Get to Know Dave Z
Who would you want with you if you were stranded on a deserted island?
Ghostface (the dog not the wu-tang progeny)
If money was no object, what would you do all day?
I would spend a lot of time happily reflecting upon the fact that money was no object, which in itself would create a good day out of all my days. I would also read, write, drive my car, hang out with my family and friends, and train BJJ daily with circuits three days per week. I would try to dine at a quality restaurant each Saturday and see a matinee every Sunday morning. I would also travel and compete with the team, following much of the IBJJF circuit.
The Sunday version would be my ideal version. The best part of the day would be knowing that money was no object to me, which is a notion that in itself would relax me in a way I know little about. Then I would have coffee, do some light reading, write a bit, train bjj, spend time with my wife, son, and friends, and a go to matinee at the Snowden Square movie theater, which I think is the best movie theater in the area. I would drive separately to all these events so that I could enjoy my car a bit as I meandered to and fro with nothing on my mind but what was in front of me. I can only dream of a day like this.
Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?
I most want to visit London, Paris, and Berlin. They are dead-even in regards to my desire to visit them, but if I had to pick today it would be London.
What is your favorite memory about training?
My first trip with the team to the Pyramid in Long Beach, CA where the Worlds are held. Not necessarily any one moment from that trip, but the entire thing to me is a very fond memory and time in my life.
Who is your favorite author? What is your favorite book?
This is a really tough question. I love to read and collect books of all genres. In college I focused heavily on John Milton’s Paradise Lost, and it has been my favorite book for much of my life. I was also very moved by the writing of Bret Easton Ellis in American Psycho. I read mostly bios so it is hard to decide of its the author or the person being written about that is my favorite. One of my favorite biographies is that of Howard Hughes as he is one of my favorite people.
Do you have a favorite quote? If so what is it?
“For success, attitude is equally important, if not more important, than ability.” -Anonymous
Do you have a favorite art piece? If so what is it and why?
Rafael’s “The Deliverance of St. Peter.” I saw it live and it caused me to have trouble breathing it was so amazing. His use of space and paint to create the aura of natural light was mind boggling. If you decide to look up the piece on Google, the iron gate you see is not a gate – it is paint.
What was your favorite activity in gym class?
Challenges involving pull ups.
What has been your biggest challenge in martial arts?
Not having enough hours in the day to train martial arts like I should and wish I could. I realize this is sort of a cop out answer like saying your worst quality is that you don’t have any bad qualities – so my biggest technical challenge has always been forcing myself to expand my jiu jitsu game instead of always focusing on what I really like to do.
What is your biggest success up until now?
My son Xander.
What is the one thing that should be taught in school that isn’t already?
An in-depth and straightforward break down of individual Constitutional protections. It has always interested me that so few people understand such an important part of the fabric of America. i.e., “you have the right to remain silent – so use it.”
If you were to create a piece of art, what would the subject be?
Pencil drawing of a female face. It would be as realistic as I could possibly make it. I am obsessed with realism in art and the use of shading (or lack there of) to create light.
If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to?
2005 but I would rather go forward than backward.
How would your friends describe you?
They would say that I always say I love everything. I do honestly love a lot of things. For real.