First and Second Experiences
As a business owner of a martial arts academy, I like to travel and meet new people outside of my local area. Its akin, at least to me, to being a hunter/gatherer that brings the family home nurishment, stories and the feeling of everyone being missed. Not only is it fun to do, but it allows me to continue my martial research in how others around the world is sharing the martial arts in person especially in an era where online material is in such abundance. This time last year, in 2016, I attended my first Origin BJJ camp. I learned, listened, made new connections and networked. A few reminiscent things come back to me as I begin writing this article; how small the Augusta airport was, my luggage getting flown somewhere else instead of with me only to have received it on the last day of camp (I was the guy standing in the line up in the brown belt section with his gi flapping open looking embarrassed), having the camp next to a big lake, meeting the brazilian version of one of my students, discovering charcoal soap and picking up my most favorite gis to wear for practice.
This time around, I almost didn’t make it to this camp. A couple months before the camp date, I thought to myself, “Am I going again?” I wanted to go but didn’t at the same time. There was a lot of attention my school needed from me so the choice was tough. Then I remembered that there were events that I didn’t get to make earlier this year and wanted this to be a make up of sorts. So I registered. Moments after I registered, I saw a post on Facebook about a few people that were going to be in attendance and I was like, “Yeeaaahhh!” They were Jocko Wilink the author of Extreme Ownership, Echo Charles his podcast producer and Mike Bidwell of BJJ over 40.
Let me say that I did not know anyone before attending in 2016. All I did was open myself up to everything new just like an inexperienced person walking into the academy for the first time, signing up and achieving the white belt status. Always a long lasting impression for anyone.
All You Can Eat Lobster
First and foremost, this!
So I failed to notice the lobsters coming in and I had already gotten two chicken sandwiches. Not excuse though. I still ate three! If you don’t know how to break open a lobster, you will learn for sure. Last year, I think I ate five. Current record, I think, was 17!
Jocko Willink and Echo Charles
It was Tuesday after the last session of the day where I got to ask a bunch of questions. My first one made reference to a story he shared in his book Extreme Ownership where he shared a woman owner having some issues with her employees being intimidated by her. Although she was open and supportive of her crew, this problem was solved through a new understanding in their relationship. I asked if he could expand on it. In short, it was detailed that small, everyday connections to meaningful things in the employees lives helped break down the “untouchables” wall. The wall that says, they are the boss so don’t talk to them. Asking the crew things like, “How’s the new house move coming along?” or “Did you enjoy your visit to Busch Gardens?” Something I’ve known but to gain perspectives outside of my own is a great learning opportunity. Best of all it rekindles things that I have been neglecting by getting it a spotlight on it. If you have something going on like this, I definitely suggest asking your question openly without ego. Such simple things shouldn’t be dismissed.
Check out this video I captured during one of the training sessions at camp.
Didn’t get to hang with Echo that much, but did get to chat a little bit. I told him that there was a familiar energy about him that led to talking about Hawaii; me from Oahu and him from Kauai. That was super cool to find out.
By the way, I got to pick up some of the Jocko White Tea. Just like the tag on the bag says. It’s “Good”
BJJ over 40 with Mike Bidwell
Casually, outside of the chow hall, I started picking his brain on how BJJ over 40 came to be. I learned how much BJJ gave to him and how much he wanted to give back. His story about spending 13 years as a BJJ brown belt gives an understanding that anyone can connect to. Also he shared about a project his wife was rolling out called the BJJ Sisterhood that runs adjacent to Nicolas Gregoriades’s BJJ Brotherhood. Didn’t get to spend more time asking questions mainly because I was stuck trying to figure out one to ask. Still. Good stuff all around! Can’t wait to pick his brain again.
Origin Factory’s Grand Opening
History in the making! That’s really all I can say about it. Not everyday you get to be a part of and see the story unfolding during the actual leap and bound. Check out where Peter Roberts shares the day with how the community lean on it with him and how new partnerships were born.
Simply put, I enjoyed it! Being my second time going, I can say it was a good time. I think the next time I go, I’ll rent a car to allow more freedom to explore the area. Although the camp grounds have paddle boards, canoes, swimming area, a zip line and fire pits, I would have liked to visit more of Maine.