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”

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”

You are not alone

For many, the holidays can be a very lonely time.

Especially if you look at the highlight reels we post in social media.

It’s tempting to believe everyone else is living a perfect life when perhaps, you, or someone you know, might be struggling right now.

Here is a little secret that not everyone has the courage to admit.

EVERYONE is struggling with something.

Yes, even those “perfect” people you may admire, idolize, or envy.

The people you may be jealous of with the bigger house, nicer car, more money, prestigious title, thinner body, sexier partner, better behaved kids, and all the rest; every one of them is fighting a battle that you have no idea about.

If not today, they did yesterday, or they will tomorrow.

During my years as a police officer, and in my work as an author, coach, and teacher, I’ve had intimate conversations with thousands of people during their darkest hours. I’ve heard their greatest pains, fears, and frustrations.

What I’ve l discovered is that although not everyone shows it, everyone is struggling with the challenges that life throws at us.

For many, the holidays can be a very dark place, so if that is you today, my Christmas gift is to remind you that you are not alone.

There may be times that you feel like you are all fucked up, but that’s ok, because so are the rest of us.

If this message was not relevant for you today, I am grateful to hear that, but please remember to reach out to those that may not feel as fortunate.

No matter where you are, I wish you and your family a very merry Christmas.


P.S. To read inspiring stories of other people who’ve overcome adversity, check out “Motivation.” You can download it right now while the kids are playing with their new toys.