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A Champion’s Uprising with Muay Thai Champion Chris Romulo

How do you learn how to make something of your life when you never had an example to follow?

Today’s guest knew he wanted to make a name for himself in the world, but he didn’t know how. Growing up with an unavailable, addicted father, he was filled with anger and took it out on those around him. But he says that we are all born with the champion spirit within. All we need to do is tap into it.

Muay Thai legend Chris Romulo returns to the show to share his story of a champion’s uprising. He talks about how he grew from a frustrated, depressed young man into a world-renowned fighter, and how he’s used what he’s learned in the ring to become the husband, father, entrepreneur and community leader he is today.

Chris Romulo

From the humblest of beginnings in Queens Village, Queens, it was Chris Romulo’s dream to make a name for himself. While he was physically present, Chris’ father was not emotionally or psychologically there for Chris or his family. This took a toll on Chris as he struggled with abandonment, depression, and bouts of anger. Watching his father struggle with a gambling addiction provided Chris the drive to achieve something greater for his life as he inched and clawed his way through his early years. But, it was a near death street fight that turned out to be the decisive moment that turned Chris to Muay Thai, setting him on a path to personal growth and success, in both the sport and life.

Muay Thai was the perfect outlet for Chris’ natural physicality. With this newfound passion, Romulo became a true pioneer of the sport in 1995. Despite limited opportunities to showcase his skills in New York City, his successes were many. Romulo was determined to learn and gain as much experience as possible training and fighting up and down the East coast. At the start of his career he racked up an impressive amateur record of 18-3-1(7), earning 5 WKA state and national titles.  His bronze medal performance at the 2004 IFMA tournament in Bangkok was the launching point for his jump to professional fighting.

In 2011, after an illustrious career in which he posted a remarkable pro record of 13-3 (10KO) and, his crowning achievement, earned the Professional North American Super Middleweight title in 2010, Romulo made the momentous decision to retire from fighting and pay his passion for the sport forward. Due to his successes in the ring, many of today’s young athletes grew up watching Chris, were inspired by him, and continue to look to him as a foundation of the East coast Muay Thai community.

The year 2009 was a pivotal year for Romulo in his desire to extend his reach beyond the ring. He decided to bring his passion and respect for the culture of Muay Thai to a more mainstream audience as he opened CROM Physical Culture in Rockaway Beach, Queens. Through CROM PC, Chris has been able to continue his work with the youth by partnering with the Muay Thai Preservation Project, offering scholarships to at risk youth for no cost. Romulo and CROM PC have helped shape and guide the lives of countless youth that have gone on to winning national Muay Thai championships, excelled in their education, and have become competent and confident individuals in their community.

Chris Romulo is a product of his resiliency and Muay Thai. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc to Rockaway Beach. Romulo and his wife, as well as many others in the community, lost everything. Their home and their business were destroyed. The entire peninsula was devastated. But, Chris’, and his wife’s, resiliency powered them through this time period. While living in a friend’s basement, Chris and his wife, Sarah, rebuilt their gym and became a central part of the Rockaway community as it tried to climb out of the hole that Sandy left. Today, CROM PC has a permanent home, incorporated new programming, and has a 300+ member community.

While reflecting on his 20+ years as a Muay Thai fighter and coach, Chris felt the need to increase his reach beyond the four walls of his gym and NYC to try to help change as many lives as possible.  In 2015, Chris began offering online training programs that focused on martial arts, fitness, and mindset. Chris’ projects in 2016 included creating the first ever World Muay Thai Summit, featuring superstars John Wayne Parr, Bazooka Joe Valtelini and Chris Algieri.

Champions Uprising

In May of 2017, Chris’ memoir, Champions Uprising, will be published. His story displays his unwavering mindset of determination, grit, and the perseverance of the human spirit. Chris Romulo grew up in a broken home. His mother Lucita, a Filipino immigrant, wanted Chris to go to college and live the American Dream. His father Carlito, also a Filipino immigrant, detached himself from the family and turned to gambling.

After a series of unfortunate events in grammar school, Chris took to the streets of Queens, New York, where at twenty years old a near-death street fight redirected his life and purpose. Chris then set off on a twenty-year journey through the study of Muay Thai, which took him from New York City to Bangkok, Thailand and back again. As a fighter, Chris went on to become the first professional North American Super-Middleweight Muay Thai Champion in 2010. But after retiring, Chris was forced to make one more comeback when Hurricane Sandy destroyed his home and gym in 2012.

Chris is convinced that struggle and setbacks can be the fuel to future success. He also believes that by understanding how the mind works, you can use your thoughts as weapons for hunting down your dreams rather than digging yourself into a hole. “Control your thoughts. Control your reality,” is a mantra Chris likes to live by. And he is eager to share his story with the world and uncover stories of “champions” of other industries, to show how we all have the tools inside us to overcome adversity when we tap into our fighting spirit. So while continuing to coach at CROM, Chris now motivates people outside of the gym’s four walls through public speaking.

“It all takes heart.”—Chris Romulo

MENTIONED EPISODES:

Larry Hagner on The Eight Count Podcast with Chris Romulo

Reversing Generations of Bad Parenting with 6-Time Muay Thai Champion Chris Romulo

The 4-Step Process to Build Unshakable Confidence

 


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Chris Romulo

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alcohol-free

What to Expect When You Go Alcohol-Free


Are you concerned about your alcohol intake?

It’s the peak season for drinking. Many guys waking up with a nasty hangover will wonder what it would be like to give up alcohol for awhile.

But we worry.

Wouldn’t it be boring? What would our friends think? How would we relax at the end of the day?

Today we have everyday dad and alliance member, Darren Bellew on the show. After 35 years of drinking, he decided to try a 30-day detox. Once he reached that milestone, Darren experienced the benefits of being alcohol-free and just kept going.

More than a year later, Darren is still alcohol-free. Instead of feeling deprived, he has more energy, more time, better performance, and a deeper connection with his family. Darren has built a better relationship with himself, learning to solve his problems rather than putting them off by drinking.

If you’re thinking of taking a break from the beer and the booze in 2020, this episode will help you understand what to expect when you go alcohol-free!

“When you start to go alcohol-free, the biggest fear is losing that connection.”—Darren Bellew

RELATED EPISODES:

Changing Your Relationship with Alcohol with Ruari Fairbairns

How Giving Up Alcohol Will Revolutionize Your Life with Ruari Fairbairns

How to Conquer Alcohol Addiction with Ruari Fairbains

Sobered Up, So Now What? with Steve Galatioto


MUSHROOM COFFEE?

WHO COMES UP WITH THIS SHIIT(AKE)?

Four Sigmatic

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Darren Bellew

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self-realization

Extreme Self-Realization with Chris Duffin


Are you the victim or the hero of your life? Did you know that the choice is yours? You have the power to leave the past behind and construct your own world by extreme self-realization.

Today’s guest is Chris Duffin. He is known as “The Mad Scientist of Strength” and holds the world record for dead lifts. He is also an entrepreneur and the author of The Eagle and the Dragon: A Story of Strength and Reinvention.

Chris Duffin has one of the most brutal childhood stories you will ever hear. His life was full of poverty, hardship, and confusion. But Chris refused to let the past define him and is now living the life he purposely created for himself, doing what he loves and thriving with his family.

Listen to Chris Duffin’s story of extreme self-realization and how you can decide who you want to be and how you will leave your mark on the world.

Chris Duffin

Chris Duffin is the Co-founder and Chief Engineer at Kabuki Strength, an organization devoted to optimizing human performance and making the world a better place through strength. He previously worked as a corporate executive and has turned around automotive, aerospace, heavy equipment, and high-tech manufacturing industries.

Chris was previously ranked number one in the world in various powerlifting disciplines and has held numerous world records. Now retired, he is known for his industry-changing innovations and education in the strength and clinical worlds. He’s a leading speaker on topics related to strength and human movement, and performs insane feats of strength to help charities and organizations whose work he believes in.

It’s very important to understand that the things that happen to you are not who you are.—Chris Duffin

The Eagle and the Dragon

The world may know Chris Duffin as “The Mad Scientist of Strength,” but you wouldn’t have ever guessed that if you saw the scrawny kid skinning rattlesnakes and chasing dragonflies in the early ’80s. The story of his unconventional life will take you from gripping tales of murder, trauma, heartbreak, and survival deep in the Pacific Northwest wilderness all the way to an idealization of the self-made man–still flawed, but never broken.

In The Eagle and the Dragon, you’ll follow one man’s journey into the darkness of his own heart and witness the transformation of alcoholism, pain, and defeat into vision, character, and victory. Through Chris’s powerful self-realization, you’ll see how the human spirit can be either shackled by circumstance or freed from it.

What You’ll Learn

  • Chris’s upbringing in a family of 7 living on $5,000 a year
  • He was homeless half his life, living in the wilderness among shady people who avoided society like murderers, serial killers, and human traffickers.
  • When Chris was in high school, they moved into a mobile home and he finally felt stability. It had no doors inside, and they had to cover the windows with plastic. When they moved out, the fire department burned it down because it was unlivable.
  • His mom grew marijuana for a living.
  • What it’s like reflecting back on his life and imaging his kids going through what he went through
  • Why Chris would still not change anything about his life
  • How Chris took custody of his three sisters while he was working through college
  • His mother was one of the strongest people he knows. She taught him discipline, perseverance, and how to live by your own rules. She was abused when she was younger and distrusted society, so she made a life off the grid.
  • Chris’s biological dad was a Mensa, intelligent and disturbed. He suffered major depression and alcoholism. They had a pen pal relationship.
  • How Chris watched his father attempt suicide
  • Chris’s stepfather was an artist, writer, and musician. He was a recovering heroin addict who got clean to be with Chris’s mom. Still, he had major mental health issues.
  • The impact of both Chris’s fathers dying in similar ways and leaving absolutely nothing behind to show for their lives.
  • When Chris realized he wanted to make his mark, to leave a legacy that he did good in the world
  • Chris’s mom wanted to create her own world, and she did. Chris followed her footsteps and created his own world, except one in society. Either way, it’s still freedom.
  • The stories we make up about ourselves take away our power. You’re the only one holding yourself back.
  • How to forgive people for their faults and look for positive things
  • The power of always looking to the future
  • You are defined by your actions and your response to your environment.
  • The story of the eagle—to break free from self-limitation and fly to the heights of what you can accomplish
  • How to begin the purposeful reinvention of oneself
  • Choosing who you are and taking the steps to become that version of yourself
  • Don’t dwell in the past. The only reason to look back is for evaluation.
  • Why you must understand your values before you set goals
  • Chris’s hobby of building custom vehicles
  • Why he doesn’t place job ads or look at resumes when hiring for his company
  • How men get blunted in a disengaged life.
  • Chris wants his children to know that they can form the world around them and shows this through his actions.
  • Why stress should NOT be avoided.
  • Strength is adapting to stress and makes us stronger and more resilient
  • Seeking physical, mental, emotional challenges to grow stronger.
  • Finding the balance to care for your children while teaching them strength and resilience
  • The key to success is finding the people with the same values.
  • Physical strength is the least important. Mental, emotional, and spiritual strength are the most valuable.

RELATED EPISODES

Wake Up the Hero with Wes Chapman


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Chris Duffins’s Links

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Your Kids and Technology_

The Truth About Your Kids and Technology: Exclusive Dad Edge Alliance Q&A with Cal Newport


We’re just beginning to understand the impact of the internet and smartphones on society. Our time and attention are sucked away, and we look at a screen instead of our real lives. Energy for valuable activities is drained from us and we have nothing left for creative thinking. The long-term effects technology has on our kids’ wellbeing and development is even more alarming, leading to mental health issues and addictive behavior.

Today we have a fascinating conversation with our previous guest, Cal Newport, the author of Digital Minimalism. He joined our Dad Edge Alliance Mastermind to answer questions about:

  • The unknown effects of too much screen time on our kids
  • How the best way to shape the way kids use technology is to be an example
  • Why screen time is especially dangerous when used for escape
  • How to set practical boundaries around device use
  • How to use boredom to unlock creative juices
  • How to get kids on board with limiting device time
  • The disturbing effects of social media on teenage girls
  • Why multiplayer games are creating the worst addictions
  • How tech subverts our human drives
  • What to do when kids need tech for school work
  • How to teach kids to deploy tech for useful purposes, not entertainment and avoidance
  • What to do when your kids want to start their own social media audience, like a YouTube channel

RELATED EPISODES

Digital Minimalism with Cal Newport


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Cal Newports’s links

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Embrace the Past to Win Your Future Mark Crandall

Embrace the Past to Win Your Future with Mark Crandall


What is the story you‘ve been telling yourself over and over again that keeps you from stepping into the best self you can possibly be?

Mark Crandall is a Transformational Life Coach, host of the Purpose Chasers Podcast, and the author of Embrace Your Past Win Your Future: The Difference Between Being A Victim and Playing One. He was not a dad at the recording of this episode, but he will likely be one when it airs.

Mark has tremendous insight as a son who was abandoned by his biological parents and a man who is about to step into his role as a father.

Mark tells us how to:

  • detect and debunk self-limiting beliefs
  • change the toxic story you have about yourself
  • keep pushing through fear
  • resist the temptation to fall back into a destructive mindset
  • stop playing small and step into the role of the hero of your story

Get ready to win your future!

The men that you have around you, you will become.

Mark Crandall

“Mark’s is a story of uncommon adversity and triumph. At age three, Mark was taken from his biological mother by the Department of Youth and Families and placed in the foster care system. He lacked the tools and supports to manage both his grief and his new reality in society’s margins. From the pieces he conjured stories about his own worth. At around age 12 Mark began contemplating whether or not to just give up.

He began to engage in criminal activity, acting out his aggression at the expense of those closest to him and society at large. Mark began to self-medicate with substances; thus began his spiral into painful, chaotic addiction. Mark found himself in and out of youth detention centers and other correctional facilities. Though, even in his lowest moments, Mark recognized what others saw: There was greatness in even him.

In 2007, Mark found a spiritual program of action in which he began overcoming the many traumatic moments of his childhood. He also began the process of repairing the damage that he had caused others through his efforts to navigate life. Mark found freedom in an introspective process which informs his Transformational Life and Business Coaching and drug and alcohol Interventions. Mark is trained in some of the most powerful transformation practices available, all of which he uses in his work with others.”

What You’ll Learn

  • Mark’s estimate that 95% of society operates from a victim mentality
  • how society is coddling victims
  • how Mark was able to abuse drugs during his entire stay in prison
  • how Mark quit drugs and has stayed clean for 12 years
  • his longing for his biological parents to this day
  • the huge impact Mark’s adoptive father made in his life
  • how to keep growing and moving forward when your demons rear their ugly heads
  • why community is the key to staying on track
  • how to notice when we’re resorting to outside sources to feel adequate
  • why in reality, no one lacks motivation. They only lack belief in themselves to carry it out
  • the real reason we don’t invest in ourselves
  • how to strip everything you know about yourself and build a new story from scratch
  • how to chose to not to play the victim
  • why there are no such things as barriers, limitations, and judgements outside the ones you create in your own mind
  • why the “I already know” attitude prevents your from learning
  • why Mark as a dad wants to be constantly humbled so he can admit his faults and be a transparent, authentic dad

MENTIONED EPISODES:

Working to Live, Not Living to Work with Aaron Walker

How to Optimize the 5 Dimensions of Manhood

Battling Cancer as a Dad with Hal Elrod

 


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Like the show? Leave an iTunes review.

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Mark Crandall’s Links

Website

Podcast

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==>NEW!!<== Grab a copy of The Dad’s Edge AUDIOBOOK on iTunes or Audible

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Links


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What did you think of the show?

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