Advice Column #25

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Another UFC has come and gone. Although I would’ve preferred a Nate Diaz win, I think Conor McGregor certainly brought a great strategy and much improved performance. He did everything right and he would’ve put away any fighter with less mutant toughness.

I knew the decision would go to McGregor if it went all five rounds. Diaz ended up on top in the 5th, but I think McGregor definitely won the first two round and probably the fourth. He dropped Diaz a few times and shut down all takedown attempts, except the last one. The damage Mcgregor did to Diaz’s leg with powerful, unchecked kicks completely changed the dynamic of this fight. I wonder if Diaz will improve for the third fight as much as McGregor did for the second? I hope so, because the last fight will be incredible.

Honestly, as much as I’m on Team Diaz, this is the best outcome for fans. McGregor got the W, but I think Diaz gets the true W because he made it to the press conference, was hilarious, and vaped on a CBD pen live on the air while McGregor was in the hospital.

What does this fight have to do with advice? Look at McGregor. His loss to Diaz was a huge wakeup call. He did all the right shit to win. He brought in boxing and BJJ coaches. Rather than train for “any opponent” as he has claimed to do in the past, he worked on a strategy specific to Diaz. He invested money in his training, committed to deep work, and came out on top.

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On to the questions.

If you could master martial arts techniques or concepts, which would be your first three to master?

Broadly speaking, there are four martial arts people who follow professional fighting consider most effective: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling, Boxing, and Muay Thai (kickboxing). All of them give you options at different stages of a fight. If you’re the kind of person who needs to know how to handle yourself because of work or where you live, look for a decent Jiu-Jitsu academy with a few striking classes.

If I could only learn one of these, it would be Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). I’ve trained in this martial art at different times over the years. I am really, really not very good at it, but the take downs and submissions you learn work great, especially if the fight goes to the ground.

I would choose Muay Thai over regular boxing for my second discipline because it involves hands and feet, plus it utilizes the clinch, which is extremely useful. Boxing and wrestling are both great. If you’re going down the rabbit hole and spending a lot of time developing these skills, you’ll probably eventually pick up some wrestling and boxing through BJJ and Muay Thai. I learned wrestling arm drags and sprawling at a BJJ gym and a jab and cross is universal.

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The person who asked this question meant it for specific techniques, though. If there were only three “moves” to learn, I’d want to know these: rear naked choke, jab, and double leg takedown. It’s kind of weird to think of it like that because the moves I’d pick are part of systems.

The rear naked choke is perfect for grabbing someone from behind and putting them to sleep. The victim doesn’t actually get hurt and you can control them very well from the position. Getting to the rear naked choke requires skill, unless you just sneak up on someone and grab them. A double leg takedown lets you bring the person to the ground, which is cool if you know something about ground fighting. If you don’t, you’ve just chosen to “wrassle.”

A jab is a great thing to have in your fighting toolbox. It’s simple to learn, you can do damage with it, but it’s really useful for keeping someone off of you. If you only worked on your jab and slipping punches, you’d probably do well against a normal untrained person of similar size.

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Is it alright to be controlling?

To children, yes. To adults, no.

What is one sentence you remind yourself of in order to stay positive?

There’s not really a mantra or anything I use. If I’m in a bummer mood I sometimes think about a story I read in Mike Davis’ Planet of Slums. In less developed parts of the world, disposing of human shit is a real problem. In some war ravaged cities in the Middle East, people live in buildings, but the plumbing doesn’t work anymore.

Many people in these places will shit in plastic bags, tie them off, and then throw them in the garbage. This is an ok solution until you have no garbage service. So what people do is take the bags and fling them up on rooftops. Sometimes the weight of the bags causes roofs to collapse. More than a few people have been relaxing in their home and then gotten crushed to death by a roof full of human shit.

If I’m having a trying day, I can always console myself with the fact that the odds are pretty slim I’m going to go out like that.

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What’s the best way to avoid negative energy?

Don’t read the news. Don’t talk about politics. Do what you say you’re going to do. Stay away from idiots.

How do you continue to be true to yourself when your choices make your family unhappy?

This is a question that’s hard to answer without knowing the specifics of the situation. I mean, sitting around smoking weed and watching Duck Dynasty is something I enjoy. It’s probably “true to me”, but I certainly would deserve any unkind feelings Mrs. Lott might have about the misspent time. So I resist that little diversion (most of the time).

But you might be up to some cool shit and your family might suck, too. In that case, I’d advise staying on course to meet your goals, while being zen level non-combative with those hater ass haters.

Here’s the bottom line: if your choices are working against someone in your family (like stealing money to buy drugs), then you ought to cut that shit out. If you’re trying to be more awesome, but you’re meeting resistance, just stay on target and push through it.

Why do people write advice blogs, and why do people read them?

Fuck if I know.

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1 Comment

  1. Finally! Exceptional advice for all the rest of the time when a zombi is not trying to kill me:

    Don’t read the news. Don’t talk about politics. Do what you say you’re going to do. Stay away from idiots.”

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