couple of them. I read all the prequels as well, with the exception of a couple. Is there a book?
One for Doon Doon would be Book one and even the prequels. It's all better if you start like I read Dune and then read the original what does it six. And then I went back and started to read something just like watching Star Wars.
You want to start Episode four or whatever? Yeah, I think so.
That's the way that's the movie. And then stop at six, call it a day, watch the Mandalorian and well I thought you're not walking back here. No, I like the menorah.
Yeah, that is what I said I, I was told that I was horniness for not light.
Baby boy, we don't talk about a couple of the movies of not including the middle are the middle and saying it's the more recent movies that we don't like to talk to.
Yeah. Oh the what's his name. The goofy guy. Ryan. No, no, no. The creature. The goofy creature with the jar, jar, jar, jar, jar. You see there the the Jar Jar Binks is actually like the dark Lord of the Sith theory that fixed the whole initial trilogy. We're like he's because he's like goofing around and like making it all the way through. Battles and winning are like, wait a minute, oops.
This way he walks over to a pool, does a triple backflip, falls in.
It's just bizarre that this is the Alex Jones theory of of style.
We're also he's actually running into the one that actually was like, hey, we should vote in Chancellor Chancellor Palpatine or Senator Palpatine, like right before they put Georgia in charge. First of all, what did they think was going to happen? And second off, that was I think would be great, like, oops. Oh, man, I guess he's the emperor now. That would have been great. But actually to the to the console and all the other stuff, again, it's just like you'd hope that it gives pause.
And I think about this for fighting because a lot of times I used to subsample people and people like fight fans and like UFC. They love people that run out and try to murder each other. And it's entertaining and it's super entertaining. But, you know, Floyd Mayweather doesn't resonate with people as much. It's like people start. I remember the time when Floyd was not as popular. Now people think the people of Floyd, because he's fifty, know Floyd and oh, man.
And finally, he had so much success that we all can't help but recognize the man's genius and greatness. But prior to that, all he's boring. He's this he's that. He fights. You know, he's circumspect. He's cautious. He's expressing. He's intelligent, deeply intelligent. And when you watch people go out and try to murder each other, you can flip a coin a hundred times and you can get you to be lucky enough to get a hundred heads.
But it's still a coin flip. And I think that that's what's going on all the time is, you know, people are getting an outcome that they want. But it wasn't a well thought out situation. And that's why you win by five in a row by knockout and then lose three in a row. And then people will go, well, what happened to that guy? He used to be so great. Like now he's doing what he's always been doing.
It's just it was getting great outcomes on a coin flip prior and it's getting negative outcomes on a coin flip now. But I guess what I would say is it watches. It's interesting watching, you know, I guess societal beliefs become such a thing that we're almost adopting on a religious level. If we're not careful, if when I say religious level, I mean like like Penn life like this is guiding all of my choices for all the good the bad of that, and this is a dumb quote, is when religion and politics travel in the same cart, the riders believe that nothing can stand in their way.
Their movements become headlong, faster and faster and faster. They put aside all sorts of obstacles and forget that the precipice does not show itself to the man in a blind rush until it's too late. And I think that that's again, the pause. We go, Oh, man, thank goodness we have this guy that wants to rebuild Germany. He'll put us back or we need to be.
And he stopped questioning your own judgment, your own to start. You stop thinking essentially. Right. I'm not allowed to question this. Of course this is correct. Of course. Of course I'm right. I intended to do right. So, of course, my actions are correct. I mean, how many times have any of us intend to do something helpful and ended up doing something less? And, you know, plenty of people who intend to do harm could by accident do something decent.
And I guess it's you know, I'm not saying anything terribly, terribly insightful, but it's just one of those where it's hard it's hard to say in the moment. And that's where you hopefully caution you would counsel some degree of caution.
And that that's what worries me with with people deciding that we're all so right about this or we're also right about that and attempting to rather than win the argument, silenced the counter argument, no matter how crazy it may seem, because I just think that that idea, even when it's pointed in the good direction initially, it's only a. Matter of time. You're amongst many things, a just a black belt, one of the things that people are really curious about.
White belts and blue belts in jujitsu, but also people haven't tried the art is what does it take to be a jujitsu black belt?
I think that, you know, everyone's journey is a little bit different. But the one thing that the Calvin Coolidge quote, determination, persistence is the only thing that that will win in the end. It will always win in the end. Not brilliance, not toughness, not education. It's persistence. And I think that having the belief that no matter what happens to me, I will proceed forward and I will I will figure out how to make this happen.
Hell or high water, I think, is the one thing that ties together all of the people that I've ever met that made it through whatever it was that they were going through. Because, you know, sometimes you can get lucky and you can have an easy time or and that luck could be had a good situation. It could be. I mean, like in the obvious sense of like where you're living, where you're training, what's going on.
You had a good situation. You're unbelievably athletic. Oh, you're you're going to be an astronaut. You're brilliant. And an Olympic athlete, you know, like, oh, that's a fantastic situation. You know, you won the genetic lottery and you worked hard as well, but you also won the genetic lottery. Its determination is the one thing, though, because that person could have a very easy go of it initially and then tear their knee.
And then they're no longer the the superhuman physical specimen that they were. The only thing that will keep them going is persistence. And I think that that I would just say that persistence. I say I'll just put one foot in front of the other and sometimes I can see the path ahead and sometimes it's beyond my vision. But I will not stop. I may even slow down, but I won't stop. And that's the only thing that I can say that I've seen to everyone together, because there's so many ways to the top of any mountain and there's so many different personalities and skills and backgrounds involved.
But everyone, everyone carries on at the core.
The foundational advice is just don't quit, just keep going.
That's the lesson of martial arts. I think, you know, we think it's like how to be strong or how to be how to win. But in reality, it's like how to persist, how to endure, because it's all of us have been beaten so many times and gotten beaten up so many times and thought about quitting. Have I ever thought about quitting? Absolutely.
Have I ever quit and never I will never, ever quit. Ever. I can say you might not me. I will be damned if I quit.
What's the darkest moment? Is the injury related like this? Is that so?
To me, like two possibilities. I've fortunately never been seriously injured, but I think that's a dark place to be, like having to be out for many months for as general saying, like with a head injury, especially like the uncertainty, that's one. And then the other side is if you have big ambitions as a competitor, realizing that you're not as good like those, those doubts were like, I kind of suck. How am I supposed to be a world the greatest fighter of all time?
If I if if, like, several people in the gym are kicking my ass? Those are the two things that I think that everyone's darkest moment is maybe different. Looking from the outside virion, I wouldn't say that he's had injuries and he's had bad ones. I wouldn't say that was his darkest moment. I think for me, I would say somewhat my head injury was my darkest moment. Absolutely. And I have torn my ACL twice. I've turned my shoulders four times.
I've had lots of surgeries. For me, the orthopedic injuries are not the most. How difficult it was, the brain injury for others, that might be the case for them, maybe they've never experienced an injury and maybe for them that's their darkest moment from the outside, obviously. Ryan can speak to this more. But for Ryan, I think it was the inability to to perform at certain points to the OP or the missing of opportunity. Is that for him?
For my perspective, watching him go through and having seen various points of his growth from from early on, I think the hardest time for him looking and obviously was when he would hit moments where he wasn't able to perform for various reasons. He couldn't get fights. He was having difficulties there. I think that that was the hardest point for him.
Did you did you think, like with the head injury, that you might not never be able to get through again?
Yeah, I mean, I, I mine was very I was really bad and it was just the one hit. But I had a looping memories for seven months. Didn't know it because when your brain is messed up, you're not even aware that you're looping. And so I saw two different neurologists I find like it took a very long time. I didn't know if I was going to be able to have, like, linear thoughts or read a book.
I didn't know certain points if I could listen to music again, you know, without making my head hurt. And so it was almost two years before I woke up in the morning without a headache, just waking up before I even start my day.
And so that that's even bigger than jujitsu. That's just life. That's just that's just hard. And I think that you can experience so many things. I've had all these injuries. We lost the baby when I was 15, 15 weeks, and we had all these experiences. And what the hardest point for me, not saying all of those things were hard, but it's kind of like when you go through that, you just realize, like life goes on and you have to keep working at it and you have to keep going.
And you asked me earlier offline, did I feel depressed and not for my head injury? I don't think that at least in the moment I had a any recognition of that. It's kind of like but I think different people's personalities, I have kind of the, like, buckle down and just keep going. And sometimes it's not until lots of time later that you realize, wow, that was really hard because you were just struggling to live and function and do the things that you need to.
Do you mind jumping on just like this part of the conversation just a few minutes over. Do you mind just sitting together?
Oh, no, just for a little bit, because so we put a face to, uh.
Is it OK with you? That's fine with me.
If I'm you, by the way, what was the head injury?
If you don't mind sharing, someone hit their head, drop their knee on the back of my head during training. It was a lot bigger than me. So one strike to the back of the head is too much for there's a reason that's out loud and they write someone fifty pounds everything to drop their knee on the back of your head once.
And it's the funny thing about getting hit right. You never can really be sure what's going to happen. I think that's actually one of the magical parts about jujitsu where like if you choke me, if you we know what's going to occur, you hit someone, they might be completely unharmed. Like you might be punching Tony Ferguson in the face. And like, you need to hit him with a sledgehammer to effect this man and then other people, they could get really badly hurt, which I guess to your point about the street fighting and things like that and the serious, serious potential, you know, second, third order consequences of any action that we take.
But, yeah, that's a that's a tricky thing about getting hit.
Has to make you feel that, like, the really shitty thing about injuries to me was that, like, you start thinking like, well, if I didn't do this, one little thing different like this wouldn't have happened today.
Like one one moment changes your entire life that do you do you think that was actually counterproductive?
You can't help but think that way on. You've had them injuries. I've had because I've had more than most people here. As my orthopedic says, you don't want to win that you don't want to hit the contest of who's had the most.
But since you me a pool.
Yeah, but I think you can't help but think that way sometimes. But I definitely don't think it's I think it can be facilitated if you don't beat yourself up too much because thinking about why have I been subject to so many injuries and and a lot of it comes to just almost all of mine in particular people a lot heavier than me. So to but if I've been training martial arts fifteen years, I'm obviously in a much smaller side. I'm a woman.
I've done thousands and thousands of rounds with people. Fifty pounds plus years, not training with anyone less than fifty pounds, which is fifty pounds, is almost half my body weight. And when you also add testosterone, the natural physiological advantages of men, not just are they heavier with more mass, they're faster and more explosive, they're stronger if they're the same size. And so I think. That the willingness to be in that environment over and over and over again creates a lot of strength, resiliency, willingness to continue, but it also like in order to do that, you almost have to.
For me, the way I was approaching it was like pretend like I wasn't more vulnerable and just be willing to step in and step in and fake it until you make a comeback.
Until you make it kind of. Yeah, like I'll just one day I'll be strong enough.
And you avoided injury for most of the most of those rounds. I would injury. The problem, as Ryan points out, is that like you could do thousands of rounds, but if one person that size, that strength that, however, reacts in a way that you don't expect, it doesn't it's not like an oops. It's like always major.
Do you regret any of it? Like, I think that most No one I know has experienced the degree of injuries that I've experienced. And I started to sit at a time when in 2005 is very different than now, where you have the coaches have more control over what you're doing. They're more aware in general about a lot of the injuries. There's a lot more people who are hobbyists than when I started. There were hobbyists, but it was different kind of hobbyists.
Then, now, now our girls can train with other girls.
They don't have to do thousands of rounds with somebody significantly more powerful than them and for the drawbacks and the benefits of that, as with anything.
So I think. I think that I don't think I would go back and change it. There were times after one of my injuries were I said to Ryan, I said, I quit, I'm done. Am I doing this anymore? I probably said it more than once. But there was one time I was really serious in 2012. I was really serious. I tore my shoulder. I had I was looking at missing a big competition. Again, the world's for my second or third year in a row after injuries.
And I said I'd quit my job two years before and I'm like, I'm done and run before. That had always been, you know, I keep focused. And then he kind of said, OK, if you want to be done, be done, just just have a good time. Now I'm really down and I want to try anymore. OK, OK. And then, you know, I think he helped facilitate a moment for me to go visit a friend, some friends, some girls that were doing a girls camp who are close to my thighs or some friends of mine to go train.
And I was like, oh, wait, I do love this thing. It's harder for me on a daily basis, but that doesn't mean I don't love this thing. And it really helped change my mind. I started to connect with some other people, travel more myself, because previously he had done that, but I hadn't really done that. I think there was a point where when I started to do it was just for fun. I just wanted to sport.
After college, I played sports as a kid.
I want to I just want to exercise. I wasn't into the martial arts. He's like, give me a hard time about it, because he was always very how can you not care about. I don't know.
I just want to play sports. And Ryan was really big into kind of the philosophy side of the martial arts aspect. He used to give me a hard time. And I think after that moment, there's a moment where I look to myself and I say, I don't want to keep doing this is when I started to appreciate jujitsu take it took off some of the pressure I'd been feeling, I think, as Ryan's girlfriend. But I had a full time job a long time.
It was never my goal to be a jujitsu world champion. And I think after that moment where I was, you know, I really do like this. I really do want I can just I had this moment like any time where you're like, I'm doing this for me and not doing this for him. And I think that that's I think that that was really lucky for me, because how often in our lives do we have a kind of a challenge where we have to stop and we have to say, is this really what I want?
How often in a relationship do you do that? How often in any type of lifestyle or job do you stop? And do you really ask yourself, is something really difficult happen that you look and you go, am I just doing this because it's convenient, easy, or is this what I really want to do?
Yeah, I've had those moments like this podcast is one of those things is like you you stop and think like I actually love this.
And it's that just too I don't think I have until, like, brown belt that I stop. I mean, yeah, it's when you first face real challenges, you think like, why am I doing this? I think most of my progression was, why not? I think that's the right the leap of faith. And then a certain point you think like, why am I doing this? And if you can answer honestly that because I love it, it's kind of a liberating feeling.
It's a it's a yeah. It's it's so powerful.
It's so thankful for the opportunity to be there. Right. Because you love it and you get great gratitude. It's yes. It's ultimately gratitude. Yeah. Let me ask you this. Right. And so like what are your thoughts as nobody cares about. Right. I wouldn't of Photoshop them out or whatever. However you had to do that. Be great. Sean Connery. Yeah.
Just like a Dune ad. Exactly.
I like down that. Is that the sexiest man, Sean Connery in the universe?
That's my understanding. I think in any universe.
Yeah. Well, my gosling we actually named our son after Sean Connery. Oh, yes.
Notion. Yes, he was in the rock.
Those I love all those lame Nicolas Cage. Oh yeah. Connery's Faizal greatest movie of all time doing his accent. And Conor was so awesome.
I don't know where he's from. Alabama I guess, or something.
What does a guy like Steve Buscemi and they're like, we need Steve Buscemi in this thing. We got Dave Chappelle. Yeah, that's right.
Yeah. He's a prisoner now. Ball. Yep.
Greatest movie of all time. Should have it. Dave Chappelle also in Blue Street with Martin Lawrence and in what we call it, a Robin Hood meningitis. Oh.
Oh, it's a favorite of Big Brother. Yeah, well, that's a good wow.
We just listed off some really bad 90's movies, but you take that back telling our age it's all about yourself.
So what like in your view, I don't mean to from a like a smaller person. I guess that's an interesting thing. What you just said is like that.
I don't. And I hope it's not a bad thing.
Oh, those are taller.
I feel like with all these like bigger people, you can still enjoy the art like. What does it take to get a black belt to excel to quote unquote master the art? Gosh, everyone has such a different path. Friends promoted six, seven people, something like that.
And I think about half of them have had have kids, have families, have other careers at the time. And some of them competed a lot. Some of them have never competed or rarely competed. Some have even been a long time. Some had started different places, that everyone's had different journeys. Even in our own little group of seven, I think only maybe only two or three were were high level competitors of that group at the higher belts, like brown, black, maybe.
And so it's just different for every person. And that's something that that we try to tell our sons. We have four hundred students and do we have a we don't really have anyone who's, you know, a stated other other than like other coaches.
I Adam. But we don't have anyone. It's like a stated high level competitor is a student at the moment. People look at our team with lots of competitors and lots of competitors. It's never been a lots of competitors. And we've had ones and twos here and there. But really, everybody's in it for the long term. If they're in it, sometimes the high level competitors, the ones that are more likely to drop off because they have a bit of success, particularly at Apple, who are purple, and then they realize how hard it is at brown and black, and then they have a hard time continuing on that path.
And then they can't look at themselves as a non competitive and hard time continuing with jujitsu, I think. Whereas sometimes it's the guy who comes in is the white belt and he trains, you know, twice a week every week. And the next thing you know, he's been there for two or three years, like, oh, he's a blue belly that probably is a brown ball. And he's just consistent over over a long period of time and willing to take that path.
And No. Two, people's path is exactly the same. No tubules. Lives are exactly the same. You have we have students who started as a white belt, as you know, a young adult with no, you know, no responsibilities. And they train all the time. And then they have a job, you know, then they graduate college and they have a job. Then they have married and they have kids. Then they have different points in their careers at different points in your life.
Jujitsu will be there, you know, for whatever way that you're willing to accept it.
It's a place I think that's actually kind of what back to the initial question we discussed about what makes a warrior, you know, and also like what makes something or someone, you know, particularly impressive in my mind is like what they make out of what they have.
You know, one of my favorite movies ever is Forrest Gump.
And it's obviously it's just if you can't because I've heard people go with Forrest Gump, so, like, I don't like you as a person and like, you have no heart at all. But basically it's a story of someone that tries hard and it's like, yeah, but it's funny movie, but it's like, you know, I guess you meet each person where they are, you know? And obviously you want everyone needs to be pushed. We all need to be pushed.
We need friends and people around us that push us to be better versions of ourselves all the time. And as you mentioned, the people you spend all of your time around deeply impact you. And we have to be willing to be pushed.
It takes a leap of faith for me to trust me to put some of my self in my my you know, I guess my ability, my control, my personal agency, as it were, in the hands of someone else that I that I trust and that I respect. But if if I can do that again, maybe I never become, you know, high level blackbelt competitor.
But, you know, I had four the things I was doing my life. I also have a family. I have this. I have that. You know what that person was able to accomplish in the martial arts relative to what they were able to put in this phenomenal, you know, other times someone could be a very successful black belt in my mind, be a bum, because they could have been a lot more and they could have done more.
They could have focused more. And there's no shame in deciding that you don't want to do that. But whatever it is that you're you're invested in, I remember the Take It On Easy podcast and that I love because, you know, I'll just chill out, like resting. It's like vacation. I was on vacation. I'll go on vacation for a day or two. You want to spend three weeks on vacation? Like, I kill myself. Like, get me out of here like this.
This is I'm a waste of life.
I'm not doing anything useful right now. Right. Well, this is fun, though, because like a one day vacation. Exactly. But, you know, as if you had a guy, I'm sure you're thinking about jumping off of the building right now. But if you had to if you had to talk to me for like three days, I'm sure you should probably get me off the building. I don't blame you. I'll be people. But five hours in.
But yeah, but, you know, it's like you want to be pushing towards something because otherwise what's the purpose of being here? You know, it's not just a college. It's doing something useful, building, growing as a person, helping others do the same, if that's within your power at any given time. But I think that's kind of the neat thing about martial arts is it can be many, many different things to many different people. You know, I finally, for instance, was able to get a college degree this year that which I mean, it's not a big deal for most people, but for me, it was a big deal because I was on back and finish.
Yeah. And I never envisioned ever going back and. It's a hard step to go back and finish, that's it weighs heavy on you if you don't.
It's interesting, I was just I was more proud of that than most things I've ever done, if I'm honest, you know, and it was neat and I really enjoyed it. And it was the process of doing it. But, you know, are my academic credentials impressive? Not in the least. But for me, it's like it was a big deal for me personally to take that step and to to go back and do that. And that was I was proud of the the direction.
And because it would have been easy, like, do I need to do it? Like, no. You know, business. I'll do OK. I'll try. I'll keep fighting. But I was happy to take the time in between fights when I was when I was unbooked for an opponent to do something productive rather than just just hang out like I can still train every single day, but I can also train and go to school. People go to the Olympics while going to school.
I can I can do martial arts and go to school.
One thing I got to ask is, you know, a bunch of.
Women listen to this podcast if they haven't done it yet, so I think it'd be kind of intimidating to step on the mat with a bunch of brose that, like, enjoy somehow killing each other.
Like, how do you succeed in that environment to where you can learn this art, learn how to beat all those people up. Oh, gosh.
Is there any advice? I mean, another way to ask that is like if if any women listening to this are interested in starting you, just like is their advice for that journey?
Honestly, I think he's just walking in the door and starting sometimes. I don't know how to respond to that because I'm not a I don't view myself as typically anxious, particularly in interactions with other people or new people.
That's just shy. Shy is not a word that has been used for me by my family.
And they joke because our son talks the lies advanced verbally and they're always like, oh, well, that's where he gets that from. Like his he just doesn't stop talking. He narrates everything he does. And so they always tease because that's like I'm known for for kind of talking a lot. But so I haven't been typically I'm not I don't consider myself a shy person. So for me, going into a new room, a new group of people is, you know, there's always that you don't really know who they are, how they're going to treat you.
But I but I don't have a lot of anxiety with that. So I don't know if that's something that's going to put something up. I don't really know how to to address that particular feeling. But in terms of all of the rooms I've been in that I have popped into gyms before, I knew Ryan in floor like I traveled for my job in Germany and Florida and California and places where where I don't know anyone. They don't know me. And I have never once had anyone be anything other than than kind and solicitous and helpful.
And long before I when I was a white belt and and didn't know anything and and didn't know anyone.
And I just think that is a community of people, that it's so cool that no matter where you go in the world, I walk into a gym in Prague on time where only two people spoke English and and it was just. Yes, weird.
We're we're part of a group and they're like, oh, let me tell you about being part of a cult. Right? Yeah.
But it's like a positive cult like it for sure. That's what we would say is. Yeah, that's true.
Yeah, that's true. I mean, we do need to murder everybody.
You practice like, you know, I mean we would that's this cult deeply believes that now. But there is like if you look at different kinds of games like chess and so on, like there's a skepticism. I mean, there's not a brotherhood sisterhood feeling.
Would you get to it's like you can roll into most places even like with judo, like I can see the contrast that because I've trained a judo places it it's more like tribal, like you walk in. And like, who is this like there's that kind of feeling when you get through, there's less. So there is a little bit like the competitors. There's always like the competitors feeling each other out, usually like the blue belt.
But like outside of that insurance, if you don't get the if you walk in with the vibes of just loving the art and just going to have a good time, you're like, welcome. It's really cool. It's really fascinating.
It's a really great thing, I think. And as a woman, I think you you think you're walking into these rooms of these, you know, big, strong, tough guys. And if anything, I would I would say that they're almost like much more solicitous when a woman comes in there and not like they're just like hitting me all the time. You know, it's just that you walk in and everyone is like, oh, cool, you want to do this thing that I love.
Let me make sure you have a good experience and take care of you. And I think that's that's an experience that that I hope people have when they come into our gym. And then I've I've always felt when I walked into other gyms. And so, you know, we try our best to to to make that comfortable. And it can be a little uncomfortable because there are when you walk into a male dominated environment, there's conversations and topics. There's a different style of camaraderie and joking that a lot of men will do that maybe some women are more uncomfortable with.
I grew up with four brothers, so I kind of maybe was a little more desensitized to that. And I work for the Department Defense for for a while, too. So before I deal with the government. Yeah.
So excited that I'm already skeptical on that.
Oh, I'm not going to ask you about your then because you're not going to tell me the truth now.
Yeah. Now you just freaked out a lot of people. OK, but by the way, where's where's your school?
Because people always ask like where?
Well, we're outside of Washington, D.C., in northern Virginia, in Falls Church. You always want to pick, like, what's the best school fish out of this place? Or if I if I want to move to this place.
So that's obviously where bias. But, yeah, we're in the Washington, D.C. area the best.
OK, we just took a little break. Now we're back. Let me ask you one thing that a bunch of people are curious about. You're one of the innovators. First of all, you're one of the great innovators and philosophers and thinkers in jujitsu. Right. But you're also one of the innovators in terms of leg locks and the fifty fifty position. And just like the fact that legs have something to do in jujitsu. The the other. The other.
Populariser, innovator in the space is John Danaher and his whole group of guys. Do you have thoughts about their whole system of leg locks and their ideas about gadgets and so on? Sure.
I guess, you know, obviously, you know, John and the students at Hanzo have been able to do fantastic things competitively in the past number of years. And, you know, you mentioned innovators in the in that kind of, you know, section of jujitsu. I would be I'd love to bring up some guys like Dean Lister, of course, Masakazu Minori. In fact, a lot of what was going on in like 90s Japan, like combat submission wrestling.
There was some crazy gnarly stuff that it's just it's on grainy VHS tape, but like stuff that if people were doing now, they go, oh my God, that's brand new. There is it's it's been I think these are things that have been around for a while in various places. I first learned the 50 50 position, just like the leg entanglement of it from Brandyn Vera actually at a seminar, Libertarians Martial Arts Think in 2005, he learned it from Dean Lister, who used it to submit Aleksandre Cucaracha really, really tough Nogi guy at ATCC on in the run that Dean made to the to the gold medal in the absolute division, which was a great performance at the time.
The first American to do that. And, you know, and I actually saw a video, I mean, first of Boss Rootin actually broke I think I Metzger's foot with a 50 50 heel hook. He actually grabbed his heel and his and his toes and in pancreases back when they had like the man panis in the high and so on. And to that was gnarly. Boss Rootin is underappreciated is like I was like he double o grab like.
Oh yeah. You know as leverage leverage. That's like a toehold that, you know, that goes the other way and it's like it either doesn't work or breaks in half.
And he's the people that don't often think of Boston as an innovator, but he is in a way like he, you know, talk about like Elon Musk and first principles thinking in terms of physics. He like just feels like he just gets the job. He figures out like the simplest way to get the job done of breaking things and establishing control and hurting people.
Remember, that was back in the bus. If you listen to the bus route and do any, like, commentary for any of the the big commercials or any information, either way, back when any time guys were like the guys rule for Niebaum, he was saying that way back when. And now people are doing it all the time with varying degrees of success. It's it's funny. It's like it's also tough to be, I think, like a breakaway thinker.
I mean, you know, groupthink is a real thing in group inertia. And it's neat to see, you know, particularly at a time when maybe that type of stuff was less accepted, you know, someone going, hey, I'm going to I'm going to run off in this other direction.
I think, you know, whoever, you know, the inventor of electricity, in my mind is a lot more impressive than whomever. Not to say that the person down the line isn't impressive. That comes up with an interesting way to use it. Both are cool. But when you think about just can you imagine we're sitting here, we're like, yeah, people, I'm going to build an airplane. Like, what are you talking about? It's crazy.
People don't fly like, no, I'm going to do it. And of course, that's not going to be as good as the airplane down the line, the iterative things that happened later on.
But just being able to go to dream something into existence that you haven't seen before and then make it happen, it takes an unbelievable, like strength of character, almost like a force of will, because you have your your blazing a trail. It hasn't been walked before. That's the BJ Penn factor. And, you know, winning the Jujitsu World Championship, first non Brazilian's to do that. It was back in 2001. And then Rafael AVADO later on.
It's like he's you know, both of those guys are so unbelievably impressive in my mind for the same reason because they were out there winning at a time when that wasn't a common thing. Not that it's easy to win now. It's just there's not a psychological hurdle that needs to be left. I remember, you know, when I was early in jujitsu, like Americans weren't winning the world championships in any bill. I mean, we all knew B.J. Penn because B.J. appended it, but it was really, really uncommon.
Now, it happens on a semi regular basis. Of course, the Brazilians are still strong, Europeans are still strong, but Australians are coming on as well. But it's definitely kind of an interesting thing. So to come back to John Daniher and the Henslow team, obviously they're doing fantastic things. John's had some really, really great innovation there. And the the the system of taxation and the methodology that they're using is is great. And it's neat to see that's getting out there.
I would just also want I would encourage people to make sure that they're catching up on their history because obviously, you know, John's brilliant structure and has done things for the sport that that are fantastic, that have been done before. But none of us exist in a vacuum. And I've learned things from everywhere else. You know, John would say the same, I'm sure. And, you know, Dean Lister would say the same. And it's just neat when you can kind of trace the history of all of this happening, because we've had humanity had two arms and two legs for some time, at least as long as I've been alive.
But you mentioned like airplanes.
Do you think there's something totally new to be invented?
And you just it's still not totally new, but like the you know, flying isn't new, but airplanes nevertheless made that much more efficient.
Is there like new ideas to be discovered in. Just still, I'd say the reason I'd say yes is the same reason I would say I believe in alchemy, even though I don't know I'm serious. I've got some backing for this. OK, you know, I guess I talk about this with a buddy of mine a lot like and facilitative versus not facilitated beliefs.
And if I don't believe something is possible and I do no investigation towards it, I'll never find something. Even if it's there, it's almost like it's no different than me walking up on a group of people and go on like, oh, man, look at these jerks. This is going to suck versus me going, I wonder what these guys are up to. I'm about to have two very different conversations, even though the players in the game are no different.
My internal constitution has changed because of of how I've decided to approach the situation. So although I wouldn't personally want to spend all my time trying to turn lead into gold, because I don't believe that it's likely to work, only a person who's willing to spend his or her life in that pursuit will actually get to the bottom of that. And also in the in the pursuit of that, they're likely to find other things. So I think a lot of times the ideas that humanity is put forward by, you know, again, it's another Orson Scott card when it's like, you know, human beings are in this slog, it's paraphrasing just in the slog over time.
And then periodically, humanity gives birth to genius, like someone that invents the wheel, invents electricity, pushes forward, you know, comes up with the idea of governance that doesn't, you know, just start and end with the point of a sword, you know? And, you know, these aren't common things. These are unbelievable advancements that, you know, just me sitting here. I didn't come up with them, but I just get the benefit of it.
So I guess what I would say is a lot of times these ideas are called crazy. You know, like as we discussed online, offline. It's like Einstein was brilliant in his 20s and it was brilliant before that, I would suspect. But basically, you know, gets recognized later on in life. And of course, we all thought those were great ideas. The man was probably roundly mocked for giant chunks of his life, and I guess so it's neat.
I would say there's definitely in my mind things that even if it's just combinations and new to me, new ways to see things, new ways to understand, different depth of understanding, possibly new things, new positions, new ideas.
Because even if that's not true, the process of going through and acting as if it is and believing like that and focusing and trying to investigate will make any of us will push us all forward. We're sitting there, you know, obsessing over the cult of our current knowledge, I think is the biggest the biggest danger and the biggest cause of stagnation that exists anywhere. Yeah, and it starts with believing the impossible, which is kind of interesting, one of the things that's really inspiring to me is to see people out there which which sadly are rare, who kind of have.
A combination of two things, one is they have a worldview that involves that includes a lot of ideas that are crazy, and the second part is the exceptionally focused and competent in bringing that whatever the ideas in that worldview to reality. So there's certainly a lot of people crazy ideas. You know, there's a lot of conspiracy theories. They have way out their beliefs about things, but they're not doing much to, like, make the build stuff grounded in, like they're not engineers or whatever.
They're just like espousing different crazy ideas. But that's why you get, like, the ulamas type characters. And the reason I bring him up a lot is because, like, there's not many others to bring up. It's like there's not many examples of through history, the people I mean, the guy's convinced that we're going to colonize Mars and basically. Everybody on Earth thinks that's insane. Everyone except the guy that's going to do it except is going to do it and like you can imagine, like a couple hundred years from now, people will I mean, first of all, they won't certainly won't remember the haters.
They won't remember all the people. If they do remember them, they'll remember them. And it sounds like people are silly to think that this isn't the obvious path forward. Like from a perspective, that's what that's what Elon talks about. Like, it's obvious that we're going to expand throughout the universe, like so from his perspective, from his perspective, like but to me it is also obvious because, like, either we destroy ourselves or or will expand beyond Earth like.
Like, there's not many, you know, well, maybe it's not completely obvious, I guess I share that world view. There's the other possibility that we humans find a sort of an inner peace where the forces of capitalism will calm down and we'll all just meditate and do yoga and jujitsu and like relax with this whole tech thing where we keep building new technologies.
But it's cool to have those kinds of people that just believe the big, ambitious, crazy dreams because that's where it starts.
If you want to build something special, you have to first believe that when you also have to believe strongly enough that you're not vulnerable. And I'm speculating what it's like. I can only imagine how many people have told Elon that what he's doing is crazy. So not only did he dream it up, he dreamed it up, went with it, and also went with it in the face of being told that it's not going to work and then any and then also stepped away from the bitterness because he's done a series of really crazy, impressive things.
And that's only those little things I'm aware of. But and also staying away from the bitterness of every single time you did something good. Initially, I all I do is talk down about you and then eventually I act as of course, of course, I that I never apologized. And yet you don't let that dampen your spirits for the next innovation, which is pretty incredible to me to watch.
Yeah, it's kind of cool. I mean, it's contagious to spend time with the guy because he's not. Rogen has the same look to him, which is interesting about these people is like.
There's like a hater shield, he's like he doesn't even, like, sense them, it feels like it, doesn't he? He thinks to to Elance like it's obvious. I mean he keeps calling it like first principles thinking like physics says it's true, therefore it's true. Like he's convinced himself that, like his beliefs are grounded in the fundamental fabric of the way the universe works. Therefore the haters don't matter. Right. And I mean, that's kind of like a system of thought.
He developed himself through all the difficulty, through all the doubt. He's able to take huge risks with basically putting everything else on the line multiple times throughout his life amidst all the drama and all the doubts amidst all like the is he still able to make just clear, clear headed decisions? It's I don't know what to make of it, but it's inspiring as how. Well, it's I think it's something funny. I think, like, I can only imagine that, you know, the history will look back on him as a brilliant person.
But that's not the only thing there's a lot of. Maybe not not statistically speaking, but a lot numerically on a giant planet. Billions people, a lot of brilliant people will, you know, time, place, luck, fortune and all that other stuff. But at the same time, that clearly isn't the only determining thing in making Elon Musk, Elon Musk and obviously, I don't know the guy from Adam. And but it's an interesting thing that it's not just his intellect.
His belief system is structure, how he's viewing the world like that's the reason, his way to that, did he not? What other factors came in? I'm really curious about that, because I guess coming it's again, I feel really strongly about people's belief structure and this the how they view the world being more important than the engine behind it. You know, it makes someone resilient or not. It makes someone positive or not because you could have ten thousand.
I think about this for competitive stuff. You could have ten thousand things going properly and one thing going in properly. If you focus on the improper, you'll probably fix it at a certain point, which is good facilitated for development in the long term. But if you had to go and try to perform a task in the next five minutes, then you're focusing on the negative, your confidence and your your your belief in the positive outcome of the future is likely to be damaged.
Or you could have twenty five things going wrong. But you go, man, I sure am happy to be alive. How fortunate I am. This is great. I can't this is I have problems to solve. This is awesome. Versus I list the problems and I start bitching about them. Both of them are technically accurate but it's I guess different lenses. And I think that's a really neat thing to see someone exemplified that for us.
So maybe it's a look at the fighting world. There's a million questions I can ask here about the one you mentioned, B.J. Penn, you first of all, your undefeated in the UFC and one of the fights you've had is against Japan, which is kind of an incredible fight. You want performance of the night. What did it feel like to. To face Pigpen and to beat him definitively, as you did, of course, that whole experience, like I'll be honest, I didn't know if I was going to ever be able to fight again after beating Graham Maynard in 2016.
You know, I've had a couple of periods of those. I was about to join the army actually in when I was 13 before the for the UFC for Gen sent me over to the ultimate fighter. I didn't want to go because it was like one they're never going to pay me to. I'd be terrible for TV three. I'll probably say something. I'm going to get, you know, burned to death in the streets.
And I was like, this is a great idea. And then she said, we'll go out there, see what happens, do it anyway and you'll be you'll regret it if you didn't. And then I ended up doing Ultimate Fighter. And then so I fought three times on the show. And then I fought for the for the finale. So that's four times in like five or six months, which was great. And then it took me a year to get another opponent and that was great.
Maynard and then Grey was obviously a very tough guy, managed to get a good outcome there. Then it took two years to fight B.J. Penn. And that was you know, obviously I'm training all the time, every single day, and that never stops. But that was, I'll be honest, like pretty deeply frustrating because, you know, as a human being, as an athlete, you know, I think as an athlete, you die twice like you have an athletic peak or area, and then then you go in with the rest of your life.
But it is a microcosm for the rest of your life. It's like you see in the Santic away in the hourglass or drop away and you're going, man, this is these are the years between thirty one, thirty two, thirty three. I get my best at this time, my absolute best physically now not technically. I'm a lot better now than it was before and a plan. But at a certain point you will unless you're Bernard Hopkins, you will reach diminishing returns.
And then I guess that along the long way you can feel the clock ticking is frustrating the way. Why did it take two years for Beghe? I, i that's the question people ask a lot like why does anybody want to fight right now?
I don't know. I probably they probably think they'll get infected by whatever this is, but I don't I don't blame them.
But I mean, you're a really tough opponent as but there's a different line. I'll say that I'm different. Maybe they perceive that the the the threat is greater than the reward. And I'm hoping that now that we're ranked number twelve, you know, in the UFC rankings, that that that will change. And I know that if we're one more win and then we're in the top ten, that, you know now now you're there. But what I've consistently found is that like randoms want to fight and I'm like, go away.
I didn't come here for you, you know, because if I wanted to just fight anybody, I could go down to a Waffle House and yell until like DMX shows up and we can we can fight because you'll be at the Waffle House to who am I kidding? I really wanna hang out with you. But, you know, it's like you want to. When I had the opportunity. Hollandia Max. Oh, God, that that's so cool.
I was on the show. I would never fight. DMX would be on the same team. No, but anyway, it's I guess I accepted fights against I asked the gossip columnist, I said yes. I got asked about Dennis Ramutis. I said yes, you know, like long periods of time. And they at that time, you know, in between twenty, sixteen and twenty eighteen, I was struggling to have have opponents who would sign up.
And I haven't turned down fights. I just said, hey, you know, keep the I don't care about fighting the randoms.
And it's like you have a successful school, you're like you're running your martial artists, broadly speaking. So it doesn't make sense to to take fights that aren't like. Right. That fit a certain kind of trajectory for your career.
And that's when when B.J. Penn they said, well, B.J. is looking for an opponent, I'm your guy. And and I think that, you know, B.J. accepted that fight because another jujitsu guy, I don't think he perceived that I was much of a threat on the feet. And, you know, I was able to it was neat to get it to compete against someone, you know, who's one of my heroes, one of the people I looked up to in May for the longest time.
And you intimidated by that? No, no. I love competing. I don't really get nervous or scared before fights. I'm not afraid to get hurt and not afraid to win. I'm not afraid to lose. It's I I'm just excited for the I feel thankful for the opportunity to compete and the opportunity to play when it matters. You know, I, I just. So that's the only time I'm interested in playing anymore is when it, when it matters, when the opposition is.
I know that, you know, it's funny because people pick on on a lot of some opponents, particularly after after the fact, like if you if you get a good outcome, well then of course, let's be that guy. That guy wasn't that good. I'm like, why was that's after the fact. I get to say that. And also as the person in the ring, you know, B.J. Penn has heard a lot of people in mixed martial arts cage, and I could actually absolutely have been on that list.
So it was neat to get to compete against someone that I really respect, someone that I looked up to for a long time, someone who has a great skill set. And also I went up in weight to fight him in his weight class. You didn't have to come down to mine, which is where he'd take lightly. It was lightweight. Yeah, I'm generally a featherweight. I walk around with like a hundred and fifty eight pounds.
So what's the right way?
And featherweight lightweight is 155 with a day before Wayne and featherweight is one forty five with the day before when. So I'm a little bit more properly sized for featherweight but anyway you know. So I didn't feel like obviously he was. Giving up a couple of years of age, but I was giving up size and all this other stuff, and it was, you know, I was just excited to have the opportunity to step in against someone like B.J. And, you know, we managed to get out of there with a with a good outcome without getting too banged up.
But just it was cool. We tied up on the fence. And just even the second unit is when you're rolling with somebody and you touch and you can feel what they're doing, you go home and this guy is really good. You can feel the calm, you can feel the small minor adjustments that they're making, the subtle things that they're doing. And that was one of those things that was really neat and gratifying because, you know, you never know.
Sometimes people that you've heard of are a little bit less technically proficient than you thought. And other times you'll meet some guy, the trainer, like, who the hell is this guy? Have I not heard of this person? And BJ was exactly as a jujitsu guy, what I would have thought. And another thing that's another thing that bugged me about how people reacted after the fight is, you know, basically going LBJ screwed up this screwed up that I'm like, all right.
Yeah, totally interesting. Has said that was, you know, one of the and to me, I mean, as a fan of both, that was a beautiful moment as a as a as a kind of passing of a torch and a sense of an exceptional performance like another one that stands out to me. Maybe you can comment as. I don't understand well, maybe I do. Why Conor McGregor gets as much hate as he does.
He probably revels in it, but I think he doesn't get enough credit for Jose, Aldo, for the sport, like for, you know, knocking him out in the in the first few seconds of of a fight.
I mean, Jose is like one of the greatest fighters ever.
Maybe some people will put him in the top 10 and oppression and the like. I don't understand why it doesn't get as much like McGregor doesn't get as much credit as I think he deserves for that. And for Eddie Alvarez and all the fights, for some reason, whenever Connor McGregor beats somebody, well, they were they were not that good. Like, it means like they were they were there. Something was off. Right. That's. Yeah. It's quite strange to me.
But I mean, what are your thoughts on the. On Conor McGregor, maybe one way to ask that I'm Russian, some obviously also could be a fan, but I'm also kind of fan. It seems like there's not many of us who are like fans of both. What are your thoughts?
And audible above the two of us, which also is a good idea? Yeah, it's really, really tough, dude. Just like foreign language is really interesting, but also. Oh, wow, I didn't know that side of it.
There's a brain there while on the Kobe versus Conner, what do you make of their first fight? What do you do you agree with me that they should fight again? Because I think it would be awesome if they fought again in Moscow. And do you agree with me? I'm just going to say things that piss people off, but I believe is that Connor actually has a chance to be it could be one.
The corner absolutely has a chance to be. Connor has a chance to beat anyone that he steps into that ring with and not just like a mathematical chance. You're like, oh, one of the billion, but like, you know, like he absolutely. It's funny because I won't pretend to know Connor really well. When I first met Connor in 2010, when I was teaching a seminar in at St. Blas, Jim Arland in Dublin, and that's actually where I first met all of the coaches that ended up being on Conures team, you know, John Cavenagh own Roddy Gunnar Nelson.
So for I actually enjoyed being an ultimate fighter and being on your favorite team and getting to train with all the guys there. But at the same time, the people that I was actually I knew better were actually the European side, all the college coaches.
And that was a neat thing because I got to meet Connor. I didn't know who Connor. Connor wasn't Connor at that point.
Yeah, that was before his UFC did. Oh yeah. Well, well before. Yeah, I think I think he got in like 2014, maybe something like that. Yeah. And anyway but he was doing well in Cage Warriors winning the titles there. I think prior to that, you know, I remember going seeing him on the show and also then getting some train because I competed. It was initially slated to fight David Taimur for the ultimate fighter finale for getting put in fight for the title for the show.
So I went over to Ireland to train for a couple of days and basically it was neat to watch him watch him work. I mean, man is focused and trains a lot and very, very smart and very, very hard working. And I think a lot of times people get stuck in the in this, you know, and they almost want to believe that this was lucky or this person, you know, they're not working that hard, that it's out there.
They got there with their mouth. And that's that's just not the case. And, you know, I don't know what it's like, you know, obviously very well off right now. And I don't know how hard how serious is training what he's doing. I can't speak any of that. But there's no question that he has skills to be dangerous. And one of the funny things, obviously, that could be frightening could be his weight could be was a great fighter and also has the chance to beat anyone in that ring at any given time.
But there's there was a Connor, you know, it's one he can he can put anybody away. And as you mentioned, I think that he doesn't get the credit for the Eddie Alvarez if he doesn't get the credit for the out of because it was almost so much of a letdown. I remember that happened the same weekend that the ultimate fighter finale.
And you're like, oh, wait, what? Yeah. Yeah.
It almost doesn't feel like a fight happen. But we mentioned Miyamoto Musashi Musashi was famous for the way he poked and prodded the people with what he was doing. Whether overtly or not it's like oh we're supposed to fight to the death and you know at 3:00 p.m. tomorrow great.
4:00 p.m. rolls around.
I'm it's not there five. I mean you remember all the, all the antics and nonsense the Konna was pulling prior to that like speaking person. That's not I, it's not something I would feel comfortable doing, but it's like everyone's different. And the effect it had on on Jose was, I mean, beyond evident. When was the last time Jose started the start of the fight with leaping left hand leaping right hander like, wait, what? And then he was obviously, you know, living rent free.
And Jose his had at that point and that was a combination of psychological ability and wherewithal and then physical and remind me of the way Muhammad Ali would would bother people and whatnot. And the fact that he's a polarizing figure, I think makes some people not give him his due. And then at the same time, sometimes certain fans maybe go overboard, but they remember the knee that we've been asking and got knocked out with. By it all.
I mean, that was an amazing, unbelievable thing with three inches to the right of the left, I guess whichever side his hit wasn't, you could have been square. But and that fight starts with Ben ASCAN on top of you in the first five seconds. Well, of ran and through a knee just like that could be and could be got right around it. That could have easily gone the other way. Can you imagine what would have happened if after that, after coming back from boxing, after coming back from from the Mayweather fight, Connaughton could be in the first ten seconds.
It's over and you're like he would it would have been intolerable. But basically, yeah, that's like, you know.
But see, here's the thing. Let me actually push back slightly. I mean, just not playing to the fans.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but Conor seems to because I've competed a lot. And like, there's that tension. There's a negativity sometimes depending on the opponent and there's a respect afterwards that happens. When you understand that there's a deep respect and almost like a love for each other. Like I always seen that in Connor, like all the trash talk afterwards. Yes. There's a it's a subtle thing. You can't always see it. But there's a respect, like I agree.
And like that almost on the KBB side, I almost feel like Kobe really took it personally. He he didn't he lost the respect for Connor.
I thought the whole time Connor had the respect. So what I want to say is like, if kind of won that fight like Rock Abebe, I could see like I wouldn't see trash talking. I could see, like, trash. I can stop right there. I think so too. But at the same time, I'm sure recall like Connor came across in some pretty personal territory, you know, both religiously and also familiarly with with Kobe. And it's you know, I mean, I think it's the sort of thing that I don't know, it's it's an interesting that's one of the reasons.
It's like you have to know the so obviously I know the the KIB, the Dagestani people, they don't play around like that.
They don't play like that. So you don't I mean, they take offense to basically I mean you don't do that.
So, so they kind of didn't maybe he did on purpose or maybe he wasn't even just aware of those cultural differences.
The box open like you can talk to Floyd Mayweather. You can you can go anywhere with him. You can you can say the most offensive things.
But whether it be online, it's hard lines.
But, you know, I mean, a lot of people ask, I know you're further away, but if you were to.
I've faced it feels like could was one of the hardest puzzles to solve in all of mixed martial arts.
If you were to face, could be. Do you think how would you go about solving that puzzle? Almost the question is almost from a jujitsu perspective to what do you do with a guy that's exceptionally good at controlling position, especially on top. Very good at wrestling and taking down and controlling position like let's say so forget may be striking on the ground. How do you solve that guy? Like, what do you do with your guard if you get taken down or do you create an entire system of not getting taken down or escaping is like what?
What ideas do you have for that?
Well, I guess I would say in my mind, fighting is a game of trading energy kind of there's two there's two things is damage and there's energy. So like when I say energy, I mean like a tired, not tired how much how much gas you've got. And then damage counts obviously as well. You could be feeling like I could be feeling great. And then you get to kick me in the head hard, really hard three times. Doesn't matter that I could get up and run a mile, I can't get up.
So anyway, you know, I think what Kebede does so well is he makes the fight look like it could be a Magomedov fight. He does a great job of avoiding damage on the feet for the most part, and really sucking the life out of people with how suffocating and oppressive is. His control is his chain. Wrestling is as good as anyone we've ever seen in the UFC. It's fantastic. But that poses a really serious threat for people that need to maintain a certain amount of space and try to hurt them on the feet, because unless they're able to inflict an adequate amount of damage, they're going to be each time, let's say friends, let's say him taking them down is a foregone conclusion.
At some point, if every single time Kabab takes you down, you get right back up. It's not that big a deal because it's actually more. We've all experienced this. Let's say you and I are rolling it at me fifteen times in one round.
Who's more tired? Probably you are what my ass badly that it's like you're the only one working, but if you're comfortable with the up and down of it, like being taken down, if you're if you don't if you don't get hurt badly or tired on the bottom, you have a chance.
But that doesn't involve just cracking him on the feet before he gets a hold of you. That's a lot.
That's a lot to ask. That's a lot. That's difficult to do. It seemed actually like Connor. It seemed like it when he was being kind of taken down or the takedown attempts against Kobe. He seemed to be somewhat relaxed, the whole thing.
I thought he was doing well, actually. I think that particularly for the first round, I thought he did a very good job. It's just one of those things that I think, like could be being the fights taking place and could be world in large part. And I mean, set aside that one giant what is it right hand that that could be Bikaner. With that, by the way, kind of reacted like an absolute champion. He got crushed by that overhand and then drop and his eyes went right back on.
Could be it was immediate. Präsident, great response. So even though that was I think that was a bit of a surprising thing, kind of reacted really, really well. But if you're going to be on bottom with could be four, four rounds, that's going to be tough. And also, Connor's a way better grappler than people like to give him credit for, but he's not the type of grappler that can do that. Can that can that's too tall of an order.
But there are grapplers that could do that or at least would have a much, much better shot at being able to weather that type of a storm. Do you see yourself being able to be relaxed through that kind of storm? Yes. Well, I guess I remember being being being savagely beaten is very the time that the timing of that answer was like, OK, that's a dumb question, lol.
That's ultimately the goal of jujitsu is to be relaxed to the fire for sure.
And remember, like every U.S. fighter, I win all hypothetical match ups.
Yeah, that's true. Since I'm one to ask ridiculous questions and we've been talking about sci fi and all that kind of stuff. Let me ask the kind of big question that everybody disagrees about. Certainly with me is who are the top five greatest enemy fighters of all time and why is Federer number one?
OK, well, first off, Federer is number one. Oh, really? Oh, right there with you. Really? Oh, yeah.
I talked about people that just get completely underappreciated, even though he's never been like he's never succeed in the UFC.
It's not his fault. It came along after him at the time. At the time that Federer was at his height, the UFC was not where it was at four heavyweight fighting. I mean, not that there weren't good heavyweights there, but Federer was unbelievable. You know, I mean, you remember I mean, minutes aren't O'Gara. I was massive fan of him. I still remember watching, what is it, 2004, when when Nogueira broke up and got blasted with that left kick and dropped with, like, seconds left in the first round was great, said a ten minute first round in that five minutes second, which again materially alters the fight big time.
And you know, the texture of the fight is just totally it's borderline a different sport, you know, than than getting a five, appositive five. But anyway, a similar sports like one of those swimming things where they have nine gold medals, four different types of swimming.
Right. But still swimming. But anyway, they would disagree.
Yeah. And it's totally true. Ten minutes is different than five.
And I think don't don't don't drown my swimmers. I don't swim very well. It seems to me to me to to to downplay it. But anyway. Yeah.
And then better than John Jones like the modern era. Well I mean I guess it's tough to compare to compare across eras. It would be like going and saying like oh man, how, how would such and such great grappler from today fare against someone from nineteen ninety five. I'm like well probably pretty well for depending upon who they are. What's going on. You know, there's some people that would, their skill sets might transition across eras, but a lot of times not.
But that's not fair. We get they'll be like comparing Spartans to modern day, you know, like army guys. They're like, well who's going to win? Like, we'll do modern day army guys get modern day weapons, will. Yeah, but who's the toughest ruggedized group of people at the very least. So I guess it's tough to say, but at least in my mind, the people that I think about four great fighters, they're the quality of opposition.
They're level of like lasting like success. They're level lasting innovation, like the courage that they have to demonstrate. Because, again, it's like being a big fish in a small pond takes no courage, doesn't mean that there's nothing there, but it just requires something a little bit different. So because usually Sakuraba is one of my guys to be Japan also. I mean Japan. Lyoto Machida. Yeah, that's insane. You know, that was it. Time was a different sport.
It was a different time. The sport were, you know, they were some guys were bouncing around doing different things. But let's see, I guess the Graisse family, I mean they never had in the league obviously Joyce was there but they never and that was a definitely a different sport. Weight class is being open, things like that.
But you have to say that Joyce is up there. Oh no question. One of the greatest ever. I think so too. And again I wouldn't be sitting here talking to you if it weren't for him. So the Graisse family as a whole. But I mean, who's the better? I mean, I think the voice would tell you himself probably that Hixon would have handled business back then, but they didn't put him in. So again is the greatest fighter, the greatest fighter, the greatest fighter that we saw do his business.
So Joyce up there for sure.
What about so this is like nobody seems to agree with me on this, but like this connects to soccer again. And Messi, it seems that people value like how long you've been a champion, how many, like defenses of the championship that you've had successfully. To me, I highly value singular moments of genius. So like like I don't like if you look at Conor McGregor, he hasn't, I guess, held been a champion very long, very much.
He didn't defend either title. He didn't defend any other either of the titles. But like if you in same with Messi, if you look at Lionel Messi, there's just moments of brilliance, unlike any other in history for both Conor and Messi. And people don't seem to give credit. It's like, well, how many World Cups have you on? But to me, like, why is it about this arbitrary World Cup thing or championship thing?
I think it's easier for people to wrap their head around. Right. It's like the NFL combine. One was I mean, sometimes. Yeah, numbers. It's something that well, again, if I go and if I pick Tom Brady in the first round, you know, and it works out, they call me a genius if I pick Tom Brady in the first round after his combine. And it does. Workout, I get fired and I've never hired again, I have to work, work somewhere else, but it's like I'm insulating myself from criticism, I think almost if I go by the numbers.
Well, he had more bench presses. It's like how how many times have the guys that are like the super studs in the in the NFL combine ever been on the greatest players in the NFL history in NFL history? Like zero or close to zero? And even if even if there's some, it's certainly not a one to one correlation. So it's so funny, though. I think it's just like how many how long, how many days they hold.
The title of your title ring was six times longer. That means nothing. So if we wanted to find Greatest Fighter ever, like you said, I think individual moments of like like that was transcendent. That was different. That was something else, because people can win or lose for any number of different reasons. And that it's an interesting thing. Again, I don't blame Argentina not winning the World Cup on Messi. You know, that's not fair.
You know how many times? I mean, I'll use the I remember when Trent Dilfer was the quarterback for the the Baltimore Ravens and they had such a strong defense. I'm not trying to pick on Trent Dilfer, but it's like they they had such a strong defense that they were. And that was the Ray Lewis, you know, Chris McAllister era, you know, and they they won. They won the Super Bowl. I don't think anyone is going to say that, you know, Trent Dilfer is a better quarterback than, you know, or put him in the same category as Dan Marino.
But he got the W he's got the he's got the super win. How many times let's use March Madness or Super Bowl. I love it like that. That guy always makes the finals, but he just never gets it done. Yeah. So let me get this straight. Get to the finals nine times. Doesn't count because you didn't win the end game. I'm not saying it wouldn't be better, but that guy won the game once he got over the hump.
How many other times in the finals? Zero. I mean, it's interesting when we hear that we were obsessed with these numbers, like because we can't assess their method, right? Well, I think most of the time most of us can assess the method of anything. And it's like, oh, look at that guy, do x y swimming. I'm like, how do I know Michael Phelps is great? I don't know who's faster. I can't look at his technique and say anything other than.
Well, that's way better than anything I know how to do. But I can't say the difference between him and the next guy. So I guess that's I wonder if it's like I need a concrete identifier. And a lot of times people don't like saying, I don't know.
And most people won't put like a Ronda Rousey in the top even 20 or 50 of but like she changed more than more than almost anybody else. She changed the martial arts history. I don't know if that even I don't think I'm exaggerating that she she made it OK for women to be fighters. Yeah. And it and they changed the way we see, like, she's one of the great feminists of our time.
And I don't know her own way in, you know, in a weird kind of way that like I don't know, maybe I'm just the Ronda Rousey fan, but. Yeah, but she's not in the conversation because when you start converting into numbers, well, how many days is she among the greatest fighters or did she do the greatest things? You know, I mean, I don't I think it's something that I mean, obviously, Ronda is a great Udoka who is competing in I'm at a time when a lot of the girls like where did you get your skills in the Olympics?
How would you get your high school? And you're like, yeah, you're going to Olympic girls going to beat you up. But I guess that that doesn't diminish her. Just that accomplishment is what it is. I don't have to I don't fade or is not diminished by the fact that he would like if he were to fight Steven militias right now, it probably wouldn't go great or that John Jones exists. I don't now have to, like, knock Fadal accomplishments down or say, oh, because B.J. Penn or someone so let's say, has a mixed record at this point that somehow invalidates the things that they've done before.
I guess it kind of brings us back to a lot of the other people we've talked about the fact that the the brilliant people throughout history that we love or some of the monsters throughout history that we rightly revile. And a lot of cases were complicated people. And their legacy is more than just one thing. And someone doing something amazing doesn't it doesn't mean they didn't do anything bad. And someone doing terrible things doesn't doesn't mean that doesn't invalidate the positives that they did.
But I guess we were fighting the urge to put people in one category and same with ourselves. I think that's why people get depressed. Oh, I'm good right now. Oh, I'm bad right now. Versus say we're all a work in progress and we're trying to do X number of things. And legacy is a tough thing to figure out anyway. And it's all speculative.
Last time or no on Reddit, he said that last time, too, that you don't experience much fear before or fights. I'd like to ask you a couple of Mike Tyson things, if it's OK. It's just interesting to me. Maybe I'm just weird. So there's a I don't know if you've seen this clip of Tyson talking about how he feels leading up to a fight that he's kind of overtaken with fear. As he gets closer and closer and closer to the ring, his confidence grows.
Have you seen the clip? I'm aware of it. OK, once in a while. Here, let me play it for you. George Shakespeare said something similar to me one time. While I'm in the dressing room five minutes before I come out, my gloves at least breaking my glove, I pushed him over the back of my neck in the middle of the blood and appears to feel my knuckle piercing is patent leather gloves and the mask back on the Supreme Court.
And I'm scared to death. I'm totally afraid. I'm afraid of having them afraid. I'm afraid of being humiliated. I was told the closer I get, the more confidence I get closer, the more confident I get to close, the more they all do. My trainer has been afraid of this man. I thought this man might be capable of beating me. I've dreamed of him beating me. I've always been afraid of how close I get to me, more confident once I'm in the way I'm a God.
No one could beat me.
I'm a God. I mean, first of all, he's cognizant of both his demons and whatever the hell ideas he has about violence is so interesting. Is there something.
About the the tension that he's describing about being confident and scared that resonates with you or you or do you hold to this idea that you've kind of spoken about before, that you really are not afraid?
No, I can I can appreciate what he's saying. You know, I think that, you know, I can speak to feeling like concerned about, let's say, for instance, if you feel a certain way, I think people are a lot more like computers than we were then. We like to admit.
And just because a lot of times I can't pass what's going on and why doesn't mean that it's not it doesn't make sense. And I think that at least in the times of like if I'm concerned about a situation or about a person or about something happening prior to the fight or I'm like, there's a reason, there was a reason not to push that down a Bériot, that there's a reason why.
What if I'm not thought about what have I not done? What am I missing? Why am I feeling this way, as you mentioned, you know, for for yourself prior, like you would be like, why am I feeling like this? I don't do this very well in certain aspects of my life. But now that I mention it and now I think about it. But when it comes to competing, I think I'm doing the right job and I'm trying to learn to be better.
And it's going like, well, why do I if I feel this way, there's a reason, OK, am I thinking about this the wrong way? Have I not adequately prepared for something? I have to have to address it and then maybe I'll be up for four hours that night, you know, like extra hours thinking if I not a dress, watching, sparring, watching this, watching that and then that. When I, when I am thinking about things more and more accurately or when I've addressed what that concern was, I feel any of that concern kind of dissipate.
And I guess if I honestly thought that, you know, I guess when it comes, I know I'm going to die at a certain point. Obviously, I'm going to get hurt. I'm going to you know, pain happens, but the pain of loss would be nothing compared to that or the pain of injured me, nothing compared to the pain of running away, you know. And yeah. And I so I guess if I think about it, where's my value, what it's like I feel like I'm a winner.
Every single time I step into that ring and fight with everything that I have, I can't promise that I'll win my next fight. I know that I have the skills and the tools to beat anyone in grappling or or in mixed martial arts at this point. It's just I know that for certain, I've trained enough people to compete, enough people I know I know where I stand. But I also know that I'm not perfect and also the better fighter, even if I perceived that I was.
That thing doesn't win on the night. The man who fights better wins on the night. And if I give credence in my mind to only the person that's that's one has value versus what's your process? What's your path through this? How are you going about this? How are you thinking about this?
How are you behaving then? If I can focus on the process then then I will respect my opponent and I will respect myself. And I respect anyone that behaves with a certain level of of consistency to that. And they could win it. There's plenty of winners in history that that are shit bags and there's plenty of losers that are not. But winning doesn't make you a bad or good person. And losing doesn't make you good by default either or bad by default.
So and I think that that can be the truth socially. That can be the truth, you know, athletically, academically. So I guess it's a primal fear, though, like a primal fear of getting hurt.
The running away and not facing the the threat long term is the bigger pain than any pain you can experience. And if I. That's pretty powerful, but what about the violence and you don't have that on your face, but like I don't know if you've also seen Tyson talk about he was on Rogan recently.
He was talking about. He was trying to psychoanalyze himself about why he enjoys violence so much. I mean, he called it orgasmic.
And have you seen that clip? I haven't. OK, we're playing it because I can. I need to because Trump also retweeted, which is hilarious. I don't know how to contextualize.
Yeah, that's something that our president retweeted the clip of of of Tyson saying that maybe he's just doing this like they're not going. It's like I'm going to form a curveball once you have any idea what that was.
Yeah, he did. No explanation. Just. Here you go. There you go. Well, I think that's kind of like what you're describing, it's like if I give you an answer, it has to be a good one. Better to just let your imagination run. Exactly. Yeah, he's yeah. He's like the Kubrick of our time.
Now, what's really interesting that sometimes. Period. Do not, but sometimes I struggle with the fact that while the possibility I can really hurt somebody like you don't want to hurt them.
What do you mean we still struggle with the possibility that you could hurt them? That is sometimes. It's orgasmic them time. Hmm. Yeah, like some fights, like particularly like Tyrell Biggs or someone that you had problems with, someone that you chose not getting.
You had animosity towards. So when you finally get your hands on them. Hey. What does it means when fighting gets get you wrecked? What does that mean? It's a good question. Means you're getting excited. Yeah, so that that's going through your mind right now. Well, that's how I get when I was a kid and I you know, sometimes I get the twinkle. Twinkle.
Yeah, well, that's what I'm saying is, like, you reached a state as a human being, as a champion, as a ferocious fighter, you reach a state of ability and of accomplishment.
The very few humans will ever, ever touch and feel. That's why I'm asking you, when you're running, when you're hitting the bag, when that heart's beating again and that you know who you are, you're Mike motherfucking Tyson. So when you're doing all this shit again, you're still Mike Tyson. Those thoughts have got to be burning inside you again. There's got to be pretty wild. Oh, no, it's it's wild, but I believe this is rightfully so to be that way, and I know how to I don't think ah on to deal with it.
I don't let it overwhelm me.
I mean he goes on to try to they don't ever like Joe doesn't. Bite. The interesting thing about that conversation is Mike was trying to figure himself out. Yeah. Like he's on the spot, like, why do I feel this way? It is. To me, it was like to me is so real and honest to to feel like pleasure from hurting somebody. Like that, you rarely hear that. In this society, it's like you've rarely, like, talk about like you feel pleasure from winning.
You feel pleasure from, like, the relief of overcoming, like all the stress you have to go through pleasure from just like the specifics of the fight, the techniques used, maybe overcoming, being down a couple of rounds.
But how often do you hear somebody say, I just enjoyed his name? The same because I hate the opponent. He's saying like, I enjoyed purely the violence of it. That's crazy. I mean, I don't know, it's honest, it's it made me ask, like, I wonder how many of us are cognizant of that, but say Mike is uncommonly seemingly honest.
I think athletes make a full time job out of lying. You know, I think people make a fool of themselves and little have to. That's fair. I mean, in some you tell yourself or you tell others what you feel you need to or maybe whether you would even know what you feel you need to. But why should he not? I mean, again, he did he did he run up and just hit somebody that didn't sign up for this?
Not only they want it to be there.
Well, that's the interesting thing about Tyson is there's that weird, like non-standard behavior. I mean, like, your fighting style is not standard. He's non-standard to another degree of like, who else has that in jujitsu?
Polaris has this kind of weirdness, like what's what's in there? Like, there's a fear that I think of most opponents would have because it's like it's no longer about like it takes you out of the realm of its game. It takes us back to the thing we were talking about before is it strips away that like several layers of Rhinehart, the podcast guest, Ryan Hall, the Jets instructor, Reichenhall, just a competitor, it keeps going down to a point where, like Ryan Hall, the murderer of all things that get in his way, that lies underneath all of it, seemingly like if we're in the society, we put all that aside.
But it makes you wonder, like now society's being tested in many ways. It makes you wonder, like, what's underneath there or do we want do we want the answer to that?
Because I guess it's what is it, a simple Pulp Fiction. You know, the best character in the movie in the best scene in the movie is I give my questions if you're what do you call it? My answer. Scary. You should see some scary questions, you know, and I guess you wonder, I mean, all of us. That's something that I think it's funny. Oh, that's not OK. I mean, versus maybe not appropriate for situation X, Y or Z, but what should make any of us think I mean, humanity is a different place now.
And I mean not to say anything crazy out there, but it came in a different place now than we were five thousand years ago, where all of us are descended from people who have killed things with their teeth and fingernails in order to be where we are and whether it was in or whether it was an animal or was in conflict with another person. I mean, think about the chances of dying by violence now are so, so slim, at least in most countries and most places, like shockingly small, thankfully.
But there was a period of time, like the most period of time we're dying by violence was mostly how it went down. And I guess what would be facilitative, what would allow you to win back to Ender's Game? You know, what allows you if you can't do that, you are all you are forever subject to people who can. And that's that's a real thing. And, you know, we're fortunate to find ourselves in a situation where we don't where other things matter.
But that is a funny thing periodically, where people you'll see people I kind of drawn at each other, like in videos or out in the world, that clearly neither of them expect this to get serious. Like, I'm just going to yell at you, you're going to yell at me. And it's like this weird laughing thing. We're both going to go on our own separate ways. All it takes is one person to like, I wasn't kidding.
And it's like, oh, you go to jail, Nicole. I know you're going to go to the morgue. And it's that's but that can happen like that. Like society. I mean, obviously, anyway, you could jump across the table, stab me in the eye. I mean, I appreciate hope. If you don't end, there will be consequences if you do. But not from not from me, from from the rest of society will potentially get you at a certain point.
But you can decide to not play by the rules any time you want.
And it's fascinating that, yeah, that's we've created rules based on which will behave. But underneath there, you know, there's things that there's motivations and forces that don't play by the rules of their nature as metal is under the surface, seriously.
And again, I pull out my phone and I'm basically saying, like, hey, I'm going to you're going to get caught. Yeah. But really, I'm further antagonizing you, rightly or wrongly, you know, I mean, like in that that's an interesting thing. And I feel like just people need to remember any of us need to remember just for any reason, just. That's that's one step away at all at all times you ever I've had people say to me before, like, oh, I don't feel safe.
I'm like, you're not safe.
I kill you. If we get out of this room, nothing to stop that. Nothing. I mean, but don't worry, you can do the same to me, which means I'm like, oh, thank goodness. Can you imagine, like, how many guns are there are in this country like there? I mean everywhere. I mean, seriously everywhere. But that's a heartening thought, not the other way, because people usually freak out and go, oh my God, gun violence.
Gun violence is a gun violence like really not a serious issue. The United States compared to what it could be, because it means that I mean, with the amount of guns and the amount of bullets that are out there that are in circulation, can you imagine if like one in every thousand was used in anger each day? I mean, this would be a terrifying place to live. You couldn't go anywhere. So, I mean, although you could say, hey, this is more than we'd like or X, Y or Z, it actually means that people are much more reasonable and sane than than we're saying then or then.
Then sometimes I might I might argue so I guess what I mean, it's like, oh man, I walk to 7-Eleven and I didn't get stabbed. I'm like, oh well that's good because not because I protected myself with my karate. It's basically no one decided to run over and stab me because I wasn't protecting myself. It's they they stopped. So I guess we're all fortunate to live in a society that, like you said, nature being metal doesn't become that big of an issue all the time.
But it is funny when you get people in the ring and you go, hey, let's peel back from Mr. Tyson, many layers of that and say, hey, now it's OK.
And it's cool that I mean, that's what society is doing. So I lived in Harvard Square for a while and we add extra layers of what safe means. Like now there's this discourse about safe spaces, about like ideas being violence or or like, you know. Yeah, but ideas or minor slights against the personality being violence. But that's all like extra layers around the nature as metal thing that it's cool. That's that's what progress is. But we can't forget that like underneath is still and still the the thing that will murder at the at the drop of a in any at any moment if if aroused.
One thing that I find funny, though, or ironic maybe about the the words are violence offenses, violence thing is that of course, that if that the belief in that then justifies my violence like my and whether maybe maybe not physical violence, but my response to my my aggressive response to things and I guess like which can be Gretz begets a further aggressive response and like a, you know, kind of a a tit for tat sort of situation or or it goes to like, well, there's ten of me and there's one of you.
So we'll get you and you can't do anything about it. But that's not morality. That's that's just saying that's might makes. Right. So I guess, again, you can understand why people do it and there are certain there was a progress aspect to it. But again, I guess without proper examination, I'm effectively with my ten friends, you know, and the force of the law, Mike Tyson, young people, but not admitting to myself what I'm doing.
And at least Mike Tyson, again, is honest. Are you afraid of death? I mean, it's easy for me to say no as I sit here, probably not about to die, but is this the UFC question? Can you defeat any opponents? The answer is of course, yes. And I don't have. They're not they're not here, are they? Yeah, exactly.
But, I mean, are you do you ponder your own mortality? Maybe another context to that. As you mentioned, two deaths for martial artists. I think that's actually why, honestly, even though we're at a relatively young age, I think mortality is something that I'm aware of maybe more than the average person.
I think probably most athletes can speak to this about anyone that had managed to just slide out of a couple of near-death experiences personally. You know, mostly river related because I'm an idiot, but I regret nothing, but.
Yeah, yeah, but no, but yeah, it is an interesting seeing the end and seeing going well, what's going to happen, I guess I think it comes back to kind of what we're discussing about belief, structure and belief system.
I think a lot of times if I recognize that no matter what I do, it's all going to end one day. Then you go, well, why were we here? What would I do? Am I going to make it to 40? I have no idea. I'd like to hope so. I had no idea that I was going to make it to to the age that I am now. Am I going to make it to 80? How much of that is in my control?
Much of it is not I mean, it's so funny, it's an interesting like back to the belief structure again, like locus of internal and external locus of control, you know, what's facilitative versus what's true. And, you know, I think accepting personal responsibility for more than is under my control is is probably a positive, but at the same time, recognizing that much of much is not in my control, I was fortunate enough to be born in the United States, fortunate enough to, you know, to not knock on wood, have a serious disease that I'm not aware of right now.
I didn't do any of that. I just showed up. That was really fortunate. And I guess that doesn't diminish the fact that I try to make decent choices, but it works in concert with it. And I guess when I when you go to his death, what I want right now. No, no, I should think not. And again, it's easier for me to be relatively calm about as I'm not staring it in the face, but.
What I would care a lot more about is how you live, that's what's in my control and I can't control it. As I walk out of this building, a helicopter falls on me worrying about that I can't control. Maybe I maybe I have cancer now and I don't know it, and I really hope not.
But there's something about meditating on the fact that it could end today outside of your control that can clarify your thinking about. Yeah, the the fact that life is amazing, like just kind of something. Yeah. Helping you enjoy this moment. Even if life was horrible.
Let's say, for instance, it was it was you live one of those times. Are places in this place still exist in this world today? That life is brutal and metal and whatever all and short and painful. Would you still want it? And again, as I'm sitting here not not on fire physically, it's easy to say yes. But I would I'm confident I still I'll plant my feet and say yes, any of any life is amazing and beautiful and a gift, an unbelievable gift that none of us have earned.
For the record, and I hate the word earned a lot of times earn yet you earn. But it's like there's a lot of a lot of good fortune and earning and that's back to do I want justice or do I want grace? And I guess we're all fortunate to be where we are, no matter where we are. And hopefully it should give us some sense of perspective, some sense of compassion for other people, but also like like you said, a sense of peace.
If it all ended right now, would I be happy with what? With life to this point, of course.
Would you like to live a little longer? Yeah, of course. I would try to do more and try to live rightly to the best that I know how, which over time will hopefully continue to evolve in a positive direction.
But if the answer to that is no, I guess that's that's always that's a sign that what I'm doing is not what I'm meant to be doing. And I'm.
You're familiar with the concept for us. There's a I've got one. Actually, if you could give me ten seconds, I'll read this one out. This is a personal favorite, basically. And I think it sums up I mean, again, it's one of those quotes on the Internet, like when Abraham Lincoln said, don't believe everything you read online, but this is you know, it's again attributed, but it's like to live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart trouble.
No one about their religion respect others in their view and demand that they respect yours, love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life, seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day. When you go over the Great Divide, always give a word or sign a salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place, show respect to all people and grovel to none.
When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing for abuse terms the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision. When it comes your time to die, you're not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death so that when their time comes, they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way.
Sing your death song and die like a hero going home. Powerful words.
I don't think there's a better way to end it. Let me just say we've spoke maybe five, six years ago. I don't even remember when, but I'm not exaggerating saying like you had a huge impact on my life because of the podcast. You're the reason I was doing the podcast as long as I have. You're the reason I'm doing this podcast. And it's a little it's a stupid little meeting that you probably didn't know who I was. I didn't really know who you are.
I was just like a magical moment. It's a big flap of a butterfly wing kind of situation, and I am forever grateful. You're one of the most inspiring people in my life. So it's a huge honor that you would come here again and talk with me and waste all this time. I really appreciate it was amazing. Thank you so much.
It's just been a pleasure. I really appreciate you having us on. Thank you.
Thanks. Bye. Thanks for listening to this conversation with Ryan Hall and thank you to our sponsors powdered Bible and cash app, please check out the sponsors and the description to get a discount and to support this podcast. Enjoy this thing. Subscribe on YouTube. Review it with five stars and have a podcast. Follow on Spotify. Support on Patrón or connect with me on Twitter, Àlex Friedman. And now let me leave you some words from Frank Herbert Undun.
Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic. Thank you for listening and hope to see you next time.