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The following is a conversation with Josh Barnett, one of the greatest fighters and submission wrestlers in history with an epic 25 year career that includes being the UFC heavyweight champion and countless other accolades. He also happens to be one of the most intelligent and brutally honest human beings in all of martial arts, and especially so about his appreciation of and fascination with violence. Quick mention of our sponsors, which feels ridiculous to say after that introduction among pack low carb snacks, element electrolyte drinks, it sleeps off cooling mattress and rough transcription and captioning service.
Click the sponsored links to get a discount to support this podcast. As a side note, let me say that I've been a fan of Josh Barnett for a long time. This conversation was indeed a long time coming, and I'm sure we'll talk many times again. For what it's worth, I'm a student of combat sports. Admire when they're done at the highest level, either through masterful execution of skill or relentless dominance of pure guts. For context. I'm a black belt in jujitsu and have competed in wrestling submission, grappling jujitsu, judo and even catch wrestling, which is a variant of submission grappling that Josh is one of the great practitioner scholars and teachers of.
I could probably talk for hours about what I've learned from my time on the mat, but if I were to say one thing, it is that the mat is honest. You can't run away from yourself when you step on the mat, it reveals your fears. The lies you might tell yourself are the delusions you might have, or at least I had, that there's anything in this world that can be achieved except through blood, sweat and tears. That honesty taken to the highest levels, as is the case with Josh Chris, the most special of human beings and definitely someone who is fascinating to talk to.
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This episode is brought to you by Monk Paquito granola bars that contain just one gram of sugar, two grams of net carbs and there are only 140 calories. I've been on all kinds of diets my whole life. I did maybe in college dorms like a powerlifting phase where I would eat like four or five, maybe six meals a day, you know, protein and veggies, just small meals. That was like the what I would call like the bro diet.
And then I think when I started training jujitsu especially hard, I discovered fasting. And that was a game changer. I think I realized that I have to become more and more scholar of my own body as opposed to sort of consuming the nutrition science that's out there. So you have to use kind of the basic knowledge of nutrition science that people are talking about, all the different debates. You have to consume that as a base starting point. But ultimately you have to become a scholar of your own body.
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Guaranteed. That's Monck back dot com and enter Code Leks. This episode is also brought to you by Element Electrolyte Drink mix spelled l.. A.. Just like with my last name, they don't have an E in their name to do low carb diets correctly. The number one thing you have to get right, in my opinion, is the electrolytes, specifically sodium, potassium, magnesium. That's where these guys come in. They take care of it. I try not to think about it and it's kind of fascinating.
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They can make the difference between sadness and happiness.
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I got to be honest about power naps. They have been amazing. Recently. I've been basically doing this thing where I sleep for like six hours and then do a nap for maybe 30 minutes to an hour. There's no science to it. I just enjoy it like a big warm blanket with a cool bed. That's that's like the definition of heaven. I also like that whole idea of making the things we rely on smarter and smarter, like a smart bed, which is what it says with a bunch of sensors.
It's almost like taking broadly. It's actually kind of expanding the compute surface of our lives. And so basically everything around us becomes a computer and integrates. There's, of course, privacy, surveillance, all those kinds of questions there. But we can't run away from them.
We have to face them. Just because things are difficult doesn't mean we should, like, do the ostrich thing and hide from them.
It's coming. Let's embrace it. Let's be serious adults, serious engineers about it. It's Steve has a pod cover so you can just add it to your mattress without having to buy theirs. But theirs is pretty nice. I gotta tell you, it can track a bunch of metrics like heart rate variability, but the cooling alone is honestly worth the money. Go to sleep that glassworks to get special savings. There's a sleep that counselor flex. This show is also brought to you by Rev and Rev that I, which is by many metrics the best speech to text I engine in the world.
Rev in general is a company that does captioning and transcription of audio by humans and by artificial intelligence. I've been hanging out on clubhouses on occasion recently and it's kind of interesting to think of this kind of technology being used in all kinds of contacts, like during meetings, for example, like zoo meetings, but a clubhouse to be able to take a conversation. So this is where, like privacy comes into play with consent of the speakers, which, of course, journalists often ignore this kind of notion of consent and transcribe the conversations so they can be consumed and analyzed and thought about more broadly.
One way to deal with cancer culture is to run away from it. The other way is to run into it and deal with our ridiculousness, with our hypocrisy, with all the mess of human nature. So I'm a big fan of technologies that allow us to go through the fire as opposed to run away from the fire. Rove has processed over 16 billion minutes of audio and video to date. Ravelli is the API part of Rove that allows you to use speech text programmatically as a service.
You can check out how well I performs in a seven day free trial. Dadaist Glassworks. You can tell English is my second language, although I can't speak Russian that well either. I'm hopelessly lost in this problem of human communication. So again, that's Ralph Dadaist likes to tap into the world's most accurate speech AI. And now here's my conversation with Josh Barnett. Who were the philosophers and philosophical ideas that influenced you the most? Are we just jumping right in?
That's right. And we're not in the deepest foreplay on camera. All right.
I had an interesting philosophical journey, at least I think it's interesting. And that was. I think as far as organized philosophy or maybe I think it's not the right word, but like I will say, organized, I would say that nature is probably one of the people with the most influence on on me.
But I also feel like, to a degree, your personality will oftentimes dictate what philosophers that you connect you can fight with.
So what I from Nietzsche was that the were definitely the ubermensch is huge to me because I see it as an extension of basically the religious concepts of God and higher ideals, but just put into a different secular context. And the idea also that the ubermensch is a striving and overcoming something that you're always working towards, that very few will ever. It's not like the the concept that you can just make them. It doesn't happen that way. And it's not based simply upon if you were, say, put through a genetic program and turned into a super soldier, I wouldn't that wouldn't make it.
You know, that's like the the very surface level and incorrect understanding of what the ubermensch is. The ubermensch is the idea of this this kind of human that that transcends all the the weaker, lower aspects of humans, which we're full of. But I also think that there's an element in Nietzsche's writing that suggests that it's not something you can even be in all the time, like it's even a temporary state, because it's not something that we're capable of maintaining.
It's something to strive for, like a morality, an image ideal, a set of principles that we can connect to that doesn't rely on other worldly kind of outer things to do with nature.
I feel like the concept of the ubermensch. Is something built on authenticity as well as Heidegger's like design, right, so when you are authentic and Heidegger being a follower of niches and highly influenced by them with, I think that the ubermensch is an example of authenticity in that it isn't about. Trying to be anything that you cannot be or to go against who you are, but to actually understand that, accept that and then work with what you can work with and create from your lump of clay, that is you, because I can't become.
Certain there's certain things that are just not going to happen for me because not of my proclivity, I mean, I'm never going to be, you know, five foot tall and one hundred and twenty pounds that again, I guess.
But but I know. But as you get more in tune with who you are, as you start learning more about what unique things or at least what that. That combination that makes you that gestalt part of yourself, what those things are and how you can use them, then you know, you can work towards being that, taking what that is and seeing if you can get to that point. Now, the likelihood is no, maybe, probably never.
I mean, but we can never achieve godhood yet. You know, religion is a constant striving and a look at a higher ideal concept. Even if it's multiple gods or one God, it's still essentially all built around this concept. Like I like the idea of Catholics original sin. If you think of sin, not as evil, but as, you know, missing the mark, the archer's term where it derives or even like in Spanish, you know, without so much as being if you accept that you are imperfect, if you accept that you need to constantly strive even against yourself, because you will figure out the best ways at which to submarine your own capabilities, submarine your own dreams and wishes and whatever, you will ruin them more than anything else.
And you will tell yourself that you ruined them on purpose for a good reason. Or you'll say that you'll figure out a way to put it on everything else but yourself. And so the idea of thinking of well, as I'm starting off on this whole thing, I got a lot of work to do and that's just the way it is. And I got to figure out what areas those are going to be. And so, you know, I thought I if I think of original sin, actually can be I can be kind of a clever idea.
But it's also just accepting that. We're all uniquely strange and unequal in our own ways, but we have to figure out how that fits in the word authenticity kind of connects to all of that.
So striving to be your authentic self means figuring out exactly the shape of the flaws, the character of your, like, little demons you get to play with and around them, finding a path to whatever the hell ideal versions of yourself you can carve and pretending like that's such a thing is even possible. The other idea about niches and his idea of morality, he presents the argument that morality is a human illusion and that, you know, there's not such a thing as good and evil.
And these are all kind of constructs. Do you think there's such a thing as good and evil that's connected to some objective reality?
I think that there are some I actually do believe that there are some universals. I'm not Kantian in any way, but I do think that there are some universals. And the thing that actually brought me to even the concept of that was young. So, you know, Jung's concept of the collective unconsciousness and then taking that thought and then applying it to looking through history and the most varied history you can find. So I would say probably religion is your earliest one, too, that you can get for for written history or written examples of human behavior and psychology at its at the furthest that we can look into it with, you know, from man's hand to whatever the medium is, cuneiform or whatever.
But as you do that and then let's say going from Mesopotamia to India to you know, you're up to and just going from all these places as disparate as they may seem, as many different cultures and ethnicities and religions, and how the religions will vary quite a bit from monotheist to polytheist and so on and so forth. But then just seeing how there's all the through lines. And of course, Campbell, he did this much earlier than than me thinking about it.
But I think that by. Looking at things that way and starting to find the threads instead of always just looking at everything is being its own compartmentalized concept, as if it only applies to this time. This people like getting overly pomo about it is just a really idiotic postmodern.
So you think that there is just like Joseph Campbell, there's a thread that connects all of these stories, narratives, the construct of ourselves as we evolve. And that thread is grounded in some kind of absolute ideas of maybe on the morality side, which is the trickiest one of good and evil somewhat.
Yeah, I think a lot of this stuff is just derived from a biological perspective. I feel like these things are innate within us.
I think are innately humans are good like we know.
I don't I feel like I also feel like there's the issue of scale, too, like like Nassim Taleb likes to talk about how he views his the way he interacts with with groups in terms of scale. You know, what is this thing about? Like at a at the familial level, I'm a I'm a communist and then at the civic level I'm a Republican or something that's other level. And then it goes on at the White House level. He's a libertarian or something of that nature.
You know, like fundamentally human interaction changes on scale and scope and scale and also from, uh, you know, subjective to the environment around them.
So and I don't even mean environment just in the sake of physical environment. Nature, right. Like nature is constantly trying to murder you. Well, it's not really trying. It's just nature's being nature. The universe is the universe. And at times it takes you out. It's just not with any particular compunction or prejudice. It just, oops, you know, sorry. There's no more Dodo's, my bad boy.
Don't you think that particular flavor of the complexity that is the human mind was created like, let me make an argument for that. All people are fundamentally good, OK?
Is there's an evolutionary advantage to being the striving to cooperate, to add more love into the world of compassion, empathy and that kind of stuff, and that the very thing that created the human mind was this evolutionary advantage, whatever the forces behind this evolutionary advantage and scale.
Yes. So when we're dealing with small tribe. Sure. Yeah. When you meet another tribe, maybe there's other factors that are going into that. Let's say you scale up and so. EUR 150 has exceeded their 150, and you start to get to a certain point where you can't really be close enough to someone down the line to some of that next like that one fifty one fifty one fifty.
And they just now all of a sudden become some some guy or whatever.
And when it comes to some guy at once, it starts hitting scale.
I don't know that it's capable people can be as as magnanimous to a stranger as to the known.
If they orient themselves to be secure enough because it does come to security insecurity in one way or the other, either brought on by the unknown own, by an actual threat brought on by even their own, as we would use the word insecurity in that their own insecurity within their own capabilities, their own belief in themselves. All these things can change things from being compassionate and what have you to at least at the very least, maybe not evil, but self-interest driven to the point of.
Negative results for those that aren't, you know what I mean? Right. But another way to frame that is maybe it's less about skill and more about the amount of resources available.
So if we are overflowing with resources in terms of security and safety, all the things you've mentioned, if we have more than enough resources than the way we treat a stranger, the way we position ourselves towards that stranger might be in a way that allows us to be our real human selves as opposed to sort of our animal self.
And therefore, it's mostly about how clever can we descendants of apes be in coming up with all kinds of technologies and ways to efficiently use the resources we have such that we're not constrained.
And my hope is that we can that human innovation will outpace the growth of our the number of people that are starving for resources.
Yes, I think that there's a lot of rationality behind this argument and. In some ways, I agree and in a lot of ways I see it as missing the point of how this experiment has been playing out across time.
When you look at what for one, it's like to find resources, you know, what is a what is a resource of as humans would define it. Right. Or wealth even. And so you can say, well, you know, an iPhone is a resource. The Internet's a resource. Water obviously is a resource. But if we weigh them, what is more important to human beings, water, Internet or iPhones? It's water. Right? So if we look at resources, if we start with what do human beings need to live?
I mean, actually live, not live here in this bullshit fantasy creation extension of our own ingenuity and a prisoner of our own creation and also a paradise of our own creation. But this is not how human beings normally live. This is all built upon stuff on on this built on concept, on idea and some and and some of it's built on just well, this is the paradigm. So this is what you do. Human beings need food. They need water to survive.
They need shelter from the elements and they need certain skills to perpetuate these things and be able to pass them down so that they can so that these things don't become you don't end up in this this gap where you have to relearn things, because if it's lost, then that time before you can get it back again is going to be a dark ages of sorts, or it's going to be highly detrimental to to your group because not knowing how to fish, not knowing how to hunt, not knowing how to even clean and cook the game once you have it could be lethal.
That's fascinating to think of that as a basic resource, the knowledge to attain the very low level things of water and we'll figure it out.
We did it once before and we've done it over and over and over and over again.
It's just costly. Yes, it has costs for sure. But when you think of how you look at the world, we'll just deal with the first world of the West. You look at the the the path line, the pathway of Western civilization and its growth.
And then you look at how technology injected into it over time, you know, how it magnifies things or pushes things at orders of magnitude faster. And then the Internet comes along and even faster, you know, so you're watching Industrial Revolution to one of the the capacitor and then so on. It goes further and further. And as the Internet and technology, especially on the electronic side of things, start increasing in capability, it massively outpaces even our necessity for it.
At times it becomes, you know, plant obsolescence happens quicker and over and over and over again and wealth increase and increases, increase increases in terms of the things that we're able to acquire. Right. I mean, I've seen homeless people with smartphones, you know, so we're living in the most wealth laden, luxury laden age of. All of humanity, yet what happens when we see calamity or people go on hard? What are they the things that they value?
What what what do people go to an argument about the cost of things that are luxury items generally and not necessity items? You know, we get into fights about, you know, things that are at the end of the day, not necessities to us. You know, people are so concerned about Netflix and the Internet. And personally, I'm very concerned about the Internet because I look at it as my own little personal library of Alexandria in my pocket.
That's what I love about it. And the ability to have a tool as effective as it is, even though I'm in a constant battle to not let that tool become a vice or to become something that that actually brings me to a lower state where we will.
The question is over the are we willing to murder each other over Netflix versus murder each other over water? We're willing to murder each other over water. That's a given, but that's our animalistic selves, that it's also a necessity for its animalistic. But it's also either you do it or you don't. Right. Like unless somebody is willing to share that water or if that water is of such a limited capability or such a limited amount, then you will have to murder to have one.
That's the argument is the higher get up the hierarchy of what we consider in Los Angeles resources. Yes, we were less willing to be to commit violence. We are less willing to commit violence that I would say over Netflix. But we are willing to commit violence over Netflix, over everything associated with Netflix, over televisions, over sneakers, over over. You know, I mean, when we look at a good I mean, the majority of the stuff that came with the riots, I mean, it was used car dealerships, targets.
I mean, and then you look and say, OK, well, well, OK. Well, what are people what are they got? What are they so hellbent to get out of this whole thing? I'm even talking about the ideological elements or anything like that, just like, OK, something's going on, boom, looting, whatever. You know, what are you going to loot? You know, you'll have AC say, oh, people needing bread.
Like, I didn't see a single loaf of bread.
You know, I saw televisions, poetry, and, you know, but to me it is poetry in a sense, because you get to see who we are, how we actually are operating, you know, what are where what is becoming first principles to most people will wait.
But you could also argue that those rights were more like the madness of crowds, which is definitely a lot more than just that. I'm just saying that given a chance, it's like, OK, boom, the the lights are off, the grid is down.
We've hacked into the system, turn into an 80s movie and you have the ability to go get a hold of whatever it is that you think is most important and what do we do? And I say we, as in, you know, including all of us, we grab a TV, we we attack it. We we break into a sneaker store, Melrose. We do. It's just like we still giant cause statues where the value of that is completely market driven, like it's just a piece of polypropylene or whatever.
Butel and you know, it's cool. You know, I'm a big fan of art, but it's like. You know, I can't eat that, and at the end of the day, man, you're sitting there with your with your like, what are you do today, honey? Would you get in that we were able to, you know. Oh, I got this I got this designer art statue. Are you going to go. Well, you can't really sell it on the on like the art markets where people were really going to pay for it.
So are you going to become an underground art dealer with your one piece of cause, Art?
One interesting thing before I forget it, you mentioned the Library of Alexandria and your phone or your phone, but also just thinking of your little world that you're creating for yourself on the Internet.
That's a really powerful way to actually phrase it. One of the things that you've been on Joe Rogan several times already always comes to mean, oh, that was so great.
He didn't know you're on your phone, Joe Rogan, because he's like my fifth time dude.
I've been a fan of yours for a long time from from other avenues. But this is a long time coming.
Actually, everybody you have no idea like how many times through messaging and missing each other over the years. This is ridiculous. This is a long time coming. You don't realize how special this is for us.
This is. Well, I'm also starstruck. We'll talk about this. But you symbolize something very important to me through my journey through wrestling, jiujitsu, through judo, through to street fighting, through just combat.
There's a you're the in some sense, the devil on my shoulder of like violence in a good in the in the devil gets a bad rap.
But does he does get a bad rap. I realize, you know, sitting encased in ice down at that lowest level, you know. Yeah.
But you know, the angel's side is more like the athletic, the sport, the science, the tech, the technical, the chess side of things. But on the library. Alexandria. Yes.
Because you were on Joe Rogan. It does make me really sad and I realize that I'm just probably being romantic, that his most of his library of interviews that were on YouTube have now been taking down with Spotify. And that was the first and probably an idiot, but it was the first time I realized that this knowledge that we've been building up on the Internet doesn't necessarily last forever.
No, it doesn't, unless you preserve it. I mean, it's like all things, if you do not preserve them, if you do not make efforts, you know, so many of my I just really brings to mind right off the top of my head, all my so many friends of mine that are Jewish, you know, they're they're basically secular. But yet through even the secular aspect of just keeping the traditions alive, it's like, well, you could always pick a book and read about read about it.
Clearly, it's called the Torah.
But if you don't put these things into action, if you don't make them a part of your consciousness, maybe even subconsciousness just through through repetition, they will die and they will become simply something that exists somewhere until you find it again. And Kalighat used to say something. He would say that I don't invent moves, I just rediscover them. But yet Gotch and Billy Robinson also would understand that you if someone's not carrying the torch, it'll go out. Now, that doesn't mean fire can't be rekindled.
It just means that that torch no longer is lighting the way on this knowledge. And so it's important to be. An individual, even on an individual level, to be a repository for four aspects of knowledge you mentioned, Guch, you consider yourself a catch wrestler.
Mm hmm. So I've mentioned you offline that I competed in a couple of wrestling tournaments. Can we go Wikipedia level at the very basic you're exactly the right person to ask what is catch wrestling and what are its defining principles? I would say the easiest way for us to talk about and give an overview of what catch is in the simplest terms, is think of collegiate wrestling with submission's.
That is essentially what catch is. And it's not surprising because collegiate wrestling is actually derived from catch as catch can. It's just that over time certain aspects were were removed from the competition structure so that they became null elements, things that were discarded. But it's funny that you can take a high level amateur collegiate types and you can show them a move and then add a little bit to it and go, oh, well, hey, that was just like what we already do here, but except oh, I didn't know you could take it all the way to this point or, you know, things of that nature, especially when it comes to professional wrestling, like teaching people like.
No, that that I know you're just using this for in a show, but this is actually a real move. And here's how it really feels.
And so collegiate wrestling and wrestling general, for people who are not aware is basically to start on their feet. And that's the score that they're trying to take each other down and they have to. They score points along the way, you can end matches by pinning them, for example, on their back.
I think one way to describe wrestling is it's very much about figuring out ways to establish control and leverage in these kind of.
Tie ups or there's different styles where you can do more from a distance to where it's more about the timing and all that kind of stuff. Ultimately, it's an art of like both upper body and lower body. And you could choose the different puzzles to solve there. You could be attacking the head, the arms. You could be attacking the legs. There's also part of collegiate wrestling that's on the ground that has more what's called like a referee's position.
Right. The referee's position where you're on your hands and knees, basically. And so do you understand what they're supposed to simulate?
Why is that one of the standard positions?
It's one of the standard positions because one is one of the easiest ways to actually get up. But two, it's because you cannot be on your back. If you're on your back, you're getting pinned. And the back exposure or being pinned is pretty much the universal wrestling thing. One taking the guy from their feet to the floor and to pinning them as you go from like, was it Cornish wrestling, Turkish oil, wrestling, Mongolian, sumo Indian?
Well, they'll call it Palani. It's also called Kuchta Jujitsu Judo. So many of them is there's a Sambo. Even if it doesn't end the match, it's still like one of the most important aspects of the competition itself across also.
But every style and this word submission like wrestling or submission, wrestling or jujitsu feels different, which it seems like for most wrestling, for a lot of wrestling. The dominance is the is the goal as opposed to submission, which I guess those two are related, but dominating the position. So that's what painting is. It's almost like breaking your opponent, like breaking through all of their defenses to where they're completely defenseless.
And you could do anything with them that you want. Maybe that's what could be a definition of dominance. I don't know.
And I mean, it sounds very much like chained to a radiator. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
There's a thread that connects all, but submission feels different.
I mean, it is actually different when you think about it across the landscape. I don't think radically different, but still slightly different. And that if you think of wrestling as being derived from from from combat. Right. So what is combat sports, but more and more lethal combat? Getting somebody off their feet and onto their back is about as lethal a place for the person on bottom to be in general. I mean, I don't come at me with your talks about your fucking worm guards and blah, blah, blah and whatever.
Spider. Yeah, OK, get out of here with that. We're not talking about you in this highly regimented sporting environment. We're talking about General, you know, all the body hair, none of the waxing human beings, so.
Getting someone on their back. OK, there, you guys, you're trying to get up, you're getting hit with a rock or stabbed or what have you set on fire? Who knows? Generally, these conflicts are not just isolated to one on one. If it's foreign to your your your buddy that was with you back to back. Now he's on his back. What do you think that is going to be? One on one while three go on one.
So and then you go you elevate this to two armored combat. Right. And it's boom. Put them on the ground. Oh, crap. It's hard to get up. Well, while you're struggling to get up stab, you know, that's where jujitsu concepts come from with all their leveraging and off balancing is. Oh man. If I end up in this situation and tight close quarters combat, yes. We could fight it out with swords and knives and what have you.
But it's way easier if the first thing I can do is sweep you on your back and then pull my knife and just go with the stick.
Is there a thread that connects all of these different arts from not just the arts but from the very base violence of war? I just said that there's no rules to the very regimented IB JF.
I do jujitsu tournaments and just you kind of laid out some of it, but can you go all the way to the wall? So when you start off with absolute skills in the sense of absolute offense and defense, in the taking or preserving of life full on at its at its purest form of self defense and self preservation. OK, and then you extrapolate part of that in that all animals train and violence all play usually degenerates into some sort of soft violence, so be it cats when they're kittens and puppies and everything learns how to kill, how to fight.
Not that, you know, just that that dumb alpha mean stuff where the idea is that, oh, by being alpha, that means you run around, like, basically just being a bully and a shithead. No, actually, alpha wolves spend very little time fighting because if you are actually alpha, you don't get into fights. There's no need to. And if you're probably getting into any large amount of fights, it's probably because you're being shitty at being an alpha and now people are tired of you being in charge and yet in the animal world.
And it would be the same for human beings at that that that base beginning level of violence.
There's a big risk. So I know that we live in this place with health care and whether or you might be in a place with nationalized health or whatever. Right. There's there's there's bandaids, there's there's penicillin, there's all that kind of stuff. But that's not the normal way of things, you know. Yeah. There's a channel that just hurts me every time I, I used to follow and I had to follow up because it was too painful for me as a human being called nature metal.
I Instagram, it was sobering.
And then it was like, this is to celebrate. It's very sobering. So in there, the risk is at its highest level there. The damage you take, the winner walks away, hurt, getting lamed.
And when you need every aspect of your physical and athletic faculties to survive, because it is it going to be the this isn't the first and it's definitely not going to be the last, especially if you're the slowest one. You know, it's it is it was. It is a.
Lyric from a clutch song, Don't go for the fat ones, just go for the slow ones men, but that the universal truth of the way nature works. She says cruel. It's not cruel is just the way it is.
Yeah. I mean, watch animals get into fights on on any of these sort of documentary stuff. You'll see an intense short and then dispersal that you'll see as soon as one feels like things have just enough boom. The bear or whatever it is takes off. It's like I'm not I'm done with this because if you can get out of there with just some scars and what have you, OK, you lose an eye and it's not as good. You really get hurt bad, get infected, you're done.
You know, so there's a serious risk to be that can come with these sort of things.
Yet I believe that we are inherently born for at least aspects of use of violence. And so at the end of the day, we need these things not just to not just survive each other, but they're a part of being able to hunt and other things. But the violence is a part of human nature. Violence is it is it's an absolute it is in every person. It is a part of every interaction. It is and part of every every law, everything.
And I'm not, by the way, not an ancap. So don't even don't don't hit your wagon to me on that one. And Kalfas and Captain are capitalists. Yes. Not not in AnCap, but they have nice book bookshops.
Yeah, they do. I mean, I'm not going to, you know, sit here and talk and caps, although I also used to get into the conversations with, with an and com anarcho communist, a good friend of mine. And he would he would bring up this stuff. And I'm like, yeah, cool man. I'm down with anarchy. You aren't going to like it. I mean, I go because I'm going to take I'm going to gather all kinds of people that I'm going to make this I'm going to get the strongest together, going to take your shit.
OK, let's get on that topic. I have a friend of mine now, a fellow Russian Ukrainian, Michael Malus. Oh, yeah.
I'm familiar with Michael Melisse. I was a little bit of your guys is conversation.
So this is really good to ask you because I like how he's in the white suit and you're in the white and black, but he lives in New York City. He is espouses ideas of anarchism and his idea.
And this is different than sort of the Ayn Rand set of ideas, that there's a line between sort of capitalism that's backed by the state and just pure anarchism.
And his idea that violence won't take over anarchism is one that feels to me. Not grounded in reality, I may be I may be wrong. So is there some. So the idea was pure capitalism is that you mean laissez faire, completely deregulated.
Yeah. Yeah. Well, what it will it'll end up in one. It'll end up in if you're a. globalist. It's going to be that it's going to be globalized 100 percent because it has no pure capitalism has no consideration for has no consideration for your native users or of any sort like it does. It doesn't matter. But the idea of governments is that the land a little piece of land you're geographically you're born on means you're going to stick to whatever our founding documents created that little land.
So anarchism is against that.
And the argument is you should be able to choose which ideas you live with. And the concern there is nobody. There's geographical land. The governments that organize on that land will not do not need to protect you from the violence. And my sense is that it does need to be an army that doesn't need to be police that help. However, the form that police takes. But there needs to be a more centralized, not completely centralized, but more centralized safety net of to protect you from the scale again.
Right. So if you want to have your anarchist utopia, well, what will you want to call your anarchist creation here at certain scale?
I'm sure it's doable, you know, but as it scales, as the scale increases, it's completely untenable and a state will emerge. A state will always be exciting because even people always think of states as like people rubbing their hands and smoking cigars in back rooms and just out of nowhere coming around. And it's like, oh, we're going to create this big centralized thing. And just so that we can tell everybody what to do and we can be in charge.
I mean, I know that there are people like that that exist that they would like to do things of that nature and that they see the use of power as something to be used more for their their personal gains over first, which again, self-interest and human beings, but eventually a state.
People want a they want something to go like, OK, who's taking care of this and who's taking care of that and who and how do we create some sort of some sort of protocol for this?
Like, OK, well, when it's not Bob, when is Susie, when is it whatever. I mean, like, how do we you know, it's got to get done if we want this thing to become bigger, if we want our all of our plumbing to work. Right. If we want it just I'm sorry. Estate's going to happen. A state is also when you think about it, it's supposed to have consideration to tribe. Right.
So if people think that we're not tribes, well, you're not you're not really thinking very deeply. We're all tribes of a sort and everybody likes to use the word tribalism in this idea of this antagonistic concept. But and while sure, tribalism can be antagonistic, tribalism can also be a positive thing. Or I could just say it just seems to be a natural thing. People, you know, they create their their groups of one sort or another.
And so when you have well, when you think about where when nation states really start to become a thing, and I don't mean even the more modern looking variants that we could think back up and say the nineteenth century or something like that, even earlier than that. I mean, do you think the Assyrians didn't have a state of some sort? Of course they did. They how do you increase your your your empire if you don't actually have a place to start for us to be a ruler?
So you're saying that naturally when you start talking, thinking about scale of humans, naturally states emerge. And can we try to make an argument for anarchism, which is OK, OK. So anarchy, in a sense, is an opposition to the unhelpful, unproductive, inefficient bureaucracy that eventually the states lead to. And that's what we can see. I mean, I would say less anarchy, more study. James Burnham, you know or well, any anybody that wants to talk about the managerial problem and the.
So you have a sense I hope maybe this think like what is the path forward with the inefficient state?
Is it revolution or is it to work within the system to constantly improve it to man?
I don't know that one. I mean, my general sense and maybe this is the and part of me is that, yeah, it would take maybe not even just maybe not even defining it specifically as a revolution. Maybe it would just take just total calamity to to get people to stop being shitty, to not stop being a lesser version of themselves, to stop thinking more about things from the paradigm that we exist in now, where we're giving so much value to stuff that isn't really all that valuable and where we're so concerned about likes.
And I don't just mean like whether we get them or not, but that oh, man, maybe we should take this off of our platform because this is too destabilizing to people. And it's because once you see Dunbar's number, I think it's actually without having the right faculties, which would need to be developed because this is dealing with this is dealing with tech that brings things ways of approaching being that we are not naturally programed to be able to handle appropriately.
So and I think even even even more, it's even more detrimental to women than men, because I think women have a more natural proclivity towards group association and and more group oriented thinking and patterning.
And now and with also coupled with seemingly more sensitivity towards towards human states.
So I feel like women like the classic idea is like, oh, you know, women are psychic. You have a sixth sense and what have you. And I think that's just a way of simplifying what I think is that women may be more in tune with picking up on the unsaid, like they might be better at seeing physical cues, inflection and tone, like different like they may be far more sensitive to these things, which to me would make sense because dealing with children that can't communicate and so generally more the and all the right now, OK, now, whether it be a woman or a man, but especially with even the social push on this concept of empathy, which of course it gets to the point where it loses any meaning anymore, like people use the word empathy absolutely incorrectly all the time.
And they don't even understand what you're really asking of people. But let's just take it as far as we're using empathy in the correct sense and you're taking on the emotional content of the thing itself. Now, you open that up to thousands of people, maybe hundreds of thousands of people all across the world that you will never meet, that you will never know, that you're not even getting an actual true representation most of the time of who these people are.
You're meeting persona. And some of these personas are even deliberately created to elicit a response. In authentically, are you referring to bot's or compatriots or actual people, bot's are one thing, but I mean, there are literal people out there that will create something, create go fund me for four tragedies that never didn't really or events that didn't happen or any number of things, OK? I mean, burn their own house down and then say, you know, we were attacked and then it comes down, oh, you did it to yourself because you wanted money and empathy and this that and you wanted all this this emotional wealth, let's say this emotional coin as well as actual, if possible.
You wanted to leverage it in some way. That's not the majority of people. But I would say a good amount of folks are thinking, well, if I post this photo and I put this little blurb in there, I bet I can get this much cash out of it in this sense. And I'm not even and this isn't just a reference to like but pics and stuff like that, because clearly, obviously, people understand that that are inborn sexual nature is easy to manipulate.
I mean, that's pretty pretty obvious. But you're you're saying this kind of new medium of communication on social media is this is unnatural and it preys on us.
And so as you you want this, you know, you look at. You look at an anarchist kind of mindset, right, and so he's just like, there's no there is no overarching state to to create any kind of structure.
Right. And so if you have that unfettered capitalism aspect with it.
And before I say anything particularly damning about unfettered capitalism, I'm a massive capitalist because I view capitalism essentially as what it boils down to these arguments. People, too, they they give me all these extra definitions about capitalism, like, no, no. This is obviously some sort of theory you're taking from other shit. But that doesn't describe capitalism. Capitalism is the ability for us to create whatever we want, create our thoughts, ideas, physical things, and trade them freely among each other in ways that we find acceptable.
Right. You know, I'm not even using the word fair because I might think it's fair to me. You might think, well, I mean, that was actually I think he what he thought was unfair to him. And it's more fair to me. And someone a third observer goes, oh, man, you should you should not have paid that for that. You should have paid this. And it's like, well, you know what? It works for me without sufficiently acceptable you you both agree to the transaction.
Correct. And, you know, but also at the at the root of that is freedom. Right. And as far as I can tell, I've been banging this around on my head. It's like for every one unit of freedom, you need two units of accountability.
And if you don't have that, what you end up with is.
Human self-interest, we're not even going to get the evil human self-interest sabotaging other things, even in a sense to be malicious.
OK, so in terms of let's put this mathematically speaking, I love this. So anarchism is more like two units of freedom and one unit of accountability or maybe zero units of accountability possibly.
I mean, the anarchists tend to think like, no, everyone will be accountable and say, fuck, they will. When have you seen this happen in real life? You know, I mean, people aren't even accountable in the revolutions time.
So you aren't looking at the way people really are.
It's like Marx is like, yeah, people are like this. They're like that. Look at how capitalism does it.
I mean, he, of course, assigns a lot of really ridiculous economic principles in practice, but and also assumes that everybody, you know, who makes any profit from anything is somehow stealing in, you know, really assigns a negative moral aspect to him.
And then it's like, oh, yeah, but then eventually communism happened. No one will act that way anymore. And you're like, whoa, hold on. You just said the people are all are you saying it's all due to capitalism or its is it innate? It's just it's a fundamental misunderstanding of and it's like, hey. Look at you, you're like a notorious, like anti-Semitic, angry, like just absolute curmudgeon of a human being who seems to be really not all that fun to be around Marx.
And then it's just like so you have to think like if there was one billion Marxists in the world, how they behave, it would be absolutely they would hate each other so bad.
And, you know, this isn't for me to even poison the well on Marx is like, oh, his personality sucks. There's lots of people whose personality stuff that doesn't mean they can't make.
I don't know. That isn't what you know. Somebody argues he's just a he's a loner. I mean, I don't know. His personality sucked at all.
Let me walk that back in. That he was human. His personality sucked. He was sometimes contradictory, irrational.
Sometimes he was quite sexist despite the emails I've gotten that that that's that told me that that there's there's people was written to me that Nietzsche has been unfairly labeled a sexist and has a discussion about women.
I'm pretty sure there's a bunch of documents where he's just like.
He's just a bitter guy. I will agree with you, and Mark's is as bitter as they come to.
But, you know, a bitterness in and of itself doesn't make like why I hate Marxism comes from, you know, the the whole the entirety of the thing and but the dismissal of him. But I'm not going to say that Marxism or Practic meant you can find any forbidden book and it could have something good in it as kernels of good ideas. Yeah. And like at the end of the day, you know, Marx as a human being as he does, he had a hell of a beard, a decent portrait.
I mean, he looks like the kind of guy like I wouldn't want to meet him in a dark alley, but thankfully, I don't think he was much of a fighter.
But in any case, I mean, not the anarchists. Are there more hot for like Max Sterner? People like to think that Nicha borrowed a lot from Sterner. And my argument is, one, you don't have any real evidence for that and to bullshit, you know, I mean, anybody could I the fact that they have some overlapping thoughts doesn't make it lifted, not to mention go read a lot more philosophy and see how there's so many different things.
Oh, this guy said it in seventeen, twenty two. Well and then this guy says that again in nineteen twenty two. Does that mean he read the other guy's stuff. Not necessarily. I mean he's working from the same type of human physiological construct as anybody else. Of course it's possible this guy could think the same thing. We think a lot of the same things, to be perfectly honest. I mean, reading The Hunger Curé, going back to philosophy books, this was really impactful on me as a younger adult because here's a book written in the 19th century about someone who lived through the 19th and 18th century at times as a samurai, now a monk and his objections to society.
At the time, the same objections one was having to society as I was reading it, like the same human behavior, the same impetus for action that he found a problem I put that's the same this same shit.
Now we're not. And this is the thing. And then I'm reading more religion. I go, Oh, we're no different than anyone who wrote the Torah or older. We are the same thing with the same problems, with the same psychological issues, the same human behaviors. Like these things are not different. Yeah. And we haven't changed.
Growing set of tools, though, to to kill each other with Medicare together and all that kind of stuff. But underlying it does a human need. Well, we're also trying to understand that human nature, I think of, just like you said, learning how to fish acquired more and more knowledge about the human nature. But it's been a very slow journey, slower than people realize. Yes.
I mean, in terms of understanding human nature, let me ask in terms of egoism, it'd be curious to get your sense about Ayn Rand and her whole idea of virtue of like selfishness and her, because you mentioned that everybody has a kernel of truth there.
There's potential for a kernel of truth to be discovered and anything. For example, I've been recently reading Mein Kampf.
You know what? That's the thing. Even there's something in there's probably things in Mein Kampf that are not the surface level.
Read if you get all hung up on on all probably all his crap about, you know, his anger or anger at Jews and this and that. All this crap, it's like, OK, yeah, that's right. On the surface, try to get below that, try to see, you know, how is he how is he creating the Jews as a cope somehow. Like how he using why why are they his his scapegoat and I mean scapegoat in the so many Jarrad's concept of the scapegoat?
I mean, in that sense, whereas, you know, Hitler uses it wants to make the the Jews the scapegoat for World War One.
I mean, for me, the starting point similar to that and Rand is like Mein Kampf is not a good place to search, not just because Hitler is evil, but just not full of ideas. No, it is not.
It has its significance due to a lot of historically speaking. But the starting point for me with Hitler is like to acknowledge that he's human and to at least consider the possibility that any one of us could have been Hitler.
So, like not, I think, Pieterson kind of concept. Also, Jonathan has a thing about the difference between hate and discussed mechanisms and things like that.
And so he used he goes into the looking at Hitler and his through his his diary entries and journals and stuff like that to look and see it more as the.
The discuss mechanism then also try and see if there's any evolutionary biological attachment to this, whatever, I mean, you're right, he is a human being and any of us are we're all human beings. It's not that. It's probably jarring for people to think, but were. We're all, I guess, supposed potentially capable of just being in and all these evil people in the world think they're doing it for the sake of good. Yeah, which makes them the most dangerous.
And there's some there's differences in levels of insane. I think Hitler was way more insane than Stalin. I think Stalin legitimately thought he was being doing good.
I would say that's probably true. Stalin was just outright brutal, like he had he had his five year plan. He had to do the things.
He just had a much lower value for human life. Yes. And so he was willing to take make decisions about what he actually as as a good executive of which he was of managing different bureaucracies and so on. He was willing to make decisions that resulted in mass human suffering where Hitler was. It seems like to me what much moodier so allowed emotions and moods to make that decision.
We also have to consider the different trajectories and how, where and when they were making their decisions. And I mean not by time specifically, but, you know, Hitler engaged into this this conflict across multiple continents and then that everything that comes with basically fighting the whole world.
Stalin had his conflict and then he really mostly compartmentalized the rest of it, so he was dealing with his own internal instead of dealing with the internal and the external. So if Stalin was put under a world war scenario, I don't know, maybe he would eventually lost his marbles, too. Yeah, I'm not sure that that's you're right there. The hunger for power was more internalized for Stalin. He wanted to control the land that already exists as opposed to wanting to colonize other land.
He was as nationalistic as Hitler, but and was as capable and willing for violent conflict as Hitler for the aims of the state. Yeah. But he he he centered and internalized prior to then externalizing and moving outwards, whereas even maybe prior to him, there was an interest to continually push communism in an aggressive sense, following on the momentum from the the 1918 revolution and that the halting of that through various aspects.
I guess in Germany, part of that was the National Socialist. Like they they came up and then they were the other ones to fight the communists. And so you had the two totalitarians going after it. But then in the rest of the world, that was not dealing with totalitarian aspects. It was just it wasn't going to stick, especially in the West and other places. But Stalin just, you know, casually thinking like Stalin decided, OK, all right.
Well, we're not going to go just start launching right into more conflicts here. We're going to these dudes are going down. So that's cool for us because they hate us and we hate them.
But now we're going to we're going to focus internally and then we're going to work on growing at a slower rate and picking our battles a bit more specifically. And, of course, there's you know, you can get to the even this is after Stalin, but you got the best Monov type stuff talking about subversion in cultural aspects. Yeah.
I mean, there's this fascinating dynamics to propaganda throughout that that's that's a whole nother.
Colonel, do you think there could have been stopped? One of the things is kind of fascinating to look at is how many nations, both journalists and nations, wanted almost Krave to take Hitler at his word that he wanted peace until it was too late. They almost wanted to be delude themselves. I mean, the same is true with the Stalin. People want to take Stalin at his word or delude themselves.
Yeah, that we will do we will delude ourselves over any number of things. And until even after the fact where the history just says, hey, fuckface, you know, you cannot supplement your pseudo reality onto actual reality here anymore. But yet we deal with people in pseudo realities constantly. I mean, we will always find a way to to change reality, to suit our needs.
Well, the nature of truth now, there's now multiple actual truth is kind of fascinating. There's multiple versions of history that people are telling. You know, the version the version of the the the Great Patriotic War in Russia, the World War Two in Russia is very different today under Putin than the version that we're learning on in the United States. And then different than the version in Europe. In the United States, the hero of the war is the United States.
In Europe, there's a much more sad and solemn story of suffering and so on. Sure. In in Russia, the great patriotic. Yes, it was a unifier of a sense. And it is.
I mean. Yeah, I mean, you can't argue that war and conflict that and or just even reducing that to stressors, agitation, suffering doesn't create human motivation. You know, we started this off. You brought up Frankel like. Yeah, Frankel's dope man's search for meaning has those. Great. And and I talk to you about how I started to think like, man, do the ability for human beings to to to live and or potentially flourish in the worst environments you can think of is pretty incredible in and of itself.
And that it's a crazy thought to think that without Frankel and Mazzello ending up in concentration camps, do they write some of the most important books on philosophy in the 20th century? And that's insane on a lot of different levels.
But suffering is a creative force. I mean, do you think we'll always have war? Yes, we will always have war in some form or another.
We we need. Quote unquote, air quotes for those just listening for war to survive, we need war to flourish. We need at least can you explain the quote, the air quotes?
Well, because take take take the sea wars as violence. No words without violence. So like this one quotes because while you know us getting on the mat or just getting on these hardwood floors and wrestling around is not a literal war. It's more of a sorts.
You know, it is it is a diluted form of war. American football is a deluded form of war. All of these are diluted forms of war. Tennis is a diluted form of war.
And I think the one of the best explanations I ever got from this and another person very impactful on my life and outlook and thinking about things. Cormac McCarthy. And so in Blood Meridian, there's this fantastic speech about war given by the judge, which there's a ton of fantastic speeches on things given by the judge. Yeah, all that exists in creation without my knowledge, does so without my consent.
OK, that's pretty heavy. That's that's hard to bring that up.
Can you say again all things that exist and creation, all things that exist without my knowledge, do so without my consent. What does that mean? Well, I think from the judge's perspective, it's like, well, I didn't consent to that bird or that dog or this building or all this like all of this, you know, I didn't create it. So it's done so without my consent. And if it's up to my consent, well, I'll design it.
How I want to is another similar look into how the judges in that book is.
He would study everything everywhere he went. And so he's collected this group of ne'er do wells from all over to go on these hunts against certain tribes in the Southwest and getting paid by the U.S. government, the Mexican government. So. He's on these Indian hunts, and yet they're going all these different places and. They would stay the night in a cave somewhere and he would find cave paintings, he would write them all down or he would find old pieces.
There's an example of him, the narrator, explaining how watching the judge and how he drawing everything gets notebooks just full of things, drawings and writings and how he found like a piece of armor from a conquistador, something way back in the day, a Spanish arm. And he draws it into his his book and then crushes it. And so that's the reason we'll always have war and this society is because there's this struggle of among people that want to be the designers.
There's there's that. But it's I'm just saying that he's got this whole quote on war like war is about is play. War is a game. And the difference is, is that what's at stake? So all things are a game of some sort and something you're putting up for it or what you're willing to put up for it determines whether or not you're going to participate or not.
And, you know, all all aspects of any game is war. And it's just what is at stake. You know, if it's your life, it's a different story. If it's just a coin, it's another thing.
A nice way to put it is if humans play a game in this kind of pursuit of creating whatever the hell the reason is that we keep creating cool and cooler things the way that it seems to be the result of a game that will naturally play naturally grave.
I don't know. I mean, that's been the struggle philosophy is to understand what is the underlying force of all that? Is it the world?
The powers I think will to power is a really great way of describing it.
If you want to be the winner of the game, you know, not just I don't look at world powers being the winner of the game. Well, I mean, if we're going to get philosophical. Yes, you want to be the winner of the game. What does winning the game define how you win? Everybody is going to define that win differently. You know, you could define the win in the most base level, like, oh, I got all the things.
Well, if you got all those things without the the needing component of fulfillment, then you're going to be a very unhappy person with a whole lot of things.
But this is a self-referential aspect to to me, the winner of the game is defined by the people playing the game. So if I'm playing a game. I want to win in the sense that most of the other people who are playing the game will say, yeah, that guy won by there by our collective definition. What if I just come up with some sort of if I come?
That's a lot of that's a lot of weight on the external on you. Right. But that's that's how games seem to work somewhat. So I'm already a winner in my life by defining my own success.
I'm basically the best person in the world at doing me, at being Lex. Yeah. So like and then I'm really happy that that's that's a source of.
Well, I mean, think about games are also iterated. Right. So you start off with your game and then your game with your immediate and then the game further than that. Game further than that. And then the game today in the game tomorrow and the game next week. And so it never ends. And if you try to keep thinking about it that way. No wonder people go crazy. But we we don't want to think about things that way.
We don't want to think about being towards death. We don't want to think about whether or not I'm going anywhere after this other than in the ground or what have you like.
You know, while all of these games are since some distraction, this is where we started. But I mean, it's violence is that we need to let this out. And so it is of our kids need to wrestle and play just like animals need to wrestle and play. We need to have forms of competition. We need to have ways to to test ourselves, to create when what is it when at peace a man of war makes war with himself.
And so we need to be able to competently go at war with ourselves and go out war with our neighbor and go at war with our neighbors neighbor in a way that is repeatable at the very least. So one one way of saying that there will always be war.
I mean, that's my hopeful view, is that most of the war conducted in the future will be, like you said, the man must go to war with himself. That would be great. That that's that's what to me, love is is like focusing on yourself and your own improvement and your own creativity and towards others feeling sort of emphasizing cooperative behavior and compassion and would be great empathy.
It would be great. But I mean, you can have. Well, I'll put it to you this way if you have. A whole community of randy pins and a whole community of Ann comes and they could all like, I don't know, the toast of London on Netflix and they love Netflix and they love the Internet and they love picking apart Mollenkopf with you.
They love like they like all these things, even the esoteric that they can they can they can get on with. But at the fundamental root, they cannot help but go to war because they are literally oil and water know the perceived, but they would the very labels they assign to themselves would need to dissipate.
Well, well then you would have to stop being whatever it is that you took on as your ideological or religious point, right?
Yeah, I mean, I there's some days and come some days I'm in caps and whatever the anarchic anarchy capital, I mean, it depends on the hour, the minute of the day, constantly changing moods and embracing that flow, the change of opinions, of ideas, as there are some days like I'm actually cognizant of the fact that it's not getting much sleep in after I get some sleep. I see. I'm so much more optimistic about the world.
The less and less sleep I get, the more cynical I get to see that up and down.
I don't even let my while OK.
I try not to let and most days it's never a problem any sort of like what the kids call it now. Black pilled way of thinking be my my my over my the umbrella which I hang under.
So we actually have to drag us back. Can we talk about girl guides, you can translate because I do want to make sure I touch it.
I mean, what word Karl Gottsch is? Is he the greatest wrestler? I don't know. It was the greatest catch wrestler ever. I don't I don't. I mean, he's one of them. Or the for a myriad of Carl Gotch, Billy Robinson, Godson Robinson's trainer, Billy Reilly. So who are these figures and what do they mean? He's one of the greatest catch wrestlers ever because he's responsible for Brazilian jujitsu along with Kusile Gracy.
OK, there's a bunch of things I'd like to say here, but one of the things that catch wrestling seem to espouse as a principle is that of violence.
I just determinates that competed at the unfortunate thing and we'll probably hopefully talk about a little bit. They were disorganized and the level of competition was pretty low. People really sucked. Pretty typical.
Is that typical guy?
Well, it's it's I mean, think about your local run of the mill. Yes. Jujitsu tournament versus IBG. Jeff created a vast difference.
So so I you know, but there is a to me as a human being that like intellectually, philosophically, it was more interesting to go to a wrestling tournament. It seemed more real and honest because of the way they communicate about violence. I love aggression.
And so it is it is often more honest.
I think that was that from that originate from Washington. And well, I had it originates from all wrestling in that even wait, which is not a not a classically considered catch wrestler yet.
The reason why he has the world record for most amount of world champions, Pend or the record for pins in the NCAA is because well, of course, the idea is to put you on your back and opinion, but there's no way you're going to let me do that.
So how do I make it so that you want me to pin you? Well, it's by you put them in excruciating pain, yeah. So at the end of the day, you're both there. You both want to win. Neither one wants to allow anything to the other. Yeah. So how do I how do I get you.
To lose to me, I make it so unbearable for you that you decide losing is better than staying. So those are those two are so fascinating because so coming from Russia, I don't know if that's where I got it or if it's just my own predisposition, as I always loved the. There's two ways to get you to want to pinch yourself. One is to make it so painful, not to pinch yourself, that you pinch yourself or whatever. And the other is it's sort of like Brucey water flows make it so easy to pinch yourself.
So it's technique. It's like the elegance, the ease of movement. This is the city of brothers versus city, like the just the elegance, the efficiency, the ballet, watching these guys, you know, these incredible Satya brothers are massive and and also the past.
So caveat a little bit like if you're approaching this from a Russian perspective, Russians are quite truthful about things, especially when it comes to something like combat.
They just this is how it is and this is how it's going to be honest. Yes, but honesty is what I really like about cats wrestling, because I find that we given any opportunity for us to be dishonest for any number of reasons. We're going to, especially if it's a dishonesty towards a positive. Right. Like, oh, well, you know, it's all technique and it's all this and it's the gentle or the blah. Bro, I have rolled with ATCC world champions, you know, some of the best you have ever heard of.
There aren't a lot of gentleness when it comes to like, oh yeah, they wanted to sweep you and you said no and then you did said no again and then you said no and attacked their leg. Yeah. It ceases to be all that gentle because at the end of the day, these dudes are strong as hell. They're flexible. They're all I mean, they're the difference between the athleticism and and the the ability to actually win is a pretty wide gap.
The athleticism shows up, but then there's all that other extra. And part of that is meanness and pain and getting what you need out of it.
There is a philosophical difference in the way I thought, because I think some of it is just they just in denial, like, oh, people they like to people like to espouse a lot of things as theory. And then it's like, OK, let me watch.
When you're not doing anything about what you said right now, in fact, you're doing the opposite. You're literally hurting that guy because you you're shit ain't working in the way that you'd like it to. So you're having to use strength. You're having to match one of my fears, like, oh, you're using too much strength. It's like, well, hold on. Do we want people not to use strength at this point to understand more of mechanics?
Or are you trying to tell people if they use strength at all that they're somehow bad at what they do? Because, you know, it's not my fault, you're not stronger than speaking is something else?
That's that's why I tend to think what it comes down to is nice.
Strength is fine until you beat me with it, then it's OK.
So strength is another thing I'm speaking. I'm thinking about more like anger.
Oh, sure. So like a lot of angry guys in jujitsu. I know that. Really. OK, but let's talk about let's talk about they're only the highest level of competition. There's a book called Wrestling Tough. Yeah, there's a really good book I've I've encountered in my life a few, especially in wrestling, people who really try to find a way to use anger to get really angry at their opponent and not like stupid anger, but just like intense pointed anger distilled into something that you can use.
And I remember this, too.
I don't know why I it might be wrestling tough where a person was imagining that their opponent just raped their mother, raped their girlfriend or something like that to to create this like, method acting thing in their head, to be like to just snap them out of this polite interaction of usual, like athletic convention and like know really good design of necessity.
So my anecdote for this was I was sitting with her backstage before a fight at my fight, and I'm working with this guy in the studio is this is this is a world champion guy and appeared at the highest levels.
And he. He looks at me and he goes, you know, do you ever get nervous before fights? I looked and I went, No, I don't. And he just looks at me like, fuck, man. I'm so, you know, how do you do it, man? You know, I wish I could be like you. And I said, you know what? That doesn't mean that what I'm doing is better. It's just what is necessary for me is the way I am.
And I told him. And so this anecdote goes into another anecdote.
This is the Family Guy episode, I guess, where some another famous high level guy told me about this experience with world champion boxer in Japan. And this guy would get insanely nervous and worked up and anxious before his matches. And he hated it and hated it and hated it. And so he wanted to get rid of that feeling. So he went to a hypnotist for a bunch of sessions and managed to and he goes in the next fight, cool as a cucumber and doesn't perform and loses.
And so what I said, going back to anecdote one was. You know, whatever is necessary for you to get yourself in the best state of being right now, to compete, whatever that may be, it could be absolute stress and fear. It could be anger, could be calmness, it could be whatever. But there is a sigh of relief. But there is a a there's a state at which you need to be in to do your best and use the individual.
You have to find that. Can you comment on Tyson? Mike Tyson. Oh, yeah, that thing. So first so here there's two things I want. So he's in terms of fear, there's a clip there, I think, from a documentary where he talks about his life fully afraid as he walks up to the ring and as he gets closer and closer and closer, he gets more confident until he gets in and he's a God or something like that.
That coupled with his statement on Joe Rogan, that he gets aroused at the possibility of of hurting somebody in the ring. So, like, he gets aroused at the violence.
Yeah, I like it because it's coupled to your basically statement that we need to to find our own unique way of existing at our top level of performance. And that perhaps is Mike Tyson.
But do you think there's something more deeply universal to the Mike Tyson speaking to the fact that he's aroused, that he's bloody?
I do, actually, although I don't think that it always equates to arousal for people. In fact, I would say in general it doesn't. Yeah, I can say I've never had a boner in the ring, in fact, of anything, you know, or combat cock is like, we're not hanging around. We're leaving. We're going up. Yeah, we're taking off. We don't want anything to do with this. Yes. You have fun.
Come back to us when you have something warmer, softer, smells better. Yeah, but the power, the feeling of aliveness.
Yeah, I could see it being, you know, back to the even the concept of the ubermensch. I feel like the states, the highest states of being I've ever been in. We're in the midst of conflict. I felt like that was the time. Those are the those are the moments in my life where I felt like I was at the highest level of being as a human in existence. But yet even being in that state was not it was not something that you can interact with people that weren't in that state with you, like they wouldn't get it, you would almost seem.
And to be that way all the time, either A might drive you mad or B is you're not you're something that's untenable to the rest of society, that you can't function with everybody else. It will not work.
It's just like you said, well, the ubermensch, just like it's perhaps that ideal is not something you can hold for long. That's the very nature of it is. Yeah.
Well, there was an example in this book that Zathras about a snake being down the person's throat and biting it and then having this maniacal laughter erupting.
And, you know, to me it was at least I read it as. Yeah, OK, there's this insane moment that isn't forever, but that it is life and death, and it is and the overcoming it is the thing that all of a sudden gives you that tapping into the your highest state. Right. This is, you know, man is a chasm, a tightrope between man and ubermensch. Well, I don't want to leave your thought about it, we'll call those things flourishes to to the aspect of Tyson's interpretation or his his his expression of his feelings in combat.
And so I gave this antidote to the guy and I just you know, my first anecdote to that athlete I was working with and I said, you know, this isn't there isn't a superior way in this sense. There is the way that works for you. That may be something you can implement to other people if you find that person, because we all have different personalities. And to me, that's that is that's an absolute I don't want to know.
Don't come at me with all your other fucking social sciences crap. No, we have distinct personalities that that personality that that who you really are. And this, you know, again, Heidegger designed like being authentic. If you're if you're authentic, but who you are, goods and bads, you will know how to create what that is. And for me, violence and fighting and conflict was something that always felt normal to me. And I don't mean normal.
And like I grew up in a war zone or a abusive household or something like that, I just meant that I was a kid who is very. Joyful and inquisitive and spend a lot of time around older people, of all things, and also while I don't think I have much capability towards engineering, my mom said that one of the first things as like a little baby, when she put me in my sister's old crib instead of my sister who just milled about and was fine with it all.
The first thing I did was I completely deconstructed it and break it. I figured out how to pull it apart, curiosity about the world.
And yet that wasn't in conflict with the idea of violence now. Not at all. And so being a very joyful and nice kid. But, you know, kids are kids. And if if kids can find that you respond maybe more easily to agitation, they will agitate you. And if you should stand out way by being taller or bigger or something or caring especially, they will agitate you. They don't really fully understand it either. And so I don't I don't hold anything against like any of the kids that used to pick on me or whatever, especially at the youngest stages, like, man, they don't know shit either.
So but once that line was pushed for me, it was. Oh, well, I was I was being cool. Now you're being uncool. Yeah. Well then that gives me license for everything. And so boom, we would just go at it or kids that would try to initiate a fight. OK, and being in that moment of just going go into town with someone else, it just felt like. This is this is I I belong here.
Yeah, it was it was never a problem for me like that. In fact, if anything, the over what I had to understand was not only did I learn the hard way that it doesn't matter. At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter what anybody else does, if your response and violence even to their violence, if you're the winner, is often going to be penalized severely, you know, society, state apparatus, they don't want any of that.
They want to be the only arbiter of violence in the world, always.
But I learned a very difficult lesson with that. And it was really impactful in a negative way on me. But also I had to learn on an individual sense. Two, you need to manage violence, two, because, hey, if someone attacks you or starts a fight with you and you go at it, OK, beating them up is one thing, you know, trying to grab a handful of broken glass in the street and throw it in their face, maybe that's a bit much at 7:00.
So you need to learn what what level is necessary. And you need to learn what comes with with all what's the responsibility of when you enact violence? I mean, you take on something when you you have a responsibility for that. This is the extension of your actions. So but as I got older and especially as I found sports and then combat sports now, this was a place for me to flourish and to the point where I was more myself in that space than I was outside of it until time enough where I could learn to to get this back together again.
And I never say that I that I'll merge the two or anything like that. No, all what happened.
My, my my journey from adolescence on to to manhood, a huge portion of it besides the normal finding yourself, whatever, whatever.
Actually what it was, it was really getting back to who I always was, getting that curious kid, the kind kid getting back to the guy that I should have been allowed to become instead of what happened under the pressures of other things. Yeah. And the attempt for society and certain people within, you know, managerial positions to to compress what that was into something that they found more suitable.
Put those pressures, allow you to discover this little world, forbidden world in many ways of violence. Then you could explore through sport, you can explore it, and it's more socially acceptable to explore it.
The sport for sure. And even but even then, there's like at times it's socially unacceptable. So I beat Semco. I'm he cut my right eyebrow. I cut him and busted his nose. And he's bleeding all over me as I have an arm bar on top. I'm getting, you know, it's raining blood. Caught some slayer from a lacerated Semco, bleeding in his heart, creating my structures.
Now I shall write in blood, but I win the fight bar. Nasty one. I get on my feet and the first thing I do is I wipe all the blood off onto my hands and I lick it and I do my thing.
And all the Yemeni journalist freaked out. Dana Wise. I mean, I know about that, you know. You know, we don't want him doing everybody had this huge problem and then some folks would even contend with, oh, you know, we're trying to like, no, no, no, this isn't planned. This is you don't think of these things. This is this is how I really feel. This is who I really am and, you know.
It was even kind of comical after the fact, know, and B.J. Penn was on that very card with me, watching him at some point in his career, all of a sudden win fights and then do this licking the glove thing. And everyone thinks it's the coolest thing ever. And I'm like, hey, fuck faces. I did this in two thousand and two or one 2001. And B.J. Penn actually back then was like, dude, you're a bad ass, you're a killer.
You know where that come from? Because that seems like a deeply human moment.
I could say I could just be, you know, goofy about orgiastic that I like back to Mike Tyson. But Tyson. But no. No, it isn't. It's beyond that. Is it a pretty nice, pretty decent orgasms in my life at this point? I'm 43, so but no, nothing has ever compared to that. Like I said, it is a feeling of highest being to me and ubermensch.
This is this is where I feel like. The restrictions of general existence in society are gone, and I get to fully live in a state that feels more meaningful of the most meaning, I think of it as life and death and. It's just it is the way I'm built and I don't have I've never had any problem applying violence like it doesn't I, I don't know where it comes from or how you would define it or whatever, if you want to stick me in a psychologist chair.
But like, I don't there's a part of me that can just know if I'm going to apply. I can apply violence to any level and be OK with it. And it doesn't I don't lose sleep. It doesn't bother me. It's not a problem. It's it was me learning how to fully understand. Violence, humans, and the broader perspective that allowed me to think about things and like, well, what am I what do I really want to accomplish with my actions in the world, just on a whole, you know, not compartmentalizing my sporting career even when I get in the ring, I don't have any mercy generally.
And if I do, it's because I make a really deliberate. Attempt to be in a state where I can have mercy if I just go in there to fight with everything I got, there is zero natural state. There's nothing there's nothing that will hold me back other than the referee. And that's that, you know, I know I agreed to be allowed to do and not to do, but but within that, I know and I expect it to be done to me.
But in terms of values, in terms of seeing what to me violence is is just yet another canvas that humans can paint beautifully.
Clearly, I mean, we have venerated the violent there are communists that venerate the violent on their behalf. There are national socialist that venerate the violent there. And then if you remove it from an ideological perspective, we venerate the violent.
When they're a hero, we venerate the violent in our religion. Well, I mean, I guess some people venerate the violence of of Yahweh and Sodom and Gomorrah. Right. So or do we say Jehovah? I don't know.
Is there you've already mentioned one, but is there a fight where you've achieved the highest of heights for your own personal being just when you look within yourself that you're the proudest of or maybe was your most beautiful creation? Is this something that stands out there?
There are a few actually fighting some and a rematch? Well, the first one was pretty good, too, but the rematch was I was suffering. I had suffered prior the week prior to food poisoning.
And so while my arms are looking all right, I in the ring didn't have the power that I expected to. And I was struggling in ways and some of the grappling with the submission stuff that I hadn't accounted for, just exhaustion or mental exhaustion.
I mean, just physical. I wasn't back up to a hundred percent in terms of this power output and semi was. Well, he's always seven foot tall, but this time he was the first time I thought he was to 60 or 57 or to 60 something, something like that.
This time he was like to 90. And so he was a significantly bigger cat. And he was he's a big dude. And I remember being. It's up against the ropes with them changing levels, trying to take him down. And he's fighting his hip in. And I just thought in my head, there's no fucking way I'm going to lose this fight. There's no way you are not going to beat me is not going to happen. And I am biting the other arm, even though the fact is I and I really want to get you for that.
I want to get that match back. And then you got my other arm, Dick. Dude, I still love you though. Yeah.
You know, but the whole time you're like, so this has to do the the dichotomy of your feeling, your worst and having to overcome.
And you're like literally mentally telling yourself, there's no way, there's no fucking way I'm going to lose this fight.
And then there's even my last bare knuckle match and getting in the ring and fighting bare knuckle boxing for the first time and just thinking this being in a in a great state and just just looking so forward to seeing I mean, I called someone and I was talking to them the night before and I said, yeah, well, I won't call you because this face might not look like this when I see you next.
And they're just like, OK, let's not just like empty trash talk. That's no, that's like a clarity of mind and the seriousness of all.
I know I might die. I'm most pretty high chance of being deformed somewhere. So fucking I don't like you. Do you think about are you accepting your own death? Yes, 100 percent.
I in fact and that's in a strange way, that's partially what makes it so elevated in terms of my my sense of feeling by being able to have death at my side. It feels good. And to be there and to think that this could be the one like, why not? You know, I'm not a religious person at all, even though I very much have to seem seems to bang on the drum about the usefulness or understanding the usefulness of religion for people.
But, you know, if if if I got to do something, then, yeah, put me in Valhalla and I don't want to be anywhere else. Nothing else. Seems like a good place for me to be. I want to want to fight all day long and feast all night. You know, it sounds great.
I say you throw your hat into the ring of Fater million and yes, he got covid.
I guess. I hope he I hope he overcomes it and comes out just as good, if not better than I could.
That did I understand correctly that might be his last fight.
Yes, that's my understanding. And it would be that good and it would be epic as hell, because the person that I want to give my most, who is the person that I respect, especially at this this long, this long, this long career of mine. And getting at this, this is his twilight years to warriors. And that's the thing about even this going in there with the aspect of being with death and all that is that when that person is in there, they are my brother with me in this.
And that's so when you give me your best, even if I even if I win dominant fashion. But if you show up and you're as authentic and being here as I am, then then I love you and I'm glad for you to be here. And we're in this together.
And and at this point, you know, your loss or my loss or whatever. Is no less deserving of veneration than the wind, like we're here in this, and so to be in the ring with fear and to venerate him and win or defeat, to be in there with with someone like that is to me. It's so rare, so it's incredible how the ultimate violence is coupled with, like love or respect, and it's like it's weird how this is how the competition and its violent form is also a veneration of just human connection.
It's also the removal. I feel like it's the purest, honest ways, purest, honest, most honest places a person can exist that line and fight club. You don't know really who you are until you've been in a fight. I believe that. And I've seen so many examples of people trying to portray themselves as one thing. And then in the ring you see who they really are or even when they're trying to portray themselves as one thing and they're winning the crowd at times.
We'll see who they really are and still hate them.
You know, like I said, all the good things don't work that way.
Yeah, but speaking of better, if we take you out of the picture for the greatest mixed martial arts fighters of all time, I, I feel you out of the picture as a cop out to some degree.
I feel like we need a little bit more time, you know, so to to see how this unfolds, because you've got to compare a lot of things. And I.
I did. I did.
I think I did an interview about a century, but that would help if we can keep accurate records and not allow too much biased to fall in too much. That's good, right?
Yeah, but I made an argument I was in and I get a it was a interview with an outlet of some sort and I can't recall who it was, but oh, it was an argument about Will the winner of Cain Velasquez versus Steve Semiotic be the greatest heavyweight of all time. And I said, fuck no way. Oh, no. Is Cormier immunologic? That's what it was. I said, absolutely not. Not even close. And I said, these guys need a bit more time to see how things go and also how things go for some of their opponents.
And there's more factors than just this one fight. It really is.
And I go and when you want to weigh these people, even if, let's say, will bring Alistar or Alistar Overeem into the into the equation, OK, you judge him on what you know now, what he's done for you lately, OK? Right. Which is a very myopic way of doing it. What has he done over his career? One champion. He was a champion and dream he Strikeforce, blah, blah, blah. His overall record, the entirety of all the different opponents he's fought.
And I just sit back and go, OK, he's not the UFC champ, but.
His accolades, his merits in some ways actually stand up higher than Cormier's immaturities. So what about the moments? Do you give much value to the special moments like the highest highs you rise to? Not in terms of records or the strikes landed, but just creating a magical moment in a in a fight? It doesn't have to be a championship fight. But just you know, Conor McGregor is an example of somebody who creates a narrative, who gets the story with the drama and the special magic happens even if it's like not greater than reality.
And that is always the case. So do you. And so I understand that so very much.
And it takes an asshole like me to to poo poo on your myth, at least get you at the end of the day, you're not going to abandon your myth, but perhaps temper it with the facts and logic.
But also, you're not a fan of myth.
No, I'm an absolute massive fan of myth. But you prefer facts and logic. It's like when I know I mean, I like saying facts and logic because people I also I am not a materialist in that sense.
I don't think that materialism can solve for everything. It's not enough. It's not it's not robust enough. I'm sorry if facts and logic and or reason, as enlightenment scholars all thought, including Marx, was enough for people, then we would never we wouldn't have any religions. We wouldn't have and there would be no we wouldn't have narratives and myths and all this kind of stuff. It would not be it just I'm sorry. There is no there's nothing about history that supports the idea that rationality will overwhelm will overcome all.
There's something about Ben Shapiro's facts. Don't care about your feelings that feels to be mis feels to be missing something fundamental about human nature. It's not clear to me exactly what is missing to give all or benefit or been a fair shake.
And, you know, I don't know Ben Shapiro. I don't really listen to Ben Shapiro, not against Ben Shapiro. I don't I'm not here to say anything particularly bad about him, although I will say at one time Tom Arnold was seemingly trying to pick an actual fight with Ben Shapiro in the ring or somewhere. Yes. And I just and I actually responded, I like art. And I tried to get him to clarify. I say, hey, are you saying that you want to fight Ben Shapiro that you're looking to?
Actually, because I was waiting for him to say something and then I'm like, OK, well, it's one thing to want to get into a fight with someone. It's another thing to go pick on a little tiny, you know, guy like Ben who's much smaller than you and doesn't train or whatever. But, you know, if it's not me, I can find someone your size and you can go fight him. You know, don't be a basically don't be a bully piece of shit.
Yeah. You know, which, by the way, Tom Arnold, you are a mental midget. You were never going to be able to compete even with Ben Shapiro in an argument on any level about anything. Oh, intellectual argument. Intellectual argument. You can maybe you can scream louder than him or whatever.
But nevertheless, in the discussion of greatness in fighting, I think you need to write numbers, numbers, numbers.
And there's the magic. There is some context also in that. Where did Alistair Overeem fight? Oh, we pride where you could soccer kick people and stomp their head this and that. And so the the the game environment is actually different to so much uncertainty. There's more chaos and pride. There's more go back a little further and go like, what about the guys that used to dance seven bare knuckle head, but the whole nine, you be down seven.
I did beat them seven. And that was that was killing an idol so to speak. Although I didn't kill him because I still love you. He still and I mean, he's still responsible for inspiration along this whole pathway.
You know, it's meeting, meeting your God and putting a knife in it, I guess, realizing they're human and then bringing them down to your level.
Exactly. But also, there's a there's a huge misconception there. And that is that I could bring maybe I could bring down seven down to my level, but I couldn't bring his mustache down to my level. It is of mythic proportions and greater than yours.
I have facial hair is great in my facial hair, is is is creating its own legacy. But it is not Dan seven mustache level or now Don Fry mustache. So Don Fry mustache and sever mustache. You know, now you have like Shia versus Sunni.
You think there will be a Karl Marks like painting of Josh Barnett one day with the beard.
And is that is that basically so I will actually comb my hair. I'm like Marks. But Cass's has a charm to it.
It does. It does.
I mean, we all thought Doc Brown and Back to the Future was was quite charming. So you have to throw that into the calculation where they fought. This is the rule that they fought under, if someone got involved in one a thirty two man tournament or something like that, I go, OK, steepened Daniel Cormier are awesome. And they may they will they will for sure be revered as well as for their careers. One hundred percent. Can you say that they're particularly even better overall than Egorov changing or maybe one of them could have beat them.
Maybe, maybe one of them wouldn't have. You know, maybe, maybe Eger would have got them with the knuckles right away? Well, maybe if they fought them in pride, they wouldn't have won. Maybe if they fought them bareknuckle, they wouldn't won. I don't know.
There's something about the cat like do put who is gracian in the top ten.
You know, there's something about top ten of all time in terms of competitors capable. I don't know. I'd have to think about that. Maybe not. But I because this crazy as like pyramid level, like, wow, dude, what what an amazing man is so important. Absolutely. Incredibly important.
But there's something about stepping into like fighting another human being under all the uncertainty that the early Yankees had.
I mean, you don't know what is going to happen. And couple that with not much money. Yeah, all of it.
Yes. So that the purity of it, too. There's something about money.
I mean, I guess shit for that first world, but that ruins the majority of the violence.
Yeah. People given the opportunity for. Yeah, yeah, the bigger things get, the more I love the fact that that fighting is opened up to such a degree that the career business side of it, because I, I absolutely distinctly separate the two. The business side of it has opened up to give me far more possibilities, open way more doors for me than I ever intended it to.
Whereas the. The athletes side of things has, if anything, just gotten substantially worse, I would say, and some of this can be some of this is due to all the nature of all games will be learned, will be gamed without even the rules being broken. And once that's figured out, you need to make an adjustment. No adjustments have been made. So the game just appears to be the same game over and over and over and over and over again on ESPN plus whatever, on whatever, on whatever, it doesn't really matter which night you watch.
It's the same game constantly. And that's not because the athletes are worse or better. It's because they have had that game structure long enough that they figure it out.
What do you do to be to be the most successful at it? What is the highest percentage way of approaching it, essentially, even if you're not thinking of percentages?
What will the take a step back? It's really fascinating to think about the early Yosses. Did you fight then seven in the UFC I found in Super Bowl.
Also those early, early days, you're undefeated thousand.
What were those early days, let's say, of mixed martial arts like d'Hiv?
Let me tell you the day of high adventure. Dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun. Yeah, it is.
It was so much fun and it made you feel absolutely like you were a part of a novel, a comic book. I mean, I would love to transcribe my experiences as what I consider a second generation. I'm a mathlete. Except I'm way too sensitive to anybody's personal, any things that are not not even to you know, I'm not a gossipy person. I really do believe that, like, small people talk about others, big people talk about ideas.
So but there's some stories that just can't you can't tell without telling the whole story. And there are so many amazing stories that could be told, people being at their best, people being at their worst.
Yeah, the whole the whole notion gossip. Is there something you could speak to, the chaos of the time?
Oh, one hundred percent like. OK, so we AMCC got connected to somebody that was throwing an event in Nampa, Idaho, and we all piled into this and Matt Hume's Subaru wagon and we jammed out and we left Kirkland and we headed over to Idaho only to find out that there was nothing really put in place. It was absolute disrepair and chaos there. They didn't have a ring and have this. It was such a bullshit adventure.
But we were like, well, you know, there's hardly anywhere to fight. It's tough to find these opportunities. So. OK, well, how about this? Whoever is here to fight and is willing. All right. Well, since there's no venue, there's no this whatever all got gloves. You got mouthpieces. Just go to the park, look ahead. And so.
Folks were kind of like, I don't know about that, the guy I was going to fight was he finally figured they finally he finally gets information on who I actually am. And I was undefeated at the time and I think I had fun.
Super Bowl 13 already won that tournament, and so he's like, yeah, I had no clue, I'm so glad we didn't fight, you would have murdered me. What a setup. And eventually had to had a strong arm, the guy and get our money that we were supposed to all get and drive back. And because his whole position was, well, there ain't no fucking way we drove all the way out here for free. This is all on you.
You fuck this up. Not my problem. But what is my problem is the lack of cash in my account. So fix it, you know, or me fighting my first organized fight against an AMC guy on 11 days notice through a connection to an old wrestling coach I had and I just gathered up with all my old martial art, my old martial arts instructor that I had worked with.
And we grappled in his apartment. We did tai pads in the park. I ran a couple of miles every day and then, all right, boom showed up one of my five bayfront joke in two minutes. And then Matt goes, OK, well, hey, you didn't really great. We'd like you to come back and fight again in the summer. What do you think? OK, back off to university and then I think, well, that fight didn't go exactly how I wanted to, so I got to find a way to get more experience.
I would literally fight people in the university rec center on the old wrestling mats, as you know. And I had a wrestling team. I would find anyone doing martial arts, anyone talking about getting in the street fights, anyone, whatever, and just basically go and watch UFC. Yeah. Yes, that's cool. What what do you think? Oh man. I'm super into a as bad ass rad so.
Why would you want to fight? I mean, it was way easier picking fights and then it was, you know, getting a girlfriend.
Yeah, I just the path of least resistance.
I think it might be useful for us to get some advice from you. Yeah.
Because you have a compass for the journey of a martial artist.
First, if you accomplish some of the greatest accolades there is in the sport, if somebody who's starting out now or like early on in their journey.
What advice would you give on how to become a martial artist? Catch a wrestler, a fighter?
Uh, well, I mean, really, what it comes down to is do it because you love it. Do it for that reason and that reason alone. Most people that get into this and attempt to make any sort of professional inroads with it, you are not going to be the world champion. You probably will never even fight for about being you're probably not going to net make money at this. So don't do it for those reasons. Do it for the reason of the passion.
Do it for the reason to be the absolute best that you can be. Whatever that ends up being. You might at best only be mediocre, but you won't even be mediocre if you don't do it like you really mean it. So passion.
Look, where's the kernel of the passion, would you say? Is it in the learning process itself, the improvement?
I think it really depends on the person, right. I mean, there's some people that really love the the fact of. They feel like they're growing right to power. You know, you're growing growing stronger, growing better, you know, the idea of eliminating weakness. So to which I'll quickly define weaknesses. It's like things that we can you not like being physically weak. You sure you can call that weakness, but maybe you're not meant to be a super strong guy.
But choosing to be weak is really a different story other than just like we're all deficient in some way or another. So that's neither here nor there. It's a matter of what you decide to do with it, and that's it. And from strength and weakness, at least the way I look at it, like strength is choosing, regardless of the difficulty to make improvements to strength is even choosing to acknowledge that you do lack and accept it and then make a decision what to do with it.
But there's also there's a bunch of stuff that just like you said, it's what you're drawn to. There's an honesty to just grappling that it seems more real than anything else you can do. Sure.
Well, that's the that's where the passion and love can come. I mean, it's being in an environment. Hopefully that is as true as possible. It would be it would be as a starter. So it's hard to be a bullshit person when you're literally trying to tear each other's arms off. Yeah. You know, you really start to see who somebody is. I also feel like you really, really get to see somebody who there are a couple of instances where you really see who people are on the mats in the bedroom.
So even the aspect of self betterment. Growth along a path, I mean, hell, that's part of the that the device of capture for martial arts as a business give you a belt, but a strap on your belt, it's each of these iterations cost 20 bucks. So there's a benefit to that, too. I really enjoyed the progression of belts. Sure. Is it a bit of his OCD or whatever? But you're enjoying the recognition of your growth when you feel when you're made to feel, when I think genuinely you do earn it.
Yeah, I agree.
Process. I agree. I actually makes complete sense to me. It just it's anything that is is has a goodness and its purity can also have a detriment and its perversion. So and there's a value to competition.
I've gotten some shit in the past four seasons. I've gotten the most value in giving everything I have to try to win and and lose. So like I've gotten I remember most the matches I've lost and. I think that's what I've gotten the most from the sport is losing. Think about it. I mean, if you really think about it. What makes you want to actually in detail go over what happened?
Oh, it's the time when you didn't get what you wanted. Yeah, it's a time when you gave it everything you had and you came up short or failed miserably. OK, so if you're embarrassed in some way. Right. And so that's usually the only time people again, calamity is the impetus for them to actually turn around and go, who the fuck am I? What am I doing and why am I doing it instead of naturally going. OK, well, I won.
Why? What was it? And so I think part of my success is that when I win. I'm brutal when I lose, I'm brutal and there is no in between, so I remember losing. The rematch against Nogueira and I still feel like it was a bullshit call, like I feel like I won that fight, but my my opinion is that and this even came up.
So one of the coaches in the back was like, oh, you did great.
You know, don't feel bad, you know, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I go, no, fuck that. I didn't finish them. I allowed the referees to make a judge decision that I think is incorrect and bad. But that came because I didn't take them out, you know, fuck that. No, no. He won. He's going to get more money. He's going to get more recognition.
Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I accept all this and I don't and it's not OK. And I need to if I when I get a chance to fight them again, I got to figure out a way to take this guy out. I won't say forever. I'm not trying to put him six feet underground. Well, when I fight, yes, I am, but. Yeah, but but the point being, I need to find a way to make this is definitive.
You don't get to say shit about it because I'm the only one who can stand right now. That's the way it's got to be. Anything less than that is not good enough. And even if I achieve that, then I got to figure out, OK, it's not a given. How did I get to this point? How did I make that happen? Was it simply because of his own mistakes or was it because of my my my successful action so was always self-critical, always constantly.
You love movies. I read this somewhere. Yeah. You mentioned Blade Runner is a favorite number one of all time. The final cut. That's my go to see.
You say Blade Runner is the greatest movie of all time. It's one of the greatest movies of all time. And let's see what's in the top.
My top five Blade Runner final cut, the original Blade Runner and I used to own on tape the original VHS cut.
Yeah. And and I had the director's cut on DVD by Blade Runner, by the way.
What did I just thought it was so cool.
There was something about really spoke to me, the whole cyberpunk landscapes and you know, this guy chasing down rogue androids, replicants, and this is just the entire cyberpunk universe, just robots as well. No, it's it's I mean, the cyberpunk universe is part of it. On the surface. I have a I've always tended towards dark subject matter. I like things that are of the dark, so to speak, are things that I've always been gravitated towards.
I think maybe part of it is that the things that are darker are more accepting and. More up front with death and perhaps I think that maybe that is what was somehow more honest, perhaps. And there's also the aspect of rebelliousness, usually like there was never one to want to just do what somebody told me to do.
You know, I'm not sitting around trying to always be such a radical individual that I can't take orders. No. In fact, I'm more than willing to take orders from somebody that I feel is competent and has merit and reason behind what they're doing.
And it makes OK, yeah, I'm 100 percent for not only what can I take orders, I will help you achieve whatever it is if I think it's worthwhile, even at my own expense. But to get to that point is a rarity. I it's not not a given. And so you can even imagine, like being a grade school teacher in this kid doesn't respect you and he doesn't really think you're that smart. They don't really appreciate that.
But so cyberpunk is number one. What else is kind of number one? It's an environment I love. But at the same time, Conan the Barbarian by John Miller is one of my favorite films of all time. Uh. And you know, that's such a pure film in a way, like the motivations are pure, they're very. Easy to follow, but not lacking in depth. You know, it's not. It's not just explosions and teal and orange, it's it's it's more on the human condition and I love it and it's shot incredibly well.
It's got a credible soundtrack. Yeah, I fucking love it. But with Blade Runner also in a deeper sense, you know, again, the human condition, you know, you start seeing like what what is what is being what is being human, you know, how does this relate to what if you can make it and you can tell it what to do?
At what point is it like you should or you shouldn't? You know, why do you get to determine what's alive and what's not? What's a life that should be allowed to live and what isn't? And what would be the strain of being Roy Batty and seeing all these incredible moments that.
With his passing will no longer exist, especially if he hasn't had a chance to put that flame into another torch, so to speak, if he hasn't written them down, if he hasn't passed them down to somebody else. It gone like tears in the rain, like tears in the rain. That scene is incredible. I mean, but it's funny because those two universes are very different. Conan the Barbarian and Cyberpunk there. That makes me curious about what else might be lost.
Well, let me think. And it's a pretty.
Do you like it? No, no. I mean, I'm sure that I've never actually even watched the whole godfather, but also like I was in Casino.
Goodfellas is a good movie, but no, that's not in my top. It's a good flick, but it doesn't really do it for me. I if people really want to get into this a little more, I did make one hundred a list of one hundred of my favorite movies on my Facebook fan page. But do you remember like. Oh yeah.
Blazing Saddles is on their Raiders of the Lost Ark. Valhalla Rising by Nicolas Winding Refn, Maniac by William Lustig. It's a nineteen eighty gnarly video, nasty horror movie about a serial killer who murders women and scalped them. And it's gnarly as hell and very brutal and very bleak and very.
I mean, it's the kind of thing that, like a lot of people would have a real hard time watching, but one, again, I like things that are dark, but to I thought the performances were fantastic in this film and they really got out. I think the underlying thing was and it was you know, it was a guy who was. Basically, just like run amuck by the overbearing mother union archetype, and it she was she in part to her insanity and to him and he.
But yet there is this aspect you could see of him and him wanting to try and actually be able to be in the world and have love and have feminine companionship to go with with his masculine aspect. But he had no way of understanding how to really make that happen. And he had a complete negative connotation to the feminine. So is his struggle with. And there's a little. Part in the in the movie where he somehow comes across this. Model or something, and they actually he starts to feel like maybe he might be able to actually have a relationship with somebody.
And it goes somewhere, but, yeah, even the Elijah Wood remake, I felt was really well done and captured most of the essence of what the movie was about, but I still feel like the original by William Lustig is the best.
What's the greatest love? Movie of all time. I just love the movie of all time, it's like something more loves. I mean, I suppose love underlies most of these movies and especially film.
I mean, How to caché mix films are all about family, of all things. It has borchers. Is those movies, are they? The general theme is family almost entirely. All of his films.
Yeah, there's very I mean, even you can argue later on. Yeah.
It's a love film of all time. That's I mean, is Excalibur a film about love, uh, what's it called about King Arthur?
Excalibur is about Arthur and becoming king of the Britons and his love of his country and his love of quantifier, but eventually, yeah, it becomes more of about. The the necessity for the king to love to to hold hold Excalibur to stay and to realize that while if you're the king, you can love your wife and you can love your best friend, and they may fuck each other behind your back and as they fall in love, too. But at the end of the day, you're responsible.
Your love has to be to the to the country and everyone else first and not your own personal wants, which you know.
Well, it made a much more interesting story when you have Carmen Bernard and or. Oh, what does that one it's a German opera, but, you know, and horses and slowmo and swordfights and an epic death scene between Arthur and his son.
I have to watch it.
And having watched it embarrassed, it's it is John Boorman's second film in Hollywood, his first one being point blank with Lee Marvin, which is also one of the upper echelon movies on my list, derived from a book by called The Outfit By what is his name?
I forget. But Darwyn Cooke, the comics illustrator, he did. Donald Westlake wrote. So Darwin cooked, as does an amazing comic book send up of comic books, novels, and they are fucking incredible. So anyways. But the point blank, what Lee Marvin, you know, it's a man driven by. Purpose, revenge, but also by really pure motivations. He wants his money, he was he was betrayed and he wants his his cash because this is what he agreed to do.
The thing for and this is which also is part of the reason why I like no country for old men so much, which I felt was a great movie, even better book. But I remember talking to my friend and I go, you know, Anton Chigurh is the most pure human being in that whole book. Well, that guy is the villain.
I got his evil. He's the one he likes to No one, he does everything he says he will do, he always follows his word and on the rare occasion he allows fate to make a decision as he figures like, well, whatever. All let us to hear will lead us one way or the other. And if we're at this crossroads, what how is there any better or worse way than to do it over a coin flip? And so that whole scene where the guy is going, well, what am I putting up?
And he goes, everything. You've been putting it up every day of your life. And that's true.
Everything we do is as a decision, as a calling is a choice and taut and then bummed me out that they reduced the last interaction between chigger and what's his face, his wife.
And he finally finds her and she's like, you don't have to do this. I mean, she's he's like, yes, yes, I do. This is the way it is. You can think that your life could have turned out any sort of ways you could have done this. You kind of know that. But the reality is this is the way your life is and it's the way it was always going to be. You know, the fact that I'm here is the end of it.
And that's that.
Yeah, it's fine if you're honest.
That's what dark movies reveal, that the villains are the the purest of humans and just the most profound lessons. And that's certainly a good example of it. What do you think the big ridiculous philosophical question, what do you think is the the meaning of this whole thing we've got going on of life and existence on Earth from an individual perspective, but the entirety of the human species, life, the universe and everything?
Yeah. Don't we could just leave it at that? Exactly where I was going.
I love it. Josh, I love you very much. You've been a huge inspiration. I have a friend who she said, you know, Lex Friedemann, have you gone on Lexy's? I go, Yes, I know. I know. Lex Freeman is I've sadly been way too long in contact without making it happen for too long.
And and yes, I will 100 percent. I even cut a shirt at the beginning of the pandemic to make my own little mask at one point due to the lax process.
Yeah. And I was like, I can't really hear you, but I'm demonstrating.
Just let's see it through. But now this has been a blast.
And next time I'm back, next time, let's drink some of the war, bring a whiskey.
I will bring some more master. I wasn't sure if you were if you imbibed it all in spirits. One hundred percent.
It felt a little weird to do it early on in the morning. Especially because I'm father though. Does it?
I mean, I've had some wonderful morning whiskey at times.
It it now that you mention it, it doesn't at all. So next time let's make sure we're joking.
Calls the adult beverages, let's make sure we indulge. I have zero reservations for doing such a thing. I'm into it. Josh, thanks for talking today that. My pleasure. Thanks for listening to this conversation with Josh Barnett and thank you to our sponsors, Multipack, low carb snacks, element, electrolyte drink, a sleep, soft mattress and rev transcription and captioning service. Click the sponsored links to get a discount to support this podcast. And now let me leave you with some words from Sun Tzu.
In the art of war, the supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. Thank you for listening and hope to see you next time.