Month: January 2016

Confidence Gained From Martial Arts Training Helps Your Career And Life

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     Ok , when I was kid I was a chubby,poorly dressed nerd. I was a good athlete but I struggled with my weight. We didn’t have a lot of money so my clothes were not great and my house wasn’t like my friends. We went to tiny and strange church and that made me very different from my friends. Being fairly intelligent this lead me to sequester myself in my room with books. Not necessarily a bad thing except that your social life dies. That will effect your ability to interact in business later in life. Good and bad there, but hang on.
     That nerd trait served me well but the lack of interaction and confidence would have been hard to overcome. What changed?  Martial arts entered the picture. Training in the ring and the discipline of that style of training helped in so many ways. The discipline helped me finally start building my conditioning. While playing and being decent at other sports, I just never was pushed to get in shape. Wrestling and martial arts gave me that discipline and desire. A big help in the confidence killing Jr high age lol.  I’m going to toss some random pictures in here of what that does as well as training and students, then we will move on to how it helps in business and life.

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The fact is the confidence I gained from training gave me more than I could imagine. I was terrified of girls and not exactly popular before I started this. That confidence allowed me to go on a date with girl who was way out of my league. 31 years later we are still together. That is a fact!!!!!  In business, it helps in so many ways. While I fear little after spending time having other pro fighters try to take my head off, I do fear trying to get new clients and business. The nerd still comes out but the confidence allows me to schmooze. Over the years I’ve stopped having to worry as much about it as most of the business I need finds me (very much a function of a life in martial arts).
    Confidence to talk to that girl/boy. Confidence to go on that job interview. Confidence to approach new business for your social media marketing empire. All of these things can be gained by taking the Step to start training. I still see the benefits every day. Having been successful running a trading firm and now a large social media and creative consultancy that background serves me well. Not to mention building my training business and traveling the world to train other fighters.

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I guess the best way to put it is that martial arts helped make my dreams come true. Training in Muay Thai, karate, kung fu and jiu jitsu are still helping my dreams come true. The confidence and connections I have help me make an impression in the social media marketing world each day. They did on Wall Street before that. See what it can do in your career whatever it is. See how it can help your personal life.
    If you want to work with us and build your company or career by getting seen, contact us. From ad campaigns to shout out and simple links on posts. We also do consultations for businesses both for vision and direction. Using 20 years on Wall Street and experience of owning gyms, stores and media companies to help you build yours. Email tompkinscontent@gmail.com and follow @combatsportlife and @tompkinscontent on twitter

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A Simple,Easy and Gorgeous Chicken Dish (with wine and black bean!)

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One of the things that a lifetime of training in martial arts has given me is the opportunity to see different ways of cooking simple things.  Through studying various cultures I get to see how to make great dishes with products that aren’t always ridiculously expensive. Twenty years on Wall Street let me see lots of great cuisine, martial arts let me in the kitchen to see how to really do it, and not expensively.
     Let me say that while some places I eat or places I shop are very expensive, most of the dishes I post are expensive to cook. Also, no matter what and after all the success of various endeavors, I have no need of spending way too much. It’s how I got here. Walmart and Aldi products work fantastically here if you need. Make great and adventurous dishes with what you have. It’s where all great cuisine comes from.

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This one is easy and can be changed up to your own taste. Quick and easy to do if your busy training to win your next Muay Thai battle or building your social media marketing empire!  Been busy doing both in my life and dishes like this were a lifesaver.
    The interchangeable ingredient list. You can change the spices and liquid according to your taste and budget! Yeah I know that’s not very snobby gourmet but whatever lol.
  2lbs boneless chicken breast
   Red wine
   Diet cran mango drink (any brand, heck generic)
   Fresh ground black pepper
   Garlic powder
   Tony Chachere creole seasoning (optional)
    1 can sweet corn drained
     1can black bean drained
   2 tbl spoons steak sauce ( A1 to generic, does not matter!)
      Sliced Gouda cheese

  Put the thawed chicken breast in a casserole dish. Or enough red wine in to almost cover the breast. Did on garlic powder, black pepper and creole seasoning to coat. The amount is up to you but is best if the top of the breast is totally coated and then some put into the liquid as well. Toss the steak sauce and a a few cap fulls of the cran mango drink into the the liquid mix. Cover and let refrigerate for at least an hour(over night is best).
    When your ready to cook, add the black bean and corn to the dish. Cook for 40 minutes at 400. Your time may vary as this was the time with my Samsung range set on convection. After it has cooked, take the chicken out of the mix. Cut the breast into small pieces. Then mix it back into the dish. Tossing and covering everything in the gravy/ corn and bean mixture. Yes the liquid will turn to an almost gravy consistency sauce.  Cover the whole thing with slices of Gouda. Shut the heatvoff but put back in the oven to let melt and mix simmer. About ten minutes. Take it out and you have perfection!

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Just enjoy. Easy,simple yet elegant. Use what you have and can afford to make adventurous meals. It’s something I truly believe in. Hit these websites for ideas and to understand what I mean.
https://www.aldi.us/
http://www.walmart.com/
http://www.traderjoes.com/
      If you need help marketing your product/company/restaurant contact us for ad and marketing plans. Cheap and effective in a way that gets you talked about. Blog links, social ads and chat. Email tompkinscontent@gmail.com and follow @combatsportlife and @tompkinscontent on twitter n

Who Thought Fremont Street On Halloween Was A Good Idea??!! (In pics and words )

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So last fall my wife had an upcoming conference (medical industry ) that was going to be in Vegas, so I booked a few training sessions with fighters I hadn’t had a chance to work to with. Of course I all booked some PR and advertising work for that week since I was going to be there.  Neither my wife or I thought anything about the dates we would be there. So Halloween in Vegas didn’t dawn on us.  What really didn’t dawn on us was when some friends with us said “let’s go to Fremont Street ” on Halloween night!  We were staying at The Wynn on the strip , so a short cab ride later and we were there!  The cab ride was cool as well. The driver was Thai so we had a great conversation about Muay Thai and Thai culture. No matter what I’m a fighter and trainer at heart and my conversations will end up there. Plus its always nice to hear about the culture and country from a native. They enjoy talking you as well. Martial arts crosses boundaries, but I digress lol. Back to poor decision making. I might have failed to mention that one of our friends wanted to go in costume, we did not. So above you’ll see a picture of my wife(sensei Sandy to Team Transcend fans) and I on either side of Avatar!  Took this at the Wynn just before we headed out, mostly in case they needed our picture for a milk carton! Fremont Street is very cool, if always a bit goofy and strange. Add thousands of crazy drunks in costume on a night and I felt like I was going to end up on an episode of CSI !!! Seriously though it is a cool area. It’s old Vegas meets some new tech with cool street beer vending carts. If you go to Vegas often or just like the old Golden Nugget style history you should go. Check it out at
http://vegasexperience.com/  And now I’ll start the adventure pictures. It was actually safe and fun but very strange for us Midwest folks.  Take a look.

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So as you can see it was a blast. Strange,visually stunning yet overloaded, but a blast. Did I mention strange. OK at least for a Midwestern Muay Thai fighter/trainer and his hospital department manager bride it was strange. Tons of fun though!
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Travel Pics For Today With Wine!!

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These pictures are in and around the beautiful Rocky Waters vineyard near Galena Illinois. Great area for a short trip. Lots of history and food. Lots of food. The area is both quaint and beautiful. From a historic view it was the home of Ulysses Grant and 8 other Civil War  generals. When i say its  an historic area i mean it! I’ll do a whole pictorial and review of Galena soon, but for now a few from Rocky Waters.  I love their Tower Red. Really a very good wine not just an Illinois tourist plug(so many bad wines here). The Tower Red is awesome and I really like the Hillside Rose as well. You can do a great Tasting here and it is just cool to walk around and look. Kyle Spahn runs a great place!  Check out rockywaters.net
 

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Look for a full Galena review soon including where I stayed and more. Great place and a cool easy trip. But seriously if you are someone who travels the Midwest and does the wine tastings at all the crappy wineries, this is really great wine and a fun experience.  Cool building, interesting people and good wine.

A Simple Dish That Makes It Look Like You Know What You Are Doing

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A nice beef and mushrooms dish is just what the Dr ordered when you are training hard and the cold weather sets in. Nice lean protein level and delicious. This one is elegant looking and tasting but truly a circus monkey could make it. At times I will change and use fresh but its winter and cold quick and easy. A good canned mushroom will work fine here as its going to cook in red wine that turns into a gravy like sauce. Try it however you like but this dish is perfect the way I list it here. It is similar to a great many beef dishes served in the best restaurants and will make you look like you know what you are doing. Not terribly time consuming either so you can get back to training or marketing. 

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OK before I put out the ingredient list here let me say you can use all kinds of cuts of beef. I am normally a very lean red meat guy. Both by taste and health. Lean and very rare. That said I’m also a guy who grew up learning to make whatever you could come up with taste good. If funds are limited or you are hunting for subsistence food, you learn to work with it and make it good. It truly is where the great business and dishes of the world come from. I recently had this conversation with a Dr friend after we had just finished a meal at a world famous steak house in Vegas. It was good but other things we had that week were much better and some of that had to do with the training of the various chefs. Learning to work with what you have makes you better and can make the experience better for others. There is a benefit here beyond your own abilities. If you are entertaining for clients in your marketing business or taking pictures for social media marketing, you are going to wow folks. It’s the simple elegance that gets them every time. Trust me. If you are having people over from your dojo or working on lifestyle issues (huge plus if you work on these things) with your staff or known fighters, these kinds of dishes and ideology are always a Knockout !

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For this article and to just use whatever, I snatched a piece of boneless Chuck out of the freezer. My wife grabs them to put in the crock when she has to cook. She doesn’t cook much since I’ve had a home office for over 20 years and I actually like to cook. In the last few years as life slowed down a bit she has begun to enjoy cooking with me. Or as we like to call it, listening to music and drinking in the kitchen lol. In any case this was an inexpensive 2lb life of chuck from our great Mahomet IGA. I truly mean that, love that place. Great stuff and facility in a tiny town. Plus I went to school with the wife of the couple that owns it and knew the husband from when I coached wrestling. In any case you can use any cut of beef. Make what you have work.  Enjoy cooking it and take time to put your own spin on it. Life and cooking should be a fun adventure! (Read the article below this one!!!). You and your family will appreciate the outcome.
    Here is this list. Your amounts will vary and use what you have. Also my measurements are never super exact lol. I do pinch , throw and wine glass measurements. I do this for fun and I get hit in the head a lot! 
2lb boneless Chuck roast.
At least 3 cups (just use a bottle and drink what you don’t cook) red wine. Used cab sauv here but your choice.
Season salt
Garlic powder
2teaspoons any steaksauce
Fresh black pepper
8oz can of mushrooms

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  Thaw the piece of meat out fully, or if just bought you are ready to go. Depending on the size of meat you can adjust the dish. Glass casserole dish works great.  Lay the meat in the dish. Coat the the top of the meat with garlic, season salt and black pepper as you would a dry run BBQ. Pour red wine over until covered and dish close to full.  Pour the steaksauce in on the side. Add the same spice mix to loose liquid. Stir a bit. Cover with foil and put in refrigerator for 24 hours. Can be done immediately but letting it soak for 24 hours makes it unbelievably better. Also once it’s done, the leftover portions are so good a few days later. People who make Italian beef know what I’m talking about !

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After marinating for whatever time you have its ready to cook. I actually like to let mine return to room temperature for an hour or so before cooking if I have time. So once ready its time to cook. Based on the size of meat you have and your drive, adjust times accordingly. Drain the liquid off your can of mushrooms. If you need to be able to fit it in, drain some of the marinade liquid off the beef. Dump your mushrooms in. Set the oven, in my case on convection function at 350 for 45 min. When it hits that take it out. Slice the meat and then stir back in to the liquid and cooked shrooms. Shut the oven off and let the whole thing warm together in the oven for just a couple of minutes. Boom. Delicious!

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Enjoy it with vegetables or potatoes as a side or nothing! Make sandwiches out of the whole thing. As an elegant dish with roasted potatoes to show off (when they see and taste the sauce that has formed around it you will get offers to run a Vegas restaurant!) Or sandwich food. It’s great either way. Enjoy.
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Helpful links from text and pictures in the post
http://www.mahomet.iga.com/
http://www.wusthof.com/usa/Products/Knives/knives.jsp

Random Walk Pictorial Vegas Part 1

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Within the huge Venetian compound. It and the Palazzo which are the ight together have many cool little nooks and areas. Feels just like Italy

   So I’ve been thinking about travel posts and pieces a lot lately. As someone who travels extensively, something that doesn’t get covered enough is just random shots of an area. I like to get to know an area if I can. All over it. The cool and beautiful and the slightly grittier. In some places, a few feet is a stark difference in  how things look. So on and off here I’ll be posting some random pictorial pieces with some captions. As part of larger travel pieces from trips, I’ll add these. Heck it may just become my review process!  It lets you see what things are like and not just the glossy pics we all post. Doesn’t mean the pictures won’t be beautiful and cool, just a bit different. Enjoy, learn a bit about what an area looks like and share.  I have tons of Vegas so I’ll start there and it will take several articles. Coming soon as well, Galena Illinois for its history, food and wine.
      Read the captions to see where the pic is and a bit of what was going on. I’ll keep to doing big full travel articles but going along with our lifestyle theme here, I think this is a cool way to show a place. I wander randomly when I get somewhere, so the posts should wander.

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Treasure Island, looking at Señor Frogs. Along the strip, this is where they used to have the cool pirate ship battle some years ago
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Along the strip, headed toward Belaggio near City Center. Can see Paris and Ballys on the other side
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In the Venetian. Lots of mobile walk ways on the outside. Very cool although the week d to often be shut down
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At the edge of City Center, far end of strip from the Wynn where i was staying. The Harley Restaurant you can see across the street looked cool. Didnt go but looked cool and seemed like this area had some food and drink deals. Unlike the end i was staying on
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Down on that same far end of the strip. Near Monte Carlo, MgM etc. Sime parts getting a but run down but it appears they are starting renovation to this section. Never stops in vegas
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I seriously do not know what this area was called. Just past miracle Mile area, close to New York New York. Looked like it had been a happening place. Pretty dead now. I was literally the only person walking around there. Places were still open but i think it had probably become late night cheap drink and food place. Cool though
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Still in the dead zone
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More dead zone
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Didnt get a chance but this 800 degrees pizzeria looked great
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A taste of another pictorial to come. Freemont street on Halloween. Yes we were there. That will be a great pictorial, although im unsure how to caption most of them

More coming soon. I take way to many pictures on trips, and enjoy just discussing the random. Fremont Street on Halloween may have to be the next travel piece. So many goofy pictures from that.
    If you’d like to sponsor one of these posts getting an ad and perma link or have a full social media marketing and advertising program, contact us.  @combatsportlife on twitter or tompkinscontent@gmail.com.

Renting A Cabin In The Great Smoky Mountains

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I’ve been taking Trips To the Smoky Mountains for as a long as I can remember. As an adult, I’ve been taking my family there fairly frequently since 1993. I’ve been there many times and been all over the area. I love it. The beauty of the mountains and the plethora of things to do makes it a great destination for any age or economic demographic. From cheap restaurants and motels to gourmet experiences and gorgeous/expensive resorts. Live music, great craftsmen showing how it was done hundreds of years ago. Science, go carts and bungee jumping plus lots of food. Some cool bars for night life if that’s your thing. Great shopping and unusual items. Did I mention lots of moonshine stores and tours?  Very cool.

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I could list so many great things about the area but you can easily look up what you are interested. One of the best parts is being able to see and learn about the history of the area. Being of proud Native American heritage and being raised in both native and white culture, it is a fantastic place for me. You can see and learn much. Again I could go on forever, rafting, fishing hiking and water parks. Food !!!  OK no let’s move on to lodging, specifically cabin rental this time around.
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There are so many different choices for lodging in the area. Motels, hotels cabins and condos. Timeshares and complete resort communities. The list is endless and the prices range widely. You can still find a motel room in the area for under $50 a night. Or you can spend over a thousand a night. I’ve stayed in hotels, time shares and cabins here. Most were great and some, wellll lol. I want to talk about this last trip though. Let’s go through who I used, how it works and then a bunch of pictures ! Remember, I’m a fighter/trainer that travels often and writes a bit but not a travel writer or photographer! Please bear with me and enjoy my amateur status !
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This time we went through a rental management company called Aunt Bugs. There are many like this in the area. People build or buy investment/vacation cabins in the area and put them in rental with a company to help cover costs. In the case of Aunt Bugs they are all in various gated properties. Large areas that are open, feel like you are in the middle of nowhere but have security as you come in. At ours, we drove up a tiny mountain road, straight up, for a solid 15 minutes after going through the gate to get to our cabin. Be aware that it can be like that. I loved it, but if you fear heights or tough driving you might want to rethink this.
We made our reservations and paid through AuntBugs.com. I travel often so I’m picky, but I will say for a small operation they did a great job. On check in day, we drive to their office in town, picked up the security pass and key and then headed off to our mountain home for the week. The one we were staying at was quite a ways from the town where the office was but that was great with me. See the cool tourist stuff in town and then drive out through the beautiful Wears Valley and up a mountain to our hideaway. Perfect.
The cabin we had was gorgeous, and remote. Standing on the beautiful deck the first night, having a beer and looking at the mountains a small black bear joined me. Didn’t really join me, he stood down in the yard and looked for food while I watched him. Great experience, but know that you will possibly come in contact with bears. Learn about what you need to do and how to act. There was also a great hot tub on the deck. We were there in March this time. One evening my wife and I stayed warm in the hot tub looking at the mountains, while snow flurries came down and we enjoyed a great bottle of wine. Truly as great as it can get.
I’m just going to let a group of random pictures speak for themselves. Enjoy and see if this might be the relaxing adventure for you.
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Check out AuntBugs.com to see all the different options. The people there were helpful and it was all quite simple in a complex age. As somebody who gets to travel often, I really enjoyed this one. By the way, I didn’t hire the beautiful models in the pictures. That’s my wife and daughter. Martial arts has been good to me lol.
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