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Almost Run Over? Good. Glad It Was Me.

After exiting the grocery store and while walking to my car, I was nearly run over. Not "Oh, some driver who lost me in a blind spot almost bumped me with their car" run over. 
Rather, a driver who presumably didn't check her mirrors, and certainly didn't turn her head, and traveling at a surprising speed while casually chatting with the passenger in her vehicle, nearly ran clear over me. 
And I'm grateful for it.
Note: There is nothing implied by, or attached to, me citing the driver's gender. It's simply a fact that helps me use the proper pronoun to the tell this story. 
The day was gorgeous and I was happy to feel the warm summer sun on my skin walking out of the store. In my ears Joe Rogan and Henry Rollins -- two men who share perspectives for which I have deep respect -- were having a conversation, via Rogan's podcast (Youtube version here). 
My bags were light, carrying only a couple cans of black beans and some vegetable broth -- enough food s…
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My First Rear Naked Choke

"Being that you've never done this before, you may have a sore throat tomorrow," says my longtime friend and new jiu-jitsu teacher.

Sitting on the mat inside his barn-studio, heavy bags hanging from ceiling joists, a pull-up bar on chains, and air conditioner roaring in a fight with the 90 degree weather outside, I'm preparing to be introduced to the rear naked choke (RNC).

My friend -- "P" I'll call him -- slowly explains what the RNC is,  and when and how it can be applied. There's much more to the hold than P is covering, but he's giving me the basics, one small bite at a time. Good thing too, because learning jiu-jitsu, like everything else I've done, likely will be best done just so: slowly, methodically, and with detailed, hands-on training. Hands-on is quickly what this lesson becomes.

For some visual aid, P and I got in front of a mirror hanging on the wall next to the double barn doors. P, explaining again the several steps to effec…

MMA is misunderstood

The further in love I fall with jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts in general, the more need I feel to articulate how the sports, and lifestyles, impress me.

While finishing the book, Into The Cage: The Rise of UFC Nation, written by Nick Gullo, I read the following passage that sums nicely MMA as a sport.

"MMA is the most misunderstood sport on the planet. On talk shows and news reports, critics wag fingers and complain that hand-to-hand combat somehow undermines society -- but their arguments ignore how this 'mock combat' unites and inspires us. Whether it's reality-as-theater or theater-as-reality, the hero's journey transcends borders, languages, and cultures; and for the fighters, the cage is the field upon which they test their resolve." (pg. 211. Into the Cage: The Rise of UFC Nation. 2013. Gullo)

It's true that MMA is misunderstood, and changing anyone's perception of the sport is not on my list of things to do. If someone is turned-off by the v…

Miesha Tate Podcast Interview with John Morgan on The MMA Roadshow

On The MMA Road Show with John Morgan, episode 173, former UFC Bantamweight powerhouse Miesha Tate gave a great interview not just by checking the boxes on routine questions, but for giving praise to current UFC fighters, especially Rose Namajunas; the sort of praise that speaks well to the recipient and the giver.

During the interviews first half, Tate spoke about how, in retirement, her family comes first. While she still feels competitive -- enough to consider a grappling tournament -- and has plenty of post fight-career financial opportunities from which to choose, she’s enjoying a low public profile.

When asked about what she’s got going on these days, Tate prioritizes her new daughter, Mia, and maintains her commitment to her SiriusXM internet-radio show, followed by appearances on pre-fight shows and other such media events.

Competing at some level is also on on her list of things to do.

Pregnancy didn’t slow Tate’s will to train. Said Tate, "I stayed really active and bu…

Jiu-Jitsu Highlights Personal Growth Opportunities

Ever had things you already knew to be true confirmed at the expense of your ego? You know, like failing a math test when you already knew you sucked at math. Or looking like a nervous wreck while trying to give a presentation, knowing full-well that public speaking isn’t your jam?

To a lesser extent, in my second jiu-jitsu class last night, some of my shortcomings, which weren’t news to me, were highlighted. Not highlighted by people pointing and laughing, or being publicly called out in any fashion; rather, well aware of weak areas in my life, these personal limitations are accentuated in jiu-jitsu in such a way that I want them to be under the microscope; I want to embrace them; and I want to improve them. Because of these desires for awareness, acceptance, and betterment of my deficiencies, jiu-jitsu is showing itself to be an excellent vehicle for self-improvement.


Jiu-jitsu, at least the way it’s being taught to me, is stressing two broad areas in my life that need a…

First Jiu-Jitsu Class

In the past, I've found a way to do a thing -- let’s say, stack firewood. And that way worked. Perhaps it wasn't the most efficient way to stack firewood but the result was good. The means, however, were predicated on will, effort, and/ or strength -- whatever the task called for.

Unfortunately, I spent little time developing a better system for work; a more efficient means to the end. The wood got stacked well and that was enough to feel proud of a task well done. The means may have exhausted me, but I felt pride from that relatively thoughtless exertion.

For me, therein lies the problem: I could have been more thoughtful, thus more efficient. Perhaps with some planning, I could have used less energy to achieve the same, or better, result. And isn’t that a good idea? Achieving a desired goal in as efficient a manner as possible?

After my first jiu-jitsu class, that idea of using less energy, a more efficient means, to reach the desired objective, was really driven home. What…

New to playing cigar box guitar? Start with Shane Speal's beginner lesson

Shane Speal -- the driving force behind the modern cigar box guitar movement -- got called out on his video lessons... they weren't basic enough!

So Shane responded with this 6:33 minute video...
How to Play Cigar Box Guitar - The very BEGINNING lesson!

In this lesson, geared towards the absolute beginner, you'll learn:

 How to hold a pick Slideshow to fit to your fingerwhich finger to use How to play with a slidedon't mash the stringshold right over the fret Quick lick (to get you playing right away) Picking handstrumming pattern for quick lick

With great close-ups on both the slide and picking hands, and essential basic playing tips, this beginner lesson gives you the tools to find immediate success playing your cigar box guitar.

What's your favorite beginner cigar box guitar lesson?