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Podcast Episode #81 – Post Deathmarch Chat with Eva Schubert

In this episode Eva Schubert and I discuss our semi-annual 30 horizontal mile and 3 vertical mile ‘Deathmarch’ through the British Columbia mountains on the ‘Kneeknacker Route’ and why four was just not our magic number this time…

You can listen to this as Episode 81 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!)

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Podcast Episode 113 – A Close Call, and Avoiding Injuries!

The other day I almost tore a partner’s ACL off the bone, which would have required him to have surgery and many months of rehabilitation.

What happened exactly?

I was more experienced and a bit bigger than my training partner that day and we were doing some no gi sparring.

Because of the experience discrepancy I was hyper-focusing on a couple of very specific positions, namely Ashi Garami and the 411.

(This is a form of Targeted Sparring which is a great tool to use when you’re going against less experienced training partners – by limiting myself to only a couple positions and one submission it makes the match more even and better training for both of us.)

So we’re rolling, carefully and respectfully… I’ve tapped my training partner out a few times with heel hooks, all applied in slow motion…  He’s beginning to defend the leglocks more intelligently and I’m having to work a little harder to get them…

Everything is going the way it’s supposed to.

Then it almost ended very badly.

I had the Ashi Garami firmly in place, and was just finishing the dig part of the heel hook (where you get your wrist under his heel in preparation for finishing the lock).

And 99% of the time when I’m sparring that’s as far as I’ll go – no need to actually apply the heel hook.  At that point my partner typically knows he’s caught and will tap out.

But this new training partner didn’t know when to quit.  He tried to escape by spinning.

And, to make matters MUCH worse, he spun the wrong way!

Spinning or rotating can be part of an effective heel hook defense, BUT NOT WHEN YOU GO IN THE WRONG DIRECTION!!

Instead of relieving the pressure, spinning into the dig amplifies the power of the submission exponentially!

If I had remained still, not moving, his wrong-way-spin would have slammed his heel into my forearm.

He would have full power heel hooked himself, which can tear all sorts of ligaments in the knee, the foot and the ankle.

Fortunately I saw what was about to happen and completely released my grips without a second to spare.

The submission evaporated, he spun safely and ‘escaped.’

Then I sat him down and we had a good little chat about the dangers of spinning out of leglock if you don’t know which way to spin.

Now I’m » Continue Reading.

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Podcast Episode 55 – Interview with James Foster on the Spartan Underground

I really enjoyed being on James ‘300’ Foster’s podcast where we talked about figuring out grappling from scratch, why fighters fight injured, PEDs in the MMA, how jiu-jitsu will always be there for you after a long layoff, and a lot more!  I hope you enjoy it too!

Check out Jame’s podcast on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-spartan-underground/id1070092297?mt=2

You can listen to this as Episode 55 of The Strenuous Life podcast, available on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud or Google Play.

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

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

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Podcast Episode 61 – What Steps to Follow to get Back to Training after Being Injured

Unfortunately injuries are just part of the game, and getting back to training after recuperating from an injury is always a tricky business.  In this episode I give some of my best advice about exactly how your return to the mats should be structured.  This is advice I’ve learned the hard way so take my advice – for the longest time I didn’t use it myself and I wish I had!

You can listen to this as Episode 61 of The Strenuous Life podcast, available on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud or Google Play.

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

Enjoy!

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Podcast Episode 54 – Quick Rant on Should You Still Train When You Are Sick?

Here’s a quick rant about whether you should still train if you’re beginning to come down with something.  The lessons in this particular podcast have repeated themselves many times until learned…

You can listen to this as Episode 54 of The Strenuous Life podcast, available on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud or Google Play.

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

 

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Podcast Episode 52 – Rant on the “Too Deadly to Spar” Myth Being Bull

It’s a HUGE mistake to focus on techniques like biting, finger breaks and eye-gouging and avoiding techniques you can try out under pressure and against resistance in sparring.  Here’s why that’s the case, and why most martial sports participants are actually far deadlier than most martial artists.

You can listen to this as Episode 52 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 52 – Rant on the “Too Deadly to Spar” Myth Being Bull appeared first on Grapplearts.

Training BJJ As You Age – Video and Podcast

If you’re doing any kind of martial art – be it BJJ, MMA, Kickboxing, Taekwondo or whatever – then your game needs to evolve every decade.  This is because of the age-related changes  in your body.

I got this from the legendary Dan Inosanto who started training at age 11 and is still practising martial arts in his 80’s.

You can listen to this rant on episode 147 of my podcast.  This podcast is called “The Strenuous Life Podcast” and you can find it on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud and Google Play.

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

Or you can watch the same rant about modifying your martial arts training as you age in the embedded video below from my Self Defense Tutorials Youtube channel!

If you’re more than 40 years old and training BJJ then make sure to check out the articles I’ve written just for you on this blog and tagged with the ‘older grapplers’ tag! Or just click here to see all those articles listed.

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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.

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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

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Podcast Episode 134 – Conditioning for Combat Sport with Jason Kapnick

In this episode I talk with elite powerlifter, kettlebell instructor and BJJ practitioner Jason Kapnick about conditioning program design, building a balanced body, functional movement screening, injury prevention, and training for optimal athletic performance.

It was a great conversation, and I hope you come away from it having learned as much as I did!

If you want this same information in audio form then go to your favourite podcasting platform, subscribe to ‘The Strenuous Life’ Podcast, and then look for episode 134. 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

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

You can find out more about Jason, or go to him for training, at https://catalystsportnyc.com

Finally, if you found this episode interesting or useful please share The Strenuous Life Podcast with ONE person in your social or training circle.

Thanks,

Stephan

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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 Episode 124 – My Interview on the Cody Jitsu Show

This was a fun episode of my podcast (The Strenuous Life) because the tables got turned; instead of me doing the interview I got grilled by Cody from the Codyjitsu podcast.

We covered tons of stuff including my martial arts background, how I got my black belt, my favourite moves and techniques, specific strategies to train around injuries, the role of competition in training, and much more.

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

And 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

Follow Cody on Instagram: @AmericanGrapplingAcademy

Follow me on Instagram: @Stephan_Kesting

The post Podcast Episode 124 – My Interview on the Cody Jitsu Show appeared first on Grapplearts.

Should You Stretch Before Jiu-Jitsu Training?

Some experts tell you that you should only stretch after a workout when your muscles are tired and your body warmed up.  Static stretching before a workout, they insist, can actually lead to more injuries not less.  And there is some evidence from the running world to prove this…

This is the exact opposite approach used in most traditional martial arts classes, where the instructor makes everyone stretch before a workout so that your muscles are loose.

Who’s right?

Well, it depends on the sport.

Are you going for a 5 km run, which probably won’t take you to the limits of your flexibility, or are you doing a sport like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu where getting completely pretzeled up against your will is just a normal part of the sport?

In combat sports it’s better to go to the limits of your range of motion under control and on your own terms in the warmup, before your opponent brings you to the edge of your flexibility suddenly in training or sparring.

But there’s a right and a wrong way to do it, and long, static stretches are probably NOT what you want to do right before class.

I go into this topic more in a video from second Youtube channel (Self Defense Tutorials) which I’ll embed below…

Or, if you prefer, you can also listen to the same information on my podcast called The Strenuous Life

It’s episode 114  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!

Thanks

Stephan

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Protect Yourself And Your Training Partner At All Times

The other day I almost tore a partner’s ACL off the bone, which would have required him to have surgery and many months of rehabilitation.

What happened exactly?

I was more experienced and a bit bigger than my training partner that day and we were doing some no gi sparring.

Because of the experience discrepancy I was hyper-focusing on a couple of very specific positions, namely Ashi Garami and the 411.

(This is a form of Targeted Sparring which is a great tool to use when you’re going against less experienced training partners – by limiting myself to only a couple positions and one submission it makes the match more even and better training for both of us.)

So we’re rolling, carefully and respectfully.  I’ve tapped my training partner out a few times with heel hooks, all applied in slow motion.  He’s beginning to defend the leglocks more intelligently and I’m having to work a little harder to get them.  Everything is going the way it’s supposed to.

Then it almost ended very badly…

I had the Ashi Garami firmly in place, and was just finishing the dig part of the heel hook (where you get your wrist under his heel).  99% of the time when I’m sparring that’s as far as I’ll go – no need to actually apply the heel hook.  At that point my partner typically knows he’s caught and will tap out.

But this new training partner didn’t know when to quit.  He tried to escape by spinning. And, to make matters worse, he spun the wrong way!

Spinning or rotating can be part of an effective heel hook defense, BUT NOT WHEN YOU GO IN THE WRONG DIRECTION!!

Instead of relieving the pressure, spinning into the dig amplifies the power of the submission exponentially!

If I had remained completely still his wrong-way-spin would have slammed his heel into my forearm.  This would have been a highly dynamic, full force application of the heel hook which can tear all sorts of ligaments in the knee, the foot and the ankle.

Fortunately I saw what was about to happen and completely released my grips without a second to spare.  The submission evaporated, he spun safely and ‘escaped.’

Then I sat him down and we had a good little chat about the dangers of spinning out of leglock if you don’t know which way to spin.

Now I’m » Continue Reading.

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How to Safely Practice Dangerous Leglocks

Q: Given that leglocks are dangerous, how do you train them safely and still have confidence that they will work in a ‘live’ setting.

A: Although ANY submission is potentially dangerous, cranking someone with a heel hook or toehold can not only end the match, it can end your opponent’s athletic career.

Go here if you don’t know what a heel hook is. . If you don’t know what a toehold is, check out the second-last photo in this article about the kneebar.

These two leglocks are dangerous because they are twisting submissions and can severely damage ligaments in the knee and foot. Furthermore, for most submissions the pain starts well before there is any damage to the joint.

With twisting leglocks, however, you often don’t feel much initial pain: as someone is applying it to you might not feel anything at all, then you might feel a bit of discomfort, and then BANG, you feel a lot of pain because something has popped or torn.

So how do you train these dangerous locks so that you can trust in their effectiveness? My answer has 4 parts:

1 – Learn and fight for the leglock positions, not the submissions

One of the beautiful things about the modern leglock game is that leg locking has, to a large degree, become a positional game rather than a sprint for the finish.

That means that you can spend an entire sparring session working on getting into specific positions and maintaining them against a training partner who is pretty much doing everything he can to get out of those positions and catch you in them.

There are about 12 major positions in leg locking.  Some positions are easy to get to but not super-powerful to finish from, and others take more work to get into but are crazy powerful finishing platforms.

To lay this out for you in more detail I have an entire book just about leglock positions that you can download for free here on Grapplearts.com.

Position before submission, not just for upper body attacks anymore!

2 – Master the straight anklelock and the kneebar

When applying 95% of leglocks you end up either facing your opponents head, or facing his feet. The mechanics of controlling your opponent in these two positions are relatively similar whether you are doing a ‘safe’ straight lock or a ‘dangerous’ twisting lock.

» Continue Reading.

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Kettlebell Conditioning for BJJ with Jason C. Brown

Kettlebells are a very popular tool for conditioning these days, with people doing all kinds of crazy exercises.

In episode 111 of The Strenuous Life Podcast I talk to kettlebell expert (and longtime BJJ practitioner) Jason C. Brown and get a ton of relevant and useful tips for the combat athlete!

From how to do the basic exercises, to program design, to carryover from exercises to BJJ techniques there’s quite a lot here.  Plus we also riff on old-school jiu-jitsu techniques and why they still work.

You can listen to just episode 111 of The Strenuous Life Podcast with Jason C. Brown below, or go to the link for the show on  iTunes, Google Play, Soundcloud, or Stitcher and subscribe to the podcast itself!

Give it a listen and, as always, please share it with someone else if you think it’ll be useful for them!

 

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Wrist Locks – Attacking The Most Under-Attacked Joint

Jiu-jitsu and submission grappling offer techniques to attack almost every major joint in the body including the elbow, shoulder, neck, knees, feet, and ankles.

These should be your bread and butter submissions because they have a long, proven track record of effectiveness.

I think a bit of variety is a good thing, however, so let’s talk about a not-so-common attack: wrist locks!

The wrist is the most under-attacked joint in grappling. Just about every time you are attacking the arm you have access to the wrist as well. If your opponent is really good at defending the armlock, for example, you may be able to switch to a quick wristlock and get a submission that way.

The video on wrist lock safety below also has lots of examples of wrist locks that you can intentionally (and accidentally) apply on the ground:

There are lots of ways to compress, extend and twist the wrist. Just watch an aikido class or read a book and traditional Japanese Ju-jutsu. Typically these wristlocks start with both combatants in a standing or kneeling position, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t also work on the ground.

But against resistance – an opponent who is really fighting you – wrist locks are a lot easier to do on a pinned opponent than on a more mobile standing opponent.

I am not alone in my respect for the wristlock in grappling. Fernando ‘Terere’ and Fredson Paixao are just 2 of many BJJ players who have used the wristlock at the highest levels of competition. One the home front, one of my main training partners is a master of sneak wristlock attack. When we spar I constantly have to watch where I put my hands or he is going to trap a hand and lock the wrist.

Now for an important safety announcement: APPLY WRISTLOCKS SLOWLY!! Here is why:

The wrist is a small joint with many small bones and ligaments and thus susceptible to injury in the first place Wrist locks are relatively easy to counter, so  the temptation is to slam them on quickly If  you slam them on quickly you WILL injure your training partners.

In a very real sense wrist locks are the heel hooks of the upper body – very effective, but also prone to injure your partner if misused.

I’ve accidentally injured a training partner’s wrist with a simple twist of » Continue Reading.

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