Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Memory of Monta Wiley: The Trying Mission

The moment an individual is born into the world they are granted the greatest gift one could ever imagine, the opportunity of LIFE. Although it isn't made clear in the beginning  as we mature we begin to develop a natural urge within ourselves to simply "Do Stuff". Alot of times we get caught in the present moment unaware of the effect of our actions. That effect isn't fully revealed until we reach that inevitable conclusion buried at our grave site where all becomes clear as we are remembered by others as they reflect on the memories that will live in their hearts and minds forever about us.

Recalling something forgotten, Restored in a memory, keeping someone in mind. To be remembered is something everyone will have on their resume whether it is positive or negative. If you look back at notable characters like MLK, 2Pac, Jeffery Dahmer, Bin Ladin, or even your favorite top athlete I am sure off the top of your head you remember them for something that stood out. Not to long ago I went to a Power Ranger Convention where I got the opportunity to meet some of my childhood heroes. I can remember clearly what stood out about such figures like Brad Hawkins aka VR Trooper Ryan Steele and Austin St. John aka Jason The Red Ranger whose character qualities inspired to be a better person.
 
It doesn't stop there as it gets deeper than the popular figures you see on TV because even family members, friends,enemies, or other individuals that come into your life can leave their mark. He is a Nice Guy, She is a Tramp, What a Prick, Man he is a Beast on the Mats I'm Scared of Him are just some of the memories that may spring up.The Action and Re-Action phase as I like to call it because with every physical or verbal engagement it creates a response.
 
As I wake up daily going on about my life journey it never crossed my mind of how I wanted to be remembered because I tend to often live in the moment of whatever I'm doing. However while I daydream into that focused moment unbeknownst to me I have become a man in the arena judged by my spectators as they all have their own review of who Monta Wiley is/was. 
 
These days I have been given many descriptions by people I interacted with. Humble, Modest, Nuts, Weird, Cathartic, Otspoken and even Stand-off ish with certain people which I honestly  agree with all these descriptions.  Nevertheless whether it working long rough hours at the paper job, doing a charity grapplethon, or going through the anxiety stresses of competing (known by some as my Battle Within) all of my characteristics are fueled with the purpose of simply "Attempting to Do Stuff". I feel no matter what we choose to do with our lives if one doesn't make the effort to at least TRY nothing can be done to fulfill our goals as well as be seen while doing it. So with all this said the burning question is..How does Monta Want to be Remembered ? the answer is simple.
 
 I JUST WANT TO BE REMEMBERED AS A GUY THAT WAS ALWAYS TRYING.

Deep down and I'm not saying this to be negative but I'm no one special. As a matter of fact I'm a fucking nobody.A mere vessel floating around in the world I breathe the same air as everyone else does. I also wake up, walks outside, and try to make sense of things by choosing to better myself in the presence of watching spectators (being you all and others) as they know for a fact I'm striving by all means to put forth an effort toward a specific end (end being the goal).
 
- Trying to put an end to the fears that plagued him for years.
- Trying to put an end to someone's loneliness during their dark time whether it is a death in the family, cancer, or bond to a wheelchair  as he let them know they weren't alone that he cared about their situation.

- Trying to put an end to to bad habits to becoming a better in skills as writer, paper job worker, grappler, and other skill crafting occupations.

-Trying to put an end to the flaws that personally exist in himself because he know everyday he woke up was another chance to be 1 % better to TRY and do just that.
 
and most importantly
 
- Who never gave up and stopped trying because he knew there was an end.

Got Darnt I just want to keep Trying !!! -lol-

Reading this blog I want you to ask yourself.... What am I doing with my life ? Where Do I Want to be ? and What am I determined to do to obtain that “END”. Also this blog should serve as a reminder to appreciate the people in your life. Hug your wife/child to tell them how much they mean to you, thank you JJ instructor for helping you along the path, or give a shout out to someone that inspires you.

Last food of thought before I wrap up. Just in case you get caught up in the concept of popularity and fame, many people think the key to being remembered is to impress others. On the contrary it is building self-worth, having goals, and going through that battle within yourself to becoming YOU and through this we find people we can relate to in an effort to help build each other.  However hopefully it is in a positive light because you don’t want to be no notorious murder or nothing evil like that. -lol-
 
Thanks for your time everyone.
 
1 % better or Trying to Be

Monta' (pronounced like Monday with a "T" replacing the "D")



Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Realest BJJ Rap Album Ever !!!!

As most of you know the montablogs have been geared toward letting everyone know a little bit about myself and also encourage others. But I was looking at a couple of things going on in the BJJ community today which reminds me a lot of the stuff that goes on in the rap game. To make things worse BJJ guys have even put out raps songs which makes me to believe they are idiots or need to stick to grappling. 

But then an idea popped into my head as I asked myself  ummmm what if I made a rap album. What would I say, How can I shock the world, and put everyone at attention as to.....WHO IS KILLA TAY ?!

so here goes and please try to have a sense of humor because I'm taking no shorts in 2014 !!! #submissionnnnnn  :-)
-----------

Rapper Name: Killa Tay - Killa Tay has been doing his thang for a long time. Known for his countless underground mixtapes which include streets hits "Type of Way" (freestyle), "Katy Perry", the emotional competition anthem "Momma Stressing Her Baby Going to War(aka compete)", and the controversial  "Screw,Nut,Bolt" which takes shots at the IBJJF referees Killa Tay has earned the following and worldwide reputation as a real figga in the game...After much delay he is finally able to release his long awaited debut album.

Album: F.A.T P.A.G ( which stand for F*** All These Phony Ass Grapplers)- The Definition of Really Really Really Real Because the Realest is Me:  the album's title says it all F*** Em. Its a lot of phony ish in the game and when I look at my watch it time for some realness to come back so here I am...REAL in the flesh.

My album cover ( close your eyes and use your imagination) will feature me sitting on top of a Honda Accord with all 11 of my medals and 2 Trophies ( these are actual things I won over the years) that took me 30 minutes to grab and put around me neck just to show you how cool I am. The Honda will have all these sponsorship logos on that I really don't have or haven't came through for me yet because I am a marketable figure in my own eyes although I am just a sick white belt, untouchable blue belt or mediocre purple at best. Also gotta have two women next to me counting money preferably 1 dollar bills Lots of  1's because I'm # 1 and everyone needs to know that. 

Why the crazy cover  you ask.. because I'm a big fan of the No Limit Records  albums covers.
 

Intro
 
 Twork Season (featuring Miley Cyrus)- Twork is the definition of me working my ass off 365 days/ 24 hours . There is no such thing as summer, spring, winter, or fall in my vocabulary. Every day is twork, twork, twork, and more twork to becoming 1 % better at anything I do. Of course you cant talk about twerking without having the new leader of the movement Miley Cyrus  being on the track which was a honor.

Shirt Chaser ( featuring Ian Harris)- Everyone is consumed with medals which can be obtained 50 % of the time. However one thing is guaranteed A tournament t-shirt. I love shirts because I can where them all the time when I go to the park, sleep, and everywhere in between . I can’t wear a medal around all the time especially where I live I’ll get kill’t or get it taken by the real G's that don't wear Gi's. So I’m just layn it down letting everyone on this track know don't be too sad about not getting a medal that day at least you got a shirt and who better to join with me than the King Shirt Chaser himself Ian Harris.

Man Fan – this is where I lift the skirt off these male whores. Time and time again I see these P.A.G's flocking and loving whoever is on top of the bjj mountain. It's similar to when I go to a bar at night and girls flock to me because I got money, I got that flex, I got that Twork, and quite frankly God Damit cause I'm Monta. They didn't like me years when I was broke hustling doing my thing starting from the bottom now I here. It's the same in this game you they love you when your on top and if your not its time to hop on another male bjj champion luv boat. So I'm just giving a shout out to all the Man Fans out there.
 
Katy Perry “Remix” - this is a remix from a song I did on one of my old mixtapes "In the Kitchen: Stay Working". Katy Perry songs are inspirational and carry a deep message. So I'm just giving her a shout out . 
 
TTG- Train to Go. That means Im ready for whatever. Ready to train. Ready to work. Ready to help somebody and ready for war baby ! Anyway, whatever, however, whenever this goon be TTG.
 
Do My Dance- Straight club banger yo. Straight Club banger. But in all it is a metaphor for saying I'm doing me. I'm not living for you .I'm do it my way.
 
It’s Personal-  I'm not a competitive person in terms of how I match up against others because the greatest battle is against myself. This song I bare my soul giving everyone get to know me and why I do what I do underneath all this Killa in me. At the same time I know people have a different mind frame bound by ego, goal oriented, and just dominate the opponent they face which is cool. All I ask is to respect my grind and Respect my Hustle (like John Cena) because its a battle within. So don't go talking stuff about what you gonna do to me in a match or be a douche afterwards because I will take it personal and that's when shit get real. In the immortal words of Rick Ross aka Officer Ricky.. It Deeper than...Competition.

 Riding in My Honda Accord- When Nakapan was with Lloyd Irvin he asked an interesting question.. Do you want the Bentley or the bicycle !? I’m too small for a Bentley and too big for a bicycle so I figured a Honda would be great plus they got long mileage so I can do a lot of traveling. Go with the Honda Accord I say !!
 
Every day is a Struggle (featuring Garrett Irons & Justin “Iron Man” Moss)- I be in pain most of the time, Everyday I wake up I am not satisfied with who I am and where I want to be. Nothing is giving on a silver plater so you gotta work hard for it and go through a bunch of bullshit to get it. I got my boys from Denver joining me on this track because they say on grindmode and they 're some of the realist people I've meet. #realrecognizereal

Rims Stones,Glitter, and Juice (featuring Curtis Snow from that Nexflix movie "Snow in the Bluff")- Rim stones is the Weed. Glitter is the Out of Control sparkling Party. Lastly Juice is Steroids put into the body for maximum performance. Another one of those songs where I'm exposing the real of some of these cats on the game. Not everyone you see are saint just because they can do little wrong on the mats in front of hundreds of people watching. I'm just letting everyone know no one is perfect and we all got flaws. Shoot reading this blog you probably doing it to. Curtis Snow stay doing his thang hustling so i got him on here too.

Leaving the City- This track is a remark of The Sunday's song Leave the City. It takes about getting out of your comfort zone and seeing what's out there for you. It also talks about me leaving the city one day although I will still run Los Angeles from wherever I'm at -haha-
 
Work in the Pot ( Like Martha Stewart)- I am the spoon, my skills are the ingredients, the mat is the pot where I steer up something nice #yum. Put it together and I'm working hard. Every time I look at Martha Stewart she be on that TV cooking something give us all the recipe to making a great meal. I kinda respect her in a way because it inspires me to create new ideas whether it is techniques, new things to do, or just figuring out ways to be better in life. You gotta keep work.gotta staying improving.


 I Love this Life- I talk about how much this great art has changed my life. All BS aside through the good times, bad times, and various people I have meet it has truly made me a better person. I Luv It.

 Outro

--------------------------------------
I know this album will be the realest ish ever released on the market that will send me to super stardom .I can see it now groupie followings male and female, sold out concerts, mastermind seminars on how to be a real goon. At the same time I know I will have alot of haters and P.A.G rappers coming at me with multiple diss tracks even more than when Keendrich Lamar drop "Control"... so I got two diss tracks lined up for anyone want to test the best.

Retaliation Diss Tracks.......................
- You Aint ish #eatad***
- "buzzer sounds" ennnttt Try Again Bro.

if those don't work I'll see you on the mat,competition, or in the streets :-)

thanks everyone and hope I gave you a laugh with this one. Feel free to comment and tell me what your favorite track would be on the album.

1 % better killing the game yo

monta (pronounced like Monday with a "T" replacing the D)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Trial and Error Solution: The Influential Friendship of John Filte

Trial and Error, a simplified technique used to solve problems. It is a fact that everything/everyone will encounter a flaw in their system however good thing trial and error assist with correcting them in helping us to become better. Even Destiny is not immune to the trial and error effect especially when it covers building relationships with other individuals. Good thing Destiny is a quick thinker because while it sometime forgets to tie people in blood relations it makes up for the mistake as it builds true friendships that inevitability makes a strong positive influence in our lives.

December 2013 showcased another example of this trial and error link theory as I would cross paths with an individual who like myself was on his troublesome life sail (blog details about sailing here). The individual I encountered on this sail was none other than John Flite.

From an outsider looking in John Flite may seem like your average guy traveling down his own life sail. Sadly during these long four decades of sailing he has had to deal with his shares of many heavy storms and trials which I learned about through mutual friend Jay Hayes

Here is a small background on John Flite and  his life
John Flite : My name is John Flite. I am a Philadelphia Probation Officer but BJJ is my passion. I am 42 years old and married to my wife Amy. I am a father of two kids. Gabe is 11 and Rosie is 17. I have been training BJJ for a little over 5 years. In August I was promoted to the rank of purple belt by Jared Weiner. My son Gabe also trains under Jared also. This was suppose to be an exciting time for my family. My daughter is a senior in high school and will be off to collage next year. After I revived my purple belt I noticed my energy levels were off. I went to the Doctor and on October 7, 2013 I was diagnosed with Leukemia. I was told it was in 40% of my bone marrow and that I would have to be admitted to the hospital to receive chemo therapy. I was admitted on October 14, 2013 and as of this writing (12/11/13) I have been hospitalized since. I was given two rounds of intensive chemo therapy which seems to have crushed the cancer for now. My Doctor said I may be discharged within the next few days depending on the results of a couple more tests. I have done my best to stay positive the whole time. I keep telling myself that I refuse to be sick! I started writing about my situation on Facebook and was amazed by the outpouring of support I was getting from the BJJ community! Many people that I have never meet reached out offering support to me and my family. It touched me and has been one of the most humbling experiences of my life. I think Leukemia is going to make me a better person in the end! I am not sure what the future holds for me. I may need more chemo down the line and I may need a bone marrow transplant but my Doctor is optimistic about me being cured! I continue to fight this battle and refuse to stop until I win! I couldn't do it by myself. Without the support of my family and the BJJ community I'm not sure that I would be doing as well as I am.

Although exhausted from a roller coaster year at the conclusion of 2013 it was something about his story that struck me deeply. Maybe it was the pictures I saw. Maybe it was his heartfelt wall post. Maybe even it was reflective of what I was going through. Whatever the case may have been at the time something deep inside me wanted to help not just by putting together a one time “charity” Grapplethon event but also to show John he had support from an unfamiliar ally that cared about what he was going through. Although non-coherent of John’s thoughts of my actions at the time, I believe it was just my instincts and the selfless efforts of everyone involved which made it meaningful because a lot of times it just about doing what rights in an effort solve the many problems that exist in the world thus molding us to become our own teachers that professionalize in the many highs and lows of life.

Even after Quick-Stop Grapplethon I still made it my mission to still be a part of John’s life checking up on his status regularly. In my mind I felt the Grapplethon wasn’t enough and he deserved a lot more because although a “charity” event can be helpful the money collected only last for a short period of time which can easily be extended by just showing continual support through that still heavy storm a person is going through.

As time moved forward into 2014 it seem like John’s fight with Leukemia was getting tougher and tougher which found me keeping in touch every step of the way. However somewhere along my sail during the early stages of this year a bunch of personal problems arose in my life which reached an overloading break point after Grapplethon: Team Dana Moore. Although there is no need to get into details I will say at a time where I should be at my happiest I wasn't. I was sad and downright depressed for various reasons. It is almost as if everything was zapped out of me as I had nothing to give to anyone let alone myself.

Yet though going through his own tough battle, John Flite was never hesitant to show support to his friends in their dark times which only confirmed those old school stories of him on the mean streets of Philly. He was one of the few people at that time that cared giving me encouraging words and simply letting me know I wasn’t small. It was those qualities that I admired about him and was a direct reflection of who I was clearly depicted as a man that no matter what cared about his friends something that is rarely shown because of people’s “busy schedules” these days.

After meeting the champ Dana Moore I always had the idea of hopefully meeting John one day especially since they were the only two brothers “LEFT” (If you know of the Grapplethon history you know what I mean when I say this). Then a light bulb flashed in my head as I told myself why not make it happen and make a trip to the East Coast to say Hi.  Making the trip to Philly and New York the trip couldn’t have come at a better time as it was not only my birthday week but also the same week of John’s post bone marrow transplant was going down so I choose to make the meeting a surprise visit. Man was I in for a great trip!

Landing in Philly on May 14 I got some time to tour the city with the help of John's long time friend Pete, get a nice rest at my hotel in downtown Philly, and  some awesome  training at great/welcoming grappling gyms in the area. You can almost say that it was definitely anticipating build up to what was to come. Like meeting Dana back in March waking up the very next day was exciting and nervous time for me as I set sails to HUP (Hospital University of Pennsylvania). A lot of thoughts raced through my mind ( sorry blame it on my anxiety) as I walked into the hospital taking that elevator to the 7th floor.
 
Will this visit be worth the long 5 hour trip to Philly ?  
Will he know who I am ? 
His reaction ? 
Is he on crazy meds ? ( that was a joke John sorry) 
 
Those thoughts soon were replaced with me being puzzled when the door opened. As we walked into the room no one was there which left me curious and more nervous (Pete could tell) as I sat in the lounge couch with a heart racing 100 beats per minute. Then about a minute later a bathroom door opened and it was the Philly Bad Ass himself John Flite rocking a grey shirt and some Gi pants (john doesn't wear hospital gowns). At the time I couldn’t tell if he was surprise to see me but it was very overwhelming seeing John for the first time as I had did have mixed emotions as he greeted me with a mean j/k (happy) glare. One part of me was excited to finally meet a brother that was great support to me and vise-versa. On the other hand I was extremely hurt to see him in the condition he was in with all that stuff hooked on to him. I always heard sad stories about the process of fighting cancer and even seen pictures of it but to view it with my own two eyes was very graphic and hurt to see someone I cared about go through that something like that a fate I wish no human being not even my worst enemy has to bear.
 
However as time progressed those five minutes of silence soon turned into a 2 hour and 45 minute full thortle conversation amongst us all (me,john,and pete) about everything from our lives, Pro Wrestling (ECW), BJJ, Dumb Nurses, and other topics. His personality was what I honestly expected  which can only be described as outspoken, hysterical at times, and most importantly very reflective on his life including the people in it. It was almost like catching up with a long lost brother I haven’t spoken with in a long time. I can’t speak for John but in my opinion it was worth the trip and a memorable moment that I will ever forget although I sure we will meet up in the future for more great memories –haha-

As I sit here and write this blog all I can do is reflect on my time being on the East Coast and meeting John. It truly has done a lot for me. Since I’ve been back here in Los Angeles I do feel like a different person in a positive way. It is almost as if all that weight I was carrying for months was gone for the cause I still can’t explain.  One thing I do know meeting and knows people like John Flite have given me some form of faith and motivation of what hurdles are meant for. It has taught me how to deal with problems a little better, taught me how to have a deeper care for myself and most importantly always continue to show support to other going through their own troublesome storms life has given them.
 
Trial and Error so glad that was brought into the equation helping me become better than I once was and all I gotta say is.........


Thanks John

PMA mob all Day.. while becoming 1% better

-monta



 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Nice vs Respect: The Constructive Spectacle

There is always room for improvement and growth. I would have liked to think that this life was just a personal adventure of mine trying to be 1 % better. Little did I know in the mist of  my configuring it would also become a viewing platform to be judged by people and vise versa.

Yes impression is everything because after all it places a distinct label that gives us an image to be recognized in a positive or negative light . An individual characterized as a nice person and person of respect are amongst these character features. Placed in the positive brackets although they have similarities, NICE & RESPECT are in two entirely different playing fields for presenting the unveiling of a person's true character.

Whenever we meet someone in life most of the time 99.9 % of  all initial interactions start off nice. A formal greeting, a smile, cool convo all of these actions spell out "Nice Person". However don't be to quick to place a label yet as it is just an introduction to a plot that is bound to unfold. When analyzing the "NICE PERSON" moniker I like to compare it to looking at the opening scene of a movie. Everything seems nice but as the story develops it takes you through twist and turns which gives you a full idea of what the story is all about. At its climatic conclusion it will leave an opinion in your mind after going through the film. Now how does a movie viewing relate to people being labeled NICE you ask ?

Being NICE does not necessarily mean Good. As a matter of fact NICE can turn into a variety of things which  in most case can turn bad centering on one's selfish ambitions and how a truly good hearted person can be manipulated in the crossfire. Bad love relationships, backstabbing, online predators, and ego driven competitors who deep down only care about themselves. The list goes on and on as  people's character becomes an exact replica of a "movie" that started off good but ended up bad to the public eye.

However don't want to make this blog entirely a negative bashing because to every bad side there is also good which can be shown through how being Nice transforms into Respect. When looking at a Person of Respect this type of individual has developed a wealth of knowledge based on the experiences he/she has gone through. This understanding  allows one to interpret things better to formulate actions which can make a strong impact on themselves and the people they interact with.

Actions certainly speak louder than words these days especially if someone is on the receiving end of it. Being nice is just small tip of the iceberg but as your character gets more exposed people will have a higher opinion on you which certainly requires a level of appreciation for something you partake in.

Instructors, Political Activist, Serviceman to the community, your parents, spouse and even world renounced athletes you may admire they all have worked hard on maturing themselves  to fitting their current roles which has simultaneously touched people's lives in a positive way.

I can name a number of people whose actions toward myself and others who fit the title of Respect. Although some of their personalities may be strong and sometimes not accommodating which is totally acceptable because at least you are being openly honest of who you are. These People of Respect are without fear, have with strong morals/values , and most importantly know how to use them to bring about some change  within the masses which inspires me to follow the same pattern.

When I look at myself in the mirror I would like to consider myself as neither in the nice or respect categories ( you can be the judge of that), if anything I can be placed in the Frustrated category -lol-. I'm frustrated with people, why sad events happen, and overall why bullshit exist. However don't misinterpret me as a baby in the corner crying and WHYinng over spilt milk. The cool thing about being frustrated is that I become a student of life which allows try make sense of things to help develop my own perception of whats right and whats wrong. All of this information I am collecting along my journey allows me to figure out ways to help myself improve so i can be a better son, better friend, better co-worker, and other life titles whose  constantly working to earn that self-respect for myself.

That frustrating task doesn't stop there for me because it wouldn't be fun if I keep all this information for myself. That is why I assert myself in my attempt to applying this learning toward helping others to make them understand we are not alone lets push together for change. So I guess I'm on the road to one day becoming a person of respect.

After reading this blog take a moment of your day to just reflect on events in your life which defined of who you were then, now, and who you want to be in the future. What makes those actions meaningful  in a way that contributes to something far greater than yourself ? These are the questions that are gradually getting explained though what you do and its interpretation on others.

As for you people stuck in the NICE phase continue you build yourself properly so people can have a better idea of who you are. Its always a good compliment when some address you as being nice but its even better when someone has enough background data based on your actions to tell the world why.

and for you Nice people that really arent..stop being fake with yourself and life cause it will come back to bit you.

Keep it real sorta speak :-)

1 % Better

monta

















  

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The BJJ World Champion Validation: Thoughts of an Apathetic Participant

Validation, Validation, Validation that certified stamp of approval to producing those desired results. The  thing that makes one tick, gives something worth fighting for, and through it all makes anyone 1 % better in that continual journey of reaching his/her goals. This concept goes hand in hand with any driven life aspiration especially when it comes to being an athlete hoping to claim one's share of the world championship status.

A art which has gone through many phases from  self-defense stages to tough man superiority  to the athletic realm we are in today becoming a BJJ World Champion is the ultimate prize every serious BJJ competitor aspires to become. Its capturing can bring wonders in a person's life ranging from fame, self-confidence boost, self worth, and future financial stability which are all extra rewards coming from that validation of achieving that ultimate goal.

A little over a year ago I wrote a blog that got mixed reviews concerning the 97 % er vs. the 3 % er . I am one to always admit my wrong and when I look back I think I was a total idiot for writing it because although I have a problem with people's personalities,when it comes to competing who am I to judge what's in a person's heart, just as who is anyone to judge what's in mine. So lets finally eliminate these bullshit percentage classes the media has segregated everyone with and open up about the real nature of this topic, and answer a question a lot of people have asked me "Why I Don't Have a Goal of Becoming World Champion "?

Before I reveal my answer I want to take a moment and talk briefly about why becoming world champion is important in this age of BJJ. As mentioned earlier this art or as we call it today sport has gone through major transitional phases since it groundbreaking introduction in 1994 by Royce Gracie. Somewhere along that trail new ideas sprung, the bar needed to be raised which reached a conclusion that BJJ needed to mature sorta speak in its vision of opening more opportunities for those partcipating in it thus producing the World Champion Title which has inspired many for the past 7 years (IBJJF Worlds came to the states in 2007). Hours in the gym perfecting skills, physical tear in the body, mental anguish, and that none hesitation of destroying another competitor's dreams, that self-preservation mentality comes with that validation of knowing you are the best at what you do not only answering the doubts in your mind but also for fellow peers to witness.

This driven motivation  is no different from my open dialogue of my Battle Within blog series  in regards to why I compete. So from a viewer standpoint these World Champion medal chasers are somewhat people we can relate to because it inspires  us to push forward to getting what we desire in life. Nevertheless some people prefer apples while some prefer oranges  which evidently creates a different mindset touching on each person's journey which brings me to Why I don't have the goal of becoming a World Champion in BJJ.

Although this was a fantasy that once lived in my head based on what I perceived as BEING GREAT, the stage that I am at in my life right now  becoming a world champion does not give me fulfillment whatsoever and if  it ever did happen it would be because I was just out there challenging myself. As most athlete medal chasers have their own journeys, I also have mine marked with many highs and lows which has personally affected me molding me to becoming the man I am today. Just the general aspect about meeting people both good impressions and bad, learning new things, and testing myself in competition are the main components which helps me to becoming a better individual. If anyone who knows me personally or just by what you read in the blogs I'm a pretty serious and  passionate guy focused on becoming better in life taking those lessons learned through my grappling pracitices to deal with life outside the gym and showing humility to help those around me. This is what makes me tick, this is what makes putting my gi worth fighting for as I search constantly for that validation I know for a fact I'm far from reaching of just being a better man.

In addition for those that reach the World Championship status there is a major bad habit of mine of taking shit personal ( I'm working on it btw -haha-) when I perceive certain things.Looking from a viewers perspective being world champion does come with it share of many problems. You acquire your collection of haters, news critics who want to boost their credibility through your shortcomings, fans who only like you when your on top, and even fake friends/acquaintances who want to take your spot. These are things I completely despise about what hard working people have to go through and is something I don't want to have to deal with being a non-athlete/personal guy. Seeing the type of stuff once loved/famous  indivudals have to go through I rather to remain in mediocrity striving toward my goal where only myself and those close to me will truly appreciate me and know my story.

Aside from another layer to understanding yours truly the biggest thing I want everyone to take away from this blog is simple concept of that journey searching for that validation. Remember it your journey and although others may criticize it, no one will understand it but you so keep pushing forward.But whatever that goal may be in your heart ...always remember whatever it is you are becoming better than you once were

1% better

-monta

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Unknown Gym Benifit: Hidden Treasures

Although we all align ourselves with a perspective team that helps us get better, I also believe outside of that small island we called our jiu-jitsu academy you will find a lot of great things out in the Martial Arts world in helping you to becoming better as practitioners and even in our personal growth in life outside the gym.

As most of you know I travel quite a bit. In my travels I have come in contact with some of the greatest friends in BJJ at various unknown gyms. When I post pictures or tag site locations I get a lot of questions of "Huh What's at the gym" ? "Why are you training at that Place?" "Who are those cats? When people use to ask me these questions I really didn't have a legit answer but my simple response of "just training". However when I reflect on my grappling journey thus far it finally came to me . So allow me to finally reveal why I find myself training at these unknown gyms.

Starting my gi and no-gi with pretty unknown guys ( from a grappling success standpoint) I honestly feel looking back I was embedded with this mentality of no matter how big or small someone's name is never be closed minded to learn because everyone has something to offer. Being in Southern California we are surrounded by the most accomplished BJJ personas on the planet giving us what many called "world class instruction". Visiting unknown gyms out of state allows me to see how others train that don't have the..."celebrity luxuries" we have and in some way it is a tribute to the way I was brought up by my original instructors.

My experience however was more than I expected which has been a great positive for me. When walking into such gyms like Mid City Martial Arts in New Orleans, Mat Chess MMA in Seattle, Nemesis BJJ in Portland, and other academies in between out of state although I was meet with curious impressions I was never meet with hostile impressions as in let F this guy up. Going into any small gym I learned there is a 50/50 impression that has to be established quickly from the way you greet yourself to even the way you roll with the students kind of like that old saying treat people the way you want to be treated. Leaving my ego at the door, doing the techniques the way the instructor shows them, having an open mind and other courtesy's are just some of the ways to show respect which in my case has paid off allowing me to acquire lifelong friendship (including the instructor) and learn some great stuff that is a solid part of my grappling game. 

A lot of these people are truly humble and passionate individuals on and off the mat . Some work full times jobs. Some are family men/women. Some are certified Gym/Mat Rats. While some are committed to other life priorities. Whatever their focused category is one thing is similar they all love to train and dedicated about getting better because after all it apart of growing. And speaking from experience although IBJFF medals may miss them in terms of accolades they got the skills to go against any color belt from any top gym out here in Southern California. This viewing has given me somewhat a group of people I can relate because of the way I started off.

Now on the reverse side coming up I have also visited well established gyms. Picture yourself going to train for a day at your BJJ idol's academy the individual you looked up to that inspired your game. When you walk inside the academy ..you are greeted at the front desk with a huge mat fee (which is reasonable). When you step on the mat some of the students are very uptight, sometimes ignore you, and destroy you in rolls to "represent". To put the icing on the cake the guy you looked up to doesn't even bother the help you with the moves or even acknowledge you respectfully which sometimes leaves a sour taste in your mouth walking out the gym and a different impression on the person you looked up too. Yeah this has happened to me on some occasions in the past. 
 
Although it was great to learn some things for a day with a top level athlete and train with his prized off springs (students) in my opinion although these visit have been appreciative these visits was not a greater experience for me than those from the small academies I visited out of state.

Well I hope this answered everyone curiosity as to why I visit small unknown gyms. I would like to encourage everyone if you make travels to do the same. Step outside of the box, meet people from all walks of this BJJ life, and discover the unknown out there because you never know the great things waiting for you when you walk inside that gym.

 

1 % better with an open mind

monta








Sunday, March 23, 2014

Monta Grapplethon Closing Remarks

Words still can’t express how I feel right now after Grapplethon: Team Dana Moore. I’m not gonna lie there has been a lot  of things in BJJ that have been pissing me off as of late that made me want to leave for good but its moments like yesterday  that make me blessed I welcomed this art into my life. This Grapplethon for Dana was by far the most emotional and personal for me just because of his story which made it so rewarding to see so many people come out to support him.

In my closing statement its only fitting I thank a couple of people for making this event possible.

The Participants- thanks again for bringing your positive energy to the event. Without your willingness to take a stand and step onto the mats with the right attitude things like this could never be possible which is why we all as a team are so good at creating such an awesome atmosphere every time we get together. Also from a personal standpoint it was great seeing old friends and making new ones.

Professor Grant Collins- Thank you for being a gracious host making your home our home and trusting us ( brett weekly & myself) for putting on a fun, safe, and memorable event.

Sponsors/Raffle Gifts contributors- Thank you for stepping up and bringing more life to the events with your generous offerings to the participants and Grapplethon benefactors.

The Moore Family- I know it may have been mighty out of the blue having some random stranger wanting to host a charity event for your son and it is because of your openness which I am grateful for. Thank you so much for letting me be a part of your lives and I can honestly say through knowing your family it builds great strength, positivity, and faith within myself of ones abilities of going through that storm while on that life sail.

Brett Weekley- Due to a small incident that happen at the first grapplethon and the beginning stages of grapplethon 2 I told myself I would never allow or trust anyone to help me in the future.  However I guess you gotta make some exceptions. Knowing you for close to two years now you are without a doubt that one of a kind person one rarely runs across in the BJJ World and because of that  I'm proud to have you as a friend/brother. It takes a caring person to think about your friend Dana the way you did, which really shows the type of person you are selfless to the core. I know you don’t like taking a lot of credit but you should take some at least. Thanks again for all you help with the creation of this event and taking a load of stress off my back (especially when I was competing 3x in one month), introducing me to Dana , and your wonderful family (mom, dad, and April) for being an added support through the event.
Take a bow brother and btw it far from over in terms of u being a grapplethon host !!!

&
The Champ Dana Moore- thanks again for the inspiration you honestly don’t know what an honor it was to finally meet you (which probably explained all those nerves I had) meant a lot to me. Keep fighting brother and I will see you soon.

1 % better

monta' ( pronounced like Monday with a "t" replacing the "d")