When most people think about mastery, they envision long hours of grueling practice, sweat, blood, even tears. But, what if there’s a better way? A path to mastering not just one skill or art, but a whole host of skills – drawing from each one to enhance the other?
In this episode of the GMB Show, Ryan is joined by Josh Vogel, a black belt and instructor in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Balance Studios in Philadelphia, a Level 2 Movnat trainer, FRCms, and a Kettlebell athletics level 1 trainer.
During the conversation, you’ll learn how Josh’s playful approach to mastery involves leveraging different arts and activities to create unique opportunities for growth in situations that most people perceive as limitations.
- 06:08 – Check out Josh’s unusual morning routine in a video titled My Morning Commute.
- 11:40 – How the same strategy and outlook for creating playful exploratory days can be used to improve our skills in any other area of training.
- 13:20 – The world routinely tells you how to limit yourself. Here’s how Josh deliberately turns those perceived limits into opportunities for growth and mastery.
- 17:00 – Are you consciously composing your own movement “music” by setting your own rules and building skills in ways unique to yourself?
- 20:00 – Exposure to other disciplines and practices has enabled Josh to innovate in his mastery of Ju-Jitsu. Here’s how you can apply this model to your own practice.
- 27:00 – What are you doing to deliberately put yourself in uncomfortable situations? True mastery demands you deliberately use this as a means of growth and success.
- 31:12 – Don’t ignore the value in making your “not-so-perfect” practice available to the public. The feedback you receive is essential.
- 37:00 – Let observant playfulness guide you and you’ll find greater achievement in mastering both your day and the skills you want to learn.
- 39:18 – Josh’s final piece of advice – study everything you want to master. Treat it like an academic pursuit. Test yourself regularly.
You don’t have to buy what people are telling you. You can play with it and sort of make your own rules. That’s what I like about Jiu Jitsu. You don’t really have to take anybody’s word for it. You test it out yourself and see what happens.
Josh Vogel lives in Philadelphia, PA with his lovely wife Angela and two wayward cats, Rusty and Veda. He has been training Brazilian Jiujitsu for 12 years, received his Black belt in 2012, and teaches full time at Balance studios in Philadelphia.
Be sure to catch the next episode by subscribing to the GMB Show:
Playfulness as a Means Of Mastery
Ryan: Hey everybody. Welcome to another addition of the GMB Show. In this episode, I’m with the very cool … The very cool and very intimidating Josh Vogel. How you doing man?
Josh: Doing well, how you doing Ryan?
Ryan: Doing very well. Thank you much. Thank you much. For those of you who don’t know Josh, you’re missing out. I tell you what this guy … What you’re about 300 pounds, you’re a 10th degree black belt in … No I’m just playing.
Ryan: Yeah in everything. Got everything covered. Josh, great guy. He’s a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as well. He’s got a really cool blog. I’ve followed this for quite awhile now. Josh Vogel Art, and the cool thing is it’s not just Brazilian Jiu Jitsu oriented, there is some very cool stuff on there if you are interested in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but looking at a lot of different things on there. Something you recently posted on there, and I say recently maybe it was just that I had only seen it recently, was you posted a video of you walking to work in the morning. You know exploration basically was what you were looking at, and how a lot of us in life when we’re going somewhere we just get so focused on where we’re going, and we kind of miss out on everything that’s around us. I really love that video, because it showed you playing around with the environment around you, and actually enjoying your walk to work everyday. Before we get into some of the things we want to talk about today, if you could just give us a little bit more about yourself and entertain us with your awesomeness.
Josh: I’ll see what I can do. My name’s Josh Vogel and like Ryan said I’m a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I’ve been training Jiu Jitsu for a little bit over 12 years with Phil and Rick in Center City Philadelphia. What’s cool is that I started at the same time as my brother, and so we’re the same level and roughly the same size so I’ve been fortunate enough to have a constant training partner who’s really good at Jiu Jitsu, to kind of keep me … Get me ready for tournaments, and I help him get ready for tournaments, and we train together, and we have a great relationship. Now we teach and we work together in the same place, and we manage to get both of our wives involved in Jiu Jitsu three years ago, so now the whole family is into Jiu Jitsu.
Ryan: I love that. I love looking at your posts. Whether it be on Facebook or elsewhere, where it shows you and your wife, and you’re training together. I think it’s great that you have that, to be able to do that as well as your brother. I mean I’m very jealous to be able to have a training partner all the time around. What are some other things that I’d like to know. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu of course is a huge part of your life. I mean in fact it’s probably safe to say that it is your life, but you know something that we’ll be talking about today is how training in other things can actually supplement and let’s just say make you better at your main thing. What are some other things in your life that you’re doing right now? That you’ve found that help with your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as well as just becoming a better person?
Josh: I’m involved in doing a lot of different stuff. Right now I’m spending a lot time bouldering at a rock climbing gym near my house. I go outside when I can, but like Japan it’s very cold in Philadelphia right now so kind of rough going outside. I’ve been doing that a lot lately. Kind of been dabbling on and off for a couple years with that. I do some hand balancing. Not as much as I used to, but I kind of dabble in that a little bit. I have … I do a lot of weird stuff. Like when I thinking about what I do on a daily basis, I don’t even sound like an adult. I sound like a kid. You know, wake up and do some joint mobility stuff, and then I’ll kind of goof around the house a little bit, and dance, and play games with my cats. Then I’ll go in and I’ll wrestle with other grown ups in pajamas for the day, and on my lunch break I’ll go climb trees. Then I’ll go grapple some more with people in pajamas. Yeah it’s kind of … I’ll go rock climbing on the weekends, and mess around with some hand balancing, and meet up with friends and play … Do you know that zen archer game?
Ryan: Oh yes. Oh yeah.
Josh: I’ve been doing that a lot lately.
Ryan: Cool man. Basically what you’re saying is you don’t enjoy life at all. It’s a grind.
Josh: What’s that?
Ryan: You don’t enjoy your life at all. It’s basically just a grind day to day. Just surviving just to make it through the day, so you can watch TV at night is where you’re going. Yeah man.
Josh: Pretty much. Pretty much. You can tell by my demeanor that it’s just a gray and dreary existence.
Ryan: Exactly man. I’ll tell you it’s really tough talking to you, and ha ha ha. Seriously this is so refreshing hear, and a lot of people will say, “Oh well it must be nice to be able to do whatever you want, whenever you want kind of thing.” I like to call people out on that, because we choose to be the people that we want to be, and be the way we want to be. Even if you do have a 9-5 type job, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have these opportunities to explore and learn more about yourself. On you way to work … I want to kind of come back to this video that you posted, because I thought it was really cool, is … For those of you who don’t know about this video, can you just maybe explain it a little bit about what was going on in this video on your way to work and why you created it?
Josh: Basically one of the things that I’ve noticed over the years, different jobs that I’ve had, I would have to get up a different times in the morning. I’ve waited tables, and done construction, worked for moving companies, all kinds of stuff. When I’m traveling to work, whether it’s on my bike or walking or whatever, I’ve always seen people … A lot of people that don’t really look very happy. I mean you can’t really tell that much about people’s whole life by the way they look when they’re on a bus or something, but I decided that I didn’t want to look like that whenever I was going to where I worked, no matter what the job was. What I started doing years ago was just if I’m walking to work, or if I’m riding my bike, I’ll stop and if I see something that looks fun to play on, I’ll play on it for awhile. Whether it’s like a jungle gym or … As long as it’s something that’s not going to get me arrested I’ll run, and jump, and climb, and mess around on it.
Now I’ll stop and do some hand stands, or crawl around on something, and just whatever looks like fun and whatever pops into my head. Climb a little bit of a building. Like I said I try not to get arrested, but I try not to worry my wife too much also, because she … I don’t tell her all the stuff that I do-
Ryan: Smart guy.
Josh: -because she’ll put a stop on that. You know as long as it’s fun. I just want to enjoy my morning, enjoy my lunch break, enjoy the time that I have. I guess that’s how I would explain it. Just having fun on the way to work.
Ryan: What really got me about this, is the fact that you choose to do this, and so we all have that choice like I said before. A lot of people my be thinking well I don’t have the time to do that on my way to work, but I mean you do. It’s not like you need to set aside 30 minutes in order to do this. No you don’t have to do it, you get to do it. This exploration and what I liked another thing about it is that even though you might be going on the same way to work every single day, if you’re looking out for different opportunities to explore and play, then every single day that becomes different. You might even see something on your way to work, and you might not have that time that day, and you can only spend a couple minutes on doing something. Then the next day you can come back to it and try something else. I think-
Josh: You know … Sorry.
Ryan: Yeah yeah, no I was just trying to think this is great because I know there’s a lot of people that might be thinking about working out, and I need to get fit or whatever. The thing is you always have the opportunity to explore, and then by doing this you’re actually becoming fit simply because you’re moving more. You’re trying to use your body in ways that you didn’t think about before, and also mentally fit. I think this is a big one. Setting yourself up for a good day, because let’s be honest a lot of use when we go to work we’re just thinking about all the crap we have to do throughout the day.
Josh: Yep. I’ve got this thing at 3 o’clock. I’ve got to-
Ryan: Yeah right. Yeah man, so it was … That’s a big thing with me, because I don’t want to wake up be absolutely frustrated or flustered before I have to start my day. It’s just going to set your day off on a bad foot.
Josh: You know what’s cool about it too? I know Rafe Kelly talked about it a little bit, and I can’t remember if it was Amos Rendao or Ryan Ford, a well known parkour guy was talking about this too. They talk about parkour vision. I kind of think it’s the same thing. If you’re looking for stuff to play on … Like a little kid. They run around, or my cats even, they see a crumpled up piece of paper on the ground as something to play with. I have a yoga mat on the ground right now, they chew on it. My one cat got in a fight with the yoga mat earlier today. It’s the same thing, when I’m walking to work or I’m walking somewhere during a lunch break or anything like that, you start to look at stuff differently. You start to develop a sense of like, “Oh that looks like fun. That looks like something I could climb on. That’s no longer a bench, that’s something I could crawl on, or I could climb.” I noticed that with skateboarding when I was kid too, I great up skateboarding. When you skateboard you get this, no matter where you go, everything looks like, “Oh man I wonder if I could put wax on that and skate on it. I wonder if I could you know…” It’s not like a park bench anymore, it’s something you could do a board slide on.
Ryan: Yeah, and going back to looking at how we can do other things in order to help us get better at our main thing. I think where it’s going is that by looking around you and seeing that it’s not just a bench, it’s something to crawl on, it’s something to jump over. That playfulness, that exploration then goes back into our other things. Whether it be our job. Whether it be our relationships with other people. Whether it be our Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instead of let’s say just focusing … Of course you focus on a technique, but looking at that technique after you’ve done it a little bit, and then trying to see it for something that it could be that you might not have thought about. I don’t know. De la riva. Going into a bolo, but instead taking mount. Whatever. I mean I’m just throwing stuff out there. Instead of saying, “Oh it has to be this. This bench is simply for sitting.” No it doesn’t.
You can make it whatever you want it to be, as long as you let yourself do that. I think that a lot of us get kind of stuck in thinking that things have to be a certain way. That’s why I wanted to talk to you, because it’s just cool seeing how you do things, when you put things on your blog and the way that you express yourself. Even on Facebook, the things you’re talking about. I’m like yeah that’s really cool, that’s a good way of looking at it.
Ryan: Instead of just saying, “Oh it’s got to be this particular way.” Go ahead you were going to say something.
Josh: It’s trippy too. What you just said reminded me of … You know half guard right?
Josh: I was talking to my brother about this awhile ago, and so when you look at a park bench, the world tells you that park bench is for sitting on. That’s what you do with a park bench, and if you start to think differently about stuff and you don’t necessarily take other people’s words for it, you can do a lot with a park bench. You can do a lot … If somebody tells you that half guard is … If you’re on bottom of half guard it’s a bad position, and that’s how people used to think about. Like, “Oh man you’re on bottom of half guard. You better get your guard back, or your guard is almost passed. You’re going to be in trouble in a second, and you’re going to get smashed.” Then people started questioning that. Like, “You know what? Maybe that’s not true. Maybe I could sweep somebody from half guard. Maybe I could knee bar them, or take the back.” Once you reframe things … I don’t know. I mean you don’t have to buy what people are telling you. You can play with it and sort of make your own rules. That’s what I like about Jiu Jitsu. You don’t really have to take anybody’s word for it. You test it out yourself and see what happens.
Ryan: Another thing too is you find out what works for you, and it’s not just about, “Okay it has to be this way.” It’s figuring out what’s good for you, and maybe a particular guard is good for you but maybe not good for someone else. This is something too with me getting back into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I’m finding that actually things that I used to do, because Judo of course was my big thing, little habits and things that I had where I thought it had to be a particular way, I’m finding that no it doesn’t have to be. It just has to be something that works for you, and another thing too, that you enjoy. I think that’s another big thing that I try and do, is make sure that no matter what I do right now, there are certain stages that you have to go through.
Where you might not completely enjoy something so much, but learning about it in order to make it better, make your game a little bit better. I don’t even want to say game, but in the sense, game for me is that playfulness of the game. There are a lot of people out there, if we’re talking about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, they might not like a particular technique. The thing is if you don’t know about that technique and know what’s going on within that technique, you’re not going to be able to defend it when someone is putting it on you, or trying it out on you. I think the same goes for looking at that park bench that we’re talking about. If you’re saying, “No I just want to use this for sitting.” Great, but also looking at it from a different point of view and saying it could be this way. Even if it’s something that you might not enjoy doing all the time, someday it might be and having that ability to look at things for what they could be instead of what people tell you they should be, I think my first step in order to become better at whatever else I wanted to.
Josh: I think people kind of dip their toe a little bit too with that. I think people want to think that way. There’s a big park in Philly that I ride my bike by all the time called Rittenhouse Park, and there’s park benches. People sit in the park benches, but then maybe a jogger will jog by the park bench and do some push ups on it. They’ll put their foot up on it and stretch a little bit, and they’ll dip their toe in playing with another way to use it. I think the trick is just why stop there? Why not okay cool you can do some push ups on it, maybe I don’t know why not try crawling on it? Why not try to see if you can hang from the underside of it, or climb it like a rock, or jump over it you know?
Ryan: Yeah, something right now on Instagram, I mean this was awhile ago, was that the hot lava challenge. Where people were talking about they would climb over each other and stuff. I actually did it, but the thing is this is a drill that I’m sure you’ve done numerous times in Jiu Jitsu, but we used to do this in Judo all the time. The cool thing is, to me, is that even though the particular people who were bringing this up looked at this is as their hot lava challenge, there was a lot of people I know in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community who were like, “Oh well that’s cute. Look at these people who are trying to do stuff that we’re doing.” I looked it at a little differently as like I think it’s cool. It’s not this groups particular thing, it’s movement, that’s all it is. It’s being looked at in a different way.
Josh: Yeah as a game you know?
Ryan: Yeah right. It’s just movement and whatever. Unfortunately we do find, and I’m sure in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community, there are people who say, “No it’s this way and if you do a particular movement then it’s not pure Jiu Jitsu”, or something like that. You do find that in the movement world. Where people are saying that’s not sure, it’s not good, or someone is copying me or something like that. I don’t know, I always liked to look at movement as music. In the sense that music has a certain set of notes. Whereas the body, there’s only a certain way that we can all move. All the movements have pretty much been created. It’s a matter of how you put those movements together in order to create your own music. It doesn’t mean that it’s incorrect, it doesn’t mean that it’s correct either. It’s just your expression of that music, and having that way of thinking of trying to take yourself out of a particular situation, and stepping back and seeing things for what it could be instead of for what someone is just doing and you just copying it.
This is actually something, sorry I’m kind of rambling on, but something that I’ve really been focusing on recently. What I do, in limiting myself with one particular movement and then instead of trying to say okay I’m going to try all these different skills and stuff. Going to the very very basics and focusing just on that one basic movement for me, but seeing how many different ways I can get in and out of that movement. By limiting myself it’s actually just for one, almost freeing myself up from thinking I have to do all of this other stuff. What it’s actually doing is making me more creative and forcing me to come up with these new variations, or at least new for me. Getting in and out of them. I’m just loving it. Absolutely loving it.
Josh: It’s a great thing, and then what you were talking about with the lava game too. I mean what’s cool about that is some Jiu Jitsu people might look at that and be like, “Oh we do that blah blah blah.” What I think is cool about people who are not Jiu Jitsu people experimenting with that kind of stuff, and whether they got it from Jiu Jitsu people or somewhere else, what’s cool is they have a different take on it.
Ryan: Yes. Yeah.
Josh: Somebody like a rock climber might approach that in a totally different way than a Jiu Jitsu person. They might … As they’re hooking onto somebody’s shoulder they might use a cool grip that another person might never think to use. By almost outsourcing that game to other people, you can figure out new and cool stuff from it. That’s sort of the heart of what we’re talking about right?
Ryan: That’s such a good … You know that’s a great point, because let’s be honest we can get sucked into that mind frame of only what we know, and by actually throwing things out there or going into a completely different field like we were talking about earlier, you know rock climbing. Well you can learn different things in rock climbing that are probably going to help your grip for Jiu Jitsu, and likewise looking at some of the newer techniques that are coming out of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, going beyond Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and looking at some of the training mythologies and ways that people are training their bodies in order to help you get better at moving better within your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
This could be a mental thing as well. Learning new ways, being able to relax while someone is pinning you down or whatnot. This is actually a big part, especially in Judo because it’s such pinning game rather then just going for the subs all the time, was that being calm under pressure. Of course that’s very relevant in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but also for any kind of movement that we do. Making sure that your movements are, not just going through them, but thinking about what’s going through them. You have this awareness and this calm confidence of being able to move in that movement, and then gradually ramping that movement up to a point where it’s going beyond the next level while still being safe. Then you’re able to actually apply it in a live situation. This is actually something recently that you posted in an article in ‘Breaking Muscle’.
Josh: Oh yeah yeah. From the one I put out maybe last week or something?
Ryan: Yeah. Exactly.
Josh: About the intensity.
Ryan: Yeah I just remembered that, and I actually shared that because I thought it was so wonderful. Yeah go ahead for the-
Josh: Thanks for mentioning that by the way.
Ryan: Say again?
Josh: I appreciate you doing that. That was nice of you to share the article.
Ryan: No that was great. Go ahead, for the people who haven’t read that could you go ahead into a little bit about that? Of taking the process there, because it’s a wonderful process. It can be applied to a lot of other things beyond just Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Josh: The model is … In Jiu Jitsu we learn a technique and repeat it with a partner for repetition. They’re not resisting us, they’re letting us do the move, and then that way you get a sense of how the body mechanics for the move work. Then one way of training is to take that and you start putting that move into what’s called positional or situational sparring. Where you take that move that you’re working on, and then you tell your partner, “Okay now don’t let me do the move. Give me like 30% resistance, 50% resistance.” Then things get more complicated because they’re not letting you do the move anymore, so you have to deal with things like stress, tension, anxiety, physical pressure, somebody gripping on you and you just can’t break their grip. Things get a lot more complicated, but you do it gradually in such a way that it’s not like you can’t do the move at all, it’s just you kind of up the challenge a little bit. Make it a little bit more complex and more lifelike.
Matt Thorton, who’s a pretty prolific Jiu Jitsu writer, he talks a lot about aliveness training. That’s sort of the idea. You’re just taking something that is a static movement with a compliant partner that’s sort of dead, and bringing some life into it and making more challenging and more complex. Then using it in sparring, and I think you can take that model and you can apply it to other things. You can apply it to hand balancing, you can apply it parkour, you can apply to chess, you can apply it to picking your nose if you want. You can take something where there’s a predictable outcome, and you can start to add variety and unpredictably, and a little bit of randomness to it. I think that’s a good way to test your skills.
Ryan: It doesn’t just have to be against a partner, which is the cool thing. The example you gave was you and your brother, one of the videos and going through that process of doing that incremental progression leading up towards a video of you in competition. Where you were going for that particular movement which you were really after, which is really cool. Looks at it as an individual … Go ahead.
Josh: It doesn’t have to be against a partner. It could be … If you’re used to running and jumping over stuff in an urban environment, then maybe you take it out into a more natural environment. Then maybe you take it into a natural environment during a rainstorm, or you know you climb a tree and you go high up and it’s really windy out. It’s moving around a little bit and it challenges your balance more. You know be careful. Don’t climb 80 feet up into a tree during a rainstorm, but there’s so many different ways to make things more complex, and more challenging, and random. Just besides working with a partner.
Ryan: Absolutely. Something this really reminded me of is getting in front of the camera and doing tutorials, and then also doing live events that are being recorded. When we first started off in G and B, I was so scared to get in front of the camera, and nervous, and it’s awkward, and you don’t know what’s going on, but I was able to break things down and slowly build up to where now I’m very comfortable getting in front a large group of people. Teaching, talking, and recording and whatnot. It’s not one of those things where you just jump into the deep end. That article actually reminded me of that, and how you can break things down. If you do know where you want to go with it, then you reverse engineer it, and you break it down and slowly add this incremental progression. Levels of intensity, both physically and mentally in order to slowly get to you a point where you’re able to use this at a particular level that is extremely high, and has a very high percentage of you being successful with it. Let’s be honest that’s what we’re after. We don’t want to do something and break our shit, as I like to say a lot.
Josh: That’s a great example though, your teaching example. I do online instructional as well and I teach group classes, so it’s one thing when I pre-plan the technique and I’m filming it and I know what I’m going to say. The conditions are perfect and everything’s great, and the filing goes fine. Then it’s a different thing when I’m teaching a live person, or a group of live people, especially my peers who are asking really good relevant questions. Like, “Well what if the guy … What if you’re trying to choke me but I block like this.” Oh man now I’ve got to think of an answer you know? If I don’t know the answer I have to really think about that and then really open up a dialogue with them. It goes from being like a static and planned thing, to more of an interactive live thing. Where you really have to be thinking on your feet. Like, “Wow I never really thought of that. That’s cool. Maybe if you tried to block my choke that way, maybe I would try to grab your wrist and try this. What do you think about that?” It turns into a discussion instead of a … I don’t know if that makes sense or not.
Ryan: No it does, and I like it because I think it’s so important too, what you’re getting at. I’m going to kind of go off on a little bit of a tangent about this. Always challenging our self. Putting our self … Make sure that we have the skills to be able to be challenged, but never have things in a way that, even though we practice, we don’t put our self into those challenges. I’m not making any sense here. Basically what I’m trying to say is, for example if you’re always careful, and you’re always behind the camera, and it’s always planned, and it might have taken some time to get to the point where you are very comfortable in front of the camera speaking. If you only do that, then I don’t think you’re going to be growing as a person. By actually putting yourself out there in these incremental progressions, getting to the point where you are being challenged I think is extremely important. In the example of you went from being maybe a one way communication sort of thing to being an interactive, dynamic, living, and growing entity. Which I think as people is wonderful. I think a lot of people though shy away from that, because they’re scared. Simply because they don’t have the skills basically to be able to do that.
Josh: Yeah and I think sometimes too, people are afraid of failure.
Josh: In teaching I know a lot of people … I’m lucky that I’m surrounded by people that are good teachers, but I know in teaching that there are some people that when they teach a class, they don’t like people to ask questions because they’re scared that they won’t know the answer, or they take it as a challenge. Like, “How dare you ask me. I know the move.” I think that … It’s the same thing … For example if somebody posts a really beautiful video of them crawling or doing a hand stand, then that’s awesome. Then if they … Like something that they can control, but then that hand stand or that crawling is going to look a lot less beautiful if you’re playing a crawling game with somebody, and they’re throwing stuff at you, or they’re trying to grab your leg while you’re crawling. If you’re doing a hand stand video and your form is beautiful and perfect, but then all of the sudden your cat starts rubbing up against your arm when you’re upside down, and you start to lose your balance a little bit. I think people sometimes don’t want other people to see them, not failing but not perfect. They don’t want to seem like they don’t know, or they don’t want to see, vulnerable.
Ryan: Exactly right. I mean let’s just be honest, that’s Facebook. I mean we only see, typically, you only see the best performance that this person has done. This is something that I actually have talked about this numerous times. People have asked me, “Why would you not post your best?” Well okay great. Post your best, but I think that something else people need to understand is that … You know even me. Let’s say I post a picture … What did I … Yesterday I posted a picture of me doing these doing these push up things.
Josh: Oh yeah yeah. On the parallettes right?
Ryan: Yeah on the parallettes. Okay. That was my best at that time. It’s not perfect, but me right now I want to get better and I want to put things out so that simply, one I can inspire. That’s something I’m after. People my age, not just my age, but if there’s a person out there who may think oh I can’t do that. If I can do it, you can do it, that’s what I want it to be. I’m not going to hold off and wait until I have a perfect with legs together, and form, before I post stuff. I’m really trying to get more into that, and showing that it’s not about being perfect, it’s about doing the work and putting yourself out there in order to challenge yourself to become better. Something I actually just talked about this morning, on a different interview, was the process of things. We’re so goal oriented that we sometimes miss out on the actual process, and the enjoyment, and the awareness of the journey. I think if we could become more focused on that, and understand that the only way that we do get better is by challenging our self, but also by getting feedback and expressing and talking with people. Like you and I, what we’re doing right now. I’m learning a lot talking to you. Getting rid of the ego, the big thing too.
Josh: You know and being cool with looking stupid and not knowing any figures. It’s like that video that I posted, that you were talking about, the morning commute video. I mean I got a little bit of feedback from people. Like, “Aw that looks like a parkour video, or your forms not good”, but I got off the bus and … Am I allow to curse?
Ryan: Have at it.
Josh: I got off the bus and I just woke up, and I felt like shit, and I filmed a video real quick. I wanted to leave it like that. I thought about maybe doing a couple takes and seeing if I could make like a nicer jump onto one of the concrete things, or whatever, or a nicer hand stand or something. That’s kind of not the point. The point is you wake up and maybe you feel like shit because you trained the next day, and you get off the bus, and you’re walking to work, and something looks like fun. Even if you look like crap jumping on it, and you’re not graceful, and it just looks ridiculous. Fuck it. Do it anyway.
Josh: I wasn’t trying to make a nice parkour video. I was trying to make a video that looked like somebody who was really walking to work just decided to jump on some shit.
Ryan: It was inspirational, and that’s why I think I loved it so much. To be honest the fact that it wasn’t some incredible double back flip from this to this, and you just nailed the landing kind of thing. It was like this is Josh-
Josh: It’s perfect though.
Ryan: -just going … It was perfect.
Josh: That was the important part.
Ryan: That’s the most important thing, and you nailed it just for Facebook.
Ryan: Throw that arm out there. Yeah you got it. That was what it was. You were just walking to work and it was like, “Yeah just on my way to work, I just thought I’d do this.” Cool. It’s like well shit, if Josh is doing that why am I not doing that every single day kind of thing? Let’s just be honest it goes across the board for everything that we’re doing. There’s so many people like you said, that are fearful of what other people might think of them, and it’s holding them back from doing the things that they really want to but they’re scared to. Like that park bench you know? “Well no this is for sitting. Maybe if I try and jump over it somebody will think I’m weird and make fun of me.” Who gives a shit? Try it. You’re never going to grow if you don’t try.
Josh: I don’t even know if it’s just where I live or what, but when I do all these weird stuff people barely even look at me. If you watch the video, there was one part where I’m doing a hand stand in the middle of the street on a side walk, and some lady just walks right by me and didn’t even look. People don’t care. They’re thinking about other stuff. They might look over and just be like, “Oh weird a dude falling on the ground. Whatever.” They just keep walking, because that’s another thing of feedback I got from some people too. They thought it was cool, and they were worried if people would judge them if they did this, but really people don’t care.
Ryan: Something I said about that was, give people something to talk about in their work day.
Ryan: Over in Japan … Over here in Japan, I mean I’ve stood out for so many years, that now it’s just like whatever. When you stop caring about what people thing, then you start living and it’s cool thing. I do need to be clear though. I’m not telling people to go out and do stupid shit, and do things that affect other people. For example I’m not going to get on a train here in Japan and do something. Culturally that’s not a good thing. It will disrupt things, but what I am saying is look at opportunities that allow you to explore and maybe take you out of your comfort zone, and start your day off right. I think instead of thinking about all the things that you need to be doing or whatever, no first start off … I do things a little bit differently. With me I start my day off with meditation, and that’s simply so I can get my head in the right place for the day.
Instead of waking up right away, checking my email, and maybe seeing a text that disturbs me. Then the rest of the morning I’m thinking ah crap I shouldn’t have looked at my phone or something. I think we all have that kind of too, but going back to the fear thing. Don’t let fear rule your life. If you do have trouble with thinking, “Okay what am I doing here? What should I be doing?” Then just ask somebody you know? Send Josh an email. Send me an email. If we can help you out, hey we will. Anyway. I think we’re going to have to end it here man. It’s been a pleasure. I want to get you on the show again man. We can talk about some fun, weird, wacky stuff. Until then man, leave us with some final advice for the listeners today. Anything. Something crazy. Just throw it out there.
Josh: Throw it out there? Final advice. Study. If you’re interested in something, study about it. The internet is awesome. You can Google stuff. If you’re interested in Icelandic mud wrestling. Go on Google, check it out, research about it. My advice is if you want to get good at something, then study it like you would study an academic subject in school. If you want to get good at Jiu Jitsu, then treat Jiu Jitsu as something that is fun obviously, but if you want to develop skill in it, break it down. Try to study what you’re doing. Pay attention to what you’re doing. Test yourself regularly through sparring, rolling, whatever competition if you like competition. Then pay attention to what you did well, and pay attention to what you did wrong. Then try to learn from that. That was on the fly. That probably didn’t make any sense.
Ryan: No man that was great. It does make sense. Yeah so, cool man. Next time that we talk we’ll be talking Icelandic mud wrestling. I think that’s our topic for the next one. What do you think?
Josh: I’m going to study up.
Ryan: I think that’s good man. A full hour of just that. All right everybody thanks for listening. Until next time explore. Get out in the morning. Look at what’s going on around you. Explore your environment. Thanks man. Talk to you soon.
Josh: Thanks Ryan. Appreciate it bud.
Be sure to catch the next episode by subscribing to the GMB Show: