I fight. I film. I write. My purpose is to create and inspire growth. I seek to live as an anomaly, my own unique being. I believe the Hero's Journey is the map to a life well lived. I try to orient myself with the good, speak the truth, and live harmoniously between the realms of order and chaos. And sometimes I write shit that makes me sound smarter than I am.
I'm really just a lost ape trying to articulate my thoughts on wisdom and the good life.
If my work resonates with you, reach out. @vincetheanomaly.
Where it All Began
2010. The Santa Clara University grass was so green and thick, you know the landscapers must have been using ultra-premium, grass-fed cow manure to feed it. Ironically enough, I was so green to the world and full of shit myself that I thought majoring in finance would lead me to a nice banking job in Silicon Valley where I could make millions and retire happy. I wanted to have my own business, and run the world.
I excelled in school and even graduated magna cum laude from a solid business program, but realized how much I hated the lifestyle I was headed toward: a well-paying desk job complete with long hours, dress ties, and mind-numbing number crunching. No bueno. Mark Wahlberg put it best:
$100k degree to make $10/hr
2011. I ditched the "bright future" and decided to work at a mixed martial arts gym where I was set to make a whopping $10/hr. in Hawthorne, CA. Growing up on the Islands of Hawaiʻi, I never would have guessed I'd leave paradise to reside in the concrete City of Angels. Combat sports became a huge part of my lifestyle. I learned so much about myself and grew mentally thanks to my new passion in fighting.
The Creator's Journey
2013. Combat sports took over my life. I embarked on my amateur fighting career and fell deeper in love with this twisted passion. I also began nurturing my creativity through channels I was always interested in, but too "busy" to try. I dabbled in videography, graphic design, and branding and was pleasantly surprised with what I was able to create with no formal training. All of those years spent customizing FIFA and Madden "create-a-players" was beginning to pay off.
The deeper I connected myself to the fighting world, the more I realized that contrary to mainstream opinion, combat sports is full of cool, calm, (relatively) egoless, disciplined artists and practitioners. These people need to be represented accurately and I thought I had the skills to do it correctly.
2014. And so Mana Sport was born: a platform merging fighting, art, and fashion to unite various subcultures of combat sports. A brand that accurately represents competitors and practitioners who use combat sports as a tool for maximizing human potential. I also began to freelance as a videographer and graphic designer.
2015. I officially launched the Mana Kids Foundation to provide underprivileged children in L.A. with the tools and resources to maximize their potential by training in martial arts. I began working for Jorge Guimaraes at Passando A Guarda, a longtime Brazilian BJJ and MMA TV show. Through this show, I've been able to meet and film some of my heroes: Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida, Dominick Cruz, and many more.
Unfortunately for Mana Sport, life took over. Balancing multiple jobs, a fighting career, and trying to run a company solo is a big no-no. I didn't have enough funds to keep the company going, but learned so much from the whole experience: cash flow, product-market fit, and testing will be in the forefront of my mind when I embark on my next venture.
2016. I defended my amateur belt and expanded my exploration into photography, landing me a job creating video and photo content for one of the world's top MMA gyms, Black House MMA.
2017. Got engaged to the woman of my dreams. I finally fulfilled my childhood dream of being a professional athlete. I thought it was going to be soccer, but I've found something so much more meaningful to me in MMA. I won my first fight via TKO in the 3rd round. I picked up another win (and another finish) a few months later in LFA, home to some of the top prospects in MMA.
2018. I took 3 more fights in the LFA and won them all. 6-0 now. UFC, we’re knocking on the door. The goal was to get in before 2020, and it looks like we’re going to make that happen.
2019. LFA title shot March 22nd in Dallas. You best believe I’m coming home with that belt.
I am a creator, but let's get this straight, FIGHTING IS MY PRIORITY. I will fight in the UFC and I will be the champ. When it's all said and done, I plan on executing a whole lot in my lifetime and fighting is at the forefront in this stage of my journey. After fighting, I plan on moving back to Hawaiʻi to start a family in the only place I will ever truly call home.
I will continue to discover more about myself, actualize my goals, and attempt to express what I know to be Truth (with a capital “T”).
I have polymath goals: to be an anomaly amongst anomalies.
DIVIDED BY 0
ON FIGHTING AND MARTIAL ARTS
Fighting drags you into the present moment and dumps you into a flow state. It's quite meditative in that sense and, in a way, very peaceful. In these states of presence (ecstasis/flow state), we find deep intimations of meaning. As humans, that’s what we live for. So I guess fighting dudes in a cage isn’t that crazy after all.
FOR THOSE BRIEF, VIOLENT MOMENTS, LIFE IS SELFLESS, TIMELESS, EFFORTLESS, AND RICH. THAT’S WHAT I LIVE FOR.
I firmly believe that practicing martial arts (particularly ones where you can spar and truly test yourself like MMA, BJJ, Boxing, Wrestling etc.) is the best tool for maximizing your human potential. Martial arts lead you on a journey inward where you will be forced to confront chaos and translate it into order thus expanding your initial frame into a more comprehensive structure.
Our experience of life is limited to the frame through which we view it. Expanding the frame = deeper and more fulfilling life. Here are some of the various ways combat sports will help mold that frame:
I first heard this phrase from UFC announcer Joe Rogan, but truer words have never been spoken, "martial arts are a vehicle for developing your human potential."
You don't trust a pothead comedian's take on martial arts? Try the esteemed neuroscientist Sam Harris, "I am convinced, however, that training in BJJ offers a powerful lens through which to examine some primary human concerns—truth v. delusion, self knowledge, ethics, and overcoming fear." I'd say those are some valuable lessons to learn, and combat sports help you learn them rapidly.
Before martial arts, I lacked confidence and self-respect, I thought it was me vs. the world, and I froze in the face of fear. Fighting sent me on a journey of self discovery, where I realized the only battle that exists is me vs. me. My social anxiety has plummeted, my self-belief is at an all time high, and I choose to face new fears that arise. I'm nowhere near perfect, but martial arts have given me the mindset and tools to grow every single day.
Combat sports will teach you The Way. I dare any martial artist to claim otherwise.