Tag Archives: losing

35: Ryan Hall on Moral Victory, the Underlying Principles of Jiu Jitsu, Self-Defense, and the Value of Competition

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Ryan Hall is a BJJ black belt, head instructor of 50/50 BJJ, an ADCC bronze medalist with a long career in high level competition throughout which he has beaten many of the top grapplers in the world; we talked about moral victory, maintaining a stoic expression, a unified theory of grappling, the value of competition, a lifelong pursuit of a singular goal, best martial art for self defense, cultivating ego, and much more.

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Excerpt: Value of Competition

Excerpt: Moral Victory

Excerpt: Best Martial Art for Self Defense

Excerpt: Principles of Jiu Jitsu

Full Audio of Interview on YouTube

Quotes

Ryan referencing Frank Herbert’s Dune in discussing the value of pursuing a singular goal for a long time:

“If you search for freedom, you become a slave to your own desires, ironically. But if you search for discipline, you find liberty, in the long-run.”

Ryan on the courage of giving 100%:

“It takes courage and heart to properly prepare (for competition), because you’re risking horrible dissapointment. I’ve prepared so hard, tried so hard before and I won. And other times, I’ve prepared so hard, tried so hard and I lost. It hurts. It really hurts. It doesn’t hurt nearly as much if you half ass it, because you didn’t put that much into it. But that’s a cowardly approach. The right way is to prepare properly, you train hard, and then win, lose, or draw you deal with the results.”

Ryan discussing that most people are not honest with themselves about how hard they work:

“Most people would rather look like the thing, than be the thing.”

Ryan on what is involved in working hard:

“Trying hard doesn’t just mean having to be carried off the mat. It means thinking, reassessing, reevaluating, asking ‘how can I be better?’ It takes honest self analysis.”

Ryan on the cost of excellence:

“You show me someone who is well adjusted, and I will show you someone who is probably not a high achiever.”

Ryan on removing extraneous details:

“A principle-based approach to grappling is incredibly important. What I try to do is block out the extraneous nonsense. Talking about 55 details and reasons for something that’s going on is only clouding your thought process.”

Ryan on moral victory versus actual victory:

“If Fedor slaps your mother, you have to hit him. You have to. And he’s going to kick the shit out of you, almost certainly. But you have to hit him. Trying your best and losing would be the honorable thing to do.”

Ryan on the importance of ego (grounded in reality) in progress:

“Most progress over the course of human history has been made by unreasonable people that said: ‘fuck you, I’m going to win.'”

Links

 

29: AnnMaria De Mars on Raising Ronda Rousey, Aggressive Judo, Math Education, and the Value of Hard Work

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In episode 29, I talk with AnnMaria De Mars about being the first American to win the Judo World Championship, raising four kids one of whom is Ronda Rousey the current UFC champion,  getting four degrees including a PhD in applied statistics, her book Winning on the Ground, her blog, her grandmother’s advice, the passing of her husband, the absurdity of sport, coaching an elite level athlete, balancing academics and sport, Ronda’s 2007 World Silver and Olympic Bronze and her matches against Edith Bosch, refusing to lose, being a woman in a combat sport, teaching kids math through computer games at 7 Generation Games, math (and hard work) as an important foundation for long-term success in life, and more.

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Edit: I wrote a blog post with some post-interview takeaways.

Quotes

AnnMaria on the advice her grandmother gave her:

“Do the best you can with everything you were given. She really believed that quote in the Bible: ‘To whom much is given, much is expected.'”

AnnMaria on being asked if she is afraid of death:

“No, I can think of a lot worse things than death. One of the reasons people are afraid of dying is they have regrets. They haven’t done the things they want to do. Because my husband passed away when I was young, that changed the way I thought about things. He was a great guy, worked hard his whole life. There were a lot of things he wanted to do that he never got around to doing because he always thought there would be time later. So now when I want to do something, I do it.  When I look back, I’ve had a lot of accomplishments and experiences in education, academics, I published scientific articles, I wrote a book with Jimmy Pedro Sr, I have wonderful children, so if I died right now I have no regrets. You want to live like you might die tomorrow, because you might die tomorrow.”

AnnMaria on the absurdity of dedicating years of your life to achieving a singular goal like winning a World Championship:

“You have to be smart enough to do it and dumb enough to believe it’s important.”

AnnMaria on what it takes to be successful in judo or in math or in anything:

“You get good at something by doing a lot of it.”

AnnMaria on trash talking:

“Like Dr. Seuss said, ‘Be who you are and say what you mean. Because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind!'”

AnnMaria on what will go on her tombstone:

“I’m smarter than I look.”

YouTube Version

Links

28: Kayla Harrison on Winning Olympic Gold and Overcoming Trauma

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In episode 28, I talk with Kayla Harrison, first American to win Olympic gold in judo, about her training methods, visualization, competition mindset, Olympic final experience, warm-routine, Eminem and country music, overcoming a past of sexual abuse, PTSD, finding forgiveness, finding strength in judo, being coached by Jimmy Pedro, her Team Force teammates, moving up two weight classes, strength and conditioning, going to college, writing her memoir and also a book on recovering from sexual abuse, new judo rules, serving as the IJF athlete representative, and much more.

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Quotes

Kayla on the evolution of women’s judo:

“In 26 years (since Ann Marie DeMars became the first American world champion), we’ve seen women’s judo come a long long way. I’m very fortunate that I had pioneers like Ann Marie and Rusty Kanokogi and women like that who paved the way to allow me to pursue my dreams.”

Kayla on what was going on through her mind as she was stepping on the mat at the Olympics:

“I don’t know if I’ll ever forget that day. I was just a psycho. (Lol). I am very big on visualization. Before the Olympics even occurred I visualized that day a thousand time in my mind. I would go over it and over it and over it. And I would tell myself: ‘Kayla Harrison, Olympic Champion. This is my day. This is my purpose.’ And all that day, Jimmy (Pedro) was chirping in my head: ‘Do you want this more? Have you worked harder? No one deserves this more than you. You’re Kayla Harrison, Olympic Champion.’ “

Kayla giving credit for her success to her coaches:

“In order to be a great coach, you can’t be an athlete’s friend. He’s not afraid to make me cry. They are not afraid to light that fire, and tell me when I’m wrong. They are not afraid to push me when I need to be pushed, and pull back when I need to pull back. They don’t really care if I like them. I do, but they don’t really care either way.”

Kayla on whether fear/doubt enters her mind in competition:

“When I was younger I used to be pretty scared. I was more afraid of losing than I was willing to win. And when you’re afraid to lose, you don’t compete,  you don’t show up, you just worry about losing. Through the years, through experience, and just literally competing in every single tournament on the face of the Earth, I started to get into a habit… One of the things I’ve heard before and that I completely agree with is: ‘Success breeds success.’ When I start to win and I get on that roll, I don’t question myself, I don’t doubt myself. If you look at that video of me on the day of the Olympics, every match, even the one I was losing, I was losing my quarterfinal to a girl I’ve never beaten before, at no point did I question myself. I don’t know, I was a psycho. I thought I was going to win, and damned if I wasn’t going to go out there and do it. I trained too hard, worked too long, sacrificed too much, been away from my family too long to lose.”

Kayla talking about losing a match at the 2011 World championships:

Failure is my fuel. If you beat me, I’m going to sleep that night thinking about ripping your arm off.

YouTube Audio-Only Version

Links

5: Competing as a Black Belt, Antifragile Cats, and Megaton

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whatever-the-weatherIn episode 5, Josh and Lex talk about competing  as a black belt, Antifragile by  N. N. Taleb, Wellington “Megaton” Dias,  uncertainty of competition, No Gi Pans, New York Open, taking the bus, winning and losing, competing as a recreational player, masters vs adult divisions, posting results to Facebook, cross training as a pastry chef, etc.

And also the evolution of opportunistic cats was mentioned:

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Here are links mentioned in this episode:

2: Hero Worship and the Resolute Acceptance of Death

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tim-carpenterIn episode 2, Lex and Tim talk about Miyamoto Musashi, the iTunes explicit rating, hero worship, the value of getting punched in the face, fear of losing, learning from fighting, battling to the death in West Philly, hipsters at the Piazza, Sex at Dawn, A Book of Five Rings, romantic relationship with jiu jitsu, risk aversion, karate vs wrestling, breaking your opponent, training mental toughness, and not giving any respect to your opponent even if your opponent is Roger Gracie.

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Here are links to some of the stuff mentioned in this episode: