Host: Take me through a day of your training?
GM Odette Russell: Well, on an average day, I don’t just train martial arts. I also train fitness and that is important. I think for everybody cardio and weight training has to be part of your training regimen. And so I try to do at least four to five days a week, 30 minutes of cardio and 30, 40 minutes of weight training.
But also with that is kata training and drills training. The drills. Training’s really important because that helps enhance my hand work. So what I mean by that is keeps my hands fast and accurate and I’ll work drills, whether it’s with sticks, knives, cellphones, pens, you know, whatever it takes, water bottles open hand.
I was thinking about. That question. And I was thinking that I should do more bad work. My students do bad work, but I don’t. [00:01:00] So that’s one thing I should implement, but overall. I teach on average two or three privates, five days a week. Okay. My black belt. So the ones that teach the glue classes, which because of COVID is now through zoom.
When I do teach my advanced students, I have so much fun. I love teaching individuals with high martial arts IQ because I could experiment and we tend to call it. Let’s go into the lab, you know, the laboratory. And we can kind of like really Really just happy with the training, but on average too, at least once or twice a week, I try to train with my instructor who happens to be my husband so that my claws can always stay sharpened.
Host: All right. Next question. How has martial arts changed your life?
GM Odette Russell: Martial arts has been an amazing impact in my life. I would say the biggest part is discipline. I can imagine that there are things including getting my [00:02:00] PhD that I would have quit if it wasn’t for martial arts, martial arts has given me the tenacity and the presence of errands, you know, to push through the muck.
And so discipline was a big thing. I’m not as easy to be unraveled when things get hard. Right? It has also given me the ability to handle fare better, not to get paralyzed when, when I’m afraid. And it also, which is really an important part of my life is not to settle, not to be okay with the humble.
So it allows me to reach past the stars. I don’t like to say reach for the stars. I like to reach past the stars and I can imagine a tick from the Bronx and I used to hang out and get high on the bench. The things that I’m doing now, I never thought I would be, I would have. So martial arts has pushed me [00:03:00] past the expectations that I thought I was going to reach as a teenager.
It also has allowed me to respect myself and not allow myself or anyone else to disrespect me. A big, important part too, is to stay balanced and humble. There’s a saying is as long as you’re humbles, you won’t stumble. I’ve heard that before.
If you could go back to the past and tell yourself one piece of advice, what would it be? I actually have no advice to give my past self because every experience, every encounter and every hardship, the good, the bad, the ugly was supposed to happen to make me who I am today. Now, if I had the opportunity to meet my past, I would thank myself.
We’re being strong, especially during those scariest moments. And I would remind her that if it wasn’t for her, [00:04:00] I wouldn’t be who I am today.
Host: That’s a great answer.