The following is a conversation Reichenhall, his second time in the podcast. He's one of the most innovative scholars of martial arts in the modern era. Quick mention of our sponsors, indeed, hiring website, audible audio books expressly porn and element electrolyte drink click the sponsor links to get a discount and support this podcast. As a side note, let me say that I've gotten a chance to train with Ryan recently and to both discuss and try out on the mat his ideas about grappling and fighting.
What struck me is his unapologetic drive to solve martial arts. It reminds me of the ambitious vision and effort of Google's deep mind to solve intelligence. In Ryan's case, this isn't some out there martial arts guru or talk. This is a style of thinking about the game of human chess, of seeking to define the rules and to engineer ways from first principles of escaping the constraints of those rules. This style of thinking is rare, but is ultimately the one that leads to the discovery of new revolutionary ideas.
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But if it's towards your passion, you can still the joy from it. So I think that's actually a skill. And that's as David Foster Wallace said, you know, make sure that you're unbearable by whatever task you choose.
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One of the things I really love about America is the emphasis on freedom. It's like before you even consider the issue, consider the debate, the different sides, the pros and cons. You are on the side of freedom just like is innocent until proven guilty. It's go with freedom until you can figure out otherwise.
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The number one thing I think at least you have to get right is electrolytes, specifically sodium, potassium and magnesium. That's where Element Drink really helps me out. By the way, Tim, doing a comedian, a podcast or who I love very much. On a recent podcast mentioned that he went to dinner with me, in fact, he did, he made fun of me a little bit, which I both deserve and I'm honored by. But he mentioned that I ate some pasta.
It was an Italian restaurant that had some pasta. But that is fake news. You can call me all kinds of things, but I did not eat any carbs in that dinner. I only meat and it was delicioso steak. I will not stand for the spread of misinformation. Anyway, Tim is awesome. He should definitely check out his podcast, and I'm actually joking, I don't really care. I love it when he makes fun of me or even make stuff up about me.
I never, ever want to take myself too seriously. And people like Tim do and friends like Tim Dylan are essential for that. Anyway, Olympians use element, tech people use it. I swear by the stuff. Try to drink element that complex that's drink tea, dotcom slash leks. And now here's my conversation with Ryan Hall. You're known as a systems thinker in martial arts, but you also, I think, are willing to think outside the rules of the game, outside of the system.
When you're thinking about strategies of how to. You know, solve the problem, particular problem of an opponent, whether that's jitsu or in mixed martial arts, what's your process for doing that, for figuring out that puzzle?
I would say I don't know if I have a specific like A to B to C process for that sort of thing. I try to do my best to appreciate that.
I think a lot of the thinking or maybe not all the thing, but a lot of great thinking on conflict, on battle, on war, on martial arts has been done already. Not that we don't have to do any sort of background investigation or reassessing of these ideas or axioms that have come down through things like the Book of Five Rings or the Art of War or, you know, like von Clausewitz or anything like that, really, but is trying to understand the the lessons of the past that I think oftentimes we we don't take with us problems and we pay lip service to them like a you know, a victorious fighter, the great fighter, you know, he knows victory is there.
Then he then he then he sees battle. Everyone else is looking for victory in battle and moving on. And that's why I'm in a double jab and throw my left hand. And I think a lot of times our actions don't reflect our stated belief structure. And I think that oftentimes you can tell what I believe really or what my fundamental operating system is based on my actions, whether I'm aware I have an operating system internally, whether I'm aware of it or not, or certainly whether I'm fully aware of it.
So I guess when it comes to strategy, I try to think about how things interact. You mentioned systems thinking, and I try to do my best to understand how systems exist. But I think that systems have a fundamental strength and a fundamental weakness. They work how they work, and that's great, but they're readable. So if you are aware, if I am operating on a system of which you're you're not really read into, then I think oftentimes I can seem like shockingly effective, particularly if my system preys on certain weaknesses that that maybe you are you're given to.
But what happens when you've read the same books that I have? I think that a lot of times that makes me deeply predictable. I think about systems and jujitsu, and a lot of times people think that they're doing jujitsu when in reality they are doing an expression of it. Let's say I'll use there's the martial art Garcia system. There is the Henzell Gracy current heads racism. There's the old Graisse by one. There is a, you know, the Graisse Academy classic race jujitsu.
There's the art of jujitsu, you know, kind of Ottos approach. And you know, there's some crossover between a lot of these. But oftentimes I think, you know, when it comes to understanding how I'm making decisions and how my opponent is making decisions, I have to appreciate whether or not I'm an end user of something. And I'll use my my phone as an example. I was thinking of this the other day and as an end user of my phone, I can't I have no idea what it does.
You know, like Edward Snowden comes up and goes, hey, guys, you realize your phones are listening to you.
Like, really what? Yeah. All right. I believe you. And then, of course, that that comes out. But to what extent? I have no idea. What is my phone capable of? I have no idea. I can mess with the font, though. I really like blue screen's not purple screens. So like as an end user, I can change some of the bells and whistles that have nothing to do with the underlying source code of it all or how it functions the same way in my car, I'm an end user, my car.
If I do this with the steering wheel, it goes. If I push on the gas, it goes if I know how to fix it when it's out of gas and how to fix it when it's out of oil. And I and I know how to fix it when I when a flat tire comes. But short of that or actually beyond that, I have nothing. So I think that oftentimes, you know, I've been around in jujitsu long enough to encounter like a new wave of like good grapplers.
And it's very, very interesting sometimes how they're running systems. They don't realize they're running like I'm like, oh, yeah, I trained Marcello Garcia's academy for a long time, you know? And a big fan of Marcella's was a student there, encountered a lot of the the auto style jujitsu a number of years ago, been a very, very deep into locking in leg attacks and whatnot for a long, long time.
I understand your system better than you do or I may. And let's say you understand my system better than I do. That would be a huge issue. That was something that I encountered a long time ago trying to come up in jujitsu, where I was trying to utilize systems that were created by, let's say, half a méndez or someone else.
And I'm basically trying to do what you're doing. I'm just not doing as good of a version of it. So not only am I not doing it well, but I'm entirely predictable and I think that that can be a big issue. So to come back, I think of systems a lot of times now in terms of particularly like end user type of systems, like an iPhone is a really, really fast way for me to be able to do all sorts of things.
Mm hmm. If you were to take it from me, I couldn't recreate any of that.
So you want to be more the NSA unless the end user. Exactly. Exactly. That way. That way. I'm listening to the day of combat. That's right. We're watching up.
But basically, you know, it's I guess what I would what I would come back and say is if you understand how things interact on a fundamental level and what type of games exist and what type of interactions exist, then you can transcend a lot of the the systems. It's almost like a cook versus if I can make certain things in the kitchen, I can. But I am not a chef. You could give me a bunch of ingredients and I could probably cook not well, but a couple of different things.
But a master chef would be aware of the implications of all of the things that they're doing. Extra time in the oven, less time in the oven, putting this flavoring or spice in, you know, what you're doing with various things. And also they could make they could turn all of these ingredients into Chinese food or they could try all these ingredients into Italian food and they could turn all these Italian food ingredients into chicken parmesan, working with lasagna.
But they're not limited to a specific thing because they have knowledge of how food interacts, what it does to create taste. Would it just create texture? So to come back, let's take rock, paper, scissors, rock, paper, scissors is built on the idea of a couple of different things. Actually, I'll tell you what. Can I ask a question? Yeah. What's your favorite dinosaur on the say on three will go one to three T.
Oh me too man. This is we're going to be best friends, so it's OK. If so, what's the first question when you say, hey, let's play rock, paper, scissors, it's like a rock, paper, scissors, rock, paper, scissors, shoot and like rock, paper, scissors, shoot me like, OK, because if we go rock, paper, scissors, shoot, I'm like, oh man, I got lucky and I want imagine I want one hundred times in a row.
Yeah. I'd be lucky to be lucky if I was honestly doing that. But now let's say for instance, I go on rock, paper, scissors and you go on shoot, rock, paper, scissors, shoot. Here comes the rock. Right. If you lose, whose fault is it? It's yours. This is built on a parody thing where I don't get to pick. Second, if I get to pick second, it's like being able to investigate your background before going to meet you.
And then I'm like, oh hi. Oh, I too love the New Jersey, you know, the New Jersey Nets, which is a statement that no one in their right mind would ever make when I was growing up. So anyway, you'd have to have personal knowledge of somebody. So anyway, it's a come back. Let's see if you understand how games are structured. You can start to realize that there's huge gaps and huge holes in a lot of the thinking behind all of it, and if you can create the illusion of choice, I'll play one more.
If you don't mind this one of my favorite ones to do this in class all the time. Have you seen this before? No. OK, may I ask you some questions, please? OK, fantastic. I'm scared everybody wins. Don't worry. All right.
So could you could you please could you please pick three fingers and tell me what they are? Your thumb, OK, your pinky, OK. And your middle finger. OK, so could you please pick two fingers? Your middle finger and your pinky. OK, could you please pick one finger? I'll go with the middle finger. OK, could you please pick one finger? Now, Pinky, OK, let's play again, can you pick one finger, please?
Uh, your middle finger. OK, can you pick one finger, please, your thumb?
Yeah, your pinky. OK, now pick two more fingers, please, your middle finger and your ring finger. OK, could you please pick one more finger? So I thought that has the illusion of choice, the illusion of choice.
If I'm asking the questions provided I ask the right questions, there can be no correct answer. Doesn't mean that ultimately, if that's what you wanted, let's say like I thought I was guiding you to something I wanted. It turns out that was the outcome you wanted. Well, now here's nomine. Ask the wrong question.
I might not get what I want to show by by the way, sorry to interrupt for people that might be just listening to this, that no matter what trajectory we took to that decision tree that I was presenting, it was always ending up with a middle finger.
Ironically enough, I was surprised. So and all of us were surprised. And we're both winners. Yeah, we all everyone. I felt like a winner. All right. So now now I'm going to ask some different questions, if you don't mind. Can you please pick two fingers to put down? Your middle finger and your pinky are so awkward, this is the worst finger positions. OK, can you please wait a minute? That's oh, hold on.
Yeah, well, what if you pick two other fingers to put down? Your thumb, your pinky. OK, my thumb on Pinky, can you please pick two fingers to put down? Well, whatever to you, like, OK, your middle finger and your pointy finger are OK, can you pick two fingers to put down was the index index finger pointing at point one? That's the one we usually point. It's weird to point the finger.
Sorry, what to do more to put down the middle finger and the ring finger man is what if you pick my my ring finger and my index finger.
Yeah. And I win. Yeah.
So even though I'm asking the questions, it's not impossible that I arrive at a good outcome for me, but it's no longer guaranteed. I went from a situation where I literally can't lose. Yeah.
It's pretty low probability right. Super low probability. And the second you realize what I'm doing you would never let me win because the ball is truly in your court. So I guess that's kind of what I'm fundamentally trying to put into play almost all the time. Can I ask the right set of questions? Can I develop the ability skills wise, understanding wise and then discipline wise and then have the courage and the Constitution and the and the discipline necessary, the patience necessary to ask the proper questions and wait for the proper answers.
And if I can. All assuming, like with the perfect world, I went, period. Yes. Does that make sense? Yeah, totally makes sense. So I don't know if, you know, sort of the more mathematical discipline of game theory, there's something called mechanism design. So game theory is the field where you model some kind of interaction between human beings. You can model grappling. That way you can model nuclear conflict between nations that way and you set up a set of rules and incentives and then use math to predict what is the likely outcome depending over time based on the interaction, given those rules mechanism design is the design of games.
So like the design of systems that are likely to lead to a certain outcome. And so what you're suggesting is you want to create what you want to discover, systems whose decision tree, all the possible things that could happen feel like there's a choice being made. But ultimately, one of the parties doesn't have any choice in what the actual final outcome is, you're making them feel like they're playing a game, too. So it's not like you don't feel trapped.
It's kind of for the best traps, I don't you don't look very threatening, so I'm like, oh, I'll walk over there, I guess. Wouldn't that I guess that's kind of an interesting thing. If a licensed one is a lion roar, it's an interesting thing when you watch like lions hunting roar, when they hunt, they want when they want to move you back, they do stuff like that. When they actually want to come and get you.
They're pretty slinky. It's like water covid. It's like furry water. Yeah. And I guess like when you keep that in mind, it's funny how, like, unfroze the Hobbit actually, you know, brilliant guy, like one of my MMO coaches and the head coach at Tri-Star. He brought this up one time I thought was really salient. Point said, let's say we have a million person bracket impossibly huge, like Frank Duke's win in the committee level, huge bracket.
If he claimed to knock out like two hundred and fifty consecutive people and you're like, that is all of Hong Kong was in that thing and everyone kept their mouth shut. But anyway, that's pretty cool. But to come back a little and probably pretty cool. So let's say, for instance, like, there's no cheating going on, no cheating going on, and we're flipping coins. Right. Someone is going to have an unbroken string of victory through that bracket.
Which is pretty insane how many how many consecutive, like toss ups this person won and then at the end of it all, imagine we like aliens show up and we go, hey, they want to flip a coin for the Earth when the earth gets to get to continue to be all. I'll do it. I'm good at this. That will be tempting as a person to do you like. I'm a lucky guy. Oh, are you sure?
Maybe. I mean, maybe effectively you are. We could argue that effectively you're incredibly lucky, but basically is that an actual ability is like a perk in a video game or is that just this thing that happened? So anyway, a. How many times are someone you could go through an entire career in a particularly in a fight sport? Well, let's say you get 15 knockouts in 15 toss up scenarios because you see that happening all the time in the fight game, a toss up scenario.
It's not like you're mounted on me and like and that's not a toss up scenario. Many, many, many, many, many striking shares, a lot of great opinions, but tons of striking scenarios are dead toss ups and somebody wins by knockout that win five times in a row.
They lose a couple of times in a row. We go, what happened? What do think? What happened? They were always flipping the coin and then they win five more to go back on track. Can you imagine that you're flipping a coin and like, heads, heads, heads, heads, tails. What? Tails, sales, heads again. Oh, man, I'm back on it. I'm flipping. Good. Now, that's basically what's going on, I think the vast majority of the time.
And then humanity's tendency to see a sign and almost anything, you know, starts to present itself. And then we build a narrative in our mind to convince ourselves that we're in some sort of control, when in reality I was in a marginal situation at best the whole time without having much control, without having a deep understanding of the system.
The same stories told the stock market with many of the human, these distributed human systems, we start telling narratives and start seeing patterns without understanding actually the system that's generating these patterns. So if we can see the system, that's incredibly valuable. But then you go, well, what system is above all of the systems? I guess maybe physics, maybe like game theory explains these things, but like, I guess what are the what aspects of the system can I can I put my hands on that I can touch and understand.
And what am I what am I missing? What's going on in the world all around me to continue to lean on Undun that I don't have that I you know, you talk to a blind person about about the world, about sitin talk to someone that doesn't have everyone got coronavirus now so no one can taste or smell like this is delicious.
Like. Is it so anyway, you know, again, what what sense is am I missing or what understanding am I missing that prevented me from seeing the dots connect in the world all around me? And I think sometimes if we oftentimes, at least personally, have screwed this up a lot, I'm so nose deep in the in the trench of trying to understand what I'm doing, that I can't take a step back and realize, you know, that I'm in a forest, not just head butting a tree.
And I may be doing both, maybe both. Two things should be true at once. But I so I would say when it comes to strategy, trying to understand that. But then also you go, well, OK, well, how can that sounds cool, but how can you actually do that? And then I'd say that's a really good question because I imagine I say, man, I should fight like Stephen Thompson. I should fight like Wonderboy.
Good idea. Go do that.
And I think I'm not the guy I would like to be an amalgamation if I could. You know, it seems to work. So anyway, ego. Well, what if I could develop what if I could take my time developing skills so that when these strategies become apparent that you are they are executable to you. You actually have the ability to like inner two, again, to be the person in the arena, to be the person required, whereas plenty of great ideas like dunking a basketball is a fantastic idea.
Alas, for me, unless there's a small trampoline nearby, I'm not the guy. But that doesn't make it any less good of an idea. I just don't haven't developed the ability or I lack the ability. So anyway, I think a lot of times, at least when I watch people in fighting, I use an example. We're so we're so concerned with trying to win early on rather than develop skills that I'm going like, well, what's the best way to fight with my current set of skills?
And usually the path forward is like the barbarian route, like the you put on the one ring, take the damage you need to take to hit that guy. And that was something I realized very early on in my career, was like, I'm not that good at striking at that time. I'm not a world class right now, but I'm way better at striking than I'm given any credit for because it helps people sleep at night, I think. But I'm sure.
But yeah, euro was introduced as like this.
Masterji like Master Grappler. I'm like this. Nice of them to say that maybe I'm not that good at grappling with everyone seen that. And but the funny thing is I'm like just because people almost go like well like so you're really good at this, but you got to stand like we're equal man. Like I'm good at this other thing. Maybe you're really good at what you do and I'm just mediocre what I do.
That's also possible. So there's plenty of people that define themselves as Ostreicher that do that just because that's for lack of other options, not because they're really good striker. Like I'm a grappler. I was a grapplers a blue belt. Not really. So anyway, I guess to come back, if I'm constantly going, how can I win with what I've got right now? I think oftentimes I never take the time to develop the skills I don't want to develop.
And I also never take the time to develop the strategies I don't want to develop. And that has actually been one big blessing of fighting so infrequently, which has been really frustrating as a result of injury and time away. And, you know, some of those people being hesitant to get in the game. But it gives you so much time to to be out of the trenches and focus on developing your abilities so that now it's almost like developing money.
Like you mentioned, the stock market that you can now put in, as you don't mean Bitcoin was a great idea five years ago and I had eight bucks, man. If someone told me Bitcoin was a great idea five years ago and I had fifty K oh my God. To be sleeping in my bed of money that I would then set on fire later today just to do it.
So all the due to all the injuries, you've been mining Bitcoin all this time and now you're a rich man.
Well, no, actually told me I was trying to mine for Bitcoin actually like in a cave. And then I found out recently that it's actually mining is like a figure of speech. You must like a little thing that you do.
I mean, in my defense, English language is difficult. It is. It really is.
Next time to playing in Russian is more is original language. You should learn. You should learn Russian. I'll help you out to leave you. Thank you. Can you do a whirlwind overview of your career in Amami? Leading up to this point with the injuries and the undefeated record and then what's next on the topic?
I did my first fight in a as a blue belt, and I've been training for about a year and a half.
I did nine tournaments in 10 weekends or maybe eight tournaments and 10 weekends. Prior to my first fight in April 2006, I got punched in the face. A whole bunch I didn't realize was professional fight and found that out like the day beforehand. That was great. Thanks, Coach Ouzts in Atlantic City, where another place no one ever goes on purpose. So that wasn't great. I got into three actually three car accidents in the preceding thirty six hours before the fight.
I had my car totaled. I wasn't driving for any of them. That was great. It was twenty two thousand six. Yeah. And then I bluebell. Yeah. Yeah. I've been training for about a year and a half to BlueBell again. I mean if you haven't lived, if you haven't gotten punched in the face in Atlantic City. That's true.
I mean so this I would have I would have loved to have it happen for different reasons. Yeah. But yeah. Well what's funny is that, you know, I remember getting punched in the face a bunch trying to do inverted guard. I won one round, lost two rounds, definitely lost the fight and went for inverted. Sorry to interrupt you. One friend ready to go through that fight. Oh yeah, sure.
It was three three minute rounds, which is not a professional fight length, although I don't know if professional fight length would have been any better, just more time to get punched. But I found out partway through I was like, I remember walking back to my corner in the first round I get this guy can't hurt me. And he's like, Yeah, my corner was my friend Tom. And then someone else. And then he's like, Yeah, I would still encourage you to stop blocking so many punches with your face.
It's going to appreciate that. I'm gonna try that anyway. I remember like I was not not allowed up kicks on my great I was I had no martial arts skills it really at all. But if I had anything at all, it was just it was very, very little jujitsu, but definitely no wrestling, definitely no striking. Like I was basically a magnet for punches.
So that was your time. That was, you know, roughneck Kanata in Atlantic City as we all do it once in a while.
Can we fast forward to when you're actually dominating as a black belt?
Well, actually, I mean, because I talked a little bit of money that I they're like, hey, we were paying, like, really like stories with Reinhart's.
Well, then I went to I went to the Khasi, I went to whatever like the Tropicana that was right there, the casino, because it was a boardwalk hall. I'm like, you know, man, this was this has been a not great, not great evening. I'm going to this is I'm going to win it back. It it'll be great. Fifty minutes later, they had all the money that I had from the fight was gone. Yeah.
I remember like walking out of the casino super pissed and like, I don't know what I was thinking. Like, I'm not good at gambling. Why this was not going to make my night better. I just thought that they were going to be some sort of cosmic balancing act. Maybe it was the cosmic balancing all at once.
The things I'd done in the longer term, though, the balancing. I'll see. I hope so. But to come so all that in the end, though, that is true. Time will get us all. Yeah, well, that was so that was the first one. And that was when I realized I'm terrible at me but I like it. I should just stop this until I one day learn how to actually grapple, much less learn how to fight.
But I remember this guy named Dave Kaplan is the reason my ears are all messed up. Who is on the ultimate fighter and got punched in the face and knocked out by Tom Lawler, who will always appreciate for doing that. But anyway, Haverton, I appreciate Tom. Appreciate Dave too. David, have a great day. Was just a huge bully and used to like really not completely unmercifully but relatively unmercifully beat the crap out of me. And anyway the years look good.
So appreciate that I tell people it's a tumor that I got and I'm going to if they want in on a class action lawsuit with AT&T, they should, you know, sentence them.
But anyway, you're very financially savvy.
I good. And I just give the impression Dave basically said, hey, don't worry, man, you're never going to be good at me and you're never going to get a grappling either. But even if you are good at grappling, which in my opinion, you will never be, you will never be good at fighting. And I said, Dave, if I do nothing else in my life, I'm going to keep training until I can make you pay for that.
And now that I can make him pay for that really easily, he doesn't train anymore. But I love Dave. Dave's awesome. He actually won the singing. Be one of the interesting dude, super interesting guy. But anyway, none of Virginia like speaks couple of languages super rich and guys like shockingly good at jeopardy too. You know, not that I'm any good, but still shockingly good to Japanese anyway. Years later met for as a hobby actually.
John Danaher, I met John Denver and he put me in touch for as a hobby. I started training at Tristar, immediately, loved working with Ross and learning under for us, started training at Tristar. And I did my first real professional. And we may fight as someone that actually does had practiced a little bit prior and I think August 2012. And that was against the guy. He was four and five at the time. So I had some experience.
Good kind of like first go for me honestly. And I won that fight by TKO and then it was a little bit of time off. And then I did another fight against a tough guy named Madjid Hamill. He was five and two at the time that he was three. And I was actually a good, good little bit of fighting experience. One that one in the first round of I naked choke and then started to experience difficulty getting getting fights.
At that point, you know, where you to introduces like.
The master of grappling this admission, at least that was that was my thing, if I don't know if that was the source of the fear for people. I think so, because, I mean, that definitely wasn't much at striking at that point. I definitely am a lot like to think I'm pretty hard to hurt, although I try not to lean on that. And I played baseball for like 16 years so I can hit things pretty hard. I wasn't able to I recognize pretty early on that I had no idea how to actually hit things hard without becoming hatable myself.
So I think that's kind of the big thing is a lot of times, like almost you were mentioning before, if you try to go and get people to early, you can hit them if they're not that good, but you're going to get hit yourself. So you're making you're basically making a wager, you're making a trade of your own life for the ability to hit them. When you watch guys like Israel out of Sonya, Floyd Mayweather, Stephen Thompson, McGregor, when he's fighting really well, it's not a trade.
They're not you're hitting them and they're hitting you. It's they're hitting you. But it takes years and years and years and years to be able to learn how to do that. Tonti is another great example of that. You know, my closest training partner, one of my best friends, and currently now one champion with one championship in in Asia, the champion of the featherweight lightweight featherweight 155 over there now. And he recently defeated a Martin win in a really great fight.
And Tom knocked him out long time champion and doesn't let you hit him. He doesn't let you touch him. I feel so fortunate to have met guys like Steven Anton to go early on in career and go, holy moly, I can't even it's not even like, oh, you let me walk over and find you. It's like fighting a ghost that periodically shows up with a hammer and smokes in the melinde and then disappears into the ether again.
So the way they approach the fighting game is thinking, how can I attack without being hit? Every every strategy, every idea you have about what you're going to do has to do with like that. Minimizing the the returns.
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that's what all good fighting is done. I'll poor fighting. You know, throughout the course of history, most generals, what they saw red or, you know, they they did battles by attrition, you know, it's like, yeah man, I've got one hundred and fifty guys. You've got 50 like you have 60. My guys die killing. You're 50. Like, that's great for me, but it's not so great for the sixty guys that died.
You know, I hope it's worth it. So when you realize that not only you're not just Kobe Bryant and your Phil Jackson too, you've got to do everything. You know, if you've got to run across the beach in Normandy, so be it. But that better be you should have we make sure we thought this through. And there's like, hey, there's no way we can, like, walk around the side, huh? Because oftentimes there there is.
And I think a lot of times there's a lot of incentives in professional fighting to for people to want to do that. And we come up with all sorts of. Well, I'm trying to be exciting.
Are you. Is that really what you came here to do? Because I came here to win. And I think that anyone that's really successful came that win. And if it ends up being exciting, well, that's fantastic. I hope that people enjoy watching something and that's great. But that's a qualitative assessment anyway. You know, you want to also be able to, you know, live the rest of your life. I think it's easy to use.
Meldrick Taylor, I'm a big boxing fan mail. Retail is excellent. Fighter came this close to a world title and was stopped with like he was in a fight that he was winning with seconds remaining, literally seconds remaining. And they probably could have just let it go. And he would have been world champion. And it was brutal. If you ever watched legendary nights like HBO Boxing Show, it's great, but it's heartbreaking. It's actually heartbreaking. And also like the beating that he absorbed in that fight changed him for the rest of his life.
And also, I don't think he'd never been hit before, but it was one of those where you go. It's it's all fun and games until you can't remember your name at age. Forty four years old and I didn't come here. What are they what had Payton saying? Nobody. Nobody wins a war by dying for his country. You make the other poor bastard die for his. And I think that that's kind of what we're shooting for. And the lionization of absorbing damage and that not being a big deal like you hear that all the time.
So-and-so can take shots that would put a lesser fighter down. What does that even mean? So let me get this straight. Your ability to absorb damage is a part of you. I mean, I guess that don't get me wrong, that is an attribute that's nice to have if you if you need it. But there's plenty of people that actually have really porous defense that are just very, very difficult to hurt for whatever reason.
That's the fascinating fighter's perspective on the thing.
I mean, the the the story that is inspiring and I know it goes against the artistry of fighting is when you have taken the damage to still rise up and be able to defeat the opponent.
But it's but that that's the flip side of a basically you failing to defend yourself properly, right?
I agree. But let's say I think it's a triumph. That's a triumph of humanity. That's triumph. That's amazing. To witness such a thing is unbelievable. But you still go. This is. There is a cost here, it's like I have been fortunate enough to spend some time working with with the military and I've been like around and read Medal of Honor citation, the unbelievable like you read the story you like. It's in Florida, but it's the cost of repaying that cost all along.
And most of the time the cost was everything. And then sometimes you go, hey, yeah, the value here, it's worth everything. It's like I defend your family, defend your country under certain circumstances. And at that point, the extension of your family, you're like, this is worth it to casually throw your life away. Or three, it's foolish. There's nothing there's nothing great about that. And like you said, it's still an amazing thing to see.
But it's also amazing to see you not take damage, damages the Floyd Mayweather. It's the artistry of like not being hit. And I wonder if maybe that's why people don't resonate with Floyd as much as, obviously, Muhammad Ali was such a time and place a great man for so many different reasons, although it was funny to remember, like there were times when he wasn't very popular. We love them now because of time of context, you know, time to move away from some of the nonsense he had to deal with.
But we got to see him struggle. And also he had unbelievable sacrifice both in and out of the ring, you know, that that we all got to witness. We've never really seen Floyd struggle like that. And granted, obviously, Floyd isn't like a civil rights figure like Muhammad Ali was a different time, different place, and he's a different man. But basically, you know, I wonder if part of the thing that made us and made everyone think of Muhammad Ali as the greatest, in addition to, of course, the unbelievable things that he did out in the world and the stands that he made, we saw him struggle in the ring.
It's it's almost it's humanizing. You know, it's weird when people the person people respect me. But again, it's we saw GSP lose and GSP came back stronger to is amazing. But I wonder I wonder how people feel about him long term, not like they won't think of him as amazing and great. And he's been a respectable person and champion, but. The time he hasn't he hasn't had to fall, if that makes sense. And also coupled with Ali, had a way of being poetic about sort of the way he was in the ring, sort of being able to explain the artistry that he's I mean, there's a joke in it being playful, but really, he was able to describe the float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, like is able to actually talk about his strategy without talking without crossing that line into the Floyd Mayweather.
When you you're just talking about money and just talking shit. That's true. Actually, Conor McGregor, when he's not talking shit, is pretty good at like talking about the art of the martial arts guy. And I wish could be did the same actually from like the set of brothers.
There's a few there's a culture of like being poetic about like being scholars and also Bardes or whatever the poets of the game. And he was more like just simple. And he loves his actions speak, which is great to playing in its own way.
Yeah, it's great, but it's nice when you can tell stories and you know that. That's probably why Ali was the great catch me up to you when three fights, I think undefeated. B.J. Penn, you talked about last time you defeated Japan. That's that's a I mean, that's an incredible accomplishment. But you fought a lot of really tough guys. When was your last fight? And catch me up with the injuries? Well, a lot of people kept more and more and more were unwilling to fight you.
Yeah, that's been that's that was why I was out for two years following the great Mainard fight between fighting Gray and B.J. and the great Mainfreight was actually one I'm really proud of because Graves', very tough, is very big, very strong, very experienced. I had only five fights at the time and I didn't have a lot of skills. I don't get to fight great with what I have today. I had to fight great with what I had in December 2016 and that I it really took a lot of discipline, a lot of focus, a lot of challenge, you know, to stay the course to do what I needed to do in that fight and to win in ultimately dominating fashion, just not in the dominating, obvious sense that you see when someone runs across and just does that to somebody.
But that wasn't on the list for me at that time, you know, so that was a that was an interesting one at the time. Away, again, was very frustrating. That was incredibly difficult for that fight after that fight, because I beat Artem Labov in the final of the ultimate fighter in autumn. There's another guy that's tough, a lot of experience and gets gets you know, he is a funny guy and he said some things on the Internet.
So when he gets a lot of heat for that. But, you know, he just knocked out three of my teammates. I'm like he put a couple of people in a pretty rough shape at the end of that. So he was doing well. And that was a tough fight. Again, if I got to go back and fight that fight now, it would be not competitive at all. I mean, it wasn't competitive at that time, but it very it was face it wasn't close, but it was competitive.
So you are improving and growing fast. Yeah. And it was nice to have time away. I wish I'd had more time in the ring, but again, I'd only been doing me for three years at that time. So the improvement from doing what the bitcoin mining was over overriding the ring rust.
I think so. I don't really believe in ring rust. If I'm honest. I can understand why people could feel a certain way. But if anything, it's almost like you just kind of forget what competition's like and you realize like, oh, you feel butterflies or something like that. And you go, oh my God, this is different. Isn't that somebody getting ready to perform? It's OK. It's normal. How do you not have Ringrose? I think I try to I try to practice performing no matter what, you know, like whether it's sing karaoke and or very good, like anything you name it, talking in front of people like you embrace the butterflies.
Yeah, it's almost like a lump of my last fight of staring at the wall.
Huh. I guess. I guess I'm going to fight in a couple minutes.
I mean, of course, we've all heard the phrase like you can never walk in the same river twice because even if you're even if the river is the same, you're a different man. That's I think it's a really important thing to understand, because at various points in my martial arts career, I've thought, oh, man, how should I feel? I remember when I used to do well in competition, I would feel I would think these thoughts listen to this song.
Think think about this. I would feel a certain way. And then if you don't feel that way, I would start to become stressed because I was self inflicted versus going. You'll feel how you feel. Your job is to show up with what you have on the day, do your absolute best. Like I will never quit. I can be sure of that and say I can't be beat. I, I can definitely beat. I could have lost every single fight that I've ever had, but I control my effort and I control my attitude.
And that's I will, I will do my very best game plan and the events not working. If I have to, I'll put my hands up and walk that forward if I need to hit somebody. We hope that that's not where it goes. But, you know, like, again, that humanizing moment we are shooting for, like the like the inner, you sacrifice the outer and all you have left is will. And you hope it doesn't happen.
But if it does, you'll be there. But I guess to. Come back the extra periods of time in between fights, I think was valuable because it was it was deeply challenging. It was incredibly it is heartbreaking sometimes from honest men. It's like I didn't want to do is just waiting.
Oh, my God, is there politics involved?
There's some sometimes, you know, like I, I you know, it's every single time you step into the ring, nothing's guaranteed. It's you could be hurt. You could hurt somebody, you could win, you could lose, you know, throwing away just like I said, throwing away your health, your life cheaply makes no sense for anyone. And, you know, having demonstrating some degree of of temperance is not cowardly either. I mean, but again, you're if you wait too long, you have nothing.
So I guess, like, I was trying and always being I'm always open to fighting the absolute best people possible. I'm never turning down fights ever. You know, some random Giambrone decides that he wants to fight them and go away. If I wanted to just fight random. So I would just started standing up on the table at Denny's and start yelling. And I'm sure I would have some people who would be willing to indulge me. But, you know, you want to fight, you know, meaningful opponents, challenging opponents and and I know who and where they are.
And you did fight in Atlantic City.
You know, I did the Denny, but you put the Denny's behind you. I did. And, you know, to be honest, if there were if I stood up after that fight and if I was in there in great shape to expect to win and the other fights that evening, but I could I could have tried it. I'm sure there were some takers in the crowd, particularly after they watched me fight the legal fight, that guy.
So, OK, so when was the last fight? That was Darren Elkin's. That was six months or seven months after the big fight, which is great because I love maybe five really tough, very tough opponent, very tough guy, super tough dude. And that was in July twenty nineteen.
And then right when I was about to fight Jüri to fight regularly after that, trying to end the year, trying to find a fight. Yeah. And Karibe we got Ricardo Lamas. So no one else, none of the I was ranked in the top fifteen at that point and then he didn't want to fight. We were struggling to find an opponent then. Ricardo Lomis, a great former title challenger, a really great history. And I'm recently retired, but we were supposed to fight in I think May, March, March, May of twenty twenty and then coronavirus happened.
And so that scrapped the whole show training. We were just scrambling to try to keep the gym alive and take your, you know, five or six, four, five, six, five full time employees that I, you know, they're my responsibility and I have to their livelihood is in my hands and it's the be responsible of me to to not take that seriously. So anyway, we were able to navigate through that time and then we were able to reschedule the Bailamos fight.
And that was in August of last year. And I got a a medical like flag like, oh, hey, you like you you have a medical condition that we need to look into. When I got pulled from the fight and I immediately was concerned because, of course, any serious medical condition you want to go. Well, I guess I would like to look at that. Yeah. It turns out it was a giant false positive. And, you know, we find that out all of five weeks later and you go, you have a kidney that's frustrating.
And then still waiting for a fight, waiting for a fight, waiting for a fight, waiting for a fight. People won't sign up. Asked for a number of different opponents, basically said, hey, I'm willing to fight anybody. That's that's tough. And moving forward, I finally got a, you know, a great opponent in Danny Gay for I guess it would have been this this march. And then I was training in January working on working on some stuff.
I was out training with Raymond Daniels in in California at Raymond's amazing, unbelievable kickboxing, karate style kickboxer, fantastic martial arts, great teacher, great training partner and good friend. And, you know, just really bad luck, you know, kind of a fall in the middle of in the middle of training. And I tore my hip flexor halfway off of my femur. So, yeah, that wasn't great. And you go like, man right at the time where you're like, oh, man.
All right. Finally moving forward, you know, having the opportunity to fight Dan's really tough guy, you have to fight. Well, if you want to have a good chance to do well with them, if you don't fight well, it's going to be a rough night. And like, that's exactly what I signed up for. That's PJ, this movement with Elkin's that was gray. And then the universe goes, hey, man, I hear you.
But there's also this. So anyway, yeah, unfortunately, it's healing up. And then hopefully I think you may, I think made this year, May of this year.
Yeah. So it's it's been it's been about five weeks since the injury. You'd be able to heal up you think. Yeah, I think it'll be OK by then. Like I don't need a big camp at this point. I've had years of camp. I'm not going to curtail my drinking or anything like that. Obviously, you know, come on man. Life is meant to be live. And, you know, so it's you know, I'm in good shape.
I always I'm always training. I'm trying to do my best to train around the injury to the extent that I can right now without hurting myself long term. So is there a particular opponents you're thinking about? Yeah. Anybody anybody forward? You know, I mean, I tried to I asked I asked the second that I got hurt, I sent a message to Dan and I said, hey, man, like, I just wanted you to be the first person to know, you know, I just was pretty reasonably injured or.
We just got an MRI doctor says, like, hey, man, you're out and you need to take like three weeks off, off, don't do anything, or you're going to you're going to hear it the whole way. And this is going to be surgery. And then it's going to be an additional like eight weeks on top of that to start to rehab it through. And anyway, you know, so I let them know, hey, if you can push this thing back, I would love to keep on the car.
I would love to keep the fight. You know, it's like I respect you a lot as an opponent. And also it's been brutal trying to get anybody to sign on. So if you're into it, I'm still there, unfortunately. Turn that down. I understand he had other things going on and he and his wife are expecting a child coming up. So he needed to he needed to fight. And anyway, you know, I guess we'll we'll see who's coming forward.
Is there somebody like super tough and the featherweight division that you you seem to like, enjoy the difficult puzzles? Is there somebody especially difficult that you would like to fight?
I would like to fight. I know that I'll need to win at least one fight before this. And I look forward to coming back and giving my best effort to do that. I want to fight to be Magnum and Sharipov. I want to fight you, Rodriguez. I want to fight Korean zombie and be is a complicated man.
Yeah, that would be a one. I would love to see that fight there. Any fight that that would be fun. He would be very challenging. All those guys are very challenging and so I look forward to just staying healthy to the extent that we can coming back. And I'm going to fight multiple times this year. Hell or high water?
Hell, yes. Hey, by the way, I completely forgot because you were talking about systems and decision trees and the illusion of choice made me think of Sam Harris and I forgot to mention it.
So he talks about free will quite a bit, huh? And that there's an illusion of free will.
So they claim cotton, that, you know, maybe the universe constructed that little game where it makes us feel like we're a bunch of choices, but we really don't. We really always ending up in the middle finger. That would be hilarious.
Yeah, that's that's that's what you see before you die. A giant middle finger. Fuck, I knew it. I knew it. What do you think? Do you think there's a free will? Like we feel like we're making choices. So you're thinking again, we're we're talking about, OK, here's a system of martial arts. That's Hanzo Graciela's, different schools and whatever. And then you're thinking, OK, how can I think outside these systems?
But then there's also a system that's our human society and we feel like there's an actual choice being made. But as individuals, do you think that choice is real or is it just an illusion?
Well, OK, that's a really good question. I'm not necessarily equipped to answer this, but I'll do my best. OK, I guess I would say to start with. Sure will be interesting. If it wasn't real, if the choice wasn't real. Yeah. Would be pretty interesting if it is real. First off, I would start with facilitative beliefs versus not facilitative beliefs. It's almost like I think the world's out to get me. True, not true.
What next? Probably not a facility to believe, even if you imagine you believe there is no free will. OK, now what? Does that justify every single impulse that you're going to give in to or does the belief in free will just a belief in my ability to work hard, to focus, to be disciplined, to improve my position through my situation, whether it's true or not, although I think that at least many of us would argue that at least whether whether there's some sort of internal driver that allows for that.
Yeah, like we live in a material world. Your actions do affect the world. I can choose to pick that water up or not. And anyway, I would say, a, believe strongly in the idea of picking facilitative beliefs, you know, and going, hey, I will adjust whether this belief system is right or wrong on a cosmic level. I'm nowhere near smart enough to understand. But I can say me deciding that let's say, for instance, I'm going to walk over to have a conversation with someone in the hotel lobby and I've never met them.
And I go over and I start with this is going to be interesting. And I just walk over there versus in my head. I'm like, what's this asshole want? We're about to have two very different conversations. I could be right that this person is not very polite or thinks negatively of me right from go. But I think that that's probably not a facility to believe people talk about. How is that going to help me navigate the conversation to a positive conclusion?
And I think about that for, you know, let's say fighting. It's a good example, like confidence. Plenty of people believe plenty of things that aren't real, myself included, I'm sure, all the time. And anyway, believing that you can do something, I'm like, hey, I think I can win, doesn't guarantee you a positive outcome. But I would say it most of us would probably most of us would argue that it helps.
And even what's depression, if not a a negative on facility, a belief that is not always that oftentimes is not reflected by reality, but you projected onto reality. And it's understandable if it makes you feel like, oh, man, this isn't going to work out. I don't think the prospects are going well. And then if you feel like you can't get out of that loop, that seems pretty rough. And I see a lot of things out in society right now where you go, whether whether you agree or disagree with various positions on things you go.
Is that a facilitate a belief, even if that is true, which is arguable anything. So what next? Man So where does this end? When one is the positive? What's the happy ending here? And if they go well, there is no happy ending. OK, so. So now what? So what do we do here?
And I guess we choose the facilitative belief and in your intuition, believing that free will is real, is is more productive for a successful life.
Absolutely. Because otherwise, how am I not how am I first of how can I how can society function if it's not real? So how can I blame you or anyone else or hold anyone responsible for anything if free will isn't real?
Well, no, that's exactly the point. You but at the surface level, what you're saying is true. But perhaps if we truly internalize that free will is an illusion, we'll start to figure out something that. That transforms the way we see society, for example, we are very individual centric, so believing that free will is real puts a lot of responsibility and blame on people when they do something bad.
Maybe if we truly internalize that we was an illusion, we start to think about the system of humans together as. As like this mechanism for progress, as opposed to where individual people are responsible for their actions, good or bad, so we remove the value, the weight we assign to the accomplishments or the the violence, the negative stuff done by individuals and more, look at the progress of society. I don't know what that looks like, but it's almost like as opposed to focusing on the individual acts of an ant colony.
Looking at the entirety of the ant colony that I to that I think it makes perfect sense.
I would just say that that's a reasonable thing to suggest. It's a seismic shift. Right. And it's hard to say whether that would be better or worse. But I guess I'll use this is a this is a convenient one for me. So I remember the last time we spoke, I brought up, you know, one of the most reviled evil characters in certainly recent history, probably in human history, period, Adolf Hitler.
Well, I'm a big fan of making people live in the world that they want to believe in.
Well, if free will doesn't exist and it's just about how things move forward, when are we going to be finding this guy or what like this is, you know, because I remember what I said. And that actually brings me to something else we discussed, you know. Yeah.
For people who don't know Ryan brought up or I brought up, there's literally a giant book about Hitler. My so I've been obsessed with Hitler, World War Two and Stalin recently for recently.
And this has become like a meme. Joe Rogan like DMT and me with something more positive, like Cat in the Hat or something.
I don't know. But you brought up Hitler as an example of something particular. There's some philosophical discussions we're having and the excellent, eloquent and the the full of integrity. I'm a journalist. Clipped out something you've said about that, about Hitler and said that, you know, I forget what the headlines are, but there were the most ridiculous possible implementation, basically, which intentionally misrepresented, intentionally misunderstanding what I'm saying, then it's like I get that they're stupid, but I'm stupid too, so I know what that's like.
So I don't have a lot of to. But yeah, exactly. It's exactly I don't I don't I can't give you a pass on it, but basically intentionally misunderstanding what's going on. But what I find funny is that, hey, we've got to be careful what we believe.
And again, back to the council culture thing that we discussed last time as well. Where would I would I like to apologize? I mean, no, actually, something about cancer culture that we've been seeing things culturally. I will be damned if I apologize for anything that I don't need to apologize for because I was intentionally misunderstood in that instance. Now, you could say that I don't know that I'm not a historical scholar, which I would agree immediately and also that I'm that I oftentimes in eloquently or articulately phrased things which all agree that was again, but ultimately, you know, going, hey, I want to make you believe live in the world that you that you're suggesting ought to exist.
OK, so if there's no free will. Is everything how far of a step back are we willing to take cosmically before we start going, hey, this is good because we're experiencing a social reckoning in our country at the moment, you know, for good and for and for other probably, I guess. And basically but hey, it all worked out right. So that's probably not something that would fly. And I think that's a fair thing. It's interesting, it might not fly from an individual perspective, but if you zoom out and think, you know, appreciate society as you know, just like an ant colony, as a beautifully complex system, like we kind of from from the individual perspective, we value progress, especially the progress of the individual, but in whole progressive societies.
But if you accept that this is just a complex system that's not necessarily headed anywhere, that this is almost like that river is just flowing, I think that removes the burden of always striving, of always trying, always like the struggle and so on. So it's possible that if we have no control, you can arrive at some kind of other Zen state, some very human, though, that's that goes against, I think. Our current human condition as we experience it, but we've communicated that to each other like we've taught through the social forces, taught each other that our lives matter and so on, maybe if we convince ourselves that we're just sort of like little things in a stream and ultimately none of it matters.
There might be some kind of enjoyment to be discovered through that process. I don't listen, and I'm a capitalist rah rah like.
But I guess I think you bring up a really important point. I guess almost anything like capitalism, I, I only get to experience it as I as I sit here now and I get to live. I was raised in United States, have traveled around the world a little bit, have had the good fortune of meeting many people from many different places and. I'm an end user of capitalism, I don't really know how it got here, whether it was I wasn't there at the start of this idea, I wasn't there for, hey, how do we come up with this idea?
How do we arrive? And I'm nowhere near will read enough to understand any of that, really even second hand. And I guess recognizing that communism, Marxism, socialism, anarchism, anything is these are all perspectives that all have, I guess, various strengths and weaknesses. But I guess one thing I'm always I guess I would say the burden. It seems to me that if you want to make a change, the burden of proof is is on the person implying that there needs to be a change and doesn't mean that there's nothing there.
But it's like if you want to create a small shift, the ripple, that's fine. But a seismic ripping shift in how we exist or how we experience the world as human beings. And you mentioned fighting. Why watching someone undergo Otake abuse on a level in the ring that's just shocking and then triumph in spite of it is like it's you're like this is unbelievable. This is part of the magic of combat sports now. It's part of the magic. The other side of the magic.
It doesn't get talked about sometimes is that the trajectory of that individual's life later on is not always great, or there's a little phrase there's a cost for that. But, you know, if if this if we remember you mentioned removing the struggle, I don't personally see the struggle is is what makes life is what makes life life. And also, I guess something for us is brought up to me on a number of occasions. It has. And it makes sense to me.
It's basically a human's only understand things through relative comparison. I only understand, you know, because I've known cold. I only I guess like it's like talking to someone that's never experienced any sort of hardship and then they're there. A lot isn't right. And then they pitch a fit versus someone that's gone through a great deal of challenge struggle in their life. They tend to have a little bit more of an even perspective. And anyway and of course, even as a relative thing and what I perceive to be even may not be and maybe I'm particularly soft or something in the other direction without realizing because I can only understand what I can understand.
But the idea that that we want to fundamentally alter ourselves as a species and as people seems incredibly, incredibly high bar to prove and also like an incredibly dangerous idea, because it always comes back to who's going to be responsible for this, who gets to do the choosing, what's a good idea, what's not a good idea. And I guess that actually brings a kind of to a something I've been encountering recently in discussions with friends. I feel like there's only two types of people that I that I encounter at this point, people with a more or less libertarian tilt to their thinking and people without it.
And when I say libertarian, I don't mean that in the political party sense or even the belief system. Basically, I'm like, hey, you do you buddy? It's not my it's what you're up to is not my concern versus what you're up to is my concern. And I guess I've always watched various points in history. People on this side of people on that side are more, more or less, I guess, problematic, I guess you could say.
And I don't mean that in the Internet sense, you know, more of it, more of an issue. But the world is always full of people that want to tell you what you need to be doing as opposed to more or less do no harm. And I guess that's one of the ones any time I'm trying to tell other people what to do, how to help them. Right. And it's bizarre to me how many people are so confident that their side or their position is the one that's not only right for them, but right enough that they can enforce it on others.
And that just seems incredibly dangerous to me. And I guess that comes back to even Sam's point about, oh, we want to try to spread the idea that free will doesn't exist. I'm not saying it's damaging, but if I will maybe and plenty of other things could be as well. I'm not you know, it goes way over my head as to the implications of all of these. And I guess all of us are an evangelist for something.
But I guess it's weird that we've gotten this far as a species and now we want to take like sharp, sharp turns.
Well, we've been taking a bunch of sharp turns throughout history. Yeah, that's that's what you know, that's that's the way humans love power.
And one way to attain power is to say everything that you guys are doing is wrong. And I have the right thing and I'm going to build up a giant cult of people and I'm going to overthrow and indirectly, what that results in me is me gaining power. And that's how you get all the big revolutions in human history saying I'm done with the thing that the powerful are currently doing. I'm going to overthrow. That's that's where probably all the identity politics that's happening now is people that didn't have power before are looking to gain power.
And they're also, you know, that's where Jordan Peterson criticized identity politics is people with the right, with the good intentions, as you say. Are in seeking power, a lot of power to corrupt them, as power always does, and so they lose track of like the the the devils that they're fighting by becoming the same kind of devils, the same kind of evil that they're fighting. And so that that's just the province of human history. But hopefully, as these power greedy people keep attaining power with the with the progressive mindset, over time things get better and better as they can, as they have generation, each generation.
A lot of a lot of unfairness happens. A lot of hypocrisy happens. A lot of people are trampled along the way by those who meanwell. But over time, like lessons are learned or like human civilization accumulates lessons and in part learns the lessons of history. And it gets better and better over time, even though in the short term there's people acting not their best selves. And, you know. That seems to be the progress of human history, the idea of internalizing with free will not being real, and you're actually making me realize that that ultimately leads to a kind of.
It doesn't like on a nihilistic direction. Yes, it is both nihilistic or if you want to make it a political system, then it's more like communist type of a system where, like the the value of the individual is completely reduced, removed, or another perspective is like the freedom of an individual is not to be valued or protected. And so for us, our current perspective, the systems that seem to have worked, the United States works pretty damn well.
Despite all the different criticisms, it seems like freedom of the individual in all its forms seems to be fundamental to the success of the United States. And so we should it's how the how you put it is like doesn't matter whether free will is or isn't an illusion. The belief that it's real protects the individual from the group, which is fundamentally correct me if I'm wrong.
That always seems like the big issue of history. Hey, there's more to me than there is a view. Deal with it. Yikes. Yeah, and you want to be yourself, you want to be different, you want to have a different religion, you want to be a different skin color. You want to do this. All the bad, terrible things happen when there's more me than you wrong. Yeah, absolutely. But that's always the fundamental power imbalance.
Well, the interesting thing about the libertarian thinking, I guess I, I don't know those words. Maybe they're all charged. I know. Yeah, they're all I may not scale up, but I mean, we're more like on a philosophical underpinning. We're looking at basically you feel free to believe I'm a fool. Plenty of people do, I'm sure. But as long as you don't chase me down the hall and hit me in the back of the head with a text book, what's the big deal?
Yeah, so the libertarian viewpoint which I probably espouse, like that's I very much like freedom of the individual is very valuable and like, leave others the fuck alone unless they are trying to hurt you. The thing is, you also have to, I believe, put in the work of empathy, of understanding what others how what leaving people the fuck alone means to others.
But isn't that an interesting thing? If I believe in freedom of the individual and I take that like all of these, like you said, you take them past their first quote, why question? You ask why, why, why, why or how, how, how, how many times should that not extend to respect for you, respect for your position, respect for your individual lived experience, which could be grossly different than mine?
Yeah, this is the problem with saying I'm an individual. I'm not going to bother you. You don't bother me. That's just like that's not actionable because to be to make it actionable, you have to think the y y y y y you have to do the steps beyond. Right. You think what does that actually mean? That means understanding how even my very existence, like, hurts others, because you have to understand that, like, I'm not you're not just sitting alone in a room.
You're you're using public transit, using the police force, you're using firefighters'. You're using that like you're using a lot of resources that are publicly shared. And some of those resources are are unfairly distributed, like we've agreed that we're going to pay taxes and those taxes are going to go towards building some kind of infrastructure that's already towards socialism. That's so you're not a real you're not a real sort of. I talked to my cabal's like anarchists, right.
Saying like basically full. Just leave me the fuck alone and I'm going to collaborate with whoever the hell I want, we're not that's not the American society as it stands currently. We've agreed that there's going to be certain social institutions and we pay into this. And some of the sort of discussions about race and all those kinds of things is about those institutions being. Are institutionally unfair, this race or gender, all those kinds of things. Listen, I you know, I have a bunch of criticisms of the way the conversation carries itself out.
But the thing is, was valuable to actually listen and empathize and that's not even often talked about would leave me the fuck alone mindset because you're it doesn't have it doesn't have that little component, which I think could be fundamental to the function of a society which is like social like this.
What is the Obama you didn't build it or you didn't build it alone or whatever, however that goes. But basically we wouldn't be we wouldn't be able to accomplish anything as individuals without the help of others and to be able to then start to think, OK, so what is. What is what is my duty? What is my responsibility to other human beings to be respectful, to be loving, to to help them as part of this functioning society that starts that's actually a lot of work to start to think about that.
Sure. Because I have to, like, think, OK, Ryan, what's his life like? Like as a business owner doing covid, what's that like? And then he has this employees that run the gym. Was that like was that stress like or about the fighting in the injury and so on. Was that like that? Empathy takes a lot of like compute cycles and also a lot of energy. Right.
But I have to go through that computation. If I want to be an individual that's like doesn't hurt you, if I may, I guess, like to come back to Muhammad Ali.
One of the things he said is service is the rent is the rent that you pay for your as is the price you pay for your rent here on Earth. Yeah. And now I have one of the things that I think that I see as a result of the Internet all the time is people talking about the global giant problems, social problems that are society wide, that are massive, truly massive and frankly beyond the beyond the power of any of us to solve that, certainly on an individual level.
So I have discussed things with friends. I my father's an environmental attorney like, you know, has been for a long time and has been an engineer for a long time. And, you know, so I'm not that barely know anything, but I'm reading a little bit of various things. But climate change. Oh, my God, I'm so concerned about climate change. What am I supposed to do with climate change? I'll tell you what I can do is I can not litter.
I can try to conserve energy where I can. I can do whatever I want. What can I personally do about some giant social problem? That is that I didn't start and I just out of my control. I'm like, well, I can be decent to the people around me. I can mention I can demonstrate empathy and I can demonstrate consideration for the people in my circle and to the extent that I can the people outside of my circle. But yelling at the trees over things that over problems that are borderline cosmic doesn't seem very productive.
It just makes me feel like I'm cool and important because I'm talking about something. Well, hundreds of years from now, the water will rise. Maybe it will, maybe won't. I can't.
It's completely on my head. I know nothing but focusing on the problems that we can actually solve.
It comes back to the same thing. I want to win a fight. I would love to win a fight. I can't control that. What I can do is I can control each individual step that I take her on the ring and trying to make the next correct move. I can't look at it. It gets people's you know, they get all excited. You know, I'm trying to keep my language in check, but they get all excited thinking about, you know, problems that are like Superman couldn't solve these problems, like you could be that powerful and you can't make all of the bad things go away, but you can absolutely change yourself.
And I think a lot of the lessons that, you know, like the good lessons from religion that happened, the good lessons from the great men and women throughout history, that we that we were inspired by that talk about change starting with within. And, you know, again, treating the people around you decently and treating the people around you decently doesn't even necessarily mean the golden rule. Do unto others as you would like them to do to you.
I go, well, maybe what I would like and what this person would like want the same thing. Well, how am I going to get to the bottom of that? Because I could be attempting to be decent to this person and by my standards and being decent, maybe I'm not. Maybe I'm missing the mark by theirs. Well, I can't possibly if I just interacted with you like it's like someone talking about some nonsense microaggression. Let me get this straight.
I've never met you before. You never met me before. And you're interpreting some minor comment that that I've made in the least charitable way possible. Yeah, I'm not saying that that you couldn't be annoyed, but your expectation for that level of consideration is you're going to be you're going to be disappointed a lot. Now, if you if we're someone that's in your life on a consistent basis and they're like, hey, I really don't appreciate what you're saying or what you're doing here, do you realize that this is how I'm this time perceiving you go, Oh, man, I'm so sorry.
Of course I what do what you have to say, but I guess trying to recognize that, you know, I guess my job is to treat others with dignity in general, but that level, their level of specificity, that that that that requires increases as it gets closer to you. And I have as a person, I have a very finite amount of resources financially, intellectually, emotionally, physically. If I check point zero zero, one percent of it in every single different direction, what am I doing?
It's like when people I care deeply about Tibet and like, why don't you over there, go build a Houtman, get on a plane, go build a house. Oh, you don't want to do that. So really what you want to do is post on Facebook and accept high fives for how much of a good guy you are. I got an idea. Go help somebody in your neighborhood. Go beat, go play, go play some kids.
Go be a friend to someone that doesn't have a friend read a book, try to educate yourself. And so I guess to come back is all of these problems aren't solvable on a grand scale. But it's almost like by attempting to address them in our personal lives, we do better. But rather than a giant airing of the grievances on a on a consistent basis, not that that isn't sometimes necessary and valuable, but at. After you air your grievances, you go, hey, how about we we sort this out, what's the next step?
And I guess again, when we're trying to address it on a giant social level, it just seems unmanageable to me, even if you have the best of intentions. Yeah.
I mean, but nevertheless, there's there's a lot you can do on social networks. I mean, I enjoy tweeting and consuming Twitter is just I buy the exact same principle that you just said, which is free will and discussion, which is like I approach it in a way that I don't get stuck in this loop.
That's counterproductive. I try to do things that are productive. And it's just like you said, that's like like what kind of things can I do in this world, whether that's tweeting or building things? Those are low effort tweeting or actually building businesses or building ideas out as high for what can I do that will actually solve problems? And that's the way I approach it. And I do wonder if it's possible to, at scale encourage each other to approach like social media and communication with all humans in that way.
I don't know.
How do you that would be done, I guess like to improve the improve the quality of discourse, maybe like or even, like you said, the empathy or the decency of discourse.
I think people should be incentivized, encouraged to do that. I think most of what we see happening on Twitter and Facebook and so on has to do with very small but very powerful implementation details.
It goes down to like what is the source of the dopamine rush, the like button, the sharing mechanisms, just even small tweaks. And those can fix a lot, really? I believe so. So, like a lot a lot of the stuff we see now is the result of just initial implementations of the systems that we didn't anticipate. So the monetization comes from engagement and the tools we have is clicking like and sharing. It was not always obvious.
It was not obvious from the beginning. It was obvious while Twitter and Facebook grew that there's a big dopamine rush from getting more followers and likes and shares. So we've gotten addicted to this feeling like how many people are commenting? How many people are saying like clicking like and so on. So that's that dopamine rush. So we want to say the thing they'll get the most likes and like en in society. And then the other thing that was expected is the controversial, the divisive will get the most likes.
So it had to do with the initial mechanisms of likes and shares resulting in an outcome that was unpredicted, which is huge amounts of division, irrespective of like any of the basics of human connection that we've actually all come to understand. Society is valuable at the individual level that we're saying. But en masse, what results is like you throw all that out and it's all just divisive at scale. Discourse, I think it could be fixed by incentivizing personal growth, like incentivizing you to challenge yourself to grow as individual and most importantly, to be happy at the end of the day.
So we'd like incentivize you feeling good, as in in a way that's long lasting, long term. I think what makes people actually feel good is being kind to others long term. In the short term, what feels good is getting a lot of likes. And I think those are just different incentives that if implemented correctly, you could just build social networks that would do much better. So do you think it comes from a structural perspective? I guess at what point does you, like you mentioned, free will and also you mentioned feeling good and again, working hard.
I know that you have a I guess it was a race or. No, the the Goggins thing. Yeah. For about forty four by four by 40. A challenge where you run four miles every four hours for two days. That's awesome. It's, it's a bunch of it's the the challenge of it isn't just the running. The running is very tough, but as most of the sleep deprivation is just training every four hours. But it's a struggle.
Right. And that's wrong. But the struggle gives meaning and ultimately I guess so how can we because you mentioned, like you said, adjusting things on like a I guess like a programing level, almost based programing level so that the interface is different for the user. But at what point does the user have a responsibility to, you know, as a as a man or a woman or a person to just behave more decently?
How can we, I guess, utilize what can we do? It seems like, you know, like our society is so grossly missing, like a Martin Luther King right now, like the great inspiring characters throughout American history, throughout world history. Where are the great leaders? So leadership is part of it.
But I you know, that's definitely where the great leaders are. Very good question. That's that's more of a question of our political systems, why they're not pushing forward the great leaders.
But there's also just the OK, there's some just basic engineering shit, which is when you and I we knew Ryan and I are in the room alone and we're talking even if we're strangers, the incentives are for us to get along, like just when we're together in person. That's what I'm saying. I'm not even saying some kind of. But when you but when you remove that when we remove that the the implementation of of the of social networks as they stand right now in the digital space, a very different set of incentives.
It's more fun to destroy others, to be shitty to others.
And that becomes this endless loop, like you were saying, that's ultimately destructive and not productive. And I think it has to do with just the interfaces of. Making it feel good to be nice to others, because currently it doesn't feel nearly as good to be nice to others on the Internet, and if it doesn't feel nearly as bad as it does in real life to be shared each other's on the Internet. So the incentives are just wrong. I think there is a technology solution to this, or at least the solution to improve this this communication mechanism.
It's not obvious how I want to share more detailed ideas, but this is fascinating because I've gotten a chance to talk to Jack Dorsey quite a bit, is the CEO of Twitter, and he is the gentleman he has. You know, in this conversation, he would agree with everything. And he's a good human being and he has a lot of really good ideas how to improve things. The question when you're a captain of a ship, whether even it's a question, whether CEOs, even a captain, how much can you actually steer that ship once it's gotten large enough?
There's so much momentum. There's so many users. There's so many people who are marketing and PR and lawyers. It's very difficult to change things. Is it difficult because of the fallout or is it difficult because it's actually like literally out of his power power powers?
Weird when you have a large organization. This is why the great leaders, this what great leaders do, whether it's presidents or leaders of companies. Steve Jobs, I would argue Musk is that way, is to walk into a room full of people who don't want you to create drama. It's weird, man, when people just kind of want to be nice. The niceness creates momentum and nobody wants to. It's the system's thing, everybody just behaves in the way they were previously behaving, in the way they're supposed to behave.
And nobody wants to raise a fuss. It takes a great man, a woman leader, to step in and say, well, we've been doing is bullshit. OK, you're fired.
You're fat, you're cool. What is it? Right, I'm out. I think you have to create constant revolutions within a company. It's very, very difficult to do structurally and psychologically. It's very difficult to do to to be able to sort of. Yeah. To constantly challenge the way things have been done in the past. And which is why another way it's often done is a startup like a small company, basically a small company, because we are successful and then no longer can turn the ship.
Some new startup comes along a new competitor that then challenges the big ship and then that starts out the winner. That's like Google came to be that Twitter came to be in Facebook and so on. And Apple has, you know, that that was the dream of Steve Jobs, as would succeed for for many decades. For centuries. That was the idea that you would keep keep creating revolutions. And under Steve Jobs, Apple successfully pivoted a bunch of times, just like reinvented themselves, which is very difficult to do because, I mean, I don't know if this is accurate because I wouldn't know anything, but I've heard plenty of people complain about Steve Jobs.
Yeah. But in reality, the reason that all of these amazing things were done was because this person was willing to obviously brilliant and also willing to to rattle, rattle everyone's cage periodically and say, hey, what's going on is not what we need to be doing.
This is a really interesting thing. So you would rattle the cage. But he was also I don't know if those are intricately connected or always have to be connected, but he would just be a dick.
So maybe by maybe by his standard, I am lazy and worthless. Would you say that to you? Is he being a dick, though, if by his standard, I mean, like, again, it's like everyone's stupid compared to somebody, you know, I guess.
But it's so you you apparently are able to take that kind of thing is sometimes you just you there's there's ways to cross the line. And I mean, this is the fascinating thing about being a leader, especially leader of companies, is it's a people problem. So each individual in a room. So as a leader, you only really interact with a small number of people because there are leaders of other smaller groups and so on.
But each of those individuals in the room have their own different psychology. Some like to be pushed to the limit. Some some like like to be screamed at. Some have are very soft spoken and almost afraid to speak. And they have to be you have to you have to hear them out like there's a and those those could be all superstars. We're not we're not talking about like the students, about the students. What's funny. But the thing to me and the skill to manage all of those people is completely separate from the skill to innovate something.
I mean, not not that they're not connected, but it's funny how it's it's almost like, you know, why do we have shitty, shitty representatives? Well, I mean, the thing that you do to get elected has nothing to do with governance. Yes. You know, so. Well, that's exactly it. But the great leaders have to have both skills.
So you have to have the boldness of if you look at the great presidents through history, usually in a time of crisis is when they step up. But they basically say, OK, stop this old way that Congress works of this bickering of this like compromise bullshit. Here's a huge plan that cost billions of dollars. And today there's trillions of dollars, no extra pork, no extraditions. Just like here's a clear plan we're going to build the best road network in the world has ever seen or going to build some huge infrastructure project.
We're going to revolutionize Internet or we're going to coronavirus. We're going to build the largest testing facility the world has ever seen in terms of the we're going to get everybody tested several times a day, all those kinds of things, huge projects, and say, fuck all this, the details that everybody's bickering about, we're going to give everybody two thousand dollars and give everybody three thousand dollars like huge projects and at the same time. So that's the boldness and the leadership and saying throw out all the bullshit of the past and at the same time be able to get in the room with the leaders of both parties, of the powerful individuals and smooth talk the shit out of them in the way they need to be small talk to.
So like both of those skills, it seems to be when they're combined in one person, that's that great, great leaders. Musk appears to have that, Elon.
I don't know if Steve Jobs it's interesting, so the criticism of Steve and a little bit early on is he misses some of the human part, but maybe it's impossible to have a really you have like, say, Nadal, who's the CEO of Microsoft, you have who is really good on the human side, really, really good on the human side, like everybody loves them. The CEO of Google Alphabet is also the same way. So, like, I don't know if it's possible to have both.
You only get so many stat points in this RPG of life. You know, you got very good at you.
Just two very fast. See what I mean, he told the story Gluba and so on, but you want to blackbelt really quickly and not just in terms of rankest, but in terms of just skill level. I mean, you didn't go to Blackbaud nearly as fast as your skill set developed. Your, like, doing extremely well at a high level competition. So you're a good person to ask how does one get good at jujitsu?
We talked about solving problems at the elite level, but when you're a beginner at at the martial arts, how do you get good?
How much training should you do at the very basic stuff? Like how much training, how much drilling and then the mental stuff like where she's your mind be? How should you approach it from a mental perspective to not just take my perspective on this one?
I guess I would say I feel step one. I feel lucky to have found, you know, a good training situation, particularly for the time, you know, in in where and where I was at. And I drilled a ton. I drilled and drilled in, drilled and drilled and drilled and went. One thing it's really important to understand, though, is that I was able to, in a relatively brief period of years, go from zero to reasonably good.
But I think I probably crammed more hours in those small years than most people did training, let's let's say, in two or three times the length. So it may not it may masquerade as something else other than it is. I could say you have to put in the hours. Yeah. The way around that, I think. So what did you put in those hours so that when the drilling can break that apart of what is drilling look like, is there any recommendations?
And I would say your choices matter. Like there's a I think one of the really important things that I think we should consider about jujitsu is that there's a lot of junk in the system right now. It's like jujitsu is exploded in terms of the number of positions, techniques, strategies, this that rule sets. That's really cool. On the one hand. On the other hand, there's probably a just metric shit ton of suboptimal things that are out there that are being taught.
My myself included, I've taught things that are looking back five years, three years, two years, one year on like or would not do it like that anymore. Straight up. Sometimes I wouldn't do it like that. Other times I would literally never do even that particular movement. I don't think the shrimp is a real move. It's it's a giant spieling seizure to show in person.
But long sort of is there's a lot of things that we think of as fundamental that I think that are really pretty negative.
And also, you know, that's heresy and jujitsu, isn't it? A shrimp? Exactly. It's like the holy we all worship the shrimp. We love the shrimp. We love the shrimp. Now, for people who don't do jujitsu and you should the shrimp is you scoot your butt. Away from your opponent in a relatively scribe's well, it's like a really athletic looking position where you look like someone that's trying to stick their butt out on Instagram and then you push your hands away and you expose your face and then you lay on your side because someone told you to do that.
And you look like I guess you look like a shrimp. Yeah. It's like that time that, you know, someone really credible told me to drink unleaded gasoline. I did it for a while. And then, you know, it got to the point in my life where the next best thing that I needed to do to really improve my life was stop drinking unleaded gasoline. Yes. And I would say that there's like a lot of stuff that that's in there.
That step one is like a. It's junk, it's actual junk, and it's not only will it waste your time, it it will straight up. It will it will be like an albatross hanging on you because it affects how you think about things going forward.
So although it was it's funny, like the operating assumption is that that we we work under have a huge, huge, huge influence. You mentioned, like growing up in the United States or this being a capitalist society like you are right now. Of course, I think that I don't really know any different otherwise. And I think that a lot of times people go, oh, communism is better. I'm like, haven't seen it. Read any books about it would be better.
But it's possible. I mean, I haven't experienced it much myself either, so I can't dismiss it outright. But I guess I would say it's a fundamentally different and different operating system underpinning and all of my choices, all of if I honestly believed in that thing, many of my choices on a moment by moment, on a day by day and certainly on a lifetime basis would be very different. So I would say that it's tough when you're when you're young in the martial arts.
And I mean, all of us are always trying to do our best to learn. But when you're doing the martial arts, you always go. If you're a reasonable guy, what do we call it? Like Dunning, Kruger Amnesiac. This is the right one that basically you go like, oh, I know what I'm doing here, so I can say that's not right. But then I read a new story about baseball, but about baseball sounds credible and it's bullshit, but I can't call bullshit if you're a reasonable person, you can't call bullshit on things that you don't understand, even if you suspect it's not right.
Well, I've got to reserve judgment. You never, ever, ever set aside your your need and also obligation to understand why you were doing what you're doing. And don't ask why once. Ask why over and over and over and over about the same thing. Oh well I want to shrimp lie to make space. Why do I want to make space to get away from the guy. Well why do I want to get away from. Well because he's dangerous.
Well why is he dangerous. And you can oftentimes get down to wait a minute. I didn't even need to move three quarters of the time. You're actually acting in the other person's self interest. And I guess a lot of times I can't. This kind of goes beyond what we can demonstrate here. But I would just say trying to understand what my base operating assumptions are and consistently reevaluate them, which can be frickin exhausting, frankly, and also concern about confidence destroying.
But you mentioned that that I did pretty well relatively quickly. I was it I started in 2004 and I was in Abu Dhabi ATCC for the first time as an alternate in 2007. I want to match that against the world champion. And the fact frankly, the fact that I was able to beat someone like that was neat, but at the same time says a little bit more about what jujitsu is and some of the issues with it than it does about how cool I am or was because.
That shouldn't really happen when you think about it, you're like, OK, you're champing at ostensibly a very high level of the sport. You enjoy a three inch, four inch height advantage and a thirty five pound weight advantage. And you just got beat like that. Should not. I'm serious. I'm dead serious. That should not exist. If that happens, you're doing it wrong. Is it that I'm doing it right or is it that you're doing it wrong and there's enough variance in the way that you're doing it, that you're allowing me to win?
And now I did happen to win that with a 50 50 heel hook, which was 50 50. But based on that, which was one of the early examples of like, hey, guys, by the way, people can try to hurt your legs. And that was something like we mentioned John Daniher mentioned, like myself being Lyster, a lot of the guys from the Henzell racing team that have had amazing success. They've gone and done great things in your Craig Jones, in the competitive grappling world, basically taking advantage of being very, very good in what they're doing, but also a glaring, glaring, glaring issue with the operating system of jujitsu, which was a huge vulnerability in the lower body.
And not only not attacking it, but having no idea how one does attack it, which means you can't understand how someone will assail you. So anyway, I guess to come back is if in the in the absence of knowing what to do, I try to polish what I've got. So if I've got a knife and I'm like, I don't know how to use them, I can sharpen the edge of Polish and make sure that when I need to use this damn thing, I'll be able to do it.
Because trying to put together a system when you don't have an idea of what's going on, a lot of times you end up making suboptimal choices. But as long as you're consistently reevaluating what you're doing and that's something I've tried to do over time, over and over and over again, and try to seek out the the most, the best and also most articulate or insightful instructors or people of the various level. Doesn't matter if they're well known or not.
That could say, hey, Ryan, I think you should do this. I think you do that. And I think all I've ever done in martial arts is try to treat people with respect, honestly, try to demonstrate appreciation for the many, many people who have helped me over time and be the type of person that they want to train with, not the type of because we've all trained with people that make us think about beating the everloving crap.
I never wanted it to be that guy. And I was also saying, like, if I train with a black belt when I'm a blue belt and then this person enjoys training with me, that's in my interest. Selfishly, not only do I not want them to beat me up, but selfishly I should. You mentioned being decent to other people, incentivized being decent to other people right within the structure of what you're doing. Selfishly, I'm incentivized to be a nice guy, even if I'm internally a scumbag, which I like to think that I'm not.
But basically going like, hey, this guy is way more likely to help me or this person is more likely to help me if I shake their hand, say thank you. I really appreciate you help me out. And that thing that that's happened with four or five times, I'm going to ask him about it and then they don't have to tell me they're under no obligation. But I'll say. And they tell me don't thank you so much for your time.
Really appreciate it. And that that's it, you know, because to summarizes the way you brilliantly described. I just want to make sure we're keeping track and all over the place. No, you didn't. You're you're pretty on point. But so the first thing is basically which is difficult. I want to if we can break it apart a little bit, is don't trust the authority. Essentially keep asking why he respectful without trusting authority. Right. Right.
Which is and then the second thing is be the kind of person that others like training with are like being around sort of being a good friend. It's so many people just enjoy being around. So one is which is. Yeah, you're right. It's the tension which is like completely disrespect the the way that things are done. So asking why constantly. One of it is your own flaws and not understanding the fundamentals of what's being described. And then once you get good enough, not understanding like going against the fact that the instructor doesn't understand.
And my inability to understand what you're saying, though, doesn't invalidate it. And that's something like you mentioned, like me mentioned, keeping in mind our own flaws. And then also, again, the flaws that any of us have as the instructor, to your point, and I guess I can speak to being kind of weird, I don't you know, I like to sit in the corner, but so everyone's a little bit different. Some people, you know, I wasn't terribly popular in high school.
I, you know, like in like high school very much. But anyway, I would not going to be rude to people, though. I was never going to bully anybody. If you said hello to me, I'd say hello back. I would hold the door for you if you walked by, you know, and I would just say, like, simple things like that go a long, long, long way. And that actually takes us back to our to our social discussion where I'm like, oh, man, how do I become great at jujitsu?
It's like, well, I'll start by not pissing off this person who can beat the crap out of me and not disrespecting the person who is probably the clear is the closest thing to a font of knowledge at that time for me. So and then recognizing that I should do that for its own virtue because it's the right thing to do and I should try to treat people decently. But beyond that, even selfishly, it's in my interest to do that.
But see, the thing is, this is interesting is there's a. Culture and martial arts, a culture that I like where the instructor legitimately so carries an aura of authority and it's not comfortable to really ask why I'm not. It's a skill to be able to have a discussion as a white belt, the black belt instructor of like, why is it done this way? And saying why again? Like wood, I mean, it's a skill to show that you're actually legitimately curious and passionate and compassionate student versus like somebody who's just being an annoying dick, who saw some stuff on YouTube.
There's a line between to walk there. And I just wonder because, like. It's the drilling thing and, you know, I. For example, I in my when I was coming up, there was so much emphasis placed on my close guard, for example.
And you might you might actually teach me now. I don't know, but to me it was like, why do I need to master the clothes? Like, why is the Coast Guard on top or the bottom of the bottom? Really the fundamental basics of jujitsu? Who decided that my body is not my body says this is wrong like this. Like I have short legs but doesn't even matter the length of legs. There's something about me that just I don't understand how leverage here works for my particular body.
So it's just it's a feel thing to like. It feels like in my basic understanding of leverage and movement and timing and so on, it feels like these certain like barfy guard or even like have basically every guard except Coast Guard. I can play, I can dance. Close Guard.
Feels like you're shutting down like the play that I get wrong.
Or is that make sure that's what you want because that's almost like an innate characteristic of this guard position, but it's not sold that way. Right. Hey, this is a good God. It's like, hey man, here's a bow and arrow verses. And you know how to use this thing, right? Like, make sure you're far away and, like, up on a hill or something because you can take that bone out, run up on something and try to use it.
But if nobody told you not to do that. And they told you was foundational, it's very foundational, it's very important to everything else to write that back to the shrimping thing. How many things are we taught that even if it's not, let's say itself is not a garbage thing? Might be effectively garbage, you could give me a Ferrari, but if I try to make it fly, it's not going to work, if you like.
Here's a plane. Here's another plane. Here's another plane. Here's another plane. Here's a Ferrari. I'm like, oh, it must be different type of plane. Like, you could be forgiven for Felipe if we're going there, you know, like maybe the wings come out. You just go fast enough to take a bullet. You can make these crazy leaps in your mind. And people are doing that all the time. So if you don't provide the context for me or worse yet, you provide improper context, like how how much of a problem is that going to be?
Well, I think the skill of the White Belt should be just be nice. But in the complicated human space of one year intention at least, and in the big picture view is good. There's the question is it's not always when your intention is good, the actual implementation of it is good. So you might be just almost and that's much it's not the case for you is much more a case for wipeouts. They don't even know their intentions might be good, but they don't know all the lines they're crossing all the time.
So they're not able to and they interpret all the ways in which they're being totally insensitive to the requests of others, an explicit request of others. So your job as a beginner is to be a really good listener of those social cues.
It's like a visitor in a foreign country, right? Yeah, like you're a representative of people that look like you. People that talk like you, people that have your passport. You're like, man, I'm going to go over here. I've got my foot up on my knee. Well, if I was in certain countries at all, that's rude. I'm like, oh, I'm so sorry. But imagine if someone says, hey, I really appreciate you take your foot off.
That's pretty rude. And then I want to tell them, well, not where I'm from. When I'm in your house. I better again, I might go that direction, but let's see, I could get away with that. Now I'm a bully and if I can't get away with that, I'm about to maybe be on the wrong side of something. But I guess, like you said, if we have positive intention, that's fine, but also to recognize who I am.
And I think that that's one thing that I tried to do and continue to try to do over time. Like we're all men. Hi. I'm the one that's asking for a favor here. If I spar with Raymond Daniels, Raymond Davis doing me a favor, I ain't doing him a favor. Let's not get it twisted. So thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate this not and this is not like some affected nonsense. Serious.
I'm like, thank you, Fuzzball. Stephen Thompson. I'm the one being done a favorite. George St. Pierre takes his times for me, which he has in the past, and not even kill me, which is really I appreciate that, because that's why I can sit here. George is not a prop for me to to to get my rocks off or see what's going on, and also I'm going to do that and then expect him to just take it.
And I've seen he's a gentleman. I've seen people get nuts with George and have him just like he has. He's a patient of a saint. I don't have that level of patience, but I would just say to come back, what if figuring out like, hey, so what what role am I here? And that comes back to like it at least what I see people on the Internet. Yeah, man, I have a beef with Joe Rogan.
Like, No, you don't, Ryan, you're some goof. I'm like, I'm some random dude, Joe. Like, people want it. They almost want to, like, elevate so that we can somehow be level with peers here. If I go into Froster Hobie's Jim, I'm not a peer frazzle. I'm a student of Tri-Star. I'm a guest in the academy. And if Farrows asked me for something short of him, like, you know, telling me to try to do a triple backflip, try to break my neck, the answer's yes, sir.
I can do free Fresno, man. No worries. And it's and hopefully I should come, I guess, a level of graciousness. But I guess that's kind of one of the things that I see nowadays with how accessible people are, because I grew up being a big, huge sports fan of all kinds. I couldn't send Derek Jeter a message and much less have a possibility of reply. And if I do, it's like, you know, I have people some of these very nice people, some some people and everyone not everyone is coming from the same place.
But I've had plenty of things that like, yo, dude, I need you to do this for me. I'm like, well, I'll tell you, it's never going to happen that I have no idea who you are.
And that was how I was addressed. And I don't need oh, man, you're the greatest one because that's weird. And two, because I'm not. But just. Hey, Ron, how are you doing? A few think you could do the following if you get a second look. If I get a second, you're damn right again. Why not ask? But it started with some level of politeness and I guess like that's maybe being semi southern.
Like I grew up in Virginia. Yes, sir. Yes, ma'am. Like that. Yeah.
Well, then there's all different kinds of implementation as applied as I mean, most of the successful people I've met, the it's been surprising to me how much of you mentioned peers like I could think of Joe Rogan. You mentioned Joe Rogan, but Elon Musk, they don't like they almost treat me like I'm the superior, you know what I mean? Like, it's not even it's that the politeness, like, you know, that's the approach. The feeling of it is like I'm the student, I'm the beginner.
I'm like approaching a situation. Like, it's it's it's almost like method acting of like you're better than me. That and that's how I approach a lot of interactions. Like I have something to learn from this, even if it's like a young. Do you think that they're genuine? They're totally genuine, but it's not a funny thing, like in spite of who they are, they're incredibly genuine because they respect correct me if I'm wrong, they respect you, obviously, for what you bring to the table.
No, they approach everybody like. But I'm sure the respect which one is it? Well, beyond that, they're they're treated with dignity as a human being.
As a human being. Which is right.
PETMIN When they could probably get away with treating most people without a whole heck of a lot of dignity. And I guess what does that always say, that like, you know, again, like you can always tell someone of quality because they treat the king and the and the janitor the same way. But that's what we're seeing a lot like I guess I don't mean to like to nitpick, but that's where I take issue, I guess a little bit or disagree with the process, with the Internet.
Again, I know people on the Internet. Man yells it yells at clouds.
But but anyway. But I guess what I mean is just like the way that people address each other because it's so casual now, you know, and it's it's great. On the one hand, it's nice. On the other hand, you go, hey, I just why can't do am I somehow or my worried about diminishing myself. It's like the way that I'm sure that people talk to like talk to women sometimes and it's yourself girl, she's bitch you know, versus like wow that was supposed to get a good response.
What about that was going to elicit a favorable response, you know, versus being anything, anything other than than just your man, what's going on? And I guess that does not make any sense.
That makes total sense in that Southern thing that you're referring to. I feel like that's an important that's an important part of human communication. Let me ask you this. Sure, your new back attacks instructional. First of all, awesome, yeah, second of all, you drop it, you drop a lot of fascinating insights in there, but you quote Galileo out of all people in saying that you can't teach a man anything can only help him find it within himself.
So we talked about how to start in jujitsu. What about if we zoom out even more and how do you. Learn how to learn how to optimize the learning process. I don't know the answer to that, but I can tell you what I like to do. And I would say, like, I can't step one. I don't I'm not maybe this is a little bit easier for me because I I've never had a ton of friends, honestly.
I've got my close friends and people that I know, but I've never had tons and tons of people. So I spent a lot of time, you know, thinking. And anyway, I can't. I can't control you, I can't control anybody else, I you know, I. All I want to take you to Marcus Aurelius thing, it's like I guess the trick to life is figuring out what's in our control and what's not and focusing on things that are in our control, I guess.
And so step one is figuring out both internally and then also out in the world as it pertains to what is actually in my control and what is not like passing. Someone's guard is not in your control. People think it is innate. If I can't just do an activity and be unchecked, then it ain't in my control entirely. I can always breathe. I can always be calm. I can always, no matter whether I'm concerned or not concerned, have whatever you want to call it, nerves.
I can step forward across the line and say I will I will face the challenge ahead. That is all entirely. No one can stop me from doing that. That's entirely my control. And that's why I know that every single time that I walk into the ring, I will walk in and out of there of my head of high, because is I will fight with everything that I have. I can't promise that I'll win. I would say I'd take that same first principles.
You mentioned the last time we talked with Elan and the importance of that and going what are the first principles? And I guess to come back a lot of times, in my opinion, things that people think are the basics are not the basics.
You can't learn if you think your reasoning for first principles, which are actually like level six, you're actually like layers up. You're making so many there's so many baked in assumptions to what's going on that you're going to struggle to understand why anything is actually happening internally, externally, you name it. So I guess what I would start when it comes to learning is first principles and trying to understand what's going on, but then also simple things. First, I can control my posture.
I can control my breathing. No one can stop me from doing that. I can control where I placed my frames, I can control where I placed my limbs, I can move my feet. I can develop the ability to do these things better, of course. And I do that through practice, through drilling, through watching people. I've been incredibly fortunate in my time in martial arts to train with many of my heroes, to train with many of the people that I looked at and was like, that guy is amazing.
I want to train with this person like Stephen Thompson, Kenny, Floriane, George, Pierre, Raymond Daniels for as a hobby, you know, I mean, like Bruno for out of Marcello Garcia, all of these guys that are just unbelievable. And I go, well, they're moving in a way that's different. How do I do that? Sometimes you can ask them and they can tell you directly. Other times people part of the genius of what they do is that it's intuitive and maybe they don't think and understand and see the world the same way that I do.
That was something that I experienced. Marcello is amazing, but in a different way than his. It just we see things fundamentally different. We experience the world differently. It seems to me that we do. And again, that that taught me a really important lesson because I was wanting when I trained there to have someone go, hey, Ryan, do this, this, this and this. And that's how it works. All right. Because that's how I understood martial arts at the time.
I wasn't ready to have someone tell me, like, hey, it feels a little bit like this. And I just kind of do it, which is kind of more Marcello would do at the time as he was less experienced as a teacher. But that is what he was doing. I was completely I couldn't separate in my mind performance and understanding. I thought that if I understand, I could do it. And I would also want to I would also struggle sometimes to wonder why I couldn't execute things that I thought I understood and why guys like Marcello were just so elemental.
I mean, it's like the lightning win, like that type of thing. We're like it's just so in touch with what they to with their capabilities. They could summon their powers. It will. I couldn't always do that, and I guess so, recognizing that there was more than one way to the top of the mountain and also I had a lot of science, but I didn't have a lot of art. I had some science, I should say, but I didn't have a lot of art meeting people like Marsella taught me.
And then Josh Waitzkin, actually brilliant guy, chess champion, former owner, maybe owner of a martial arts academy, a really great friend. If he gets a book on learning, he does the art of learning. But yeah, he knows a thing or two about it, but a great guy.
And anyway, he sat me down one time. I was like, Lipmann, you're doing this wrong. You're missing what? The missing, the genius, the brilliance that's right in front of you. And it's something I mean, that I was frustrated with, with my inability to grasp certain things and sometimes the teaching style being different, not wrong. It was it it was it was tough on me.
I'm trying to replicate what Marcel was saying as opposed to understanding the the the the fundamentals from which it was coming.
Right. I couldn't see I couldn't see where it was coming from. And also sometimes I'm like, well, why can't you explain it in the way that I would want you to explain this as well. Why can't I him where he's coming from? Yeah. So anyway, it was a really important time. And listen, very, very frustrating for us, but it's not I'm so thankful for that time.
And anyway, I always first principles trying to understand the basics. And we're starting at the place where you can control things, the very basic elements of what you can work with.
And then when there's other mentors and teachers to meet them, where they're coming from, I meet them to the extent that I can rather than I'm not like again, I like, why are you not talking to me the way I want you to talk to me as opposed to say, where are you coming from? Back to your point. Yeah, but I know that's not entirely specific, but, you know, like if you can focus on that and back to the whole, you can't teach a man anything.
Marcello didn't teach me anything, but he taught me in so doing and other and other people like that to, you know, to find it within. And it's like, I guess something else that I've that I've heard before is that all learning is self discovery, but all performance is self-expression. And I always thought that Marcello was a brilliant master of letting what's inside out. He would he was so consistent in his performances. And a lot of times I felt like there was a block there personally, particularly at the end of jujitsu when I was very, very results oriented.
And I wasn't I think I think my focus was was not a deal. It was definitely not not in the place that I would like it to be. And whether I would have won more or lost more had to say. But I know that I would perform better if I'd have adjusted that. And any way that recognizing that, again, jujitsu, I think I've said it before. You started as a science, but expressed as an art. It doesn't matter if you can articulate what you know how to do.
What matters is if you can do what you know to do, it only matters if you're in. I guess you're teaching in a verbal fashion whether or not you can articulate it. But recognizing the difference between learning on an intellectual level or conceptual level and being able to to translate that into the physical. And I guess like that's been the thing that I feel like fortunate over time in my own academy to be able to kind of fiddle around and learn on my own and practice my students.
And, you know, sometimes I struggle to have great training partners like when she graduated, I mean, other world class people to spar roll with. But I've gotten a lot more honestly than I ever would have thought out of being able to practice and learn and fail and try and succeed on my own without, like, my own little sandbox, figuring out how I can take an idea and then come up with drills and and drills to practice it so that I can actually practice putting it into play because again, knowing an idea and then not drilling, what's the point?
I'll never have it. It will never it'll never see the light of day.
So in that DVD in that you decide it's an online instructional, sexually active sensitivity, though nobody has DVD anymore.
Do they like VHS? I don't know who has DVD or the Blu ray.
I possess some DVDs. I mean, I've never watched the. What do you use them for?
Like like a like a like a thing you put a drink on. I mean when in a pinch. Yeah.
Yeah. What's they even called. Yeah. My Matrix coaster the the matrix goes to zeros and ones.
OK, so in that instruction that people should, should get I've been watching, I'm really enjoying its I don't even know I come out recently. Right. Like December. Something like that. Yeah. It's, it's, it's part one.
You're actually like ended up being like eighteen hours long and it's like oh my God, we're going to chop in half and it when it comes together the whole thing I think, I hope people will like it.
Yeah. Well it's even part one of the good. It's actually the people who are really excited for part two as well. And you also have a back of the old one, the old one that I that was really helpful to me to understand some very basic aspects of control and really back. Yeah. That was, you know, that clicked with me. There's very few instructions. There's very few things I've watched that ever clicked with me. That was definitely it.
It taught me one thing.
I don't know if you dropped. A lot of sort of bombs dropped a lot of really interesting details, and it's funny that there's only specific things that really click like a lot of it rings true and you kind of take it in.
It's like, oh, that's interesting. OK, yeah. But there's certain things that really click. And I remember with that first instruction will click with me is like the importance. I don't I don't remember any more like how you communicated it because I've now integrated, it's now mine, you know what I mean. But it was more about you just describing upper body control and the importance of the upper body control from the back. And just like that, there's certain, like you did, describe different details on the grips and so on.
And as I started trying it, I realized how important upper body control is versus like me, I mean, maybe as a blue belt or something or was I thought, like, you have achieved victory when you got the two Hughson.
And then I realized, like, at least for me, that the hugs were not even from my body type, for my style, for the way I approached things. There were not even important at all. The supplemental for the most part. Yeah. So they were there for the points. But I can establish a huge amount of control.
In fact, the hooks were you were talking about like illusion of choice. It's it's it almost made people panic a lot more when you were like fighting for or establishing that kind of control. They were a lot less panicked when the hooks weren't involved, even though they should be a lot more panicked anyway. I realized a lot of those kinds of things, especially that had to do with judo, because so much of judo on the ground is centered around aggressive, efficient, very fast, choking, different kinds of clockworks and all that stuff.
What a brilliant thing that is only going to start to make its way into jujitsu coming up. But like the judo style approach to, like, choking, try angling from the top of the turtle and stuff so powerful. Yeah.
And the there's something about judo that emphasizes obviously due to the rules, the urgency. So there are only two techniques that go fast. And then the other thing is, I guess it just emphasizes, too, but judo really does, which is the transition. So like while the person is flying in the air is the easiest time.
I mean, this is like Rhinehart Evershed, which is like, why not put in your submission's or positional control while they're in the air?
And then if you could, why would you not write? So why don't throw well well learn how to throw and then do it.
And so you should think I mean, in a transition when they're flying is the easiest time to put in stuff. And that's when you think about jokes as you're throwing, you should be thinking about the joke and then everything becomes a lot easier if you fly biocontrol and Brazilian judo goes.
Yes, like stuff like that. Yeah, exactly. But but that has to do with the first starting principle, like stop thinking this as a two phased game of standing and then ground start thinking about like the standing and the standing comes before the ground comes after. But everything happens in transition.
Once you're attacking, what are the what is the art of war like? And we all like everyone to call the order. Where I ask is just and then they immediately throw it away and then fight like a frickin barbarian. But yeah, I mean, like but you know, how many people quote stuff and then like, you know, it's like the what is the family guy joke or they're like, you know, quoting Jesus and Jesus walks and he's like, you know, my work, what are you talking about?
And anyway, basically, you know, like what it like the art of war. You know, one of the things it's like the only thing that you can be sure of being successful in attacking is something that's undefended.
Yeah, well, like, yeah. But, you know, in a fighter that defended well. Are they just moments all the time where I'm borderline defenseless and if you were to attack at that moment, if you could see it and then seize the moment, if you were capable of both, you should not only expect to be successful, you should be damn sure you'd to be successful. And more more important than that, you'll be successful. And even if somehow not, you won't be countered.
And I guess like that's the trick of almost all all like conflict. Right, is like showing up when the other person's taking a nap. And then it's so funny. Like we take like a protracted war. It's like, oh, it takes five years and there's, you know, lulls and there's a battle this month. But then there's a couple of weeks, another battle. It's like, well, if you just shrink that down is the microcosm macrocosm idea, that same thing, that whole war is taking place in five minutes or ten minutes or 15 minutes.
And there's moments of lulls of person effectively going for a snack, you know, being like in a horror movie like, hey, guys, I'm going go get a beer from the from around the way, like I'm dead for sure. So anyway, is there and this particular instructional if you can convert into words, you talk about finishing submission, is there some interesting insights, the fine, beautiful or profound about finishing the Werneck choke or just finishing submissions to the back control?
Is there some like you know, you talk about the squeeze in the crush and all these kinds of principles. Is there something about control, about the process of finishing that you find especially profound about this business?
Absolutely. The opposite of one profound truth can be another profound truth. So, like, it's I do say that. No, I don't.
I actually was a guy on Tumblr, but yeah, it's really, really cool. There's like a like a tree in the background. But anyway, so let's say like I'll use I'll use examples like first off, I saw someone finishing a you look in the UFC one promo that was like some chubby dude in the crowd, like inside he'll look at another dude and you go, Huh? I didn't know they were doing that back then at least.
And whether they were doing it, how many times did someone do something? And then that works and then we go, OK, cool. Versus, Hey, maybe we should do that all the time. So anyway, how long were we all talking to the seat belt, the way we all do the seat belt in jujitsu, like long time white works.
In fact it works so well. And it was so it was then the people who used it were so prolific that we went well, solved that one. Good to go. All right. No more thinking. And then you go imagine you would like the Merkel and Merkel flip all those positions that were showing in the in the DVD, which is pretty much the whatever the heck it is in the digital vid. Now, Naved, don't want that digital digital video something, but basically recognizing that doing it on the wrong side is at least as effective doesn't mean that the other side wasn't good.
There could be something that's the literal borderline opposite of that. And you go, huh?
And that something like imagine like I would say almost all of these things, all the tactics and all the strategies, so I guess that was something that we came to like training in the gym like. You're going and playing with sticks, and it's just it's usually like always, so let me get this straight first. If I can use my strong side seatbelt my my right arm over the shoulder all the time. Well, that's that's really helpful because that's a little bit on my left side of my left.
But if I had to bet my life on being able to finish it, I would want my right arm over everything. That's a tactic or a strategy evolved from an idea like capitalisms an idea. You know, anarchy is an idea. And then it becomes, well, what does that mean and what are what are the consequences? What's the fallout of all this? Right. So what if we start with jujitsu, the idea, the guard. Right.
And we go, well, I mean, Wendy, why do you use the guard nor the martial art really has developed the guard in the same way the jujitsu has. Well, what is the guard? The guards? Not a defensive idea where you're kind of on your back to some extent or another and you're using your legs as a wall between you and the other person. And the other guy represents danger. And you're like, yeah, that's a great idea.
Is it? I mean, clearly works, at least to a certain extent. But what where do I want to put my legs when I want to get up? Not on the other dude. I'm trying to put them on things on the floor. If I want to generate a ton of power, what's the first thing I do with my feet? I anchor them to the floor, drive for a paunch, you name it, move away, jump dark, you name it.
So does it mean that that's a terrible idea to be on your back? No, clearly it works and clearly it has function. But what if the function that we're giving it and where and the how much how much focus we're assigning to it is disproportionate to its effectiveness? Maybe what if it's not a good idea? I'm not saying it's not a good idea, but what if it wasn't? That's a foundational idea of jujitsu and then how much? Because no one questions that foundation.
How much innovation is built on top of the idea? Well, of course I want to be my being on my back is an OK position. So now they're innovating, but they're innovating within a closed system that they don't they think they're innovating in, like in this open space of, oh, my God, it can be anything when in reality it could be anything within this little set. Yeah, but you don't realize that you're in a set.
You don't realize that you're in a box. There would be answers that would become so immediately apparent to you if you were willing to look outside of that. But you'll literally never even look over to your left because you don't even realize the left exists. Do you think there's a lot of places in jujitsu, whether it's back control or generally guards and all the different positions where there's a lot of space, like a lot a lot to be discovered by questioning the basic assumptions?
That's what examples are like back control, like is there something you've discovered? This model versus Seiple was Mercal with CBC, felt his right arm over the shoulder, left arm onto the arm. I'm on the I'm on the same side as my choking arm. Merkel is just I do the same thing. I mean, just my hands. I walk my self over to the left side. I'm on the opposite side. It's actually more powerful position.
And for people listening, for people who might not know, jujitsu is Sebald is a control. We're talking about when one person is on the back of another person, which is a really dominant position in jujitsu. Seatbelt is, I guess, widely accepted. Way of holding practices on those practices, and it's worked so well, so it's one arm over, one arm under and there's a certain side you're supposed to be on when you're on the back. You know, everyone teaches.
There's a choking on this. The arm that's over your body supposed to be in a certain side relative to that. And then Ryan is describing questioning these basic assumptions about which side you're supposed to be on. And let's say that's even just like a mid-level assumption. It's not even a first principles assumption, but it's pretty close to it. It's getting there, but little bit. Let's just say for sake of argument, it goes a lot deeper, maybe.
I think most of the innovation that I see is not innovation. It's like basically changing the color of a car or polishing like the window a little bit like, hey, made it you made it a little bit different. You made it a little bit better. It's like, oh, man, what if I did the same guard and then grabbed the lapel? I'm not saying that's bad, but you're not fundamentally changing anything. I think most of the big seismic shifts that we see in almost anything come from, hey, that thing we thought was right was wrong, rather than not only is it right, it's even writer.
And you're like, it's not wrong. It's not bad. But that's your it's like, oh, man, let's say friends. I didn't make the triangle, but let's say I made the triangle a little bit better than it was or then it was taut. I mean, innovation. I don't know, man, it's not like the person that said, hey, have you guys ever heard of a triangle before and came up with that? We like that is like that's that's on the list.
You can do this thing to people. Are you kidding me? Can you imagine? You invented the straight right hand. You'll be like one punch, man. You can walk around and just just lay low. Every single person you got into a fight with because it didn't even occur to them to hit you with their back hand. In a world full of jabbers, you throw your backhand, you're going to kill people. So basically. But by the way, I mean, just the pause on that.
The first of all, somebody did invent the triangle probably, right? Sure. It's not a trivial thing once they know if many of these giant things that we all like.
Oh, yeah, we all use that. Now, can you imagine you have triangles and heel hooks and we're making jokes and I don't have those. You're on your borderline. I mean, like, that's that's the thing that's we all expect every single one of us, particularly those of us. I mean, when did you first structuring of 12, 13.
Well, let's not count wrestling, but 13 years ago with just right on.
So let's let's say about that time we're particularly was still like kind of kind of underground, you know, and you're like, hey, we all experience being like a relative, like a mid-level wiped out and being able to easily beat up all our friends because everyone wrestle other buddies. And it was one of those ones where, like, they don't have weapons to end the fight. You have weapons and the fight. That's so that's such a crazy asymmetric advantage that if you lose, it's on you now, man.
Like shit like you had the next time. It's like I've got this rifle and you have nothing. And I decide to put it on my back and then run over and try to karate chop. You're like, OK, next time just make sure you use the rifle. But I'm like, oh yeah, I should do that.
So yeah, it's kind of fascinating to me. I mean, everything you're describing is a there's a fascinating tension between like whenever I show people for the first time what a triangle is, just like regular people, it's like they're discovering is like, oh, OK, that's interesting. I mean, FEMA has changed that, but people haven't watched them. It's an interesting move. It doesn't make sense why that would be a joke. And they kind of quickly accept that that's a thing and they accept the basics without questioning.
Wait a minute. What's actually being choked? What how is it that a shoulder of a person can do the choking? Like, I'm I'm not sure I fully question the fundamentals of all of that, like I claim I have either.
What exactly is the blood supply that's being cut off? Like what is the anatomy and the physiology of all of that does work.
And if you understand all that, what else can we do here? Yeah, what else can we do here? That's the really important thing.
But if we know if I'm an end user, which almost everyone is of almost anything, I'm serious or I'm like, oh, I think about stuff in my life. The only things I really think about it like martial arts and martial arts strategy and I don't know or some other couple. A couple of things, but not much. And anything else in my life is is borderline unexamined. And I like to think that if I put a lot of effort into something, I'd like to think that I could figure some things out about it.
But I figured out almost nothing about anything in my life because I haven't even looked. And, you know, if you're an end user, what are you capable of? Versus you can literally alter the source code. You are neo in the frickin matrix if you can alter the code. And I can't. And it's like we think about ha ha ha. But imagine you are a world class. Anything, are you not even world class. Forget it.
Like a purple belt compared to a white dollar compared to a Nobel. Might as well be John Jones or Marcelo Garcia. You beat them up comparably bad. So it's that's that actually is a common thing where people can't tell the difference in levels like, oh man, I'm cheating on my black belt instructor. How much better could so-and-so be like? So much better, you can have a hard time wrap your head around it. I remember when I first came Marcello Garcia in two thousand seven, I was a decent purple belt.
And of course, Molly want me very gently and then trainman him again in 2008. I was definitely better. I won the green Nogi world's at your belt. So definitely for the record, I'm definitely not a just world champion. I wanted to help, but like, that's not the same at winning a black belt and tough accomplishment, but not not in the same thing at all. But anyway, I was definitely better. He beat me up just the same way.
OK, 2009, I was a lot better and got a medal at ATCC that time, won the trials, crushed everybody like.
No everybody like bop, bop, bop, bop, che Marcello Garcia it was worse.
And 2010 Traymore Silvergrass the same same. So the idea was I wouldn't be able to tell you the difference in the outcome. Difference was the same in all of these rounds. I was significantly more experienced and more more adept each time, each time that this occurred. But it was like how many number of times did this person submit your were regarding the random like, I don't know, probably like let's say five each one, because during a brief period of time and let's say it was three on one section, whatever, it's it's comparable.
It's six one half dozen. Would I be able to easily tell the difference? No, I would just say I know one concept that he's way better, so much better. But there's plenty of other people that could have beat me just as bad as Marcelo did when I was a or when I was a Brownville. Then maybe I would watch Marcelo walk through like they're borderline not there. So it's neat. Like if you that's back to kind of what I was talking about, about certain people beginning to really, like, peel back some of what's really special about the martial arts or any activity, I presume, is they get to a level of understanding and depth that they're playing with, like the almost the reality of that thing.
And I'm playing by rules that are not rules. I'm not I'm not even one of the teams. The Matrix analogy, I'm not even an agent, which is the best version of something playing by the rules. Yes. I'm like one of the regular people or one of the regular people that got out of The Matrix. So I'm like, oh, I'm cool. But when I fight an agent, I lose because we're both in the rules. But they just play them to the flame, to the bone.
And I'm just here. And then the agent encounters Neo and they can do nothing like why he's operating outside of what the rules are, but not really what the rules are, what they perceive to be the rules are clearly so. Anyway, I guess that's kind of my point about Marsella or certain other people that are doing things go that doesn't even seem real. It doesn't seem real to me because I don't understand what's going on. And I guess if we can get down to base assumptions, if we can constantly strip away, strip away, strip away, let's say we always thought that turning left was right.
It was correct. And it turns out that turning right was correct. Change your life.
Yeah, it's was it. Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living. So you just basically have to rigourously, just constantly examine every assumption over and over and over.
But doesn't that give your life meaning to come back to the struggle, to come back to free will, to come back to you? What if we could strip all that away? All right, cool. All right. Just the needle in my arm and that's that.
Yeah, no, I mean, that that constant striving for understanding yet another lower layer of the simulation we're living in, as is, is something that's actually deeply fulfilling that I don't know if it's genetically built in, but there's something about that striving to understand that seems to be deeply human, which is just funny.
What makes it we don't talk about the soul anymore, man. I went to Catholic school as a kid, whether you buy into all that stuff or not. Like what about the soul of a person, spirit of a people, the spirit of a nation anywhere, the spirit of humanity. We don't we really talk about everything like it's this quantifiable thing when maybe certain things are, maybe everything is. But then what happens if there's things that just aren't quantifiable, that nothing in our understanding can or will ever explain?
That doesn't mean that that should be our assumptions, our assumption that we can explain everything and let's get to the damn board of people, people. But what if there is actually something that like that you that we need challenge for? Yeah. And we could be looking in the wrong place by going on. Where is it in the genes. Maybe it is. Again, I'm not saying we're looking around plays like I would know anything. I do karate but basically not even well.
But yeah, we do karate mediocre. Just ask Raymond Daniels or Stephen Thompson. But I guess the come back though. Are you yoba? You and I actually. Have you ever see the Seinfeld episode where Kramer fights the kids? Yeah, I did that at Raymond Daniels School and the the kids kids one in class as in addition to the the alleyway.
Oh yeah. But I just got off at exactly when I was on my last legs.
But, but yeah I would just maybe it's funny, I feel like there's something deeply missing from, you know, from public understanding and more that it's almost like the idea that we can figure everything out, which I deeply believe in, but also the possibility that there's some things that we'll never really see and something we'll never understand. And there's something, like you said, uniquely human about the human experience that even if I had the power to change. I don't fuck with it, man, I don't want to change that thing.
Oh, yeah, well, wouldn't it be great if we just immediately knew the outcome of everything and you just press this button, you're like, oh, that's kind of what's the point of living life, even if you could do it? It's the interesting dress. Well, I'll leave you be sorry. I don't. In Malcolm Jurassic Park, Jeff Goldblum. Right. Life life finds a way. But we were so concerned with whether or not we could we didn't stop to think whether or not we should.
Maybe I think there's a I mean, it's a deeply human thing, but it's also a really useful thing to always kind of assume that there's this giant thing that you don't understand. So you can forever be striving to understand because that process gives you meaning, but also gives me better, like thinking that actually even just thinking that you can understand everything. Will lead you to stop too early. So, like, I think there's something to whether it's the soul or whether it's like religious stuff, like assuming that there's this thing that you cannot possibly understand as a really good assumption under which to operate and under which to do this first principles kind of thinking, because you can just keep digging and keep digging, keep digging even when it seems like you're at the bottom because you don't fucking know if you're at the bottom and back to your original back to one of our, I guess, or other kind of tangents was that comes back to you.
Everyone's a human being. The smartest human being in the history of humanity is so hilariously weak, like short lived and not intelligent yourself.
I understand. I didn't say no. I'm not saying comparison to me in comparison to me. Everyone is awesome. But that's that's what I'll do the goat thing. But basically, it's just on a cosmic level. Can you imagine if you were a vampire, like nine hundred years old, like how much you would seem you would seem like a lowercase G God to people. Yeah. You'd be like, how can you how could you know so much?
How can you have such a long view perspective. It would be insane. So I mean that it seems like we're talking about I now. Right, we're we're creating things that are infinitely smarter than us effectively and live all this time. And it's probably going to do it.
We tell it to be right now. It's probably well, I hope it gives us around.
Do you, by the way, think about. I and the existential threats, like, speaking of God's, are you is this whole technological world, we talk about social networks and this increasing power of technology around us, we ourselves are becoming less human because we keep becoming we keep relying on technology more and more. So we're becoming kind of cyborgs. But also there's a future that's quite possible where the technology becomes smarter and more powerful than us humans and, you know, starts having a life of its own in ways that perhaps we don't imagine as human beings.
I don't just mean like two legged robots walking around and being humans, but smarter. I mean, like an intelligent life. That's. That's beyond and fundamentally different than our human life, it's infinite, it's creating new species.
Yeah, a new a new kind of species, not even just the new species. It's about systems, but like it it lives in the space of information. It lives in a different time scale, on a different scale of all sorts spatial scale. It operates like we spoke about individuals. It doesn't operate in the sense of a single individual like it embodied. It's not embodied. So it's not like a thing that walks around and it like it looks at staff and it consumes the world.
It's able to do much larger scale sensing of the environment around it. All that kind of stuff.
I can barely even try to I can barely even conceive of what that would be like. You scared or you excited? I don't define scared or excited. I feel like I intended to find them like the same way or I'm like. I guess I'm kind of like before karaoke the same time. Well, that's actually kind of my happy place. It's not so much everyone else's, you know, it's everyone else is probably heading for the door at that point.
But, you know, it's while you're doing it or leading or leading up to the karaoke. Well, it depends whether or not whether or not they know it's me. If they know it's me, that's before I start. If they have, they're like, who's that guy? Then they're like halfway through the song, they're already throwing their beer. What category is a song or a particular song we're talking about in terms of like, your happy place?
Oh, man, are you kidding me? I mean, obviously, Bohemian Rhapsody. I mean, there's no question because. Yeah, because I don't have to sing it here. It's that I can't remember get can I get. Of course. Is it here. No. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. All right. If I like to know that I have a torn, I've have torn feelings about Bohemian Rhapsody like the beginning part, the sadness.
I like a solo heartbreak for the second part, I understand it. So it just it gets it gets ridiculous. It's so ridiculous. Everyone's for me, but it's more about flexing on people. I think if you can actually hit that hit that the falsetto.
Yeah. So it's it's OK.
So you appreciate it.
For the musical beauty and complexity of the song, you just like to flex because like for all you know, like what's the purpose of anything except for just to let everyone know that you think you're cool and there's no better way of doing than the karaoke.
So I'm not sure why a captive audience. Yeah, exactly. Oh, for fear and excitement of artificial intelligence. I mean, like me, I don't know anything about it.
I just basically I don't I don't understand the implications of any of this. I would just say that, like, radically altering what it means to be human in such an unbelievably short period of time just seems like such a crazy thing. And also, it's not like where I came or who said this to me. I can't remember. So this stuff is not my idea, but we're we're not even going, hey, would you like to opt in?
Everyone everyone is being opted in, you know, and particularly when you want to talk about, like, large scale robotics or large scale. I like the world is changing. People in Senegal are opting in right now without realizing it. It's not even like and again, I don't mean to pick on Senegal whatever country comes to mind, but that's in the developing world. But basically, you know, recognizing that this huge shift is coming, we have no idea this is a decent idea.
And also something else have always been considered is, you know, you think about most of the really awful, awful, awful things that have done in history, large scale slavery, you name it. It didn't it people say that it came from this motivation of that motivation. Maybe it did. Maybe it didn't. Fundamentally, the issue, at least in my mind, I'm not a historian. Power differential. If you if you and I can't contest, we don't contend it's not like you, we fight and you might win or we fight even you'll win comfortably.
It's you are so unbelievably powerful compared to me that there's nothing I can do to stop you. That seems like a recipe for something really, really not great happening, because if you think about like, you know, European countries encountering each other and I'm just speculating, I don't know anything about history, but let's say countries that can contend with one another versus countries that can't, let's say an alien species alien race shows up. Right now, we don't want that.
I think Stephen Hawking said that it makes perfect sense, but we don't want that. If you can come here, we better hope your nice, because what are we going to do? What are we going hope that you invade the water planet like they did in, you know, what are the Lord of the Real War of the Worlds? So I guess what I'm trying to get across is like shocking levels of power differential between groups makes the makes the world ripe for horrific abuse in the event that someone decides to do it.
It's like white, like you imagine an adult hitting a child, like hitting hitting a child. No one in their right mind would ever go like, oh, yeah, that's a great idea because it's such an it's so grossly imbalanced. Like, this is wrong. But it's also on the table only because of the gross imbalance. So I guess to come back, it's like whether we create A.I. and it's on some crazy level of its own or it's I'm in charge of it or I just it seems like we're we're creating you mentioned like game theory and nuclear war.
What prevented nuclear war? I mean, presumably mutually assured destruction. I mean, hopefully also humanity and the humanity and the reasonable cooler heads prevailing and going, hey, I can I can understand the veil of ignorance. And I, I don't go, oh, yeah, let me kill those guys because I can't I know this is wrong, period. And in concept, this is not an action I should take, but it's also nice and easy to keep me honest if I know that I can't get you without being got myself.
Yeah, but what happens when I can get anyone anything and I'm more or less untouchable like that seems to me to be like that, like various times in colonial history, you know what I mean? And what happened? We know what happened.
But so the possibility of really bad things are plentiful. The possibilities, but the possibilities of really positive things are positive. Like what, though?
I'm not saying wrong. So I can give a million examples. One is just the examples of the parent and the child. You said the there's a power differential there and we don't like a parent hitting their child, not just hitting like beating like a really great beating their child.
How often? Percentage wise, do you see that happening, even though that that that power differential? First of all, other people's kids, let's just put this on the table.
I love kids, but other people's kids can be annoying sometimes.
Sometimes you get a deal of some justice. I get it. But we don't practice. We don't take advantage of that power differential. So like there is ethics, there's moralities that emerge that allow the power differential to be used for good versus for bad. So like you're one of the assumptions with Stephen Hawking or with if Russia became much more powerful than America or America, much more powerful than Russia in the Cold War, your assumption that immediately that power differential, not your assumption, but would express itself.
Right, would express itself in the in the same way that it was trying to express itself when there was a more level competition. But it's also possible when the power differential grows, the incentive, the joy, whatever the mechanisms that made sense when it was at the same level, that the incentives become very different. It's not as fun to destroy the ant colony. You start becoming more the kind of a conservationist like one hopes was of all perspective, though.
Yeah, well, I don't know if it's evolved or not, but it's definitely a possibility. It's unclear to me. That's something that's many orders of magnitude more powerful than us will want to destroy us.
I mean, what have we what did I mean, how did how did mass slavery occur?
How to, you know, like just big dogs playing with not I think I think slavery and a lot of the atrocities in history happened when the power differential was not as great as as we're talking about. They are potential. Is that not somehow worse than it was? It's not obvious to me.
It's not obvious that things that are way more powerful than OK. So I think I think you're I guess how do you restrain it, though? There's a lot of different discussions of how to, I guess, human restraint.
Let's say I go and decide to strike someone's child, which I'd like to think I wouldn't do. I will be promptly I will find myself in front of a judge. And so I feel like there's a lot. Can you imagine how many people usually get murdered just in the woods? Yeah, I mean, I would just presume it's a lot, you know, and I don't think most people are lunatics like that. But I would say that's the point.
If you're given, though, if you're given to that, your ability to get away with it was was greater in the past because of chance of detection was less. So not going to be the reason.
This is what I called an artificial intelligence AICTE research called value alignment of ensuring as you build the the systems become smarter and smarter and more powerful and powerful, make sure that their values are aligned with the entities over which they're becoming powerful with, with humans. So if you were to talk to an AI is becoming smarter versus dumber than you, that is becoming smarter and smarter, you have to create mechanisms where you both value the same things.
I guess one thing I wonder, so I guess I'm probably not like sharp enough to grasp this, if I'm honest, but I guess, like, I wonder, like I used the chess programs, you know, Deep Blue Stockfish and then like Alpha zero and Alpha zero, teaching itself to beat Stockfish without any help in four hours. Yeah. Yeah. Like it becomes orders of magnitude more intelligent than us in effectively an instantaneous period. I guess what I always wonder, like if you were that much smarter than me.
I feel like your ability to manipulate me would be pretty significant, or at least potentially know, but the manipulation implies that the incentive is to overpower everything around you, like there's implied incentives if your value is to actually like. It depends what you want in life. OK, what you want in your system. It's not clear that the goal of any system that's all powerful is to destroy all humans. No, I don't think that. I don't think that it is either.
I guess what I'm going to enslave all humans. I that's fair. I guess what I'm trying to suggest is that something adequately powerful, these these actions are on the table.
Yes, they're on the table. And that's scary. And that's why a lot of people are really concerned about it and working on it.
Like, I'm just trying to make the case for ajai, because if they're watching this, he's the one to kill.
No, actually, I was thinking I was yeah. I watched toilets, like, really?
Well, no, I mean, that that's the main concern for all the people in actual research. People talk about these guys. It's it's kind of disturbing how little people are working on. Trying to create mechanisms that keep our eyes values aligned with ours, that's completely unshocking.
Yeah, we we humans seem to do only good when Mike. You know, even look at coronaviruses, like when like the water has to be leaking from the ceiling, you have to be there has been fine everywhere, fire, just destruction. We just seem to ignore completely.
And writing all over the wall, writing all over the wall. This is for sure. Not nothing to see here will be OK.
But we do our especially in the United States. You figure out even when it becomes a really serious problem, taking actions last minute, there's something about the innovative spirit. That results in a solution last minute right before the deadline. Well, I mean, I don't know how you did school probably a lot better than how I did. I couldn't be more. I was no motivation up until, like, the last, if you like. We have twenty two hours to do the entire semesters of work.
Like, let's do this. Yeah. Get like 19 frickin Mountain Dews and then. Yeah. Well that's that's why you and I are failures in life because I just talked to I mentioned Cal Newport with his book Deep Work and so on.
He is of the variety of these creatures that basically does everything ahead of time. That's shocking because he this dislikes the way he thinks it's unproductive to experience the stress and anxiety of the deadline because you just you're not going to be your best performance wise and you're not going to do the best work. So it doesn't make any is completely irrational to to function based on the deadline. You should have a system, a process that gets stuff, a little bit of stuff done every day like you should be and constantly be systematically honest with yourself.
If you say I'm going to get this stuff done today and this week, at the end of the day, at the end of the week after that and reflect on what you did, we planned and improve that plan, updated constantly. Update every day, every week, every quarter, whatever those durations are. As I'm listening to this and reading his stuff, it's like, oh yeah, I agree with everything.
I'm like, yes, I'm laughing. But like, the reality is. And then I go back and just eat Cheetos and like, don't do shit until the last minute and cheesy Cheetos.
But yeah, but actually again, not that it's not that it's ever going to matter because it's so shockingly productive and well thought out that whatever I've decided to think about trying to monkey wrench in there is is definitely going to be able to deal with. But it's funny that again, because you're a human being, not a God, all of your strengths are you have a corresponding weakness. The less you practice working under the gun, the less comfortable you are working under the gun.
The more practice you have working under the gun, the better you get. The downside is you're always working on in the gun, so you're less productive. It's like your work quality may be dropped. So it's an interesting thing. It's like it's almost like, hey, I wonder if this I wonder if I could be an American. Madoff has a lot of heart. And I to say the answer is almost certainly yes. But you go, well, he hasn't struggled a bunch.
Maybe he doesn't struggle well. And it just so happens that he can also work under the gun really well. He just doesn't like to do it. But yeah, but it's an interesting thing. It's like, I guess what is it the aristocracy already repeatedly do. We are all we're all practicing something all the time. So I guess it's funny. I guess that's a question I have, though I would love to ask him. We really need is a.
Certain jobs, I mean, obviously, you want to have preparation always, always, but certain things have like a degree of like entropy in the system and you go, I need to practice working under the gun. I'm not saying that's what I need to do. The fighting it should be for the most part, it's a really sterile environment in the grand scheme of things like fighting in a cage is very sterile compared to most other things in life.
Right. But dangerous but sterile. And unless, of course, like, you know, like the ref decides to hit you. But anyway, I guess just going like, OK, so at what value do you get out of adding a degree of, let's say you could even be planned by someone else, but. Junk in the system, and you just have to work under the gun to make it happen, let's say, for instance, like police or something like that, the situation turns left hard at some random point in time and that could happen to any number of people.
So I guess it's interesting things that allow for perfect planning or quasi perfect planning versus things that are inherently unstable. And then what are the what's the psychological fallout of comfort with that? Because I think a lot of people that are really comfortable under the gun. Let it happen a lot for all the good and the bad of that. Does that make sense? No, that doesn't make sense.
It was I mean, his answer would be that you have to be honest with yourself if it's valuable for your success to practice being under the gun and then you should schedule that he's smart. He should plan that systematically. And then as opposed to doing it half because as opposed to letting the environment choose the randomness, they control the randomness to where you optimize it.
I was so efficient. It's shocking just to hear about it. Yeah.
No, he's he's he's I mean, the same way you are. He's annoying in the same way which is like he, he drops two bombs. It's like. Yeah, yeah. That's so true. Yeah.
We're probably to doing that but he's so he, his profession requires that. So he's not just like a motivational speaker or whatever. He is a computer science theoretical computer scientist and he needs the long hours in the day of doing like serious math. So it's mostly math proofs. And for that you have to sit and think really deeply. It's like really hard work compared to like what most people do. Like what I mean, what I do like programing is way easier than rigorous math proofs because you have to basically have this machine and you have to your brain to churn out logic.
In a focused way, while visualizing a bunch of things and holding them in your brain and holding that for 10 minutes, 20 minutes, hopefully several hours, and you're not just like doing homework, you're doing totally novel stuff. So stuff that nobody has ever done before. So you keep running up against the wall of, like, fuck, this is a done. And in no way is this a dead end. And that whole frustration, that serious mental work, I think incredibly difficult to work.
So he knows what he's talking about.
It's amazing. But like you said, he's like this seems like the standard for the quality of work that he needs is so high, so high, that almost anything less than this level of systematizing in an organization would preclude it. So he can't afford the kind of bullshit that I don't know about you, but that certainly I do, which is like last deadline kind of stuff, because you can't do that kind of work. Laxminarayan Right. Kind of stuff.
So my question for him in general is like and for you and I was like, well here's these negative patterns that we do of doing shit last minute and so on. Is this just who we are now or are there some I don't think I'm really big into a free will. You know, I was thinking that it's mostly predestination death, at least in this regard. It's the same with, like, communism, like as long as it fits my whatever is the lazy thing to do, I'll just not believe it.
Yeah. I'm not a congressman opportunist. I'm an opportunistic communist and capitalist. I just do whatever whatever is cool at the time. Exactly. Let me ask you. To examine some fundamental principles of a particular thing that Joe Rogan brought up to me several times online and offline. OK, which is that he thinks that the tie that I wear, OK, is something that makes me vulnerable to attack, that you should be. The reason he doesn't wear a tie is because he can get choked very easily with a tie.
It's a big concern.
OK, my contention and by the way, he wore a suit last time to Hillary on the podcast, Wired for dinner later.
Yeah, I wore a suit the other day and I had no socks on. Yeah, you're supposed to wear socks. Yeah, this. That's my understanding. Why do you wear a suit? You go to court. No, no, no, I don't. I just wanted to play. I wanted to pretend I was an adult for a day.
OK, so. So my contention is like the jacket. Everything is more dangerous than a tie. That's kind of where I was going with it. That's kind of where I get my first thought, too. Like if the once the tie becomes an issue, like I think everything else is already in. It's already an issue. Yeah. Because the tie to me now without like messing with it now is to me has some of the similar problems that a belt does.
So like for example, I don't know about you, maybe you can correct me, but I'm not sure you can use the belt as tied. You know, I know there's some kind of guards you can probably utilize the Boltwood, but the Belleci when it's tight around the waist and we're talking with a belt belt or a Djibo Guibert.
OK, sorry guys, but importantly kyboshed. It's not that great of a thing to use. In most cases, I would say, because it slides, it doesn't you can probably invent a few interesting ways to use it as leverage, its control and so on, but there's just so many more things around that are better suited. Better. Yeah.
And so for me, the Tiwa people don't realize, I suppose, are we trying to sell a DVD here and have some some widgets and bells and whistles? Because in that case, the belt is really important part of what we do. And I would really encourage you guys to look into it. If we're trying to actually like learn something and say, like I said, we're surrounded by better options.
Well, that's the thing. I mean, it's not obvious to me that the belt maybe there's actually undiscovered things about using the belt. You know, I think people have used, like, putting a foot inside the belt somehow inside the belt, as some would say, no punches.
Grappling situation. Yes. OK, I guess sort of fairly contrived. Right. But with punches, too, like is there OK, let's let's talk about a straight face with a belt, a the jeans belt, like a belt clothing belt.
OK, so I get to take it off and whip them in the face of the buckle. How, how serious is the streetfighter we talk Lauren. OK, no I'm beat up. Or are we talking like. No, like death. Like one of you has to die. Oh yeah. Whoa. OK. Oh here.
Like I'm in the situation all the time and there's a reason I'm still here. I had want to stop by the kids. We're talking about power differential. Hey I beat up kids. I pick the easy stuff. He's going to get the easy stuff you want. I'm undefeated and come around the playground, watch what happens. No, like to the death. What is their clothing that's useful? You know, from my perspective. For your use, for their use both.
I use that. I use no like like, hey, you want to take the belt off and use the buckle to hit them with. But first of all, how are you going to take off like the belt? Well, there's a lot of effort involved in clothing.
Well, what I was figuring was when they started to see me take my pants off in the fight, they were like, what? They're going to pause and rethink the situation for a second? Yes, I'm making that eye contact. So, yeah, exactly. Nodding And then, you know, by the time they realized you took a belt off so you could whipping with it. Yeah. You actually you're already one possibly two steps ahead.
OK, so fine. Let's not talk about your uncle. It's about, OK, I'll take off their belt and hit him with it.
No, but that's that's much harder no question.
But if you can do it while maintaining it, how do they come to this. There's a lot. But the point is there's alternatives that are perhaps more effective. In my perspective. This might be clueless. There's almost no clothing that's more effective than almost assuming the situation is no grappling like I feel like clothing, particularly to add hitting like grabbing your clothes.
If you're sorry, you start hitting and suddenly nothing can work. But most of the time, like, why am I not using my arms for something better than what I'm doing them right now. Right.
Yeah, it's very difficult for me to I don't know, it's just distance. I can't imagine a case of different distances, even like situations where. Let's not talk about like like a situation where you have both yet agree that a fight is happening so that clothing's nice if they have it on them solid clothing.
Oh, yeah. Like something like a good jacket because you can snatch somebody on their face, snuggle down. You know, it's like if you if you took my like, you know, like you snap down to like how easy it is to snap down a beginner. Yeah. It's like.
So I agree with you actually a in that sense might be a really effective way to snap down some of the stuff that was really powerful to change the like, disorient the situation and give you a lot of different opportunities for, you know, taking their back, taking the down, doing hilarious stuff like snapping them down with a tie into your knee.
And then when they come back up doing this, you're already.
So, yeah, in that sense, I agree. But not as a choking mechanism because the Jahad is a joke.
I think you probably shot me with your time more easily than I could be with your problem. I'm serious because, like, if you get like you get my back and you can put around somebody's neck, you know, like like like see a die hard. Yeah, yeah. You want to win the super sweet looking blond dude or whatever was was trying to choke Bruce Willis with the with the chain and then he ended up getting choked himself with the chain if I recall this properly.
But anyway. Yeah like, like that. But I don't feel like, I feel like if I start grabbing your tie you have too many other great options.
I mean, I do like to start on that. You actually made you realize. No, I think you're in there.
I think you're on the right path with it. With a snap. Yeah. Particularly if you start with like one of these, like, you know, like like you like you put your finger on my chest and then snap down real quick. Oh, yeah. Because it's also socially speaking, it's not a threatening thing to, you know, to to reach for the type that you're not particularly like a business setting, you know. I mean, yeah.
Because I was thinking choke, but not it's a really good leverage point because, like grabbing a jacket, the jacket will slide. If you try to snap down, you really have to get a hole like a really good hole.
Well, that's good for workers around the back of neck. But what if it's a clip on how much of a jackass would you look like, if you like, and then they just get a sticky one.
But you ever see the Japanese politician or I think it was Japan that was the guy. So he was so calm and cool, had like it was it was beautiful technique. The level of actually the throw was even gentle. Yeah. But it was perfect. It's amazing.
Well executed. Yeah. More of our politicians just toss the shit out of it. Yeah. We need more Teddy Roosevelt. Exactly. I like our politicians, like talking about fighting when it's clear that none of them, even it would ever have been in the fight ever. Yeah.
Somebody was saying Teddy Roosevelt is interesting. I didn't realize this is he's one of the greatest presidents this country has had. And he was one of the greatest presidents. Even though he faced no crises whatsoever, he literally willed himself like nothing happened during his presidency. He's just a bad motherfucker who made really great speeches like, you know, this made me realize I was just talking to a historian that, like most of the people who we think are great need also good crisis, that they that reveal their greatness.
But Muhammad Ali. Right. This Muhammad Ali, I mean, in sports. But but, you know, I mean, like the circumstances, what is greatness? You know, I mean, it's like you have to it's not just your capacity. It's what you what you face. Right. The quality of opposition circumstance, what you overcome. So I guess what you're saying is Joe Rogan is wrong about the tie thing.
And I don't want to go so far as saying it's wrong. You know, the man's not here to defend himself. Maybe he has some things that I'm not understanding and he has not deeply thought that that's my main criticism of Joe. He's not deeply thought to this.
And the journalists will be like Ryan Hall says Joe Rogan is wrong and hates ties and his ties will integrate hit their back in their somehow nice words.
Are you talking about greatness and greatness requiring a difficult moment in time? Can you, like, reflect back and think, what are some of the hardest, if not the hardest thing you've ever had to do in your life? Well, you know, I have had a whole bunch of things, you know, I've had a lot of things not go my way. You know, I've been incredibly fortunate and I've had a lot of things go my way also.
But leaving leaving Timoner even in 2008, which I firmly believe was the right thing to do, is one of the things that was very difficult at the time, not like not a difficult choice, but it was because of why I was leaving.
But psychologically, first of all, loss in general, leaving team a family of all kinds doesn't matter what the circumstances.
I didn't lose any friends. When I lost a lot of people, I thought my friends and I, I lost training. I lost that. I also had like a really serious McChrystal does that. So, like, I had a really serious risk surgery like that. I didn't know if I was gonna be able to compete anymore. After that, I just got my Brownville. That was a it was a tough time, like psychologically, physically, everything.
But I was very, very motivated to do my best and to push through it and to his to carry on in a positive direction, no matter what, in a different direction.
And really only this is the thing about our family, even if it's an abusive family leaving, it's tough.
People are complicated. And even people that I that I don't think very well of that. I think on the whole, I don't think very well of it's unfair to paint them with one brush.
You know, obviously there's greater and lesser examples of that, like the person we discussed last time, who's an infinitely beyond almost anyone that we could ever imagine meeting in our own personal lives.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
In terms of forgiveness and hate, I mean, do you do you have hate in your heart for for people in your past. Oh no. For that process, no.
I mean there were definitely times I've been negatively motivated to prove people wrong or to accomplish things, but I think that some of that is valuable. If I'd be lying, if I felt differently, I think particularly I do really well in conflict.
I'm useless without the usual deadline thing. I'm useless. Yeah. I mean, like the chaos. I'm usually I do.
I'm used to some antagonist. I like fighting, I like competition, I like being pushed. I like feeling like if I don't play well I'm going to get hurt. I have no choice but to play well. I play with everything I got at the very least. And I guess I would say, though, is, you know, as I've gotten, you know, more time and lived a little bit longer, you see, you know, various situations for, you know, you know, with increased increased color, I guess I would say increased clarity.
And, you know, there are a lot of lessons to be learned even from from times in history or bad experiences we have. And the question is, can we take those lessons and move forward? And that's, again, what I think we're seeing in time socially right now. We're forgetting important lessons of the past. And that's not good. Not saying, hey, I don't get why we why we could be going in this direction or that I understand entirely.
But, hey, let's not forget the lesson so we don't have to learn them again because that doesn't really serve anybody. And anyway, I guess I would say I'm thankful for all of the experiences, difficult and otherwise mostly difficult. Honestly, most of the times I remember I'm thankful for every loss we've had, particularly the tough ones.
I'm thankful for, you know, for all the relationship of the many people have taught me many things and continue to teach them many things, some of whom are still some of my closest friends, some of whom are people I really don't get along with at all. And some of them are people, I think really poorly of others, not many of that last group. What I guess I would say is there's just been a lot of things and opportunities to learn and, you know, throughout that.
And also it's not as if I've never done made any mistakes myself. Now, again, they're magnitude differences. I like to think and I can definitely say that none of the mistakes that I've ever made have been mistakes of intention. You know, I've screwed up a lot of things in my life, but I can confidently and and easily say that I've never had ill intent towards people as I've done and sit there. And it's just the right thing is the right thing.
And sometimes I've been wrong. But, you know, you never set out with malicious intent. And I think that when I find that, I think people do things differently. When I do think that there's malicious intent, I have a difficult time forgiving that.
How does love win over hate right now in this world? To talk about social media? We talk about forgiveness. Of some of the more complicated people in your past. If we scale that to the entire world before the eye destroys us and the human race is lost to history, how do you think love wins over hate?
Well, I'd like to preface this by saying I try to make pancakes the other day. Yes. Didn't work. But I'm happy to comment on this, so basically, wow, I think, like I think most of the times that I know that I can think of, that I've struggled. You know, it's and and the times that I've read about it, being unable to see the humanity in other people and also even in sometimes our enemies and the people that have done awful things.
And you go, what would allow people to do this, that or the other? And that doesn't forgive what they've done, depending upon you know, some things are forgivable, some things are less so. But you want to understand why. It's to our knowledge, demons don't populate our world. Neither do like literal angels walking around being actually perfect. A lot of times the things that I find it deeply amusing, watching people hoisted by their own petard on Twitter, even though it's gross and it's really unproductive, it's actually like equal parts, amusing and awful because you're not you're not happy that someone's being raked over the coals, particularly unjustifiably.
But it is funny when it's the exact same thing they were raking others over the coals for not like a week or two prior. And that's happened repeatedly and will continue to happen. And I guess I would say, as you mentioned, a prior, you know, like a recognition of the humanity of others, of that all of us make mistakes, that it's difficult to understand intention. I've had arguments with close friends of mine over text message where both of us ended up super pissed because we were completely misreading what the tone, the intention of what the other person was doing.
And even if I was reading it correctly, which I wasn't, it's so easy to ascribe the most negative possible, you know, the least charitable assessment of what they're doing. And I think that that's such a dangerous way to live your life. And it's also just a fruitless way to live your life. You know, it's one thing to go, hey, why did you do that? I was pissed. Did you what did you do? You just you did that to make yourself feel better.
Make it. Damn right I did. And. Have I done that plenty of times in my life? Yeah, I would lie if I said that I didn't. You know, why did why did you punch back on the face? He was going crazy at me and hit me. And I asked him to stop. And then I gave warning and I put him on his ass. I'm like, no, I'm not sorry. But then looking back now, with years to sit on, do to understand why I did what I did.
Absolutely. What I like to respond differently now, Yarwood, you know, and it doesn't mean that I think plenty of things that people do are understandable. Doesn't mean understandable. Doesn't mean correct. Understandable doesn't mean that you go, yeah, that's great. You know, I could I could see someone doing such a thing, but I guess just trying to understand and see the humanity in others, because if I can't see the humanity in others, how can I see it in myself?
And also, how am I meant to interact with everyone as as you said, whether, you know, even if we're a society of individuals for at least for the time being, hopefully in perpetuity, we still come together as a whole and watching. It's weird, like you said, if I only ask why once I start with. Stay out of my way, I'll stay out of yours, leave me the fuck alone, OK? That's fine, Ryan, but that's easy for you to say, living in a society that doesn't actually function like that.
So it's a little bit cheap. But if I recognize that that's step one is I don't hurt you and you don't hurt me. But then we go, but how can I help you? That's step two and then it goes way beyond that and a further than I've thought about it, but I guess what I would just say is, again, recognition of the humanity in others and that we all have different strengths. We all have different weaknesses. And it's we can never really be sure where the other person is coming from.
But if we approach things charitably, as charitably as we would hope, others would approach us. I think we'll do a lot better and I guess one thing that I read that I liked that I thought was accurate and unfortunately disappointing was everyone is a great, you know, jury or rather, I'm sorry, a great lawyer for themselves and a judge for others. And I think that's a terrible way to live life, even if it's an understandable one.
Yeah, I don't know if I was flipping that is the right way to live being being constantly judgmental of yourself and defender of others. And that results ultimately in the interaction that deescalates versus escalates, right?
Yeah. And you can you can we can all live in a world like that. And sometimes you're like, hey man, people that deserve punishment won't get it. Like, OK, but what do they say? Better to have, you know, 10 guilty people go free than one innocent person, you know, burn. And ultimately, that is I think that is a better world than the other way around.
And if all else fails, I join the team that builds the A.I. that kills all humans, obviously.
I mean, if you have to be on a team, pick the winning team. That's been the that's my hiring pitch. Actually, it's a good hiring pitch. It's just taking resumes. You want to be on the team that doesn't die during the great apocalypse.
Not immediately. You want to be on the one that that's, you know, eventually longsuffering and stepped on, right? Yeah.
Life is suffering, right. This was an amazing conversation. I really enjoyed talking to. I could probably talk to you for many more hours. I hope I do as well. Ryan, I love you, buddy. This is a great conversation.
Thanks for talking to. Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it. Thanks for listening to this conversation with Ryan Hall and thank you to our sponsors indeed hiring website Orrible Audiobooks Express Vupen and Element Electrolyte Drink Click the sponsor links to get a discount and to support this podcast. And now let me leave you with some words from Frank Herbert Undun. I must not fear fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear. I will be permitted to pass over me, through me. And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone, there will be nothing, only I will remain. Thank you for listening and hope to see you next time.