Day in the life: Dustin Brown

You could see the rainy sky outside through the small window to my left as I sat there on the mat trying to set my intentions. We then proceeded through a flow of movement, challenging our bodies into positions through a focused balance of the body and mind – a challenging hour of contortion pushing boundaries. Who ever said yoga was easy clearly hasn’t ever practiced. We came to the end of our session, “Close your eyes and feel your heart-beat slow down”, Dustin calmly instructed. I closed my eyes and he proceeded to create this incredible humming noise from an old Tibetan bowl that took over the room, clearing any thought in my head and massaged my brain as this sound wave went in circles in my head. As the humming noise disappeared I opened my eyes. Feeling fresh like I had just awoken from a yearlong sleep, and without a lie, I look up through the window to be greeted by clear blue skies.
As I’ve grown to know Dustin over the past 4 years, my respect for him grows larger with each interaction. He carries with him, this contagious positive energy and is an incredibly humble guy. From the first day I met him, he has always given me the time and day to chat, and so when I had the opportunity to spend a day with him to see just what his average day consists of, I jumped at it.
For those that don’t know, here’s Dustin’s incredible story in summary. Dustin was born in Kauai, Hawaii and aspired to be a pro surfer, which he accomplished. He then started training Jiu-Jitsu after being a bit over weight, and got hooked after being repeatedly submitted by a girl and young boy. Years on he now holds a Black Belt under Carlos Vieira, Head coach of Cia Paulista International, competes regularly in local and international comps and teaches BJJ at Westside MMA. If that wasn’t enough, his beloved wife, Nova got him hooked onto Yoga and they have since now opened up their own yoga studio, Warrior One.
Day in The Life.
I meet Dustin and Nova at their Yoga studio in Brighton, Warrior One, where I’m greeted by a tail wagging staffy named Ninja. I’m running a bit late so we skip the small talk and get straight into the class he’s teaching.

After class we start catching up and I ask him a set of questions over lunch;
Me: How has BJJ and Yoga  transformed your life?
Dustin: “I’m healthier and happier than I have ever been and am continually learning and growing alongside my team and community”.

Me: How is success defined to you?
Dustin: “Being content in the present moment whilst having a clear vision of the future. Living in the FLOW.”

Me: What got you to where you are today?
Dustin: “Hard work, determination and integrity.”

Me: What were the 3 biggest lessons you have learnt from your professional sports career?
Dustin: “Hard work makes anything possible. Be humble., smile & always be grateful.”

To finish the day we head down to Westside MMA where Dustin teaches BJJ almost every night. Seeing where the team was when he had first started to how big it’s grown is incredibly inspiring for someone like myself. And what he said is true, even whilst he repeatedly smashes  me he continues to smile.

Many of us dream about the “ideal” lifestyle, of spending 90% of your time doing what you love and 10% doing what you need to. For Dustin Brown, this is his reality, and I’m sure it’s only just the beginning. As we leave I ask for some final advice for someone who’s chasing their own dreams. He pauses for a second, turns and says, “no matter how much you learn and know, always be a student of your mind and body. Set goals, be open to change, surround yourself with positive energy and learn from people that inspire you.”

Shot by Kenrick Tan.

Words by Tony Wu.

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