Nicolas Gregoriades: unlocking the root of all fears and neuroses

Nicolas Gregoriades left his home in South Africa and arrived in London with only a couple of hundred bucks in his pocket. After trying another gym, he eventually discovered Roger Gracie’s Jiu-Jitsu academy.

When Nicolas knocked on the door, a tall but unassuming kid answered. “This guy doesn’t look tough at all,” Nicolas thought.

“He looked like a regular dude,” Nicolas said. “He had that foppish haircut and was kind of pale. I thought these crazy fighters were supposed to be tan, Mediterranean-looking guys.”

Nicolas had some no-gi grappling experience and had been submitting a lot of guys at home with kneebars. One of his friends knew of Roger Gracie and heard Nicolas was visiting the academy.

“If you kneebar that guy, I will call you ‘sir’ for the rest of your life,” his friend said.

“My kneebars are amazing,” the overly confident, 20-year-old Nicolas said to his friend. “Jiu-Jitsu guys don’t know kneebars.”

Roger was gracious and welcomed Nicolas into the gym during their lunchtime class.

“I’ll never forget that day,” Nicolas said. “There were only four guys in class, so I asked if I could spar with him.” Continue reading “Nicolas Gregoriades: unlocking the root of all fears and neuroses”

You Can Stop Apologizing

The luxury of wealth has unleashed a plague of political correctness in the United States.

While children in Zimbabwe are starving, people in the U.S. are arguing over which bathroom to use.

When the stakes are low, people will predictably invent a crisis to keep the drama high.

No matter what the bleeding hearts preach, everyone is not equal, nor should we pretend that everyone is the same. Continue reading “You Can Stop Apologizing”

Ryron Gracie: the secret to success in life and Jiu-Jitsu

At 12 years old, Ryron Gracie cleaned the mats in between matches at UFC 1 where Royce Gracie submitted every one of his opponents.

That event changed history and radically transformed the martial arts community. UFC 1 showcased Gracie Jiu-Jitsu to the world and planted the seeds for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to spread internationally.

“I had a pretty good idea how big the UFC was,” Ryron said. “Everybody at my school knew I was there and that my uncle was on TV.”

Twenty-five years later, Ryron is routinely recognized by people who are anxious to share their story of watching the early UFC fights.

“But it’s not about me,” Ryron emphasized. “It’s the name. Torrance is very much the city of the Gracie family.” Continue reading “Ryron Gracie: the secret to success in life and Jiu-Jitsu”

Evandro Nunes – developing self-confidence, dealing with bullies, and finding inner peace

Evandro Nunes is a trainer at the world-famous Gracie Jiu-Jitsu University and has earned several world championship Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu medals.

His mindset toward fighting began forming while being raised by a tough Brazilian father who instilled strong, traditional values in him.

“If you see injustice toward you, or someone else, you stand up for it,” Evandro’s father taught him. “If you’re wrong, you apologize, but if you’re right, you fight for it.”

Evandro was born with a firm sense of right and wrong, but it was his father’s lessons that reinforced those instincts.

“It only made sense. If I’m right, I should win,” Evandro said. “The good guy wins and the bad guy loses, just like in the movies.”

That instinct led him into a lot of fights as a kid, many of which were with his brother, who was four years older.

“My brother and I fought a lot,” Evandro said, “but I still remember the first time I won.”

In this fight, Evandro was only seven years old and thought he could not possibly defeat his much-larger sibling.

“He punched me in the shoulder, and I fell on the floor crying,” Evandro said.

Evandro’s brother pushed him down four more times and then demanded that he stay on the ground.

“I remember feeling that I was right, so I should not lose,” Evandro said. “I was willing to go as far as it took to defend my ground.” Continue reading “Evandro Nunes – developing self-confidence, dealing with bullies, and finding inner peace”

Why smart people do dumb stuff: How to find fulfillment and influence others

We are driven by forces that often seem beyond our control.

We prefer to believe we make rational decisions, but neuroscience has demonstrated that our decisions are actually emotional, but we seek logical reasons to justify them.

One of the most powerful concepts I have ever learned was the model of the six emotional needs. Every decision you have ever made has been driven by one or more of these six emotional needs.

This model completely changed how I view human behavior and decision making. Now I consider these six needs every time I negotiate, teach, coach, sell, or influence other people.

When you have a practical understanding of this model, your romantic, personal, and professional relationships will dramatically improve. Continue reading “Why smart people do dumb stuff: How to find fulfillment and influence others”