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Fighting the Battle Within with Chad Robichaux

Fighting the Battle Within with Chad Robichaux


Most of us have been in a dark place at some point in our lives. What is the first step to reclaiming ourselves? How can we find the courage to move forward when it seems like there is no way out?

Today’s guest is Chad Robichaux. He is a former Force Recon Marine, a professional MMA fighter, and a bestselling author. After coming home from deployment, he was diagnosed with PTSD.

Chad became lost, depressed, angry, and suicidal. It got to the point where his children were afraid of him and he and his wife were filing for a divorce.

But Chad experienced a moment of clarity that allowed him to make the choice to step out of the darkness and into his true purpose in life. Now he helps other men as they fight the battle within.

The definition of manhood—When you come to that point where you decide you’re not living yourself, but living for others.—Chad Robichaux

Chad Robichaux

Chad M. Robichaux is the President and Founder of the Mighty Oaks Foundation, a leading military non-profit serving the US Military active duty and veteran communities with highly successful peer-to-peer faith based combat trauma programs and combat resiliency conferences.

Chad and his team are dedicated to helping America’s military warriors and their families suffering from the “unseen wounds” of combat such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Their effort is on the front line to intercede and end the climbing 22 per day veteran suicide rate and the tragic divorce epidemic in military families. To date the program has over 1,000 alumni and has reached tens of thousands active duty service members through resiliency conferences.

Chad is a former Special Operations Force Recon Marine and DoD Contractor with eight deployments to Afghanistan as part of a Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) Task Force. He has earned an MBA and is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor with a focus on PTSD.

Chad and his wife, Kathy, have been married for 21 years, and have three children. After years of deployments their family personally faced the challenges of PTSD. They now share a story of a victory in Christ through the struggles our warriors face returning home and have dedicated their lives to sharing that story to mentor others like them.

Chad is a widely sought after public speaker and subject matter expert on PTSD, military and veterans’ issues. He has testified in Veterans’ Courts regarding combat trauma and PTSD, wrote a best-selling book on the subject and has been featured on such media outlets as Fox News, Forbes, The O’Reily Factor, USA Today, Christian Post, Focus on The Family, The 700 Club, and a short biography film by I Am Second.

In addition to Chad’s military service he has served our nation as a Special Agent with the US Federal Air Marshal Service and the US State Department as a Surveillance Detection Senior Program Manager. Chad is also a Medal of Valor Recipient for his bravery beyond the call of duty in law enforcement.

Outside of his work with veterans Chad and his sons train and teaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He is a 3 Degree Black Belt and a Former Pro MMA World Champion who has used his platform to advocate for civilian support of America’s Warriors returning home while competing in the sport’s biggest event.

If you have breath in your lungs, you have purpose. Despite what’s going on in your life, you can at any time step into that plan. All of this requires a choice, and intentionality, and calibrating your life to align with your purpose.

What You’ll Learn

  • Chad’s traumatic childhood and how it informed his military career
  • His start in martial arts
  • Why making a broad decision to change is not effective
  • How to segment your personal goals
  • How to make the decisions in advance before chaos strikes
  • Why Chad says that by nature, men are lazy and selfish. Men have to make a decision that it’s important to be a good dad and be intentional about it
  • How to raise our kids so that they can make healthy decisions and realign when they go off track in adulthood
  • Chad’s 2-point action plan when his kids do something wrong:
    1. Put time and space between when the incident happened and when you address it
    2. Find the lesson in it and pass on wisdom instead of acting out in anger
  • Why you should not take personal offense to your kids misbehaving
  • About his job as a Recon Marine
  • His story of being in a car chase with the Taliban and how it’s his metaphor for life
  • His unrelenting and terrifying experience with PTSD and his loss of identity
  • How he stayed with his internal battle for 3 years and almost lost everything
  • How his return to Jiu-Jitsu and success in MMA replaced the fix for his ego, but did nothing to repair the unseen wounds in his soul
  • Chad’s affair and near divorce
  • How he would sit in a closet with his family’s pictures on the floor holding a gun
  • The moment Chad realized he was the problem
  • What men need to do when they are hopeless and stuck
  • Why it’s a choice not to move forward
  • How he discovered that through all his tragedies and trauma, he did not have to let his past define his future
  • How he found hope and restoration in a new relationship with Christ
  • About his new book and upcoming film
  • His most humbling lessons he’s learned about fatherhood
  • Chad’s marriage advice
  • Using The Bible as the blueprint for marriage
  • His parting wisdom for men who are fighting the battle within
  • His mission to help military veterans find spiritual resilience

MENTIONED EPISODES

Episodes with SEALs

Episodes with MMA Fighters

How to Optimize the 5 Dimensions of Manhood


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Chad Robichaux’s Links

MightyOaksPrograms.org

Might Oaks Store

Free Help for Veterans

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Teaching Your Kids to Defend Themselves

Teaching Your Kids to Defend Themselves

Fight, flight, or freeze. These are humans’ three reactions to danger. What tools do your kids have to defend themselves when they are threatened?

As parents, we hope our kids will never be forced into this position, but in order to protect them, we must teach them how to stick up for themselves.

Martial arts are a great way to give kids the tools they need to defend themselves. They also teach life skills like discipline, perseverance, and courage. It’s not just about fighting. It’s about empowerment—physical, mental, and emotional.

Today we have Dad Edge Alliance member Philipp Lomboy back on the show. He is a martial arts and self-defense expert and the creator of the Everyday Fighter podcast and community. He is also the father of four girls. He has instilled training as part of his daughters’ lives and has raised them to know that they have the right to set their own boundaries and demand respect.

Listen to the benefits of teaching your kids to defend themselves in this short episode!

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RELATED EPISODES:

The Everyday Fighter in Life


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Philipp Lomboy’s Links

everydayfighter.me

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resilience parenting

Resilience Parenting with Chris Santillo


How can we teach our kids to navigate hardships and adversity while also raising them to be well-behaved? Today’s guest is Chris Santillo, the author of Resilience Parenting: Raising Resilient Children in an Era of Detachment and Dependence.

Chris is a black belt instructor of Kempo karate and has established a foundation of three pillars in parenting—learning, service, and integrity. You will find out what snowplow parenting is and why it’s so damaging. You’ll also learn why you should formulate a family creed, how to teach ownership and independence, and how to give kids space to overcome challenges to become constant learners in life.

If you don’t intentionally communicate your values to your children, then they’re either going to end up with no values or someone else is going to shove their values onto your kids.—Chris Santillo

Chris Santillo

Chris Santillo is founder and head instructor at Potomac Kempo, a martial arts studio with four locations in Alexandria, Virginia. Holly is his co-author and the founding conductor of Mount Vernon Children’s Choir and a Senior Instructor at Potomac Kempo. Together, they have been working with and educating children for more than thirty-five years. Chris has a degree in computer science from Harvey Mudd College and an MBA from Georgetown University; Holly has a degree in anthropology from Willamette University. As of the date of publication they are nomadic, exploring the world and worldschooling their three sons.

Anything they figure out by themselves sticks a little bit better than anything I can say.—Chris Santillo

Resilience Parenting

Your children will face many challenges in the years ahead, so you want to raise them to be resilient—strong, adaptable, and able to recover. It is your mission to empower your son or daughter to cultivate a functional and fulfilling life. This essential handbook will help you achieve that goal.

In Resilience Parenting, martial arts instructors Chris and Holly Santillo share the insights they have gained as teachers and parents. They offer positive alternatives to lecturing, bribing, and punishing; focusing instead on three Pillars: Learning, Integrity, and Service. By applying these powerful principles, you can inspire your children to develop the independence they need to succeed as adults, while renewing their connection to family and community.

Whether you are raising a teenager or just starting your family, the methods prescribed in this book will help you unlock your greatest potential as a parent.

The world is a better experience with children.—Chris Santillo

What You’ll Learn

  • What snowplow parenting is and why it leaves kids dangerously unprepared when they go out into the world
  • How we need to give kids opportunities to grow and develop and not do everything for them
  • Letting kids learn to take care of themselves
  • How to raise responsible kids who follow directions
  • Letting go of the constant need to look perfect in front of your kids
  • Why kids need us to talk about our failures as well as our successes
  • How to teach kids on their level
  • How to encourage kids to find solutions
  • The importance of understanding your values as a parent
  • Creating a family creed to reiterate on a daily basis, and making sure behavior is consistent with the creed
  • The Three Pillars of Parenting—Learning, integrity, service
    • Learning–How it’s not about kids learning stuff. It’s about them developing the confidence that they can learn stuff and overcoming challenges even if they don’t have tools readily available.
    • Integrity to self–if you don’t have integrity with yourself, you won’t have it anywhere in your life. You must follow through with the promises you make to yourself.
    • Integrity to others–if you promise something, you must keep your word.
    • Service–Building connections with other people and performing a service for them to have a fulfilling life.
    • Staying connected to other people while preserving independence
  • As dads, when we don’t have the perfect answer to a question, we blow it off or diminish it instead of admitting we don’t know and exploring it together with our child
  • Developing mental and physical strength, adaptability, and recovery
  • Learning to develop strength to approach problems better, then adapting to adversity and setbacks
  • Recovery–knowing that when everything goes wrong and you’re broken down, you possess the confidence that you’ll get back up again
  • Leading by example–Don’t tell kids to do homework or practice their instrument while you go watch Netflix. Show them you’re a lifelong learner too.
  • How to help kids be better at failure
  • Pulling lessons out of books and real life to show our kids
  • The importance of repeating these lessons
  • If kids are not participating in the family chores, you become their servant
  • How to address kids who do not obey
  • Setting rules–reasonable, unambiguous, consistent, and age appropriate
  • How to undo bad parenting habits with kids
  • Chris’s proudest moment in his martial arts career
  • What we all want to know—who would win a sparring match between Chris and his wife?

 

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Chris Santillo’s links

Website

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Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Download this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS

Links


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

How do you become an incredible dad and husband when you grew up with a neglectful father? How do you break the dysfunctional pattern of your family and reverse generations of bad parenting? Chris Romulo is a 6-time Muay Thai Champion and author of Champions Uprising: Fall 7 Times, Stand Up 8. He tells us what it was like growing up with a gambling addict and how he uses his past experiences to be a better husband, father, and community member.

Chris Romulo

Chris Romulo is a martial arts champion and trainer who won several Muay Thai titles, including a US National Championship, a North American Championship, and a Bronze medal in Bangkok in the World Cup. He now runs CROM Physical Culture in Rockaway Beach, NY where he lives with his wife, Sarah, and two sons, Jube and Giovanni.

Growing Up

As a 4th grader, Chris’s parents moved him from an Asian neighborhood to a  community that was a mix of Latino, Caribbean, and Black. He was the only Filipino kid in class and he got bullied because of that. Even his teacher was physically abusive. Chris would try to explain what was happening to his mother, but she grew up in the Philippines where this kind of treatment from teachers was acceptable. She’d ask Chris, “What did you do to deserve this?” That’s when Chris questioned everything. He couldn’t trust any of the adults in his life, making him sad and angry. It affected the rest of his education all the way into high school.

On top of the struggles Chris had at school, his dad was a severe gambling addict. There was no physical or mental abuse. It was neglect. His dad was simply not there. He’d sit at the kitchen table with his head buried in lottery numbers trying to decipher what was coming out next. There was never any conversation. His father never even scolded Chris. It was as if his dad didn’t care if the family existed.

The Father He Is Now

At an early age, Chris decided that his purpose was to break the mold. He heard stories of his grandfather back in Philippines, and found out e was the same neglectful parent as his father. This allowed Chris to understand why his dad was the way he was, but he wasn’t going to be the same kind of father to his kids.

Breaking this Cycle of Bad Parenting

Before Chris met his wife, Sarah, it was just him and his first son, Jube. Chris was a single dad and admits that he wasn’t a very attentive dad. Chris wasn’t into gambling, but when he went to the gym to train, he was so engulfed in what he was doing that his son was ignored. Once Chris realized that he was slipping into the same pattern as his father, he did his best to purposely engage with his son.

On How to Be an Engaged Dad

Chris says the ‘how’ of being a good dad is the basics – interaction, conversation, doing things together. Chris watches TV with his son, goes to the movies, takes him to games. Chris says it’s not complicated. It’s very simple. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, but even if you only have a half an hour, make it the best half hour. Be patient and persistent in making quality time a priority.

It’s simple, but it’s not easy. Just stick to the basics.

Biggest Challenge as a Father

There wasn’t a lot of patience in Chris’s household growing up, and as a dad Chris says that is the main thing. He not only strives to develop patience as a father, but also to set an example for his sons on how to approach life with patience. Life is going to test you every day. The only way to work through the struggles and obstacles is to take a step back and let the emotions settle down before they get the best of you.

#1 Lesson Learned from Fighting

Chris Romulo says the most important thing he learned from fighting was to always have goals. Goals gave him the drive and motivation, whether it was for a single fight or for world championships. Set targets for minor and major goals and have a target for your life as a whole.

Champions Uprising

Chris Romulo always wanted to write a book, but he was full of self-doubt and negative self-talk. He never went to college and barely finished high school. Luckily, he had some friends in the marketing and publishing world who helped him make his dream of becoming an author a reality.

When talking about the subtitle of Champions Uprising, Chris says, “You’re’ entire life is going to be full of stumbles and falls. You will not go through life unscathed. You’re going to deal with stuff. You have to get back up.”

Fall seven times, stand up eight.

Dad Wisdom

Chris Romulo’s dad wisdom is to be flexible. He says that as a man and a father, you must adapt. You can’t be stuck in old thinking habits when you’re in new situations. You need to be dynamic in life and in fatherhood. Your kids are going to grow and change and the way you interact with them will have to change too.

Don’t live off your past.

 

Mentioned episodes

Secrets of the Navy SEAL Mindset: Courage, Confidence, Perseverance and Resilience

The Unexpected Secrets of Men, Women, and Sex with Nell Gibbon Daly

Pressure, Perseverance, and Fatherhood with UFC Fighter James Krause

Frankie Edgar on Life Lessons from the Octagon

How to Raise Strong, Confident, Resilient Girls with Bas Rutten


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Resources

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

GRAB A COPY OF THE DAD’S EDGE HERE

Join our Dad Edge Group on Facebook Request Entry Here

We have new Dad Edge T-Shirts!  Grab one HERE

Download a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Download this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS

Links

Chris Romulo’s Links

ChrisRomulo.com

Champions Uprising: Fall 7 Times, Stand Up 8

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