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PPDC 51 | Commitment To Excellence

 

It’s not easy navigating through life with all the worldly distractions. Circumstances will test you. But in the end, it’s up to you to either stay down or get back up and fight another day. In this episode, Josh Burkman shares his commitment to excellence from an early age, eventually leading to MMA success and becoming a champion. He talks about how living a life of spirituality, meditation, and visualization can help you channel energy and conquer anything that gets your way to making your dreams a reality. So tune in and be inspired by his and The Dojo’s dedication to self-improvement and helping others be better versions of themselves.

Josh Burkman Shares His Commitment To Excellence From An Early Age, Eventually Leading To MMA Success And Becoming A Champion

In this episode, Josh Burkman, the classic, stereotypical stud muffin, a hunk of burning love, professional mixed martial artist ranked in the Top 10 UFC fighters in the world for ten straight years, shares his life of commitment to excellence. Beginning with his incredible career as an Allstate High School football and baseball player and champion wrestler and All-American running back in college led him into the MMA with 47 professional fights, 10 years in the UFC and 19 UFC fights. He gives us an inside glimpse into mindset and heartset of what it takes to be a champion in all aspects of life, physically, mentally, spiritually and especially as an amazing husband and father.

Josh and his wife co-own their martial arts and gymnastics facility while managing their nonprofit organization, Healing Hands, to help children within the community receive movement and breathwork training for physical, mental and emotional needs. You’ll want to read this amazing interview with Josh Burkman, velvet and steel, tender and tough, an unbelievably spiritually grounded family man who was one of the baddest fighters and toughest men on the planet.

Every episode, it seems that I say this is the greatest episode that I’ve ever recorded, the best interview I’ve ever had but most of the time, when we invite someone onto this show who is a true power player, they specialize in one aspect of life. They’re an extraordinary entrepreneur. They have vision, passion, creativity, imagination and innovation. They’ve made a gazillion dollars making money and they proved true that to be an entrepreneur, you don’t trade time for money. You trade ideas for money. There’s no such thing as a financial crisis, only an idea crisis. I just create income.

When you’re around me enough and you’ve heard me speak and you hear about my balance wheel, that life, I believe, is dissected into nine aspects of life. The common balance wheel started way back with Norman Vincent Peale and probably Napoleon Hill. I know my mentor, Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins, Brendon Burchard and Jim Rohn all have their balance wheel. Most of them dissected life in only six areas. They named them nouns, physical, mental, spiritual social, financial and family.

In my experiences, I took a step back and paused to analyze what life means to me and how to become the best version of myself. I decided there were nine aspects of life and I changed those titles from nouns to action verbs, physical fitness, continuous education, deeper spirituality, emotional stability, social networking, financial literacy, family togetherness, hobbies, fun and recreation and charitable giving.

Where on our planet have you ever met someone who understands and is dedicated to becoming the best version of himself in all nine aspects of life? I can’t list anyone until now. We have a gentleman by the name of Josh Burkman and I call him gentleman so he doesn’t leap over here and rip my lips off. You’ve read the formal introduction but what I want to dive into is not the mindset and heartset of a champion.

Josh was an all-state football and baseball player in high school and a champion wrestler. In college, he was an All-American running back at the collegiate level. He has had a lifetime commitment to excellence in all he does. I want to investigate the mindset, the heartset of a true champion, especially when you get to the resilience piece.

What kills me and blows my mind is how he allowed that commitment to excellence to lead him to become a mixed martial artist with 47 professional fights, 19 UFC fights and being ranked in the Top 10 UFC fighters in the world for 10 years. Yet he’s most proud of the fact that he’s an honorable husband and a devoted father with a baby girl to add to his two sons. We’re going to get into the philosophy and the unique psychology behind what you teach in your dojo to young men and women that supersedes any physical strength or skillset that might have to do with a single leg takedown, a left jab, an uppercut or any of the things that you are so famous for in the ring.

Thank you for that introduction. I’m humbled by it. I’m also grateful for the wisdom that you spoke about the six attributes and the nine. Where can I find those? Thanks for having me.

Let’s take you all the way back. I’m so curious about why someone thinks the way they think. At what stage in your life, growing up in your family, did you understand the significance of committing yourself to excellence in everything that you do?

It took me a lot of years to figure that out. It took me struggles at different points in my life to recommit me and understand those things. It was almost in my twenties, there was a level of that. In my thirties, there was a greater level of that. Even in my forties, I’m understanding a greater level of that. I was lucky enough to have parents and a father that pushed us into sports and said, “Commit to this. If you commit to this, then you’ll have physical health and it’ll give you so many other attributes.”

The reason that my dad did that for us is that he didn’t have an active father. He always promised that if he had kids that he would be active in their lives and give them everything that they possibly had. We had the best cleats and the best baseball bats, yet my dad was a mechanic wearing the same shoes for two years at a time. We didn’t have wealth but we always had what we needed. We didn’t know any different.

PPDC 51 | Commitment To Excellence

Commitment To Excellence: Always say your prayers. If you’re always by yourself and need any guidance, trust your relationships, and say your prayers.

 

I was lucky enough to be able to dive into sports. I loved being active and an athlete. What I realized is I had a lot of athletic ability but the more that I put into my training, the more that I put into my sport, the more that I got out of it. I realized that more and more, as I got older and older to where finally in college, I had to make a decision. I was like, “Baseball got me my scholarship but I want to be great at football. Football is what I want to do.”

That’s when I started to put in a little bit more effort where I wasn’t always the fastest kid on the football team in high school. When I got to college, I realized the more that I ran these sprints and the more that I do this, the better that I get. That was where I started to learn about the effort that you put into it, the more you get out of it. I had eight other good running backs at Dixie. I had a kid that transferred from Virginia. I had a kid from Las Vegas who was the Las Vegas player of the year. I was like, “There’s no way that I’m coming to Dixie and these kids are going to beat me out.” That took incredible physical effort for me but it’s not where I figured out the mental part of the game in life. It was first figuring out that physical stuff.

Let’s take you back before your twenties to high school. Your dad, in his wisdom, had the same wisdom as my dad. My dad was never an athlete. “If I can get my son involved in sports because of time management, instead of worrying about getting in trouble.” If you’re doing something positive, you won’t have time to do something negative. Maybe the motivation from a parent’s perspective was to see our natural intensity and our natural competitive drive, help us focus and put it in the right direction in a positive way because if it’s not positive, the only alternative we have is negative. Let’s take us back to that. Were you a natural athlete complacent with your natural abilities and let that take over as a football and baseball player and wrestler in high school?

Going back to your dad, my dad didn’t have his dad active in his life. My dad was on the streets a little bit more. He was in a little bit more trouble. He had to go a rougher way to figure out how to survive and my dad didn’t want that for us. He always wanted to play sports but he didn’t have a dad to walk him up, sign him up and even pay for him to be on the baseball team. My dad got us into sports so we weren’t getting in trouble dealing with this boyish aggression that we naturally had. We excelled in sports because we were good athletes.

I had an older brother. I wasn’t ever in competition with the kids my age. I wanted to hang out and be able to compete with my brother. I didn’t even necessarily want to beat him because he was always a better athlete than me. He had the eight-pack when he was twelve years old. I always wanted to hang out with and be around my brother. That made me a better athlete. It wasn’t even a competition thing because I was never going to be better than him but I wanted to hang with him. What that did is it made me better than all the kids my age. All the kids my age, I was better than them but not in a competitive way. It was what it was because I was trying to keep up with my older brother

You validate that we become the average of the five people you associate with.

My father was my hero. My brother was the one I looked up to because he was dominating in everything we were doing in those young years

From a country music perspective, there’s a six-pack in there somewhere.

Yes, under our layers of armor.

When I was in high school, I had natural athleticism. I played basketball and baseball and ran track. I look back and people say, “Would you ever have a do-over? Do you have any regrets?” I say, “Absolutely.” Everybody goes, “Why have regrets? You’re the person you are now because of everything you went through ups and downs, through all the victory and defeat.”

 

Some of us are meant to bless, and some are meant to protect.

 

I disagree because, in high school, I became so complacent with my natural ability that I never paid the price to be everything I had the opportunity to be until I got the scholarship offers and went to college. I knew that it mattered and I needed to compete to keep my starting job. As a young man, can you identify 1 or 2 specific events that took you out of complacency as you walked onto that college campus with a scholarship?

Everybody reading can relate to the fact that when you’re on top of the game, the sales champion in your company, the best of the best or the smartest person in the room, whatever the case may be, it’s easy to become complacent and go, “I’m all that and a bag of chips. I’ve made it.” Compared to everybody else but compared to yourself, there’s still much more work to do. Take us back to some memory that you have. Was it your brother’s influence? Did somebody put you down? Did somebody say, “You can’t do it? What are you doing here? Maybe you don’t know who I am. I’m from Vegas. I’m not all that and a bag of chips.”

No. My biggest opponent has always been myself because when I put my mind to something and I decided to do it, I’ve been blessed enough to be able to figure that out. Mine was my brother leaving and going to college and then being on the baseball field and not enjoying being on the baseball field anymore. Baseball probably was my best sport but I still love football. I had this love for football but nobody wanted the 5’10” White kid tailback in college. That was the reality of my situation.

In my senior year, sports came easy. I worked hard but I liked to work hard. I played but I wasn’t always the guy in the weight room. I was always the guy on the wrestling mat or the football field playing baseball but I didn’t do off-season workouts. I never had an off-season workout because I always wanted to play.

What happened to me as I was eighteen years old, I had never drunk, smoked anything or had sex. I was an athlete sober-minded who wanted to be great. My parents got divorced when I was eighteen years old. I had to always be home at 11:00. They always made sure that I was coming home clearheaded. My parents looked after me and looked over me. My parents went for their divorce because it was what they needed to do for the best of themselves. I hadn’t graduated high school yet. I was this impressionable eighteen-year-old kid trying to decide if I was going to go to BYU, Utah State. “What was I going to do?” My parents got divorced and nobody cared.

They had to look at my dad who started drinking again. My mom had to go out and figure it out herself. They left this eighteen-year-old kid alone to figure out what he wanted without his brother around because my brother was out playing college baseball and excelling at it. I was lost. I lost my family support system. You call it family togetherness. I lost that at eighteen years old when I had it my whole life. All of a sudden, I was like, “Maybe I will try to drink alcohol. Maybe I won’t go to class anymore.” BYU showed up to recruit me at the high school. I was supposed to meet them for lunch and I decided not to show up. I didn’t know what alcohol was going to do to me but it made me not show up to that meeting and not care about class anymore.

I wasn’t doing it because I wanted to try something. I was doing it because I was sad my parents got divorced. I had nobody that was looking out for me or guiding me. I lost. I passed up all these scholarship opportunities for football because I was supposed to be at these meetings and deciding. My coaches are like, “Josh, what is going on?” I was like, “Don’t worry about me. Leave me alone,” and they did. They were like, “What’s going on with Josh?” Nobody cared to ask me like, “How are you? Are you doing okay that your parents got divorced?” Nobody asked me that. Nobody grabbed and put their arm around me and was like, “Are you okay?” They thought, “Josh should be fine. It’s Josh.”

I passed up all the football meetings. I didn’t decide what to do with baseball. Wrestling wasn’t an option because UFC wasn’t a thing back then. I didn’t want to go back East to wrestle. My wrestling coach cared about me. He’s got a name named Ben Ohi. Ben checked on me all the time. He’s like, “Are you okay? I know what’s going on.” He is still one of my mentors and one of the best people in my life. It was this coach that cared about me and that has been there forever.

What happened for me is I was playing Legion baseball. I was like, “What am I going to do? I need to decide. School starts in a month and I don’t have any options.” What I did do and what my dad always gave me was, “Always say your prayers. If you’re by yourself and you need any guidance, trust that relationship and say your prayers.” I was lost. I had nobody. Everybody looked at me in a certain way but nobody checked in on me. I said my prayers and we had a baseball game. I got up left-handed against Murray. There was a guy named Steve. We were playing at Cottonwood. It’s a little deeper.

I got up left-handed and a pitcher threw a ball. I hit a home run left-handed over the houses. Steve was like, “Josh, where are you going to play?” I was like, “I don’t know yet.” I got up again later in the game, got up right-handed and hit a home run right-handed. Steve was like, “You haven’t signed a scholarship yet?” I was like, “No. I wanted to go play football. I didn’t figure that out.” He was like, “You’re coming to Salt Lake. I’ll give you a scholarship.” I was like, “Okay, let’s do it.” We shook hands and I got a full-ride scholarship to go play at Salt Lake Community College but I didn’t lose those bad habits.

PPDC 51 | Commitment To Excellence

Commitment To Excellence: It was really this journey of serving the ego, fulfilling the ego, and letting the ego go.

 

What I did was I had a scholarship and I thought baseball and sports were going to pave the way for me. I went to school and we were doing baseball every day. I was going to start at second base. My brother transferred. He was going to play as a shortstop with me. What I wasn’t doing is I wasn’t going to school because I was drinking and partying. I didn’t go to class. I thought, “I’m good enough. They’ll figure it out. This is only Salt Lake Community College.”

The coach called me in one day and said, “You haven’t gone to school, Josh.” I was like, “Yes. Maybe I can make that up somehow.” He’s like, “There’s no way to make that up. You’re going to lose your eligibility. You got to go on a mission, go into the Army or lose eligibility. We can’t redshirt you. Why are you not going to class?” I broke down and was like, “This is what’s going on in my life. I got no support. I haven’t taken that on myself because I’ve always had that support and then I don’t have it.”

What I decided to do is I’m either going to ruin my life living this way or maybe I can go into the military and learn a little discipline. That’s what I did. I went into the military and signed up for the Army. I went into basic training. I was signed up to be a Ranger. I went through Airborne school and weapons training at Western Weapons Specialty School. They grabbed me out during the military and were like, “Do you want to do specialty training?” I was like, “Yes. I want to be a high-speed soldier.”

I had been in three fights. I wasn’t the most respectful all the time because I had a lot of fights in me. I was angry and upset at my parents but I didn’t blame my parents. I understood what they needed to do but it broke that family support that I had and tore me down and who I was. In the military, I learned a lot of good things but I was in a Ranger school, RIP. In RIP, one of the sergeants got in my face. They didn’t like me because they knew that they needed to break me down.

It was hard to break me down. I was lack of sleep and extra PT. I was all about it. I kept my mind and wits, which is why they liked me as a soldier. One of the sergeants poured soap on my bag and said, “We’ll see at PT and on formation.” He went to give me a little shove and I didn’t like it. I tripped and hit him. I did the wrong thing. Long story short, I was advised to leave the military. I left and I thought that we had done my DD214. They got me out of the military. What happened is the captain classified my records. Ten years later, I had to take care of this while I was a UFC fighter, which is a whole other story.

I had no idea that my records had been classified for 10 years and they were coming to get me 10 years later. It’s a whole other story. I got out of the military. I have a general discharge but I also have ten years of service in classified service, which was not classified. The captain and sergeant liked me. He put my record in classified and they sent him to Fort Knox. They sat in a box for ten years. Ten years later, some guy said, “Clear these boxes.” My name was in one of the boxes. He did that so that I didn’t get court-martialed and so that I didn’t get in trouble and could come back.

I never had a DD214. My recruiter said, “You are out.” It was done. What I did is I went to Snow College. I had the scholarship to go play baseball because the coach down there, I called him up when I got home. Still, no guidance, no support, except for the love of my parents. They loved me. They wanted me to see good but they didn’t know how to guide me in sports. They were like, “Get a job. Do this.” I was like, “I’m going to call up. The coach, Gary Anderson, in Snow College and tell him I want to come to play baseball.” When he got the phone call, he was like, “Do you want to come to play baseball at Snow College?” I was like, “Yes, I do.” He’s like, “Come down. I’ll give you a scholarship.”

That was how I got it back on track. I had a buddy named Chad Hole. When I came home, he was like, “Josh, you’ve got to play football.” I was like, “I want to.” He’s like, “You’ve got to promise me you’re going to play football.” He was drinking and driving one night, rolled his Jeep, passed away and died. I always remember him being like, “Josh, you’ve got to go play football.”

When I got my scholarship, I played baseball. I went and tried out for the football team. I got on the football team but couldn’t figure out this sober-minded thing at nineteen years old. I didn’t have a mentor or a coach put his arm around me and be able to tell me, “Why are you drinking and partying? You want to be a great athlete but you’re doing this.” It’s why I do what I do. All these lessons of why were what forged me.

The six degrees of separation. We don’t need to have a whole laundry list of significant emotional events that changed our stars. We don’t need to have nineteen people in our lives that directed us. We only need 1, 2 or 3 at the right moment to put us back on the path and help us get back up and go again and see the light. That’s so important to remember that you’ve named some significant emotional events and some significant people in your life but we’re still on one hand. You got your dad, your brother, your coach, you get the Salt Lake Community College, your captain or sergeant in the military and then your buddy. How cool is that?

 

Having the training mindset is not only to be the best athlete and fighter but to be the best human you can be.

 

All these things are big markers in my life but I couldn’t figure them out at Snow College. I was a good running back. Everybody knew I was the best player on the field every time I stepped on the field. That was maybe my problem and that mixed with smoking weed and drinking alcohol. Alcohol was never the biggest thing but that was never the right formula for success. I wish I could have figured that out but I didn’t.

I had a little bit of a problem with the coaches at Snow College and we played Dixie. When we played Dixie, I had 8 carries for 160 yards. There was a guy named Coach Croshaw that coached at Dixie. We walked across the field and Coach Croshaw shook my hand and went, “You come to Dixie next year, I’ll give you 30 carries a game,” and kept walking.

I ended up at Dixie with 30 carries a game. That’s where I received honorable mention honors and had a full-ride scholarship to go to the University of Utah. I was back on track but I didn’t have my Math 1050 and I needed that. I had to get registered at the U and get my class. When school started that fall, I would have my scholarship. I asked my parents. I was like, “Can you help me pay for this math class at the U? I need it for my scholarship.” They’re like, “We’ve helped you. You’ve got to figure this out.”

I don’t know that I deserved more. My dad wanted to help me but I don’t think he was in that place to be able to financially help me. My mom let me figure it out. She loved me but finances and school weren’t her way of showing me that support and that thing. It was always, “If you want food, come over. If you need a place to stay, come over but figure this out. You’re eighteen years old.” At this point, I was twenty. When I was on my way home from transferring from Dixie to Utah, I heard this thing on the radio that said, “If you think you’re the toughest guy in Utah, then come sign up for these fights. It’s no holds barred fights, Downtown Salt Lake.”

What year was that?

2002. I had a buddy call me. We have these experiences that validate certain moments in our life. He goes, “Guess what I heard on the radio? They’re doing fights downtown.” I had been in a lot of fights and never just to be in fights but I was always sticking up for people. I never let anybody get picked on. I didn’t necessarily turn them down but I didn’t go looking for them. This folklore in Utah is that I was a fighter before I was ever a fighter but I wasn’t a mean person. I always say I’m a little more like a Porter Rockwell than Joseph Smith. Some of us are meant to bless and some of us are meant to protect. I’m for sure a guardian. I’m for sure a protector.

I always had that spirit within me. That was what happened. Charlie called me up and he goes, “There are fights.” I go, “I heard it. Let’s do it.” He goes, “I wrote the number down for you.” “Go, tell me it.” I called the number and they answered the phone and said, “This is the Ultimate Combat Experience. Can we help you?” I said, “This is Josh Burkman. I want to fight.” They said, “Where do you train at?” I said, “I don’t. I’m a football player.” They said, “You’re a football player and you want to fight?” I said, “I’m in good shape. I can do this.” They said, “There are fights on Saturday.” This is a Thursday.

I said, “I want to be on the card.” They said, “We only have one guy to fight.” I was like, “Who is it?” They’re like, “His name’s Hank Weiss. He’s 9-0. He was the champion of the last round.” Keep in mind, at this point, there is no UFC on TV. Senator McCain has banned the sport. It’s trying to figure out how to become what it is now. I said, “I’ll fight him. What does he weigh?” They said, “195 pounds.” I said, “I’ll fight this dude.” I showed up on Friday and waited.

What did you weigh?

I weighed right around 200 pounds. I was 200 and he was 195. I went into this fight and was ready for it but I was wearing wrestling shoes and soccer shorts.

PPDC 51 | Commitment To Excellence

Commitment To Excellence: If we can learn to breathe and keep our mind calm, then we can start to master everything around us.

 

They give you the rules of engagement. You can use your body parts like knees, elbows and feet. Did you take off the boots?

I wore them. I was losing my hair a little bit. I had this receding hairline in my wrestling shoes. He was barefoot. He’s a trained jujitsu practitioner. He’s been training for years at this time. He’s a purple belt in jujitsu. He won the tournament before. Nobody wanted to fight him. I’m like, “I’ll fight this guy.”

When you say tournament, is it like a bracket you fight and then the winner fights the winner of the fight?

They have 8 guys and these 8 guys are going to be down into the 4, into the 2 and then they’ll crown a champion.

On the same night?

No. It’s over a 4 or 6-week period. I didn’t even know that. I just knew I was going to get into a fight, go back and get registered for school. The winner got paid and I needed the money. This was my means to the end. Little did I know. What happened is I fought this guy. I beat him up in the first round.

Was it like amateur boxing, two three-minute rounds?

Three two-minute rounds. It was the longest fight I have ever been in my life. I was like, “I should be okay. I’d never been tired in a fight before.”

I was a Golden Gloves State boxing champion. Trust me, when you’re in the ring and the adrenaline hits the first two-minute round, you’re dead. It’s three two-minute rounds. I can’t even relate to three-minute rounds. You’ve given it everything you’ve got in round one.

Everything I got because I was trying to end the fight the whole time. I went and sat down in the corner. My brother’s at college playing baseball in New Mexico. My dad and mom wouldn’t come to the fight. I got my cousin in my corner and he’s like, “How are you feeling?” I’m like, “I can’t even talk. Hold on.” He’s like, “You better.” I’m like, “I can’t move and get up.” My cousin’s like, “You better figure it out because you’ve got to get up in fifteen seconds.”

 

If we contribute to the happiness of others, we’ll figure out the true meaning of life.

 

I stood up. I had never been so tired in my entire life and all of a sudden, the referee’s out in the middle of the ring and he’s like, “Ready? Fight.” This kid marches towards me. I throw a couple of punches, pick him up in the air and slam him on his head. The next thing I know, I’m lying on my back in an arm bar. I feel like my arms are about to get ripped off. I tap and that was it. He won the fight. I lay in the middle of the ring for a minute. All I could see was light probably because I was so tired.

I was like, “This is the greatest thing I’d ever done.” I hadn’t felt this happy in years. I had lost and I was exhausted. I get up and they raised the other guy’s hand. I can’t even tell you what happened. All I know is I went back in the back, dry heaved a few times, laid on my back and had this vision that I was supposed to be a professional fighter.

Little did I know it would be a seventeen-year spiritual journey that got me back into sober-mindedness, healing my body and leading me right to where I needed to be. I called Chris Hale, the Athletic Director at the University of Utah, that Monday. I told him I’m dropping out of school. I’m giving up my scholarship. I’m going to be a professional fighter. He was like, “What?” I was like, “This is what I’m doing.” That was it. The martial art wasn’t easy for me. I had to dial in on how do I perfect my body, my mind and my spirit to be the best I can be.

Let’s dive into this. As a professional speaker, I’ve spoken to the Olympians many times over in Colorado Springs. In my first experience when I was there, I spoke to a lot of the athletes. I was curious and I said, “Let’s go see where the boxers are.” They take me to the gym and I’m watching this three-minute round. They timed it because it was a round of amateur boxing. It’s 2 minutes but it went 3 minutes. Here’s this little guy fighting this big giant heavyweight getting a crap kicked out of him. I’m watching this little guy. It was so brutal. I blow the whistle. He comes out to get a drink. I’m sitting there like, “Pardon me? Was there not a way in?” He didn’t think I was funny.

I’m like, “Can I protect you? Can I help? I’m for sale. Tell me what’s going on.” He said, “I’m a four-time gold medalist. The only way I’m going to win is if I fight and train against somebody better than me.” It turns out it wasn’t boxing. It was jujitsu. It was the whole deal. He’s doing cross-training to learn something that he’s never going to use in an Olympic event. He’s not a boxer. He was in jujitsu four times. It was unbelievable. I started those many years ago thinking, “Cross training.” In high school, I was a pretty good athlete.

Where’d you go?

I went to East High. I played football and baseball at the University of Utah, 90-mile an hour fastball as a pitcher. Football was my best sport because I always showed up at the line of scrimmage in a bad mood. I never started a fight but ended a few. To understand the mindset of what you need to do to get better, I’ve never forgotten about cross-training. When I’m a senior in high school, I get hurt in the third game of the season. I thought, “My scholarship offers are going to go to the toilet.” I got better.

I recovered in time to play basketball. It turns out that the football coaches who had been recruiting me, because they saw me playing basketball, could see my side-to-side agility and intensity on defense. They equated that to, “He is an athlete. We are still going to issue a football scholarship.” The cross-training mindset has always been part of me. That started our next conversation but I cannot ignore your shirt with Muhammad Ali.

I’m the Golden Gloves Boxer. I’m the Great White Hope. I got white wrestling boots with red tassels. I got the set Killer Clark on the back. I’m such a piece of work. They would introduce me. I had the Ali shuffle. I had it all. In 1988, I’m speaking in Berrien Springs, Michigan at Andrews University at the student body. I’m in the student union building doing a book signing. These two lads walked by talking about Muhammad Ali had been on campus. That’s where he lived.

I stopped in my tracks. I’m like, “No kidding. Where is he?” They go, “No big deal. He lives here. He comes to campus every day to pass out his Islamic literature.” I finished my book signing and say to the student body president, “Do you know where Muhammad Ali lives?” He goes, “Yes, on the outskirts of town. He bought Al Capone’s 88-acre ranch.”

PPDC 51 | Commitment To Excellence

Commitment To Excellence: As your fight gets closer, you get more nerves and butterflies; that is just the body prepping for war.

 

I said, “Do you own a camera?” He goes, “Why? Do you want to go to his house?” I’m like, “Absolutely.” We hop in his car with two of his buddies. The four of us cruise out of town. We pulled up and his gate was open. It doesn’t say, “No trespassing.” It says, “Welcome.” I said, “You guys come in.” They’re like, “You can’t go up there.” I walked up a circular driveway and knocked on his door. His wife answers. She says, “May I help you?” I’m like, “Yes. Is Muhammad in?” She goes, “Yes. Can I tell him who’s calling?” I’m like, “Dan.” She goes and gets every kid. This is 1988, way before Parkinson set in. He invites me. I’m like, “I’ve got three buddies in the car. Can they come in?”

He goes, “Yeah.” They’re like, “No way.” They’re diving over bushes and sliding into his house. For five hours, we are Muhammad Ali’s house guests. We watched his greatest fights on his big screen, the Thrilla in Manila. It’s in Araneta Coliseum. I’m in the green room downstairs looking at all the photos and the memorabilia, getting fired up to go out and speak. I’m like, “You got to give me the microphone. It was unbelievable.” At the end of these five hours, he fed us. He did magic. It was so awesome. He puts his big hand around me and says, “Dan, you got any questions?” I said, “Yes. You’re a three-time world champion, which means you’ve been defeated twice by inferior opponents. Why?” He said, “I got complacent.”

I said, “What do you mean, champ?” He said, “I forgot that when the fight begins, I no longer hold the title. I’ve put it up for grabs. I must be brilliant at the basics and fight as hard as I did the first time I won it to win it back.” I’ve never forgotten that. I’ve shared that message of complacency with corporations all over the world. They’re like, “I can’t believe it.” It’s so powerful. I have that picture in my house. I have autographed gloves and books. I’m such a fan.

That one moment in time and that lesson reminded me about cross-training. No matter what your past has been, you have a spotless future. Now is a brand new fight and training day. I don’t care how hard you worked yesterday or how exhausted you are this morning. That’s your reputation on the street, Josh. You are this relentless and focused human being first who can compartmentalize what you have to come up with in the ring, go home and be that doting father, that amazing husband, that giver to the young men and young women in your dojo to teach them what you learned on this physical, mental and most importantly, spiritual journey.

I laid the foundation for where I want to take this because this is who you are. I want to know the mindset of what it takes to prepare for every new fight, starting with training day when there’s no one around, except maybe the family togetherness that you recreated in your home, that isn’t there at the dojo necessarily, even though you’re co-owners with your wife.

Take us on that journey. Let’s start to consolidate your message to the world about the mindset and heartset of what it takes to put in the work. Everybody wants to win but very few are willing to prepare to win. We both heard that our whole lives. Take us to those moments and that mindset, heartset and spiritual journey that you’re so eloquent to talk about.

It was a twenty-year journey of competing. It was this journey of serving, fulfilling and letting the ego go, which is the 20s, 30s and 40s. There were times that I was so focused and sober-minded. I became great in those moments. After that 1st fight, I won 9 fights in a row. I lost the first one and then won every fight.

How much time went by before you got a chance to jump back in the ring?

I was fighting two weeks later against another guy that lost and then fought again. I made my way back into the final because one of the guys got hurt. I got a rematch against Hank Weiss who was in the final game. I beat him in three seconds.

Muhammad Ali won before he climbed into the ring. I want you to tell us about that time.

 

As you blend mental and physical together, it becomes spiritual energy that is valued.

 

What I did was I didn’t lose. I learned that this game is a different animal than football, baseball or wrestling. This is not a game. This is a fight and that’s different. What I did is I saw a video my wrestling coach, Ben Ohi. He gave me the video and goes, “If you’re going to do this, watch this video.” It was called Choke. It was on Rickson Gracie. Rickson Gracie was sitting in a river, calm with snow all around him and steam coming off his body.

He was talking about breath and how our breath is our spirit and life force. If we can learn to breathe and keep our mind calm, then we can start to master everything around us. I started meditating every day. I started taking cold showers, sitting in cold baths, reading these old martial arts books, studying jujitsu and going to class. I became obsessed and disciplined with training martial arts but who I also picked up was Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee was my first coach.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a dear friend. I’ve written five speeches for him and his TED Talk. One of the highlights of his life that allowed him to be the NBA leading scorer is his adoration and followership of Bruce Lee, getting to meet him and train with him. Can you imagine?

I can because I have. I’m reading his books and things like that. He’s my first coach. It’s not like you could go down the street and go train MMA when I started. There were no MMA gyms. There were a couple of jiujitsu gyms. Pedro Sauer and Walt Bayless had stepped away at this time. I had to figure out how to be a professional fighter. I had to go over here to box and for jujitsu. I had to call my wrestling coach and be like, “How do you think wrestling?” There was nobody to coach me. I was the first guy that was pursuing this way.

Bruce Lee was my first coach and I dove into his philosophy. All of a sudden, it wasn’t so much about physical. I had to train the physical body, learn these techniques and get them down over and over but I had to dial in this mental game and start to have this philosophy of I can’t just be a boxer, a wrestler or a jujitsu guy. I need to take the best of this boxing, wrestling and jiujitsu. The way, it forms in my body and I will use all those techniques in the best way possible, which also created my philosophy for life. I always studied Jesus and these spiritual teachers so I always had this journeying for energy, spirit and God. I wanted to know this. I feel like I’m a warrior of God. I’m in God’s Army. I want to create a better path for people. I knew that but I didn’t know that fighting was going to forge that.

America without soldiers is like God without angels. You’ve mixed both of them in a perfect philosophy and physical showcase. Thank you.

I appreciate you saying that. I’m learning and getting a lot of wisdom too. I loved the Mormon church but I was different. I wasn’t nice. I wanted to compete and conquer. I had this ego of a 22-year-old that want to be the baddest dude in the world. How will somebody go to guide me in that? I didn’t have anybody. What I did is I was like, “I like this stuff of the church but I like this stuff about martial arts.” I started to take what I liked from the church, from martial arts, from Republicans and Democrats. I was my own human being. I took what I liked and left what I didn’t. That’s what Bruce Lee taught. Jeet Kune Do. Take what you like, leave what doesn’t and move on. That’s like what martial arts and Bruce Lee gave me.

It’s the cross-training mindset. Take whatever we have to do to learn what we need to learn from every aspect.

Not only to be the best athlete and fighter but to be the best human I can be. I won nine fights in a row with that mindset by becoming that person and then it wasn’t enough.

To breathe, finding that quiet mind, as we say, that still confidence.

PPDC 51 | Commitment To Excellence

Commitment To Excellence: Martial arts have taught me to take care of the body the way that the church taught me to live the word of wisdom.

 

That’s that inner confidence that I was like, “I believe in myself.” It had to be earned through training.

You were a running back and so was I back in the day. I used to return kickoffs and punts. The only time I made a highlight film was when they made fun of me. I’d lose 30 pounds before they ever kicked me the ball. I sat down with Dr. Henson up at the university, a sports psychologist and he said, “Start thinking like a rubber band. Pregame warm up and start to stretch it. When you finally get to that end zone on the one-yard line, you have maxed it out. The second your fingers touch the ball, you let go of the rubber band.” You had to learn how to compartmentalize your energy. It’s weeks of training but then how can you train to control that extraordinary excitement and adrenaline rush that can drain your energy once the referee says fight?

It was years but even in the UFC, guys like Donald Cerrone and other fighters were like, “Can you put me in Burkman’s locker room? He’s always so calm.” I would be sleeping under the table before my fights. I would barely warm up because I knew I was ready to fight. What that was when you got to fight, it’s like, “Josh, you’re fighting.” “I’m ready.” As you train, you break your body down. The minds like, “Am I ready for this?” You go through all kinds of different emotions.

I learned to understand what was happening with the body. My body’s tired. I need to eat but I always knew that I was breaking my body down to ramp back up. As the fight got closer, you have more nerves and butterflies. What I learned is that is the body prepping for war. I started to learn to love the butterflies and enjoy them, not to make that energy. Maybe like, “What if I got hurt or injured?” It’s to take away any of the doubt and be like, “I’m ready.”

Get the butterflies to fly in formation.

I would learn to move them into my body to strengthen my body. I would take the energy and I’d move it to my heart. I would move it to my head and visualize the perfect fights. I would visualize myself going out and performing amazingly. I would put a mantra to that visualization. I’d be cool, calm and confident. I will perform like a champion. I would repeat that until I felt that hand raised again.

I had started to make that a practice in my life in everything that I would do. I always say it’s the essence. As you move essence into the dome of power and the ribs, it becomes energy and power. As you raise it into the heart, it becomes spirit and you become lighter and more able to enjoy life. That’s what I was doing as a martial artist. I was taking the essence, bringing in energy and raising it to spirit. I was using my visualization and manifestations to create the life that I wanted to create.

Out of the ring, out of the cage, as well as in the cage. There’s no separation of who Josh Burkman is inside or outside of the fight ring.

There might’ve been some trying to figure that out.

We are the same offstage as we are on stage, the same in the fight as we are out of the fight.

 

Spirituality brings mental and physical energy to the heart and strengthens you by becoming the best version you can become. 

 

In my 30s, I got that dialed in. In my 20s, I would live 2 lives. I lived a life of a fighter and martial artist and I would train for nine weeks. I would be disciplined and consistent. I was in bed at 11:00. I was up at 8:00. I was getting my half-hour naps and eating, training. In my 20, you got to think of a 25-year-old kid that gets into UFC. I moved to Oregon and lived in an attic. All I want to do is study martial arts and the scriptures. I would train three times a day. When I got home, I would read the Bible and the book of Mormon. I would study, pray and do martial arts.

I lived like a monk. A year and a half later, I was in the UFC. I was visualizing it and picturing myself walking out into the UFC. I was training every day. I was being healthy and sober-minded. I made it to the UFC in a year and a half, which is pretty incredible. That’s what I did. All of a sudden, I was in the UFC and Ultimate Fighter. I had won my fight. I broke my arm in the house and I broke my arm in the first round of the first fight. I won that fight with a broken arm. I fought for twelve minutes with a broken arm. The referee raised my arm and I was like, “My arms hurt. I could feel it.”

They took me to the hospital. My arm was broken. Dana White came and got me and said, “You’re off the Ultimate Fighter but you’re going to be great. I can see it in you. Get healthy. Get back. I’ll give you a shot on the Ultimate Fighter finale to get a contract.” I went home and I did. I did everything the right way, which is righteousness. I lived that way. Martial arts have taught me to take care of the body the way that the church had taught me to live the word of wisdom. I was living this way.

In my twenties, when I lived that way, I was successful. When I didn’t, I went down. It was obvious to me then but it was a lesson that I went through in my twenties. I had a chance on the Ultimate Fighter finale to beat this guy named Sam Morgan. If I beat Sam Morgan, I got a nine-fight UFC contract. If I lost, I was out. I beat Sam Morgan in the exact way I envisioned it over in 21 seconds. I was 25 years old.

I love to consolidate, compartmentalize and try to reiterate. What he’s been teaching is that there’s a difference between training to fight and training to win. It’s what Muhammed Ali taught me all those years ago and you’re the epitome of what he is about. I am the greatest and he’s going to prepare and make sure that he does everything he knows how to do. At what place in your life did you attract this beautiful that that completes your spiritual journey that’s your teammate, your cohort, your togetherness as a family?

I got married and divorced at 29. I was in the UFC from 25 to 30 years old but the UFC at that time, there were only 100 of us. People were like, “You’re a UFC fighter.” Celebrities wanted to be around us and people with big business. Everybody was making money from 2005 to 2009. Everybody wanted to give it to us like the real estate people and the oil company. We had sponsorship money everywhere. Nobody taught me how to deal with that money. Famous people would be like, “Do you want to come to this party?” Club owners were like, “Here’s a table, bottles.” I had a buddy named Jackson Roman, who was my college roommate and also got drafted by the Phoenix Suns at the same time.

Jackson is 24. I’m 25. I get into the UFC, he gets into the NBA and we’re like, “Let’s go.” At one point, I was training for fights. The other time, we were the best rock stars on the planet. We wanted to be great athletes and be at the coolest parties. We did both those things but that also made my career up and down. When I needed money, I did extra good. When I was doing good, won a couple of fights in a row and had plenty of money, we were in LA living out of hotel rooms. My life was up and down. At 29 years old, Jackson and I were at a hotel in West Hollywood.

We were at the top of this house, looking over West Hollywood by the pool. I knew that my life was going to change. I needed to change or I would be in my 30s and I wouldn’t make it. I would die in my 30s because that’s how we were living our lives at times. I looked at Jackson and said, “I love you. This has been a great run but I’m going to move home to Utah.” I was living in Las Vegas at the time. I said, “I’m going to clean up my life, get married, have kids and make another run at this UFC thing but I’m done partying.”

He said, “I always knew you wanted to be a dad but for me, I’m getting started. The thirties are going to be the best times of my life.” I was like, “I know and I love you but our journey doing this together ends now.” I went home. I hurt my knee training for a fight and I had these visions of me hanging out with these two little boys. I feel like my little boys were calling their dad saying, “We’re ready.” It’s hard to explain to people how real those visions and dreams were because I was on the couch for three weeks, healing a hurt knee and waking up every night having these dreams.

When I was 25 years old, I had a girlfriend named Brandy. We made a deal that if we weren’t married or had kids at 30, we were going to get married and have kids. At 30 years old with my hurt knee, I called her on the phone and said, “We’re going to have little boys. I’m ready to be married.” She’s like, “Let’s do it.” Two weeks later, we were married in my parent’s living room. A month later, she was pregnant with our first kid. She knew it was a little girl. She’s like, “This is a little girl.” I said, “I know this is a little boy.” Nine months later, we had a little boy.

PPDC 51 | Commitment To Excellence

Commitment To Excellence: We have so many opinions, and it separates us from everything and everybody.

 

She got pregnant again. She’s like, “I know this one’s a little girl.” I said, “I think it’s a little boy.” We had another little boy. We had those two little boys and they’re the two little boys that I saw. I played with them. They said they were ready. It was me and my brother in a different form. Now I’m raising myself and my brother in a different form. At 30 years old, I made a comeback. I was a husband and a father. I won the fights I needed to win to get back into the UFC. I got back into the UFC, top 10 in the world. There was one fight. When I was 35 years old, there was a guy named Jon Fitch.

This is going to everything full circle because I was living right sober-minded doing everything the way I could do. It wasn’t even about me. It was about my wife and my family. It was about creating this life for us. I was fighting this guy named Jon Fitch who beat me in the UFC in 2007. He was the number three ranked fighter in the world. He said, “I’m leaving the UFC. Dana doesn’t pay enough. I’m going to go show the world that I can make money and be the best guy in the world outside the UFC.” He happened to run into me. I wanted to beat Jon Fitch. We were getting paid a lot of money building this other organization. I kept beating guys that I wasn’t supposed to beat.

I was a 4-to-1 underdog. I beat him. Everybody’s like, “Burkman’s old. He’s not going to beat this next guy,” who was a guy named Aaron Simpson, an All-American wrestler from Arizona State. I destroyed him. He didn’t even touch me in the first two minutes of the first round. It was Jon Fitch, the guy that’s ranked number three in the world. I kept visualizing this because I had this picture on my wall in my office. 1st minute, 1st round. In my interviews, I’d be like, “I’m beating Jon Fitch in the 1st minute of the 1st round. I guarantee it.” The interviewer’s like, “You look like you’re serious.” I’m like, “I am. I’ve seen this over and over. Jon Fitch has no chance. I cannot be beaten. The way I’m living my life and what I’m doing, nobody can beat me.”

Jon Fitch and I went and fought. I was 35 years old. We went out. He threw a couple of punches. I knocked him to the ground, hit him with a guillotine choke and stood up over him. Look it up. Josh Burkman beat Jon Fitch. The referee couldn’t even stop the fight. I let him go, turned him over and stood above him. At that moment, I felt complete oneness and connection with the divine, the crowd and everyone. It was the greatest moment in my career because I had done what I said I was going to do. This is the sad part of the story. Jackson passed away that same year in Los Angeles. He overdosed and fell in a pool in Los Angeles. Jackson lived the life he wanted to live.

He didn’t want to have kids. He lived the life of this rock star and went hard. Nobody can beat alcohol or drugs. He was the most powerful human I knew. He was like me. He was my brother but he couldn’t beat those things. He’ll always be a part of me but those were the greatest lessons for me. I wanted to be a father. I wanted to have kids. My wife and I at that time, Brandy, separated. She didn’t like that I was a fighter. I got home from a fight one time from Canada and all I want to do is lay on the couch. She was like, “I want to go on vacation.”

It was like I couldn’t quite make her happy and she didn’t quite understand me. I feel like we had a soul agreement to have these boys together. When we got divorced, I hit that peak of my career. That’s what it was about. I physically and mentally had figured it out but spiritually, there was more. There’s a quote by the Dalai Lama that says, “We’re here for 900 years. While we’re here, we should do something useful and good with our lives. If we contribute to the happiness of others, we’ll figure out the true meaning of life.”

All of a sudden it wasn’t about me anymore. It was about me being a good dad, raising these two kids and being the best dad. I didn’t get divorced because I wanted to go out and live a life that I couldn’t live when I was married. I needed somebody that understood me spiritually. What I did is I was a good father. I gave everything to be a good dad and ex-husband. My career went downhill. In truth, I was okay with that because I wasn’t that fighter anymore. I wanted to move into this different phase of life. I focused on being a dad for five years.

This is what happened. I woke up one morning at 7:30 and my little boy, his name is Atlas, was outside. I could hear this noise as I woke up. I was like, “What is going on outside?” I walk outside and there’s a giant box. He stabs and hits it with a sword, very technical samurai chopping. I looked at him and went, “We need a woman around here.”

That’s when I realized I do want a family. I don’t want to raise these boys by myself. I need that family togetherness. I need that woman in my life. I needed to let love into my life again. I don’t need to help everybody and push everybody away. I’m retired. I’ve taken two years off. I’ve gone through this space of healing myself and letting that go. I met my next wife, her name’s Emma, at a retreat in Montana. She is the perfect yin to my yang.

I look up to you from afar because I see who you are as a father and a pillar in this community. I want to be a good husband and raise my kids together. I want my kids to come back to my house for our big celebrations. I always wanted that but it’s almost like I had to fill my ego first. That moment I stood over Jon Fitch, I fulfilled my ego. My ego is surrendered to where it’s not about me. It’s about my family, my wife and my community. That’s where this phase has gone.

 

Now is an important time for personal revelation: to ask for it, seek it, to play with that yourself.

 

I retired when I was 38 years old. I had to go through a couple of years of healing. I’ll let people forget that I was a fighter because I’m in a different place where I’m a teacher and a coach. I would like to take all these lessons that I’ve learned from all the struggles in my life and help people learn how to breathe, have good posture and be confident. That’s what we do at the dojo. I’m in this phase as a teacher taking all these lessons I learned and trying to add to the happiness of all those around me.

You have a baby girl.

Yes. It’s to balance things out a little in the Burkman household.

A dear friend of mine, Gary, is famous for saying, “If we’re selfish in the morning, we can be selfless all day long.” If you put that into the context of your life, taking care of yourself first, there’s nothing to be apologetic about when we have to get ourselves right. Fulfill that ego and be the best version of ourselves. When we’re in a mindset and a heartset to turn and serve others, lift them. It’s hard for us to strengthen someone else if we’re weak. I commend and honor you.

It’s been a journey and it’s interesting to look back at that. My twenties were very physical. My 30s were mental but as you blend those things, mental and physical, it becomes spiritual energy that is valued. That spiritually is bringing that energy to the heart and strengthening yourself through becoming the best version of yourself that you can become. When you become that version of yourself, then you want to help and serve.

I’ve conquered everything that I wanted to conquer. I became the greatest that I could be in that fighting field. That was the surrender of the ego to where it’s like I would like to be a vessel that’s able to help to provide for my family, be a good husband, be a good father and let that spread out through helping the kids and helping my community. That’s the road that I’m taking in my 40s. It’s beginning and it’s every bit as exciting as the Ultimate Fighting path. It might not be as glamorous

What matters most is what lasts the longest. Can you imagine, as a parent, what it would be like to have our sons and daughters be tutored and mentored by you? Having the opportunity to watch you and understanding that it’s not enough for us to practice what we preach. We must preach only what we practice. How do we support and find you? Have you written a book yet? If not, I’ll throw my hat in the ring publicly. I’ve got that process wired and streamlined. We have to get your message and your influence out to more people in the world. I honor and appreciate you for joining us on the show.

There’s a quote. “It’s better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war.” I feel like I’ve earned that. I love being in my yard. I love taking care of my yard, doing our garden and hanging out with my family. I put myself in some of the most chaotic situations that a human can be in like a fistfight or a war at the highest level outside of armed combat. I’ve found peace in that. I can walk through all these different aspects of life with confidence and peace. I know the path of being an aggressive young man and getting to this place of peace and all the things that come up in the world like desires and worldly distractions. I also know how to work our way through those.”

What I’m doing is I have a business that I run with my wife. It’s a martial arts facility. It’s called The Dojo. What we do at The Dojo is teach movement, meditation, gymnastics, grappling, striking and jujitsu boxing. We teach all these different aspects of movement in martial arts. Also, we have a nonprofit, which is my wife’s and it’s called Healing Hands. Its mission is to make available these meditation and movement practices to all kids within the mountain range.

Nobody gets turned away because they can’t afford it. What we’re doing is running workshops like Millcreek Common every Friday. Any kid that wants to try it out and play with it can come and try it out for free, no charge. We’re also giving scholarships. We’re working with other dojos and helping other martial arts facilities do the same thing we’re doing at Millcreek Commons.

PPDC 51 | Commitment To Excellence

Commitment To Excellence: Let’s create strong humans that can build this togetherness and care for each other so we can get rid of the fighting and be more cohesive.

 

It’s like being a white belt in jujitsu. First, you got to learn a few techniques and then you put these techniques together. We’re going nice and slow so that I learn how to run a business and help nonprofits. We don’t get in trouble so we do it all the right way because the goal is to fulfill the mission. The mission is to make martial arts and these kinds of mental and physical training available to all kids within the mountains, living in the Utah Valley.

Being here in Utah, we’re fans and followers of Stephen Covey, who created a limiting belief. When he reminded all of us, he taught us to begin with the end in mind. As I’ve been sitting here basking in your wisdom and journey, you use the word path a few times. You validate that it’s not about a fight. It’s about fighting. It’s not about serving. It’s about service. We shouldn’t begin with the end in mind because that forces us to focus on a destination. That’s impressive. Look at me. Do our best to manage people and reward results. I win this fight.

It’s over. I can hang my hat and not work and work out again. What would happen if you begin with the why in mind, which empowers us and inspires us to enjoy the important journey? Only manage expectations and reward effort, which means you can’t go to the gym once. It’s an ongoing effort and path. That’s what you represent to all of us. I’m so glad I finally got to meet you in person. You’ve been a hero and a mentor. We got to hang out more often. I need to expose you to everybody who matters most to me because you’re the real deal.

I appreciate that. You said what would be the message or the support? I feel like God helped me understand my path. It is an important time for revelation. Ask for it, seek it and play with that yourself. I knew that my path as a fighter was over. I had fulfilled that. My place as a teacher is here. The biggest thing is I’m not a fighter anymore. The definition of fighting is to struggle. All of us deal with forms of struggle in our life. We have to learn how to manage that. The right behavior and right doing help us to get over those worldly desires and the things that hold us back.

When we can get past that, the path is easier and lighter. My biggest thing or advice would be is we have so many opinions and it separates us from everything and everybody. If I could say one thing to people, it’s to find love and togetherness. Love is nurturing and supporting. That’s what we need more of. Even at The Dojo, we’re not teaching kids to fight or these techniques. We’re teaching them to breathe, have confidence and these invisible things that will better their lives.

It’s not the professional fighter or the trained martial artist that is causing problems or picking on people. It’s the insecure ones that are always trying to prove themselves. I’m trying to create strong humans that can build this togetherness and take care of each other so that we can get rid of the fighting, the war and the constant trying to prove themselves of what’s happening in the world. I want us to be more cohesive. That’s a little weird coming from a guy who spent twenty years in the octagon.

It’s deeper wisdom. You don’t prove it with your mouth. You prove it in the gym, ring and cage.

The best thing we could do is when you say, “How can we help you?” I appreciate the platform to come on and talk. I feel like as long as I stay in the right way, everybody that needs to show up and learn from me is going to be there. I feel like that’s why things like this are happening. We’re doing something good within our community. I truly believe that as long as I stay on the right path, I will have all the help that I need to be able to help the people that I need to help.

There you have it. Friends, followers, subscribers and viewers, if you have to tell them that you are, then you aren’t. I love you. I honor you. You are the real deal. I can’t wait to support you and invite everybody who matters to each of us to support you in every way we can. God bless you and your family.

Thank you very much. God bless you. Send me that information because I would love that information. I looked for Randy Couture to be my mentor. I looked for these great fighters and champions to be my mentors. Mentors are showing up in my life to be able to show me a path to be able to help. I have looked up to you from afar. I’m grateful to be able to have this conversation with you.

Josh Burkman, the champion’s champion.

 

Important Links

 

About Josh Burkman

PPDC 51 | Commitment To ExcellenceJoshua Ray Burkman is a retired American professional mixed martial artist formerly competing in the Welterweight division. He formerly competed in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the World Series of Fighting, the XFC, and was a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter 2.

 


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