🥋 karate world champion Ricardo Teixeira shares how to be successful in life

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(Literal) Text Transcription of the video :

Olivier Roland: So Ricardo, you are an awesome entrepreneur, you have three businesses right now.

Ricardo Teixeira: I have three companies, yes.

Olivier Roland: Three companies on the internet. You are making around 1 million euros a year and you have a great lifestyle: you travel a lot, you don’t work so much and you have a very efficient team.

Ricardo Teixeira: Well, the part of “working not so much” is not really true because I like to work, I like what I do. So, I work a lot but…

Olivier Roland: But do you feel like it’s work?

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, like 80% of the work, I like very much.

Olivier Roland: Ok

Ricardo Teixeira: There is always the 20%: the accounting part, the team management sometimes but usually I like very much, yeah.

Olivier Roland: Ok. I wanted to interview you because not only are you a great entrepreneur but you are also, which is very interesting, a previous worldwide champion of karate.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, it is true. It happened in 1993. I was 20 years old and I was world champion in what we call “senior”. But to be senior, we had to be 21 at least. So, I was like a pre-senior but nevertheless, I was a world champion and I was the first Portuguese to win.

Olivier Roland: Yeah, you are the first Portuguese in the world to be worldwide champion.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah.

Olivier Roland: And you shared with me very interesting stories about how you became a worldwide champion because it was not easy, of course, obviously?

Ricardo Teixeira: Well, it’s not. It’s not easy and it was a long road. We, well, I had a problem with my hair. My hair fell out when I was 9 years old, between 9 and 11, and I was already passionate about martial arts, so it gave me a big excuse to train.

So, I began my training and it was a long training because, in the beginning, I was very clumsy. I was not good enough, I didn’t have the skills and I didn’t have the natural talent. I had to build myself up to get that talent. Of course, I had the will behind me for it because I had a great master, and that makes the difference in martial arts and in life of course, and he pushed me hard.

Olivier Roland: Yes, you shared with me that for a while, you were training twice as hard as everyone else.

Ricardo Teixeira: Exactly.

Olivier Roland: And still, you didn’t get result.

Ricardo Teixeira: No, no result.

Olivier Roland: How long did it take?

Ricardo Teixeira: I think I trained in both dojos. I was training twice like you said.

Olivier Roland: Because you went to two dojos at the same time. Did they know?

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, they knew because it was the same master.

Olivier Roland: Okay.

Ricardo Teixeira: It was the same master. I thought I have to do something so I said: “Ok, I have to train more. If I train more with my master, I’ll become better.” I think I did that for at least four years.

Olivier Roland: Four years and no result.

Ricardo Teixeira: No result.

Olivier Roland: You were bad, you were beaten in the…

Ricardo Teixeira: Well, I cannot say I was bad but I wasn’t the best, and I was aiming for the top. I was maybe the fourth, sometimes the third…

Olivier Roland: But not good enough.

Ricardo Teixeira: Not good enough. Compared with the training, it was not good enough.

Olivier Roland: At that time, you were competing not to be a worldwide champion but just regional champion of Portugal.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah.

Olivier Roland: Which was… is the first step, right?

Ricardo Teixeira: Exactly.

Olivier Roland: Finally, you became a champion of Portugal. What made the difference between the guy who trained twice as hard and didn’t get result and the other: the one who won?

Ricardo Teixeira: I think you know and maybe some of the people watching this interview too, there is something called NLP Neuro-Linguistic Programming, which is about modeling. I didn’t know nothing about Neuro-Linguistic Programming. But I did the same thing about modeling.

In 1991, I went to a world championship and it was in Switzerland and I didn’t win anything, I just lost in the first fight. But there was a guy there, an American, of Portuguese origin. That was very interesting because he was smaller, like me, he was thinner and he was 38 years old, so, he was older than the other guys but he beat everyone.

I was surprised, so, I tried to model everything: the breathing, where he put his hands, the way he would fight, the way he would enter, the way he would move. Even if he wasn’t fighting but the way he move, the way he breathe. Everything. I was modeling everything.

So, when I came back to Portugal a year later, I went to the national championship and I won. Just doing the things that he did, just following those steps.

karate world champion ricardo teixeira

Olivier Roland: Wow! I think we can summarize what you told us. First, you saw that someone who had the same body as you could make it, so, it was like a breakthrough for your mind.

Ricardo Teixeira: Exactly. Connection, an immediate connection.

Olivier Roland: You were thinking: “If this guy can do it, I can do it.”

Ricardo Teixeira: Exactly.

Olivier Roland: And it was like a proof.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, and more than that, he’s older than me.

Olivier Roland: So, I should be even better than him.

Ricardo Teixeira: Exactly. He is older than me. Yes, more than 18 years or 19 years older, I think, or even 20. So, I have more strength than him for sure.

Olivier Roland: Interesting. And then, you also watch him very closely and decided to model everything he did, I mean, a lot of things he did, and it made the difference.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes, it made a big difference, a huge difference. And I also did something that is very important: I just got out of my comfort zone and I went to speak with him. I tried to speak a little bit with him, I tried to find out what he did, what he was doing, the way he was training, who he was training with and…

So, I found a few things that made tiny differences but a huge difference in the… how can I say it… in the mid-term, in the future. So, it wasn’t like… results immediately, but results in a few months. It should deliver a big result like he did.

Olivier Roland: Tony Robbins says that often the difference between being good and being great is 2 millimeters.

Ricardo Teixeira: Exactly.

Olivier Roland: He speaks about the little thing that makes a big difference and was it the case for you?

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, sure. Completely.

Olivier Roland: It was like little things?

Ricardo Teixeira: Completely. It was like tweaking a few little things because I had the technique, I trained a lot so I had the technique, but I missed the mindset and I missed a few things that were very important to make the difference between good, very good, top and outstanding. And I was only good.

So, that was the meaning of those tweaks.

Olivier Roland: It was meeting this guy who taught you these little things.

Ricardo Teixeira: It was a breakthrough because he said to me: “I don’t care who is in front of me, I don’t care. I just make my moves, I don’t care about his moves, I just play my game.”

Olivier Roland: Yeah, and you weren’t shy about talking to him and asking him questions?

Ricardo Teixeira: Well, we are always a little bit shy to start with. He was already a world champion. He was already, I think, twice world champion; so, it’s always a little bit intimidating. I found a little bit of rapport even though I didn’t know much about him. But I found that he was from Portugal, his origins… his father was from Portugal.

Olivier Roland: He was American but with Portuguese origins.

Ricardo Teixeira: His parents, yeah. His father and his mother were from Portugal.

Olivier Roland: So, it helped you to talk to him like “Hey, you’re from Portugal”

Ricardo Teixeira: Exactly. I just started from there… Knowing that.

Olivier Roland: So, it’s not rocket science. Like you said, we are always intimidated when we see people that have achieved what we are aiming for. But we can talk to them, it’s no big deal.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah.

Olivier Roland: You use your “Hey, I’m from Portugal. I know your father is from Portugal…” and it’s the start of the conversation.

Ricardo Teixeira: I just thought, well, “no” is guaranteed. If he says “no”, it’s something that is already guaranteed, so, why not try?

Olivier Roland: Yeah. And it made all the difference.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, a huge difference. We became friends, then, he helped me a little bit also.

Olivier Roland: Oh great! He became your mentor.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, he became one of my mentors in martial arts also, and also, he is entrepreneur.

Olivier Roland: Oh really? So, he also talked to you or shared with you, maybe not intentionally.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah. At that time, he didn’t have his own company. He was a Salesman and he was one of the best salesmen in New York, in the state of New York. And it’s a huge achievement because, as you know, New York is big.

Olivier Roland: It’s very big, yes.

Ricardo Teixeira: And he was thinking about creating his own company, which he did.

Olivier Roland: So, it was your first step. You became a national champion of Portugal. So, how many times were you a champion?

Ricardo Teixeira: Three years in a row.

Olivier Roland: Three years in row and you were aiming to be world champion.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah. I didn’t think about that at that time but my master always wanted his students to achieve more than he did. And it was the case. I’m grateful to have the… because my master was my first role model as a teacher, as a person and as a martial arts guy and as an entrepreneur because today, he is a very big entrepreneur in Portugal.

So, he put that in my mind, he planted the seeds, like, it is possible. It is possible to get there. So, I was invited because he put the word in, so I could be invited to go to NBL what we call a Uchidashi.

A Uchidashi is like a disciple of a Japanese master and it happened. So, I was invited and I didn’t have any money because I was studying and I was teaching martial arts to pay for the studies.

The invitation came and I thought: “yeah, I have to go. I don’t have the money, I don’t care, I will find a way.” So, what did I do? I had a collection of comic books: Marvel, Ironman, Spiderman… all those. I have a huge collection. So, I sold that. I made some money with that and I had also a motorbike that I sold. I got the money and I flew to the United States.

Olivier Roland: Wow.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah.

Olivier Roland: So, you sold some stuff you were attached to, right?

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah.

Olivier Roland: It was kind of a sacrifice.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes, it was.

Olivier Roland: But you knew what was most important in your life and it was definitely not Marvel.

Ricardo Teixeira: No, because something in my gut felt that this was the moment, that would be a big change, not only for martial arts but as a person also, as the person that I wanted to be, because I didn’t say but when I was 9 years old, I saw a Sinclair spectrum, which is a computer that…

Olivier Roland: Yeah, a very old computer.

Ricardo Teixeira: Very old. And when I saw that, I became passionate about it and I thought: “Someday, I will have something related to this.” And I don’t know why but on that date when I was invited, that came to my mind. I think, it will help also in my life and my future, so, I just flew and went there.

And I stayed there for 3 months with my Japanese master and they were some of the best months of my life. It wasn’t in the beginning, I won’t say what I’m saying to you now because the first days, it was very hard but I understand why it was hard.

And well, the experience was highly motivating. When I arrived, the world championship was the year after and I then I became world champion.

Olivier Roland: So, the training of this Japanese master helped you a lot to become a worldwide champion. So, what was different? What did he say to you? What did he teach you that you applied and made the difference?

Ricardo Teixeira: One of the things is he completely removed my belief limits because we always limit our beliefs: that we cannot do it, it’s difficult, the word “no.” And because we are Latinos, Portuguese people have always the word “no” in mind, so he cut “no” out completely.

For example, he would put me on Thursday nights. We had a lot of people coming from other dojos and there was a lot of fighting, for at least three hours. And so, the guys that were there like me, “Uchidashi”, there were two of us – me and a German guy – and then the German guy left and another Portuguese turned up.

But we were always two. And we would start with the weakest guys, fighting, and we would end with these best guys. So, when we reached the best guys, we were completely tired, we were completely…

Olivier Roland: Exhausted.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah… completely exhausted. So, we had to find ways to stand up, to step up our limits because when we reach those guys, those guys were at the top but we couldn’t use excuses like: “oh, I’m tired”.

Because I said that on the first day, on the first fight, and my master said: “Oh, are you tired? Perfect! After the training, you’re going to clean the whole building and you’re going to clean the toilets, and you’re going to cut the grass.” And I asked: “At 2:00 a.m.?” – “Yes at 2:00 a.m”. So, I was cleaning everything and cutting the grass at 4:00 a.m.

Olivier Roland: So, you had a great training to push your boundaries and you saw that you could do it.

training karate world champion

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes.

Olivier Roland: Even if in your mind, you were tired, your body could do it just with mindset. So, your master helped you a lot to overcome your mindset limitation.

Ricardo Teixeira: Completely. The mindset just changed me. Today, I say that, for example, quitting is not part of my dictionary because I don’t believe in quitting. I believe in persistence; I believe in trying to find another way to make it work.

And the mindset that the Japanese master gave me, one of the key things was that. He just pushed me so hard and, at the same time as pushing hard, achieve and but stay humble.

Because I think it was after the first month, I became very good. Immediately after the first month, because he gave me some tweaks and it made a huge difference. So, I had a day where I beat everyone, even the top guys that were there, even the Portuguese, even the American guy that was my model.

Olivier Roland: Oh well.

Ricardo Teixeira: I beat him.

Olivier Roland: Wow.

Ricardo Teixeira: I beat him within one day. So, my master was very happy, he was like “hey oh Ricardo, it’s so good, so amazing”. So, my ego just went through the roof.

The day after that, my master put me through some more training and did some exercises that exhausted me completely. So, I fought again against these same guys and I was completely beaten up.

My master said: “oh Ricardo, yes it was so good before but today was shit”. So, I just realized that I have to be humble.

Olivier Roland: So, it taught you how to manage your ego because the ego can be one of the biggest obstacles to success. It’s very interesting.

Ricardo Teixeira: Exactly. Totally agree.

Olivier Roland: So, you shared with us the techniques he taught you to overcome your mindset limitation and your ego. Did he teach you some specific techniques to be just more efficient at what you did?

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah. We were always very focused on what we did. We did some meditation techniques, of course, also, but there was one key thing that put me in a state of completely awareness, always aware of everything. My master said: “Okay, every time I enter the dojo, you have to be at the door”.

Olivier Roland: You have to be at?

Ricardo Teixeira: The door.

Olivier Roland: At the door.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, my master told us that “You have to be always at the door. It doesn’t matter what time it is: 2 a.m., 5 a.m., 4 in the afternoon or 9 at night, you have to be at the door when I arrive.”

Olivier Roland: But your dojo was huge, right? So, how could you do it?

Ricardo Teixeira: Well, that’s what worried us.

Olivier Roland: Because what would happen if you weren’t at the door?

Ricardo Teixeira: We would have a really challenging day, for sure.

Olivier Roland: Okay.

Ricardo Teixeira: A lot of work, a lot of manual work like the same thing: cutting grass, painting something, almost like Karate Kid.

Olivier Roland: Karate Kid? With Mr. Miyagi telling the new the guy to paint his fence.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, that image came to my mind when I was there.

So, we became very sharp on that and that helped me a lot to see people, to observe people, to be aware of what is happening, to team management, to a lot of things and that kind of awareness gave me personally, of course, the fighting part is huge but…

Olivier Roland: Also the mindset, ego management and awareness gave you a lot of…

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, I think the word is mindset. The mindset completely changed because the mindset is the sum of everything like awareness, strength, not quitting, all those things. So, it was amazing, yeah.

Olivier Roland: Wow! So, it was a few years ago and now you are an entrepreneur. I mean, you were like a school teacher for karate for four years. You told me you had a school with 400 students, right?

Ricardo Teixeira: Oh yeah. Almost 400 people, yes.

Olivier Roland: My God, alright. But now, that’s in the past even if you’re still practicing but you’re an entrepreneur. So, how did everything from karate make you a better entrepreneur now?

Ricardo Teixeira: Well, it contributes a lot because there are a lot of failed entrepreneurs. It’s very easy to lose motivation and to feel that the world is against us. And all the things are not working at the same time and we are doing things but the things are still not working right. Like for me when I was training and it wasn’t working, but suddenly, things clicked.

And I believe that in entrepreneurship, I also had the same thing, I had a lot of failures. But then things started to go well. So, it helped me a lot to adopt that kind of mindset, not quitting, and at the same time, to always find the models like I did with Alex. To find these models that I can copy; rules that I can apply because like Tony Robbins says “Success leaves clues” and that is very true.

But I think, the main thing is not quitting and persisting and of course learning: either you win or you learn, but you don’t lose. That is one of the key things.

Olivier Roland: So, learning and persistence.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, learning and persistence: they are the main things.

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Of course, then you have a lot of things that are important that helped me a lot. To be a teacher in a martial arts school, gave me a lot of training on how to manage a team. Because I managed my team in a different way, I managed my team almost like a dojo because the dojo has some ethical rules that we have to apply and also the respect between people. All the deep philosophy I also implement in my company. My company is called “Kamae”.

Olivier Roland: Kamae.

Ricardo Teixeira: Kamae, it’s a Japanese word that means to be alert, it’s being on-guard, it’s a position of being alert.

Olivier Roland: Very interesting, so vigilant.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes. I just apply that to the company.

Olivier Roland: Well, awesome. So, thank you for sharing this amazing story.

Ricardo Teixeira: Thank you.

Olivier Roland: And as you can see, there are a lot of things that you can take on board as an entrepreneur.

You don’t have to become a world champion of karate or Kung-Fu or anything else but you can see that to be very good at what you do, it’s… you have a lot of things in common in whatever field you are in.

Even if you are an entrepreneur in, for example, food or you want to create a startup or you’re a blogger, when you want to be very good, you have to manage your ego, to have a great mindset and to learn specific techniques to be better at what you do, no matter what. And Ricardo, he knows what he is talking about. I mean, he has been a champion, a world champion and not a lot of people can say that in the world today.

So, I hope you paid attention to what he said. Obviously, if you’re still watching this video, it’s because it was of interest to you. So, what I would ask you now is to choose one thing you want to apply right now in your life and apply and test it to see if it works for you because if you don’t choose anything you will apply to your life, then it was only ever an intention. This video was just intellectual masturbation which is pleasant but not very effective.

So thank you for watching, thank you Ricardo for sharing with us.

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