A Palette Is Not A Painting

If you don’t like the palette you have been given, create your own, but then make something with it. Too often we find ourselves dissatisfied with what we have, insisting that if we only had more or if we only had something different we would be happy. The problem is that, if we actually get…

Thoughtfulness Precedes Action

A good technician is a thoughtful observer first, a physical mechanic second. When I first started repairing machines for a living, I was taught that there is a difference between a part changer and a technician. A part changer, like the name suggests, changes parts until the symptoms of the problem go away. A technician,…

Systems to Live By

If you see every problem that arises as new and unique, you will always be reactive and to be reactive is to be behind. In combat, to be behind is to fail and to fail is to die. It is highly likely that the problems and challenges we face from day to day are going…

Honoring a Memory (in Your Own Way)

Honoring a loved one’s memory is a very personal thing. Several years ago, my teacher, friend, and mentor passed away. He left behind many people who cared about him a great deal, people upon whose lives he made a major, positive impact. The people closest to him, the people who were directly affected by his…

Learning Self-Defense For Others

The Gracie jiu-jitsu self-defense curriculum is not for you. Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners often talk disparagingly about the Gracie self-defense curriculum. They say things like: “I don’t care about that. I just do BJJ for fun. I can defend myself. I don’t need that stuff.” The people who say things like this are usually capable, fit,…