Ep 246 – Meet Your Fellow Mixed Mental Artists: Dave Colan

[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5288456/height/90/width/450/theme/custom/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/autoplay/no/preload/no/no_addthis/no/direction/forward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/00bfff/” height=”90″ width=”450″]Dave Colan is an improv comedy teacher at the legendary Second City which gave us alums from Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray to Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Dave is working with us on the #CultureMatters series and will generally be calling me (Hunter) out regularly and often 😉

You can follow Dave on Twitter at @davecolan or his other Twitter account @nexttokimdavis. http://www.pride.com/entertainment/2015/09/03/17-genius-tweets-person-who-allegedly-sits-next-kim-davis


  1. Jeffrey Lawrence Omar Reply

    Dear Brain/Hunter and the team,

    I’ve been thinking about what Dave said about the term ‘idea sex’ and coming up with an alternative for it; one that keeps with the theme of Mixed Mental Arts, and I’d like to propose the term ‘idea sparring’.


    I’m going to take a wild guess here and assume that the term ‘sparring’ immediately brings up the idea of competition–where one idea beats up the other and the winner takes all. However, from my personal experience, that is more the fantasy of what sparring is rather than the truth.

    I’ve had some limited experience with different forms of martial arts training. I did Taekwondo which was very formalised training, that for the most part, was focused on ‘kata’, or the practice of very formalised patterns of actions. I did very well in kata. However, things started to fall apart for me during my first official bout, because being very good at kata does little to nothing to preparing you for facing an actual opponent. It simply ingrains a fixed way of doing things.

    Later in life, I took up Aikido. The dojo I was in practised none of the forms of instruction I was used to. There was no kata, there were no fixed patterns to follow. Instruction involved learning by observation, followed by practice through sparring–every. single. session.

    Initially, this form of instruction infuriated me. I felt like there was no clear path to follow, no clear milestones to hit. I struggled with it. Yet, when I applied myself, I very quickly learnt the value of it. Learning through observation required that you pay attention to what was happening in front of you, trying to understand it, and adopt it in yourself. Sparring then let you test what you’ve picked up and see if it functions in practical application. Believe me, nothing tears apart when you think you know about how a move works, like a sparring session.

    What came out of a sparring session was learning; to me, real learning. Winner, or loser, each gains more knowledge from the session: whether that is a refinement of technique, adaptation and adoption of new ones, or just the sobering thought of how weak your game is. In short, it built robustness.

    Once I had internalised this it didn’t take long before I, as a white belt, was thrown in with the blue and brown belts (which if you’ve done jujitsu you can pretty much figure out meant I was thrown in with people who would very much try to kick my ass).

    While I get where Hunter is coming from with the idea of ‘idea sex’, two weak ideas having sex will probably spawn yet another weak idea. I think ideas, especially on Mixed Mental Arts, should spar… and each come out the stronger for it.

    Thanks for reading.

    1. Hunter "Toto" Maats Reply

      Jeffrey! Firstly, Bryan’s name is usually spelt Bryan. That you spelt it BRAIN is really the highest compliment Bryan could hope for 😉

      Secondly, I actually just had lunch with someone who does a lot of marketing and is pretty tight with the TED crew. Of all the things I said, the thing she loved most was…IDEA SEX. Go figure! Everyone is going to have things they like and don’t like and I like the idea of idea sparring for all the reasons you so eloquently laid out. In the end, the great thing about evolution is we try many things out and we see what sticks. Some people will like idea sex. Some people will like idea sparring. Some people will just go for conversation. In the end, whatever works.

      If you’d like to write something up on this, then send me an email at huntermaats@gmail.com.

      Thanks so much Jeffrey. Love to all humanity – Toto

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