Exclusive Interview - Cesar Clavijo and The Stillness Gym
4 min read
Cesar Clavijo taking a moment to discuss technique with a student.
1. Hi Cesar! Tell us who you are and a little bit about yourself.
Well Dylan, like you, I'm a BJJ practitioner. I first began my studies in 2004, mostly by watching Instructionals while serving on active duty in the Marine Corps. There weren't any academies in the town I was stationed in, so it took a while before I found my first teacher. Eventually, I had enough of being a ronin, and reached out to my current teacher, Roy Dean, to see if he would take me on as an affiliate student. I flew across the country to meet and train with him, and the rest, as they say, is history.
2. You run The Stillness Gym and your academy's philosophy resonates with us. We also believe in "using martial art as a tool for improving a person's relationship with themselves, and with the people and planet that surround them." You seem to have an understanding of the importance of human awareness and consciousness. Could you tell us a little more about what is going on at The Stillness Gym beyond jiu jitsu training?
Personal growth has been an important part of my outlook for as long as I can remember, and I've always been fascinated by the human condition. In any experience, there's an opportunity to find some lesson in that experience and apply that lesson to other parts of your life. Any number of disciplines can be used for this purpose: chess, serving tea, motorcycle maintenance...whatever. At Stillness, I try to focus on using BJJ and fitness as the lenses through which we look at these different experiences.
I try to take a holistic and somewhat traditional approach to training and focus on the lifelong journey of continuous improvement, without becoming a McDojo or falling into the deep end of the New Age pool, haha.
3. How did you hear about Battle Balm? What is it about Battle Balm that grabbed your attention?
I came across Battle Balm in the BJJ New and Upcoming Gear Offerings group on Facebook. I had been looking for a product like Battle Balm for YEARS to use and recommend to students and clients, but nothing really caught my eye.
When I checked out the Battle Balm website, several things stood out to me: There was obviously a lot of thought put into the website and product; the products were based on traditional Dit Da Jow; the products use more than just Camphor and Menthol like many formulations, and seemed like they were designed holistically, to support true healing (instead of just feeling good), and all of the products were free of petroleum and other products that I prefer to avoid, but are pretty much in all the other competing "muscle rubs."
4. You are now carrying Battle Balm at The Stillness Gym for your students and some local residents. How is it working out?
Have you ever seen that Chris Rock bit about how his father used Robitussin to fix everything? That's what Battle Balm has become for me, my family, and my students. I use it before training to help me warm up and to protect against abrasions and infections; I use it after training for faster recovery and pain relief; I've used it on my ears when they began to ache, to relieve pain and keep my cauliflower ear from coming back (so far, so good); and I've used Battle Balm to help with injuries that were previously slow to heal. With my family, I've used Battle Balm for growing pains; as a chest rub for congestion; and more. My students love it too! Achy joints, sore muscles, things that get tweaked when a technique goes wrong...Battle Balm does it all!
I had one person come in for a treatment because her shoulder hurt so badly that she could barely raise her arm. After a few minutes of Gua Sha using Battle Balm to smooth things along, she had regained 90% of her movement, and was shocked to find that almost all of the pain was gone. Even better, was that the next morning, the results were still there!
5. What makes The Stillness Gym and Battle Balm a good partnership? What can we do to improve our relationship?
Reading "Our Dao" from the Battle Balm website makes me feel like The Stillness Gym and Battle Balm work well together because we truly take pride in continuing to evolve through the Martial Tradition. I think that as we continue to learn about each other's businesses, we'll be better able to support each other in achieving our goals with them.
6. Is there anything else that you would like to say?
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to introduce myself to your readers! For anyone interested in learning more about The Stillness Gym, please like us on Facebook, subscribe on YouTube, and follow us on Instagram!
Cesar fine tuning his students' skills by working through the details
Also, The Stillness Gym will be hosting Roy Dean for a BJJ Camp and Seminar from May 18-23. All teams and affiliations are welcome to attend, and more information can be found on The Stillness Gym's Facebook page, or by emailing TheStillnessGym@gmail.com
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