A few weeks ago, I spent 3 days training in the mountains of Pennsylvania with Master Chim and about 20 other badasses. It was a life-changing experience and it gave me many insights and experiences that have made me a better man.
For those of you that don’t know Master Chim, check out my 2 interviews with him here:
#1 Masculine Communication 101
#2 Being Manly in Today’s Society
Master Chim is the founder of the Warrior Project AKA the Pressure Project.
I’ve been following him for years and consider him a mentor in regards to masculinity, warrior mindset, and tribalism.
He is a former pro fighter and now runs several MMA schools in NYC.
He is an old-school guy and a rare breed. Pressurecon is an annual get-together for all of his fans but more importantly an event where he teaches lessons all geared towards helping us become better men.
A few rare steaks to get ready
Before getting there I ate 2 raw steaks, a couple of raw eggs, and about a liter of raw-milk just to pump myself up with testosterone as much as possible. I knew it was going to be an event that would challenge me and I wanted to be amped up.
When I got there, everyone was either ex-military, law-enforcement, MMA fighters, etc. Everyone was a man’s man. There was about 20 of us total which was awesome because it provided a more focused setting.
No women allowed.
All the men were wearing t-shirts with quotes on them like “Better dead than Red” and “Tribe Matters”.
I was the second youngest guy there.
In particular, there was this beast of a man from Virginia. People called him Grizzly. He must’ve been at least 6 foot 7 and looked like he ate German Shepards for breakfast. He turned out to be a really nice guy though.
The initial get-together
The first night was very informal. We all just sat around a table and spoke amongst each other as more and more guys arrived from all over the country. Some of the guys there were men whom I’ve seen at the first Pressure Con event and MC’s Vioprep Seminar.
In a way, I felt like I was home. It felt good to be in an environment with a bunch of dangerous dudes who were all eager to grow and become stronger. As we sat around the fire and spoke, I felt a tinge of sadness that men don’t get together and bond like this anymore. I encourage all men reading to have weekly and or monthly rituals with their fellow men where they get together and talk around a fire. This is too valuable a ritual and a shame that it isn’t common.
One of the conversational topics was about how masculinity and self-reliance go hand in hand. I made the point that I didn’t want fancy technology that would require highly skilled experts to fix. I said that I wanted to implement older technology in my environment that would be easy to understand and thus easy for me to master.
Tom Kheir who was there told me that I should understand all technology advanced or basic. I think he had a good point. When it comes to technology, there is definitely value in understanding it’s advances so that you can navigate the modern world effectively without being that weird old-fashion guy.
Tom Kheir was the guy that introduced the idea that a warrior is a man whom other men want around during times of pressure. A warrior is a man who’s reliable when the shit hits the fan no matter if the power goes out or if there are burglars in the house. You want him around.
Insight #1 Keep expectations on other people low
MC was telling us stories about betrayal and how it could often come from some of the closest people in our lives. The truth is that we can’t control other people but we can control ourselves. People have their own agendas and not everyone is going to be on mission 100% of the time. Remember that and keep expectations on other people low. Keep expectations on yourself high. That is the way to be more powerful.
Insight #2 A coward and his mission in life
The coward’s mission is simple: mediocrity, safety, and invisibility. This is a man who chooses certainty. They make sure that they feel nice and comfy no matter what. They reject the ascent of power. The thing about cowards is that they’re playing a game that they’re bound to lose. They’re still going to die. Cowards refuse to do their job. Warriors do their job.
Insight #3 Warriors are concerned with glory, not injury
MC went into detail about how athletes and warriors of the past never spoke of their injuries. They reminisce into their warrior days with pride as they share stories of glory. Never before has there been a time where people had all been injury free. Show me some scars! This is a key insight for cowards to keep in mind as although an injury may be painful, what is more painful is the shame that comes from being a coward!
Insight #4 Shame and punishment are a social currency to reinforce in-tribe values
MC always says, “I mock you so I don’t have to punish you. I punish you so I don’t have to exile you. I exile you so I don’t have to kill you. I kill you so I don’t have to…die.” This is the decision-making process for reinforcing in-tribe values. It may not be literal in most applications but it nevertheless is a system for dealing with threats within the tribe and ultimately within any hierarchy to varying degrees.
Insight #5 Don’t extend in-tribe benefits to out-tribe people
Recently, I was watching an interview with Michael Franzese supposedly the highest-paid Mafia boss since Al Capone. In the interview, he said that he never trusted lawyers or anyone else unless they were “made” AKA in the mob. Everybody that wasn’t in the mob was a sucker to those in the mob. MC made a similar reference when he said that you shouldn’t extend in-tribe benefits to those who are out-tribe. This is an important point because your resources are limited. Invest time and energy into fighting for your tribe’s interests instead of fighting for causes that have nothing to do with you.
Insight #6 To get respect from a man, don’t act like his ex-girlfriend
If you’re wondering why other men don’t respect you, it may be because you have some female tendencies. Men respect strength. Men don’t respect effeminate men who react, complain, bitch, and pander to them like annoying ex-girlfriends. Be strong, upfront, respectful, and self-sufficient. That’s how you get respect. Add strength to your brothers. Neediness and emotional validation-seeking are weak. Same goes for getting women to admire you too.
Insight #7 We are all in charge of cleaning up and keeping a clear lens
Your lens is a metaphor for your field of perception. There are many biases, distortions, and blind-spots which will cloud your perception and make you lose touch with reality. You must prioritize mental clarity as much as possible in order to be the most resourceful man you can be. That’s why sobriety and taking care of your health through good sleep, exercise, and nutrition is so key.
Biases: False expectations we put on reality.
A good question to uncover biases: What 3 things would a collective of 1000 people do in this situation?
Distortions: Assigning a condition to reality that doesn’t exist
Good questions to uncover distortions:
How would a robot describe/calculate this situation?
Are we adding any spice (emotion) to the situation that doesn’t need it?
Blind-Spots: Gaps in your own perception due to missing information
Part of the benefit of having a strong tribe is having other members who can call out blind-spots that you’re not objectively seeing.
Insight #8 See everything as metaphor
Everything people say is what they’re saying as them. In other words, context is key. Everything is contextual. You can bypass the content of what a person is saying by analyzing the context they’re saying it in. This is key for proper communication as well as understanding other human beings. Understanding who the person is, his background, beliefs and ultimately worldview is just as much if not more important than understanding what he is actually saying.
Insight #9 Self-mastery through religious asceticism
There was a guest speaker who spoke of religious asceticism and how it helped him achieve a higher degree of self-mastery. The idea is that when you engage in practices that remove distraction, comfort, and pleasure, you nurture your connection to your deepest purpose and spiritual source. This is the basic idea behind taking time to be in silence and solitude in order to reconnect to your purpose and a key practice for superior men.
Insight #10 It’s about North, it’s not about the people
When you have a tribe and when you’re a leader in general, it helps to remember that it’s not about the people you’re with. It’s ultimately about the vision. Which means that if people in your tribe can’t sustain the behavior and mindset necessary to move towards the higher vision, then you should deal with them accordingly. Higher loyalty goes towards the mission, not the people. Simple.
Insight #11 The slave’s mind is barren, he has too much shit to work on and provides no value to his tribe
This is basically for all of you that know someone who is really nice, kind, and maybe even fun to hang with but has too many weaknesses to contribute anything of value to the tribe. This person ultimately has negated the latter of strength for far too long and can’t provide any use to the tribe. Steer clear of slaves if you want to live long and instead look for men who have some discipline which reminds me of another thing MC says which is “Recruit, don’t convert!
Insight #12 A throw is only judged by a catch
This is a reference to communication. In other words, it’s the communicator’s responsibility to make sure that his message is received. A good communicator knows how to modulate his communication in different ways in order to ensure a catch. Keep throwing until the light goes off.
Insight #13 Too many words
Think about a highly respected Mafia boss. He uses his words carefully and wisely making sure to make each one count. He knows his soldiers will respect each word that comes out of his mouth. This is because he is known for being congruent. MC says that there are always way too many words: Efficiency/brevity is stronger. The more words = the more potential for misunderstanding. Less is better. But more importantly, for all the cool shit you say, make sure that you do even more cool shit. In other words, actions speak louder than words. It’s about function, minimalism, and efficiency. Not flare.
Insight #14 Good is what strengthens the tribe, bad is what weakens it (good/bad by itself doesn’t have conscious intent)
This is a powerful way to view good and evil. Some might say that evil has conscious intent. I don’t know for sure. Maybe there are demons and evil entities out there. But one thing I do know and it’s that it ain’t black and white. Sometimes it pays to be bad. And sometimes a little bad is just what you’ve got to be. This is especially true when it comes to strengthening your tribe and survival. God knows humanity has done some pretty “bad” things out of necessity to survive.
Insight #15 Qualified language is nullified language
Preframing by “this is gonna sound stupid” does not absolve accountability for what you say (fear of criticism). Passive aggression and not taking responsibility = communication like a cunt. Weak communicators say they tried and don’t take responsibility. Strong communicators take responsibility for what they have to say.
Insight #16 When it comes to confrontation, keep it functional
Your response shouldn’t be anything but functional when it comes to confrontation. In other words, if you need to confront someone for whatever reason, keep the emotion and the flare out. Deal with the issue at hand and make it specific. Don’t add any spice. This is key when it comes to confronting other men and avoiding drama.
Insight #17 Never get stressed about anything
Acute low-level stress is unnatural and unskilled. You should never worry about anything, just be prepared and allow your training to kick in when it’s time. If you look at animals, they generally roam around stress-free. They only activate their stress response when necessary. But other than that, they pretty much live on the razor’s edge of the present moment. Don’t get stressed EVER. Relax. Stress causes decreased testosterone as well. Just focus on your mission and stay ready.
Insight #18 Pain doesn’t hurt
Pain doesn’t hurt. If you are distracted, it is possible to silence pain. Ever have a horrible headache only to have some sort of urgent distraction come in? By focusing on some urgent task at hand, your mind can tune out the pain. The other thing is the anticipation of pain is often worse than the pain itself. We live in a feminized culture. Relaxation and indifference are key when it comes to dealing with pain. You don’t need to warm up. Adopt whatever mindset you need to distract yourself and deal with the pain. Think about pussy (ha!). Use tension as necessary.
Insight #19 Pure masculinity is how we survive
We live in a culture that demonizes masculinity. Toxic masculinity is often quoted to describe the negative aspect of men. However, pure masculinity is how we survive as a people! Without men to enforce law, order, and structure, society would turn to shit. I’m not speaking of centralization but I am speaking of how we need men to survive. We need them to do what they do best: Handle danger, lead, and encourage their tribes to become stronger. It’s time to honor masculinity and it’s role in helping civilization evolve.
Getting hit with a stick while having my heart-rate measured
The second to last exercise that we all did began with everyone having their heart rate measured. At first, nobody understood why it was being done but MC started to explain that we were all about to get hit with a bamboo stick.
My heart rate was actually the lowest out of everyone there and MC kept saying “You mellow motherfucker” (haha). Everybody had their heart rates measured before they got hit, during the hit, and after the hit.
The point of the exercise was to see how your stress response shot up and down in anticipation/response to the event. The hit took place with each man taking turns putting his arms up and keeping their abs in a neutral position (not tense). Then MC delivered a swift and sturdy hit right to the abdomen. For many, it left a mark.
I immediately felt my heart rate climb at the prospect of being hit but I controlled my breathing and remained as relaxed as possible. Some guy’s heart rates shot up very high right before the hit took place and were actually lower during the hit. The anticipation of the hit was more nerve-racking than the actual hit itself!
When I was hit, my heart rate climbed from my cool 54 bpm to about 85 at the moment of the hit and then it quickly slowed back down. I believe I had the lowest heart-rate out of everyone there. I believe that this is a fruit of my strict 6 days a week primal dieting, disciplined weight-training and daily breath-training that I’ve been doing for years.
Trying to knock someone out in under a minute
During this event, we were each given boxing gloves and told that we were going to be in an arranged 60-second all-out intensity fight. I forgot my mouthpiece at home so I rolled up a wet paper-towel and bit down on it in order to hold my jaw in place.
The first fight started off with 2 older and highly trained martial artists who fought until blood was spewing from one of their faces. The fight was quick, intense, and brutal with both fighters shaking hands at the end.
When it was my turn, I was arranged to fight with the youngest guy there who was about 21. He put up a fair fight with each of us delivering hard blows. I landed a couple that I know didn’t do his brain any good but hey, MC said, “all out.”
I ended up fighting an older guy as well and we dooked it out. Nobody got hurt too bad and we shook hands at the end. That was the end of the event!
MC said that he wanted all of us to have left knowing that if shit were to hit the fan, we could all know that we could handle the pressure for at least a minute and I guess in my case 2 minutes.
P.s. Would like to make progress on your journey to self-mastery? Check out the Spartan Ownership shop here for badass products and training courses that will accelerate your growth. Also, if you would like more personalized help, book a coaching session with me here.
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