#50 Obstacles to Black Belt | The John Hallett Podcast

Show Transcript

This is the John Hallett podcast with John Hallett. Because the way we’re living, we need to change it, make a change. Today. We all learn from failure. Maybe they just wanted it a little bit more than you. That’s probably the fact. And now your host, John Hallett. All men are the same except for their belief in themselves, regardless of what others may think of you.

Musashi. We’ve been talking about Musashi here and there. We’ve been talking about self doubt. Today we’re talking about the road to black belts and how to get there. So, guys, it’s in your head. It’s in your head. So much of life and everything we do is in our own heads, and we’ve got to believe in ourselves.

And that really is truly the first step to the journey. Whether it’s fitness, whether it’s martial arts, whether it’s pistol craft. You want to become the black belt in whatever discipline that you’re chasing, you want to become that expert, you’ve got to believe in yourself. How you doing today, Josh?

I’m fantastic, man. How are you? It was good today. It was nice to get up, get the blood pumping in the morning. Yep. Get the body going. And, man, like, I remember when I first started with you, the first thing you said is, do you really want to get a black belt?

You did. Do you really want to go into something like this? And I sat there and I kind of went, yeah, I think I do. And I think you thought I was hesitant. I really do. The way you were kind of looking at me because you probably heard that a lot.

Like, I want to do it, but how many people actually get to. You know what I mean? Yeah. How many people can get over just the initial road of starting out because they don’t believe in themselves? In my show notes, I’m like, you got to be prepared to suck.

If. You want to be like, um, occasionally my wife. We’ve done different dance lessons or something like that. Don’t shake your head down, Sean. Dance. I got to see this. Go ahead. You got to see. Let’s go. Get up. Get up. I’ll dance with you. I didn’t say I could.

I’m a singer, not a dancer. Um, it’s fun for her. I’m like, ever. We’re like, ooh, I want to be really good at this, but I do. Like, I suck at this. We’ve done different, and you’re like, oh, my. I suck at this. Oh, I’m too left feet. Yeah, I can dance sexy.

I can tell you that. Let’s not. Let’s not show. No, keep going. We were talking about black belt. My wife’s not like, I can dance sexy. I don’t know about all this other stuff. I could try to seduce you on the dance floor. Like, how do I ask hr that question?

Does John dance sexy? There’s no way I can ask that question, dude. I think you can. I think you. Is John a good sexy? Like, the look that Jenny. I don’t want to see that look on her face. I’m going to ask. She’s looking at that text or at me, and I’m gonna be like, I’m sorry.

I’m gonna say Josh randomly asked me this.

I’m a little, uh, not gonna grapple with background. You’d be, like, a great dancer, dude. You’ve got good body control. I think when I was doing taekwondo and actually put that funny thing on there, uh, on band of these, uh, karate guys dancing around, I feel like if you’re a fighter, you have some pretty good footwork and can flow around and stuff, but learning the moves and memorizing all that stuff, that takes practice.

Right. You’ll be prepared to suck. Oh, yeah. But I feel move around. Like, fighters should be good dancers should be. Have some rhythm. Sure. Definitely. As a fighter, I think you should have some moves, some sort boxers move. With, like, a kind of rhythm in the ring. I think fighters should have some good.

Pretty good rhythm. Naturally. Well, maybe not naturally, but it’s part of it. But you got to be prepared to suck. If you really wanted to be a good dancer, you just got to embrace that suck and go through it. Like, I’m not that good at this. And you get better and better.

A lot of times, people just don’t mentally prepare. I think they think they’re going to be awesome in a, um, month, in six months. They just think they have this expectation of getting there so quickly. Yeah. And that’s something we want to do, is get people to a high level of proficiency quickly, but it doesn’t mean you’ve mastered it.

It’s getting you up, uh, quickly, getting you 80% of the way there, but you’ve only learned 20% of stuff. You’re going to get the bulk of it that’s going to get you most of the way home in the bulk of self defense scenarios. Yeah. I remember the first day I really came in, and the only person who was standing my way was me because I was hurting in places I hadn’t hurt in a long time, like, in the neck doing sit ups.

Yeah, you’re sore. Uh, and it kind of scared me. There’s this voice in my head that was like, why are you doing this? You’re not any good at this. Why are you trying again? That was the other thing is I tried martial arts before and I wasn’t very good.

And it’s like, why did I start again? Like, all the self doubt started. Yeah. All the self doubt coming back in. It was a lot, man. Like, you don’t need know. It’s so much easier to sit on the couch and you don’t really realize that you are hurting, but just in a different way when you’re not using.

Uh, there was a quote, I should have written it down from Socrates of essentially the gif. Like, no man should die without, uh, feeling their full potential physically. I forget the exact quote. A young man has a responsibility to see how strong his body can get. Yeah. So that’s a little different.

I tell people that all the time because it’s try. Yeah. And you don’t realize how much you suck just sitting there wasting away until you actually need it. But, yeah, you’re going to be sore. That’s why I always tell people, slow and steady. You might be excited. Beginners often will injure themselves because they’re not in shape and they’re really excited about their new training routine.

And that’s fantastic. But they’re not taking enough rest days. Uh, maybe they’re over training and then they hurt themselves, and, uh, now they’ve got to start over again. If it’s something that they need to take a month off of. I was like, come and sit in and watch class.

Even if you can’t stay in the routine, stay in the routine. As much as that might just stink sitting on the sidelines, it does. You’re like, go support your team. Just because you’re on the sidelines, you’re learning. I mean, I’m hurt. I can’t go. You need to be there.

Go support your team. Um, and that creeped in, like, a lot of that to me. It was like, man, it’s just so much easier not to do anything. But I remember the first day he looked at me and he goes, it’s all going to hurt. But you can’t get to 100 miles an hour today.

Yeah, right. That’s what everybody’s thinking. Slow and steady. Start at 10 miles an hour. Get up to 20. And I was actually shocked at the speed of which things works. Like, when I trained when I was younger, everything felt like it was not very fast. But now I was like, oh, my gosh, I can’t keep up with the fists.

I can’t keep up with the kicks. And it’s slowed down, quote unquote, as I’ve gone more. But I wasn’t prepared for that. And that scared me, too. That made me think I wasn’t ready for this. And there was a lot of self doubt that first week I was here, John.

There was a lot. Oh, yeah. Getting over that first week, the first month, even the first year, in your own head, you’ve got to believe in yourself. I mean, that’s just number one if you don’t believe in yourself, because then it’s going to come in friends, like, why are you doing this?

Why aren’t you come and do this? That’s pretty weird, people trying to bring you down. It can be a loved one. Like, come. Why are you doing that? I was shopping at one of my favorite stores, and I was talking to my budy. They’re like, why are you spending all that time beating yourself up?

And I’m like, well, I’m not beating myself up. I felt like I was getting ready for something, right? It was two totally different mentalities. They’re wondering why I was trying to get myself my butt kicked all the time. And I’m sitting there thinking, well, how do I kind of get better?

Because after the self doubt went away, I’m like, all right, I’m in this. I’m sticking to it. And now all of my friends and family are like, why are you doing that? Why are you getting your butt kicked? Doesn’t that hurt? Yeah, stuff hurts, but sitting on the couch and getting a bed sore hurts.

Losing your foot? Yeah, those people like, yeah, I mean, the people that say, doesn’t that hurt? And working out, it’s hard. You’re like, are you kidding me? Isn’t high blood pressure, isn’t being 2030, all of that? And that’s the killer. It doesn’t really hurt being 20 pounds overweight because it just slowly happened.

If you wear a weight vest and throw on 50 pounds, you’re going to feel that today. Oh, boy, do you. But it just slowly happens and your body adapts to it because it’s the human body. It’s freaking ingenious. It wants to keep going. And these people are like, it’s so much easier and they’re so wrong.

They’re just unbelievably wrong. But they’re going to convince you or try to feed into your own self doubt. That’s hard. Enough to fight and battle your own head. That, why are you doing this? That’s stupid. I mean, it comes to Cam, um, Haynes, or Cameron Haynes, the bow hunter.

Oh, yeah. Um, he does ultras crazy running and just getting in shape. Um, he tells a story in his book, endure how Joe Rogan found him. He’s been buddies and bow hunters, uh, with Joe Rogan of, like, he was doing something at Cabela’s, and like, hey, I’m going to carry this rock up the rest of the way up this mountain or this hill, whatever, that he would see.

And he thought it was 70 pounds. And eventually he brought it down to the gym, and it was like 130 pounds that he was carrying it up, and he invited these people back, and he was thinking it was like, 70 pounds. I’m like, yeah, it’s a 70 pound kettlebell.

I’m thinking. I’m like, all right, it’s not a kettlebell, but now it’s 130, man. Uh, that’s tough. He said it took him, like, whatever should take him 15 minutes to run it. It took him, like, two and a half hours to go up with that the first time with that rock.

And he started doing it on a weekly, weekly basis. But people give him all sorts of hate. Like, you don’t need to do that to bow hunt. He’s like, I want to be in the best shape. I can conquer the mountain. But people are bringing him down and giving him a ton of hate that you don’t need to do that to bow hunt.

Well, that’s fine. Maybe you practice a week before. Yeah. Deer weighs about 120 pounds. Once you get everything out, about 70 ish.

Granted, you can go, oh, he’s sponsored and all this other crap, but it’s 10% of bow hunters will get an elk. I think, uh, it might be specifically elk. It’s 10%. So he’s like, one time in ten years, and this dude’s successful every year. Yeah, there’s going to be a lot of hate.

It’s going to be a lot of hate there, and you’re pursuing something like going after your black belt. There’s going to be plenty of friends, plenty of opportunity for people to bring you down. You name it. I mean, it’s crazy. Once I started winning the battle with me, I was shocked at the battle.

I had to fight with my friends and family because I spent all this time fighting myself. Get it. Go. Just go, Josh. Just go. Go do it. Just go. Get up. Make it happen. And then everybody else is like, don’t just. It’s okay. Ah, you can take today off.

It’s not going to matter. Just come shopping with us. It’s one day, and after you fight one fight, you’re fighting another. And then after you get past that point, that’s when, uh, in my opinion, for me, it really clicks. It becomes part of my daily routine. Like, if I don’t go and do something now, I get a weird itch for it.

I, uh, feel lazy. And then that’s really where I found that the battle is not won, but it’s being won, right? Because you never really win the battle of training and being in fit. But at that point, I realized I’ve gotten to the point where I have to do it, at least something every day, whether I’m grabing my bands at home or I’m training with you, even.

If it’s mental training of seeing yourself, rehearsing that new technique, whatever it may be. I mean, Gosh, when I was going for my taekwondo black belt, I was dating this girl, uh, I don’t know what age, how did it be? 21, two ish. And was dating a girl from my high school class that I always kind of had a crush on.

And he was dating her, and something happened. I forget. Like, a friend said she wanted to spend more time with me or something like that. Um, that I was going to Taekwondo class or something, and that was getting in the way, and she was kind of aggravated that I was doing that maybe over her.

And who knows where anything will go in life and it leads you, but it was fun. Like, I’m not going to choose that. I don’t know. We’re dating. You’re great. Who knows if you’re going to leave over that or like, oh, spend more time with me. Spend more time with me.

It’s good to get out and do other things, but I’m like, I’m pursuing this. I like you. I’ve liked you for a lot of years, but I’m not going to give up this journey for that because who knows, right? You could have broken up six months later, whatever. But it was funny that a friend said she was aggravated over that or something.

And I’ve had students now. I mean, I had this guy. God,

he, um, was phenomenal, um, really gifted. You show him stuff and just like, bang, you’re like, wow, I wish I could have learned it that fast. Right? And I remember, uh, seeing, uh, his sister, um, train with me, or maybe she used to. I can’t remember. It was way back on Nantucket island, and I was what?

You know, where’s your brother? She’s like, oh, dating this girl. He’s in love.

I’m, uh, like, well, uh, my God, you can’t carve out two nights a week for yourself that your head over heels for people. And then how many people fall off and lose themselves? And you’ve got to have something of yourself in a relationship. Oh, yeah. You see, people give up the journey to whatever it is, but starting so hard and, yeah, like you said, there’s self doubt in everyone, but you’ve got to believe in yourself and get through that and be prepared to suck.

You’re on that journey if you really want it. There’s going to be bumps in the road, and you got to embrace that. You got to go, yes, I know something’s going to get in my way, and I’m going to have to go around it and get back on the path.

I’m going to get injured, and I’m going to keep going. Stay involved, like, mentally. That’s why I’m like, just show up. Uh, show up. Uh, just watch. And you can get so much. It’s just an interesting journey, right. Because, uh, there’s all these bumps in the road, and you got to stay the course.

And if you meet somebody in a relationship like that, right. You generally want them to do stuff with you. Like, the person’s asking you to stop doing something. I’m not a relationship advice person, but I would say that’s probably not the start of a healthy relationship. You kind of want to meet someone that wants to do something that you do, too, or at least join in it in some way, because my wife jumped in as soon as she saw the success I was having and the amount of weight I was losing, she’s like, I want it.

Yeah. So it became an inspiration for her. So not everybody’s trying to drag you down. Yeah. But you can also bring people up. Right. It’s shocking. The number of people on the journey to where I’m at now is the number of people I’ve said, join us, get with us.

Let’s change what you are. And it’s working for them. There’s a ton of people that come through here that are just looking better, feeling better, and it’s just staying on that path. And it’s a hard struggle. It’s every single day. It’s every day. It’s not like it ever ends.

It’s every single day. And I think a person needs. I think the human mind needs that. It needs a struggle every day, whether. It be small or large. It needs something to do right and overcome. Yeah. Life is just too easy sometimes. We do have an easy life. We have an easy society.

John, I can drive anywhere. I can sit down all day. I don’t even have to go get my. Yeah, I mean, people can’t embrace the, you know, they don’t want to do that. They just take the easy path. And, um, I’m just like, look at mental illness and all these other things and the amount of people that are unhappy and just endlessly scrolling.

You have the time. You just need to make the time. Or starting out another one. Like we’re saying, I don’t know who you spend the money for. Martial arts lessons for Krav Magata. Come to rmsdf.com, whatever place at Starbucks. Oh, yeah. Like, uh, look at your, like, where can you cut?

What are you doing? What is really essential. You can spend thousands a year on Starbucks. Thousands. And people do. Yeah, I constantly say they’re addicted to. I mean, you got caffeine, but they got everything else that they’re putting in it that you’re just addicted to it. It’s easy. It’s an easy coffee, and it’s part of their routine.

Mateo. I feel good. Yeah, I enjoy it. I felt good. I do this every day. Feel good if you go for a jog. Yeah. You feel good if you come in. And just hold the mat for a while. Right. You feel good if you come in and you just stretch.

Punch a heavy back, punch a heavy back. Lift some weights, do something. It’s starting. I’m always just start. Who cares about the reps in the class? Whatever it is, just show up and keep showing up regardless of, oh, those people are better than me. Let that drive you. Chase that person.

Try to be that person. I’m never going to get there. Yeah, you will. That person just kept showing up. Uh, right. One of the instructors, uh, here at Ben looks at me and I was like, hey, man, when I started training with him, I was like, I’m pretty unskilled.

I’m just a white belt. I don’t want to hurt anybody. Let’s just take it slow. And he goes, Josh, you know the difference between a white belt and a black belt is. And I said, no. And he goes, I just kept coming. Yeah, just keep showing up. I’m still a white belt, technically.

That’s how. The way he was seeing it, right? Yeah. And it was really cool to feel that, because the other is, when you go to a gym, the experience that you have, especially here there’s a lot of positive reinforcement. There’s some martial arts gyms and just fitness gyms you go to, and there’s not a lot of positive reinforcement.

You’re just left to your own devices. Right? Yeah, it can be ultra competitive. That too. Those are weird. But over here, it was just like, yeah, come on in. We don’t care, just join us. We just want you to get better. The quality of my life went way up.

Yeah. I mean, that is huge. That’s the mission with Rocky Mountain. Self defense and fitness is just to help everybody get a little bit better so they’re safer. Help them get a little bit more in shape, slow and steady, so they are just better in their daily lives. It doesn’t matter as long as you’re just getting a little bit better.

A little bit better. And this quick, fixed society, this instant gratification stuff just kills people because they just think they’re going to be there in 1 second and I’m just going to level up. It’s like all these, you can’t fight the algorithm. They’re just hacking you to stay in the game.

So you get that gratification and they’re just hacking you. Where you’re coming to martial arts, you’re coming to Krab Magai, uh, you’re doing citizen Defender. Whatever you’re doing, you’re coming to our project fit class. It’s so much in your own head trying to just believe in yourself because there’s no little, ooh, instant ooh.

I got some little stars and I don’t know, stupid games. People like to be affirmed that they’ve made the right decision, too. And if they don’t get that, some people quit. You know what I mean? Like, what you’re doing is right. Stick with it. They don’t get that affirmation.

People, and some people search for that sort of affirmation, right? Like, you’re doing a great job and stuff like that. You got to learn that little voice in your head that you don’t need, that you’re doing this for you, right? You don’t do it, so you make others happy.

Yeah. You’re doing it to make yourself happy. And once you realize that in life, I mean, it changes your whole outlook on life, but that’s also part of the hard journey in all of it, is that learning to do it for you, uh, you’ll do whatever you need to make sure your pet’s healthy.

You know how many people, uh, who buy the quality food for their dogs don’t exercise themselves. And it’s like, well, just treat yourself like you would treat your own pet. Right? Got to walk the dog. Got to make sure it’s healthy and stuff. Why aren’t you doing that for yourself?

We talked about that before. It’s crazy. It’s pretty wild. Um, gosh, what was I going to say there? Uh, sorry, I totally stepped on your toes. I just get excited because you do get excited. I do. It’s fun. I mean, talking, it’s a great quality, but I don’t shut up.

I’m like, josh, you’re too excited, right? I say that to the HR department. I’m like, Josh gets so freaking excited sometimes. You just got to relax, be smooth. But excitement’s great. Yeah. Like, excitement’s great. And it also can know it’s, ah, Neil young. Same thing that makes you live, can kill you in the, um, you know, starting out.

It’s tough, and you got to be prepared. You got to be prepared to slowly fight that battle, slowly chip away at it, and people are going to bring you down. Got to be ready for it. And it’s always hard when it’s a spouse or anything like that. But, hey, I’m trying to do this for me.

But people, like, they don’t want to be on the diet because, oh, they look at you like, oh, aren’t you disciplined? You’re not enjoying the good stuff. Yeah. And, hey, that’s fine. I don’t care what you’re doing. It doesn’t bother me. If you want to eat ice cream, that’s cool.

I’m not going to do it. I think, uh, it’s a test of wills and getting back on. It’s always like Christmas time. I’m like, I could kill myself on buckeyes. And then it’s so easy, right? That food is just so. It’s such an addiction, and people have such a hard time with food, but you just got to eat clean.

That’s going to make things a lot easier. Uh, the next big point in that journey to, uh, your black belt and whatever martial art you’re going after, whatever discipline, even if they don’t give you a black belt, is hitting that plateaus. That first one can be kind of the hardest of plateauing out and feeling.

You’re like, you’re not making any progress, and, oh, I’m never going to get any better. Oh, maybe this is the end of plateaued out and fighting through that hard. I’ve seen some people do the plateau thing and then quit because they’re like, well, there’s nothing else that I’m going to do here.

I’ve gotten everything I need, and I’ve seen that happen. I’m just like, you don’t even really begin until you reach a black belt. That’s really when the training starts. Because now you’ve gotten to the point where you can start learning the juicy stuff, the fun stuff, or at least the stuff that’s masterful.

And the way I’m trying to see it is that black belt is just the start. Yeah, that’s how I have to see it. But I’ve seen people stop. Even in other disciplines, I’ve learned enough here. I’m out, and it just quits, and it’s like they reach that plateau and they’re either done or they’re hungry for more.

Right? And you must see that a lot, right? Yeah, you definitely do. People think I’ve got this down, but it’s also just hitting that plateau and not even feeling like you have it down. You just feel like you’re not learning or getting any better. And people really struggle with that, of, I’m not getting any better.

And, hey, guess what the answer is. Keep coming. Just keep showing up. Uh, that that’s going to just get you through. I mean, how many times I’ve been in a plateau or in a rut? It’s my business. You got to keep showing up, right? You’re like, this is my livelihood.

Um, you hit a plateau. There’s not that excitement. I think it’s a different journey being a gym owner. Ah. Where you’re like, I got to show up. And I think that’s where, when you’re on that road to black belt that you are teaching a class, all of a sudden you’ve got people relying on you.

And of course, people can definitely quit that or something happens or just, I’m totally out. But when you have other people relying on you, that can really help. I think that I got people here now as a gym owner, you’re like, uh, well, if I don’t show up, I’m blowing up my gym.

But suffering through that a little bit of just keep teaching it, keep doing it, keep doing it. And it goes to new enlightenment and new understanding of technique and of everything else of just continuing down the path. When you’re in that rut, where it’s easy to go, I’m just going to take a month off, or people come sporadically.

I’m like, where the heck are you? You’re a black belt. Showing up once a week, kind of example is that? Yeah, for all the underbelts. Like, you’re going to show up once a week. You’re not really pursuing to that next belt. How many classes? We count classes here, um, as a requirement, but you just keep showing up.

Yeah, it’s just fun to be part of the team. I like the group. Yeah. Helping get somebody a little bit better in their own journey can help you overcome your plateau of that training rut of, uh, hey, I’m not getting any better. Well, so what? Maybe you don’t feel like.

And all of a sudden I always say, like, something’s like, oh, that was a bad. I had a bad session. Those bad sessions, those bad weeks, those bad months make me better of struggling through all of that suck and feeling like I didn’t like that one. It wasn’t good.

I feel like there’s a tremendous amount of growth out of those sessions versus the ones you’re feeling. Like who I’m learning. Oh, yeah, I got this. And those instant gratifications we talked about in the first part of starting out of the algorithm that, whoa, I’m fast. I’m, um, learning all this new stuff and I’m getting it down really quick.

And you’re getting that dopamine hit of feeling like you’re super successful. I mean, how many professional athletes? I’ve actually talked to a lot of professional athletes and they tell me that they’ve had more struggles than they’ve had success. Because the struggle happens when you’re preparing, right? And it’s a fight that way, the moments you do need it and you get onto the court, you get onto the field, that’s when the time to be excellent happens.

But I’m shocked at the number of professional athletes that are like, I just feel like I’m struggling through this all the time and they’re at the top. Of their game and these are, again, professional athletes going. And I think that’s what fuels me. And where the suck less. I just tell me if I’m not training, I’m sucking.

You’re not that good. You’re not that good. You suck. Keep training. Don’t let this, like, oh, I got this down or whatever. If I’m missing I suck. Keep going. You can get better at it. It’s the hours, uh, on the heavy bag. I mean, it’s not even hours. It’s crazy amounts of time spent hitting a heavy bag.

And the last, um, conservative estimate I had was, like, 24,000 hours just working out between hitting the heavy bag, tie pads, doing those type of workouts of just striking alone, like, put in the work, watch you do that? Yeah. I mean, you’ve got to keep your skills sharp, and people aren’t willing to do that.

You want to achieve greatness. It’s the person that I forget, um, who it is. If it was 10,000 jump shots a day, like some crazy number. What’s that crazy number?

1 minute, John. 1 minute. One more minute, josh. One more minute. Um, of jump shots, of just standing in the batting cage. Right. Taking more batting practice, just hitting over and over and over again. It’s working your draw from concealment over and over and over again. Just that fundamental thing that people just want to overlook and do the cool stuff.

Uh, it’s like the dry fire. Any of our citizen defender videos don’t get as many hits as just going bang at the range. You’re like, ooh, people want that versus the boring things. I’m like, the boring things make you a black belt. I constantly tell people, like, you know, what makes you a black belt is combos one through four and a round kick and a knee.

Your basic blocks, your basic clinch fighting, your basic groundwork that’s going to get you so much further than what the data says that’s going to happen to you out in the street. You’re probably not going to go against a BJJ black belt. You’re probably not going to go against a Golden Gloves boxer.

In that self defense scenario,

do the boring things. That’s what’s going to get you to black belt. Look, we’ve got a couple of things coming up here, guys, at Rocky Mountain self defense and fitness here in Castle Rock. Save the date. We’ve got a clear sky defender incorporating the blade into your self defense protocol.

And of course, we always want to be legally justified when we’re using that greater amount of force, potentially, um, leveling up and when to use a blade. And we are doing that on January 20 at, uh, 11:00 a.m. There’s some info here at the gym. If you are a nonmember, just reach out to us at info@rmsdf.com and we have that blade and other apparel that you can support.

The podcast at shop Clearsky training is our clear sky site. And of course, if you’re looking for Rocky Mountain gear, you can get it at shop rmsdf.com. All right, guys, we are going to wrap this up, uh, next week for part B. We will see you guys then.

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