Hello Matt, tell us about yourself.
I’m Matt, hi. A professional martial artist, wellness coach, author, musician, and used to also be a chef. I created a system of training called the YAMA system, redefining yoga and holistic wellness to be more dynamic and adaptable. This was all a big accident. It was my personal way of training, but on tour as a musician in rock bands, I kept picking up people wanting to learn from me. Then I started training some high profile folks and helped them with their injuries. Then I ended up doing stunts and training actors. All this time though, I’ve always just wanted to be a writer. My joy is writing, I train to clear my mind to write, I’m actually not really into athletics or fitness. I write songs, poetry, music, and now books. I just want to create more than I consume during my short time here.
. Where are you from and where do you live?
We moved a lot as kids until the end of elementary school. My father was a Navy Seal that went into radio and announcing for sports teams and Nascar. Thus we traveled A LOT! Spent most of my youth in the south, mainly Pensacola FL. Started touring at age 13, more traveling, then college, lots of traveling still, then settled in Oakland for 20 years, but still traveling for work and living abroad for films and other jobs. Now I just left Oakland to simplify and find a new place to settle and be still. I plan on being nomadic and in nature for about a year, then I’ll decide.
• What do you like to do in your spare time?
I play music, write, and basically do what I do for work. I train, breathe, and practice the things I love. Music, martial arts, cooking, writing, and ride motorcycles and like to get off road and camp as much as possible.
• Can you tell us a little bit about your journey?
I’ve always been conveniently outside the crowd, but not an outsider. Since we travelled so much I was ok just being on my own. Started martial arts at age 4 or 5. Music around 11 or 12. I was also a heavy drinker and drug user when I was a kid, age 11-13, started working full time at age 12, touring at age 13, so I was too young to really be a part of the groups at work, or in the bars I was playing in. I won’t get into that too much hahah. It can get a little dark. However, I was blessed with communities of mentors, bad or good. Even criminals want to contribute something positive.
People my age weren’t doing that type of stuff, but I went clean and back heavy on the path of wellness and martial arts at age 13. Once high school hit I was just a musician and chef, working too much to care about school, and I didn’t drink or do enough drugs to hang out too much at parties.
The one thing that has always been a through line in my life though was personal practice and staying disciplined. Since my father was so intense, we had rules to freedom. I use them in what I call “The Matt Lucas Quick Guide.”
Writing, journaling, and having many ways to express myself physically and emotionally kept me slowly releasing the valves of my anger, fear, and darkness. One day I just kinda realized I was happy.
• If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Simple thus creative
• What inspires you?
Music, quiet, the ocean, learning, and having time to feel. Nothing better than an overcast morning on a beach with coffee, good cashmere, and a journal.
• How did you get into writing ?
Through spending time in the back of a car between towns. I loved to read, but I was always in my own world so if I read one sentence I would just put the book down and start writing. My creative mind always overpowers my consumer mind. I’m a horrible spectator. In bands I was the front man and not really a good singer, so I let the lyrics hold your attention. I always wanted to write long form, and one day I just ran out of music in my head and I can really only write long form now.
• Can you tell us what inspired your book/ work and what is the story behind it?
The joke on movie sets and all my classes, was, “Don’t make me mad or I’ll journal about you” then when people would see me they would assume the reasons I wasn’t going out with them was because I was journaling.
Then COVID happened. I finished the film I was working on and went into quarantine. Then George Floyd and Defund the police happened. I was reached out to by some detectives that were working on communication skills training for cops. They asked me if I could help out. Thus I volunteered for this ground breaking project. I knew these guys from when I was a mediator and worked in gang territory. I noticed that the cops would shut down if there was a moment when they had to speak or role play, so I started running them through view training, and empathy training by journaling. It opened them up.
Shortly after, my school was being flooded with people in crises, sometimes 4-5 suicides a week, parents struggling, kids, business owners, so I started taking them through these exercises as well. Then I got too busy volunteering and was holding space for too many people in crisis. My designer student who helps people put together Ted Talks, said, “You have all this written, send it to me and I’ll design it into a book” So I did and he helped me fulfill a life long dream.
The first week it saved 2 lives.
• Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share?
More books, and my video on demand library. I’m working with coaches and wellness professionals to slow down and stop promising snake oil. We are being over run with charlatans gouging the desperate. We need practice, consciousness, and patience. So, at the moment I’m teaming up with people and redefining our relationships with wellness and practice. I’ve been doing it for 25 years, and finally people are interested.
. What are your goals and aspirations?
To write more books, do live readings, workshops, and buy a place near water. Something where people can travel to me, and we can create just to expand. Too many self development centers have us assuming we are broken and need “healing.” You are nature, and nature doesn’t have problems it just falls out of balance sometimes.
• Where can our listeners connect with you online?
Or theyamasystem on social media