The badass stand up again and again

The Badass Project

I’ve been following Johnny B. Truant since I took his Question the Rules last year. Question the Rules is a business course for punk rock minded people and it comes with high quality audio modules as well as interviews with successful entrepreneurs. Johnny is great at storytelling and asking interesting questions as one can easily tell from his interviews.

Recently, Johnny started this thing called The Badass Project.

Let me quote how he defines “badass”.

badass (bad · ass) n., pl -es 1. Someone who, despite being dealt a significant physical disadvantage, lives an extraordinary and inspiring life. 2. A person who doesn’t “cope with their situation”; so much as transcend perceived obstacles and make them irrelevant. 3. Badasses define themselves by their accomplishments, not their limitations.

At the time of writing this post, there are 3 interviews uploaded to the site and you better check out these badass interviews.

Kyle Maynard: Athlete and MMA fighter

I’ve listened to Johnny’s interview with Kyle Maynard earlier this week and really liked it. Kyle is an athlete and mixed martial arts fighter, who has “two arms that end at the elbow and legs that end at the knees”.

While I enjoyed every part of the interview, my favourite part is where he talks about his experiences in wrestling.

Kyle started practising wrestling since he was in 6th grade and he lost his first 35 matches. But he had a specific goal of not getting pinned and tried to achieve it and tried to achieve it in his matches. So, instead of losing by getting pinned, he lost his matches by points.

If I tell you that this was my favourite part, you might wonder why that’s the case.

Because, after this part, he tells us that he’s started winning when he’s in the senior year in high school and tells about the importance of believing in yourself.

These things sound more impressive than losing 35 matches, right? Surely they do. But I was more impressed by the fact that he was patient and he specifically focused on not getting pinned by his opponents.

It’s not about winning, it’s about not losing

His patience and goal resonate with me, because one of the most important lessons I learnt from practising Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the following attitude.

If you can’t win, don’t lose.

Perhaps you can’t win for the time being. Perhaps your opponent is bigger and stronger than you. So, if you want to beat your opponent, you will need to make him or her tired. In order to do so, you must survive first. You must not lose.

If getting pinned in wrestling is like getting knocked out in boxing, then the goal of avoiding getting pinned is very important. If you can always avoid getting pinned, then you can eventually work on not losing by points as well. Once you’ve become unbeatable, it will be much easier to focus on attacking.

Just because you are not winning, it doesn’t mean you are losing. You need to be patient. You need to keep fighting. You need to keep writing shitty first drafts. You need to keep showing up.


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Photo: mscaprikell