Jason C. Brown

Greetings friends and neighbors, Today I want, with great enthusiasm, to announce that Agoge Fitness Systems will be hosting Chip Conrad, of the Bodytribe in Sacramento, California, for a two day workshop, July 28 and 29th, at the gym here in Birmingham, Alabama.  You may remember me referencing Chip from an earlier blog post on play.  As a result of that post Chip and I got connected and the idea of having him come to Birmingham came to be. I’m very excited about this opportunity as Bodytribe embodies everything I want AFS to be when it “grows up.”  You can… Read More »

Zach Even-Esh

Wow, I’m really excited about the response I’ve gotten from yesterday’s email/post.  It’s really driven home the importance of one of the big lessons from the conference.  In one way or another each one of the presenters taught us that you can’t let fear get in the way of expressing your true self.  Your success demands that you be nothing more than yourself. It was a big risk for me to stop taking advantage of having your email and just sending you stuff and to ask you to choose me.  You could have said, “No.”  You could have decided that… Read More »

Good Morning

It’s raining here in Birmingham.  One of those deep, cleansing rains that washes everything away and leaves the world new, exposed and fresh–kinda like I’m feeling this morning. My good buddy, Zach Marcy, emailed yesterday after my last two emails and asked me a very important question. Here is a question, what are you implementing, if just one thing from each person, into your life from what you learned from each person? Zach is one of my teachers, and I have many–if you’re on this list that means you’re one of them.  His question brings up exactly what I wanted… Read More »

Underground Strength Conference: Part 2

  I am so incredibly blessed. It’s 11:30 on a Saturday night and I just got back from a late night training session at Zach’s gym.  It could not have been a more perfect ending to an indescribable day (but I am going to try). The conference began with a talk by the Ultimate Warrior.  Most of you might not know who he is, but Warrior (that’s his legal name) was a pro wrestler from the days of the WWF.  He fought guys like Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant.  Today Warrior is a man of passion who uses his… Read More »

Underground Strength Conference: Part 1

Wow. What an incredible day. For those of you who don’t know, I’m in Edison, New Jersey at the first ever Underground Strength Conference 2012. Today was an amazing day. Zach Even-Esh gave us a history of his career that began with training clients for $5 an hour in his parents’s basement and has led him to a place of prominence in the fitness industry. Jason C Brown spoke of his new project the PathFinder Method and the importance of play in our lives. Brendan Gilliiam shared a very personal story of his up and downs in the fitness business,… Read More »

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

The bottom line is: I screwed up. I completely underestimated how long it would take to get through the security line at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport on a Thursday morning at 5:30 am. As I made my way from the check-in kiosk at the Southwest Airlines counter I was confronted with a line of people extending far beyond the switch back of the cattle lanes and out of my line of sight. Crap. I made my way to the end of the line and began to study my watch. Five-thirty for a six am flight was clearly not early enough. Miraculously,… Read More »

Muscle Memory

**This is a guest post from my dear friend and writing coach, Glenny Brock.** Pain is a signal. If ever knew that, I’d forgotten. What I remembered was Brush-Knee-Push-Step, Repulse the Monkey and Wave Hands Like Clouds — three of the 24 moves in the Yang Short-Form Tai Chi. Last Saturday morning, for the first time in about 10 years, I found myself standing behind Dave Hall, doing my damnedest to mimic and mirror him as we went through the form. I marveled that I remembered the slow dance of it all — when to “empty” my legs and feet,… Read More »

Why I train

I got to play hero again yesterday. Thalia’s fourth grade class was having a camp out up in Steele, Alabama.  We showed up later than most, around threeish.  Most everyone was already settled.  The kids were a little wild and the parents a little scattered.  After unloading the firewood I brought, exploring the camp ground a little and finishing my first beer I realized I needed to pee. The property where we were staying had a cabin with a bathroom.  It seemed more appropriate for me to find a semi private spot and just go outdoors.  There was enough traffic… Read More »

Play. Play often.

Play.It’s something most of us have forgotten how to do. We tell our kids, “Go play,” because we want them out of our hair. “Mama’s got things she’s gotta do now, go play.” “I’m sorry, baby, Daddy’s busy, go play.” We tell our kids, “Go play, ” because somebody somewhere told us it was good for them, an essential part of their development. “They won’t be functional as adults or learn as well if they don’t play.”Of course, we all know that last bit is falling by the wayside. Current educational paradigms tell us that scores are down and that… Read More »

Eyes Closed

Every teacher worth her salt knows that teaching is a learning experience.  In fact it’s the ‘dirty little secret’ of all teachers.  I mean, after all, you, as the student, pay us for our tutelage, but often we end up learning as much if not more from you. We learn about our art, or subject. It’s absolutely true you do not fully understand a concept, art, system, program, style, whatever until you have taught it.  That’s one of the reason’s why in most traditional martial arts programs each belt rank teaches the rank below it.  In other words you spend… Read More »

Strengthology 101: Part IV

Often when someone returns from a trip abroad or somewhere significant we want to know things like, “What was your most memorable moment?” or “What was the coolest thing you saw?” I think a better question is, “How have you changed?” or “What’s different now that you’re back?” It’s cool to go away and see stuff we’ve never seen before, go places we’ve never been but the experience itself is fleeting.  Once it’s gone it’s gone, no matter how many pictures you take.  So the real take away from travel or any other similar experience is how that experience has… Read More »

Strengthology 101: Part III

It’s Thursday morning after the cert and my forearms are healing. It kinda makes me sad. Stone loading does quite a number of the soft (virginal, in my case) skin of your forearms. I came home with two three inch long scrapes, badges of honor, that everyone wanted to know about. “What did you do to your arms?” I felt like Caine from Kung Fu after he moves the brazier to leave the temple, a dragon and a tiger permanently branded into his forearms. I had a mark that set me apart and spoke of my accomplishments. Oh well, that’s… Read More »