One of my long standing students told me the other day that I am a dick. He meant this as a compliment in a discussion about myself compared to another coach he was working with. I am not the coach you may want, but I am the coach you need if you want to be elite. I have no need to be humble here. I know what I can achieve with the right people. My style is elite and has the track record to show for it. My style is also only for those willing to do the work. I am not easy to work with. You either get me and win or you don’t. If you don’t, we will not work together or we will and have a weird record of success plus failure due to a lack of clarity on both our parts.
As much of a dick as I can be called, I am really very forgiving. I work with guys I hope will get it when I really know they never will. I let guys back because I hope they will get it, when I know they never will. I really do want everyone to rise to their potential. It is my job as a coach to not allow anyone to not live up to their potential because I didn’t do my job. I always do my job. I do this at my own expense. I could only work with those that get it, but I have a soft spot for people in the struggle. If there is even a chance somebody may get it, I give them that chance.
I heard a guy talking about rolling with a pretty well known coach. He said it was great because he never rolled before and he just felt that this coach knew how to not hurt him and make him feel comfortable while trying to learn. The dude only rolled once. He has never rolled since and he is extolling greatness for this coach who took it easy on him? This is where I am a dick compared to other people. I am not going to hammer you 1st time out, but I am going to give you a real no shitter about combat sports. It is going to hurt but not break you. This is not a warm and fuzzy thing we do and it is not for everyone. You will walk away excited by the idea of being good at this or you will realize it is not for you.
Martial arts can be for everyone but competitive combat sports are only for those willing to pay the price. I would rather have a guy quit because it is too much for him than make it too easy and give them a false sense of what it is we do. I would rather see you quit on the mat than in the ring or cage against a guy who really doesn’t give a shit about your well being. Making you quit is my gift to you. I am saving you from wasting your time doing something that you really are not prepared for. Not everyone is built for this and that is 100% ok. I can’t play basketball, and Lebron can’t fight like me or coach to fight like my guys do.
I have to be a bit of a dick because combat sports is hard. Nobody you fight is going to be nice. I am not here to prepare you for anything more or less than a contest between 2 people where making the other person quit with skill and violence is the goal. This requires a level of commitment that is very different than most other things we choose to do. I don’t go play anything else where I wonder how my face may be disfigured or where i have a high percentage of stitches even in victory.
This is not some tough guy rant. I think everyone should be super honest about what it is they do. I think we should give people real no shitters when they say they want to try it out. If we don’t show people the hard reality of what we do, we are lying. We are giving a false read. Too many people do this because they see potential upside dollars for themselves. The reality is that those dollars are short term. I can make money for a lifetime with the right person while also creating a partnership that benefits us both. When you lie, you just benefit yourself, but really ruin your reputation in the long run. This is why I have been a coach for over 20 years and most of the guys that started at the same time are doing something else. I figured out how to make it work and it is by just being honest.