Benjamin Franklin was a pretty smart cat. He invented the Franklin stove, bifocals… he created an artificial fertilizer and charted ocean currents. He designed a flexible urinary catheter (What??!!) and swim fins. Did you know that he even designed an improved glass harmonica with spinning goblets? And, of course, he was one of the Founding Fathers, in my opinion, his greatest accomplishment.
But did you also know that he never patented his inventions or ideas? Get this… He said, “As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours; and this we should do freely and generously.”
Which leads me to the point of this post… The members of Prime and I have had numerous opportunities to learn from some great people in the paintball world. And through these years we have created lasting friendships and memories. Like Franklin, we have always felt we should give back. However, unless you were physically at the Prime Farm, these gifts weren’t readily available. That being said, we have decided to take it to another level. Hopefully this is successful. Without further ado, I am proud to present to you Prime Paintball’s first edition of “GUN FU”!
To kick things off, it just made sense to have this young man as our first resident SME (Subject Matter Expert) or Sifu. He is someone who wants to give back too and has been doing so with his BKi paintball page. I had the opportunity to meet Grayson Goff early last year when we reached out to him in regards to BKi and Prime forming a relationship. We were looking for guidance after Coach Paul passed. As most of you probably know, Paul Richards coached X Factor prior to their World Cup win in 2013. Grayson came to the Farm and spent 3 days with us putting us through the paces. One thing you learn about Grayson in just a short time being around him is he is a born competitor and absolutely, without a doubt, loves the sport of paintball. What he has accomplished in his 30 years on this earth as a member of San Antonio X-Factor and what he has given back to the paintball community with BKi is remarkable.
Grayson at the Prime Farm
You could say Grayson got his start in paintball by being the 11th man. He was invited to a kid’s birthday party because one of his other friends couldn’t go. They needed 10 so… Grayson got the call. The party was at a paintball field and that’s all she wrote. “I was instantly hooked on the raw competitive spirit and started spending any money I made doing chores around the house towards paintball.” He eventually joined some teams (Vaqueros, Arch Angels, Smart Parts Factory) and worked his way up through the divisional ranks to where he is now with X-Factor.
The man eats, sleeps, and breathes paintball. If you ask him what he does outside of paintball, he will tell you “Teach people how to play paintball.” And teach people he does with his BKi website. He started BKi for two reasons; first, his obvious love for the sport. Like I stated earlier, if you are around him for any amount of time, you see his love for the game. “It’s taught me more about life and myself than anything else.” His second reason is just as obvious. He wants to share that love and the ability to learn with others. That’s what I love about Grayson. There is no ego here. “BKi offered the perfect channel to reach out to as many players as possible. I want to play a role in the next generation of paintball players. As a professional player, we only have so many free weekends a year to teach clinics. There’s also a ton of players out there that have and may never get a chance to learn from a pro in person. With BKi, they have a pro dedicated to helping them improve their game no matter their location or schedule.”
Grayson is engaging and is always looking to improve his craft. He is a firm believer that the mental aspect of the game is certainly the most important. I asked him what he believes is one of the more difficult hurdles in the sport; “As paintball players, we have to take in tons of information, quickly analyze it, and make smart decisions. Sometimes this can occur in the span of the less than a second of time. The ability to do this effectively is the hardest thing for most players to overcome at our level. It’s what separates good players from the great ones.”
One of the ways he works his mind out (mental push-ups so to speak) and stays sharp is literally studying the game itself. What we use to call back in my day “watching film”. This is a great way to see how things can be done, should be done and vice versa.
Rockin’ Exalt, VForce and DYE Rotor
“I improved my ability to analyze situations by doing just that. Instead of just ‘watching’ games of paintball, I would (and still do) constantly analyze the situations players were in, situations teams were in and think about what each player or team as a whole could do to win that specific game.”
“Whether it’s two pro teams facing off at an NXL event or a D4 team practicing against their D5 feeder team, I will watch and analyze. I believe I can learn something from any game of paintball. So many people waste valuable time out at a paintball field bullshitting around while they wait for their chance to play. I made the best use of this time growing up intently watching and expanding my knowledge.”
If you aren’t shootin’ or talkin’ you better be movin’
At this point in Prime’s Dojo, we would present you with a small video clip of a drill that Grayson suggests to improve an aspect of your game dutifully presented by a member of Prime. But Grayson does this ALL THE TIME. Be sure to check him out at BKi paintball.Here is the link.
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I did want to leave you with one thing Grayson shared with me that I certainly appreciated. He shared what motivates him.
“I love the raw emotion paintball brings out of people. It’s that you vs. me, no holds barred fight mentality. It pushes us to our limit and in those moments we’d sacrifice anything to win. And at the end of every failure, we’re left with a few reminders of our mistakes. That coupled with the fact I hate losing in anything motivates me the most.”
The author and THAT guy
I want to thank Grayson for being my Guinea pig and taking the time out of his busy schedule to placate me. Xiè xiè nín de bāng zhù, Mr. Goff 谢 谢 您 的 帮 助
Check out this youtube video of Grayson running one of his clinics, pay particular attention to his comments on a steady platform while running and gunning.