Frisco, TX – “I am not here to teach martial arts, but to change people’s lives”- Carlos Machado. This is a quote by one of the most famous Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructors in the world who decided to write a book and share his talents with the world. This week that book was released on Amazon.com called “Putting the Pieces Together.”
This book, these “messages in a bottle,” began as a way for me to express my urge to communicate my thoughts; pieces of wisdom I have learned, either from my practice in martial arts or from the influence of others, such as family, my personal struggles and experiences, the disappointments and uplifting moments, loss and grief, joy and redemption. All those common themes visited me during my moments of introspection, so quotes became the way I would let them out, always for a positive outlook.
With the advent of social media, I gained a legion of followers. Some were already part of my circle, while others came from diverse backgrounds. They all came together to share a brief moment of reflection upon the quotes I began to post.
I did not expect everyone to understand or accept all the messages. However, as I began to read what others had to say about the quotes so dear to me, their responses confirmed that the place I have been—that remote island of solitude and often uncertainty—
The mission grew, and I could not stop what I had started. I was constantly reminded of my calling as an instructor, to mentor and inspire all those I can reach, beyond the limits of the mat and the school walls.
Social media gave me a platform without boundaries to reach the world. At first, the comments arrived one or two at a time, then a few appeared daily, then hundreds, and now thousands. The personal messages from my followers continued coming in.
They were from freaked-out students about to take a college entrance exam or people who had experienced a recent loss or setback. Their messages all reminded me of something I had in common with their momentary vulnerability, and many commented on what a difference a particular quote had made or how much one had affected them.
There were also the martial arts students and fellow instructors, most of whom prize the values that seem lacking in the world we live in today, particularly concerning what we do as martial artists regarding the lives of those entrusted to our guidance.
Friends from other countries, speaking other languages, with diverse backgrounds and histories, made their comments using their native idioms. Former students and friends I knew in Brazil, prior to my arrival in the U.S.—more than twenty years ago—reconnected with me through this project.
Through these people’s united voices, all I could hear was, “Write a book. Write a book!”
The fact that my inspiration was able to light someone else’s dark moments has convinced me that this book has a value greater than my own personal ambitions. As I once was a traveler in unknown waters (which I still sometimes find myself in), I believe that the insights that set me back on course can be of service to others.
Unfortunately, at this point, I feel I have not reached enough people. This awareness has brought about a sense of urgency to fulfill my ambition as a mentor to my students, and also to honor the requests of so many loyal friends who continue to involve themselves with me.
I hope you will enjoy what you are about to read. You may have already seen some of the material; however, I have included other surprises for you as well. Some are original quotes and stories being told for the very first time.
Whether you read this book straight through or randomly open to a page, treat this volume like messages in a bottle. If you ever feel the need for some encouragement, sympathy, or an extra shot of positive energy, open the bottle and pick out the quote or message that most makes sense to you at the time.
We are all survivors in this ocean of life; if we are stranded on that faraway island of solitude, we will find comfort when presented with a new opportunity to rescue ourselves from our dilemmas.
Media Contact: Kirk Lanahan
Phone Number: 972-849-3667