On Writing and Work Ethic

Writing is difficult and intimidating. Nothing makes you question your worth like a blinking cursor on a blank page. Many great writers encourage that the first draft should be absolute garbage. It doesn’t matter. No one will ever see it. The point is to get the ball rolling. Writing is like physics; more force is […]

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On Jiu Jitsu and Effort

Jiu Jitsu is a skill. All skills are fostered through intelligent repetition. There is no substitute for mat time. The most efficient way to get better at Jiu Jitsu is to do Jiu Jitsu. With the combination of guidance and will, effort is the deciding factor in a student’s progress. “We tell ourselves that skill […]

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Modern Stoicism

All undesirable circumstances afford us the opportunity to practice virtue. It is the moments in life we least enjoy which are our greatest assets. Stoicism is a school of philosophy founded by Zeno in the 3rd Century B.C. Stoicism teaches that virtue is the sole requirement for happiness, and through the use of logic and […]

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The 10 Books Which Most Shaped My Philosophy

Since publishing “On the Importance of Reading”, I have received many inquiries for book recommendations. Below I have listed the most impactful books I have read (in no particular order), but this advice comes with one great caveat. These books worked for me. That does not mean they will work for you. Remember the teachings […]

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Five Ways Stephen King Can Improve Your Jiu Jitsu

This week I read On Writing by Stephen King. The premier instruction manual for the aspiring writer, King shares his thoughts on what constitutes good writing. Pithy and illuminating, King teaches the fundamentals of mastery which hold true for Jiu Jitsu. The following is derived from the first section of the book titled, “C.V.” (Curriculum […]

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The Gift of Fear

The truth of adulthood is that few people care whether or not you pursue your dreams. Even worse, we rarely share these dreams with others. This leads to a complete lack of external accountability in matters we deem most noteworthy. Luckily, we come hard-wired with a tool to combat this: Fear. As much as the […]

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On The Importance of Reading

We read not to understand the author. We read to understand ourselves. We read because it gives us a language to articulate what we feel but previously could not find the words to say. We are never alone in our experiences. The path is well-trodden. The highest purpose of reading is to find highly-skilled travellers […]

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The Implicit Impetus of Jiu Jitsu

In the martial arts community there exists a tacit truth which goes unspoken because it is so socially repulsive. Way, way down, deep in our core, we enjoy the feeling of being able to physically subdue another human. Academies across the globe consist of members from all walks of life with equally different goals. Martial […]

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The Instructor-Student Relationship

I have been blessed with the opportunity to teach Jiu Jitsu. She is an art of great complexity, both physically and cognitively, whose mastery eludes the practitioner in perpetuity. I understand Jiu Jitsu more than any other area of human study, and thus it has become the metaphor through which I seek to understand much […]

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An Open Letter To All Of Us On Social Media

If you have seen the movie or read the book Into the Wild, then you are aware and perhaps forever altered by these words. McCandless, a young-thoreauian male wanders off to Alaska to find truth, inadvertently poisons himself by eating the seeds of the wild sweet pea, and in his waning moments inscribes these words in […]

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What Sylvia Plath taught me about Happiness

I recently finished reading The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. It was a beautifully-written, tragic tale of a young woman battling her own demons along with those inherent to all whom embrace this human condition. With witty prose and subtly didactic dialog, Ms. Plath truly created something magnificent before she took her life at the […]

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Why your New Year’s Resolutions will Fail

Each year many of us attempt New Year’s resolutions. Each year most of us fail. We fail because a new month, a date on the calendar, and a new year are all social fictions. There is actually no such thing as January 1, 2016. This is odd but true. What actually is January? We arbitrarily […]

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What Makes a Hero?

What makes a Hero? If you want to know the psychology of a culture seek to understand its heroes. From the Aztecs to the Greeks, from the Bhagavad Gita to modern day athletics, what a culture celebrates reveals what it values. We have many heroes to choose from when selecting a role model at which […]

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