The below blog post was one I wrote a while back for my BJJ Half Guard website. It turned out to be the highest read and rated one I ever did. I think a big reason for this is because It really speaks to people. People of all walks of life should be able to relate to this blog. Read it and by all means let me know what you think?

How This Dummy Did So Well – By Danny Ives

Over the years a lot of my students have asked me what was my secret for success? Success with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), Mixed Martial Arts and in my life.

My answer seems to always catch people off guard.

What made me good was that…hmm, not sure how to even say this without sounding bad…okay whatever here goes…

I had so much success and did so well because I was just too freaking stupid to fail.

No matter what happened in training, maybe I got beat on, tapped out or I didn’t hit one sweep or whatever, I didn’t give it much thought.

daniel ives bjj and mma classes

The early years of my MMA training. Can you guess which one is me (Danny Ives)???

That plus I didn’t give a crap. I just wanted to train all the time and I didn’t care whether I won or lost. I really enjoyed myself when I was working hard.

That’s part of it too. Having fun with what you do. You’ve gotta enjoy the training, if you win or not.

Most people only like the training when they’re winning. Beating everyone. Man I’ve got news for you…that whole winning thing takes time, lots of time.

As for the stupid thing…

You see, I’m not that talented or smart. You know how some guys have great talent but are dumb as heck, yeah that wasn’t me. I lacked brains and talent.

What really screws people up?

Most folks who start training BJJ notice a lack of talent and quit. They “outsmart” themselves into believing they’ll never be good at this whole ground fighting thing.

Me on the other hand, I was too dumb to know that I sucked! Haha It’s true I’m not joking. I sucked, that seemed to be news to everyone but me, so I just kept on trucking.

Over time, talented or not I started to get better and win more. I mean, if you try hard enough and put the time in you’ll see results.

Me, yeah I just trucked along until one day, like magic…I was good! Sure wasn’t an overnight success I can tell ya that.

Now, my results didn’t happen in one month. Nah I wish that was the case. The truth is it took years for me to get good.

Again, how did that happen? How did this talent-less kid from Philadelphia get his black belt? That and win the Pan Ams among other things? Because I was dumb as a box of rocks but….

Very persistent! I don’t quit.

One thing that holds a lot of people back from achieving their dreams is that they’re to smart for their own good. They think too much. Me, nah man I didn’t think much till I was in my late twenties, haha.

The point I’m trying to make is this:

When it comes to learning BJJ and getting good sometimes you have to turn your brain off and just go with the flow. Just train, roll, drill and have fun with it. Don’t worry about getting tapped out or looking bad. In the end who gives a crap?

Be stupid.

I used to get my behind whooped every practice. Again, I was just to darn dumb to care so I went along my merry way. I always returned back to training another night of brutality.

Outside of the martial arts class being dumb can help too and This relates to business and life goals.

This is a good story about being a dummy and succeeding.

Most of you who read my blogs and books know that I own and operate a very successful Martial Arts school in the Annapolis Maryland area. It’s called Ivy League Mixed Martial Arts.

If I’d have listened to all those people back in the day my business wouldn’t exist.

So many people told me to quit. They said stuff like martial arts are crap and to get a real job. That I could never make a living doing that and that I was stupid.

My own family said these things (not you Mom, thanks).

I was just too dumb to care and maybe I was stupid. I’m sure I was. But guess what happened? I opened my school anyway and I now I enjoy a better life then all those folks that put me down.

Much better BTW.

I could say I outsmarted everyone but that would be a lie. I was just dumb as heck and did what I wanted. It seems to have turned out okay for me, hehe.

My Mom was pretty much the only one that was like “run with it”. Thanks Ma!

In case you’re wondering, I was in learning disability classes all my life and still suck at reading and math.

It all boils down to this:

Follow your dreams and don’t be afraid to be stupid. That’s what this blog post is all about. Like I said above, sometimes it’s best to turn off your brain and just do what you want and go with the flow.

Dumb bastards like me are all the proof you need. Be dumb.

Try it, You might like the results 🙂


Coach Danny Ives

daniel ives martial arts classes

I know right, who’d have thought this “Can” would make it to Black Belt Level?!

Speak Your Mind