When I was a young kid (around 13) one of my very best friends was a twin.
He and his brother were studying Chu Fen Do (The Way of Punishment) with Tony Blauer. I was studying a hybrid Kung Fu system now called Kudoki with Sifu Max Laredo.
The twins used to enjoy having me at their session as a “sparring” partner. Fact was, they were fairly small guys and I was a bit chubby and taller. They used to kick my ass. I trained on and off with Blauer for many years after that until other teenage interests kicked in (becoming a rock star, getting with girls and all that would hopefully come with it).
Ten years ago tomorrow I walked back into Blauer’s studio.
I had dropped close to 100 pounds, had been working out and had a hankering for the combatives again. I learned a lot… fast. Mostly how Blauer’s system had evolved. How he had become a world-renowned expert in close quarter combatives. How he was training the best in military and law enforcement. How he truly was/is the Anthony Robbins of combatives. How fear is really an acronym – False Evidence Appearing Real. How those that talk can be persuaded to walk. How to turn a victim into a victor mindset. The cycle of behavior. The mindset of a real street fight versus practicing a sport. And much more.
Tony has become much more than my Coach. He is a friend. He is family.
It amazes me that it has been ten years since we have rebooted our relationship. It amazes me how everyday, in every discussion, from the moment I wake to the moment I close my eyes, his coaching, his words, his insights, his wisdom permeates what makes me Mitch Joel.
People think that studying combatives is violent.
I won’t lie, it is a major part of it but beyond the obvious lays an internal grounding – a quiet of the Earth – which he has given me. A true gift. And on this 10th anniversary, I honor it. I honor Tony Blauer. I honor our friendship. I honor his family. I honor how much I grow as a person, each day, still because of his influence and materials. I may not have hit a bag or the mat in a while, but I still train 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
What does that have to do with marketing and communications?
Everything. From first impressions to follow-through to getting the best results. It’s all part of the process and the biggest lesson of all – Tony used to always tell me: “I’m not going to show you what I can do. I’m going to show you what you can do.” If that’s not what Twist Image is, at our core, I don’t know what is.
Thanks Coach 😉