Thursday, November 16, 2017

Do you think you're a bad ass ?

I'm feeling generous - I've had a good week, meeting with terrific people, spending time with my wonderful family - so, even though I don't owe you anything, Mr. or Ms. Badass, I am going to give you a valuable gift. Are you ready?


Here is my present - THE TRUTH - that no one else bothers to give you because they really don't care about you. Frankly, I don't that much, either - hey, we're talking about truth, and the truth is, I don't even know you -  but, like I said, I'm feeling generous today.

Why is your life fucked up?


Since we are talking truth here, let's be honest. Your life is NOT the way you want it to be. You are not in a relationship or, if you are, it is not the way you want it to be. You can't trust or respect the person you are with. Whatever. You KNOW this is not what you want. You don't have the job you want. Maybe you don't have any job. You don't live in the neighborhood you want. You aren't making enough money for the lifestyle you want. I could go on but you know what I am talking about.

Perhaps you had a bad childhood - your parents were abusive, absent or addicted to drugs. You went to schools with teachers who didn't care, lousy facilities, old textbooks. No one gave a damn about you.

I understand all of that. I'm sorry it happened. Honestly, I am . That sucked. I'm sure it was hard for you.

Since, we're being honest, though, answer this question:

Did you make it better or worse?

My point is that  you can screw up your life by doing something huge like armed robbery where the gun goes off and you accidentally kill someone and go to prison for 20 years. You can also screw up your life by making 2,356 small, stupid decisions.

Let me give you two examples:

Every week, I visit schools all around the country where I see students who are ignoring their teachers and texting their friends, having conversations with the person next to them. That's a decision you make.

Often, I talk to students who are making C's or worse in their classes and when I ask them about it, they admit that they are not studying, not doing their homework.

In both these cases, students tell me that the class is "boring" or it's "hard".

Whether it's in high school, college or at work, you are going to have to do some things that are boring and hard.  So, here is where the bad ass attitude comes in:

Why should I? You can't make me!

Nope. I can't make you. I don't even know you so I don't even care to make you. The TRUTH is that if you started out in a bad situation in life (and we already agreed that sucks) then you are CHOOSING to make it worse. Yes, it is not fair that you were born into a family with parents who did not have their shit together and no money and it is harder for you. That totally sucks but you have a choice every day and you are choosing to make it worse and thinking you are a bad ass.

Is being a bad ass really that useful?

Ask yourself, when you are making decisions on how to use your time whether it is useful to you. Maybe you think you are being "tough" and "showing them" and "damn the man". I would question that.

Let me give you a personal example. I am president of two companies. One does statistical consulting and the other makes video games that are pretty cool and teach math, social studies and English. I have four wonderful, beautiful daughters and one was UFC champion, acts in movies and has been in a couple of TV shows. Two of them wrote a best-seller together. I have a Ph.D. , was a world judo champion, published a book , Winning on the ground, and wrote a bunch of scientific articles. I'm sure I've done some other stuff I've forgotten.

If we met, we might have a lot of things to talk about - judo, start-ups, getting a Ph.D., teaching college, raising children - and often people I meet either in person or on-line talk about that and a good time is had by all.

However, there are those people I meet, both in person and online who start conversations with - "Your daughter got knocked out." or "You think you're so great."

Do you think that is going to be useful to you in any way? Erik Erikson said that "It is better to be someone bad than no one at all."

I have to tell you  this - being a "bad ass" is boring and not exceptional at all. You just go into my pile of "people who said stupid shit to me". I  can remember most (probably  not all, but more than you would think) of the people who donated 1 million grains of rice in the free rice contests over the years, to help the World Food Program, people who backed us on Kickstarter or the person I met at a tweetup who gave me good advice about soccer camps for my youngest daughter.

When I was young and winning everything in sight, practically every club I went to visit had some idiot who wanted to prove how tough he or she was by trying to beat me in practice. I can't tell you the number of people who tried to fight me outside. Some of them I did fight.

Know how many of them I remember? None.

My point is, that you think you are being a bad ass by being rude, insulting or threatening to people who might be in a position to hire you, give you an A, give you a recommendation for college, fund your project or whatever. You're not. You're just being stupid, hurting yourself, and not even being original. Next week, they'll have forgotten your name.

The only people you are impressing by being a bad ass are other people's whose lives are equally fucked up.

Build your future. Work hard. Learn. Don't act like a jerk.

The choice is yours.

You're welcome.



Sunday, November 5, 2017

Walk for Apraxia with 7 Generation Games & Ronda Rousey (plus the Balgrin)

I had a GREAT morning with some of my favorite people!
The Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America was having a walk to raise awareness and money for supporting children with speech disorders, right in our home town of Santa Monica so our  7 Generation Games team came out in support. Well, not Dennis, he had to dog-sit Chunk, who is hiding his face in shame in this photo since he and Ronda's other dog, Mochi, got in a fight and the little boerboel got the worst of it.



If you read My Fight/ Your Fight, you know why Ronda is holding a Hulk Hogan wrestling buddy as our mascot for the Walk to Talk. If you didn't read the book, go get it now!

We invited other people to join our team and we had a couple of takers from San Diego and a few more from Covina.

7 GENERATION GAMES IS IN THE HOUSE



After her speech, Ronda gave out medals to each of the kids, because each one is a star in their own right. If you want to hear her speech, check out the video at the bottom.

Have a computer? Do you care about math and history? Check out our FREE demos.


win screen with characters from Spirit Lake

I didn't have any real point here, I just like this picture


Several people have mentioned the would have liked to have heard the speech. Well, if you weren't in Clover Park this morning, here you go!



Thank you to Diana Sanchez, Project Manager at 7 Generation Games, for all of the photos and video

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

You're a creep. Die mad about it

First of all, I stole the line, "Die mad about it" from a woman on twitter, @beauty_jackson who, when people were posting reasons they used birth control for medical conditions said,

"I use birth control for sex, a human activity. I want sex and I don't want children. Die mad about it."

I found her attitude immensely useful for a variety of positions I have no intention of changing and that seem to make some people angry. I would like to pass on this advice to this group of people in general, and a particular subgroup, which is men who have been told that their behavior makes certain women uncomfortable or is felt by many women and men to be inappropriate.

I have witnessed this personally a few times and heard about it many more times, from both the men involved and observers. It goes like this:

  1. A man, let's call him Alf, makes some comment, physical gesture or touches a woman. He does this more than once to more than one woman.
  2. The women involved and/ or the witnesses tell people in authority - school principal, administrators, teacher, whoever.
  3. The authorities impose some sanction - put a note in his file, put him on probation, require him to attend some training.
  4. Alf is outraged. He points out that he has not committed rape, that not everyone in the building was offended, that he knows other women who are not uncomfortable with said behavior and DEMANDS that the action be retracted.

Let me explain something, Alf. You don't get to tell people if you make them feel uncomfortable or not. If you stand close to a woman and are touching her and she twists away, asks you to stop or takes your hand and firmly shoves it away, then tells you that you made her uncomfortable by doing that - don't fucking do it again. Don't tell her that Sissy Lou isn't made uncomfortable by it. First of all, for all you know, she is, unless she specifically told you otherwise.  Secondly, that's irrelevant. THIS woman right next to you told you she doesn't like it when you blow in her ear during matwork.

If one woman says she feels uncomfortable by your behavior in a judo class (or any class), that is bad enough but if multiple women complain about you, it is definitely not them, it's you. I've taught judo since I was a teenager - over 40 years. I've taught college since I was in my twenties, over 30 years. Women are embarrassed to complain. They don't want anyone to think they can't hang with the big boys in judo class or engineering school. It is RARE that a woman speaks up and if women have complained about you multiple times, you are a creep. We all know you. You are that slimy guy who makes remarks you think are funny but are insulting to women. You make comments about women's bodies while they are working out. If you wouldn't say, "Look at that nice ass" about the guy you are working out with, don't say it about a woman. If you wouldn't post up suggestive pictures of men in the locker room, don't post them of women.

So girls quit coming to practice. Sometimes their boyfriends or just other guys in general do, too, because they kind of feel like jerks for not speaking up. The other guys think you are a creep, too. They talk about you but no one wants to say anything to you, no one wants to be viewed as a troublemaker or a wimp or can't take a joke.

Well, almost no one.  Yeah, I'm that bitch who says,

"Cut it the fuck out right now!"

When you get all huffy and say,

"She didn't say she minded."

not knowing that she has actually said to me, privately, that she very much minded, but did not want to "cause trouble",  I'm the bitch that says,

"Well, *I* mind. Don't fucking do it again."

Yeah, maybe I'm a bitch but you're a creep. Saying you didn't intend to offend people and make them uncomfortable doesn't change the fact that a) you did it and b) you feel justified to continue your behavior because YOU didn't feel uncomfortable doing it, it was not intended to embarrass or harass people (which I don't believe, but it's irrelevant), and c) judo clubs, places of employment, public institutions all have the right to eject people who don't meet their standards.

Getting accused of harassment is kind of like a DUI. It never happens to most people but it's possible that it could happen to a person once as an isolated incident or mistake. If it happens multiple times, you got a problem and I will call you on your bullshit. So, yeah, you're a creep.

To Alf, and just to people in general who don't like me because I refuse to back down when I see something happening that I know is wrong, who think women should not speak up - I'm not changing.

Die mad about it.






Thursday, October 12, 2017

Arm bars, teaching judo to teenagers and me

Hey,  guess what I'm doing in Urbana, Illinois tomorrow?

Brief pause while you look for Urbana on Google maps. Okay, back now? Good.



Here's the details, or deets as my young people would call it:

Kokushi Midwest Judo
 122 W. Main St
Urbana, IL 61821 

Friday, October 13, 8 -10 pm

I'm going to discuss two things I know fairly well - armbars and teaching judo to teenagers.

Most judo clubs around the country have a large proportion of children 12 and under, a small number of adults 35 and older and an even smaller number of teenagers  and young adults. The exceptions to that tend to be clubs focused on national and international competition.

Gompers Judo is all students 12-17 years old and always has been, because we are housed at a middle school.

The first part of the clinic will be
  • A couple of conditioning ideas 
  • A couple of games
  • Teaching basics without getting banged up

The second part of the clinic will be:
  • Armbars from different positions
  • Transition to armbars
  • Combinations with armbars

The third, very short part, will be on organizing to maintain interest
  • Instagram!
  • How teenagers are not little kids
  • Using assistant instructors, both adults and teens
  • Extras - team dinners, trips and the box of things
The cost is $20 to 7 Generation Games. Each registration will pay for all of our games for a student at a low-income school


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Fight for the Cure - Riverside Girls Judo Tournament & Clinic with ME!

If you know me at all, you know I almost never do clinics because I am busy. In the last 10 days, I've been working in 3 states and 9 cities, so, it's damn near impossible to fit any more judo on my schedule than teaching at Gompers Middle School once a week.

However, Brian Money and the Riverside Youth Judo Club do such good work, I could not say no.  TOMORROW - yes, Sunday, October 1 - there is an all women and girls tournament in Riverside.



100% of the money raised goes to a local charity that supports people with breast cancer and their families. Registration is 7:30 - 8:30 for special needs and kids under 12, 8-9 am for teens and 8:30 - 9:30 for adults. The tournament starts at 10:00

Also, everyone who competed or volunteered in the tournament can attend a FREE clinic with me. Well, free if you competed in or helped with the tournament. Otherwise, it's $25.

  • The first clinic is for kids 6-12, from 3-4 pm - because this is kids, there will be games and immaturity . Most of the immaturity will probably come from me

  • The second clinic is for ages 13 and up (so, of course there will be arm bars) from 4-5pm

It says online in some places that the clinic is for females only, but, in theory it is for everyone. Since competitors get first crack, it may fill to capacity with girls only.

Either way, it should be a lot of fun. Anyone is welcome to show up and watch.


 When I'm not teaching judo, I make awesome video games that teach math and history and are fun to play. You should check them out. Some of them are even free. Whether you have a Mac, Windows, iPad or android, we've got you covered.


http://www.7generationgames.com/products/

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Randomest blog and a recipe for elk stew

Unless you know me well, you are probably unaware that one job I had while getting my MBA was teaching cooking lessons at the local community center, because, at the time, cooking was one of my few marketable skills. Programming had yet to become as in-demand as it is now.

Recently, my lovely daughter, Ronda, married someone who likes to hunt and the last time I was visiting her, she gave me a cooler full of elk meat. I made a stew with it and it was delicious. Healthy, too, since elk is one of the highest protein meats you can eat and it even makes your vegetables taste good.




Since it is the weekend and 1:15 am and I am done working, I thought I would give you all the recipe for elk stew. It is basically beef stew but with elk meat. 

For those of you who think I should stick to posting about judo, know this - if you are cutting weight, elk has less than half the calories of beef. You CAN have your steak and make weight, too.

Step 1: Shoot an elk.

Step 2:  Make a stew

Ingredients
1 lb elk steak
2 potatoes
2 carrots
1 onion
1/2 cup flour
1 cup rice
Pepper, salt & other seasonings
Beef stew mix
Olive oil

  • Cut the meat into 1/2" cubes
  • Coat in flour mixture with seasonings added. I'm big on using whatever is in the cupboard for stew, so I added salt, pepper, something called Grains of Paradise and another spice called Slap Yo Mama that I got from my friend James Wall, who has has judo clubs in Orlando, FL and Denham Springs, LA
  • Coat a pan with olive oil and brown the meat over medium heat
  • Chop vegetables
  • Put all of the ingredients except rice in a stew pot over high heat, including the rest of the flour mixture . Heat to boiling.
  • Once it's boiling, add the rice.
  • Cover and cook about 20 minutes. By then, all of the rice and vegetables should be soft.

It tastes amazing.

You're welcome.



 When I'm not giving recipe tips, I make awesome video games that teach math and history and are fun to play. You should check them out. Some of them are even free. Whether you have a Mac, Windows, iPad or android, we've got you covered.


dead guy in Aztech games

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

How Facebook Can Be Good for You

Supposedly, social media is making us all into self-absorbed depressed dirt bags. 


While trying to paint the most beautiful possible picture of our lives we simultaneously are depressed because everyone else seems to have this picture perfect life.

This may be the case for young people but for me it's rather the opposite. Facebook has been a great influence in getting me to chill.

Can you believe we've been married 20 years?
Unlike some of my friends, who seem to live there, I drop into Facebook maybe a few minutes a day, if that. As a consequence, I don't have a huge number of Facebook friends, and about every week I get a friend request from someone I haven't seen in 10, 20 or 30 years.

So, I see that kid who cried his heart out over losing a match at the junior nationals is now graduated from college, working as an engineer and about to be a father for the first time.

That kid in college who didn't seem to have any direction and struggled to study enough to graduate now has a good job, a mortgage and a wife.

People who I did not know were gay have now been married to someone of the same sex for years.

People change jobs, change spouses, change countries, change genders.

All of my friends, competitors and teammates from when I was young and one of the top athletes in the world are now like me, older, slower, greyer. No matter how much everyone drooled over him or her as a teenager, they are all old enough to be to be the grandparent of teenagers.

My point is that, good or bad, things don't stay the same, and you can't always predict who is on their way up and who is going down. Most of the "cool kids" seemed to turn out pretty middle of the road.

Overall, almost everyone I know has had it pretty good, whether they realize it or not. We all live in developed countries, safe from war, hunger. We all have friends, almost all have family, hobbies.

So, for me, anyway, Facebook is a good reminder to chill. It gives a condensed time line of people's lives and reminds me that whatever I am stressing about today I probably won't even remember 10 years from now.

P.S. Our Kickstarter campaign was successful and if you backed us, thank you very, very much.


 When I'm not ranting about life, I make awesome video games that teach math and history and are fun to play. You should check them out. Some of them are even free. Whether you have a Mac, Windows, iPad or android, we've got you covered.


http://www.7generationgames.com/products/