How good luck is woven into every Lucky Gi? Part 1

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If you’ve never heard of Richard Wiseman, then you may not know that luck has been studied scientifically. 

Or that Wiseman has found, after a 10-year study on the links between human behavior and good fortune, there are actually 4 basic principles you can rely on to live a lucky life, full of pleasant surprises. 

It’s strange to say out loud, but there seems to be a scientific way to charm lady luck.

Because as well as publishing his research, proving this odd statement to great acclaim, Wiseman has also founded a “luck school” where his methods are taught.  

Impressively, Wiseman discovered a whopping 80% of his students reported dramatic changes in their fortune, even within the first month of applying these four principles.

They were living luckier lives. 

And not superficially lucky either. 

In an article titled “The Luck Factor”, published in the May / June 2003 issue of The Skeptical Inquirer,  Wiseman explains what he means by “luck”.

Detailing the story of a man named Barnett Hellzberg Jr., who in 1994 owned a successful chain of jewelry stores, Wiseman explains how Helbzerg, then in his 60s, was considering selling his jewelry empire.

As luck would have it, by utilizing the principles Wiseman discovered in his 10 year study, Helzberg just happened to be walking by The Plaza Hotel in New York at the same time as famed billionaire Warren Buffet. 

And as he was passing by, he heard Buffet’s name being called out – dropping seemingly out of the sky and into Helzberg’s life at just the right moment – and inquired if he was indeed that Warren Buffet, the richest man in the world. 

He was. 

Not skipping a beat, Helzberg Jr. was able to sell Buffet his entire chain of jewelry stores for a great sum. 

I’ll explain how Helzberg was using which principles below, but, even more important, I’ll also explain how Lucky Gi, unbeknownst to me at the time, was created using all 4 principles firing full throttle.

For those interested in just how powerful these principles are to change your circumstances, or how simple they are to use

Read on to discover Wiseman’s four principles – and how they are woven into every Lucky Gi –  to give you an edge as a Jiu-Jitsu fighter. 

Principle 1: Creating and Noticing Opportunities 

Like the Jewelry store owner mentioned above, lucky people tend to have their eyes open to opportunity, whereas unlucky people are more focused on having a white-knuckle grip on security and avoiding unfortunate events. 

Helzberg Jr. was walking around with the right mindset to begin with, because most people probably wouldn’t have even noticed when the name “Buffet” was called out. 

Further, to even be open to the idea that this Buffet may be THE Buffet required the positive expectation and trusting his intuition that yes, this may truly be the opportunity of a lifetime. 

For those with an unlucky mindset, the possibilities would have been thrown out cynically, if they were able to arise in an unlucky mind at all. 

Perhaps swimming champion Shirley Babashoff put it best, at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal:

“The difference between winners and losers is that winners think about what they want to do. Losers think about what they are afraid might happen.”

The more you can open your eyes to opportunity, by staying focused on what you actually want, and at the same time let go of those crippling thoughts of insecurity that follow us all around… the luckier you will be. 

Which reminds me of how Lucky Gi started back in the 90s. 

You see, I started training Jiu-Jitsu in 1993.

Back then, I had to drive 90 minutes each way through L.A. traffic just to get to class, burning $60 U.S. dollars a class plus gas, for each round trip.

And, to give you an idea of just how much was held back from students in those days, we were not allowed to spar. 

No live sparring. 

We reviewed 3 techniques per class, on average, and then we were dismissed, free to return to our road-rage inducing, soul-crushing and bank-draining commutes. 

But these were only some of the obstacles to learning the gentle art. 

Back then, especially for new students, the gis sucked.

The martial arts stores didn’t have gis made for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu readily available, so you had to either settle for a giant, baggy Judo gi, or else wait for someone to return from Brazil with “the good stuff”. 

However, even then, “good” was relative. 

But before we get to that…

One of the problems with the Judo gis was that Judo gis weren’t made to kick inwards. 

So the stitching in the crotch was such that you couldn’t really do any effective guard work. 

If you’ve ever worn jeans that are too tight, or had trouble getting your foot through the end of the pant leg… 

Imagine that feeling of being completely stuck as you try to move… and then trying to play open guard with about 50% of your range of motion similarly unavailable. 

Yeah…

Back to the BJJ gis.

If you were a white belt, good luck. 

The way it worked was, IF someone had come back from Brazil with gis, because you were lowest on the totem pole, you got last pick. 

Just imagine MC Hammer in his parachute pants and you have a pretty good idea of what it was like back then to wear a “BJJ Gi”.  

Plus, the knees wore out quickly, the gis ripped all the time, and in all the same places, because there were no reinforcements in the stitching, and in general those gis seemed like more of a liability to training than an asset. 

So, considering Wiseman’s first principle of living a lucky life, which is to create and notice opportunities, it’s safe to say I stumbled onto this principle because given the situation…

I was pretty desperate to create or notice ANY opportunity to get out of those wretched things. 

Well, wouldn’t you know it…

In 1996 I was living in Mountain View, California, training at Ralph Gracie’s gym. 

On my drive, I used to pass this place where they made sails for sailboats. 

Sailboat racing was huge all over the coast, especially up near the Bay Area, and one day as I passed this place, a lightbulb went on for me.

These guys are making sails that can withstand the pressure of enormously powerful winds, changing directions all the time, and they don’t rip. 

So maybe they could teach me something about how to reinforce my BJJ gis so that they wouldn’t rip all the time, and could stand up to training.

And what I learned from them was incredible, and led to many of the innovations you see on ALL BJJ gis now… 

This is the end of part 1… to learn Wiseman’s other 3 principles of how to improve your luck, and how these principles are really what made Lucky Gi possible, woven into every gi we sell, stay tuned for part 2. 

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