By Batista Gremaud
Healthy Body, Healthy Mind - The Power of Martial Arts is not only Physical.
Raja was bullied and treated as mentally retarded as a child due to a speech impediment. However, he overcame challenges by becoming a 6th-degree black belt in Karate. He has been inducted into multiple Black Belt Halls of Fame and starred in the martial arts documentary "The Martialist."
Despite a lifelong stutter, he became a professional speaker and a cancer research scientist.
Q: Why did you start Karate?
I stuttered, so the kids in school picked on me, and I was constantly bullied. It was the year the Karate Kid movie came out. I identified with the character; like him, I had just moved into a new school and was mocked and harassed. Something clicked, and I knew Karate could give me the self-confidence to stand my ground.
Karate is not an activity or a hobby. It is a life-changing event. So if you treat it like a life-changing event, those are the results you will get. However, if you treat it like a hobby, you will get hobby results just like everything else in life.
I wasn't interested in having a black belt; I wanted to be a black belt. The belt is secondary to the skill set. It takes about 10,000 hours of training to master a new skill. As a result of my commitment and hard work, I'm the first six-degree black belt in my school's history.
Q: How did stuttering affect you?
When a person stutters, like me, we can't do anything about it or stop it. We feel very vulnerable and have to trust in the goodness of people, but people are not always kind.
They often try to be polite, but they roll their eyes, start turning their bodies away and try to get out of the conversation so they don't have to talk to that guy who takes too long to speak!
Stuttering is physically very exhausting. It's like putting your foot on the gas and on the brake at the same time. You're constantly grinding your vocal cords. It's hard to get the words out. You can quickly get a sore throat.
Q: Were you born with this condition, or did it develop later in life?
I started speech therapy when I was 6 years old. I hated myself because of it. I thought it was my fault; I had done something wrong. At that time, the teachers did not understand this condition; they thought I was mentally retarded, so they put me in special needs classes.
I had to fight my whole life just to be accepted as normal. So I fought to get better grades and be a better athlete. I thought people would show me more respect. But I still stuttered, so the kids continued to pick on me. The only thing I could do was put on a strong face and try not to fall apart.
Around fifth grade, my teachers realized my grades were much higher than the average student's. In sixth grade, I had the highest Math and science grades in my entire school.
I asked myself:" How do I change the course of my life? How do I change my destiny?" So I decided to request an IQ test.
I talked to the teachers, who sent me to the guidance counselor. The guidance counselor said I needed to speak to the principal, who replied it was impossible. Finally, my dad stepped in. The principal said that the school funding wouldn't pay for the test. I said I would pay for it myself!
When I got my IQ test back, they realized I needed to be in the gifted program.
Click the video to watch Coach Raja Vaidya's observation on how Hollywood movies portray people who stutter
Q: What inspired you to become a cancer research scientist?
When I was in college, my aunt was diagnosed with stage 4 Leukemia, with only a 25% chance of survival. She passed away at age 25, six months after receiving a bone marrow transplant. I became a cancer research scientist and worked on flipping 25% survival to 75% survival, and now with cell therapies, we are approaching a 90% survival rate if diagnosed early and caught before stage 3 cancer.
Because I was strong and healthy, I could stay focused and in the lab researching for long hours, ultimately saving more lives.
Q: Tell us how did you get into Victory Mindset coaching
I was in a head-on car crash. I smashed my head on the windshield. I had glass in my head for six months and couldn't turn my neck to the left for two and a half years. I had to work full-time and only took one day off from my karate school.
Reflecting on my life's struggles, I realized that the key to mind-shifting is understanding that the obstacles we encounter are not walls but speed bumps.
After 38 years of teaching Mixed Martial Arts in my academy, I discovered patterns in students' learning. From there, I developed strategies to assist business owners in facing their fears and overcoming self-limiting beliefs about success, professionally, in life, and in relationships, and opened my Victory Mindset Academy, moving from White Belt Mind-LOCK to Black Belt Mind-SHIFT.
Q: Can anyone achieve a Victory Mindset?
People are hardwired to stay in their comfort zone. To succeed, you must think outside the box and walk through your fears created by society, family, culture, upbringing, friends, or co-workers.
By expanding your mind and busting the scarcity mindset, you must become the person who gives more. You may feel like you are giving up your power, but actually, you are evolving into an indisputable leader.
So get busy being uncomfortable because if you stay comfortable for too long, you're just going to stay there your whole life. But, on the other side of that uncomfortableness, that's where success lies.
Q: What are your three takeaways?
The biggest thing I can teach people is that success doesn't happen overnight and to understand that 1% incremental growth per day equals exponential growth. But many people seek instant gratification. However, it's all about mindset. Did you train harder than the person next to you? Or, more importantly, did you improve the person you were yesterday? If you can improve yourself by just 1% each day, the constant incremental improvement and optimization will get you to achieve more than you can imagine.
To Achieve Success, Consistency Beats Intensity.
Too many people give up on physical fitness because they get sore after just a few days. They say they have no time, it is too expensive, or they are bored. However, these are not valid excuses. If you find yourself getting bored with Karate, most likely it is because you are boring, not Karate. Karate is one of the best ways to train, combining strength, agility, cardiovascular fitness, and flexibility, as well as the mental fitness required to become a black belt. Strength training and Karate help to prevent diseases and make you more focused. Ultimately you will save time, money, and energy.
Get a coach! Tiger Woods had four or five golf coaches; Mike Tyson, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James all had coaches, even though they were the best athletes in the world. They continuously train in the basics. The basics build the foundations for everything else.
Q: Any last words?
Step into your power, and understand that having an open mind to change and showing compassion to others makes you powerful.
Weekly Award-Winning Mastermind series "Speaker Confidence Workshop" Free for 30 days: https://bit.ly/VMAMindSHIFT1
Dr Fitness USA THE SHOW aims to create a society of stronger and healthier people.
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Healthy Body, Healthy Mind - The Power of Martial Arts is not only Physical.
Coach Raja is a triple talent master leader: Science for the Mind, Karate for the Body, and Music for the Soul.
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Batista Gremaud is the CEO and president of Dr Fitness International, International Body Designer, Strength Training Expert, No1 Best Selling author of Feminine Body Design, Empowering Fitness For A Pain-Free Life, co-creator of the Feminine Body Design online strength training mentoring system, co-host of the Esoteric Principles of Bodybuilding, Recipient of the most outstanding fitness program 2019 by The Winners Circle, Mastermind at Sea. and producer of the Dr Fitness USA’s THE SHOW.
Heart Of Hollywood Magazine Contributor