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The Bay Area Martial Arts Podcast

Jan 16, 2018

Today’s episode is an inspirational one. Wade Pitts interviews Russell Redenbaugh, who, at the age of 16, went blind. Inspired by John F. Kennedy’s talk on the space race, he began building his own model rockets, with hopes of becoming a scientist someday. Tragically, the last model rocket he built went horribly wrong and ended up exploding in his face — causing him to not only go blind but lose six of his fingers as well.


Russell Redenbaugh however, shifted his narrative; living a life full of independence and seeking out success in a sighted world. He went on to finish his high school degree, receive his Master of Business Administration at Wharton School, work as a Securities Analyst at an investment firm where he became Chief Investment Officer, and serve on the United States Commission on Civil Rights as its first disabled member. Not only that but at the age of 50, he tried out Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and soon enough, began to compete nationally then internationally and even won three gold medals in the Senior Division in Brazil.


Join Wade and Russell today on the Bay Area Martial Arts Podcast as they discuss Russell’s early life, school life, careers — all the way up to present day to catch a glimpse of his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu career, current work as an Investment Advisor, and all about his new book, Shift the Narrative.


Key Takeaways:

[1:00] An introduction to Russell Redenbaugh

[4:13] Welcoming Russell to the podcast

[5:09] Getting started in Salt Lake City, Utah; Russell walks us through his background and the accident that left him blind.

[8:01] The purgatory between his accident and surgeries, and life after going blind.

[11:37] Russell’s declarations for independence and his success through high school and College.

[16:37] Post-graduation; Russell’s first career.

[19:47] Switching up careers and becoming CEO of a software company.

[23:30] Getting started in the Martial Arts; Russell’s beginning at 50 years old.

[25:09] Russell’s adaptations to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

[27:50] Going on to compete locally, nationally and then internationally.

[31:00] How the training process was for Russell in the Martial Arts.

[32:30] What Russell is currently up to in the professional side; His life in the investing world.

[39:38] About Russell’s book, Shift the Narrative, and his recommendations to people for shifting their own narrative.

[43:05] Russell’s advice for life and business.


Russell Redenbaugh’s Links:

Shift the Narrative: A Blind Man's Vision for Rewriting the Stories that Limit Us,
by Russell Redenbaugh