Monthly Archives: May 2020

#AlexOLoughlin of #H50, Talking about #BJJ (Transcript #3)

This is the third and last part of the transcript of the interview with Inferno Cast.

It covers conversation from just before 50 minutes up until the end of the video.

(Just a reminder again, that the Portuguese (Brazillian) names with an R, is pronounced with and H)

Kaleb: I think that, you know, what you’re talking about, it was difficult in the beginning and then it changes. People misunderstand growth for punishment, in the beginning. And I think it’s like that in everything. I mean, martial arts specifically, where you’re like, “Gosh, I was getting punished”, you know. And people, they see me – almost like, people are actually paying attention to you. You know, when they’re really not.

But you know, they … but they misunderstand growth for punishment and it takes time, and mentorship. Which goes back to what you’d mentioned earlier, which I really loved, was, you know teachers and a Sensei. You know, like we have lots of teachers, but a lot of us kind of have a Sensei, that’s kind of, you know…. one of our more primary influencers. Especially the martial arts world.

I mean, a lot of people, but there’s usually one that’s kind of your …. your …. your main influence or that helps you balance all this information and … And you know, people like that in your life, are the ones that help you understand, that you’re not failing. You’re not being punished. You’re not being humiliated. You’re growing.

Alex: Yeah.

Kaleb: And it’s trying to help people see that faster. And I think that goes back to your reference of like, if everybody in the world did  Jiu-Jitsu, everything would be so much better. Because that is primarily what I think everybody would absorb, as they would stop the measurement against each other so aggressively.

Alex: Yeah.

Kaleb: And it would just turn into like, this growth as a union, as a team. Because I mean, when, you’re in a Jiu-Jitsu gym, like, it gets competitive. Like you’re trying to get each other, but it’s coming from such a different place, than when you’re trying to like, beat somebody. You know, like,  “I want to show them, or humiliate them” versus, “No, I just want to give them my best”.

And I feel like that’s the … the transition you see a lot of higher-level athletes hit, toward, like, they appreciate the opponents and the guys showing up, because they are in there to test themselves. And no longer, test the other person. You know, it becomes internal.

Alex: Yeah, it’s funny. Some drive in there somewhere. With a … I think it’s …. I think it’s like an hour and forty minutes or something that Cobrinha and Egan roll … like flow-rolled together. This is, eight years ago maybe. Um … They were just … it was just ……move for move. And like, they were like, both laughing the whole time, and having the best time. And when I watched it, back then, I was like, not that interested.

Alex & Scott with Rubens Cobrinha Charles

 

I love both those men. They’re incredible men. And they’re both like mentors of mine, especially Egan. But I was like, “Okay what are they…?” And now when I watch it today, it’s like, “That’s one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen”. It’s extraordinary, you know. Because, like you said back then, I just want …  I wanted to win. I wanted to win all the time. I wanted …um, you know. I wanted to know, that what I was doing was working, you know. 

 

Kaleb: Validation.

Alex: Yeah. Validation, that’s true.

Kaleb: Welcome to everybody on the planet.

Alex: Yeah

Kaleb: You know, it’s like everybody wants some degree of validation or relevance. And I think they get the two confused. You know, we’re like …. at its truth, validation I feel is something much different than relevance. And especially like, being in the public eye. I’m sure if anybody understands that more than anyone, it’s you.

Um … It’s because people, they get confused once again. I think it goes back to an educational process on almost all of it. Is – I need to understand the difference between, you know, being relevant, just because I’m trying to choke everybody. And I get that …. I become that person in the gym. Always goes hard. Always trying to choke everyone. Versus, you know, seeking some validation, which over time, stops, being the measurement against the people you’re rolling with. It  … and it starts being the pursuit of information. You know, the pursuit of excellence.

Alex: Right.

Kaleb: Knowing you will never be perfect, or probably the absolute best in the world. But you pursue it every day, like, it’s almost at your fingertips right.

Alex: Right, and that also boils another question down. And that is, that it’s like, I think it’s really important on this journey in this martial art,  to continually ask yourself ….. check in with yourself, and ask,  like, “What do I want? What do I want?”. And especially if you walk in … into a Jiu-Jitsu gym for the first time. If you can, sometimes it’s hard to answer that question like, “What do I want?” .

Alex & Ryron Gracie

What do you want? What … what … and ….  and … and, this is a Rickson question too. He’s like, when I was training with Ryron and Rener in … in … in his garage. And Ryron was like, “Why do you do Jiu-Jitsu?”  And I was like, “What?” I was a purple belt, like, I was almost a brown belt then. And I was like, “What do you mean, dude? It’s my everything”

And he’s like, “No. why do you do Jiu-Jitsu?” And I was like, “I love it” And he was like, “No. I didn’t ask you how you feel about it. I asked you, why you do Jiu-Jitsu?” Dude, the fuck, I couldn’t answer him, man. I was like, “???”.

Kaleb: Yeah.

Alex: I couldn’t answer him. And he was like, “You know what? When you figure it out, let me know”.  And I did. Like, two weeks later. I thought about it every day, and like two weeks later I hit him up.  I was like, “Yo, you got a minute?” And he’s like, “Yeah”. I was like, “Ryron, this is why I do Jiu-Jitsu. – Bah, bah, bah, ba, ba”.

It doesn’t matter what the answer is. But I told him my answer. And he’s like, “Beautiful man. You know why you do Jiu-Jitsu”.   And it was … it was a pivotal moment for me, because, it made me stop and evaluate…. Because look at this man, like, I’m like, headed towards nine years deep in this thing. Like, in another year …. year and a half, I could have done … man, I could be a surgeon. I could be like … it’s a lot of time to commit to something, man. 

Kaleb: Yeah.

Alex: That’s a lot ….. and commit to like every day. And like, it’s … it’s a lot of time. And there’s a lot of energy. You gonna get hurt, man. You’re gonna get hurt. I’ve been really hurt, you know. I’ve been hurt doing other dumb stuff as well. But, you get hurt. And …. it’s a lot of commitment. And .. and … and, it’s good.

For me … For me, anyway. It’s was good to be able to answer that question. Like, “Why do I do this? Why do I …  why did I built this? Why do I ……. why do I push this envelope, constantly … constantly ….. constantly?” And I think in the beginning it’s …. it’s different. In the beginning ….

Kaleb: Yeah.

Alex: What I think it’s like, “I was bullied, I don’t want to be bullied anymore. Fuck that. I don’t want … I don’t want, you know, I’ve been beaten up this way.” There’s this one guy that always …. or it’s like, “I want more confidence”.  Like you said, or like, “Chicks might dig me more. …  if I …. if I have a black belt” or, “I might get laid”.

I don’t know, like, it doesn’t matter.

Kaleb: Yeah.

Alex: It’s like… It doesn’t matter what gets you into the gym. The most important thing is, that you get into the gym. And if once you’re in, the gym, you stay. No matter how humiliating it is. No matter how painful it is.  No matter what, but you stay. ‘Cos you got to stay. You got to stay, man.

Kaleb: Yeah. I mean, and just because everything starts shallow. Where it’s like, you come in, you get in shape, learn some moves. Want to be a fighter. And then you start connecting the dots of like, where it’s really coming from, you know. Like, you just keep pulling layers back and that’s where these experience lifers … like they know that.

And …. and that question is probably the most important question, because of what it causes. Like you said, it’s not the answer. It causes that introspection. And that’s what people are spending so little time doing a lot of times. Is, understanding what’s going on, on the inside. Where is this truly coming from? You know, like, what is my intention with …. with doing this martial art? What do I want out of it? What do I want out of life?

Like, just all these questions that, you wouldn’t think you would have, rolling around with guys in Jiu-Jitsu Gi, who is trying to choke each other. But like, it’s the moment between moments. Like, when you’re out there training and rolling, your brain just disengages, for like, past and future. And you just live in that moment, for a short time. And then like, you just get clarity. You know, like, emotional, physical, spiritual clarity almost. Like, it’s a unique thing, that can happen.

Alex: No, it is, man. It’s that … There’s very few things that, that I’ve found in my life, that are … um … that shut everything else out. You know, it’s like, when I’m … when I’m training Jiu-Jitsu… I can walk into the gym with … I mean, someone could have died, right. But it’s gone…  it’s gone. When I’m training, it’s gone. It’s pure …. it’s a pure empty mind. And in that sense, it’s like … it’s wild how meditative it is. And that’s like,  not … not …. not necessarily … actually no, maybe it was like that in the beginning too – it’s … it’s incredible, man.

It just like clears my head and when I’m done, I’m like, “Oh, I feel so good”. You know, I’m like. “I’ve had my work out. I’ve got like another black eye, but that’ll be okay.  I’ve got to drain this ear again. And I think I’m pretty sure this is broken. But I feel fantastic. And I’m not thinking about anything. And I’m pretty sure I had all these problems that I … that I walked in here with, but they’re all gone”.

Kaleb: Yeah.

Alex: And …. and one of the reasons I like climbing. You know, I love climbing, because it .. it has the same effect on my brain. And … diving as well. I love diving. Diving sort of does that ….

Kaleb: Yeah.  You know, you talk about all these things that, causes that moment of escape. Especially like, diving just because, you know, the sensor deprivation that just naturally happens.

Alex: Right.

Kaleb: Like, I really feel like that, that resonates with me. Because that’s almost what it’s like doing Jiu-Jitsu, it’s like a little bit of sensory deprivation of everything else. I mean like, in the moment, you’re paying attention, you’re engaged. And like you said it’s probably always been that way, but maybe we weren’t as aware of it, in the beginning, how much it was helping us kind of, you know, be in the moment and everything else falls away. But later on, you do get very aware of it. But, you know, when you said diving, that really hit me, because it’s like, yeah, I mean that’s true, because everything else is just not impacting you as much … ah  …. and it’s almost like, the quiet in the chaos.

Alex: Dude it’s amazing. And I mean, philosophically speaking. Like, if you look at life. Like 10,000 years ago, I … I read something, that once that … that we as a species are only sort of like, five percent different than we were back then. Like we got less hair. And we got ….. ultimately were the same creature. And ten thousand years ago, we ran the earth. Like we woke up in the morning. We collected some rainwater. We were always watching for predators. And we went out and we hunted. And we were ….. if you weren’t …. there was …. there was no ….. I can only imagine. What the fuck do I know?

There was no like, the past and the future. It’s like the moment was so precious, because you could get, I don’t know, a saber-toothed tiger could come and like …. like grab you or something. You know, you’ve got to be on that …. and this morning …. I’m teaching my 11-year-old to …to … to spearfish at the moment. And we were at the front here. And, there’s this little cavern, I like to go and hang out in. There’s all these fish down there. And … and I was just free diving. And I’m just sitting underwater, on these rocks. And I got a bit of camo gear on, so I look like I’m a rock. I probably look like an idiot to the fish. They’re like, “Look at this dude.”

But I’m just sitting there, holding my breath. I’m super calm, because I did a breath-up first. I’m full of oxygen. I’m just sitting there with … with my spear and I’m just watching these fish, and I’m just waiting. And nothing else existed in that moment.  And I know this isn’t a spearfishing tutorial. And if it was, you shouldn’t be talking to me about it, because I’m not that good. 

But it …. it’s so incredible. Those moments in life are so important for me, because we live in this INSANE world, of like instant gratification. The … the desperate sort of desire for immediacy in everything, is wild, you know. That’s why I don’t … I don’t do social media. I don’t do …. my kids don’t have cell phones. They don’t … you know, we’re trying to like hold all that stuff back. And hold them back from gaming and all ….

Because it’s like, the moments are so precious. And, Jiu-Jitsu gives me my moments back. You know what I mean? And … and when I have my moments and I can be present in my moments, you’re gonna have a really hard time putting me to sleep or breaking my arm, because I’m present. You know, and I’m calm.

Um … and …. if I’m not. If I’m thinking about yesterday or tomorrow. You know, if I’m thinking about how you got to where you are. Or like, what’s going to happen next. Like, I’m in so much trouble. And that’s …. I think that’s one of the great …. that’s one of the things that really attracted me to it. And one of the things that I sort of had some cog…. cognitive grasp on. Early on, I was like, “Oh my god, I feel so present when I’m doing this thing. It hurts. My neck hurts. My …this hurts. And I did something down there. But oh my god I’m so present”.

So, yeah man, it’s pretty special stuff. It’s special.

 

Alex & Bill Hosken

Kaleb: That … I think that really sums it up extremely well. Because man, that’s the whole thing that … that, we’re kind of looking at exploring is, what happens with the depth of the journey as people get into martial arts. They start, you know, becoming more physical and … and being in the moment. And just shifting priorities.

Because like you said, that the world’s overrun with … with influence. And things that we think that matters, versus stuff that doesn’t matter. And … and it’s difficult to navigate. And there’s a lot of people that don’t have really good skills, or experience to navigate it very well. And I think that’s kind of the … the goal of a lot of martial artists in the world, is they’re trying to help people find those skills through martial arts.

Because there’s other ways to find it. Like you said, you know, climbing and diving. And there’s a lot of things that can help people find their balance in life. But, I just know for me it’s the martial arts. And from talking to you, you know, it seems that it’s been a major influence, or an impact for you. And … and I can really hear the lessons resonate, that people are going to connect with. Because, they’re gonna understand exactly what you’re talking about. Because everybody’s fighting those … those same battles.

Alex: Yeah.

Kaleb: You know, man, and that helps. Yeah, that was awesome.

Alex: Yeah, man.

Kaleb: I really appreciate that.

Alex: But I mean…. One thing I didn’t say, is…. And I think this is really important. Like I’m not a competitor. And I stress that. Because sports Jiu-Jitsu is huge. You know, and a lot of people …. a lot of people come into Jiu-Jitsu because they want to …. they want to compete.  And they want to win. And that’s  …. that’s awesome man.

And some of my close friends are that person, you know. And I can’t really speak to the competition aspect, so much. Just because I don’t … I don’t do it. But, it doesn’t … you know … and … and … and in that world of like, placing and metals and all that, there is the best. You know, but like in anything, the best only last for so long, until the next better guy is around. You know and we all know that. There’s always going to be someone better eventually, you know.

Um … but, we’re all on such different paths, you know. But we walk the road together. And I think that, that’s something that took me a while to get my head around. I was like, “Oh, I got to get as good as like, that dude. And I can’t be. And I can’t wait till I’m a little bit better than that dude here, because he’s already … “ And it’s like the … the moment that I was … I was able to sort of let all that go. And go, “No, none of that fucking matters man. Oh, this is my path.  It doesn’t matter. This is my belt. This is my kimono. And this is my game.” Like, once I found that …. which took me …. it took me probably five years to get there.

But once I got there, that was super liberating. Like, I was like, “Oh .. oh I’m gonna do this forever now. I’m going to train forever. Oh, I need to change the way I train. I need to … I can’t train the way I’ve been training, until I’m an old man. Because I’ll be dead in … in 15 years. “

So, all of that … that was a really big shift that happened for me. So I mean, if anybody’s like, white belts or blue belts, or you know, that are experiencing THAT,  just don’t trip and … and it’s gonna …. it’s gonna settle in. You know it’s gonna settle in because it does. And when it does, it’s beautiful man. Because it kind of sets you free and you don’t care anymore. You forget what colour is around your waist. You forget how many stripes are on it. It doesn’t matter.

Kaleb: It’s kind like that, you find yourself almost. You know, like … like you finally know who you are.

Alex: Yeah.

Kaleb: Like to kind of figure out like, what … what you’re supposed to do. You know, it’s almost like your purpose a little bit. It helps you define it better. You know, maybe not find THE purpose, but you define who you are better and just understanding where you stand. Like, kind of in the world or the universe. Like I mean it’s … I mean it’s … a very … like you said, a very transcendent type of situation that it can occur. That can go as deep as anybody wants to go.

Alex: Like forever and ever.

Kaleb: But you know, on the lighter note. It’s fun. It’s training. You know, we get to choke each other. We attack each other. And you make some of the best friends in the world.

Alex: The best …. the best.

Kaleb: And you’re having a good time. So, on a lighter note, like, do you got anything cooked up. Anything coming up that you’re excited about? Anything you’d like to mention before we get up?

Alex: No. Whatever dude.

No, I’m … I’m so glad to be … Look, I just came off this show for ten years. Which is extraordinary. Like, nothing goes for ten years, anymore. And  …. I’ve been feeling a lot of gratitude. I’ve been really kind of, catching those quiet moments in this quarantine … this very odd quarantine period, that we’re all experiencing. And, I’ve been trying to sort of just get quiet and … and do gratitude lists. And it keeps coming up. I’m so grateful for the experience I just had. Because it’s really rare man. It’s rare for an actor to make a living, period. But to have an experience like this, is nuts.

And on the other side of that, I’ve worked pretty hard for the last 10 years. And I’m really experience …. the experience of … of sleeping for like eight hours a night, it’s incredible, dude. It’s like not having to get up at 5:00 every morning, or whatever, it’s … it’s… it’s been a big deal. And getting all this time with my kids. And …. and I’m really missing training.  I really, really, really miss training Jiu-Jitsu.

But I got a great gym here and I workout. And, you know, I’ve been, you know, just trying mind, body, spirit, fit the deal. And … and … yeah, who knows man. I’m kind of just to hand it over …. As far as career stuff goes, and trying to hand it over… And, I’m not ….. I don’t know what we want to do. I mean, I guess I wanna keep acting. I don’t know, I ….  I’m so, you know, sort of …. I don’t know. We’ll see, man. We’ll see what comes up. We’ll see if I find …

Kaleb: Time will tell.

Alex: Maybe I’ll start writing again, if I get inspired again. I’m just … I’m just …. I don’t know? I’m just in a quiet period. And I want Jiu-Jitsu back.

Kaleb: Yeah.

Alex: I want my Jits back.

Kaleb:  That’s it, man. It’s all about rolling. Okay, last. I want to have a little bit of fun. I came up with a fun …

Alex: Right.

Egan Inoue, Royce Gracie, Alex & Saxon – January 2014

Kaleb: So, you’ve been playing a cop for ten years. You’ve had to learn too many lines and cool stuff. So, I wanted to play – Is this an acronym for Cop stuff, or is this an acronym for Dungeons and Dragons? you all

Alex: Game on.

Kaleb: Right, okay. So, I’m gonna give you the three letters that make up the acronym and then they just use – Cop or D&D

Alex: Okay. Beautiful. Is there a passing grade on this?

Kaleb: What?

Alex: Is there a passing grade on this?

Kaleb: A passing grade? No way, man.

Alex: I am going to fail, but it’s okay.

Kaleb: No, no. No passing grade. Because either way, I think everybody will understand. Because these were hard. Like, I researched,  and I was like. “Man this .. uh .. this is tough”. Okay, first one …um … NPC?

Alex: NPC?  I don’t think it’s a cop term. NPC … but I’m not a great Dungeons & Dragons. The kids like.  NPC? I’m gonna say Dungeons and Dragons.

Kaleb: Bingo. Yeah.

Alex: What is it?

Kaleb: It stands for ‘None Player Character’. Good job.

Alex: Yes.

Kaleb: Okay, okay. You’re good. You’re good. Okay, next one – ARV?

Alex: ARV? I think it’s a cop thing.  I think it’s a cop … Cop. 

Kaleb: Yes – ‘Armed Response Vehicle’.

Alex: Okay.

Kaleb: Man, you’re good.

Alex: I was not even sure about that. I’ve been playing a cop for 10 years. And all I can do is bullshit my way through this.

Kaleb: Okay, last one- LFA?

Alex: LFA? I never heard it before, so I’m going to say D & D

Kaleb: Oh, it was a cop term –  ‘Larceny From Automobile’. 

Alex: If I’d stolen more shit out of cars, I would’ve known.

Kaleb: Yeah. Well, I just wanted to have some fun. I appreciate the time today. It was very insightful, man. Like, I just listened to you talk martial arts and everything. Just really … Man, it was really awesome. Because you can tell it means a lot to you. And it’s influenced your life.

And that’s kind of a whole purpose right now is, trying to let people hear some messages of some encouragement and how it can help. And, you know, and … and also, people within the industry. They’re … they’re facing a very unique, challenging time right now, with schools and you know, what they’re gonna do, you know, financially and health-wise.

Just … there’s a lot of things going on. I think this is going to give people a lot of encouragement. Is there anything you’d like to close with?

Alex: Yeah, man. I think the last thing I’d like to say…. Thanks for having me on, by the way. I really appreciate it. It’s been a lot of fun… Is, you know, if you got kids, get him into Karate or Taekwondo. And … and just see what happens. That … that’s  … I would love to say it here, how it goes.

Kaleb: Man, I appreciate it. I hope you guys have a great day. And I’ll definitely be staying in touch

Alex: Bye, Bro. Thanks so much, man.

 

Link to Full Video:

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#AlexOLoughlin Talking to Inferno Cast about #BJJ and other Martial Arts (Transcript) #2

This is our second installment of the transcript – covering the part of the interview from just before 24 minutes, to around 50 minutes on the video.

It is good to see that some people benefit from these transcripts. It also forces me to listen more intently at what is being said.

Kaleb: So when you look at your childhood, you know, when you’re coming up, rough and tumble, running with guys that are bigger faster and doing some martial arts on the side. You know, I get the feeling that you’re probably always challenging yourself, or challenging others. You know, you’re always kind of pushing the limits.

Do you feel like, when you look back at your years, did martial arts give you a little bit more drive? Or do you feel like, maybe it gave you more temperates, to handle those circumstances? You know, as you grew and got older?

Alex: I definitely think both. I think I was more aware of the drive aspect, before, I was aware of the latter. You know, that sort of came in my later realizations, when I was sort of older and my intelligence had formed and matured a little bit. But, drive that you know, I mean, the way we train back then, it was proper old school Dojo’s, you know. On the wooden floors and there were small matted in areas. But we were doing, ….  like I was six years old, doing push-ups on my knuckles, on the wood, you know. With like instructors coming and sort of putting pressure between our shoulders and then doing crunches. And then walking across our stomachs. And they hit us with sticks, if we were like acting out. And it sounds terrible. You can go to prison for that today.

But it wasn’t …. it wasn’t like that. It was ….  it was a discipline that …. as a male child who’s  …. who’s, you know, a lot of … like, a lot of my generation’s fathers weren’t ….. weren’t available, you know, I mean. They weren’t …. things changed during the industrial revolution and dads kind of became this ghost figure. You know, and boys need a dad full-time.

Like I got three sons, man. Every one of them, needs me all the time. And …. and especially the little ones, you know.  And I think that replaced that, in a sense, you know what I mean.  I think that …. the drive that came from like being forced into that discipline like, multiple times a week. You know, it’s just ….. it’s just beaten into you essentially. And then, it’s just … that wheel starts running, you know. That wheel starts running … and then when you do something….. Of course, that can …. you’ve got to be careful like, you don’t want to be the sort of … you know, sometimes I have to pull myself up and realize like, it’s okay to be like ….. not everything’s like, “Come on”.

Kaleb: Life or death.

Alex: So I become, you know, as I get older, I become … I’m learning the … the importance of that sort of gentle balance as well, you know. But to have that thing inside you. To be able to harness that fire and push yourself forward and …

Also, I think another aspect is …. is your relationship with pain. I think pain is something that a lot of people are scared of.  And pain sucks, you know what I mean. Pain is ….  it is what it is. But ….. through pain, you’re forced to do one of two things, in my opinion. You’re either forced to retreat, or you’re forced to grow. And if you …. if you’re not given the opportunity to retreat [laughs]

Kaleb: Yeah.

Alex: There’s a 220-pound black belt, lunatic, sitting on your chest …. then … then you have to grow. And what does growth look like in that moment?  What sort of growth is required, given the circumstances? And that’s …. that’s …. that’s sort of how I …. how I… I see that it parallels with life a lot.

You get to kind of like, assess very quickly. And …. and, whilst staying safe and staying calm and then find …. find an avenue out of there. And I think that, that became a part of my life early on. Because I was introduced to pain … physical pain, that you could get over. Not injury pain. Like, just temporary physical pain.

But yeah, it’s wild reflecting all those years back, man. Almost 40 years now. But …

Photo from Pacific Business News article

Kaleb: Yeah, but I mean, it’s like when you look at the …. Like you talked about, the balance, you know. Too much, not enough. It’s just like when you’re in a bad position, when they’re doing Jiu-Jitsu. If you get too aggressive and expend too much energy and pushing the wrong directions. You know, you’re taking a lot of action, but you’re not getting results.

Alex: Yeah.

Kaleb: Versus, the more you play, you take calculated action and you get, you know, more results for that action. And it’s kind of that balance of like, you can try to defend the position too much. You know, or you can defend it not enough, just like when you’re dealing with stuff in life in general. Where it’s like, you can overreact and lock it down too tight, and be a little bit too forceful, and you know, miss it. Or be a little too passive and complacent.

And it goes back to that balance,  you know, which, you know, you kind of look at like all of the people that use analogies, such as like surfing and skiing. And you know, they always talking about like, all just gotta find that zone. That …. that balance. That sweet spot. And, you know, that’s what you’re trying to find in Jiu-Jitsu, but it just seems to bleed over into the rest of life.

Alex: Right.

Kaleb: So, wow, you know. Just like you said, managing pain.

Alex: Yeah. Another thing I really like to do is rock climb. I … I started climbing when I was probably about 20. When you’re climbing, there’s something called your 3-foot world, you know.  It’s like right here. And nothing else matters. That 3-foot world is all that matters. The foothold that you’ve just gotten, it doesn’t matter. You lock it in ….  if it’s locked in, you commit, you go. And you’re three-foot world changes, through each small movement, you know. And …. and … yeah, you just made me think about that. And it’s the same thing ….. it’s the same thing in Jiu-Jitsu.

It’s like…. and you know the other thing ……. the other thing that’s amazing, is watching women come in and start brand-new like purebreds, from like the first crispy white belt. And watching how quickly ….. because this happens in rock climbing as well. Women are intrinsically better at rock climbing than men. You see dudes like, start to climb and they’re burning out and their arms are all pumped. And they’re falling off. And they can’t …

And these women are just like, almost immediately, it’s perfect form. They’re straight arms, bent legs. They’re using their leg muscles. They’re like resting their hands. And they’re making their way up these rock faces. And if you watch women in a Jiu-jitsu gym, it’s amazing, because they don’t … they’re not born thinking, I can …. I can rely on brawn.  I can rely on brut strength, right. So you know, you see these women come in and … and it’s amazing to watch their journeys. 

Because as dude, I went in, and like, when you get on me, all my, wah – testosterone, or whatever else is like, kicks in and adrenaline. And I’m like, we’re fighting, you know. And you do …. you do fight in Jiu-Jitsu – it’s … it’s …. it’s a full …. it’s a full-contact martial art. Which is very different to a lot of the other ones. But there’s so much more to it. And the moments of fight, or scramble, or explosion. Really when you break it down, and you’ve been around for a minute, and you learn real Jiu-Jitsu.

You know, there’s sort of minimal, unless you’re in competition, of course. And then it’s just on, you know.  And that’s not something I do. But, you know, if you’re …. and I’m not even talking about flow …. gentle flow rolling. Sort of that normal rolling. Like, you can only explode and go hard for a certain amount of time, before you’re gassing and you’re pumped. Your movements aren’t as effective. Your brain response time, to your actual physical response time, starts widening and all that sort of stuff.

But, I watch women come in and they kind of freaked out at first. And then they get it ….. they get it so quickly, man. And they’ve watched their technique, and they learn the technique and they get the technique and they use the technique. And I said, “Wow. These girls get so good, and so quick. It’s crazy”. The dudes are still like, oh, like clashing heads, breaking noses, and …

Kaleb: I definitely, had the same experience where it’s like, the guys kind of want to push through and run over. And … and the girls are a little bit more adaptable about like, move around.

Alex: Right. Yeah, right.

Kaleb: You know, like, no resistance, instead of having to like stomp on the resistance. And, like you said, no conditioning of just, from who knows where it comes from? You know, society, chemical. You know, nature or nurture.  Like, who knows, but … but you notice the trend, when you’re training with people. And, especially the higher ranks. Like, you become very similar to that where it’s like, calculated efficient movements, to where I moved just enough, not too much, not too little. And man, I mean honestly, like, with anything in life. Like that’s usually the goal. That’s like, you know, you got to do just enough. Because you can overdo it, or under-do it.

Alex: Yeah.

Kaleb: If you were going to look at a situation, outside of the martial arts, which you knew you were like, man, this moment has happened, or I handled this moment, because of martial arts in my life. Is there any to stand out that was like maybe you know, like an epiphany, or?

Alex: I think, especially Jiu-Jitsu, it comes into play in …. in …. in all areas of my life. And … and there’s moments …. when um, just like on the mat, there’s moments when I’m like, I’m not focused on my breathing. Or my breathing needs to be a lot calmer. There’s days when I’m rolling and I’m just like, “Dude, you’re a mess”.  Like, “Slow down. Slow your breath down. Like, bring it back. What are you doing? What are you thinking about? Come back. Empty your mind.”. And it’s like in life.

There’s days when I  wake up and I got a head, like a slapped arse. Just like …. And the kids are like, “Okay, let’s give dad some space today.”  I think it’s … it’s life on life’s terms, you know what I mean. But for the most part across the board, 97% of the time, I am much more well equipped to deal with life and all of its complexities, and it’s difficulties, and it’s different personalities, and it’s agendas, and everything else, than I … than I was, even 10 years ago, you know.

And by the way, as a person, I fail every day. You know what I mean. Every night I lay in bed, and I go “Okay, what can I do differently tomorrow?”. You know, as a .. as … as …. as a husband, as a father, as a friend, as a brother, or as a son. There’s always adjustments that need to be made, you know.

And I think that’s …. the …. that’s the beauty of life, you know. I don’t … I’m never …. I’m never like, “Yeah, buddy … yeah, yeah yeah”. But there’s …. there’s ….there’s …. the martial arts in my life, have had such a strong influence and  ….. and again I come back to Jiu-jitsu. Because Jiu-Jitsu is so profound. It’s so profound. It’s like, I’ve gotten a bunch of people into it over the years. And I’ve tried to get like a 100 times that many people into it. You know, and some people just …they don’t give a fuck. And it’s like, no problem, I totally get it.  I want people to get it. I want people to have it, because of how much it’s given me. Because of how much I’ve seen it give so many people.

Kaleb: I mean, that really makes so much sense. Because like the first part of it was, you know, failing as a person. You know, ‘cos everybody seems to have this innate fear of failure. I mean, there’s a whole fear of success discussion, but that’s a whole different one.

Alex: Yeah.

Kaleb: But like …. But the fear of failure, you know, of just making mistakes.  And like I didn’t do perfect. And, you know, Jiu-Jitsu and martial arts, you know, that type of training, I mean, you failed thousands … thousands maybe millions of times and it becomes so common, that you’re just like, not even bothered by it. You become desensitized to it. And then, you know, when you talked about, you know, coping with what life, gives you – of different personality types and just different struggles. I mean, those are like the rolling partners on the mat. Sometimes it’s a big strong guy, sometimes it’s the little fast person. You know, sometimes it’s a new person, where you have to be the leader, and help them along. And then sometimes you’re just the nail and they’re the hammer.

Credit eganinoue IG
Renzo is one of my #bjj and #mma favorites of all time! I’ve learned so much from him and still learning from him. @renzograciebjj proud to be considered family! Also with my bro Alex #bellatorhawaii #h50 #alexoloughlin

Alex: You know, I love that …. I love that Renzo quote man.  The Renzo quote …. just, you guys know is …. um … I’m gonna paraphrase, because I can never quote anyone correctly. But he was basically …… he basically said look, the job in the first few years of the training Jiu-Jitsu, is to be the nail. ‘Cos you’re gonna just get hammered, and hammered, and hammered. But then at a certain point, something changes and you become a hammer. 

And I was like “Oh my god it’s amazing”. But the beauty of that, is that when you become the hammer, you’re actually ready to be the hammer. You know, you’re ready to …. we hope …. we hope, you know, you’re ready to use that responsibly and …. and you should have been teaching like, long before then and all the rest of it, you know.

There’s actually this picture of grandmaster Hélio behind me here that Royce gave me. I had the … the …the old the federation … the Jiu-Jitsu federation picture over the lightning bolt and stuff in it, in my garage here.  It faded out over the years. And, Royce was like, we’ve got another picture for you. And he gave me this one. It’s actually signed by … by his pops. But what’s amazing …. I don’t know if you can see the color of his belt? Can you see it?

Kaleb: Yeah.

Alex: It’s blue, right? So this man was the, you know. He was the ….. he and his brother and they’re the highest-ranked Jiu-jitsu belts in the world.  A 10th-degree black and a 10th-degree red belt. And …. um, at a certain point in life, he stopped wearing the red belt. He took it off and he put his blue belt back on. And it’s kind of Navy and his custom navy blue belt. And that’s … uh … that’s actually what grandmaster Royce wears now too. 

And it’s my understanding that the reason he … he went back to this, is because it’s that forever white belt mentality, you know. And … and Cobrinha talks about that a lot. It is like, you gotta …. you always have to be a white belt. Be a white belt in your mind. No matter how good you get. No matter how many medals you get. No matter what you … you know, what riches you attain. No matter what. If you keep that white belt mentality, you will …. you will always win.

Kaleb: Yeah.

Alex: Because it doesn’t matter. And there’s always room for growth. And that’s … that’s the incredible thing. Like, he died like, well into the 90s. You know, to the very end, he would say that like, “Every day, I am still learning.  I learn from these kids that come in and train with me”.  I mean, that’s …. that’s beautiful. That’s incredible.  That’s a reason to do something.

Kaleb: Absolutely man. I mean, just, it’s profound purpose of just, you know,  always moving forward and growing. You know, which just as human beings, like we’re wired to … and that’s what we’re wired to do. We are wired to grow and do, you know, contribute and help others. Um, you know, on a real basic level.

Which kind of makes me go to the next question of. You know, a lot of people in martial arts, they seem to struggle with, being humble and being like, unconfident. Like they get the two confused. Where it’s like extreme humility, means I have no confidence myself. Um… And I feel like there’s a balance in there, to where it’s like, you need to have confidence in who you are, what you know, what you’re capable of. But you still want the humility, you know, of being a student and learning and progressing.

Do you have a perspective on that, of like, how do you balance that?  How do you find that happy medium? You know, or ….?

Alex: Yeah, man. I think it’s a …. it’s a fantastic question. It’s really …. it’s a really important question. Not just in this sort of discussion of the martial arts,  but also life.  I once heard somebody say that, humility, or being humble, you know, it’s not thinking less of yourself. It’s thinking of yourself less.  And, I heard that, and I was like, “That’s amazing!”. And I know it’s super simple, but it’s like, I need super simple. Because I’m super complicated, right. So, I heard that I was like, “Oh my god, that’s amazing”.

And so, of course, there’s aspects that I think are critically important in life, like service, you know. And … and …. and being there for other people. And helping … um … anyone, whenever you can. And, I think that stuff …. again this isn’t  …. this isn’t directly martial arts related, yet. But it’s like, I think service is …  is something that a lot of us think about and a lot … but it’s ….. But it’s … it’s really important.

It’s something that I try to do. And don’t do enough. And wish I … I did more. There you go, perfect example. This was maybe…. maybe this conversation is good to ref me up into some more service. But anything that I can get out of self with, you know. Because when I’m like thinking about myself. And I used to be so self-absorbed dude. Like, oh god. I must have been so boring to be with, just as a young actor in Hollywood.  It’s just like, “How do I look? How do I sound?”. It’s like, fuck! It’s so boring.

But if you can get out of self. That, I feel like is the beginning of kind of humility. And as far as like …. as far as training in a martial art. In … in …. in having one teacher and maybe one Sensei, even if you have multiple teachers. And, you know. I’m …. I’m a … I’m a purist, in the sense that I come from a traditional martial arts background.

And so, when I tie my belt around my … my Gi, and I wipe my feet and I walk onto that mat. It’s like a …. I don’t want to get .. like … I don’t know it’s …. it’s a big deal for me, you know. And it’s because it was made a big deal. I was taught that it’s a big deal, when I was very very young. And this …. room these ….  these matted areas that we practice these arts in … on … together, are kind of  …. from me it’s a sacred place, you know. And so I think like, I’m not …. I think there’s … respect and reverence are really important, you know.

When you walk into a Dojo like, bow …  bow at the door and then walk in, you know. And  … and the reason we wipe our feet at the edges of the mat, are not just to get the dust and dirt and grime from the soles of our feet, but it’s also we wipe away our ego and wipe away all the ….  the world’s problems. And we leave the world out there. We don’t bring it in here. We don’t bring it on these mats, you know. And that’s really important. And that affects all of our training. And you will … like I was … you will be forced into humility. Because the other option is humiliation, right.

When you do a full-contact martial art. And that’s why I keep coming back to Jiu-Jitsu. Because of all this other stuff, it’s beautiful, you know, what I mean. When you’re doing air punches and beautiful kicks, and you look amazing, and people get photographs. And you know …. But it’s like, when someone grabs your neck, something changes. All the like, character defects jump to the surface, and you are, “Fuck, come here” .

And it’s like when you can start to harness that process and stay calm during all that stuff, there’s something really magical about it. And I’m kind of waffling on man. But …. I don’t know if I answered your question.

Kaleb: No, that is what I consider profound knowledge, man. Because like it’s coming from a place of truth. It’s like, that is exactly what it’s like. And the way in which you look at the martial arts. And your journey within it and what that belt means to you. Like that’s what defines its value. And by defining its value, you’re going to measure its impact in the rest of your life.

Alex: Right.

Alex & Egan working on the new gym – October 2013

Kaleb: So, I mean, like that’s a very, very balanced perspective. Because, if it didn’t mean anything to you, 1) – you wouldn’t dedicate your life to it. And 2) – you would not get out of it, everything that does come with it.

Like you said, there’s people out there that, they get the black belt. They achieve a few things, but you know, there’s some pieces of their lives that maybe they’re missing or struggling with. You know, wisdom or overall view of things. And it’s like, the intentionality of that on the front end of knowing what you’re doing and what you’re learning, is a very serious valid, you know, thing. It’s just a lot of people they, shortchange it. And I really think it comes from embarrassment. Like fear of embarrassment, because …

Alex: Yeah, fear comes from like, a lot of us have low self-esteem. It comes from…. it comes from, you know, agendas …

Kaleb: Yeah.

Alex: Fear … I think fear, man. I think fear is the big one. 

Kaleb: I … I agree. Because, you think about how many people limit their thoughts, or their true emotions, or feelings about something, because they’re afraid of judgment, or what people might say, or what other people do…

Alex: Totally … totally. And that was my process, you know. I came in Jiu-Jitsu and I was humiliated ….. humiliated. Like time and time again. By like, little dudes, big dudes, fat dudes, skinny dudes,  women, children. Like, they just beat the shit out of me. And it was humiliating.

But the reason it was humiliating, because this …. this is why it was humiliating.  It’s because of … of my process at the time, you know. And this is going back like, almost a decade. And …and things have changed a lot to me. Like, it’s my opinion that you can recreate yourself every day. I really believe that. And I try to every day. And sometimes I succeed. And sometimes I fail. And sometimes I …. regress. But that’s a different conversation too.

So, I would be humiliated because this hadn’t changed, you know. And there was still so much ego coming onto the mat with me. And once that started to shift and it moves from humiliation to being humbled. That was …. that was so liberating. It was such a liberating experience, ‘cos, those guys are still that much better than me. Like I’m never gonna beat, Egan. But you know what I mean. There was, in the early days … I never …. And by the way, I never was like, can I beat this dude? That’s … no… that’s… that’s ….. You should never ever think that, about the man, or woman, that you’re training under.

But the other guys, I wanted to like, when can I run this blue belt a little bit. Or when can …..why is this white belt keeping …. And when that … when the humility kind of kicked in and I just started taking in, and being like, Wow,  okay. I’m being hump … “And I was humbled by it. I wasn’t embarrassed anymore … I was … it just left me quiet and pensive and thoughtful. And it was …. I wasn’t, like … it wasn’t upsetting [laughs] like, it was in the very beginning. And what’s amazing, is the transformation from sort of being humbled by something, trans into being stoked by something.

Like one of my dudes …. I got … I got a group of dudes here. These amazing guys. Most of them are black belts. They come over. They train in my house, my garage, you know. And we can, you know, I’m never far from my kids. It’s why I  built a gym at my house. I’m never, you know, I can control who comes and who doesn’t. And they’re all really, really good.

We’re all busy. They run in, and we train hard for an hour. And, you know, we go back to our lives. But they come in. And like I know their games. They can’t trick me anymore. We…. like we … we go hard too. Like, you know  … and sometimes one of them will get something, and I’m like, “Dude, that was DOPE. Like, how did you do that? That was amazing”. And then we sit down. We break it apart and we give everything to each other. And it becomes like, this collaboration. It becomes like, it’s … it’s like, it’s so much more. They’re my family now, you know what I mean. And everything we have. There are no secrets. We share everything with each other. And Egan … am I waffling?  Am I just rambling of bullshit?

Kaleb: No, no. Man dude, your good.

Alex: [laughs] I do that, man … I just bullshit on.

Egan, Egan Inoue is … um. He’s so incredible. I mean, he  … I spoke to him yesterday  …. I think you might be talking to him at some stage, which is amazing. But he …. he’ll tell you his journey. He came up and he was under a few different Senseis ….a few different professors, when he came up. And  …. and I don’t know if that’s got anything to do with it, but he has this real sort of egalitarian, like open-minded approach to training.

And like, there’s a lot of schools that you walk in and they’re like, “If you train here, if we ever hear you train anywhere else you’re done … you’re done”. And God bless them, like that’s … that’s …. that’s how they do it.

Egan’s the opposite of that. He’s like, “Go and train with everyone, man”.  He’s like, “I want you all, to train with everyone. Whoever, you just be safe. Just make good choices. Go train, come back, and show me all their secrets”. And you know, and let’s break it all down.

And so, my whole Jiu-Jitsu journey, has been going out into the world and getting stuff and bringing it back.

And he’s like, and just and …. and mixing it up and playing with it. And so, yeah, no one …. and the other thing is that sort of embarrassed, humiliation that can happen really, really early on. I think anyone … any sort of higher belt. Any colored belt. If they’re seeing that happened in the gym, they … they should be like …. they should take that person aside and … and …. and say or do whatever needs to be said or done, to ensure that person has a better experience, you know. Because it’s unnecessary. And, they did it for me, and I didn’t listen. I needed to eat more shit sandwiches. And have a hard time for longer. And I did. And… but it’s … yeah, it’s …. it starts like that for a lot of people. But it passes.

Link to the full Video:

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(Transcript) #AlexOLoughlin Talking to Inferno Cast about #BJJ and Martial Arts

Last week Inferno Cast hosted Alex on their broadcast, with a long interview about his life long love for martial arts and specifically his passion for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) over the last 9 years.

Because the interview is 71 minutes long, we will post the transcript for it in 3 separate posts.

They talked about a lot of things and some of the technical terms in the sport are difficult to pick up on and transcribe correctly. 

 

Kaleb Plank (head coach at Inferno MMA in Bentonville, Arkansas) interview with Alex.

Transcript:

Kaleb: Welcome to the inferno cast. Today’s guest has a lifetime full of martial arts experience, but he’s primarily known as a TV and film actor. And most notably his recent show Hawaii Five-o.  Alex O’Loughlin – How you doing today, buddy?

Alex: What’s up man? How are you doing?

Kaleb: Man, I’m good. I really appreciate you …. you know, taking time to talk to me about some martial arts and Jiu-Jitsu. It’s kind of a unique time that we’re in, but I think that’s kind of why stuff like this is a little bit more important, to kind of keep people engaged and encouraged. How’s everything going on Hawaii?  Or in Hawaii – sorry.

Alex: Good, man. It’s good. Thank you for having me, dude. I’m really happy to be here. And you know, I love talking about martial arts. I’ve always sort of have been a geek on it since I was very little. And things are good here. It’s hot.

Kaleb: Yeah

Alex: Summer …… summer is just sort of starting here, and it’s … um… it’s funny, you know. We never really get a winter. For me anyway. Like, I’m used to like, rain or snow or wind or something. And it sort of just drops few degrees and it goes back up. It’s good.

Kaleb: You mentioned you’ve been into martial arts since you’re a kid. So I kind of wanted to start there. Do you remember what kind of encouraged you, or inspired you, to have a thing for martial arts? Was it TV or movies or books?

Alex: I played like …. I played football when I was a kid in Australia. I played Aussie Rules. And …. I did a bunch of different stuff, and there came a point when my mom put me in karate. I don’t know… I don’t think… I don’t think I was the … the driving force… I think. I don’t know how… I should ask her like, “Why did you do that?”. But she … I just remember having this clear memory of her ….  of holding her hand. And I had this little white Gi on and this belt that she’d sort of tied for me.

And I walked in… I was at the door of this Dojo and there were all these dudes doing their thing, you know. And I was like terrified and sort of also in aww and slightly confused. And  …. and it was Goju Kai.  I started with Goju kai and I later went on to Shobu-Kai. And Goju Kai kata, as a pattern, is so beautiful. And especially the higher ….. especially the higher …. higher belt patterns.

And I saw all these beautiful hand movements and I was  …. immediately, I was sort of transfixed by the whole thing. I was really nervous. And she walked me in. My Sensei ….. Sensei Shields, his name was. And he was ….. he was the first black belt that I trained under.

And ….. yeah, it was …..  from that point, I just became obsessed. I was like, “This is amazing” … I started watching TV shows and movies. And  ….. and of course, I found ….. I found Bruce Lee. And I was like, “What is that? And who is he?”. And he ….. he became, you know, a huge sort of fixation of mine, to this day. I’m still fascinated with that guy. He’s extraordinary. And what he did in that time, is really amazing. And, I just saw “Be Water”, actually at Sundance. It’s really cool. A new documentary about him.

Kaleb: Yeah.

Alex: But then the “Karate Kid” came out, as well. I was like, “Oh my god. I am him”. I’m, yeah, you know, like…. And so, it’s sort of a dreamy time for me. And I used to like… I had a little milk run. Like, remember …. when I was, I don’t know if it was the same in the states, but they used to drop bottles on the doorstep. And ….. we’d run. We were the runners ….  the kids. You get paid a little … a couple of bucks, and you …. you just run your ass off. Dropping the milk and picking up the empty bottles.

And I saved my money and ….. and I buy these… I get mom to drive me down to the store and I’d buy these, like karate magazines and black belt magazine, and all that stuff. And I’d like …. there’s little coupons and stuff that you could ….  you could order like, the ninja shoes and like nunchucks and stuff. And I would save my money and I’d send away to the US, to buy these.  I’d just sit by the mailbox, just frothing, waiting for it to come.

But yeah man, it just became ….. sort of took over everything. Really, it became …. it became a way of life for me very quickly. Though I didn’t realize it for many, many years. And I think that ….. the other thing ….. I was sort of thinking about this last night. I was trying to reflect on some of it a little bit, to have something to talk about today.

You know, I think, the discipline and the integrity that I learned in the martial arts ….. and in the gyms, that I was involved with, is something that I carried throughout my life. And something that held me in good stead, you know.

Kaleb: Yeah, for sure. And I think a lot of kids have a reflection of that, that they did martial arts when they were younger and you know, it had a positive impact. And even people that didn’t maybe do martial arts their entire life, it just hit them at an impactful time of their life. You know, where it sets some habits.

And so like, for you being a fan of Bruce Lee, who is always about, you know, blending the arts and finding what is useful; discarding what is not. What did that look like for you as you got older, you know, searching out other styles, or you know, what was kind of your mental perspective of martial arts as you got older seeking out new things?

Alex: I didn’t have like, a Zen philosophy on it back then, you know. I was just a kid and I was in it. And that were the formative years. And… I didn’t realize what was sort of being imprinted on my … on my ….  the blueprint of my DNA as a person, you know. And I didn’t realize how powerful or how kind of important it would …. it was or it would be, but ….. I just loved doing any of it.

I wasn’t like, “Okay, now I need to do… “. I wasn’t like I’ve got to go and find Jeet Kune Do.  I’ve got to go on and studying Wing Chun and get a wooden dummy and do all that so I can move my …… It sort of wasn’t like that for me. I was…

I was pretty scrappy, when I was a kid. I had a lot to prove. I was always sort of like hanging out with older kids, that were bigger and faster and tougher and …. and you know, I was always the smaller dude trying …  too much, and so I’d always pop my chest out and go for it and …. and  I got my ass handed to me, so many times because I picked fights with these gigantic guys and they just beat the shit out of me.

And so I got in trouble a lot with …. with the Sensei’s that I had in my life. You know, coming to class with like black eyes and stuff, because …. you know ….. what I now know, we train so we don’t have to fight. And of course, if you have to fight, you finish the fight. But I haven’t had a fight in a long time, man – 20 years, or something. But it’s …… it was different back then.

And so, yeah, I think it was interwoven ….. and by the way, not for a minute, would I say that martial arts, fueled that …. that thing. If anything, it kind of capped it. You know, if anything …. it gave me more moments of like, you know, “Fuck this guy”. You know, walk away moments’ than … than ….. than I would have had otherwise. But I’m …… I’m not sure if I did answer your question? But …..

Kaleb: No, I mean you did. I mean, because it’s like, you weren’t seeking out martial arts, as like that. You know, “I’m the student that needs to learn everything about all that there is, and to find only the best way”. You know, you were just kind of in the moment, participating and just enjoying what it had to offer.

You know, I talked to Felicia Oh recently, and she kind of had a little bit of a similar story. It was like. She’s like, I just loved training and then before, you know it, I was training all the time and I’ve been doing this for several years. To where sometimes, I feel like it just kind of sneaks into our life, to where you just kind of look back and before you know it, you’re a martial arts guy. And you didn’t even realize it. Because there’s just fun. It was the journey.

Alex: Yeah, I think your question pertains more to me in my adult life. You know, in my …..  in my 20’s ….. I started to ….. I started to think about, like, fighting systems. You know, what I mean. And I started to think about like, self-defense. And like real stuff you know ….. and I had some pretty hairy situations when I was younger. You know, I had some …… you know I had some guns pointed at me and I had a knife put to my throat at one stage. And I had like ….. I like, sort of came out of a bunch of situations, that …. I should never have been in. But also, that I probably shouldn’t have made it out of. So, I ….. I … I’ve always been like, [pointing upwards] “Thank you!”.

Kaleb: Hmm .. mm

Alex: But as I got older, I started to evaluate my life, as you do. And I started to think like, “What’s the… what’s the best system? “ Like, “What’s THE system?”. And … um, after the birth of USC. Was that in ’93’94?

Kaleb: Yeah. ’93.

Alex:  ’93, right. I started seeing … And I was like, “Oh my god. Fuck”. Like, that just blew my mind. And I wasn’t ready for it. When I saw it I wasn’t like. “Oh yeah, that’s … “. I was just like, “What?”. And then of course, I saw Mel Gibson. Dude, he did a …. he did a triangle

Kaleb: Yeah.

Alex: … on Gary Busy in …. in one of those movies.  And that was like, very dramatic …. and in the rain. And I was like. “What is he doing? What am I witnessing?”. And at the time I thought, “No, that can’t be a real thing”. That’s not a thing. It’s not a THING!

Kaleb: Yeah.

Alex: And we started seeing more and more of it. And what I realized, like, my hands were always okay. But I was like, “I need to box. …. I need to box”. And so, I started boxing. And I boxed …. for about six years, I guess. I knew, I needed to get my hands better.

And nothing will ….. nothing will dial your …. your hands in like boxing. You know, and halfway through my boxing, I started really like watching… um … Jiu-Jitsu. I started …. really starting to understand the … the critical importance of that system.

But I had this mad reluctance. I don’t know where it came from? I was just like, “Nah”. I didn’t really know anyone in jiu-jitsu. I was like, each year that went by, it was a year further away from starting. Do you know what I mean? It was weird, and I just couldn’t walk into a gym.

Kaleb: Yeah.

Alex: And it wasn’t until I got out here …. and in the first year of the show, Scotty was a purple belt then. Scott Caan, who … who I was working with, who has become a really close friend.  He … a … he was like, “You’ve got to do Jiu-Jitsu”. And I was like, “Nah … yeah.” And he was like, “You’re an asshole. Dude, you don’t know anything”. He was like, “Do Jiu-Jitsu. Stop being an asshole.”. And I was like, “What’s with this?”.

And so, after about a year, which was about nine years ago, I was like… “Let me meet this dude, Egan, ‘cos I’ve read a lot about him. I know who he is. And if I’m gonna do it with anyone on this island, I’m gonna do it with him.”

And Egan came out and there was some sort of mats, up in this little gym we built at the stage. And …. he came out …. and …. I was like, “Man, this guy is a unit. Like, look at him. I can’t believe that I am meeting Egan Inoue. This is crazy”. And we… I threw on a Gi top and stuff. And we just started doing some real basic stuff, man. Like scissors sweeps, and like, you know, little hip throws and stuff. And he got onto …..he got into my guard, and he taught me ….. he taught me just a double lapel choke, right? And when I finally got that choke, and I did it correctly. And there was very little effort. My grips were good. I had this moment, where Egan Inoue, was in my  …. was in my choke. And I knew ….. I knew he couldn’t get out of it.  And I knew, if I tuck my head down, he could punch me as hard as he could, for the next three seconds, but then in four seconds, he’d be asleep. And it was a CRAZY revelatory moment. And I was like, “What is this …. thing in hands?”

Kaleb: This magic. … This magic.

Alex: “What is this magic?”. And …… and that was the moment ….. I sort of mocked around for the next sort of six months or so. And had a few personal things that I needed to sort out,  but then about ….. It was about eight and a half years ago. So, I was like, “I’m never gonna stop doing this. I’m never looking back”. And I got mats for a house. And I  ….. that was it.

Kaleb: Yeah, I mean, like, I understand what you’re saying about a little apprehensive of getting into it, because, especially, you know, back in the day whenever MMA and Jiu-jitsu were just so closely correlated. It was kind of like, if you were doing Jiu-Jitsu you’re basically going to Valley Judo class. Like…

Alex: Right.

Kaleb: And it kind of made a lot of people concerned. Like,  man, like, you know, I want to learn I want to be tough. But I don’t kind of want to show up, just for someone to beat the brakes off, of me. You know, like, it just …. it was one of those things because it was so new. It’s kind of like you needed to find somebody, to kind of …. that you could trust. Just because it was ….. you could see how effective it was, and that made it very dangerous.

Alex: Right.

Kaleb: You know, that was just like, “I don’t want somebody to break my arms because I ask them how do I learn an armbar”. And when you’re not in the circles, like, sometimes ….. I know for me, like, I showed up at the gyms, with like an absolute belief that, “Man, these guys are gonna try to beat me up and drag me out back in the alley”.  You know, when I was a young kid.

Alex: Yeah

Kaleb: You, know any places. Just, you know, your mind runs wild with your imagination …..

Alex: And then ….  when you walk into a Jiu-jitsu gym.  I mean even a Karate gym or Taekwondo, they’re kind of …. of like intense – yeah, yeah … all the kiaping …. being I’m like… yeah, yeah. But if you walk into a Jiu-Jitsu gym, like, that’s a tough group of dudes, man.

Kaleb: Yeah.

Alex: They’re all like…… there’s like, you know, walk in like, “Oh my god. These guys are animals”. Like, it’s ….. it’s a different ….. they’re a different breed. It’s a different breed of martial arts. You fight. You get in there, and you fight. It’s a full… it’s a proper full-contact martial art.  I think that’s, that. 

And it was like, 20 years ago… I think it’s much more accessible now. It’s kind of ….. and that is the problem, as well. Because it’s kind of becoming like Yoga. Remember, when Yoga like blows up. And every, like, every street corner in Los Angeles, there was some dude with the topknot bun in his hair, and like a fashionable beard and like, you know, flowering pants, going like, “Come in ladies, come in”.

And ….. and it became this  ….. it became, like, part of  …. it became popular. It became fun and popular and cool. And it was like, “You do yoga?” – “Yeah, I do Yoga”.  

And I think Jiu-Jitsu has become a little bit more like that. But it wasn’t like that 20 years ago man, when I thought about doing. That was like scary as fuck. And then … and there were a lot of Brazilians. And they’re gnarly dude, man. Like all my buddies from Brazil now. They’re the most amazing guys man. They see me, they hug me, they kiss me. And they’re like, “What’s up?” Like Royce and Enson and all these guys … the best, BEST dudes. But when you first meet them, it’s like …

Credit crispyk9 IG #OMG moment. #AlexOloughlin, @eganinoue, @ensoninoue, @realroyce, and @renzograciebjj!

Kaleb: Yeah.

Alex:  …”I’m scared of you man”

Kaleb: Yeah, it’s not like. “You’re not gonna punch me in the face randomly, right?”  Just because you can, like, …… yeah.

Alex: Right. That’s … that’s what I mean. Is that’s this ….. and by the way, there’s extraordinary Jiu-Jitsu out there. And the wonderful thing about its proliferation – if that’s the word?  Is that all those new players have come out of different countries. Like, I mean, look at like Craig Jones and … and you know, and Lochlin out there…. out of my country. Out of Australia. It’s like, Craig might be the best on the planet right now… Incredible. 

So, it’s kind of spread its tendrils and it pulled some incredible people in, you know. But it’s also ….. there’s some dudes out there, they’re just fronting with belts they shouldn’t be wearing, teaching people like, bad techniques  …. and…

Kaleb: Yeah.

Alex: They’re doing more damage man …

Kaleb: Yeah. No, but it comes with the territory. When something is expanding as quickly as this. You know, because I can remember whenever I started teaching Jiu-jitsu. And I was just like, a lonely little blue belt. Because, you know, there’s nobody else to train with. You know, it’s just we had the only school. And you travel to seminars for the nation. And it was purely out of excitement. It was just like, “Look at what I learned”. You know, “Let’s do more of this”. And I feel like that still goes on nowadays, but like you said, sometimes it gets a little misrepresented.

Or people kind of jump to the belts a little bit quick. And you know, maybe just don’t have the time and rank that, you know, you’re kind of looking for. But, it comes with the territory. And  …. and I think the biggest thing is, it really gets people thinking about Jiu-Jitsu. To where they get more critical, and they start looking for more information. You know, where it’s like, man are they doing this for a while? I feel like, you know, there’s got to be a missing piece.

There’s something else which, you know, you hear a lot of guys say, you know, whenever black belts go train with Rickson, it’s like starting over again. Because he brings in new ideas and new theories, that they hadn’t been thinking about for the last ten or fifteen years or even longer.

(Egan Inoue with Rickson Gracie – his name is pronounced Hickson)

Alex: Like that’s the private that I’m like, saving my money for. I still don’t  ….. like I got a couple of friends … I know Kron a little bit. I got … I know Jack and I’ve got a few friends, that are black belts under him. And I’m just like, “That’s the private”. I’m like, “Oh, my god. I can’t wait”

Kaleb: It’s like, “I gotta get better before I go”, and you know,  like ……it’s probably not gonna matter, but I’ve got to get better, before I go. It’s one of those things, that when you look at these higher-level guys in the world, and the people in a lot of smaller clubs, you know, that … uh …. you know, don’t have world-class experience. Or you know, world champion instructors. You know, they can still do jiu-jitsu and participate, but at least the awareness is increasing, to where people are starting to look and seek out, you know, more knowledge. And look to some of these senior belts – the guys that have been around since the beginning. Which is such a unique situation of Jiu-Jitsu, because, the guys that were there when it started, are still available for the most part.

Alex: Right.

Kaleb: You know, I mean, the origins are still a phone call away. You know, and … and that it’s a very unique time for us to be a part of what’s happening. And ….

Alex: I just want to add to what I said before … Like, through this … this …. this expansion of Jiu-Jitsu around the world, the amazing thing is, that there are lots of little clubs, with dudes that are really, really good – With black belts, who are really great, run these little schools, that open their doors and ….. and open their arms with a big smile. You know what I mean? 

It’s not as like… it’s not as like …. you can’t …… you’re not part of this club anymore. It’s much more accessible. Which is amazing, because I really believe, that if everybody in the world did Jiu-Jitsu, the world would be …. the most amazing peaceful place, man.  There would be no …. you know what I mean. Like the governments …. they would be  … they will all train Jiu-Jitsu. All the politicians ….. they’d be like, “Oh, come on man”

Kaleb: “It’s cool. Let’s just go roll. We’ll work it out.”

Alex: “Oh, let’s do the right thing for the planet. Let’s stop, fucking poisoning people and ripping everyone off”. I don’t know, I just think it’s a …. every …. people who … who train Jiu-Jitsu seriously …. for a long period of time, are … are … are …. they’re just easy …. they’re easier people, I think. You know, I mean, there’s something about them that’s …. some … hey, look man, I mean, when you train Jiu-Jitsu, you …. you get bashed every day.  You .. you … you …. your whole thing is trying to stop someone from breaking your arm, or putting you to sleep. Like, you know, it’s not about how you look.

I don’t even think you get to look sexy, doing Jiu-Jitsu, for like ten years. You know what I mean? Like I still look at my jiu-jitsu when we’re filming, I’m like, “Dude, why do I look ….? ” Like it’s kind of working, but you know … but … uh .. it’s ….it’s… it’s hard.

And it’s very humbling. And you can’t … you can’t … any …. it’s… it’s always been amazing to me …. because as a white and a blue belt …. like… I was desperate to get my purple belt. And I would never have told you that as a blue belt. Hell no.  Even at the first half of my purple belt, I wouldn’t have admitted it. But I just… I wanted that purple, because I wanted to know, I got past the curse, you know.

Kaleb: Yeah.

Alex: And I trained so hard. And you know, I got a bunch of stuff going on. I have six discs that are herniated... and I got a whole bunch of stuff. But a couple of them, I did to myself. From like exploding at the wrong time.  And making bad decisions that were based in ego.

And just sort of like, rushing my shots and … and  …. and .. and … and … and … and … and there’s equal parts … like, as you … if my ego comes …. gets on the mat, it’s like, I just get destroyed. It’s like … it’s a perfect balance. You know, the more ego I bring in, the harder I get destroyed. And … and the worst my experience is.  So it’s a leveler man. People that … people that roll … for the most part, I’ve always experienced them as really cool people. And easy people, dude.

Kaleb: Yeah, it’s almost like it grounds your personality. Because you’re in such a realistic scenario of, it doesn’t matter how angry you get frustrating you get or how much you want that moment if … if you don’t have the technical prowess, the experience, the timing, and the calmness, you know, to execute like, you missed it. You’re pinned in a bad position, you get caught in the submission, you know like. And you have to cope with that. And no matter what type of temper tantrum you want to throw, nothing will save you, except, you know, responding to the resistance.

Alex: Jip.

Kaleb: You know, it seems to be.

Alex: [His response is inaudible]

Kaleb: Yeah, and I think that believes in the people’s lives, often that’s – because, I mean that’s what most people are. They walk into a gym and are really battling, usually you know. As they want to be something different. They want to feel something different. They just …. You know, they’re looking for some direction or purpose you know, because they just feel lost and they don’t have confidence or belief in themselves. Self-image problems. There’s all these things that come with them.

Which of course, they’re like I just want to get in shape and learn some cool stuff. You know, but there’s really some deep stuff in there that people are challenged by, that the doing Jiu-Jitsu and other martial arts as well, that Jiu-Jitsu specifically, it just seems to give people an ability, to come up with better coping mechanisms over those struggles. You know an almost a better perspective.

I always kind of chalk it up to like, if I put you underneath full amount on day one and hold you down. You know, that’s a very stressful scary intimidating moment of like, what do I do? People freaked out. And then you fast forward two years later, and now they’re comfortable in the same position. They don’t freak out, you know, that they’ve expanded.

Alex: Rickson says like, I mean, one …. one of the many wonderful things he says, is that, you know, Jiu-Jitsu is about getting comfortable in the most uncomfortable and terrifying position you’ve ever been in, you know.

Kaleb: And that’s ….that’s, but that’s life right, I mean.

Alex: Totally man. I think a lot of people come ….. I think a lot of people come into Jiu-Jitsu, thinking they’ll find one thing, or for whatever their agenda is,  you know, coming … they … into the martial arts. Like you said, to all martial arts, but specifically Jiu-Jitsu. They come in and they’re looking for one thing, or they think they’re looking for one thing, but they get a whole bunch of other stuff, they never thought …. they never knew …..they were …. they never even thought of.

You know, I mean the realizations are so profound. They’re so … Yeah, like your say, and it’s such a great and such a great analogy for life. Jiu-Jitsu, it’s such a great sort of …. it just runs parallel with everything. And if you …… there’s also that the moment where that you’re talking about, like you know, when you finally get comfortable in somebody’s ….. in somebody’s mouth …. and… and you just gently know how to stay safe and protect your neck. And you’re waiting for the … the half an inch they’re going to give you before you can sweep them off, or get a leg, or whatever it is.

And if you sort of ….. if you look at …. if you … if you can do that, life’s kind of easy. Like it’s not easy, but it’s like, you know, like, marriage, kids, work relationships. You know like, speeding tickets, whatever …. whatever your life consists of, it’s like it’s all so much more manageable, compared to having, you know, a 220-pound black belt insane, guerilla, lunatic, sitting on your head.

Kaleb: Yeah.

Alex: You know, it’s like, “Oh, Yeah”

Kaleb: Yeah.

Link to Full Video:

We will post the rest of the transcript over the coming days
– Please be patient 🙂
(Unfortunately the captions on YouTube are very inadequate to use. Some of the wording in English is far off and would translate horribly for other languages. Hope this will translate a bit better.)

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#AlexOLoughlin and His Sword

We were busy with the transcript of Alex’s martial arts interview of last week, when we stumbled upon some beautiful footage of Alex from back in December 2018.  It seems like it involves Alex’s great love for martial arts and also the indigenous people of Hawaii
(We had to rely on internet translations – so some of the dialogue and correct names might be lost in translation. And we know nothing of the terminology used with swords)

(We also notice one of Alex’s partners  at Trident Adventures,  James Beck, at the back on some of the pictures)

  • From the blog of  Naomori Kondo  You can read the story of the whole event via the link in his name.

Dr. Tanaka instructed Mr. Alex O’Loughlin, who plays the role of Commander McGarrett in the drama “Hawaii Five-O”, at the Shiseido Dojo.

Jena Crawley is with Brandon Makaawaawa and Puuhonua B. Keiki Kanahele. 5 December 2018

  • From The Martial Arts Assembly Hall

Aloha!

Last week, Mr. Koshiro Tanaka, who is a technical adviser to the Honshinkan Dojo, and the members of the group visited us and stayed at the main building for daily guidance.

This week has been a very important week at Shishokukan. With only a limited number of people, we were able to spend a very meaningful time with Navy Shields members of the Navy Special Forces and Peace Force Security of the Hawaii independent country participating.

Mr. Tanaka’s technique is a movement that has been cultivated in battle on the battlefield, and even if there is a slight deviation, it will be cut by the return of a knife or dagger, so it is a very accurate technique.

In contrast to ordinary army manual fighting, which is very rough and physical action using force, Mr. Tanaka’s technique is very functional, including control of fist, and it is said that God dwells felt.

I also trained Kodachi. Kodachi is directly connected to physical arts, and I felt that the level of physical arts had improved.

Besides practicing, I had my friend Alex’s sword examined, and Dr. Terao also taught me how to do cane late at night. Thank you for your guidance, Dr. Yoneda and Dr. Itami of Hiko Fluid Surgery, and Dr. Terao of Naoko Kageryu.

Kamen Shimon

Budoyudanshakai martial arts black belt Concert Wagokobujutsu harmony old martial arts Shitoukan KokorozashiMitsurukan Kamei Simon Cimonekamei Drcimonekamei Drcimone # Tanaka HikariShiro # Hikari Tanaka Shiro teacher Afghan Samurai Nissi fluid surgery Nissi flow Nissi flow self defense Nissi flow Kodachi Hitagokoro Kageryu Peaceforce Nationofhawaii world peace Landofaloha Hawaii Manoa Mahalo

 

Video – Inspection of Alex’s sword

The dialogue on the video is not very clear – so our transcript of it is not very good. And we can’t seem to agree on what is said. 🙂

[Some Japanese dialogue from Dr. Tanaka]

Dr Simon: That’s … that’s actually a very good (shape ?)

Alex: So, it’s not worthless after all?

Dr Simon: Hmm?

Alex: ….  It’s not worthless after all.

Dr Simon: No. It’s not. It’s rare.

Link to video:

It would be great if there are any Japanese fans who could translate what the Karate Master says here on the video.

Update:

  • We got a translation of what was said about the sword:

He explains the types of swords in Japanese.🇯🇵
It is a type of Japanese sword called a “wakizashi”.
He says that his sword is of the short type, and if this is a “kodachi” then it’s the proper length.
Normally, a “wakizashi” is said to be about 45 centimeters long.🇯🇵

The katana isn’t the only traditional Japanese sword. Although it’s the most popular and well known, Japan has produced dozens of swords and bladed weapons throughout its history. A lesser known traditional Japanese sword is the kodachi. In this post, we’re going to explore five fast facts about the kodachi that you probably didn’t know.

#1) It Means ‘Small Sword’

The term “kodachi” literally translates into “small sword” or “short sword.” This, of course, is an appropriate description of the kodachi, as it typically featured a blade length of less than 23 inches. In comparison, the katana almost always featured a blade length more than 23 inches.

#2) It Was Invented During the Kamakura Period

Like the katana, the kodachi was invented sometime during Japan’s Kamakura period (1185 to 1333). This period was defined by the ruling shogunate as well as the emergence of the samurai class. Japan experienced a constant wave of invasions during the Kamakura period, prompting the government to develop new weapons like the  kodachi.

#3) It Was Used as Secondary Weapon

Samurai warriors carried the kodachi as a secondary weapon. During feudal Japan, it was customary — and even required by law — for samurai warriors to carry two weapons: a long sword and a short sword. With a blade length of less than 23 inches, the kodachi as the perfect side weapon for this purpose. Samurai warriors could easily carry it on their waist, from which they could quickly draw it when needed.

#4) It’s Often Confused With the Wakizashi

The kodachi is often confused with the wakizashi because of their similarities. But there’s one major difference between these two traditional Japanese swords that shouldn’t be overlooked. The kodachi was forged for a single samurai warrior, whereas the wakizashi was forged using standard measurements and specifications. As a result, many samurai warriors preferred the kodachi, as it was designed specifically for their unique needs, featuring the ideal length and construction.

#5) It Was Available to Citizens

During Japan’s Edo period, the government established a new law restricting the ownership of swords measuring longer than 24 inches to samurai warriors. Because the kodachi was shorter than 24 inches, it didn’t fall under this new law. As a result, even citizens could own the kodachi — and many did for the purpose of self- and home defense. The kodachi allowed ordinary citizens to protect their property, family and themselves against invaders and criminals.

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#TBT – #AlexOLoughlin at University of Hawaii at Manoa – Relay for Life (2013)

 Relay for Life at University Hawaii at Manoa

  • Relay for Life is part of the American Cancer Society
  • As far as we know they raised over $77,000 with this relay in 2013.
  • What is it all about?:

Relay For Life is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Relay is staffed and coordinated by volunteers in thousands of communities and 27 countries. Volunteers give of their time and effort because they believe it’s time to take action against cancer.

Join us at these events to bring communities together to remember loved ones lost, honor survivors of all cancers, and raise money to help the American Cancer Society make a global impact on cancer.

Relay is a team fundraising event where team members take turns walking around a track or designated path. Each event is 6-24 hours in length and each team is asked to have a member on the track at all times to signify that cancer never sleeps. Cancer patients don’t stop because they’re tired, and for one night, neither do we.

Each team sets up a themed campsite at the event and continues their fundraising efforts by collecting donations for food, goods, games, and activities. This money will count towards their overall team fundraising goal.

  • Unfortunately there was no footage posted of the speech Alex made in 2013. We only have these few pictures.

 

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