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43: Adapt and Overcome: Jared Weiner on Brain Injury, Team, Family, and the High and Lows of Philly Streets

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Jared Weiner, a long-time black belt competitor and head instructor of BJJ United, talks to me about his struggle with post concussion syndrome, depression, fear, doubt, drawing strength from his family, his friends, and his team, losing a friend to cancer, his philosophy of training and competing, his evolution as a coach in preparing his students for competition, the darker parts of Philadelphia, uncovering the reality of poverty and desperation, and more.

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Full Video Interview on YouTube

Jared Weiner Quotes and Photos

Advice to those suffering through post concussion syndrome:

“Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. I was too afraid to reach out. I didn’t want to tell people what I was going through because I’m supposed to be the leader here. I have students looking up to me. I didn’t want them to see me in  my weaker state. You have to throw that bullshit to the side. Maybe my weaker state is a state they need to see so that if they’re going through the same thing, they’re going  to go get the proper help needed. If you smack your head around and you’re not feeling right, go see a doctor, take the rest you need, reach out to the right  people.”

On leading by example:

“It is what it is. I’m not the ‘elite’ jiu jitsu athlete. I’m not the best dude in the world, but I’m on the mat with the guys every day. I try to put myself there with them and help with what I can help with. So maybe it’s important for them to see me in this state too, and see me fight through it, and lead by example in that way. I’m still being a teacher… but in a different form.”

On never quitting in a match:

“You have to finish the fight no matter what. That’s just my mentality. I would never stop a match unless there was a limb hanging off. That’s just what we do. We train hard in here. We fight hard in here. We smack heads in here all the time. Get cuts, bleed, we keep going. That’s what we do.”

One of Jared’s favorite  shots that he talks about in the episode:

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