The following is a conversation with John Clarke. He's a friend, a Brazilian jujitsu blackbelt, former army fighter, and at least in my opinion, one of the great UFC cornerman coaches to listen to. And also, he's my current jujitsu coach, a Broadway jujitsu in South Boston. He was once for a time a philosophy major in college and is now, I would say, a kind of practicing philosopher, opinionated, brilliant, and someone I always enjoy talking to, even when especially when we disagree, which we do often.
He's definitely someone I can see talking to many times in this podcast. In fact, he hosts a new podcast of his own called Please Allow Me. Quick mention of his sponsor, followed by some thoughts related to the episode. Thank you to their gun, the device they use for post-war Camusso recovery, magic spoon, low carb, keto friendly cereal that I think is delicious and sleep a mattress that calls itself and gives me yet another reason to enjoy sleep and catch up the app.
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You know, after this whole covid thing lifts, you ever take a trip like that? I've done a handful of long distance driving trips up and down the East Coast, but also from the West Coast, back to the East Coast and then returning to California. So I've definitely done my fair share of driving in this country.
Do you have the longing for the great American road trip? I think there are so many things that I've been lucky enough to see in the world that I now, at this point in my life, realize there are tons of things that I need to see here in this country, and a road trip could potentially be the best way to see them. I think to do it effectively, you need an amount of time where you can be as leisurely as possible.
There's no deadline and there's no I've got to make it from Chicago to St. Louis by sundown to get to this place.
At this time, I think you really need to be able to take your time and and kind of like let the road take you where you need to go.
It feels like you need a mission, though, ultimately, like there's a reason you need to be in San Francisco. That's like the Kerouac thing. You have to meet somebody somewhere kind of loosely in a few weeks. And then it's as you struggle on towards that mission, you meet weird characters that get in your way, but ultimately sort of create an experience.
I think having a loose deadline is good, but that's a beginning and an end point. And what I mean is I don't want to have to be. All right. We're leaving, say, Boston on Sunday night. Let's get to New York by Monday morning. And then from New York, we're going to go to Philly and we've got to be in Philly at for a vague beginning and end is fine. But I think having very strict guidelines in between will rob you of certain experiences along the way.
If you have a time frame to get from Philly to Indianapolis in, some awesome shit starts to happen in Philly. Do you really want to have to cut it short because you've got to be in Indianapolis by sun up? Why do you have to be anywhere by any time for any reason?
Really? Well, let's change plans change all the time. Exactly. But if we're talking about having a mission or the type of road trip, I just think it would be best to have it as loose and flexible as possible. I don't know.
You've got to make hard deadlines and then break them totally change the plans, disappoint people, break promises as the way of life. Somebody is waiting for you in St. Louis and all of a sudden you you fell in love with a biker in New York. I don't know.
I don't know what you're up to. I can appreciate that. But on a trip like that, I feel like. A trip with deadlines is for a different point in your life, and at this point in my life, I don't want any of the deadlines because it's not about meeting someone and disappointing them in St. Louis. It's about me, not disappointing myself. You want to have you want to have enough time in what you're doing to make sure that you get the full breadth of every experience that you encounter.
How would you fully experience a place? How would you. I don't think I've actually fully experienced Boston. Like how if you were showing up to to a city for a week on this road trip, what would you do?
So I would answer that in two parts. A few years ago, I had an opportunity to move out of Boston. And the thing that kept me here, no question about it, was the fact that I felt like I had a contract with my students and I did not. I felt like a great many of them took a leap of faith by joining my gym and like, you know, asking me to teach them what I know. And when I had an opportunity to leave Boston, I thought of those people and I thought, I want to fulfill my obligation to them.
So because I made a decision to stay here, I then that summer made a decision to endear myself to the city of Boston. And I tried to find lots and lots of different things to do. I can tell you that the coolest thing that I found to do in this city is the MFA, where they have like on Friday nights, they'll have like different exhibits and stuff and they'll have like little beer carts and food tents. And you can go do a painting class, often on the side.
Very cool night of things to do. But in general, whenever I'm in a new city, I try not to pay attention to Google and I try not to do anything that I find on a travel site. The best thing to do is to walk out of your hotel or wherever it is you're staying and find the most normal looking bar, have a drink and talk to a bartender. So the people, the people, the people. And then you can experience that town the way that they experience it.
Even in a city where there are tons of tourist attractions, locals probably visit the same tourist attractions when they have visitors come from out of town.
You want to see how they view those places and how they visit them, and you want to go to eat where they're going to eat, like, you know, you're going to. For the most part, the north end is not a place where I would take someone and say, hey, this is Boston's the pinnacle of Boston dining because it's very touristy. There are a handful of really good restaurants there. But I want to know where that where the I want to go to Bogey's place.
I want to know, like the down low spots. Where the hell's Bogey's place? It's like a little steak house in the back of JM Curley's. Exactly. It's like a city bar. It's just a bar with, like, bar food. But I think they're like it's like Boston. It is in Boston and South Boston. No, it's in it's in the downtown area. Like, I don't know what the neighborhoods are called here, honestly, because they call they have an area called downtown Boston.
And I don't even know what the hell that means.
And these new financial district where WSI, because I've heard about the Southie, SJS, Boston, but it's there is a difference in South Boston, Southie. No, it's the same thing. No, but like the mythical Southie, I think the mythical Southie is something that's long gone now. And the term now actually is Stobo.
Oh, no. Yeah, it's it's changed. What who who took over what what's the you know, the good will hunting personality. That's s isn't it. Strong accent. Those bad ass dudes.
I came here right at the end of like what was South Boston. So when I got in my jimmies in South Boston, the neighborhood was just starting to change. So I think. As gentrification happened and they started building more luxury condominiums, they were buying all these old businesses out, all the mom and pop businesses, and I think that kind of changed the the makeup of the community. And it wasn't only because there was an influx of new young people with disposable income is because there's an exodus of the the older people who kind of grew up and raised their families there because they were being offered humongous sums of money for their homes that they had bought, like in the late 70s and early 80s, so that they could develop those areas.
So you have a combination of the influx of new people and the exodus of the old. Now, you just got this totally new neighborhood in its place. What do you love about Boston? Is there a love still for Boston? You certainly have the love of the thing that's gone as well. Yeah, I think I don't want to pinpoint pin this on Boston because it's happening in all great cities as these areas become gentrified.
What's happening is the personality and the character of the neighborhood is just being run out. And I have nothing against people coming in and making money and things like that. But when you do it at the expense of the culture, the character and the personality of the neighborhood, I mean, you're kind of standing on the shoulders of giants. These are the people that came here and built these areas up. It happens here and in Boston. It happens all over New York, happened on the West Coast, so.
What I love about Boston is not nearly as romantic as what it might have been 15 years ago and what I used to love about New York, what I love about Boston is that it's walkable. The food scene is on is on the rise here. But I think you're you're hard pressed to find the charm that. People think of when they think of old Boston and old New England city, yeah, I see it differently. People sometimes criticize like Amitay, like for the thing that it is now.
But I think it is always like that. I tend to prefer to carry the flame of the history of the greatness, the greatest moments of its history and like sort of enjoy that. The echoes of that in the halls of MIT. In the same way in Boston, you think about the history and that history lives on in the few individuals like you can't just look around what Boston is now and be like, what has Boston become?
I think it was always carried by a minority of individuals. I think we kind of look back in history and think like times were greater in a certain kind of dimension back then. But just because we remember this is a ridiculous, non data driven assertion of mine. It's you remember just the the the brightest stars of that history. And so we romanticize it. But I think if you look around now, those special people are still living in Boston for which Boston will be remembered as a great city in like 50 years.
I think you're probably right. But isn't there some sort of theory about.
The point there's like a certain age in your life where things resonate differently to you, like I think they've done studies where most people stop searching for new music after age 19. Most dads you see, like wearing super old clothes, like the that's the style of the time period of the last great part of their life. So, like, there's an evolution in people and it could also be the memories of where they live. When I was 17, of course, my neighborhood was the best then because I was having the most fun.
And we always kind of look at things through that, that I think and you're right, and I don't think there's anything wrong with the way cities are evolving now. It's just not I prefer to time of like a mom and pop store, not a fabricated, like, gastro pub. That could just be like on a four lane super highway. And you're on your way out of Epcot Center. And it's actually owned by like some conglomerate.
But there's still the special places like this takes us back to the road trip is maybe I tend to romanticize the experiences of, like the diners in the middle of nowhere.
What would you say makes for like. It feels like life is made up of these experiences that are that maybe on paper seem mundane, but are actually somehow give you a chance to pause and reflect on life with a certain kind of people, whether they're like really close friends or complete strangers. Maybe alcohol's involved in the middle of nowhere. It seems like a road trip facilitates that if you allow it to. What do you think makes those kind of experience?
Have you had any?
I think in the context of a road trip, I think it's like hyper localization. And I think it is those those experiences along the way with people and the people that you're with will call it the experiences differently, depending on the person the road trip you took was with somebody else.
So I've driven up and down the East Coast several times. When I drove from L.A. to New York, my friend was on the run from the cops. Yeah. So we were trying to get traffic tickets.
Yeah, yeah. We're trying to get out of L.A. because he was going to have to go away for a little while. Yeah. So we drove from L.A. and we just, you know, we're young kids. We had no idea what we were doing and we drove east and then, you know, we had an unbelievable trip, mostly because we didn't really have a destination. We didn't really have a time frame, thank goodness, because he got arrested again in Pennsylvania.
So we got kind of stuck there. And then, you know, and then we drove back to L.A. when he got out in Pennsylvania. But all the stops along the way were kind of like weird things, like you have no money, right? So you're finding that like a little diamond in the rough place to eat the diner. You talk about like that place I once was in movies. I think I was in Buenos Aries. And the guy that I was with, he said, I know this quaint little spot around the corner.
And I was young. I was like twenty five. And I thought the coolest thing in the world would be to be such a citizen of the world that, you know, these quaint little spots around the corner. And like all these great cities, like I know where to get this great chicken sandwich in Argentina. I know where to get this great meal in Costa Rica. I know where to get this super local like egg in another country. I always thought that that was really cool, the ability to do that anywhere in the world.
You get closer with that guy when through the trip I found that like so I took I took a trip across the United States with a with a guy friend of mine who had different goals. I was searching for meaning in life and he was searching for.
What's the politically correct way of raising it, but just basically trying to sleep with every kind of woman that this world has to offer?
What's the difference between those two things?
Well, I guess the different kinds of meanings.
I mean, I just I, I still think that you can't find meaning between a woman's legs. I suppose that maybe not all of them, but there was a tension there grew closer with those experiences.
But we've gotten in fights. You know, there was a lot of like little almost fights and then we're close and there were like silences. But then we were like brothers. And this whole weird journey of friendship that we went on.
I think any time you spend that much time in, like a small space with another person, you're going to have the the different parts of the relationship will manifest themselves. You'll have the periods of closeness, you'll have the periods of vulnerability where it's like maybe you're driving through Denver and it's 3:00 in the morning and you talk about something you might not have otherwise talked about. You'll have the periods where you don't want to see that motherfucker ever again. Right.
He didn't end spending. Could be because of anything. But the guy that I drove twice with, we are still we're still in contact. We're still buddies. We we have very different goals also. But at that point in our lives, we were not we never even contemplated the meaning of life. We were about probably more to the point of the friend that you drove with, we're more about racking up experiences, whatever they were. Right. I want to be able to retell this story.
Yeah, I want to be able to retell this and it's got to sound cool. Look, I don't want to retell a story about you, and then we drove through Alabama and they've got a lovely library and I checked out this book and you know, I'm not interested in retelling that.
Do you remember any. Well, this is a kid's show. Do you remember any stories that the kids would enjoy from those time that were profound in some kind of way? There are some impactful moments on the beginning of our road trip where we had no money. And as a couple of kids who knew nothing, we literally had to. We stopped in Vegas and we went to Circus Circus at the time, a three dollar blackjack, and we had like 12 bucks.
And my buddy was a kind of a degenerate gambler. So he knew what was up. I was just like kind of stuff and chips in my pockets making sure we could pay for the gas and just being at the point, which is like a starting line. And like we drove from L.A. to Vegas, which is only about four hours, and being at the starting line and realizing like we may not even, like, get off the starting line here.
And if we don't, what are we doing? We're going to be two guys stuck in Vegas with no money. We can't go west because you're going to get pinched with no money to go east. What the hell are we going to do? We're going to wind up in Vegas.
So, you know, that was kind of a profound thing where you just it's a turning potentially could have been a turning point in our lives had we not made enough money to to continue going east. That's the beautiful thing about road trips and you're broke, it's like in retrospect, everything turned out fine, but you're facing the complete darkness, the uncertainty of the possibilities laid before you. And like I don't know if you were confident at that time, but, like, I was really full of self-doubt.
Like, just all I could see is all the trajectories where you just screw up your life, like, what am I doing in my life?
I'm a failure. Like all these dreams I've had, I've never realised I'm a complete piece of shit, all those kinds.
I had no concept of consequence. I like I was I probably had toxoplasmosis.
I had literally no concept of consequence. Immediate gratification was all I cared about. Existentialist. Yeah, it did not it did not even enter my mind at in my early 20s that anything that I was doing at that point could reverberate for the rest of my life. I think part of me didn't even think I'd make it this far. And so I was not interested in like the long play. I remember thinking, like, why should I be acting now in a way that might impact a point in my life I never reach.
And yet now you are a man who searches for meaning in life. At least I would say, to put it another way, you have you think deeply about this world and in a philosophical context, while also appreciating the violence of hurting other friends of yours.
Right. On a regular basis. So what why do you think I mean, maybe there's a broader question there, but it calls a personal question.
It seems that. People who fight. For prolonged periods of time, like you just saw, people in mixed martial arts, people, even military folks, become over time philosophers, what is that? Is that is there a parallel between fighting and violence there in the philosophical depths with which you now have right from the starting point of being the full existentialist of like just living in the moment to like being introspective human?
Now, I would say to that, being a soldier or a warrior hundreds of years ago is probably what started the marriage between martial arts and philosophy. If you're constantly under someone else's charge and you're told to go out and walk in a line and, you know, overtake some Germanic tribe somewhere, and that happens all the time. Your job is being a soldier, there's on any given day you might not come home. So I think that you have to start your day by thinking deeply about how you've lived to that point and the people that are living in and around you and how you've treated them.
And I think that probably is what started the marriage of being kind of like a philosophical martial artist. You've got to really like on a daily basis, take stock of of what's going on around you and inside you, because we all suffer with this kind of idea, if today's my last day that I do it right and we don't really do it so much nowadays because we're so comfortable. But if we're being marched out to war every day, I think you'd see people live a little bit differently, you know, and you you treat the people around you a little bit differently.
Do you think there's echoes of that in just even the sport of, like, grappling and jujitsu where you're facing your own mortality?
I don't really think of it that way, but to be honest, I think that a lot of people that train in a martial art. And contemporary society, I don't consider them all martial artists, I think just because you train a martial art does not mean you're a martial artist. There are so many people that use martial arts as a form of exercise. And like this little piece of self concept, they use martial arts as a tagline and their Instagram bio.
And it's really a form of exercise. It's something they do. It's not something they are. And I think there's a big difference there.
There's a bunch of stuff mixed up in there because the Instagram thing is something you do for. It's also it could be something you are for display versus who you are in the private moments of searching and thinking, struggling and all that kind of stuff. Instagram is a surface layer that much of modern society operates in, which is really problematic because there's that gap between the person you show to the world and the person you are in private life. And if you make a majority of your project, of the human project, of your sort of few years on this earth, the optimization of the public Instagram profile, then you never develop this private person.
But it does seem that if you do digital long enough, it's very difficult not to fall into like this has become. A personal journey or intellectual journey, because like if you get your ass kicked thousands of times, there's a certain point to where maybe it's like a defense mechanism, but that turns into some kind of deeply profound, introspective experience versus like exercise yoga.
Yeah. So let me let me go back first and address the Instagram point, which I think there's a difference between people who whose Instagram is intrinsically tied to their profession and they have to put a specific profile out there.
And I think in general. People who truthfully are their businesses tied to their Instagram profile? I want to exclude them. I think that most people Instagram is how they want to be seen, and that's not always congruent with who you are. But I think there is a level of dishonesty there. Yeah, like, this is how I want people to see me. I'm going to put all this stuff in my Instagram bio, but that's really not me.
And when you do that, I think it's it's a little disingenuous. And you're right, there's not you're never really going to marry those two things together and it gets tough. Let me sorry to interrupt. Let me push back on something. This is a good time to address the the many flaws of the great and powerful John Clarke.
OK, let's let's go there because it's interesting.
You strive so hard for excellence in your life and extreme competence that you are visibly and physically off put by people who who have not achieved competence, do you think we should be nicer to the people who are those, like you mentioned, person who first picks up an art, picks up, becomes vegan, starts crossed fists, are doing jujitsu for the first time and create that is there you know, they're struggling through this, like, who am I?
And they're really overly proud and it's kind of ridiculous. And you and your wise chair of Christine, many battled. Yeah. There you see the ridiculousness of that.
I tend to. I'm learning to give those folks not to mock them and to sort of give them a chance to do the ridiculousness, because I think I was that to let me first clarify, I want to be clear about what you mean when you say a level of competence.
Now, I I've never won a world championship. I've never you know, there are plenty of things in my life I have not achieved what most people would consider to be the penultimate level of success. Now, that's accomplishments, its accomplishments. It's ribbons, it's things like that. And it's not that those things don't mean anything to me. And the fact that I haven't in some arenas is is something that I want to change, which is we can talk about that in a second.
But I think that there's a difference between the very eager newb of whatever it is they're doing, who does the thing so that they can. Signal they do the thing that's the person I have less respect for, so we know each other primarily through jujitsu, look at the jujitsu tournament. There's this there's this idea that people espouse online, I respect anyone with the guts to get on the mat and put it on the line and sign up for a tournament.
That is the biggest load of shit I have ever heard.
This is great. You know, do you know how easy it is for you to put your name on something and pay the registration fee and walk in there? That's not the hard part. That's the easiest part. I don't care if you lose your first match, but I respect the person who signs up for the tournament, registers for the tournament, goes on a diet, loses weight the right way, trains their ass off and does the things properly and then goes on the mat.
The person who simply signs their name on the registration form and jumps on the mat. If they haven't done these other things, they actually have nothing to lose because what they've done is they've stepped on to the mat, in the ring, in the cage with a bucket full of excuses. Yeah, sure, you signed up. But when you but you're not really vulnerable because you didn't run. You didn't do this. You didn't do all the things you're supposed to do.
The person who. Eliminates every possible excuse and then steps on the mat and gets their ass kicked in the first round. I have so much more respect for that person than the person who does nothing. And maybe our natural ability wins a couple of matches and then, you know, writes on Facebook on how I lost to the eventual champion. That's worth zero. That's worth zero. And in that process, what did you learn about yourself? You learned about yourself that you've got a natural level of aptitude for whatever this activity is that you're doing.
But you didn't actually learn how to maximize it through training and through dedication and through all these other things. I'm I'm an incredibly interested novice musician. I love I like to play bass, but I don't put that on anything. And, you know, I stink at it. I would really love to be sick at it. I'm currently not. But like, I'm not running around, you know, talking about entering, you know, any of those other things.
Like, I do it. It's for myself and I want to I want to reach a level of competence in that.
So the person that you have respect for is a person who takes it fully seriously, takes takes the effort fully seriously. So for Bass, though, would be that you agree with yourself that you're going to perform live and just in your own private moments, your private thoughts, you're not going to give yourself an excuse out like I'm just going to have fun. This is a nice experience. You're going to you're going to think I'm going to try to be the best possible bass player given given everything that's going on in my life.
But I'm going to do my, like, actually and put it all on the line. And if I fail that that's not because I didn't try. It's because I'm a failure.
Exactly. And then sit in that sick feeling of like I'm a failure. But isn't that an important thing to know?
Absolutely. But there's a there's a. That's like the best thing that could be, but sometimes it's fun to lose yourself in the in the in the bragging, in the yeah. In the lesser ways of life. And I think I'm careful not to because too many people in my life. When I brought them would like a little candle of a fire of a dream, they would just go like, you know, they would just blow that fire out, that they would dismiss me because they see, like, you know, I would say I said I've said a lot of ridiculous stuff, but, you know, I've always dreamed about like putting I always dreamed of having this world full of robots.
And, you know, every time I would bring these ideas up there would be shut down by the different people, by my parents, by, you know, you know, then you need to first get to get an education.
You need to succeed in these dimensions. In order to do all these things. You have to get good grades. You have to. Ba ba ba ba ba. Like, there's all the stuff that it's indirect or direct ways of blowing out that little ridiculous dream that you present. It's like, you know, I remember sort of bringing up. I don't know. Things like becoming a state champion in wrestling, right? It's a weird dance because, of course, the coaches will tell they'll kind of dismiss that.
It's like, OK, OK, but at the same time it feels like in those early days you have to preserve that little little fire. That's Johnny. I don't know if you know that is a designer at Apple. He was the chief designer. He's behind most the iPhone, all that stuff. And he always talked about that he wouldn't bring his ideas to Steve Jobs until they were matured because he would always shit on them.
He would he wanted them to like little as the little babies, like, live for a little bit before they get completely shut down. And I always think about that when I see a beginner sort of bragging on Instagram. You have to be careful.
You let let them play with that little dream, you know, are you playing with a little dream that you're nurturing and you're trying to take that little flame and you're trying to create a roaring blaze with it? Or are you playing with the idea of it? And behind behind that, there's no substance.
What's hard to know the difference? That's what I struggle with. Is it? I don't think it necessarily is. Certainly you're wrong. And when I say Instagram, I don't want to impugn a bunch of strangers. But I have a gym with a lot of members, and I can tell you that the number of years I've been in the gym, when someone comes to me and says, this is my goal, I don't I don't tell them yes or no in general.
But I know I can tell by the way they say it to me, I can thin slice it. I've seen the look on people's faces. And when people start to like, say they want to do X, Y and Z, I don't right off the bat this person is either going to put an effort in or they're not going to put an effort in. So to me, it's about the effort behind that. If you're busting your ass and you're a Newt at something in your brand new, but you're working really hard and you have a series of, like, moderate successes in that, like that's the guy I want to champion, because that persistence in that grit over time, those successes will no longer be moderate.
They'll be huge. But the person who's having moderate success by doing nothing. Chances are they'll never learn to put that work in in the successes will never grow.
You have an admiration for Mike Tyson. I love him.
I was going to let that said for a brief moment why I think there's a combination of factors. One is like the timeliness of his career and like the age I was when he came to prominence, the raw, brutal violence and the raw, brutal honesty. When he speaks, I think it's easy for people to hear him or see his life and cast him aside as some and ask like just clean scourge on society. But when you hear him speak like this is not a guy who is unintelligent.
This is a guy who knows himself better than probably most of us know ourselves. It's disarming. And, you know, that's a humongous part of my admiration for him.
Who is Mike Tyson? Because it feels like there's similarity between him and you. There's a it feels like there's a violent person in there, but also really kind person. And they're all like living together in a little house. And you're the same. There's a thoughtful person, but there's also scary, violent person. And they're like having a picnic.
They're having a picnic. I think they're dialectical tensions. And everyone these like opposing forces that are constantly pulling at you and at different points in your life, like it's a sliding scale.
And I think that certainly when I was a younger person, there was a lot more manifestation of the violence and a lot less of the kindness. People who were not as close to me probably saw more of the violent side and only the very close people to me saw like what would pass for the car inside. And now that's sliding in the other direction. And I, I worry actually sometimes that there could be a situation where I need that, the old version of me, and he's getting further and further away and I can't call him up if I need him.
And that that concerns me to it to a certain degree.
The sad aging warrior seeing his good self fade away, but we still compete, is that that person returns, seems like for Mike Tyson, that person returned at the prospect of competition.
It returns, but I've learned I've learned better how to manifest it in competition in terms of like the effects that that type of emotion has on you physically in the middle of a competition. So I'd better learn how to utilize that energy. But I think another side effect of this is like having a gym where you're a bigger guy and you're the head instructor. You can't be as mean and violent as you once were because you're also now trying to run a business and you spend so long, so many, so many years trying not to be mean and to, you know, soften your your technique a little bit, that that all of a sudden just becomes who you are.
And I don't necessarily like that. I've been trying to reclaim that a little bit on the mat, but I think in competition. There has to be. An athlete really wants to score the points, a fighter really wants to incapacitate you and put you in a position where they can do their own bidding and the result in a jujitsu match might just still be two points. But the motivations are very, very different.
What do you make of Tyson on Joe Rogan saying that he was aroused by violence? Do you think that's insane? Do you think that's deeply honest for him? And do you think that rings true for many of us, others who practices in different degrees?
I don't I can't speak for a lot of people. And I think that it was a brutally honest statement by him. And I think it's something that even if a lot of people feel it, they're not that comfortable admitting it or saying it. But I think, like, there's there is great joy in, like, landing a flush right hand on someone's jaw and then watching them crumble. You don't even feel it. You ever play baseball as a kid.
You can hit a base, hit off the end of the bat and it was eating your hands because of the way that you hit it. You can hit a home run and you won't feel anything, you know, just feels so good in your hands. And that's I think that's like one of the the joys of physical contact when you do it the right way. And that goes for all physical contact when you do it the right way, the physical pleasure you can derive from it and the mental pleasure, it's it's unparalleled.
But that's different than me. And you draw a distinction. I'm not. I've had the fortune of being a wrestler. And I would draw a distinction between a very well executed and competition double leg, single leg takedown or a pin, there's some as an OCD person, there's something so comforting about a well executed pen because it's like two seconds and it's just like everything is flush and nice and like it's all clean. I mean, it's OCD person who likes the line, so it's just beautiful.
OK, that's good technique. Wrestling also provides you. Maybe more than other sports, the feeling of dominating another human.
Yes, of breaking no, not just of them being very cocky and very powerful, you feel the power of another human being and then you breaking them and like.
I'm not as honest as Mike Tyson, well, but that's that I don't think I've ever sort of looked in the mirror and said like that. That was I enjoyed that aspect of it.
But it certainly seems like you chased that.
So when I was a wrestler in high school, I lost so many matches because of over aggressiveness, like, you know, I would pick the top position and let you stand just so that I could do a mat return. And I wasn't trying to return you to the mat. I was actually trying to, like, drive you through the mat and through the ground. Like I took like, I it gave me joy to do that. Yeah. Like, it wasn't like I was trying to, you know, just return you to the mat so that I could pin you that what you just talked about, like the the dominating another person I used to look at that is you've got someone who in theory is equally trained and equally skilled as you are.
And you're you're absolutely out there totally dominating them. There's joy in that. You could get in an MFI and you could take someone down and you can mount them and all that feels great. But when you start raining down the punches on their face from Mount and like dropping your elbows and stuff, like there's another level of satisfaction there. And it's it's tough to describe. And I don't think that if everyone is made for it, when I was a I think when I was a senior in high school, my wrestling coach said, look, you've got to stop with all this crazy aggressive wrestling, like try to turn me into a technician.
And and and it did work to a degree. And it was a humongous shift for me in terms of success. But it wasn't the same level of enjoyment out of it. Like I mean, I got disqualified from New England as my coach said, cross face and cross face. And he said harder. And I basically wound up and blasted a kid in the face and his nose got busted everywhere.
But I didn't think not to do it because that felt good. It felt good to cross face him like that.
I was I was a lot of like, well, that's a weird American warrior ethos that I've picked up or else to have in me the the Russian the city of brothers that don't see it. I don't see it as that they don't get draw. They think that there is a tension between the art of the martial art and the violence of the martial art.
I agree with that poetic way I could put it. But they're not so fascinated with this. Dan Gable dominating another human. They think the effortlessness, the effortlessness of the technique and your mastery of the art is exhibited in its effortlessness, how much you lose yourself in the moment and the timing that just the beauty of a timing. Like there's much more like one example in July, but also in wrestling. You can look at the full sweep wrestlers in America and even judo players in America.
And much of the world don't admire the beauty of the full sweep, but a well-timed foot sweep, which is a way to sort of off balance, to find the right timing, to just effortlessly change the tape, turn the tables of men, dominate your opponent is as seen as the highest form of mastery in Russian wrestling.
And in the case of judo and in Japanese judo, it's interesting.
I'm not sure I'm not sure what what that tension is about. I think it actually takes me back to I don't know if you listen to our Dan Carlin hardcore history and Genghis Khan, if you've ever I read a great, great book on Genghis Khan.
Yeah, I'm I'm still trying to adjust most of my life, said Genghis Khan. But the right pronunciation is actually Genghis Khan. There is tension there. We kind of think, I don't know, we I kind of thought, as Genghis Khan is a ultraviolent a leader of ultraviolent men. But another view, another way to see them is the people who are warriors that.
Valued extreme competence and mastery of the art of fighting with weapons, with bows, with the horse riding, all that kind of stuff, and I'm not sure exactly where to place them on my sort of thinking about violence in our human history.
I think in a context of like combat sports, I think there's a difference between an athlete winning a contest under a certain set of rules and a fighter winning a fight under those exact same rules. There's a different approach to it, and I don't think one is any better than the other. Back in May, I think a great example would be George Nanpa. George Napier's a tremendous it's a tremendous athlete and he considers himself to be a martial artist. First, he's trying to win an athletic competition like Nick Diaz is trying to bust your ass.
Yeah, right. There's a different approach to it. And yes, they've had different results at the highest level of competition, but it's difficult to attribute the difference in results just to their approach to the sport, because there are different human beings with different abilities and different different physical attributes. This idea of brothers have that luxury of being able to talk about the beauty of a perfectly timed slide by right. There are other wrestlers that will never be able to pull that off and therefore they have to pursue other ways to defeat someone.
And maybe it is the Dan Gable breaking a man spirit by outworking him type thing, which is beautiful in its own way. But we we we tend to self select the ways in which we're able to be successful and then kind of take a deep dive into that.
What do you think is more beautiful brute force or. Effortless execution of a technique that dominates another human.
I think it's a subjective thing based on what skills you perceive yourself to have. I'm never I've never been a slick, super athletic, dexterous competitor in anything. And I've always been more of an I've got to outwork you. I've got to grind you. I got out Meenu and so because I've lived that, I tend to see the beauty in that more because I have a perceptual awareness that I don't have for the people who have the luxury of being very slick and athletic and, and, and using beautiful technique.
Now that said, there's a phenomenal little video. The other day I sent to a friend of a compilation of foot sweeps by Alioto Machida in May. And they're so beautiful and they're so awesome. And it's not that I don't have an appreciation for those, but I can't emulate those because I lack the physical ability to do that, whereas I at least have a chance to emulate some of the people who do it through grit and through outworking people.
But I would love to return to Genghis Khan and get your thoughts about like I have so many mixed feelings about. Whether he is evil or not, whether. The violence that he brought to the world and ultimately the fact that he had may be kind of like Dan Carlin describes cleansed, the landscape is like a reset for the world through violence had ultimately.
A progressive effect on human civilization, even though in the short term, it led to massive, you could say suffering, I don't know what to make of that man. What are your thoughts on Genghis Khan?
I think it's always difficult to look at a historical figure and their actions of their time through a modern day lens, because it's very it's easy for us to kind of, you know, impugn their achievements and the things that they did and say, oh, well, you know, what he did was wrong. Well, of course, that can be true. But a lot of times we don't actually have any real good context or concept of that. The times they were living in and what really was deemed wrong and what really was.
And we're looking at it through a very cushy, modern lens. That being said, from what I've read about Genghis Khan, yeah, he was a violent dude, but also he gave you an option. He when he when he got to a village, he said, look, I'm going to we're going to you have a choice. You can come with us or you can run. And, you know, he gave them an option to join his legion of fighters who he took very good care of.
You know, he was the first military leader to pay his soldiers families when they died. And he did that based on the the booty that they got when they raided a village. He took that money. He took his share, and they divided that up amongst the soldiers and then the soldiers families.
I think he also is credited with first like horseback mail routes or something like that. Right. Is he the godfather of modern postal system and something something like that?
Yeah, he's he's the Bernie Sanders of the the Mongol Empire.
I do think the the offering of surrender is an interesting one because. It's interesting, like because a thought experiment, whether you would sacrifice your way of life like the pride of nations or the nationalism pride of your country, whether you're willing to give that up.
For you to survive, it depends on who depends on you, if you have if you have a family and like young kids and stuff like that, I think your obligation is primarily to them. And therefore, surrender has to be something that you consider in that in that moment in time so that you can take care of those people. If you're a man alone and you've got like all these principles and all this other stuff and you just don't you're not down with what Genghis Khan is doing and what he's selling.
Yeah. Try and escape. Do your thing and just know that you know what waits on the other side of that for you potentially. But I think if there's someone else out there that depends on you, your obligation should be to them.
It feels like historically people valued principles more than life.
In this weight of like, what do I value more, the principles I hold versus survival? It seems that now we don't value principles as much principles could be also religion. It could be your values, whatever. We're OK.
Sort of sacrificing those for to preserve our survival. And that applies in all forms like actual survival or like on social media, like preserving your reputation, all those kinds of things.
It seems like we, especially in America, value individual. Light life, that death is somehow a really bad thing, as opposed to saying sacrificing your principles is a very bad thing and everybody dies and it's OK to die as to what's horrible is to sacrifice your principles of who you are just to live another day.
I think a big problem is people don't really even know what their principles are anymore. People, you know, social media and just the way that we live nowadays, where we're separated from the human contact like this, like we're not you're not contacting people in a community anymore. You're not whether you're religious or not. Like you're not you're not congregating at a church. You're not part of a parish like you would be like in, you know, down south.
You're not part of that community anymore. And so.
It's difficult to figure out what your principles and values are because you're constantly jumping from one bucket to the next online and you don't get a lot of like direct like reasonable feedback from people. You just get dipshit feedback like, oh, you don't believe this. What? You're a jerk.
I think the hard thing currently is having the integrity and character to stick my principles under. I don't want to equate murder of the Genghis Khan times to social media, cancer culture, but it certainly doesn't feel good when people are attacking on social media.
And it does take a lot of integrity to without anger, without emotion, without without being, without mocking others or attacking others unfairly standing by the ideas you hold or in another way. Standing by your friends, standing by this little group like Loyalty of the people, the you know, are good people, I find that in cancer culture, one of the sad things is whenever somebody gets, quote unquote, canceled, everybody just gets all their friends, become really quiet and don't defend them or worse.
I mean, quiet is at least understandable. They kind of signal that they throw them under the bus, I guess is one way to put it. And that's something I think about a lot, because from coming from me, it's like. I hold an ethic, I don't know if others hold this ethic, maybe that's like a Russian mobster ethic of like you should help your friends bury the body. You shouldn't criticize your friends for committing the murder.
Like there are certain levels of like, you know, yeah, you have that discussion after you bury the body. That's like maybe you shouldn't have done that murder thing. Right? I don't know. You know, I understand that that's a problematic with the terminology. That's a problematic ethical framework within which to operate. But at the same time, it feels like, what else do we have in this world except the brotherhood, the sisterhood, the love we have for a very small community.
But perhaps that's the wrong way of thinking. Perhaps the twenty first century will be defined by the dissipation of this community, of this loyalty concept, not all just individuals.
I think you're right. And I think you have to have some sort of core framework of principles and beliefs that you operate on. And I think when I was what I was referencing is a little bit different. And but to speak to your point, you need a framework of core principles on which you can then base a lot of your other decisions, like I believe these three things to be true, whatever they are. And that will help inform other decisions you make in your life as far as how you treat your friends.
I've got I've got probably three friends that if they call me right now and said, let's bury the body, sorry, Lex, I got to go. There are other people in my life that if they said, hey, we've got to go bury the body, I would say, who is this? You know? Yeah. So I think it depends on the relationship I want. That's a good it's a really good measure. I would love to have I would love that to be in your profile.
People like pronouns. I would love to put like. Honestly, like objectively, not self report, but objective, how many people in your life, if they committed murder, you would not ask any questions and you would help them hide the body? I would love to know that number four people.
Yeah, and I think it's a weird thing, too, because you think right away, like, OK, it must be the group of people that are the closest to you. That's who you're first thinking of. Right. But obviously feel like my best friend. I would do it, no question about it. But I've got other people that are close to me that are close to me in other ways. And I probably wouldn't do that only because I don't think they do it for me.
Yeah, and and that is a consideration. So I guess is the principle there then that you do for your friends what you think they would do for you? Is that the underlying principle or do you just have a blind loyalty to, you know, people in your life for different reasons? I got people that are not on my inner circle that I probably wouldn't help change a tire to in the morning if they're on the highway. But if they called me and said, hey, we got to bury the body, I might show up for that.
It's just these weird, different connections you had.
It's fascinating. You have close friends that like I probably. Exactly.
The tie is a good example of like, can't you find somebody else to do this? I think part of that is just this leap of faith, like giving yourself to the other person that creates a deep connection, that makes life fulfilling, like meaningful, that doesn't exist if you don't take that leap. I mean, it's not about the murder. We're sort of focusing. I think that's a I think you have to. What does it cross that bridge when you get there?
I'm not exactly sure. Is this just the thought experiment? But it's it's I think about that a lot, especially these covid times. And as like people become more and more isolated and separated from each other, like, how important is it to have those deep, deep connections to other humans? I think especially like what you're talking about. Have you ever seen the movie The Town? There's a great line in the movie where one of the main characters walks into his friend's house and he says, I need your help.
We're going to go hurt some people and you can never ask me about it again in the friend looks up and he says, Whose car was taken like that?
That is the type of person you need in your life. And the people like there are people that will walk through that door and say that to you and you drop everything you're doing. And then there's the people that walk you down. You're like, you know what? I got a hot pocket in the microwave. I'm a little bit I'm a little bit tied up right now, but I'd love to help you out. But, you know, I don't want to do that.
And you don't have that that deep connection with those people.
You mentioned some principles that you've changed your mind on. Is there do you want to go there? Is there some interesting principles and the process of changing that is useful to talk about?
I can't really cite a specific thing except that understanding that the principles that you have at different points in your life can change and it's OK to change them without being a total pussy and being bullied by other people into thinking what you thought was wrong. If you come to these conclusions of your own volition and you decide to change and that's great. And it can be really it can be really liberating. It's really liberating to have an idea that you hold so true to your.
Your core belief system. And then to actually have someone change your mind for you and be OK with it as opposed to being like, no, I got to die with this, I got to die with this, it's really. There are definitely your ideas. You want to die on that hill and no one's ever going to change your mind. But it's really liberating to be confident enough to say, change my mind. I'm lucky enough to have some smart motherfuckers around me who can tell me, listen, you're being a total dipshit, like, let's let's rethink this.
Or they gave one friend who does the five whys all the time and he loves backing me into a corner. And what's the five ways you just like when someone makes a statement about something to really get to the core issue. They say if you ask why five times make a statement, well, why is that? And you answer that why? And you phrase the whys differently, obviously. But then you get to the core. They say five times you can get to the core of the issue.
And that's a challenging thing. But I find later in life it's so liberating for me to be confident enough to be like, man, was I fucking way off the mark on this and have my mind changed and be able to say that to others that I was wrong totally.
That that ability and I never used to have that.
And it's it feels real good.
And there's a hunger for that, too. Yeah. You're so right. On a personal level, it feels very good. Exactly. As you said, it's liberating because you're free to then think as opposed to defend.
Yeah. Without thinking. Yeah.
You're so sick of defending the same thing over and over and over and you start to think about it and it's like, well yeah, I would really like to evolve my thought process here.
And when you're constantly defending, you know, one point, it's difficult to let other ideas in you. You discount the possibility that you can have your mind changed when you're constantly on the defense. You have to have a crack in the front line in order to let a new idea come in and possibly flourish. And maybe the new idea doesn't even prove your current belief system to be wrong. But maybe it's like the the water to a seed and it grows and now it's something even bigger and better.
Yeah. And you can you can start to work with that instead. And it's a it's a tough thing because I'm a stubborn fuck and it's very difficult for me. It was historically to say I was wrong about this one or I messed this one up or now I wish I could have that one back. There's a public figure for me thing to which there is there's a difference between changing your mind with a small circle of friends and changing your mind publicly about something, but it has equal one because the other, it is equally liberating.
But people people will not make that change easy.
But it doesn't matter. That's that's the point. It doesn't I think it's ultimately liberating as a human being, public figure and not to to think deeply about this world and to keep changing, which is like I think there's a deep hunger for that in the political discourse that people are so tribal currently about politics that they want to see somebody who says, you know what, I change my mind on this.
Right. And then keep changing their mind and keep asking questions. Keep showing that they're open minded, all that kind of stuff.
But would you want someone in a position of political power to change their mind because they realize that there might be a better way, not because they realize that by changing their mind, they're going to get a new demographic to vote for them. That's transparent. Nobody wants to see that, right? That's right. That's a person who can't separate their their position from their people. They're supposed to be. Yeah. And you can usually smell that.
That's we're just talking offline about there's something about Hillary Clinton where she talks about changing her mind on gay marriage that it felt.
Like, this is a political calculation versus like really deeply thinking about like what? You know, what things do we do in this world that violate basic human rights, like really thinking about deeply and you know, of course politicians are calculating, but you can see it. This is the thing.
That's why I like. Unhuman level, there's a political policies, but there's also humans, and I've always liked Bernie Sanders, for example, I don't know, not the leader, perhaps Bernie Sanders, but I used to listen to him back in the day and felt that people might disagree with me, but they felt like there was a real human struggling with ideas, whatever, agree with him or not. It felt like he wasn't doing political calculation. It was just a human.
He couldn't be further away from my political ideals. But also, like there's an obvious authenticity to his passion for what he's saying that is not present in other candidates. And you could see it all these people that have been in politics forever, like from all the way back when Hillary was a lawyer in the 70s. There's a couple of shots of her in a courtroom in the 70s, though. She's looking all right. She's got those big glasses on.
Yeah, kind of a little bit of a nerdy baby back in the day.
I mean, yeah.
Wow. John Clarke says Hillary Clinton was a baby back in the seventy three.
Yeah, that's an interesting question about authenticity and politicians. Do you think, like Hillary Clinton, just the Clintons are generally a good example of that. Why do you think they become over time so inauthentic? Is that the system that changes them? Is that their own hunger for power? Is it what is it? Or they or are they always inauthentic?
Well, first, I'd like to say that I don't know if you know this, but I come from a bit of a political dynasty myself. I was on a student government several times in high school and my dad won the runoff in a special election in Bradenton Beach, Florida. I think there's like 700 people there. So.
So your dad got you the job? Yeah. We're basically a lot of people compare us to the Kennedys. My guess with the politicians is that and you can you can see it now as we're becoming more like cognizant as people to the political process. I think the process corrupts people and I think that I don't know the ins and outs of it. I've listened to people who are far more educated on it than me, and I am unprepared to cite any of their points.
I think you can see it a little bit in Dan Crenshaw. Can I say this? Yeah. So I like him. I really like Dan, especially like a year, year and a half ago. He seemed very levelheaded. It's clear to me now that as he panders more and more to the right, it's because he's setting himself up for a presidential run. It's clear that that's happening and he just doesn't seem like the same authentic ideals oriented guy that he did a year and a half ago.
Now, I could be wrong on that. It could be way off. But I think that you can take someone as honest as you want to when you start them on that path to the presidency.
You become so unbelievably beholden to so many people and entities along the way. That by the time you get to the final destination, the Oval Office, all you're doing is paying back the favors that got you there and you never get to serve the people you're supposed to serve. Your primary focus is on your office and not on the people that you're supposed to be helping. I think that that's a humongous problem. And like we could talk all about campaign finance reform in the two party system.
But at the end of the day, the people who are running for political post, they're working to keep a job.
They're not working to improve the lives of the constituents, which is different. A long, long time ago, like a lot of politicians like those were like part time jobs, you know, and they held other posts. And, you know, out west, there were ranchers by day and sheriff by night, whatever the case might be. But now, you know, such a cushy path for the rest of your life that the goal is to just be a politician, not do the things that you think a politician is supposed to do.
And that's a problem.
By the way, I'll talk to Dan on this because it's funny. I like the version of him from a year ago, and I haven't been really paying attention. So I'll be I'll actually pay more attention now and ask him that exact question, like, how do you prevent yourself from changing, becoming what the Clintons became? I tend to believe, like this conspiratorial stuff about Clintons and all these politicians that tend to believe that there were actually good, thoughtful people back in the day at some point, and the system changes them on the same in the system.
There's something about just the process of campaigning, I just think it wears you down to where if you look at the percentage of time you spend on the kinds of conversations you have, it's like one you do these speeches which you repeat the same thing over and over and over. It beats the the process of thinking you exhaust your brain to where you're not thinking anymore. You're just repeating. It's very it's exceptionally difficult to keep making speech after speech after speech, saying the same thing over and over and over again and at the same time thinking deeply and changing your mind and learning and then also the pandering to financial like having phone calls, like fundraising, all those kinds of things.
That's what they do now.
They spend most of their time fundraising, aren't worried about anything.
Sorry to interrupt you, but I was going to say that you can see there's a future like the the more attention and the higher regard you're held in in your community and the more sycophants like continue to blow smoke up your ass, the more it changes the way you present yourself and you can see it in every walk of life. I mean, jujitsu is a tiny, tiny little section of the world, but you see it in the jujitsu community when someone all of a sudden starts a social media page or whatever, and they get a bunch of people like basically like, you know, cyber fellating them on their Instagram page, they think they changed the lady.
Is that a word? I think so. So giving fellatio. Yeah. So fellating. Yeah.
Jamie, look it up, I think. But in those people it changes their character never changes who they are because they become emboldened. And, you know, now they've got this like mythical cyber mob behind them.
There's a sign at the entrance to the gym there is for every moment of triumph. It's a quote by Hunter S. Thompson.
It reads, For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled.
What does this mean to you, that quote to me is about mostly about sacrifice. And it's about to achieve anything great or anything beautiful or to triumph, you have to have sacrificed so many things to get there unless you're the most unbelievably genetically gifted person in the world. And greatness is just, you know, falls upon you is just raining from the sky. I think on your path to greatness, on your path to success and triumph, you leave a lot of carnage in your wake, personal relationships, other goals, things that you didn't pursue, you know, other unfulfilled dreams.
And you kind of have to sell a lot of that out in order to be really the. At the peak of your field or or what you want to be, I know that that's happened in my life. I mean, there's tons and tons of relationships that, you know, couldn't survive. The way that I was living my life, because when I was trying to be a big time fighter or like when I was just training all the time, tons of relationships dissolve themselves naturally, some not.
So naturally, some people get it. Some people don't get it. Some people hate you. You missed tons of other opportunities. And I think that's kind of what that court means to me. It's about sacrifice.
It's about you're giving up what you want now for what you want more. And it's the the trampling of souls, it's messy, too, because it's not clear what. What's the right path is? Like that sacrifice is not obvious that those are the right sacrifices to make, you might be you might be ruining your own life, but the fact that you're willing to take that risk and sort of go all in on, whether it's stupid or not, to go all in on something.
That the the possibility of creating something beautiful is there, who says it's stupid if you're going all in on it? You don't think it's stupid? Someone else might think it's stupid, but, I mean, who really cares?
Well, I'm of many minds and many things, so I feel like there's certain minds, certain moods of the day where you think it's stupid. Like relationships is a beautiful one, which is. And you've seen the movie Whiplash.
It seems like in a man's life it could be a woman's. But I don't identify as a woman. So I know the man, the listicle 20 20 bro.
But my lived experience for now is that of a man we'll see about tomorrow. And there is. In the pursuit of excellence, there's often a choice of some of the souls that must be trampled, our personal relationships with humans in your life that you might deeply care about, it could be family, it could be friends, it could be loved ones of all different forms. It could be the people that your colleagues that depended on you, people who will lose jobs because of the decisions you make, all this kind of stuff.
It seems that that moment happens. And I'm not sure that sacrifice is always the correct one. Like to me, the movie Whiplash, where people haven't seen spoiler alert, maybe I don't even know if that movie has any spoilers, but there is a relationship with a female. There's a student, there's a drummer that's pursuing excellence of this particular art form of drumming. And he has a brief, fleeting relationship with a female and he also has an instructor that's pushing him to his limits in what appears to be awfully a lot like a toxic relationship.
And he chooses, not chooses. He naturally makes the decision to sacrifice the romantic relationship with the woman in further pursuit of this chaos, of this chaotic pursuit of excellence.
And it feel that doesn't feel like a deliberate decision.
It feels like a giant mess of like an emotional mess where you're just like kind of like a fish swimming against a stream just like, fuck it, you let go. Of all the things that convention says you should appreciate if you throw away the possibility of a stable life, of a comfortable life, of what society says is a meaningful life and just pursue this crazy thing full of toxic seeming toxicity with crazy people surrounding you, I don't know. So I don't know what the right decision is.
Part of my brain says you should stay with the girl. Fuck that instructor that's making you that's pushing you to go to places where it's like that are destructive, potentially destructive. I could lead to suicide. Could lead you to. Completely. Fail or fail in your pursuit of excellence or destroy the possibility that you destroy the dream, the passionate pursuit of the thing that you've always dreamed for. In that case is drumming. I don't know. I'm on many minds there.
Of course, the right thing to do.
So my first two thoughts, our number one convention. What is convention? It's like some laid out class path, some linear progression of the way your life is supposed to go, like, you know, that someone can draw a picture of at the end that just that first of all, it's just boring and whatever. And it's it's I don't want to say that it's cowardly because it isn't cowardly. But for someone who's not conventional, to not be nonconventional is cowardly to get sucked into the convention.
Second of all, I believe that scene in the diner in that movie where he tells her, yeah, you're in my way because I'm going to want to be with you or you're going to want me to be going out to dinner with you. And I know I should be practicing or I know I should be training. And ultimately, I'm going to make I'm either going to feel bad about not being with you by training or I'm going to skip the training to be with you.
And neither one is right. The whole thing that they don't mention in that is that that's the wrong girl. That's the wrong girl, the right girl is a gangster, the right girl says, oh yeah, you have your practice tonight. I'll leave you a sandwich and some milk so that you can, you know, outside the door. Let me know when you're done or you have some, like free time that the right girl compliments, that she's not an impediment in any way.
Even if what you want to do is be with her so much that you're putting the drums down and you're putting the bass down or you're picking up the pizza, or you're not going to training like that girl without even telling you why she's making decisions is making decisions to help you achieve your goal. Now, that might sound like some sort of like chauvinistic king of the castle type shit, like where everyone should cater to you. But the fact of the matter is.
That person is a complement to your life and helping you do your thing and in your own way, you're helping them to achieve whatever their goals are. Also, it's uncommon that you have two people under the same roof striving to be unbelievably excellent in one small area. It's not impossible, but it's uncommon. Like relationships have to be like binary systems, like to stars, like the gravitational pull is what keeps you together and circling around one another. Right.
And, you know, one is bigger than the other and they'll fluctuate and, you know, the stars will get bigger and they'll get smaller. And their contract based on positioning and, you know, composition, that's the way a relationship should be, not an asteroid coming in to disrupt. You know, you're the surface of your planet. It's a binary system. It's a compliment. That was the wrong girl for him.
So you shouldn't like the big unconventional dreams. Should not be adjusted to fit into this world because, I mean, there is a part of me that's like force, I thought, well, maybe you're just a dick, maybe maybe he cares less.
So, first of all, who cares?
This is up, by the way, is somebody who is you have you have recently gotten well, recently in the span of the history of the universe. As recently, you got into a relationship. You haven't always you have not felt the need to be in the relationship just because you're supposed to by society's kind of momentum.
If you I think that if you really want anything, you've got to be prepared fully to be the exact opposite. If you're a person who's looking for a relationship, the only way you're going to get in an awesome relationship is by being comfortable being alone, because that's the risk. If you're a person who's driven by money, you've got to be comfortable being totally poor because that's the risk. Right? And when you're when when you're when you're constantly hedging your bets, you never all in you never all in on the thing you're trying to do.
A relationship has to complement your life. You can't say it's OK to want to be in a relationship, but you can't want to be in a relationship so bad that you take someone in who fits the suit. And it's like, oh, our schedules kind of work out. You live near me. And that's not the other thing, because the logistics of a relationship are not always perfect. It's what matters is when the two people are together, that's the perfect part of it.
And. It's great to want to meet people and say if we meet and some sort of a relationship develops, I'm willing to run with it. But I'm not meeting you hoping a relationship develops. I think you kind of put the cart before the horse. And a lot of those situations, it's like when guys meet, like no guy goes out and is like, I'm looking for a bro, right. Nobody does that. You go to the gym and you run into a bunch of dudes and the next thing you know, someone's cool and they want to talk about fighting and you're fucking shotgunning beers and all of a sudden you got a bro.
And that's how it works. It works the same same way with what's the shotgun and beers. I'll show you after that.
And you poke a hole in the bottom and you open the top. Yeah, yeah.
This is the problem with America. Drink, drink vodka like a man.
OK, not don't poke holes in beers.
This is the problem with the frat culture. They don't really know how to drink. They think they know how to drink. They don't know how to drink. What do you think? Makes a successful relationship with rechanneling on that a little longer, like. Let me ask John Clarke about love. I didn't ask a question, but let me just say love. About love. Are you one of those people who never says, I love you? No, no, I'm an extreme person and like, my emotions are also extreme.
And one of the things I concern myself with maybe this is philosophical and martial arts warrior soldier type related stuff is like, I don't want anyone if I die tonight on the drive home. Hopefully that doesn't happen. I hope that no one is left questioning how I felt about them. And people I don't like probably are not questioning that, and so the the thing that I've had to learn how to do later in life is to tell the people that you care about, that you care about them and.
Each thing can be equally off-putting to the receiver of the message. Each thing can be equal when you're letting someone know how much you dislike them, that can be off-putting to the person receiving that message. And when you tell someone how much you care about them, they can also be off-putting to the person depending on how they view their relationship with you. But it's still important to get it out there like you shouldn't you shouldn't hold those things in because you're worried about how they'll be received or if they'll come back at you.
So you're OK going all in on these. Yeah, they're not afraid of commitment. No, I'm not afraid of commitment, anyone else is afraid of commitment is full of shit. You know what they're afraid of? They're afraid of commitment with that person. That's what they're afraid of, like, you know, one, when someone knocks your door, knocks you on your ass and they come into your life and you're flush with all these emotions you're not worried about.
Oh, I don't really like commitment. No, because they've knocked you on your ass. You want to be with them. You want those things that the two most alive points in your life. I think people feel as the euphoria of a new relationship and then and then the loss when that love is gone. You know, you'll never feel more, I don't think, than in those those moments in your life. See, the nice thing about the loss is it lasts longer.
Yeah, that's a Louis C.K. point he makes, which is like that, like in his show, I think is a conversation with an older gentleman that says, like, that's his favorite part of the relationship, is that period between the loss of the relationship and the real death, which is forgetting the person. But that period lasts the longest. And that's the the most fulfilling like missing the other person is as fulfilling as the actual like love the early infatuation, which is interesting.
I also think of the Bukovsky. I return to that. There's a little clip of him, an interview. Saying that love is fog that dissipates with the first light of reality or something like that. So basically emphasizing that it's this very, very, very fleeting thing, that it's a it's a it's a momentous thing. And then it just fades and everything else is is something else. Love is only a temporary thing, which is interesting. I think some people say that's cynical.
I don't know. I don't know what to think of it. I think it's important to understand that everything is fleeting when you don't put effort into it. Almost everything will be fleeting if you don't put effort into it. Most people will get fat and lazy. If you don't put effort into something, you're going to not be good at playing guitar or playing bass. You've got to put effort into it.
The same thing goes for a relationship that the the awesome part of it that like love part that dies soon and early on in a relationship because it's so good that we think we don't have to work at it. But you do. You have to like keep doing the things. You've got to keep things new and crisp and fresh. And, you know, when you when you. Different people probably feel differently about this, but like, I don't know, you walk around your girl and you start like farting and stuff, like that's when it all dies.
Yeah, that's when it dies. You know, we're all human beings. Well, you have you know, we're all here and our bodies work in the same way. But like, you start to chip away at this, like, beautiful thing when you when you stop. When you buck conventional courtesy and in things like that, we'll take it for granted and take it for granted. Yeah, I mean, it's the same thing with life. It's like it's the same.
I'm a big fan of meditating on death that you could die today in the same way you should meditate on like this relationship could end today. This connection with another human could be this is the last time you could you could be interacting and your your chances of that increased when you take it for granted and you shit on people.
But when you work at it, the chances of that decrease, it's not it's never going to be zero, but it decreases. And when you do that, when you're the person in your you're trying to maintain and you're trying to, you know, work at the relationship, you got to make sure that both people are working at it. Otherwise, you're just a fucking chump.
OK, let's return back to mixed martial arts. Let me ask the ridiculous question of who do you think are the top three, maybe top five greatest fighters of all time?
It's so hard to compare fighters across generations.
And maybe on one way to say it is, which metrics would you put on the table as to measure what a great fighter is? There was a guy named Dioxane APOs. And in the fourth century, and he was such a bad ass that in the Olympics in 336 B.C., no one even showed up to fight him in the PANKRATION event, nobody even showed up. He was fucking everybody up. Years later, he was retired and this crazy Macedonian dude came there at some dinner for, you know, Alexander the Great.
And once chillin, drinkin, you know, whatever they were drinking out of their chalices and his Macedonian dude.
Threatened them and challenged him, so Dioxane said, yeah, man, we'll throw it out and, you know, they set the time and the place Macedonian dude comes out like body armor, spear shield, all this other shit.
Dioxane just came out absolutely naked with a wooden club and took on this much younger guy, beat the living crap out of them and then put his foot on his throat and then didn't even kill him in a show of ultimate power. For the time, so I think there's something about the guy being naked, too, is just extra demeaning. Extra demeaning. Yeah, OK.
Can we rephrase the question then?
Because those are clearly going to be some probably forgotten warriors in history. Well, let's take you to like modern day mixed martial arts in the U.S., perhaps. Well, just mixed martial arts there. Who do you think of the top five of all time? What metrics would you consider in in trying to answer this perhaps unanswerable question?
I think one of the things you want to think about is the strength of opponent at the time you fought them. So, for example, fighting B.J. Penn in his prime and beating him is far different than beating B.J. Penn last year. Right. So to say you have a victory over Japan is not the same given the time frame of what happened. Not to take anything away from anyone was being B.J. Penn. Just use that as an example of someone whose career went into a different direction.
Yes, I would say.
The guy who I think is probably the best that people are the least familiar with would be Murilo Bustamonte. And I think he was a guy who was one of the guys are the first really good physical build for me, which I think is narrow from the chest to the back and long shoulder to shoulder and kind of sinewy, made out of steel cable. That was a guy who could box. That was a guy who could wrestle. And that was a guy who had great jujitsu.
I wasn't great kickboxer, but at the time he didn't need it, fought everybody and gave everybody Iran. I think he's probably one of those guys who's got to be considered.
Yeah, there's a few killers that never because a guy is in on the discussion because like, I think greatness requires both the the skill and the opportunity into each other.
And when you talk about a fighter, the other thing that really a good fighter needs to become great is a foil. Yeah. And so many fighters don't have a foil. That's one of the biggest attractions, I think, of early Mike Tyson's career. He didn't have a foil. He had no one driving. And by the time he did, by the time he had a foil and Holyfield, his career was in a different place.
But he's one of the greats all the time. And he never really had a foil. So his greatness was in an unparalleled destruction of, like, nobody.
Well, in not, you know, of lesser opponents. Right. And so when people debate the you know, the level of greatness of Mike Tyson, that's one of the things they say.
Like he didn't fight a lot of killers in their prime. I think you've obviously got to say in that conversation, I have a really difficult time keeping George St. Pierre out of the conversation only because he was able to beat you with anything he could he could out jab you.
He could out wrestle you, and he could he could submit you. The problem I have with Faida is his career also took a drastic turn towards the end. And when he was fighting in pride, he was doing a lot more grappling and then he just started casting that overhand right at people and his game kind of changed at that point. You can't take anything away from his greatness. But at that time, the great heavyweights were not really in fighting and pride and they didn't really exist yet.
And by the time he fought a really good one, Fabrício Vanillin, he did get submitted there.
Does his later performance color are your and our perception of his greatness in general about fighters?
Not mine. But I'm someone who's like intimately involved in the sport, but it colors everyone else's with Anderson Silva.
I don't think any of us want to fight like seven years or something or one like that's a guy who in his prime was one of the best fighters is in the top five for you?
I think he's probably in the top five, the greatest strike of all time or now in May. And mixed martial arts and mixed martial arts.
That's a tough question, the greatest MMR striker, because the timing. The we're talking about for sweeps, right? Yeah, who makes it look easier and interesting?
So I think in an incredibly short sample of his prime. It's got to be Anderson Silva, and I think you have to consider discussing Lyoto Machida for his unbelievable manipulation of distance. Yeah.
Which is something that people don't really talk too much about in terms of fighting, unless you're someone in the sport that is his use of distance and the ability to like what we call pop out, like make you miss by one inch so that he could follow your fist back in as you retract it and hit you over the top that.
That's a thing of beauty, Anderson Silva, when he became a counter striker, when he got to his prime in New York. That was a thing of beauty. I was a thing of beauty. So I think definitely those two guys and Maria Bustamante has got to be the third guy. There's just so many good guys now.
So where do you put in terms of metrics, you mentioned GSP and Silva. I think they have a large number of defenses of a title.
Is that important to you like this kind of consistent domination?
No, because it's two it's easily, easily manipulated by the people making money off the fights. So there is a great quote. One time when the UFC was coming to prominence and Vince McMahon from the WWE, he said, you know, the difference between what we do and what he does is that when we have a superstar, I can make sure he stays on top until he's no longer a superstar, because we have predetermined results. The UFC can't do that because they're actually having fights.
Well, it's true and false. You can't do that. But you can give your superstars the most favorable matchups to keep them on top for the longest. So people always talk about title defenses as if the guy they're fighting, the challenger, is always the person most deserving of the shot. And it's just not true. So I don't put much stock in it.
Is it possible to put a guy in in in consideration as one of the greats if all they had is one or two amazing fights? I'll tell you like and an amazing could be a lot of different definitions. It could be just a war like they never really reached the highest of excellences of domination, but they've. This is where there's discussion about Carlebach, the ACC, right up to me, that's a perfect example. He had this famous fight against BE.
Mohammad Sharapov. Where on one side you have an Anderson Silva type of fighter in the beat, like just a very good striker like and then there's like the warrior on the on the Kyle side.
And just the fight, they create something special together. It was fight or whatever. But the you know, that fight was special. On that night, because because the two dance partners, you can have a great performance without being a great fighter, not saying neither of those guys is a great fighter. But to answer your first question, I think that having one or two great performances does not necessarily mean that you are great when I need a larger sample size.
I have no idea what that is. I don't have any idea what that is. And also. Where how much weight does toughness have when you're thinking about the criteria, when you define a great fighter? That's that's that's a good question and I don't have the answer to it. I admire the underdog that rises to the occasion through brute force. They didn't have they didn't bring the skill set to the table that perhaps some of the greats have, but they rose to the occasion.
I mean, there's something about that.
There's something about that. And so now we're more talking about like the internal attributes as opposed to the external physical attributes. And those are the things I think that you cannot teach those things. You come in the door and you either have that or you don't. I think we talk about this all the time. And this is one of the things where my mind changes regularly, like what makes a fighter? Is it is it born or is it bred?
And this week I'm of the opinion that it's in you and maybe it's in your new suppressant and people can tease it out of you. But I don't think you can make someone who doesn't have that seed in there. And I think you can turn them into that great warrior with that level of grit and mental toughness. Now, when that fight. When Kyle Foote's beat a unique situation for both guys, it was kind of a later later replacement fight for Kyle to beat Star was on the rise and Kyle put the blueprint out there on how to beat to beat, which is which is pressure on him and try and drag him into the late rounds.
You notice that later on when Calvin Carter fought him, they wouldn't give him five rounds. They wanted five rounds in the boot camp, from what I understand, would not agree to the five round fight.
Well, he didn't look right. So with Carlos, a three round fight, ground fight and what did it want? A decision and went to decision to beat one.
The decision clearly, which did Kyle have a shot at winning a third round?
I don't remember the exact score, but Kyle could have won the third round. And he done a couple of things differently. But I do believe in the fourth round, I think Kyle would have won a fourth round and I think maybe even won the fight if there would have been a fifth round.
And he was pressing forward like perhaps, you know, in a funny way that you could tell me I'm wrong. But it felt like he wasn't emphasizing, like had movement at that point. He went for Mike Tyson.
There was a there was a point at which so it's funny that you say that, which is a contradiction, actually, because Mike Tyson, a great family. I actually don't know exactly what I mean. Because he was in the pocket, I think he was trying to do the movement, he was just in the pocket and pressing forward and like this fuck you attitude of just like that was a little bit later when the beats back was towards the cage.
So the we get that fight. And I said to Kyla's like, look, this kid has been training martial arts since he was three years old. There's not an area where you're going to out technique. And so we've got to now channel some of that grit that we know you have. This is an opportunity to showcase it. And I don't know how long I did it for, but because Kyle's much shorter than the beat. So for a good long while, while we're training for the beat, I didn't even say anything.
And I just had clips of Mike Tyson training on the TV in the gym and the head movement. And I didn't even mention it. And then we started to like get into it and talk about, you know, getting inside the length of the longer fighter and things like that. And we we kind of which when some people train them and they say, OK, this guy is a really good wrestler, let's think about avoiding the wrestling or being a better wrestler.
And I think that when the difference in skill is so great, those are both the wrong answer. If a guy has a really good wrestler, wants to take you down and you don't have a lot of wrestling experience, he's probably going to get you down if he's got a good coach. Right. So you have to deal with that to then say I'm going to then learn in eight weeks how to wrestle better than a guy who has been wrestling since he was eight years old.
There's also a bad idea. So what we concentrated on for that camp and it worked beautifully, was not getting caught. And chain wrestling, these are the takedowns you're going to get caught with. This is how to not get caught with the next step while you're defending, take down one, because it's the chain of techniques that are going to get fucked. Right. So we talked we did a ton of work on getups and breaking the hands from the various takedowns.
It was a while ago now. So I don't remember exactly the techniques we worked on, but we concentrated on defending the first takedown and stay out of the chain. Don't get changed into a bunch of wrestling techniques because you will be out wrestled. And that was really successful. And then the third round to beat was tired and he was tired. He said he got tired. He cuts a tremendous amount of weight. Yeah. Like I can't see him staying at one forty five forever when they start giving him five round fights.
I don't even know if he's on a five round fight. He may have, but I can't see him staying on these guys like six one. Yeah. Guys he's he's a giant of a guy. So Kyle pressed forward there and he said he felt that there is no power left in the beats hands. And so he felt fine. And I think part of it was he fed off the crowd as he moved forward and, you know, saw that.
He wasn't taking a lot of damage like the punches weren't Sam, he started walking right through them. It goes to your question of what makes a fighter, was the him walking forward like that? Something that you're born with or is that something your training is that that the Mike Tyson and born with that Kyle is born with that. And the crowd I've been in was in Boston, knows in New York, is in Brooklyn. I've been in a lot of arenas for a lot of different sporting events.
That's one of the loudest things I've ever heard. When he did that, I was going crazy.
And you ask about that being like taught or not, Kyle is so much like that that I have to try and tease some of that out of him like that, because he's also so very technical when he wants to be here that the emotion and the fun of it gets in the way of his technique and probably has cost them a couple of a couple of wins. And so that's one of the things we work on with him right now is like staying within yourself, being a professional, you taking your time to download the information in round one and then starting your fight in round two.
But the tension between those two things is what makes what happened that day created one of the in my opinion, one of the greatest fight I've ever seen. Joe Rogan agrees.
Yeah, it's one of the greatest fights I've certainly ever seen. So, like, it's funny that you as a coach, I can see the frustration of like like throwing away some of the strategy kind of thing, like you seeing like being not happy that there could be things that he could have done to win the fight.
It's in retrospect, I think, that at that time we were playing with incredible house money and Kyle was a gigantic underdog in that fight. The beat was unstoppable. I think people were probably picking him to finish the fight in round one. I think at that point, no one had ever gone the distance with the beat and no one certainly had, you know, put that kind of performance together. And I think Kyle Kyle put the blueprint out there.
And in retrospect, when I look at the last round, yeah, there were things that could have been done differently. But we're playing with house money at that point. Like, I mean, let it fly. You get to a point where you've got it. You're down three rounds and there's 20 seconds left. You got to move all your chips to the center of the table and, you know, see what happens with Joe Rogan said about it.
I remember like, he got one over. I think I have trouble remembering because I finally talked about that fight. And he's exceptionally impressed by I mean, Joe's from Boston. So it's like, yeah, I mean, there's a story there, OK, it sucks not you naturally want to romanticize, like there's a rocky versus like this.
All right. I'm for it rather. I mean, similar, I suppose, kind of chemistry.
Kyle's style represents the American ideal, right? The spirit.
Yeah. I mean, he's from the starts like you could have you could have dragged him off the dark side three hours before the fight and said, hey, you want to go fight? He would have said, yes. Yeah. And that was a special fight. But that's as per a discussion of, like, greatest fighters of all time. I tend to believe that that fight is more special than the champ.
The championship belt defenses by George Temper. Like, you know, there's something to that. Like Rocky, the Rocky One is more special than like Rocky three. But so, yeah, it's that, yeah, the underdog or whatever, like the dance partners are going to war in that moment and it's bigger, it's bigger than any individual fighter. They create that and that. I know it's not perhaps good for a career. It's not good for like in terms of money, in terms of longevity, in terms of all those kinds of things.
But that's a special moment in the history of fighting that you both created.
I can remember, like right after like there was so much excitement in the air during the third round. And I remember being in the corner and like, I was so excited at the end of it that I had forgotten what happened in the other two rounds. I didn't even know. And I looked to Tashaun when the other cornerman and I think I said to him, did we win? When you watch the fight, clearly we didn't win the fight.
I mean, we lost the other rounds, but I got so caught up in that moment in and I just remember, like, I was so in awe of his performance that, like, I forgot what was going on. And I and it's so hard to not be a fan at that moment and to stay within yourself and try my coach. But then what the fuck you even coaching at that point? It's like we're rumbling. We got 30 seconds.
We're trying to win here. And I remember, like, the performance itself, I'm not a fan of moral victories, but if ever there was going to be one that was won and when the fight was over and I grabbed Kyle, like they hadn't even been to the center of the cage yet. And I just hugged him and I said, you're my fucking hero. And I remember being very emotional about that. And I was able to be a part of that.
It feels wrong to say, but I was I kind of avoided saying it. But I think if I'm being honest with my feelings, this is a safe space for feeling. Yeah, it's I think it was the greatest mixed martial arts fight I've ever seen. And I don't think I'm being biased. I was honestly thinking, like, am I being biased? I honestly don't think so. I think that was the greatest fight. Like, if you want to rank fights I've ever seen, I think to me that was the greatest fight ever seen.
It certainly was a one of the greatest displays of like just dogged effort from an underdog who was out experienced and in probably outsized. But I mean, like you just Kyle is one of those kids. You're never going to tell him he's out of a fight. He has something you can't teach. And I've seen tons of people with more physical attributes and they're just mental midgets and they got a million dollar body and a fifty cent heart and. And in Kyle is not that.
Yeah. And you can't teach it no matter what you do. But that was, I would say, like my career in combat sports, which spans, you know, all to go all the way back to like wrestling like that was one of probably the greatest experiences I've been a part of. It's a bittersweet sport, she's a fickle mistress. Yeah, I mean, the the tragic aspect of that is. Like, I guess Kyle lost. Right, right.
So, like, if you look at the record and all the kind of things, perhaps like you look at the career, maybe like as a financial from a financial perspective, that perhaps is not the greatest thing for his career or that or in the history of the UFC.
Perhaps it's not it's not, you know, like maybe many people didn't even watch that fight. But it was a special moment that stands in the history. There's not many of these in in the history of fighting.
So but at the end of the day, when you look at someone's career in the UFC like. Financially, there's a, you know, a handful of people that make real money, everybody else makes nothing. There's a handful of people that make real money. So did that loss cost him in the in the near term? Sure. But when you look back on your life, you're not going to look back on that loss as something that derailed my life financially and I never recovered from it.
That's not going to happen. The sad thing is, unless you were a champion and, you know, most most people are going to be forgotten right after they're gone. Most people will be forgotten. And if you're not forgotten, certainly your your accolades are going to be misrepresented. Either they're going to be inflated or diminished one way or the other. So looking back on it, it's just so hard to to quantify that. But it's an experience.
And like when you're in that moment and you're one of the people, like, intimately involved in it, the value of that experience supersedes any financial gain. Where would you put KABB in the discussion of the greatest of all time? So you recently we were together. We watched the fight.
Of him, and just in case you and I could be retired, would you put them up there as some of as one of the greatest, or did he never truly find his foil that like the great warrior that challenged him? And and maybe what do you think? He's fully retired now to answer the question about being fully retired?
I don't have any idea. I can't for a second pretend to.
I think that I understand the way that people from that part of the world think and respect their family and things like that to an American who says, oh, I promised my mom I wouldn't do it. I mean, I promised my mom I wouldn't do a lot of things. I went right fucking back door and did them. But I think that that means something different to people in different parts of the world. So I have no idea what kind of weight that carries.
So I can't answer that. I can say a lot of times when people think about great fighters, they think about the aspects that make up may like they think of me as a pie. And there are all these different pieces that make up for make up the pie. And how good is this piece and how good is this piece and how good is this piece when the fact of the matter is, is. You only need one really, really, really good piece and the other pieces are complementary pieces to get you to where you're the strongest.
And if you want to tell me that could be not the greatest enemy fighter because he doesn't have really slick striking, you can make that argument. But what I can tell you is covid has good enough striking to get him to his grappling where he is clearly the best guy at 155 they've ever seen. Yeah. So does that make him the greatest fighter at that division or not? To your point about the foil, they want to Connor to be his foil and he just manhandle them.
I mean, they wanted that to happen. Did not happen so.
Well, there is a kind of argument to be made, which we kind of not you get haters in this argument and you're going to be one of the haters, because I know your hasher put a lack of admiration for Conor McGregor.
But, you know, what is it? Football's the game of inches. Yeah, there's there's a sense where you know that, Conor, there's an argument to be made that Conor wasn't exactly dominated, that he ended up being dominant, meaning, let me phrase it differently, is there's a lot of points in the fight that it could have a different trajectory. Right. Could have happened. So he wasn't so far from having a chance at winning that fight.
It's just the end. You can focus on the most important moments at the end. You lost the most important moments, right. But the road less taken. It could have been if he didn't lose those very important moments, he had a chance. I'm saying out of all the people that we fought, it's arguable that Conor was up there of the people that had a chance.
Let me say this first. I get so much heat for this. I love could be a huge could be fan because I'm a grappler first and foremost, Neetu, because I'm also Russian.
I love could be calm down.
OK, but when when when Connor came on the scene, I loved Connor because I'm an Irish American and you know, I want to support him and things like that. And he was he was good fun.
He he got to be for my personal taste. You got to be too much of all the people could be his fault.
I would never fight Connor again if I were him. And here's why. And I said this about the Diaz fight. Nate Diaz, who was one of my favorite fighters, has fought the exact same fight for 12 years. Connor will switch something up to give himself an edge. And I believe that Connor would figure something out and fight number two, I think. But I also thought that Gaige you would give could be problems where it wouldn't be a matter of I'm going to out Russell could be EBE or become better at defending his wrestling takedowns.
Connor would have figured out a way to not get wrestled. I feel like he's constantly changing. He's constantly evolving. And whether or not people realize it or not, I think Connor is one of the better overall athletes. And I'm just from looking at his body and his movement and the way he's shaped, he's got a very tiny waist. He's got really pronounced glutes and shoulders. And I think he's a real athlete, whereas a lot of guys have him and they're not for real athletes.
They're just good at one of the things that makes up me. I understand what you're saying about if this happened, if that happened. But I mean, you could say that about every single combat sports event ever. If Spinks Hook Landuyt landed on Tyson, maybe that fight didn't end the way that it did. But you know what? It didn't. You have to.
Right. But if we could talk about just kind of MacGregor for a second. I can't wait to get your fan mail or hate mail speak to the innovation of Connor.
I don't hear very many people making this argument, but is it possible to make an argument that Conor McGregor is one of the greatest fighters of all time?
It's an interesting argument and the problem, the only problem with the argument is there's so much emotion on either side.
Yeah, I had a conversation sorry to interrupt with Yaron Brook, who is a philosopher Objectivist and which is the philosophy of Ayn Rand. And the amount of emotion around that particular human is fascinating to me. It's similar to the amount of emotion around Donald Trump. You can think of different personalities, maybe Elon Musk.
Those are the people that aren't willing to have their mind changed. They're too emotionally attached to the argument.
Yeah, but it's weird that why do we why why some people inspire so much emotion and others don't. Because McGregor. I feel like.
Nobody's able to have a calm like fight analysis of the guy like look to me as just a fan of martial arts, like I studied judo. I love watching just hours of Olympic judo and appreciating the art form. Like I forget the humans involved teleprinter whose have you heavyweight the most probably the most dominant heavyweight in the history of judo, just starting his gripping, just the art of it. And who cares if they're shit talking to me? I put all of that aside and just look at the art and like what I really appreciate about Connor McGregor is his innovation like of movement, of maybe it's romanticized.
Maybe you can correct me if I'm just a Cheeto eating fan of mixed martial arts.
But like I, I seem to detect more innovation than almost any other fighter that I've paid attention to in Conor McGregor.
I think first to answer in two parts, I think well, I'm not going to answer the first part of the comment because you didn't ask the question. What was the question?
I don't even remember much about the how Conor McGregor fans are very emotional and Conor McGregor detractors are very emotional. I think fans become very emotional. They become cheerleaders of someone like Conor McGregor or Donald Trump because they see that person exhibiting the qualities that they themselves lack. And so they become cheerleaders for that. Right. And I think that for the most part, people who are detractors of Conor McGregor's, they're not really Conor McGregor detractors. They're detractors of Connor supporters.
There's a belief that they have with the people in that bucket, like there's not really a problem.
And that applies probably in our current political climate. Right. Donald Trump with the left and the right there, it's more about like they they actually don't like on the other the caricature, the most extreme versions of what they see in the supporters of the other side. Yes, good point. But I think the more interesting thing is that the fighter himself. So let's put the supporters aside.
I would I would say that, you know, what some people know and some people don't know is that Connor's base is in karate and the karate style of Conor McGregor, Stephen Thompson of Lyoto Machida, that type of distance management. A lot of times we think as martial artists, we think that the sport version of the art we've chosen to pursue somehow taints the authenticity and effectiveness of it. But karate is what led to that in and out distance management style of koner of Leotta and of Stephen Thompson.
They all kind of use it a little bit differently, but they use it very effectively, all three of them. And that comes from a world of trying to kind of like step in land contact on you from my point, and then get back out before you can counterstrike me. Right. And that's where that comes from. Conures blessed to have longer arms than someone has probably normally has in his movement is just so fluid. He's so athletic with the henges of his body, the knees and the hips and the swivel of his body, which is also the hips and the shoulders, his movement, his distance, and the way he sets people up for the straight left hand while you're circling away from it.
And he can still land it, which is what he did to Chad Méndez hit him with a straight left while he was circling away from it. That is something that is very beautiful to watch. And sometimes people see the kicks and they see all the flashy snap kicks in. The Sidekick's all that stuff is doing is setting people up for the left hand. It's all it's doing. It's you're corralling people, you're funneling people, you're leading the dance and you're bringing them to a spot where, you know, you can land that left hand.
And his ability to do that is masterful. People constantly shit on his ability to grapple. And, you know, because a couple of his losses have been to jiujitsu guys or grapplers. But they are really good guys, like anyone who's going to sit here and tell me Conor McGregor is not a good grappler. Go Grappler. Yeah, let me see you grappling to that point. I'll also say a lot of people will use Conor McGregor's garden sweep on Nadiya's as evidence to his high level grappling in that fight, to which I would also counter Nadiya's didn't fight that off because he knew he was so much better at jiujitsu off the bottom.
He didn't even care if he got swept. So it's kind of McGregor innovative. Absolutely. Is he one of the best fighters ever? It's tough to say, because he's such a cash cow that he was fed people. I firmly believe no one who who put that Conor McGregor could be put together thought could be would win. Wow, I remember so at that time, it was not completely clear there is a myth of the great could be. I wasn't completely clear how good is he really.
So that's interesting. And it was unclear how good as Conner also. Right? Like what?
Because because I think to me, maybe part of my admiration, Conor McGregor, is rooted in the fact that I thought there is no way he beats Jose. Aldo. And I thought there's no definitely no way he beats Eddie Alvarez.
And so, like, when he did, I was like I had to like I think my brain was like like there's something broken.
It was like shut down. Like I'm windows. I have to rethink this. Like, this is a special human that people who argue he's not even in the running of like top 20 is you know, if you look at the number of defenses, for example, of his body had very, very little bit like to me, I'm one of those people is back to our discussion of like, do moments make great fighters that I think just being able to be Jose all donors, I would argue in his prime.
Some people disagree in this. Uh. In a way where he figures out the puzzle, gets in his head the entirety of the picture, and then to be I mean, any others, would he be considered a really strong wrestler like that or not?
Not strong wrestling, strong striker and wrestler, the whole combination of it. And also, what's the other wrestler he fought?
Mendez. So let me comment on all those, if I may. So I was at the Chad Mendez fight live. Yeah. And there was a jujitsu tournament where out in Vegas. And so my best friend came out and we got some tickets. That night was supposed to be the first out of sight out there. Got hurt like right after I bought the tickets, they pulled Chad Mendis in. He was a little bit out of shape. Whatever.
You still got to fight the fight, but. I don't I don't want to use that fight as evidence to Conor's greatness because, you know, they pulled Chad Méndez in. He was like hunting and drinking beers in the woods was a little out of shape. Yeah, but if you want to talk about greatness like that surpasses your inner ring accomplishments. I was in the stands that night and. The people that came from Ireland to see Connor fight that night single handedly set the market for hotel room prices and airline tickets to Vegas that weekend, these motherfuckers were all dressed like Connor in the stands.
They had wool suits on and big beards and the whole thing. I mean, they were pocket watches. Like, I never saw more people trying to be someone else. I never saw more people try to be someone else. I mean, there's a level of is there a level of greatness in that? I mean, I don't know how to, like, pass all that out.
You're somebody who doesn't admire that. I love that in the sense the following sense. I think people don't seem to hold this belief at all. But to me, fighting is not just this isn't like a quiet street fight that nobody watches. This is also a spectacle. This is also a story. Right? There's like there's a professional wrestling element to this. This is not like you think it's just a bar fight.
If it was just about fighting, you wouldn't I mean, there's a story to it. I guess you're right. Trying to get to greatness has to incorporate the people that criticize. Again, I might be wrong on this, but I honestly think that kind of MacGregor not nearly as much as Beeb, but he is a true martial artist.
I think he respects his opponents despite the talk, if maybe I'm misreading it.
But it feels like he is a storyteller like Celle son, and type of like he's constructed this image to to to play the story just the way he acts after the fight, the honor he shows his opponents. Yeah, there's a real martial artist in there.
And to dismiss the fact that the the story of the fight is part of it, because he doesn't just talk this what people don't seem to understand. He's good at talking.
Very good. And I'm and I'm with you on basically everything you said. I think that there's greatness to that. And I think that he understands how to sell a fight. And I think. What he did to Jose Aldo by getting in his head, helped him win that fight. He insulted José Algo and his country so much that he knew Aldo was going to come forward right into that left hook.
Was that for in Brazil, by the way? Do you remember? I don't recall. He insulted all of Brazil, but I'm not sure. Yes. In Brazil. But when he tried to do that, it could be you could tell that he just was not going to get in, could be upset, could be was unflappable. But there is there is definitely something great about how he moves people. You know, the Irish are like I mean, Connors walk out music for people from Ireland of Irish descent, like that shit is like very deep.
Yeah, you know that. It's very emotional song.
I was, to be honest, a little bit upset with Abebe that he didn't rise.
I admire that entire culture, but there's an aspect to where he could have risen to the occasion of there's the same kind of depth of love of country that Russia has and is there in Dagestan. Dagestan is a little weird in terms of like but he could have, especially with Putin's support, where for a bit the full Russian hat.
Right, of like this is the great nation, like rise above the the culture of Dagestan, which is the small town boy with small town values of family, all those kinds of things.
There's a moment where you inspire entire nations like the step up and be the foil to the to the great Conor McGregor work.
The where also could be becomes the foil to like both of them, of the fall to each other and become like that fight was already a great fight. Right. But it could have been something historic, Ali, versus I mean, it could have been really historic. And I would argue. I guess the biggest disappointment I have, and I understand it and I also honor as a martial artist, but to I'm disappointed that could be doesn't seem to even consider the possibility of doing in Moscow flight number two.
So and because that could be narrative wise if they do it right. That's one of the could be one of the greatest fights in history.
I think in terms of Kebede and inspiring a country, is it possible that by staying true to the values that he had his entire career and getting to the the zenith of of his art form and still doing it in that humble way, isn't it possible that that inspires.
Yeah, 100 percent. So I should I should clarify that. I think they're just hearing from people from my my fellow comrades now is they love that.
They love the love that. But they. There's also a brash beer chugging, shit talking thing that people really like about Connor, and I do love that.
But the beautiful narrative would have been the clash, the real clash of those cultures.
So Kobe chooses to live the culture by walking away. There's also like a clash of them sort of walking, not walking away from the fire, but walking into the fire of this of this brashness.
It's the sort of. The cool collected like calmness of the Dagestan people, I think you were talking about the city of brothers, so they just view it totally differently. And, you know, there are stereotypes about the Irish where there may be potentially a louder and more boisterous culture.
And I've heard that. Yeah. And I mean, I thought they each played their part perfectly. And all those things that you're describing could have happened, maybe could be steps up and he carries the proverbial flag, so to speak, for a nation of people and they go to battle. But the fight, if it plays out the same way, is still the fight. Yeah, and it was a it was an OK fight. It wasn't a great fight.
It was you know, the fight was OK. Yeah. And I think that, again, I don't have any idea what could Beeb's obligations to his family. Ah, I don't I don't think either of those guys, you know, is want for more money to do another fight is just a legacy thing. It's just about, you know, fulfilling some some part of a legacy. And I just I admire the possibility of a great legacy that is bigger than either of the fighters.
I think what could be he kind of he's not as concerned about legacy, I think. Right.
There's your promoter's dream because you want the rematch. And the only thing that makes more money than the rematch is the trilogy. You guys split the split, the rematch, you hope Connor wins and then you have the trilogy fight and now you're all in.
Yeah, yeah, I can't get in to Kibitzer Head, but I know Putin just the game, the entirety of it, especially at the time, especially if it was Trump as president.
If he was present at the time and and Putin and in Russia and just knowing how masterful Connor is at like Cascara would would be a different koner, I think it would be a calmer corner that there would be a different light because you don't want to be over the top corner with the Russian people, right?
No, it's it's like that's that was the episode in the hotel in Brooklyn when some of the Russian guys confronted Artem and then Connor came over.
It's not but the danger of that, I mean, there is the element of just like real danger and the real almost of war.
It's I don't know what it was like when when when Charles Sonnen was talking so much smack that maybe was against Vandalise Silva. I don't know. And one of those fights where they just don't think who's going to make it out of Brazil?
Yeah, yeah. The Americans don't get it.
Yeah. People take some of that shit in different parts of the world very, very seriously.
Yeah, but that's what makes it beautiful. That's that's what makes a great story. And I think fighting is very much about the stories, not just about the the particular outcomes of a fighter, the skill set matching or like the chess of the of the fight. It's also about the story of the greater context of societies of warring.
We're like warring cultures. We are still we still go to war.
We're no longer can have great big hot wars between nations because of nuclear weapons. This is our wars that we can have. And, you know, in some sense, I feel robbed of the great war that could have happened.
It doesn't mean there aren't lots of wars going on. But yeah, the big one is not going to happen. There's too much of a balance of power with, you know, nuclear weapons and technology and stuff.
But it's not the end of war. No.
Do you think there's always going to be war?
I think there'll always be war, especially in underdeveloped parts of the world.
Isn't there always underdeveloped relatively parts of the world? Yeah.
I mean, at some point, though, you'd think I mean, the way that, you know, technology is expanding and we're bringing technology to weird parts of the world that you wouldn't think of as technologically advanced, the way that the Chinese are inhabiting certain areas for mining purposes and things like that. I think underdeveloped parts of the world will get developed quickly.
I just wonder, like what the nature of that war might be. It could be cyber and it could be all those kinds of things. I think in developed nations it's going to be cyber. I think that's probably the next phase of war. But I mean, I think you talk about parts of the world like the Middle East, and it's just still going to be warring tribal factions. We can't even begin to understand what those people are fighting about over there yet.
Yet everyone sitting in America on their couch has an opinion like you can't even begin to understand it. I sure can't.
Yeah, it's back to the principals discussion when when when what's violated is much deeper than just kind of anything we can, even in a middle class existence, can't even comprehend.
A lot of times American soldiers will go to war because that's what they're told to do. And they maybe they disagree with the orders and maybe they agree with the orders. But I get a sense that people in the Middle East fighting all believe in what they're fighting for. It's not it's not a thing where they're told to go do it. I believe there they really believe that what they're doing is the right thing and they're defending some sort of principle.
Are you generally optimistic about the future, speaking of war for human civilization, do you think we'll like you know, people talk about the Fermi paradox and asking, why haven't aliens visited us if you believe they haven't visited us? You know, one of the thoughts is that there's a kind of a great filter that intelligent civilisations reach, a point where it destroys itself naturally. So that's why we haven't seen them. They don't last very long.
That does seem to be a kind of we seem to be advancing faster and faster and faster. We keep developing more and more powerful ways of destroying ourselves and all kinds of ways, not even, you know, to just even to say nuclear weapons alone. But there's all kinds of new ways. Engineered pandemics, nanotechnology, ajai. All those kinds of things, it seems to be that the argument that we. I was going to destroy ourselves was some kind of creative way very shortly, is not too crazy of an argument to make.
Are you more optimistic or pessimistic about the prospects of human civilization and maybe the twenty second century? Like, is it possible that your generation is the last generation to be alive on Earth?
No, but I wouldn't say that five generations from now that won't be that. That could be true. I guess I think of it really selfishly. I'm a big believer that when your time here on Earth is over. The overwhelmingly vast majority of people will be forgotten within 12 calendar months. People with no family will be forgotten sooner. And so I don't give a lot of thought to what will happen to Earth or mankind when I'm gone. I give more thought to maximizing my time here now.
And I want to do it in a way where I don't I'm not overtly hindering the future of civilization or humankind, but I'm definitely taking a me first approach to how I live on Earth, a philosophy behind why you have or don't have kids.
On this topic, because for many people, when they have kids. There's a sense it's almost like a genetic sense or something like that, where all of a sudden you do start caring about what happened five generations from now.
I mean, I think I'm just too selfish. I mean, I'm that's I think that's the easy answer. Like, I know that your whole life has to change. You know, your your your focus. Everything shifts and just want to do. And also, like, I think that there's a level of I I guess if I have to like, really unpack it, there's probably a level of lack of hope in the future. Like, I don't think it's I don't think the world and humanity's going in the right direction.
What is the right direction look like? I think the right direction looks like people coming back together and in a more impactful human way in person touching, feeling, talking face to face.
So all the things you're describing is what we had, as you mentioned before, when you were like a teenager. Yeah. So the state of the world. But that's because your mind was formed then? It very well could be. It very well could be.
It's very possible that the virtual reality was that will create will be actually a much higher level of existence. In fact, like now we're getting we're moving slowly away from tribalism.
Perhaps you could argue the ideas of nations and we're going we're moving into the realm of ideas. And it could be a higher form of existence where we're sort of moving past the constraints of our vehicles into the space of our minds.
It depends what you value, because when you sit here, you talk about it, you know, and you're talking about these things in these humongous levels on these macro levels. Yeah. And I don't think a lot of people view it that way. I think a lot of people view it as like what what kind of pizza am I getting tonight? Yeah, like, it's a it's a much different outlook. And sure, the the virtual world that's on the horizon, I'm sure it's got benefits in what and will help people.
But is it going to help the things that you find valuable? Like is it going to help commerce? OK, sure. Is that the thing you find the most valuable? Is it going to help communication? Well, it will help disseminating information. Is it going to help explain the information you're disseminating? Probably not. Is it going to hinder interpersonal communication? Absolutely. And those are things I find valuable interpersonal communication, talking to people I like.
It saddens me when I go into a restaurant and there's a five year old kids who like, you know, slamming away on an iPad and can't make eye contact with anybody or teenagers who don't say please and thank you when they order from the waitress like that to me is wrong. That shit's wrong. And I don't know this for a fact, but I do attribute that to, you know, using technology as a crutch when we're raising raising kids.
Yeah, you know, I think those are those are things that I find valuable. I try to empathize.
I mean, I agree with you as a person who grew up in a certain age, but like prior to the Internet, I suppose, but or at least solidified the early philosophies of the way I see the world prior to the, uh, during the time of AOL, let's put it this way.
Uh, what was your aim? screenName?
I never had one. OK, dude, I was the last person I knew to get a cell phone. I was so anti all that stuff because I just felt like I didn't want to be a part of it. I did not want to be a part of it. I joined the underground forum about M.A in 2000 or 2001 when I first started training. I think right at the tail end I got on MySpace, but I didn't have any of that stuff and I didn't want any of it.
I don't know why. I just was I was not into it. I felt like like what are the good things that are going to come out of it? I'm going to get my package in two days instead of four days that make my life better.
I try to I try to deeply empathize with a lot of experiences of other people. And like one of the things I love, like the smell of paper, books and books in general. And early on, this is like five years ago I just gave away all my books and I said, you know, I'm really going to try to fall in love with the books in the same way I did before.
But now with a Kindle or a Kindle like Paperwhite, whatever the e-book reader, reader, and I'm still not there, but I've been kind of trying to funnel over the experience. And the same way I try to think like teenagers are really into Tic-Tac now, like make these short videos. I try to consider the possibility that their existence will be a much happier one than I've had because of this kind of interaction. It's from my sort of skeptical perspective.
It's like the attention span so short they don't really deeply think or deeply experience things.
They construct a social layer that they present to the world and they work on creating this social layer, like the presentation to the world much more than really sitting alone with their thoughts and the sadnesses and their hopes and dreams and fears and like working on the project that is their their own like actual person that exists in this physical world as opposed to work on the project of a particular social platform.
But they show. But like perhaps that project. Like, who cares who you are in the physical space, maybe what you are is what your Instagram shows.
That's the more important project to work on for what's reality is it was reality. Perception is reality. Right. So how other people perceive this constructed thing, that's their reality of you. But is it your reality like that? I mean, like we said earlier, it's what what you want how you want people to see you is very rarely in line with how you really are or how you see yourself. And I mean, I can remember being like a 13 year old kid and like, you know, you go through a bunch of, you know, weird 13 year old kid shit like sitting in my room, like turning a red light on and listening to, like, a sad record and like, you know, trying to figure out what's going on inside.
Sometimes you like it, sometimes you don't like it. But I feel like those experiences are lost on kids constantly connected to a phone. And like, you know, I don't know what the remedy for those situations is nowadays. Like, I don't know. Do they make a tick tock video? Do they they blog about it that they, you know, make a video or nobody blogs anymore, whatever man or a video, a story about, oh, this is what happened to me and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Does that actually help them work it out or does it just create more noise and more static on how to get to the root of the problem and learn about themselves? I don't know what social networks are exactly. I do know and the shallow of does feel good when somebody clicks like on something, I think that is more of a drug than an actual deep, long lasting, fulfilling happiness. But perhaps there's a way to make a social network that does lead to long lasting happiness that's somehow detached from the physical meatspace.
I don't know. But it feels like you want to give that a chance.
Do you think when people are liking things on social media, do you think there's just a group of people, an overwhelming majority of people that are going to like whatever you put out there, they're clicking like and then there's another section of people that just constantly scroll and like, scrolling like and scrolling like like. Do you think when you get a like on content you put out that that like perhaps came from someone who normally doesn't like your content, but like you've just changed their mind on something or you've turned them around on it.
I tend to think that when I get like on social media, those are just the people that like all my shit, no matter what I say, like they probably don't even read it. Like I could, you know, put the most preposterous thing up there.
And you're still going to get a handful of the same exact likes. That's interesting. But I tend to the way she likes you kind of said multiple things. I think in one sense, you see social media as like a battleground of ideas and like, is it kind of like the best possible, like is an indicator of like of the of you winning over somebody on an idea. And they really appreciate that idea. That's the best possible to me.
Like it's just two strangers smiling at each other like like a moment of like like. I got you, bro, I got you, bro. Yeah, yeah, like fist bump, like, yeah, we're in this fucking thing together. This whole thing doesn't make any sense, but we're in this together. And I yeah, it's possible for likes to be that I don't think the actual clicking of a like I think social media at his best might be that way.
It's like I got you bro. As large scale as opposed to kind of this weird, like crazy pool of dopamine where everyone is just obsessed with this likes and likes.
And and then the division drives like more of this, like weird, anxious engagement. I think that's just the dark version of it. In the early days of social media. I think you called it a battleground of ideas, but I think social media is nothing but a battleground of fragile egos. Well, but humans are fragile egos. I mean, maybe, but I think most people I think particularly on social media, they're the most fragile like. Would you be doing all the things you're doing, what would you be doing if you weren't?
If you weren't podcasting and posting the things you do on social media, what would you be doing? You'd probably be much the same guy. Right. But I think that on social media, the fragile ego people, what you see on social media is not what they'd be doing without social media. Does that make any sense? Like you're probably your mission is probably somewhat congruent, your path. You're just utilizing social media. But I think a lot of people, social media has changed their path and now they're doing something totally foreign to them and they're only able to do it maybe because of social media.
I think you're focusing on a particular moment in time of people in their less great moments, like in their less great version of themselves. I think you're just focusing on the masses struggling to to become the best version of themselves and then you.
For stretches of time, whether it's days, weeks or months, you could be a shitty person on the Internet.
I think you're focusing on that.
And unfortunately, social media platforms emphasize they love it when you're like that, when you're not doing great in your own in your own life, because it increases anxiety, increased engagement makes you more susceptible to the argument and then really get pulled into like conspiracy theories, all that kind of stuff.
But the other side works, too. I think there's also the people who are on social media, like fronting like there are these positive figures and like, you know, OK, going to the gym, like whatever it is, the positivity that they spew out. But in real life, they're the most negative fox you've ever met in your life. And they're just so full of crap and it's just people playing to an audience. It's like like you said, like it's like a politician sometimes like a politician wakes up one day and they decide who's the group I can pander to.
The best to get the most likes equals votes. And it's the same thing on social media. People wake up and whether it's conscious or not, what's the group I can pander to the best to get the most likes? Is it the positivity motivated crowd? Is that the war was me crowd like what is it? Who who's going to give me the most likes? That's what I'll do. I don't know how to argue against that.
I guess it's it's it rings true what you're saying, but I just kind of refuse to believe it. I guess I'm pandering to the optimistic crowd like I met with my marketing team and I just feel that love has the the best. What do you call it now? I don't know.
There's a lot of people that accuse me of being like exactly that, which is like, why are you always being positive? It's like, well, because I'd like to be that.
Yeah, but I don't I wouldn't consider you someone who panders. No, but, you know, I guess what I'm saying is like.
It's easy to say that everyone is pandering, but like maybe they're just trying. I do believe that social media platforms could encourage people when they're trying to be the best version of themselves, whatever that is. It could be like Conor McGregor talking shit. It could be just being positive. It could be actually creating cool things in this world, putting out instructional videos for jujitsu or like inspiring students to competition. I don't know all those kinds of things, education, content.
I think that people are trying. I tend to believe that people want to be. Good, like the like they want to be successful in whatever their definition of success is, and they're kind of struggling to do that and there's just awkward at it at first. And like, it's easy to focus on the awkwardness and the stumbling around as people have that and they start shooting each other like it's easy to kind of focus in on that. But I think that's just like people, you know, white belts, there's more white belts in the world than there are blackboards.
But, yeah, give them a chance to kind of grow.
I think on social media, if you put your stuff out there, whatever your stuff is, your content, your views or whatever, you let the chips fall where they may like. That's a different thing than being like, I'm going to I'm going to tweak what I normally might say and put it up this way, because I want these people to like it. And in terms, I also think I have a different viewpoint than you do on people wanting to be successful.
I actually don't think that many people want to be successful. I think people want to have the appearance of wanting to be successful. But to be successful, it takes a shitload of work and most people don't want to put that work in. So they craft this persona of a person who's trying really hard. But you can't catch the break or, you know, these motherfuckers with getting back on my grind. You've never been on a grind. You've been on the couch.
I still disagree with you. I get it. I get it. You that's your foil. You enjoy that guy on the couch for the cheater. That's that's that's your motive.
But just own it. Be like don't be like back on a grind. Back on the couch. Yeah.
Well you you're like David Goggins who is like talking shit to the one guy with eating Cheetos and in, in so doing inspires millions to like to actually pursue their success. I get it. But I just think that most people really do want to be successful and are like are trying to work hard and they keep failing. So I mean, but why is it why is it continue?
I'm sorry to interrupt you, but let's take a person who is overweight. Do you not think that person wants to be skinny? Of course they want to be skinny. They just don't want it enough to put the pizza or the pie down and go to the gym. They want it, but they want it to be easy. Of course they want to be skinny. Well, everyone wants it to be easy. And of course, people want to be successful.
But do they want it enough to do the work? I don't think they do. I think the easy thing to do is to to create an outward facing persona of the person who really wants it. And you get the same reward from a lot of people as the person who actually is successful. Very few people differentiate from the person who has found success and the person who is showing you how they're trying to get success on social media. People see that as the same.
I see you're going after the marketing dollar there represents the the people that want to work hard.
Yeah, I like it.
You started a podcast recently.
Oh, you called.
Which people probably from this conversation can I guess we didn't really talk about politics much or the fact that your business owner or the fact that you're a red blooded American and love this country, America, we don't really talk about that. But from the name of the podcast, they can probably infer it.
And the name is Please allow me. Good name.
What have you learned from doing this podcast, what's your hope of doing this podcast for people should definitely listen to you have a few episodes. You're damn good at it, which is very interesting. I'm sure you'll evolve and change. But so this is like the early days. I'm curious to see where it goes. But what like what's your thinking around it as a as an intellectual, putting your thoughts out into the world?
I think that one of the things that covid did when we're all kind of in lockdown was as a business owner, made me take stock of what's the future of brick and mortar businesses.
And yet I've always been reluctant to be an online presence in any way just because it's not my thing, because I believe that I'm a force of nature and people need to experience me. Right.
And the the few characters that Twitter has a face enough, not enough. The force of nature. There's Don Clark. I want you to feel physically uncomfortable around me.
I mean, three hours of me being physically uncomfortable. I'm scared for my life.
And so I thought that that would be one of the ways in which I could increase. Like, I came to the conclusion that. With the lockdown and potential future lockdowns, you know, in order to pay my mortgage and, you know, my bar tab and my GrubHub is out of control, that I would need to find ancillary ways to Doordarshan.
You don't want to use GrubHub, StubHub such that they actually do thought, you know, you can just walk to your local food or 7-Eleven and get and get the food.
You can order 7-Eleven from Dodi's or from post code leks.
OK, I'm sorry, but anyway, I thought it was like, oh, I should probably increase a little bit my online presence and what would be a way to do that. That would be fun for me and entertaining. And I thought, well, a lot of people, yourself included that I know have done some podcasts and I find that inspiring. And I'm fortunate enough to know a bunch of cool motherfuckers that, you know, I can talk to about a lot of a wide range of topics.
Then there is starting to drop and there's an aspect to which podcasting does capture the force of nature. But in in the digital form, podcasting captures the force of nature of a human being better than other mediums, perhaps.
Yeah, definitely. There's that. And I just felt like. You know, you know, when it's midnight and you're in the bar and you get the sense that, you know, the bar is going to close in 90 minutes and you think, you know, not enough people have seen me yet and maybe we should go to another bar. Some more people can see me. Yeah, I feel like podcasting is like it's like that for me. Not enough people have heard my thoughts and I feel like my mom raised me to be a giver.
She didn't want me to be selfish. And I have these thoughts that I think that I think would be a waste if you didn't give it to the world. People seem to really enjoy them.
Yeah, no, I enjoy it. Well, while I've probably been on my best behavior today on this episode of the podcast, so if you want the the uncensored, unfiltered, the full spectrum, the force of nature, that's John Clarke. You got to go to the podcast.
You funny enough, I think you're drinking throughout most of the podcasts. Yeah. Yeah. Tequila. So they only last like an hour because you seem to like I'm guessing that you just lose it when you're like it's like Cinderella turns into a frog or whatever.
One of the things I'm learning is. Sometimes you have great conversations when you're drunk and sometimes you don't like I was I went into it with the right drunk at it sober mentality. Yes, Hemingway, Hemingway.
Yes, but turns out that sometimes you don't have that much to edit when you're super shitfaced, and so I've been scaling that back a little bit.
And what do you mean exactly? Like, where does it go wrong when you're drunk?
I'm curious about that because it gets you especially when you have a personal relationship with the person that you're talking to, rather than trying to put some ideas on display for other people to hear and maybe talk about you kind of just having, like a conversation with your brother about inside jokes and things like that. And it's like it's not that interesting. No one wants to, like, watch, you know, go to a bar and watch. Two people sitting there getting drunk and talking to each other is different than listening to, like, strong discourse.
One interesting thing, as a fan of and I'm a fan, I've a fan of Jordan for a long time and he has friends over a lot. Right. And there is a aspect to those three, four or five hour conversations that I really enjoy. There's a magic to those. I think he taught the world that those kinds of long form conversations can work.
The what you forget is Joe Rogan is a comedian. His friends are also celebrities. Like they know what it's like to be on the mic. They know there is a challenge to actually having your friends on a microphone totally like that. They have never this is the first time they've been on a microphone. And that's actually what you've been doing, which is a very interesting experiment.
And you find that some are more awkward than others because they're trying to find like, what do I do with this kind of thing? Why why do you not talk to strangers? Why did you go with people that you're actually. No.
So the simple answer is the people that I selected are both interesting and I thought would be good at talking. But then I noticed the thing you just mentioned, my buddy Paul did the first one, and Paul's a wild man. And if you went out with Paul, he can talk about a bazillion topics to a certain two, to a significant level of depth. Right.
And he's got a good understanding and he's got a unique perspective on a lot of things.
And I think he was the first guy invited on my podcast. And it was almost like. He was on a little bit less than natural about it, and then by the time he loosened up with some drinks, he was just we were all shitfaced. There's a phase shift. Totally, totally.
And so he's going to come back on and he'll be more comfortable with it. And and it'll probably be awesome because he's a great person to talk to. Had my friend Davon, who's a restaurateur and a musician, that that one will be released pretty soon. But yesterday I had a guy on who you might really enjoy listening to is a friend of mine. His name is Mark Klemm. He's an endurance athlete and he's been compared. He's been called the white Dave Goggins.
And he talks about like those comparisons and what he hates about it and the various events and stuff. And he's just a guy who's just always kind of like natural and like I knew he'd be great to get on the podcast. And so I started with friends who I thought could handle it and who also are just really interesting people. And I did it so that I could also establish a level of comfort because it was a new thing for me. And I knew that they wouldn't really give a shit what I was doing and be like, hey, this is cool.
I'm going over to his house and drink some tequila and talk shit. There's just going to be a microphone there this time.
I mean, it's amazing what you're doing, the freedom of it. I mean, you're not currently doing any advertisements on any of that kind of stuff. He's just exploiting your voice is one of the mediums that you're just trying it out.
My 11 subscribers know what I'm about. Your left. Cyprus is in the double digits.
Yeah. For both you and I.
Do you have advice for me as a podcast and for yourself as a podcast. So if you were to think like you're going to do say I mean, who knows? Let's say you do a thousand more episodes. Right. I can imagine a world where that that your life continues in that direction, that this is like a little parallel. Like for me, this thing is like a little side hobby, but it's also one that's deeply fulfilling. So not just from a business perspective, which is not the way I think about.
I just think of a life human perspective. It's I probably wouldn't have this kind of conversation with you off mic like this long, this deep, this attentive. And there's something really fulfilling about these conversations. So what advice would you have for me? What advice do you have for yourself or have you not introspected this that deeply? I have.
I have I have advice. I think the first advice I would give to you is I think you should have me on more often.
Yeah, that's first. First.
And the second is go on your podcast and have a.
Well, I would say I would say you come on my podcast when you're ready. Yeah. When you feel like the product that I'm putting out would benefit from your presence and vice versa. Not not as a not as a favor to a bro, but at the right time.
I do sense actually it's an interesting there's a dance to it, which is like I recently did, like Joe Rogan had a conversation with me on this podcast. There's a very specific kind of thing where you you're helping each other out. Yeah, but the timing on that has to be right. Right. You know, like if that makes any sense, you're like supporting each other. It doesn't make sense. It doesn't it doesn't make a difference. You would think that because it's it's just people talking doesn't matter what microphones, but it changes things.
It does. And there's an order to the guests that I've had on. And the next guest that I'll have on will be a friend we have in common. And we'll be talking about teaching how to teach different styles of teaching and what you're teaching. All these other things you mind saying. Who are Sean for sure. And I think there's an order to it's not scientific, but it's based on my gut.
Is it astrologically based? It's not scientific in your gut. So you have a sense. I like Joe Rogan, for example, tries to do left, right. He tries to alternate like this gut feeling of like these bins of people and he tries to alternate world views. It's interesting. Like he kind of so he doesn't feel like it like. It shake, it constantly shakes him, it's more about him, like constantly puts them in multiple directions about like how he sees the world and that keeps some balance.
That keeps the conversation kind of exciting.
That's interesting. I did it in a way where I knew Paul was going to be wild and we might get a little out of control and like have some technical hiccups along the way. And then my friend Jake, who's a CEO of a pharmaceutical company, that was very timely because, you know, he was able to speak to vaccines and that was kind of scientific flavor. Yeah. And what I learned listening back on that is like I learned for myself about I wasn't asking the next level questions to really draw out great answers.
And part of it is you're simultaneously hanging out with a bro. But also I was trying to learn something that I didn't learn what I wanted to learn. And that's my fault because I didn't ask the questions. He's an expert in that field. He doesn't know that I'm an absolute dipshit when it comes to that stuff. And so I didn't do a good job. And if I don't know what that means, the thing I was trying to tease out of him knowing who was going to listen is going to learn that either.
Yeah. So I learned that then I had the one with Sopan, which I thought was was pretty good. Is the rest.
There's also a farmer. That's right. And he's a social worker and he's kind of humble and thoughtful, thoughtful, thoughtful guy. Slower. It's not a wild man, that kind of thing.
Not a wild man in the sense that I'm wild. But he does preach this this philosophy of being more wild, like being in touch with nature.
Nature that that that kind of. Right. Right. Right. And then my buddy Dave, he came on, you know, because I love music and I wanted to talk a lot about music. And he's one of the most knowledgeable people about music that I know. And he's got a restaurant coming up. And I thought my buddy Mark Klemm, being an endurance athlete, like when you hear some of the I didn't even know these things existed that this fucking kid did.
He's out of his mind. And, you know, I think Sean and I will have probably the most intellectual conversation that I've had on my podcast to date. And so there's a little bit of alternating there. But, you know, I did it that way so that there's a there's a gut feeling behind also that.
What is there? Where are you going? Do you know where are you going?
I, I don't have a destination, but I want to. I want to see it to its end, whether that's it. Get somewhere of its own volition or it takes on a new life at some point, and then I know how to drive it where it needs to go. I think. The advice I have for both of us is I think I need to. No, I don't think so. I think for you, I see an inner turmoil and I see a storm that bruising you because I feel like there's a concern for what you're saying.
And is it going to get is it kind of is it going to lead to negative feelings towards you or the thing that you're doing? And I feel like. We're different people, and I have such an easier time saying fuck off to everybody, and that's a liberating thing, but it also can can keep me from achieving the thing that I want to achieve because I'm so flippant with opinions that I don't listen to them and let them direct me when they should.
There's a balance.
Let me push back on that, please. I think you you believe that about yourself and nevertheless, your social media presence indicates otherwise. If I were to be very harsh, you're like one of the mentally strongest character wise people I know. And yet on social media, you don't put your face to the world. And that's one of the reasons you sense the fear in me which exists. I, of course, want to let go of it is because I put my face and like my my name on things.
And so when I say something stupid, it it hurts when people say, like, look, that guy said something stupid. And so there's a fear of saying something stupid and all of his different forms like of being life. It's the same feeling I have in competition of like of losing, not just losing. Losing doesn't matter.
It's embarrassing myself. I like losing being the lesser version of myself. And when you put yourself out there in a four way, I think you and I would venture to say you're also because you said, you know, you wouldn't give yourself that advice. I feel like you're also afraid of standing behind some of the ideas, because right now you're doing guerrilla warfare. You're free to to to be to say things, speak your mind from the sidelines. But the moment you're standing and like when people can throw shit at you, I feel like you haven't faced that far yet.
You've been like avoiding that fire. I'm not sure. Maybe I'm projecting. No, to a degree.
You're right. I think, like, a big thing for me was putting like ads on for like, ah, jujitsu online like curriculum. That was a big thing for me because for several reasons, like in the climate of everyone under the sun having a, you know, a jujitsu tutorial online and social media, not social media necessarily, but forums specifically that critique and shit the bed. One thing I have not done that I've thought about doing, and probably you're right in your analysis of it, is I've not gone the way that I do see you on things like Reddit and say, hey, Reddit, I'm doing this like I could easily go to Red and say, Hey, Reddit, I got this website up.
Here's here's a sample video, whatever the fuck people doing there. Well, yeah, you're right. I haven't done that. And part of it might be because I, I, I know also. If I get suckered in for one second into the negativity, I'm going to become an online warrior and I don't want to be that person.
So, yeah, you're self-aware about that. I mean, one of the things I've early on decided is like I'm just going to be I've always really enjoyed being positive, so I'm going to make sure I stay that way. And when there's negativity, it's like. I'm not just ignoring it, I'm literally just returning it with positivity I like I probably am the same way as you. Most people are with with egos. You get you want to become the warrior against the negativity.
And like many wars, there's no winning. All right. There's no winning that war online, especially on the Internet. And so in that sense, there's been a journey to try to to face the fire of the negativity. And it's not actually that bad. It sounds like very dramatic.
There's not many people that are negative, but it's like when you put advertisements, so you put your face on an instruction or something like that. Right. It's just there's an aspect to it which you're being a salesman and you're being a gimmicky thing. Right. It just feels wrong. And people point out, look, that guy's a fraud fake. Look, he's trying, but those people are going to be out there. And if you're, like, trying to do your best, try to be authentic and not trying to, like, be a snake oil salesman and being like the shady kind of salesman, I think they keep you honest.
They keep you honest being the most authentic self. And podcasting is like the best medium because you're being real close one hour plus that you put out there. That's like real. John, that's not a.
Like people people fall in love with that, and that's the beautiful aspect of podcasting, is there's no long form, doesn't give any possibility for you not to be authentic.
Right. And that's why it's a magic medium. The tough thing is you're not you know, popularity takes time and popularity and so, like, you should shouldn't be doing it for that reason.
And I don't it's not the thing that really drives me.
There is there are three books, technical fiction, philosophical, that had an impact on you. Like these are books that you kind of return to that you enjoy. And they had, you know, defined profound somewhere.
I would say probably the thing I read is one of Emersons essays that I read at a, you know, point in my life where I needed that type of thing. And I read self-reliance. And, you know, he's got a ton of good essays, but I thought self-reliance was probably the most impactful to me. You know, I've read later in life like a handful of, you know, existential authors, and they're all great. But at the time, a lot of it has to do with timing.
And when I read self-reliance and it was about the individual that was really good and it was impactful. There's also a book called Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Richard Bock, I think. And it's kind of along the same lines. It's about this seagull who, you know, wants to break conformity and learn to fly and do all these other great things. And so it's it's a very short read. So if people aren't doing that, that's good.
The book, which I was lucky enough to read before the movie ever even came out, which is just a pleasure of mine, was American Psycho just from a writing standpoint? Yeah, I found that the writing was was awesome. Bret Easton is the author of that and several other books who have like intertwining characters. He's a New England prep school guy. And so a lot of like stories and a lot of the visuals rang true for me and anyone who can write four pages of prose.
I'm like a Huey Lewis album. I mean, kudos to you. And I also would say no one will do this, but. I would at some point read as much of one of the big three religious texts as possible. It really gives you perspective. There are so many overlapping stories in of religious texts and in the way that they're written gives you a unique perspective on different people throughout the world. And, you know, if you're a Roman Catholic, maybe don't read the Bible, read one of the other texts, and that would be an interesting take.
But I'm embarrassed to say that, first of all, I've never read the Bible, which is embarrassing to say that I read a bunch of stuff about the Bible, not the Bible itself. And the same not equating them. But I haven't read Marx directly. I haven't read Mein Kampf by Hitler directly. And it feels like sometimes because you think like it's better to read stuff about the books, but ultimately you want because, like, the analysis will be better in texts that followed it.
But there's value to actually reading like the actual words. Yeah, there's this power in the words that there's a reason why, like the Bible is one of the most impactful books ever, you know, and it's it's in those words and it's a value to return to those words.
The Communist Manifesto is truly frightening if you read it and like modern context.
It's worth reading, yeah, worth reading. So is mine not obviously, while it's not obvious, but it is not very well written, but all the ideas that led to the evil that is Hitler are all in there, which is fascinating to think about because probably some of the world leaders at the time should have probably read the books.
He outlined everything he's going to do. You've mentioned offline, you mentioned the Amazon, quote, I really like, so let's try to end on this part of a quote It's easy in the world to live up to the world's opinion.
It's easy in solitude to live after your own. The great man is who in the midst of the world keeps a perfect sweetness, the independence of solitude. What does this quote mean to you? It's kind of reinforces the idea that you're here to live your life and that even when people are trying to. Influence you or comment on the decisions that you make for your life, you should have the strength to stick by living your life the way you want to live it, that there's one immutable truth for you and it doesn't apply to everyone.
And so people who. People who. Frown upon. Or judge the way that you live, because it's not air quotes conventional, their opinion should not be something that impacts the choices that you make in a relationship now.
Yes. That deeply meaningful or are you ultimately still alone? You still just a man in the cold of the of the life that is suffering?
No, I'm a man who's warm, nestled in the bosom. I don't think there's a better way to end, John. Uh, uh, you're a friend, you're my coach.
I'm sure we'll talk many more times in the future. Thanks for wasting all your time with me today. Thanks, brother.
Thanks. Thanks. I had an awesome time. I hope to be back soon. Thanks for listening to this conversation with John Clarke and thank you to our sponsors there are gone the device I use for post workout, muscle recovery, magic spoon, low carb, keto friendly cereal that I think is delicious. Eat, sleep, a mattress that calls itself and gives me yet another reason to enjoy sleep and finally catch up the app I used to send money to friends.
Please check out these sponsors in the description to get a discount and to support this podcast. Interesting. Subscribe on YouTube review starting up a podcast. Follow on Spotify supporter on page or connect with me on Twitter, Àlex Friedman. And now let me leave you with some words for Miyamoto Musashi. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world. Thank you for listening and hope to see you next time.