Friday, May 5, 2017

"My hypocrisy knows no bounds"




I would rather be known in life as an honest sinner, than a lying hypocrite”-Unknown

I was on my way to the airport the other day and the cab driver was listening to some talk radio. They were ranting about how hypocritical it was of Leonardo DiCaprio to be this huge environmentalist now yet he was part of the movie ‘The Beach”, in which the filming of caused so devastation to the beach in the Phi Phi islands that they shot it on. They also mentioned actors like Russel Brand and a few others, who are also activists for change, and pointed to the fact that they were all hypocrites because they make money and are well off.


I think that it’s all too easy to dig up someone’s past, or even present, and point out all of their faults and say, “See, look, they’re a hypocrites. You can’t listen to them”. How easy it is to forget that we are all sinners and could surely be viewed as hypocritical on numerous topics we stand on now.

Yes, we can point out this one thing, regarding DiCaprio, but should that completely negate the fact that he has dedicated so much of his life to change? Should we not listen to people because they were once the ones that they are now speaking out on? Should someone’s past dictate whether they should be allowed to see the light?

I for one would much rather listen to someone who has actual lived on the other side and turned their life around than to someone that has only viewed these things from their very biased, uneducated, inexperienced perspective.

I find this to be one of the biggest reasons for the misunderstandings, which leads to fear, which leads to hate, which leads to suffering, that we have in this world. We think we know a person, religion, nation, etc., from some limited experience, or for the most part, none, and have them all figured out. Most of us get our “education” from what see, or should I say, what we are fed on television.

There is a great quote in the movie ‘Leap of Faith’:

 “If you want to give up the bottle, who you gona talk to, someone who’s never touched a drop? And if you wana give up womanizing who you gona talk to, some pale skinned virgin priest? If you wana give up sin, and I believe everyone here tonight wants to give up sin, who can lead you off that crooked road? You need a real sinner people.”

I would rather listen to people that I know have struggled with the same things that I have tell me how they persevered than to someone who has only read about it in a text book or learned about it from watching TV. How could that individual possibly even speak my language? This is a big reason I try to be as vocal as I can be about the struggles that I have faced in my own life. That way those individuals who are in the midst of something similar can look at me and find some hope.

We must all remember this; regardless of which side you are on, or what you believe, everyone thinks that their point of view is the ‘right’ one. That’s the issue with beliefs, who’s to say what is right and what is wrong, that’s really just a matter of perspective. Sure, there are some universal truths, but even those are really still just perspectives when it comes down to it.

 I guess what I’m trying to say is the more we can understand that we are all a lot more alike than different, the more we will be able to come to understand one another, even if we don’t agree, and hopefully slowly bring this world closer together. We are either going to move forward together or we will all perish apart.

-The End



Monday, January 23, 2017

Enjoy the ride

We all have things in our lives that we want, that we work for and dream about. Most of us feel that once we get that thing everything else in our lives will be better. We have this goal and we put all of our thoughts into achieving it but too often we forget to enjoy everything along the way. I can compare this to training for a fight. I used to be training for a fight and just dread the hard days I would have to go through. All I wanted to do was get to that day where I could finally get in there and fight. I would just get through the motions of training that would ultimately all lead up to this goal. The fight day would finally be here, the fight would happen and then in an instant, it would all be over. Afterwards I would be left with an empty feeling, a sadness, almost a depression. It's because my whole life would be centered around this one moment in time. Every second of every day would be on this moment. And then it would be gone. I realized that all those days of hard training that I would dread and get through as fast as possible were just as valuable and great as the fight day. I realized that I was rushing through my life. Sure it might not be as fun as the actual fight but I get to live my dreams every day, why would I rush through or dread that. What I'm trying to say is don't think that once you reach this goal everything is just going to magically be wonderful. If you aren't happy with five dollars in your pocket you won't be happy with 5 million. Having goals and dreams is an extremely important part of life. I believe that we all need to have these things and that we all need to go after them. But don't think that once you get there that it's going to miraculously change your life and change who you are. Enjoy the ride. Enjoy the now. Yes, that goal should drive you and keep you motivated, but don't forget to enjoy the struggle, enjoy the hard times. You're not going to be here forever, maybe 100 years’ tops, enjoy the moments that you have. Good or bad, they are all meaningful so appreciate them and ENJOY THE RIDE!  

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Failure

“The road to success is paved with failure”



Tough times, pain, exhaustion, stubbed toe, tummy ache. Most of us seem to have this assumption that it’s going to be easy. Easy is probably the wrong word, as I don't think anyone really believes that change or accomplishing goals will ever be easy.

Unfortunately, a lot of us take these tough times as reasons to quit, or as signs that this isn't something we were meant for. We think that if it were, then why would it be so tough?  If this is what I was put here to do, then shouldn't the path be clear and easy?  If only that were true. More times than not it is going to be more difficult than you could ever have imagined; why do you think so few ever stay on the path? The problem is that you just don't know what will happen, and you never will—unless you keep going, or you quit. 

If I have a goal, and stay on the path to accomplishing it, yet never get there, am I a failure?

It can seem so difficult to even just get started, although it actually tends to be much easier in the beginning when you have a lot of momentum and motivation. It's not until you've been on the path for a while that the journey truly starts to wear you down. All the miles, all the setbacks, the pain and injuries, they really add up and each one only amplifies all the previous. That's when you find out what you are really made of and whether or not you want this bad enough. 

Even if you never make it, you are closer than you were when you started. The only time you ever truly fail is when you give up. I know how much simpler it is to just quit, especially after you have already done so much. To just sit back and say, “Well, I'm miles away from where I used to be and I've done more than I ever could have dreamt, this is good enough, I can stop.”

For me, even some minor failure becomes that much more exaggerated because of everything else that I have already gone through. That one small set back gives me a moment to sit there and dwell over the countless other ones that I've already had. The damage that has accumulated over the years and the things I’ve had to overcome can really wear me down. Yet at the same time I can use that knowledge to motivate me and push me further. It’s just a matter of how you apply it. Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing; yet, while I was going through some of those times I begged for mercy.  

Just like anything else, it's not a question of whether or not these things will happen—they inevitably will, regardless of whether you pursue your dreams or just settle. It's a question of if you are going to let it break you or let it motivate you. 

I'd rather go after my dreams with everything I have and fail than succeed at giving up.

No one who has accomplished anything significant ever had it simply handed to them. I can guarantee that you can go back and look at anyone's history, who you view as successful, and find that their path was riddled with more failure and struggle than you could have ever imagined. Unfortunately, most of us never get to see this side of success, and we only get to witness the end result. If people really knew what it takes to make it, it would completely alter their perspectives.  

Realize this: if you want something bad enough you are going to have to prove it. You are going to have to work for it, kill yourself day and night for it. Sacrifice everything for it and yet that still may not be enough.

 Nothing will be given to you, and when it comes down to it you will be grateful that it wasn’t. You don’t truly appreciate something until you have broken yourself in order to achieve it.

If you want something, then prove it. You must have, or develop, a “no quit attitude”, no matter what. Show how much it means to you, what you are willing to go through and what you are willing to sacrifice in order to achieve it. There should be nothing in this world that can take you off your path, because if there is believe me, it will happen. 

One day you will realize that all that pain, all those bumps in the road, everything you had to endure, is what made you strong and showed you who you really are. If this is what you want, if this is your dream, then keep going, never quit, never surrender. There is no pain in this world comparable to that of giving up! Accept that pain and failure are all part of the process and you are truly free to do anything. Face your fears, live your dreams!

-The End-


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Can't stop fatty

It seems to be an ongoing trend lately, people not making weight. Not sure the reason for this. I think in part it's due to the fact that no ever faces any real consequences so one person will get away with it, probably still get to fight and maybe win, now the next person sees this and says, “screw it, guess I don't need to make weight either.” It's the same thing with judges and refs never facing any repercussions for the mistakes they make. We all need to be kept in check, regardless of what we do. If you don't have someone keeping you honest then you will inevitably never be as good as you could be, even if it's unintentional. Therefore, if you are constantly making mistakes and aren't being checked on them you will continue making them more and more. This needs to come to an end. We all need to be held accountable, particularly when people's health and very lives are on the line.

There is literally no excuse to not make weight. The one and only excuse any one could possibly ever use is the fact that their scale may have been different then the official one so they were a bit off, but it's your responsibility to make sure you do everything you can for that not to happen. Check multiple scales for example or make sure you check the official one before the weigh ins if possible. Besides the fact that, at least here in the states, you get an hour to make the weight if you miss it. Even if you took a fight on last minutes notice, you are the one who agreed to it, you knew you needed to be at that weight and it's your responsibility to do so.

Coaches need to be held just as, if not more, responsible for this as well. How did you not know that your fighter was going to come in heavy or why didn't you make the adjustments needed for this not to happen? You either didn't know or didn't care, not sure which one is worse. Coaches are like parents. If your child was coming to school everyday late who do you think they are going to blame? I can guarantee you if I had a fighter that didn't make weight it would never happen again. Have some pride and integrity in what you do. Especially if you are a professional.

I feel there should be a zero tolerance policy. You don't make weight, you don't fight, period. Not only that, I feel you should be forced to move up a weight class and fight there at least once before being allowed to go back down. I guarantee if that happens people will start to take this a lot more seriously. Unfortunately it has become an acceptable thing to do. Sure you might lose some of your purse but that's about it. Most of the time no one even mentions it. Put these people on blast, make sure the announcers let everyone know what happened. Instead they will say things like, “This guys sure is able to use his size advantage in there!” Yea, that's cuz he missed weight by 5 pounds. Let me come in that much heavier then my opponent and see how it works out.

Making weight is part of the job and should be your priority, even before the fight. That's the first battle you need to win. Too often people look to the big show and skip over the important details leading up. Not sure when this became an acceptable thing to do. Are you a fighter or do you just want to pretend to be one? If this is what you want to do then take some responsibility, particularly over the things we actually have control over. It's like showing up on time, it says a lot about who you are as a person.


The end

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

2 sides

The problem is that everyone's side can be argued. "You should quit that job you hate, that eats your soul everyday, causes you to resent your wife and destroys your family and go after your dreams", or, "You need to suck it up, keep the bills paid and food on the table" Both are valid and whose to say which one is right or wrong?

I'm often asked, "Should I quit my job/school, sell all my stuff and move to Thailand?", or, "Should I just put all of my focus, time and energy into fighting and forget everything else?" I don't know, should you? It's the same as asking me if you have what it takes to make it to the top one day. I don't know, do you? These are questions that only you can answer, and the real dilemma is that you won't ever have the answer untill you actually go after it, or don't. I have the same reply every time, "Everyone and anyone can 'make it'. The real question is, do you have what it takes to make the sacrifices, to stay motivated, to get through all the ups and downs, to deal with all of the pain, the frustration and disappointment, to make it to that ultimate goal?" Skill and natural ability will only take you so far, opportunities will come and go, but in the end, the difference between those that make it and those that don't, is whether or not they really want it. Period!

What are you willing to give up, what are you willing to go through? How dedicated are you, regardless of the results along the way? I can't tell you that you should spend all day in the gym while your family has to live in a tiny apartment with no money because of it. I also can't tell you that you should stay in that job, provide for your family and do everything you should by the book and because of that everything will work out just the way it's supposed to.

How many of us spend our entire lives doing everything that is expected; go to school, get good grades, get into a good college, graduate, get a job, a 401K, get married, have kids, a house, dog and then retire, then, at the end of all that, wake up to realize we were living someone else's dream, someone else's idea of what life is supposed to be. It's not to say you shouldn't do that, or any of that is wrong, because that very well might be exactly what your dream is. It's not for me to say one way or another. We all have to decide for ourselves how we want our lives to be. Unfortunately most of us are so force fed ideals from birth that we never even stop to think about what it is that we really want, until it's all too late.

"This is your life, are you who you want to be?" One of my favorite lines from a Switchfoot song. You can be whoever you want, have whatever you want and do whatever you want. What are you willing to go through in order to get it? That's the question we all have to ask and answer for ourselves.

"Face your fears, live your dreams"

-the end

Monday, August 24, 2015

Social Media Fighters

Do you want to be a fighter or do you want to appear to be a fighter? Another phenomenon that crosses over all fighting sports. It used to be a rarity in Muay Thai but with the ever growing popularity of the sport I see it happening more and more. Michael "Chase" Corley coined the term 'social media fighters' and I couldn't agree more. These people have their trainers set up a fight for them, they then go above and beyond to make sure everyone knows that they are a fighter and that they have a fight coming up, that they will obviously dominate. They put the gym time in, all be it minimal, sell lots of tickets, get shirts and banners made and then out of the blue something magical happens. They either get 'injured', get the wrong medicals done or 'lose' paperwork. They suddenly can't get off work ( one of my personal favorites), or maybe they have a stomach cramp. Whatever the case may be they find a way not to fight, yet try and pass it off as somehow not being their fault.
Back in the day, when I was still fighting in smokers, I remember a particular time I got to the fights, weighed in, along with my opponent, then come fight time he was nowhere to be found. Apparently he and his team decided this was a bad idea...I was left speechless, I didn't even know that was a thing people did. Another time I remember Ryan Schmall was fighting on the amateur card on one of Toddy's shows at The Stardust in Vegas, I had fought on it as well. He was literally standing in the ring waiting, they announced his opponents name, played the music and nothing...we wait. A minute goes by and again they announce his name...silence. "WTF is going on?", we are all thinking, can't even imagine what was going through Ryan's mind. We come to find out later that his opponent and their whole team had packed up and driven home. It just amazed me that people would drive all that way, I believe they were from New Mexico, only to tuck tail and run come fight time. Who does that? More people then you'd think actually.
Now if you want to be a coward then go for it, you clearly have no honor and it means nothing to you. The problem however is the countless other people that this negatively affects. The other fighter and their team, the promoter, all the fans. Your opponent did everything that they were supposed to. They put in the grueling hours of killing themselves in the gym, along with everything else, they showed up to fight and are now left with nothing. This is even worse in the pros, which rarely happens as most of these sissies are weeded out in the amateurs, because not only are they out a fight but they are also out a paycheck, unless the promoter is nice enough to kick them down some money. So they basically did 99% of their job only to not get paid for it. The promoter put you on their card, believed in you and now they are left stranded more than likely with one less fight, unless they are lucky enough to find someone to replace you at the last minute.
Listen, the fight game isn't for everyone and there's nothing wrong with that, but don't leave others in the wake of your bitchassness. Be a 'gym fighter' or hell don't fight at all. Just get yourself a Tapout shirt, some tribal tattoos and whenever there is a fight on TV make sure and let everyone whose around know what you would be doing in there and what the ones actually in there are doing wrong.
The majority of the blame I put on the 'fighter' but their gym and teammates share some of the responsibility. You know who you have in your gym, you know who the real and the fake are. I'm not saying kick these people out but when you allow them to fight you are allowing them to represent your gym. The problem is that most of these people are trained by cowards just like them and the downward cycle just perpetuates itself, getting worse or worse as the years go on.
Fortunately these days, with social media and the world being a lot smaller because of it, it's a lot more difficult for these people to get away with this behavior, especially more than once. It's like the airport security motto "If you see something say something" ha. Listen, things happen, people do get sick, they do get called into work, things happen and I understand this, but the ones using these excuses time and time again to cover up their cowardice need to be exposed and weeded out of the fight game. 'The More You Know', 'Only you can prevent Forrest fires', 'Now you know, and knowing is half the battle, Go Joe!'...ok enough slogans from my childhood...just stop being a bitch!!!! Ok I'm done.
Btw if you think this blog is about you it more than likely isn't, but feel free to apply it to yourself as I'm sure it fits!
-The End
"Face your fears, live your dreams"
-El Presidente'

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Lion Fight 23

I'm in the process of writing up my journal on the fight but just wanted to give a quick recap and thank you's. Obviously it didn't go as I would have liked. It's easy to look back and think about a lot of "what could I have done's" and "what if's", and there will definitely be things that I take away from this and learn from, but when it comes down to it, no matter how many things go right, or wrong for that matter, anything can happen. You can do everything right and still end up on the losing end, just as everything can go wrong yet you find a way to come through victorious. It's ironic how people seem to always follow up "I'm not going to make any excuses" with a detailed list of them, ha. Every time you step foot in that ring you take the risk of not only coming out with a loss, but not coming out at all. This is a dangerous game we play but I wouldn't have it any other way. I am beyond blessed and grateful to be able to live my dreams and pursue my passions everyday, even when things don't go exactly how I would have liked, I can still walk away with a huge smile on my face and my head held high. 

I want to thank all of my family, friends, loved ones and teammates who support and stand by me in all that I do. I love and appreciate you all more than you could ever know! Thank you to Kirian and everyone at CSA. You guys are my family and it's an honor and blessing to be surrounded by you all on a daily basis. Thank you to my A Team brothers and sister; Gaston, Diego, Eddie, Zoila, KY and Bryan, you guys keep me sharp and inspire me on the daily. Thank you to Jongsanan "Num" for always being there to help me out when I'm in need. You are not only a great friend but one of my biggest inspirations. Thank you to my brother Chaz Mulkey for always coming out, taking time away from his job and family, in order to help me. I love you man! Thank you to my amazing strength coach Jesse Burdick, who does his best to get me to break my 'turtle shell', no matter how much I fight it haha. Norm Turner, who still tortures me to this day. Thank you to all the amazing people that keep me healthy; Jacon Chun and everyone at ESPT, Deanne Ball, Monte Spicer at Kinetic Chain Sport and Trevor Bachmayer at The Spine Center. Thank you to all of my amazing sponsors; Muay Thai Addict, Action Pro Gear and Triumph United, you guys are the best! Thank you for believing in, and sticking by me no matter what. Thank you to Scott, Christine and everyone at Lion Fight Promotions. You guys are paving the way for Muay Thai here in America and I am honored to be a part of that. Last, but definitely not least, thank you to all of my fans. Your support throughout the years has meant the world to me, I could never thank you enough! 


If I was to really thank every person who helps me I would literally be here all day, so if you weren't mentioned please still know how much I appreciate you.

As badly as I would have loved to get back in the ring right away I know that I need to let my mind, body and soul take a break, if only for a moment. So as of right now there is nothing on the books but don't you worry, I will be back in there soon enough, better than ever! Thank you all, God bless!
 

 -The end
 

 "Face your fears, live your dreams"-Kevin Ross