adversity, competition, disgusting, Inspirational Monday, nutrition, strategy

Advice Time

Sometimes people ask me for advice about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Since I’m a post modern semi millenial, I’m going to start a semi-regular advice column where I answer people’s  questions with the unblinking honesty and laser precision they have come to expect.

Have a question you need answered?  Leave it in the comments or email

Without further ado.

Long time reader, first time question!  I’m new to bjj and nervous about competing.  How do I mentally prepare for my first competition?

Good question!  Being nervous is part of the game.  A good way to get in the right headspace and fight those butterlies is to close your eyes and visualize success.  So let’s try it together.  Close your eyes… what do you see?  What you SHOULD be seeing is a flaming skull, floating in the darkness, laughing into the void.  Laughing at all your hopes and dreams and at all the aspirations that came before you and shall come after. You should see this every time you close your eyes, actually.  Just open yourself up to the darkness, man, and those jitters will fade in no time!

What supplements do you take?

Good question!  Just lots of organ meat and diet coke for me!

Hi!  I’m a blue belt who feels like I’ve really plateaued in my training.  The white belts are catching up to me, and the high belts keep smashing me.  How can I break through? 

Good question!  Like any sport, plateaus are inevitable and can be tricky to break out of. Whenever I’m stuck in a plateau there’s a little exercise I like to do.  After my drive home I shut the car off and just sit quietly in the driveway.  I start whispering “what am I doing?  what the fuck am I doing?” again and again under my breath.  After a few times, I  get to a state where I can really have a cathartic experience and weep and weep and weep.


After a few years of this I feel completely blank, an empty vessel ready to learn again and break through my plateau.

If you don’t have a car, doing this in front of a mirror works too!

Love your website! I feel like I’m ready for a belt promotion.  Should I talk to my instructor about it?

Good question!  NO.  Do not do that.  If anyone else gets promoted ahead of you, just stare at him/her sideways with as much sadness as you can muster, and mutter sotto voce “horseshit” every time anyone has any success.  They’ll take notice and give you what you deserve!

I feel like my gym is too dirty, and the instructors won’t enforce any sort of standards.  What should I do?

Good question! I feel like if you have approached your instructor without results, a more indirect approach is called for.  Phase one: Seek out and roll with the dirtiest, scuzziest dudes at your gym. The really filthy pigs who hate detergent.  Once you contract ring worm and god knows what else (and you will),  that’s when phase two starts.  Cultivate your filth.  Sit in a dark, wet, warm room for a couple weeks as still as possible.  Once your body is completely overtaken, show back up at class.  Once class has started take you gi off and make all bear witness to your festering body boiling with fungus and rot. You will be a horror show. They’ll get the picture and clean up their act.  It’s the Jiu Jitsu sanitation protest equivalent of that monk who burned himself alive in demonstration against Vietnam.  Which is fitting, because you and all of your possessions will probably have to be incinerated to protect the public health.


Those are all the questions for now.  Glad to help, and hope to hear from you!

Inspirational Monday

Randy Done Made You Prom Queen

Tyffani, never in your wildest dreams would you ever think that you would be named prom queen of Belle Ridge Missouri.   And it’s all because of Randy. You two met at the dirtbike races six weeks and go, and knew he was the one to make your prom magical.

The theme of Belle Ridge High’s prom this year is “Back to the ’80s”.  Which is perfect, because Randy graduated high school in 1988.

As a rule, it’s frowned upon to bring a 41 year old man to the prom.  But Randy let you know right up front that he doesn’t care about no rules. You asked him to the prom, so he got coverage for his shift at the UPS packing center, and whisked you away to the grand ball room at Double Tree Inn off route 68.

That night, Randy was a silk dream on the dance floor.  Randy calls himself a rocker, but on the floor, Randy lives for the beat, carrying you, and the rest of the prom goers with him.  It all culminated in a dance off with Traci and Hunter, the two most popular kids at school, and a lock at for the king and queen.  The competition was fierce, until Traci’s titty popped out of her dress.  Twice.

Two times.

Mortified, Traci runs for the exits, with Hunter close behind.  Randy keeps dancing.  When the time comes to declare the King and Queen, the good vibes engendered by Randy swept you into the royal throne.  What started as a taboo date has turned into a magical evening.  The best ever!

10 years and four kids later, long after your relationship has soured with Randy, you’ll see him sometimes around town.  You might hate him now Tyff, but you’ll always love the Randy who took you to the prom.


Inspirational Monday

Justin Beiber Suffers and Minor Setback, Yet Pulls Through.

Around this time next year Justin Beiber will get in his Limo after a show, and unfortunately will be abducted, whisked away to a suburban basement where he will live for the next nine years.

He’ll be kept in complete darkness.  A shadowy figure will throw a bucket of chum down into his pit at irregular intervals, along with a small barrel of rain water.  Under these conditions, he’ll go slowly insane and lose the power of speech after five years.  He spends most of his days gibbering and howling in the dank, black basement.

When he is finally rescued and hauled back to the surface, Justin Beiber will find himself again surrounded by show business types who try to explain to him that he is still a hot property and a full scale marketing and promotion blitz was launched at the first word of his rescue.  Justin Beiber will respond by trying to bite them on their faces with a mouth full of rotten teeth. 

In just four months after his rescue, Justin Beiber: Surrender to Your Heart will be released.  It consists of Justin Beiber howling incoherently over pop beats for 25 minutes. 

It will go on to sell over six million copies, and be the second best selling album of the year.  The accompanying movie premiers on 3,000 screens nationwide and showcases Jusin 2.0’s newfound fondness for raw fishheads and public defecation. 

It just goes to show you, never say never.

Inspirational Monday, Uncategorized

Cooler Heads Prevail Over the Claims to a Rotten Deer.

“Goddamnit Ruby, that deer is mine and nobody elses, you hear?”

Your girlfriend nods, as you pick your way down the river.

“And I’ll tell you another thing, if Gene thinks he is going to stick his greasy snout into my find, he’s got another thing coming. You hear me?”

Ruby nods, stopping to pluck a snail from the riverbed and devour it, greedily sucking up every bit of the snail she can. “You sure that’s a good idea Carl?  I don’t want no problems with no Gene.”

Aint noboy worried about no Gene, baby.  We play our cards right on this and its highlife city. Nore more plants for us babe.  Venison from here on out.”

Yesterday you found a deer that must have fallen into your pond and drowned.  By a lucky coincidence, it wedged itself between a rock and and an old monster truck tire. Nobody but you knows it’s there, and you intend to keep it that way.  But word spreads fast around the pond, that’s one thing you can count on.

You and ruby decide play it cool for a few days, staying away from the deer.  You scour the bottom of the pond, dredging up fish eggs and bugs.  A typical weekday for you two. Finally you swim over to the corpse, ready to feast, maybe even make a little love in the area, leaving a sperm packet for Ruby’s eggs. Its a place you think, where you could really settle down in.

When you get there, your worst nightmare has come true.  There is Gene, big as a mother fucker, gnawing away at the deer’s hind leg.  He senses your approach and turns his bullet head towards you.

“Gene’s got to get a cut of this action,” he says, beak flapping underwater.  Gene’s tiny snapping turtle brain has a hard time separating his thoughts from his abstract stream of conciousness, so he’s always referred to himself in the third person.  “Gene is going to go topside for a breath of fresh air.  You two crawdads need to beat it.  If Gene comes back and you are still here, its your ass.”

As he ponderously swims towards the surface, you tell Ruby to get back, and that you’ll handle this. Ruby gets behind you, screaming that she loves you, and that she wouldn’t want to lose you ever, not even for a thousand delicious half rotten deer.

“I’m sick of this Ruby.  We gotta to stand up to Gene now.  How much longer is he going to push us around?”

“But baby I couldn’t stand to lose you.  I want to have kids some day.  Thousands and thousands of babies with you.”

You look into her beautiful eyes.  Black and round, they tell you to go with her; start a new life.  “Ok baby, but I aint no punk.  I aint afraid of Gene.  You saw that.  Now lets get the fuck out of here.”

You swim away as you see Gene begin his descent back to the deer.  You don’t even look back once.  Next month, Ruby goes off the pill.  Four month later you have hundreds of beautiful children, carrying on the proud genetic line of your forefathers.  You and Ruby become common law husband and wife and live out the rest of your days.

Sometimes a crawfish needs the love of a good craw-woman to keep him from destroying himself.

Inspirational Monday

Successfully Kick Out Your Non Tea Party Tenant

It’s tough being a citizen that holds to the core beliefs of the Tea Party Patriots, and dealing with your tenant, who by all accounts is a Communist, Muslim Sympathizer liberal.

When your parent’s died and left you the house, you decided to rent out the basement.  This income allows you to devote all of your time towards advancing the cause of individual liberty and rooting out undesirable elements in American Society.

Your tenant, Tim, is working towards his Master’s degree in literature.  The elitism of higher education left a bad taste in your mouth, but you set the rent pretty high, and Tim was the only one who applied for the apartment. Since Tim is studying literature, you snuck into his kitchen in the middle of the night and left your Ayn Rand anthology on table for him to discover.

The note you left Tim read:

            Tim,  Please read these books and tell me how they changed your life!!! They sure changed MINE!!! 

                                                               Don’t Believe Liberal Media,

                                                                                          Gary (Your landlord)

Tim doesn’t value individual liberties, and the power of free and open markets, so he was less than enthused that you would sneak into his apartment while he slept to leave him your books.

Things went down hill from there.  You invited Tim to a bunch of local rallies and events.  You even made signs for the both of you (yours read “LIBERTY IS MY STIMULUS).  But Tim politely declined each time.

With each rain check, you became more and more suspicious that Tim isn’t what he seems.  One night at Denny’s, after screaming protests at a school board meeting a few counties over, you decide that if Time does not want to get on board the freedom express, he can’t be your tenant.  Since the laws of this country are designed to protect the spineless anticapitalists, you have to take matters into your own hands.

Being in the Tea Party means being in constant confrontation with the darkest threats that America faces.  On a micro level, this means bursting into your tenant’s apartment and screaming at him allegations  of him being an east coast elitist who will use his education to disband American manufacturing, and ensure that child slaves in Brazil will take all our jobs. 

This is all happenening at two in the morning.  Red faced and sweaty, you turn away and stomp upstairs, leaving Tim stunned and speechless.

The next morning, you storm downstairs, screaming at Tim that a vote for Obama is a vote in the pockets of the Muslim brotherhoods who are looking impose Sharia law in the preschools of America. 

This cycle repeats itself for a week. Then another. Finally, Tim breaks, and goes back to New York City, where he gets his old job back (recruiter for Al Qaida). 

You sit in your house, surrounded by stacks of newspapers and protest signs, feeling like you have created a bastion for Democracy.  Tears well in your eyes as you robotically eat your hungryman dinner over the sink.


improvement, Inspirational Monday

You Made that Hipster Girl Fall in Love With You.

“How’s prison?” She’ll ask.

“Ok.” You reply.

Kendra will press her hand up against the glass, and you’ll do the same.  She’ll tell you how much she loves you.  And once she graduates from art school, she’s gonna make it big, and she’ll get the best lawyer she can afford to get you out of here. She says that she believes most laws are created to enforce the narco-fascist state, but sometimes you gotta play by their rules if you love somebody enough.

You tell her to save her energy.  Your parole hearing is next week, and you think this is the year. She’ll take her hand away to brush her bangs out of her eyes and says she understands.  It’s her turn to man the front desk at the art gallery, so she says her goodbyes and hurries tearfully out of the visiting area.

The day of the parole hearing the bulls walk you in and sit you down in front of the board. They ask you whether you’re reformed, and whether you’re ready to rejoin society as a productive member.

You tell them you have a prepared statement you would like to read to the board.

“I would see her every day on my bus ride home.  She would be riding her fixed gear bicycle or lounging at a coffee shop.  Lounging in that arrogant way only pretty girls can as they sit at a coffee shop at three in afternoon on a workday. And every time I saw her my heart would break just a little more.  ‘Larry,’ I told myself each night, ‘you’re just a line worker at the  button factory.  Girls like that don’t go for guys like you. Girls like that lounge in parks with bassists and handsome young graphic designers, spiriting her away to secret dance parties.  You can’t compete with those guys.'”

You go on to tell them that finally one day, you found your nerve, and your resolve to win her heart.  You’ve never done anything like this before, so you relied on romantic comedy troupes to win her over. Sure, you kidnapped her dog…so what?  So fucking what?  That was the first time you actually exchanged words with her. And when you ran out on the middle of the field in the middle of a Phillie’s game, well that’s just love expressing itself.

“And only the coldest of hearts would not yield to our love.”

Things came to a head when you engineered the bus crash that would bring you together.  She was on her way to New York to visit her Icelandic boyfriend’s art opening.  While the resulting crash killed 27 people, her survivor’s guilt coupled with extreme emotional vulnerability made her suceptable to your advances.

“And we fell in love, which scares people like you.  Something so powerful as ours could tear the world apart, so you cage me up.  But love finds a way.  It always does.”

You finish your speech and the parole board considers your remarks in silence.  Finally the Chairman addresses you, “Thank you Mr. Gunderson.  You will hear our decision shortly.”

It looks like your love will have to wait another year.

Inspirational Monday

Gas Huffing Amazing Race!

“I finally made it.  Home, I think.”

These words come after a 10 year period of searching for your home.  Home brings you the grand prize.  Finding your residence wins you one million dollars.

The only problem is that you aren’t quite sure this is your house.  You’ve been huffing gas and paint thinner for the last 20 years, so your long term memory is a bit muddy.  But you figure 10 years is long enough to search, and you open the front door of a small bungalow house in the middle of Iowa.  Stepping into the living room, your memories come flooding back.  It was in this living room where you would sit and watch TGIF programming with your kids.  You made love with your first wife in the master bedroom.  You step outside and walk the yard in circles (years of paint huffing has given your gait a herky-jerky arhythmic step).

No one seems home so you sit down in the living room and decide to have a huff.  The good stuff this time.  Deep in your dufflebag, next to your switchblade and old library cards sits a bottle of 2002 Crown brand paint thinner.  Good, vintage stuff for special occasions.  You get out your plastic bag, pour  jigger of crown, and huff yourself into fuzzy oblivion.

When you wake up, there are people and lights everywhere.  A well dressed man holding an oversized novelty check is eagerly shaking you back into consciousness.  It looks like you did it!  You found your way home and you’re a million dollars richer!

Before the cameras roll and you take your money, the producers sit you down in the kitchen to talk things over.  “It’ll be real easy Dan.” a young producer says, “All you have to do is act glad to be home, take your check, cry a few tears when you reunite with your family, and we’ll get you right into rehab to kick that huffing habit.  With the show over, you really don’t need to huff gas anymore.  No need for the dramatic element.”

You smile and nod.  You’ll take the check, but you’ll never stop huffing.  You wouldn’t want to see your fifties without the paint.