When I have a room full of people having fun and learning, when I see the lights click on, and when people thank me after class and tell me how much they enjoyed the experience the fulfillment is real and palatable. By and large these are truly some of the best people I have in my life. They give me their precious time and work hard trusting the process. I couldn’t ask for more.
And so this is perhaps a post about gratitude. A thank you to everyone who comes out to train, and for all the guys who have helped get me to this place. Who have guided, nurtured, and encouraged me along the way.
Its a symbiotic relationship the way I see it. This is not about playing instructor, looking for titles or accolades. This is about us leaving it all on the mat and enriching each others lives. We become better people through the work. We practice empathy, we get out of our comfort zones, and there is a certain kind of trust you need to have when you practice breaking limbs and choking each other unconscious on a daily basis. Lets not forget we are practicing killing each other over and over again in the mat room, that we are out on the ranges with little killing machines we carry around, and we are having a great time dealing with some of the most dire of subject matters.
For years now the local crew has had a private training group. We would get together at each others houses, strap gear on, and beat on one another trying see what worked and get better. We would go to training courses, come back, demo what we learned, and then go all in. We didn’t know much. We went through phases on what material we focused one. We would get together and shoot, got simunition guns, did role playing. I have a lot of old video and man is it ugly!
A few of our guys went to a Shivworks (Craig Douglas) course called ECQC. When they came back to the group it was dramatic. It redefined how we saw wins and losses, it gave us performance goals, and we started to look deeper. I was skeptical, and my good friend Paul at Alias hooked me up with a class Craig was teaching. I had been hosting courses through Paul for some time and he said “You’ll really like Craig, its just what your looking for.” He was right.
Over the years I’ve attended multiple Shivworks courses, have brought them here to Pittsburgh, and from there met, trained with, and hosted a crew of dudes all working together. Cecil Burch has become another good friend and my sounding board for all things BJJ related. Paul Sharp has given me freely of his time and experience, pure gold, his love of the work is contagious. Larry Lindenman has gone so far as a distance health coach for me he will review video of my lifts, give diet and nutrition advice, and has added untold quality years to my life. Seriously.
Its been a special kind of intimidating honor to have been able to develop to a point where I can co teach with Craig. To have the responsibility for live training evolution’s during his courses has been amazing, and I take that responsibility very personally as I present that material now.
I have been truly blessed to have found Stout Training Pittsburgh , and Warren Stout as a friend and teacher. Hes done the coursework, and loves learning. He trusts me enough to allow me to present the material in his school, and I’m honored to do so.
I love this work. I cant do it alone. Come out and train, we are happy to have you.