Ricardo Salinas is a seasoned developer handling development projects for companies including Sirius XM and Travel Nurses Across America. When we discovered that Ricardo practices Jiu Jitsu, we were intrigued, and a bit scared.
We sat down with Ricardo to ask about his training, about playing heavy metal guitar, how Jiu Jitsu makes him a better coder, his favorite foods to cook and more.
How did you begin practicing Jiu Jitsu?
I started to practice MMA by an invitation of a friend who had some months already practicing it, and I thought it was a good idea to learn some kind of martial art or personal defense. As part of the MMA training, I started to do some Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and I enjoyed applying all the different kinds of submissions and putting my opponents under a control position, rather than punching or kicking.
How often do you train?
I try to train from Monday to Friday. One of my weekly goals is to train 5 out of 5 days.
Are there and other martial arts styles you like?
As part of the MMA training we have to learn Boxing, Muay Thai, Wrestling and Judo, so I like this styles, but Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is right now #1 in my heart.
Does Jiu Jitsu mentally help you as a coder?
Of course, choking people is the best way to release all your stress! Haha, joking. These are three things that I learned from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu that helped me, not just as a coder, but also in life:
1) You don’t need to be strong and big to overcome difficult challenges, “Technique conquers all.”
2) To apply the technique in the most effective way, you don’t need to rush or get tired by trying to do things fast. The key is to be patient, wait for a good opportunity and then “explode”, and if that attempt doesn’t work, try to reset the position and do it again. In a fight, if you don’t know how to breath or “save fuel” you’re going to be exhausted in a couple of seconds. 3) Be humble… No one was born with the skills or knowledge. The black belts were white belts at the beginning of their journeys. Learn from your mistakes. The goal is to improve not to prove.
Could connected technology or a mobile app assist Jiu Jitsu training? – Or is this best left as a “tech-free” area of life?
Of course technology could (and is) helping to improve this martial art! Many world wide champions are now sharing their techniques and knowledge thanks to Mobile applications and social media. There are some Mobile Apps for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with easy access to a lot of different techniques along with details and examples. Being able to see a video of a world champion helps you to know how they do things. Also, seeing yourself in a video helps you to identify how can you improve your technique. Some of my teammates bring their GoPro cameras to the gym to record the matches to review their performance later.
Also, Apps can help you to have a healthy life. Something as simple as measuring the calories of the food using a diet app helps you to make a lot of improvements – and not just in sports.
Where is your hometown?
It’s a small city near Guadalajara called Aguascalientes. I lived there for 23 years. It’s a great place to live, with a lot of good food places, little traffic and security.
How did you begin coding?
I started coding in college (2009 – 2014), I was a huge fan of video games, so I wanted to learn how these were created.
What made you interested in learning to code?
Solving Problems! After some years in college, part of the things that I enjoyed about the area was the wide variety of options to solve the same problem and the challenge of picking the optimal way to do it.
Do you use a connected assistant such as an Alexa or Google Home?
Not yet, they’re part of my wishlist, but maybe for Christmas!
Android or iPhone?
What would be an interesting Jiu Jitsu vs. non-Ju Jitsu matchup?
It happened last year, Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor. McGregor is a killer with fists and kicks. He knocked José Aldo out in 13 seconds with a punch, but Khabib is lethal and effective as a grappler and he ultimately defeated McGregor via submission.
Also, Rickson Gracie is a great example of how Jiu Jitsu can be applied against other martial arts, but now it’s rare to find a “pure” martial artist, you need to know a lot from different styles (punching, kicking or grappling techniques) and how to combine them to beat your opponents.
What connected car technologies are you excited about?
Well, I have mixed feelings with this question… I’m very excited for the self driving cars, but I believe that sadly in México, we are far from having a “decent” experience with these technologies. The bad condition of streets and roads, plus the old fashioned mentality are blockers for embracing the new technologies for the vehicles – and lack of driving manners makes it a big challenge for connected vehicles to be up to date here.
Do you cook – if so what are your favorite meals to prepare?
Yes, I enjoy cooking, and (of course) eating. “Chilaquiles” is one of my favorite meals to prepare, but my wife cries every time I do it because my inner “chilimeter” is broken. So I like to use jalapeño and habanero for the salsa. Best breakfast ever!
Where is your favorite vacation destination?
Iceland! My wife and I traveled there for our Honeymoon some months ago, and the landscape and nature wonders that the “land of ice and fire” offers is gorgeous. We were there during the winter, but we would like to return one day during the summer, it will be a whole new experience with all that landscape without the snow.
You also play guitar – what are some bands whose guitar playing you like?
My favorite band is “Death”, founded by the vocalist and guitarist Chuck Schuldiner. I admire his technique and style with the guitar. Chuck’s riffs were elaborate, and he was able to sing while he was playing!
I listen to a lot of metal bands. I like the classic bands like Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Metallica, Judas Priest, but there are hundreds of bands with different “flavors” like the dark but melodic sound of bands like “Insomnium” or “In Morning.” I also like bands like “Eluveitie” which combines instruments like the flute, violin and the “Hurdy gurdy” to achieve a folk sound. “Septicflesh” is a band which combines an aggressive and heavy sound with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, making each of their albums a masterpiece.