This was a neat interview I did with Emily Kwok from Princeton BJJ and star of the first How to Defeat the Bigger, Stronger Opponent series.
We focused on creating positive learning environments in BJJ, looking at the roles played by the students, the teachers, and instructional technology.
We also covered whether I would do anything different if I was starting my BJJ training all over again, competition vs training, and breaking through plateaus. I hope you find this interesting!
There’s also an embedded player at the bottom of this post if you just want to stream it through this site.
If you like what you hear then a rating or a review of the podcast would be super-crazy helpful!
The post Emily Kwok Interviews Me About BJJ School Culture and More – Podcast Episode 154 appeared first on Grapplearts.
Dr. Jose Tufy Cairus, a historian and professor at Brazil’s Federal Institute of Santa Catarina, is one of the few scholars studying Brazilian jiu-jitsu jistory. Cairus’ father was involved with Brazilian judo for decades, and the author himself trained with Carlson Gracie — something you’ll hear all about in this interview! For more, you can …
Have you seen the “Aikido vs MMA” video that went viral within the martial arts community?
In 2017 Aikido black belt Rokas Leonavicius called up a local MMA gym and explained that he wanted to test out his Aikido against a trained mixed martial arts fighter.
The results of the resulting sparring session were predictable; despite 13 years of serious Aikido training he was unable to get his techniques to work against a skilled and resisting opponent.
What wasn’t predictable is that Rokas then shared the video of that sparring session with the world. And that video was followed by many others detailing his attempts to make Aikido functional against resisting opponents.
We went into the background of that first match and the rest of his journey through Aikido, BJJ, Aikido and Boxing. It’s a fascinating episode.
(A subscription, rating, and review on whatever podcast platform you use is always super appreciated!)
Alternately you can listen to the discussion in the embedded player here:
Here’s some of what we covered in today’s podcast…
02:05 – Rokas’s background in Aikido 04:21 – Wrestling in Eastern Europe 05:43 – What attracted him to Aikido? 14:20 – How long should you train before Aikido is applicable? 20:20 – Testing Aikido on Youtube 23:55 – The Aikido vs MMA video 26:23 – Functionalizing Aikido 38:18 – How did Aikido take off? 40:59 – Real life consequences of the Aikido vs MMA video 48:43 – Elements of Aikido that carry over into other arts 61:53 – Where can we find Rokas?
Here is the video of that first sparring session in May of 2017…
And here is the video of their next sparring session, 1 year later, after Rokas had spent some time boxing, wrestling and grappling on the ground!
Check out Rokas’s Youtube channel by clicking here and his website at Rokasleo.com
The post Podcast Episode 144 – Aikido vs MMA, the Full Story with Rokas appeared first on Grapplearts.
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!
(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.
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…
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.
Can Kung Fu, BJJ and MMA coexist? Maybe they can, and maybe they can even learn from each other.
This is a conversation I had with with Kung Fu stylist (and BJJ brown belt) Randy Brown in which we touched on the history of Chinese martial arts and what made them less effective over time, what traditional martial arts look like when you start training them with resistance, and much more. I think you’ll like this one!
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 128. You can find it on most podcast platforms, including…
You can also listen to interview on the embedded player below…
The post Podcast Episode 128: Can Kung Fu and BJJ Coexist, a Conversation with Randy Brown from Mantis Boxing. appeared first on Grapplearts.
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.
I’ve just released a new podcast episode (episode 093) just out that starts with martial arts training and ends up talking about mass suicides and alien spaceships trailing comets…
At it’s core it’s a rant about the importance of testability, falsifiability, and critical thinking.
Or you can just click play below, but then you won’t catch future episodes like you would if you subscribed at one of the podcast provider services above!
Daniele Bolelli is a martial artist, historian and the creator of the History on Fire podcast. But this time I managed to get him for a return visit to my own Strenuous Life Podcast (Click here for information about our first podcast together).
You can also listen to the podcast on Youtube in the video at the bottom of this post!
Here’s just a bit of what we covered…
The evidence for and against an ultra-violent human past vs a peaceful noble savage model of our hunter-gatherer past The rise of MMA in Asia.His process of researching and producing History on Fire, one of the leading history podcasts How to get rid of weight cutting in mixed martial arts competition Daniele’s proposed ‘Gladiators for World Peace’ program and how it’s going to get him the Nobel Peace Prize His return to Italy as a tourist Is it too soon to tell whether we’re moving towards a more peaceful future? Ötzi the iceman, Neanderthal DNA in our genomes, and a mass murder that occurred 430,000 years ago And much more!
The post New Podcast with Historian Daniele Bolelli: How Violent Was Our Past, Really? appeared first on Grapplearts.
This is definitely one of my very favourite Grapplearts Radio Podcast episodes to date.
In it I talk with historian and martial artist Daniele Bolelli. When Daniele isn’t training MMA or giving lectures to students he’s busy creating episodes of his own podcast, History on Fire, which you should totally check out.
Our chat went all over the place, including from the rules (or lack thereof) in frontier rough and tumble wrestling, how Theodore Roosevelt lost sight in an eye sparring in the White House, the games Lakota Sioux children played to make them incredible warriors later on in life, and much more.
Oh, and after recording the podcast we went into Daniele’s incredible backyard and filmed a couple of MMA techniques which you can watch at the bottom of this page.
I hope you’ll enjoy this episode as much as I did, and still do!
To listen to this podcast you can…
BEST OPTION: Click here to subscribe to the Grapplearts Podcast in iTunes (or Google Play, or Stitcher). Today’s interview is Episode 053. Directly download the episode as an mp3 file here Or click play on the Youtube video below
A Few More Daniele Bolelli Videos…
As I mentioned, not only is Daniele a historian, but he’s also very serious about his MMA training. Here are a couple of videos we shot right after the podcast…
First, from my new Self Defense Tutorials Youtube channel (which you should subscribe to, by the way) here’s Daniele defending Aikido as a combat sport… sort of. Watch the video and you’ll see what I mean…
And in this video Savannah ‘The Savage Buddha’ Em jumps in to help Daniele demonstrate the elbow spear and how it sets up a devastating KO blow to the vagus nerve in the neck.
P.S. Sign up for my free BJJ Newsletter to be notified when other great podcasts are uploaded. Click here to find out more.
The post Eye Gouging, Hair Pulling, and Theodore Roosevelt with Historian Daniele Bolelli appeared first on Grapplearts.
This may sound a bit weird coming from a guy who runs a grappling site, but I want you to ask yourself a question: why on earth are you spending hours and hours rolling around on the ground with men wearing spandex and/or pajamas?
Really… I mean it’s not the easiest of activities. And it’s sweaty and sometimes it’s even painful…
Obviously there are self defense benefits to training, but if that was your only concern then you should just buy a gun! There are health and fitness benefits, sure, but wouldn’t it be easier to just hire a personal trainer a few times a week?
I think that a large part of the appeal of grappling is that it ISN’T a walk in the park!
We don’t train because it’s easy. We train because it’s hard!
And the major milestones in your training – attending your first class, competing in your first tournament, getting your black belt – function as a sort of rite of passage, which is something that we’ve mostly lost in our society.
We have to remind ourselves that in bygone times rites of passage weren’t easy. There was no guarantee of success.
But you need the possibility of failure to get the transformation and transcendence.
Let’s look at some historical rites of passage. Not only is there the possibility of failure, but many of them were actually pretty brutal.
Did you see the movie 300? Do you remember the flashback to King Leonidas killing the wolf as a teenager? That was actually part of the brutal krypteia ritual that young Spartan men had to undergo in order to come of age. And not all of them survived.
Old navy rituals for pollywogs (new sailors crossing the equator for the first time) sent many injured men to sickbay, but also marked an important transition in the sailor’s career. And not all Australian Aborigine adolescents who took off into the bush for months to do their walkabout returned.
Am I saying that you have to go out and assassinate slaves bare-handedly like ancient Spartan youths?
Am I saying that you should get beaten with boards and flogged with wet ropes like a sailor in the Royal Navy?
But there is a certain glory in dragging your butt to class and getting it royally kicked. Or waiting to compete at a tournament, scared s***less.
Most people get up, » Continue Reading.
I’m primarily known as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, but the reality is that I’ve trained in a lot of other martial arts too.
These other martial arts include Combat Submission Wrestling, Kajukenbo Karate, Boxing, Wing Chun, Judo, Muay Thai, Hung Gar, Pekiti Tirsia Kali, Hsing I, Northern Shaolin, Maphalindo Silat, Capoeira, Tai Chi, Western Fencing, Freestyle Wrestling, Jun Fan/JKD, Shootwrestling, and Inosanto-Lacoste Kali and more…
Obviously there are a lot of differences between the techniques used in these different martial arts, including the way they attack and defend, whether they strike or not, how they strike, how they grapple, etc.
But in addition to the differences in the technique used, there are other differences in these martial arts as well. And that’s because each of these martial arts consists of three individual components: techniques, training equipment, and training methods.
This insight was shared with me by one of my martial arts mentors and gurus Dan Inosanto, and it’s useful because it helps you identify the different things you can beg, borrow, or steal from martial arts other than your own!
In the video below I break down the 3 components of every single martial art in a lot more detail and using lots of specific examples. Check it out and tell me what you think in the comments below
by Jeff Meszaros
While you’ve been wrestling up a storm I’ve been beside you the whole way to cheer you on and run up your credit card bill at expensive restaurants. Also, I’ve done a bit of research in each country to see what you’re getting into. It’s been quite a trip so far, I must say.
First, we swept across Asia and you tried judo, sumo and Mongolian wrestling plus a ton of others. ‘
I liked the time you got dirt thrown on you in India. Turkish oil wrestling was crazy too. I had no idea they would stick their hands in your pants like that. Wow!
Then, we traveled all around Europe and you tried out Russian sambo, plus a bunch others in Spain, France, Italy and Switzerland among other places. A lot of it looked just like judo and some looked like wrestling, but a few were different.
I liked the one in Austria where everyone was wearing business casual work clothes. It looked like a fight at Staples. We ended up with you trying glima in Iceland and, thankfully, you survived all of the monster throws. So our journey can continue.
Now we’re going to try out all of the grappling arts in the UK Is that still part of Europe? I know they had that Brexit thing, but they’re still part of Europe right? No? I’m not sure. Ireland is still part of Europe? Well, It doesn’t matter…
We’re going to visit all of them to see what they do for fun. And by “fun”, I mean “grappling” of course. For you, anyway. I’m going to stick to visiting the local restaurants and, sometimes, looking into what you are foolishly about to do.
Speaking of that, the U.K. is a hot pocket of grappling and has been for thousands and thousands of years. From the little research I’ve done, some of these arts might not exist anymore but that’s no problem. If we can’t see them by flying there in your private jet, we’ll use a mixture of hypnotism, LSD and sensory deprivation tanks to travel back through time. Suffice to say, don’t try this at home kids. Time » Continue Reading.
So, we’ve finished the first leg of your around-the-world grappling tour and it’s been a blast (click here to read Asian Grappling Styles, the previous article).
In the previous part of the journey we started in Japan, where you got thrown flat on your back by judo champions and slapped around by sumo wrestlers. Then, in Korea, you did ssireum, which was kind of like sumo but in a pit full of sand. In China, you did a kind of grappling called shuai jiao and then you did Mongolian wrestling, complete with a little bird dance.
Then we went through Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and India before hitting Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia, each of which had their own kind of wrestling. My favorite was India where they threw dirt at you. Turns out, that’s a way they bless their opponent. Go figure.
Finally, you tried Turkish oil wrestling which involved you putting on a special pair of leather shorts filled with oil and then, because you were so slippery, really muscular men jammed their fists into your pants to heft you into the air and slam you down on the grass.
It was all wildly entertaining for me as I accompanied you and tried the local cuisine. Did I do any grappling? No! I’m just coming along to journal your trip and needlessly rack up your travel expenses.
I’ll continue with that as we head from one side of Europe to the other….
You can’t do an around-the-world grappling tour without stopping in Russia to do some sambo, right? Of course not. Now, you just have to decide what kind of sambo you’d like to do because, as with the other countries, there are a few kinds. With sambo, it boils down to basically three kinds. All of them are really rough, though.
The first is a lot like judo, but with no chokes allowed and, instead, leg locks are totally ok. They like leg locks more than chokes because a choke only takes one guy out of a fight but a broken leg takes three people out: One with a broken leg and two more who have to carry him to the medic. Pretty awesome, eh? So, that’s called sport sambo. For that, people wear a jacket with cool shoulder-handles, plus shorts and leather-shoes that, really, everyone who grapples should wear to avoid toe-injuries but only these guys have » Continue Reading.