We’ve all been there, down in the dumps ready and willing to pull the plug. In the end it could’ve been the right decision but more often than not we regret things that we relinquish too early.A common hurdle in life, but one less talked about is the stages of quitting. It doesn’t just happen overnight, and sometimes it happens before it begins. In my experience coaching mixed martial arts and self defense for over 20 years I’ve narrowed down the stages of quitting that I run into from time to time: and now a bulleted list, because everyone likes that.

  • The didn’t start yet quitter
  • The too quick quitter
  • The almost made it quitter
  • The mission accomplished quitter

If You Feel Like Quitting

The Didn’t Start Yet Quitter:

Right off the bat, we’ve got a quitter who hasn’t even done anything yet, but has already given up in their mind. This type of individual offers up reasons why they can’t begin a new activity or endeavor. In classes we offer like Gracie Jiu Jitsu or Muay Thai I have often heard people concur phrases like “Well I’m not good yet…. I’m not in shape yet… I’m afraid people will laugh at me…what if it takes me a long time to learn?” And on and on and on. This line of thought derails your good intentions and prevents you from moving forward. Haven’t even begun yet, but this person is finding a way out.

We’re conditioned from previous experiences that people will make fun of us because we’re new or different. That we might stand out by being the new kid on the block and that it isn’t going to go well. In the modern workplace/academia there’s such a need to be on point and a know-it-all-cause-internets that the sense of exploration and wonder we had as kids is fizzled out like fireworks in the rain. This is probably the most common obstacle for most people, even if they don’t say it, before they come try a class out at RCW. Luckily it’s also the easiest to deal with, all you have to do is TAKE ACTION!

The action you take can be small, something as simple as booking a class, telling a friend you’re trying something new, putting it on your calendar like a scheduled meeting at work. The action step can go in to place, and you can go back to riding the excuse train all day, except now you’ve got an action in place that will probably get you to that new hotness and you’ll realize afterward that everything went amazingly well! Of course it did! Because if anybody made fun of you, or laughed at you, or required you to be highly skilled at a brand new endeavor then you shouldn’t bother hanging out with those kinds of people!

Sure there might be the minor internal quibble that your self-esteem starts to realize that you’re beginning a new activity, but learn to embrace changes and to love learning again and you’ll quickly be on your way.

Too Quick to Quit:

This Too Quick to Quit person… they’re pretty easy to spot, way easier to identify than our first transgressor. Too Quick usually comes in with fire in their eyes and talking the talk. They tell me how great they are and how grateful we should be to have their presence at the academy. They come in 8 days a week and maybe even start to be viewed as the most regular person in the school. Almost too soon, other students and coaches start to buy in and think just maybe this person will be the next life long addict of arm bars. And…. that’s because it is TOO SOON!

As quickly as the fire roared up it dies off from this expectation they can’t uphold. After about 8 weeks they vanish, never to be seen again. Its because consistency and skill are always tougher to come by than talent. This person might even be a serial activity starter, but over the years they’ve never really accomplished anything of substance. To help yourself out of this jam, the first thing we recommend is setting a schedule AND sticking to it. Even if you can come in every day the school is open, chances are you’ll burn out before you begin. Consistency is key, a little bit of discipline and the good news is when Too Quick makes it past 90 days they’re usually tempered and ready for great results.

So Close, Almost Made It!

The Almost Made it type, is the saddest for me as a coach and a mentor. For one I’m in the trenches with my students and have gone through all manner of things with them from cancer treatments and major surgeries to major life events, marriage and kids. It’s a very personal path, but I love the connection we get to have with people in our community and wouldn’t trade it for anything. Almost made it is just about to reach all their goals, is fitter than they ever have been in their life, and their friends think of them as a super hero.

Then it happens, life gets hard. Remember quitting before you started? Almost Made It rekindles the flames of self doubt about the road their on and before checking their map starts acting erratically. They start going to class less, they put in less effort than they ever did before. The excitement is gone from their eyes like the veil being lifted from Wizard of Oz. Often there’s an event that happened in their personal life or in the gym that changed something. Maybe they got the worst of it sparring with a newer person they always owned. Maybe they had an injury playing basketball and the recovery time is the hurdle in itself.

When you make it past the Didn’t Start phase and then knock out the Too Quick commitment jitters, plant a seed in your head on what victory really looks like. Is it an achievement, a belt, a skill level, a fitness level, finding like minded friends, or perhaps a lifestyle? There has to be something in there, some conviction, that when the chips are down you’ll find the resolve to keep going. Pausing your progress after all this time always ends in nothing more than tragic regret.

Deep down this still goes back to the initial reasons to avoid starting something. Most people want an out, we want a valid reason for quitting to relive our burden. That out when you take it is never as satisfying as making it! You can do it, call those friends, talk to your mentors, make a plan and stick to it even if that plan is to simply dig your heels in and be the rock you need to be to succeed.

Mission Accomplished, Right?

Oh Mission Accomplished and still quits quitter is a surprising phenomena. Most marathon runners don’t just run one race and they’re done. They take it to task, feel the rush, and rinse and repeat. Most people who attain an instructorship under Dan Inosanto (Bruce Lee’s protege) or a black belt in Gracie Jiu Jitsu don’t just drop off. Some do, and it’s a fallacy that’s left over from the Almost Made It mindset.

An out, reinforced by the sheer discipline to keep going it can feel good to take a break, but be careful how long that is or you’ll just end up a quitter. Like Almost Made It, this person fails to have a list of convictions at the ready and reasons why they keep doing things that are good for them. It’s like someone who sets a goal weight and reaches their weight loss number, then immediately stops all the good changes they made and goes back to eating their old lifestyle.

I’ve seen it with Black Belts too, all the skill, time, and dedication required but when it’s accidentally viewed as the end all goal, it’s a let down. As Pedro Sauer says “Black belt is a great place to start learning Jiu Jitsu.” Meaning that you reached the mountain top, and you realize looking down there’s a whole new perspective to learn about in life and it motivates you to keep going. If you thought all the answers were at the top of the mountain, you might be in for a letdown.

The essence of life is in the journey and the steps along the way. Imagine your getting into wood working or music, and you somehow convince yourself after 10 years I will have achieved “it.” IT is impossible to be a stationary goal, it is the accomplishments achieved, the friends made, the learning in itself and those goals are on the move and nothing to be arrived at.

We’re all in this together:

We all face a temptation to quit any number of challenges throughout our life, it’s part of being human. It’s how we handle that process to eliminate our fears and move forward that leads to a life without regret. Also a life filled with new beginnings, new choices, success and thrilling endeavors. Good luck out there!

-By Joe Heller

Head Coach RCW

 

 

*Thanks for reading! If you’re in the mood to try something new, we have tons of classes on offer in Portland and the surrounding area. We hold self defense and mixed martial arts classes like Muay Thai, Boxing, Gracie Jiu Jitsu/BJJ, Jeet Kune Do and Kali year round for all skill levels. Whether you’re a seasoned practitioner or just getting started we welcome you to come train at River City Warriors. You can START right now by taking advantage of our 5 classes for $5 bucks a class deal. Just click the link below to be an action taker and have a great new experience.

 

 

 

There’s many styles and methods of Martial Arts, and among those you have diversion on what’s the best of the best. All Muay Thai and BJJ may look the same for example, but to a trained eye the differences in strategy, technique, and quality can be astounding. Experts can look at a method they haven’t personally studied and find the similarities in their own form of self defense.

Kickboxing is a loose term for all methods of combat and sport that use the hands and feet at a minimum. Muay Thai for instance utilizes the elbow, knee, and clinch to create an effective arsenal that can be used in the street or in the ring. Using all the tools available to the practitioner Muay Thai became known as the art of 8 limbs denoting its versatility.

(from left to right: Dan Inosanto of JKD, a devastating Muay Thai knee, Salem Assli an expert Savate instructor known around the world)

Muay Thai

Muay Thai isn’t alone in its effectiveness, although it has come into fashion lately as a work horse art. It’s a phenomenal workout and gets the job done in a short amount of time while offering some depth and strategy. Muay Thai is the most popular modern vehicle for MMA, and often emulated and copied by gyms that have no formal Muay Thai training. Classically Muay Thai is known for its power, as most matches are 3 rounds in total, giving a well conditioned fighter a chance to go all out from bell to bell. As these styles continue to evolve we’ve seen Muay Thai make a shift to a sub style called “Muay Thai Femur.” A Femur stylist is known as a technician, think of someone like Saenchai with great footwork, head movement and utilizing all the tools of the game. This is currently the exception as Muay Thai is very straight line it’s assault and what it does, it does extremely well.

Kickboxing in JKD

At River City Warriors in Tigard we encourage all of our Jeet Kune Do (JKD) students under the Inosanto branch to take at least two years of Muay Thai to have a solid foundation in that structure. JKD also encompasses kickboxing styles as the legendary Dan Inosanto and his teacher Bruce Lee studied many forms of kickboxing. Inosanto would go on from the mid 1970’s until present day and participate in countless hours of dedicated training in Savate, Muay Thai, Cambodian and Western Kickboxing. These methods have been further integrated into the modern JKD program. Bruce Lee in fact coined his own style of Kickboxing before JKD was developed called “Lee Jun Fan” which is his Chinese name.

Savate

Savate is a French method of kickboxing dating back to the 1600’s. Much like Muay Thai it can be traced to war time and the use of weaponry as a craft merchant sailors used defend their ships. The high kicks were easy to pull off because they’d grip the deck rail to throw the leg at their adversaries! Eventually this style made its way back home and was adopted by both the upper and lower classes at the time. The high society version revolved around the use of a cane, literally called Combat De Canne, which was used to settle civil disputes without the use of a sword. Savate hit it’s last wave of popularity in the 80’s and 90’s when America was tuning into to Kickboxing on ESPN. While it’s not in a slump by any means today it isn’t widely televised and most practitioners have to compete under Thai or kickboxing rules in order to find a match. Savate adds an interesting dynamic in that fighters traditionally wear shoes with a sole during the match. They use the footwear for pinpoint accuracy and also to add power to what would be a lighter kick when thrown barefoot. It’s characterized by the use of finesse and footwork to develop an elusive and highly mobile practitioner.

Only one human body:

It has been said by Dan Inosanto that Bruce Lee used his front leg in a Savate style and his rear leg had the power of Muay Thai. This is still emphasized in a quality JKD school like RCW. There is a deep kickboxing component within Jeet Kune Do and given enough time the students develop a balance blend of balance, speed, agility, and power. I still recommend all my JKD students who have an interest to cultivate these methods individually which is why we offer a full Kickboxing and Muay Thai program. Over the years the one’s who’ve decided to jump in to the Muay Thai class have had quicker access to the foundations and generally do better in sparring. JKD has a lot to cover on it’s own as we use the shoe from Savate, but also incorporate street relevant movements into the training: the eye gouge, hitting to the groin, hitting to the throat, etc.

By far the most important thing, is picking a style of kickboxing that you like best and seeking out quality. We finally come to the key commonalities among all of these styles that I want to illustrate. As a point of origin these methods all have one thing in common, they weren’t intended for pure sport AND they came from weaponry. Muay Thai originated with clashes between Myanmar and other neighboring nations. They have a host of weaponry including long swords and wooden forearm shield called Mae Sok. We already discussed Savate had the cane and came from a fencing influence. Western Boxing is also attributed to such a pedigree, originally practiced with a sword and shield, James Figg is credited as the father of modern boxing. Eventually the weapon gave way to sport and Figg became Britain’s first champ in the early 1700’s.

That’s right. At one time, all these mixed martial art styles had weaponry in common. Have they come too far, or is there something that can be gleaned from this today? 

Kickboxing today is a piece of the puzzle:

Absolutely! If you’re going to take your training beyond its limits, kickboxing provides one of the most sure ways to have a solid base across arts. It’s a direct link to almost any other system because of it’s origins with the weaponry and how it functions in every range. Watching the UFC lately? It’s pretty rare that someone will just shoot in for a takedown, but they’ll use a setup and come in behind a jab, a knee, a leg kick, etc. Into classical styles like Wing Chun? A lot of people in Wing Chun find it hard to close the distance, blend it with a kickboxing style and you’ll find it’s much easier. At RCW we offer a Kali class, which explores all manner of handheld tools including the knife, sword, and stick. The movements from kickboxing and boxing are always found in knife fighting as well from the stance and footwork to the guard positions as well. In closing, if you want to add a commonality to all of your other training, kickboxing is the way to do it. As MMA continues to evolve we won’t see as many “Muay Thai” fighters, but a fusion of well rounded techniques hand picked from all these styles.

If you’re looking for the highest quality in JKD, kickboxing, or Muay Thai, and you live in the Portland area we can help you discover yourself on this journey right here at RCW. For more information and to sign up for our FREE trial —> click here <—

 

All the best,

Guro Joe

 

 

Want to mold your children into athletic, self confident, disciplined, goal crushers? Of course we do!! Martial arts done right (big key there, done right!) provide a backbone of these benefits and countless others. How many kids do you know that by the age of 16 have been working on goal setting for 10 years? Many of the kids in our class start as young as 5 years old and continue into adolescence and adulthood.

What makes RCW so unique and special is that the material we offer has been sourced from the best in the world for decades. Our Gracie Jiu Jitsu program for kids called Little Warriors is the most authentic around, and taught by experienced instructors to ensure the highest quality. This isn’t that strip mall activity you sign your child up for and they come away with a black belt in two years. Gracie Jiu Jitsu is a form of grappling that uses scientific positions and leverage to take on a bigger, stronger, opponent. Pioneered by Helio Gracie and his sons, it is now one of the most popular martial arts in the world. Chances are there’s a place that’s near you that offers something similar, but they simply can’t match the expertise at River City Warriors. Our head coach has been helping kids learn how to be successful in life for over 20 years and most of our staff has trained with Helio Gracie’s family and top students to reach this level. While other academies may look similar we can make definitive promises:

  • Your child will train in a safe, friendly, and welcoming environment.
  • Your child will develop true Gracie Jiu Jitsu skill and become bully proof!
  • Character building skills discussed every day like integrity, perseverance, self-discipline, and more
  • Respect and courtesy in every lesson means better listening and follow through at home
  •  We require that all youth students be making good grades, and good choices in and out of the classroom.

Whether you’re near Tigard, Tualatin, Lake Oswego or Sherwood we’re less than a 15 minute drive and right off all the major highways. Now we realize we’ve blown our own horn here, but it’s important to let you know how we differentiate ourselves from the rest. We don’t expect you to take our word for it, which is why we’re always offering a free trial so your family can explore River City Warrior’s programs and make an informed decision.

Sign up for our FREE trial right —> here <— 

Check out more on our incredible youth program —> here <— 

 

Thanks for reading, we know you’re all incredibly busy and we appreciate the opportunity to introduce you and your children to authentic martial arts.

 

All the best,

Professor Joe

Gracie Jiu Jitsu Black Belt

We often get requests from students to make supplemental videos to training. We are definitely on the path and welcome that encouragement! Right now we’re exploring the best way to put curriculum online. Like some ancient culture our technology is preccccciousssssss to us. It also comes down to a level of respect and loyalty that we have for our instructors who shared the art with us. It’s not fair us to see what they went through to attain this level of expertise and then give it all away online to the general public.

At this crossroads we do have a ton of stuff up on our Youtube channel. It’s a good mix of what you can expect from our classes and if you’ve been attending you’ll probably find some drills, techniques or at least fond memories from things we’ve explored together at RCW. If you want to head over to the channel just click.  —> The Tube <—

The warriors in our tribe do the best they can to be generous and sharing with the material on offer. We feel as instructors that there are so many hurdles to training such as scheduling, health and wellness, family balance, and just learning a new skill that we NEVER put arbitrary carrots in from of students and start fishing. Have a question? We’ll answer it! Want to get better and improve? We’ll do our best to get you there! And if we don’t know the answer, we’ll bring in an expert who does. Trust us when we say we’ve seen quite the opposite, but RCW is always a stronger tribe when everyone is working and sharing together.

Here’s a small sample of our Jeet Kune Do and Kali class from the past week. This is the first of 3 core concepts for developing defense against a knife attack. Hope you enjoy and thanks for watching!!

In the 1960’s Bruce Lee’s big break where the world would be introduced to Jeet Kune Do came by way of a Karate tournament put together by Ed Parker. Sijo (founder) Bruce Lee was invited to rattle the world, because at the time no one had ever seen mixed martial arts. At the time, styles ruled everything, you were a boxer, a wrestler, a kick boxer, a kung fu artist, a karate practitioner, but these worlds didn’t mix. Myself, growing up in the 80’s there was still as stigma that students shouldn’t cross train in methodologies, leading to a false battle of style vs. style. You can see the acknowledgement of this at the early days of the UFC with bouts built around things like “the grappler vs. Tae Kwon Do.”

Sijo Lee being a special kind of legend was ready to take on the world and wowed crowds at the Long Beach tournament in California with his blend of Wing Chun Kung Fu, Boxing, Kickboxing and Grappling. It was the early roots to JKD and it promoted the principle that students shouldn’t adhere to styles but keep what is useful for them and discard the rest. As many people that were turned off by Bruce Lee’s brash attitude and confidence it was a magnet for many others. One of those attractors would become Lee’s lifelong friend, his tour guide during his trip to California, Dan Inosanto. Going on to become a legend in his own right Inosanto would dedicate his life to the pursuit of knowledge and skill in Martial Arts, and he has succeeded. At the age of 82 he continues to train and research a variety of methods in depth, and spends countless hours a day training. It is not a stretch to say a man half his age could not keep up with Inosanto’s schedule.

At the time of their meeting, Inosanto was already a Guro (teacher) in the Filipino arts of Kali. Studying since childhood, Guro Dan was already an expert in many areas of Kali such as knife fighting, single and double stick, sword, sword and shield, boxing, and much more by 1959. As their friendship culminated Guro Dan was always at the forefront of the official JKD school in Oakland California, running it in Lee’s absence. He was also diligently working Kali and other areas into the curriculum, and after Bruce Lee’s passing, he would seek out countless mentors to define his craft. Today our JKD comes directly from Inosanto and includes the Kali curriculum along with further elements of Silat (Indonesian grappling.) People often decry Inosanto for making “changes” to JKD but as he tells it “Bruce was constantly making changes, and in fact, he bought my first Silat book as a gift and told me to study it.” They were constantly researching, even finding reel to reel footage of arts like Savate and Muay Thai that you’d struggle to find even in the 90’s or early 2000’s.

While Sigung Bruce and his protege admit that JKD is a concept, it also has a firm grasp on a fundamental curriculum and that’s where most schools miss the boat. Maybe they haven’t taken enough classes, or studied with the right mentors, or maybe they subscribe to Bruce Lee’s quote too literally and believe it to be gospel: “Using no way as a way, and having no limitations as the only limitation.” It doesn’t mean Bruce Lee and Guro Dan did a bunch of random material and self subscribed themselves masters of a fictional art form. Contrarily they are just as good at Wing Chun as dedicated practitioners, just as solid at boxing and on and on. In fact, in the old days JKD was held to the highest standards, an invitation only course at the academy, because people had to not only prove themselves of good character, but also that they could handle cross training multiple hours per week in order to absorb the information.

At River City Warrior in Tigard we pride ourselves on working close to the sources of every subject we offer. Our head coaches have aspired for over 20 years with this ambition and it’s represented currently in our JKD. Just like our students we’re a work in progress, but lucky for them, we’ve also attained the highest level of coaching. It wasn’t always the case as back in those early days I mentioned you had to sift through a lot of trash to find the diamonds in the rough. We partner with great mentors whenever we can, in JKD we work closely with Guro Chris Clarke who’s been certified by Guro Inosanto since 1983. Under his guidance our team has made several trips to Los Angeles to train at the Inosanto Academy directly. Thanks to this solid connection we’re able to pass on the information and material in JKD the way it is meant to be taught, with total authenticity. Unfortunately JKD is a dying art ironically because of it’s popularity. That wave of JKD and Bruce Lee fever brought with it all kinds of hacks that would open up an academy, put their name on Youtube and make a claim to fame. It’s no wonder that people think it doesn’t work, or that there isn’t any curriculum, that’s the tragic result of frauds in martial arts and it’s common across every style.

We urge you to check out the Jeet Kune Do at RCW so you can see it, feel it, and experience it for yourself. We’re always giving away FREE trials because we know that after you check out one class you’ll be hooked on the real deal. Thanks for reading our first post on our brand new website, and stay tuned for further videos, instructional, events and all things River City Warriors. Welcome to the Tribe!

 

  • By Guro Joe Heller

 

 

p.s. if you’re interested in a FREE trial just head over to our schedule page here and click the Sign Up link next to any class to register AND book your first lesson ——> Sign Up <——

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Donec quam felis, ultricies nec, pellentesque eu, pretium quis, sem. Nulla consequat massa quis enim. Donec pede justo, fringilla vel, aliquet nec, vulputate eget, arcu. In enim justo, rhoncus ut, imperdiet a, venenatis vitae, justo.

Nullam dictum felis eu pede mollis pretium. Integer tincidunt. Cras dapibus. Vivamus elementum semper nisi. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus. Aenean leo ligula, porttitor eu, consequat vitae, eleifend ac, enim. Aliquam lorem ante, dapibus in, viverra quis, feugiat a, tellus.

 

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