I Can’t Breathe.

We need to do better.
The fact that police aren’t required to become proficient in self-defense is a major part of the problem.

Some of this stems from simply not knowing the proper way to control people.

I remember back when I was in the army we trained for riot control, and I reached around a guy’s neck, put him in a guillotine, and lifted him up off the ground with it while he was pinned down. I wasn’t trying to hurt him I was just trying to be aggressive. I thought I’d make “Top” proud.

Instead “top” jumped in my ass with both feet because what I did could have permanently hurt him. But at the time I didn’t know any better. Someone taught me and I learned.

The other is “us vs. them.”

No, all cops aren’t bad, I know some great ones, but as a whole they don’t police their own.

Three other cops stood by and watched it happen.
That was their moment to be a hero and they let us all down.

I always took shit for not being angry at Kapernick because I took the time to go beyond the rhetoric and actually listen to what he was protesting. Shit like this happens all the time but largely goes unnoticed because it’s not caught on camera.

All cops aren’t bad is hollow justification for the families of the murdered.

I don’t hate the police.
I want to be part of the solution.

Any cop that wants to train in BJJ your first 3 months are on me. You just have to buy your Gi.

I know that if you are trained you will not do things like this. I know you will be more comfortable on the street. I know this because every cop who’s trained has said it.

Let’s do better together.

There’s no justification for quitting.

Giving up on their dreams all because of a temporary set back.

“My spouse broke my heart.”
“My parents don’t love me.”
“I lost my job.”
“Fried chicken is delicious.”

The list goes on and on.
The problem is the list is all bull shit.

In this photo you can see I am getting my ass kicked. This was literally 10 seconds into the fight.
Dude picked me up, dropped me on my head, and started choking the shit out of me.

My world started to fade to Black.
But, I remembered what I told Master Mike.
“I will not embarrass you.”

It was a promise that I made to a man I admired. So no matter what was happening to me I refused to quit.
Did the same thing for the rear-naked choke that followed.
Applied it again when I was in full mount getting my face punched in.
Did one more time when he had locked up an armbar.

I kept doing it until I broke him.

Not quitting that night opened every door for me that followed.

Had I quit in that cage, there’d be no Soldierfit today.

And therein lies the problem.
You never know what quitting will cost you in the long run.

You can fail all you want and still become successful.
If you quit however, your dreams are lost.

Don’t eat the rich

This will upset some people but I believe it to my core.
If you’d stop worrying so much about what rich are doing, and focused entirely on what you could and should be doing to get there (if that’s where you want to go) then you could join them.
I ain’t rich, but I ain’t hurting either. I am not consumed by money, nor am I worried about what people who have more of it than me are doing with theirs.
We get up early, we bust our ass, and every day we make a smarter decision than I did in the past. That’s how the dream works guys. If you want to buy the bull shit excuses that the rich are holding you down feel free to do so, just stop trying to sell it to us.
At the end of the day, this guy who used to eat of trashcans had a 400 credit score, who’s got car got repossessed, is now setting over here damn near debt-free outside of our house.
We didn’t get to this point by bitching about rich folks. We worked our ass off, didn’t go vacations we couldn’t afford, missed out on some parties, went to bed at 830 pm, got up at 4am, and took every extra dollar we made to pay the debt off.
We ain’t where we want to be, but we know we’re gonna get there.
If that’s not where you are my suggestion is that you stop blaming other people or the system for your lot in life and take responsibility for your actions.
You’ll be amazed at how freeing it is when you decide to be in charge for a change.

People Do People Things.

Someone told me recently, “You’d be surprised how many people talk shit about you behind your back.”

No I wouldn’t.

I learned a long time ago that people do people things.

I used to be worried about what others thought of me. All it did was rob me of my piece of mind.

People who are miserable want you to be miserable.
People who can’t do what you can will hate what you’ve done.

But there is only one way they can really win.
If you let them occupy space in your head.

Getting bitter keeps you from doing better.

So pay no mind to who talks shit.

Most do.

Just be sure to give em plenty to talk about and wish em well on their way.

We are called a melting pot for a reason.

Let me begin by saying that I do not believe that overt racism is the norm in America. I do think that the majority of our fellow citizens embrace, and even love the fact that our country is a hodgepodge of customs and cultures. With that said, I’d be dishonest to say the least, if I tried to pretend that racism doesn’t exist, and in some ways, I believe it exists in it’s worst form–unrealized.

While watching the Superbowl last night, I knew that social media was about to light on fire with after the half-time show. If nothing else, it goes to prove that nothing you do can make everyone happy. Half of my feed was saying, “It’s the greatest show ever!” Meanwhile, the other half hated it because two sexy ass middle age ladies were shaking what their momma gave them, all while still being a momma.

While that was par for the course, and to be expected, I sadly knew to expect something else as well. The beating of the “just speak English” war drum. I am often amazed that this is taken to the level that it invariably is. I mean, ask any Brit, they are still waiting for us to speak English. With that said, though, google is free as shit, and all it takes is a quick scan to learn that America has no official language. The best you can do is get one at the state level.

Furthermore, I’d argue that our dialect is so vast and far-reaching that it could be argued that none of us are speaking English. You ever been part of a conversation between a guy from the deep South and a dude from Boston? Shit sounds like dueling banjos trying to get the Cah Keys out of their Kaki’s pocket.

Let me leave you with this. If you were upset about a mom wearing the Purto Rican flag on one side (it’s a territory you know) and American flag on the other while singing “Born in the USA” with her daughter, then it wasn’t the taking a knee that you were mad about last year.

Don’t be a hypocrite.

We are just a few short days away from the annual pilgrimage of New Year’s resolutioners heading to your local gym. Sadly, more often than not, they are greeted with quite a bit of hypocrisy from the self-proclaimed “gym lords” who are now upset they have to share the equipment. These are the same folks who spent the last year making fun of people who don’t work out who now feel compelled to make fun of them for coming in and working out.

They can’t wait to sit back and make someone who was already scared to come in the first place to be the butt of their jokes in a private chat group (at best) or on World Star HipHop (at worst). As if they weren’t beginners once themselves.

How quickly we forget from whence we came. Here’s the reality regarding why most people don’t start a gym program–it’s not because they are lazy–it’s because they are scared.

We have a horrible problem in our society of assuming that overweight people are lazy. We judge them harshly, ignoring the fact that many who are overweight hold important and stressful positions. These people who are deemed lazy are frequently extremely hard working and more “successful” in life than the “bro” talking shit about them at the gym. Far too often, the gyms in America are a throwback to high school era shenanigans where the “jocks” make fun of the people in honors classes.

And so, in a country facing an obesity epidemic of epic proportions, people avoid the gym because they don’t want to wind up the next viral youtube video or meme simply because they tried to put their health as a priority.

So to my friends committed to fitness, I have a challenge for you this year. Don’t become part of the shit talkers standing around armed with a protein shaker bottle and a judgemental eye. Don’t be the cheerleader who can’t wait for everyone to fail in their goals and clear space on “your” favorite machine. Instead, offer to take that fledgling fitness fanatic under your wing. Help guide them in their journey. Become a battle buddy for someone who’s trying to turn it around.

It’s one of the easiest ways to save a life.

Connecting the dots.

“You cannot see how the dots connect looking forward. You can only see how they connect when you look back.” – Steve Jobs

When we started Platoon 22 our first event was going to be Rally in the Vally in 2015 in Cumberland. We had intentioned to hold a 2-day rally and had booked a sick lineup. We had never attempted to do something like this before, and as such, a lot of unexpected things came up along the way.

Our main act fell through three separate times, with three different bands. By the time the third act fell through, we had realized that we wouldn’t have enough time to promote it to make it a success. Still, to this day one, the hardest calls I ever made was to cancel that event after we’d told the world we were going to put it on.

But it was the right call.

We ended up holding two great Rally’s after that and looked to transition from simply an awareness effort to funding research into suicide. After further consideration of the associated price tag, the fact that similar research was being done, and that the application of said research would likely not be applied for years if ever, we realized that wasn’t the best path either.

The entire time we worked on these other endeavors the way forward slowly materialized on its own. Between me going and talking guns out vets hands at midnight, and Jennifer Farrar helping them navigate the VA by making proper connections, we realized what our mission would be — to bring all these services under one roof.

Everything I have ever been involved with has evolved from its first incarnation.

Soldierfit HQ started as a Bootcamp in a field; then it went to subleasing locations in gyms, then it went to large facilities, now moving forward it’s focused on smaller locations, concentrated only on Bootcamp, and working on launching an online training program in 2020.

Platoon began as awareness and has evolved to focus on transitional assistance and case management.
Both orgs have had setbacks and failures. I have had to eat crow on several occasions.

But that is the part of the journey. No one wants to hear a story about how it all went right off the bat. We want to listen to the story of trials and tribulations: heartache and tears. Then, finally, the glory of success.

If you are experiencing setbacks and failures, remember right now you’re writing the meat of your story.

When you are trying to do something amazing, don’t give in when it looks like all hope is lost. If you hold out just a little longer, I promise you the big win is right around the bend.


About your “Thank you.”

Veterans Day always leaves me feeling odd. I can’t quite explain it, but I’ll never be comfortable with it, even though I think, as a nation, we need to do so much more for our veterans than we currently provide. I guess I feel this way because it reminds me of what I call #Hashtagcharity.

Veterans Day falls into this category, much like Thanksgiving is the only time far too many of us visit our family. It becomes a check the block that lets us feel good about ourselves without really doing the work. I gave you a free meal, or I tied a Yellow ribbon around a tree, or I ordered the salute to service jersey of my favorite team to show that we are united behind you.

Meanwhile, the remaining 364 days of the year, we allow our nation’s promise to go unfulfilled. Our VA system as a whole is broken despite the best efforts of those involved. They are underfunded, understaffed, and overworked in a desperate attempt to try and keep the flood gates closed. But we can see the cracks in the dam and the water is about to burst through.

We have known about the suicide epidemic that plagues our ranks. Depending on the study you cite, you can see estimates that range from 16.8-22 veterans per day that commit suicide. It will never set well with me, knowing that more veterans are dying here at home than in the longest sustained war in our nation’s history. How can we make the advances we have in protecting the body of the warrior but still remain so far behind servicing their minds and souls?

As if that wasn’t enough, there appears to be another wolf at the door– “friendly fire.”

The unseen effects of burn pits have followed us home, and it’s not like we haven’t done this dance before–Agent Orange in the Vietnam War and Gulf War Syndrome in the first Gulf War. Yet, here, we are not supporting our veterans again.

“The Veterans Administration has established a voluntary burn pit registry, and more than 180,000 people have signed up. But of the 12,000 claims filed to the VA connected to burn pits, only about 2,500 have been accepted – and a victims’ lawsuit against contractors who oversaw some of the pits was rejected by the Supreme Court.”

So understand it’s not that I don’t appreciate the thank you’s, I really do. I just ask that you consider putting those thanks into action for the things that we really need. Ensuring that we are taken care of when the fighting we did is killing us inside.
Or, if we lose our life, long after we returned due to the road we took, take care of our family who now will have to walk alone.

Sometimes I am afraid.

A lot of people believe those who have seen war are never afraid.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Fear is a funny thing. It manifests itself in many different forms.

I have seen the bravest man in combat become a stuttering fool when in the presence of a beautiful woman.
I have watched the most courageous of cage fighters shuffle their feet and look at the ground when it came to speaking their mind.

Every single man, woman, and child experiences fear.
Fear isn’t a shameful thing.
Cowardice is.

Just like all of you, sometimes I am afraid too.

Sometimes I look in the mirror, and only self-doubt looks back.
The fear of failure always lurks in the back of my mind.
Sometimes I look at those who depend on me to be right and worry about what happens if I am wrong.
In those moments of weakness, when I’m afraid to take the next step, I remind myself that I am not alone, and I put my next foot down.

It may be on shaky legs.
I may need to share the load with others.
It may even be in the wrong direction.

A lot of things may vary, but one thing always remains the same. I step.

That step leads to another, and another, and another.
Before you know it, the walk has become a jog, which then turns into a run.

Regardless of where you’re headed, it all begins with that first step. The problem lies in that the first step often starts with fear and doubt.
And most people can’t handle fear because they are busy seeking comfort.

Don’t be like most people. Don’t let fear freeze you in place.

Stop worrying about what you can’t do tomorrow; instead, focus on what you can do today. What you can do right now.

Take that step.


It’s not your kid’s fault.

There is no greater insult that you can bestow upon your children than blaming them for the unhappy outcome in your life. To look at your children and say, “I sacrificed my dreams because of you” is the biggest cop-out on Earth. It is also shitty parenting.


Nothing that they have done has kept you from doing anything at all. 

Kids are simply innocent byproducts of the choices that you have made. Which, again, is entirely up to you. You offering up the noble lie that you can’t do “x” because they exist is merely another example of your shirking responsibility. What makes it worse is you’re now placing it on the shoulders of those you are supposed to be responsible for.

You achieving dreams, just like you producing babies, all come down to the same thing. Choices you make. You chose to give up on your goals, and you decided to have sex. I am often at a loss when people claim to be shocked that someone in the sexual encounter ended up pregnant. After all, as far as mother nature is concerned, that was the intent. 


Even so, many ignore the actual purpose of sex and instead focus on the immediate gratification that it brings. Now, don’t get me wrong, I ain’t a prude, and I ain’t condemning you doing you. I am just saying don’t be shocked when you’re playing Russian roulette and the hammer falls on a loaded chamber.

More importantly, don’t blame the outcome of your game of chance, your children, for the dreams you “lost.” You didn’t lose ’em. You simply stopped looking for them in any meaningful way. Your kids didn’t make you quit. So put on your big boy pants and admit that it was all you.

You see, people will have a dream, and they assume that means it has to come true in the timetable they produced in their mind. If a kid impacts that, well, then the dream is dead.

 No, it’s not. You just quit before it came true.

Your dreams are totally up to you. It may mean getting up early and staying up late. It may mean spending no money on something you want so you can put it on that thing your dream needs. It may mean what you thought would take five years will take ten. But there is nothing about having a kid that says you have to give up on what you want to do. 

They aren’t mutually exclusive.

You can be a great parent and accomplish whatever you want too. 

Don’t say you quit for your kids. 

Don’t die on that noble lie.