Logo
Podcast Episode 74 – Analysis of Leglock Game with Rob Biernacki

An 80/20 analysis of the leglocking game based on high level no gi competition, leglock safety, how to learn BJJ efficiently, best practises when teaching jiu-jitsu, and a ton more with BJJ black belt Rob Biernacki, my co-author of The Modern Leglock Formula available now at Grapplearts.com/leglocks

You can listen to this as Episode 74 of The Strenuous Life podcast, available on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud or Google Play.

Or you can listen to it in the embedded player below:

Have a listen, and a subscription, rating, and review on whatever podcast platform you use is always super appreciated!

The post Podcast Episode 74 – Analysis of Leglock Game with Rob Biernacki appeared first on Grapplearts.

Podcast Episode 105 – Interview With Matt Thornton

Matt Thornton is the founder of Straight Blast Gym, the organisation that produced Conor McGregor.  He’s also a skeptic with many harsh words for traditional martial arts and traditional training methods.  Don’t listen if you’re easily offended! 00:51 – Matt’s martial arts background 10:26 – The concept of “Aliveness” 20:41 – The “I” method of teaching and training martial arts 26:14 – John Kavanagh and Conor McGregor 32:37 – Where did fantasy martial arts come from? 42:55 – The evolution of martial arts 65:54 – False positives and negatives 73:26 – Skepticism

 

You can listen to this as Episode 105 of The Strenuous Life podcast, available on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud or Google Play.

Or you can listen to it in the embedded player below:

(A subscription, rating, and review on whatever podcast platform you use is always super appreciated!)

The post Podcast Episode 105 – Interview With Matt Thornton appeared first on Grapplearts.

Podcast Episode 49 – Interview with BJJ World Champ James 300 Foster

I think you’ll like this one!  In this episode I talk to 280 lb BJJ Masters World Champion James ‘300’ Foster, fresh back from a pre Pan-Ams California training trip. We discuss getting kicked our of Karate after starting BJJ, the process of finding the correct mix of training that works best for you, cutting weight in BJJ, how to train successfully with smaller and/or less skilled students, ‘modern’ BJJ techniques appearing in old Judo, the movie Logan and our favourite comic books.

You can listen to this as Episode 49 of The Strenuous Life podcast, available on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud or Google Play.

Or you can listen to it in the embedded player below:

(A subscription, rating, and review on whatever podcast platform you use is always super appreciated!)

The post Podcast Episode 49 – Interview with BJJ World Champ James 300 Foster appeared first on Grapplearts.

The Red Line in Jiu-Jitsu

I once flew in through the mountains in a helicopter with my friend Kevin at the controls. He was not only a commercial pilot but also fellow whitewater paddler.

We had commandeered a helicopter for ‘a maintenance flight’, but the real reason we were airborne was to scout a remote river in northern British Columbia, almost at the Yukon border.

The idea was to fly over the river and down its many canyons to see if it was navigable by kayak.  If it looked good then we hoped to go paddle it later in the summer.

Anyhow, as we whizzed along, I was asking Kevin about the dials and gauges in front of us, the windspeed, altimeter, compass, bank indicators and so on.

Then I asked him about an RPM gauge (apparently called the ‘dual tachometer’) and why there was a red line marked on the dial.

He pointed to the section below the red line. “This is for the paying jobs…“, he said.

Then he pointed to the section above the red line, “…and this is for the wife and kids.

In other words, there were the regular speeds that the engine and rotor blades could operate at safely.

And then there were speeds that he could maybe get the engine to go up to, but only for emergencies.  Those situations where pushing into the red might just save his life and bring him back to his family.

If he flew his bird above the redline on every trip then his million dollar machine would soon get damaged and maybe drop out of the sky unexpectedly.

Jiu-jitsu is much the same way.

When you’re training normally then yes, you should be pushing yourself hard.

You should sweat, struggle, and get tired.

But you shouldn’t balls-to-the-wall every single time.

Operating at do-or-die levels of intensity every time you train you train means that the chances of something going catastrophically wrong go up hugely!

Either you’re going to injure your training partner or yourself.

If you’re injured then you can’t train.  And if you can’t train then you’re not going to get better.

Part of the problem is that we respect all-out training.  We’re in awe of the intensity with which Dan Gable pushed his Iowa wrestlers, and forget that these were already elite and genetically gifted athletes who only had a few years to be turned into Big Ten and National » Continue Reading.

The post The Red Line in Jiu-Jitsu appeared first on Grapplearts.

Self Defense vs MMA with John Hackleman

The intersection of MMA and self defense has always been interesting to me, so I was thrilled to have a chat with John ‘the Pitmaster’ Hackleman recently.

John is well known for coaching Chuck Liddell to the UFC light-heavyweight title, but he has mentored many other successful MMA fighters as well.

But despite his success as an MMA coach the reason he started training martial arts was very practical: he wanted to be able to protect himself (or, as he likes to say, stop people from taking his lunch money)!

So it’s no surprise that at The Pit, his school in Arroyo Grande, California, a HUGE emphasis is placed on self defense and practical real world applications.

In this episode of The Strenuous Life Podcast John Hacklemann and I discusses the Conor McGregor bus attack, training Chuck Liddell, differences between MMA and self defense, our mutual backgrounds in the self defense system Kajukenbo, the single most important thing you can do to stay safe on the street, sparring vs drilling, and more.

This is an incredibly informative episode, especially if you’re interested in self defense and/or MMA!

To listen go look for The Strenuous Life podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud and Google Play. and then listen to episode 142 with John Hackleman.

(A subscription, rating, and review are always super appreciated!)

Here’s some of what we covered…

00:24 – The Conor McGregor incident 05:15 – How much pre-fight hype in the UFC is just for show? 11:03 – Differences between MMA and self-defense 18:12 – The single best way to stay safe in day-to-day life 24:46 – Kajukenbo karate training 31:06 – The development of Hawaiian Kempo 32:10 – Training Chuck Liddell 34:46 – Training MMA vs. specific arts 39:48 – Sparring vs. drilling 44:59 – Can you get tough without actual sparring 53:15 – John Hackleman’s personal fitness routine at age 60 61:30 – Crossfit and Crosspit 63:26 – Where can we find you?

Alternately  you can listen to the discussion in the embedded player here:

For more John Hackleman check out this feature about his MMA training methods and/or his 11 super-short and effective MMA conditioning workouts.

Also follow John on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/user/ThePitOnlineDojo and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ThePitMaster

The post Self Defense vs MMA with John Hackleman appeared first on Grapplearts.

Podcast Episode 137 with Riccardo Ammendolia, BJJ Ambassador

In this episode I talk with Riccardo Ammedolia, BJJ black belt under the Mendes Brothers, ADCC commentator, and worldwide jiu-jitsu ambassador.

We talked about training in Brazil, rolling with Rafa Mendes, judging and reffing in BJJ, staying well rounded, curriculum development and more.

If you train BJJ then I think you’ll really like this one!

To listen, go to your favourite podcasting platform, subscribe to ‘The Strenuous Life’ Podcast, and then look for episode 137. Here are links to the podcast on the most podcast platforms…

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/strenuous-life-podcast-stephan-kesting-grapplearts/id320705565?mt=2

Google Play: https://play.google.com/music/listen?authuser&u=0#/ps/I3qvbtkdb74xrpv6ozbzie2ca4e

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-993426357

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/stephan-kesting/grapplearts-radio-podcast

Alternately you can also listen to the advice on the embedded player below…

Riccardo trains and teaches in Hamilton, Ontario at atoshamilton.com. You can also follow him on Instagram at @riccardoammendoliabjj or on Facebook at facebook.com/RiccardoAmmendoliaBJJ/

The post Podcast Episode 137 with Riccardo Ammendolia, BJJ Ambassador appeared first on Grapplearts.

Podcast Episode 131 – Kirik Jenness of The Underground Forum, the Fighter’s Notebook and More

In this episode I have a great talk with Kirik Jenness who is mayor for life of the underground forum at http://mixedmartialarts.com, the author of The Fighter’s Notebook, the official records keeper for mixed martial arts, and has “done every job in MMA except for being a ring girl.

This man is one of the founding fathers of MMA in North America and had a TON to share!

Here’s just some of what we covered…

01:27 – Kirik’s martial arts beginnings 06:15 – The origins of the Underground Forum and MixedMartialArts.com 10:21 – The Fighter’s Notebook 19:55 – Participating in early MMA 24:49 – Organized crime and combat sports 29:11 – Was Pride the golden era of mixed martial arts? 32:37 – Officiating early MMA events 37:06 – Octagons, rings, and other crazy fighting areas 46:26 – Creating ranks for fighters in MMA and boxing 51:48 – Craziest moves in MMA

 

The best way to listen to this podcast is to go to your favourite podcasting platform, subscribe to ‘The Strenuous Life’ Podcast, and then look for episode 131. You can find it on most podcast platforms, including…

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/strenuous-life-podcast-stephan-kesting-grapplearts/id320705565?mt=2

Google Play: https://play.google.com/music/listen?authuser&u=0#/ps/I3qvbtkdb74xrpv6ozbzie2ca4e

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-993426357

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/stephan-kesting/grapplearts-radio-podcast

You can also listen to interview on the embedded player below…

 

The post Podcast Episode 131 – Kirik Jenness of The Underground Forum, the Fighter’s Notebook and More appeared first on Grapplearts.

Podcast Episode 125: Reilly Bodycomb on Sambo, Leglocks, MMA, Jiu-Jitsu and No Gi Grappling

I loved doing this interview with Reilly Bodycomb. Reilly is a Russian sambo and leglock expert who has competed in a TON of different rulesets including BJJ, no gi submission grappling, MMA, Sambo, and wrestling.

He is the Pan-American Sport SAMBO Champion (2016), USA Sport SAMBO Champion (2016), Dutch Combat SAMBO Champion (2016), recently competed in Japan and is a BJJ black belt as well!

In our talk he shared stories about competing all over the world, and shared some major insights about how the rules you compete under totally influence the development of a sport.  My favourite part was when we were riffing about creating the ‘perfect’ grappling rule set.

I hope you  get as much out of it as much as I did.

If you enjoyed it then please share this podcast episode with at least one friend or training partner – that’s how this podcast grows and I really appreciate it!!

Here are some of the highlights

00:23 – Reilly Bodycomb intro 07:22 – History of Sambo and the Russian martial arts 13:53 – Competing around the world 15:48 – Rules of Combat Sambo 20:34 – Dealing with and competing under differing rulesets 28:35 – Reilly’s favourite throws for different sports 32:49 – Gym culture and training environments 37:23 – Leglocks in submission grappling 48:30 – The flying scissor takedown 53:38 – Competing in Japan 56:04 – Game design and the ‘perfect’ set of rules

The best way to listen to this podcast is to go to your favourite podcasting platform, subscribe to ‘The Strenuous Life’ Podcast (*ahem* that’s my podcast) and then look for episode 124. You can find it on most podcast platforms, including…

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/strenuous-life-podcast-stephan-kesting-grapplearts/id320705565?mt=2

Google Play: https://play.google.com/music/listen?authuser&u=0#/ps/I3qvbtkdb74xrpv6ozbzie2ca4e

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-993426357

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/stephan-kesting/grapplearts-radio-podcast

You can also listen to interview on the embedded player below…

Finally, if you like what you hear then why not go and give The Strenuous Life Podcast a rating or review on whatever platform you listen to it on. That kind of stuff is super appreciated, and it’s really helping

Cheers!

Stephan

P.S. Find out more about Reilly Bodycomb and his upcoming ankle lock instructional at https://www.rdojo.com

Combat Sport Videos and Links Referred to in this Podcast are Below! Example of Russian style wrestling from the Russian Nationals

How to do the Flying Scissors Takedown (and hopefully not injure your partner)

Daido Juku Karate Competition

» Continue Reading.

The post Podcast Episode 125: Reilly Bodycomb on Sambo, Leglocks, MMA, Jiu-Jitsu and No Gi Grappling appeared first on Grapplearts.

Podcast: 8th Degree BJJ Coral Belt Carlos Machado!

I loved talking to jiu-jitsu pioneer Carlos Machado about all things BJJ in episode 115 of The Strenuous Life Podcast.  

He shares stories about growing up training with Rickson and Rolls, the importance of universal principles in Jiu-jitsu, pushing the tables aside to train with his brothers Roger, Rigan, Jean Jacques and John, competing in ADCC with a broken foot and more.

I hope you get as much out of this interview as I did! His love for the art and experience in the sport comes through at every second.

Some of the highlights include

01:07 – Carlos on growing up in Jiu-Jitsu family

05:52 – BJJ comes into the mainstream

08:41 – Training with Rolls Gracie

11:07 – Style of the Machado game

13:03 – The continuing evolution of Jiu Jitsu

17:54 – Who are the most athletic Jiu Jitsu practitioners?

20:44 – Who has the deepest BJJ technical knowledge?

27:41 – What he thinks about the introduction of new techniques into Jiu-Jitsu

30:46 – Submission only competition formats ` 33:32 – Carlos’s reflections on competing in Abu Dhabi

It’s episode 115 of my podcast  and you can listen to it below, or go iTunes, Google Play, Soundcloud, or Stitcher and subscribe to the podcast itself (a rating and a review is always super appreciated!

Find out more about Carlos Machado at carlosmachado.net

The post Podcast: 8th Degree BJJ Coral Belt Carlos Machado! appeared first on Grapplearts.

1st Match Adrenaline Dump & Forearm Burnout: Why it Happens and How to Deal with it

 Credit image & photo: Pedja Milosavljevic / STARSPORT: Belgrade Open 2016 BJJ A competitor has just finished the first match of their day. It was a tough one that went the distance. Sweat on the brow, chest heaving and leaden forearms the competitor leaves the mat realizing they only have between five and ten minutes to […]

The post 1st Match Adrenaline Dump & Forearm Burnout: Why it Happens and How to Deal with it appeared first on Bjj Eastern Europe.

Older Grappler Training Q & A

In this episode of The Strenuous Life Podcast I answer lots of questions by older grapplers about continuing to train and make good progress when you’re in your 40’s, 50’s and beyond.

Can you still train hard as you get older? How often should you train? How can you recover faster? Should you also do weight training as an older athlete And more!

The questions came from an Instagram Live broadcast I did; follow me on Instagram @stephan_kesting and maybe next time I’ll be answering YOUR question on one of these Q&A sessions.

You can listen to this episode (number 097) on the player below but it’d be even better if you subscribed to my Strenuous Life Podcast which is available on iTunes, Google Play, Soundcloud, or Stitcher.

P.S. If you’re an older grappler you can click here to check out these other Grapplearts articles, videos and podcasts on the topic

The post Older Grappler Training Q & A appeared first on Grapplearts.

Podcast with Clint Davies, the 10 x New Zealand Wrestling Champion Who is Also Legally Blind

Clint Davies is an amazing human being.

Legally blind since age 2, he is also a 10 time New Zealand national champion who competes against sighted opponents.  He also has multiple Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu national championships under his belt and has competed in the world championships.

His goal is to be the craziest blind guy you’ve ever met, and this podcast may just convince you of this!

You can listen to my interview with him in podcast 089 of my Strenuous Life Podcast, which is available on iTunes, Google Play, Soundcloud, or Stitcher.

Or if you don’t use any podcast players (and you should) then you can listen to it here by clicking on the player below.

P.S. It would be hugely appreciated if you were to subscribe to and give this podcast a rating if you find it useful. That sort of support is really helping us produce more episodes!

The post Podcast with Clint Davies, the 10 x New Zealand Wrestling Champion Who is Also Legally Blind appeared first on Grapplearts.

New podcast with Travis Stevens, 3 x Judo Olympian, Olympic Silver Medalist, and BJJ Black Belt

In this episode of the Strenuous Life Podcast I go deep with 3 x Judo Olympian and BJJ black belt Travis Stevens.

We go DEEP into his training regimen, including

Why he does 5 or 6 workouts a day What the strength benchmarks are for effective judo Why mental fatigue is often just as much a limiting factor as physical fatigue How he uses his groundwork skills to force his opponents to make critical errors The critical importance of gripfighting The differences between his BJJ and Judo training And much more.

It’s an amazing episode that I’m sure you’ll find very interesting.

You can listen to this podcast on iTunes, Google Play, Soundcloud, or Stitcher.

Or if you don’t use any podcast players (and you should) then you can listen to it here by clicking on the player below.

P.S. It would be hugely appreciated if you were to subscribe to and give this podcast a rating if you find it useful. That sort of support is really helping us produce more episodes!

The post New podcast with Travis Stevens, 3 x Judo Olympian, Olympic Silver Medalist, and BJJ Black Belt appeared first on Grapplearts.

New Strenuous Life Podcast Episode with 5 x BJJ World Champion Bernardo Faria

I’ve just released a KILLER new podcast episode with 5 x BJJ World Champion on my Strenuous Life Podcast.

(This is episode 086 of the podcast for anyone keeping track.)

In this episode we talk about

Bernardo’s ‘kidnapping’ in the Philippines two years ago His thoughts on the results of ADCC 2017 The toughest guys he has ever rolled with Whether you can get your BJJ black belt without competing The connection between jiu-jitsu and entrepreneurship Whether North America will ever catch up to Brazil in jiu-jitsu And much more, so check it out!

Click here to get this podcast in iTunes or search your podcast provider for “The Strenuous Life Podcast”

Also if you get the chance, subscribe to the podcast.  I’ve got a TON of interesting guests and topics lined up for the near future…

Cheers, Stephan

The post New Strenuous Life Podcast Episode with 5 x BJJ World Champion Bernardo Faria appeared first on Grapplearts.

Which Leglocks Are Allowed in IBJJF Competition?

I’m old enough to remember a time when almost all leglocks (except heel hooks) and leg locking positions were legal in BJJ competition.

But in the last 20 years the IBJJF – the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation – has really clamped down on what’s legal in their BJJ competitions, and since it’s the biggest organising body in the sport these rule changes have really changed the leglock game.

Essentially they have banned the most effective leglock (the heel hook) and one of the most effective leg control positions (the reap), and you can now get DQ’d from an IBJJF tournament if what you’re doing even begins to resemble one of these banned moves.

But that doesn’t mean that you can’t leglock.  There still are effective leglocks available to you; you just have to understand what’s legal and what’s not.

In this new video Rob Biernacki and I show you what’s illegal in IBJJF competition, and then break down the 5 big leglocks that you can still use, which are the Ankle Lock, Kneebar, Toehold, Calf Slicer and Estima Lock.

Plus we also cover a lot of the gray areas in the rules, inadvertent transitions that could get you DQ’d, and our thoughts on when you should start training leglocks in your BJJ career.

This is an important video: check it out!

The post Which Leglocks Are Allowed in IBJJF Competition? appeared first on Grapplearts.

“If I don’t know, I will not allow.”

“If I don’t know, I will not allow.”

That’s a quote and a guiding principle from Roberto Leitao, a high ranking Luta Livre and Judo practitioner, that was shared with me by my friend Ed Beneville who trained with him.

Regardless of whether it’s a grip, a setup, a guard position, or an angle, if you don’t fully understand what’s going on then do everything you can to prevent it. Once you allow a match to go into an unknown area then you’re in trouble.

A smart opponent will try steer the fight to an area in which he feels comfortable and you do not. Don’t let that happen.

Even if you don’t know exactly what technique he’s trying to use, don’t let him take the next step.

Block, thwart and deny his every attempt to move the fight into unknown territory.

So that’s the general idea, and depending on the situation it’s either the best or worst advice I’ve ever heard.

Now when is this good advice?

It really depends on the context…

If you’re in an important tournament match, or in a sparring match with someone way above your level, or a real fight (knock on wood that you won’t need to go there) then this is the perfect time to apply “If I don’t know, I will not allow.”

Let’s say he’s in your closed guard and going for some weird grip that you don’t recognise: fight, fight, fight to prevent that grip. Maybe it leads to a guard pass that you’ve never seen before, or maybe it leads to a crazy submission – the point is you don’t know where it’s going and now is NOT the time to find out.

If you don’t know you don’t allow.

This principle can be expanded a little bit to include overall strategies…

It’s the old saying, “fight a boxer, box a fighter” applied to jiu-jitsu. Don’t let him to fight in his comfort zone, and instead take him into your world if you can.

Lets say that your opponent is awesome at the spider guard, so DON’T just blithely let him get his grips and then try to fight him. Don’t even go there; change the game instead.  Maybe pull guard on him. Or sit back and play the leglock game so he panics, abandons the spider guard, and gives you the guard pass.

Conversely, maybe your opponent » Continue Reading.

The post “If I don’t know, I will not allow.” appeared first on Grapplearts.