I have learned so many valuable lessons from my time spent being mentored and taught by Coach Blauer but I think these 3 lessons are so simple yet so valuable to everyone. These 3 lessons I learned after my first experience at a Be Your Own Bodyguard seminar with Coach Blauer.
1- My Body is Hardwired to Protect Itself
The first time I heard Coach Blauer say this I wasn’t really sure what I thought about it. It kind of made sense. I mean we do have a rib cage that protects our vital organs, eyebrows & eyelashes to protect our eyes, and our body builds callouses when we work with our hands. So in that sense I believed it. But I couldn’t fight like the guys in the movies or in the boxing ring or in the UFC. I didn’t know how to wax on or wax off and I sure as heck didn’t look like those fighters. I have been in my fair share of sporting event “fights” but I never put up my dukes and started jabbing and upper cutting or doing round houses. But after taking 1 course with Coach Blauer I realized he was right! In that first day I didn’t become a professional fighter nor do I have the desire to do that. All that happened was I realized that my body does certain things intuitively and instinctually that sets me up to protect myself without having to think about it. This natural and instinctual defense mechanism is hardwired into our body and is referred to as Startle Flinch & Push away danger. Coach Blauer merely showed me how to recognize that and use it. What changed was my mindset. Your MINDSET is the key.
2- Pay Attention
Coach Blauer has told me and I have heard him tell so many seminars full of people that if you are defending yourself then you missed so many opportunities to avoid and not have a violent encounter or fight/ambush. He talks about the 3 D’s. Detect, Defuse/De-escalate, & Defend. So if we pay attention to our surroundings, have the correct body language and choice speech that says that you don’t want to fight we can avoid a large portion of altercations. It is better to know if something bad is going to happen 30 yards away than it is to find out when the bad guy is in your face. Here is a great question that I want you to ask yourself. If you were a “bad guy” where and when would you attack yourself? We all have routines and if we aren’t paying attention we can leave ourselves open for trouble.
3- Have a Plan
This is HUGE for me. It relates and applies to all aspects of life. It is all about mindset and allowing your mind to relax by creating a plan. Coach Blauer spends a good deal of time on Mindset and Fear Management. He couldn’t possibly spend enough time on it in my opinion. For me, if I have a plan laid out for my day I have so much more success following it and I don’t spend as much time trying to remember what I have to do. Now when I see my workout on the board I immediately make a plan. Sometimes that plan changes mid workout but making a plan takes me out of the F.E.A.R. Loop. In any and all scenarios in life you need to have a plan. Sometimes you can plan ahead but other times you get ambushed or caught off guard and need to make a decision on the spot. This is such a huge paradigm shift for me. In any situation when I make a plan I give myself control over the situation rather than the situation controlling me.
Coach Blauer has devoted his entire life to making people safer and to opening their eyes to the tools they already have in their possession. As human beings we all flinch. This is a gift from God. We owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to recognize it and use it. Coach Blauer has transformed his Be Your Own Bodyguard seminar and joined forces with Crossfit HQ to provide a life changing course called Crossfit Defense. I have been working with Coach Blauer since July 2011 and have been to two Personal Defense Readiness Instructor Courses along with countless BYOB seminars. I am now helping Coach Blauer bring this course to the Crossfit Community and could not be more thrilled and honored to bring such an amazing & life changing course to my peers. I have no background in fighting or martial arts and this has had one of the greatest impacts on my life next to finding Crossfit. I strongly urge you to attend a course. This weekend Coach Blauer and I will be at Valley Crossfit in Van Nuys, California. Follow the link for MORE INFO and Follow this link to REGISTER for the course. Please check the schedule for upcoming events in your area. This is real life. Pretending things aren’t going to happen to you won’t help. Take action and take your personal safety into your own hands.
I am a firm believer in never forgetting where you came from or how you got where you are today. Whether it was a good or bad road I believe you are where you are for a purpose. I was at the box yesterday working on some things on the business side and took a short break and got caught up watching a bunch of old videos of when my journey began as a Crossfitter. Very humbling to look back and be able to see the road I have travelled and think about all the people who have played such an important role in molding me into the man I am today. Part of my purpose is sharing my experiences with others and showing that anyone can do what I did. If someone would have told me when I started Crossfit, at 235# with 30% body fat, that in about 5 years I would be a 4 time Games athlete and considered one of the fittest on earth I would have laughed in their face as I struggled to do a ring dip or even a strict pull up. Do not doubt yourself. No limitations, no boundaries. Here is a cool video from May 2008. This was about 2 months before heading to Aromas, California for the 2nd annual Crossfit Games! That would be one of the biggest turning points for me in my life. With an 8 month pregnant wife, we drove up in our friends motorhome to the Games, which took 8+ hours. I finished the weekend in 79th place. I was chubby, inconsistent, but that weekend lit a fire inside of me that continues to burn like a raging inferno. Burning to improve myself every day and show others that they can do it too. I have a lot of sayings and motto’s or mantra’s. My most well known is Spreading Butter but a more serious one is Everything Counts. I really believe that everything you do matters. It either takes you closer to your goal or farther away. We make choices everyday, all day long. Be sure to make choices that take you closer to your goals. Enjoy the video.
PS…Let me explain the video real quick. This was a month after moving into our box after moving out of my 3 car garage. The med ball under the butt was acceptable at that time in Crossfit and so was taking the bar out of the rack for this workout. If you want to see my journey through Fran click here and see how over the years I went from a 17+ minute Fran to a 2:20.
Below is a question posed by one of my blog followers in regards to losing weight and losing strength. Do they in fact go hand in hand? Do they have to? Is there a way to keep this from happening? If so, is it worth it? Read below and see what I have to say.
Hey Jeremy, Congrats on making it to the Games. I admire your hard work and dedication to the sport but most importantly I admire your dedication to your family and your stronghold faith in Jesus Christ. My question is how you handle the weight loss and in regards to strenght? What i mean is…i’ve lost weight and feel like my strenght is lost with it. How do u handle that? Hope to hear soon and would like to wod with you one day. Thanks and God bless.”
Jeremy Kinnick says:
Rambles… Thanks for the comment and more importantly thank you for the kind words and support.
Thats a great question. I think a lot of it has to do with my programming. As you may know Brian Mackenzie programs everything I do. I work a lot on explosiveness and I lift heavy on a regular basis and also did so as I was dropping weight. I have gotten a bit stronger on some movements but more importantly I have gained overall strength endurance. Meaning I can move heavy weight for high reps really well. I think that is far more important than have a super heavy 1 rep max.
Have you or did you lift much while losing weight? Also, how did you lose weight? I follow the Zone balance and eat unprocessed foods mainly organic and grass fed/free range, as much as I can afford at least. I have seen a lot of people lose strength when not eating enough Carbs from fruits and veggies. I also write a lot of meal plans for crossfitters throughout the community as well as at my box and when people are lifting and fueling properly I have seen a lot of strength gains with weight loss. So I guess it just depends on what you are doing. Hope that helps. If you want me to elaborate on any of the points or you have more questions, please let me know. Thanks again for the comment.
Pictured above: Jonathan Kinnick (my younger bro & co-founder of Beyond the Whiteboard & Crossfit Kinnick) is practicing the “Slapping SPEAR” very effectively on my neck. If you have not been to Tony Blauer‘s “Be Your Own Bodyguard” Seminar, I would strongly recommend looking for one at a Crossfit gym near you and learning his method of using your body’s natural instincts to protect yourself. This picture is from PDR31 this past weekend at SEALFIT in Encinitas, Ca. This is the Personal Defense Readiness Instructors Course.
I have two questions: Is sealFit as cool as I think it is? and how does strongman help you? I run a donation-based garage gym, we just got a big donation from running a small online competition and I’m contemplating between two purchases: CFFB cert to increase my coaching skills or a yoke… any suggestions?
Thanks for the questions. I am not sure how cool you think SealFit is but I would guess that its much cooler than you think! Beautiful facility just off the beach. I didn’t get a chance to workout there but it was an awesome place!
The philosophy behind Strongman goes perfectly with Crossfit. Moving a heavy load using unconventional objects. Strongman is a lot about grip strength but also getting your body used to heavy loads on your body or in your hands. It has taught me to be able to cope and deal with suffering under heavy weight. The Yoke has been a huge staple in my training since before the Open, Regionals, and Games. Whether its Yoke walks or Zercher carries. If you have never done the Zercher Carries I suggest you experience that. I love them. The stones are amazing as well teaching you to move an odd object. We just recently got the Farmer Handles and those have been BRUTAL. Grip strength has been a weakness of mine but with all the work with the Stones and now with the Farmer Handles I think its making a big difference. You can also use the Farmer Handles for a Fat bar deadlift. I could go on and on about how its all helped me but I think that gives you the jist of it.
Now this last question is a tough one. I have never been to a CFFB cert but I am a huge fan of increasing your skill set. But the yoke is SO amazing. It all depends on your goals really. The yoke is only one piece of equipment where as the CFFB could help with ideas on programming and coaching. But if I had to choose I would pick the Yoke and learn to suffer under that thing!
Hope I answered your questions for you Steven. Thanks again.