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Performance Benefits of Martial Arts
Episode 25th January 2024 • The Unlimited You • Victor Almeida
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Join Master Victor and special guest Andy Freebird in a captivating exploration of excellence in "Performance Benefits." Delve into the synergy of martial arts, music, and mastery, and learn why perfect practice is the true catalyst in your journey to becoming unstoppable. Tune in and transform the way you refine your craft!

Transcripts

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If the form is not perfect, you have reinforced something imperfect. So part of the pursuit of any kind of practice, I'm actually gonna come at this from a music standpoint. So I didn't say this earlier because for the sake of the podcast, you know, we're talking about martial arts. But in addition to my experience with National Academy of Sports Medicine, I actually studied music, originally, I studied at the Berklee College of Music.

So part of your intention setting has to be to make it more perfect each time. Yes. Because you're not just trying to reinforce a pattern, you have to understand that. There is no perfect pattern. There's only a better pattern and you need to make it better each time. Every time you punch you should try to make it better than the last one.

g up You won't even plateau, [:

You have to like uproot, so back to like the music example, let's say you're practicing a song, one of the notes is wrong, you didn't realize that. Now how many times have you practiced it that way? Maybe you've played that song a thousand times like that now. That's a good point. We're trying to unlearn that.

Yeah, really hard.

Welcome to the unlimited you podcast, believing firmly in the limitless potential that resides within each individual. Your hosts, Master Victor Almeida, a distinguished martial arts expert and Andy Freebird, a holistic health coach specializing in calisthenics, nutrition and strength training, are here to guide you in unlocking your inner power.

well being. Join us on this [:

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for our second episode of The Ultimate You with myself, Master Victor, and

what's going on, Andy Freeberg. The free bird.

Oh, yeah,

and I guess we didn't talk about this last time. So I'll just briefly Kind of mentioned my own credentials here. Yes, please Which is that I have eight certifications through the National Academy of Sports Medicine kind of covers the full breadth of what entails being healthy So diet coaching personal training weight loss specialization as well as corrective exercise athlete optimization etc

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ance from physical to mental [:

I Guess we can get started on talking about hand eye coordination. That's pretty much,

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You know, accuracy, being able to strike with your foot and your hands on the right place.

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they're very awkward. They don't know how to move their body. The major motor skills are not as refined and it takes a very long time for them to see that kind of transition to being able to feel comfortable in their body.

I Remember when I first started training, like doing our front kicks, you bring your knee up, snap, everything feels awkward until you start becoming more comfortable in these movements because you don't normally do these movements as you go throughout your life, you know? Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah.

total body control. It's one [:

Mm hmm. Oftentimes you don't realize how your foot

connects into your upper leg all the way up and affects your punch as you deliver a punch. Yeah. It's really what. Do you ideally need to be focusing on at a given time,

right? Is there's going to be, let's say in a portion of the punch, you're going to be focusing more on the mechanics of the hip.

Right, right before the punch collides, you're going to be focusing on solidifying the fist and turning the foot more, that sort of thing. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, one of the big

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If you can't raise your leg

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Right. Let's say in Victor's example, you're trying to kick a target that's in a particular spot, right?

The

body just wants to move from point A to point B, and it's going to do that in whatever way it can. So it may cause you to over bend in one way because you're not flexible in another way. And that's not going to be as ideal.

whole body having to sort of [:

Exactly. Yeah. And, you know, that turns into like,

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We then start adding different targets. So, can you kick here and hit this spot? And you have to do that hundreds and hundreds of times to the point where you don't have to think about it and be able to hit that.

Right, as you were saying. Yeah. Because ideally, like, you want to have more of your awareness available for other aspects of the fight.

Yeah. the accuracy, it comes [:

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Yeah. And, you know, once you do it enough, it becomes second nature. Gotcha. And that's where the expression comes in. But that's where the hand eye coordination comes in. You've practiced enough to know that I need to move this specific way to reach this exact area. Right. So it's based on distances.

fected. Yeah. Where I cannot [:

That power is going to get recoiled back into. Yeah, yeah. Or if you're too far away from somebody, you can't actually even connect. Yeah. You might end up overexerting yourself and then they can pull you or strike you. You end up compromising your self defense position. Yeah. Like if you overextended and then your center of gravity is kind of thrown.

Yeah. If you have a handout

and I'm like

this. Yeah. You're going to be able to pull me over. Yeah. Exactly. And that just comes from repeated training and knowing how long your, your limbs can reach and in knowing how not to change your hips and your shoulders to not over. Yeah. So that's something that I remember I struggled with when I was learning how to punch, it was sort of overextending.

or less kind of in a locked [:

Yeah. You kind of get your shoulder blades. Down and back using the latissimus muscles of the back, kind of keep those activated through it. And that keeps more stability up here. Yeah, you don't want anything to move. Like on a bench press, ideally, the only thing that's moving is just the elbow joint. Kind of keep the spine from moving completely as well as the shoulder blades.

Yeah, and that's the exact same thing we want to do in a punch. Yeah. When that full extension happens, all of this is tight and locked. Yeah. And that delivery of power goes straight. Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah.

And one of the

other hand eye coordination things that we, we work on is punching different heights, punching different speeds.

on, on speed to be able to. [:

Okay. And that's where the reflexes come in. Right, because if they see what you're doing, then they're going to respond accordingly and try to not get hit. Yeah. Block it, counter it, just not get hit. Exactly.

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Yeah. Where you don't have to think. Yeah, exactly. Because if you have to think about it, that takes time.

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Which is not automatic. If you're having to actually think about discern what's happening. It's not going to be this like instantaneous. Reactive response. Exactly. And the more you train it, the faster that reflex gets, the faster that instinct becomes. More accurate as well, because your instincts are not always going to be perfectly precise.

Yeah. I think with experience, you understand what more, what works and what doesn't, how to ideally respond to a situation. Exactly. And, you know, The more you train it, the faster you'll get like race car drivers. They have really good reflexes. They watch that light turn and they can instantly react. It's the exact same concept in martial arts where you see somebody start to throw a punch.

ot consciously thinking, oh, [:

on those two really come in in handy. They, they really play a part together where let's say someone throws a strike at you. You need to have not only the reflex to react fast, but the hand eye coordination to be able to block that strike at the right point at the right time. So if somebody throws a punch and I block over here and their punches coming over here, I'm going to get hit.

So you need

to have not only the hand eye coordination, but the reflexes in order to protect yourself. Right. Because simply reacting isn't enough. You have to react in a way that's effective. Exactly. And that comes to conservation of energy. Where you're trying to use and maximize your output of energy because you're trying to survive.

And if you're, you know, throwing wasteless moves out there, you're gonna end up getting tired.

I guess that

goes into our [:

Where,

you know, training martial arts, we really practice being able to last a very long time at a high output of energy. Because when you have to defend yourself, you're going to be in the situation that your body naturally reacts to the situation in a fight or flight reflex.

You get this rush of adrenaline. Heart rate goes up, oxygen conservation goes out the door. Mm hmm. And if you don't know how to control that, if you have never been in that situation, you're going to go through all of your energy in like 30 seconds and you're going to be huffing and puffing. Yeah, just kind of frantic panic state.

ins your energy faster. Than [:

Where they traditionally, when if you go to any Taekwondo school and you go out to a tournament, they do two one minute rounds. And that one minute feels like it's three to four minutes. Yeah, because the intensity level is just so high. And you, like, halfway through that first minute, you realize, Oh, my legs are dead.

They feel like they weigh a thousand pounds. Right. And like, I can't move as fast. And I've been training for this. And

where's all, where'd all that strength go? So there's an interesting thing that you pointed out there. I go into just briefly for a moment. So, you know, we're talking about endurance. We're talking about stamina.

an your lungs and heart work [:

h and adrenaline in you, you [:

your

foundational

stance

the movements and that's where somebody maybe does a hand maker and then they leave themselves wide open And they get knocked out right? It just takes one mistake and I think something worth pointing out is Anybody can go down. Yeah, it doesn't matter. You know, you could be the most decorated martial artist in the world with you know, a

ton of chaos and zero knockouts of your own But if you take one bad hit, like, that's it.

So you make one mistake. Yep. And that's it. Even a rookie can take you down. Exactly. That's likely to happen. So would you say that sort of simulating that chaos environment where

you have

your heart rate up, you have this adrenaline going, is is sort of essential because you're practicing,

kind of [:

Like it's. Would you say that maintaining sort of a calm in that chaos? Absolutely. 100%. Which you, I guess you can't really simulate that without an actual Human being yeah that you're training with yeah, yeah, that's why Sparring is my favorite. I love sparring because of that reason it throws you into the face of combat You get used to people punching you people throwing kicks at you and you're forced to react Appropriately right and if you don't you're gonna get hit so that always made a lot of sense to me because you're dealing with a living, thinking being when you're sparring, right?

So you, you can't anticipate their movements as easily as a punching bag, for example. I hadn't thought a lot about it. It's an interesting point. I hadn't thought a lot about using it as an opportunity to just sort of maintain a calmer baseline. Exactly. Despite the fact that your adrenaline's going and your heart rate is going.

It's like, [:

You just don't have the energy to take it, so. And the, the endurance and the stamina come into a different play in the mindset as well. So when you get tired, you're not going to be thinking the same as when you're, you know, you're fresh. You're going to be exhausted. It's weird. It's weird how that goes.

become lazy. It becomes The [:

Yeah, and you'll start having Different reactions your body can overheat you can start getting lightheaded That's all going to affect how you're perceiving the situation and that could affect how you're dealing with things your ability to protect yourself, and I think most importantly, is,

you know, once you're that compromised, you may not make very good decisions, and, you know, you could end up putting yourself in a much dangerous position.

Oh yeah, definitely. Yeah. Because your mind needs all the things that you're muscles need to keep working, it needs oxygen, it needs glycogen for energy, so. The more tired you get overall, yeah, your ability to think clearly, make good decisions and even just pick up on the things that you need to observe in order to make good decisions is proportionally just going to go down.

Yeah, yeah, exactly. [:

You

can calm down. You can be in a much more internal

calm

state that allows you to perceive things better, even if you are completely exhausted. Yeah. Yeah. Like I've, in our training, you know, I've gotten to the point where I've pushed my cardiovascular system so hard that I have to go out and puke.

That has thankfully only happened to me once in my life. I have to admit it has happened to me one time. And if you, if I could speak a little bit on that, because it's a weird thing that happens to people. So some of you out here that are watching or listening, maybe this happened to you, you've trained so hard, it could be anything, you could be biking for all it matters, and you hit this wall where it almost kind of sneaks up on you, like you don't really know it's coming, you get really nauseous rapidly and then, you know, a few moments or minutes later you're actually throwing up.

So[:

that way, way in the distance past, I'm talking like

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Some

organisms would throw up if their blood oxygen level got too low

because they had

ingested something that was poisonous.

So that is one of the, one of the things that would reduce your blood oxygen level would be to eat something. Yeah, so you get it out, it would spare your life. So the animals that had like this adaptation. They survived. They survived. The other ones didn't. And so now, like the majority of animal life, if it

blood

oxygen level gets low enough.

It actually throws up even though in this case It's like self induced and we didn't eat anything poisonous. Yeah, it doesn't understand exactly what's going on Yeah, like to me, it's actually a very familiar feeling Like just in the last three months. I've probably reached that point. Yeah, so you start to know like when it's coming.

nd then I feel Light headed. [:

Yeah. Yeah What what I found out is, you know after you do puke you're gonna actually keep going. Oh, yeah. No, totally. Yeah Yeah, I mean I don't recommend it for you all Unless you have, unless you know yourself very well.

so

throwing up, so throwing up's not ideal. Don't do that. But the good news is you don't, you don't actually have to throw up.

e that your blood can supply [:

So the good news is. You can expand, you can increase your VO2 max

without

crossing

that line. But what you would want to do is you'd want to get as close to that line as possible. So if you pay attention to those feelings that Victor is talking about, kind of feeling this sensation in your chest, feeling dizzy, lightheaded, that kind of thing you want to stop.

Training when you start getting to that point basically train as hard as you can take a break Yeah, take a break. So like you said when you throw up you can go again

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You don't it's not pretty. It doesn't feel good well, you're

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comes up. Why do you want that? You know, it'd be really embarrassing to at least like in the time that it happened to me no one actually knew about it. I was very casually like, Oh, I need to use the bathroom real quick. Like, came back out kind of like, Okay, I don't think anybody knew.

in the hot sun in front of a:

Yeah, that'll do it. And then at the end of the day, I, I did a 20 minute fire spinning, very intense with the Trident, the sword and the staff and yeah, the very last staff movement. I just couldn't hold it. I, I felt it. I was like, I still have fire. The music's still going, , and I didn't listen to myself.

Listen to yourself because your body is communicating all this to, and when you don't listen. You have very bad things. Yeah, and it gets a lot worse really quickly, like we were saying. It sneaks up on you, so as soon as you feel it, it's time to stop. It's like a ten second, maybe even shorter, depending on the intensity level, before that comes.

Wait, it kind of seems like there's like a backlash, right? So if you ignore that, you might think, oh, I still feel good. But then really, just a little bit later, like, you went harder, and it kind of comes back to smack you. Exactly.

And I've been if you do, you know, take a break, you allow everything to calm down.

llow your breath to, to take [:

And that, that is the key. That's the foundation. So if you can control your breath, you will not get to that point. You also, well, you talked about this situation that you found yourself in where it was super hot out and you're blowing fire and spinning fire and like all this to say that it was really hot.

Yeah. Okay, so. With the hotter you get the more your heart rate increases as well Like even just environmentally like if you're like a good example be like a sauna There's actually weird experiments on saunas where just being in such extreme heat and the effect it has on your heart rate Is similar to doing like high heart rate zone training cardio.

Hmm, even though you're just [:

I think they were saying heart rate as high as like 140, 150. Just from sitting in a sauna. Wow. Just from the heat. Not even moving. Wow. Yeah.

And

the heat also affects the, the way that the oxygen is taken into the blood as well. Yes. If it's too hot or cold, you don't have the same efficiency of transferring that oxygen into your blood system.

I did Puke my whole body was [:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, that's so weird I remember seeing my friend Richie. I gotta introduced you to this guy at some he actually is a glass artist as well Yeah, but he does Like marbles was like his specialty like really really beautiful. But yeah, I remember I was at a festival with him And he danced so hard he had to take like a cardio break, you know, I was like cold out and I like, I look over and his whole body's like steaming, like it looked like he was about to undergo a super saiyan transformation or something.

Yes, exactly. Yeah. And, you know, it's important to train that. Because when you get to a self defense position, you're always gonna, you're always gonna feel that. Yeah. Yeah, anytime your life is under threat and you have that adrenaline reaction, and you don't know how to react to it, you're gonna end up overexerting yourself.

throwing punches, the first [:

And, you know, if you don't have the stamina or if you're not controlling your breath, that happens. Right, so there's the breath component. Then there's also what you're pointing out is, and we talked about a little earlier, like there's a local adaptation that takes place in whatever muscle you're training.

So you could say like a cyclist, a professional cyclist, they're going to have incredible endurance abilities, like in their quadriceps for example, because they're just all day long doing that, right? But then if you took that same person and you were like, let's have them throw a hundred punches in a row at this punching bag.

ng out the importance of the [:

So skeletal muscle activity is limited to that. That's an interesting example you gave

You know, I've been training Taekwondo for such a long time, and then I started training Haedong Kendo, which is the way of the sword. It's a Korean style of sword martial arts. And, you know, just for practice, warm up, you're, you're Doing a hundred cuts with a katana.

Oh, okay. And after just the warm up, my arms were dead. And I'm throwing all this power into it. And everyone else in the class, like, they're just going. They're used, they've done it. Yeah. Yeah. And it took me a while. And then, you know, a hundred cuts eventually became a warm up. Right. Yeah. And now you're doing, like, how many cuts for actual training?

I don't even know.

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Just the routine of a very, like, a simplistic movement, like a, like, just one kind of kick or one punch and you're just doing it over and over and over and it, a lot of times are the kind of thing that you wouldn't realize how tiring it was if you just even just did it like 10 times, 20 times in a row, you're like, okay, whatever you're doing this like hundreds of times and you're like, wow, suddenly I'm super tired, super sore from a punch that when I had only done 10 of them, I thought, Oh, I can do an infinity of these.

Yeah. But no.

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And

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fight or

ts also affects your ability [:

Yeah. Right? So under, under stress, if you let all of that emotion come out, let all of that adrenaline come out, you're probably not going to be making good decisions. Definitely. And that stress happens like all day, every day. And that could be something either you're carrying with you or that just spikes up because of a certain situation.

Right. And if we can, through martial arts. I especially like to train people to handle stressful situations. Yeah. Now that doesn't start in the beginning, because you're just not ready for it. We usually start that around like blue belt, purple belt, when people start learning techniques that are actually dangerous enough.

ut there and do a back kick, [:

Yeah. And then a lot of times what you'll find when you're in a state of supreme calm,

that the necessity to act physically.

Just

goes away. Like you realize that there is a completely different way of Solving whatever said issue is and you don't actually have to engage physically at all

And

That's a very hard thing to learn because you know, we live in such a physical world Yeah, and your body is literally telling, your adrenaline's going through the roof and everything your body's telling you otherwise Mm hmm.

specially if somebody's more [:

Yeah. It really is true. I think the point at which somebody, you know, gets physical with you is the point at which you may or may not have to physically respond.

There, you know, there was, if I could share like a really short story of one of the, one of the weirdest and scariest things that happened to me was I was running out of gas on the outskirts of DC.

This was probably like five or six years ago, something like that.

And

o get out of here as quickly [:

I go inside the gas station to pay the attendant for the pump. And as soon as I go inside, you know, it's like This very small corridor shaped room where I'm gonna say the distance between you and you and me. I don't know if you guys can see me and Victor There's maybe about four or five feet between us That might be a little bit more than like how wide this room was Yeah, but then it was maybe about like 10 feet long or something like that and these two huge dudes come in You guys can't tell just from looking at me.

I'm like a very averagely heighted And weighted human. I'm not a humongous person. And these, these two guys came in that were enormous. Like both of them were easily over six, two and easily over 200 pounds. Each

seen people this, this angry [:

And everything in my body was telling me to flip out like that fight or flight that you're talking about. Adrenaline, heart rate, everything

through

the roof, man. But I, I had this awareness that was like.

If

I do anything other than supreme calm, I'm gonna get like caught in this mix These guys were like shoving each other against the wall screaming each other like they like they were about to tear this gas station down

In

their

effort to solve whatever discrepancy that they were having.

ome Pop Tarts for, there was [:

something while all this was happening?

Oh, Jesus, this is chaotic. Yeah, man, and I was, so I got him the Pop Tarts, gave him the Pop Tarts, moved the car to

And I remember

going like, whoa, if I had elevated my Kong, even like point, like the tiniest bit,

Like,

I would have not been all right. Yeah. You know, you think about Because all that anger would have gotten transferred over.

Yeah, exactly. And I don't care how proficient you are at martial arts or how strong you are. If you are in a tiny room with two people way bigger than you and they're fighting each other. Like it's dangerous dangerous like good luck not getting at least and you don't know what kind of weapons Yeah, I had no idea, you know on top of all that Yeah, but it was the weirdest situation of like never in my life before since i've been so calm With my body initially like freaking out so hard.

h, and that that calmness is [:

like meditation becomes really important in Training because it teaches you how to retain that internal calmness In the chaos and especially since I've started our new meditation course through Ananda, I've felt that calmness being instilled in different aspects of my life where let's say before I would,

you know,

be compromised in my emotional state because of maybe something somebody said.

And I had an identification with my ego that. I did not handle certain situations. Well, to be honest. That's hard. It is very hard It's like we can sit here and go like Oh words, but it's extremely important because

when you get to a certain degree of

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have a certain ability to

you

know,

hurt

arn martial arts Mm hmm that [:

It's about like what it does to you. And especially if that person you care about, you could really end up hurting somebody you care about. Or you can end up hurting or killing somebody. Yeah. And that, that becomes a really big responsibility that I don't think enough schools cover where, you know, how to really deescalate yourself because we are often so focused on trying to control others.

g to a point that ultimately [:

Yeah. And that just becomes like, it's the ego, you know, like somebody says, Oh, I'm a better fighter than you. It's like, okay, you're a better fighter than me.

Yeah.

Yeah. But I didn't want to downplay that that is hard, that is actually really hard to do. It is. Yeah. Because we can sit here and like say like, oh, well, your words should just roll off of you.

But actually, it is, takes a lot of practice to reach a point where you're truly unfazed by something and not just acting like you don't care. Yeah. And, those situations end up pointing you to the areas in your life you need to work on. Yeah. Because if something's getting to you, like why it's gonna keep showing up in your life.

t's where I think meditation [:

Applied with martial arts is very critical.

Yeah. Yeah, it establishes that that self calm and mastering the self and the emotions and the stress because

when

you're when you're practicing martial arts

If

I'm throwing a punch with emotion, I'm already compromising my technique. Yeah, totally. If I'm angry, I'm gonna throw more power than I need to.

Or I might not be able to

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to develop a balanced body, [:

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The more that

anger would actually cloud

me and what I started noticing was that at least so I want to see if there's any carry over here with the martial arts thing.

Yeah When I

cing The actual component of [:

And I'm wondering if in martial arts, if you kind of go about your own practice of like sort of how do you produce high intensity levels? Mm hmm, but without this actual like Attachment to pain this this anger attachment. Yeah, I've definitely had that experience where You know, I've gotten mad and I've gone up to the punching bag and I've thrown a lot of punches Yeah, it just inflates it more it makes me more angry and I put more so I noticed the same thing Yeah, and it's it's like getting reps and sets If you do a bunch of bicep curls, your biceps gets bigger.

t seems to be the same thing [:

that,

as a response, is now even more, yeah, it's like ingrained even more deeply. Yeah, and like, the more punches I throw, the more angry I get, and the more the thought comes into my head, and I start thinking about it more, and then I want to punch more and punch harder.

Yep. I've done it to the point where, like, I've hurt my knuckles. I'm yeah when I was young. Yeah. Yeah, like I wasn't paying attention to it and I'm punching something so hard and like a

blood And

you almost die in the moment. You almost don't feel it like you're so like you don't you're so consumed by the emotion itself Yeah, I've punched like trees and

dude That's

such a weird thing that I'll just like very briefly because it's there's not much more to say than like a sentence or two But but last year in the evening, every night, this guy would, would come running down the sidewalk in front of my apartment.

ching the trees, kicking the [:

That sounds different. Yeah. Cause I know like there's like, you know, Shaolin monks who do like some crazy training, but. Yeah, like in Thailand, for Muay Thai, they'll kick banana trees. It's still harder than shens. Well, so correct me if I'm wrong, but the banana trees, they're, they're more like They're softer.

Yeah. Yeah. But they're still hard. They're not kicking an oak tree. No. But it's. It's gonna, it's gonna hurt. Oh yeah, for sure. It'll create micro fractures. Well, that's something you should talk about as far as like adaptations that take place, right, in martial arts, like bone mineral density. Yeah. I mean, we punch hard stuff to create micro fractures in the bone and they heal stronger.

m will do it on the ox punch [:

Yeah, the wrists. Different areas. Yeah. But going back to the angry part, right,

what

I found is the best way to deal with anger is breathwork. Oh, for sure. There's a specific breathwork technique called skull shining breath, and it involves Exhaling.

and what it does is it clears out everything. And it's amazing if you do it correctly because it takes all of this built up energy you're feeling and it sends it up to your brain.

And you start feeling light headed. You start feeling this kind of glowing feeling in the skull. Would you say it's called skull shine? Skull shining. Skull shining.

I cannot think of the color, but I'm gonna butcher it.

We'll put it up. We'll figure it out. We'll throw it up here

But it's a really powerful

-:

technique.

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you want to do a demo?

, find a seat here. And just [:

And

out.

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and out.

So the technique is going to, I'm going to kind of show it to you first, it's going to involve you pushing air out. Okay. Inhaling is going to be very natural. So it sounds like this.

Okay. Where I'm forcing the air out and the air will naturally come in. Right. So let's try it. And we'll

take a big deep breath in.

So I just want to make sure, so you're doing like a series of these exhalations? We're going to do about 20 of them. And then after we finish doing the 20. Then you would do an inhalation. We're going to exhale all the air out. Huh. Everything out of the lungs. Okay. Big, deep breath in. Inhale out. We're going to inhale one more time.

And then it's not [:

And out. And you can close your eyes for this.

One more natural breath in

and

out.

And then preparing

for the technique, big deep breath in And

then forcing the air, exhale.

-:

Keep

-:

exhale out,

big deep breath in,

Big deep

breath out,

big

deep breath in and hold.[:

And

relax the

stomach,

Relax

the body.

You might feel that flight or flight reflex, try to relax,

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letting the breath come back to normal.

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was a

-:

example, normally I want to do that three times. That was great. Yeah. Yeah, I feel very calm, very clear, in almost sort of like an empty way. Like all the chatter in my mind is gone and I can actually think more clearly because of that. And usually when I'm feeling a lot of emotion and I do that,

I'll do

it

very intensely, and I'll get to the point where

it [:

Interesting. Yeah. I guess if you're angry, you're like. I have to put my hands on the ground. That like, forceful exhalation, you're like, you're moving that. Okay. Well, so that's a good pointer then to anybody trying this, like. You want to make sure that you're somewhere on the ground comfortable. Yeah, you can't fall not driving Definitely not driving not flying a helicopter probably should have said that before Yeah, if you are if you're driving and doing this and you pull into the shoulder

Yeah.

-:

-:

So that was called Skull Shining. Skull Shining. Palab Palabatha? I am butchering. So Skull Shining, is that like the translation? Yes. Gotcha. Okay.

-:

-:

there's so many different breath techniques that you can use for different variations and that's ideally supposed to clear out the heart chakra.

And

an also do it in the morning [:

Yeah, and if you do it right it it works amazing. Yeah, and I recommend doing it three sets of those

Yeah. and how many was you said it was 20 we did more I want to say it's like 20 seconds 25 seconds Okay. Yeah. Got you. So the duration of time? Yeah, that's more important than the actual number of breaths And you also want to go at your own pace like we're breathing pretty fast.

Maybe you can't go that fast. Sure

-:

-:

Like if I do it when I'm not as emotional, I will not have the same response as when I am. Interesting. Yeah. Because I guess in that case, you're already kind of at baseline. You're already sort of at equilibrium. Yeah, and

-:

-:

It's really great as well.

-:

-:

everything to a nice

calm place. So this breath that you taught me cause I think the first couple of seconds, I don't think I was doing it right. I think, I think I figured it out pretty quickly into it. I just want to make sure for everyone out there that's watching, listening that the entire thing is nasal breathing.

e nasal, but if you, if it's [:

I actually, I wear this thing everybody thinks is a nose ring. It's not. It just opens my airway. a Little bit more if I ever talk about anything on here that I use, I just want to point out now and forevermore, like I'm not affiliated with these products or sponsored by them. I just recommend people what is going to be the best solution, whatever problem they have.

So that disclaimer being said,

I recommend this

thing. It's called the mute turbine. If you can't breathe well out of your nose,

put this in your nostrils, you'll breathe a lot better. Okay. Because there are a lot of health benefits to nasal breathing. Yeah. Yeah. My life definitely improved quite a bit when I started exclusively breathing out of my nose.

expand, you know, externally [:

Yeah. Oh, that's good. Thank you for that. Yeah, I mean you could always get their surgical interventions to like improve nasal breathing but.

-:

-:

would avoid surgery on any part of your body unless it was like absolutely necessary. I would much rather stick a little thing in my nose to breathe better than like, you know, go to the extreme of having surgery.

Yeah, I agree with that. That's my personal take on it too. And then kind of getting back into like the, the importance of form and technique. You know, if you do these breathing techniques wrong or if you do martial arts wrong. Oh yeah. You're going to see like a limited return. And sometimes it can actually cause detriment.

this pinkie bone in half by [:

There's no support on your arm and it will literally turn your, your wrist sideways. And I broke this in half. That's awful, dude. There's a small curve on my pinkie bone. I've never had it that, like, the worst that ever happened to me was just really bad sprains. Yeah. From not having that wrist stacked perfectly.

That's hardcore, man. That's awful. I'm sorry. That happened when I was like 10. You know, we were practicing punching the floor in martial arts.

Yeah.

man. And, you know, I was getting into it. And you're supposed to hit with the two big knuckles. Yeah. That force straight down your arm. And if you hit there, it's a solid rock.

you practice is what you do. [:

If the form is not perfect, you have reinforced something imperfect. So part of the pursuit of any kind of practice, I'm actually gonna come at this from a music standpoint. So I didn't say this earlier because for the sake of the podcast, you know, we're talking about martial arts. But in addition to my experience with National Academy of Sports Medicine, I actually studied music, originally, I studied at the Berklee College of Music.

So part of your intention setting has to be to make it more perfect each time. Yes. Because you're not just trying to reinforce a pattern, you have to understand that. There is no perfect pattern. There's only a better pattern and you need to make it better each time. Every time you punch you should try to make it better than the last one.

omething. It's actually much [:

You have to like uproot, so back to like the music example, let's say you're practicing a song, one of the notes is wrong, you didn't realize that. Now how many times have you practiced it that way? Maybe you've played that song a thousand times like that now. That's a good point. We're trying to unlearn that.

Yeah, really hard. We're like what we've had students come into our old martial arts school that I used to teach at who came from other martial arts schools and You know There would be let's say a purple belt and a purple belt supposed to be able to do Jump back kick spinny hook kick and I would ask them to do those kicks and it was very sloppy They're coming from a different school different instructors.

Yeah different practice, but It's a standard move, right? It's done a specific way. Right. And if it's sloppy, it's because they weren't taught right. Right, and there's certain cues you would give, just like anything else. Somebody rounding their back on a deadlift, you'd tell them, like, you need to straighten that out, flatten the back out.

Yeah. Indicating them to [:

a bunch of colored belts and the first half represents the,

-:

-:

side of the journey, the warm side in the, the colored belts represent the yin yang journey, right?

The second half represents the yin, the colder side.

And

once you get your black belt, you become a mature student ready to progress yourself in the arts. Interesting. And we get a lot of people who get their black belts who start getting lazy in their technique. And they start getting sloppy. And I've seen some black belts who will be at black belt for two, three years, and they are worse off after that third year than when they got their black belt.

. They just started slacking [:

and then once

they attained that goal, kind of fall into some complacency. Yeah. Hmm. Because martial arts, it, it does not matter your belt. No. It does not. I, I've seen a purple belt beat a second degree black belt.

And that is just because of their mentality, their, the way of training there's so many different aspects to it. So the belt then, is that more of an indicator of your education, your practice, your experience? In my opinion, yeah. Got you. Yeah.

Absolutely.

But, like, ideally, if somebody has a certain belt, they should be able to perform

-:

-:

various movements, abilities to the standard

-:

-:

I've seen that not be the case at various times where, you know,

-:

-:

You know, some schools will give, hand out the belt for money because they, you have to pay for tests.

So you pay to break the boards and get a belt and that's income for the school, right? And that's a whole side of the business part of it that I completely disagree with that If you are not ready for your belt, you should not be handed that thing Because you didn't earn it. You have to demonstrate

that you have actually absorbed this information.

And you have to keep demonstrating. Yeah, because you can get complacent. Yes. I guess it's similar to the idea of like, you know, retesting someone for a driver's license. It's like, how do we know that you still can drive competently? And like, I used to, I used to like take tips away from, from kids. And we used to take belts away.

hat rank and you should stay [:

Yeah, I mean, so I guess that like what it took for you to attain that rank, you know what you should be able to do. And even if you have been slacking, I guess you should know what's wrong with your technique and what you need to do to get it where it needs to be because that's how you got that belt in the first place.

And once they realize that they understand the mentality of martial arts is, you know, we're never going to be perfect, but we're On the pursuit to attain that technique's perfection, right? Right. Yeah, and that's why I was saying earlier that there's no perfect There's only better it's this like pursuit of an unreachable perfection that keeps you getting better Yeah, and this is true of everything.

just keep getting stronger. [:

I'm sorry to break it to you. There's no such thing. There's only better posture There's only better running form There's only better punching efficiency better awareness of all of the things that you need to keep track of in martial arts. Yeah There's always going to be someone out there who does it better than you.

Yeah. Oh, that's true too. Yeah. But I think like falling in love, like at least for me. The fact that everything seems to abide by this principle of like an unreachable perfection that actually drives progress That's something I've kind of fallen in love with like I think that that tends to make life a lot more interesting At first that was intimidating for me where you know, there's so many martial arts

-:

-:

It's like Hapkido. There's Taekwondo. There's Tangsudo, there's Haedong Kendo,

-:

-:

You cannot

learn all

of them. Right, it'd be

impossible. Unless you were, like, immortal. You could, like, you know, if you lived to be a thousand years, maybe you could master every martial art.

So, like, in that pursuit, like, we pick something, and we understand it. We get to a point where you master it, and then You start to refine yourself in the technique. And

the, there's a certain level of training that is required to maintain that technique that if you don't put that in, you will start. To lessen the technique.

Yeah. Your speed, your agility, the actual form of the strikes, they'll go down. Sure. And they won't be of respect. Well, you know, you won't have, for one thing, familiarity is gonna be a part of it too. Mm-Hmm. . So it's like they say, you know, it's like riding a bike. Mm-Hmm. . It's like, well, you don't forget how to ride a bike, but if you bike every day

't ride one again, so. Yeah, [:

And,

like, I've taken martial arts and I've transitioned it into fire spinning. I use it in the way that I move around the house. I can, like, close the door with my foot if I got my hands full. Yeah. You've seen, like, Shaolin soccer. You know, I

think that's the name. Oh, I love that movie, man. It's so good.

Yeah. There's many different applications of martial arts than just self defense. I guess really everything because it's, it's like a way, it's like a state of being. Yeah. So you can kind of apply it to anything. And I know I mentioned this. Last episode that actually Kung Fu, the translation means mastery of skill.

I was like [:

It's just sort of this awareness as well as this discipline, routine and practice you know, taking like a systemic approach. Mm hmm. Mm

-:

-:

So really, like, you could [:

Pick the

skill. It's Kung Fu. It's Kung Fu. And you just every time that you do it, but you need to have that awareness You have that calm you use techniques like the breath work that you taught me Right, and then with discipline routine and practice with the goal because you made this point It was a very very good point to make that practice does not make perfect

but

if

you make part of the goal Making it more precise, more efficient each time the perfection starts to blossom.

Yeah, and for example, Taekwondo means the way of the hand and the foot.

-:

-:

known for really high and beautiful kicks, which is part of taekwondo, but yeah, the some of those kicks are insane Yeah, where they're like doing those assisted, you know what I'm talking about where they like the jump kicks.

Yeah Oh my [:

Boards

don't hit back Of course, yeah, and a lot of those high flying kicks are just meant to look pretty and in all honesty That's what I think sure now you have like butterfly 360 You know 540 kick those can be applied but as an actual strike. Yeah Yeah. I mean, it's rarely going to be rare where you have to send somebody two stories up to kick somebody on the second level.

Well, plus they can't even get that high up without people forming a launch pad for them. But coming back to the meaning of it.

I

think a lot of people don't understand that Taekwondo uses your hands, like you learn Oh, yeah. Jab, reverse. Because they're focusing more on the kicks. Yeah, you learn uppercut, you learn an array of different punches, and even in traditional schools nowadays, you, they don't go into, you know,

the,

the pluck strike that is meant to go in the eye, or the ox punch that's supposed to go in the throat.

-:

-:

like

that. Yeah, all together into one. They go in the eye. Interesting. Yeah, so in Kung Fu they all say this is one of the hand positions. And they'll use it like a hook sometimes too. This comes back from the origin of it where

Traditional

Taekwondo, as we know it today, was created after World War II, when Korea essentially

got its independence.

They took five styles of what was then it was five styles of what we call Taekwondo. The style I learned was Cheongdo Kwan, and there were five Kwans.

-:

-:

five Kwans came together to create Taekwondo. Gotcha. Those Kwans had meaning of, you know, butting and heading and kicking, different meanings, but they were all essentially Taekwondo, but different styles.

ned it into one system. Yes. [:

Now, once you learn one,

and you master it, the idea is to let go of the style.

-:

-:

was one of Bruce Lee's teachings in Jeet Kune Do. Isn't that what the inscription, like, isn't that what the the lettering on his Jeet Kune Do symbol means?

I'm not

sure.

I have to look this one up. I cannot speak about that. I know the philosophy of it because when you have style, you are limited by that style. Yeah, so I've, I've heard this talked about also as, like, the box, they call it.

-:

crash. Exactly. So when you [:

Right. And you can only do that by mastering your mind, your body. And bringing your awareness fully to the moment and letting go of style. Yeah. And that you enter the flow state, you, you can attain certain feats that would normally be impossible. No, that's, I would say that's the goal in attaining that state in martial arts and being able to be in the battlefield, looking at your enemy and caress them on the cheek.

this, this reminds me of, a [:

This might be interesting people to see. So Jackie Chan, you know, we all love and respect as an actor, but I think. Few people, unless they're in the martial arts world like you are, understand how disciplined and skilled this human being is as a martial artist. I mean, it's insane. If you watch his early stuff, it is Yeah, which was a lot less like Hollywood style.

You have to go back to the stuff he made in China. Yeah. Actually, there's actually a funny story where, you might be familiar with this, where Bruce Lee accidentally struck Jackie Chan. Yes. On set and immediately we're like, cut, cut, cut. Apparently it was really a 10 and like made sure he's okay. But so there's this incredible clip of Jackie Chan.

egg. In his hand, which is a [:

At the end and the egg is completely unharmed this raw chicken egg I mean, it's unbelievable. Like so when you talk about caressing your enemy's cheek in battle I mean just being that aware that precise that gentle But yet that powerful as well. Yeah. Yeah, and here's another interesting thing You know when you're sparring or in your when you're in battle if you've ever seen uh it Oh, yeah.

nd in our punch, in Cheongdo [:

If it hit, it would have killed the person, but he pulls it back. And if you are at the level of martial arts that you understand what happened, he saw that, Oh, he could have killed me. He chose not to because it's not worth it. Right. And that instantly deescalated the situation where like, no, he's the winner.

He tried not to end my life. You know, well, it was this play of mercy. Yeah. Yeah. And that, that comes back to quick decision making under stress. What is worth it? What's the whole reason of martial arts? Yes. Not to what we're not learning it to be other people. We're not learning it to defeat someone else or be greater than someone else.

We're learning it to [:

And the goal is not violence. Exactly. The goal is literally to spread peace Yeah and to care for others and you Martial arts should be used as a way to teach people on how to deal with themselves and deal with the world And it teaches the mind and the body toughness to be able to deal with these situations with kindness and with love.

e does use of physical force [:

And I think that was like a big motivator, like to inspire a lot of kids. It looks cool. So they want to, they want to go and they want to learn. Taekwondo or Kung Fu or Karate, those tend to be like the, I guess the most popular, most common ones that kids in the U. S. will go and learn because they want to be like so and so character.

They want to, you know, kick, kick all the bad guys. Yeah. Like a ninja turtle weapon, you know what I mean? Yeah, exactly. I want to use the nunchucks. Like it looks cool when the ninja turtles do it, so, but, you know, where does that like philosophically, how does actual violence like play into it? So I want to get your take on this as well.

Because, I have, this is something I have explored a lot, from a philosophy standpoint. It's like,

[:

So that also then kind of takes me back to like the Tao, the Tao Te Ching. So for anyone who hasn't read the Tao, it's the oldest work of philosophy. It's never been discovered. I think it's about 5, 000 years old if I'm not It's all really cryptic. So you gotta like poetry. You gotta kind of discern what it means to you each page.

shouldn't be excited to kill [:

So interesting. First I want to address the Gandhi part. Yeah. You know, he, he went about it in a nonviolent way, but at the same time you had invading Pakistan trying to take over India. And a lot of his efforts kind of made some not good things happen where I cannot remember the name of the area.

read from India that created [:

Yeah. And that's Dharma. What, what is your life's role, right? And in, in the whole idea of, of violence where there's the same, it is better to, dismember than to kill. So it's better to take someone's limb off than to kill. Than their life. It's better to, I guess it's maimed than to kill. And it's better to, you know, subdue somebody than to dismember.

And there's slow degrees of de escalation. Right. So it's like a spectrum. There's levels to this. Yes. So once somebody, I guess, reaches a certain degree of affecting you. In a violent way where like, let's say you're being, you know, someone's on top of you, they've gotten you on the ground and they're about to throw a punch on you.

oing to put my hands up, put [:

The first step should never be jumping to the end conclusion of somebody. I guess you'd probably want to start verbally if you could always, always, because the best way to handle with any situation is to run, to get out of there. Because the whole idea of a conflict, Is you have somebody trying to hurt you and you have you usually responding with an ego, right?

like you want to be good at [:

What does winning a fight mean to you? Does it mean that you escaped unscathed?

Master Victor: Because if so, if I escape the alive, I won't. Exactly Right. Yeah. So if you wanna be good at that, you can do what I do and rock climb and run sprints every week. You can call it the coward's way out. But like, you're not gonna catch me. You know? Like I just

Andy Freebird: want live. You may meet somebody who is skilled enough or has a weapon.

Yeah. And you may be caught. And there's this saying by master Pat who freaking loved his teachings. He's one of my teachers growing up. He's, he's been teaching me since I was eight, and he always has the same. You can break probably two of these rules and be okay. But if you break three or more than you're in, you're going to find trouble.

Never be in stupid places

Master Victor: with stupid people at stupid time doing stupid things. Right. If you, if you do

Andy Freebird: one of those, you're probably okay. Yeah.

Master Victor: But in combination, they start stacking

an? So if you go out looking [:

And that's just the world we live in. That is the reason we

Master Victor: train martial arts. To be prepared for the worst possibilities. Exactly.

Andy Freebird: And, you know, in today's world, there's knives and there's guns. And in certain situations,

Master Victor: knives are way more

Andy Freebird: dangerous than guns. For sure. Because you cannot, like, if the

Master Victor: stab wound is deep, you can't go in.

Yeah. Especially depending on the size of the round. Like, if you got shot with a 9mm, you're

So,

or a movie theater, like I'm [:

Do you, do you know how to defend yourself? You know, in the United States, we have a lot of mass shootings. Master Pat and I, I would assist him in teaching self defense classes

Master Victor: that incorporated drills for handling mass shooter drills. Where, what do you do if somebody walks in holding a rifle and just starts killing everybody?

Yeah. Well, so I feel like martial arts is a really good way of balancing that sort of hypervigilance that we need to have nowadays, where you want to have supreme awareness of your surroundings and especially the people in your surroundings, people are the most dangerous aspect of reality. This is a whole entire point of the combat element of martial arts.

So the problem with [:

But if you're like hyper vigilant and you're trying to identify threats all the time,

Andy Freebird: I don't necessarily agree with that because the calmness comes from within. In the calm state, your awareness is going to be.

So I do agree

Master Victor: with that and I'm thinking that calm maybe wasn't the word. I would say perhaps if you're just feeling too comfortable, comfortable, yeah. There's this book

Andy Freebird: that I read as a child about mice

Master Victor: going through a maze. I read this book. Yeah. And they would.

mfortable, and the other one [:

Who Moved My Cheese. Yes. Yeah, I read that one too. And when they got too comfortable, that's when

Master Victor: the predator came. Yeah. Well, one of them kept saying, like, we should keep moving, like, keep looking for cheese. Yeah. And the other guy's like, nah,

Andy Freebird: I'm comfy here. Exactly. Yeah. So, there's a difference between, like, being aware of your surroundings, your situation, and getting too comfortable.

Right. get too comfortable, What starts happening? Our training starts lacking, our awareness, all of these things that we have worked so hard for, they start coming

Master Victor: down. They start to atrophy because it was discomfort that grew those things in the

Andy Freebird: first place. And it was, you had this pursuit to want to achieve something.

Once you've achieved it, and you start to become comfortable,

Master Victor: you start losing it. Sort of like the belt tie example that you were bringing up. The students will get to black belt, then they'll start to actually lose some of the abilities. That the black boat was signifying. They had attained.

like, I got my fourth degree [:

I can do all this amazing stuff, but there is so much more stuff to learn and do. There's so much refinement, understanding of myself and growth that still needs to be done, even after I've mastered a certain work, there's still more growth. Yeah. And it's endless. It's like

Master Victor: a lifelong pursuit. Exactly. I guess a good example would be like somebody that has a weight loss goal.

And they think, okay, I've reached my goal now. I'm going to go back to eating like a slob. I'm going to go back to not exercising. That lo and behold. All that weight, they gain it

Andy Freebird: back.

Master Victor: What they need to do to understand this is a lifestyle change, this is a way of living, and if they don't fall in love

Andy Freebird: with exercise, fall in love with eating healthy,

Master Victor: it's not going to be something that lasts.

I used to weigh 245

. Okay. And [:

Master Victor: martial arts when I weighed about 220. And I gotta see a photo 2 45. That's, I'll put, we'll put it. Yeah, because that, honestly, so, because this was before I, but when I met you, you were pretty uh, I

Andy Freebird: was around 180.

Master Victor: 180, yeah. Okay. So you've lost, what do you

Andy Freebird: think you've lost? Like 10 pounds maybe? Yeah. Okay. And it's just lean and dense

Master Victor: muscle. That's crazy. So me and Victor, about the same weight. So for me to picture him at 245 pounds pretty, yeah. Pretty difficult. I gotta see a

Andy Freebird: photo. Yeah. Yeah. And you know, like I, I started exercising.

I started to change my diet, I started to change my lifestyle, and now it's like, no matter what I do, my weight doesn't change. Yeah. Because it's in my lifestyle. If

Master Victor: it's, yeah, I mean, if it started to, and like, you would notice that.

Andy Freebird: Oh, immediately. Immediately. Within like, two weeks, actually, oh, gaining a little, let me get back into my routine.

Yeah. Yeah.

atience, the practice, that, [:

Andy Freebird: health. Yes. Over time. Yeah. My resting heart rate, when I'm sleeping or during my watch, has gone down to the

Master Victor: lowest of 37,

Andy Freebird: but now it's around like 47, because

Master Victor: I haven't been That's really low!

It is. Wow, man. What is it during the day? My resting

Andy Freebird: heart rate during the day is like 54. 53 to 57, depending on how stressed, that's

Master Victor: pretty good. The lowest I ever had, it was 47. It's definitely not that low anymore. Yeah.

Andy Freebird: Yeah.

Master Victor: That's really

Andy Freebird: good. Yeah. Yeah. Good job. And you know, like there's so many effects from it.

And in that, that practice, [:

Yeah.

Master Victor: And the second you fall off, it is so hard to get back up. It really

Andy Freebird: is. The second you take a two weeks break, it is the most difficult thing to be like, yeah, I'm going to do it again. Well, yeah, so

Master Victor: I mean, if you break the momentum with anything, it's a

Andy Freebird: really weird

Master Victor: thing that I've always noticed with physical exercise is that

Andy Freebird: when you haven't

Master Victor: done it in a while, when you've fallen off that wagon, it feels so difficult to get back on that.

Yeah. But. For some reason, when you're like in the flow

Andy Freebird: of it though, let's say you've been consistent, you've been

Master Victor: on a routine for weeks, for months. You feel

miss one. Yes. You know what [:

Master Victor: that pattern is like forming. I'm trying to get, these days, better at developing ways of sort of like re entry.

Because when you do fall off of that, you want to get back into like the same level that you were used to being at. And it goes away relatively quickly, you know, and then you start

Andy Freebird: beating yourself up over it rather than be like, it's okay, let's just work back. Let's get that routine back. Yeah. Yeah.

Master Victor: You gotta humble yourself enough to be like, okay, you're getting your team back.

Like you pointed out, that's the most important part. And whatever metrics, let's say that you're used to like bench pressing a certain weight and you got to humble yourself. You're not going to bench press that initially. Get back into it and remind yourself like why were you even doing this in the first place?

isode. Yeah. No, I think so, [:

Yeah, and I actually Victor gave me this sick shirt Show everybody I guess I'll let you explain the shirt. Yeah, so this is

Andy Freebird: Ganapathy. This is uh, artwork done by Pale Horse, Chris Parks, Krishna Chandra Das. He does a lot of beautiful artwork. Check out his

Master Victor: page. Bring it a little bit closer to the camera there.

Ganapathy is the

Andy Freebird: remover of all obstacles. So whatever pathway you're in, he removes all of those obstacles out of your way so you can actually attain them. And Pale Horse works on a lot of sacred artwork. He has a lot of beautiful murals, shirts.

Master Victor: Check him out. That was awesome. Yeah. So, uh, thanks for the shirt.

You're welcome. Happy Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to, uh, the next episode. Yeah. Awesome. Peace, everybody.

in. This is also a shirt by [:

And the, the sages who were meditating and working on their, their practices, he was going around like destroying mountains and all this stuff. And basically cast a spell on him that made him forget his powers. And the only way that he would remember it is if he's reminded of it. Which is essentially what we're all riding on the journey of.

Thank you for joining Victor [:

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