Monday, March 11, 2013

3 Things You Can NOT Blame on your Age

I wasn't kidding about the Superman pants...

One thing that has always bothered me is when people blame their age or the entire aging process for their personal short-comings. Granted, aging does change our livese and eventually there will simply be things that we can’t do anymore, but 90% of the time that I hear someone complain about “getting older” it’s a cop-out. A lot of times, aging is the unarguable excuse that we use to not even try. Well, I’m arguing it. I started to really get crazy about this phenomenon last year when I was grabbing a pint with an old friend. He took one big sip of his beer, slapped his belly and said “well, I guess I can give up on those six pack abs now, I’m going to be 30 in a month.” I bit my tongue because no one likes “that guy” but I wanted to tell him that he had clearly given up on that goal many years ago. Fitness isn’t just something you wait to magically happen to you, you have to go get it. Sure, it will be harder as you get older, but that’s all the more reason to get started! Also he said this at thirty! How would that make you feel to remember that you said that at 70? So instead of ranting to every person in my life who casually jokes about getting older, I’ll just bug you with it instead. There are many things that we can’t blame our age for, despite what the lazy people would have you think, but these seem to be the 3 most frequent:

Thursday, February 21, 2013

6 Tips for Fighting Zombies

Without being able to see the future, life has very few "spoilers". For some, this is a cause of anxiety and for others it's a source of excitement. Life is an adventure because we never know what's next. At 30 years old, I have been made aware of 2 spoilers. I am absolutely sure about 2 things in my future: I will die (at the ripe old age of 150 years old) and I don't invent the time machine. I know this because at 17 years old I promised myself that if I ever invented or got my hands on a time machine I would go back to that moment with all the relevant information needed to take over the world, which sadly didn't happen (yet).
This means that anything else can happen to me. I have very interesting meditation sessions sometimes when I let my mind consider this. It's good sometimes to explore just how far your mind can work, like all the specific details of what you would do in a zombie apocalypse. Seth Godin once said that anxiety is "experiencing failure in advance" which is a brilliant way to put it. I meditate on worst-case scenarios all the time and it helps remove a lot of fear toward the unknown. This leaves me more mental room and time to get excited about what great things are waiting for me. 
Bear with me, I promise at some point this post will make sense. When I meditate on these possibilities, both good and bad, it helps me stay level-headed in the event that they happen for real. I got over claustrophobia by meditating in small rooms, for example. Over the years I've visualized hundreds of scenarios and sometimes you can break down each emergency to its core and find similarities to other disasters. This correlation is very good for fighting fear and anxiety. 
For those that haven't read Locked On, I like to use these correlations to help make people's training more effective. Each chapter starts with a real life experience of mine dealing with violence and aggression, how I overcame it (or didn't) and then that chapter is dedicated to focusing our training for similar scenarios. It all comes down to the correlation and its associated survival principle. 
For an example of real life experience being translated into my training, I associated an aggressive drug addict to sparring with a wrestler. 

Defining the Zombie
Years ago I was working security at a sporting event. It was located in a terrible part of town, known for its homeless people and drugs. I volunteered to work the outside of building to make sure no one tried to sneak in, leaving the crowd control duties to my very new group of guys to get some experience. In the front entrance, there was the check-in desk with the cash box displayed for any crackhead to spot. Of course, that's exactly what happened. I spent the later hours of my shift fighting off overly aggressive drug addicts making suicide runs for the money. After the first one tackled me to the ground and tried to bite my face off, I spent the next hour using any object I could get my hands on to hold them off and stay away from their yellow teeth and open scars.
Months later, I was at the dojo, sparring with a training partner who was particularly skilled at wrestling. We had trained together for years and had grown especially competitive with each other, bringing out the best of both our abilities. I knew that if I had any chance of beating him I would have to avoid his grappling skills and use any advantage I could find. I needed to avoid what he was better at and use what I was better at. Sounds simple of course. 
I would later meditate on that sparring session (after winning...I think) and realized that that very simple concept was exactly like fighting those homeless drug addicts. Essentially, they were grapplers, only much more violent than my training partner (he never bites me).
Both these situations instantly came to mind while watching a zombie apocalypse movie, not long after. Zombies are the top of the food chain when it comes to grapplers. Allow me to clarify, let's define the zombie (or wrestler):

-Usually has endless cardio, so you can't outrun them,
-Ultimate goal is to take you down, always pushing forward pressure,
-Almost impossible to beat if they establish top position when you're on the ground.

So we've identified the qualities of the zombie. I should mention to all those wrestlers out there that can kick my ass that I mean no offense here. Was just pointing out an interesting correlation, not calling all wrestlers zombies. I think we can all agree that zombies are bad, so here are some tactics we can use to kick their assses:

6 Ways to Fight a Zombie

Move in circles, not in straight lines
When fighting with a grappler or a zombie, whichever applies to you more, always circle out, preferably away from their back hand. If you move back in a straight line you're much easier to catch. As soon as an attacker enters, circle out. By backing up in a straight line, you're still in their sites and all they have to do is continue to push forward to eventually catch you. Try running backwards, even at your fastest you're not moving faster than someone running forward. Also, by circling, you'll avoid ever being pinned up against a wall. 

Go for the head shot
As countless books, movies, tv shows and comic books have made clear is that the key to stopping a zombie is to aim for their brain. The same is true of any attacker, especially grappling enthusiasts. Fighting is simple: the attacker wants to hurt you and you want the opposite. If your attacker, human or zombie, is deliberately trying to wrestle with you, then they are automatically telling you that they prefer that to striking. This could be a weakness. Also by being overly aggressive in entering, there's a good chance that your attacker is exposing their head in the process. Whether you're using a gun, ax, pipe or your hands, that's when you shoot for the head. A knockout is just as good as a head shot, the brain shuts off either way and you can get away safely. 

Don't wrestle
As mentioned above, always do the opposite. If they want to grapple that could mean that they're confident there and good at it. Think of any zombie movie you've ever seen. Any time someone starts to wrestle with the zombie it's usually the end for them. If your attacker is experienced in submission techniques then you'll end up in an armbar just as easily as someone who finds a bite mark on their shoulder and tries to hide it from the rest of the group. Don't be that guy. Protect your personal space, push for room to move and don't leave anything behind. Always bring your arms in and keep your elbows tight. 

Use all available tools
Someone once taught me that the first rule of bar fighting is to cheat. Use any and all available objects. This is the kind of wisdom that has got me out of some bad situations. Back when people could smoke in bars, there was a move called the "slapshot", where you would slap a glass ashtray like it was a hockey puck toward the attacker's face. Worked every time...but I digress. Don't forget your natural tools either. You have your hands and legs at your disposal to defend your personal space. The jab is especially good to gauge distance and well-timed kicks will keep your attacker out of arm's reach. Thrust kicks have great stopping power. Combine this with some good punching and movement and you'll be almost impossible to touch.

Don't turn your back
The first lesson I was ever taught in Jujitsu is to never give them your back. This is usually ingrained in your brain immediately when you train in any grappling system. Wrestlers are extremely powerful when they're on top of you, but life only gets worse for you if they're on your back and on top. When it comes to zombies, this also applies. How many times have you watched someone scrambling to their feet and turn their back to crawl away, only to get dragged right back to the swarm? Or they're running away, but tripped because they turned back to look? Only turn your back when you know it's safe and never look back. As a rule, if they're within kicking range, it's not safe to expose your back.

Control the distance
The first step to controlling the distance is to understand it. Kicks are a good way of testing the waters. Once your attacker is close enough to hit with your jab, you're within their shooting range. When fighting a wrestler or an undead, you need to either be close enough to finish the fight or way too far for them to touch you. Striking is the natural enemy of the grappler so a sound strategy is to move in and out with punches and kicks. DO NOT STAY IN THE POCKET. Never stay within their reach for longer than it takes to punch or kick them (or hit the zombie in the brain with an object). An important tool you need to control distance and move well is footwork. This will help you when you're running from swarm (sure steps, no tripping) or circling out.

With the state of the world now and the growing popularity of bath salts, it's important to consider what it would be like to fight a zombie. Ok, maybe it's not that important but it's always good to know how to counter a grappler. Hopefully you'll never have to use these tips in real life and can bring something to your training!

Jordan Bill
Fight or Die

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Weekly Home Workout Program

I do most of my training at the dojo, but lately I've been experimenting a lot with workout concepts to help me achieve some of my new year's goals at home in my free time. I've also been involved with a startup business that is taking up a lot of my time (in a good way), so the need to make up for some lost workouts is even greater now to stay on track. I've recently put together a program that will allow me to continue making improvements, while maximizing time. I should clarify that this is specifically training outside my regular training at the dojo...not a replacement. This is designed to continue developing new skill sets, without compromising my regular training in the dojo. After a few weeks of loyalty to the schedule, I have been seeing and feeling some terrific results, despite my limited time training. This has gotten me closer to several of my fitness goals and hasn't interfered with my regular training or my temporarily busy work schedule. Hope this is helpful!

Monday: Strength & Conditioning
-Combat Conditioning/Circuit Training* 30 minutes
-Weights; Lunges, Dead lift, Military press, Curls,** approx. 30 minutes
-Pull up training (exercises vary, will explain in detail in another post)

Tuesday: Health & Cardio
-Knee stabilizing work 20 minutes
-Yoga/Pilates 20 minutes
-Elliptical H.I.I.T. Sprints (Tapatas protocol, 8 rounds, 2 sets, 2 minute rest in between) 10 minutes

Wednesday: Strength & Conditioning
-Combat Conditioning/Circuit Training 30 minutes
-Weights; Lunges, Dead lift, Military press, Curls, approx. 30 minutes
-Pull up training

Thursday: Health & Cardio
-Knee stabilizing work 20 minutes
-Yoga/Pilates 20 minutes
-Elliptical H.I.I.T. Sprints (Tapatas protocol, 8 rounds, 2 sets, 2 minute rest in between) 10 minutes

Friday: Health (Rest before measurements and testing on Saturday)
-Health/Flexibility work
-Sparring if at the dojo

Saturday: Measure & Test
-Slow pushup test (timed)
-1 Mile run test (timed, target is 6 minutes)
-Pull up test (reps)
-Standing vertical jump test (height)

*Although I usually attend the Combat Conditioning class at the gym, on days where I miss it I can easily replicate the class or circuit at home. The class usually involves a blend of cardio, yoga and Pilates, while the circuit involves kettlebells, club bells, weights, resistance bands, medicine balls, jump rope and bag hitting. This is also where I focus on speed and coordination.

**The weight program works on a protocol that I've gotten great results from and doesn't change according to the weight. Each exercise is divided into 3 sets and they breakdown like this: 1st Set is maximum reps until failure then a 1 minute rest, the 2nd Set is between 60-75% of the total reps of the first set and the 3rd Set is the remainder. 
Example: 1st Set 20 reps, 2nd Set 15 reps and 3rd Set 5 reps.
The second and third set should total your first one.

I should mention again that this is supplemental training for very specific goals. Also, as I mentioned in the footnotes, if you noticed that speed and accuracy were omitted here it's because I usually get to train that in the Combat Conditioning class, Circuit Training and regular martial arts training sessions. Hope this helps in some way. I can personally say that I've experienced great results with this so far and the program is flexible enough to change when I need it most. I didn't list the weights or number of reps here on purpose, as they change to adapt how I'm feeling after my primary training schedule (classes). Thanks for checking this out and please feel free to leave feedback, tips or drop me any questions right below! Happy training!

Jordan Bill 
Fight or Die

If you're interested, here are some more home workout drills you can do...

Monday, December 17, 2012

Shots Fired: an Excerpt from Locked On

The following is an excerpt from chapter 2 of Locked On: Focused Training for the Modern Warrior. I've been getting non-stop feedback about the book and am very humbled by what I'm hearing. The praise and constructive criticism are keeping me motivated, focused and determined to train harder and share as many experiences as possible!
If you haven't seen it already, you can find information on the book and also download the first chapter for free right here to see if it's something you might enjoy. If you like reading the blog and have any interest in training or violent fight stories I think you might like it.

This particular chapter focuses on achieving clarity in chaos and how to simulate that in your training. If you address it in your training and reflect on your results, you'll almost go into a combative auto-pilot when in crisis mode. When there's no time for thought, you'll perform what has always worked best for you. How you train is how you fight.

And enough of me explaining! Here it is...

Chapter 2

“The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.”
-Lao Tzu

January, 2005
Montreal, Canada
The night had turned into chaos. I was working as private security for a group of people visiting the city on vacation. Or so I thought. It turns out, “security” to them meant that they would attack anyone they didn’t like and expect me to finish the job. They only let me bring one guy from my team of usual co-workers and paired us up with some eye-lowering psychopaths. I remember my only thought when meeting them: “thank God they’re on our side.”
On paper, the job was to go to a show in a small venue where they had reserved a balcony VIP area. My only job was to shadow one of the big shots in the group. Each member of this group had a security person assigned to them. The in-house security would handle the exits and make sure we weren’t disturbed. My hopes were for an uneventful night of drinking a little of their champagne and looking mean. I realized right away that I wasn’t going to get the easy gig I had hoped for. I broke my own sacred rule of freelance security: don’t take a client without references. I had no idea who these guys were and took the job anyway. Stupid. From coat-check to the bar, a distance of maybe 20 feet, I had to diffuse FOUR near-conflicts! Not a good sign…
When we got to the closed-off private section, I felt a little relieved that they were separated from the rest of the crowd. I figured if I could keep them contained we should be fine. I tipped all the waitresses and busboys generously to make sure that the ice stayed frozen, the drinks came regularly and, most importantly, that any unused glass objects be removed frequently (a trick from my sensei who had helped me prep for that job, thanks again Kevin!). A few bottles later and all my precautions would be thrown out the window. Fights among themselves started to erupt, which prompted the venue’s security team to intervene, which made the other “security” gorillas jump in and, of course, also meant that we had to fix the whole situation. Lots of restraining and verbal de-escalation and the next few hours would have random flare ups like this, but nothing more. That’s when things really got crazy. Someone in the general crowd had pulled a gun and the performer on stage saw it. In a panic, he yelled “Gun!” into the microphone while getting rushed off the stage by his bodyguards.
The crowd started to go crazy, naturally, as everyone was scrambling for the exit. I told everyone to stay in the VIP area because there was only one way in and we could guard it until things cooled down. Somehow, they took that as confirmation that we were invincible in our fortress and that they should start throwing empty glass bottles at the crowd from our balcony. Our other security partners had run out the second things got hairy and I could see them fighting with the bouncers who had been in our area earlier. Good job, guys. The next day, the news would report that there were “shots fired” at that show, but at the time I had told everyone to stay low without knowing for sure if there was any shooting going on. I knew that there was a chance and, even if there wasn’t, it kept them from throwing things at the crowd.
Suddenly, crystal clear focus came to me and I realized that I didn’t care about this contract anymore. All I knew then was that I was going to get home that night, get my friend home that night and not get shot. These were the only sure things in my life at that moment. I peeked out of the door and saw an angry mob heading toward our section. Who could blame them? Realizing that we were grossly outnumbered, I started scanning the crowd for those other two idiots, who were supposed to be security also. I found them, getting the shit stomped out of them by a large group of bouncers who decided that was more important than helping the crowd. Past them I saw a door. It was an emergency exit in a dark corner that no one seemed to realize was there. That was also my ticket home. I pointed it out to my partner and told him to run for it, grabbed the person I was shadowing (my partner grabbed his also) and ran for the door holding my client’s head like a football. The angry crowd had caught up to us by then and so it took some punching and elbowing to get through, but I knew if I could just keep moving forward I could get out. I hate winter, but I’ll never forget the moment of pure relief when that cold winter air hit my lungs and I knew I was safe. I even let myself think that my night was over for a moment there. So close…
After doing a quick head count we realized that we didn’t all make it out. I told them that there was no way I was going back for the other two nut jobs and that there was no hope for them now. My client then informed me that his little brother was still in there and that he was just a fifteen year old kid. They had been bribing the bouncers all night to let him stay and he was somewhere inside. I knew that I wanted to go home that night, but I realized that that kid probably did too. I’ll never know why I went back in but I did. Our emergency exit was locked from the outside so I had to go around the building, back through the front door and head first back into the riot with no idea of where this kid would be.
When I got back in, I immediately looked up at the balcony that we were in earlier, but there was no one there. The place was going insane and I felt like a fish swimming against a strong current. Every ounce of my being wanted to turn around and leave, but my focus had changed and I really wanted to get that kid out of there. Punching and elbowing through the crowd, some new faces and some familiar, I somehow spotted who I was looking for. By pure luck I just happened to look at the stage and saw him there, pinned against the front of the stage, frozen in terror. Poor guy. At this point I was covered in cuts and bruises and my shirt was ripped, but there wasn’t a scratch on the young man I came back for. I worked my way toward him, ducking flying bottles and unseen things whizzing past my head and made contact with him. He looked at me with watery and vacant eyes and I simply asked him if he wanted to get out of there and he just nodded slowly. At least he was somewhat with me. He was going to have some post-traumatic stress from this for sure, but the important thing was that he was going to be ok. I hoped.
(Ironically, this event would lead to my own experience with some post-traumatic stress, when I would later learn more details about the night)
After being chased around by my many unhappy followers, we made it out for a second time. There was a lot of ducking things in the air and using human bodies to push through congestion points, but we were home free. I found a nearby strip club to bring the tourists to, collected my pay and went home. I obviously never worked for those sociopaths again and never found out what happened to the hired help that had been with us but I did find out that that performer would never come back to my city after that night. I would meditate and reflect on the moment that I knew I was going to be ok for a long time after that night. I had never experienced anything like it. There was a clarity in the middle of my panic, I saw myself lying down in my bed and reverse-engineered the events of the night to make sure it ended that way. I knew what I wanted and an action plan formed itself, seemingly on its own. Some focus, determination and a little dumb luck and we were all safe.
Years later, celebrating my close friend’s return from Afghanistan over beers, I would be telling him this story, laughing about how crazy people can be in a crisis. He stopped me when I told him that I had to duck flying objects and loud whizzing sounds in the air. He explained to me that those could have been bullets. I laughed into my beer and he, with an uncharacteristically serious face, told me that when a bullet passes within three feet of your head you hear a loud whizzing sound. He told me that he had heard that sound overseas a number of times and that I described it exactly how he remembered it. We both drank quietly for a long time after that. I didn’t sleep for weeks. Instead, during those sleepless nights, I would meditate on whether or not I would have been able to stay so focused if I really understood the implications of the threat. I’ll never know for sure, but you can bet that I still meditate on this regularly. Stay sharp, stay alert, stay alive. 

And there you have it. This chapter was carefully selected based on the kind of feedback I've been getting about the book. There are much worse stories and many more training tactics included, but I thought I would share this one in particular as readers have said that they appreciate the insight of what it felt like to be in a violent crisis. 

Please feel free to share your thoughts. Feedback, both good and bad, is always appreciated! If you have any questions feel free to message me here, on Facebook, on Twitter, via email or any other way you might know.

Oh, and one last thing, if you haven't already make sure you sign up for our newsletter! If you have then you would have had this article much earlier, along with exclusive extras and newsletter-only discounts on upcoming products (and a free ebook)! You can get more info on this right here:

Jordan Bill
Fight or Die

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Birthday Belly Experiment

I was at a party, a week before my 30th birthday, catching up with an old friend and it was something he said that gave me a strange idea. I had been working hard on losing weight, improving my body fat percentage and building muscle and was a little worried about my upcoming cake day. Moving my dietary "cheat day" would only help the situation, but with scattered dinners and social gatherings with friends and family it was clear that I would be breaking in my 30s with some caloric damage control. Then my friend told me about his trip to Mexico and how great it was. He told me about the great food and parties and how he gained 7 pounds in the week he was there, but didn't feel bad because he was on vacation and it was planned. That's when it occurred to me that the most frustrating part of dieting and losing weight is when there is seemingly no reason behind good or bad changes. If I removed the surprise element, I could allow myself a weekend of guilt-free binge eating and calorie drinking. This is, of course, the kind of reasoning behind any failure in dieting so there would have to be a catch.

"7 pounds in a week? That's impressive." I said to him.
"Yeah and I think I can lose it all in the same amount of time. Hitting the gym like crazy." he replied.

There it was. Four days of guiltless festivities, on the condition that I could lose it all in that same time frame. Not an easy task. I prepared an action plan later that night.

In preparation, I spent that entire week eating light and training a lot. I kept my metabolism high through high protein meals, four or five times a day. I was tracking my measurements and caloric intake, but to spare you the boring stuff that isn't relevant to this experiment here are some important numbers on my "morning of" weigh-in:

Weight; 209 pounds
Body Fat Percentage: 14.7%

Not the best shape I've ever been in, but this is the jump-off for the celebrations. 96 hours later, after four amazing days shared with family, friends, feasts, cake and every kind of alcohol, the damage was right around what I thought it would be:

Weight: 215 pounds
Body Fat Percentage: 18.8%*

*Body Fat Percentage was calculated using online plug-ins. I entered my measurements and had them calculate it. The numbers above are the average of 3 different site, but judging by how much the sites varied from one another I doubt they are completely accurate. I posted them anyway for the sake of showing how much my body had changed.

So keep in mind that a 4% increase in body fat and 5 pounds is entirely from an increase in calories. I wouldn't be complaining if this was an increase in muscle, but 5 pounds of fat is usually a swelling of the face and belly. Not pretty. After my allotted time of pigging out, I put my plan into action. Here are the some of the changes that I made immediately that I believe had the most significant results:

-Daily food intake would be spread into 6 meals, 3 hours apart, between 100-500 calories, starting withing 30 minutes of waking up and ending within 30 minutes before bed.
-All dairy, red meat, sugars and "white carbs" would be demoted to "cheat day" only once again.
-Total fat intake would remain under 120g, while saturated fats under 20g (general guideline for me all the time).
-Cholesterol intake to stay under 200mg (some nutritionists say that 300mg is still safe, but that's to maintain weight, not necessarily to lose).
-Sodium intake to remain under 2500mg (proved to be most difficult, as high protein foods often have high sodium).
-Every meal to contain at least 20g of protein to keep metabolism high all day.
-1.5 liters of cold water within 30 minutes of waking up, then scattered all day. It's harder than you think when the water is cold and you just woke up. Keep a water bottle on you all day.
-Morning meal (within 30 minutes of waking up) and last meal should each contain no less than 30g of protein. This was probably the most significant change for me. Big results.

On wednesday morning, after a full 48 hours of doing this, my numbers were:

Weight: 206 pounds
Body Fat Percentage: 14.2%

In the race against myself, it took only 48 hours to get rid of my birthday binge pounds. I'm just sharing the info with you, not recommending that you try this or that you'll ever get the same results. Keep in mind that a contributing factor here is how lightly and healthy i was eating before the weekend. The caloric invasion during my four days of eating and drinking sent my metabolism into a frenzy, then met with an even healthier set of eating habits, therefore working much harder than usual. Typically, I get a small version of this every week when I celebrate my cheat day. This keeps my system working all the time, keeps my digestive enzymes active and my protein synthesis stimulated. It was an interesting experiment, but I would recommend being a little more reasonable with your diet.
Another factor to consider is that during my four days off, I wasn't training at all. As soon as I was back to eating healthy, I was hoisting some weights and rolling on the mats again. The numbers are always interesting but rarely ever tell the whole story.
What I've taken away from this is just how important my eating habits are. For those that read my previous article about eating healthy, if you've experienced results from those habits listed, I also encourage you to incorporate the ones I've listed here right away. You should experience some changes within a few days! Interesting side note, eating six meals a day will increase your sex drive. Do with that what you will.

Make sure to leave a comment below, I'd love to get your feedback or similar stories!
Also (last thing I promise) make sure you send a blank email to to subscribe to our news letter and stay updated on training, seminars, videos and general fight news! Go now and receive "Best of Scrap Blog" as a digital ebook for free! Thanks!

Jordan Bill
Fight or Die

Monday, October 15, 2012

37 Motivational Quotes

If you've followed this blog, or read Locked On, you know that I'm a huge sucker for motivational quotes. Words carefully put together by great men and women get me really psyched up. From pushing me into my workouts to, as demonstrated in my book, becoming the focal points of entire chapters. They motivate me and I hope that at least one of the following has the same effect on you. Shared wisdom can bring out the best in us and the following list is a compilation of some of my favorite motivators. They are numbered, but not in any particular order of preference. Hope they resonate and inspire you to do something great! 

Note: the Bold font will indicate that I'm giving my two cents on that particular quote. Enjoy!

37. “Success is about having, excellence is about being. Success is about having money and fame, but excellence is being the best you can be.” -Mike Ditka
36. “The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.” -Vince Lombardi
35. “Things that hurt, instruct.”  -Benjamin Franklin
34. “During my 18 years I came to bat almost 10,000 times. I struck out about 1,700 times and walked maybe 1,800 times. You figure a ballplayer will average about 500 at bats a season. That means I played seven years without ever hitting the ball.”  -Mickey Mantle
33. “Leadership, like coaching, is fighting for the hearts and souls of men and getting them to believe in you.”  -Eddie Robinson
32. “Without self-discipline, success is impossible, period.”  -Lou Holtz
31. “There are only two options regarding commitment; you’re either in or you’re out. There’s no such thing as life in-between.”  -Pat Riley
30. “The more you sweat in practice, the less you bleed in battle.”  -Author Unknown
Jordan: I'm not a huge fan of anonymous quotes, so I only really included the ones that I like the most. Don't worry there's only a few of them.
29. "Age is no barrier. It's a limitation you put on your mind."  -Jackie Joyner-Kersee
28. "It’s not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters."  -Paul "Bear" Bryant

27. "You find that you have peace of mind and can enjoy yourself, get more sleep, and rest when you know that it was a one hundred percent effort that you gave–win or lose."  -Gordie Howe
26. "I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.' "  -Muhammad Ali

Jordan: I really did my best to resist the urge to make this entire list all Muhammad Ali quotes. He's an absolute idol to me, but I managed to stick to just the best ones.

25. "I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."  
-Michael Jordan
24. "You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take."  -Wayne Gretzky
Jordan: As you might notice, there are a few Gretzky and Jordan quotes. I grew up watching these two incredible champions in their prime and they inspired me from an early age. 

23. "Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."  -Will Rogers
22. "It is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness."  -Seneca
21. "It's a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don't quit when you're tired you quit when the gorilla is tired."  -Robert Strauss
20. "Mind is everything: muscle--pieces of rubber. All that I am, I am because of my mind."  -Paavo Nurmi
19. "Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals."  -Sydney Smith
18. "The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."  -Ferdinand Foch
17. "To succeed...You need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you."  -Tony Dorsett
16. "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit."  -Aristotle
Jordan: This might be the only quote that is both on this list and also in my book Locked On. It has become a mantra for me and can't be shared enough.

15. "An acre of performance is worth a whole world of promise."  -Red Auerbach

14. "You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them."  
-Michael Jordan

13. "The principle is competing against yourself. It's about self-improvement, about being better than you were the day before."  -Steve Young

Jordan: Not only a great thought to consider, but also gives me an opportunity to mention that I'm a lifelong 49ers fan.

12. "You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."  -Plato

Jordan: If you didn't know before, I was a philosophy major. This probably makes a lot of sense now. 

11. "Make the present good and the past will take care of itself."  -Knute Rockne

10. “In basketball—as in life—true joy comes from being fully present in each and every moment.”   -Phil Jackson

9. “Your opponent, in the end, is never really the player on the other side of the net, or the swimmer in the next lane, or the team on the other side of the field, or even the bar you must high-jump. Your opponent is yourself, your negative internal voices, and your level of determination.”  -Grace Lichtenstein

8. “Your goal should be out of reach but not out of sight.”  -Anita DeFrantz

7. “Fight one more round. When your arms are so tired that you can hardly lift your hands to come on guard, fight one more round. When your nose is bleeding and your eyes are black and you are so tired that you wish your opponent would crack you one on the jaw and put you to sleep, fight one more round— remembering that the man who always fights one more round is never whipped.”  -James Corbett (Gentleman Jim)

6. “Nothing is impossible. With so many people saying it couldn’t be

done, all it takes is an imagination.”  –Michael Phelps

5. “You’ve got to look for tough competition. You’ve got to want to beat the best.”  
–Grete Waitz

4. “Focus, discipline, hard work, goal setting and, of course, the thrill of finally achieving your goals.

These are all lessons in life.”  –Kristi Yamaguchi,

3. "It's not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential." 

-Bruce Lee 

2. “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.”  -Anatole France

1. "I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was." -Muhammad Ali 

Well I hope that helped light a fire in you like it regularly does for me! As I said, when great people share their wisdom it really motivates me to do the best I can. If you enjoyed this post or the Scrap Blog in general, I encourage you to check out my recently released ebook Locked On. There's information about it on the link and you can download the first chapter for free to see if it's something you might like. The feedback I have been getting has been overwhelmingly positive and I'm very excited to have affected so many people already!

On a personal note, I would also like to thank all students who train with me and everyone who reads the blog, watches the videos and visits the site. Because of all the support I've been receiving I get to be one of the fortunate people who get to do what they love for a living and it wouldn't be possible without everyone reading this. For that, I would like to say thank you. I will keep trying to up my game and put out the best work possible.

Jordan Bill
Fight or Die 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Discussing "Locked On"

For those that don't know, for the last year I've been working on a book for the modern martial artists out there. "Locked On: Focused Training for the Modern Warrior" is designed to help practitioners get the most out of their training. For most of us, we don't all have the 10 000 hours it takes to reach the professional standard, and in my case I would like to cut that time down even if I did! The process of writing this book was both rewarding and challenging. It was nice to relive how much I've grown as a human being from training, but on the other hand there were some demons that I had to confront again as well. There is residual post-traumatic stress, of course, but it is out-weighed by the incredible experiences that I've had and will continue to have for a long time. Here is a quick breakdown of what you can expect to find in the pages of "Locked On":

Identifying the Targets
By identifying what we hope to achieve in our training, we can focus our time in the dojo more intelligently. Training needs and motivations change all the time and through a strong support network and regular meditation, we can always make sure that we're working toward that goal. In these chapters, we discuss meditation techniques and exercises to identify what is giving us the most results in our training so that we can focus all of our time on them properly. Stick to what works. Also, with a clear vision and proper exercises we can also learn who is playing the role of supporters and non-supporters in our lives. Sometimes the truth can be shocking, so it's even more important to stop certain people from having an effect on us, while we encourage others to have more.

Just Showing Up Isn't Enough
There's no punch-card to becoming the martial artist, or even person, that we want. It's not an easy process and we can't expect to just stumble our way into enlightenment by accident. Aimless training methods just create a sense of entitlement to those who follow them. Working hard is good, but working smart is better. Taking the time breakdown the learning process of each technique will allow us to master them even faster. Physical delivery, rehearsal and pressure testing are stages of learning that should be isolated and ingrained so that all our techniques measure up to even the toughest resistance. "Steel forges steel" is the only approach that will yield honest results. If something doesn't survive this process, it's probably not worth keeping. Much of this ebook is dedicated to specific training methods that will test your entire arsenal, from casual training enthusiasts, to professional athletes, to fitness experts and even law enforcement.

Put Into Context
I also share some personal experiences of when these principals have been tested in violent crises. By working in the field of private security, I've often found myself neck-deep in chaos and finding focus isn't always easy. In some cases my life was at risk. In others, it was the life of a friend or client. In all cases there is very little time to think. Clear focus is crucial to your survival and a lot of that will come from how you train. There's no time to think, so when your training takes over the wheel, you better hope that it's been carefully tested. I wouldn't recommend a method or principal to anyone unless I've experienced it first hand. After 16 years of training, 8 years of teaching and 7 years of working in private security, I have assembled the most common survival habits that I like to focus on in my training. There are over a dozen personal stories of my experiences with violence and several case studies as well.

"Locked On" is something that I can say I'm very proud of. Early feedback from readers seems to be very positive and I'm happy to share what I've found over the years. Martial arts communities tend to get distracted with labels and traditional loyalties to certain methods, while forgetting that survival and growth are the real reasons we all train. This is reinforced early on, in the foreword that my sensei of 16 years Kevin Secours was kind enough to contribute. The ebook is about 120 pages and includes over a dozen chapters, each with a case example of that chapter's focus point. The case examples were not easy to share, but I felt they were necessary for the purpose of the book. During the outline process, my editor had to witness me fight through two anxiety attacks, so I guess it was good for me to acknowledge these events also!

I sincerely hope that reading this ebook helps you in your training as much as it did for me to write it!

Note from Jordan: For one week only, this link will give you access to a discounted version of "Locked On". Act now, click here!

Jordan Bill
Fight or Die