[Transcript] – Running 2 Miles To A Hip Surgery Appointment, Fighting With Double Hip Replacements, How To Be A Better Teacher & More With Jiu Jitsu Fighter & Coach Adam “SMASH” Smith.

Affiliate Disclosure


From podcast: https://bengreenfieldlife.com/podcast/coachadam/

[00:00:00] Introduction

[00:01:06] Podcast Sponsors

[00:05:56] Guest Intro

[00:08:49] How did the nickname “Smash” came about?

[00:10:22] Coming off of double hip replacements

[00:17:09] Day in the life of a coach/professional athlete

[00:21:33] Recovery

[00:25:43] Yogurt for Breakfast

[00:28:13] Adam's adversity and hardship

[00:33:00] Podcast Sponsors

[00:36:28] Working as a plumber to launch first academy

[00:38:32] Being good with Kids and Special needs people

[00:43:21] Adam's Mentors and Being a Mentor 

[00:50:32] Teaching Methodologies

[00:59:10] The Big Bus Concept

[01:03:47] Give Back Tournaments

[01:05:15] Future Plans

[01:07:16] Closing the Podcast

[01:09:04] End of Podcast

Ben:  My name is Ben Greenfield. And, on this episode of the Ben Greenfield Life podcast.

Adam:  I got my hip replacement. It was like March 31st and then two and a half months later I competed at the biggest jiu-jitsu tournament in the Northwest and I compete at the black belt level and I won a gold medal. I used the hyperbaric chamber quite a bit, but I also did some peptides. So, I did TB500, the BPC-157, and that was pretty much it.

I think probably some of the biggest thing was I was really active going into the surgery. One of my first hip surgeries I actually ran two miles to the surgery. I got there I was all winded. The surgeon was like, “Oh, you ran to surgery.” And, I said, “Yeah. I want to be in shape by the time I got in there.” And, I think a lot of that helped so much by the time I got into that recovery process as well.

Ben:  Faith, family, fitness, health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking and a whole lot more. Welcome to the show.

BUBS, that's just fun to say. BUBS, B-U-B-S. BUBS isn't just a fun-to-say word. It's an actual company that makes arguably some of the best collagen on the planet. So, it's unflavored, very soluble. And, the way this collagen works is it got 20 grams of protein, seven essential amino acids, one single ingredient. 

Collagen is just basically the glue that holds you together. And, this company BUBS, they use sustainably sourced collagen from grass-fed and pasture-raised cows in southern Brazil and Uruguay, which I know sounds kind of fringe, but it is super high-quality collagen. You can stir it in your coffee or whatever. And, they also have an MCT oil powder, a Whole30 approved. The only MCT in the world's Whole30 approved meaning it's super clean. It's like a functional coffee creamer that cognitively upgrades your coffee.

They have these apple cider vinegar gummies that are amazing. Like pop a few of those in the evening before you go to bed to satiate the appetite instead of dinner. They help to support healthy blood sugar management. Apple cider vinegar in gummy form is super good.

They even have a Fountain of Youth form of their collagen, which also has biotin, vitamin C, and maqui berry added. That's a Chilean berry. That's super high in antioxidants. Anyways, BUBS is actually a tribute. That name comes from former Navy SEAL Glenn Bub Doherty who is a national hero who laid down his life-saving Americans in Libya. And, basically, he and Sean, the co-founder of BUBS are both coaches at a place called SEALFit in Encinitas. And, that's the same company they put on the Kokoro event that I went through.

And so, basically Glenn was all about self-improvement and helping others. Sean founded this company in his honor. And, we're going to give you 20% off of everything from BUBS. You go to bubsnaturals.com, B-U-B-Snaturals.com, and use code BENG to get 20%off. BENG to get 20% off from anything at BUBS. Got to try the collagen.

I am basically one of those guys who's putting salt on everything, electrolytes, and everything. Heavily salting my food. And, I feel amazing when I do that. I didn't used to. I used to think salt was bad for you. It turns out it's really, really not, Maybe the isolated sodium chloride iodized crap on the table at the restaurant. But, man, good salt and good electrolytes.

Electrolyte deficiencies or imbalances can cause symptoms, and headaches, and cramps, and fatigue and weakness. And, a lot of times reading low carb or keto, your body excretes electrolytes at an increased rate when in that ketogenic, or facet or low carb state. So, especially if you're restricting carbohydrates, electrolytes are a game changer. That's probably one of the reasons I feel them so much is I don't do a lot of carbs but man, oh, man they're amazing.

The primary electrolyte loss is sodium. Athletes can lose up to seven grams per day, which can cause fatigue, and sleep issues and a whole host of other problems. But, the thing is that you can get electrolytes. You can get electrolytes without sugar and artificial ingredients and coloring and crap in them.

This company called LMNLT, L-M-N-T. They make some of the best-tasting and best-functioning electrolytes out there. They've relied upon Robb Wolf, a biochemist, New York Times bestseller guy in the Navy SEAL Resilience Committee, and a super smart man when it comes to all things diet and nutrition to help out with this formula. 

Robb uses it. Once I found out he used it, I got my hands on it and it really is amazing. And, they're citrus salt, by the way, tastes great for a dynamite no sugar margarita. So, there's that. You get a free gift with your purchase of LMNT. You go to drinklmnt.com/BenGreenfield. That's drinklmnt.com/BenGreenfield and you get a free gift with any order of LMNT.

Alright, it's time to start hackin' can your sleep. Hackin' your sleep, mate. And, a big part of it is your mattress, of course. I sleep on an organic mattress. Not only do I sleep on an organic mattress but get this, my mattress is allergen-free so there's no crap in there like makes you sneeze, or keeps you up, or intrudes your immune system at night which disrupts sleep. 

It supports my body fully. It has EMF barrier foam technology and it protects my body against the negative impacts of EMF exposure while I sleep and they've proven this with what's called dark-filled microscopy which shows that the blood cells don't clump and cluster together when you're sleeping on this mattress. Unparalleled comfort. Amazing support but not so much that you turn into a softy. It's just this perfect amount of support.

You can even go to their website and customize your mattress to your body. I'm talking about Essentia, E-S-S-E-N-T-I-A, Essentia. They make the best mattresses. Certified organic factories packed with patented technology. Performance sleep benefits that are unsurpassed by any bed I've ever slept on. 

So, what Essentia is doing is they're going to give you $100 off your mattress purchase if you go to myessentia.com/BenGreenfield and use code BENVIP. That's myessentia.com/BenGreenfield and use code BENVIP.

Well, folks. I've mentioned it before on the podcast but my sons have been jiu-jitsu devotees since I don't know.  How old were they, Adam, when we started?

Adam:  Gosh, they're 14 now. They must have been like 8 or 9 years old.

Ben:  I'm pretty sure it was right around eight years old. I had actually taken them to a UFC fight and I liked to watch jiu-jitsu and had kind of played around with it a little bit. But, began to have you up to the house to work with me and my sons. I initially joined in for I think a couple of months or so. And, regrettably, I didn't keep the practice up but they did. It's actually kind of on my radar to get back into it. it's just gosh, it's just life and busyness. And, for some reason, I've been playing more pickleball. I know it's not quite as badass as jiu-jitsu.

But, either way, River and Terran, I just watched them flourish under your tutelage. And, I really wanted to get you on the show because your experience and what you can speak to goes beyond just being a youth and an adult jiu-jitsu coach. And, I'll fill people in on Adam.

You've heard his voice already. And, if you're at the shownotes, you can also see the video of Adam and I talking at BenGreenfieldLife.com/CoachAdam. But, Adam I've had the pleasure of knowing, as I mentioned, for about six years now. He's been a lifelong martial arts competitor and teacher. He's won a lot of martial arts tournaments. I've seen him fight a few times. Just fantastic, explosive fighting style. 

He moved to Brazilian jiu-jitsu and MMA and his nickname is actually Adam “Smash” Smith. Maybe you can fill us in later on, Adam, about where that nickname came about. And, he's competed in several professional fights across the country, many high-level jiu-jitsu competitions. He's got a black belt also, an American Kenpo Karate, and a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. And, he has three martial arts academies here in Spokane Washington. Over 250 students, thousands of former students. And, he works with kids starting at around 3 years old.

He works with, and we'll talk about this during our discussion today, special needs students. He's done that for over 15 years. And, he's also, just on the side, in his spare time certified firefighter and emergency medical technician, EMT, which he's been for about 12 years. And so, he's done a lot of that in the local Spokane area as well.

Now, Adam, I've also seen you go through double hip replacements done just this year and you're already back to training and working to win a world title right now. So, folks, Adam has a lot of experience working with children, with adults, and also applying a lot of the lessons from martial arts and jiu-jitsu into life in general. So, I think you're going to be able to gather a lot of wisdom from Adam today.

But, Adam I got to ask, where did the nickname “Smash” come from?

Adam:  You know it's funny actually because I've taught karate for a long time and my first original nickname was actually “Square Bear.” You know the fighting community is kind of a rough and tough group. And, more or less a lot of the guys are street guys and stuff like that. So, I was the nice kid that came from teaching kids and stuff like that so originally I was called Square Bear. But, later on, one of my friends after my fighting style kind of emulated me more being a smash and pass style or a guy that likes to put the pressure on people gave me that nickname of “Smash” as a more representative of who I was.

Ben:  What is a smash and pass?

Adam:  The style of jiu-jitsu I do is the lineage is a Carlson Gracie. And, if you know much about the Gracie family, Carlson was like the champion, the fighter of the family. He's the one that kind of brought the Gracie name. And, if you go down to Brazil, I was just there a couple weeks ago in Rio, they got a statue of Carlson Gracie there. And, he's just really known as the guy that kind of elevated the Gracie name.

A lot of times, people here in the United States, they know the Royce Gracie and the Renzo Gracie and stuff like that. But, those are actually guys that came after the Carlson Gracie tutelage back in the Rio de Janeiro. So, my instructor, Marcelo Alonso, is one of those original Carlson Gracie students and they call it old-school jiu-jitsu, smash and pass style.

Ben:  Interesting. So, what's the smash referred to exactly?

Adam:  Really about putting pressure on. Smash is again relative to pressure. And, when you do jiu-jitsu it's about like you know not giving up space, making sure you can keep somebody down and you want them to, and really put them into positions that you want.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. Okay. That makes sense. Now, you just came off double hip replacements. Is that something that was more of an injury or did you have some type of genetic hip issue that caused that?

Adam:  It's a little weirdly unknown I guess what it is. And, I have a twin brother, he doesn't have any hip problems. I have an older brother, a younger brother, they don't have any hip dysplasia and stuff. 

But, what they do know is I've trained martial arts since I was 5 years old six, seven days a week. It's not something I do as a hobby, it's my lifestyle. I train every single day almost eight hours a day. And, when I trained a lot of karate growing up, there's a lot of hip twist movements and kicks and stuff like that. And, I mean we do thousands of repetitions a week, thousands and thousands. 

And, just the wear and tear off of my hips from a lot of that martial arts actually created a compounding syndrome that soccer players get in my hips. And so, it created the end of my femur to grow because my cartilage actually delaminated. There's some bone spurs in my hips. It delaminated my cartilage. 

I'm only 33 years old but just the excessive wear and tear and those bone spurs actually peeled out, as you would imagine, the cartilage within my hip. So, I had first hip surgery where they did a biocartilage in there. They tried to replace the missing pieces in there with a cadaver and then my own bone marrow for people listening because I actually went to you for a lot of this stuff on the rehabilitation and to see what I could do to try to get back to sports.

I mean a lot of that, which I can talk about later, is actually what helped me get back to today. But, the first thing that I went to after that surgery was stem cell therapy. So, I did stem cell therapy directly into my hip joint from a good place in Seattle. Unfortunately, the stem cell actually regrew my bone spurs back at more of like a rapid rate.

Ben:  Yeah, I've heard of that happening before. It's crazy.

Adam:  It was actually terrible because I went in for surgery you know thinking, “Hey, I'm going to come back out of it better and it's going to be good for me.” And, sure enough I'm trying to push the pace. I go through the six weeks not walking, all that stuff, and then I could kind of get back to things. A couple months in I knew that things weren't right. I go back to the doctor and they had a pretty good, I mean it was a pretty good spike that they had ended up pulling out. It was only within like an eight months' time that it had grown back from the last surgery.

So, it was an awakening thing I guess. So, they tried to do the surgery again and they shaved off the end of my bone. Things grew back right again and they just said, “You know what, the last choice is just a total hip replacement.”

Ben:  Do they talk about how common that is for stem cells that are injected into a cartilaginous area that has a spur to just regrow the spur?

Adam:  I didn't know anything about that actually. So, I went to a friend that has a good clinic in Seattle and he did it. We did some PRP injections as well. I used hyperbaric chamber, things like that. And, I was trying to really throw the book at it for the healing process, but it kind of healed it like I said in that wrong way. Which then I would kind of go back to do some movements and stuff in that bone spur grew in there and just created a lot more damage.

Ben:  Wow. And then, you had to get your other hip done as well.

Adam:  Once they realized what happened with that first hip and the kind of the problems they went through they just said, “You know what, quality of life and stuff, we could try to do the other surgery, but no doctor in Spokane would actually do that one knowing the other one had already had two failed surgeries.” It's kind of their quota and stuff, making sure they have successful surgery. So, they just said hip replacement was the only option at 33 years old, double hip replacement.

Ben:  Wow. And, is that a certain composite that they use? A long time ago, I don't talk about this much on the podcast when I first got out of college, I did about six months of hip and knee surgical sales for a company called Biomat. So, I got to watch a lot of this acetabular resurfacing and replacement of ephemeral head and everything. But, do you know what kind of hip you actually wind up getting?

Adam:  I ended up getting a ceramic on plastic. So, I didn't do the full steel. I guess there's really contraindications in both of them. People say, “Go this way. Go that way.” But, I guess I had felt my doctor had said it was a little bit better for sports.

Me, personally, I do a little bit more impactful type sports. I felt like I wanted to have a little bit of uh cushion in there instead of just like a metal on metal just in case. Now I'd watched actually, right after my surgery, I'm laying in bed and I'm watching a Netflix TV show about surgeries maybe somebody knows and the doctor that was talking about it has his hip replaced, and one of the things he had gotten the metal on metal. And, what happened was the metal actually disintegrated in his hip and it caused some cobalt poisoning in his hip and made him go crazy actually. He had some mental issues and stuff like that. 

And, he was an orthopedic surgeon himself. And so, he luckily was able to diagnose himself and find out that the hip replacement actually is what had caused him to go kind of crazy. And then, they went with the plastic-ceramic one that I have.

Ben:  Wow. Interesting. Now I know with the metal I guess they use a polyethylene with the plastic. From what I understand, that can actually kind of like wear down over time just because all the implants are going to shed debris over time and I think some of the polyethylene can actually lead, in some cases, to a little bit of — what's it called osteolysis like when the bone breaks down a little bit. Have you looked into whether or not you know like 10 years down the road from now you're going to have to kind of go in and re-upgrade the hip replacement?

Adam:  Definitely, yep. And, you know it's one of those things I guess you know. And, anybody that's gone through a major surgery I'm sure goes through this. Especially an athlete that goes through a depression. And then, some of these major decisions that you have to make that are like, “What if? What if? What if?” I mean, I can't tell you how many nights I didn't sleep thinking if I'm making the right choice the night before, the day before. I mean, this is stuff that affects your everyday quality of life because you're constantly thinking about it.

I knew going into it I was going to have to have the replacement. I'm an active competitor, martial artist. I'm a high-level sportsperson. And so, I knew that it probably isn't even going to last the amount of time that they're going to give it a normal 70-year-old guy that's just walking on the street, so I had to make the choice. “Hey, am I willing to go out there and push this thing to its limits?” And, that's kind of where I am. I made that choice.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. Well, you never know where science is going to go over the next 10, 20 years anyways prior to that point you that. There's a lot of talk about being able to grow, gosh, everything from organs on scaffolding to certain elements of joints. So, they might just be able to grow you a new hip at some point.

Adam:  That's right.

Ben:  Or, get some kind of injection that just regrows the whole thing internally. I don't know. You can barely keep up with the pace of regenerative medicine these days.

One other question about the stem cells that you got was this stem cell from an autologous source. Like did they take some out of your own bone marrow or your own fat, or was it harvested from something else?

Adam:  It was harvested from a fetus.

Ben:  Okay, got it. Cool. So, I'm curious. You mentioned that you're training sometimes up to eight hours a day. What's that actually look like? What's the day in the life of a coach/professional athlete actually look like?

Adam:  Well, I mean to just kind of go back a little bit to that hip replacement. First of all, I'm doing so good now with my hip replacements. I'm actually able to give it kind of my all.

So, my day typically looks like getting up and being here at the gym at 6:00 am. We do a 6:00 am class. And, got a lot of professional guys in that doctors, dentists, police officers, and stuff like that at that 6:00 am class. So, I love to just get on the mat and train with them you know. Eight hours a day of training isn't necessarily hard grinding, lifting weights, and stuff like that. But, there's a lot of therapeutic motion that happens in the martial arts and a lot of mental stuff that also needs to happen with training and stuff.

So, I start my day right 6 o'clock in the morning train with the guys that also push my mentality a little bit. Bring that camaraderie and stuff. And, you are who you hang with a little bit so at 6:00 am when I've got some of the leading plastic surgeons, and doctors, and stuff around, and we're doing jiu-jitsu. We're also kind of doing a little bit of talking and stuff.

Ben:  Yeah. By the way, former podcast guest I know is training with you at that time, Dr. Cameron Chestnut. I did a two-part podcast series with him on hair regrowth, and a little bit on regenerative medicine, and skin health, and gray hair, and all sorts of stuff. And then, I think a few months later he started training with you.

Adam:  He did actually, yeah. You actually were the one that gave us that connection and now he's a year into it, He's a solid jiu-jitsu guy and he's brought in a few other doctors and stuff with it. So, thanks for that connection because he's super cool. 

But, anyways. I go from training to cleaning the mats and then I have a noon class so I teach at noon another group of people. And then, I teach a little kids classes. I start them all the way at 3 years old. So, at 3:15 pm we start our 3- and 4-year-old class, which is just half an hour. So, I do that class then at 4:00 pm I have another class from 6 years old to 9 years old, 5:00 pm I have a class from 10 to 14. Then the adults step in from 6:00 and 7:00 PM. And then, sometimes we get some MMA done at like 8:00 PM.

Ben:  So, are you training in between all these classes or are the classes part of your training?

Adam:  The cool part about teaching and anybody that does the sport and stuff is the more that you're active with your athletes and stuff like that, you train and get better. I actually got my black belt pretty fast as compared to a lot of black belts, right? So, my instructor's world-renowned and he's one of the best instructors out of Rio and I got my black belt in about four and a half years from him, which is an incredible pace usually in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

But, the reason is when you regurgitate a lot of information and you teach it you have to dissect it and find the details and it's explained to the people with different learning styles and age variabilities and stuff, you're training the entire time. If you were to take yourself out of that training mode then you're probably missing a whole bunch. 

So, I'm sure any coach out there that's maybe a maybe even a pickleball coach that you're doing and stuff is probably maybe analyzing games and stuff like that also coming up with stuff, that's a bit of training. If anybody's taking the mental part away from training then they're probably only training half the time. So, yeah, I'm training good eight hours a day with my students. I learn all the time. I learn from the kids as they teach me what I can teach, what I can't teach, what levels I can do. 

But, pretty much I'm an engaged martial artist from the time I wake up at 6:00 in the morning until I go to sleep.

Ben:  I wish I had a pickleball coach. I'm not that serious yet. It is, I would imagine, good for overall muscular endurance if you're just on your feet the whole time teaching classes. But, as far as your own specialization, I would imagine you're still having to roll with other people besides your students in some of the in-between hours.

Adam:  Yeah, yeah. I still get. Like at noon I like to train one of my — a few of my students here are pretty tough. I got some MMA fighters and stuff. And then, like in the mornings we get some training about 10:00 am we do MMA. Just more of a private MMA with me and a couple guys that I know that can be at my level.

I'm a little bit more of a rough and tough guy to train with. People who aren't wanting to train with me because — my name is Smash for a reason. I teach 3- and 4-year-olds, but at the same time when you get me on the mat, my style is not to play around and play jiu-jitsu. I'm going out there to win.

So, I'm a little bit more rough to train with. I don't have a ton of training partners, but the ones I do they're legit so.

Ben:  At that level of physical activity, I mean you mentioned that you pulled out a lot of stops when it came to your hip replacement and you recovered from that amazingly fast. I mean, I noticed you already back training and I think already fighting. So, I'm curious, I actually would love to hear a little bit more about the recovery and then after that maybe we could talk about the diet, the nutrition a bit. But, as far as the type of modalities that you're using, you mentioned hyperbaric, but what else do you kind of implement for your own recovery?

Adam:  Yeah, yeah. So, to go to the recovery is I got my hip replacement. It was like March 31st and then two and a half months later I competed at the biggest jiu-jitsu tournament in the Northwest and I competed at the black belt level and I won a gold medal. I beat some solid competitors.

My first match actually I won by flying triangle, which is where you jump up as high as somebody's neck and wrap their legs around them, pull them back down, and submit them.

Ben:  I actually saw you do that once because I watched one of your matches on pay-per-view at the house. I think you were in Seattle and it's pretty impressive, flying triangle.

Adam:  Kind of a signature move I do and stuff like that. But, for me to be able to get back after a total hip replacement two and a half months and pull off that move was something I didn't even think I'd be able to do but I had confidence just kind of through the recovery.

Like I said I use the hyperbaric chamber quite a bit. I have my own, thanks to you. I used it at your house and it was like three days after using that thing for the first time at your house I just was like this is next level. I mean the difference in the sleep, the recovery. Just the quality of life was just, I mean bar none it's the best thing I could recommend to anybody so.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. It's fantastic for the immune system too. I mean as far as not missing training days it'll basically disable a lot of the toxins that bacteria churn out while increasing the oxygen concentration in the tissue making it more resistant to infection. So, there's some pretty cool things that go on with immunity too. I mean, I get in mine, gosh, like I'm in there like five days a week. Like right after lunch I just slide in for like 30, 40 minutes and do my meditation or catch up on some reading or what have you.

I didn't used to get sick much anyways but I mean like I might get ill once every like maybe a year. It's pretty nuts. I think a big part of that is just frequent HBOT. And, it's nice to know that it could have an effect on just your overall longevity as well.

Adam:  Yeah. That's what I was hoping for that. But, really I was looking for that immediate recovery. Like I said I want to get back active in sports and stuff. Even though I wasn't able to like get back right away, I'd go in there and then to be able to come out and had so much energy that I would lack from not being able to work out and stuff being stagnant in my body.

I used the hyperbaric chamber quite a bit, but I also did some peptides. So, I did TB500, the BPC-157, and that was pretty much it.

I think probably some of the biggest thing was I was really active going into the surgery. One of my first hip surgeries I actually ran two miles to the surgery. I got there I was all winded. The surgeon was like, “Oh, you ran to surgery.” And, I said, “Yeah. I want to be in shape by the time I got in there.” And, I think a lot of that helped so much by the time I got into that recovery process as well.

Ben:  Are you still running the cryotherapy chamber at one of your facilities?

Adam:  I actually have it, it's just put in storage right now. But, I didn't use the cryotherapy too much. And, I was a little nervous to use it actually with the total hip replacement that's why I put it in storage because I didn't know. I mean, it's really sensitive to cold, my hip kind of is. And, it just wasn't something I was wanting to risk getting frozen like that.

Ben:  Yeah. Well, I mean, they're cool. They look sexy. And, I tell people look if you don't want to fuss around with hair and makeup and getting wet and everything, they can cause that slight drop in core temperature that for the most part when it comes to cryotherapy can increase metabolism and fat burning. 

A lot of people like to do it for the aesthetic reasons. And then, the localize like I don't know if you've seen these before, it's a handheld cryotherapy wand that you can use on injuries. It seems pretty effective for that. But, just because of the level to which you get cold and the hydrostatic pressure of the water against the skin, and I think a little bit more of kind of like the mental fortitude required for the cold water or the ice water, I think water is still the best solution.

I mean cryotherapy chambers are cool and convenient, but I think water is the way to go if you're able to.

Adam:  I was trying to do it as a business kind of thing too and really the business aspect of it's a little rough because you have to buy the liquid nitrogen and stuff to do that kind of [00:25:40]  _____. So it changes my modalities a little bit.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. No you're also pretty famous at our monthly Greenfield parties for showing up with your giant yogurt parfait salad that all the kids just like punish and it disappears almost right away. I don't imagine eating yogurt parfait for breakfast, lunch, and dinner as part of your training protocol. But, do you have specific nutritional protocols that you follow like you're going in that 6:00 am session fasted or doing certain snacks or supplements in between?

Adam:  I'm not a breakfast person. And, even my nutrition that I still even need to work on as I get through there. But, as I keep recovering mostly. I like yogurt and stuff so I'll keep that as like my stomach. My brother actually has Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. So, me, personally, I still have like a sensitive stomach. That's kind of something in my family. So, I use that as like just kind of a prebiotic. It helps keep my stomach well and good. But, other than that throughout the day it's mostly just trying to intake a lot of calories.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. Speaking of yogurt, that's good for the stomach. Did you, I don't know if you heard me talk about or heard my episode with this guy named Dr. William Davis. He wrote a book called “Supergut” and what he's most famous for is his yogurt recipe. 

Like they did a bunch of research at his medical clinic and identified like three specific strains of bacteria, and you mix them all together and then you put them in goat milk or coconut milk that you've heated and allowed to cool and then you put it in like a yogurt maker or an oven at a low temperature. Like you want like 97 to 100 degrees or a food dehydrator for 36 hours. And then, when it comes out up to 36 hours you can stir in like a little gelatin or what's the other thing or agar to thicken it up. 

And, his research on that stuff for healing the gut is profound I mean even compared to like a lot of the antibacterials and pharmaceuticals that a lot of other doctors are using. And, it also causes this huge rush of oxytocin. So, you do it before bed and you get these cool dreams and better deep sleep. And, it seems to solve eczema and acne for a ton of people.

And, I mean it's like once you buy the probiotics and you make it, the cool thing is it's pennies on the dollar after that because all you do is when whatever jar you made is almost done, you take the little bit of yogurt that's left in the bottom of that, and then you just heat up more milk, slap that extra into the milk because it's got all the strains in there, and then just rinse wash and repeat. I think he calls it gut-healing super yogurt. That stuff is amazing.

Adam:  Awesome. I have to check that episode out.

Ben:  Yeah. I think you'd enjoy that recipe. You have a history that involves I think really having to fight through a lot to get to where you're at right now. I mean, you got three different facilities in Spokane now, right?

Adam:  Yeah, I do.

Ben:  Yeah. So, tell me about the adversity and hardship that you had to go through early on in life to get to where you are now.

Adam:  Yeah, I am so thankful to have three academies now and this is absolutely a lifelong dream. This is something that I mean even just talking about it brings tears in my eyes even on a podcast like this. I mean, I eat, sleep, and breathe martial arts. It saved my life. I grew up really poor. My mom was a ballet teacher. She was a dedicated ballerina and ballet teacher as well. But, three boys, single White lady, half Black kids in a White community. 

We had a lot of problems growing up with racism. The town that I live in here at the time especially I was growing up was at 98% Caucasian. My mom being a White lady with three kids and no husband, that's not ever a good look, especially in that time when I was young. So, she dealt with a lot of stuff. And, we were just really poor on every single food stamps and things like that that my mom needed.

I remember going to like the Toys for Tots and picking out our own toys for Christmas. So, they would wrap them and then we already knew what we were going to get. That was just wait till Christmas to get it and stuff like that. 

But most of it is that my martial arts really just was everything in my life. I could go to the martial arts school and it didn't matter what happened outside the school. It didn't matter what kind of clothes I wore, what kind of shoes. You step on the martial arts mat with the same gi as everybody else and the only thing that mattered was your performance and how you trained on the mat and stuff.

And so, I made martial arts my passion. I'm married to the martial arts if you were to say you know. And so, overcoming the battles that I needed in order to open my own academy were so insignificant because this is just something I knew I was going to do. Growing up, even at one point, I had to sue a fire department that I worked for racism and stuff. So that was yeah, that's a kind of a unique story where I was in a with a fire department for a few years.

I actually moved right out of high school into the fire department and I was there and lived at the station and stuff. Everybody had nicknames. There's Cowboy and Yuppie and this and that. And, one of the guys gave me a nickname and the nickname was Reggin. I went by Reggin for about a year and a half actually at the fire station. Everybody called me that. It was on my food locker and things like that. 

And then, one day the guy called me into his office, he was a lieutenant and he said, “Hey, Adam, what that name was?” He was kind of a goofy guy and laughed and stuff. And I said, “No, I just thought everybody had a nickname and it was something that made me feel special.” All of a sudden I was a part of the group. And, I will never forget, the guy gave me a piece of paper and he gave me a pen and he said, “Write it down.” I just looked at him. I'm 19 years old at the time, I wrote it down and he said, “Read it backwards.” 

I stood there and I read it backwards and it's “nigger” spelled backwards. I tell people this is probably the most impactful story of my life. This is something, when it comes through fighting through adversity and stuff, it helped me get to where I am today.

It was so hard for me because here I had thought, in the fire department, it's a brotherhood. And, you talk about going, joining this brotherhood, that all of a sudden you have this family across the entire planet and everybody looks out for you. So, that's what I thought I had for a long time. And, that time that he sat there and he put that in front of my face, it just all came to crumbles. That actually everybody that I thought was my friend, I was actually the butt of their joke the whole time. It was pretty hard for me.

And then, I didn't really have anybody to help me fight and figure out what to do from there. Everybody around me is White. You know my single mom, my mom's not, she's White. She doesn't have money or resources to figure it out either. And so, on my own, I went and I found an attorney actually and I ended up suing the fire department. And, we settled out of court for a good significant amount of money and stuff. 

But then, I was able to leave the fire department, start with another fire department. But, I still kind of actually ended up in the same scenario with another fire department where it's a good old boys club, a lot of White people. And, I'm ethnic and it's just a little bit different culture shock when you have somebody that speaks a little different maybe stuff like that. 

I kind of got through that and decided that martial arts is my passion. I'm going to open a school and I was 23 years old, I opened my first school. Lived inside the school and I lived in the back of the school for a while behind it in a bus. Worked a full-time job as a plumber and put every single dollar I could back into the school so I could just kind of have everything.

Now, here I am today I have three schools. I own almost everything on my own outright. Nobody gave me a dollar, a cent, no parent, no grandparent because I didn't have anybody. I worked hard for all of it and I'm super proud and thankful.

Ben:  This podcast is also brought to you by my friends at Neurohacker. They make Qualia Mind, Qualia Mind. It's a nootropic stack with 28 different high-purity, vegan, non-GMO ingredients. Some of the best mental performance fuel on the planet. Like a shock on a brain food for focus, clarity, willpower, mood. Pretty unparalleled when it comes to done-for-you solution in the nootropics department.

I had a chance to try it way back in 2016. They've done several edits and upgrades on this formulation since then. And, if you want to start experiencing what the best brain fuel on Earth can do for your mindset, your productivity, your creativity, what you can crush during the average day, it actually surprises you what you can do with some of the stuff in your system.

So, you can try it you go to neurohacker.com/Ben. That gives you $100 off right now. And then, if you use code BGF they'll give you another 15% off. So, neurohacker.com/Ben for $100 off right now. And then, use code BGF at checkout for an extra 15% off your purchase.

BON CHARGE. I love to say that. BON CHARGE, holistic wellness brand with a huge range of evidence-based products to optimize your life in every way. You've heard me talk about the importance of managing your environment, your air, your light, your water, your electricity with things like low blue lighting and blue blocks. Full Spectrum Lighting that mimics sunlight.

You've heard me talk about EMF protection. Things like air tubes instead of regular earphones, laptop mats, harmonizing stickers, protection blankets, protection beanies, the kind of stuff I wear on airplanes. This company, BON CHARGE, they've even got cold and heat therapy massage guns, ice roller massage balls, ice rollers. Like anything you need to make your environment or your body better they just about have it.

Fantastic endless catalog of premium wellness products that allow you to adopt ancestral ways of living in our modern day world, and they're given all my listeners 15% off. You go to boncharge.com/Greenfield and use coupon code Greenfield to save 15%. That's B-O-N-C-H-A-R-G-E.com/Greenfield. Use code Greenfield to save 15%. Have fun shopping at BON CHARGE, folks. 

Hey, so the biggest complaint, at least one of them, I get from my clients who are business owners is they can't get their employees excited about improving their health. It's no surprise when they have corporate wellness initiative that involves like sticking a fruit bowl and some raw almonds in the break room or some generic fitness app that's boring and adds just another thing to an employee's already long to-do list.

So, I stepped back, I looked at corporate wellness programs from a fresh angle like. What if we could do nutrition, fitness, mental, health, sleep, productivity. Make it fun, make it exciting, make it all-inclusive, make it easy to succeed in. Incorporate all the latest science and the cool biohacks without breaking the bank and have a team of coaches to customize a corporate wellness program to the exact needs of a corporation's team.

So, they do all the work, meaning my coaches do all the work. All you have to do is say yes to improving the health of your employees. And then, we come in we take care of everything you get to sit back and watch morale, productivity, and engagement increase while you get a huge team of happy and healthy employees. To learn more about my corporate wellness programs and how they'll make your company a better and ultimately a more successful place to work, you can go to Bengreenfieldcoaching.com. That's Bengreenfieldcoaching.com. Check it out.

You've built a lot. I mean you're basically taking over Spokane with these jiu-jitsu academies, and you've got a good name in the community too. Tell me about working as a plumber to bootstrap launching your first academy.

Adam:  Yeah. I worked as an appliance installer and a plumber for like eight years for a local company here. A great company, J & J Plumbing. And, I learned a lot of stuff there that actually has helped me so much for my business. Now, I can fix things, use a screwdriver, all that stuff I didn't learn when I was a kid. Plus, I can help friends and stuff on the side. But, luckily I made enough money there and my boss there, his daughter was actually a student that I trained with for a long time. So, he was really flexible with my schedule and helped me, gave me some extra money when I needed to. And, I really wouldn't have this school today without that guy so.

Ben:  And so, when you launched your first academy, what'd that look like financially? Did you just bootstrap the whole thing? Did you find a place to rent? Or, what exactly did you do to start your first school?

Adam:  Yeah, I've seen people wonder that too so it's good to get in there. I just was actually working as a teacher for another school for a minute and then I said what, I went through all the stuff with the fire department, wanted to open my own school and do my thing. And, I found a building that was like $400 a month for rent that's just a space. It was really small. I contacted the landlord and I thought, “Man, I'm living in the back of this other gym right now. I have a little bit extra money. If I put the money into renting this space I think I'll be able to live there and then be able to teach and open my own school.”

So, I talked to the guy who said he didn't think it would fit because there was a couple poles in there. But, he said he had this other place. And, luckily for me when he showed me the other place it ended up having all the mats that I would need to start a jiu-jitsu or martial arts school because you need mats you know. And so, he said, “If you rent this place out you can have all of these mats for free.” And, I said, “No way. This is kind of a came from above a little bit, meant to be.” And, really everything's kind of been meant to be from then on out. That's kind of helped me get here.

But, I started. Right from then I had the mats. I lived in the gym right there. I had some students that were already loyal to me from my years past and who were actually my special needs students. Some of the autistic kids that I've taught for a lot of years and they followed me were my first students at my new school.

Ben:  How is it that you're so good with kids and especially you seem to have some real chops with working with special needs people? Where'd you get that or have you just naturally always been a good teacher or is this something that you had to study and learn?

Adam:  You know I've trained to be a teacher for many, many years. You know there's a side of it you can go to school and you can learn it in that educational path there. But, mine was from my karate instructor. And, he is a very, very knowledgeable guy when it comes to teaching and that's what has been his study is how to teach better.

So, it really has brought me a lot of the principles and stuff that work for people. So, everywhere from 3 years old to special needs people, a lot of people are the same especially when you get to some of the principles and speak to each person the right way, hold yourself with a certain posture. So, I trained at all of these different teaching techniques since I was like 7 or 8 years old as being an assistant instructor and stuff.

Ben:  With the special needs student, is that something that that's close to your heart because of the adversity that you faced growing up and it's something that has influenced your desire to give back? What kind of got you into working with special needs in particular?

Adam:  Yeah, it absolutely is. And, since I was young, actually my mom would tell me stories that remind me of when I used to go play with the special needs kids at recess in the elementary school. But, I knew that it was just like they're different I'm different, and stuff like that. And, I used to ride around in their wheelchairs with them and play around and stuff ever since I was young. 

And then, I had the opportunity to work with a couple really special young people and their families and they were really, really awesome. And so, a lot of the teaching skills that I developed actually I learned from these families.

One student I have and I've taught him for almost 15 years. He's like 26 years old now. He's here twice a week. And then, I've learned more from him than anybody on the planet. You know learning styles. He's a bipolar, autistic, ADHD. He's got kind of a whole host of things to him, but he's just the nicest human you'll ever meet in your life.

Ben:  Yeah. I think it's interesting. You know I was thinking about this before our interview because you've been kind of a mentor in the realm of jiu-jitsu but also personal growth for my sons. I mean, teaching them things like respect, focus, patience, etc. And, you'd think that it would be a parent's role to teach many of those things.  I talk about this a little bit in the “Boundless Parenting” book but I've had to learn as a father that the value of having your kids have mentors other than your parents is actually pretty valuable like their rite of passage and all their wilderness instruction. 

And, much of their nature immersion has been through another mentor, the guy who's been on the podcast, Tim Corcoran. You know a lot of their physical discipline and like I mentioned respect and fortitude has been through your tutelage. They're often on a weekly call with a group of young men called Apogee or there's another guy called named Matt Beaudreau and he's another mentor that they meet with on a weekly basis. And, typically they're going through like a two- or three-hour call with some inspirational figure like a Navy SEAL, or an entrepreneur, or an artist and learning from that person. 

And, it took a little while for me as a dad to realize there's a lot of value in not necessarily the outsourcing to a village all of your child's upbringing and instruction but letting go and allowing your kids, ego set aside, to be trained by other people and to have mentors.

I think that you have to strike a balance between that. And, I think the habit that a lot of parents get into which is sending your kids off to school for whatever like eight hours a day them coming home from school and you assuming that everything that they need to learn in life has been done and it's all checked off and everything's perfect. When in fact, and I think it's Seth Godin, he talks about this, your role as a parent if your kids are going to a traditional school, as soon as they step in the door is to begin to school them even more and educate them on all the things that they're not learning in school or help them filter what they're learning at school through a proper world view.

And, I think that for me it's been really important to understand that kids need a mentor other than their parents. And, there's actually a lot of value in that. And, parents don't have to feel guilty, or lazy, or feel as though their child's being influenced by someone else by setting up mentors like that to walk them through the process. And, again, I think that this idea of hand-selecting people who can work with your kids is a lot better process than just sending them off to school and letting the school choose who's going to teach them.

But, it's actually been really, really cool to see them mentored by you. And, I guess I'm wondering for you with all your coaches and your trainers, were there any specific mentors that really stood out for you? And, if so would you learn from them?

Adam:  It was my karate instructor actually that was the mentor for me. Like I said, I didn't have — my dad wasn't around when I was growing up. But, it was my mom and she was busy teaching a lot and doing and trying to provide for us. And so, I was around my karate instructor quite a bit.

Just to go back a little bit, kind of what you were saying was, Ben, I didn't even know who you were before you called and asked and said that you wanted your boys to come try a class with me. You're definitely one of the most inspiring people I've ever met in person. But, like I said, I wasn't somebody that listen to your podcast and stuff. But, over the years, I've taught thousands of kids, taught thousands. I have 350 students. Your children are some of the most special children I've ever met in my life, ever.

Ben:  They take after their mom.

Adam:  Yeah. It goes back to the stuff where I'm a person that pays attention and it goes back. I mean, you called me personally, left a voicemail, and said that you were looking for somebody. That's because you, just like you said, do your research and try to find people that were good role models and stuff for your children. And, I've watched that over and over the last few years. 

I've worked with them since they're at 7, 8 years old. And, all of the different things and the places that you've taken have made these children super special. They're my favorite kids that I get to work with. I'm not supposed to say that. But, every day when I come in, the way that they greet me, the way that they shake my hands, they're professional. But, they're just the most loving, loving children. 

I was so actually thankful to hear that you're writing that “Boundless Parenting” book because I aspire to be a parent like you. I want my children to grow up like your kids are doing right now. And, I want other people too as well. And so, for me to be able to have a resource that I can say, “Hey, listen, I've worked with these children for the last seven, eight years of their life. I've watched them on a daily level inside, outside, and this is the book on how to make these good kids.” 

And so, I just wanted to say that because it's been a really awesome thing to watch you do exactly what you said. You kind of hand-picked, you go out there, and you find these people that are experts in their field. I'm an expert in my field. I'm an expert at teaching 3- and 4-year-olds martial arts. You won't find anybody that's better at teaching 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds martial arts than me. I promise that. If you do then find it, come to me and we'll talk about it a little bit. 

But, you do the same thing for your children. And, for me to even be one of those professionals that you look towards was an amazing honor that I've carried over this time. But, it just goes to show that, yeah, you put those that group of people and that team together. And, you're going to have some kids that are going to do some amazing things. 

Your children are looking to change the world. They're going out there sort of like help other people and stuff like. They're not just going to go and no offense to anybody but just sit in a desk in their own corner of the world.

Ben:  Right, right. Yeah. It's interesting because I think that a lot of parents will look around and especially in the era of social media and see the luxurious exotic vacations and destination resorts that people are taking their kids to or the fancy private schools or the cool sports teams and sports clubs and feel a lot of pressure to put their children to those scenarios. And, yeah, there is some benefit to your kid being immersed in a really, really rich and safe and skilled learning environment.

But, one thing that I think has been a real game changer for Jessa and I in terms of the parenting philosophy that we've implemented is that at the end of the day, all humans want to be seen and heard and loved. And, kids especially at the end of the day they want time and presence. They crave time and presence. And, if you can give that to them as a parent, everything just seems to kind of line up like dominoes after that.

As a matter of fact, when River and Terran are acting out, when they're starting to get a little bratty or fight with each other or sometimes they'll tend to like micromanage each other or they'll start to get antsy or begin to show disrespect, I can usually trace that back to me not being present enough. And, me not being there enough and me either traveling too much or when I am home not carving out the times that I carve out on a near consistent daily basis now for the morning meditation and the morning devotions and morning prayer time and family huddles, the beginning and end of the day. The evening breathwork that we do that you know. It used to be a lot of workouts together but now they do a lot of workouts with this Apogee group that they're with so they're kind of like using those other children and mentors as accountability.

But, we're still engaged in deep present meaningful activities on a daily basis with our sons. And, sometimes that's like cooking and family games in the dinner time. But, I think that that's it's just under-emphasized the importance of actual time spent with your child sitting down cross-legged in the basement living room busting out a board game and just sitting there with them and playing and showing them that there's no smartphone here. There's no there's nothing else going on. It's just you and them all the way down to simple practices. 

For example, once a week I'll put on a song at bedtime just like a five- to six-minute song and all we do is eye gaze. Like mom gets one son and we get or I get the other I realize this could be more difficult for a lot of families who have multiple children but you can figure it out and we just do eye gazing where you're looking deep into your child's eyes and they're looking into your eyes, which are like windows to the soul. And, sometimes we talk. Sometimes we just gaze. Sometimes I'll stroke their hair or they'll stroke my cheek. 

But, it is so meaningful to be able to carve out those times for presence with your child. And, I think that it's not the only secret sauce. I mean, I talk about a lot of other stuff in the parenting book like the love and logic parenting approach which people could look up. But, yeah I think one of the most important parts is time and presence. And, you see that manifest, right?

Like you know, for example, I've taught him to look someone in the eye when they shake their hand. And, I've seen you do the same thing as well, whether when they're bowing or shaking hands, it's like that eye contact is important. So, yeah, I think presence is one of the most important things.

Adam:  That probably hits me the strongest because I didn't have that. And so, when I see that and I see the value that your children have got, especially for me that somebody struggles with that, even still in my life I can be pretty honest and open. Relationship-wise and stuff like that I still struggle because I'm not used to love and affection in my life. It's not something that I had in my family. It wasn't like I came home and mom gave me a hug or a kiss. None of that stuff, grandparents or anybody actually growing up, that did that actually for me at all.

So, when I watch and I see a lot of the stuff that you children are getting and that you're giving them, it's like that stuff actually that I see is valuable but it's also stuff that I really wish I would have had in my own life to see where I could have been a little bit more. Maybe some of these problems, I wouldn't call them problems but things in my life I look back and go, “Hey, do I have a relationship issues,” things like that affection problems could come from when I'm younger.

Ben:  Yeah. Yeah. Now along those same lines of interaction with kids, you have this pretty successful 3- and 4-year-old program. And, I know you have a lot of teaching skills that you use that you've learned along the way and that I've noticed. You know just voice fluctuation and tone and posture. Can you talk about some of the teaching methodologies that you use that you specifically think are super important or the people who are listening could learn from with their own kids or kids they might be teaching?

Adam:  One of the most important things I feel especially teaching that age that kids is set up a positive learning environment. And so, for my academy here you can kind of see in the background. We use white and black and clean lines and not much chaos. If you can already imagine I think there's a lot of people that are smarter than me that can listen and analyze this and stuff. But, children out there are bringing in a ton of information in at a time. When you give them a lot of stuff to bring in, it creates a lot of chaos in their mind. It makes them hard to learn.

So, I see this even in teachers in school, I for one a little bit of ADHD. And, when I was a kid in high school I remember going to those rooms where the teachers had decorated the rooms with all sorts of posters and things like that to make it a fun, inviting place for the kids to be, but it was actually the worst learning environment I could have ever been in because my ADHD just wanted to look at every single thing in there every single day. Even though I knew what was in there, it's like some people that go and look in the fridge you already know what's in the fridge but you just do it every day, right? You see all these different things, that was me. 

I can go to school and I would look and I'd just look around at all this stuff even though I knew it was there. It was just so much for me to pay attention to. So, when I teach especially that age, and whether it comes to people with a harder with learning disabilities or age and stuff like that, might make them more sensitive to a proper environment, then I really kind of hit the books with that. 

So, our 3- and 4-year-old class, there's nobody else in here. I ask the parents to stay quiet. The parents don't interact with the students. They're sitting there right there on the side, but it's also time for the students to understand that I'm the teacher. And so, our 3- and 4-year-old class is actually about the student learning to be a part of a classroom and learning to get away from their parents, learn from a teacher, behave appropriately.

And then, with that I give them that I understand as a teacher that they're learning. So, a lot of the things that I'm saying back to them or even when I'm correcting them is a lot of positive reinforcement. So, at 3 years old, they barely know English. You can't really hold their words and actions personally and hold it against them so much because this is the teaching time.

So, with that, a lot of patience comes in and understanding. And, actually keeps me in a much better mood to be able to teach I have more fun understanding that these kids are learning instead of expecting them to be perfect. Now, the funny thing is I understand they're learning. I kind of set these boundaries. And then, these kids are actually doing very well. They stand at attention. They don't move. I can tell them to stand there. They'll find their spots. And, they're 3 and 4 years old. Some kids actually have started even when they're like 2, 2 years old and 6 months and they still come in.

And, really what it is is it kind of like that military or like old school martial arts. If you have this structure and this kind of plan that's already proven and you just kind of put one kid at a time in there, they just kind of mold to that product.

And so, my goal with my facility is to create that learning environment that has the right attitude for everybody, that's respectful for everybody, and keeps everybody safe. And so, we all wear the same gi. And, that's because there's some people come in you wear black gis, or red gis, yellow gis. Well, people out there with science know that the colors actually incite different things in some people's heads, right?

And so, maybe this guy over here has a red gi on and it makes it harder for me to learn because his red gee is making me very angry as a person.

Ben:  There's a whole book about that by the way called “Drunk Tank Pink” I read a few years ago. I mean it goes all the way down to like the best color for a buy button on a website is orange and the best shirt to wear if you want people to trust you is blue or green. And, you mentioned red can make people angry. And, the most calming color, this is why the book is named “Drunk Tank Pink” after the fact that the Drunk Tank in many correctional facilities or prisons are pink to calm people down. 

It's very, very interesting the impact that even color has on something like a teaching or learning environment or just on people's reaction to you in general.

Adam:  It does. And then, when that comes, then it comes to retention and then the students' ability to follow directions appropriately. So, the stuff we have a little bit of decorations on the wall. But, mostly, everything else is very clean and organized. Especially the three- and four-year-olds that are the most sensitive to that kind of stuff. They need to come in and have the floors are clean. There's not dirt places and stuff. They need to understand what it should look like in here, not like the chaotic part of it.

And so, with that when we get new students that come in that are barely 3 years old that maybe even come from a house that's more chaotic and stuff, it takes them a couple lessons. But, then after they fit in the environment and they just kind of become one of these kinds of products of what this environment's set up for. And, that is to keep everybody respectfully learning appropriately. 

And so, just like you said, I reference that all the time about in the prisons how they some people they have more pink even as their uniforms to brighten them up and stuff like that. And, this is stuff that goes down to like how you can teach kids effectively. So, I look at some of the schools and stuff sometimes and it's almost like nails on a chalkboard when I see the teachers that they're doing their best to try to make a fun environment for the students and stuff and also show their creativity. 

But, with 30 children in a class, you can't create that perfect environment for 30 kids when you're doing your own thing kind of a thing. You have to kind of hit that clinical aspect of what is best for everybody.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. That's interesting. I never really thought about that much, but it is true the importance of environmental simplicity, consistency, reliability, and cleanliness not only fosters a clean learning environment that probably does allow for a little bit better learning, but also kind of like a safe place for a child who's already stressed out. And, especially nowadays in a state of near-constant information overload you know, if you have a place where they can go that's just like clean and crisp, and I like the word that you use nearly clinical, that to me seems like an upgrade to a learning environment.

Adam:  Yeah. You know, it's something I honestly hope to share, get people to work on, and stuff like that. It's something I know it's probably the most powerful teaching tool that I could give to somebody saying, “Hey, look around where you're teaching these kids at and what kind of things can you do to help make it better?” 

And, really, the color thing is a pretty big teaching tool. If you can look around and say, hey — I actually went to a school, it's a friend of mine who's got a really good karate school but when every time I go into the karate school, there's two different types of music playing. There's three different classes going on. There's blue, green, red, green. You know all that stuff, instructors trying to talk, it's just not a good learning environment.

So, you're paying for your kid to go to this martial arts class, but then you kind of say, “Hey, what are you really getting out of it? What is the quality of the people that are setting up this program?” I want my reputation to be based on my quality, and my quality is to look at my students and provide the best thing for them. And, that takes that clinical look. It takes that being able to step back and say, “Hey, where am I falling short? What can I do to get better?” And, looking for resources that necessarily aren't the martial arts that's teacher aspect.

Ben:  Yeah. It kind of reminds me of, for some reason, the Stanley McChrystal speech I think it is about the importance of making your bed in the morning, right? It just sets the standard for the rest of the day of cleanliness and organization. And, the same reason that even though my office isn't the cleanest on the planet, it's somewhat organized. 

And, when I get into writing mode, like when I come in down in the morning because a lot of times my riding is anywhere from 5:00 to 7:00 am, I'm writing, I'm recording, etc., I'm looking around like making sure that the little square piece here on the desk and the Post-it note pile is actually oriented vertically and horizontally in alignment with the rest of the desk and the papers are shuffled nicely. 

And, I operate better in that environment. And, I know a lot of people like I've had college professors, you walk in for their office hours just chaos everywhere and paper strewn about. But, yeah, I think the importance, especially at an early age of fostering learning and also lowering stress through an organized environment then teaching that to your kids is a really good idea.

I had another question I wanted to ask you because last year, I think it was last year. It might have been even two years ago, you were talking to me at dinner and you mentioned your idea of this big school bus that you had that you were going to run camps out of. And, I think you actually wound up doing some of those camps over the course of the next couple years. Tell me about the big bus concept.

Adam:  It just correlates right with what we're talking about learning environment is huge for any child. I started looking at what I'm able to provide and how I'm able to set up successful learning for my students. And then, I looked at “Hey, how can I help during COVID?” maybe this happened, kids don't learn very well at home. So, I said, “Hey, I had a bus actually.” And, I kind of decided, hey, what if we took the kids to learn and they learned in better learning environments?

So, we created a program. We started this kind of unschool bus now it's called Destination Classrooms.

Ben:  By the way, this is like a big yellow school bus.

Adam:  Yeah, big yellow school bus just like you'd see a bus picked kids up for school. We took out every other seat and we created a bus seat with a desk. And, the premise of is we took the kids out into these learning environments where they got to experience life hands-on. So, we did a rocket building class out in a park, a big beautiful park and we built the rockets right in the bus. And then, took them out and we shot him off.

We did marine biology class next to a river. So, the kids go and they sat on the bus and the teacher talked to them about what they were going to see and stuff. So, it's almost like a field trip every day. The idea was to kind of piggyback a little bit off of like a Magic School Bus. And, it goes back to that learning environment and how to provide better for the children because of COVID we kind of went that way.

Maybe the school, the institutional side of school, isn't always the best option for every child out there especially. And now, our goal is to create a more of a hybrid online learning system with the Destination Classroom so that the students would get good online coursework that would lead them to being able to go to some of these experiential trips that would put them in these immersive environment that would help them learn better.

Ben:  Yeah. I mean, you're speaking my language because it's no secret I'm a big fan of the whole unschooling idea and the fact that experiential learning, trumps book learning, trumps documentaries, trumps just about any traditional aspect of education, unless you're trying to train a little factory worker, which I think in most cases is a little bit of an outdated educational model. 

But, ultimately yeah that that whole idea of putting desks in a bus and then driving kids around and bringing them to different experiential-based learning environments I think it's brilliant. Have you evolved that concept at all or are you thinking about like expanding it to be something that you might bring out on a national level or something like that?

Adam:  That is absolutely my goal. There's a lot of kind of inner working things that I have to put together with it as well. But, kind of the next round is to get some funding and get some more investors. And, some people that want to get involved with the program it's something I feel would be a really big program as it got out there. And, you can only imagine there being thousands of buses out there or whatever and your children got to go online and pick which course and bus they got to go on and the trip they kind of hear themselves towards.

And, the cool part is they do some online learning, and then at the end they get to go on the trip, so it's kind of the reward for the hard work, which is kind of how life is set up anyways. So, you get kids to be a little bit more engaged in the classrooms, and hopefully, as well there's a lot of great things behind it there with students that are also the same like-minded. They probably chose the same subject matter and stuff.

So, you got two kids that like to learn about dinosaurs and they're learning about dinosaurs. And then, with that, it doesn't matter what kind of person they are, pink hair, blue hair, mohawk, stuff like that. They both like dinosaurs. They're on a bus going to learn about dinosaurs in an environment with dinosaur stuff you know.

So, all of that just brings back one of the most important things to a positive learning environment, which is the right attitude of the teacher and the participants of the program as well. Somebody doesn't have the right attitude, they can't be there because it can detract I guess from what the goal is. That's something that we work on not letting happen here.

Some people don't fit. It's okay for us to let them go and go to a different school. At school, they don't afford that opportunity so much. You can get one child that can ruin the learning experience for every other kid in the class. So, hopefully, by getting these kids where they get to pick the teacher, they're going to pick the experience, they're going to kind of work with kids that are also like-minded, they're going to form these bonds with people that are also more important for later down the road.

Ben:  I love the concept. And, by the way, if folks will listen, they dig it and you guys want to connect with Adam and get involved, I'll put the details in the shownotes for all of his academies and the contact details at BenGreenfieldLife.com/CoachAdam. Bengreenfieldlife.com/CoachAdam if you want to check out more about what Adam does with the bus with the summer camps and with his academy. And then, you also have the give back non-profit, right? Because my sons have fought in several of your tournaments. And, it's more than just a tournament. You run it as a non-profit.

Adam:  Yeah, absolutely. Like I said, the only reason I actually was able to do martial arts, like I said grew up super poor and my mom couldn't afford it, but my instructor let me work at the martial arts school every day since I was a kid. I cleaned the toilets and everything so that I could pay for my martial arts lessons. I wouldn't be here today if that guy didn't let me do it. And, I wouldn't be a successful martial artist.

So, I wanted to afford that opportunity to other athletes as well. So, we started a tournament series. It's give-back tournaments. It's a non-profit. We take the registration money that comes in from those competitors and our goal is to get it to some of these competitors that can't afford a lot of those learning experience and training experiences that are afforded to the wealthier students from traveling, to some seminars, traveling to bigger tournaments, things like that. I knew that was a limiting factor for me when I was an athlete was not being able to get to a lot of the bigger tournaments to get the exposure to help grow your brand.

You know right now you have kids in high school that are paying thousands of dollars for recruits to go out there and get them so they can get those college scholarships and stuff. So, this is kind of a little bit of a breakaway, a gateway for some of the kids that don't have those opportunities within the martial arts field. 

Ben:  And, you're also, like you were saying earlier, you're working with more than just kids. I mean, you got a lot of high-class clientele that Dr. Chestnut and his kids and different police officers and other professionals. 

So, with all this that you have going on where do you see yourself in the next few years? Is it going to be more along the lines of running the school bus program or continuing with the academies? Or, I guess at some point, Adam, and there's only 24 hours in a day and you're still fighting too. So, are you just going to scale and hire and keep expanding on all these fronts?

Adam:  Yeah, pretty much. You know that's the goal. So, I really I like to teach teachers. I love setting up good positive learning environments for students. It's something that I've kind of have proof is in the pudding with my environment, with my schools, now three schools. I've got a lot of great, great feedback. I mean thousands of students. I got currently almost 400 students right now. And, some of the stuff that I want to do is to really keep pushing some of this stuff forward to help learning, education for students, putting good environments out there. That's kind of where the bus thing came from.

But, on the professional level, I ran for city council twice here in my town. My future is to probably get more involved in the local politics so I'll put my name in the hat for probably some mayors or council positions again here in the future. 

And, I really like teaching that kind of high-level clientele. I've got some really good doctors and dentists and stuff. And, more or less I can relate to it. I've been an EMT for 12 years. I've seen a lot of people die. I've been with a lot of people in their last days. And so, I've seen people in their worst of days and experienced females that have had traumatic injuries and things like that. So, I know how to help a lot of people.

Ben:  If it all falls through, you can at least maybe write a yogurt parfait cookbook.

Adam:  Yeah, that's right.

Ben:  That's pretty darn popular. When's your next fight? Like if people wanted to see you fight or check it out on pay-per-view if they're not local and just want to see you in action, what's the best way to do that?

Adam:  Yeah. I'm actually on a Fury Fight Challenge. That's actually a pretty big promotion out of Texas, so I'll be fighting there. Towards the end of April, I'm competing at the Pan American jiu-jitsu competition. It's the second biggest jiu-jitsu tournament in the world, and that's in a few weeks at the end of March. So, jiu-jitsu first and then a fight and then I'll be on some more jiu-jitsu. My goal is to be a world champion in jiu-jitsu. I know I can do it.

Ben:  That's amazing. I mean, I've seen you in action, I've also seen your drive and your business acumen. And, I really respect what you're doing. My motivation for getting on the podcast was just to highlight the fact, as any of you listening especially those of you who might be starting off in your careers or even struggling trying to make things work, if Adam was able to build everything he's built, these three academies, the non-profit foundation, the traveling magic school bus, running for city council, having political aspirations and still fighting and working as a firefighter and an EMT. He's just a perfect example of what you can do as a human being if you really put your mind and your power and your strength into achieving your goals. And, he's made it work.

I would encourage you if you are listening in and you're inspired by Adam and you want to check out more of what he does or follow his journey or even get in touch with him, and of course, if you're local to the Spokane or Coeur d'Alene area, maybe drop into his academy and see what he's doing. I'll link to all of his stuff at BenGreenfieldLife.com/CoachAdam. You can get in touch there and you can also ask your questions your comments and give your feedback there.

Adam, dude, it's been cool to be able to hear your story a little bit more. And, hopefully, also inspire a lot of people with what you're up to.

Adam:  Thanks for the opportunity, Ben. And, like I said, I don't look out there but you've inspired me a whole bunch and you continue to. So, I thank you for this opportunity.

Ben:  Thanks, man. Love goes both ways. Alright, folks. Well, BenGreenfieldLife.com/CoachAdam again is where you can grab the shownotes, the video, everything else that Adam and I talked about. And, until next time, I'm Ben Greenfield along with Coach Adam “Smash” Smith signing out from BenGreenfieldLife.com. Have an amazing week.

More than ever these days, people like you and me need a fresh entertaining, well-informed, and often outside-the-box approach to discovering the health, and happiness, and hope that we all crave. So, I hope I've been able to do that for you on this episode today. And, if you liked it or if you love what I'm up to, then please leave me a review on your preferred podcast listening channel wherever that might be, and just find the Ben Greenfield Life episode. Say something nice. Thanks so much. It means a lot.



My sons have been Jiu Jitsu devotees since the age of 8. I initially joined then, but regrettably, didn't keep up the practice, though they've continued to flourish under the tutelage of today's podcast guest coach Adam Smith.
But coach Adam is much more than a youth and adult Jiu Jitsu coach.
Adam is a lifelong Martial Arts competitor and teacher. Having won many traditional Martial Arts tournaments, and moving to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Mixed Martial Arts, Adam “SMASH” Smith has earned a strong reputation as a high-level competitor in his athletic endeavors, and an expert level Teacher. Having competed in 22 Professional Fights across the country and many high level Jiu Jitsu competitions, his experience is known by many. Adam holds a Black Belt in American Kenpo Karate (Ed Parkers system), and a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (under the Encyclopedia of Jiu Jitsu, Master Marcelo Allonso Novais).
Now, Adam has 3 of his own Martial Arts Academies (SMASH Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) and looks to continue to build a strong team that changes the lives of many. With over 250 current students, and thousands of former students, Professor Adam “SMASH” Smith is known for his ability to teach anyone starting as young as 3 years old. Adam has taught special needs students for over 15 years and has a well-known expertise in working with a variety of people with different disabilities.
At 18 years old Adam moved into a fire station where he became a certified Firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician (a certification he has held for 12+ years) while gaining firsthand experience saving lives and property in the Spokane area. After growing up as a poor and underprivileged athlete himself, Adam started a non-profit (Give Back Tournaments) and hosts Jiu Jitsu tournaments to raise funds that pay for athletic endeavors for  underprivileged student athletes. Adam has double hip replacements that were done this year, 3 months apart, but is back training and working to win world titles. Personally, and professionally, Adam “SMASH” Smith has lots of experience and stories in many areas and is not stopping any time soon!

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-Who is Adam Smith…05:55

  • Spokane Valley BJJ
  • Ben’s sons and Jiu-Jitsu
  • Won a lot of martial art tournaments
  • Owns 3 martial arts academies SMASH Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
  • Has worked with kids as young as 3 years old and kids with special needs
  • Has had double hip replacement
  • Certified firefighter & emergency medical technician

-Where did the nickname “Smash” come from?…08:40

  • First nickname was “Square Bear” while teaching karate
  • Given the nickname “Smash” because of his style of old-school Jiu Jitsu called “smash and pass style”
  • Carlson Gracie
  • Marcelo Alonso

-Double hip replacement…10:49

  • Started training in martial arts at the age of 5; 7 days a week, 8 hours a day
  • Martial arts for Adam is not a hobby, it's a lifestyle
  • Excessive wear and tear of the hips
  • First hip surgery for a biocartilage
  • Rehabilitation and stem cell therapy regrew bone spurs within eight months' time
  • Double hip replacement was the only option, at 33 years old
  • Biomat
  • Adam got a ceramic on plastic
  • Issues with plastic
    • Wears down over time
  • The stem cells Adam got during his rehabilitation was harvested from fetus

-A day in the life of a coach/professional athlete…18:07

-Recovery from the hip replacement…22:44

  • Competed 2 1/2 months after total hip replacement
    • Won a gold medal
  • Hyperbaric chamber
    • Quality of sleep
    • Better immune system
  • Peptides – TB-500 and BPC-157
  • Cryotherapy
    • Cold water or ice water is still the best solution

-Nutrition protocols…26:02

-The adversity and hardship that you had to go through early on in life to get to where you are now…29:59

  • 3 academies are a lifelong dream
  • Martial arts saved Adam's life
  • Mom was a ballet teacher; single mom, mixed race kids
    • Poor family
    • Food stamps
  • Going to martial arts school and discovered his passion
  • Wore the same gi as everybody else and the only thing that mattered was your performance
  • Moved right out of high school into the fire department and lived at the station
    • Sued the fire department for racism
    • Believed he had a brotherhood there
    • Racism issue crashed him
    • Settled out of court
  • Opened martial arts school at 23
  • Worked as an appliance installer and plumber for 8 years and poured everything he earned into the school
  • Had been working for another school
    • Rented a space for the academy and got mats for free
    • Some students, the special needs and autistic kids followed Adam in his new school

-Working with children and special need students…41:07

-Teaching methodologies for kids…50:32

  • Setting up a positive learning environment
    • White and black and clean lines and not much chaos
    • Simple, clean, and organized
    • ADHD issues –
      • Decorated rooms with all sorts of posters and things to make it a fun, inviting place for kids to be is actually the worst learning environment
    • It's about the student learning to be a part of a classroom and learning to get away from parents, learn from a teacher and behave appropriately
    • Create a learning environment that has the right attitude for everybody, that's respectful for everybody, and keeps everybody safe
    • The impact of colors on teaching environment
    • Drunk Tank Pink by Adam Alter

-The Big bus learning concept…1:03:20

-Where do you see yourself in the next few years? …1:05:13

  • To teach teachers
  • Keep pushing to help learning
  • Get more involved in local politics
  • High level clientele
  • Next fight
    • Fury Fight Challenge in Texas, end of April

-When is your next fight?…1:06:46

  • Fury Fight Challenge
  • Pan Jiu-Jitsu in March

-And much more…

Upcoming Events:

Resources mentioned in this episode:

– Adam Smith:

– Podcasts:

– Books:

– Other Resources:

Episode sponsors:

Bubs Naturals:  Want to try some of the best collagen protein, MCT oil powder, and apple cider vinegar gummies? Check out bubsnaturals.com and use code BENG for 20% off!

LMNT: Everyone needs electrolytes, especially those on low-carb diets, who practice intermittent or extended fasting, are physically active or sweat a lot. Go to DrinkLMNT.com/BenGreenfield to get a free gift with your purchase!

Essentia: Essentia organic mattresses are the only mattress to score best on eliminating all sleep-interrupting stimulants. Experience Essentia for yourself and save an additional $100 on your mattress purchase using code BENVIP at myessentia.com/bengreenfield.

Neurohacker Qualia Mind: Start experiencing what the best brain fuel on earth can do for YOUR mindset with Qualia Mind from Neurohacker. To try it, go to neurohacker.com/ben for up to $100 off right now, and use code BGF at checkout for an extra 15% off your first purchase.

BON CHARGE: Holistic wellness brand with a wide range of products that naturally address the issues of our modern way of life. They can help you sleep better, perform better, recover faster, balance hormones, reduce inflammation, and so much more.  Go to boncharge.com/GREENFIELD and use coupon code GREENFIELD to save 15%.

Ben Greenfield Coaching Corporate Wellness: Head to BenGreenfieldCoaching.com to learn more about my corporate wellness programs and how they will make your company a better place to work.

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *