Balancing Business and Martial Arts with Jamie Bradley
JOE: What are the unique experiences that drive business leaders to keep growing, and how can the lessons learned from those stories enable others to do the same? I’m Joe Mills, and I’m Reid Morris, and together we’re investigating who it takes and the tools to use to build companies and culture. Then we’re sharing those stories with you. This is 1000 Stories, an original show from Element three.
REID: Okay, Joe. So the next guest coming on the show in Jamie, which. she just has a very different background from anybody we’ve talked to before. Right. in the fighting gym space. Obviously there’s some parallels there to, to your own previous experience, but knowing that she has just such a different context than some of the other conversations we’ve had, what are you thinking about? What are you trying to pull from this conversation?
JOE: I suspect there’s more parallels than we like, see from the outside.
REID: still a business leader, still somebody with a lot of
JOE: well, and we’ve even talked to multiple educators, right? so I’m really curious about just some of her experience inside of the education system and, I don’t know how deep we’ll get into that, but I’m sure it’ll come out in some capacity. and then, like you said, yeah, like she owns a business and then there is an element of like my own selfishness of like, she owns a business that I used to own setup. and I,really like what fighting. Teaches people having been like in my past trained, fighting pretty extensively. and candidly not at like a mass marketed gym, like very intense boxing places. and so like, got to experience it for real. And so it’s fun for me just to like, hear what got her into it and, how does she see it. I know there’s deeper than just like, I don’t know, it’s fun to punch and kick things.
Like there’s a reason that you choose to do that. It’s not, in the moment fighting’s not particularly fun. Right. It’s pretty painful. Even when you are the one inflicting the strike, that can be pretty painful. understanding like, what is it that you’re. In therefore. understanding she just had a big transition out of her full-time job of education into doing her gym full-time. So what was the motivation for that? How’s it going? Things like that, that we would normally talk about with somebody like her.
REID: I think there’s another really interesting opportunity in this conversation as well, because as with, a lot of athletic endeavors, sporting endeavors, but really with fighting mindset and the, the way that people compose themselves in that environment, like there’s so much that I think we could find threads and find parallels to. People who have completely different contexts that we’ve talked to before and as we think of like applications of mindset in the workspace and all those kinds of things. So I’d be curious to see, what we learned from her own mindset and if she talks about that, how that might pay dividends in other areas as
JOE: Yeah, for sure.
REID: sure. That should be good.
JOE: Awesome. Well, Jamie, thanks for coming on a thousand Stories. Really excited to have you. We have not had a professional fighter around before, so this is very fun. and I grew up doing a mixed variety of like fighting training, TaeKwonDo when I was a kid and then boxing in high school and college. so I’m excited for the conversation. You were an educator, you’ve owned the gym for about 10 years. And then you just went full-time at it in the last 12 months. and you’re also a mom and about to be, about to soon to be
JAMIE: Yeah. July.
JOE: July. So coming right up, when somebody asks you the quintessential question of like, what do you do,how do you
JAMIE: I punch people. No, no, no. That doesn’t always go over well. honestly, like even when I was in education, I feel like. What I do always causes confusion or People like, are intrigued. when I was in education the last 10 years, I was teaching alternative education. So when people would be like, oh, what do you teach? And I’m like, alternative ed, and then everybody just kind of stands there and I’m like, waiting for like, what?
JOE: I admit I don’t know what that is.
JAMIE: So alternative ed, is basically, I worked with students who were having difficulty being successful in traditional schooling. So, whether that is, academic but really mostly, behavior, right? And so the specific population I worked with were students who were considered general education students, which means they weren’t identified with any, necessarily specific, diagnoses or disability. and therefore, you know, in schools we have specific supports for those students. but I worked with general education students, so, they were struggling to be successful. They needed support. The school didn’t provide specific legal supports to them because they didn’t have a disability per se, or diagnosed, at least in my opinion. so, a lot of my time was helping these students navigate school relationships, monitoring self behavior, success. Right, getting them connected. I mean, there’s a lot of, overlap between obviously teaching and then teaching Muay Thai martial arts. Yeah. so yeah. kind of back to your original question is, it’s actually easier just to say I, I own a martial arts gym, and I just kind of leave it at that. I kind of mentioned when we first started talking, just like, the whole kind of evolution.
I’ve even had, people call the gym and I’ll answer and they’ll ask to talk to the owner, and I’m like, you are. And I’ve literally had people, say, oh, do you and your husband own the gym? like, It’s fascinating to me that just a woman, like whoever I’m speaking to on the other end, like it’s not on their radar that, that just, I could be the owner of this gym by myself, but, no, it’s just me. So, yeah, there’s I think a lot of intrigue around, what I do and really kind of what I’ve always done. Um,I think, I, have unique interests and really kind of carved my own path in a lot of ways in education and in gym ownership and coaching and all of that.
JOE: You said something interesting right there. I want to know, which one you feel like you identify with more. And you can say, well, I identify with both of ’em, which is totally fine answer, but you mentioned like, what are you, like I punch people, which obviously we’re joking, but that’s the athletic side of you competing in muai as a, as an athlete. And that’s like the identity bucket of athlete competitor. And then there’s, I say I own an a martial arts studio, which is like, I’m a business owner. I’m an entrepreneur. When you think about it, Is there one bucket that you fall more into?
JAMIE: definitely the athlete. and that has actually been the hardest part of this journey is recognizing I am a business owner. like you, I started coaching because I loved the art and I loved giving people the skills that transformed my life and watching those skills transform their life. obviously the lifelong athlete and competitor in me, keeps that rolling into coaching. but in the last, three or four years, especially as I dreamed of, walking away from education and only having this as my full-time thing, that’s where you start to realize this is not just like. A hobby, right? It’s just not just something that I enjoy to do, But now it is a business. and I think that’s the hardest part. Like you can be a really phenomenal, martial artist, coach, instructor, and a really terrible business owner.
JOE: Yeah. And they’re very different skills.
JAMIE: And that’s been the hardest part, is just learning how to run a business, how to own a business.
JOE: It’s interesting. And I think one of the reasons the question came to my mind is that when I opened my gym, subconsciously I didn’t, I really didn’t recognize it, but at the time, what I really wanted was to still be an athlete. you played college sports, I played college sports. There’s that element of your identity that, is really important. And I think what I had done was said, well, you weren’t good enough to be a professional, so don’t try to be so I’ll like block that feeling and I’ll like put my identity somewhere else. But I think when it’s just so ingrained in you, it’s very hard to not want it. And so I like fought the, I’m still an athlete identity and went really hard at the like, well, I own a business. I’m an entrepreneur, blah, blah, blah. Okay. And it was un like unnatural. and it wasn’t really until, like even recently, just like recognizing like, oh yeah, being an athlete, being a competitor will always be part of who I am. So finding the outlet for that competitiveness is important for me. I’m curious, like you, you clearly were able to pull the, I’m an athlete, I’m a competitor identity, really far forward. has it been challenging to embrace the, I’m also an entrepreneur and business owner side of it?
JAMIE: I think just the learning, how to run a business, how to be a business owner. Absolutely. I kind of feel like I’m actually, Really a critical juncture of being an entrepreneur and a business owner. in the last year, I actually, got myself some business mentors, specifically a couple guys. It’s a little shout out to the Muay Thai Advisory group. so it’s two gentlemen, Sam and Lonnie. they own like six gyms in the Philadelphia area, west Philly. and they’re primarily Muay Thai gyms. but right before I quit my teaching job, and I knew you, I was like, okay, I, I wanna quit. And I went to a event of theirs. And then, they have like a monthly, you pay them and this is what you get. And I’m like, ah, I’m also really cheap. So I’m like, ah, no.
JOE: Midwest. frugal.
JAMIE: Yes, exactly right. so I was like, oh man, I wanna quit teaching. How can I justify spending X number of dollars, for their coaching when I’m about to give up my salaried position?
JOE: You know, the steady income every two weeks that pay comes, but I was like, yeah, I think I’m gonna do it. and literally the last year has just been so transformative. they have really helped me see the difference. I think, also when you at, in martial arts, at least, right? Like there’s this, virtuous kind of like investing in my students and like, you’re also not supposed to make money at it, like humble beginnings, live in your dojo,
JAMIE: exactly. like,
JOE: like, yeah.
JAMIE: at the end of the day, it is a business and I can make money and be humble and invest in people and pass along, you know, in ancient martial art and all of that. that’s kind of been more traditionally associated with it. And my business mentors have really, really helped me you know, that, longevity. Like I have been teaching every single class in my gym. Right? But That’s not a replicable business and it doesn’t make me money if I’m not and so I’m actually at this juncture where I am starting to shift, my mindset and there’s actually a lot of fear for me. And also, they actually talked about it too, cuz they were teaching all the, their classes. when they stepped out and they started basically, building people to step in and to, leaders to teach, you know, and all of that, they actually said they had a little bit of identity crisis because their whole identity was about being, the instructor on the mat, the head coach. And now like literally people will come into their gym and they don’t even know who they are. Like, cuz they’re not the face of the gym.
JAMIE: they’re the business. They own six gyms, they’re there, sometimes they’re not, you know, like, but they have managed to create this replicable, and scalable operation. and now I’m oh my gosh, like that’s business. Right. Like that’s the difference between owning, just one gym. And I think, obviously I have to wrestle with like, do I just want one gym and just focus on the one thing? or are we looking more kind of almost like franchising multiple gyms, And how do you, I think my biggest fear right now is, continuing to offer the highest, quality of instruction that we can, like that’s kind of one of my, knocks or gripes about some of the franchised things that are out there. people buy up, and they open up this boxing gym or this kickboxing gym, no names mentioned. but these,
JOE: have some ideas in my heads.
JAMIE: yeah. And then they hire people that literally have never thrown a punch themself. Yeah. And that works for some people because they’re not there. they don’t necessarily want ancient moi thai, authentic moi thai. They just wanna come in and punch a bag for 30 minutes or whatever.
JOE: they just wanna
JAMIE: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So like, I’m not trying to knock that, like you do you, and that works for some people. that’s not what I’m about. Like I really, really have a great sense of pride of dedicating 20 years of my life to one specific martial art and really trying to be an expert at it and then sharing that with as many people as I can.
JOE: I’m gonna go back a little bit. You mentioned, and I think you said it was like three or four years ago that you had decided like, I wanna move on from teaching. Was that right?
JAMIE: Probably the last,now I’ve been, this is my first school year that I wasn’t teaching, so that’s one year down. So I’d probably say in the last two to three, like definitely the last school year. I could physically feel myself as I would walk into the school building anxiety, it just was no longer a place that was serving me. And so that’s why that was like, it had to
JOE: Was that sudden or did it build?
JAMIE: I think some of it, post covid. I know I, it’s just really weird to kind of say that, like, that things drastically changed in the landscape of education. But I think, I wouldn’t just say it’s covid. I think that education has been unraveling for a minute. less people are going into education, more restrictions are happening as far as, what teachers can teach in classrooms. and at the end of the day, right, like, stock standard curriculum doesn’t work for all Right. Like, so if you’re gonna ask me to teach this lesson that somebody that doesn’t know the demographics of my children or their interests or their, the ways they learn, right? Like, that’s silly to me. That’s not how education should work. so I just think there was a lot of things,lack of resources, funding supports for teachers, the continual adding of more and more responsibilities, but less and less, of that support given to teachers. So it just, yeah, it just became something that. And truthfully, I can’t remember if I told you this story that really, I probably wouldn’t have had the courage to quit. But I jokingly, my best friend was looking, we, we taught together, looking kind of for some other jobs, frustrated with her job. And yeah, I was like, well, if you quit, I’ll quit. Like, you know, one of those like,
JOE: yeah, yeah,
JAMIE: never, I, yeah, I know she’s never gonna do it. It’s not gonna happen. This is a real safe bet. And then literally, after school in last May, she sent a text and was like, I just submitted my resignation. I was like, no, you did not. You did not. You’re a liar. And she just sent me a screenshot of, her email resignation and I was like, oh my gosh. I said I would, I have to keep my word. Oh my gosh. Like, I can’t not do the thing I said I was gonna do. so then I did the thing cuz that’s how it works.
JOE: Do you think you were looking for permission when you made that
JAMIE: Absolutely. Yeah. Absolutely. and I think sometimes, We preach taking ownership and responsibility, but sometimes right when there’s those scary decisions, I wanna step back and be like, I’m gonna let the universe or God or whatever, like, guide me, whatever you believe, like that is what happened, I guess. like the door opened and there it was for me to walk through it. whether that’s manifesting or, like whatever people’s beliefs are, like, I don’t know. it, it happened.
JOE: Yeah. Well, it’s, it is wild that it happened, like, and it’s very interesting and you’re like, oh, she’ll never do that. And then she did it,
JOE: oh, that’s my sign. Right. But it’s sort of being open to it at the same time of like, oh yeah, that’s, I need to do it now. I remember when I was wanting to start opening my gym,I was very young. I was 22 and, I’ve always really looked up to my dad and he has very classic American career, like roughly 20 years at General Motors, and then moved to a smaller company to take on more leadership role when GM was just like shutting down plants during the financial crisis and then kind of semi-retired from there. And so it’s like a very classic like, climb the ladder, first job’s gonna suck, et cetera. And I was in a first job that was sucking and, didn’t feel like it had the future that I wanted it to have. and I wanted to start my gym and I remember him saying to me like, we were talking about other jobs that get into other career paths. And he’s like, well, the only thing you’re ever really excited about is this gym. Like, Why don’t you try that?
JAMIE: That’s awesome.
JOE: And it was weird cuz it was like we were so, but yeah. And I felt this element of like, oh, I’m not gonna get judged for it. Okay, I’ll do
JOE: And so like for me as somebody who, like, I have a really high need for approval of the people that I really respect, that was very much like a permission moment. Yeah. To dive into it. And now you mentioned before we hopped on that the last year has been like your gym’s just exploding. Exploding, where do you feel like the impetus behind that has been?
JAMIE: I think it’s twofold. years ago, like in 2018, I think I attended my first business event and somebody once told me, because I was working essentially two full-time jobs teaching full-time and then I had the gym and they said, just never forget it. it just has always hung with me because it’s true. He was like, bringing you part-time results because you’re working at a part-time job. It’s a second job. And he was like, when you work it like a full-time job, it’ll bring you full-time results. I think that’s part of it. I think, getting rid of my real job and making it my real job, has given me full-time benefits.
JOE: What have been the, like actions that have been different for you?
JAMIE: Yeah. I spend a lot more time in the business. So, again, some resources from my mentors. I. Have to do with, a lot more tracking. previously people would hit the website, I want more information, and I’d kick ’em in email. And then that was that. It was kind of like, take it or leave it, whether, you know, like I would either hear from them again because they would reach out and wanna schedule the free trial class or, I gave ’em the information and I’m now teaching my second period class and then I run to the gym after school and then it’s Roy Swash repeat all day every day. And I’ve long forgotten about this person that messaged me on Tuesday, two weeks ago. So now, I have very systematic, approach to how I handle inquiries and leads. how we handle and nurture those leads, how we follow up with those leads. like just learning how business actually works. I still have a very laid back like, kind of take it or leave it. Like, I just had a trial yesterday in the 5:30 AM class and she was like, how does sales and signup work? And I’m like, if you wanna join, we can take care of it. Or I could send you a link. Or if you don’t like, that’s cool. Like
JOE: What do you mean sales?
JAMIE: yeah. I’m like,
JOE: That was your
JAMIE: Yeah. Like, I don’t know. I mean, you either wanna do it or you don’t. I’m not gonna like hit you with some hardcore hustle like Yeah. we’re for some people, we’re not for others. I don’t want you to sign up if you don’t wanna be here. I’m not trying to do that. I know like some business feel like no, always be closing, you know, like make that sale. Like, I get the business side of that too. But, I just, that’s not really how I roll. I’m
JOE: gonna get on my sales soap box for a second. As somebody who’s professionally trained in that, I always saw a lot of parallels between the service that we offer at Element three and the service that offered at the gym. Like they’re both really coaching organizations, that have execution on the back end of them. Like, I’m coaching you how to move and then I’m giving you the benefit of moving. We’re coaching you how to go to market and then we’re giving you the benefit of that go to market. in the same way that if somebody was interested in working with Element three, but we get to the point where we feel like we’re convincing them, we will stop middle of a conversation and be like, I feel like I’m convincing you right now. I do not like to convince. Yeah. And here like to educate on things you don’t understand and to push when I think that you’re heading down the wrong path. But my job is not to convince you that you come with us. Same thing at the gym. if we’re convincing somebody to come do something really hard, like that’s the thing. There’s gonna be a moment that they’re doing the thing and it’s gonna be like physically and potentially emotionally challenging.
JOE: And you have to have a reason to be there. And the whole time you’re like, I’m just looking for a way out, You’ll find it. So like, yeah, cool. You can make, I dunno what your monthly rate is, let’s just say it’s 150 bucks. It make $150 times, maybe two months while they stay. It’s really not Yeah. That big of a deal. Like you’re looking for the 10 year clients. Yeah. Because who, who buy in and love it and stay and
JAMIE: what make the investment in themselves. obviously the other side of that too is our community. We talk a lot about community in our gym, don’t necessarily come for the community. The community is What they find once they’re there, but they come because they’re wanting to invest there, there’s something, right? Like, so again, this is kind of probably cliche, but I’m a creature of habits. So like every Thursday now, I mow the grass and I listen to Gary V Podcast. All right. Like every Thursday, 8:00 AM I’m sure my neighbors hate me, but it is what it is.
JOE: an electric mower. It’ll be quiet then.
JAMIE: Yeah. and he actually said something on this last podcast that I li I listened to and it was something about like how sales is just bad marketing. And I was like, and then of course like I, I got a guy at the gym that kind of helps me with some stuff and I’m like, I got all these ideas, right? Like essentially, Marketing is just telling them, how I have the answers to their problem, right? Like, whatever their problem is I wanna lose 50 pounds. Their problem is I want, to feel safer. I want some skills that, you know, especially as a woman, if I felt like my safety were in jeopardy, that I would have a little comfort that I, might be able to take care of myself, protect myself by myself, time to get out of this dangerous situation. you know, that marketing is like, I’m not convincing you, but I’m, I’m showing you that these are the things that we do. Here’s what you’re gonna find with us. And if that’s what you’re looking for, like, cool. Come and join us.
JOE: Great. Marketing makes sales much easier. Yes. Because you’re talking to better people. Right. And I always think about this, we say this here, like, marketing is sales at scale and sales is just marketing one to one. Yeah. And your sales at scale get people to be interested and then your one-to-one gets them to believe. Yeah. There’s sort of that, that element there. I wanna go back to what made you go to the gym first. Yeah. So take me back to when you discovered Moy Tykes. Now it’s like, now it is such a huge portion of your
JOE: And I mean, you’ve done some very cool things on font in Thailand. Like there’s been really cool things I wanna dive into, but how’d you first start?
JAMIE: all right, so I just wanna back up cuz I feel like you just said that I fought in Thailand. I haven’t fought yet, sorry, in Thailand. But now you’re, now you’re exposing I’ve trained in Thailand, yet, uh, one of my like little dreams still is to possibly fight in Thailand. So I just, I wanna make it clarify that I have not yet done that. I’ve trained there, yes. on a couple occasions, but that is still kind of a bucket list for me. but going back to your original question, so for me it was the end of 2004. So I had, just finished college, 2004, 2005. finished my student teaching, got my first real job. I had just wrapped up my collegiate career. and I kind of tell people that I continued to eat like I was a college athlete, but I was not a college athlete. and I found myself really a hundred pounds heavier than I even am today. And what’s crazy is I was a health and wellness PE teacher, so I was like, here I am, this overweight, very unhealthy. there were things, in my personal life, that I was going through, that included, a lot of, judgment alienation, and not acceptance from my family. So, kind of going back to being like a people pleaser, right? Like, I was very much, emotionally broken and basically, my, immediate family, was not supportive of me in this time. and so I was really just broken, really kind of miserable, physically, mentally, emotionally, and I kept driving past this gym free trial class. And so that was like the end of 2004.
And then I was like, yeah. It’s gonna be a New Year’s resolution, like January, I’m, doing that thing. So I went in like January 2nd, I dunno, whenever they were open. And, did the trial class. Loved it, loved how punching and kicking made me feel strong. even though, I knew that like physically clearly I was not the same athlete I was, it’s not that I was like,I’m probably in far better shape now today at 41 than I even was in college. Like I, I played softball. I was the four number four cleanup hitter. Like I was a power hitter. Yeah. like I was hitting home runs so naturally I was also eating hamburgers
JAMIE: and stuff. I just, was working out a lot more. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Like, I’m not saying that I was, like super fit in college,but I was an athlete. I did what athletes do. Yeah. you have massive football players that make their bodies move at really high rates of speed and very powerfully, So, anyway, I got in there and I felt that sense of. Like that my body, was strong. And that was, that’s another thing kind of going back to like just my personal history. there is a history of disordered eating, weight struggles, body image issues. and that kind of stems from my childhood. I, I even did Weight Watchers. I’m not like, I’m not trying you. I wanna tell my story, but I also want to be respectful of my parents because, we have come so far. and there has been so much healing. so it’s like, it’s kind of hard to tell this part of my life without also feeling like, it’s not one of my parents’ most glorious moments.
JOE: people can have unglorious moments and still be glorious people.
JAMIE: Yeah. I appreciate that. Thank you. Cuz my parents,it makes me emotional. you don’t wanna say anything bad about the people that, eventually, you know, have come around. So, Really, if I put all the cards on the table, and be fully vulnerable and transparent. the other big key was I was coming out after college, so I came out to my parents. and, I was met with heavy, religious, resistance. and so I was, like I said, when I said broken, I was depressed, miserable, I wanted to kill myself. so there was just a lot of things going on. and getting into the gym, getting my body moving, feeling strong, feeling capable, right? Like that then starts to have an emotional impact, right? Like,when I say Mutai transformed my life, it probably saved my life. I never would’ve thought in that moment that then I would own a mo Thai gym. it was just this thing, in the moment that I was using to feel strong, that I was using to lose weight was my primary,motivation initially, that I was using to feel like as a woman.
I had some control and powered not to be victimized. which, not just like in a physical self-defense attack, just, being feeling like a victim, feeling like, things were unfairly happening to me, you know? Yeah. and so I got in and then after about, two years is when I did my first sanctioned fight. just in that time fell in love with it and yeah, it’s just been nonstop since like, I’ve continued to learn and grow and just my mind and my world expanded and improved because of it.
JOE: First of all, thank you for sharing. I appreciate the vulnerability and the trust. I wanna back to that moment where you go into the gym. I feel like there’s two ways that people tend to approach fitness. One is with a lot of, there’s something wrong with me and I need to fix it, and this is how I’m gonna fix it. So there’s this mentality of almost like punishment for past actions. this is the January one rush, right? Like, all right, I ate like crap over the holidays and I’m gonna get myself in shape, which comes from a standpoint of like, I need to pay for the actions I did. And then there’s this other side that’s like self-actualization. I know that I already am strong and this is going to let me express it. I know that I already am the person that I want to be and this is gonna help me see that. And I’m hearing that you, like I was in the gym to get myself stronger. I was in the gym to be an athlete. I like those are really like very positive mentality moments. Like where you came in, even in that moment where you were feeling very broken, you went in there with like I’m not here to try to fix something that’s wrong with me. I’m here to express something that is already true in me. Or is it inverse? a little bit. Both maybe. I don’t know.
JAMIE: I don’t know that I even had like, the awareness of that, that I was trying to fix something. But Maybe not necessarily thinking that I was fixing something, but maybe more so proving to myself something like that is a massive concept that I work a lot with my fighters with. Right. Like most people that fight, have some sort of chip on their shoulder. They have something that they’re trying to provemost people that are self-actualized that are, like they feel like, Hey, I’ve done all the things. I have nothing left to prove. Like they don’t feel inclined to get in the ring and, Get hit Yeah. Punched in the face in front of everyone to see it’s an incredibly vulnerable moment. I think those people that do it, we are trying to prove something to ourself. maybe about how tough we are or how strong we are, or that if I win, I have value.
JOE: do you see a difference at all between people? And when I say difference, difference in, let’s go a few places, performance, happiness, fulfillment, et cetera, among people who are trying to prove something to themselves versus those who might walk in trying to prove something to the world.
JAMIE: Yep. I think you can’t have one without the I think that, the person, like I’m, of course I’m cataloging all my fighters.
JOE: yeah, I know I can see your
JAMIE: I’m trying to think of like who falls in, and who are the people trying to prove things to the world. But really that starts with them.why would I feel the need to prove anything to anyone else if I didn’t feel the need to prove it to myself first?
JOE: Yeah. It’s interesting cuz I give my own personal anecdote here. I sold the gym in November of 21 and was like, I’m gonna be a CrossFit athlete. Like whatever that means for me. And I would say that for probably 10 to 11 months of 2022, there was an element in my brain of like, this is what I’m supposed to do, If I’m gonna be an athlete, this is the thing I have to do. And there was an element of like requirement in my training that was like buffering the impact of my training. Like I wasn’t really seeing a lot of, development and I knew it wasn’t the plan. I knew the training program was stellar cause I was watching other people in it do great. Right? and sometime around the end of the year I was like, I had qualified for a fairly decent competition down in Texas. I was really excited to go, well actually I wasn’t excited to go. And I was like, what is going on? Like, what are you doing this for? why are you doing this? Cuz I don’t thankfully get punched in the head. My head can’t handle getting punched anymore. a lot of concussions playing soccer. But anyway, I, I do things that are physically very uncomfortable. CrossFit is a high pain tolerance sport. And I was like, What are you in the gym doing this for? you don’t really think, seem like you’re enjoying it. What’s going on? And then there was this moment where I was like, I’m just doing it to see how good I can be. And when I, said like, I don’t care about how good other people are, how I relate to them, suddenly I started catchingpassing them and getting much better. And I think what you just said where it’s like, why would I wanna prove it to the world if I don’t wanna prove myself first? my hypothesis is that a lot of people miss that. They only see the, I wanna show so-and-so who bullied me as a kid. they’re not like actually thinking that, like Right. But there’s this chip that’s been developed towards the world. I feel like that’s like a very touchy fuse can go wrong.
JAMIE: I wanna go back to, when you were just like, stopped thinking and worrying what other people were doing, just focused on that’s when you caught them. Yeah. that is a massive conversation that I have, right? so especially in fighting, you get hung up on wins and losses, right? Like, what’s your record? It’s almost the number one question. Or like, somebody fights, did you win? It’s the first question, right? Yeah. What’s your record? it’s very easy when you win to believe the hype. You’re good. And it’s really easy when you lose to believe, that you’re not good, that you’re terrible. but really, especially in amateur career in fighting is for experience. and so I kind of mentioned it like how mo Thai is so different in Thailand than in the states. Like in Thailand, they don’t know their record. Like you can ask ’em what their recorded, but literally they’ve, they’ve fought. 200, 300 times. Like who can remember a record man? I don’t know. I fought 300 times. I’ve won some, I’ve lost some. I fight tomorrow. I fight next week. Like it is what it is. here in America I’m 15 and oh, like I can tell you, you know, like everything I’ve won four by ko do by tko, O blah, blah, blah, blah. but I really try to encourage people. So really I do encourage everyone in my gym, even if they’re just there for fitness to, potentially what we call a smoker. Take a smoker. It’s an in-house fight. okay. So it’s not a sanctioned fight. It’s against a teammate. It’s basically a hard sparring session.
I encourage everybody to get into sparring as well because, I do believe that a lot of self discovery happens in fighting, which I could get really philosophical and be like, fighting is just conflict. Conflict we have every single day in our lives. our entire life is about figuring out how to manage and navigate conflict and emotions. there is really, in my opinion, no better, simulator than fighting
JOE: Well, I mean, if you can handle somebody intentionally trying to physically harm
JOE: You can handle, a moment of like miscommunication Yes. Or verbal conflict and without letting it like totally drive your emotions through the wall.
JAMIE: Right. Exactly. Like it’s legit training that goes back and forth, right? Like, if I can understand how to control my emotions in training, punching and kicking someone trying to hit me, I can learn to handle my emotions when my friend or my spouse or whomever says something that feels out cheat to me. Oh. That hurt. Yeah. You know, and then like, kind of, I wanna snap back, I wanna throw that heavy cross, with my words or whatever, like, but like understanding, stepping back, right? Analyzing, figuring out, what is really going on. but we talk a lot about that the fight is actually designed, it’s not about the other person. So this is like, if you watch martial arts in general, you’ll find that muai is incredibly respectful. Like if I show you video of all three of my fighters this past weekend after every fight, all three of my fighters got down on their hands and knees and bowed to their opponent, as did their opponents to them. Muay Thai is so respectful. it’s because we understand that the fight is not about my opponent, you’ve agreed to get in the ring with me, but we’re really actually both on the same journey. You are just this mirror that is reflecting back to me, what I’m good at. What I still need to work on areas for improvement.
Right. What I do well, what I need to get better, what I don’t do well at all. Right? Like that’s what you’re there for, I just have to put, yeah, obviously I’m trying to string punches and kicks together. I’m trying to, get the win, knock you out, whatever. But it’s really not about that. It’s about the reflection of seeing me. My skillset. Where am I? that’s the point of fighting and I have to continuously, have that conversation because our culture is very hung up on winners and losers.
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JOE: actually love this one here. We had a guy on the podcast, the episode dropped fairly recently. His name is Mark Kawell. He spent a lot of time international business. Germany, Japan, fewer places in Europe, I believe. And I asked him sort of the same question I said to you, it’s like, how do you introduce what you do when somebody asks you what do you do? How do you say? And he was like, he smiled. He said, that’s a, that’s an exceptionally American question. And he was like, I don’t mean that negatively. It just is. He’s like, in Germany, nobody at a party asks you what do you do? And if they did, they, the response would not be the work that we do. And so there was this element. In that conversation around, like talking through how different cultures view the world in general, and I was about to ask you how it was in Thailand and then you answered it, but your experience, their training, and also I imagine because the art form comes from Thailand, that you know, a decent amount about that culture in general outside of not remembering the records. Like how do they approach training that development process? Like what’s it like, how’s it different?
JAMIE: Yeah. So you have to understand, the economical landscape there. Economical landscape as far as like. Thailand is a very poor country. Right. So, many families, even still today, will send their children, especially young boys to a camp, a fight camp, Thai camp, training camp. and they will do school and then they train for four hours, or they’ll train two hours in the morning, go to school and train two or four hours, and their child will fight pretty much weekly and they get paid for it. And a portion of that payment goes to the gym for lodging, all of that training. And then they send money back to their family. And that’s how they pay for food, pay for bills. Like that’s, that’s how their society
JOE: And even with that sort of pressure, cuz that’s like real pressure now, right? That’s not, I am a weekend warrior who picks up a fight every quarter
JAMIE: And as a child you may not even wanna fight. Yeah. Your parents are telling you, this is what, this is your job, this is your job, this is how you make money for the family. This is how we survive.
JOE: So even with that, they’re able to get past the, here’s my record.
JAMIE: Yeah. So, another element that is really unique and I can’t remember who I just had this conversation with, but, in Thailand, because understanding, that they fight to make money to live their, again, going back to that respect in America, if I know I’ve lost, so Muai is judged on a, a ten nine must system. So you win each round. independently Inde. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Exactly. Exactly. and so let’s say I, I know I’ve won the first and the second round, There’s, ten nine. Ten nine, you have to knock me out to win at this point, So here we come out swinging in the third round. If we know we’re down two rounds, my, I am trying to knock you out to get that win, to get my hand raised, to get that w to be able to tell people, yes, I won. that’s how we’re wired in Thailand. It’s not that way If they know they’ve lost. They’ll dance around and they’ll put on a show. I mean, like, they’ll, they’ll throw techniques, but it is, I accept defeat. I recognize that you beat me in the first, the rounds that matter. there’s no way I can win. And instead of like trying to knock them out, they just play, I accept defeat. And the reason for that is, is because we both need to be healthy to go and fight next week and make more money and do it again. Right. So like, if I come out swinging because I know I’ve lost and then I, crack my shin, break my leg, whatever, can cuss you, you the Yeah. Rebound.
JOE: Cause I miss you and I’m open. yeah.
JAMIE: right. Like instead of like that ego of needing the win, like it’s the humility of accepting defeat. So we can both do what we want to do the next week. And the next month and the next year, or what we need to do. Right. Like, so it’s, um, very, very, very different culture about fighting.
JOE: It’s very interesting. I think about it from a standpoint of performance as well. I was just having this conversation, actually meeting that I was coming from when I was coming back over here and we were talking about like holding the rabbit too tight, sort of the phrase, holding the rabbit so tight you kill it. and I relate back to like when I was playing in school, I. Came into school as a really high level recruit. So I was like, I have a chance to play pro. And I like needed that. It was like my identity, it was who I was. as I saw it not happening in the way that I had viewed it, I like tried to grab it harder and it was like, I will not be happy until I’m performing at the level that I want to. And then by senior year, cause I hadn’t had a good enough career, that was no longer really possible. So then I went from needing to play well, to wanting to play well just because I wanted to. Yeah. And then my performance went through the roof. Right. And like I had my easily my best season. And so it’s like we put this pressure and like desire to perform really high and in this really perverse, messed up way, the doing that makes you perform
JAMIE: end up stunting it. Yeah. I talk a lot about process versus product with my fighters. the product that we want is the win. But it’s the process. Like I straight up tell them, it doesn’t make not make you a great fighter because you beat someone who’s not as good as you. Like you talk about it, like we work with kids bullying and everything. Right. Like, doesn’t make you a tough guy cuz you just punch the kid that’s two feet shorter than you like in the mouth and stole his lunch money. Man makes you a jerk. Yeah. And so, when we talk about fighting, right? Like again, just cause. You win doesn’t mean that you won used beautiful moi Thai. Like that’s an, I think my people know, like, show me beautiful moi Thai. Like, I don’t want street brawls.
JOE: gimme virtuosity.
JAMIE: yeah. I tell ’em, I would rather you lose and have technical beautiful moi tie than to get in there and make it an ugly street fight and win. that’s not, that’s not what we’re doing. like there are other Go fight mma. If you wanna just brawl,
JOE: you mentioned something really profound a little bit ago about the fight. The person across from you is mirroring you and giving you feedback on what you’re good at, what you’re not good at, where you need to improve. And that’s such a gift. while we all think we want to be like the perfect version of us, whatever that means. Yeah.
JOE: actually don’t, we just wanna know how to get better tomorrow.
JAMIE: I’m also gonna kind of piggyback and say like, I don’t know that most of us. Actually can handle the feedback, right? We say we wanna be a better version of ourself, but like then when somebody gives us that feedback that maybe something is not the best version of ourselves, we’re like, Ooh, no. You’re like, no, I don’t agree with
JOE: that. But you can’t
JAMIE: hide from that. Yeah. You can’t hide, you can’t hide from that in, in the ring. Yeah. It gets exposed.
JOE: Well, you’re starting to show me one of the reasons that I love fitness so much. Like in, CrossFit, you’re not fighting somebody else. You are racing somebody else, but you can’t impact their race. So the only thing you’re actually fighting against is the test? Yeah. What’s the test? And the test comes out and buries you and it tells you in no uncertain terms, what are you bad at? What are you good at, what are you bad at? But you can’t fight away from that feedback loop. It’s and that’s actually one of the things that’s very difficult in like the knowledge work that I’ve been trying to figure out for now, six and a half years, is like, how do I create that? Because That feedback loop creates improvement, well, actually I’m gonna, I’m making assumptions. I’m guessing that when somebody gets back from a fight, their improvement goes up
JAMIE: I’m gonna specify when they get back from a loss.
JOE: Okay. Beautiful.
JAMIE: When I have found, and I’m gonna assume that most arts coach coaches, striking coaches when they win, usually they ride that wave. I feel great. I did great. I’m awesome. Right? When they lose, hungry.
JAMIE: all three of my guys won this past week because they all had a real big chip on their shoulder. one of them lost, well two of them lost two weeks ago in a national tournament. and so they were super disappointed about their performances there. and then the other one fought for the first time in, a little over a year or two. I can’t remember when his first fight was, but he did his first fight. and he got tko od and ended up throwing up after his fight. Like, it was a very humbling experience for him. And so like, he’s kind of lived with this like, revenge,I need to redo all of this. I need to get this. And so all three of them really fought, like they had something to prove. and that comes from loss, right? Like the recognition that I’m not as good as I think I am. So now I’m hungry and motivated to get better.
JOE: Yeah, I think that we hide that you called it out, but I think you’re right that we like hide from the loss. justifying a lost deal, justifying poor marketing materials, like whatever it is, justifying why you had a bad month financially. Like you’re just like looking for the excuse that takes the onus off of yourself. And it’s just so refreshing inside of, the things that we do where, like, you cannot run away from it. You can’t, like you lost a
JAMIE: fight and you only get what you earn.
JOE: you’re not gonna get something you didn’t work for. Yeah. Right. You’re not gonna improve PRS or whatever, Well, and going back to your part-time job, part-time results dove into it, and now you’re getting full-time results. I am really curious. Obviously, gyms are contained by their space, you can only take on so many clients inside of your space. So your options for growth come from increased prices or, expansion of space or new space. when you’re blowing up like you are currently, how are you thinking through how do I leverage this opportunity that’s in front of me?
JAMIE: you definitely using a few strategies you just mentioned, we’re about to go through another price increase. Good. Yeah. I’m, I’ve been grossly underpriced. I’m here
JOE: for it every time I hear a fitness person
JAMIE: you know,
JOE: who like really loves it because you only ever get the people who really love it, who aren’t underpriced.
JAMIE: and here’s the other thing too is like, I think also comparison, right? Like there’s a couple other martial arts gyms and within five miles of us, right? And I know what their prices are. I used to run my program out of one of those gyms, before I opened my own gym. and I think for a long time I felt like, well, I don’t wanna charge more than them. Right? But now I’m starting to step into, Like I’m offering something more than they’re offering, so my prices warranted. there’s like that fear element. if it costs 150 at my gym and it costs a hundred dollars at their gym, people are gonna go to their gym instead of me. But really getting away from that like, scarcity mindset, there’s abundance and also value and my worth, right? Like I tell people, sometimes I have people, that they just want the price sheet and I give it to ’em. I’m not like, again, I’m, it’s not smoke and mirrors over here. Like, this is it. And sometimes people are like, oh, there’s another gym down the way. And I’m like, great man. Here’s what I’ll tell you. Price doesn’t reflect value. Go try a class there. Come try a class here. Decide which one fits your needs, which one you feel is gonna help you meet your goals better. Yep. And go there. especially with Muay Thai, cuz nobody knows what it is. Yeah. So like the person that says I’m offering a Muay Thai program, but literally that instructor is taught karate. Yeah.
JAMIE: Come on man. Yeah. Come on. What? To the general public, they don’t know. So it doesn’t matter. Like I just know that it’s gonna cost me a hundred bucks, but you’re gonna cost me 150.
JOE: it goes back to having a really clear value prop that’s like, this is the value that we provide doesn’t match with the needs that you have. Yeah. And you mentioned there’s a hundred different reasons somebody comes into a gym, which is one of the things that makes it hard. Like if there were only, okay people come to the gym cause they only wanna lose weight. Very simple to mirror that value prop and build a program that’s built for it. Whereas you have some people coming in who wanna feel safer. You have some people who want to fight. You have some people who wanna lose weight. You have some people who wanna do fitness, that’s fun for them. Like, there’s all these different things and trying to meet somebody where they’re at becomes really challenging.
JAMIE: Yeah. I think it was probably back at that same business, retreat in 2018. it was about before. So we’re really growing. Like our evening classes are starting to get packed and it is starting to get a little stuffy on the mat,
JOE: one people are throwing elbows and stuff matters.
JAMIE: Yeah, exactly. so it’s like, of course I’m, I’m, I can dream really good dreams. I’m like, oh man, like bigger gym. Bigger gym. If this tenant that’s next to us would just move, I could knock out this wall and we’d like take the whole strip center. And it’s all gonna be us one day. but the advice that I was given is before you get a bigger space, you must max out your space throughout the day. So we started adding day classes when I quit my job. now were already offering a 5:30 AM class cuz I could teach that before I went to school. Yeah. and some days Oh yes, absolutely. I’ve had a memory
JOE: in my head
JAMIE: Yeah. Getting up, teaching five 30, showering, going to school, teaching all day, leaving school, going back to the gym, teaching all night. You know what I
JOE: you gotta perform.
JAMIE: Yeah. Yeah. Well and that’s one of the things, you know, I have a instructor internship program, we build coaches within. It’s one of the things I tell them is nobody cares about your bad day. Yeah.
JAMIE: Like, I’m not trying to be insensitive. Right. But this is the place they come to feel good. So that’s what you need to deliver. They come to learn, they come to get better, they come to feel good, to feel part of something. And if you’re over here moping around cuz you had a bad day. or whatever your negative attitude, like, it’s not gonna work,
JOE: there’s a lot of things that CrossFit does wrong. But one of the things they do very right is they espouse the best hour of their day. Best hour of their day. So like when you learn, when you get your Level one certificate and whatnot, like part of the teaching is are here to give them the best hour of their day. That’s cool. Yeah. I like that.
JAMIE: I’ve never heard that That way before, but that’s, yeah. Because what it is like, is. Yeah.
JOE: a lot of people like, gotta go to work,
JAMIE: that goes back to retention
JOE: is the only thing I’ve chosen to do. Like I’ve chosen to come here, give me something
JAMIE: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So yeah, just, building out that, that schedule, we’ve added 7:00 AM class, 1130. I’ve tried to keep it right now to like Monday, Wednesday, Friday, because it gives me downtime on Tuesday, Thursday to, do the family thing. Tuesdays I make breakfast, take the kids to school. I do the laundry. Like I, I’m, I told you, creature of habit, like, yeah. but I also think like I’m a better version of myself than I’ve ever been because I have balance in my life. I have the freedom to do the things, that, fill me up that, add value to my family, so obviously as we continue to grow, I’m gonna need to look at more daytime classes. we’re kind of at that point now too, where I’m trying to figure out what makes sense, what’s the next thing that we can do that will add value, that will maximize our schedule, that will fit a need for people, that will bring more value, get people in the door, all of that. do I dream of a bigger gym? Do I dream of many gyms? Yes. you really have to figure out why. And is that a good idea? And is now the time? I’m not sure now is the time for us.
JOE: When I had mistakenly said, you fought in Thailand, and then your response would say, oh, I have not fought there, which is, is true. But then you said, oh, this is like my little dream. And I saw you did a physical movement of discomfort in stating the dream. where does that come from?
JAMIE: cuz once you put it out there then, don’t talk about it. Be about it. that’s a big thing in fighting. Don’t talk about it, Yeah. There’s a lot of people that say they’re fighters. There’s a lot of people, I don’t ever watch UFC cards out in public because I just can’t handle,
JAMIE: the commentary from a bunch of dudes
JOE: soccer out in,
JAMIE: Yeah. Like a bunch of people that don’t know shit about it. Yeah. That, but are suddenly now the expert couch. like, so I think that’s where that is, is like, if I’m gonna talk about it, I should be about it. do
JOE: you wanna be about it?
JAMIE: I do, but I’m also,the, one of my last fights was in 2014. And, again, there were some things going on in my personal life, some fallout. Like you can see if I were like, fully transparent about my life, right? Like mu thai is always the thing that like, I find solace in that. I find peace in. Yeah, right. Okay. When everything else is a dumpster fire, right? Like it’s the thing I throw myself into. So, things were falling apart in my world in 2014 and I was like, I should take a fight. Sounds like a great idea, because all of a sudden now I have purpose. Yeah. I have four hours of training a day to do. I have road work, I have sprinting, lifting all of the things, I have sparring,
JOE: conditioning, skill work.
JAMIE: Yeah, It’s all
JOE: Mental work to get
JAMIE: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. but I was teaching at that time too, so coaching, running my moi Thai program and. once you start coaching, like now you’re the expert. Even though I, I fully tell everyone in my gym, I don’t know anything. Right. I know a lot of things, but like in the grand scheme of Muay Thai, like, there’s so much more for
JOE: you’ve learned so much that you recognize how much you
JAMIE: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. and I’m even fully transparent. Like, I’ll teach a lesson and like the next day I’m like, so that sucked yesterday. We’re gonna do it differently today because after teaching that to you, like, that was terrible. I’m sorry about it. and I actually had a member who thanked me for making the gym a safe place to fail.
JOE: I was about to say, there’s actually an incredible amount of. Confidence is the word that in, in being able to say,
JAMIE: well, I mean, they knew it sucked. like I’m just owning it like that. That sucked yesterday. And I’m sorry. Yeah. I’m sorry that lesson and that class was not stellar. and we’re gonna do it different today. but I think, Once you’re coaching, right? Like now you’re kind of that standard. and so when I decided to fight, there was actually so much fear about it because I was like, well, what if I get in there and I lose? Will my students think I don’t know anything? Will my students think I’m a terrible teacher Cause I didn’t win? will they leave me? Will they go somewhere else to train? Because who would wanna train with a loser? like all this dialogue that’s happening, And what I found was that, my students respected the grind, the work ethic that they saw me putting in. They respected the fact that I got in the ring and did the thing that I’m encouraging them to do. all that to say that was 2014. We’re almost 10 years later. I’m 41. I’m almost 10 years older. and all those fears are there again, right? If I talk about it, I gotta be about it. am I really gonna be about it? Like I legit told my fighters, I got 11 fighters in camp right now, and it doesn’t even include the three that just fought last week. I got a different 11 all training right now for a national tournament at the end of June. And I told one of ’em, truthfully, I’m not actually sure I could do the camp that I make my own fighters do. Like I am wrestling with the whole, am I tough enough? Am I strong enough? which is all the more reason why I should suck it up and do it.
JOE: if like, cuz the last couple times you’ve had fear, it seemed like it was the sign of like, go do
JAMIE: go do it. Yeah. but that’s essentially where I am again. It’s like I wanna do this thing. a large part of it is I recognize I’m 41. priorities are very different. Yeah. Probably, hopefully, what’s the worst that would happen? I might end up with like a gnarly cut on my face that requires like a bunch of stitches, hopefully. in Thailand also, it’s no shin guards, no elbow pads. Oh,
JOE: really? Okay. Yeah. You go
JAMIE: gloves. It’s just gloves. Like, and that is terrifying to me because one, I don’t regularly spar. Like, I, there’s so much work I would have to do because my shins aren’t conditioned. occasionally if I throw on shin guards, like I call ’em baby shins now, like I got baby shins, like they’re just not conditioned for fighting anymore, so there would be a long process of actually physically preparing my body. and then I’m like, I’m 41. Like, does my body really need to go through that anymore?
JOE: what’s the thing that would we be like, oh men now, like booking the plane ticket? Is that the thing that puts you in?
JAMIE: no, probably not. I don’t know.I think right now I feel like I have my wedding coming up. I feel like I need to, like, I feel like I have so much going on that I just couldn’t even possibly
JOE: think about throwing that in the
JAMIE: exactly. So I feel like, I feel like I need to continue to find my routines and my systems, procedures that will allow my business to thrive, that allow balance in my life. and then figure out, because preparing for a fight does not create balance.
JOE: Mm-hmm. Yeah.
JAMIE: It creates all in isn’t
JOE: an intense focus in one area for sure.
JAMIE: that’s why a fight camp is a fight camp. Yeah. Right. Like it’s, six weeks. What I ask of my people, it’s six weeks of preparation. And they literally are training three plus hours a day. Yeah.
JOE: for me, it’s hard. do you design those as a very selfish question? Cause I just am curious, is it like a five day on, two day split? Is it a six on, like what’s the
JAMIE: So we do, very heavy. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday is fairly light. Thursday is heavy. And by heavy what I mean is they do two hours of class training, but then they have an additional, not quite a, an hour. And what they do actually changes. So let’s say if it were me on Monday and Wednesday, so on Monday I would have an hour of sparring, an hour of clenching. And then what we call them are rounds. And what rounds are it’s conditioning. But it’s a mix of actually using the striking skills. there is actually some physical conditioning box jumps, battle ropes, stuff like that. But then you’re gonna hit these pads and we are 90 miles an hour. Yeah. Because you gotta have gas in the tank and you’ve gotta have gas in the tank to actually do like box jumps, battle ropes, it’s conditioning, but it doesn’t. Completely laterally transferred of throwing a punch. Right. So like, that’s why we’ve gotta do the rounds, because you’ve gotta have the gas tank to, to throw the punches. You gotta feel that feeling. Yeah.so that, that happens twice a week. They do rounds twice a week. and then on like, so on Tuesday, if they did rounds on Monday, on Tuesday they do sprints. They do two hours of class on Tuesday. On Wednesday they’ll do their rounds, they’ll do one hour of class. So they get to go home early. That’s my gift to them. You get out of the gym at six 15?
JOE: of eight.
JAMIE: Exactly. and then Thursday they do, an interval run. Okay. it’s kind of a blend of, like, It usually ends up being a couple miles, a mile. Everything is progressive too. So like week one, they did eight sprints. This week they do 10 sprints on Tuesdays. Yeah. So their interval run again, the first week may only be a mile mixing sprints, pushing, basing, pacing, all of this stuff. Fridays I give them a, you call it. So I give this some discretion to them about what they need. If your weight’s not on point, your cardio’s not on point, then your, you call it should probably be something like that. If your body is hurt, you have, something that is feeling like it’s a, it’s an injury creeping in, then you need recovery. So I need yoga, stretching, massage, whatever. so Fridays they’re expected. The guideline I give ’em is, you should move your body for an hour. What that looks like, it could be hiking, walking your dog, roller bleeding. I don’t care if you Yeah, if you wanna go do CrossFit, whatever, I don’t care. Move your body in the way that your body needs moved. Saturdays they do team conditioning, so they have to, like the other days they don’t have to do their conditioning together. I encourage them to do it with a teammate just cuz I, I always think we get more from ourselves with others than we get by ourselves. we’re naturally weak looking for the easy way out, so having other people there, but that’s why they team condition on Saturdays cuz you can’t hide. And I need to know if you’re not doing like it exposes, on Saturdays when I see people that aren’t physically conditioned where they need to be. I know that you’re dogging it on those other days and then I may make you do your conditioning in front of me. Like, it just depends. I’m hands off. Hands on as much as you need. Right. And then Sundays is completely recovery, so Yep. Nothing but healing in your body, relaxing your body. and then it’s just six weeks of that. We do mix up some things. So instead of in a couple weeks, like week four is typically called hell week. it’s very grueling, on all ends of the physical conditioning, but also, in their rounds we do what’s called shark tank. And so it’s literally just a fresh body coming on every 20 seconds and beating you
JOE: Yeah. So you’re fighting somebody who’s always fresh and you’re always
JAMIE: and you’re always, yeah. And those shark tank rounds come at the end of about six other physical conditioning round. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. And that’s the thing is, I tell them we’re not playing basketball. Like it’s a fight. So, it’s walking that line of. Preparing them, but not breaking them. you said something about emotions and like literally last week was week one for these 11 fighters, and there were tears on day one from five of the 11 people.
JOE: like, oh, you’ve got a long way to Yeah. one is sometimes the hardest one because you’re sort of like
JAMIE: well, like one, you’re like a little anxious, you’re nervous, you’re amped up. Like they’re a little bit like we’re doing this thing, and then you’re like, oh my God, I’m doing this thing and it’s so hard. And that’s what fighting is like as a coach. There’s so many hats and roles and it’s a always a delicate balance of building them up, but also giving them the truth, right? And, helping them see where they are and what they need and giving them what they need. And, really walking that line. and it’s just such an emotional journey, but it’s such a rewarding journey. Like, I can’t tell you how many people are like, man, I, I did that. Like I did that. Yeah, you did. You did it.
JOE: I want to talk to you in like another six months about if you’re feeling that same thing from business. Because I sort of have a hypothesis that you might be, yeah. Well, Jim, this was awesome. Thanks. I’ve never gotten to dive in with somebody who, who just is a fighter, which is super cool. So thank you for coming in, spending some of your Tuesday with
JAMIE: Absolutely. Thank you for having me. For sure. Yeah,
REID: Okay, Joe, as expected and really fun, really interesting chat with Jamie. was fascinating to learn about. Her own personal experiences of why she got into moi Thai and about her transition to doing it full-time. But, we had a lot of questions threads. We were curious if we would discover coming into the conversation. So what did you take away as a few key points after your talk with Jamie?
JOE: Well, one, I loved her commentary around fighting, being a reflection of yourself that like, you’re in the, you’re on the same journey together and that person’s just giving you. The feedback of what you’re good at, what you’re bad at, where you need to improve, the whole element she talked about with Thai culture around Moi, Thai and American culture around Moai and how like we have, it’s all about winning. And they’re like, I don’t even know my record. It’s, there’s like an interesting, what is the purpose behind what you’re doing? And for better and for worse, our culture is very, like there’s a purpose and the purpose is to be the best and to win.
REID: To win and to win, like, In a flashy wait. Right. It has to be the knockout. It can’t be the win by points. Like yeah.
JOE: There’s just something about like, sounds like, I don’t mean this a negative way, but like the showboat of like, we’re just flashier. It’s is like who we are and that’s okay. but I thought it was cool to hear the perspective of how they approach it in Thailand and was just like cool. And then also just her own, she is very self-reflective. Oh, I know that. If I say that out loud, I’m gonna have to do it.
JOE: when I say it, I better be ready to do it. That’s a thing that’s like reflective. Oh, I know that I’m operating out of fear and scarcity right now, and I need to get over that. Oh, that’s self-reflective. And it’s like, where does that come from? Well, it probably comes from I’m in a fight and I’m in trouble. How do I fix that problem? I’m training and I can’t get over this thing, or I’m failing at this scale. Like you’re constantly learning how to teach yourself based on your own reflection.
REID: A ton of self-awareness, right? Like digesting what’s happening, real time, making realtime decisions to change that, all those
JOE: Yeah, exactly.
REID: pays dividends, obviously, well outside of the fight itself.
JOE: So that was really cool. it’s been cool to hear that her business is doing amazing since she dove into it full force. hear those cliches like burn the boats. And now you have no options. Um, to be working well for her. and I think there’s something about like, when do you burn the boats?
REID: Like she has 10 years of inputs showing that she can do it. Like, Hey, you’ve got 10, this thing’s been around for a decade.
JOE: It’s like a pretty long time for a small business to be around that long. And it’s also a lot of feedback. That’s something you’re doing has
REID: So now you can make the jump and you can burn your boats because you have impact or you have, proof that you can do it. But like you probably could have done that years ago. Well, I think it’s really interesting. I think that the idea of. Burn the boats is really helpful for some people and really counterproductive for others, if that plays well with your sort of mindset and your approach. That’s great. I heard a really simple framework recently. it was actually the counterpoint to that of a simple two question framework of you’re on your deathbed, would you regret not having done this decision? And then what’s your backup plan? And that what’s your backup plan is very counter to the burn the boats. It’s like, Nope, you’re doing this or you’re doing nothing. And it’s interesting as people are making these big decisions in their lives, they’re trying to lean into their intuition, which of those mindsets is helpful for you? Yeah. And just the awareness that those things are different options, because to some people it does need to be burn the boats.
JOE: Yeah. It’s funny you bring that up because I was also thinking. About the deathbed question when we were talking about her fighting in Thailand, like I almost asked her like, Hey, if you were 80 and you hadn’t done it, would that be a regret? You still maintained? Do it? Or if she’s like, I don’t know. It’s like, well, maybe you don’t need to do it. There’s also something on the backup plan. There’s, Tim Ferris is the first person I heard this from five, six years ago, talks about a fear setting exercise. Like what the worst, what’s the worst that could happen this? when you burn the boats, when you make that jump, I do think it’s important to have feedback that shows you that you’re at least going to want to stay in the fight. So like, yeah, I jumped from, I’m gonna have a full-time job to, I’m gonna open my gym. I had never coached at a gym. I had never ran a business, I had never managed people. Like there were tons of things I didn’t even know if I like doing, but I was like, oh man. It’s like, oh, you didn’t. Even test anything. Like maybe instead of doing that, you say to the owners of the gym you’re currently going to that know you love. How does one become a coach here? See if you like coaching. Hey, can I shadow you guys while you’re doing like your business work and see if I like your business work? like
REID: the idea of going all in can sometimes feel like it’s a thoughtless exercise, when really that idea can still be done with a ton of nuance and thought beforehand.
JOE: Yeah. Well, and look, she’s done it over the course of years. Yeah. And in 2018, she was attending a business seminar that’s really made for people who are all in, but she hadn’t go all in for five more years. It’s like, yeah, I still wanna get better at this and I wanna see if this business thing is something I’m good at and like I’m gonna take in my time. And then something said to her like, it’s time. And then she made that bet where it’s like, Hey, if you quit, I’ll quit. And then the person quits and she’s like, oh, that’s okay. Well I have to, yep. And now it’s my permission, right? She said like, yeah, that was my permission to do it. So, yeah, it was just, it was fun. It was very cool to hear her talk about it and, it is very obvious that she is like a, she is of the cerebral art fighting mentality, not the like, I’m gonna go in and brawl
REID: it’ll be fun to keep up with her story and see where she goes.
JOE: I’m serious about chatting with her in like six months and being like, are you seeing the parallels between fighting and business or not? I’m just curious. Yeah, Cool.
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