Interview With A Fighter: Josh Soliva
The pursuit of happiness is alive within us in 2021 girls, boys, and aliens. Some girls are out getting ripped for Jesus to find it. Some boys are sissying that walk all the way into the light. Some aliens are running in the pouring cold rain to stay true to themselves, and our guest of honor dials his existence into a healthy and prosperous future with a dedicated practice of Muay Thai. Josh Soliva goes by he/him. Josh, thank you for interviewing with me. Hearing your perspective was uplifting, and inspiring! To be one hundred, I didn’t really know what to ask about. I always enjoyed kickboxing and MMA, but how does that relate to Muay Thai? What does a life dedicated to fighting mean? If you are reading this I am assuming you are not a fighter, so you will be as interested as I was to learn some topical information about a beautiful art form from a forward-thinking PNW fighter. If you are a fighter, then girl, you already know, but stay for the commentary, girl!
Josh was a stranger to me before this interview, but I knew that he practiced Muay Thai and had been training in Thailand. It's obvious that this is his lifestyle or career path, not just a hobby. I asked him why he started fighting. “In high school, I was, like, a bad boy type of deal, and I had to find a better positive outlet because I just kept getting in trouble over and over again, and it was not pretty. Then I found this art, you know, I found kickboxing, and it kind of gave me something to focus on and channel this crazy energy that I had, and then put it into something good, you know?” Your girl Nature Slut knows a thing or two about crazy energy. I try to channel my crazy energy out with a few hours of hard work in the steep trails of the PNW. What does Josh do again? “So, it’s called Muay Thai. They call it the art of eight limbs. I like to say it like that because it sounds all catchy. It’s called the art of eight limbs because it goes punches, knees, kicks, and elbows, and it's eight because it’s two of each.” That pushes me to imagine myself expanding into an eight-limbed being. Oh, the rock climbing I could do with a setup like that! Josh posted on his social media about his Tao a time or two, and I wondered how Josh related that to his Muay Thai practice. “I am a Bruce Lee guy, and I studied all kinds of philosophy. You know, Bruce Lee was deep into his philosophy and I studied- or I practice- an esoteric form of, like, Zen Buddhism and also study like stoic philosophy. There are many things. I have been getting into Taoism a lot, but Bruce Lee had his own practice that he created that was called the Tao of Jeet Kune Do which was his true martial art. Truly what it meant; self-experimentation- so whatever is useful to you, you add on. What is not, you discard. So, as a martial artist, I have been experimenting with a lot of different arts in this time of stillness, and I have been adding on and kind of creating my own way of striking. So, the way I strike and the way I fight mixes a lot of, like, western boxing, all these arts, and I will create what is good for me. I have been listening to a lot of Wu-Tang Clan, and I joke around and say you know... ‘My Tao is strong,’ you know. It’s kind of like an inside thing with me, but there are some other martial artists that understand it.” Josh started relating his pursuit of martial arts to the pursuit of all arts when I was reminded about the book that Christopher Z told me about: Just Kids by Patti Smith. Girls, boys, and aliens, it's universal. Arts are transformative and exploration is key.
When I think of fighting, I think of mentorship. I think of the trainer being there every step of the way and guiding their pupil to success. Is that what it's really like? “I have learned from people, you know, but also, my most recent and notable mentor- he’s somewhat big with people that know Muay Thai- has a crazy name. His name is Lordzilla, and that’s a big name. So, I was living in Thailand last year for training and fighting, and his nickname is the Slippery Eel. They call him the Slippery Eel because he is one of the most evasive Muay Thai fighters of all time. So, he’s hard to hit. There is this misconception about fighters, like, you have to be somewhat not normal to do it, but there is always this negative thing. Like, fighters are like this, they’re always angry and all this stuff, but there are two types of fighters and Lordzilla is a zen fighter, he is always happy, he is always fine. Then there is, like pit bulls. I call them cortisol fighters. They are fueled by this hormone and they’re like heavy metal, like AAAHHH! You know? That is how I used to be until the art of Muay Thai healed me as a martial artist because their approach is really like Tao, and the Buddhist approach to fighting which is really crazy. They do like this little ritualistic dance before they fight, so the art is just beautiful.” Josh has had two influential mentors with top tier names and has been able to learn from their positive influences. “Back to mentors, yeah Lordzilla was one of mine and he showed me, and he kind of unlocked this side to me where I had to be open-minded, you know?” I almost feel like I see people struggle to be open-minded to other possibilities, and I always feel the opposite. I am almost too open to new possibilities. I cannot decide what I should move forward and give time to. “What Lordzilla taught me is that you can break from that shit and make your own. Express yourself the way you want to express yourself, how does your body feel? How do you feel? Does this kick feel good to you or not? It helped me express myself and free myself as a martial artist - first you have to learn the musical notes before you can break the rhythm and do your own fucking song- so, that is kind of a concept that he exposed me to and I was like okay, now I feel liberated and I feel free, and I can freely practice the way I want to and create what I want to. In this time of stillness, it's hard because I can't complete the goals that I wanted, but I can also just build myself and create myself in the way that I want to be.“ So…. I was right, Josh does have an extraordinary mentor. Not to mention the name Lordzilla is top quality. Listening to Josh talk about his craft with a deep passion for its place in his life was uplifting to my spirit. It reminded me that I should pay more attention to my body, and spend time working with myself. Spending time to stretch and let my body loosen up, spending time to enjoy my food, spending time to enjoy my skin with Rue Santé, and focusing on making myself well through curated experiences.
Clearly, Josh has dedicated himself to growing his craft, and his craft has offered a fruitful yield. Josh was spending time in Thailand and getting closer to accomplishing big goals. How does that even happen? Why Thailand? “It was destiny for me to go there, because at the time I was in spirituality, like, I was in somewhat of a hard time. Not long ago, it was like a sabbatical, slash goal, slash career thing where I was getting complacent…. well, hanging out here with some shithead people, and I am drifting away from my true life path, you know? I was somewhat depressed, and so that pain that I felt was like, I am going to make some moves I gotta get out of doing all of this dumb shit all of the time. So I actually made a commitment to go to Thailand. I had my money saved up, and beforehand I was working in Switzerland over there, then I flew out. I looked for it, but in the end, I feel like it was destiny.” There are so many people happy to take the road to stagnation and abuse their time with effortless self-proclaimed greatness unchallenged by local ignorance, but it is clear Josh is not one of them. “Before Thailand, I got an opportunity to go teach out in Switzerland. This guy I met -I met him in Spain actually, in 2015- and he was a Hawaiian-American guy. We exchanged information and a few years later he messaged me, and we connected and he was like ‘how would you like to teach? We will pay for your flight, we will give you a place to stay, and you will have a car and all of this stuff.’ It was an opportunity that I saw to live in a foreign country, so I lived there for 3 months and I was teaching. That was a fun time, oh my god.” I would shit one of Ivy Olivia’s drain crystals if an opportunity like that fell in my lap. “So that was an opportunity to do some cool things, and there were a lot of opportunities out there that inspired me to make this Thailand trip happen.” What kind of fertilizer is Josh using to grow his craft with? These bounties are boundless.
Okay men, boys, aliens, and people with bodies… ready for a tip about personal care? Buckle up! Or better yet pull over. I asked Josh if he grooms his cock and balls. Can you believe me? “Oh hell yeah! Interesting you say that though because with this whole fighting thing, you know, you got a lot of fighting and all of that stuff, but you also have the opposite you know? Destruction and creation. You definitely need that loving aspect just to keep yourself sane, but yeah, you know some Epsom salts, a CBD bath bomb, every now and then trim it down there.” There it is people. Take a moment, trim your pubes, and relax. Thank you so much for sharing about your life and your pubes, Josh!!
Thank you so much for reading!!
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