By James Eke
Steve Maxwell blew my mind.
I have been following the teachings and exploits of this amazing ‘digital nomad’ who is not only one of the leading fitness exponents on the planet but one of the top Jiu-Jitsu guys around and so knowledgeable in so many directions that listening and learning from him is like drinking from a firehose.
At his recent visit to my school, The Eke Academy of Martial Arts, in Victoria, BC, Maxwell showed exactly why he is one of the most sought after teachers on the planet for martial arts and general fitness and wellness. To say that he completely changed the way I see and feel about a whole lot of things would be to say the obvious.
Maxwell is a rare individual. He travels the world with just a pack and a few possessions. He trains with a diverse range of people and his own exploits and teachings have changed the way many do things.
If you have ever done a Turkish Get-Up, yup, that comes from him. Ever dabbled with minimalist shoes? Probably didn’t realize he was one of the first proponents of wearing less on our feet. Learning self-defence in your Jiu-Jitsu class? He has been preaching the need for this for years.
A few hours with Maxwell and you will not only learn a ton of history but you will be told about the things you should be doing right now so that you will not only be getting the most from your training and your life but you will be doing things that will help out a future (and older) you.
At our camp with him, we started with the simple ‘combat base’ as we call it in Jiu-Jitsu where we are sitting on our side with a hand up to protect ourselves. What he managed was not only to make the ‘combat base’ better but far more functional in how we do it and how we get from there to standing and then back, but also added in the ability to turn what many don’t even think about into an isometric workout that cycled through five times or so and you are in for quite the workout. From there we were taught how to apply those same movements into something more, making it into a practical self-defence-centric movement chain that sums up everything that the core concepts of Jiu-Jitsu are all about. Things that make it so that the smaller person can easily handle a larger person. This is key concepts that anyone should know and be able to develop. Maxwell makes it all make sense and, in a way, makes it easy.
Basic things but advanced concepts that all participants will be thinking about for a long time to come.
I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to train with Steve Maxwell. I am certain of one thing: it won’t be the last time.