“We must remember that one man is much the same as another and that he is best who is trained in the severest school.”
– Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War
What this means is that we are all born ordinary and we all have the capacity to become extra-ordinary, if we choose to put ourselves through the right training and determined focus of a “severe” school to achieve our goals.
Eric Guttmann was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico to a Hungarian father and a Puertorrican mother, becoming one of the first “Hungarricans” on the island.
In 1994 while attending college to get his degree in Education, he joined the U.S. Army Reserve as a journalist and started practicing Chen Style Taijiquan. These two experiences started forming the belief that through discipline and clearly defined outcomes we can achieve whatever we want in life. At the same time he serendipitously got a Nightingale-Conant catalog in the mail and started learning about self-improvement. With these three influences in his life he became Soldier Of The Year in 1998 and earned a medal for highest GPA in his undergraduate degree the next year.
These experiences solidified the concept of defining what you want and going after it. After getting his degree he set out to learn Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine where he got two years under his belt and performs acupuncture on family and friends to this day.
He then got interested in aviation and ended up flying for the U.S. Navy after a short stint with the U.S. Air Force. Since he has been in three branches of the U.S. military, his friends joke that he is doing a “tour of the services.”
After earning his wings and becoming a Naval Flight Officer, Guttmann served in Naval Station Rota, Spain with the “Rangers” of FLEET AIR RECONNAISSANCE SQUADRON TWO (VQ-2) where he flew over 125 operational missions including 42 combat missions over Iraq.
While in Spain he became “that guy” who was designated to interact with foreign nationals due to his language abilities. He had lot of fun doing this and wondered if there was something in the Navy that would have this as his primary duty. Lo and behold a new type of officer was needed by the Navy, the Foreign Area Officer (FAO), and Guttmann immediately applied and got selected.
After coming back from his deployments to Iraq and the Middle East he always felt concerned about what would have happened if the plane had been forced down and terrorists had put a gun or AK-47 to his face. In the military they talk about the “last act of defiance” which means that in a situation like that you get as many shots out as you can even though it will likely mean your certain death. As an officer responsible for 24 crewmembers he felt that making that decision for all the crew was not the wisest recourse of action. Fortunately, he did not have to face that situation, but the urgency of the matter did not leave his consciousness upon returning to the United States.
His next tour was to the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. During this time he became immersed in Commando Krav Maga and Elite Combat Fitness. These two experiences totally redefined his views and concepts on being “fit.” Prior to that he honestly believed that being able to Squat 405 and Bench 365 where sure signs of “being in shape.” Needless to say he got a rude awakening and transferred to a bodyweight and kettlebell training. This became the basis for Extreme Military Fitness. Later he expounded with Heavy Double Kettlebell Drills, circuit training, and burpee ladders for even more hardcore conditioning which will be coming up in a new course.
After getting his Master’s Degree in Latin America at the Naval Postgraduate School, he set out on his first FAO assignment at U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command / U.S. Fourth Fleet. Guttmann is now the Andean Ridge Desk Officer where he is responsible for all U.S. Navy engagements with Colombia, Ecuador and Peru and oversees developments in Central America. During this tour Eric traveled extensively to South America and in particualrly Peru. Eric is fluent in Spanish and proficient in Portuguese. His next tour is to the U.S. SOUTHERN COMMAND in Miami, FL which is the Combatant Command and oversees all military activities in Latin America and the Carribbean.
His many trips to Peru and his inside connections in the medical field have given him the opportunity to explore and experiment with different Amazon herbs to include Maca, Una de Gato, Tocosh, Guanarpo, Sangre de Drago, Copaiba, Aguaymanto, and Amazon Tonic Liqours like “Rompe Calzon” and “7 Hilos”. On the medical side his connection with the Stem Cell community in Peru are leading up to a customized medical tourism business with Peru’s top Stem Cell doctor. He is also the Vice President and Managing Member of the anti-aging company he co-founded, Zenith Youth Systems. Once he leaves the Navy he plans on exploring Peru’s shamanic tradition in depth and conducting Ayahuasca trips for himself and those brave enough to join him in that journey.
Eric is married to his college sweetheart, Vianca, and have four children together: Max, Eric, Oscar and Vianca Patricia.