Things I learned at The Revolution XXXIV

The Revolution is a long running local Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament here in Tacoma. It’s held at a local college called Pacific Lutheran University, aka PLU. I competed for the first time as a Blue Belt, and for the first time at a points based tournament. Points are awarded for achieving and maintaining a dominant position on your opponent, such as a takedown or mount. As a white belt I only competed twice in submission only tournaments.

  • I had fun, no matter what the results were. After I lost the first match, as the referee held up the other guy’s arm, I was actually smiling. The consolation match was just for fun.
  • As a white belt I had absolutely no takedown game. About all I did in those previous tournaments was pull guard. This time I landed a couple of takedowns and I think maybe a sweep or two.
  • I let my opponent work from good positions for too long. For example, one opponent had me in side control, and I waited for the opportunity to escape rather than making it happen.
  • I was much more relaxed this time. I wasn’t frantic or nervous. I breathed and thought about my position.
  • Afterwards, I felt like I earned my blue belt out there. I’ve had it for a few months now, but when I first received it I didn’t feel like I was ready. Yesterday I really proved to myself that I’m not a white belt anymore.
  • The team I train with is amazing. From the casual advice to ‘have fun’, training hard in classes, to team support on the day. I noticed other coaches were yelling at their competitors which technique to perform next ‘grab his collar with your right hand’, ours were just giving pointers: ‘stand up and pass’, ‘posture up’, etc. Our coaches let the competitor figure it out from there. I really appreciate that.
  • I’m going to the next Revolution in November.





I’ve been here in America for over a year now. I never really had a vision of what my life would be like after I settled in. I prepared myself for the first year and a half. Now the physical and emotional transition is complete.

My life is mine to create. I’ve spent the last 18 months setting myself up for this moment. In the last month, I’ve taken three amazing strides forward.

  1. Advocare found me. I realized the truth of my situation (financially, and my unhealthy lifestyle) and saw the potential for Advocare to radically change my reality. I’m incredibly excited to build my future and help others do the same. A huge part of this is due to the amazing support I’ve received from some incredible people.
  2. I started going to church. This is a big one because I never really considered myself to be religious. I’ve always been open to it, and never really committed. I used to be pretty selfish, and concentrated on myself. I knew I needed to connect to others to become strong, and to discover community. That’s what holds people together: each other. The church I go to is all about relationships – not religion.
  3. I’ve realized how much of a leader I am, and aspire to be. I know I have it in me, and it’s time to share that with the people around me. I don’t have anything holding me back, and no one can stop me from achieving my full potential. Leadership is about helping others realize theirs.

Travel Plans

I’ve come to realize how much I live to travel. I have my long term plan to drive around the US. In the meantime I have short term plans to visit nearby places by car:

  • Idaho (for work)
  • Canada (again, to see family)
  • California (for a family reunion)

Later this year I plan on using a week of vacation to visit the North East:

  • Washington D.C.
  • Philadelphia
  • NYC
  • Boston

I’ll fly out and catch the train between each city. I’m really excited to explore a part of America that is culturally diverse from what I’ve experienced so far. There’s a mix of history and modernity on the East Coast. I’ve never seen it, and never been there, but I have images of it my head. The idea of the NE mainly comes from popular culture, and people I’ve met who live or lived there. It’s foreign and I’ll be a tourist in my own country. I want to go because I think I’ll like it there. I want to go because I can challenge my preconceptions about those places with real and personal experiences.

炉人 (Rōnin)

Rōnin were samurai in feudal Japan who:

  • Were masterless
  • Wandered around
  • Used their martial skills to make a living
  • Lived by a code (bushido)

I think that’s my life. I think I’ve become a 21st Century rōnin.

  • I don’t have anyone instructing me anymore
  • I’m going on adventures, and planning a long term journey across America
  • Using my tech skills, living ‘hand to mouth’
  • I’m making good decisions, that are right for me

It’s a comforting thought. It reminds me what I’m about:

  • I’m okay on my own
  • I have to keep exploring
  • I’m strong and capable
  • I have high standards for myself to live up to


‘We’ll have a lot of nights like this: making plans, very little sleep.’ – Francis Underwood (House of Cards)

I have a plan. In three years time I will be:

  • Making my final car payment
  • Managing a service desk
  • Making movies
  • Kicking off an epic road trip all over America, living and working wherever I feel like staying

What I need to do to get there:

  • Refinance my auto loan for a better rate, but keep paying the same amount each month
  • Get ITIL and other IT certificates
  • Get management and leadership experience
  • Start playing around with a video camera making movies
  • Get really good at story telling

‘This dreamin’ is all that I ever need ’cause it’s all that I ever had.’ – Iggy Azalea (Work)