This week's Quest for New Inspiration is answered by Alan Baker, an expert in martial arts, cave diving, and self-defense, among numerous other skills. We discuss all of his many talents and the importance of shooting your shot and finding the best mentor. This episode is sure to inspire adventure.
Sifu Alan Baker is a high-performance coach and an internationally recognized martial arts & self-defense expert. He has been training continuously in the Martial Arts since 1981 and teaching since 1990. Alan has 40 years of continuous experience in the arts. He is the author of The Warrior's Path: A Warrior Based Approach To Personal Change and is the Civilian Tactical Training Association founder. He has appeared in several national magazine articles. In the course of his career, he has achieved the level of black belt or higher in multiple disciplines of martial arts (Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, Muay Thai Boxing, Wing Chun & Shaolin Kung Fu, Filipino Kali, Jeet Kune Do, Keysi Fighting Method) as well as numerous instructor level certifications in different systems under some of the industry's most renowned teachers such as Tuhon Dan Inosanto, Master Pedro Sauer, Sifu Francis Fong, Sensei Erik Paulson, Ajarn Chai Sirisute, Ajarn Greg Nelson, Tuhon Tim Waid, Grand Tuhon Leo T. Gaje, Jr, Professor James Cravens, Master Bob Byrd, Guro Don Garon, Grandmaster Dana Miller, Sifu Paul Vunak and Coach Justo Dieguez. In the tactical training field, Sifu Baker has taught countermeasures and defensive tactics, firearms, and edged-weapon programs through his AMAC Tactical Training Group to Fortune 50 corporate security teams and law enforcement / SWAT teams throughout the United States from the Marietta SWAT team here in Georgia to the Cincinnati SWAT team and the California Highway Patrol unit to name a few. He has been privileged to work with and design training programs for the Department of Defense, CIA, and other specialized government and military groups like the U.S. Department Of Homeland Security. Sifu Baker is a certified Armed Personal Protection Specialist (PPS) and the Defensive Tactics Instructor for The Executive Protection Institute (EPI) in Clarke County, Virginia. Alan created a specialized defensive tactics program for Protection Agents (Bodyguards) named Protection Response Tactics (PRT). Sifu Baker's AMAC Tactical Group also teaches defensive tactics for Vehicle Dynamics Institute in New Jersey. VDI & EPI are considered the top schools for teaching Executive Protection (Bodyguards) and tactical / security driving globally. M.R. Baker is a licensed Private Investigator in Georgia and has worked as a protection agent for several top names in the entertainment industry. Outside of the martial arts, Coach Alan is a SCUBA Diving, Rappell Master Instructor, and a Firearms Instructor. Alan is also the Association Director for the Combat Submission Wrestling Association (CSW), The Francis Fong Instructor Association (FFIA). As well as the KFM International Team and acts as a manager for the U.S. in the Keysi Fighting Method Instructors Association. Alan has also designed and implemented business plans for multiple international associations for some of the martial arts industry's top names.
Hello. And welcome to another episode of the Quest for New Inspiration. My name is KT Maschler and before I get started with this week's episode, I just want to take a second. And ask my audience what they want from this podcast. And that would be you. So, if you have anybody in your life who is a big inspiration or somebody that you would recommend or love to hear from send me a DM or. A email to email@example.com. I would love to hear it from you guys.
On this week's episode, I am excited to share with you my conversation with Shufu Alan Baker. He is a high-performance coach and internationally recognized martial arts self-defense expert and he has a multitude of other skills that he gets into in this podcast.
I am so excited for you guys to listen and tune in on all of his adventures. I hope he inspires you [00:01:00] as much as he's inspired me.
Alan Baker: Hey guys, my name is Alan Baker. I'm mostly known for being a lifetime martial artists. Uh, In the industry for over 41 years. full-time I've been teaching people, uh, full time since 1991, trained in multiple systems of martial arts. It's one of the things that, uh, is unique about what I do is not just one or two individual systems.
Uh, I've been fortunate enough to be able to pursue multiple, uh, systems, through the years. I have had a huge passion for it still do today. Um, additionally, I do a lot of, uh, work as a repel master and repel, master instructor, diving, instructor, shooting instructor, perpetual students, um, add, but I think it's a super power because focus it in the right direction.
Uh, it it's, it's a great thing. Unfocused it's, you know, it can control you. So. that's [00:02:00] briefly who I am.
KT Maschler: Wow. That's crazy. I did not see the dive master instructor. Tell me a little bit about that. Cause I'm always super interested or scared really of the ocean, but always very intrigued. What do you, how does that work?
Alan Baker: I started diving in the mid nineties when all the way through to full cave, uh, certified cave diver, obviously it's an underwater. Uh, well, water, you don't have direct access to the surface, so it's a little more dangerous. but it is a test. One of the reasons I got into it was because it tested me. You have to have a lot of mental control to do it.
Uh, but these days I do a lot of, certification for divers on multiple levels. Uh, get the run a DOB trip on occasion, uh, with a group of friends, which is always fun. but that's, uh, you know, it's a blast if you've thought about it, [00:03:00] you know, definitely look into it. I've had lots of students that are, have a fear of water.
And, uh, you know, for them, it was one of the reasons I got into it because they are looking to conquer that fear. You know, the big thing I would say is, uh, take your time, find an instructor, this not in a hurry. so you can ease into it and become comfortable because, uh, the more comfortable you are, the better diver you're going to be.
And where are you going to enjoy?
KT Maschler: What kind of like started this, like, I guess, mission to learn all these different traits and then teach them to everybody else. Like what kind of inspires.
Alan Baker: when I was a teenager, I met a martial arts instructor and, uh, during the week he taught classes at his school, but on the weekends he ran, uh, an expeditions company.
So at that time, you know, teenager, I was, I had some free time. So I hung out on the weekends and he would put me to work. We would. Go [00:04:00] climbing. We would repel. We would dive, you know, at that time, uh, I was not aware you had to be a certified, uh, mountaineering survival. He ran the whole gamut. He was ex military special forces and I kind of grew up.
Under that type of personality. And then I got into my mid to late twenties moved to the Chattanooga area and I realized that, you know, that's when I started realizing it wasn't a normal upbringing. At that time I didn't have access to him. So I wanted to pursue growth in that area. One of my principles I follow is, uh, you know, an organized self-education process.
So. Uh, that fell in that category. And, uh, I started looking for mentors and teachers and I haven't stopped since, uh, still to this day, even though I teach people, I still actively try to pursue information, knowledge, and growth as best I can in those areas.
KT Maschler: What do you, was there one thing you can share that you're like working on right now that you [00:05:00] just newly found that your research.
Alan Baker: you know, uh, I would say the blade is thing. And by latest, I mean, probably in the last 10 years is shooting, um, uh, started the tactical training business a few years back and I got involved with, uh, some military groups, law enforcement and security personnel. And, uh, they introduced me to shooting and I was involved with.
Because I was simply out on the field with them. Uh, I'd go in, I'd teach for two days. And then I watched them do their thing for a couple of days. Eventually they said, Hey, you should come play. You know, I started getting into it and playing and, you know, I never really. Looked at myself as a shooter or as a marksman, but then, you know, 10 years later, I realize I've got, uh, boxes of ammo and multiple guns.
I've got a couple of range bags and, uh, you know, after seeks kind of have to admit, and you've got a problem, you know? So, uh, I realized, you know, I've got to[00:06:00] start pursuing it and take it a little more. And that's when, uh, I started doing the same thing I did with a lot of the other areas is locating a good mentor and, uh, trying to educate myself a little bit better in that area.
KT Maschler: So what do you do when you mentioned you're studying all these different things and continuing education, what do you do when you're kind of lacking?
Inspiration or motivation, or you just don't want to go swim all day today or what not? What do you think?
Alan Baker: Well, one of the big things for me is, um, I call it a passion source and, uh, it's, there's different things in life that can be a passion for us, you know our passion source, a loved one. Someone you care about.
a life event, maybe it is a vision of a goal, but it's something that when you think of it, it gives you energy. so like when you have an, a moment like that I actually have a notebook with [00:07:00] those things listed in it and it could be, it doesn't always have to be positive energy either. I've got some things in there that, You know, might've made me angry at one point in life, but it's just the fact that it is a source of passion.
And I mean, even, you know, anger properly directed is not a bad thing. You know, you just don't want to. In a bad way, I'll tap into that notebook. And after there's several of them in there that I read halfway through the explanation and I'm like, I'm ready to go get something, get something done. And, uh, so for me, just the principle of a passionate source, um, is huge, mixed with gratitude.
One of the big things that it'll ground you. I think that I teach my students is a gratitude drill, taking the time to look around and realize what you're grateful for, you know, how fortunate we are. And, uh, you know, that brings you in the moment into the here and [00:08:00] now. Uh, and those two things on a bad day is what will get me motivated to get me moving.
KT Maschler: Perfect. That's awesome.
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KT Maschler: Do you have any other. Tools or resources that you kind of like practice to stay like motivated in my.
Alan Baker: motivation in mind. Uh, well, I've got a whole list of boom that I'll follow. Uh, yeah, I'm actually finishing a second book on that list now. and uh, the first book I [00:10:00] wrote, I really didn't go into detail on it, but I discussed it and I had so many requests to go back for the list that ended up what I started outlining and eventually finishing the book on.
but as far as just motivation, you know, realizing your goals, having the ability to sit down and take the time to know where you want to go. And from a thousand mile view, sometimes especially people who are highly motivated. They get so caught up in the little moment that they're driving toward that they don't have the ability to every now and then back out and look at the big picture and determine if what you're doing is working, make some adjustments and move forward.
Um, so being organized in your direction for me is a motivator and, um, I'm the type that'll get so caught up in something. I won't look I'm blinders on. And so I literally have to put it on my calendar. four times a year, this day you're going to stop and you're going to look at [00:11:00] everything you're doing and assess it.
Is, are you going in the right direction? You know, a lot of times you realize you're wasting time and energy on something. that isn't necessary in. And sometimes, you know, it might be someone that might be pulling energy out of your life, you know, and you have to handle that appropriately and decide what to do, uh, for yourself and where you're going.
So a good organized process. for your overall goal and direction, that's one of the things that keeps me motivated or on task as I moved through a year or, you know, a 10 year span.
KT Maschler: That's perfect. I love that so much. Do you have any. Like inspirational movies or just Instagram kind of social media people that you follow that you go,
Alan Baker: You're going to think this is nuts.
I haven't owned the TV since 1990. Oh, wow. [00:12:00] I can't legally get away with saying that anymore because my. My little brother, my adopted little brother bought me a TV. Like it's like two weeks ago and it's still sitting in a garage
So, uh, you know, I can't say that there's a movie, or anything like that.
That motivates me. I have individuals one of the big ones for me, there's several is, uh, Dan and Assano, he is the protege of Bersley. Um, he is in his late eighties and he still gets up every morning and hustles and. Does more than me and watching him pursue growth, health, uh, and everything he does, you know, it's like, I, how can I complain?
I got to get to get off my butt and go do something. Pedro Sauer, who is one of the highest ranking jujitsu guys in the world, he's the same way. He he's still on the mat, uh, and still going and, you know, and he's, he's had some. [00:13:00] Surgeries in on his body before, because you know, he had a rough path and it's not always easy, but he's still on the mat and doing it.
so that I have several of my teachers are my mentors that, uh, those are who I look at and it's not us because, um, I have access to them and that, I think that's pretty important. It's another big principle I'll follow is connect yourself to a. A living mentor to me, it's one of the top sources of wisdom and knowledge that you can get.
Uh, you know, you can buy a book, but, and you're going to get knowledge and information, but it's kind of dead in my opinion. But if you can connect yourself to someone that is a hustler, a mover, a shaker, somebody that's making change, creating growth in life and. You know, have them have the discussion. I need a mentor and not all of them are up for it, but you know, the ones that are truly growing and making change, will do it.
And then they can give you guidance. And for me, that's, [00:14:00] that's a living source of motivation, knowledge and growth.
KT Maschler: Yeah, that's part of the, I love, I can relate to that so much. That's part of the reason I've picked my jobs that I've chosen just because each one of them, not necessarily just the company I was like wanting to work for, but I met this person.
I was. I want to learn from you for the next, whatever span of time I would love to work from you. Be my mentor. So I love that. That's amazing. Okay. So I don't, I don't want to take too much of your time. Go ahead. Sorry. Yeah, well, um, I'm at just podcasting at the moment, but, um, I actually just got a new job and I met them.
I met two of them the other day and I walked out of the appointment or the interview. And I was like, if I do not get this job, I will be so, so upset because those are two of the greatest humans I have. Ever met [00:15:00] both in there, just like general presence, both in there, their marketing knowledge. I'm so excited to get started at that job.
So, yeah. And haven't started it yet, but I'm starting the next week, so yeah. Well, thank you. Well, I won't take too much of your time. So any last piece of advice that you have to.
Alan Baker: Uh, you know, it was beat to death. But I would say don't be afraid to shoot big, you know, in my life. I said, you know, I'm going to go and be this thing and it'll take me a while to get there.
Cause that's what I thought at the time. And once I arrived, I had to kind of look around and was like, well, you know, I should have. Shot for more. Uh, and even the people I coach, this is one of the things I will tell them. Don't be afraid to shoot for it, to make the big plan. Um, you will fall in an inappropriate spot.
KT Maschler: Perfect. Okay. If anyone wants to learn more about you or connect how.
Alan Baker: Uh, [00:16:00] website is seafood, Alan Baker, S a F U a L a N B a K E r.com. you could also reach me through the academy, uh, in Atlanta, the Atlanta martial arts center.com. Either one of those will eventually get you to me.
KT Maschler: Awesome. Well, thank you so much for your time today.
Alan Baker: Thanks for having me.
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