Grounded Podcast #2 w/ Dean Lister: How To Have Max Focus Through Stressful Situations
12
March

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , /


this is the grounded podcast episode two
with Dean Lister and me Jocko Willick d-list chuckle okay couple questions to
talk about today and this is something I think will help people not just
necessarily in the kind confines of the subject matter that we normally talk
about which is the jujitsu slash fight world but also just in everything so
people are going into a stressful environment ie a competition a fight a
match something like that and different people well like okay so people get
nervous people get the butterflies yeah and how
do you handle that and I know you have coached and trained all kinds of you
know the best in the world world champions what have you seen from
your experience on how to handle those things nerves that the what is that the
proper work nerves knows how to handle nerves how to handle adrenalin how to
handle expectation right expectation of what’s about to happen or no no I think
the word is anticipation right the anticipation is worse than than the
actual event yeah yeah so what have you seen what can you talk about how can you
help us well that’s that’s one of the most common questions I get asked for
sure absolutely first of all everyone is definitely
different so it’s not like one thing it’s gonna be the secret for everyone I
was coaching I was friends with a Mirko Cro Cop Viva bitch and Croatia before
fights he actually will just play poker with also Croatian friends and just
he’ll be laughing until it’s time to put the clothes on and warm up and if I’m
not mistaken he’s also after if I went back and played poker not longer he just
he’s just not that says how he would he would access so I’ve caught this I’ve
caught myself doing this to everyone does this before a competition you start
replaying in your mind everything that’s gonna happen what if the guy does
this all of this and then I’ll do a backflip and then okay cuz like you know
you just think of these crazy things and your heart starts racing or you start to
get so you mean that in a negative way yeah you’re ghetto instead of
visualizing like because you know some people say I visualized the entire fight
I walked in I did the walk out I walked down the ramp I got into the cage the
fight went exactly I’d already won in my mind a thousand times this is different
what you’re talking about this isn’t a visualization of positivity
it’s visualization of bad things have this is not you can either way it’s an
uncontrolled form of meditation it’s not even meditation is paid dreaming and
it’s almost that feeling or you’re in a car you’re almost get in an accident and
you just strong yeah you feel tired afterwards well adrenaline just went
coursing through your veins and now it just got depleted and now you’re tired
so if if this is not controlled if this is just reckless meandering thoughts
yeah it’s not good for your energy and this happens to almost everyone that’s
why some days you’re focused some days you’re not Mike Tyson had a great it’s
on YouTube he talks about you know mental games before fight and talks
about you know uh before his fight he’s not nervous he says it’s wrong it’s
wrong he said he’s he’s afraid of this man is what’s gonna hurt him this whole
this whole time training I mean being not nervous not nervous is wrong is that
what you just said he’s are you he’s saying you should be nervous
everyone’s gonna show their amount of nervousness different everyone’s gonna
be a little there are more than less nervous people this true
what I mean is he admitted it’s it’s he those words were wrong he was nervous
before fights but the closer he got to the ring the less nervous he was as soon
as he got in the ring he was a god and no one could touch him because this man
wants to hurt me I’m gonna hurt him first and I’m paraphrasing of course but
he put it in very good words up as far as you know he’s dreamed of this guy
beating him before he dreamed of it he doesn’t want that to happen and he’s
putting the gloves on he’s he’s piercing through the leather with his knuckles
and he’s walking in the rina but the closer he gets the more and
more confident he gets that’s that’s a form of controlled visualization
meditation let’s say that’s controlled though he’s not meandering just getting
excited for no reason also the more you compete the better you
will to relax so there’s different ways everyone relaxes some people don’t even
relax at all when I was young I remember Jacques who used to slap me in the face
three or four times before my fights and now recently I’m like a jock I don’t
need a kiss not anymore I’m a little older now so it’s the
younger people want to amp their energy up the older people want to calm this
house down everyone’s just a little bit different there’s no such thing as
someone who is exactly the same as someone else I noticed that’s one thing
I like about wrestling is when I see the kids wrestle my own kids like you’re
gonna go and wrestle they have a limit I don’t know if it’s to live in anyone
else but in California and I know folks like this when you were a kid but you
can only wrestle five times in a day so if you wrestled five times you’re done
for that day but that means you know on a two-day tournament you’ll get ten
matches in two days and that’s that’s awesome it’s the same with jiu-jitsu you
know if you go out you compete you’re gonna compete a lot you know you can
compete a lot you can do five matches in one day you can do eight matches in one
day what’s the most matches you’ve ever had in one day for for grappling because
bro you used to go up do your weight class 1 whatever 175 and then you’d
compete and absolute you’d have like 10 matches yeah in a day probably 10 is
probably about the maximum now part of them I can’t give you credit for cuz you
just submit people like fast you know do you never look nervous going into a
grappling match that I’ve seen I don’t know I don’t know you look nervous going
into a fight yeah you were so much more comfortable
grappling than you were going into MMA fights yeah I mean and part of it’s
because the obvious you’d grappled thousands and thousands of matches I
mean even before I even met you you’d have done high school wrestling career
you done Sambo career and now we were into you know our
jiu-jitsu career you’re interested to career so you already had time you would
never you look like when you talk about cro cop playing poker like that’s what
you were like you wouldn’t be walking on getting hyped for anything like that you
just walk out on the mat like a damn this is like a damn zombie slash robot
that was about to start murdering people with no feelings i’m did that actually i
think this one of your bet your favorite stories involving myself but there was
the guy his last name was silver silver but that’s like saying smith yeah yeah
yes such a common last name you but as many good fighters with last name
syllable apparently and it was in the finals
i’d beat three guys eb three guys I mean he submitted he was good
yeah and he was a very hyper she slapped a mat look at you stare you down the
eyes and very emotional flat very most grappler then I was just calm yeah I
remember that you know when someone is that hyper and they’re emotional and
they feed off the reaction in your face that’s why Fedor I think who stared on
it’s really good because if you look at him and stare him down it doesn’t work
and when you see on his face that he doesn’t really care what you’re doing
yeah that kind of like makes you feel insecure or something yeah I don’t know
so well that was like when Holly Holm fought against raw Rodney Ronda yeah
remember Ronda was all agree and all hype and everything she was going all
crazy during the stair downs during the
weigh-ins and Holly was looking at her like whatever and same with Joanna
versus thug rows and their first matchup and Joanna’s getting all crazy and thug
Rajas looking at her just no emotion whatsoever and then outs but see I don’t
think so I think it would have been different results if on either or both
of those occasions the the calm person was not calm back then you would have
played into the the original game yeah because that that feedback would have
been received in that we’re playing that emotional game now if you don’t it so
there we go that’s a different way to play the mental game and this this
situation so everyone’s a little different some fighters have that for
instance before it may it may fight as one guys
hey do you really like looking at dudes in the eyes do you really want to do
that no ok fine because that’s not their personality just look where it’s right
through your chest don’t play the eye game because if you
play it and look away you lost the game here but if you want to play that game
don’t look away now you know you play the game to play the game or don’t put
the game so everyone is this different there’s no such thing as one guy exactly
the same as maybe similar but the terms of relaxing or taking the pressure off
everyone’s a little bit different there’s no such thing as the same my
opinion so so you got cro cop on the one end of the spectrum and he’s like a guy
that’s cold as ice and part of the reason is cuz he’d fought so many times
you know i talked about you being in grappling matches at being totally
mellow cro cop had so many fights as a striker that you think he for him
walking into the cage he’s not really nervous about anything because he’s been
punched plenty of times and it’s not that big of a deal
under the skill we have we have one fighter which we know you know him
professional fighter now and has fought the UFC great friend of ours his first
fight he actually said he started crying and said I don’t wanna be here and I
said calm down calm down he goes no I that guy’s too tough and he was crying
he’s this is this is a big man that crying was his I never seen him cry and
this is like an awkward moment cuz he’s was supposed to go out and fight and
everyone sit around waiting for him he said I want to leave but I said no
you’re not gonna leave basically I had I had to kind of say no you’re not doing
that you’re gonna fight so he said ok oh my
god I don’t know I’m doing and went out there and finished the guy in the first
round so he actually need a little outside help to relax but he actually
won so the thing is that guy couldn’t have played poker than that day at that
moment he would have lost every hand ok so maybe is that experience probably it
is it’s definitely something of all in personality as well though because Crow
cops a little bit he’s got those serial killer eyes a little bit I don’t know
it’s got that little bit of detachment I know him personally he’s a good friend
of mine but he has that detachment in his
this whole crew like I remember watching them play poker like everyone was pacing
and everyone’s doing all whatever their pre-fight nerves are going and he’s
sitting with all them big gnarly looking dudes and they’re just sitting around
the other guys are like smoking and drinking yeah whatever
and he’s playing poker with him he’s ready to go to battle yeah like like
that he can be taxed himself yeah and so I mean that’s a good way to award to use
an emotional versus detachment maybe that they can they could fall in lying
there somewhere as far as in comparison but some fighters are very emotional
some fighters find it easier to detach but it’s always gonna be as long as we
are a human being and we think outside of this room like what can happen and
people ask me like how do you know you’re gonna win I say well actually I
never know I was gonna win that sounds weird am i insecure no no no no it’s not
like I’m doubting myself I just don’t I can’t read the future I can’t read the
future and one time is before I think it was before a fight you’re gonna rot who
was from Bulgaria very good fighter a fighter than UFC and you said something
like you’re in the locker room with me hey Dean what’s wrong you know look very
you don’t look very relaxed I’m paraphrasing you said and I went well
you know my pony he’s a real good kickboxer he’s a really good wrestler
and and I’m I was thinking he’s going something like he hit me with a knee in
the head when I grabbed him and he went yeah you know well in Iraq and I was
like god damn it the guys are late already and your whole story was you
know we’re going on a mission we know what we’re going but we don’t know
what’s gonna happen but we’re going to this this building to take it down or
whatever we know who we’re looking for we know the route we’re going what we’re
pretty sure it’s it’s the right way to go but sometimes you get blown up you
get blown up sometimes like I felt like kind of like a pansy at the moment
because I’m just gonna to fight the guy I’m not gonna get killed but they put
things in perspective because your point was you’re going out to do the job
anyways doesn’t matter if you get hit with a knee it doesn’t matter you’re
doing it anyways so why do I doubt that I already know what I’m gonna do so as
far as knowing no one can predict the future I guess has another way of saying
what you said to me that fight day you can’t predict the future but we know
we’re here to fight we know we’re here to walk out when we know our true self
put ourselves in this situation to better ourselves and to get more
experience so take some comfort in that that thought in this cotton and just
live the match live your mom that’s a good point if you if your attitude is
hey I’m here to learn and I’m gonna try and win of course but if I don’t win
then cool I’m gonna learn something about myself and that’s fine that’s part
of the reality of it well you do you get nervous before
grappling matches nervous yeah it’s it’s more excitement it’s you know wouldn’t
my one of my fights my mom and my sister were there just like the only time that
ever happened uh-huh that was a fight that was in king of the cage it was
against oh my goodness I forget what was anyways yeah I wanted to fight without
getting punched so it was it was a good fight for me to have a VIP invited my
sister my mom but I was just I couldn’t get over the fact that they’re there now
my dad watched me get hit it’s not so bad so that was a just example of
something I didn’t want to replicate for the next fight so it depends on certain
things um if I find no I’ve trained hard I feel less nervous I don’t see nerves
is like the right word just say I feel alive I feel in the moment talking about
what what what wills gears the difference between a grappling and a
fight like I get for a fight because I’ve seen you buearu nervous for fight
and you know why am i nervous for fight because there’s a higher percentage of
chance right there’s a chance I mean in my opinion there’s a in in a fight in an
MMA fight there’s a more chance plays into it there’s many more uncontrolled
factors more on control factor I mean you could get you could get caught with
a punch and boom you’re done right that that could happen there’s a whatever
percentage you want to call that there’s a 12% chance of that happening a 7%
whatever percent you want to call it that is zero percent in a integrand
perhaps it’s 0% that you’re gonna get caught with a punch and
now that’s not gonna happen in trapper – yeah you you’re not gonna get caught
with an e you’re not gonna get you’re not gonna get caught with a headbutt and
get well I guess you could call with a headbutt and get cut
so anyways there’s just a higher percentage of chance there’s also
there’s also some fine finality to getting knocked out right yeah if you
get caught in a submission like you have there’s it’s not fun it’s not over until
you tap out and for you that must be pretty good because you are very good at
escaping submission will call them submission attempts I mean you have been
you have had Jean J Ribeiro arguably one of the
greatest you know world champions ever he had you in a freakin arm lock and you
got out of it I mean you’ve been in you’ve been in Yuma padas you’ve been in
heel hooks you’ve been in chokes you’ve been in you’ve been in in paid upon oh
who at the time was just undefeated beast no one was even frickin scoring on
him just a giant you were in his arm triangle for four five five minutes
right and so so it’s like you have a power to get out so I’m just saying
maybe that’s why your nerves for grappling or so calm because you didn’t
even feel a threat I don’t know I actually I don’t know why I do this or
maybe why I had the ability to do this but when I feel like I’m supposed to be
hurt or damaged or I am injured or something I feel like I get it
simplifies things in my mind for some reason so it also a great fighter in
kakaako had me an arm guillotine for he had the best guilt in the world just
ranked it was the best guilty in the world and he had moved for 30 seconds
there and I was in it and I could hear the crowd scream and they got silent cuz
he’s choking me in that bit my ear I can’t even hear my ear it sort of
muffling that he’s choking me but I thought about it like wait choking you
mean you were starting to lose consciousness or just the squeeze of the
armors process arm was barking ahhh sound because you had an elbow in would
you have it the well I blocked his hip in my elbow
that’s why I didn’t get her my armpit that helped me a lot but it still I
think most would adopt it still sucks yeah and I remember being in it thinking
oh I remember before the match seeing saying myself oh you know 18 be careful
about his leg locks 18 be careful was guilty I was like yeah he said be
careful about his leg locks no people told me that they said yes the best late
marks in Brazil who knows if he did but he he’s ranked as a most feared guilty
in the world at that time and so I was thinking yeah be careful and then I
thought wait a second I’d be careful of it like why not just why not escape it
you know I’m not saying well I didn’t let him put it on me but as soon as I
see that he was going for this I was like what kind of like we’re committed
it’s gonna happen I want to see if I can escape this and that’s a different a
different way of I’m not nervous now I’m excited to want to escape you played a
little mind game on yourself yeah consciously or unconsciously did
you play that mind game on yourself looking back on it it’s clear that that
relaxed you yeah I did remember number one um I faced the Jamaal Patterson from
New York and my knee was hurt really odd and people don’t know your knee because
I it was a hematoma you saw nothing bad when swelled up like it was bad I put
two knee pads on it and I was thinking like okay don’t don’t
put your knee on the ground I was like you know just forget about it
it just just take him to it made it so simple I I don’t know why I made things
so simple I’m not saying was easier made things so
simple in mind and then he went for my knee that he attacked her and and I was
it was kind of like it woke me up it woke me up like like you know come on
you could escape this and then of that woke me up for some reason I don’t know
why it doesn’t make sense to me completely so it’s probably subconscious
you know hmm and then what about overtime so when you
were when when we were 19 you 19 we first started training and then compared
to you know when you were 30 20 years later when you’re 39 or for the 17 years
later did your did your nerves calm down over time were they worse were they
worse at a time when I don’t remember when I wasn’t with you at your first
ADCC in Brazil you nervous for any of those matches hmm
will you nervous for the fruit because you lost yeah the first day in your
weight class you lost were you nervous for those matches than you think you
weren’t nervous anymore when you went to the absolute I think I put it in good
words right now on my head I’ve done better when I didn’t have the pressure
yeah they didn’t much lose so so I’m just now people knew who I was it wasn’t
I was an unknown but I was not supposed to even be in the absolute division so I
can’t screw it I I was think to myself why not just go out there and just just
be a nuisance to my opponents just be a news to me a pain in the ass my blister
come on man like God you know just be a pain in the ass to everyone and then
have fun doing it and and actually motivate myself and so every time I was
in trouble I was like what if I escaped this is that that simple it wasn’t I
need to win or I’m in trouble it’s like wouldn’t it be cool that’s that’s what
was wouldn’t it be cool if I scared this wouldn’t that be pretty cool that’s
where I said it myself because I was new jokes and I thought to
myself wouldn’t it be cool and yes it was cool when I escaped them so you know
and then when at the finals Kakariko I mean that move no one was doing 50-50 no
and I did it and you can see on my opponents eyes he doesn’t know what’s
going on and I got him in so imagine I did not I’m not the first person in
history to use that position there’s no way of the thousands of years people has
done it before I’ve even seen a picture of an omoplata
that’s like 2,000 years old I’ve seen it standing in water so these
are these are old things of course someone has done it but no one taught
that to me and it worked and I want out of a w so when I got relaxed or I could
try things out and actually have fun it was incredible
is that like when you want a like a basketball game and I think it’s
basketballs a good example because the scoring is so rapid but if someone gets
goes up by four five six seven points all of a sudden they take a little bit
more risk they’re a little bit more confident they have less pressure and
then they go all of a sudden they go from being up four points to be enough
not like 19 points in a very short period of time because the or
soccer’s another good one even though it’s the opposite end of the spectrum
once a team gets you know two to zero they’re gonna win and so now they can
like take more chances and they put even more pressure on the goal so that’s
similar to what you’re saying on yourself you put less pressure on
yourself or there actually is less pressure like in your first in 2003 you
already you lost your weight division okay so okay you’re out you’re your
loser whatever yeah yeah and then all of a
sudden okay you’re gonna go in there hey it doesn’t really matter you’ve you’ve
already competed your weight division just gonna go out have fun do your best
and then when you do that when you kind of I don’t want to say this to create
when you throw caution to the wind and you start taking chances and you start
letting your game just go that is a very positive thing you know and then it was
a they actually interviewed Josh Burnett after I lost to him I said um is it true
that the list resin in submit in 17 years and he said yeah it’s true last
time Lister was submitted was during the Clinton administration that was kind of
funny he said like that but here’s what happened there’s other factors as well
of course as well as apart at being an incredible athlete but I remember now
looking back that day the day before the day before he you know you haven’t Miss
Smith in 17 years that was the main thing the hell was online I had
something to lose subconsciously so I was cautious to keep that it’s so common
I realized yeah you know I can be instead of going hey screw it I’m gonna
in in and you know what you said about the team in basketball that gets up and
awesome but also check it out you get the team that gets up by 20 points in
football and the coach goes hey don’t blow it or by 20 points don’t screw up
and the other teams like hey let’s win 40 to 20 now right so it depends on if
the that’s the opposite mentality the people that are down by 20 they start
taking huge chances they got nothing to lose they might as well go for it and
boom they’re the ones that exactly yeah that the Barnett thing and like you said
he’s an unbelievable competitor but I don’t think you should have done that
competent and I’m the one that trains with you but
you had injuries going into it like that’s the worst bro I was beating you
up going into that competition and I should’ve not let you I mean we we were
only couldn’t train very often because you were injured when we were training I
was beating up which I cannot normally do and I should have just been like hey
don’t do this because you’re not ready you know that’s one of those things I I
should have never looking back on it that’s just not it’s not a good way to
go you know yeah but but you know it has happened where I’m not doing well and
then all the good competition no there’s a difference I think there’s a
difference between what we’re talking about um you’re talking about you’ve
trained and then you get sick at the last minute or the day of you have an
injury the day of but you’re trained and you’re prepared and you can overcome
that you were in a situation on that one where you were you weren’t able to train
to prepare for it you know what I mean yeah and so look man I’ve trained you
for so many different things and sometimes I might have a good time
beating you up a little bit at the at the 12-week mark without you do you know
of this 12-week mark of a training camp where you’re just starting out by the
end of it in the good when you’re ready I can’t what I need is to bring three
more other guys three other guys in with me I need to bring three other guys in
with me so that I can call because I can do a tag team after four minutes when
you’re like abusing me like I’m a freaking child and I can tag someone out
and they can come in fresh and get you that’s the way it’s supposed to be and
that camp it wasn’t like that and as a matter of fact now that I think
about this whole story it was a 20 minute match yeah and I had done a
couple days where I put fresh guys on you
like I did like a tag team thing and you just got beat down because you you just
you know you were injured you were sick you were hurt and you hadn’t been
training and so you got a beatdown and then three days later it was like a
Saturday and you said let’s just go you and me 20 minutes and I
in my mind I was like damn it he’s gonna beat me up and then you didn’t beat me
up and I realized I was like this has never happened that actually had never
happened before and so that’s when I knew you know what that’s what I should
have said Dean this is not the right time you you should wait you should
recover you should train hard for six months and do a match then so I take
that one as definitely my fault and and and I also blame Josh Barnett
for being awesome hey you know what’s cool too man this stuff that Josh did
symbolically to tie back to his roots to to the to the Japanese wrestling and I
thought that was cool too so props to Josh but uh you know what in there Matt
okay I’m trying to put this in good words in my life when I’ve done well
I’ve won and lost because what primarily usually at one but off of different
reasons I’ve won matches but being tougher won
matches on being innovative one matches off of being strong and whatever I think
these are all different qualities you need to have at the higher level but the
idea of making your opponent endure your your energy versus you and during the
opponent’s image or force that that’s that’s when I’ve done really well is
when so this match I accepted Barnett’s weight and his his aggressive
movement and I just endured it I wasn’t I wasn’t responsive to it in time and
what I’ve done well is when I’m making my opponent react to me oh yeah so
that’s it’s the willingness to engage the enemy
yeah and I’m saying yeah no I mean and of course you know if anyone thinks I’m
sitting here saying Josh isn’t like an unbelievably unbelievabl beast of an
athlete and like I love the fact that he’s you know a submission based you
know catch wrestling guy he’s just awesome so but from seeing the whole
thing from my perspective it was a bummer than and I should have as a
training partner as a coach I should have said hey man don’t do this and one
thing that’s very hard for me to do with you is get you to pull out of a match
you know cuz I would say I was thinking that maybe three weeks out I started
saying you know what we’re not gonna get there and I should have said hey man
dude just stop like let’s reschedule this thing and there’s I think in my
mind I thought there’s no way you’re gonna pull out of a match three weeks oh
well you’re not gonna be disrespectful to a legendary guy like Josh Barnett and
not you know do the competition so maybe that was a little bit of a of a lost
cause well talking about being nervous before a match there are certain times
when it’s not the time for you compete but that’s that’s the rare situation
what is more common is someone making an excuse not to compete because of this or
this or this and interesting enough is to think like okay I need to I need to
get in shape to compete okay that makes sense but but if that’s always your
excuse I mean at some point he’s got to compete
to get it to get it going you know I’ve heard people say I need I need to I need
to get in shape to learn Jitsu yeah that’s almost like someone’s saying I
need to learn French before I go to French class I mean just you gotta go in
and learn the movements and you get you get in shape by doing the sport there so
competing is similar I mean there’s always an excuse I mean it happens all
the time there’s always a reason not to compete but the more you don’t compete
the more you find these these mind games that mess up your your rhythm the longer
you have work your your style is is not benefited from your competition yeah
yeah so that was good you know the other thing you were saying about Mike Tyson
and I think this is an important part to think about and I last last podcast I
was talking about how much humility you have in the fact that your mind is open
and I believe that the reason that your mind is open is because you’re a humble
person and you look at other people and you think all that maybe that person
could do that better than me and when you said about Mike Tyson Mike Tyson
would think that the person he was gonna fight was gonna kill him
and therefore that what’s that gonna do it’s gonna make you train freaking hard
so that’s another good reason to to stay humble because as you as you train and
there’s you know I there’s a there’s a little dichotomy which is
if you okay you you have to have a coach right that’s gonna push you but the
coach can only push you to 96% the only person that can push you to 1% is you
yeah like you can always hold back a little bit hey I can make you do more
freaking jump squats but that’s not the same as you going a hundred percent on
the jump squats you can add more repetitions but it’s not the same so
that’s another part I think that is important when it comes to humility is
you know you respect your opponent and and that’s one thing I can say about
like Josh Barnett you knew that here’s a guy that’s strong
he’s a grappler he’s a wrestler you knew that that was gonna be game on and you
know like I said you were training hard but we couldn’t train like we normally
would and that’s my fault no you know you know it’s it’s like it’s something I
figured out it took me a long time to figure this out like how hard you train
versus training to get in the zone and if you’re not getting in the zone
it doesn’t matter already train because nothing’s working out for you so if
you’re not if you just trooper if you train hard hard hard hard it’s better
than it’s better than no training it’s absolutely better than no training but
if you can figure out a way to get in your zone and make things work for
yourself that would be better for you know so getting in the zone is I think
that’s a good thing to aim for do you think that do you don’t you think though
when you train that opens up the zone for you it opens up you the opportunity
to get in the zone yeah there we go I find that the more I train the bigger
opportunity I have of getting into the zone but if you do and I think you’ll
agree with this for sure if you train too much you start to close the
opportunity to get in the zone yeah you can you can definitely over train and
you can get to a point where it’s not being beneficial to you and I definitely
have done that to you over the years especially in the early years you know
we I train you so hard I could see you start to go down and then we’d you know
we’d take time off or give you a few days off you know so you could like a
recover Jacque whatcha say hey Dean I think you
need a day off if jock who says that’s you yes there’s a real reason you do
need a off if I tell you need a day off you definitely need you know we’re not
doing a second workout today just you know oh really yeah
yeah no trust me just go and watch movie out have a good day yeah eat some steak
dude get some steaks what do you think the different types of
things that cause the anxiety to be present that’s it that’s a there we go
see now we’re looking at okay what is what’s the reason what’s the root cause
the root cause well it’s it what’s different there’s a lot of overlap here
I mean are you afraid of damage can you hurt that’s normal
are you free to be humiliated are you afraid of maybe realizing you’re not as
strong as you thought you were are you nervous that but I’m saying that it’s
realistic I’m not I’m not talking for sure really for sure
is that a fear instead of the fear of weakness is it are you embarrassed
you’ll look silly in front of other people are you worried about an opponent
dominating you and feeling helpless are you worried
you’re gonna be tired and out of shape and feel and feel like you’re you have
not been training hard are you worried the truth will be exposed well that’s I
think that’s the one of the group cause with the truth the truth is ugly the
truth is ugly the truth is ugly the truth the truth is ugly especially if
you are presenting a different facade that doesn’t represent the actual truth
so if you’re walking around acting like a tough guy and you’re afraid that you
in deep and deep in your heart you think that maybe you’re not as tough as you
think you are you’re afraid that that truth is going to be exposed that’s
definitely gonna be a problem yes yes that’s a problem it’s a problem that can
be a problem so what is it what is it usually it’s being humiliated in front
of people and feeling weak and dominated this that’s int okay the physical aspect
that’s that’s of course that’s there but it’s usually the idea of being
embarrassed and feeling weak that’s usually that’s a universal feel fear I
think you know a matter of fact the absolute horror of being so fatigued
you can’t move but that’s a terrible feeling and I know I know how it is you
can um oh no you can always push it yeah you can always think you can but there’s
a moment where you know I can do 11 squats I can’t do 12 what can I do okay
what about 13 well okay what about four at some point your body oh but what
about that what does that mean I cannot train hard to wear I cannot get 15 the
next day no of course I can do that so at the time physiological breakdown you
cannot go anymore at that time that guy had my arm there I couldn’t move and I
had a tap and that’s the truth well if you can’t admit that that that’s a hard
pill to swallow that’s that’s a real difficult thing to admit you know ego
the the ability to let’s say the the inability to admit I’m not as strong as
I thought I was that that’s a scary thing for a lot of people a lot of it I
think nowadays where everything’s YouTube Facebook me me me right I mean
to actually look at me right and I don’t my own style admit I’m doing something
wrong I’m making a mistake or I’m not as strong as I thought I was that’s a fear
a lot of people have and said I believe it’s an ugly truth to face but if you
can’t face that I mean would that be almost like almost like extreme
ownership of yourself for sure if you can actually do that I mean I think that
would be overall good investment you can give yourself so what actually scares
you that’s what it is that’s so now here’s where the dichotomy autumn’s it
because check it out you want to have that attitude but at
the same time you know I know fighters and you see fighters that have this
overwhelming confidence and they might not even be as skilled as their
confidence belies but the confidence actually works right like they have so
much belief in themselves that they can can can project that on their opponent
and they sometimes beat their opponent before they’ve even step
to the cage hmm yeah there’s that there’s a balance right I mean uh on
paper Conor McGregor vs. Jose Aldo on paper
who should have won that fight Oh Aldo had more of a history more of a
history I mean more more actual bouts more victories I mean he was just I
don’t know if that I think I would describe that more spirit and I’m not
just say you have to believe in the spirit I mean the attitude the the self
yeah is self belief and it’s a weird thing I do know people around that that
outward facade of power that when they do lose they’re gone mm-hmm so I think
it still does apply if you can accept the ugly truth and the ugly truth could
be I just made a mistake I want left which I don’t right has
happened has happened before I even saw one cro cop fought Fedor that was a kick
Cro Cop throw through and as a fighter I know Fedor didn’t see it but he put his
head down and threw over and right at the same time and I could be wrong but
as a fighter his head went down the same time the leg went up and the leg missed
him by two inches mmm if Fedor didn’t throw that punch
booby kale in my opinion he wouldn’t have got it so what happened was the
kick missed and I believe crow hop fell down or if we don’t talk him down so it
was just well-timed of course the harder you train the
better your timing is good lucky we get yes so so sometimes the the truth is
that you should I left and went right but when you do make a mistake or
something bad happens to you okay how are you gonna come back from that and I
don’t try to sound like the kindergarten school teacher like on you never know it
just it’s only matters you can never make mistakes and just come back
stronger than ever not trying to sound like that
but but how do you come back from a mistake you know not be mr. positive
Aung San well you’ve done that multiple times you know obviously the first World
Championship in Brazil in Brazil in 2003 you came back from being how many
matches did you have your first day – I lost my second match
who’d you lose it to chachi barrel Jones yeah my nemesis and he beat you on
joints were tied and then he won he won eight to four or he went by my new he
like ran up the score cuz you gotta take some risks at the end was tied for two
4112 two for something yeah it was yeah and there’s a turning point in the match
this is actually relevant to to what you learn and how you you handle things and
make them into a positive there’s a move call to sit through or also know there’s
a peek out where you have the bonus legs and you have to throw yourself under
them and get around to the back and I’ve done that move pretty well and I learned
at age fourteen in Restless a wrestling move how you do not ever look to the
head when I go under I circle around to your back and I look to your feet no
matter what happens do not look the other way and others age 14 and with
John G I’m doing the move to him I’m walking around and I took the wrong way
and that moment of weakness I look back and John she just was on top and that
was the turning point in the match so when you looked you’d say you got like
curious and you looked at his head what it’s because it seems like the easier
way to go if fields it feels like if I go that way I cannot talk it just feels
ugly but it never happens it never happens I’m going I just kept walking
around and I’m not I don’t know what happened but the next day lo and behold
I faced a very good opponent my Socceroos page upon from Brazil very
tough guy and he’s taller longer and heavier than John G and at that moment I
believe he was higher rank than Jean Jean Jean she was already ranked there’s
a world champion there well he was definitely higher ranked in that weight
class yes he was him he was way bigger would he get 265 something like that
this is a huge guy yeah he freaking monster he looks like um my goodness
doing a second mutant yeah paid upon was just like I believe his system
it’s the Moose from rocking bull and oh yeah it’s some cartoon character he
looks like a big cartoon and I did this move to him and I had to walk more than
360 but I did not look back to head and then I got to him and that was
to any point of that match and I wanna so if it wasn’t for that mistake
literally I don’t know if I would have even you know I’m not saying no but I
made it out of even one the absolute division so that mistake actually
probably is the reason I won the next day actually and also I didn’t have you
in loop to lose I wasn’t the North American qualifier trying to come out
and I mean I was I was not supposed to win so I had nothing to lose and that
was a good thing for me to have that day were you ever able to capture the
attitude of nothing to lose in a situation like 2011 when you won again
we do you think you captured that did you have nothing to lose cuz here was
the old man coming in to fight against the young kids there’s no way this guy’s
gonna win was that enough to kind of get your mindset right I think I did I
didn’t realize it until afterwards though because because I’m Spain I would
do Spain with you yeah I’m also bad luck bad luck it seems like when I’m gonna
Abu Dhabi World Championships with you you have not won when I’m not with you
you win so bad luck but when we were to Spain it seemed like there was hype
right there was like yeah you were Dean Lister you were the I like him back from
bicep surgery yeah so is like hey you had a bicep surgery but you’re back yeah
it was like a lot of expectations around you 2005 I was the super fight champion
versus the very respected Jean Jacques Machado and 2007 my bicep snapped I
can’t face Roger AC so I was potentially gonna be the next defending Super Fight
or champ but I doubt because injury so 2009 I come back as the previous guy who
couldn’t couldn’t couldn’t compete face Rogers still the man yeah that’s what it
was so there was a lot of pressure I remember it felt that way it felt that
way like when we were in Barcelona right when we were in Barcelona you know you
were like gee mister and and everyone there was a lot of pressure like hey
it’s Dean Lister he’s back he’s gonna he’s gonna crush everyone and I mean you
did fine but he lost a frickin crappy match bye-bye refs decision or something
it was it was a very close match a close match too close to quitting on it
yeah yes but but anyways there was but then you somehow you were able to go to
England and get the mindset of so now it’s two years later you hadn’t you
didn’t do good in the previous age maybe that’s one of all it took was you you
didn’t do good in the previous one so now you show up there’s no expectations
again oh it’s Dean he’s he’s too old now he didn’t even do good last time don’t
worry about Dean and you’re over there gonna cool don’t worry about me I’ll be
just be over there getting after it just gonna let loose and it worked
yeah you know you were injured two ribs right well that was I didn’t want to
know about that it was my second match against see this is another thing I
notice about you like I talked to you and he I could tell I was actually happy
you had injured ribs because you were like I got injured ribs it’s another one
of those things where I could tell it was getting your mind into the mode of
you have nothing to lose like I have an injured ribs and you kind of like I
haven’t you ribs but I’m just gonna go you said I’m not gonna do the absolute
but I’m just gonna do I’m gonna finish my weight class you know and I was kind
of thinking about self okay he’s in that zone of he has nothing to lose which is
the perfect zone for you to be in well I told myself when I’m not I’m not the big
praying type but I was like hey I’m gonna pray and I said God you know if if
you can help me just get this moment and if I could win my division I promise I
won’t do the absolute division but if I don’t win I’m gonna go the application
I’m gonna hurt myself really bad just so you know that if you want to hurt myself
that’s the that’s probably one of the most awkward prayers that God has ever
heard yeah a probably puzzling story well
you’ve got friend oh well then I won and you’re supposed to say hey if I can win
I’ll dedicate the rest of my life to helping underprivileged children not if
I win I won’t do the absolute if you don’t want me to hurt myself but I think
it worked a when people procrastinate for for the pain or for them not not the
pain but the but the nerves that they’re about to have is there any way to
overcome like you gotta face the help to face those nerves there
way to face the nerves earlier I have a new have you thought of this word the
procrastination of procrastination like I’ve actually caught myself even listen
to your words like hey get up right now and I’m like yeah for later always
thinking I just procrastinate did I just did exactly what I shouldn’t do
so if you actually can catch yourself realizing when you’re procrastinating
that’s a big thing because sometimes it just flies right by you
yeah we’re in human beings are really good at at camouflaging or ignoring or
covering up for procrastination by not even acknowledging that it’s there so
was the question just how to prepare for the decision or not if this
procrastination I guess my point is that procrastinating the event coming does
not help you avoid getting nervous well it’s it’s something I mentioned earlier
about the truth your true self has one as one of you two to compete the day of
your competition you might be thinking what was I damn thinking this is enough
this is uncomfortable these all these emotions what am I thinking your
self-doubt and the more you compete they’ll get better and better better
even if you don’t win your first tournament even if you lose your first
match you will become better over time as long as you don’t give up but and I
guess the point is that if you if you get in the habit of procrastinating what
you’re supposed to be doing you’re gonna be more nervous you’re gonna have more
yeah so anxiety so going into your situation your original self needs to
actually commit and set a date and sound doing that day that’s it and actually
make sure it’s not a date where you have an excuse like oh it’s my my in-laws
wedding anniversary whatever it is you have no Dantley excuse to get out of it
just find a day we can commit and do it and then start training and if you feel
that you’re procrastinating you actually I now have a date and that’s a lot
harder to procrastinate now they have a date yeah it’s possible it’s harder you
know what speaking of looking to the future so Sarge Sarge used to say when
he was getting ready like two for wrestling he would he I would say woohoo
you know we talking about visualization and I’d
say who would you visualize that you’re going against and he would always say I
visualize a blank face and I would just kill this blank face because and then
like when he actually knows who’s gonna wrestle you know cos you know he’s gonna
wrestle such in such a school and I’m supposed to have this guy but he said I
wouldn’t picture that guy’s face that way if it changed yeah I wouldn’t be
like caught off guard so you know if he’s wrestling at 1:43 or whatever and
there’s someone else you know so he knows that guy from this school is 143
they knew he knows the guys he knows what he looks like but he doesn’t
picture that guy and pictures a wrestler with a blank face just a white blank
face and then and then as like the day arrives and he sees that that guy’s made
weight and he’s not injured and that’s who he’s gonna wrestle then he puts my
face on there and goes out and murders him he probably says by a sign at least
did he tell you like this looking I can imagine him talking like that too yeah
well a man those are those are some good things to talk about I think I think
really the biggest takeaway is like you are gonna get nervous for competition
you’re gonna get nervous for job interview you’re gonna get nervous to
step up and lead for the first time you’re gonna get nervous when you have
your first kid there’s all kinds of situations that you’re gonna get nervous
about frame it you know frame it in your brain understand it understand that it’s
not a bad thing you know like Mike Tyson hey it’s okay
I’m gonna be nervous yeah you should be nervous because it’s a big deal and if
you’re not afraid of it if you take it you contain it don’t let it run you but
you use that fear you use that anxiety use those nerves to make you train
harder maybe that’s the part about
procrastination if you procrastinate if you keep saying well I won’t be nervous
right yeah like if you procrastinate feeling those if you procrastinate
facing those you can get used to like here we are we’re ready yeah you know
you know even when we’re training for a fight and it’s like we start training in
the beginning of the camp you know it doesn’t really matter what time of day
you train your training a few times day but then the closer you get to camp the
more you want the to train around the time you’re actually
in a fight yeah you don’t want to procrastinate either because now you
start thinking okay it’s real easy to say off I’m fighting in six weeks I’m
feeling a little bit nervous I think this is what I was talking about the
progressive nation thing I’m feeling a bit a little bit nervous I’m just gonna
bury those thoughts right now yeah you know what I mean you procrastinate
facing the nerves so I guess what I’m saying is don’t procrastinate face and
there’s like exit be like oh yeah I think about it yeah and think about what
you’re gonna do with those nerves don’t procrastinate being nervous because the
nerves will grow and then you won’t know how to handle it what do you think about
Musashi saying he would envision every possible
wave death falling off a cliff being incinerated by a fire I’m just going off
from this giant list about now he’s ready for the worst of the worst and
nothing can really scare him yeah that’s that’s you know going on the battlefield
already dead is a very positive thing and you know we had this guy the
Frenchman Doug Letourneau on the podcast and he was in SOG in Vietnam and they
were doing just the most insane missions you can possibly imagine and it’s not on
the podcast I talked about on the podcast but because we conversed after
he left or after we stopped recording but for every operation that he went on
before he went he made his bed he squared away his footlocker
he put everything in its right place he removed anything that was you know
questionable or unset so that his footlocker could be sent home because
every op that he went on he thought he could die and he wanted to be ready for
it and so if you have that attitude going in yes I think that’s a that’s a
great attitude to have I think the worst attitude you can go into these
situations is is I’m afraid it’s gonna happen I’m not ready for yeah right I’m
not ready to make that sacrifice I’m not if you face the fact that this is
another procrastination if you look at if you if you’re six weeks away from a
fight or you’re six weeks away from a job interview and you have a quick
thought that I’m gonna get knocked out or I’m gonna say the wrong thing and not
get the job and instead of saying okay well what does that mean because if you
if you rationalize and say hey I’m gonna learn something or I’m gonna learn
something about the job that I didn’t get or I’m gonna have more opportunity
to prepare if you say okay well this is the worst-case scenario I get
now worst-case scenario I don’t get the job interview cool let’s deal with it
right now don’t procrastinate look at what it actually how does that affect
your life because guess what there’s other jobs out there there’s other
fights you can do you’re gonna get knocked out at some point let’s figure
out what’s your mistake you made so if you look at the thing you don’t
procrastinate the nerves you face the nerves and again the dichotomies I’m not
talking about sitting around and being nervous for freaking six weeks and
having your adrenaline pumping all the time yeah I got that so there’s there’s
there’s these things you have to do you have to anticipate the fact that you’re
gonna be nervous and then learn how to deal with these these thoughts by just
thinking through them and if you think through them I think that’s think that’s
the solution you think through what’s the worst-case scenario worst-case
scenario is you get tapped out junko yeah you want to hear a training
method to even help you more for jujitsu for this kind of type of thing
absolutely I always have done this and you are one of the few that never stride
away from this I always start in a bad position
I always starting almost the worst position when we start with more yeah
you’re aware of this start with you and like not you specific start with an arm
lock on me mm-hmm and I’m gonna start from there
because if that’s the worst the worst everyday I’m starting there
first of all I’m meeting a harder workout than you I’m cheating I’m
selfish actually now my friend may not see it that way because it’s easy day
for him yeah you know he’s not risking his arm but I am actually getting
stronger my my bones my arms are getting super strong because of the resistance I
get you know and that I think that’s one reason why I can and I’m not saying I
can rest in an arm lock but I think I can kind of hang out there for a while
you know I think one day I did five arm locks and you in wrote meaning exactly
what you’re saying I started in the arm lock I started in the arm lock and you
got out of all of them that to me was ridiculous my unlocks not great but it’s
not sad good it is not bad and I unlocked plenty of people and you were
letting me start in the arm lock I’m talking in the arm lock like my legs are
I have your arm you should be tapping in in
than one second that’s where I started so with the arm extended you mean yeah
totally extended do you not remember this yeah I remember yeah and I was on a
Attica day though I was on him I don’t know I had a real good day well yeah and
actually you what you were doing was you were showing me something because you
did this escape and I couldn’t stop you and then you said here’s what I’m doing
No and it was like the whole thing of your shoulder going into the thing and
then you showed me the John Jay escape and I was like god that’s the kind of
thing that freaks me out about you because how did you know that how do you
know that I think it’s because you have a depth of knowledge that’s not normal I
don’t know I don’t know like the fact it’s counterintuitive the way you
escaped that armlock is counterintuitive no one would think that pushing more
into it would be more beneficial right yeah yeah but somehow it is well it’s
like it’s like an you ever get frustrated untie a knot
you know the knots just they got a cut on I get frustrated you know I should
just relaxed pushed into the you know try to pull it apart and knots now it’s
done so sometimes if I pull away from a submission how about I got it ease into
a little bit so I’m in push and I eased in okay my shoulder went out that’s true
but yeah that was a good day for me I was just on that day I remember that day
was on this this mad are normally out we train on yeah but if I start and also as
Jean Jacques Machado he has great great back attacks he has a
great joke we have my training started with my opponents on my back
half my training started there to where I can kind of relax in that situation
and if I can start when someone’s mounted on top of me and learn how to
escape that I can use that as my rock bottom reset point and I can always
reset that point and then that helps you mentally to relax because if your fear
is I’m getting smashed from the bottom and I can’t breathe start there and
start there and learn how relax and learn how to escape it it’s not it’s not
what you want to happen it’s what you want to avoid happening so because of
that start in that situation put yourself in bad positions box has a
problem getting on the corner start in the corner in boxing every round you
start in the corner it’s gonna suck mMmmm as soon yeah but you can’t say we
had that fighter in Puerto Rican kid oh yeah a city boxing yeah he he he was
well-rounded but his problem I recall was being in the corner stuck he was a
small guy but if he wasn’t the corner he’d like you up but if you but learning
how to fight out of the corner eventually you couldn’t hold in the
corner I mean there’s things like that you know
so it’s uncomfortable as that is you have to confront it as soon as you can
and that will also help you from procrastinating because you are not
procrastinating by in front of your fear directly as a training method check
shake that’s a good place to close man awesome Dean if you want to talk to if
you want to hit up Dean Lester on social media he’s on instagram at Dean Lister
BJJ right yes and anyone has any kind of questions you wanted me to go over this
kind of thing Samia little message at USC BJJ Istanbul mouse mouse yo basil mi
mano home pregunta MA Suzette au SE você fala uma coisa
and madam textual massage Brigade or brazos I see the same thing yeah I know
I heard you say pregunta but better yeah yeah that’s Spanish bro yeah I know
there’s their close-up and if you want to hear from me um um at Chaco willing
doc I’m at I just add taco willing yeah I have another podcast called Jocko
podcast Jocko podcast calm and our Jim here where Dean and I are at is victory
Jim’s calm we’re in San Diego California if you come out to San Diego come by get
some training in hang out and if you need jujitsu gear go to origin Maine
calm we got keys that are american-made we
got supplements for life so you can check that out too
anyways have a good one and go roll we’ll catch you later


36 thoughts on “Grounded Podcast #2 w/ Dean Lister: How To Have Max Focus Through Stressful Situations

  1. When I saw the thumbnail, I automatically thought it was Jocko in black (on the left), then I saw Jocko on the right and thought there were two Jockos. I need a nap

  2. I was working in hospitality and very demanding environment for 20 years up to present had served different employer boss colleuges guests pressure always been and used to stay focused mentally alert and enough energy to accomplish things in a day operations damn so tired 😴 thanks jocko your podcast guide me and keep me more stronger in every aspect of my life cheers bro.

  3. Damn. After finding jocko like a year ago after he had already blown up i feel like by supporting this new podcast format, I’m getting in on the ground floor! GET SOME!

  4. IBJJF Chicago Open is in less than a month… This is the perfect topic at the perfect time with two men I highly respect. Gettin after it…

  5. You guys gotta run thru some nicknames in Tha JuJits!

    My instructor twisted my original Nickname to something used at our BJJ academy. Now 6.5 years later that Nickname is all over O-Town as daily business gets conducted.
    Porra 👉👌 Weakness! Make pain your friend and Trainche becomes addictive.

  6. Loving the new podcast, one of the new guys at work just started BJJ a month or so ago and im planning to check out the school he goes to and probably get started as well!

  7. Ever been remotely controlled in your lives?

    Transmitters hitting the nerves before a fight. Nerves for sensation and nerves for the heart (vagus nerves). If you grew up in the US, and been in a fight, you'll know it.

    You sign a waiver in elementary school? Were you they're slave in elementary school? The same energy cut off your brain while learning ever? What else they use it for?

  8. thank you, fellas. please keep this podcast regular. its exactly the tone i needed. have a great day. osss

  9. For the record, I also blame Josh Barnett for being just an all around monster and super cool dude…Barnett, you big jerk! How dare you win!

  10. 2 solid hard men talking about fights and prep for fights. This is wisdom about not only this but about the human condition itself. Jocko is a navy seal ( elite soldier) & this other guy is some long time seasoned martial arts fighter. Im enriched when i hear honest talk and i learn a lot about myself and humans and life watching this. subbed.

  11. Mike Tyson had panic attacks minutes before the fight. Cus Damato said Mike was so scared he was crying hugging him like a kid.

  12. I wish this podcast was up when I was in highschool. My senior year I was wrestling the champion match in league. I beat the guy the day before, badly, in a duals match so we can all be seeded. I was extremely explosive and had stamina for days, which you didn't see in my weight class (189), but I weighed 180lbs. I was feeling the pressure, everyone was talking like I already won. I couldn't relax and against my coaches wishes warmed up for 2 hours. I lost, badly. Spent the whole time trying to fight off my back. The next time I wrestled that kid I beat him to move on to the championship match in division.

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