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The Break Down. (@pepitofrothito)

In my line of work as a drilling rig manager, I get the chance to meet people from all around the world with an endless amount of talent and skill sets. One particular man who I have been fortunate enough to befriend is Joseph Harbour. You can catch him on his Instagram account @pepitofrothito. Joe and I have a lot in common such as musical choices, fitness and surfing. But one thing that caught my eye with Joe is how focused and calm he is about learning everything new to him. From drilling practice's to a new style of guitar playing, he loves being put in the hot seat and froth’s over all the learning curves along the way. When I confronted him on this particular trait of his he opened my eyes to a world that is so traditional and humbling that I just had to learn more about it.

Southern Praying Mantis Kung Fu. Look it up. One bad ass martial art form. You know the guys that kick each other in the “how ya doin” zones, well that’s these guys. This form is so tough that it takes a life time to master. Before I go any further with this, Joe is not a guy claiming he is a master of the art and respects his dojo so much that it was hard for me to even get the permission to write about this. I am also only explaining the tip of the iceberg here so if I get anything wrong I apologize.

Joe told me that 6 years ago he began his training in this martial art form. Before he started he was a happy guy. Surfed and had a lot of good things going on. Then one day he ended up in a class for his first time and saw the power of his soon to be master first hand. After he saw the force generated by the kung fu master he said he was hooked. To have such power generated in the little movements that are within a lot of the forms is mind blowing. Such focus on breath, torque generated at the waist and chi. But as I said before it comes at a cost and takes a life time to achieve. If you are willing to make the sacrifice as he did you will reap great reward with this art.

The art of breaking yourself to nothing and building on a fresh foundation is where I’m going with this. When speaking and training with Joe this is the best way to describe how this Martial art is developed. You see it starts with learning the correct movements as any art form. From there you practice them over and over and over and over and over and so on... You do this to the breaking point on many of the exercises. Literally trembling pain!!! You would think that it gets easier as you move forward as well but he assures me it doesn’t. You push even harder and the pain gets even greater, but the mental and physical toughness that you build as you progress is life changing. Its almost addictive to get to that breaking point. This right here teaches a discipline so great that Joe says he puts in his everyday life. I guess in a way to start on a blank canvas you can create something different every time you do whatever it is your trying to achieve.

To put everything into black and white or as you can say “perspective” is probably the best thing that Joe has gotten out of this Martial Art. It teaches everything from medicine to how to handle everyday life. It leaves ego aside and forces you to look at life with humble eyes. Now I said before that I trained with Joe on a couple of occasions. His strength and speed for a man that has only been doing this for 6 years is astonishing. He could be a wrecking machine if he wanted to and is during training without even trying. What I learned from Joe is that everything I do in life whether it be a new musical skill or a business learning, I try and break it down to relearn the basics and make my foundation the strongest part of me.

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