Friday, August 31, 2012

Anti-porn Tactics.

I don't even know what to say anymore. I've written before on how sex selling isn't the 5th law of thermodynamics.  I've seen that post plastered around the internet. I will NEVER understand how something (naked pics of greezy chix) that is readily available for FREE, all across the internet, is so universally accepted to be a good advertising strategy. I will not understand why companies don't (apparently) understand how that can tarnish your brand EVEN in male dominated niches.

But that's not for me to understand. Understanding alone seldom changes much. All I know is that I'm tired and insulted and instead of even mentioning the company (an feeding controversy that DOES make them more $) that's up to stupid tricks again, I'll just be offering its competitors free advertising on my blog. Done. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Business in BJJ: How much for jiu jitsu?

Can over an brought a great discussion to my attention today. Check it out here at They're discussing whether it's reasonably possible to make a good living--like six figures good--as a BJJ instructor. We all know Lloyd, Marcelo and Renzo, but how many non-household names are pulling it off? The OP asked a great question.

While I can only guess how many are really "living the dream", this response gets at the heart of what I think is key...

A lot of people have this romantic idea of BJJ being taught by a carefree brazillian that shows up late teaches a wonderful class and then rolls around all while dispensing yoda like pearls of wisdom...From what I've seen those guys can't pay rent and usually don't end up having their own spot...Most of the places I've seen that are successful are run by people who are the actual main teacher and treat it like an honest to goodness day job...there are contracts, they sell overpriced merchandise all the usual stuff that people on message boards laugh and point fingers at.

Did you hear that? The money's not coming just from teaching. All the big names out there...they all know that if you want to succeed as a business, you're at an advantage if you have money coming in from multiple directions. Forget just BJJ/MMA, this is great advice for life. I don't know why this song isn't sung as much lately, but these days, with the concept of a reliable job lying snugly six feet under, it's something everyone should think about.

So will you be a Lloyd or a Yoda? Live for the jitsu or the checkbook? I am not a fan of the hard sell. I'm very "soft" as far as MBAs go, so I know that's a rough line to walk. I love the idea of a currency-less society (there's a reason I'm a Trekkie), but the pragmatist in me fights eternal. Most people who train actually love and have a deep respect for jiu jitsu, so there will always be that internal conflict.

Why? Because money being what people have made it, sullies anything whose worth it measures. That said, setting a price communicates value. It's why Rolex* tripled their price in the early 20th century to set itself apart (it worked beautifully and they saw sales soar in response to perceived value). There are simply some things for which value is not obvious (rolling around on the ground with sweaty men?). Sometimes people need the cue of cost to part with their cash. Free is nice, Free is friendly,but free also sends a message of expendability. Moral of the story? Know what your market will tolerate, but do not undercharge for your services. (If you're running or starting a business, click that link. Explore that site. Use their services.)

The sinews of war, the love of which is the root of all evil, the shakles of labor--call it what you will, but money reflects and magnifies what we human beings are like. I'm willing to guess that the reason many of us don't want to charge what our services are worth is because then...then we will get real, concrete feedback about where we stand in the world where we sell. If we constantly undercharge, people will always marvel about how wonderful a product they get for so little. We will never tire of hearing the inflation of our value magnified by the deflation of cost...but if we charge what we're worth, a friend might not find our instruction to merit his $125 a month and instead choose a bar tab over becoming a blue belt. We will, in short, have to attach a real, unflinching number to what we may dream is invaluable. We may have to say no to that student we cut a deal for who's SUPER dedicated for all of 5 months, but who never internalized the true worth of our time and attention because he was never forced to. We may have to accept that what we find priceless, others find overpriced. That's hard and that's real.

*it's been a while since I took a marketing course and Rolex might be the wrong watch maker

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Awesome promotion photos

Great belt ceremony today! Lots of laughs, throws, bright new belts and some cheesecake. There were lots of great shots, but these two stood out. This guy right here knows how to rep our school. Props to you, sir. Props indeed.

The upper belts. Pure pictorial awesomeness.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Bigger-er and Stronger-er!

Just got an announcement today for Stephan Kesting's next installment of the Bigger Stronger series. This one features Brandon Mullins and you can pre-order here.

I do enjoy a series and love the fact that he's addressing this concept across multiple DVDs with different guest instructors. Quite cool.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

What head holes and a busted wrist have taught me.

So last night was my first night back in about...3 weeks. I've been down from a tweaked wrist and 2 weeks recovering from wisdom tooth surgery (impacted molars are evil).

Number 1 lesson? My defenses are WAY too late. I found myself tapping to moderate pressure to my jaw after a triangle set up and unable to use my usual arm bar defenses because apparently, I put a lot of pressure on my wrist when trying to reestablish posture.  But that made me realize that I'm not fighting hard enough to keep my arms from getting isolated. It's worse from open guard...I still freeze. I was glad to get to test out the open guard of a newer blue...I've gotten used to JazzHands', and while I still can't pass it regularly, I've gotten used to his build and managing his movements and the use of his longer body. This guy was shorter, more compact, lighter, faster and more explosive.

I was INSANELY tired afterward. I got up thinking that MAYBE I'd make it to ginastica this morning but I was sick and lightheaded for hours after I woke up. My body still seems a bit beaten after 2 weeks of antibiotics and Vicodin. Training made me dizzy and light headed, but I'm back on squats, pushups (modified) and situps.

I HAVE to stop stopping after I pin a leg and start going straight for an underhook on the opposite side. It'll be something to drill when LadyBug comes back in a couple of weeks. Woo!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Old School Wisdom on Sugar

I've done a week with basically no activity thanks to the removal of my wisdom teeth. I've been eating around 5-800 calories a mantra has been "Eating enough to stay alive and sleeping enough to stay sane." Nothing more. If I didn't have to take food with drugs I'd have stopped eating altogether. Chewing just wasn't worth it.

So yesterday I was able to chew a bit more, so I was able to eat a bit more, so I decided I could do a bit more. Crunches. I wanted crunches. I did 50. Around 25 I started thinking about the first time I decided to try, on my own, to improve my physical self. I was 16 and decided that I should be able to do more crunches. I remember making it to 5 before my back started to burn terribly. I figured I was broken. I made it to 50 and my 16 year old self smiled somewhere inside me. My 32 year old self needed a nap.

I was able to squash a doughnut and get that down today, which means..if I'm able to chew that, it's time to start getting back on Paleo. I ran across this today. Jack Lalanne teaching the evils of sugar...over 50 years ago. Pretty sad that his message didn't stick.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Getting my wisdom teeth out rocked!! (and Paleo stuff)

That's a bare-faced lie btw.

I went this morning and overall it was weird, uncomfortable and now I'm just swimming in this weird haze of almost-pain (despite drugs) warning myself not to fall into the modern day way of thinking that every minor discomfort needs to be medicated away. I somewhat blame myself for waiting until 32 to get it done...but honestly, any younger and I likely would have come to with a deep RNC sunk on the surgeon as the nurse looked on in horror.

So yeah...I knew about the soft foods and no straws. Everyone I've mentioned it to has hailed wisdom tooth extraction as an opportunity to eat ice cream and mashed potatoes for a week plus, and for a split second, I rejoiced...but then I thought of the strides I've been making on easing into paleo and realized I had neither an excuse nor the desire to wipe that all away with a week's work. instead, I'm living off mock chive mashed potatoes, pureed broccoli/spinach, cilantro soup with crab, mashed yams, scrambled eggs, protein shakes, sweet potato curry soup, and water. Not saying some chocolate pudding won't sneak its way in there, but it will be the exception, not the rule.

Still...sitting here, trying to get down a plate of scrambled eggs (It's been an hour. I tire of trying to simultaneously get enough nourishment to heal well and prevent dry socket in 4 different wounds), I'm coming to think this will make it easier to take my next step in taking on up processed sweetness. My issue with food isn't so much one of emotion, I simply find taste fascinating. Taking on paleo has as much been an exercise in tempering my taste buds to appreciate a different spectrum of flavors as one in self control.

So yes, conquering my greatest dental fear may well prove to be instrumental in tackling my most glaring dietary weakness.