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In Crypto and Blockchain we Trust

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Bitcoin has recently plummeted having it’s worst month of the year in November and the Bearish market continues throughout the entire crypto arena. This makes me sad.

I currently have a small monetary stake in crypto but this is not the primary reason this sadness me. It is because I love Bitcoin and blockchain technology and the issues they solve. Bitcoin is mathematically sound and sticks the middle finger to big bankers and fat cats who have enjoyed an easy ride skimming off other peoples’ money for far too many years now. They have had far too much control and next to no accountability. We can now transfer money (crypto) globally without the excessive conversion fees Further to this with Bitcoin in particular, we have a globally safe unit of value protected from our governments’ often irresponsible printing of more money, for economic reasons, that continues to devalue the government money and in turn our ‘traditional’ savings. Bitcoin should always, at the very least retain it’s value. It fulfills the requirements of a currency and it has a maximum cap of only 21 000 000 Bitcoin that will ever be produced. Due to this fact,  Bitcoin will always have the advantage of scarcity in the future. We could go on for hours about the endless industries that platforms such as Etherium will impact and the solutions that the Blockchain will provide to real world problems in business and finance, but here let’s just stick to Bitcoin. 

There is no major reason why Crypto prices should be falling except that there are more sellers than buyers, Investing 101 right? The issue is this clearly should not be the case when it comes to Bitcoin in particular. It’s a real shame that the vast majority of investors are doing so emotionally. Bitcoin solves a massive problem, the problem of banks and middlemen taking advantage of people, and it genuinely doesn’t have a major flaw (barring transaction speed, which other Cryptos have forked to provide).  If it is not emotion or panic that has caused this latest down faze it does make one wonder about the possible manipulation of the Crypto markets by whales and big business. They have so much money that they can game the markets via causing excess volatility and crashes. They can then buy back in at the all time low price for ultimate profit.  Barring these scenarios it must simply be people spending so much on christmas gifts they no longer have money remaining to invest. Whatever the reasons, or more likely a combination of all the issues outlined, it’s important to understand that Bitcoin will always be save and do what it’s supposed to. Cryptocurrency/Blockchain technology will be revolutionary and I don’t want to miss out. I, for one, believe and trust in Crypto and the Blockchain and I believe you should too.

So you wanna be a Fighter?

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Because of my now somewhat advanced age for competitive sports. I now have a new idol to look up to in the Combat Sports world, Robin Black. Robin, a Canadian, was a former front man for a Glam rock band before the drug lifestyle caused a serious scare for him. He needed a complete career change, so being a childhood Bruce Lee fan with some martial arts practice in his youth, he chose to enter the world of MMA. He already had a full career behind him and he didn’t have his first pro fight until he was 38. I find this really inspiring, he faced much ridicule for his choice to enter mma at an advanced age, and even though he did not end with a great record it does show what can be achieved with true passion and dedication. Robin now analysis and breaks down pro fights.

Injury has pretty much put an end to any ambitions I had in competitive mma, but after my latest operation (I made an old injury much worse in a grappling match) I’m able to box without any real issue. Combine this with the fact that boxing was my original boyhood passion I feel this is the way to proceed now and to now fully proceed with full purpose.

I am 33 now but I want to be competitive for as long as I can be in Boxing. I need something to really train for and keep me in top shape. This dedication and progression will help me meet good friends, reduce anxiety and any depression, give me goals to hit and encourage me to keep a healthy body. Thumbs up to Robin Black for being an outlier and showing what can be done.

Fight Memories

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From the very beginning I loved fighting. I have fond memories of watching the 18 rated films of Bruce Lee, Van Damme, Slyvester Stallone and schwarzenegger as a pre-teen. Bruce Lee stood out here not only because of his films but his character. I had a Van Damme boxset that I loved. It included Bloodsport, with it’s dangerous mortal kombat vibe and the Stan Bush classic rock soundtrack. The set also included Death Warrant and  Cyborg, for an early glimpse of side boob before the days of free internet access and hardcore porn. I idolized Schwarzenegger in his iconic role as Conan and fell in love with Stallone’s Rocky. My favourite gaming genre was fighting and I had addictions to the Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and Tekken series of games over the years. I was always excited to catch the WWE when I could and even had an adrenaline iducing introduction to the UFC in an ultimate knockouts compilation. 

I moved on to boxing in the Lewis, Tyson and Holyfield 90’s boxing era, the Don King era. It brings back memories of staying up all night to catch a rare fight broadcast on TV in the UK or to listen to radio commentary. This ‘shady’ Don King era congers up visions to me of smokey bars and halls that boxing historians much romanticize that were no doubt the reality of a much earlier time than this. I bought the Knockout Kings games 99 then Knockout Kings 2000 for PS1 to get further acclimatized with the sport. Before this I was already a boxing historian I got fascinated by Ali and bought books and film to study the entire history of boxing from the foundation of the Queensbury rules.

Looking back I now realize that these influence have been my programming to want to achieve through competition and not be a ‘regular joe’. and I lost this path somewhere along the way. I think this is the main reason that I became so unhappy just hanging around town drinking. I saw this was what accepted as the norm but deep down inside I wanted more and still do. Joe Rogan thought that he was a loser growing up until he began to excel at martial arts, from this he got the confidence to start his stand-up comedy career, TV, his commentary career with the UFC and his famous JRE podcast.

Throughout these years I was fit and strong and had natural athleticism and although I dabbled in a variety of sports I still wasn’t yet mentally strong enough to go train regularly at a boxing gym and take my own fight journey seriously enough.. 

Career Update – Strengthening Resolve

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I’m out of full time employment again. Over the last couple of years I have done work for a couple of dodgy companies from being threatened at the back allay Williams Amusements to attempting work at the Polish stronghold at the Swedish Symphony in my hometown of Barnsley, UK. I lasted 9 weeks there and I felt like I was in a foreign country and felt very alone. I have since gone on to study basic Railway Engineering unpaid for a couple of months. The UK has recently stepped up training for railway workers in anticipation of HS2 (New highspeed rail network – connecting the north and South of the country) seeing that the profession was listed under a possible fit for introverts I gave the career direction a shot. I managed to get myself shifts on the railway since. It’s not a career path for me. Irregular infrequent shifts driving round on my own at night anywhere in the country trying to find where I’m supposed to be. I’m sure there’s many good people in the industry but what’s worse is I lent three people money during this short time and all three failed to pay me a dime back with a couple blatantly lying to my face. It was a learning experience at least.  

Again my most recent experiences as an employee have done nothing but solidify my ambition to work for myself or follow my true interests and passions for a company that shares the same. I was getting better with the web development and design before these forays once again into these work experiments and this is what I’m going straight back to. I believe the only reason I stray from the path of being true to myself is due to the lack of support and community of people in my circle doing the same. If you are in the same boat please get in touch.

I’ve been reading Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad book series and it has relighted my desire to focus on myself and on building assets instead of lining the pockets of an uncaring corporation.. Following Robert’s advice I plan to register a business of my own when the time is right and expand and grow from there.

Find That Voice

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From time to time I pick up the guitar and continue trying to sing. Other things now occupy my time but I’ll never forget my love of music. I used to be obsessed with trying to be a virtuoso guitar player but my focus has changed significantly. I now want to concentrate on improving my voice a bit more and hopefully one day get out there and collaborate. My music tastes are also maturing and I become a big Bruce Springsteen fan a few years ago. The way I look at things is, is that the things I love and what I have worked towards in the past are ongoing and a ‘work in progress’. I’ve not mastered music or other areas of my life yet but no matter if there are gaps in between I’ll continue to learn throughout my life and will continue to get better. It doesn’t matter if these things are no longer my career aspirations because all these things help self-improvement and problem solving skills. Practice of a discipline instills discipline and dedication can get you far. I’ve heard Joe Rogan echo these sentiments and I’m in total agreement. Finding my voice I’m sure will help me begin to promote myself. I’m a natural introvert and don’t enjoy being the center of attention but I understand that’s not ideal in our digitally connected modern society.

I now have a Filipina girlfriend so if you know anything about the Filipino karaoke culture learning to sing a little is now more important than ever for me! I’ve got comfortable singing in front of her now. We recently sang together here in Hanoi, Vitname in a karaoke booth and she has already had me singing at parties with friends and family.   

I may attempt vlogging just to improve my marketing and self promotion skills and to hear my own voice speak with confidence. Both vlogging and singing will help me hear my own voice. Being a natural introvert I don’t spend a lot of time speaking, so the bottom line is.. I need to develop that voice.

Living In South-East Asia

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Some little things I’ve noticed after moving back over to Southeast Asia to be with my Filipina girlfriend:

  • The toilet rolls here are ultra thin and mini. You’ll have to do much more than double up. It’s also not always so easy to find somewhere to wipe your hands after using the Banyo. 
  • I’m a favourite of the mosquitoes and insects.
  • You will have an egg with every meal and curry and spices for breakfast.
  • The toaster is now gone. In it’s place will be the rice cooker.
  • You may have a fork and spoon but never a knife. Of course you may also have chop sticks instead.
  • You will come across places with everyone sat sitting the same direction, as if at a concert, even if ther’s nothing to look at.
  • Lifestock and cattle may well be grazing directly next to the road or rail side.
  • If you go shopping anywhere, in Thailand in particular, there will be an endless supply of female clothes and fashions.
  • Riding a tuk tuk, train and motorbike here in general is real enjoyable. You can’t beat the feeling of a cool breeze in warm sunshine close to nature.
  • There’s an abundance of fresh fruit here and the food tends to be much healthier than in the west at much lower prices.
  • The Buddha Park in Vientiane, Laos is amazing and made me feel as though I was in the Kickboxer movie with Van Damme.
  • They don’t like me at Laos Immigration!

I’m experiencing new things here whilst continuing to grow and learn. I feel like attempting to get back in to kickboxing again after my latest knee op. What better place to try than Thailand right? And this time even with a supportive girlfriend by my side. My girlfriend is Filipina so I continue to improve my Tagalog language skills whilst working on my Web Development and continue my Blockchain and Cryptocurrency education.

Competition Time.. on hold.

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Well, I’m back from my blog hiatus, and I’m back with a much more positive mindset. Although the Royal Navy wouldn’t have me (Past ACL Reconstruction) I’ve had some much more important work and life experiences since. I may not have all aspects of my life organised. I’m missing some important relationships and work currently feels dis-organised and unstructured, but the one aspect I realise I have full control over is my own fitness, health and well-being.

I’m getting closer to getting my diet on point and I’m combining this with training and learning a lot. I have the occasional blip and still get smashed from time to time and seem to lose days from my life, but in the main these days are now much less common. Often I worry about my knee and to a lesser degree my lower back (if I’ve been really active throughout the day). I am getting up there in age for the young mans’ competitive combat in mma and I’ve been having aches and pains. This is where my visualization, belief and spirituality come in to play and will continue to do so.

Yoga Class Body Tough Royston

Down at Yoga Class at Body Tough

I progressed from only BJJ to MMA training after moving house and to a gym just down the street. Right on cue a local yoga class has also just started up at the gym and I’m going to make myself a regular there.  I was due to have an mma bout at FightStar Interclub to test start a possible competitive mma  journey. This didn’t materialize due to ongoing issues with arthritus in my right knee that I’ve been trying to ignore in the build up to my fight. Reality reared it’s head at the last however and I had to pull out. Maybe in the future if treatments improve I can get full confidence in my knee again and give it another go. For now however, especially with it being an ongoing struggle to access any healthcare, it’s not safe. I will also see how the grappling goes. I’ve since sparked up some old hobbies and my gym visits for now are way less frequent. It’s nice to have met some great guys down there too.

Steel Evo meets Body Tough

5 Great Reasons to Work for Yourself

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Be Your Own Boss

  1. Work when you want to/are ready to – Unless you’re extremely lucky you won’t have the benefit of being able to take it easy, but the flip side of working for yourself means you can clock on and off when you are ready and in the right frame of mind to work. You will more than likely end up working more hours than a regular job but you won’t mind because you’ll be pursuing something that actually interests you and something you really care about. Taking charge of your own working hours take discipline but that effort will lead to..
  2. Greater Rewards – You’re the one putting in all the hard graft, maybe alone, but that results in the potential to make the big bucks. In this way you truly are being rewarded for all your hard work, which may well be going unnoticed at a faceless company.
  3. You can put real passion in to your work instead of fobbing your customers off – I know from past personal experience working for large companies/conglomerates, especially in customer service roles, that the most important thing is to get the customer off the phone or out the door etc as soon as possible. It’s just a numbers game for these companies and they are obviously not truly interested in customer satisfaction anymore, they would much rather meet a quota. What I truly hate about these big business practices is that it will always be the genuine guys on the front line (The minimum wage workers in the stores and factories just trying to make a living) that will get all the shit and the flack from the unhappy customers when it is generally the fat cats at the top creating the problems. This unfortunately seems to be a fact of modern society for many large companies now and is the reason I will always value and respect small business over big business any day.
  4. You are in control of your own destiny – How many times have you heard the story of the hard working college/university graduate who followed the institutionalized path to the letter and become a company career man climbing the ladder to ‘success’ only to be left high and dry when that company faces problems or dissolves altogether. True, this could well happen working for yourself but in this case it will be down to you, and you alone.
  5. You don’t have to suck up to ‘the man’ – Let’s face it, working under idiots can be really frustrating and tbh many people in positions of power are just that. They don’t want any constructive criticism and they will under no circumstances accept that they may be wrong about something. Some just want to abuse the position and assert their power over others. Working for yourself you will never have to face this problem.

Of course self-employment comes with it’s own risks, you will never have that short term safety net and you will never have what we class as a ‘holiday’. This is the reason that it is so important that you enjoy what you are doing. The world of work is changing however. We live in a world of short term employment and zero hour contracts, so even if your goal is not to be long term self employed but to re-gain a foothold in a new company. You may as well still branch out in your own time, prove that you are willing to teach yourself new skills, keep active and produce a portfolio of work. Nothing is wasted.

Freedom

Six for the Price of One

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I find that there is many benefits of training in combat sports instead of going to a regular gym. Not only do you get fit and feel great you get many added benefits.

      • It’s not boring – You have a clear focus and you find that the time flies at the same time that you are getting a total body workout, both for the muscles and the heart and lungs. This is opposed to the gym where you are just moving on the spot and clock watching or moving from machine to boring machine focusing on each specific muscle group. I’ve done way too much of this in the past, although in fairness to myself I always used football or other sports as a more effective and enjoyable way to workout due to the focus and distraction elements described above. You are not aware that you are really having a workout because you are in the moment and focusing on competition.
Bored at the Gym?

Bored of the Gym?

      • It trains the mind as well as the body – Instead of just running on the spot or sitting there like a vegetable doing a bicep curl you are instead learning techniques requiring precise coordination. You are also learning strategy when competing against an opponent, you are taking in to account both your own and your opponents strengths and weaknesses in order to be successful. Notably this is particularly important with Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. I know if I had the chance to realise my perfect place to train it would be a large open mat area with a few bags, not somewhere overloaded with heavy gym machinery clutter.
BJJ Rolling

BJJ Rolling

      • Competition – Generally any good martial arts instructor will encourage their students to compete. By doing this you will be given the incentive, motivation and drive to prepare to succeed. It can give you that drive to get fit, keep fit and get fitter and be successful in competition.
      • Camaraderie – Most MMA clubs have great camaraderie between members and it’s possible to make friendships whilst training, sparring or competing. When you push both yourself and others to the limit you gain a great deal of respect for team mates and opponents and also yourself.
Michael Bisping and Kenndall Grove training at csw with Eric Paulson

Spot Michael Bisping and Kendall Grove?

      • It gives you confidence in other areas of your life.
      • You learn Self-defense – As an added bonus you’ll learn how to defend yourself out on the street as an added extra to keeping fit and healthy.
My BJJ Instructor Oliver Lovell Competing in the Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Championships

My BJJ Instructor Oliver Lovell Competing in the Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Championships

Weed in the Fight vs Booze

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I’m passionate about alternative medicines and the most healthy ways of relaxing and I am happy to support weed in the fight against booze as the most healthy choice as a relaxing past-time. Despite this, I do only have a drink to relax, not that I’m a hypocrite but the reason being, I live in the UK where cannabis in all it’s forms is still very much illegal and still has that negative stigma attached to it. I am condemned to drink to relax or socialize, as this is the only sociably acceptable thing to do. Further to this, and more importantly, I’m in the process of joining The Royal Navy Reserves and whilst I may not 100% agree with their policy on drugs I do respect it. I respect it because it is true that cannabis can be dangerous for the uninformed or those who lack control. It is complicated, the thing that can relax and ease anxiety can also cause it for example.

Joe Rogan taking a toke

Joe Rogan taking a toke

I firmly support Joe Rogan on the subject of cannabis. Pretty much anything in life that is taken to an excess or is ‘abused’ can be bad for you. If all you do is smoke weed all day then yeah.. you are not going to be a healthy and well rounded person, exactly the same as if all you did all day was exercise. If it is done in moderation however and is done for the right reasons I don’t see an issue with either Cannabis or alcohol. The only reason I would be more inclined to side with Cannabis over alcohol is that I believe that it is actually healthier (If researched beforehand) for a couple of reasons.

Joe Rogan Weed n CheesburgersAlcohol dehydrates the body. Even if you do the most efficient thing of only drinking spirits straight, you will not only be poisoning and dehydrating your body but you will be taking on board calories that will turn you in to a fat ass. Furthermore alcohol literally poisons the muscles, the negative affects which can take weeks to clear and you get back to full optimization, apparently getting wasted even interferes with your spinal fluid! Finally I feel the effect the drug actually induces (and yes alcohol is a drug like any other) is another important factor. Alcohol, although it initially lowers inhibitions, is a depressant and can easily exasperate feelings of anger, as history and certain of our own personal experiences show. Cannabis on the other hand, aside from having many medicinal benefits, generally produces a much more laid back, mellow or relaxed experience if taking an Indica strain.

The only real danger with cannabis is either being unprepared and not of having not done your research beforehand or abusing it to excess. There are two very separate and distinct types of cannabis, we have Sativas and Indicas which in a basic sense are the Yin and Yang of weed. They tend to medicate in the very opposite way to one another. I’m not preaching, as I’m certainly one to over indulge from time to time and I did so to a great extent in the past, not knowing then what I do now, but I’m happy to follow this blueprint for my future years to come in regards to natural medicine.

5 Things You Might Not Know About Steve-O

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Steve-O craziness

  1. He was born and spent his early years in London, England – His father was American and his mother Canadian, giving the guy 3 nationalities but he was born and spent a large part of his childhood in London. He left for America at age 4 but returned to England aged 9. He attended the American School in London back in those days.
  2. He started drinking at the age of 2 and first got properly wasted at the mighty old age of 4! – This info comes from Steve-O’s sister who he seems to have a great relationship with to the present day. Evidence of this pre-teen drunkenness is backed up by the family photo albums.
    Steve-O started early

    Steve-O started early

  3. He attended clown college and afterwards found work at the circus as a day job before finding fame on Jackass – Around 1997 he attended and graduated from the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College. His sister recommended it to him on account of it being the one place not charging tuition fees. He wasn’t immediately chosen as a clown, he went off and found performance work on a cruise ship before then taking up a position in the circus as a ‘day job’ whilst he continued to film his crazy stunts in his own time. It was during this time that he learnt to perfect his unique tricks that he still uses in his stand up shows today. He was athletic and also a decent skateboarder. There was hard work, thought and a fair degree of talent behind the pre-jackass Steve-O madness.
    At clown college

    At clown college

  4. He had to be sectioned after running in to trouble with his hefty alcohol and drug problem – Knoxville and co feared for his life after Steve-O sent some alarming emails at a low point. They held an intervention for him and for a short while he was placed on psychiatric hold where he encountered a guy brake dancing in his own shit in the hallway on his ward..oh boy.
  5. He somehow now looks younger than he did 20 years ago with a nice new set of teeth. He has recently appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience and states that he is now clean and sober and looks to be loving life. He looks great for his age and keeps in shape with his ongoing stand up shows. All in all he seems to be a good advert to show the important benefits of doing what you want to do with your life in your own way.

Steve-O

Pro Wrastling

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I recently started reminiscing back on catching glimpses of The Ultimate Warrior and the British Bulldog as a youth and how excited it made me at the time. Living in England I missed a great deal of the ‘pro’ wrestling action because of unfriendly time-zones but my dad tried to keep me updated as much as he could with news and highlights. He bought us the WWF Wrestlemania game for the Atari ST which I have only very recently sold on and I have great memories of playing that game back in the day. As I grew up and moved on to the Playstation I continued to love wrestling games. I had WWF Attitude and Smackdown on the Playstation 1 and I continued to occasionally catch highlights of the current pro wrestling story-lines as a guilty pleasure. I really do think the themes, gimmicks, the music and branding of pro wrestling all combine so well and translate to make hugely entertaining video games.

'WWF Attitude' Screenshot

WWF Attitude

WWF Smackdown 2

WWF Smackdown 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because I missed a great deal of the story-lines as a child I’m in the process of binge watching this retro bygone age of classic wrestling in my free time, ie The Hogan era. I’m looking back on some of the awesome entrances and gimmicks which were most often far better than the actual wrestling itself, such as The Legion of Doom’s theme song which was so simple yet so powerful and would blow the roofs off stadiums. Stuff like that shows the true power of punk when combined with the personalities and appearance of Hawk and Animal. A good example of this is the Legion of Doom’s 1992 Summerslam entrance which can be easily found here on YouTube. Music and pro wrestling just go together so well..even Ozzy Osbourne recognized this and made guest appearances in the WWE a couple of times. Ronda Rousey with her love of ‘rowdy’ name provider Rody Piper has also been known to show up in the WWE.

Ozzy and The Bulldogs

Ozzy and The Bulldogs

Ronda Rousey appears at Wrestlemania

Rousey appears at Wrestlemania

 

 

 

 

 

Pro Wrestling of this classic time period is still very much watchable as an adult simply for the pure comedy value and it surely inspires and entertains young kids who are still willing to suspend their disbelief. These factors mean pro wrestling should be commended for what it is, and that is simply unadulterated entertainment in it’s purest and simplest form. The dark side to pro wrestling back then however was the alarming abuse of steroids that took place. The Ultimate Warrior and The British Bulldog, aka Davey Boy Smith where both famously ousted from the WWF due to steroid issues before later returning..drug addictions took the lives of many famous wrestlers within this time period.

The British Bulldog aka Davey Boy Smith

Speaking of Davey Boy Smith I recently signed a petition to get him in to the WWE Hall of Fame which pushed the tally to over 10,000 votes. The information and link to the petition can be found at www.daveyboysmith.com  so be sure to get on it!

The WWF became the WWE and things are well and truly PG and Politically Correct now (don’t dare call one of the female wrestlers a diva!) and in my mind can’t compare to the classic shows of yesteryear. It’s also the case now that there is simply too much of it. It maybe worth a watch for a laugh now and again but for me nothing can quite compare to watching the LOD riding out to the ring with the music blaring and the sun setting over a packed Wembley stadium.

SummerSlam 1992 - Wembley Stadium

SummerSlam 1992 at Wembley Stadium also hosted the famous Intercontinental Championship match between Brett Hart and The British Bulldog

Ready to Grow Young Again

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When I was younger I remember writing in my ongoing journal – of sorts – that I would always be alright in life as long as I kept fitness, music and comedy within my life, and I still stand by that statement to this very day. This is the reason why I think it is important to keep a place in your life for the things you loved growing up.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2

Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1 and 2 were released in 1999 and 2000 respectively. These were exciting and inspiring times for me and many others in the same age range. I was playing at a time when I was coming to the end of my time in secondary school and I had the whole world ahead of me. We had new exciting new sports. games and technology and we were moving on to times of discovery and growth. I loved the combination of punk and rock with skating and I spent hour after hour on those two games which also helped me find the music that would go on to dominate my tastes in the years to come. The incorporation of the real life pros in the games was a big deal, I’d love spending time collecting all the tapes and completing all challenges to unlock each characters very own ‘movie’ segment – and this was in the days before YouTube too. The ‘movies’ were real life highlights from each characters’ careers and seeing these inspired me and some school friends to pick up a board and give it a go ourselves. This lead to some of the most satisfying experiences in my life trying out tricks on a friend’s estate whilst drinking and blasting out tunes from the garage.

Being English and looking back on skateboarding now I find myself inspired by Geoff Rowley. The guy found his passion and honed it on the mean streets of Liverpool before moving further a field to London, before then taking the huge leap to Southern California and total upheaval from such a raw early age, a real risk but also a real adventure. I’m not sure that I would have the balls or the conviction at such an early age but he took the plunge and made the move. He became a pro skater in the big ol USA and the legendary skateboarding parts ‘Sorry’,’Really Sorry’ and then ‘Extremely Sorry’ would follow along with his appearances in The Tony Hawks pro skater games. He took the risk, took full advantage and made it work. He also happened to be friends with the late, great Lemmy Kilmister from Motorhead, as can be heard on Geoff’s ‘Extremely Sorry’.

A Rowley wall-rideA young Geoff Rowley

I think I’d struggle with skateboarding now because of the knocks I would take, being around a stocky 13 stone I’m not sure that my build would allow it anymore, but I’m going to try the next best thing, surfing. I see this replacing cycling and mountain biking in my life in my quest for the healthiest possible mental and physical well-being. I can’t think of a better thing for mindfulness than surfing. Both skateboarding and surfing, having their similarities, and are great for both distraction from the continual thoughts of the mind and keeping you in the present moment. Visualization is another positive factor that can be utilized whilst away from the board. What can be better than removing the nagging, niggling useless anxious thoughts from the mind by replacing them with visualizing landing the perfect trick in your favourite spot? In much the same way I still  have my interests from the past in combat sports and I can keep this alive with my Brazilian Jiu-jitsu training and competition. I have my first BJJ competition lined up for the 26th of March this year and I’ll use this as an incentive to get in great physical shape. I hope to employ the same mindfulness techniques in the sport as I would with surfing although being in the moment in BJJ competition can be somewhat more intense. Visualizing whilst away from the mats is again a must, with BJJ being a mental chess game as well as a physical battle. The more technique run through the mind and the more outcomes visualized the better. The power of the mind should never be overlooked. BJJ also has crossover benefits with certain yoga styles such as yin yoga. I find the two fairly interchangeable and you’ll find that doing one will help out with the other.

Surfing at sunset

Modern Invasion of Europe?

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So, the Syrian migrant/refugee crisis..where to start on this one. Well the first point every white Britain now has to clearly emphasis is that I am far from racist or against immigration. I do admit however that I am against mass uncontrolled immigration and that is precisely what is happening throughout Europe at present. Of course I have empathy for genuine refugees that require aid and I despise my own government which is partially responsible for the whole debacle in the first place. The main issue we have is that a majority of the ‘refugees’ that are arriving at the boarders are clearly not refugees at all, they are economic migrants looking for a better quality of life for themselves making a mockery of the plight of the genuine refugees from Syria. Most do not stop in the first safe country they arrive in and attempt to seek refugee, they instead move on to the next country and what they perceive as better. The vast majority are all young males of fighting age who have chosen to abandoned woman and children at home in order to seek a more comfortable life for themselves instead of staying and fighting for their homeland. The situation is the very opposite of what is historically supposed to happen in a refugee crisis as a result of war.

Another glaring issue is that a large proportion of the migrants are not actually from Syria but surrounding countries. Discarded documents have been found identifying nationalities but these are disposed of in hopes of a free pass that will more than likely be granted by the EU. They all appear well fed and dressed, there’s lots of beaming smiles and I’m sure many have a better smart phone than myself. All these factors are obviously clear to the EU government and in any of times past this situation clearly would not happen, it would be absurd to even think of. The mainstream media is also clearly only pedaling pro migrant propaganda unless it is forced to cover a story due to the pressures of social media, and the problems that we are seeing now that a lot of the migrants have began to ‘settle’, in Germany for example, could have easily been predicted with anyone with a functioning brain.

The modern Trojan horse

The modern Trojan horse lead to Europe

The question we now have to ask is why is this being forced upon us by our European government? It is not for the reason that governments are trying to push through mainstream media, that they perceive it as the only option to stop the supposed ‘suffering’ of all the migrants. That is simply not true. The vast majority of the people within Europe were never given a vote on what should happen and they blatantly ignore the voice of the people they are supposed to represent anyway. I believe the truth is that the vast majority of the politicians couldn’t care less about the suffering of the people both national and international, the only possible reason is to further an agenda. An agenda of power, greed, money and control. More migrants entering is good for big business – more people, more competition for work, cheaper labour etc, but even more importantly it gives further stability to the corrupt politicians currently in the seats of power who will have secured the future votes of the huge number of migrants whom they have welcomed with open arms and bent over backwards for, often at the expense of their own native populations. There is also the factor of globalized world government wanting to clear and take over the middle east and Syria via the ongoing de-stabilizing tactics and seize the oil reserves, the chaos and unrest that this whole situation brings could well fit in to the ‘big picture’.

The New World Order is the Enemy of Humanity

This of course opens up the debate of the supposed New World Order (NWO) or even the Coudenhove-Kalergi plan. I am most definitely not a conspiracy theory guy, although I’ll admit like many I do find many conspiracy theories interesting, but this is the one situation that is so obviously out in the open and so blatantly against common sense that leads me to believe that in many aspects the rise of a NWO is actually a very true theory and is not really a conspiracy theory at all. One only needs to look at the workings of the European parliament, working as a dictatorship, removing power from individual countries and governed by individuals that have not even been elected to see the centralized powers clearly already forming in front of our eyes. The main problem is that most people are simply too distracted with the X-Factor or Kim Kardashian’s ass to look, or even care.

Illuminati confirmed

Illuminati confirmed

Dan Hardy and the Pursuit of Ayahuasca

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UFC fighter, life-long martial artist and punk and metal-core fan Dan Hardy is turning spiritual.  The man that used to enter the Octagon to the sound of ‘England Belongs to Me’ by the legendary underground punk band OI! now practices yoga alongside his martial arts and has visited the depths of the peruvian jungle for Ayahuasca ceremonies. I knew nothing of the spiritual and mental benefits of Ayahuasca and other psychedelics (psyilosybin containing magic mushrooms for example) until I saw interviews with the outlaw opening up on his positive and constructive experiences with psychedelics. Being a big fan of both the UFC and the Outlaw in particular, and also positive physical and mental well-being, discovering this was a big deal for me.

Nottingham born MMA and UFC fighter Dan Hardy

Undertaking an Ayahuasca ceremony involves ingesting an ancient, indigenous brew containing psychedelic compounds perfected by the amazonian natives back in the day. The ceremony is led and directed by a shaman and involves each participant to introspect under the influence of the Ayahasca and with the absence of the human ego. As Dan Hardy himself puts it, he doesn’t do this stuff for fun, It’s a deeply introspective process where you take a long hard look at yourself without your own ego at work, it can be at times a deeply anxiety promoting experience (often including vomit and unexpected bowl movements) but that is all part of the process in itself. Dan uses Ayahuasca and psyilosybin in particular to step back away from his problems and to see the ‘whole picture’ clearly. He sees it as a feeling of ‘leveling up’ as in a video game and a discovery of a clear path to take until the monotony of modern life breaks the clarity and the medicine calls him again.

Further to this many people have reported using these types of natural psychedelics as alternative medicine to tackle there issues with anxiety and depression as the process of looking at ones life in this state allows them to put there life in to perspective and see things for what they really are. Reports of anxiety/depression sufferers who have tried this method state that they have a much clearer and calmer focus long after the experience and some even claim that they have been permanently cured by the experience.

Supping the brew

Gathering for Ayahuasca

Hearing of Dan and many other peoples healing and self-developing experiences with psychedelics encouraged me to search for and try psyilocybin myself. I live in an area that is abundant with liberty caps, basically the perfect climate for the growth of the perfect psyilosybin packed magic mushroom. Unfortunately we have had a fairly unproductive season this autumn and scouring with my untrained eye I wasn’t able to find very many of the kind I was looking for. I did manage to find a small amount which I took in a familiar and relaxed setting washed down with some fresh orange juice. If you are unfamiliar with psychedelics always research how to take them safely before consuming anything..and obviously always make sure you know 100% what you are taking! I didn’t take a huge amount so never experienced the feeling of detachment from ‘this reality’ into something otherworldly. I just experienced a very mellow and relaxed high with very mild visual hallucinations that were more intense with eyes closed. It was a perfect state for meditating and I did feel a deeper clarity and ‘warmness’ that made me feel very emotional.

Because of my extremely miniature haul of shrooms obtained, I decided that I would have a go at growing my own ‘Magic Truffles’ – the underground growing varient of the shrooms that affect us in much the same way as the shrooms in general. I got hold of some spores and cultivated them as appropriate. This process is ongoing and I hope to be able to use some home grown truffles to cultivate some actual mushrooms in the future with growing experience.

I would love to try an Ayahuasca ceremony but I don’t know of any taking place in England where I live. I would also love to travel to the source and head off to the South American jungle for a ceremony, the whole thing is really not too cheap however and there is the whole safety aspect to consider. It is a trip I most definitely want to make in the future though once I become more knowledgeable.

To the jungle

To the jungle

Paul Weller and The Jam

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The Jam’s music is one of the main reasons that I am on the path I am on today. Throughout a lot of my teenage years they were the most important band in my life with ‘Away from the numbers’ being the seminal defining track. That track defines my outlook on life in a nutshell, wanting to be far away from the rat race, not conforming to rigid systems and social norms and generally shunning mainstream society. I never could follow the whole mod identity though, because surely to me that is conforming in itself? Regardless of that, even though they weren’t active at the time of my youth (Paul was well in to his solo career by then) they were easily my favourite and most influential band for a fair while. Most people much preferred the ‘trendy’ indie music of the time, but I’ve never been one to follow the crowd. The Jam’s music really defined a lot of what I felt at the time; all that energy and anger but with an outlook for change and productivity. I fit the mould perfectly to be a long time Jam fan and I always will be, regardless of moving on to more contemporary music tastes in general.

Cover for The Jam's breakthrough album 'In The City'

Cover for The Jam’s breakthrough album ‘In The City’

I began to move away from what Paul Weller was putting out musically over the years. I listened to the vast majority of his popular Style council tracks and a lot of his solo work too, but I think I was at the wrong age in my life to really relate to it and appreciate it to it’s full extent.

I have just very recently started looking him back up online and read a couple of articles about Weller the person instead of just focusing on the music. I find that Paul himself is often extremely angry and in many interviews I see him saying that most people don’t like him anyway. There are some stories of his prickly nature and him completely ruining the social vibe that I find really amusing. Such as being in the back seat of a car and shouting to the driver to “turn that shit off” only to be told that it was him on the radio singing ‘The Changingman’, or when Paulo Hewit finally snapped on him because he had spent all night moaning about how “crap” computers and the internet were. He also managed to silence everyone when out for drinks one day by glaring and demanding “Where’s my fucking change, Gary?” and starting a scene..even though Gary had not even paid and finished with the drinks order yet. It’s these types of stories that myself, and I’m sure others who are fairly highly strung with perfectionist or OCD type tendencies can find pretty hilarious because of the relatability. Even if you don’t say it you sure as hell think it!

I’m sure that, minus the ego, Mr Weller is a solid, decent hardworking guy and that there is much about him that is simply misunderstood. I do still find it hard to believe, from personal experience, how a nice person can take so much abuse, shit and anger for simply not being happy, or being an ‘individual’ and not a proper part of the group, so possibly this is something he’s experienced too.

I also never realised just how much the guy likes a drink! I love the story of him and his friend Stephen Cradock getting so smashed as young teens that they ended up laying flat out in the middle of the road roaring with laughter as the cars swerved around them. Must have been some night. A memorable video I came across was this drunk scene from 2008 with Paul and his missus. It’s just too funny!

Paul Weller made it from an extremely young age. He has made his money now so it’s really up to him what he wants to do. He does look as though his heavy lifestyle looks to have possibly taken a pretty heavy toll on him physically maybe. He has the means to support himself however and he can do whatever the hell he likes really..although it’s possible it might not be the greatest example for his kids. Long life the modfather!

A Young Paul Weller with Iconic Rickenbacker

A Young Paul Weller with Iconic Rickenbacker

You Don’t Have To Worry.

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I want to write this article to tie up my other articles about positive well being and there is a single hugely important point that I want to make. That point is, if you are looking upon your life in the right way you simply don’t need to worry, just get on with your life. Even if you feel absolutely terrible at this present moment in time the feelings are so unlikely to last. Over time the only way such thoughts and feelings can continue is by dwelling on the thoughts and negativity and by avoiding your passions and where you want to go in live. Fair enough you have commitments and you may have to work a job, or go to a school that you hate, but you don’t have to be there the whole time, let your mind take you to where you want to be.

Motivational Inspirational Positive Quotes and Phrases / Change Your Mindset, Believe in Yourself, Be Positive, Enjoy Life

Sure enough I still often experience periods of real anger thinking of the injustices of the past and it is not always possible to take your mind away. This can becomes a real issue when you have too much time on your hands, you work alone and you are not given the opportunities to get out there and move on even though you want to, and desperately try to. At these points every day feels like a week, a week a month and so on.. it is important to realise here that there is always another way or something else that you can be doing that day to improve yourself. In the incidences when I am really angry I just put on some Metallica or Offspring and work out like crazy. I always find this makes anger subside enough that I can concentrate on what I want to. Life isn’t fair and that is a fact, and that’s even though I do believe karma exists to a certain extent. When it is possible to look forward and get things done however, follow your goals. They will be both the ultimate distraction and your savior.

I purposefully only want to write a very limited number of articles on promoting positive mental health because I firmly believe that once you understand the problems – your mind set, and the solutions -CBT (changing the way you view things) and catharsis, then, personally for me, the best way to move forward is to move on and take your life where you want it to be going. Practically ignore the current feelings and emotions and do everything you can to move forward. This is the reason why I have wrote these articles about promoting positive mental health and published them on my personal website, to remind myself what to do continually and how I should look at things. Sure we know the concepts, but when life gets hectic and busy and when things get tough it is also very easy to forget how to look at things in the right way. Sure my advice will not be applicable or useful to many, because they have experienced different things. I can’t speak and advise on severe depression, bi-polar or debilitating phobias or chronic OCD issues, but I have experienced severe levels of high anxiety in the past, and this is how I coped and came through it.

Fight through the bad days to earn the best days of your life

So true

Transforming your mindset may not be easy, but throw in some motivation and inspiration to go where you want to go and you will eventually make it though. I look around and I see plenty of people who experience mental health issues but they still have the problems I used to have. They are too analytical and they are dwelling on the issues too much. Instead of trying to understand what you are feeling, focus on improving yourself and getting what you want from life. I feel this may be one of the reasons that YouTube channels concerned with mental health, and hosted by people who have experienced very real issues, are often not hugely successful, because, yes people can relate, but it can also be muddled and depressing. Everyone experiences anxiety and depression differently, people are unlikely to have experienced exactly what you have, if you can, why not get on, be healthy and move on and up.

Look back, and smile on perils past quote