10TH PLANET FREAKS - SLOAN CLYMER AND LIZ CARMOUCHE
"I like helping people and this is the best way to express myself. I see it change people's lives every day." Sloan Clymer, BJJ brown belt and instructor at 10th Planet
"That just goes that like the muscle memory and the drilling that we do in 10th Planet just sensationally comes through. Everything I thought I couldn't do they've proven to me that I'm completely wrong." Liz Carmouche, UFC and MMA fighter, former USMC
ABOUT SLOAN CLYMER AND LIZ CARMOUCHE:
A very special 10th Planet Freaks episode!
First up, meet Sloan Clymer, a Jiu-Jitsu brown belt and instructor at 10th Planet Fitness in Poway San Diego. Sloan joins the show to talk about how getting into martial arts helped him both physically and mentally, and how training, competing, and teaching has all changed his life for the better.
Then, it's the return of Liz Carmouche to the podcast. Liz is an active UFC competitor, a former USMC, and teacher, and trainer for 10th Planet. Liz talks about finally getting to fight in a flyweight MMA division in the UFC, her thoughts on the future of MMA and what is next for her in terms of competing and teaching martial arts.
ON THIS WEEK'S COMPANION TV SHOW:
This week we check in with the New Horizons spacecraft, see a photo of Earth from 71 million miles away, and learn that our Sun might turn into a giant crystal. Then meet this week's Death Star Henrik Thomas-Poulsen and get a sneak peek of next week's podcast guest, artist Rob Prior, who will be unveiling some special art featuring Stan Lee for the celebration of the comic legend in Hollywood on Jan. 30th. We roast terrible fitness equipment including the infamous shake weight and show off some brand new merchandise and give updates on the cold brew coming soon from the World's Strongest Coffee.
Sloan Clymer: Okay, cool.
Jeff: Especially with people who really get heavy into mixed martial arts or a specific genre of martial arts. You are jiu jitsu, right, predominantly?
Sloan Clymer: Yeah, jiu jitsu, but I've done a little of everything.
Jeff: Where did it start? Why did you start to get into that?
Sloan Clymer: Well, growing up when I was just a little kid, my dad was super involved in mixed martial arts. He was watching boxing and MMA all the time as I was a kid growing up. I learned how to apply a rear naked choke when I was like five years old.
Dustin: Oh, that's cool.
Sloan Clymer: I was sleep at my sister's boyfriends. I was just a youngster. So, yeah, yeah, I was always pretty good at that stuff. My dad, he had me around it all the time. I didn't really, really take a lot of interest in it until I was about 15. I was kind of a wild kid. I was always getting in fights a lot growing up when I was younger. I realized that ... I came at a certain point in my life where I figured I didn't really know much about fighting other than what my dad had shown me in the living room and stuff like that.
Jeff: Right, right.
Sloan Clymer: We actually had a little barn in my backyard. I'm from Indiana.
Sloan Clymer: My dad had some mats out there. It was basically a small weight room as well. He had a heavy bag hanging out there. He would have his buddies come out on the weekends and spar and grapple and everything. Once I was like 15 or 16, I just went out there with him and started training with those guys and I got beat up all the time. They didn't take it easy on me. They didn't care that I was a kid. They treated me like one of them.
Slowly but surely, I fell in love with it and then started hopping around different gyms in Indiana just to get a feel for different looks and learning different arts from all over the place. I entered my first grappling tournament when I was 16 years old.
Sloan Clymer: I did pretty well and kind of just fell in love with it, man, and ran with it. Then, years down the road, my life was kind of at a dead end in Indiana, and realized I wasn't going anywhere with my life. So I picked up, moved out here, and walked into 10th Planet as a broke 22-year-old kid. I had nothing going for me, you know, and they saw that I was pretty good. And so, they got me to start cleaning the mats and training there for free.
Jeff: Oh, cool.
Sloan Clymer: After a while, I started getting belted by my coach, Richie "Boogeyman" Martinez. And then, yeah, I started teaching there after a while, and now I'm one of the instructors. I keep submerging myself further and further into the arts and learning more and more every day, training, teaching, and yeah. I'm living it up out here.
Jeff: Do you still compete?
Sloan Clymer: I still compete a little bit, yeah. It's been a few months, but I actually had a couple MMA fights back in Indiana. I still love MMA. I haven't really had any plans to fight out here yet. I'm still training boxing all the time. I'm still working in with our MMA team from time to time, but my main focus right now is my jiu jitsu. That's what I'm teaching more than anything. So yeah, I'm still competing in a lot of jiu jitsu. I plan on getting my black belt and running my own school before too long.
Dustin: How old are you now?
Sloan Clymer: I'm 25 now.
Dustin: 25, so you've been out here for about three or so years?
Sloan Clymer: Yes, about three or so years.
Dustin: That's so cool.
Sloan Clymer: Just a little under, yeah.
Dustin: How do you feel about that giant move, because everybody thinks about that right? They're in a small town somewhere in the middle of the fucking country.
Sloan Clymer: Oh, dude. It was tough, man.
Dustin: What made you come to San Diego?
Sloan Clymer: So, I knew I wanted to get the fuck out of Indiana. I was sick of it there, it was depressing, I hated it, I hated everything about it.
Dustin: Really? Why?
Sloan Clymer: Yeah. So, I just literally pulled up a map of the US and I was like, "Okay, let's just start narrowing things down here, okay. I want warm weather year-round, I want martial arts to be surrounded by me." So I figured San Diego would be the best spot and then that's just kind of the spot that I picked. I had an acquaintance, I wouldn't even say he was a friend of mine. He was a dude that I knew from back home, he was a friend of a friend. And I hit him up, gave him a call. He was living out here and I had known him when I was younger. Kind of asked him about it a little bit and how he liked San Diego. And he's like, "Dude, you can come out here and crash on my couch until you get your own place."
So, I drove out here on a whim and then I got lucky. After like 10 days, got my own apartment and been living out here ever since, and yeah. I just work full-time at the gym now. Yeah, it's a good time, man.
Dustin: Dude, I'll tell you what, this is my first time in San Diego. It is so fucking beautiful here.
Sloan Clymer: Dude, it is.
Dustin: Today is my first day, my only day in San Diego. What was the name of the place? Le Koran?
Dustin: The little island off the-
Sloan Clymer: Oh, Coronado.
Jeff: That's it. That's the one, yeah.
Sloan Clymer: My girlfriend used to live there, yeah.
Dustin: Holy crap, it's beautiful there.
Sloan Clymer: It is. It's awesome.
Dustin: And I've seen a lot of places like it, out in Key West and stuff like that. But it's never been as cool as what I've seen in San Diego.
Sloan Clymer: Coronado's beautiful.
Dustin: And you must love it out here, man.
Sloan Clymer: Hell yeah, dude. Yeah. Life's a kung fu movie now, man. I'm fucking living it up, dude. Hell yeah, dude. It's a good time. All I do is I compete, I train, I teach martial arts, and yeah. Living it up.
Dustin: So, if this is your kung fu movie, where does it go?
Sloan Clymer: I don't know, man. We're see where it takes me. Like I said, I want to open my own jiu jitsu school eventually. That's the plan, you know what I mean, that's what I want to do in the long run. I like helping people and this is the best way to express myself. I see it change people's lives every day. I see people come into the gym and they're fat and out of shape and they're miserable. And then three months goes by, six months goes by. Next thing you know, they're starting to gain some confidence, they're coming into the gym with a smile, they're being more talkative, and they're slimming down. They're starting to get good at this thing out of nowhere. They may have went their whole lives without being good at anything, and then suddenly, they're picking something up and they're enjoying it.
Dustin: They get good at murdering people.
Sloan Clymer: Exactly, there's nothing like it. You can get good at basketball, and that'll feel pretty good to know how to move around and dribble a ball. But when you know how to strangle somebody, there's something different about that. You're like, "Oh, I have this person's life in my hand."
Dustin: Things start to light up and-
Sloan Clymer: It's caveman shit, all right.
Dustin: It is. Definitely.
Jeff: That's awesome.
Dustin: That's so cool. That's something I was talking to Liz about before the class. She was like, "That's one of the things I love most about being in a jiu jitsu school is watching mostly kids, right." You see these kids just getting into high school, which is the most awkward time of your life. You're starting to have feelings for girls, but you're like really awkward and nerdy, and you don't know how to talk to people. And I see these kids come into the jiu jitsu class and they're really awkward at first. But you see them progress after a year, two years, three years, and they're killers. Not like they're acting like killers, but they're just totally different ... they're themselves. It's not like they're totally different people, they get to open up. They're comfortable with themselves.
Sloan Clymer: Yeah, for sure.
Dustin: When did that happen ... that must have happened for you at some point, right?
Sloan Clymer: Yes, it did. It happened for me when I was about 16, I think. Like I said, I grew up around martial arts, but I didn't really train martial arts other than what my dad showed me in the living room. And then once I started training with him and his buddies in the barn when I was like 15, 16 years old, and I started to kind of learn some shit, I started to feel this confidence in myself on a day-to-day basis. I wasn't like nervous of the older guys at school or anything. I felt like I could talk to people easier.
At first, maybe it wasn't a good thing. My dad used to always say, he was like, "Man, I feel like I'm creating a monster." Because like I said, I was running around with the wrong kids when I was in high school. And I didn't know myself, I was still trying to to find myself. Like you said, I didn't know what the right path was. So, I was hanging out with the wrong kids, fucking druggies and stuff, and getting into with people all the time. And then I was using my martial arts like maybe not for good reasons at first. Yeah, I was getting in fights and beating peoples' asses all the time at first.
But then, slowly but surely, I pulled myself out of that, especially after I moved out here. People back home, they'd tell me like, "You're a completely different person to what you were five, six years ago." And I am. I'm a completely different human being now. I've came into my own, I've learned to use this as something positive, and I have a way out of how I was raised and the way that I was living back home. Now, I'm doing something good with myself from martial arts.
Dustin: Well, you mention something about being on the right path. But I think part of being on the right path is at some point being on the wrong path. It's just like every good movie, it starts off with everything's down in dirt-
Jeff: The hero's journey.
Sloan Clymer: Yeah, yeah.
Dustin: The hero's journey, that's part of the path. And I think you learn a lot from that area. And I guess, if anything, it's just a message to the people who are on that wrong path. You're not on the wrong path, you're just learning more and you just need to make the corrections. But you always look to that and go, "Ugh, see that was then when I was messing up, doing drugs."
Sloan Clymer: For real, dude, yeah. I think back when I was like 19 years old and all the stupid stuff I was doing. And I'm just like, "Jeez." But it made me who I am now, you know what I mean. I learned from it and I had to go through those things to get to where I am now. If I hadn't have gone through that stuff, who knows? I may have settled for a mediocre life. If I had never hung out with the wrong people, never got into the wrong shit, maybe I wouldn't have been pushed to that rock bottom low point to where I decided, "Fuck it, I'm moving, I'm getting out of here." And maybe I would've just settled for just working in a warehouse or being a correctional officer, 'cause I actually did that for a small stint until I moved out here. I could've stayed there and made that my full-time job, but I was just ... I hated my life, man. And I didn't like the people that I was surrounding myself with and where my life was headed. So I had to do something different.
And I knew I wanted martial arts to be my life. Not just a part of it, but my life. That's what it is now.
Dustin: Jiu jitsu's probably the best martial art to be a part of right now. The industry is growing immensely, all these jiu jitsu tournaments are popping up. We see EBI, and then Combat Jiu Jitsu, and stuff like that. Where do you see everything going with the jiu jitsu world in the competitive world?
Sloan Clymer: I only see it growing from here, man. I say this all the time, I think that it's still in its baby stages, you know what I mean. It is. When jiu jitsu became popular back in the 93 when Royce Gracie started choking the shit out of guys in the UFC-
Dustin: Guys like three times his size.
Sloan Clymer: Exactly. And that's when it became a thing in the US and people were like, "Oh my gosh, there's this art that none of us have known about." And then slowly but surely, jiu jitsu schools starting popping up, and more and more people got their black belts. And now, you're seeing jiu jitsu schools all over the place. I only see it growing from here, man. I think that it's just gonna keep getting better and better.
Dustin: Yeah, and I think the hang up point for a while was that, for a spectator, it might not have been that interesting to watch. 'Cause a lot of the first tournaments, especially when you see like point tournaments, it looks like a fucking hugging match.
Sloan Clymer: Exactly, yeah. Trying to hold each other down.
Dustin: But if you're in it and you know jiu jitsu and love jiu jitsu, it's very entertaining 'cause you know what's coming up. But I think what we're seeing with stuff like EBI and the submission-only tournaments with the overtime and dangerous positions and stuff like that, it makes it so entertaining.
Sloan Clymer: For sure, man. You're seeing guys that-
Dustin: Especially Combat Jiu Jitsu, right?
Sloan Clymer: Yes. That's even more exciting. You're seeing them slapping the shit out of each other. Exactly, it's awesome, man. Like we just said, it's in our DNA to fight and people like seeing fighting. Any time there's a fight, people surround themselves. What was that? I think Dana White said something one time about like, "There can be a football, baseball, and basketball game going on the same area, but if a fight breaks out in the crowd, everybody's gonna watch that."
Jeff: Even the camera's go from that action on the field to the fight in the crowd.
Sloan Clymer: Exactly. So any kind of combat sport, it's just a matter of popularizing it and it's just gonna keep growing. And there is more money involved in jiu jitsu now and I only see that growing, as well. The same with like the UFC. Back in the early 90s, someone would've laughed if there was millions of dollars on the line for a fight, but now you're seeing big name fighters actually make that money. It's just like boxing. Boxing's been around for so long. All those big name fighters are making millions of dollars. And then it's getting that way with MMA now. And I think slowly but surely, it's gonna become that way with jiu jitsu, too. It might take another 10 or 20 years, but I do believe that someday, it's gonna become that popular, where there'll be that much money involved in it.
Dustin: Well, just the amount of growth that's happened in 10 years is really-
Sloan Clymer: Oh, it's crazy.
Dustin: So you can imagine 10 years from now.
Sloan Clymer: I know, man. It's a completely different world now than what it was back in 2008. It's a completely different ballgame now.
Dustin: It's exciting, especially being a part of it. It's super exciting seeing guys like you come up and be a part of it. Do you have any interest in Combat Jiu Jitsu, by the way?
Sloan Clymer: Yeah, I do. I would like to compete in it. My coach talked to me about we thought there was going to be a trials for the EBI, CJJ middleweight, and that-
Dustin: The one in Burbank that's coming up. Yeah.
Sloan Clymer: Yeah, that would be my weight class. They ended up not having a trials for it, but I was gonna be in it if they did. I was super stoked for it. I was like, "Oh shit, that'll be dope, man." That's honestly more my style. Because back in Indiana when I first started training, we never just did jiu jitsu, we did ground and pound. When we were grappling, we were punching each other too. We weren't just grappling, never. We were always involving strikes all the time. So that's more natural for me. My grappling is more based for fighting and for combat. There's a lot of these new school grapplers who they like to sit on their asses and butt scoot, and-
Dustin: It's not practical.
Sloan Clymer: It's not practical for fighting. It's okay if you just want to be a strictly submission grappler and you just want to sport jiu jitsu, that's okay. But if there's strikes involved, even if it's palm strikes, man, you're gonna be in a world of trouble if you decide to compete in that as a butt scooter, you know.
Dustin: Well, it just highlights any openings that are happening within the match where, like you said, dudes can scoot on their butt, or they'll dedicate themselves to one leg and leave themselves open for strikes. Soon as you put a bitch slap in their face-
Sloan Clymer: Yeah, yeah. You get a palm strike in there and it changes the whole game, man. We've already seen it. You watch CJJ World, it's happened multiple times in there. And some of the Combat Jiu Jitsu matches in EBI. It's only gonna continue to happen and prove itself more and more, and people are gonna have to continue to change their game.
That's the beautiful thing about jiu jitsu, I feel like. It's always evolving. There's never a stop to it. You're always having to change your game. And then once people start changing their game just for this CJJ, and as that grows, then guys are gonna get sneaky and go back to the leg locks, and go back to the butt scooting stuff, and maybe ... and it might work again. Everything works in the right time and in the right moment. So it's just always a constant evolution. It's crazy, man.
Dustin: Do you see yourself getting back into mixed martial arts at all?
Sloan Clymer: I think so, yeah. Some day, I could see myself fighting again. I'm not gonna put a time or a date on it, but I love fighting. That's why I got into this. It's always just excited me. I like striking just as much as I love jiu jitsu. I don't train it quite as much as I do jiu jitsu. I'm training jiu jitsu six days a week, twice a day most of the time.
Dustin: Well, it sounds like you fell in love.
Sloan Clymer: Yeah, I did. I just an addict, especially once I moved out here. I just started training all the time. I had nothing better to do. I came out here by myself. I was cleaning those mats to train for free, so I was like, "I'm gonna take advantage of this." I was training all time, man. And slowly but surely, I realized it was my life. I was at the gym all the time. And then they were like, "Well, shit. This kid's here all the time, I guess we'll fucking hire him. He's pretty good so I guess we'll keep him around." So, I got lucky, man. I got really lucky.
Dustin: And you're a purple belt now?
Sloan Clymer: Yeah, I'm a purple belt.
Dustin: That's cool, man. When did you get your purple belt?
Sloan Clymer: I got it ... it was November 29 of 2016, I think. I feel like I can remember-
Dustin: So you're deep into your purple belt?
Sloan Clymer: Yeah, yeah. But I don't know when I'll get my brown. But probably sooner than later.
Dustin: It's always super subjective, right.
Sloan Clymer: Yeah, it is. It's like my coach, he likes all of his students to compete. So I think he just probably wants me to get a few more competitions in as a purple belt. Which I'm okay with that.
Dustin: And I find if your coach likes you, it usually takes longer.
Sloan Clymer: Exactly. And he's even told me that before. He was telling me that as a blue belt. He was like, "Hey, I know you've been tapping these black belts, but I'm still gonna keep you as a blue belt, 'cause I want you to be the baddest fucking blue belt in the world. Then I'll give you your purple belt." I remember him saying that-
Dustin: That's awesome. That's a good coach.
Sloan Clymer: I was like, "Okay, cool." Got my purple belt, and then I think he just wants the same thing for that belt. And then brown belt and black belt.
Dustin: By the time you get your black belt, you're just gonna be a straight up assassin.
Sloan Clymer: Yeah, yeah, exactly. I would much rather be the purple belt who's beating belts rather than the higher belt who's getting beat by a lower belt. That's a shitty feeling. And there are guys out there who they just ... it's not their fault that their coach gave them their brown or their black belt way too early and they're the ones catching the shit end for it. They're going into competitions with like a purple belt and getting tapped. It's like they may have just gotten belted a little too soon.
Dustin: But, I feel like in the jiu jitsu world, it's not odd to see a purple belt tap a black belt.
Sloan Clymer: No, it's not. It's common, it happens all the time.
Dustin: That's a beautiful thing about jiu jitsu. Anything can happen. And a purple belt's not stupid. If there's an opening, and everybody will leave and opening at some point, a purple belt will know how to take advantage of that.
Sloan Clymer: Yeah, yeah. And something I've learned over time is like the belts are just colors, man. When I first got my blue belt and I was starting to train around more and more black belts ... Richie, my coach, he was starting to take me with him to other gyms to cross-train and stuff. And I'd be like, "Oh shit, this guy's a black belt. Oh no." But then once I grab a hold of him, I'd be like, "Oh, he's just another grappler." Just because he's a black belt, it's like I would put them on this pedestal in my head like, "Oh shit, this guy's way better than me. He has to be, he has a black belt." That's not true. He's just another grappler. He just happened to get his rank quicker than me. Just a color.
Dustin: I feel like that translates to real life, too. When you meet somebody, maybe even like a celebrity, and you're like, "This person's a god." Put them up on this pedestal. And then you finally meet them, you talk to them, and you're like, "Oh, it's just another dude. Just like me."
Sloan Clymer: Exactly. Dude, jiu jitsu has done ... man. It's helped me, the way that I look at people and just life in general so much. What you just said is a perfect example, man. I don't even look at like ... I've met a lot of celebrities and stuff since I've moved out here and a lot of big name fighters. I've trained with a lot of high-level fighters. And it's like I used to get starstruck if I ever met a celebrity or a popular fighter that I watched in the UFC. And now, I'm just like, "It's just another person."
It's funny. I was a real big fan of Ben Saunders growing up, I was watching him all the time. And now he's just one of my good buddies.
Dustin: He's such a chill dude.
Sloan Clymer: Yeah, he is. He's so cool, dude. He's one of my good friends. Him and I drove up to the UFC just a couple weeks ago together. He invited me to go with him.
Dustin: Was that for Ilima's fight?
Sloan Clymer: No, no.
Dustin: Oh wait, no, that was Bellator. Sorry.
Sloan Clymer: Yeah, it was Dillashaw vs Garbrandt. 227 I think, UFC 227. So I'm driving up there with him, and he and I sit down and, again, there's all these fighters that I've grown up watching and stuff. I'm seeing in the crowds and I'm just like, "This is so weird that I'm just friends with them." They're all just people, you know what I mean. So yeah, jiu jitsu's definitely helped the way that I look at people and life in general, like I said.
Dustin: And I say this all the time. Jiu jitsu helped me in the business world tremendously. I'm sure you'll find that throughout your life, you'll get into these situations and you're like, "I got through this because of jiu jitsu, because I'm able to think clearly through chaotic situations."
Sloan Clymer: Yes, exactly. It made me a way better problem-solver. It's funny, man. You do jiu jitsu, and the people who don't think this way, then they end up quitting. But to get better, you just have to think like, "Damn, how'd that guy just tap me out? Well, I exposed my leg to him, or he took my back because I did this." Or you know you made a wrong a move, and then you just think, "Okay, so what do I gotta do to not let him do that again?" And you have to go through those steps, and you have to break it down. It's just these little micro-details that you have to make, or changes I should say, and it helps you with everything else in life. Even relationships for that matter. Like dude, it's helped me become a better boyfriend. Dude, seriously.
Dustin: Well, your girl trains too, right?
Sloan Clymer: Yeah, she trains, dude. She's a savage.
Sloan Clymer: yeah. She's a blue belt, but she beats people up all the time. She's pretty good.
Dustin: What's that like, dating somebody you train with? Does that ever-
Sloan Clymer: It's cool, man. I've never done it before. Yeah, we actually met at the gym about ... two years ago is when she came to the gym and started training. She and I were just good friends. Like as soon as we met, we were always real cool with each other, and we started training with each other more and more, and then starting dating. I've had to coach her through a lot of adversities and stuff like that. She gets bummed out 'cause she's still kind of in her baby stages. She's only been training for a couple years.
Dustin: A bad day at jiu jitsu will bum you out so hard.
Sloan Clymer: Hell yeah, dude. And so she-
Dustin: You're like, "I was doing so good. What the fuck happened?"
Sloan Clymer: Uh-huh, yeah.
Dustin: And that's another translation to life, man. Where you're like, "I was doing so good. Why did I just have a bad day?" But it's like you just gotta roll with the punches, man. You're gonna have another good day. You don't have to get bummed out.
Sloan Clymer: For sure. And yeah, I would have to explain that to her so much. She's getting much better at understanding it. But she would have plenty of days where like she'd be crushing people all week, and then maybe that Thursday or Friday, she just got beat up and tapped out a couple times by some people. It would be like even a higher-level like dude who tapped her out, and I'm like, "Hey, that guy's good. Don't be bummed out, that dude is good, okay. You should expect to get beat by him."
Dustin: But that's the beautiful thing about jiu jitsu. It'll grind that out of you.
Sloan Clymer: Yeah, for sure.
Dustin: Or you'll just get spit out the other side. I've seen a lot of people come in with that attitude, and it gets worse and worse and worse, and they end up like leaving. And it happens real quick.
Sloan Clymer: Exactly. Dude, and I see it all the time. It's like you either get humbled, and evolve, and you figure out, "Okay, I just gotta take a deep breath and realize that this is a bad day. I'm gonna learn from this and I'm gonna get better. 100%, I just gotta stick to the grindstone and just keep doing it." Or, you're just gonna say, "Fuck this. This sucks. I'm never gonna get better." And then you're gonna quit.
And I've seen it happen plenty of times, where guys will come in and ... it's mainly the people who come in with like a cocky attitude to begin with. I'll see a lot of like jocks come in, muscular dudes who look like they probably were athletes in high school. Maybe even lifted weights a lot.
Dustin: Maybe even a wrestler sometimes.
Sloan Clymer: Yeah, even wrestlers it'll happen. My coworker, he's one of my best friends, his name's Gabe. He's this skinny, nerdy-looking, little redheaded guy, and he'll just strangle the shit out of you. Like dude, I've seen him-
Dustin: Liz was talking about his earlier.
Sloan Clymer: dude, it's so funny, man. I'll see guys coming in and it's like if they get beat up on by me, it's kind of expected. 'Cause I'm a bigger guy-
Dustin: You're not a small dude, yeah.
Sloan Clymer: Yeah, yeah. I've got like tattoos and stuff. I look like I could beat you up. But like this guy, he doesn't look like he could do anything to you. They probably look at him like, "This guy's an instructor? I'll kill this dude." And then they roll with them and then he chokes the shit out of them. And then-
Dustin: They're like, "Wait a second, I underestimated him. Let me try again." And then they just get choked again.
Sloan Clymer: And then they get choked again. Dude, and it's like ... then they end up never showing their faces again. It's so funny to see that, man. But that's the beautiful thing about it. It's like a douche bag filter, you know what I mean. If someone's good at it, it doesn't matter what they look like, or their size, or how strong they are, or how skinny or big they are. If they know what they're doing, you're gonna get fucked up by them.
Dustin: Yeah. Like another side to the coin of that, that kid who's unconfident, maybe a little nerdy, just unsure of themself that turns into this confident killer ... the other side of that coin is that jock, jerk guy who comes in and, all of a sudden, is ground down to actually a respectable human being. For example, Matt Secor.
Dustin: He's actually competing in the upcoming middleweight CJJ out of EBI.
Sloan Clymer: Okay, gotcha.
Dustin: He's from my side. My school's on the east coast. But when I joined jiu jitsu, I think he had just gotten his purple belt. But he was still like ... I talk about Matt being a jerk so much.
Jeff: It's okay. He's been on the damn podcast and we called him a jerk on the podcast, so it's okay.
Dustin: But he became like this respectable, really awesome human being who like now runs his own school and teaches kids and does a lot of stuff for the community. He's still a jerk, you'll never grind that out of him. But jiu jitsu made his this really good guy. And he might not have found that before that, which is really intense to see.
Sloan Clymer: I kind of even feel that way about myself a little. Like I said, when I was younger just being around the wrong people, you are who you hang out with. So like, it's not that I was necessarily naturally that way, but I was hanging out with punks, so I kind of naturally became a punk myself. I was a little prick.
Jeff: Yeah, amen.
Sloan Clymer: But slowly but surely, I've been humbled by jiu jitsu a million times. I've been beat up by guys half my size. And not only jiu jitsu, but boxing too, and muay thai and everything. And slowly but surely, I got humbled and became a respectable human being that ... I'm a lot different than what I used to be.
Dustin: Quick question. How many cups of coffee do you drink in a day?
Sloan Clymer: Let's see ... okay, let me count for you.
Dustin: I like this. Good answer.
Sloan Clymer: I had two this morning before I left the house. And I had two more at the gym. And then I had a half cup right before I came here. So like four and a half cups of coffee.
Dustin: Is that pretty usual for you?
Sloan Clymer: Yeah, it's pretty usual.
Dustin: I see Steve drink a lot, too. He asks for a lot of coffee.
Sloan Clymer: Yes, Stephen drinks a lot of coffee, dude.
Dustin: He's got like kids and shit.
Sloan Clymer: Uh-huh. Yeah, he's got kids. He's up early and he stays up late.
Jeff: Yeah, you need the caffeine.
Sloan Clymer: Yeah, dude. And honestly, I probably drink too much, but I can't help it, dude. It's so fucking good.
Jeff: I've never found the limit where it's too much. I've done this, but I still don't think that's too much.
Dustin: I knew when I drink too much 'cause I start getting migraines. And it happens slowly where it's like-
Jeff: Just drink another cup and it'll go away.
Dustin: It doesn't work like that for me, Jeff. All right Jeff, you ask the questions.
Jeff: All right. Every single episode, we ask this question. For someone in your position who you enjoy competing, you're now a teacher, you're imparting your knowledge on other people, you're still training hard every day, multiple times a day. What fuels you to keep doing it? What fuels you to keep going out there?
Sloan Clymer: Well, it's funny. People will say to me, like family and friends will be like, "You're so disciplined, you're so disciplined." I'm not disciplined at all, okay. I'm one of the least disciplined people I know. I'm obsessed with it. I'm just obsessed with it, that's all it is. I'm addicted to it. And if it wasn't this, I'd be fucking addicted to something else and probably be in trouble for it.
I'm just addicted to it. I can't explain it. I just ... I fucking love it, man. It drives me to keep going. It's like I need it. If I don't have it, I don't feel like myself. That's the only way to put it really-
Jeff: That's a great answer.
Sloan Clymer: It's simple as that.
Dustin: You knew as soon as he was done asking the question. You're like, "I'm obsessed."
Sloan Clymer: Oh yeah, I'm just obsessed with it. It's a very simple answer. If I don't do jiu jitsu for a few days ... man, it fucks with my head.
Jeff: Yeah. I think that's good for anything in life. If you love something, obviously go and do it. But if you really love it, lose yourself in it. Become obsessed with it. You're only gonna get better, you're only gonna love it more. Your life is only gonna be better because of it.
Sloan Clymer: Exactly.
Dustin: I always liked the saying from Miyamoto Musashi, "In knowing one thing, know ten thousand."
Jeff: Know ten thousand.
Sloan Clymer: Yes, exactly.
Dustin: And what was the Foot Clan from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?
Jeff: Every journey starts with a single step.
Dustin: Oh yeah, that's it.
Jeff: It's tattooed on my foot.
Dustin: Or Charles Bukowski, I think his name is. What's that saying? "If you love something, let it kill you," or something like that. "Find something you love and let it kill you."
Sloan Clymer: It's true, man. Just fucking absorb yourself in it. I'm all banged up, dude. I've got injuries all over my body, I wake up hurting every day, but I love it. It's just part of my life. I keep training, I train through injuries. I probably shouldn't. And the older I get, I'm probably gonna have arthritis and I'm gonna banged up-
Dustin: I think about that all the time.
Sloan Clymer: I have joints that just ache every day, but I don't care, dude. I love it. It's my life, man.
Dustin: So, you got that nice west coast marijuana to get your through.
Sloan Clymer: God damn right I do.
Dustin: I think you'll be all right.
Dustin: So, if our listeners want to follow your journey-
Jeff: Through social media. What's the best way to find you?
Sloan Clymer: Just Sloan Clymer on Instagram.
Jeff: Let me put that right in this episode.
Sloan Clymer: That's S-L-O-A-N-C-L-Y-M-E-R. And Sloan Clymer on Facebook.
Liz Carmouche: Oh, thank you.
Dustin: This is so cool. Thanks for letting me participate in your class. I can't believe I'm saying thank you for that. I barely made it. Actually, I didn't quite make it.
Jeff: Nope, you didn't, but you did well. You did a good job.
Dustin: That's cool. So you're teaching here at Powai, but you have other locations that you're teaching at. You have all these schools that you're I guess cultivating at this point. Can you talk about that a little bit?
Liz Carmouche: Yeah, absolutely. I've been fortunate that I have a business partner and that Eddie Bravo has been gracious enough to share some of the talent that he's put out there with the black belts and as a result, we've been able to kind of do a pairing with MMA and jujitsu and Muay Thai and just integrate all of it into one at different locations. So as a result we have Richie and Gile and they just breed great talent. They're able to just make this really strong competition team. As a result we have these really talented guys that are up and coming and people that just, they want to make a career and make a life out of it. They love it so much and they're so grateful for everything they've learned that they want to go and they want to teach other people. So as a result we're able to open up multiple locations and take over San Diego County.
Dustin: Yeah, Richie-
Jeff: How many locations in total?
Liz Carmouche: Four locations in total now.
Jeff: That's so awesome. So you teach at all four locations?
Liz Carmouche: No, primarily just at the Powai location. But I just bounce between more than one and checking in and training at the other locations.
Jeff: Wow, that's great. I mean not only being able to train as much as you do and compete as much as you do, but from the teaching side of it that's got to be a lot more rewarding I would think, right?
Liz Carmouche: Absolutely. One, because you get to see all different parts of San Diego county. Before we were just in Mission Valley so you only kind of get to see the people that are there and their goals but the more that we branch out into the county we get to see all different people from all walks of life, from all experience levels, from people that've never even worked out a day in their life, to other people who are really looking to compete and then want to follow a professional career. So we get to go to all these different locations, different personalities, different inputs from everything and it just makes people that are participating in all of it, they can go to every location and get like, okay, well they're smaller so maybe that's good for me or they're longer, this is good. You get all these different experiences for the same move but from a different perspective. So it's great for not only for us competitors but also for the members that are coming in and wanna learn something new.
Jeff: Yeah, how much do you teach a week?
Liz Carmouche: I teach six days a week. So Monday through Saturday.
Jeff: And I would assume you train six days a week?
Liz Carmouche: I also train six days, six or seven days a week.
Jeff: Do you sleep?
Liz Carmouche: That's what death wish is for, I don't sleep.
Jeff: End scene, et cetera. You knocked that one of the park, I love it, I love it.
Dustin: Jeff, no more set ups.
Jeff: Okay, okay, I'm done, I'm done.
Dustin: No more [inaudible] balls.
Jeff: I'm done, I'm done, I'm done.
Jeff: I also wanna talk about since we've talked to you, which we had you on last season that was an amazing time and we got to talk about your career and one of the things we talked about was how you were really championing the idea of being able to fight at the weight that you're comfortable in and we even said you said it on the air you were like, "If this ever happens you're gonna become a killer and it's gonna be amazing." And it just happened, you just fought at that weight and you crushed, it was so exciting, by the way, so exciting to watch that.
Is it vindicating now that that is now in the sport and you can fight at that weight?
Liz Carmouche: Yeah you know I really wish that it had come so much earlier in my career just because I spent eight years of my career fighting in a weight class that I didn't belong in, ten pounds up, and I mean I had great opportunities I would never take that back because we probably wouldn't be where we're at today as far as females in the UFC, but now it's just wonderful because I know that not only am I competing against women that are actually in a proper weight class, not like before where I'm like, "Oh I'm still 135 and you look like you're about 160." Now it's like, "Oh 125 to 125." Maybe they go up to 135 but that's not a big deal I'm not really worried about that. But we're competing against people on the same level and that's so nice. Not only that but I feel better at 125.
Liz Carmouche: I actually have to do weight cut which is different for me but also when I go into the cage I just feel lighter, I feel faster, I feel healthy. At 135 I didn't realize at the time that I felt sluggish. I didn't realize until I actually went to 125. Now I can see the difference like I really shouldn't have been going at 135. 125 is perfect.
Dustin: So your weight cut must not be that intense, then.
Liz Carmouche: No, not that intense, but-
Dustin: A little bit?
Liz Carmouche: I say a little bit because I've never cut weight before but anybody watching would be like, "Oh you make it look so easy." And it's definitely fine. So I wouldn't say it's intense in that I just make sure the moment I get that call for the fight I'm cleaning up my diet. So as before where I'll be like, "Oh it's ten o'clock at night and I'm craving ice cream. Well I'm gonna have some ice cream." You know? But when that fight came I'm like, no, I get one day of ice cream and that's it and I have one cheat meal a week. And that's a huge difference.
At 135 I had biscoff every night and if I want to cheat and have some food here I could. I still maintained a clean diet but with like I could enjoy this and not be concerned with it. At 125 it's like oh no, you're strict on it which is a huge difference whereas like three months out is one cheat meal every week, one month out nothing. At 135 I was like I had a cheat weekend and a cheat meal during the week and in two months out I had a cheat day and then one month out I had a cheat meal. That's a huge difference so I'd say it's more intense in that way but healthy I just feel so much better.
Dustin: Do you think that's what's making you faster and more efficient at this weight class is more of a clean diet, not because you're necessarily lighter?
Liz Carmouche: I think it's a little bit of both. I think at 135 I was just holding on to too much mass which just makes you slower, it makes you fatigued and then also I was still eating clean it was just I'd take an entire week and enjoy myself and that's definitely a huge difference that I've noticed too is I feel so much more clean and I think that is absolutely contributing into being faster and being healthier at 125.
Dustin: What's a cheat meal look like?
Liz Carmouche: Every week's different. Exactly, so I'll have cravings throughout the week. My biggest thing when it comes to cheat meals is 'cause I am a foodie, the deal is if I can make it it's not a cheat meal. I want to be able to go to a restaurant and pay for something that I can't make at home. The other issue is is that I'm like studying whatever it is I'm eating like, "Can I make this at home later?" And then I'll try the next week like, "I'm not gonna go out to eat I'm just gonna try to make it at home." So I guess the rule is I'm not gonna go to fast food because you can just purchase that and microwave it, right?
Liz Carmouche: So I want something that's actually gonna take some intricate work, maybe some ingredients that I don't have. So for me usually I'm craving steak and potatoes. I'm just a good ol' Irish girl, steak and potatoes in that way. But it'll vary. Usually if it has garlic, it has steak, and it has a carb I'm happy. I'm pretty content with my cheat meal.
Jeff: That's awesome.
Dustin: Do you have to completely cut out carbs to make like 125?
Liz Carmouche: No, not at all.
Dustin: No? Okay, cool.
Liz Carmouche: No, no I exercise so much and just my resting metabolism I think I burn almost 2000 calories just resting, so when you add in all the working out there's no way. If I took out carbs I'd probably just be bone. There'd be nothing on me.
Dustin: Well that's, I tried to do that once where I was doing a lot of strength and conditioning and then I've done ketogenic diets before a few times and I was like, "Let me try it out with the strength and conditioning." And I think it was like two, three weeks in I hit a rock bottom real hard and carbohydrates are really important to like keep that endurance up and keep you not only feeling good but you are able to perform at your peak performance over and over again which you really get to find out what you're made of at that point, you know, instead of trying to die on a diet at any point.
Liz Carmouche: And what's surprising is at 135 is actually where I tried to cut out carbs. That's when I was kind of like doing these drastic things like let me eat salads and I couldn't understand why I wasn't having fuel and my mind wasn't quite there and you know you'd think that well you should be doing those little tricks at 125 but what I found was the opposite. I wasn't eating enough, I wasn't giving my body the nutrients it needed to get through all the workouts so before I'm like, "Oh I have to work hard, I'm gonna have to work eight hours, train eight hours a day to make 135." 125 it's easy because I'm like I've already figured this out, I've already made all those mistakes before and the reality is as often as I train I eat carbs about four or five times a day.
Liz Carmouche: It's just small portions is what it comes down to.
Dustin: I wanna get back to talking about your school a little bit more. We've seen a lot of really awesome success come out of your 10th Planet schools. I mean we've seen you succeed, we've seen the Martinez brothers crush out there, Gio and Richie are just ... They're phenomenal. But also we've seen Ilima Lei Macfarlane whose just a killer out there. She looks good. Do you see anybody else up and coming out of your schools?
Liz Carmouche: Yeah absolutely, we have a lot. We're a huge competition school and it's not really that we push necessarily for competition it's just all of our instructors are just so actively competing and we always tell our students, "Just give it a try once. Just see if everything that you're learning in class if you can apply it under pressure." You don't have to make it a career, you don't have to go any further, just do it once. Just once just to see if you can still apply it and then what ends up happening is we just end up harboring this comradery of a competition school. So everybody wants to go out and then you go out, when we got to competitions it's not like oh it's just two people competing. We have 30 to 90 people competing and we go out we just mob everything and take over.
So every time you look around they're like, "I hope Tim Planos isn't here." I'm like, "Oh sorry we're a little bit late." And they're like, "Oh are you kidding me? Did you have to bring everybody?" And we're like, "Two of those people are just watching, they're not competing, they're injured it's fine."
Dustin: Oh my God.
Liz Carmouche: And so when you have that type of environment where it's just one person encouraging another, sharpening each other, making sure they're better it just goes to show that we just start putting out more and more talent.
Dustin: It sounds like it builds a really great comradery.
Liz Carmouche: It does, like we have so many kids where the parents like, "Look we don't want to compete." This is where I'm thinking like, "Hey, absolutely they don't have to compete but we're gonna warn you right now they're gonna go with all these other kids and they do complete." They're like, "No, they won't want to." It's like a month later you're like, "Okay, so I guess we're signing up for a Jiu Jitsu tournament." It's just one of those things where you just, you wanna see, they'll look around like, "Well that persons competing, well that person's doing this and look how they're a step ahead of me." So it just makes it, "Well maybe if I compete I'll go to the next level and I'll be able to be better." If nothing else just applying it live in the school. So before you know it almost every single person that walks through the gym ends up competing at one point or another.
Dustin: That's intense and I've been to a lot of Jiu Jitsu schools and I haven't really seen that before and I think that breeds success.
Liz Carmouche: It does.
Dustin: All around because not only are you yourself competing but the people around you are competing and you're all learning new things and you're teaching each other and I mean we're seeing the fruits of your labor at this point because we're seeing all these successes coming out of your gym. Is that what you can chalk it up do is all this competition?
Liz Carmouche: Yeah absolutely, I mean one of the greatest examples is Ilima [inaudible] we all just got done competing, right? Mine was just a month ago and so I'm like, "Okay I can kind of chill." 'Cause I have my reception going on at the end of the month, the wedding going on at the end of the month so I'm like, "Oh I can just kind of chill into it." Don't want to be the fat body going into it. But I can just relax 'cause I already let the UFC know nothing competition wise, we're not gonna start anything until after it. But of course I'm back in there because somebody else has a fight so I'm making sure that I'm making improvements to help them get ready.
That's what ends up happening is somebody else is like, "Well I wanna help my teammate out. Even if I don't want to compete, I want to be better for them because I want to see them succeed." And that's what ends up happening is everybody builds these friendships and these families and they want to see the success of everybody that they start competing just to help somebody else out.
Dustin: That's so cool.
Jeff: I really hope that this mentality influences other schools, because like you said, I'm a fan of this. I watch him and I learn everything from him you know, and I've heard him talk about his school that he used to go to and it was virtually nobody competing, you know? I feel like not even from a competition standpoint but you guys are a family unit at this point and I think that's like a well-oiled machine of a school. I think other schools should really look at that and take from that.
Do you think that's gonna happen? Do you think you're gonna influence?
Liz Carmouche: You know I would hope so, but I think there's a few things that come into it. One of the things that's different about our school is we kind of fall under the 10th Planet ABI rules. So when we're competing it's not for like the point system that you'll see other schools do. That kind of harbors a more competitive nature because you're going in for a finish, you're not going in just to play points. So when people see that they want to work that much harder to be able to complete that and to be able to perform in that same way, so we harbor more competitive people.
The other thing being is just the way that we go out there. It's just we are always facilitating bringing people in. We're a lot more welcoming and we don't charge people. Like our competitors, we aren't charging them extra. Like, "Oh let me hold past here, let me help you with this." It's like, "Hey I care about you, and I have a skill set that you don't have, let me help you." Other schools don't. It's all about the profit, it's all about making money.
So as a result you don't have a high competition school because you're like, "Well they're just gonna charge me if I try and ask for help." And we're not one of those schools. There's another school that I've been to and we're like, "Okay, will you show us this? How do you escape that?" They're like, "100 bucks I'll show you how to escape that."
Dustin: That's so insane.
Liz Carmouche: That's actually pretty common when you go to other schools and we're not, we're like, "Okay yeah I can show you that." And of course you know like we also have to make money, but it really comes to us wanting to help each other. When I have a student that's hungry and they really want to learn something, even if they don't want to compete and they're like, "Can you teach me, I want to understand that more?" Before I know I'm like, "I just killed an hour of my time, what am I doing? I didn't have to help you out." It's just we want to help our students, we want to see them succeed and so we do everything in our nature to try and do that and just watch for their success.
And other schools may not have that same thing. I can't speak to them but I feel like that's probably what is it is it's more about money or they just don't have the energy or the time to be able to give it to their students.
Jeff: I think that's important is what you're doing because I mean take it from any teacher's standpoint. You're sitting in history class and you're learning about World War II and it's like, "Well I want to learn more about you know what happened at the end of the war." Well, if you pay 50 dollars I'll tell you who won. And it's like, "Why do I have to wait for this?"
I think knowledge should be, like you said, if you're hungry, knowledge should be readily accessible for that and I think that's commendable for sure. Speaking of competition though, we talked about this before we started recording. I want to talk about this, and I'm gonna get it wrong, but what you're about to do which is a team competition?
Liz Carmouche: Yes.
Jeff: Can you explain a little bit about that 'cause it seemed really interesting.
Liz Carmouche: Yeah, so I'm still learning about it, so this is the first time in ... Always growing up I was always involved in team sports. I mean there's very ... One, the school that I went to, I lived on a small island in Okinawa so there just wasn't a lot available as far as individual sports. Just plan and simple. So of course I'm just a competitive athletic person, so if that means being on a team and I have to kind of, "Oh, okay well everybody's not pulling their weight." I'd rather participate in a sport than not. So all throughout my career I always felt like I would give everything I had for it and never be on the winning team, no matter how much effort I put in, how much I busted my butt running as fast as I could, going for everything I do, I could score as many goals, defend as many goals, do whatever, it didn't matter we always lost the game.
So leaving high school I'm like, "You know what? I'm never doing that again. I'm so sick and tired of team sports and putting in all this effort. That I'm gonna go into individual sports." Which is kind of what drew me to MMA. It is a team sport, you can't spar yourself, you can't train with yourself you have to have somebody but at the end of the day when you go into the cage you're competing only with yourself and against that other person. So it's gonna be that first time where I have to go into a team sport where it's all about the whole, all the points, all the submissions of one team, going against everybody else.
But I'm fortunate that I'm going ... My team is like, "Okay, the greatest guys we have out there." We're going with Richie, with Gio, so we're going ... Exactly. So it's like, "Oh okay, well I'm the little brown belt amongst all the black belts going into this and even the females that are competing are all black belts. But the good thing is is I compete against black belts all the time. I have them at my aid to make me a better competitor so I'm looking forward to that being challenging because I don't get to compete against many black belts in Jiu Jitsu.
Jeff: Right, and this is just a straight Jiu Jitsu-
Liz Carmouche: Straight Jiu Jitsu.
Liz Carmouche: Yeah, so this'll be one of the first times I'll actually get to compete against them. Usually it's against fellow brown belts or, and you know you want to, but this is a good chance for me to challenge myself in a new team environment where I get to be right next to them. Usually I'm watching Gio and Richie on TV or watching them on fight pass like, "Go guys, you've got this." Or I'm out in the stands like, "You can't hear me but just keep passing." So for the first time we were like, "Hey, yeah, good job." We were right there. I'm like, "Oh my turn, okay yeah."
Dustin: Oh no, is that more pressure for you?
Liz Carmouche: Yeah of course it's more pressure. One, I'm the only brown belt on the team. Everybody else is black belt, so there comes with the pressure there, you want to make sure that you're delivering the same performance and skill level as the people there before you. Which, of course, I'm not at their level but that's where I'm striving to be. This is a good opportunity to show that that's what I'm working towards.
Dustin: That's so cool.
Jeff: Does everybody on the team fight the same amount or is it like an elimination or ...
Liz Carmouche: So I think, I want to say that it's I mean a little bit more into it ...
Dustin: It's a pile of people.
Liz Carmouche: I mean that's-
Dustin: It's like Russia, they just do anything.
Liz Carmouche: It's like team MMA, everybody just fights each other and bracers hold somebody, kicking the other person.
Jeff: That's crazy.
Liz Carmouche: That would look so awesome. That would be so much fun.
Jeff: Would you do it?
Liz Carmouche: Oh I would absolutely do it, are you kidding?
Now let me just clarify. With my team and with the UFC let me probably not. Would I do it? Oh in a heartbeat. That looks like so much fun.
Dustin: I don't know about that, but ...
Jeff: But that isn't what this competition is.
Liz Carmouche: No no no, this is actually the same format as the normal Jiu Jitsu tournament in that you're gonna be one competitor against another. Submission wins go on EBI rules so you go into overtime. That's what bases each one. So each team can collect points at the end of it you culminate how many submissions, how many overtime passes, et cetera, to get your actually group winner.
Dustin: Do you know the other teams that you'll be competing against?
Liz Carmouche: I don't. I do know that all the other women are black belts and for the women it's 205 and below. So there's a possibility that yet again I'm back into being the tiny person amongst all bigger girls but honestly like I compete against heavy weight. Jiu Jitsu it's supposed to be about no matter the size that you can apply it to somebody that's larger or smaller than you. In practice all the time I'm going against heavier people so it won't be a big deal, but it'll still be interesting. It's the first time I get to go against other black belts in a competition which is gonna be great. Other than MMA, I mean it happens in MMA but it's not the same. The whole dynamics are completely different.
Dustin: I mean you see black belts all the time in MMA and sometimes they don't, it doesn't help them at all.
Liz Carmouche: No, yeah, and I have seen plenty of that where somebody is like fourth degree black belt they go in they're like, "They're gonna be so [inaudible]" You're like, "How did that person just, I don't understand." And it's different. When there's punches and there's elbows involved and that's the threat, you're willing to give up a position that you would never do in Jiu Jitsu because the risk is like well I could get elbowed and cut in the face. Do I really want to do that? No, then go ahead and pass, it's fine.
Dustin: I think I heard a saying once. Punch a black belt in the face and he turns into a blue belt. Something like that.
Liz Carmouche: So every punch. So punch a black belt in the face it becomes a brown belt. Punch him again he becomes purple and so on and so forth.
Dustin: Okay, so five punches we're good.
Liz Carmouche: Good, yeah we're golden. Even terms, let's go.
Dustin: Yeah, that's so cool.
Jeff: This might be a really naïve question.
Dustin: I love these. Go for it.
Jeff: Will this be televised? Will people be able to watch this?
Liz Carmouche: Yeah, so it's supposed to be on I want to say FloGrappling.
Dustin: Yeah they do a lot of stuff.
Jeff: I'm sure you'll be posting about it.
Liz Carmouche: Yeah, absolutely.
Jeff: We'll be re-sharing as well so that'll be good. That sounds really exciting. Do you think after doing this for the first time do you think you'll do more of it?
Liz Carmouche: Yeah absolutely. I mean I'm always looking to compete in Jiu Jitsu. Every time that I compete though I have to get permission from the UFC. So that's always the thing. And I totally understand.
Jeff: Is that tough?
Liz Carmouche: It can be difficult. So the deal with the UFC is they want one that they want it to be usually ranking activities. So usually IBJJF tournaments.
Liz Carmouche: Which for me personally I hate IBJJF because it's just points and you'll see people that like they pass your guard they stand back up. Pass your guard. And to me like if you're going in there to show you skillset as a competitor in Jiu Jitsu, show that you can submit somebody. It shouldn't be like I got amount and I just stand back and run away. Like all that you showed is that you can sit down and stand up a lot. That doesn't really show anything. That's not Jiu Jitsu.
So I like the format for EBI where it's all about submission, it's not about points. You either submit or you don't submit, end of story. You either escape the submission or you don't. That to me is a lot more appealing and that's more to the nature of who I am, so even with those like they're good on those types of competitions but I always have to get permission and sometimes I get shut down. I want to do after an injury a few years ago I'm like, "Can I just do Alola Naga or Grappling just to get back into the temple of competing? It's been over a year." And you're like, "No, sorry." I'm like, "Wait, what?"
And I understand because if you get submitted in Naga, anybody can enter into it.
Dustin: It must've happened a few times before they [crosstalk].
Liz Carmouche: And when you go for something like IBJJF you have to be, it has to be another purple belt. Or something along those lines or somebody that has the skillset in the same sense if it's an invitational only tournament then it's other top competitors. So if you're losing it's probably to somebody that's a high level competitor. So I can understand that it takes from the quality of the UFC but it makes it difficult for those of us who are just trying to just get back into the flow of competing again.
Dustin: Yeah. What about EBI they must be more open to that because EBI is tied to-
Liz Carmouche: Yeah I was totally set to do this last EBI and I was like, "Another history making, yes." In for it, super excited and then I got a call from the UFC like two weeks out from the competition, I'd been training for months for it. Like, "Hey, we got you for fight." Well, my priority always goes to that.
Dustin: At least the training isn't in vain, right?
Liz Carmouche: Exactly, yeah, and it definitely helped. I felt like, yeah, absolutely going into it I definitely felt like my Jiu Jitsu is a lot stronger and I felt more comfortable with it, but of course when you're looking towards one goal, the girls were scared of me I was so excited for it 'cause a few of them that heard like this'll be they're like, "Yeah we're not gonna do the tournament, we're out now." So I was like, "Yes, I'm in their heads, I totally have this."
And it's just like I said it's about competing. It's all these other girls in this format. This was all gonna be 10th Planet girls for the most part they're gonna be competing at the high level ones I'm like yes, I get to really see against another 10th Planet. Sometimes I'll go against more orthodox girls and the styles are completely different so you kind of have an idea of which strengths and what weaknesses you've got to your advantage. When it's 10th Planet to 10th Planet you're like this is really about whose faster, whose stronger and who really knows the material.
So I was really looking forward to testing myself against the other girls. I was a little bit bummed to not participate in that one.
Dustin: How much of your style is 10th Planet, 'cause it's a little bit of a wacky style and you may not have started in 10th Planet and that rubber guard to mission control zombie apocalypse I don't remember the details of all of it.
Liz Carmouche: That was actually pretty good, that was impressive, yeah. Yeah it's a mixture. I'm more and more ... I would say in Jiu Jitsu when it comes to swapping styles, because I did, I came up for years in traditional and even that one of our coaches that was our Jiu Jitsu coach also competed MMA. So what he would drill into during Jiu Jitsu he'd be right back in MMA practice saying the same thing so it was drilled in and it was just so engraved that some things are just innate to me that I can't even stop it. I'm like, "Stop doing that it's so bad you don't need to do it anymore." I'm like, "Go to 10th Planet. Go to 10th Planet."
So there's certain things that it's just natural where I automatically instinctually go to what I learned as orthodox Jiu Jitsu and then other things that I'm like, "Yeah, look at that, I'm just in sync with the 10th Planet, it's paying off." So I'd say right now it's about 50/50.
Dustin: Interesting. Well I think we're seeing a lot of the Eddie Bravo 10th Planet system. I can't tell if like the moves are really like crushing people or it's just something that they haven't seen before and they don't know how to deal with it. Do you have an opinion on that?
Liz Carmouche: I think it's a little bit of both. I think one, when it comes to traditional Jiu Jitsu it's been taught since Jiu Jitsu began. Here you have this new style that only started really occurring since MMA became popular and it was designed specifically for MMA. So for those of us that compete in it, we actually have a Jiu Jitsu design just for that. Completely unique from anything else. And also it's just one, they put some cool names out, like you said zombie, New Jersey, New York, things that you can remember as opposed to swim underneath, step four and you're like, "That ... I already forgot."
So that just helps facilitate. You get cool names for it, it looks super cool, and it's just it's different so that it just ties in and I felt like a lot of stuff in traditional Jiu Jitsu when you got into positions it required flexibility whereas 10th Planet it's about angles. Like oh you can't necessarily be ... 'Cause trust me, I'm like the least flexible person in the system. Touch my toes, not happening. So when they're like, "Get in this position." I couldn't do that traditional Jiu Jitsu, there's no way I can't do that. You're like, "No no, it's just about this angle." And they do it. I'm like, "Wait, what? I can do it, oh my God there's no way." Like rubber guard was never something I got into before 'cause I thought it required flexibility. Instead it was just angles. That's all it was. I'm like, "Yeah, rubber guard all day long, okay."
Dustin: Have you ever seen rubber guard, Jeff?
Jeff: You showed it to me.
Dustin: Yeah, it's ...
Liz Carmouche: It's like wrap yourself up in a pretzel, put your legs over your own head, basically rubber guard.
Dustin: Which is like totally up my alley, I can deal with flexibility, but ...
Liz Carmouche: No, I can't touch my toes, so that's definitely not up my alley.
Dustin: But you have no problem doing rubber guard and all that jazz, that's so cool.
Liz Carmouche: Yeah and like for instance I spent I don't know how many years trying to get the darce, right? So all these years and I was just convinced like oh my arms, I'm just too girthy, I just can't possibly get the darce, there's no way. Never ever ever. We drill in 10th Planet like I can get it, I don't feel like I'm good at it just because in my mind all those years doing traditional Jitsu never able to get a darce I'm like, "There's no way I'm gonna get it." Fast forward. About two years ago and I go into a competition, I won every single match by darce. After having never, I'm like, "This is happened again?" I'm looking at my coaches, they're like, "Are you sure?" I had never even landed that in practice, how am I landing in competition?
That just goes that like the muscle memory and the drilling that we do in 10th Planet just sensationally comes through. Everything I thought I couldn't do they've proven to me that I'm completely wrong. All these things like I can't get that I'm not flexible, like hold on a second just let me show you. I'm like, " Okay yeah I can do that."
Dustin: Well the [inaudible] for 10th Planet seems really intense now, just ... Which is really cool, it's very flowy, there's a lot of moved in between, does that help you out a lot, too?
Liz Carmouche: Yeah absolutely because things that they do it's just what's considered a warm up. Just basic white belt, which if you're coming into the system, we're like, "That's just a warm up?" Are you kidding me, that's, I thought that was the entire class. I'm in so much trouble. Just the basic warm ups instinctually build that muscle memory for just things of just getting out of something, getting into something whereas before it's like okay, this is the move you're taught for the entire class. That's just the warm up on how to build your body to have a memory for things that are going on. Which just helps it that much more. It makes 10th Planet so much better than others.
Dustin: Wow that's so cool. Do you have anything, any plans coming up for your MMA fights with the UFC or are you starting to align stuff up, what's that look like for you?
Liz Carmouche: So I let them know as soon as I get out of the fight, like hey I'm ready please give me a fight. But one of the things I know when they give me permission to to compete outside that probably means I'm gonna wait. My guess is that everything's weighing on the Chipchenko fight and the results of that one will put me in running for a contending spot.
Dustin: That's so exciting. You're gonna crush, I know.
Liz Carmouche: I'm so stoked for it.
Dustin: I see it in you, you've got the hunger, it's so awesome and I mean how much longer do you think you have in the UFC and MMA and stuff like that? How much longer do you plan to compete for?
Liz Carmouche: Until I get that belt.
Liz Carmouche: That's what I'm gunning for.
Dustin: Well do you get the belt and just leave?
Liz Carmouche: I mean that's always a possibility, no.
Jeff: Just run out the door like ...
Liz Carmouche: Got it, thank you, now I'm out. Ha ha, jokes on you. No, honestly my goal has always been for the belt. Once I actually started competing and I thought that, wait a second I can actually do this, that's all I'm looking for is to be able to achieve it 'cause once you're number one you're number one. Maybe you lose, whatever, but you've reached that point and that's what I'm looking for is to always compete against the best in the world which is why I've stayed in the UFC.
I could go to other fighter organizations but I wanna go and test myself against the best. You know if you're going against number one and you beat them then you've been doing due diligence and you're number one as opposed to where I'm like, "Oh I could fight in a local show against somebody that has a year of training." Yet you should beat them. Absolutely. If I don't beat them then that's pretty embarrassing. So I wanna be in an organization where I'm challenged every single time I go in there which means I'm gonna keep fighting in the UFC until my body just doesn't let me anymore.
Dustin: That's so cool. I can't wait to see what's coming up.
Jeff: Me too and I'm at the training and the teaching side, there's no end in sight for that. Where do you see that going in the next couple of years?
Liz Carmouche: You know, Powai was kind of my little baby and branching out and trying to build up my own school because I have my business partner and we have the other locations but this is just my own little baby that I'm trying to build up and my goal is to eventually down the road to just make this a bigger facility and to really start breaching out into the rest of the community and start really doing community outreach and connection with the schools because I know before when I was in Mission Gorge one of the things I established is we were doing like low income families doing little projects for them so that they could still be sponsored to be able to come in and train at the gym for the families that couldn't do it, but the rule was is like we're gonna monitor your grades, we're gonna check in with your school, check in with your parents, and I really want to build this back up and also do that with the community here with a military personnel.
Because I know for myself when I got out I was for over a year looking for a job. Not only when I was in, but when I got out, to no success. That just makes you ... If you're set on, "I wanna get out of the military and I wanna follow my dreams." And you get out and you're like, pop pop pop, one dream after another is going away, it leads a lot of vets to be depressed and that's when you see them commit suicide or they go back in, not because that's where their heart is in or they want to, but because the safety net they know is there and they're like, "Okay, well I'm not gonna try and really branch out." You see those vets are going back in, they're unhappy, they do the same thing. They end up committing suicide when they're in or just spending a lifetime and they're unhappy.
So I really want to do some community outreach for the youth that we have and then also for the vets to show them that you can pursue your dreams, find a home, find a place for you in the avenue that like we find a lot of vets and we'll be able to connect with them and if nothing else I'm like, "Okay, you are looking for a job that's your strength, cool, I know somebody over here." If nothing else for networking to help them, but really to get them in so they have a focal point an they have a place to be able to vent and to be able to hit things and do some of the similar things that they did in the military without any repercussions for their actions.
So hopefully that's where I'm going down the road, is to be able to do more community outreach and integrate that into this.
Dustin: That's so cool.
Jeff: That's incredibly inspiring, it really is and I wish absolutely the best for you because I think like ... I think there needs more of that in the world for sure. And between that and how exciting it is to follow you through your career, personally speaking it feels great to just be able to give you a little bit of caffeination and help you out with that because-
Liz Carmouche: More than a little.
Dustin: How much coffee do you drink in a day?
Liz Carmouche: Well like I said, I do my french press so you know, I don't really read instructions and the warning label I just flipped in the other direction. So if it says, yeah, exactly, it's pretty much mud is what I made every morning. I don't really read it. So it's mud in the morning, mud in the afternoon, then one more mud at night. That usually sets me throughout the day.
Jeff: Oh my gosh.
Dustin: I want to go off the beaten path just a little bit. I see you posting a lot about CBD oil and I'm curious about how that helps you through training I hear a lot about it through like helping inflammation and stuff like that and recovery. Does that help you a lot?
Liz Carmouche: It helps so much. So one of the things just you experience with a lot of vets. One, we're beat up from everything that we're doing when in the military and the other thing is most of us struggle with sleep, we have usual social anxiety, depression, all these things, and CBD is one of those things. It's more natural that helps you. So for sleep I really hate putting stuff in my body that's unnatural, right, so like oh okay, I'm banged up from practice and I'm swollen. Let me put Ibuprofen. Let's putt 1600 milligrams in 'cause that's what the military tells you. Just more Motrin Ibuprofen. The dosage as high as I was getting is I was taking it each go every four hours 1600 milligrams of Ibuprofen which is just destructive for your liver.
Dustin: And that causes inflammation itself.
Liz Carmouche: And it does.
Dustin: Nsaids are not good for you.
Liz Carmouche: No, not at all, right? So I'm like, man, I don't want to do this, I don't want to put this in my body it's not good. But cutting that out it only comes with other issues, so I was like, "Okay, what can I find?" Few people suggested CBD and I was like, "I don't ..."
Dustin: So much stigma behind it, right?
Liz Carmouche: Yeah there really is, 'cause most people think that I'm gonna get high if I do CBD. I was certainly one of those people where I'm like, "No, I'm good. That's not my thing." Like no, trust me, I'm like, "Yeah, not so much, I'm good."
Dustin: I'm not with those Martinez brothers. Now we're getting into trouble.
Liz Carmouche: Hanging out with 10th Planet, right? But what really took was that there was like a week where we had a heatwave and I was just almost barely sleeping for an entire week so I was in zombie mode, I could barely stay up, it was just not going good and it was like, "Look just try CBD, just give it a go." Passed out solidly throughout the night, good eight hours, woke up I'm like, "Oh my God I finally slept."
And then as I noticed I started using it more I'm like, "Oh wait a second, this doesn't hurt and that doesn't hurt and I'm going out in public and I'm not having these issues with people, it's not bothering me as much and depression wise it helps that." So it's just helping in so many ways and then when I really connected with HempMeds that's when I found the full extent of it. 'Cause I tried and I'm like, "I kind of notice a little bit here and a little bit there." And HempMeds was the one where I took and like embarrassingly so conked out on my couch. I'm not a sleep on my couch person. My wife and I were both like, "Okay, we'll try it, sure it's just gonna make us ... " And we like passed out head to head, wake up at like three o'clock and we're like, "Did we just sleep there for six hours straight?" Like alright let's go back to bed. Oh, okay this stuff really works.
And every day, I had ... I got concussed really bad in practice and you can notice different things that come with it. Did some CBD, no headache, no nothing, next day it was completely fine. We flew to Montana and we ended up having a five AM flight so we had to get up at three o'clock in the morning. We were attending a wedding so we didn't sleep that night either. No sleep, of course I get home I have a horrible headache. CBD, before you know it like an hour later man I feel good. Oh yeah, I did CBD, no headache, no nothing, I feel great.
Dustin: I noticed when I landed we might have hit up a dispensary, I won't admit to anything.
Jeff: That's fine.
Dustin: But I picked up some CBD and I noticed that I wasn't so affected by the travel which is something I always am concerned about with MMA fighters 'cause they're traveling everywhere. Like when did they get there? Are they recovered? So I imagine CBD helps out a lot with that.
Liz Carmouche: It does and so the last few fights I've been using CBD and I had thought that I would have to cut it out because it does have cannabinoids and so when you do a test they don't differentiate between THC and CBD, exactly, it's just a pop. I was like, "I'm not getting high off this stuff." But they're not ... They haven't got so extensive with testing to be able to separate the two. So I knew I'm like, okay we'll have to cut out CBD and that means like cutting it out like two or three weeks and like I said, that was what was getting me to sleep through the night, that's what was helping with the inflammation through training so every fight I was noticing it.
Thankfully this last one HempMeds they have a THC free line, so I'm like, "Oh I hope it really is THC free." Didn't pop on the test, I was actually able to sleep fight week which is so great 'cause every other fight week like yeah, this week is horrible, I'm not sleeping, jet lagged from flying, all these things, I can't sleep because my body hurts because I have bangs up here from all the training camp, and it was great. It was golden for the whole thing going to this last fight.
Dustin: That's so cool. I definitely want to dig a little bit more into that, that's cool.
Liz Carmouche: You got to check it out.
Dustin: Yeah. And HempMeds, I will check that out. Very cool. Well Liz, we're really excited to see what's next for you.
Jeff: So much.
Dustin: That community outreach stuff, I can't wait to see how that turns out and we only wish the best for you and can't wait to see you crush someone at the UFC that's always great. I hope that Jiu Jitsu tournament is as awesome as it sounds and we'll be cheering you on the whole way. Thank you so much for having us here, it was an honor to be part of your classes and get smashed a little bit. I'm still sweating. Sorry I'm making this room so hot, it's totally my fault, but thank you so much for having us here. This was amazing.
Jeff: Yeah it was.
Liz Carmouche: Thank you for coming out. It was finally great to meet face to face.
Dustin: Yeah it's always better that way, right?
Jeff: Always, always.
Dustin: Cheers, thank you so much.
Jeff: Thank you.