New project released - Stories by the people for the people.

As I have previously mentioned, I've been working on a new project that I started on my travels. And I'm pleased to say that I have now finished the website and have been able to release a few stories. There are still many more to come and a few of them are like straight out of a movie.

What stories you might ask? These are stories from people all over the world. I ask people to share anything if not everything about their life. As short or as long and as much as one wishes to share.

The first wave of interviews are from my travels in India. From people all around the world, from different paths. And later on there will be a series of refugees stories and some people in Finland and well... ultimately from people all over the world.

My motivation for this comes from several sources. One of them being the current issue in Europe, the refugee "crisis". I've always thought of Finland being a country of understanding and caring people. But it seems that there can be a lot of hate and fear involved in facing the unknown. We know what the media tells us and mostly it is based on fear. My wish with these stories is to show, that we are all just Human. If we just sit down and listen, we might learn a thing or two and understand more deeply someones path.

Secondly I wish to assist in dissolving for good the idea of our separation. To assist in looking further than our religion, beliefs, nations or the labels that we put on ourselves or others. For in the end we are all the same, we are human. And the sooner we dissolve our imaginary borders and illusions of separation, the sooner we can start working together as Humanity in achieving great things together. Striving and living among the stars and other planets, living peacefully amongst each other and helping everyone. I believe we need not to fight for our existence or resources. We are living in an abundant world, but the abundance is heavily unbalanced. Why wait to get into Heaven, when we can bring Heaven on Earth.

And of course these stories are spiced with my love for real stories. I have always loved to hear someones story and my favourite books have always been autobiographies. From these I have learned the most and I'm always at awe at the struggles someone has endured, yet how beautiful and loving they have become.

Inspire yourself and you shall inspire others.

You can read these stories at:

To stay tuned you can follow the progress on: FacebookTwitter or Instagram

Now this does not mean that I am abandoning jiu-jitsu. It still has a very special place in my heart. If I am able, I will do some more highlights and stories about jiu-jitsu in the future.


The world assists your growth.

It has been a month now since my return home, and I can't believe all that has happened in the past 5 months.

India was just... remarkable. I learned a lot about myself and about us, humans in general during my 4 months in India. I grew immensely, learned not to take others opinions of me personally and found love. The most important love of all, for thy self. After years and years of trying to validate my place in this world by striving to accomplish one thing after another, I learned to just accept myself as I am. A work of art that is complete, yet never finished. With the help of some of my dear new friends I was able for the first time in my life to cry of happiness. Just being happy of what I've endured, witnessed, learned and ultimately, become. It is a feeling that has been a mystery for me before and it might be one of the most beautiful feelings I have ever felt, and I hope to encourage many others to strive for the same. No matter what society, your friends, your drunk uncle or parents think you should do. You know best. Do what you love and everything will fall in place.

Now this does not mean that I've become some super guru. I am just like you, having my bad moments and fearful moments. But now after a month back home, I have noticed that my general mood has been happier than before. And it has been beautiful to witness that I have been able to lift the mood around me. As that has been my goal for years now, I can't but feel grateful.

I mentioned on my previous post that I started a new project. I have been working on it like a horse and it is nearing publishing conditions. So stay tuned and expect something huge.

I also kept a frequent diary with me and I might do a story series of my travels, but we will see.
For now, keep being you. Peace.

Greetings from incredible India & new project

Greetings from incredible India,

5 weeks on the road now. One place after another seems to be getting more and more amazing. Ancient temples alongside breathtaking landscape. Though, it's the people and culture that makes it a one of a kind experience. I can write more about it later, but the only thing that does it justice is experiencing and living it. So I highly, highly recommend to visit India and well... see the world.

The friendliness and curiosity amongst human beings is astounding. Most people seem to be friends immediately with each other. It isn't just chit chatting the usual line. As mostly, it can get into a long conversation of 'you name it'.
This might be the norm for you, but coming from the socially anxious, frozen lands of Finland this is opening up a whole new world of sharing.  So far I have heard several amazing stories from people about their lives and what they have witnessed around the great, yet small earth.

This brings me to an update on my life. On my travels here I have begun a new project. To keep it short and not to spoil too much until it is hot on the press, the topic is life. More info will come this year.

India truly is a love-hate relationship. You have both emotions from time to time, but depending on you is the amount of each. It's a real test of your psyche, how you take and handle each situation. You will either see your strength and handle everything with the inner peace of a saint, or you will have hard times but grow immensely from it, or you snap and break and never wish to see India again. Although you can also go through all of these  during one visit.

There is one sentence that I have grown to like in the land of Murphy's law: India happened.

Thank you,
- Jaan

I have a dream.

I have a dream for this world. And for all of its inhabitants.

Simply put, that every living being and their only home is treated with respect and care.

For too long has mankind been abusing their only home. We keep polluting the soil that feeds us. We abuse and torture the animals that live among us. We hurt and even kill each other. Sometimes in the name of profits and at times for differing ideologies and beliefs.

This is killing us, our only home and our growth as a collective. Yet we turn a blind eye to the situation and say it's out of our control. We give our power away to those we call our "leaders". Surely they will know what to do for the betterment of mankind. Perhaps greed has taken the lead of their judgement.

I have a dream of a world with no hunger, poverty or war.
A world where we act as mankind and not as nations, ideologies nor beliefs.
A world where we act out of compassion, not fear. 

world where we all share instead of hoard.

Through hate grows only more hate and bitterness from our fellow man. As some countries bomb others in the name of freedom, war on terrorism, revenge or however they may justify their cause. Would it not be wiser to teach one another. We are not all knowing and surely you and I can learn something from each other.

Genki Sudo

I invite you to live by a quote that I have taken as my life's motto. Question everything. 

I don't take anything I'm told at face value. Be it what you, the government, the media or anyone else thinks I should do, eat, think or believe. But neither do I throw these facts away, as they may hold some truth. I only take these claims into account when I form my own opinion around the matter at hand and try to find other counter arguments. For in the end as Socrates said: "I know one thing: that I know nothing." And that is ok.

Wouldn't it be beautiful to live in a world where every single being is able to strive for their dreams. No matter where in the world they are born or into which family. That humankind would strive for greatness together and explore inner and outer space in peace and love. Just thinking about traveling among the stars makes my heart rise from my chest. Why we constantly fight is something I just cannot grasp.

If only humans cared for each other and their planet as much as who they think created it. This is why out of all the hundreds of religions on earth I adjusted mine into a simple one. And thus far Marcus Aurelius has summed it up best:

"Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones."

Who am I if not only one dreamer?
I cannot make this world into a dream for everyone alone. This is why I ask you to voice your own opinion, but also try to understand others and why they do the things they do. 
Have life changing conversations with your friends and loved ones. Show compassion to your fellow man no matter the circumstances. Try to understand others. And most important, be a good person.

However if some of these opinions differ with yours, don't get mad and rant, let us have a conversation. I am not a dictator that forces their own opinions on others. I only wish to share my view. I believe that everyone is free to live however they wish, doing to themselves whatever they wish, as long as no one is hurt. 

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

To end this I will leave a short story that seems most fitting in this context.

"When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation. When I found I couldn't change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn't change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family.Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world." - Unknown monk 1100 A.D

Thank you for your time.
- Jaan

The only constant is change.

In the near end of 2015 my life took an unexpected turn. Once again I'm moving.

I am standing at a crossroad, several different paths lie ahead of me. Unable to decide which to take.

Until one day a friend talks about backpacking in India. I remember when I was young I traveled a lot with my family. Africa, North America, Japan, all over Europe. I guess it then hit me that this is the next step for me to take for my growth. An independent journey in one of the most shocking atmospheres for a western citizen.

So then I started to think it over. I got some money saved and just got a tax return, this could really be possible. I began jokingly saying to my friends that I might go to India. The more I said it, the more I realised that this must be done. So then I set my life in order back home and booked a flight.

Here I am 2 weeks away from departure. Ecstatic for all the new experiences and the strange, different culture that the East holds.

What do I hope to get from my journey?
Lately I have grown extremely tired of the western style of living. Consume, consume, consume. Be this, be that. Celebrity gossips, corrupt politicians and earth raping corporations. Same old loop with same old bullshit. It's time to get some distance from all this nonsense and get a breather.

As I have always been interested in different ways of living. I hope to meet new people and new ways of thinking. I'm not sure if there is a purpose that I'm seeking for this journey other than curiosity.

I can't but wonder how I will take on the culture shock and all that India has to offer. Most of all I'm curious if India will break my will. Let's see.

I will write now and then from my journey if I find myself extremely bored. But if you are interested you can follow my journey more closely on instagram @bjjguardnation

I also googled some info on BJJ clubs in India. There are at least a few. Now I'm struggling with the decision wether to take my gi along or not. It takes a lot of space in my backpack and my back has been really tense since my last injury. The desire to roll is strong and the desire to roll in a completely new environment is burning hot.

Keep calm and stay curious.
- Jaan

Belgium National Pro Jiu Jitsu Championship 2015 video

Here is the video of the Abu Dhabi World Pro Trials Belgium. 

Why I meditate and how I apply it in jiu-jitsu competitions

Lately it has been discussed a lot about in the media. Meditation and the benefits of it to the brain. I won't get into the details of it all as plenty of information can already be found on the internet.
Here is one nice article on the benefits.

So how do I define meditation? 
For me it's about emptying the mind. Quiet it down enough that you are just aware of your feelings, body and all sensations that arise. You can also call meditation some tasks that you do in what you call "flow state", that you are so immersed in your task that you forget about thinking.
These tasks can be gardening, washing dishes, walking, running, lifting weights, jiu-jitsu... Pretty much anything.

Simply put it. Just breathe.

How do I practice meditation?
I don't meditate every day. But I still get it's benefits, when I need them most. When I am really stressed, anxious or angry about certain things, it's at these moments when I gain the most from meditation.

I find a quiet and peaceful place where I can sit uninterrupted for X amount of time. I just sit there and breathe deeply and consciously. If a thought pops up, I observe it and let it go without judging it. Sometimes I get caught by my thoughts and find myself thinking some matters at hand. This is not a big deal, it can be useful to contemplate the thoughts that come by if it could help you solve some questions in your life. Then just let the thought go and move your focus back to your breathing. And that's it.
You can do this for 10-15 minutes. Sometimes when I am really stressed I go for 30-60 minutes.

Another way is doing tasks and focusing on them completely. While washing dishes, you can focus entirely on getting the dirt off and feeling the warm water on your hands. This same method can be applied to almost anything.

There are also times when I am just enjoying the present moment, I might be traveling somewhere or waiting for something. I take a deep breath and see what is going on around me, without labeling anything or thinking about anything. Just pure observation of my surroundings. This mostly brings me a sense of peace in the present.

How do I apply it to competition?
I still have not mastered this skill, but when I am able to apply it I perform better than I could have imagined. Now the application of how this might work for you is completely personal, as everyone is different. I am just sharing what I have found to work for me and hope that you find your way.

Usually during and after my warm up I take a moment to appreciate where I am. I sit around and see everyone doing their routine before fights, I see people fighting, cheering. Winning and losing. The vast range of emotions in a small arena. I breathe, sit, relax. Empty my mind. Just be.

I try to take this emptiness and relaxation with me into the mat. No fear, no expectation, just awareness.

The last time I was able to do this perfectly I outperformed my expectations. I did not have to think what to do. My body knew exactly what to do and reacted so fast to my opponents actions that I am  astounded even till this day.

What else have I gained through meditation?
The most considerable change in my life must be the release of stress and a sense of inner calmness. Before I might have gone bananas when something didn't go the way I planned. But these days I am able to stay calm through it and find a solution quickly. In a sense I always accept the situation I am in.

I also find myself being more happy more often for no particular reason. I'm just able to be grateful for the things that I have now and the situation I am in rather than being in that constant state of wanting something better.

Now I want to remind you that these are just my experiences. For you the meditation style and its benefits might be completely different. But with regular practice you will surely find your way and reap its benefits.

Happy mediations, and may your mind be clear.