Express yourself

So today I have been chillin after work. My mother and I were discussing about repairing denim jeans. From reading the latest GQ issue about repairing denim jeans, which was relieving! She recently made a statement about how black women don’t want a man with SMALLER jeans. I told her well they are just going to miss out then (jungle fever mode anyway).

My legs (thighs) are perhaps an extreme pet peeve I have with my self because they are look kinda mutated lol.. From looking at my pics, I am NOWHERE near an ALT (no shade); however, I am not a skinny twig either! An athletic build black brotha with extreme passion for fashion is very hard to come by!

One of the gripes I have with places which are not as fashion forward is the LATENESS! For example, the jeans they consider small are straight leg jeans. Straight jeans are not skinny nor loose fitting. While the urban demographic in my area wears dated clothing (i.e. baggy), I choose to wear straight leg. 1) They compliment the silhouette of my garments better 2) body is more proportionate

One of the worst thing you choose to do is change the way which make you appreciate yourself for the benefits of others. Doing this will actually lose a piece of your true character. That is so stupid! why should you change your appearance for other people whether you are trying to get into a relationship, establish a friendship, etc. I only believe the only time you should think about what people say is when its about your money. Its crazy society wants to view you a certain way because you are different. Being different is great! different is what makes people successful! Different is what made Bruce Lee extraordinary! DIfferent is what made Kanye West and Prince separated from the rest! Different gives the world a pop of character and integrity! So if a close-minded non-fashion sense woman chose not to date me because I wear my clothes FITTED, then you should perform a hara-kiri (kill ya self). I am gonna get mine, so I best you all should do the same.

Training day

I drove across the bridge to train with some of my home boys this past week in southern Indiana. They happened to be black belts as well. It was quite refreshing to have an official workout with people you grew up with in the martial arts. Since it was our first time training together, we focused on footwork/cardio and counter drills. Sometimes when there is alot of testosterone in the room, there will always have at least one person who has the ego.

Even though it wasn’t anything severe, but its often best for us to know when we should have a say or simply let it just flow. Of course we are living in the land of the so-called free, but making egocentric statements in regards to training is not tolerated! If there is something you can not do or lack, the people you train with should be there to help you.

Martial arts training is not a race; however, it is indeed a marathon. We each have our own type of sprint in our journey towards our destination.There is no need to sprint faster or trip the person next to you! Most of the time their goals are completely different from ours. Each training session is like each step within the marathon. This step is getting us closer to our destination. Therefore, there are no need for egos when you running a marathon.

Overall, I appreciate working on the footwork drills! I was totally exhausted but it is making a better martial artist and a fighter as well! Footwork is totally essential (footwork coming soon). Hope to post some of my videos up soon!

Let’s make this straight

My overall goal for my blogs is to embrace diversity and slice the systematic way of thinking from my aesthetics in martial arts and fashion.  One of the greatest articles (so real) I ever have read is Harper’s Bazaar’s Q&As with the straight men of fashion. Now most people think its just a Q&A, but it meant beyond that to people like me! Interviewed from the style guy of GQ magazine, Glen O’ Brien to Dirk Standen of was a relief of fresh air.

The questons were consisted on personal opinions. For example, who is considered to be the sexiest fashion house or designer, favorite fashion shows, etc. Every one in the article gave their own individual input, which is respectable by all means!  if you was to ask me:

Sexiest fashion house? classic aesthetic, chanel hands down. modern chic, celine

Sexiest designer? Diane Von Furstenburg.  if you ever seen that lady back in the day till now, you would agree. She is incredible.

Favorite Fashion shows? artistically, Chanel and Alexander McQueen (R.I.P.) , but consistency, Burberry Prorsum

Best Campaign Ad: Tom Ford. Sex sells, period. I know Mr. Ford when I see it

Favorite Model? Chanel Iman . If she was my sister or daughter, I would have to get a gun

Favorite Trend? Military. I hope it stays forever

Straight men can love fashion too! This stereotype quite pisses me off because of quantity of men who are gay in the fashion world or with the interest.Now what ever floats your boat is your business, but we as a society are so use to making people as if they are consellations. We tend to connect the dots and come up within the figure we presume out of the galactic stars.

There is no way in the world you can’t say you have no interest in fashion. When you figuring what to wear for an interview or a date, you are making fashionably choices. You are making a conscious decision to impress you are or job you are trying to pursue. When you step in the club, you want to be freshest Mofo in there.  You ATTEMPTING to make fashion your fit. So people don’t give me that “fashion is for only gay people” bullshit. It just goes to show some people (gay or straight) that it more seriously than others.

constructive criticism? you can really take it??

One thing we must understand in our path towards greatness is the awareness of useful information. Many of us tend to only listen to what we wanna hear. The question is, are you being true to yourself from accepting or  rejecting the information? Take me for instance, I have posted a fight of mine of facebook from the diamond nationals. It was my fight toward going for 1st and 2nd place which, I placed third.

After looking at the video, I was totally aware of the errors which were made in the fight(live and learn). One of my idols stated I had some work to do, come up to NYC. Alot of things do change within a month (i.e. improving on flaws and training harder), but it was fruitful to listen to a “who’s who” in the sport karate scene! The advice was very blunt. Constructive criticism can actually either make you or break you. We always want to tell people about themselves, but can’t imply the same for ourselves as well. The truth is I was totally aware of the video, but in most cases you have to humble your self and just shut up sometimes lol. Making excuses or explaining yourself will ultimately make you look like a jackass.  People who make excuses tend to justify their actions which hinders them from their progression.

Its very evident people only make excuses because its easier for them to cope from their problems or insecurities. How can you expect to grow when you always make excuses? Constructive criticism is what it is, constructive. Whenever you are constructing, your building of knowledge and skill may need some renovating. It is impossible to renovate anything without stripping or rebuilding it. Homes need renovating. Lives need renovating. Of course your craft needs renovating, therefore, constructive is need! Often we must acknowledge the criticism needed because sometimes it can be helpful; however, some criticism isn’t good. You make the choice.

letting it go

Julius' Black Belt

In order for us to take a step forward in life, we must let somethings go. One of my most prized possessions is my brother’s black belt. It is very special to me because it reflects the hard work and bond through our short journey together in the martial arts.

Julius had some of the most perfect kicks you will ever see! The speed, precision, and technique was like Chun Li mixed with Hworang from Tekken. It was always great to see us work out; ultimately it would be real fight opposed to sparring. Ironically we could not stay mad forever and laughed it off at the end of class. Even though he was  (is) my younger brother, he was always by my side (from the beginning to the end). He was my coach, cheerleader, and most importantly, my best friend.

His life ended over 2 years ago due to a fatal car accident (talk about neverending sorrow). Saying goodbye at his funeral, I placed my black belt in his coffin. My black belt was the most sentimental thing to ever give someone. Everything I worked hard for that belt went down with him. On the contrary, there was his belt.

I have worn his belt every since. It has shown alot about myself, which I wasn’t aware! I endure strength, wisdom, and humbleness. This new journey lead to winning several grand championships, fought/trained amongst the best martial artists and meeting extraordinary people I could only dreamed of!  It was all in the motivation for his honor; however, he eventually told me it was time move on. Moving on meant letting go of the belt.

Julius is right though, it is time to let it go. Often times letting something go that is essentially vital to you is extremely hard to do. The burden is hard to release. The real question is how? Faith, persistence, and more faith. Self reflection is mandatory!! We want to pay tribute for those special people, but they lived their lives. We have to do the same thing. Just use their life as a lesson towards success and just let it go.

The Call

Today I received a random phone call. In fact, it was from someone I did not want to even make a conversation with. The outcome was so predictable. It was from someone I use to consider as a mentor, which I will not say any names. The entire conversation last 00:46 seconds and none of it was relevant. Sometimes I never understand why some people even bother trying to connect with you.

They always want to talk about what happen 5 or 10 years ago, but when you are on to the next phase of your life, there is no room for these “shoulda, coulda, woulda moments”. True Story: The first time I fought black belt was at one of the biggest national tournaments in the country. I placed third beating the #2 fighter in the division; This was a huge accomplishment.  After the division was over several of the top coaches out there said, “you look good out there, keep it up”. Talking about a moment that can never be  replaced. Having friends who are world champions, being on tv, and traveling the world asking you when are you getting out here. There was never a straight response because I wasn’t fortunate with the support they had.  This went on for like 6 – 7 years from people in your circle was either discouraging the idea of going national or they didn’t have the same drive as you.

One person who taught me how to take charge of my life was my younger brother. He never let anyone stop him from achieving his goal. Once he passed a couple years, it shattered every atom of my being. How could I go on with the most supportive person I had is gone. Self reflection told me to look at my brother’s life as a tool to take charge of my own.

I can’t say I dislike or like my former mentor; however, the word I describe them as “Hindrance” from oneself. Hindrance is like a disease which some people have and love to spread to others. Its almost worse than AIDS because they know where you heading while pulling down in the process.

Some love to manipulate the unprecedented minds of individuals so they will not go beyond what they have experience; ironically, these people have killed others just so they can not succeed. Its basically greed fused with manipulation, but we must continue to perfect our craft.

Our passions will be shown throughout communities and  nations, which can inspire others to excel in their crafts as well. Sometimes these people can only be relevant within a short life span. You may never know when the lesson is learned, but you have to read between lines. If  you know you have a gift which is said on numerous occasions, but the MAIN people in your corner is trying to discourage you, its time for you to move on. God will place someone to replace that void in your life. Hopefully this message will help you like someone helped me. In the meantime, you make the call.