210, 2018

The Victory of Struggle: Life Lessons from a Sea Turtle

October 2nd, 2018|Blog|

When I was in Costa Rica several years ago running my annual Primal Edge Retreat, I came upon a natural wonder that taught me a life lesson. That lesson came from my spirit animal, a baby sea turtle who was making his way to the ocean that awaits him.

Many people have seen turtles being hatched on the shores of beaches around the world. Many have seen countless see turtles make the arduous trek from their nest of sand to the ocean that awaits them. How far that crawl must feel to the little ones? How foreign this new world must feel? 

Many of them do not make it to the ocean. Nature can be a merciless caregiver. Predators (including humans) either take them while still in their eggshells, or await their slow process towards the water, picking them off as they struggle towards their salt water haven.

Many kind hearted people see this dismal voyage and want to help. They want to grab as many of the little fellows as possible, carry them safely to the water and let them be free. I wanted to do the same when I was in Costa Rica watching this spectacle. But, before I could do so I was stopped and corrected in my ways.

A marine biologist happened to be on the beach as this occurred and told me something that I would never forget.

He said that rescuing them would kill them in the end.

I was puzzled. Then he went on to explain. “When the turtle leaves its egg, it is too weak to swim. It MUST crawl the length of the beach in order to get strong enough to swim once it reaches the water. Otherwise, once it gets there, the very ocean that it is trying to reach will kill the turtle. It MUST struggle in order to be strong enough to survive.”

I thought to myself, how many times have I tried to rescue people who NEEDED to struggle?

The very act of attempting to rescue them robs them of the very thing they need in order to survive. We as teachers must remember this vital lesson. Our job isn’t to take their pain away. Our job isn’t to carry them to safety. Our mission is to teach them that THEY have the power to save themselves and that their struggles and hardships are necessary for their growth and development.

Instead of saving them, our purpose is to be the witness of their process. We must walk along their side as they trench through the sands of life. Ultimately, none of us knows what will happen once they reach the shoreline and disappear into the great ocean that is life. Yet, in trusting the process of preparation, we can be assured that their struggle was necessary and worth it.

“The victory of struggle brings you freedom.”- Sandra Bakyta 

About the Author

Buck Grant is a Life Long Martial Artist, Movement Artist, Podcaster, Life Coach and Author. Annually he hosts a retreat called The Primal Edge in Costa Rica that explores what it means to be a Primal Being in the Modern World.

2507, 2018

The Power of Shutting Up: My Talk with Tony Blauer by Buck Grant

July 25th, 2018|Blog, Uncategorized-1|

A few days ago I was given an opportunity of a lifetime. In the midst of a big controversy involving the CrossFit Self Defense, martial arts and self defense community, (see link HERE for context) I had the opportunity to interview the founder of the Crossfit Self Defense system, Tony Blauer on my podcast, The Fight Focus.

I felt a lot of pressure from the martial arts community going into this interview. I have always considered myself the United Nations of the martial arts community. I tend to get along with most people, even ones who exist on opposite ends of the belief spectrum. I see that as an advantage generally. In this situation however, it caused me a bit of anxiety.


1707, 2018

You are NOT a Special Snowflake: Fighting Narcissism

July 17th, 2018|Blog|

I read an article today while flying back home from a workshop. It was called, “What it means when a Narcissist says ‘I Love You.” As I read through the article, I found myself increasingly getting angry. Why? Because it reminded me of a past relationship. Each bullet point highlighted my deepest pains over the course of a two year period. Drenched in self efficacy and in a self aggrandizing way, I told myself I had “forgiven” her. I’ve read every self help article about “forgiveness being more about you and less about them,” and bought into the idea that all was well within me. It’s funny how the universe will give you test after test to validate or destroy your beliefs.

Anyways, as I continue to read, I started to wonder, “What would make someone act in a narcissistic way?” How could someone, anyone, operate so selfishly in a world that demands collaboration and cooperation to survive?

The word that comes to mind, that answers this pervasive riddle? Entitlement.

Many of us have been raised with the idea that we are special. That sense of being different, of being unique has separated many of us from this all encompassing truth: We are not special snowflakes. We all are a part of the human condition. We sleep, eat, shit, fight and fuck like every other human, dare I say, every other mammal on the planet.

The problem is, many of us think and feel that we are NOT like the rest of the world. While the majority of our species lives in dangerous environments, literally fighting to stay alive on a day to basis, we, the blessed ones of the civilized world, do not. 

We have forgotten what humanity’s true nature is because we are far removed from it. We have forgotten that life, by design, is hard. As a result, we feel that the natural state of the world is ease. We seek, with reckless abandon, the pursuit of pleasure, or at the very least, the absence of pain. Therefore, the lense through which we view the world is skewed. Our expectation that a life without conflict is the norm has set us up for failure. It has made entitled, whinny children of us all. 

The article about narcissism angered me initially because it made me mad at her. Upon further reflection, however, my anger wasn’t truly with her (well, not solely.) My anger was with myself. I was an active participant in a tumultuous relationship. I was codependent. I chose to be romantically intertwined with someone who wasn’t capable of true connection and empathy. I therefore became entitled in my own way. I expected the laws of nature to bend to my whiny will. I wanted change, but wasn’t willing to leave the relationship in order to achieve it. I expected someone to give me emotional stability when A. They didn’t have the capacity and B. That wasn’t their responsibility in the first place.

The bottom line is this: Personal responsibility equals true salvation. You are not a victim. None of us are. Despite our circumstances, we are responsible for how we interrupt it and what we do with it. 

To be clear, I do not say this to be insensitive to those who TRULY suffer from trauma. In such circumstances, the help of professionals may be needed to help one surmount the misfortunes they have faced. Yet even then, ones personal responsibility to seek help is still the only way out of such hell. To blame others for our lack of happiness and our unfair circumstances rob us of our true power and thus our true freedom.

YOU are not special. YOU are responsible for YOU. The stark realization of this universal fact unlocks the key to a fulfilled and meaningful life. 


3009, 2017

Cracks in the Lion: How I Live with My Scars by Buck Grant

September 30th, 2017|Blog|

Idea for my next tattoo.

The idea comes from the Japanese art of #kintsukuroi which is “to repair with gold.” In this art, pottery that has been cracked or broken is repaired with gold or silver lacquer. At the core of this practice is the understanding that we can be made beautiful for having being broken.
I have always resonated with lions as being strong and in command of their domain. But the lions I have always resonated the most with have been the ones with scars. They have been through hell and back and yet still remain alive.
My own life echoes in this lion story. Perhaps that has been the real issue. I have identified with my scars. I’ve etched them into my identity and that etching has been of service to me. It has also kept me back from thriving at times. This is the nature of most of our stories that we tell about ourselves. Paradoxically they both serve and doom us.
My body has suffered many of injuries in the last year; hell, in the last lifetime. What if those injuries HAVE served me well? What if the cracks within my skin, bones, psyche and soul could be filled with gold. What if they indeed make me who I am?
I ponder these questions as I and my partner Angela Meyer await possible knee surgeries (both injured by training Bjj ironically.) I will continue to play with these concepts till they, like the scars within me are etched into my being.
If you are in pain, if you are hurting from your scars, I feel you. I am with you. I understand that trauma of any sort is hard to bear, and that some of us carry heavier burdens than others. By no means do I undermine the difficulty of anyones path. In the end, WE have to decide how to live with the damage we have incurred.  
We are all flawed, perfect pieces of art roaring into the cosmos, hoping to be whole again. But maybe, just, maybe we can patch fragmented beings back together. Perhaps the gold that represents the scars within reflects the light that we truly are; a light that can never be broken and always remain beautiful.


#kintsukuroi #kintsugi #scarredlion#beautifullybroken
P.S Thank you Daniel Chacon for inspiring this post. Love you brother. ❤️

2507, 2016

“Never Homeless” by Buck Grant

July 25th, 2016|Blog|


​Never Homeless
We are frail creatures. Our underbellies are soft. Our fragile bodies feel exposed to this seemingly dangerous world when we are alone, and so we seek the presence of communities. We are wired to be tribal creatures. We thrive on the comfort of being around people who truly SEE us because it makes us feel safe.

Odd is the soul who ventures into this world alone; who makes the choice to live a nomadic and hermit-like existence. I made that choice nearly a year ago, and “odd” is a term I am quite comfortable being described as. What is more odd about this choice is that I am a very social creature. Though I grew up shy and afraid to communicate with others, I quickly changed when I started training martial arts. I found a group of people who accepted my quirkiness and even embraced me because of it and therefore found my voice in a world that once left me speechless.

Why then did I travel into this world alone? Why did I choose to leave my comfortable apartment in Norfolk VA, my martial arts school right down the street, and decide to live on the couches of friends around the nation for a year if I am such a social being? After all, the world teaches us that a modern day tribe exists in the confines of a village, and that anyone who ventures out of the comfort of that village must be an anti-social, and aberrant creature.

And why did I cry in solitude today while sitting in my car outside a coffee shop in Washington DC?

Last week I visited my dear Tango teacher Mercedes back home in Portsmouth VA. I needed a break from the city.  With all its energy and potential, DC was wearing thin on me. Even though I knew people there and my partner resided within it’s city limits, I was beginning to feel very alone. I wasn’t teaching much and I felt a sense of loss because of its absence in my life. My temper had begun to flare up. I consider myself a very calm person and most people who know me well would agree. Something about being in DC while fostering a new relationship and figuring out my next chapter in life had sent me over the edge. I experienced road rage for the first time in years. My partner and I were fighting a lot. I needed to remember what it meant to be soft again, because I had become hardened and guarded.

In Tango, magic happens in the trusting embrace of another person. I felt my hardened shell melt as my dear teacher guided me through a practice that felt grounding, bonding and healing. Afterwards I sat with her at her dinner table and had a drink while we spoke to her daughter on the phone. I had met her daughter Amber before, and she had become family to me, so while sharing a conversation with her via speaker phone, I felt a sense of family connection I had not felt in a really long time.

That weekend I taught an impromptu Muay Thai workshop at one of my student’s, Kru Adam Mallehan’s martial arts programs. Teaching has always been something that has made me feel like I had a purpose in life. I hadn’t been back to VA in a while, but my career was fostered here. I have students in the area that still value me so I figured that the best way to connect with them all would be to do a workshop where we could all train and bond together.

To my surprise, people all over the Hampton Roads area came to support my workshop.  Students from various martial arts schools gathered at Diego Bisbo’s Academy in Virginia Beach, Virginia to train and welcome me home. In addition, two of my Bermuda affiliates Chuck Morgan and Nikki Maries came, as they happened to be stateside while I was in VA. The workshop felt like a family reunion.  I felt happy beyond belief as we all moved together on the floor in celebration of this art that we all shared and loved.

Last week reminded me that I would never be homeless. Though I have chosen to be without a home, I will always have people in my life that love and support me. I realized that my choice to leave a constant brick and mortar shelter of a residence only amplified my sense of community. Since December of 2015, I have lived with many friends for short periods of time while I followed my work wherever it took me. My friends eagerly brought me into their dwellings for weeks or even months at a time in support of my nomadic lifestyle. There were times, of course, where I worried where my next stop would be. Fate however always guided me to another friend. Each time I felt more appreciative and blessed for the life that I lead and the people that I share it with.

One day soon, I will choose a place to call “home.” I will pick a place to be my base while I hop from adventure to adventure elsewhere. Until then, I will not be afraid. I will not be sad. Instead I will celebrate with gratitude, knowing that I will never be homeless. I will always be taken care of by those that I cherish and support. Because of them, I am boundless, I am limitless, and I am truly free.

2305, 2016

Be Passionate…About the Whole DAMN THING

May 23rd, 2016|Blog|


​If you are going to pursue something that is worthwhile, you have to fall in love with it. Not just the idea of it. Not just the end result of it. You have to be passionate about he whole damn thing.

The problem is simple: We are dreamers. New years resolutions represent the dream of a new beginning. We see ourselves with more money, a perfect body and the partner of our dreams. We think the dream is the end result, when in truth; the dream starts far before that.

The dream starts on the first 1-mile jog where you quit half a block into it. It starts with the failed promotion of your brand new product that no one wants to buy or the rejection of the first woman (or man) that you ask on a date.  It includes doubt and fear. It includes rejection, ridicule and falling on your face over and over again.

What also comes with all of that is getting back up again. The dream continues far after your first, second or even third defeat. The heart of your dream you see, is your ability to persevere in the face of adversity because, rest assured, all successful people fail. What makes them successful is their ability to rise again and again while keeping on their relentless quest to walk forward in the direction of what they truly want.

When I fought, I would jog almost daily. Roadwork, as it is called in the fight world is the foundation of most fighters regime, but not necessarily just for conditioning. I would use my jogging time to train my mind for the upcoming fight. While my breath was labored from the fatigue of pounding the pavement, I would visualize my fight. I saw myself stepping into the ring with my opponent. I pictured the perfect fight where the stars aligned and everything went my way. I also pictured things going horrifically wrong. I pictured every scenario imaginable as my physiology synched up with my psychology, breathing life into my vision with every thought and every step on my run to success. In the end, I would always picture myself with my hand raised, no matter how good or bad my imagination made the fight. I would sprint at the end of my jog and physically raise my head and hands to the sky in triumph as the image of beating my opponent perfectly coupled my full on effort ant the end of my roadwork.

My point is this: In order to be successful in anything that you do you have to be passionate about the process. You have to mentally practice how difficult it may be to obtain what you want daily so much that the struggle is second nature and worth it. You have to love how much it will hurt as much as you love the result because your passion includes the beginning, the end and the unforeseen future after your achievement.

So when you dream about your goals, do yourself a service. Do not cheat your passion by merely thinking about the end result. Dream about all of it. Be passionate about the whole damn thing, and let that passion carry you towards what you want.

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