Decision making

…perhaps the biggest problem lies in the way that individual decisions accumulate into big effects. –  David R. Montgomery-  King of Fish.  The Thousand Year Run of Salmon

Each thought begets a word, intelligible to the brain— taking shape in our body as we verbalize.  Single twitches of tissue, contribute to the misunderstanding of our conscience.

We have the clues everyday within ourselves….how our bodies do or don’t operate and connect.  Patterns of outcomes that come at us for years.  We have keys to answers we just don’t know to question.  The how we got here is lacking so that we can understand what we are in the here.

Restoring salmon runs will require reshaping to our landscape guided by humility- –  David R. Montgomery-  King of Fish.  The Thousand Year Run of Salmon

Understanding oneself and taking complete responsibility for ones actions will take a different stance in relation to society.  It’s uncomfortable to see how fraudulent we truly are as a species and somehow it makes us fascinating.

Boxing provides the perfect set of rules to abide by in order to learn.  To yield one’s fist upon another takes a large amount of humility and grace not displayed in the violence act of the fight.  We have to endure discomfort that very few choose to begin and even fewer remain.  We must reshape the us in contrast to the landscape in order to achieve understanding.

I cannot imagine a purer scenario with which to live my life- on and off the canvas in varying rhythms.  Going out and reaching beyond our immediate community- other times, hunkering down at home—always- always we go in the fight with pure intention to achieve each detail with precision.

Nature in and around us, adapting, recreating.  We cannot breathe it in and out….it travels through us.  It is our duty to know ourselves at the core, for that will guide us to our humanity.




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language reveals intent

I’m interested in language and intent.  Interested in word usage and the meanings we choose from the words we use.  It’s important to me how we interact and how we take responsibility for our thoughts and verbiage.  We are in a world becoming increasingly unaware of the original meanings of words and we are losing the ability to have intelligent, well intentioned conversations, especially when there is disagreement.  As we  become more disconnected from one another, we disconnect our brains from our bodies.

“I’m just asking”

When using the word “just”- often times, one is defensive, has other intent than “just asking”, is feeling insecure and a whole host of other things.  We use the word as a way to justify our existence….to say we are righteous in our meanings and that the other person has done us wrong.  We use it to explain why we have the right to ask versus truly asking a question that has a singular intent.  In other words, our intent is mixed.  We have meanings underneath the reasons for our questions that we aren’t being truthful about.

“I accidentally bumped into you”

To me, this phrase is loaded with lack of taking responsibility.  If one truly wishes to be extensional to another….the phrase might go something like, “I bumped into and really affected your balance”…….”I’m rushing around and not paying attention and bumped into you”……etc…..etc…..etc…

Language and communication is complicated and loaded most of the time….it takes due diligence to speak with authentic and clean meanings.  It takes practice being able to listen to oneself while speaking.

In the ring, punches can also have mixed intent….We can punch from our bad day that might not have anything to do with our sparring partner…..we can punch from our anger  at the kind of childhood we experienced……this too has nothing to do with our sparring partner.  I prefer “clean” sparring.  Sparring that is an honest dialogue of interest, curiosity and skill building.

I also prefer “clean” sparring in conversation.  The more of it, the more we will be in the same stable going for similar extensional accomplishments.


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Thaw- The break-up

The ice slowly changes form- it’s frozen identity dying, breaking up becoming another version of itself.

The land is waking up as the sun shows itself more hours in the day and thaws the sleep from our eyes.

We work, not allowing the set up determine our efficacy for it is our intent, what we desire, that drives our vision.

We work, allowing new people to enter our lives, feeling their struggles and the similarity of all humans figuring out how to maneuver the land.

Our bodies hold the keys with their fractures and adhesions…..the straps within that bind and fight our desire to move freely.  Our bodies give feedback to our brain, the originator of thoughts and all the chemicals that course through our tissues.

Fix the body, and the brain will do it’s own breakup-  thoughts changing form, perception altered as the environment encasing it is changed.


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the mechanics

The most fluid, effective movement creating that effortlessly powerful punch.

I think about it non stop-  how do I get that punch from stationary to moving?
How to I spread the tension through my body so that I can maximize every sling and leveraged point in my body?

The mechanics of it all is what keeps me here……motivated…..driven……..the formulas that create the moment of impact as it glides through your arm while your trunk hosts anchor…….your feet stretch for the floor and you seem to wind in upon yourself…..It feels secure…grounded….it is yours.

I want to share this punch…….the feeling in the body to create that punch.  I want to find it for myself all the time…….The kind of movement that gives back energy and allows you to work at higher levels without tire.  Pain-free—-not stiff—-relaxed movement.

There are no days off-  I call it a lifestyle- Bri, owner RPS Madrona

I study this punch when I use a vacuum, walk the dogs and drive my car.  Connected body=connected mind.  Anxiety reduced, moved to action in your tissues…….an alive and springy feeling propelling you though the day.  I want this for myself and others.

Our problems are technical. Meaning that they can be resolved through mechanical self reflection and application- Naudi Aguilar, founder Functional Patterns

The more we get away from our bodies, away from nature, the more difficult it is to live without many dysfunctions affecting our health.  I observe older family members narrow their lives, then their range of motion, then their lives again…..and it seems that all movement stops in one little room, but we are a part of something so much more.  I will keep studying the punch because it fits my vision… fits the mold for being a problem solver.  It is my contribution……

There is so much around the delivery and receipt of the punch.  The complicated gap between you and me.  We can simplify it in a simple physical exchange filled with curiosity and skepticism.  We will learn more in between the words than had we talked for hours.


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More on a skilled life

Sitting in the wallows of self pity sometimes feels good-  for a moment anyway.  It’s nice to curl up and wrap the blanket around my whole body, snug, tight, compact and protected.  It’s soothing to lie still, to feel hurt, to feel loss, to feel what seems unchangeable…………

And then,

it’s time to get up… survey oneself with some logical questions.

What am I doing to make my situation be as it is?
Who am I blaming for my predicaments?  Have I looked in the mirror enough?
What can I do differently, right this very second to implement a different outcome?
What is my vision?
What are the obstacles in obtaining my vision?

Coyote Teaching-  not done through rote or memorization but through trial and error and experience. It’s lessons are for all of the senses and seek to instill in the student an insatiable, inner need for knowledge.  – The Forgotten Wilderness

Trial and error are necessary for true learning that cannot be taken away from you.  Trial and error give you great confidence as you navigate what you are doing in this life. I have trained close to 100 competitive boxers in over 15 years.  Each one has changed me inside and out.  Each one is getting me closer to the vision of what I want…..each one helps me refine my vision.  And every single one has allowed my passion for boxing to burn with the intensity that lives within- my hunger for unending learning.

Grandfather, Great Spirit,
Grant that I may feel the rapture
In your little things
That I do when I gaze upon
Your grand vistas.
-Stalking Wolf, May 1959 (Tom Brown’s The Forgotten Wilderness)

It is the daily, mundane biomechanics training, the repetition of perfecting a movement….a thought process…..It’s the over and over getting it wrong, until it is right that interests me.  Whether the boxer will have the skill of a beginner or the skill of an elite level athlete… matters to me if the daily is not looked upon with awe and wonderment.  We have a duty to do and see the small things as if they were our most precious treasure.

I had used much of my knowledge and most of my skill and I was proud of the way they had worked. But, there was no elation in it. I had done a difficult thing well, but I could not exult. -The Tracker

I don’t have superiors to tell me how great I am, to tell me I am doing a good job……I have to know.  I have to feel it from the inside out.  This is what I am cultivating when I work with coaches and boxers.  It is the rudimentary skill building that is ours and ours alone….that needs no recognition from the outside………We have to know what work we have done and was it to the best of our current skill level.  I have to do my best and know there is more to be done.

Concentric Rings:  Nothing can move in the natural world without affecting everything else. – Tom Brown’s -The Forgotten Wilderness

Everything I do today, moves something for me tomorrow……it moves something for my gym and my community.  Everything I do is connected to nature to my fellow humans and I must proceed each day understanding my connectedness……..or I am nothing.



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Living a skilled life

I was 17 when I took the job at the nursing home.

I was living a lost life and the nursing aid job, sports and high school studies kept my head barely above water.

My senior year I worked night shift, went to school and basically got shit done while in a complete  sleep deprived state.  I was in survival mode.

One cannot achieve happiness in life without skill.  Live a skilled life.-  Gio Cabrera Mioletti

I lived a life of very little skill.  Emotionally deficient, a low emotional IQ, a pension for victimhood and blaming.  A life full of dramatic occurrences, over and over.  I was a hot head, quick to judge and quick to act irrationally.  I was always in the right and everyone else was stupid.

Happiness comes with a connected body and mind.  It comes with holding oneself accountable via extremely high standards.  Happiness comes with obtaining skills that contribute to the improvement of our society.  It comes because we demand that we use our natural gifts and worked for gifts for the betterment of all and not just ourselves.

Living a skilled life is a never-ending process.  It is more than just punching a time clock to pay bills.  Living a skilled life will have you appreciating daily what has happened and looking forward to the next even if it’s going to be hard as hell.


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through the cracks……emerge


You can aim for something and then it slips out of your hands- Eliud Kipchoge

Walking forward, very little veering….I see the future…… desire seeping from every pore-  Aiming for something…not knowing the specific way.   My vision- pin point, relentless and piercing.

Intent pulsing with every heartbeat…….a knowing……a certainty……the players ever changing…..the field of play consistent…..slipping through my hands until I change direction.

My results contained within the rules of physics and perception……

There is no end game…..the vision ever expansive…..a concept…..a goal for humanity….contribution and growth infinity.  Slipping through my hands until I side step.

Daily details……intricate interactions……a hard edge to stave off the obstacles threatening to halt my motion.  An obsession with what is right……what is just and what makes a difference.  Slipping through my hands until I go around.

Desire, year after year as strong as the last to get me to the next…….Ever emerging….








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living life with no choice

It’s always in the imagination that fear makes its easiest bed.  – The Tracker


Our nervous system links our body and mind.  We are a host of signals and chemical reactions that are influenced and interpreted by our environment.  So many of us stop ourselves before we even get going–often filtering information with our imagination.

The job description of a boxing coach includes being able to handle disappointment….. to weather heartbreak. To be able to know what should happen but stand back when those under your tutelage cannot see or believe it.  Being a boxing coach includes doing the repetition over and over knowing that you may have these let downs infinitely.

Our experiences are larger than ourselves and they are more immense than our mind can comprehend in the moment.

Because I am a boxing coach and was a competitive boxer,  I have developed a keen sense of instinct….an ability to read body language down to the tiniest micro-movement.  I have learned to sit in discomfort without need to change……. Learned to hear what words mean in the context of a sentence or a mannerism……  learned to express my range of emotions without guilt and to feel a parabola of feelings.

Being a coach makes me face what I don’t want to feel and no matter how I try to avoid things, I get hemmed into a corner…..forcing me to see what I want to close my eyes to.

Fearful anticipation gives us excuses and allows us to be irresponsible.  We can escape without having to step up to all that we are. Being a boxing coach has not allowed me to live in this land, rather it has forced me to step to the precipice, take a deep breath and jump.

Never have I not ultimately landed on my feet……..


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overhearing conversations

Several months ago, I went to get food at one of my favorite Thai places, Bai Tong.  I always like to sit at the bar, whether I have an adult beverage or not.  It’s the place where the most conversation and interaction happens.

It’s the place a bunch of individuals feel comfortable in each other’s proximity by design.

I was loosely listening to a conversation of a lady on her phone.  It sounded like she was in trouble for being repeatedly late to work.  She was talking to someone she was mandated to contact.  I have no idea how it works, who she works for, what processes she had to follow but I’ll paint the scene as best I can.

It was midday, I was 4 seats to her left, tv in comfortable viewing for me to catch up on sports.  She, mid-20’s, slightly well kept in casual Friday kind of wear taking up 3 bar stool spaces with official paperwork, computer and phone.  In between sips of beer, she talks loudly into phone, hand on head pressing face into wrinkled distortions.

“We are allotted to be 5 minutes late and I’ve been 6-11 minutes late 6 times over the past month.  I live in West Seattle and work on First Hill, so traffic can be bad.  And it wouldn’t normally be a problem but I just got this new manager and she tracks and now I am supposed to talk to you.  I mean I’ve never been more than 12 minutes late……”

The conversation went on and on and all I could think was “just get to work on time.”  I wanted to ask her if she exercised, if she had pain, if she had a hard time sleeping…..I just couldn’t understand how she couldn’t see that she had complete control over the situation.  I wanted to understand how she felt like a victim in this situation……I wanted to understand if she could hear what she was saying…..where was her accountability? She could leave extra early every day, move homes, move jobs…..I don’t know, just anything except for be late for work frequently enough that you are in trouble.

And then I thought, what kind of a job budgets in to be 5 minutes late every day?

What is going on in our culture?  No one is responsible.  What are our standards?

I want to be accountable to myself and others always…..I want to be called out by those who care about me and themselves when I mess up and I want to learn about how and why I do what I do.  Let’s keep an awareness revolution going….let’s #BoxOn and be accountable for our decision making.



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In the Below

4am the alarm jolts me up out of bed– but let’s be honest….the anxiety of oversleeping had me awake at 12:00……1:30…….2:15…….3:30……….

Luggage, snow shoes, backpack….all a part of the essentials needed for this trip as we catch a Lyft to Seatac.

I like to be early, Coach Jen prefers the last minute….somewhere in between we arrive and get to our gate as we board during the final boarding call.  It’s an uneventful flight in the dark with minimal turbulence and a perfect landing.

8:40 AM and the sun is still asleep….preferring to rise closer to 10.  It’s 12 degrees above zero and I concentrate on keeping my body from tensing against the pressure of the cold.   Cold is invigorating and powerful.  I like to test my mental aptitude against it while leaving myself an out—-like going back indoors or wearing more layers.

I’ve been practicing using the Wim Hof breathing method and finishing my showers with freezing cold.  It’s a discipline that is seeping outside of the shower and into other parts of my life.

I’m getting more comfortable with very little excitement in my life..reducing the drama… I’ve said a bunch of times…..I get up each day and metaphorically Chop Wood then Carry Water.  It’s as our indigenous people have done for years……Get up, listen to nature and prepare oneself to make it through another 24 hours.

I’m getting more comfortable with what it takes to do the menial work of owning a gym, develop oneself and other coaches.  There are no training montage reels for taking out trash and recycling or asking others to complete tasks you need help with.  There are no 30 second splashes of video reel going over how to deliver a jab for the 1000th time. There is just the steady commitment to self and community.

This is all we are doing up here in #thebelow  We are doing the same thing you are doing back home……diligently working on our skills, working on other folks skills and seeing where we have succeeded and failed.

Please join us in doing cold showers..(still ending with 1 minute freezing cold)…..posting your pictures when you are in nature and when you are at the gym. Tag @arcaroboxinggym  We are all doing this work together.



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