Saturday, May 28, 2011

HHCF Life Strategies Summer Series #1!! Repeat After Me: 3PA > 1NT

NOTE:  The HHCF Life Strategies Summer Series will provide positive life affirming plans for young people 13 and up. Please try them out and share them with your friends, family and community members!

To start the Summer off correctly I wanted to talk about the importance of making positive daily actions toward your goals. Having a goal is essential! If you are unsure about what you want to do with your life, that’s ok- everybody goes through those phases. But you must remain in constant search of taking in new experiences and information (never stop reading!) in order to see what your future options. If chess helps you learn one thing in life, its always take time to properly weigh your options.

More than ever, this planet is moving at a tremendous speed with constantly evolving technologies, political systems, social systems and economies. Even the way art is made, distributed, and sold is also in transition. It’s a beautiful time to be alive and there are amazing opportunities to learn from and grow through all around you. But without a clear goal, you might find yourself overwhelmed by it all and before you finish smiling, it’s over. Life really moves that fast.

Part of it is the intensity of the unstable economy and our broken educational system. It can leave you feeling unprepared at best and extremely stressed and depressed at worst. Negative thoughts can be crippling to the mind, body, and spirit. Sometimes negative thoughts are fed to us from our family, friends and the media. Despite meaning well, it’s common that those who love us mislead us. Not from a place of hate, but more often than not, it’s just a transfer of fear that they carried and put onto you.

Regardless of their intention these negative thoughts can invade your head like a virus and alter the normal function of your brain. Your sense of self worth and ability become distorted. Soon your bad habits and negative affirmations lead you to assured failure and unhappiness.

To free yourself of this virus you must first decide that your mind, body, and soul are sacred. The word sacred comes from a Latin root word sacrare mean “to devote”. One of the definitions of sacred is “properly immune from violence, interference etc. as a person”. After you recognize your inherent sacred nature, you quickly understand that anything sacred is worthy of defending. The easiest way to defend yourself against any threat (physical, mental, economic, etc.) is to keep yourself consistently in tune with the true current state of the world. You need to be clear on your place in it and where you are headed.

After many years of living a very distracted life, I recently developed a methodology to combat consistent distractions. I write is as 3PA > 1NT. Meaning three positive actions are greater than one negative thought!

The next time you find your mind idle on the couch or in front of the TV and a negative thought enters your mind you must first get up (if you are lying down, sit up, if you were sitting stand and if you were standing sit). Change your physical posture as you adjust your mind. No thought is stronger than action taken. Now we begin.

Example #1 : If you are worried about the big test, take three positive actions against that fear. Read 3 pages on the subject that were giving you the most trouble. Or you could read one page, look up an article on the subject online and call a mentor to ask a specific question you lack clarity on.

Example #2: If you feel out of shape when you look yourself in the mirror, then right there drop and do ten push ups (or as many as you can do) ten sit ups and ten minutes on the jump rope.

Example #3: If you want a new job, go sign up at 3 new sites online or dig deeper on the sites you prefer and send no less than three resumes out.

Chess helps groom your mind for cultivating the 3PA > 1NT equation
Those are the simple examples I can give but the equations are applicable to many more situations. To get started, write 3PA > 1NT in big letters on a piece of binder paper and place it on your favorite mirror, on your fridge, or make it your screen saver. Say the equation and its meaning when you look at it. As you do that, you’ll begin to slowly implement it more and more when obstacles clutter your path.

One of the best things about this method is that you will quickly learn how little effort it takes to take three positive actions. In no time at all you will be taking six, ten and twelve actions to breakthrough to the next level. Using the 3PA > 1NT will give you a much greater sense of peace in your personal, scholastic and professional world. You will sleep better and worry less because you will make taking action your core instinct. In chess playing defense too long is always fatal. At some point you must commit to moving forward or die exhausted from reactive moves dictated by outside forces.

In order to ensure its full impact, you must use the 3PA > 1NT for 21 days straight. Studies show it takes 21 days for a habit to set into your mind. Allow this to become a part of your daily mental regimen and you will be unstoppable in any arena you walk.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The HHCF Spring Classic was amazing! So much to say. But for now a few photos

Daniel Naroditsky, Adisa Banjoko & Nancy Cartwright

Shafiq Husayn of SA-RA and Adisa Banjoko contemplating the doom from Daniel at the simul

T-Kash, Casual, Eric Schiller, Zumbi from Zion I, Nancy Cartwright and NBC 11's Scott Budman (what an amazing and inspirational panel)

It was an incredible day at the HHCF Spring Classic. Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart Simpson and many others) came out to share her wisdom and perspective on making good choices in life. Daniel Naroditsky came out with his father Vlad. He hosted a simul  (playing many people at one time) and its was so much fun. I don't have a photo of it yet, but Jay Pugao gave an amazing martial arts demo of Eskrima (Filipino stick fighting).

My heart is still soaring from all the positivity of that day. I want to take a moment to especially thank Rahman Jamaal and Hal Bogner for their help in making the event happen. There will be many more updates to come. But I wanted to share these photos. Please credit Anna Watson Garcia if you distribute them. Much love!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Full Event Roster for HHCF Spring Classic May 14th in San Jose!!

May 14th Spring Classic Outline:

Hours 12-6

Celebs: Zion I, Casual and Tajai from Hiero, T-KASH, Pro Skater Jordan Richter, Nancy Cartwright (voice of Bart Simpson)

Panel: All the above celebs plus chess master Eric Schiller.

Chess Simul: Daniel Naroditsky (13 year old chess world champion)

Rough Schedule:

Doors open at 12 (Kool DJ Dizzy from Noon to 3)

OPEN GAMING ALL DAY: We should have 5 tables for people who are not competing just to play freely at, learn chess basics etc. We have a designated person to teach beginners.

OPEN MAT ALL DAY: People can come and roll to train lightly and flow train. We will designate 2 people who run the mat. If they say someone is going too hard, then they have to get off. But I doubt that will happen.

BBoy workshops: Kids will learn b-boy/b-girl basics from 1-3 PM



Celebrity gaming from 1:30-2:30 PM

Bboy Demos 1-3 PM

Skate Demo by Jordan Richter 2:45-3:15

B-boy/B-girl cypher freestyle session: 3-6 kids can take turns dancing. This is not a battle, its purely for fun. Philacipher on the mic.

HHCF Panel hosted by NBC 11’s Scott Budman: 3:15-4:15 PM

Kids Chess Tourney: This will be a blitz tournament from 4:30-5:30. Blitz if fast paced chess with a time clock.

Chess Simul with Daniel Naroditsky 4:30-5:30 PM

(I realize the two cool chess events run concurrently, but, folks will have to choose)

Its gonna be a fun day. Some folks will be shooting a documentary on HHCF....Lets embrace the day together and keep it poppin!!

Chess gives kids faith in the ability to create the future they want

This book is a must read for all HHCF members. I encourage you to read it as soon as you can. If you are over the age of thirteen, there is no excuse not to read this- TODAY. It will take an hour at most...

As A Man Thinketh by James Allen

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Never try to be tough for the reputation...Be your own man....

A kid at my school was recently busted by the police with a gun. He's a good kid. But physically small and he lives in a warzone. I know he did it for the rep....PLEASE NEVER LET IT HAPPEN TO YOU!

Daniel Naroditsky will be at HHCF Spring Classic for a SIMUL!

Thats right, you can come out and play or watch Daniel Naroditsky at the HHCF Spring Classic this Sat May 14th!! He'sa bit older now, and an IM as well. But you know what else he is....? He's a kid of amazing inspiration and character....Looking forward to seeing you there.

Monday, May 9, 2011

HHCF Jiu Jitsu Team Profile: Purple Belt Bobby Ditona

Bobby Ditona of the HHCF Jiu Jitsu Team is a purple belt under Marc Laimon/Sim Go at Cobra Kai in Las Vegas Nevada. He is also taught the Philipine Merchant Marine Academy with his brother Eugene (who will be interviewed soon) and they both have done a lot to raise money for Philipine typhoon victims. Bobby is as kind off the mat, as his is a savage on the mat. This interview is long over due and I'm happy to share it.

HHCF: Being from the Bay how did you end up at Cobra Kai?

BD: I started Jiu-jitsu at the Ralph Gracie academy in Mountain View while still in college. I eventually transferred to Crosley Gracie's academy who was teaching under Ralph at the time. Vegas was booming in 2001, I had just recently married my wife Michelle and we had a daughter Kamryn and moving to Vegas at that time gave my family and I a bettter opportunity. After moving to Vegas I had quit training. I kept thinking I'll eventually get back but not until 3 years later did I decide to step back into a jiu-jitsu school. There's probably a number of reasons for the long break but kids(had my son Isaiah) and a crazy graveyard shift work schedule were the main ones.

Coming from a successful school like Ralph's I was very picky about where to train. After checking out 4 of the more known BJJ schools in Vegas I decided on making John Lewis's JSECT academy my new gym. I did not know of the recent separation of Marc Laimon and Lewis at the time I started and slowly a lot of the students were leaving JSECT for Laimon's gym. I got my blue under Lewis about a year later and that's when I started contemplating leaving. I already knew of guys like Sim Go, Sonny Nohara, and Jeff Glover at Cobra Kai and thought training and getting taught and beat up by them could only help my game. So I decided to transfer to Cobra Kai and I was right about getting beat up and learning and getting better.

HHCF:  You brought Sim Go out to Heroes Martial Arts Academy in San Jose for a seminar to help the Philippines typhoon victims. How did that come about?

BD: I believe it was my brother who came up with the whole idea. And if I can back up a bit I just wanted to say my parents have inspired us to do these kind of things. My father opened up a library under his fathers name at the elementary school where he attended and where my grandfather was a teacher. My mom a retired nurse joined a group of medical professionals and doctors who do medical missions. She has done a couple in the Philippines. Through the company my wife works for Green Valley Med Supply, my mother was able to purchase at a great rate some vitamins and supplements much needed to the sick in the Philippines. That was a big help in the medical mission.

Sim happens to be a very respected grappler, the competition resume speaks for itself and happens to be filipino and the Bay has a lot of Filipinos training and who are down to spend money on something positive like the seminar and my brother knew all this. He put 2 and 2 together and it ended up being a success. It's a huge bonus to us grapplers who attended this seminar that we were able to learn some legit jiu-jitsu techniques on top of donating money to the cause.

We recently visited the area that was hit the hardest from the typhoon which is close to where both of my parents are from in Zambales. It was a humbling experience. To know that through this seminar people got much needed shoes(that were mainly donated by CLAE shoe company), it made it all the more worthwhile. To see the direct positive effect on people is beyond words and truthfully there wasn't much effort on our part. My brother and I are blessed to have friends who care and have something to give. I wish everyone could have seen what we saw in the Philippines during our short time there but for now you will have to take my word for it.

Sim Go BJJ Seminar for Typhoon Relief by lyricalswords
HHCF: What has BJJ given you beyond the skill to defend yourself?

BD: Mainly confidence in myself and that goes a long way. Like I mentioned earlier I stopped training my health wasn't so great, I started up again and my health got better. It's better than medicine. I've always been into sports and competed all my life. I can honestly say I got more injuries the few times I played basketball and football after high school then I've gotten through grappling. It has also given me the opportunity to help others. I have kids and eventually the knowledge that I have can be passed on to them. That's just scratching the surface of what BJJ has done for me.

HHCF: I heard they have a chess scene in the Philippines. Tell me what you saw.

BD:  can honestly say I'm not a big chess guy. I'd like to be and now being named to the HHCF jiu-jitsu competition team there's much more inspiration for me to get started. That being said I did not go to the Philippines having chess on my mind but what did happen is it came to me. In America chess doesn't come to you. You have to go search for it. In the Philippines there were chess boards the size of a big living room with the chess pieces the size of Uriah Faber. This was free to use and inside the biggest mall in all of Asia. Pretty amazing. Whats more amazing is during my stay there I saw stolen toilet seats, gates to graves(my own grandfather's was taken), and just about anything gets stolen but what didn't get stolen is anything related to chess. I saw chess boards in numerous public places like hotel lobby's and all of them were intact. They steal toilet seats but no chess pieces. Trip out.

                     Bobby is in the front row L of the woman in the yellow gi. His brother Eugene is on the R of the woman in the yellow gi. Casy Cruz is right behind Bobby.

HHCF: What's your favorite memory of teaching in the Philippines?

BD: As probably mentioned earlier or in my brother's interview the seminar with the students of the Phillipine Merchant Marine Academy was great. But my favorite memory is probably training and teaching at the academy ran by Stephen Kamphuis/Team Fabricio KMA. A friend of ours Casey Cruz, who also started out at Mountain View Ralph academy trains there. The students wanted to learn some techniques that I actually use and it was really nice to show people something and see them fall in love with it. It's a great feeling to know you may have helped someone's game progress.

HHCF: What has been your most memorable lesson from competing in Jiu-Jitsu?

BD: There's a bunch. One story I want to share is a match I had with a guy who had already beaten me in a previous Grapplers Quest championship match. He won a tough close match by points and I was very disappointed because I had the chance to win my first gold medal. I never thought I'd get the opportunity to have another go with him but I did about a year and a skill division higher later. The match itself was back and forth and towards the end I was down on points. In my previous semi final match I had felt my big right toe pop out of place but it went right back in, so not too big of a deal. But in this particular match as I was trying to turn the corner on a double leg my same toe got caught in the mat and completely dislocated. I looked down and saw my toe pointing in the other direction away from the other toes. It was so bad the ref (Brian Cimmins-president of the Grapplers Quest) asked if I needed time. Like any true warrior I said yes. LOL. I was in the moment and fortunately was able to pop my toe back in place without too much pain. I ran around looking to tape my big toe to the toe or toe's next to it just to keep it from popping out again. I couldn't find any and the ref and the other guys coaches were making a fuss to start the match back up so I was forced to go on without tape and the possibility of it popping out again(because thats what it felt like would happen). Long story short, I was so pumped up in this match something had taken over me and I used that energy to win the match. Although it wasn't winning the worlds it was the greatest feeling I had of winning and competing than any other match because of the injury and it being a revenge match.

So the lesson here is not giving up. I'm not the toughest dude on the planet but in that moment I was doing it for all the reasons I mentioned as well as my family and my team(competitors know what I mean, all these thoughts can go on in your head in a matter of seconds) and I refused to lose that match. Another thing I want to add since we're on the subject of lessons and Jiu Jitsu is the idea and practice of consistency. Consistency is so important in all of the martial arts. I've been through school, work, kids, more kids, marriage, injuries, and other stuff but I promised myself I'd stay consistent with my training. Consistency for the next "phenom" could be not missing more than 2 days in a week or training 2 times a day M-W-F but My consistency could mean not missing more than 2 whole weeks and staying up to date with my techniques. Either way consistency is important to me because it gives me a way of measuring how I balance out my training along with my hectic work/life schedule.

HHCF: Whats your ultimate goal in BJJ? Is it to teach? Get my black belt? Win a world title?

BD: Not to sell myself short but the black belt isn't the ultimate goal, thats for sure. I try to be realistic and the way I look at it as a purple, I can't see or think of a black belt until I get my brown. I want to continue learning and competing to get to a point where I can teach not only my own family but maybe the students at my own gym possibly. As a purple most guys in the jiu jitsu community may think I'm qualified to teach kids and beginners. I don't. Maybe because I've had instructors through the years like Marc, Sim, Sonny, Glover, Bill Cooper, Chris Holdsworth, just a bunch of studs and champions and it has really humbled me and I've been blessed to have been a student with the likes of these guys. I naturally feel like I need to step my game up to be able to be "qualified" as a solid teacher. As far as winning a world title I guess thats not too far fetched. Let's say I'm a purple for 11 more years and I stay "consistent" but never get promoted to brown and I compete in my age division(over 40 years by then), then yes I can win. LOL. Seriously winning a world title at any division at any weight or age or skill level is a realistic goal. Everyone who competes might as well strive for that.

HHCF:  For people who don't see the connections between chess and BJJ what would you tell them?

                                                   Training Philippine Merchant Marines

Since UFC 1 and the Gracie Jiu-jitsu domination of the martial arts we have heard the announcers say, "It's just a chess match." Because of my lack of knowlege of chess I can't speak on it too much but Jiu-jitsu is a thinking game and obviously so is chess. You have to say focused and continue to practice in both games and the better the teacher you have the better chances you have of being successful. If you compete to have fun and have in the back of your mind you will get better from the experience of winning or losing then this is a good example of both games.

Jrobi always delivers the goods!

The importance of base.....

Green Castle Block always comesthrough! 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

HHCF Jiu Jitsu Team Profile: Blue Belt World Champion Ed Solis

 As promised, here is another profile of one of the HHCF Jiu Jitsu Team members. His name is Ed Solis. Ed is an army vet, he plays the guitar, he runs the Alum Rock Youth Center in San Jose and is an amazing wrestler and jiu jitsu player.  Enough from me. Let me let you hear it from him!

HHCF: Whats your rank, where do you train and how did you learn about jiu jitsu?
Ed Solis: I am a blue belt under Alan “Gumby” Marques. I train at Heroes Martial Arts Academy in San Jose, Ca. I learned about BJJ many years ago from college wrestling team mates who have been practicing for some time. But it was only recently that I finally took the plunge and began my journey.

 HHCF: You also do a lot of work with kids in San Jose, CA. Can you talk about that for a moment?

ES: I moved to San Jose in 2000. Before that I was a Director at the Eastside Boys and Girls Club in East LA. As such I wanted to find a job as fulfilling as that in San Jose. I now work in the Department of Parks and Recreation in a underserved, low-income community. I spend most of my time getting youth and teens pointed in the right direction through recreation and referral services. It’s a great job and I am blessed to serve the kids and families of San Jose.

HHCF: Since you work directly with so many young people, can you tell me about what a lot of them are facing, socially and educationally?

ES:Wow there is so much these kids are dealing with. Many of the youth I work directly with are at risk to be recruited by gangs or become victims of gangs. It’s a hard choice for these kids and so many of their parents are working 2-3 jobs and many don’t speak the language. They can’t relate or understand the dangers that their children face daily. This leads to poor performance in school, high drop out rates, incarceration, and for some death. It’s heart breaking. I do my best to work with the educators, police, and non-profits to coordinate resources for our youth. But in these tough fiscal times, it seems like those resources are becoming smaller and smaller.

HHCF:How much do you think chess and martial arts can help them actualize their potential?

ES: I have created 2 jiu-jitsu programs at our centers and I have raised money to bring BJJ to elementary schools. Chess is next. I feel that exposing inter city kids to martial arts and the critical thinking of chess can bring core human needs like belonging, love, fulfillment, competence, and empowerment to them. For so many youth today, access to BJJ and chess are only dreams. When I see youth discover BJJ, I see a change in so many aspects of their personality and outlook on life. I want to expose as many people to the power of jui-jitsu as possible.

HHCF: Since taking on jiu jitsu as part of your life, a lot has changed for you. Tell me about that for a moment?

ES: I walked into my doctor’s office at the age of 41. I got on the scale and I weighed 262 lbs! My blood pressure was high borderline on dangerously high. My health was in serio9us danger. My doctor wanted to start me on 3 medications. I asked her for 6 months to change my lifestyle. I found Heroes Martial Arts on the web. Called up the academy and set up a time to come in. My first 2 weeks were miserable! I was literally getting sick after the warm ups. But in 6 months I lost 30 lbs and brought all of my levels down to normal. In one year I won my first IBJJF world title and earned my blue belt. I tell everyone who will listen, Jiu-Jitsu isn’t a sport, it’s a lifestyle. It’s my lifestyle! It may have just saved my life.

HHCF: What has been the biggest lesson you have learned about yourself since learning jiu jitsu?

ES: I think the biggest lesson I learned was that the art of learning never ends. It can happen at any age. I am so humbled by the learning process of BJJ. I am journeyman on this amazing quest of knowledge and everyday I can sit next to my instructor Gumby. I can access his knowledge. We talk for hours sometimes. He’s the best teacher I could have asked for. I can grab onto Justin “Machine” Holder another Ralph Gracie black belt and learn from him. We have so many amazing people at all levels at my gym and they are all willing to teach me. White, blue, purple, brown, and black belts are in almost every class at my academy and I smile when I know that I can put on a gi or rashgarud and learn from them.

HHCF: You are also an accomplished guitarist. Talk about some of your biggest musical influences, Hip-Hop and beyond.

ES: My parents were big music buffs! Growing up in a Mexican-American household in the 70’s I was exposed to some amazing and eclectic music. Everything from Sly and the Family Stone, Kiss, Carol King, David Bowie, Miles Davis, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, and Led Zeppelin were on the turntable. My parents were also proud of our heritage so Mariachi and rancheras were in order. I received my first guitar when I was 10 years old and haven’t looked back. I became a big fan of blues in my teens and of course Hip-Hop. During my time in the military many of my fellow soldiers from NY and Chicago really blew up my walkman (like that) with Public Enemy, Big Daddy Kane, Kool Moe Dee, Slick Rick and EMPD.

HHCF: You just competed in Las Vegas at he ADCC trials and got s silver medal. Talk about those matches for a moment if you could?

ES: I’m such a big fan of BJJ that it was amazing walking by some of the super stars of the sport. Romulo Barral walked by and shook my hand, I watched Antonio Bragga Neto do his thing. Caio Terra was amazing. Then you have to snap out of it and remember you’re there to do a job. I had a barn burner in the finals against the Absolute No-Gi world champ. I came up short 2-0 but it was a great experience. I learned a couple of good lessons and in the end, that’s not a bad thing.

HHCF: You also took a gold medal at the World Championships. How amazing was that?

ES: It was a defining moment in my life. All the hard work, the pain, the sacrifice pays off when you win. It was extremely satisfying. I also finished 3rd in the absolute division so I felt very proud. I know you can’t get hung up on titles but I crack up when my wife says, “Hey World Champ, when are you going to submit that lawn mower?”

HHCF: Any last words?

ES: I just want to thank you Adisa for the honor of being a part of this great effort. I’d also like to thank all the super cool member of the Jiu-Jitsu community around the world. My life has become a bit more fulfilling since I discovered BJJ. Of course a big shout out to Gumby and all of my teammates at Heroes! 2011 here we come! Osssssssss

Just a week away from May 14th in sunny San Jose CA!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart Simpson) at HHCF May 14th Event!!

Thats right folks!! Nancy Cartwright just confirmed that she will be there to talk to the kids about making good choices at the HHCF Celebrity Panel. Other panelists for the day include Casual and Tajai from Hieroglyphics, Zumbi from Zion I, Pro Skater Jordan Richter (who will be giving a skate demo!) and moderator NBC 11's Scott Budman. This is a FREE ALL AGES EVENT and it starts at noon. BTW, we'll be doing BLITZ CHESS that day...So being yout best friends and family and your A game...See you there! ** For those that do not know what a great philanthropist and activist for young people Nancy Cartwright is, please check out  Nancy Cartwrights Good Choices Organization

Uproxx Covers HHCF Founder plus, FREE PDF download of Bobby Bruce and the Bronx Available

The book Bobby Bruce & the Bronx by Adisa the Bishop is now available from this day forward FREE in PDF form. Please enjoy it and share ...