Brian Debes

Audio Episode

Supporting materials

Brian Debes

The interview with Brian was a great experience for me. Brian gave us a lot to think about in our own life. It was something about Brian that gave me a sense that we can make anything happen in our lives if we just do it. Coming from a past of being a small person and having people tell you not to try because you might get hurt to a place where people look up to you and seek your expertise; makes Brian is a well-rounded person with a lot of passion for what he does.

I hope you enjoy this great conversation!


A little about Brian

Brian Debes is a martial arts professional and anti-bullying advocate. He is the founder and owner of 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu Beaumont, a martial arts school developed by renowned instructor Eddie Bravo, Click to Tweet
where he coaches children and adults to overcome obstacles like shyness, anxiety, and bullying. Through the philosophies and practices found in Jiu-Jitsu, Debes instills confidence and self-esteem, preparing students with the know-how and strategies to defend themselves mentally, emotionally, and physically.
After enduring relentless childhood bullying for his small stature and physical disability, which limits his motor skills, Brian pushed through the restrictive beliefs of others, including his family, who adamantly discouraged physical activity for fear of injury or failure, and pursued his childhood dream --Jiu-Jitsu. Never sharing his disability with peers to avoid labels and preferable treatment, Brian trained hard and flourished, mentally and physically. His success fueled him to build his own business, and today he uses his experience to show others that anything is possible, despite the opinions and confinements of others.
Through martial arts and his teaching of healthy habits, Brian has helped improve the lives of thousands of students. As a competitor, in 2013, Brian was listed as 10th Planet’s competitor of the year and was rated #1 adult grappler in North America by Ranked/NAGA. In addition, he has worked with several A-list celebrities and UFC fighters.

Brian Debes

[00:00:00] Ed Watters: Uh, I wanna ask you about your nickname, Barn Cat. How did that come about?


Brian Debes: So I, um, I met my instructor, Eddie Bravo, um, he's, he's one of the most, I would say, um, influential Jiu jitsu figures. Some people don't like it, but like even people that don't like him, they'll say he's influential. So, um, he, uh, I, when I, I've been following him online and stuff for a while, Click to Tweet
 I've attended 10th Planet seminars. When I went to training with him at, at an event, first.

[00:00:36] So there was a, at the end of it, there was an in-house competition. And he was, uh, kind of yelling things at me and he didn't remember my name, of course, cuz it was a huge event. Like a lot of people I wanna say, I, I don't wanna give you exact numbers, somewhere in the 50 to 150 range of people had attended for those four days. That he's meeting most of them for the first time,

[00:01:02] no way he's gonna remember my name. Uh, and I was remarkably unremarkable too. So it's like, if he's gonna remember one person's name it wasn't gonna be me. Um, so, uh, but then, um, I started doing really well, I won, um, I ended up getting like the, the tap out award there. And like the next day in his actual process, started training with him.

[00:01:26] I had trained three and a half years, different places before then, but I was a white belt. And a lot of times I was just, once again, having to train myself at a club, and following, training with people, come back, follow different things. So I got a blue belt when I shortly trained with him. But basically before that, uh, at the end of, during that competition, he didn't remember my name

[00:01:47] so he made one up. Um, so he said, uh, Barn Cat, and it's like Barn Cat? It's like, oh, he looks sweet and innocent, but he kills for a living. Like, so I was like, I was really, really small and stuff so he, he just made one up. And for a long time, I don't know if he, he knows my real name now for sure, but for a long time I wasn't quite sure.

[00:02:10] Maybe he knew my real name and he liked my, the nickname. Now he still calls me the nickname, but I, I, I feel a hundred percent confident that he knows my real name. But for a while, I wasn't, I wasn't positive. Or I wasn't, wasn't quite sure if he knew my real name or not, but that's really, nicknames are really common in Jiu jitsu and they come about kind of like that.

[00:02:28] They just like, uh, some instructors give them easier than others, but it's like, Hey, you're the whatever and then you are.

[00:02:41] Ed Watters: To overcome you must educate. Educate not only yourself,

[00:02:48] but educate anyone seeking to

[00:02:51] learn.

[00:02:53] We are all Dead America, we can

[00:02:56] all learn something. To learn

[00:03:00] we must challenge what we already understand, the way we do that is through conversation. Sometimes we have conversations with others, however, some of the best conversations happen

[00:03:18] with ourself,

[00:03:21] reach out and challenge yourself.

[00:03:23] Let's dive in and learn something right now.

[00:03:32] Uh, today we are with Brian Debes, he is the founder and the owner of 10th planet Jiu jitsu. Could you please introduce yourself and let people know just a little bit more about you, Brian?

[00:03:48] Brian Debes: So, uh, I am the founder and owner of 10th Planet Jiu jitsu Beaumont. 10th planet is the organ, organization founded by my coach.

[00:03:57] Uh, so, uh, I didn't found all of the 10th planets. Um, I'm also a founder and owner of a software company, Red Belt Software. So, um, I, uh, you want, how far back do you want? Um.

[00:04:13] Ed Watters: Well, just a basic, that's far enough, you know, we, we can get in and go from there. Uh, what, what got you into Jiu jitsu first of all?

[00:04:28] Brian Debes: Yeah. So basically I was, I was always bullied as a kid,

[00:04:33] I didn't have a really, um, good time growing up. I was way, like I was 60 pounds going into high school, so for a girl maybe that's okay, for a guy it's not the best. Um, so, uh, I was, and, and my dad always did judo. Um, and he even taught judo for a place in town. And I was like, I wanted to train. He was like, you know, You'll, you'll probably get hurt, things like that.

[00:04:58] Um, I had a [00:05:00] motor skill disability also, so I got diagnosed with that. They kind of left it generic, but I went to a neurologist, um, and they referred to me an Occupational Therapist. They basically just said, Hey, keep doing little drills, keep writing stuff, maybe it'll get better. So I basically had to type things,

[00:05:21] I had modifications throughout school. Um, So like, if being small isn't enough to make you a target, uh, be the person doing something differently on top of that, that'll help for sure. Um, so, uh, I, I was always interested in that and like I said, my, my parents were, uh, kind of concerned that I might get injured.

[00:05:46] So, uh, but as an adult, um, I started anyway, I started with a, uh, basically an university club then tried some different martial arts stuff in town and ended up traveling across, across the country to train. And, um, I, I was in school for engineering, I, I got an engineering degree. Um, and I opted to instead take a little, like an adjunct instructor position at the, at the college that paid very little so I could keep teaching what I was teaching at the club for free.

[00:06:18] Then eventually that led to me starting my school. And then when I'm, I'm just now, um, starting my software company and my software company is specifically building a CRM for martial arts gym owners. Uh, so that's from like basically problems I experienced in my gym, uh, problems with those solutions, um, solutions that were available and other people that I've met.

[00:06:42] So it all kind of came from that. It's all, always kind of connected.

[00:06:47] Ed Watters: So, so are you coding this platform for yourself? You, you do the coding and all the

[00:06:53] work yourself?

[00:06:54] Brian Debes: Well, like I said, I have an engineering degree. Uh, I have an engineering degree, but I, um, it would be far too vast for any one person. Uh, so while I'm an engineer, I'm not really, I, I've never been a, a, a developer, uh,

[00:07:09] really. So I've, I've met up with other developers and I'm really involved with the process. Um, but like with any company that's over a certain size, you say, Hey, my company is this, but really we should all be saying like, same thing with my gym, I teach at my gym, but my gym isn't me. My gym is us. So my gym was me at the beginning because it was literally just me.

[00:07:33] Um, but, but, uh, yeah, I mean, It started with me and an idea. And we, I have, I believe I've, um, at my gym, so not counting volunteers, I have three employees at my software company. I have 12 employees, so it's not, it's not just me anymore, um, sleeping on the floor of the gym that I did for five years. Sleeping at the gym to, to make it all work.

[00:08:00] So, uh, but I mean, that's a place to start, but no, it's not, it's not all me.

[00:08:06] Ed Watters: Yeah, well, you, you are quite accomplished in many things, you know, going from a disabled person to one of the renowned top positions in the world on a combat sport. This, uh, Jiu jitsu is not easy, uh, it, it takes a lot of dedication, it takes a lot of patience.

[00:08:30] You know, you don't go in there and you get angry and you win, that's not how it works. It takes a lot of, uh, devotion, learning how to control yourself. Can you talk to us a little bit about how you maintain all of that?


Brian Debes: Um, Yeah. So that, exactly what you said is true. Um, you're not going to; people sometimes think in combat sports it's about, uh, getting your adrenaline up, Click to Tweet
getting mad, and getting,

[00:09:00] getting something done. And, but that's, even MMA, so Jiu jitsu's a little bit slower paced than MMA with the strikes. Um, but, uh, even in MMA, I've coached a lot of MMA fighters, uh, people think what they need is like a red bull, and caffeine, and whatever before, uh, a match. But that they need the opposite, they need to calm down because it's usually not the person acting emotionally and too quickly

[00:09:25] um, that wins. It's the person that's more careful, more calculated, that's gonna be, that can keep their calm. And, and there's a huge carryover to real life there. Um, because if you're just, being emotional is the best way usually to take a situation that's not so good and turn it into something that's awful.

[00:09:49] And that's true in combat sports. It's true in a whole lot of life in my experience, business, um, being an employer, employee, um, like, [00:10:00] just about everything. Um, and, but, so you have a huge advantage of about 95% of all the other humans is if that's not you, right? And, and you're gonna have some emotions, but if you're very, very in control of them, um, that's something you get like, you know, you have your genetics, not too much you can do about that, but there's certain things you can choose to take control of.

[00:10:25] And that's one of them and it's, it's a skill that can be developed. Jiu jitsu is, you, you hear uh, I think I heard it first phrased this way from Joe Rogan, Jiu jitsu is a hu, um, a tool to basically increase human performance. It's a, a personal development tool, it can be used as such in addition to like self-defense, other stuff you can use it for.

[00:10:50] And, um, that's, that's part of it because Jiu jitsu will, um, put you live in spots every night that are uncomfortable, maybe upsetting, uh, maybe you were thinking you were gonna, you, you looked at all this stuff, you saw something on the internet, you were gonna do this cool stuff, you were gonna win. And, um, you get used to things not going to, according to plan, you get used to things being very uncomfortable.

[00:11:18] Um, and then you do that, a bunch of practice just over and over again, and then you can do it in competition, and hopefully you can, you can do it in life.

[00:11:28] Ed Watters: Yeah,

[00:11:28] we're, we're lacking that in our world today. You know, back when I was a kid, I went to, you know, The Boys Club and we got into boxing, there wasn't MMA yet.

[00:11:42] And I remember watching the Gracie's come in and kind of upset and change things. And it, it was quite interesting to watch the growth of that, you know, new thing here in America anyway, because Jiu jitsu's been around forever. So what's it like to work with some of these professional people that are way above par in most cases to most people?

[00:12:19] Brian Debes: So, um, that's a hard question, but I think the best answer of what it's like, because I've worked with people in, in Jiu jitsu, in MMA, and even some people in business that, that are pretty far up there. Um, and the biggest takeaway for me is their, the difference is this, they did something over and over again for a long time,

[00:12:47] like they're just regular people. So the biggest takeaway and why I think, a beautiful thing about Jiu jitsu is, you know, if, if you take computing, or, or business, or whatever, and you're, you're probably gonna have a hard time going and sitting next to Bill Gates. Um, but if you take combat sports, you can go, kind of travel and learn from whoever you like, just about.

[00:13:10] Um, you can go be next, you can go be training partners to these famous people. Now you're not gonna be in that class right away, but you can go travel, and you can be maybe that great coach, isn't for the beginner's folks, but you can work your way in and you, you can get coached by that person eventually. And then you can be training partners with those people, and then you can see what they do,

[00:13:31] and you can start doing what they do over a long time. Success leaves clues and then you can be there with them. Now, will you be a world champion? Who knows? There's a lot of variables there, um, can just about, everybody from every background, be very, very, very good at just about anything you want, I believe so.

[00:13:53] Um, and I think that's the biggest takeaway of, is that they're just regular people. Yeah, some of them got good genetics. You'll find some that didn't get so good of genetics, less common, but you'll find it. But they're, they're people that have done something for a very long time. It's not so much what they did on one day

[00:14:11] that was hard. They did something over and over again with some consistency. Um, and while most people hop around to the new shiny thing, which is all cool. Those people, maybe they had chased shiny things too, but every night they did this one thing and that's the one thing that they got good at. All

[00:14:29] the other things didn't really matter.

[00:14:32] Ed Watters: Yeah, that's so true in everything we do in life, you know, and persistence and, you know, look at Edison. You know, it took thousands of tries before he got the light bulb filament to work and that's, that's a passion. When we talk about getting in and staying in some of these things that we love, it's a passion and

[00:14:59] I've noticed if [00:15:00] you've got a passion for something you become expert at it, you, you drive to be the best. You might not become the best, but you really want to be the best, you want that knowledge. So how, how do you keep going in a sport such as Jiu jitsu? Because that's torture on the body, I'll tell you,

[00:15:27] you've gotta be pretty flexible.

[00:15:30] Brian Debes: Um, so personally I feel, this is more Jiu jitsu specific, but, um, I do feel like Jiu jitsu's easier to get into and stay into when you're older than other things, but you have to train a certain way, right? And, um, the biggest thing is if you let go too much of every day in training of your results, you see fighters all the time,

[00:15:54] so there's fighters that burn out and everybody looks at, everybody looks at things like, um, their fights, right? Okay. Well, they've got hit in the head so many times, they've done this, but, okay. They might have long careers if you've had 50 fights, but if you've had 50 fights, you've had a hundred thousand days in training.

[00:16:15] So what did you do in there? Um, where, when, when somebody was getting the better of you, were you going harder and harder? Uh, were you working on stuff and progressing skills or were you getting beat up? Now, I'm not saying it's not a little rough and you might get a little bit beat up anyway, but on a scale of one to 10, we can bring that down to a three, or we can put it at nine or 10 every day.

[00:16:41] And if you put it at nine or 10 every day, to me, it's the same way of these people that do, that they do anything. It's like, Hey, I wanna lose 50 pounds. I mean, go on the most extreme, extreme diet, the most extreme workout. I'm gonna work out twice a day, every day, and then they'll lose a little bit of weight usually.

[00:16:58] And then they will stop doing that in three weeks or a month. Then they will put all the weight back on, it'll be like it never happened. Um, so it's the same, it's the same thing. So the secret to being able to keep in and doing it is understanding that every day is not world championship fight night. Um, every day is training day and you can train every day.

[00:17:21] One of the founders, Helio Gracie, uh, was said to train pretty regularly at 92. Uh, so he can train pretty regularly at 92, but not like random white, built 20 year old that's spazzing out. I, I mean, I never got to meet him, I was training when he was alive, but I can tell you for sure though, he's not training

[00:17:41] like that random dude, right? So at some point you gotta make a transition. I'm not saying that he didn't when he was 20 and starting, but somewhere in between, he made some decisions about does, is he worried about, like maybe he could go harder and win and do better at this moment. And is that more important than him training forever?

[00:18:02] And at some point you have to make that decision and a side effect of training forever is you're gonna be really good.

[00:18:11] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:18:12] And, and it, it promotes good health for a longer period of time. So you, you see a lot of these, uh, fighters that do like, uh, meditation practices. They have that longevity in them because they know how to calm themselves.

[00:18:33] You mentioned earlier about calming yourself and kinda keeping your cool under that pressure, that's hard to do. A lot of people, especially in today's world, deal with fear. Do you have advice on fear for

[00:18:50] people?

[00:18:52] Brian Debes: Yeah. So, uh, commenting on that first thing first, as far as, yeah, uh, people do use meditation or different things like music. Just like I said, people think they, some people think they need to get up during, um, a match or before a lot of things.

[00:19:05] And there may be some things in life, we're talking about Jiu jitsu, maybe there's some things in life we need to ramp up a little bit for. Um, but usually you're not trying to ramp up to the top, maybe some sort of calm excitement in the middle, which is usually what I'm going for for competition. Um, and, uh, so yeah, a lot of people, people do different things, but people do different things to try to get them,

[00:19:28] they, they figure out where their optimum state is and they try to get there. So as far as dealing with fear, so, uh, fear has a bunch of different names, um, nicknames, like anxiety, um, and different things like that. So fear, um, when you start breaking down, breaking it down and try to think about it

[00:19:50] logically. With my personality it's kind of what I try to do. So, um, is this fear we're talking about? Is it like, [00:20:00] Hey, I'm doing this competition that's high risk. I'm doing something that's actually high risk here. As I'm making the decision, am I investing too much money? Am I like, is there really like, am I doing something risky?

[00:20:15] And is this emotion a warning that maybe I'm not making the right decisions. So that's kind of the, the, the old school definition of fear. You're a caveman out in the woods, sees giant mountain lion, fear strikes him. Fear, very logical and a good advice for a caveman, do not play with mountain lion. Okay. But a lot of people have these different things like anxiety, different things that are more, less tangible fears

[00:20:44] that, so you talk about, okay, but what am I really afraid of here? I'm already committed. Uh, like a lot of times people are afraid of things of very little risk. Like people are afraid of, uh, I'm not saying I'm, I haven't dealt with it, but like you go public speaking, different things like that, and you just realize, Hey, there's no actual risk here,

[00:21:05] very little risk. And that's the fear most of us deal with, um, because if something comes up, you're in a car accident, like that just happened, like that's not the fear that troubles you your everyday life. Um, so that's, you just have to realize, and then you can put yourself in these situations over and over again.

[00:21:26] And, um, of course you don't wanna put yourself in actually dangerous situations, but to me, a Jiu jitsu tournament, I didn't do a Jiu jitsu tournament, I didn't do Jiu jitsu to do Jiu jitsu tournaments. I did Jiu jitsu tournaments to get better at Jiu jitsu and, and to use them as a tool. I mean, I happen to do

[00:21:44] pretty okay at some of them for a while, but they were a tool for something else. And I could tell you when I first did 'em I was really, even though it was like, you know, I can just tap and it's all over with, and it's not like MMA, it's not that dangerous. Even though I was a little fragile, but I was probably doing, in, in training,

[00:22:01] I was training with people a hundred pounds more than me. I was probably making, making bigger risks every day than the actual training, that said, you still feel it. So if you just do it way more, it starts to go away. So if you think, almost everybody that does their first combat sport is almost completely drained of cardio before they get in there.

[00:22:23] So before they start doing, because their, why? Their nerves and body ate it all up. So if you think, oh, you would be perfectly calm and logical in like a self defense situation, it's like, um, there's almost no real risk in this Jiu jitsu tournament. There's some, people get hurt occasionally, but you compare that to like an attack where there's very high risk,

[00:22:45] if you lose, you may die. The, like, Jiu jitsu tournament, like, you know, there's divisions, almost everybody loses 5% of the tournament because it's not one on one. Like it's a 16 man division, almost everybody losing a match. How many people at that thousand person event, hurt minorly, a handful maybe. Um, but two people in a real fight, maybe both of them hurt real bad.

[00:23:08] Uh, but it, it gets you used to that sort of thing so when you put yourself in those scenarios, it's not the same as these other things, but you can get used to, there's some translation. So not only by competing did I get better at the stress of competing, I got better at the stress of public speaking,

[00:23:26] I got better at the stress of dealing with people, dealing with situations. Because you just get used to dealing with something that is, once again, is illogically stressful. So your body is identifying it as a much larger stressor than it really is. Um, so that's my thoughts on that.

[00:23:47] Ed Watters: You know, when, when you're dealing with fear and you said earlier that, you know that emotion before the fight takes it outta you.

[00:23:59] You know, I think a lot of good fighters just rely on that training, it's motor memory, and that's why you train consistently, constantly all the time with different people, different styles. So what's your thought on that?

[00:24:18] Brian Debes: Yeah. So there's a quote, I, unfortunately, it's not mine and I unfortunately don't know who it came from, but it's, uh, you don't rise to the occasion, you fall to the level of your training.

[00:24:30] And I really like that one because a lot of people that haven't trained, they think, well, I don't know anything but when it really came down to it, I would, my, like my, I would bring, if I had to defend myself and my family, I'm way outta shape, I have no training, I have no skills, but if he was bigger, stronger, maybe had some training, had every advantage, somehow I would rise to,

[00:24:50] but that's not really how reality usually works. You don't rise to the occasion, you fall to the level of your training, just like you said. And that's one of the things, [00:25:00] another tip, a lot of people, including myself, have used in the past to calm myself down, it's like, you know, it's already done. To me,

[00:25:06] it's like, the training is done. Like I'm going there, it's like, I've, I've, I don't know this guy, but I'm willing, if like, if we're gonna bet looks and whatever, he probably looks tougher. If we're gonna bet on how much time I put in, how hard I worked, all that, I believe I have it. And that's what really matters, all that's already done.

[00:25:28] So that's what I'm gonna, I'm gonna go out there and I'm going to do what I've been training over and over again, that's what your body is doing, uh, used to doing and kind of close to what you were referencing. My instructor, Eddie Bravo, he talks about, because some people said, because he, some of his stuff appears a little complicated, right?

[00:25:46] And some of the Gracie's criticized him, uh, for that. Um, but he says, well, you know, take tying your shoes, have you ever been in a stressful situation, things are going on, your shoes are untied, you can reach down and tie it. There's a lot of steps there, there's several steps, lots of steps, a good amount of precision, fine motor skills required, but you can still do it.

[00:26:08] Why can you do that under pressure? Well, you've done it so many times. You couldn't even remember the steps if they ask you in the high pressure, like give me the steps of tying your shoe. You probably couldn't do that, but you can do it, uh, because you've done it a bunch. Um, so that's, you know, that, that's kind of the secret to

[00:26:29] almost anything, humans develop that way. It's like if we do it a whole bunch, we train very intentionally, we can reprogram. That's a lot of what Jiu jitsu is, whatever you naturally would do. We can take that and change it to something else, something better, something trained, and logically better. But there's one reason why seminars alone,

[00:26:49] like a self, seminars can be great, but if you take one seminar, Um, and we'll just say you took it from the best person ever, they absolutely knew what they were talking about and you do it one day. Like, and a year later you're attacked. Like no way, no way you're calling upon that because you have to, now, if you take a seminar, if you train every day and you attend a seminar and then you try to take that stuff and implement it in your training every day,

[00:27:15] oh, that could work for sure. Or if the seminar gets you interested in training and you train, that can be tools, but if you do anything for one day and then at, at your moment of greatest need, high stress, you're not gonna pull all that back sometime in the distant future. That's not how humans work.

[00:27:36] Ed Watters: That's right.

[00:27:37] That's right. And that's so critical to understand, and, you know, people need to start just getting out. And doing a simple walk will help your cardio and your health. So, you know, doing something and talking about it is two different things, that's for sure. Uh, I wanna ask you about your nickname, Barn Cat,

[00:28:04] how did that come about?

[00:28:06] Brian Debes: So I, um, I met my instructor, Eddie Bravo, um, he's, he's one of the most, I would say, influential Jiu jitsu figures. Some people don't like it, but like even people that don't like him, they'll say he's influential. So, um, he, uh, I, when I, I had been following him online and stuff for a while, I've attended 10th Planet seminars when I went to training with him at, at an event, first.

[00:28:35] So there was a, at the end of it, there was an in-house competition. And he was, uh, kind of yelling things at me and he didn't remember my name, of course, cuz it was a huge event. Like a lot of people, I wanna say, I, I don't wanna give you exact numbers, somewhere in the 50 to 150 range of people had attended for those four days. That he's meeting most of them for the first time,

[00:29:01] no way he's gonna remember my name. Uh, and I was remarkably unremarkable too. So it's like, if he's gonna remember one person's name, it wasn't gonna be me. Um, so, uh, but then, um, I started doing really well. I won, um, I ended up getting like the, the tap out award there. And, and like the next day in his actual process, started training with him.

[00:29:25] I had trained three and a half years, different places before then, but I was a white belt and a lot of times I was just, once again, having to train myself at a club and following, training with people, come back, follow different things. So I got a blue belt when I shortly trained with him. But basically before that, uh, at the end of, during that competition, he didn't remember my name

[00:29:46] so he made one up. Um, so he said, uh, Barn Cat, and it's like Barn Cat? It's like, oh, he looks sweet and innocent, but he kills for a living. Like, so I [00:30:00] was like, I was really, really small and stuff. So he, he just made one up. And for a long time, I don't know if he, he knows my real name now, for sure, but for a long time, I wasn't quite sure.

[00:30:09] Maybe he knew my real name and he likes my, the nickname. Now he still calls me the nickname, but I, I, I feel a hundred percent confident that he knows my real name now. But for a while, I wasn't, I wasn't positive. Or I wasn't, wasn't quite sure if he knew my real name or not, but that's really, nicknames are really common in Jiu jitsu and they come about kind of like that.

[00:30:27] They just like, uh, some instructors give them easier than others, but it's like, Hey, you're the whatever. And then you are.

[00:30:35] Ed Watters: Yeah. Yeah. It's kind of that, uh, Native American trait too, they see something and that's what they name you. uh, what kind of advice would you give to the young people that really wanna seek bettering themselves through Jiu jitsu?

[00:30:57] Brian Debes: Oh, well, so specifically bettering themselves through Jiu jitsu, uh, so bettering themselves could be a lot of different ways, Jiu jitsu is definitely one of them. I do recommend it, especially if you have some sort of interest. I will go ahead and say, uh, to rewind on that, uh, a second, what people come into my gym, and at my gym I teach Jiu jitsu, but we also teach different things.

[00:31:18] We teach more Tai, kickboxing, there's different coaches for that. And some people ask me what martial art I think is best. And, uh, my, my answer, like, Hey, I, I really enjoy this and it has some advantages, but really you have to really like it, right? So if, the one you like is gonna be the best for you, because if, if Jiu jitsu, you could describe all the situations you want to use it for, all of that.

[00:31:43] And it's just way more perfect than Muay Thai say, but you don't really like it. And you end up coming once a month. It's like, and you, but you would've fallen in love with Muay Thai and come four days a week, you should be doing that. Um, so first of all, if you're gonna better yourself, do an activity to better yourself, you do wanna find something you like

[00:32:02] and you're passionate about. And that's one reason Jiu jitsu's like the only thing that got me in shape. It's like you said, yeah, walking will do, will help. You can, just about anything that moves your body can help you get in shape, but are you going to do that? And if it's just like grinding, physical, like something you like doing is a better, uh, choice for me.

[00:32:21] So back to your other question of, um, you're seeking to better yourself through Jiu jitsu. Well, great news, if you like Jiu jitsu and you're doing that, I really feel like everything is inevitable in time, so you don't have to do anything. I think once you've chosen the thing, even if it's not Jiu jitsu, I mean, if you've chosen an awful thing, like I've decided to better myself through heroin, that's probably not the best. But if you've, uh, if you've chosen a lot of, one of the many good choices available in life,

[00:32:55] uh, you've chosen, great news, um, keep doing that. And in general, Jiu jitsu especially, I'll speak to other stuff, it's like this, but, um, the way it generally works is you go in, you, you have high hopes or especially if it's something competitive. And you don't live up to your own expectations at first. Um, and

[00:33:19] then you work on it, you do all the things and you don't see the improvement that you expected from yourself. And in fact, you might not see any improvement at all. Um, the secret is to just trust the process and that's part of, what's gonna be your personal development and your, your patience here, and you're learning how, kind of the way you do one thing is the way you do everything.

[00:33:42] Like you do, like my business wasn't profitable, it lost money a little bit, first year. It was basically break even the second year. So basically I worked for free for two years, didn't make too much, but eventually I have other employees. It did, it did really well. Um, but if it's like, if you look at the results and you're like, uh, it's not what I want

[00:34:04] and you look at the improvement, uh, it's not going anywhere. Um, but, have other people done this before? Is it possible to be successful with it? Okay. Find out the process and trust the process and just do the work. Even if like, if you, if you planted a seed and you watered it one time and then like, huh, it hasn't sprouted and you never watered it again,

[00:34:31] it's never going to sprout. Um, and Jiu jitsu is a very long term sprouting sort of thing. It took me three and a half years to get a blue belt, that's the first rank in Jiu jitsu, took me around 13 to get a black belt, um, so a long time. I mean, that's not ultra unheard of in Jiu jitsu, it's also not ultra fast in Jiu jitsu.

[00:34:53] Um, , but yeah, that, that's kind of the secret. Like if you wanted to do it for personal development, [00:35:00] great news, just, just go do it. Just remember why you're doing it and, and keep doing it. There's gonna be a day where, uh, eating Cheetos and staying on your couch feels better. And then you do that and then tomorrow, why not do it again?

[00:35:14] And then, then you're out. Most people that quit Jiu jitsu in my experience, they don't quit because of some life altering thing. They just, something comes up, they get in the habit of not showing up, and, and most people, they don't quit, quit because I've talked to a lot of people, uh, that haven't been showing up. It was like, I'm gonna come back later.

[00:35:31] They don't quit, they don't make a decision that I'm never gonna train again. It's I'm just not doing it right now. And then five years later, you're still not doing it, 10 years later, hey, 15 years later, Hey, maybe I'll come back at some point in five more years, you know, that's how people quit. They don't quit.

[00:35:51] Ed Watters: Yeah, procrastination.

[00:35:53] Brian Debes: Yeah, uh, procrastinate forever. There was a movie of some kind, I, uh, I remember this like, um, the, they translated what the person said. Um, it was some tribal person's like, what did he say? Uh, oh, I'll, I'll consider it forever. So that's what these people are doing, they're not saying no, they're coming back,

[00:36:13] they're just considering it forever.

[00:36:16] Ed Watters: Yeah. And that, that really chews on the inside of you too, because you're not facing apparently a fear, or a challenge, or some hurdle that you must get over, or else you're gonna deal with that the rest of your life. Uh, I remember, uh, what got me into self defense,

[00:36:38] learning how to take care of myself, was at the water fountain. A young man was, you know, bullying, but he had boxing training. And I don't like bullies, they're kind of out there, you know, the world's full of them, but I stood up to the bully and got my butt kicked, you know, but it made me feel good that I had

[00:37:12] the tenacity to stand up to it. Then getting my butt kicked made me think, why don't I know how to do that? And that helped me get over the fear of getting my butt kicked. And it, it actually set me on a life goal on learning about how to control myself, learn about who I am, and why I'm here. What, what's your purpose?

[00:37:49] How much purposes are in your drive?

[00:37:55] Brian Debes: Yeah, so, um, a couple comments on that. Yeah. I, I agree with that entirely. And to me, it's, I'd never, I didn't want to be in the position where, in that case, it felt good because he was just bullying. But if it was something, if you were standing up for somebody that was gonna get killed or something, you would've felt awful or awful if you couldn't do anything. Uh, and just, it's just kind of a feeling of powerlessness and there's good news because yes, a lot of people have trained a little.

[00:38:31] Very few people have trained a lot. And if you are in the, um, the combat sports, you know, that there's an overwhelming difference. Like the people that have trained a little, little, two people that have trained a lot, they're almost indistinguishable, indistinguish, you can't tell the difference between them and people that haven't trained at all.

[00:38:53] Like between, like it's, it's irrelevant and there are exceptions to this. But my instructor, Eddie Bravo, always said, like Jiu jitsu's, it's a filter for D-bags. And what he means by that is, um, it's not, you can find some guys in Jiu jitsu that are not good guys, like you can in everywhere. But it filters, what it filters out and it filters out people that don't have certain virtues.

[00:39:21] And I agree, bad guys can have certain virtues, in fact, sometimes those are the most dangerous bad guys. But a lot of times, quote, unquote, bad guys don't have good patience and perseverance. Uh, they don't, they can't control their ego, they don't have good humility. And you need those things to survive in Jiu jitsu.

[00:39:40] Now you can find a bad guy that has those, and that's a very dangerous bad guy. And, but that's not most of the bad guys. So most of these bullies, they came in and they did a little bit of boxing, they didn't do a lot of boxing, especially didn't do a lot of Jiu jitsu. So he who has these virtues can get better than that guy in general.[00:40:00]

[00:40:00] The vast majority of those people in, in the current age, the number of people that have tried a little bit of a combat sport, especially males, but females too now, are very, are pretty high. But the people that are actually reasonably competent, competent is much lower. And once again, it's, it's, the skill kind of expires.

[00:40:21] So, you know, if you, if you trained for a very long time, it expires slower. But even if you say did a year of training and you haven't trained in five years, but I'm actively training, Hey, I've got a really huge advantage. Um, and said bully probably, I'll make some guesses, I don't know him. He probably didn't train too much boxing and he probably wasn't actively training.

[00:40:45] Um, so which means if you were, you have a good chance.

[00:40:51] Ed Watters: Yeah. Yeah. He, he was, uh, part of The Boys Club area and, you know, I, I didn't even pay attention to it. I, I let him drift away because it, it wasn't even worth my time to dwell on it, you know? Uh, I, I just don't let things like that get to me. I, I learn from it and I move on.

[00:41:14] I try to better myself from my experience, which sometimes is very difficult to do because a lot of the times I find it's me putting myself there in the first place. So as I grow in myself, I understand that I'm in control of every aspect of my life and where I put myself, that's where I'm gonna be.

[00:41:41] You know, it's not anybody else's responsibility, nobody's going to really care unless you make it that way. So you've really got to take the initiative and drive your life yourself. No matter what we're talking about in, uh, if you're a band member, or a fighter, or a construction worker, whatever you're doing in life, you've got to be proud of who and what you are.

[00:42:17] Brian Debes: And

[00:42:19] if not change it.

[00:42:22] Ed Watters: That's the key right there. Changing it, that's the tough part because it takes time. We, we have to recognize that we need to change. And then putting those efforts into the change is, it, it's hard, especially if you're from a background that, you know, it's not really the best background.

[00:42:47] Brian Debes: Sure.

[00:42:48] Ed Watters: But, so how, how was your support system growing up?

[00:42:54] Brian Debes: Um, my parents are, are, are good parents, they're good people. They didn't support me in combat sports, uh, like I told you before until, so my first bit, like, so I'd done several tournaments, but I was doing a, a larger tournament in the expert division and they tried and tried to tell me not to do it.

[00:43:15] And really the, when I was starting to compete, um, the only serious talk I've ever can remember having with my dad in my life, we didn't have a girl talk, we didn't have a drugs talk, we didn't have any of that. The only talk that we ever had was like, you know, you're not cut out for this. Don't, don't, don't go into this competing thing.

[00:43:38] Like don't do, don't go competing in Jiu jitsu. You're not, like you haven't got hurt bad so far, like, don't do this. This isn't, this isn't you, you shouldn't be doing that. And of course, I didn't listen to it. And from the point where I, I, I got up there and, at that point where I finally won something big and significant, it's like they were just blown away and then they did start supporting me at that point.

[00:44:01] But when you do, if everybody is supporting you at everything you do, you're probably pretty far in the comfort zone. Now that may not be for everybody, maybe you have really gray circle, but I mean, I feel I had, had decent parents. But like, you know, everybody thinks of people in a, as a certain way. All your, you can't help it,

[00:44:23] that's just, you think about your friends, your whatever, and to change that is hard. Um, there has to be, um, there has to be something significant happen for you wanting to think about, um, how you think about somebody you know, especially somebody like your kid. And you, you think your kid grew up this certain way,

[00:44:41] this kid is this kid. And, um, If you are relying on this quote, unquote support system, um, I mean, that's, you can go find a new one, right? Because whatever you want to do, there's other people that want to do that too. You can get around those people, and that's what I [00:45:00] did, and you can get one there. Now that said, you can't really rely on

[00:45:05] everybody because you, there could be all these, on any one person or any group, cuz there's gonna be all these voices. So it's like you said, it, it's gotta be up to you, but you can. It, it for sure matters who you're around. Um, Same thing we heard as a kid, don't hang around bad people, but it's more specific than that.

[00:45:24] There, there's not just good people and bad people. There could be all these good people, but, and these people could be doctors and lawyers. But you wanna be an engineer, you don't wanna hang out with the doctors. If you, if you don't wanna be a doctor, you wanna hang out specifically who, who you wanna be because they don't think the same way. You want, more specifically,

[00:45:43] so it's not just good and bad if you're trying to achieve something significant. Um, so that's where you go to find a support system. But also just know that, um, if it's something you want to do, that, um, you're an adult you have to just decide, is it worth it? Do you really, really want to do it though? Like, because it's, everybody's resisting,

[00:46:06] they probably are resisting. Cuz there probably is, it probably is hard, and it probably does have some risk, that's probably why they're resisting. If, if it's like a normal thing everybody does, nobody's ever been like, oh, Brian, don't go to the store. Like, you know, nobody, like, if it's normal, nobody's gonna pressure you not to do it

[00:46:24] if it's real easy and normal. So it's like, so do you wanna do that anyway? Well, to some other people, that thing is normal so you can be around those people. But, uh, yeah, that, that's my, that's my thought on, on support system, you'll get it. You'll change people's minds eventually, or they'll be pushed away.

[00:46:43] There's, so pretty much everybody supports me now, or they don't talk to me, one of the two. And I didn't like, usually not a bad breakup, we just, we don't talk anymore. Just, either, either you support me or, because what are you doing now? I do it for a living. You're gonna talk to me every day and be like, Hmm, that doesn't, think like that's gonna work out.

[00:47:01] I mean, it's already worked out, dude. Like,

[00:47:04] Ed Watters: Yeah, exactly, exactly. You know, we can't let other people judge us or make us who we are. Uh, you know, you are excellent at what you do. I, I've watched several of your matches and you know, to get that good, it takes a long time. How can people hook up with you and get trained by you or by one of your

[00:47:32] affiliates?

[00:47:34] Brian Debes: Uh, so unfortunately at this time, if you're not in Beaumont, Texas, uh, that's, that's where I am, uh, training Jiu jitsu. If you train jujitsu, Um, hit your instructor up and like, I, I can go out and do, do seminars. So I don't really have affiliates, my instructor does, there's other 10th Planets around the world.

[00:47:56] I highly recommend those, but I also highly recommend Brazilian Jiu jitsu. Um, just go find somewhere. Um, if you, really you can reach out to me, uh, I'm on, um, Brian, Brian Barn Cat Debes. I have a Facebook page and an Instagram. If you're like nowhere near me, or a 10th Planet, or anything. You're like, man, there's 10 BJJ schools,

[00:48:18] I, I don't know which one is good. Like reach out to me, I'll help, I'll help you pick one. I'll look at the, I'm pretty good at, at guessing. Not that I, I might know one of them, I might not. I can look at kind of credentials, maybe take a guess for you. Tell me what you want, that matters too. You, you want something kind of easy for a 40 year old to stay in shape,

[00:48:37] you want to compete, you want to be a champion. That's two different schools, maybe. Um, but really just get started. I wouldn't stress too much about, oh, man, this place isn't perfect. Whatever, you know, try it, is it good enough? Because there is no perfect. Perfect is the, is the enemy of you doing anything.

[00:48:55] So, uh, is it, is it gonna be sufficient for you? You're gonna have fun there that, then get started.

[00:49:03] Ed Watters: Yeah. That's the key, get started. If, if you think it, do it. Or else it won't happen, that's for sure. A call to action, what would it be for our listeners, Brian?

[00:49:16] Brian Debes: I would go ahead and say, um, to start something that you think is meaningful for you, whether it's, if you haven't already, if you have, if you found your thing, uh, don't start something, keep doing that thing.

[00:49:31] Even if you feel like, uh, that's uh, I mean, you can, you, you're allowed to change, but change for a reason. If you're just like, ah, I would highly consider sticking with your thing. You could add a new thing or whatever, but, uh, shiny object syndrome isn't how you become a master. Uh, if you haven't found a thing, if it's all been just different things, find your thing and, um, spend some time feeling that out and then commit to [00:50:00] something and, and, and start doing it.

[00:50:03] Ed Watters: That's right. It doesn't get good until you do the hard part. So, uh, I wanna say thank you for being with us today, talking with us and giving your advice. And it's always a pleasure having people like you on the Dead America Podcast, thank you.

[00:50:20] Brian Debes: Thanks so

[00:50:20] much for having me on.

[00:50:25] Ed Watters: Thank you for joining us today. If you found this podcast enlightening, entertaining, educational in any way, please share, like, subscribe, and join us right back here next week for another great episode of Dead America Podcast. I'm Ed Watters your host, enjoy your afternoon wherever you

[00:50:46] may be.