Justin Pollard BJJ4PTSD

Justin Pollard has been a Brand Ambassador for us since Day 1.  He is a WeDefy Foundation Ambassador, Veteran, and Avid Competitor. Thank you for your service to our nation and that you for being the representative for our sport that you are! We asked Justin a series of questions and as always, the man did not disappoint!
Do you Serve or have you Served in the Military Law enforcement or as a First Responder? If so when and where?

 Yes, I served in the U.S. Air Force as a Firefighter/Medic for just about 10yrs. I was stationed at Travis AFB, CA and McChord AFB-now called Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA. While being deployed also to Kandahar Afghanistan 2001-2002, and 2004.
How Did You Begin Your Jiu Jitsu Journey? Where are you now on your Journey? Where do you train now?
 I began my JiuJitsu journey in San Diego, CA, at Gracie Barra SD, in 2011. And am now currently at Alliance Lakewood/Category IV MMA in Lakewood, WA. A gym full of other Veterans and EMS workers, making it a prime place to train for guys like me! Im currently a Purple belt. I had to take about 3yrs off for knee surgery and kidney cancer procedures and rehab, spent 5yrs at Blue but wouldn't change it for anything! This JiuJitsu journey is paramount for my PTSD recovery to keep my head sharp and attitude positive on the daily!!!
What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)?
To be honest I have no idea. I would say lunch dates with family and friends have been a great expense to share quality time and fellowship.
How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours?
 Failure has taught me to reason with myself, try to remove myself as the variable from each situation and evaluate if I gave it my all or just simply acted like i wanted it, and not pursued it with relentless passion or not! Totally have a favorite!!! I completely bombed an IBJJF Portland Tourney a couple years back, I know, I'm not supposed to feel like we fail at BJJ, but i failed miserably at my weight cut and sucked way too many  fluids and electrolytes trying to make 177 lbs, and it was a grave mistake as I went onto the mats gassed already and a I failed to make my mind right and focus, I was too concerned with how terrible my body felt vs I am here for a mission to compete! Moving forward, I'll just be natural weight and have a blast at each other tourney since then!
What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be an investment of money, time, energy, etc.)
 Honestly, self investment; immersing my life with JiuJitsu and outdoor activities like Hiking, Kayaking and Mountain Biking have helped keep me upright! Finding the balance between having fun, playing hard and maintaining a healthy lifestyle has been by far the best investment in my life!
          What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?
Wow!!!! Well my close friends will attest, that I love vacuuming the carpet at home and leaving perfect lines in the carpet when I am done!!! And i try to stay off the carpet as much as I can shortly after, just to admire my work!!! hahahahaahahah
In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
 Outdoor activities; Kayaking and Hiking most definitely! Just that personal and quiet touch, connecting my vibe to the outside earth has been so refreshing! I never knew how beautiful colors were until I went hiking and on the water on my own and decided to really plug into nature, clear my mind, turn off my cell and enjoy natures flow!
What advice would you give to a smart, driven student new to Jiu Jitsu. What advice should they ignore?”
Don't listen to any other white and blue belts! Your professor owns and operates a successful school for a reason! It's your journey and they're still on their own path to learn the basics, just do you! Don't buy any DVDs and just simply review your own basics and apply your own skills to your techniques learned and improve, thus giving you your own take on JiuJitsu and develop your own chains movements that fit your own athletic ability, or lack there of. Remember your journey is vs yourself and improve your craft, don't try to match anyone else!
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? (If helpful: What questions do you ask yourself?)”   
'Well, I go for a drive and bump music playlist based upon how I am feeling. Then remind myself I and here for a reason. Having cancer 2013-2015 gave me a new found perspective that all happens for a reason, more than we would like to understand, but its imperative we go through the fire, rather than try to side step it! Assault your objective head on regardless of scale of projected outcome, because if not, who will do it for you? Remind yourself why you started your current journey and chase after them goals with a fire, a relentless passion! Once you get back to focus, sometimes you'll look around and see yourself already have passed through the feelings that had got your off track already! Remember your inspiring others that you don't even know! God has a place for you here, so use your life to not only improve your own, but the folks to your left and your right as well! 

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