• The Essence of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

    The legendary grandmaster Ricardo Murgel and I go back a long time. When I first met him, I was a journalist. We went to Brazil together on assignment back in 2008. Back then, BJJ was beginning to make waves in the United States but was still poorly understood by most people. The purpose of the […]

  • The Principles of Effective Punching

    The prin­ci­ples of effec­tive punch­ing are: decep­tion, weight trans­fer­ence, and place­ment. Ide­ally a blow will uti­lize all three but any one of them is enough to cre­ate a punch that will knock the aver­age man unconscious. If a man is expect­ing to get hit, if he can see the punch com­ing and steel him­self to […]

  • Lessons from a Velvet Rope

    There’s a technique in acting called giving focus, where you confer the attention of the audience to another on stage through your body language. You can also take focus away from the other actors on stage by drawing it to yourself. Likewise in society, status is taken away and given back to people in much […]

  • Exemplars

    I admire Michel de Montaigne for his artistic daring, his command of the written word, and the substantial insight he had into his own mind. Julius Ceasar, I admire for his energy, universal effectiveness, and daring. Emperor Marcus Aurelius, I admire for his courage, his devotion to virtue, and his succinct writing style. I admire […]

  • Truth, Lies and Digital Communication or Why you should always tell the truth even in a post truth world.

    There are three ways to communicate the truth. 1. The expression of an external fact. 2. The expression of an internal reality i.e. the representation of a psychological state or emotion. 3. Pointing to, through the juxtaposition of images, words, and concepts, things that are, because of the inadequacy of language, indefinable precisely in words. Art can […]

  • What is Willpower and How Do You Make It Stronger?

    There are two main theories about willpower. One sees it as a sort of energy that a person has a limited supply of. Whenever confronted with a choice it uses some of this energy to make a decision about the choice and act on it. Choices that conflict with low-level desires like sleep, hunger, the […]

  • Reflections on Muhammad Ali

    The closest he came to getting beat during his prime was that left hook at the end of the fourth in his first match with Henry Cooper. It was one of the only times he ever seemed really dazed. His best performance was probably against Cleveland Williams. That one was a ballet of violence. The […]

  • Abraham Lincoln: Genius of Labor

    “The Prime Condition of the Free Man is Strength.” Rolland When he was young, he was “as strong as three or four men put together”; lifting Old Mrs. Robinson’s Chicken Coup and moving it across her yard, or carrying 600 pounds of logs by himself, 1,000 pounds of rocks, chopping down trees with just a […]

  • Abjure the Collective

    Exercise moderately and consistently. Think clearly. Articulate your thoughts precisely in writing. Commit at least one novel thought to the page a day. Exhort and uplift always. Don’t assume the world is one way or another. Be alert to what is happening right now in front of you. Notice beauty. Acclimatize your mind to focus, […]

  • MMA Paraenesis

    A while back I spent three years traveling the world and observing the best martial artists up close and even training and competing myself. As a writer I was always most interested in these fighters, not so much for their exploits in the cage but as models of excellence and fortitude, counterpoints in a time […]

  • The Jab

    The knowledge that you can knock a man out with one punch, that however far behind you fall in the fight you can pull it out with one shot can be dangerous in a fighter. It can lead to passivity in the early rounds and letting a match slip away. The Jab is different. The […]

  • Freedom, Democracy, and Mass Hysteria

    His job was to stand at the front door and do crowd control. They told him to keep the riff raff out, so to speak, and to make sure the crowd was the “right mix. He put a little rope across the entrance so that there was one level of separation between him and the […]

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