Amal Easton — A Holistic Approach to The Business of Martial Arts (E1)

– Who else to start with than the man, the myth, the legend himself, the creator, the founder of it all. Amal, what up? – What up, good morning. – How are you? – Excellent. – How’s your coffee? – Man, spectacular. – Nice, nice. Where’s it from? – (laughing) Home. Best coffee’s from home. – Ah man,
– 100% – Before we get into
the nitty gritty of it, I was in Steamboat this weekend and I forgot to bring my own coffee so you know I wasn’t happy. – I bring my own setup. – Right, yeah, I messed it up, man, I messed it up. And I wasn’t happy but I went to Safeway and I was hoping they
would have something decent and then there was Death
Wish coffee, right there. Do you remember Death Wish? – I like it, I like it. – You like, but you like strong coffee. You like really strong coffee. So Death Wish, so everyone can understand, I mean this was the best business thing they ever could have done, I guess. Like all of a sudden one day the UPS guy knocks on my door and what happened was I opened, you know there’s this huge box and I opened this box and there’s probably 50 pounds of coffee. And I was like what the fuck, you know and I was like who is this? Is it a sponsor? – Did you ever find out? – No, I don’t even know
how they got my address. I have no clue who it is. It was just 50 pounds of coffee for me. – I wonder if this is how
crack addicts talk about drugs? – I wonder, I wonder? So before we go too far
down the rabbit hole, we are here to talk, this
is a business podcast and how we got it started. So I guess just like your path, let’s start with your path
first into martial arts and then we’ll talk about
how you created your business or what now is I guess
all of our businesses. I wouldn’t say it’s mine or
yours or anybody’s anymore. – Yeah. – I think we have all the liability of it. – Yeah. – But I think the ours
ends in the liability. So where did you start, man? – Where did I start? I started in New Mexico. Growing up in martial arts schools, I guess we were just
having this conversation, non-traditional martial arts schools. Kind of like muay thai,
jeet kune do, and then I got introduced to Brazilian jiu jitsu back in like ’92 or ’91. – ’92, before or after the first UFC? – The first UFC was ’93 so it was a couple of years before that. – Nice, how did you get introduced? – We’d seen some fuzzy
copies of Gracie in action and it was hard to believe
a lot of the videos but it looked cool. And then there was a guy, Marco Gonzalez, he was a Navy Seal who moved to New Mexico to go to acupuncture school and he was I believe a blue belt under the Machados, under Carlos Machado. – Right, okay. – And so we got to feel it and once you feel jiu jitsu
there’s no turning back. – There’s nothing turning back. It’s funny, you say non-traditional and we just talked about it a second ago because that’s pretty
much your whole experience through martial arts is non-traditional. And I would say it’s almost
your whole experience through life that people can go listen to on my other podcast of the Verb Amaling. But the non-traditional part of pursuing jiu jitsu, of muay thai,
of things like that, so when we talked about
traditional martial arts, in general, I would say that that’s karate, kung fu, what else is there, taekwondo, things like that. Those are the traditional martial arts where you’re coming
in, you’re yes sirring, you’re bowing on the mat, you’re
calling the person master. I know for me, when I
started, I started in karate. You had to go knock on
the instructor’s door. You walked in, you knocked on his door, he said come in, you bowed. Right away, it was the
first thing that happened. You had to be dressed in your uniform and then you could go get changed or walk on the mat or whatever it was. That’s how I started. And so I think, especially in America, for the most part, those were
the traditional martial arts. Where you had a master and then students and you were learning
patterned moves of forms or katas and that’s
what I think is the term traditional martial arts
and you did not do that. – It’s interesting actually thinking because you’re right, my
life was very non-traditional and I think everything
about my life was that way and maybe that was why
I never got introduced to those types of schools. – Right, right. No, it’s interesting, your whole life– – I had a very unstructured life. – Yes, so but anyway where
that took you to was Brazil starting jiu jitsu when
you fell in love with it. Were you in love yet
when you went to Brazil or were you just kind of (crosstalk). – Obsessed.
– Obsessed. – Obsessed. – So you were obsessed first, okay. And then you went to Brazil and you learned with the Gracies, Renzo, all those guys, and we can again all that’s on other podcasts. And then you came back to America and what did you want to
do with the jiu jitsu? Did you come back with the intention of starting a school
and opening a business? – At that point I did. I still thought that I
would do acupuncture as well but the acupuncture went
quickly by the wayside. I was still obsessed with jiu jitsu. All I wanted to do is train and compete. I was a little bit tired
of living in Brazil and kind of scraping by and
trying to make ends meet so it was time to leave
Brazil, I was out of money. I’d been there almost four years. I came back here, started teaching. – ‘Cause there’s no way you could have started a school in Brazil, right. I think what were you a purple belt when you came back here? – Yeah, it wouldn’t have been
really acceptable in my mind. I had been in a purple belt for five years but still I was a purple
belt or like four years. No, no, no, not four years, I had been a purple belt for three years. – What year did you come back to America a purple belt three years? – ’98. – ’98, so you come back in ’98, a purple belt three years, that’s when I moved to
Colorado in August of ’98. – That was about the same time. – So you come back. So everyone can understand
the different dynamic, so when you ask why wouldn’t he have started a business in Brazil? Purple belt in America was
God almost, just about. – There was nobody.
– There was nobody, there was nobody. The Gracies were on the Coast. – Purple belt in America you were crushing every weight division in
the grappling tournament. – Yes, yes (laughing). But in Brazil that’s
like you’re a teenager. – Yeah, you were gettin’ your ass beat. – You were gettin’ your ass beat. So right, you were gettin’ your ass beat. – I knew where I stood
on that pecking order and it was a whole different scenario. – I can remember when I met you, you were the first person I
ever rolled with that was good. And I was like holy shit, what is that? Because I felt like the first time I trained with somebody, they beat me up but it was effort. Like it wasn’t simple. And when I trained with
you, you tied me in knots and you were like talking
to your girlfriend, it didn’t even matter. – It was definitely a
confidence coming from Brazil and having those skills
and getting beat up by good guys every single day. And then so I had to start my school. It was a strange thing because I was used to the hard training
everyday in Brazil. Hard training like I’m getting my ass beat to all of a sudden just
a room full of beginners. And if I wanted to continue my training, I was gonna have to grow that room. So that was the work
that was set out for me was how am I gonna create an environment where I can continue my training because I was still obsessed with jiu jitsu. – So that was a big part of the school when you first opened? – Yeah, selfish, right. – Yeah, but it worked
out great for me, bro. – Yeah, sure yeah, I was sharing but like I had to train. – I just remembered,
you called me everyday and I don’t know if you knew I was supposed to go to school or not. – Go to school (crosstalk). – But fuck, what are we wasting
our time for with school? But you would call me, well you’d call a group of us. It was me, Jay Forest, weightlifter Dave. There was a whole host of
us when you were starting. And yeah, I was like ah
fuck it, no school today. Let’s go get good. – Oh good times, everybody
answered my phone calls and everybody showed up when
I said they should show up. Fuck yeah. – Things aren’t just quite
the same right now, are they? (laughing) – Man, it’s been all downhill ever since. – Getting Mike on the phone can be hard. – Yeah. – So what was the typical day? So you’re starting this school. Could you even call it a business yet? Were you even thinking
of it like a business or were you just like I want to get good at jiu jitsu and this is
how I’m gonna have to do it? – Look, I was trying
to pay my bills, right. I had bills I had to pay. I was bouncing at a horrible club in town. – The Walrus. – That was the worst job
ever for almost no money. – I loved The Foundry. – Yeah, The Foundry was
probably a better setup. Instead I’m bouncing at The Walrus man and swept peanuts off the floor. And all I wanted to do was train jiu jitsu and I was up late and that
messed with my training. So was I thinking about
it like a business? In my mind I was because
that had to be my job. What I didn’t want to
do the rest of my life was work in a bar or restaurant. So in my mind, yeah, it was a business, but I hadn’t really made the switch yet to how, there was just at
lot of stuff I had to learn. – What was the typical day like for you when you first opened the school? – When I first opened the school, I would make flyers and
then I would walk around and try to find places to put up flyers and try to talk to people
because nobody knew what jiu jitsu was yet. It was an oddity in that era. So I would try to tell people
why it was cooler than karate. (laughing) I was like, have you ever watched the evangelist in New York City that sit and try to tell you that the end is near and scream at everybody. – Yes, yes. – I was like that but
with jiu jitsu basically. So I would try to convince people that they should come try it out. And then the only way that
they would believe you was if you trained with them. So then I would try to
make them train with me in one way or another and
then they would always say well, if we started
standing or if I could hit or if this and that. So then, of course, there was that. – So you basically went
around picking fights. – I mean that’s one way to look at it. I was just trying to
show people the truth. I was educating people. – You were an evangelist. – Yeah, 100%, oh yeah.
(laughing) – I can remember we used to pick fights, I mean we’ll get to this,
like the Creek Festival, like roll for a buck. That Creek Festival dynamic
is much different now but we’re not fighting anybody. And that used to be what it was, you would, I could
remember having to teach a little class to the kids– – You put a dollar in the thing– – Put a dollar in a jar, yeah. – and if you can beat one of our guys, then you can get all the money. – You get all the jar, we did it yeah. – Yeah, you had to give
people a little more incentive or they wouldn’t do it. – Yeah, you never, you know, well, and we had to stuff it with money first because the first couple of people were what am I gonna put a
dollar in to get beat up? So I think we put money in. I think we started with
$100 is how it went. – But the UFC was not really, I think by then it had
gone back underground. It was illegal so you
could see it on YouTube or whatever but most people were unaware of jiu jitsu
– Unaware. – So it was still like this proving ground like I don’t know if that works. – So that was March of ’99 right that you opened your school? – No, ’98, end of ’98 I
started renting space. – In Karate America. – Yeah, I was renting
space and I don’t know exactly what month, it was early ’99 that we probably rented our first space. – Right, which was the King Super space right behind the King Supers. – Yeah, so we built up to
maybe 30 or 40 students. I was making– – There was no we yet, it was just you. – Yeah, by we I mean me and
my frog I had and my pocket. And then we had enough
money to pay for some rent. We had rented space three slots a week at a karate school. It was cool but they were teaching some silly stuff all around us, which I was pretty used
to ’cause that’s actually how Renzo started his school,
it was in a kung fu school. And there would be these
kung fu guys on the side but it was the same
thing so it was familiar. And I mean just craziness. Traditional martial arts
is not the kind of stuff that we were doing. – Right so when you
decided to make that move to your own space, what
decisions went into that, what did that look like? So you had 30 students paying what I think it was 79 bucks right? – Yeah, it was some simple math. 24K, 30 or 40 times 79 equals rent. And then I realized that I was gonna have to give up the place that I lived. But I felt like it was gonna be worth it to be able to have classes everyday. – So you lived in the academy? – At that point, once I rented the space I moved into a closet. I’ve been in closets a lot of my life. – So you had to live in the school because the math said you couldn’t rent– – I couldn’t rent my apartment because the apartment we were paying 1200 a month to rent an apartment
so that 1200 a month– – Oh you were with Luisa too and so Luisa moved into
the closet with you. I forgot about this.
– Mm hmm, yeah. – Was she happy about
that or not so happy? – I took a privileged Brazilian girl and moved her into a closet in an academy with no shower. Yeah, that was a challenge. She was used to sitting in her hotel and ordering lobster in bed. – Yes, yes. But you had a membership
at Rally Sport, right? – Yeah. – Yeah, so you could go shower – Mm hmm.
– Okay. – All the basic needs were covered. – Yes. – But that was it, the math equaled we could rent the space
and pay the bills just. But I knew that then after that, every student we added would start moving me closer to actually being able to rent an apartment. – Right, so was the first
goal to rent an apartment? Did you have goals lined up? Where was your mind at? Were you like okay, so this many– – I didn’t plan that far ahead. I knew that I had to add students but I didn’t have like concrete goals. And I think that was some things that probably helped me move forward was starting the plan a little better. – A business plan? – I always had an idea in my head. I had to have a business plan to get them to rent me the space. They didn’t want to rent me the space. Or nobody really did because
– Sure – I didn’t have, I had okay credit but I didn’t have any money, I didn’t have any assets. I didn’t have, stuff was expensive. So I convinced somebody with a very, I still have that business plan. It’s pretty hard to look at but it’s good. So when I opened it, I knew
that if we could add students and keep that growth that we would do well and we could raise our
rates because we were offering more classes. And I got to quit my job at The Foundry so I didn’t have to sweep
peanuts up for a living. – Nice. – And I got to dedicate
full-time to teaching. That was great. – I’m gonna ask another question– – Hold on, you asked what my day was like. I would put flyers around all day everyday and then I would go teach my classes and that’s pretty much all I did. I liked to do a lot of activities, bike riding, all sorts of other stuff. At that point in time, for
probably like 10 or 20 years, I was 100% focused on jiu jitsu. That was all I was doing. Pretty much everything
else went by the wayside. So if I was flyering or
teaching, that was it. Or any way that I could get people to tackle that jiu jitsu–
– I remember that in the beginning because
you love to ski now. – Yeah, none of that happened.
– You didn’t go skiing. I can remember it was a big deal. I can remember the first
time I saw you go skiing. I was like damn, he’s going skiing. I didn’t even know you skied and I think it was like a year in. Like I was already training for a year and I was like, he’s going skiing. – Yeah, all I did was jiu jitsu. It was all I could think about and I think that a lot of people– – And I think that culture
bled through the school too though because that’s all we did. We all just hung out in
the fuckin’ school all day. – Yeah. – Well that’s a lot of the culture. – Right, jiu jitsu like
anybody who’s opening a school out there or anybody who’s really into it, man, if you’re not obsessed
like that about jiu jitsu then you probably shouldn’t have a school. – This is a just in general,
whatever you want to do for your business, you better love it. You better not be doing it for money. Like how you said you weren’t even thinking about all that, you just wanted to get good at jiu jitsu,
that’s a huge point for people. If you don’t love this, if you don’t love the actual activity then
yeah, you’re fucked. – In my opinion, this
is a horrible business for people who just care
about money to get into. – Martial arts? – Yeah, it’s terrible. – Yeah, yeah, it’s awful. – You’ve got to love martial arts and then love sharing it with people. And then if you do all
that, you might make money. – You kind of have to love people too. – 100%. – You have to love to be around people because if you don’t
like being around people, that’s gonna fuck you too because then you and your 20 friends could hang out. – It’s not for everybody and it can be great for somebody, the right person. – Yeah, for sure, it’s
an interesting thing. And we love people differently. So it’s not even how you communicate and I communicate with people
is a totally different thing. So it’s not like you have to be this crazy extrovert. And one of our best GMs,
Ian, is introverted as hell. – But he still cares. – He still cares.
– A lot. – Yeah so it’s a very, you better love it I think is what we’re gettin’ to. So when did you get to the point or any steps that you took that got you to the point where you could quit the job, quit the bar, rent an apartment? How did you get from the closet with your spoiled Brazilian girlfriend to an apartment? – So I want to say she wasn’t
really spoiled with me. – No, I know, I’m joking (laughing). I’m joking man, yeah. – You know I just started at, I realized, fortunately the bar was
paying literally $8 an hour so that was easy to quit. As soon as I was making
a little bit of money, that was gone. And then I was teaching everyday. – Privates? – Privates as much as I could. Mostly group classes. Not that many people did privates because the group classes were small and I always gave 100% to my classes. So I think that the
students didn’t feel like they needed privates. Like there’s two ways to teach. One way is that you teach kind of a crappy class and don’t give people a lot of attention and I only say this because I’ve seen this a lot. Don’t give people a lot of attention so they have to take privates. And then you charge a
lot for your privates and those people get better and then everybody wants to do privates. Or you could just give your heart and soul in every class and then
I think a lot of people start feeling like they
don’t need the privates because they come to class. So I realized that maybe
I could teach privates and make more than I was cleaning the bar. So I put the privates
ridiculously cheap, $25 a private, and got nobody because I think people were happy with the class. So I thought man, if I
could do two privates a day, I’ll make as much as I do
working in this crappy bar. – Right. – And then it didn’t happen. – Right. – But adding the classes
always worked out. But I really gave my heart
and soul in every class. – Yes, you did.
– I tried to get on the mat with every single student
and I did that for a decade. – Yeah, 100%. You gave us everything,
there was no holding back. – Yeah.
– We learned really well and we learned a lot. – I feel like I had good teachers. A lot of them were very generous with me and the only way I was gonna have good training partners was by getting my students to be as good as possible, as quick as possible. – Yeah, you got us pretty
decent, pretty fast. – And then I was also, there was a lot of research and development. Not just I was still a purple belt so there was a lot of R & D making sure that I was up-to-date on
the current jiu jitsu. We didn’t have the videos and all of that so I was taking two trips a year to Brazil for three weeks where I was gettin’ stuff. I was going to New York City a lot and hanging out with Renzo and those guys. – You couldn’t do that until the school built a little bit, right? When Jay came, true–
– What was that? – You couldn’t do that
until the school came, until Jay came though, right? The school had to build a little bit. – Yeah, I did it pretty quick though. But it was trips to New York. Yeah, Jay taught the first classes and that gave me a little bit of a break. – But it was still like I would leave for three weeks. I’d say, I’m going to
Brazil for three weeks and then I’d come back with all this new information but everybody would want to freeze their contract,
freeze their programs. – When you were gone. – When I was gone. Jay’s an amazing teacher and I had a lot of trust in him but he was still young and green in jiu jitsu and people they’d be like oh cool, that’s great, we’re really
stoked you’re going to Brazil. Why don’t you put my program on freeze. – Right, right.
– And that was heartbreaking. So that was a big learning lesson for me was how do you create an
instructor within a school that people are gonna
look up to and respect? There was a saying in Portuguese that says don’t give a snake wings. A lot of times there’s some teachers that would want to make sure that the students never looked up to, didn’t give too much
power to someone else. And then there was another
saying that was like you have to give them wings. You have to make it so that the students respect the other people
so that they don’t all want to freeze when you leave. (crosstalk) Renzo, 100%. So Renzo gives his heart
and his soul on the mat. 100% treats everybody amazing and I think he definitely,
he teaches everything and so he has amazing instructors
and everybody has wings. – Yeah, he gives everyone wings. – Yeah.
– Yeah. – That’s his special skill. – Yes, more than jiu jitsu, I’d say. – It’s his superpower. – It’s his superpower, yeah. Not that the jiu jitsu’s shitty
but that’s his superpower is he gives everyone wings. Renzo and Red Bull. Remember the Red Bull
commercial where it says it gives you wings (laughing)? I was talking about this the other day actually in my class because I’m trying to make Ana be a very good teacher. Like she wants to teach.
– Mm hmm. – And there’s not a lot of
female teachers out there. – Very few.
– Very few. So it’s hard so I was like I talked to her about it the other day. I was like all right
girl, we’re gonna take the Jackie Robinson approach to this. When Branch Rickie wanted to bring Jackie Robinson to the
Major League Baseball, he was like look you have to be the best. You have to be the best. – Yeah, there’s no room for error. – You have to be the best at everything. There’s no room for like you know. When somebody calls you the N word, you can’t react.
– Yeah. – So when people say you’re terrible, you have to show them the
numbers of how great you are. – I can think of 10 amazing Brazilian jiu jitsu guys teaching. Right away I think of Kyra
Gracie and Leticia Ribeiro and it’s not the huge,
obviously there’s other good, great girls out there but– – Yeah, yeah, it stops, it stops. So for me and her, I said all right girl, you’re gonna have to be the best. – Yeah. – Because she’s really tiny as well. So to demand that respect. But that’s a challenge. Like what you said a second ago is one of the things that I
think you took pride in and that I definitely take pride in is making great instructors as well. – Yeah. – It’s not just great people at jiu jitsu. I think it’s really cool when you can make really great instructors. – Yeah. – And that had to be an
important thing for you if you wanted to get
back to living your life a little bit too. – Well it’s a study. It’s how to teach. You have to have skills at jiu jitsu. If you don’t have a great product then go frickin’ sell
cars, go do something else. So you better be good at jiu jitsu, you got to study how to teach, and then you have to get
the business practices in line so that you can
support everything else so you can pack that mat. Your marketing, your administration. – When did that start for you, that part, the business practices? – So look, I was fortunate enough, I lived in Miami for a little bit in the middle of my Brazil trip, opening a school with Kral and Gracie. And when that school kind of went south I was taken under the wing by a gentlemen named Angel Gonzalez, who actually had a karate school and was
obsessed with jiu jitsu. And he took me in to teach
him privates everyday and he kind of showed me
how he ran his business. And that kind of opened my
eyes just to that side of it. Because before that I probably– – So this is still before you– – This was ’97, so before I moved here. – So before you moved to Colorado. – So it was good ’cause
it planted the seed. He started teaching about how to teach, how to do your marketing,
how to do a sales funnel, the basic stuff. So I kind of got to see a little
bit of business practices. And that was a huge part of it ’cause that’s not the part that
generally a jiu jitsu instructor is in love with. Honestly, I think if you come from there and then go to jiu jitsu, in my opinion, that’s the wrong way to go. You need to love jiu jitsu
and you need to be good at it. – Man, it’s interesting–
– it’s so hard for people to get that. – I talked to Rebecca Bock. She did it differently. – Yeah, the opposite way. – She did it the opposite way. She did it, Rebecca, go listen to her on the Gospel of Fire, shameless plug. And she talks about she
owns 12 yoga studios. And she loved business and then was like all right, I’ll do this
yoga thing with it. So that was an interesting
way to go about it. I don’t, I guess in Boulder, Colorado that works because you can
hire a yoga teacher, right? I mean it’s a dime a dozen here, correct? – Yeah. I mean you could probably
do that with jiu jitsu now. I’m not a fan.
– But not in ’98. – I’m not a fan. – But hold on but not in ’98. – No, no way.
– No, no way. – It would be hard.
– It’d be hard. – It would be hard even with jiu jitsu. I think if you have those skills, I think there’s other ways that you can make living and do that. – For sure and I agree, the people that want to hire a Brazilian to come in and teach in their school I think is crap. I think it’s a bad idea. – Well it’s not just a Brazilian, it’s hire somebody that you don’t know that didn’t come up through your culture, it’s a different thing. – Yeah, for sure. – It takes a long time to learn jiu jitsu. I think yoga is a different process. Like the schools that
have created 50 schools, they have a very short sequence
of moves that they learn and it’s not such a long process to learn. – God, the only position that we hire outside of, outside of, from the outside where we don’t bring them in first, where we don’t grow them is
maybe a front desk person. – First impressions. – First impressions, right,
that’s the only thing that we might hire out. – Yeah. – But other than that you
have to come up through us. And I don’t even think we let you clean. – Yeah, I mean I have people who come and they want to teach all the time. Maybe they have skills, maybe they don’t but that just doesn’t happen. – You mean other, like a
Brazilian, a friend, anybody? – Just whoever. People that come, they move
from a different school and it’s like eh, it could happen after maybe six months with us
but it’s more difficult. – It’s more difficult for sure. So you had the introduction
to these business practices with Angel and when did
you start thinking about that though? At what point were you like, did you see your jiu
jitsu career I would say as a competitor fading and
that’s what made you go ah, maybe I want some kids some day and those little fuckers
gotta go to college? What was that move like? When did that happen? – That took awhile. I was just chasing competing and teaching and before I was thinking like that. It was kind of a natural progression. There was a certain point, it just slowly grew and grew and grew and fortunately that seed was planted with Angel so I was introduced to Think and Grow Rich and the Michael Gerber book. What’s the business book
Michael Gerber wrote? Damn it! – Let’s look. – I’ll think of it in a second. – Nah, that’s all right, man. This is what Rogan does, man. He has Jaime, I’ll be, the eMyth? – The eMyth. – Yeah, the eMyth.
– So the eMyth. – So there’s our Jaime. Everyone say hi, Jordan. Say hi to Jordan. That’s our Jaime. That’s our Jaime in the back. – He makes the magic happen.
– He makes the magic happen. Yes, yes (laughing). Make sure you give yourself
credit on these podcasts. – So it was time management. He planted the see for time management, which was Franklin Covey,
some form of time management. But it wasn’t specific to me but because I’d kind of grew up in
such an untraditional way, that was a very important
part to my getting to grow. You guys thought I showed up late to class but man, you should have
seen if I hadn’t have taken time management. (laughing) Time management, business
practices, which was the eMyth, and the Think and Grow
Rich, which just kind of put my mind straight. – That’s the first book
I recommend to people. – The eMyth?
– The eMyth. – It’s amazing.
– It’s amazing. So if you’re gonna get anything
from episode number one, go get the eMyth and read that thing. – And you might not be ready for it but if it seems elementary then good, you’re on the right path. And if it blows your
mind, then you need that. – I talked to Matt Brown
like two months ago, three months ago and
helping him out one night and I was like well, did
you read the eMyth yet? And he was like no and I was
like well go read the eMyth and he was like yeah, it blew his mind. – But I’ve heard both. I’ve hear some people that are like ah, it just doesn’t speak to everybody. For me, it was the most
influential book I’ve ever read. – Yeah, writing everything
down, it changed my life. We were already going, man. We were going.
– It’s so important, yeah. – We were going. We had five schools and yada yada. – That was like last year, right? – Yeah, two years ago. – I was like what do you mean you haven’t read the eMyth yet? – Yeah, yeah, we were going. But the idea of writing everything down as if you’re gonna franchise, that just crushes it. That’s how Easton Online came about. – Yeah. – ‘Cause I was like goddamn.
– It’s powerful. – It’s powerful because– – Systems.
– Systems. And then not just the system,
like you can have them– – And taking a holistic
view of the business so you’re not stuck. Especially most people out
there that are starting jiu jitsu schools are
obsessed with jiu jitsu so they have a great product
and the rest of it is weak. Nobody wants to think about marketing. Nobody wants to think about– They might be good at jiu jitsu. That’s not a great product. That’s a good start, you’re right. – It’s a good start, a good start. – But can you teach anybody jiu jitsu? Actually, I would like see you start – Yes, that’s a good point, yes. You have to be great. – That’s where I would
like to see you start. – Yeah, you have to be good and then after that– – If you have a good base, in my opinion, if you’re great at jiu jitsu and all that then you have a start.
– Yeah you have a start. – Maybe you could have a career. – Yes, at teaching. – Yeah.
– At having a school. So I would say, and we
disagree a little bit I guess. I don’t think we disagree,
we just heard it differently because we were in
different parts of life. – I said it and you heard it. – Yes, you said it. – If we’re going where I
think you’re going (laughing). – Yeah, I’m going to the Ricardo Alameda. So you went out to Ricardo’s school. – Uh huh. – I think I was, I think I was purple. I think I was a purple belt. Jay was gone, Jay was gone. Because Jay was running the– – I like how Eliot identifies
as purple in that time period. – What do you mean identifies. I was a fuckin’ purple belt. (laughing) There’s no, we don’t have
to wonder what belt I was. I was a fuckin’ purple belt. – You were purple.
– I was a purple belt. – Everything about you was purple. – Yeah, it was my favorite
color at the time. Whatever belt I was was my favorite color. – Love it.
– When I was a white belt, it was white, blue, purple, brown, black. Now it’s black. Black for the rest of my life. – I am a black human. – That’s right, my nine-year-old
identifies as black, he’s white as hell. – He’s a white belt. – Yeah (laughing). So anyway, so you go
out to Ricardo’s school and he was doing things
a little differently in a business sense. – Yeah, he was doing an amazing job. – Amazing job, right? And things like structured warmups for a fundamentals class,
which was unheard of. People, so you have to understand, and I think probably
most jiu jitsu schools still go this way is that you just hey guys, yeah run, yeah great. Okay, jumping jacks, okay, my friend. And everyone, a lot of Americans talk in a Brazilian accent too (laughing). And you just kind of do
whatever for a warmup, even in the most basic class. Which we have found is terrible and I think you got that from Ricardo. – Yeah and I had got introduced
to some other people, Thomas Clifford– – Okay, yeah, I remember
Tom Clifford, yeah. – Thomas Clifford did an amazing warmup. – The videos, the videos, yes, yes. – Yeah, he did some warmups
in his school that were, and honestly that came from
traditional martial arts. – Traditional martial arts.
– That came from karate. – Yes. – They do their warmups
a very specific way and he adapted the movements
of jiu jitsu into that and he used to have,
it was very impressive to watch his class because they– – I can remember, now you’re
bringing me back, man. I can remember standing there,
feet shoulder width apart for your traditional martial arts. Your wrists, your elbows,
your shoulders back, your shoulders forward. It was this structured
thing and if you wanted– – Especially the way we came up, it was very impressive because
it wasn’t what I was used to. – It’s exactly what I was used to and I think maybe this is why that first conversation when
you came back from Ricardo’s you asked me the question because we had some notes about what we
were gonna talk about, it started to scare me because I was like motherfucker, you gonna make me call you master now. Because that was like, I had 18 years, I’m sorry, 12, 13 years of
traditional martial arts– – To be clear, I never asked
anyone to call me master. – No, of course not, I’ll get there. 12, 13 years of traditional martial arts and by the time I was
done with it, I was 18. I was like man, I don’t want to call anybody master any more. I’m 18-years-old, it was
fine when I was seven. (laughing) And then I probably felt
like when you came back you had all, I was like man! You know so we had a little, you had a meeting and we had this little, you don’t probably remember it but I, like you don’t remember
it, we talked about it. But I was like, you’ve
got to be kidding me, I’m not doing this. This feels like karate again to me. – There’s another saying
in Portuguese that says something like the only
people afraid of snakes are people that have
been bitten by snakes. – Yeah. – I’m like I’ve been bitten
before, stay away from me. – I’ve been bitten by this snake, I’ve been bitten by this snake. Well I saw what traditional
martial arts led to. Like we would go out to dinner because you and I had spent
a lot of time together at this point. A lot of meals, a lot of everything, a good amount of time. I remember what it looked like, man. Like when you went out to dinner, if your food came before the master’s food at the restaurant, you had to sit there and wait for your food to get cold until his food came. And this was just, this was
everything that I hated, especially as a young–
– Understandable. – A young growing adult
trying to find myself. Like I said, I’m not calling
anybody fuckin’ master. – Well, there’s no checks and balances and no accountability to
your skillset as well. – Right, yes. And that was the big difference
with Brazilian jiu jitsu. Everything was accountability
to your skillset. – Yeah, you might have
an 11-year-old child who’s a higher rank than you and then you have to wait before
you touch your food. – Yeah, man, right. That’s exactly how it was. I mean I got, dude man,
I was 16-years-old, 17-years-old, I was the
highest ranking motherfucker at the school, other than
the teacher just about. And the way it works in
traditional martial arts is you have to acknowledge,
and I get where it comes from. You had to acknowledge
every time a senior member came into the room or on the floor. Dude, I’d go in and
off that floor all day. And then I’d be like oh no, no, it’s okay, you don’t have to do it this time. You know you had all this power at 16 and I was there everyday
and it was stupid. When I heard anything like it, like you were talking about,
you got bit by the snake. You weren’t doing it,
obviously, but I was like grrr. – I think at that point I decided, when I realized that there was, there was some benefits to
some of the cultural aspects in maybe even the traditional
martial arts schools. – Right, right. – There was definitely
some things culturally that we were missing. I felt like people were
disrespectful towards the school in terms of I remember the mats would be full of athletic tape and Gatorade bottles after class and I would
have to walk around and pick this stuff up. It was like people
weren’t treating the space or the dojo with respect.
– Right. – And you can go all sorts
of directions with that. I think that some people go exaggerate. But at the same time I
think teaching people a little bit of respect and
to act in a certain way, it shouldn’t be blindly but
you have to know how to act. – I want to say that that probably too had to do with the third
world culture of Brazil. – Look, I think that if
the Brazilians hadn’t been the way they were, jiu jitsu would not be. – Of course. – There’s like the Japanese weren’t gonna invent Brazilian jiu jitsu.
– No, no. – There’s reason that the Brazilians crushed the Japanese with jiu jitsu. – Right. – And it’s because they kind of got rid of the confines which
the cultural aspects, the cultural aspects were so heavy that they were slowing jiu jitsu down. – But I can remember the first time that I went to Brazil and Rorion
was taking us to Gracie Barra. – It was the jungle, it
was wild, it was savage. – Right, like I remember
I’d go, like hearing about going to Gracie Barra. And Gracie Barra was the mecca of meccas because Colim, that’s where it was. Dude, we walked into a shithole. It was a shithole. Like I went to go take a piss, I couldn’t even take a piss because the toilets didn’t flush. – And then when you stepped on the mats, you got your ass beat – You just got destroyed.
– in a savage way. – Yeah, it was amazing. I mean I loved it. It was amazing.
– Something very raw. – That wasn’t gonna work in America. – Look, it serves a certain purpose. It would work in America
just like it works in Brazil. I think that a lot of the
instructors in Brazil, they weren’t making a living– – But hold on, what I mean by– – They were barely getting by. – No, no, not the
savageness, the cleanliness. – Same thing. I think that the schools, they
could have been a lot bigger. They could have been,
and on the plus side, you got people that were very dedicated because they were
willing to look past that and there were some beasts
that were on the mat and they weren’t gonna be put off by any, you know what I mean. You’re gonna not learn an amazing art like jiu jitsu because the
mats are a little dirty? – Oh no, not me. – That’s what I’m saying. The schools in Brazil– – But we’re fuckin’ weirdos, man. – But I’m just saying, in my opinion, people aren’t that different
in Brazil or America, we’re all the same. And maybe some people
get used to different– – But hold on, what I’m, go ahead. – standards, people get used to different standards of living and maybe they’ll put
up with different things but the Brazilians pride
themselves in being very clean. I believe per capita they sell more soap than anywhere on the planet and I learned that from Brazilians. – Really? – Yeah, so they take a lot of pride in their cleanliness so I don’t think, I think that a lot of the practices that kind of maybe have
been developed in America as a little bit more of
a first world country, are making their way back to Brazil. I guarantee when you go to Brazil now, the schools are much more structured– – Oh, 100%.
– and better organized. So all I’m saying is it
would have worked in America, you just might have still
lived in the closet. – Gotcha. So that was my next
point, you’re still gonna live in the closet. – So that was Gracie
Barra and Gracie Barra was the school to be at.
– Right. – And in Gracie Barra there
was a bunch of instructors that had their little schools and I don’t know how
big those schools were. – Sure. – They were doing all right but– – They were living in the closet though. – So to speak. – So you come back and you’re definitely
more business-focused from the Ricardo trip. – Yeah, I guess I just saw, I had had kind of an ongoing conversation with Ricardo Alameda and
his then wife, Alio Alameda. And they had tried to make some steps. I believe he’d just had his first kid and they were, he was
struggling, struggling just to pay the bills
and he had a baby now. So they were trying to get more organized and as women are often,
his wife at the time was very organized and not afraid to break any kind of cultural
or understood barriers. So they really did an amazing
job at being organized. They had lots of people like Tom Clifford and I’m sure there’s
lots of people that were amazing influences in that direction. And I just saw kind of a different mold. I think we were already doing a little bit of a different mold. I think I learned a lot from him. I hope they learned something from me. But I just saw it in a different way. And then everybody decides
how they’re gonna take it or how they’re gonna interpret it. – Right. – Because it wasn’t a cookie cutter mold. But I saw it in a different
way and it gave me some great ideas and that was
definitely a huge influence. – And I can remember when
you got us to buy-in, the guys on the top,
it was me, it was Nick, it was a couple of guys. – Whew, that was tough. – That was tough. – Yeah, it was some
difficult conversations because we had to see
it in a different way because we were very just do whatever. We were more jungle then. And like I said, I was sick of cleaning up Gatorade bottles and tape on the mat and just people not acting
in a respectful way. They would act in a respectful way because I could beat
their ass but that was it. And that was like, it only went so far. So then it was okay, I want people to bow on and off the mats. That was a huge deal. That was probably the first thing that your ears probably perked
up and you were like that’s it, I’m not having this! – I’m done, I’m done! – So I was like look, we need
to bow on and off the mat because people need to treat
this place with respect and not, and I’d created
the culture that it was so it wasn’t your guys’ fault. – Sure. – But I said okay, I want
people to view this space as a special place, a place of learning and that was where it started. Like honestly, that was
one of the biggest things in the beginning was I want
you to bow on and off the mat. – Oh, I was so mad at you.
– Yeah. – I was so mad at you, I was like no. – And the second huge thing was that not letting people train right away. – Yes. – And that was tough.
– Right. – It’s still hard to people. But I do believe it’s an important step. And those were the two
big things that I decided when I came back I was like
this is how it’s got to be because this is gonna help us grow a lot. – Yeah, and it did. It did and separating the
classes a little more, that was the next step. – Well because if you’re gonna say you can’t train until a certain point, then you have to have a class
designed for those people to get them ready to train. – Right, right, for sure. – But this was–
– Go ahead, sorry. – You get a tough guy that
walks in off the street, doesn’t know jiu jitsu
at all but he’s a beast, and then he’s just wrecking everybody. – Too sick now. – Sure, or worse yet Shane Carwin. – Shane Carwin, right, yeah. – He’s just crushing people’s souls and not necessarily in a nice way. – No. – Not taking care of people at all. And we’re trying to build people up and we claim, or at least I wanted to give confidence to
people that might not be the most incredible athletes or tough guys because I think that that resonated with how I was as a child. – Right. – I grew up in an
environment where people, I was bullied a lot and so I wanted to try to build people
up, not tear them down. And that was a big, big change. – So here comes the question though because this is where
the TMA industry wasn’t and still is a lot, the sales. The shitty, shady, sales of
start the beginner program at $69, get ’em hooked like crack, man. – Bait and switch.
– Get ’em hooked like crack– – Yeah, three card Monty. – Yes and there here it is, oh whoa, whoa, but it’s $399 a month, you pay it all up front. How did you not– – Oh, no, no, you could take
a first mortgage on your house to buy your black belt. – Yeah, how did you not do this because it was right there for you to do? – Oh yeah, I took a Steven Oliver– – I remember when you took
a Steven Oliver course. – I took a Steven Oliver course and I mean talk about
a smooth car salesman. He could get people to take out mortgages on their house to pay
for their black belts. – To pay for their black belts. – Yeah. It just didn’t feel good, man. It felt dirty. And what I was interested in more was– – Yeah but you could make money, man. – I wanted to help–
– But he was rich! – I wanted to help people but honest and I wasn’t willing to
sacrifice my morals to do so. It’s hard for me. Everybody has their own scale
of what they’re willing to do and it’s hard for me to
watch some of these people with their sales techniques, it’s awful. – It’s disgusting, right.
– Yeah it’s gross, it’s gross. – I agree. – And and some people
are so the other way, like some clients that they just don’t give any respect for the
service that you’re giving. – Right. – They have no honor. – But you know coming up
in the restaurant business, I’ll never forget, we had
a class with Nordstrom’s and Nordstrom’s is very
well-known in the industry for having the best customer service and they used to say
that they are gonna make their policy based around
the 95% of honest people not the 5% of dishonest people. So for me I tried to take that attitude and I said look, we’re
gonna try to hold people accountable a little bit but also you owe it to your students
to be a certain way and not to be sleazy. – This is our first course
that we’re putting out on Easton Online is about
the first impressions and you know the people at
your front desk and sales because it’s so hard. It’s very, very difficult to do it in a way that, I mean I think
we do it really holistically. – Well the fitness
industry started selling long-term contracts to the point where the feds had to regulate
their sales processes because they were so gross. They still do it. Three-year contract. We’re selling you the black belt. And they try to present it in such a way that this is gonna benefit you. And look, part of it, if I can get you in the mindset that you’re
gonna follow through with this, you’re gonna take jiu
jitsu for four years, there is some benefit to that. So that’s how they– – I can remember that theory. We talked about that,
we did it for awhile. I can remember what made me bring up the conversation to you, I’m skipping way ahead right now, to get off of contracts
because we don’t do contracts anymore, we do a 30 day out. – Yeah, it doesn’t fill good. – Yeah. I can remember what made
me bring the conversation up to you was I was listening
to the Rogan podcast and he would talk about Ping,
it was a cellphone thing. – Yeah, no contracts, yeah. – No contracts on your cellphone. He was like what do you
hate about your cellphone? And I was like man, I fuckin’
hate that about Verizon or AT & T or whoever you had. And I was like wait a minute,
we kind of do that though and it’s not like, and I was like ehh. And then you said something to me. I don’t know if you said it to me or you made me read it somewhere. Not made me read it but
you put it in front of me. It was about the product. And I was like hold on,
if we fix our product, if our product is just the best product, and we already had a really
good product at the time. If our product was like the absolute best, then that sells itself,
you don’t need a contract. If the contract is what’s
holding people in our school then our product sucks. – And look, everybody has their scale of what they think is okay. Like if you’re renting a house, you expect to sign a one year lease. – For sure. – As somebody renting a
house, I need that commitment. – Right. – Now in the school, we
don’t just let people out. We require 30 days
notice and we have people that come and cry about that. They’re like I need to leave tomorrow or I need to leave next
week and we try to, unless they have a very
outside of the box story, we hold them to 30 days because
that was what felt good. – Right. – That was what I could sleep at night. If I see the guy in
Safeway and he says man, I tried to quit and you
made me stay for 30 days, I can feel okay about that. I’ll look myself in the mirror
and feel great about that, no problem.
– No problem. – I don’t think that’s too much to ask. We let people know very
clearly on the front end. A year, six months, something like that, people getting bad credit,
that doesn’t feel good to me. – No. – And in my opinion, you
pollute your community and then people get a bad
taste in their mouth about you. I want somebody to come try out jiu jitsu maybe decide it’s not for
them and still love us and refer people to us. – I can remember when,
it happened recently, there was a guy at the front desk and he looked at our
front desk person and said give me your sales pitch. And I was there and I looked at him and I was like hold on and I took it. I was like there’s no sales pitch. He was like what do you
mean there’s no sales pitch? I was like, look, you do a trial month– – Because everybody copied
the fitness industry and it just became so sleazy – Right, I was like there’s
no sales pitch, man. He was like well why should I sign up at this school rather
than the other school? I was like so you have it for, I was like so the trial month allows you to try every class for a month. – Sure, and that’s our process. – That’s our process. You get to try every class
you want for a month. If you’re not sold by the end of it, we’ll give you all your money back because the product sells itself. I don’t think we returned any first months because the product. So you opened some more schools. Now I’m going back in time again. You opened some more schools. You opened Denver, you
had opened Centennial. Those were the two schools
that you had opened. I think the Klines had
opened up by this point, pretty soon here awhile ago.
– Prior to that, right. Yeah, about the same time
as I opened Centennial. – God everyone says, I
mean your dad told you, I can remember having this
conversation with you, Steve told you no, everyone
told you no, not do it. Why the hell would you
take on a business partner? – Look, it’s interesting
because I could have taken on some very bad business partners. – Right, a lot of people– – For a lot of the wrong reasons. A lot of people wanted to be
business partners with me. And it’s a very tempting
thing to take on somebody who’s amazing at jiu jitsu and has the exact same skills as you so that maybe I can go to Brazil or I can travel and you could teach classes. – Right. – But it’s important to have somebody that is able to look at the entire product in more of a holistic view. To look at how are we
gonna run this school and a holistic view that
you’re on the same page, that you’re running it the right way, and that your goals are aligned. I think people take on
partners for the wrong reasons. – Right. – They think it’s gonna be
easy but they don’t look at, they take on a partner
that’s their mirror image and sometimes that’s not the best thing. – Yeah, we’re nothing alike. – You need somebody that
complements in different ways. – Other than the fact that we love people and we love jiu jitsu– – We’re both black. (Eliot laughing) You’re not purple anymore, bro. – Oh, shit, that was solid. Oh my God, that was good,
yeah, we’re both black. – I’m four stripes. – You’re four stripes, I’m three. Yeah, we’re not very alike. We’re not very alike in how we do things or anything like that. And we even argue and fight
sometimes and yada yada but somehow we get through it. – Yeah.
– We get through it. – It can’t be done casually. – What’s that? – Taking on a business partner. – Especially when you’re successful. Bro, you were good. You were pretty solid. I think, I hope you’re better now. – 100%.
– Okay. – No regrets. – That was a tough question right there. We could have a little bit, this whole thing could have diverged. Not diverged but the whole ship
could have sunk right there. But for me, when I came on, that was one of my huge goals. I was like damn, I can’t make this, I knew what Denver was
making and I was like okay, for me my first goal, because
I was put into Denver, was I have to double Denver. I have to double Denver
because I need to be at least making that
much and he can’t lose. – Yeah, because I believe
we were both working hard or I was working hard and I deserved it. If I believe you put in that kind of work and you help enough people you deserve to make a reasonable living. – Of course, of course. You had already worked hard though. Right, you were, it was done. Not saying it was done
for you but you were fine, Boulder was great. – It’s like that thing they say, if you take on the right partners one plus one can be more than two. – Well it’s definitely that way with kids. – Yeah, yeah. – It’s definitely that way with kids. – But it can go both ways. It can be one and a half and that would be a horrible partnership
or it could be three. – And I can remember a very
distinct conversation we had during this whole partnering
thing was you were like look man, my life is my life. If you’re not okay with how my life is, I’m not working more and I’m
10 years younger than you. – Those are the type of
difficult conversations which the attorneys make you have also. – Yeah but we had it first. – This wasn’t an attorney conversation but before you enter into things like that that aren’t fleeting moments,
then you have to think of what are the complicated
stuff that’s gonna come up down the road
because that resentment will build and build and
then you have an ugly breakup and then divorces are never pretty. – No. – Business separations are never pretty. – Yeah and I think you and I are as married as married can get. – Yeah, it would be ugly. – It would be ugly. – Yeah. – And even when we argue or
disagree or whatever it is, I’m never thinking divorce. I’m like ah, we got to
fuckin’ work this out. – Yeah. – Or this is how Eliot is or this is how, whatever it is. – I’m not proud to say but
I got divorced from my ex. That was probably than it would be to have to split up with you. – Yes, it would be probably, right? Yes, it fucking would be. But yeah so now and where are we. We have seven schools I
think with the two of us? – I don’t like to boast,
I don’t like to brag. Like look what I don’t want to do is like the millionaire jiu jitsu club. I fuckin’ hate that. That turns into sleazy sales, it turns into the wrong reasons. I’m very comfortable and
very happy with my life. I believe we are able to provide for a lot of amazing staff members, I believe we provide for
a lot of amazing students. It comes back to that thing, if you help enough
people get what they want then you’ll get what you want and I think that’s the– – Dude, I had an amazing
story the other day about that topic that you just said. So I needed a graphic for
the Gospel of Fire podcast– – I saw it.
– You know, did you– – I saw the Facebook post. – Okay, okay. So I put it out there and I just responded to the first person that hit me up. And I’m like okay, man, let’s do this. I’ll pay you on the back end. – I’m still getting emails
about it, by the way. – About what? – The graphic. – For me. – They probably sent it to owners at Easton Training Center
or something like that, I don’t know. – Yeah, sorry. – No, it’s all good. – So anyway we get done. The work’s done and I’m
like all right, man, how much do I owe you. And it took him I don’t
know like three hours. He was done in three hours. – Nice. – So I was hoping it wasn’t
gonna be like 1500 bucks. – Whoever it was, it
sounds like they crushed it if they did it in three
hours and you like. – I messed up, I didn’t negotiate
the deal on the front end, which is not the way to go. – Right, yeah. – So I was like oh God. I was too excited that
I had someone doing it and I totally blew this,
you always negotiate first, like terms. – Or at least set expectations. – Yeah, you set expectations
and understand terms. So I was like aww, dude,
this took him three hours. If this motherfucker
hits me with 1500 bucks I’m not gonna be happy. – Yeah. – For a graphic. And he responded, and
I asked him all right, so how much do I owe you,
and he was like nothing. I was like, what do you mean nothing, man? He goes ah, you probably
don’t remember this but we were at an LFA show and we needed to move locker rooms so I cleared it with the promoter, LFA, this
guy was telling me, and we came into your locker room, which was fine with
everyone, we didn’t care. But then the commissioner came in and one of the commissioners came and and just started ripping
this guy a new asshole. – Mmm, commissioners. – And I was like uh, and he was like you put
a halt to that dude. Like you took, I was
like man, you are not, I don’t even remember this really. He was like you made
that dude be nice to me. And then I got to see and you guys were definitely at another level of coaching and how to deal with your fighters and we were at the time as well. So I got to see all that and the fact that that guy, that there was no reason for you to stand up for me and you did so now he was like– – It’s that just be a good person, man. – Be a good person. And that’s how your business has to go. Be a good person. – 100%. – Be a good person. – You have to treat
people like you expect, like you would like them to treat you if they were in a position
of power and you were not. – I think that for both of us, both you and I, we would
still be doing this if we had to sleep in the closet. – Yeah. – That’s the thing, right. – Yeah. – It’s really great. We have great schools,
we have great employees, we do a lot in our day-to-day and– – I can say one thing,
I think I probably would but I would have to be looking at my life and thinking if maybe I’d
chosen the wrong profession. – If you were sleeping
in the closet still? – Yeah, if I was still
sleeping in the closet, I would say maybe I have
a different calling. Maybe there’s something out
there that I would be better at. So yes and you know
– That’s a good point. – I say you never quit. Like don’t quit and then
you’re gonna get good. Well maybe there’s a time to quit. I don’t know, that’s hard to say. – I would say you don’t love it enough. – It’s like I said, if
you help enough people get what they want then
you get what you want. At the end of the day, if
I can help enough people it’s not about my sales process. If I’m in it for 10 years
and I’m not making it happen, I need to take a good hard honest look at what I’m doing, who I am, I’ve got the change some shit up. So I love what I do, I can’t
imagine being anything else, and you’ve got to put food on the table. And if after 10 years you’re
not puttin’ food on the table, man you better think long and
hard about what you’re doing. – Yeah, you have a
twofold problem probably. You either don’t love it enough or you don’t know how to work. – You got to figure something out. – You got to figure something out. – Yeah, maybe you have
the wrong personality. I know some people that should
not have jiu jitsu schools. – Agreed. – We’ll leave them nameless. – All right, well man we
skipped a lot in this. There’s a whole other episode
that we could get out of this but let’s just cut this one
right here for right now. I think it’s a good stopping place and man, none of us would have anything if it weren’t for Amal Easton. Jordan wouldn’t be sitting back there just how many cups of
coffee today, Jordan? – Dos. – You’re on your second cup? – That’s right. – Was it good? – It was delicious. – He’d still be drinking weak coffee. – Yeah, you’d still be drinking coffee from that shitty coffee shop we went to. And look, I wouldn’t be sitting here. – One of the things that
we’re trying to do now is help people that are
working on their academies, help them have better academies. Help them help more people,
help them be more successful in what they are doing. We’re not trying to do this for people that aren’t doing a great job. They better have the
beginnings of a great product. But I think that’s what we’re doing. I’ve been doing this for over 20 years. I believe that I was among the pioneers of the way that we’re
doing our schools now and we’re just trying to share practices. I had to work a lot
going to lot of different karate seminars. Some sleazy stuff out
there and some great stuff. There are some great people helping out. But I felt like I had to take a lot of different molds, whether
it was a yoga studio, or whether it was a karate studio, or whether it was a fitness
place, and try to figure out what was the best way
that made me feel good about how we were doing
it and that would help bring jiu jitsu to more people because I believe that jiu
jitsu can change people’s lives. And that’s partly why
we’re sitting here talking. So I just wanted to put that out there that that’s kind of a big project of ours is to try to help school owners
help spread their message to more people and help
people, so that’s it. – Thank you. – Cool.
– Good man. – All right. – All right, guys, have a good day. – Thanks, guys.

5 thoughts on “Amal Easton — A Holistic Approach to The Business of Martial Arts (E1)

  1. "You tied me in knots and you were talking to your girlfriend"

    So I now feel like I have something in common with Elliot. 🙂

  2. I wanna open a non profit jiu jitsu gym cause amal is right Jiu jitsu saves lifes. Just like The Phoenix like Scott Strodes Gym

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