Therapy Talks

The Intersection of Mental Health and Martial Arts | Transcending Fear and Embracing Failure with Raymond Lee

January 09, 2023 Switch Research Season 1 Episode 53
Therapy Talks
The Intersection of Mental Health and Martial Arts | Transcending Fear and Embracing Failure with Raymond Lee
Show Notes Transcript

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This week on Therapy Talks, host Hailey Kanigan welcomes special guest Raymond Lee to talk about the intersection of jiu-jitsu and mental health. Raymond, a jiu-jitsu instructor, with 15 years of experience, joins the show to discuss the empowering effects of jiu-jitsu practice, and how it can help students build confidence and shift the perspective of their own potential.

During the episode, Raymond and Hailey will delve into the idea of discovering one's true self under the mask of persona and talk about how being open and communicating one's frustrations can help create a safe space for problem-solving. They'll also explore how jujitsu practice can help individuals face and overcome their fears of rejection, confrontation, and disagreement, and reframe failure as an opportunity to learn and grow.

In This Episode:

  • Ray’s favorite techniques for dealing with and overcoming fears of rejection, confrontation and disagreement.
  • The role of communication and vulnerability in building trust and forming deeper connections.
  • Discovering one's true self under the persona or "mask" through “practice” and shifting perspective of one’s self.

Raymond Lee began his journey as a full-time Jiu-Jitsu instructor in 2018, joining the North Vancouver Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu team. With the support and guidance of Ryron and Rener Gracie, he has since taken on the role of Head Instructor at Tri-Cities Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, an officially certified training center of Gracie University. Ray is dedicated to ensuring that Jiu-Jitsu is accessible to everyone, and at Tri-Cities Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, he is able to carry out this mission.

Find Out More About Ray:

Learn More About Switch Research:
Instagram: @switchresearch

Disclaimer: Therapy Talks does NOT provide medical services or professional counseling, and it is NOT a substitute for professional medical care.

Hello everyone. Welcome back for an episode of Therapy Talks. Today we have Raymond Lee. He's a brown belt in Jiujitsu, and he's working out of the tri-city areas near Vancouver, bc and he joins us today on our podcast to talk about what it means to have the opportunity to provide yourself a self-defense, increase your empowerment and self-confidence, and how the practice of jiujitsu is not only a destination, but an overall journey.

I'd love for you to take a moment to introduce yourself and tell us about you and if you're open, your background. You're growing up, all about you. Haley, it's great to be here. Thank you for inviting me. My name is Ray as and I've been practicing jujitsu for 14 years now. Coming up on 15 December is my anniversary.

So it's. pretty crazy how quickly time goes by. I started in 2008 and my background before that was like zero. I had no martial arts practice or no martial arts experience. And what got me into it is a really funny story. People always ask like, how'd you get into it? And it's because of pizza.

I am a huge pizza fan, so I'm at a pizza shop and I'm waiting for my pizza, and I like never go in. Usually I just go and pick up and I'm gone. And that day was like, it's taking a while. So I walk in, I sit down and I look over and there's like a little postcard thingy and it was like, oh. , bring this in, get two free lessons.

And I look on the back and it's a little map, right? This is before Google. So then you go, oh yeah, this is two blocks away. So I walk over and there's this first school and boom, two free classes before, it turned into now 14 years. And and now I have my own school in the Port Moody Tri-Cities area of BC Canada for a lower history lesson, the Gracie family.

Are Brazilians and they're the ones that took a style, took a Japanese jujitsu that they were taught and changed it based on their philosophy, which is survival. Instead of winning, you survive. And by reframing the objective of a fight from, I have to win and dominate and crush my opponent to, I respect that.

If I get attacked by somebody in real life, they're probably. Be bigger and stronger, more aggressive. My primary focus is now going to be survival and defend. It completely changes how you will apply the techniques, and so by doing that, Gracie Jujitsu was born and Gracie Jujitsu is Brazilian Jujitsu, or I should say Brazilian jisu is derived from Gracie Jiujitsu.

The difference between the two is that Gracie Jujitsu focuses on. Using jujitsu to defeat, to defend and defeat opponents who are trying to hit you. Whereas Brazilian jujitsu, there is no hitting is sport, and so that is where the tree kind of split in terms of. It's the Brazilian Jujitsu sport and Gracie Jujitsu.

That's super interesting. Yeah. Cause that was gonna be one of my main questions I had for you because it's something that's a totally new topic for me. I'm in a totally different realm. I'm facilitating therapy and things like that. . So it's so interesting to hear that the, such a wonderful philosophy of more defending versus conquering is what really changed.

Spear and I can see how that would really relate to this idea of mental health. Of taking care of yourself, being well, yes. Not necessarily just trying to get to a place of dec of wellness thought that destination of wellness, more of that continuation of your wellbeing. Yeah. It's a development, like for us, the focus is always on development rather than destination.

So I. , glad you said that. And it's true that when you can, and reframing is a technique that even in therapy you use a lot, right? From my understanding. And, but the ability to teach people to reframe and redefine what success means, what, what does winning look like, what does that mean to you?

And then helping them reframe that from a perspective of. Self-defense and by empowerment, what we want to do is give people the tools first on entry. It's like the tools are physical, right? We're gonna give you a technique that helps answer a question that you have. And then from there, once that student or the individual develops comfort with the mechanics of that technique, then we start layering more techniques.

that are in proportion in contextual relationship to their level of understanding. So as that progresses, that person starts to build more confidence. And it's interesting how when you can do that through something like martial arts and for other people who could be like, working out or even meditation, once a person starts to get that confidence and feel different.

in many ways, like their identity and how they view themselves changes. . And so jujitsu starts off like a physical exterior practice, but the longer you do it and the more you train and the more you start understanding the philosophies based on what the instructor is sharing with you, your perspective changes.

And now it goes all of a sudden from an external journey, and it also becomes a reflective inward journey because now you're like, wait a second, I did something. I didn't think I could do, which is I didn't think I could defend myself against that this, monster of a, of an opponent or this adversary that, most people have, imagined or in some cases for us, when we're dealing with survivors of attacks, like for them it was something that had happened to them and they didn't have this tool, they didn't have this knowledge.

And then once you give 'em that tool and give 'em that knowledge, , they start to view it differently. They start to view themselves differently, the capabilities differently. And once that happens, that really changes a person because they go, wait, I did something I didn't think I could do before. Now if I could do that, what else am I po?

What else am I capable of? And then they start to discover their own potential. Yeah, I th I love that example. And you really highlight the idea of a. Like this repetitive thing that you fall into that becomes part of you so often, like I can relate to this idea. Cause clients will come to me and they go, okay, fix me.

Let me do one thing and let's make it all better. And I go Wellness isn't just this one thing, it's a practice. So you really spoke to that. Yeah. That as they learn the skills and they embody the methodologies and the philosophies around this jujitsu and being healthy and moving your body, it really shifts you and your personality because, Sometimes people will go, oh, my personality's this, and then it's stuck.

But personality isn't stuck. It is a collections of feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. But as we do things differently, our personality shifts. , the way we perceive things and interact with things shift, and we're able to then be better able to manage different challenges and built that confidence.

Yeah. The per personality, I believe the root word from Latin is like persona. , persona is a. , like we have different personalities and different situations and we have, we adopt different personalities in the context of the group we're in. In a professional work environment, we all have a certain personality with our family members, personality with our friends.

We have a different personality. But as humans, like when we've matured through that for so long, like the, those personalities, those personas, we shift gears with them so readily that it becomes like a second skin. , all these skins layered on top. Sometimes we forget that those are just a persona we adopt and that if a person can actually see through that and go, okay, that's not really who I am in my work environment.

That's the persona I have to adopt because that's a raw man. But my real personality, is this, there's a baseline you can give back to it. That helps, right? But that help. But in order to do that, a person has to be willing to be vulnerable with that exploration process of discovering who they really are underneath it all.

And you need something that gives you confidence in that no matter what it's gonna be okay. And for some people, they don't know if they can do. . If they don't feel safe in dropping that mask, if they're, when they're feeling vulnerable, then it almost like callouses. It just stays on harder because they don't wanna drop it.

They're afraid of being judged or being Mostly I, in my experience, dealing with people, it's, they're afraid of being abandoned. , they're afraid that if they go or reject it, they're afraid that if they say to a client, Hey, , I'm feeling really agitated right now. They're afraid if they say that word agitated, the client's gonna be upset with them.

And that's it. And I guess, . That's partially, that could be partially true in today's like environment, right? The culture seems mo modernly now, especially I get the social media, people will think that's what it's called, cancel culture. I have to be this way or only say and do these things to be socially accepted.

And if I don't say to do these things are socially accepted. If I go above what another person is expecting of me. , I could be rejected, I could lose relationships with this person. . And it's a valid fear for sure, but I think if people communicated more candidly and more authentically with each other from a place of caring, they would be surprised at the results.

If they just tell their. Client. Hey, you know what, like I'm feeling a little agitated right now. Can we just step back from this for a second? They might be surprised at the type of conversation or the response from their client. The client, I don't think would be, how dare you'd be agitated with me.

I think somebody might be like, oh, I didn't realize I was agitating you or what about this is agitating? And then boom, that takes it to a whole other conversation. Now you can actually be a bit more direct and a bit more real. And then that leads to actually problem solving. Cuz now two people can go, oh yeah my intention was to not agitate you.

I didn't realize I was agitating you. So it's fascinating that aspect of communi. and it sounds like Jitsu does a really wonderful job at meeting a person where they're at. So I really like when you expressed and explained this idea that it doesn't matter your size or your strength, it really goes, how can we teach you the skills and strategies to feel that sense of empowerment?

, regardless of where they're starting at. And it really isn't necessarily about their physical. No. And that's the beautiful part about Gracie Jujitsu and self-defense, jujitsu that's focused on that and all, even Brazilian jujitsu as well. When you first start, all instructors like, we teach to that, right?

Here's the mechanical skill and then here's some solutions. In essence, what it teaches a person is like the ability to solve problems by looking at it with a, as much objectivity as. , right? So you go, okay, here's a problem. There's a solution to this. Maybe I haven't figured it out, but the real strength I feel like is the fact that it's a learning process through trial and error.

And specifically the power is it reframes failure. It reframes failure from a perspective, from a learning perspective of I learn when I fail, so I either will get a right or I'm gonna. . So instead of failing, we encourage students to not fear failure. We encourage students to explore and that when you fail, celebrate the tap is almost like a little mini clap.

Yay, I figured something out. I figured put my arm there. I get caught in an arm lock and I tap. don't do that next time. And so when they start reframing that, it changes their relationship with this fear of failure. Cuz society is, does not reward failure in general. You're not gonna have a boss that says, Hey Haley, that's great that you lost 20 grand.

you made a mistake. What did you learn? That was awesome. Good job. Don't do that again. , right? You lose if you make a mistake and you made a 20 grand loss on that mistake, that's oh my gosh, I could lose my job. I can get written up, or whatever. And it's, That's on a business side, right?

The, you know the PNLs, right? The profits and loss. Yes. I have lost 20 grand before, actually when I worked in banking, but , it was, it worked out okay. I did not lose my job. They were very kind and supportive about it, as I used to be a bank teller and I would, there you go. Money would just go to missing cuz it was just digitally and if you missed a zero somewhere, it would be.

Terrible to try and find the answer, but I love how when you're expressing this idea in Jiujitsu that the failures are celebrated because I like how you're saying we reframe that we reconceptualize what that means. It more is about the learning and the growth of that than just seeing it as like a bad experience overall.

Yeah. Life. That is life, right? Like humans, like that's how we learn evolutionary, that's how we learn as well. So there's a, there's definitely a evolutionary behavior trigger, deepen our psyche the way that we're, we are, that we fear failure because sometimes the consequences can be really dire.

And then a societal cultural development perspective. , there are some dire consequences because socially people re react to failure so strongly. In your friend group, you say something wrong, they get really upset. That is a failure, like in that sense, right? And so we learn, we're like I shouldn't say that.

Like that was wrong and I don't wanna do that again. . But it, and in school, so much of our life through our education, it's you got this wrong. Okay. But in terms of learning and development, like failure is good. You wanna fail and you want to, not that you're looking to fail, but when you fail, it is a huge learning opportunity to.

Incorporate the learnings. I think tech companies do this a lot. They really celebrate failures and they rather you fail fast and early, so then you can get through these product iterations quick. and then get it out there. And so Jujitsu's very much like that. And that we want you to fail early and often, but we want you to do it in a safe and controlled way.

And we want you to know there's no real dire con consequences. The only real bruising you're gonna take is your ego. And so the biggest thing through that as well is it helps reshape a person's ego. Cuz a lot of times people we all have an ego and we all think we're something until you. Checked by reality.

And Jiujitsu does that better than any other martial arts, in my humble opinion, in that it gives you a check right away. So you think, okay, I'm going to be able to do this. And then somebody who you know is smaller than you is just running circles around you. It's whoa, what's going on? And then you learn.

Okay. There is, there's this, there's that I made this mistake or I made that technical mistake, and you start to adapt to it. But it makes a person really receptive to feedback. So all that practice on the mat has a cross transferability into the real world where now when they're off the mat, they view themselves totally differently because of that experience, that physical experience they had, for 90 minutes in our class or an hour in our class, they go, oh wow.

that was different. And so really rewires your brain and rewires the way you view things and specifically, yeah, like failures. People take failures less personally in their own personal lives. They adapt to changes much faster. They have less of an expectation of a certain outcome. You become a little bit more present, in everyday life.

So that's what I've observed as an instructor over the years. And not for myself, I can personally say, is what has kept me in it this long. It's not so much the physical practice, like the techniques are cool. and after a certain amount of time, there's only so many techniques, but jujitsu constantly grows.

So that's another thing that makes jujitsu very different, is that it is a, it is considered a living art, a living martial art in that it is constantly evolving. So new moves that are getting, being invented every day, and the ones that really work, we. And the outdated techniques that no longer work, we either modify it and adapt it to modern standards or in modern situations, or if it's completely out of context and we don't need it and or it doesn't work, we discard it.

And this is done on a. Collective level. And with the advent of the internet, which really proliferated the growth of Jiu-Jitsu and was really highlighting it more for modern generation, it's definitely accelerated both jujitsu's growth and Jujitsu's exposure and also really evolved it to a whole other level because.

Now, you can learn jiujitsu from the comfort of your home straight through the internet. You can learn techniques right straight through the internet. You still need a partner to practice it on because you can understand the mechanics of it only so far. But you still need a partner.

And then that's what's led to, the growth of all these schools and these organizations. The organization I'm with is Gracie University and they're Chaired by Hiran or Gracie, the grandsons of the inventor of Brazilian jujitsu who is Ellio Gracie. Yeah it's really, it's a really fascinating story and it's a really fascinating time.

It's a great time to be, alive and learning jujitsu today. , definitely. I would love to hear about do you work with many kids and what that impact has on protective and. Helpful measure for kids to have that healthy space. Oh yeah. We have a very robust, kids program. We teach our kids based on, we cohort them based on age and skill level.

So we teach kids between, like the first entry program, it's called Little Champs, and therefore kids between five and seven. Then the next level. , therefore kids eight to 12, we'll call 'em junior grapplers. Then we also have a teenager program just for teenagers age 13 to 17 when they're young in the first age group between five and seven.

We play games with them. It's all just like playing. Animal movements move like a bear, move like a gorilla. And we teach 'em verbal assertiveness at that age. Cuz a lot of times kids at that age are not really dealing with overt physical bullying yet. So what we're teaching them is we teach 'em how to recognize the red flags of potential bullying, which could be another kid that just says something like, Hey, why do you wear such weird glasses?

Why does your glasses make your face look so funny? And for a five year old that's. at the end of the world, right? It's oh my gosh, this other kid's making fun of me. They don't like me. So we teach the children at that age Hey, how to verbally clarify the intent of their The person they're talking to.

So they're taught verbal, assertive strategies to set healthy verbal boundaries. And if the verbal boundaries are not respected, then they're taught how to recognize the red flag behaviors that would tell them that this kid is not a kid. You want to be around too much. You don't wanna be friends with this kid.

So what we tell is like very simple. We say, Hey, if you ask somebody to stop and they stop, are they your friend or are they a. and everybody goes, they're my friend. Awesome. If you ask someone to stop and they don't stop, are they your friend or are they your bully? And they're like, that kid's a bully.

Good. Now that do you want to be around that person a lot? And they're like, no. We're like, great. Just stay away from them. And because we don't teach them how to hit, so in all of our programs, we don't teach our students how to hit each other. So there's no striking. So you're learn, you're learning how to defend yourself against strikes, but you're not being taught how to strike back because we don't want to turn our students into attackers.

It's very. and it's very quickly able, where if a person's empowered with technique and they're not taught certain boundaries, they could lose control in an instant, in an emotional outburst, and they can become the aggressor very quickly. So we teach with the kids at that young level, all defensive escape and control strategies.

We don't actually teach the five to seven year olds any of the submissions or attacking strategies or finishing maneuvers. , we would usually teach an adult. The next age up eight to 12. They're taught more of those, but now they're taught more about the physi, the physiological, real physical attack. And we also do talk about, the psychological aspects. But what we really hammer home is character development. We want them to have a guiding philosophy that underlies everything. A lot of people think it's this. Systems that guide the philosophy, it's actually the complete opposite.

It's the philosophies we have in place in jujitsu that really guides our systems and our curriculums. So we wanna focus the kids on developing their character, their intrinsic character, which starts with like character development focus. We teach 'em things like right now, for example, wearing the caring month, we're teaching 'em how to show caring.

And we teach, we ask 'em questions like, how do you show yourself? How do you take care of your. And, the wisdom in a human being, especially even at a five-year-old level, it's deep. You ask like a five-year-old, what do you do to take care of yourself? And that kid would tell you, I brush my teeth every day.

Okay. Awesome. What else do you do? Oh I make my bed. I, , I hug my parents like, on, an adult level. If you think about it. We reworded it. It's oh yeah, they're taking care of their physical health. They're taking care of their their space, and they're taking care of their, their family relationships.

That's great. Then we ask 'em like, okay, what's one area you feel like, where's something that you don't like? How's your. , what do you do when you take care of your food? And some kids, at that age, they'll say, oh, I only like certain types of foods. So then we use that opportunity to say, Hey, why don't you work on that a little bit more?

And we make it a game. So we, we gamify it. All humans love playing games from kids to adults. You need a reward system sometimes as an extrinsic. Lure in a way to push and pull a person. And so we, that's what we do. But the way we teach 'em is through push teaching. We don't do pole teaching.

So I don't know if you know the difference between push teaching and pole teaching. Why don't you share with us, cuz it sounds so interesting so far. I'd love to hear more. Okay. So there's a standard in everything we do, right? Work, school, you name. Society generally does pull teaching where they'll say, this is the standard.

This is where you're at. Here's the deficiency gap. They wanna pull you up to that deficiency gap. But this highlights an absence. This highlights what you're short on, what you're deficient on, what you're not good on, and it tries to pull you up. at our in, in the way we teach by push teaching. So we say, here's where you are.

That's awesome. And we celebrate that, and then we add to it. We say, okay, Haley, that was great. You're doing awesome. I want you to do this like that. So we add, and we encourage. We don't actually critique as much. We don't say, Hey, you're doing it. . So a lot of it's languaging and once again, it's like a perspective reframing things in a way that adds to your confidence, not detract from your confidence.

. So we don't wanna show, we don't wanna say, the way we teach is not about showing you what you're doing wrong. The way you can do better. We already highlight what you're doing better. and then we're gonna keep pushing. So we add to the pile. And what that does is it grows your confidence. So when a kid is running around and not showing focus, we don't actually say, Hey, I don't like how you're running around and not showing focus.

We say, Hey, I can see you're very excited. You got a lot of energy. Would you like to run around like for the next minute and just get that energy out? Because what I will really like is I like. Is sitting up nice and tall. I like how Bethany is sitting up nice and tall. So we highlight these things and we could praise and focus on the positive attributes and the positive behaviors that we wanna see without bringing that child or even the student and adult as well.

Their attention to the negative, like what you're not doing good enough in. So then everybody comes in and they just feel like, oh yeah, I'm being encouraged More and more, and they're already telling me what I'm doing better and here's what I could do a little differently. So that's the difference between push teaching, which builds confidence and pull teaching.

So push teaching highlights where you're doing well and adds on top. So we're pushing you up to the standard poll teaching highlights where you're at and shows you where there's a gap and tries to pull you up, but it highlights your deficiencies. , and that you can only do that so much before you end up taking confidence from a person.

Yeah. Because before you know it, that person's gonna think they're not good enough. They're not good enough to do this, and they'll disqualify themselves. And when somebody's starting something, . There's always that little fear, right? There's that fear of that. Am I good enough for this? Can I do this?

I don't know, so I'm gonna try. But then if you get subjected to too much of that too early, you'll dq yourself, and that's really hard to come back from. . And you really are just speaking to the focus. instead of focusing on limitations, which is very much like what we would do within therapy or within a mental health spheres, we really wanna say the fact that you're here already shows that you have a lot of strengths and we're gonna focus on those and not reinvent that and just really encourage someone to continue forth instead of being hard on oneself or, , like installing more of that shame or guilt or lack of confidence? A hundred percent. People ask me, what's the hardest belt to get in jujitsu? And I say, it's the white. . Everybody gets a white belt on your first day in like school, and they go, is that the black belt? I'm like, no, it's the white belt.

In my humble opinion, I'm a, I currently wear a brown belt, so I'm working towards my black belt, but I think the white belt is the hardest to get because everybody has a preconceived notion of what they think martial arts is. Yes, it's the first value you get, but how many people. How many people do you know besides now today?

I'm the first person you talked to today about Jiujitsu, but how many people in your life do you know, practice Jiujitsu? No one . No one? Yeah. Yeah. My circle's different because I'm an instructor and , I know a lot of people that train jujitsu, but that's at my school and within my student community.

Within our student community. In my personal life. , if I did a headcount of all my closest friends that I grew up with from when I was eight till now, and I'm still friends with many of them, two of them really have ever tried and trained jujitsu out of 50 plus people. . So that's that's why white, the white belt's the hardest belt to get, like it takes.

especially in our modern society, like we live in a very safe society. Canada. So not too many people feel the need to learn and then it is a hobby, right? So it's like you, you kind have to have some kind of interest in it. Or something that drew you. That's why it is the hardest belt to get.

Once you start and you get, you like it, you find a good school, good community, good instructors, you're loving it. You'll just be in it now. Now the other belts come naturally, right? But that first step is always the hardest step, right? That first step towards a positive change or even just any change is really hard.

So that's just my opinion that I think the white belt is the hardest belt. for sure. Definitely. I really like that and I appreciate that because again, not very many people take that chance to step into something new such as this. , I wanted to hear your opinion on jiujitsu and empowerment and self-defense.

 And how those all three are really linked. Confidence. That empowerment is confidence, and we inspire and empower confidence through knowledge so that we can reduce the. that somebody has, right? By giving them first knowledge through practical tools that can give an immediate change to what wasn't initially a dilemma or a problem that they couldn't solve, we give solutions and over time what we really want to do is get the student like a learning matrix or a learning lattice, if you will, that they can use and apply.

to all situations in their life. It's a way of problem solving so that they know that, hey, if I run into a problem that I don't have a solution for, how do I solve it? And they, we teach by showing them. Okay, first is don't fear the failure. Try to approach it with a sense of curiosity that really changes a person's receptivity.

to a situation. Now, when you can handle an unknown situation, like if somebody grabbed your wrist and I taught you how to get out of that grip without hitting them, even though the person that grabbed you is two times your size, that gives you a sense of oh wow. Yeah, I can do this. Yes, you can do it.

And then we start adding on different ways they're gonna grab. So now you're like, okay, and naturally you're gonna have a question and we're gonna tell you, okay. The way the hand is formed, the strongest, the most important digit that the human hand needs in order to hold you is not the whole arm.

It's actually this one little digit of the thumb. The thumb wasn't here. This hand can't grab anything correctly. Evolutionary, the opposable thumb is like the greatest evolution thing to humans, right? Gives us this ability to grab stuff. So we take advantage of that. We say, Hey, listen, Haley, it doesn't matter how the bad guy grabs you.

I want you to now identify where the thumb is, their thumb, and then you're gonna leave her against this one digit. And when you leave her against it, it's your whole arm against this one little digit. I think you're gonna get out. So let's play with that. So I will start to change my grip on you and also increase the resistance that I'm feeding you to a point where I could be holding you at 80% of my max strength and you're still able to get out and then you go, oh wow.

So now that gives you a. . , like that tool is on escaping the grip. But then I'll reframe that for you and say, Hey, if you ever run into a situation like a problem that you can't solve , try to step back and look at it with a little bit of distance and then figure out what is stumping you because the obstacle that is in front of you is actually pos is most likely the solution that you're looking for.

Have you ever heard this phrase called the obstacles the. . Yes. Actually, , it's a stoic philosophy, right? It's a stoic, it's a stoicism type philosophy, which is when there's a problem, don't turn away from it. , the jiujitsu did the same thing. We say, when there's a problem or there's a threat, we want you to face it, we want you to look at it.

Don't turn away from it. , just turn away from it. In terms of a physical engagement, it's an immediate threat. You can't see. , you won't be able to respond to it correctly in life. It's a similar thing. If a problem comes up, don't sweep it under the rug. Don't avoid it. It only makes it worse. It's gonna compound.

So we want you to look at the problem. Whatever the problem is, look at it because that problem will lead to your solution. , the solution can be different every time, but your approach is gonna be the same, which, You're not gonna shy away from it. Is it gonna be hard? Yes. We accept that and we talk about that where we actively say it's going to be difficult.

But you can do hard things. You need to know that you can do hard things, but how? You gotta first look at what is the problem and then solve it, but calmly, Breaking it down into its component pieces, so that leads to a certain empowerment in terms of how a person in self-defense situation, they usually come with an initial threat scenario.

Coach, what do I do? Somebody grabs me by the neck and I'm pinned to the ground. Great question. I'm glad you asked. Let me show you that solution. Slow motion. We show 'em the mechanics. They drill. The mechanics repeated. , then we start to increase the pressure. We never actually grab people by the neck when we're showing that.

We just hold 'em down by their shoulders. So then they go, oh, they can't get up. And then they learn how to do the move over and over till it becomes reflexive. That instills a new confidence in this person, cuz now you leave that training session completely different than when you first walked in.

That type of problem solving mentality. Applies to other aspects of their life. And we've had heard stories of people that say, Hey, like I used to have this dream that I was not able to escape when somebody pinned me. And then the other night I dreamt that I did the trap and roll and I got them off of me.

And I'm like, awesome. How did that feel? They're like, that was amazing. I feel powerful. I. . Yes. Because you are powerful. You have the knowledge. The knowledge is power. And then now they are less stressed out. Kids communicate better with their parents when they go. I'm feeling upset. I'm upset.

Good. Why? Because of a, B, C. Better communication. Mom and dads had trained with us. Oh yeah. Like my. Is upset about something. I don't know what, but obviously something is not right. So let me fix the problem. Let me talk to it. Let me approach a problem head on rather than try to, ignore it or say there's just being a kid up.

Stuff like that. So yeah. Jujitsu's very fascinating in that it reframes problems. As the problem will actually become and lead you to your. so you become less avoidant. You become more observ. That's so powerful. What's wonderful messages, right? It's been so awesome hearing from all of your different experiences that slice of pizza led you to that a wonderful journey that you've had with jiujitsu and empowerment and teaching others how to have that strong sense of confidence and really about defending versus conquering.

It's been so wonderful. So if people are learning, wanting to reach out and learn more about your business and your programs, how can they reach. They can just find us on our school website. It's tri-cities , so that's T R I C I. T I E S g h, that your school website. Or they can also go to just gracie

It's the main organization we're with and there's certified training centers all around the world. There's over 200 certified training centers, so they can find one closest to them or they can learn online. So yeah, so we're quite prolific and all the instructors are certified like myself.

You go through a very rigorous. training program on how to be a good jiujitsu instructor. . And the things that I'm espousing, the things I talk about are the things that I've learned. And yeah, we're here to help everybody learn jiujitsu because our philosophy is that everyone can learn Jiujitsu, jiujitsu is for everyone and it's beneficial for you whether it's, one day, two days every time you start at a new certified training center or you come train with us for your first time, the first 10 days is free.

So we want you to really experience. No risk. Try it out and if you like it, great, keep on going. If you don't like it, hey, 10 days lessons free. You learn something, right? Yeah, definitely. That's so wonderful. So we really appreciate your time and coming on our podcast today, and I wish you a wonderful winter season and yeah, thanks so much for joining us today.

Thank you, Haley. Happy holidays to you too.