Why Train in Mixed Mental Arts? Because in an Ever-Changing World, We Need Minds Like Water.

After studying numerous fighting styles, Bruce Lee observed a problem with all of them. Fighting styles have a style. There’s an orthodoxy. There’s a way of doing things. And that rigidity makes these traditional styles easy to defeat. There are very clear holes in their fighting game that a fighter from another style can easily exploit. As such, Bruce Lee defined not a rigid style but a series of principles and a process for continual improvement. He knew he had to give this approach a name so he called it Jeet Kune Do. It’s defining principle is that of taking whatever is practically useful from anywhere.

Out of that basic approach evolved Mixed Martial Arts which rather than rigidly studying one style blends the best of all times and places. Crucially, those styles are then tested against each other in the octagon. You can talk all the trash you want but, in the end, your ability to practically deliver is what counts. What can you do in the octagon?

Well, have we got news for you. You’re in the mental octagon. Right now, you live in an age when your thinking is being tested against the thinking of every other human on the planet. You’re in the Intellectual Thunderdome. And if you don’t find the holes in your mental game, then someone else will and they will relentlessly exploit them to succeed. You need a gym of supportive people who will help you up your mental game for the challenges the world presents and that, ladies and gentlemen, is where Mixed Mental Arts comes in. We’re not here to teach you what to think. We’re going to teach you how to get better and better at finding the holes in your mental game so you can fix them. The goal is to develop a mind like water.

Water has an amazing ability to handle any environment you put it in, and in an ever-changing world a mind that is adaptable is the only one that will survive.

In practice, we are like water as little children. We’re little sponges. We can absorb any culture. However, as we grow up, our minds become increasingly rigid. Assumptions set in. We develop rigid identities. We like our latté made a certain way. Developing a mind like water requires unlearning old habits, learning new and better habits and relearning skills we may have forgotten and suddenly find we need. Mixed Mental Arts is here to help you do all of those more effectively.

In practice, while Bruce Lee is famous for breaking the forms, he first learned the forms in order to break them. And so, to aid you in your journey, we have created the Mixed Mental Arts belt system to help you on your journey. However, you should know that Mixed Mental Arts is not about reaching some destination. It is about an endless pursuit of mastery. There’s a reason why we should all learn to enjoy the journey…because there is no final destination.

Jeet Kune Do and Mixed Martial Arts have drawn on the most powerful fighting techniques from all the cultures and fighting styles of the world. In the same way, Mixed Mental Arts takes from all the cultures of the world. You call it science, religion, good business practices or military strategy. We call it opportunity. It doesn’t matter where a way of thinking comes from. In the end, Bruce Lee defined how we should all approach ideas, cultures and ways of thinking in the 21st Century.

So why should you train in Mixed Mental Arts? Because in a world that is constantly evolving, the only way to survive and thrive in humanity’s intellectual thunderdome is to be finding the holes in your game before other people do.


Right after being born in Saudi Arabia, I was taken to the Callen house. Since then, Bryan and I have travelled the world with our Citibank fathers and somehow ended up in LA together. There we'd run into each other at family gatherings and do something that no one else in LA seemed to be doing: we talked about books. Since Bryan was kind of a big deal, Hunter and Bryan hatched a scheme to use his podcast to get on their favorite authors and professors. Out of that evolved Mixed Mental Arts and this tribe. For me, the marriage of entertainment and education is a return to how things used to be before our culture split story into two separate things. It's exciting to be able to build on the work Katie O'Brien and I did for The Straight-A Conspiracy and expand it out to every area of life. While I play a series of roles in the Mixed Mental Arts community (including Shitty Dutch Uncle and Bryan's #1 fan) my favorite role is as Toto who pulls back the curtain and let's the world see that there are no wizards...only men and women who try and puff themselves up to seem important.

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