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How to Manage Fear and Adrenaline in Competition

My friend Shane Fazen has fought Muay Thai in Thailand, competed in boxing, and has even challenged himself in some MMA smokers.

In this conversation he and I talk about how to manage fear and adrenaline when you’re competing or in a fight.

Specific topics include

What happens to your body when you experience the  fight or flight reflex, How to use an adrenaline dump to your advantage, What you can expect in your few competitions, Why people get tired so quickly in competition, Exactly how to use visualisation and meditation to lower your heart rate and stay calm, Steps to actually fight the way you train, And more…

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – stuff like this is incredibly important for self defense too! Your most important tool in a real life situation is your brain; you need to keep on thinking and evaluating, and not just have everything go black.

This is why doing a few competitions and getting used to dealing with fear and adrenaline in a relatively safe context is such a useful tool for getting you ready for self defense in the real world.

You can listen to my talk with Shane in the video below, or in podcast form (scroll down below the video for those links)…

Managing Fear and Adrenaline in Podcast Form

You can also listen to this as Episode 152 of my podcast, The Strenuous Life, available on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud or Google Play.

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

Thanks for reading, watching and listening!

Stephan

Find out more about Shane Fazen at http://fighttips.com or on his youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/fighttips

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Standing Guillotine Choke Escapes

Standing guillotine chokes are really tough to escape, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to get out!

I recently met up with my friend Ando Mierzwa, and we shot something on the topic of guillotine prevention and escape for his martial arts oriented Youtube channel.

It’s a video in 3 parts…

The first part of the video is about guillotine prevention.  

It’s always easier to prevent a submission in the first place than it is to defend it once it’s applied, and this choke is no different. And to prevent the guillotine you need to have good posture.  You want to have your head upright and be looking at your opponent.  If your head is down and you’re looking at the floor then it’s child’s play for your opponent to slap on the guillotine (or snap you down, or apply the front headlock, or just kick you in the face)!

The second part is about escaping the guillotine as it’s being applied and before it’s fully locked on.

The key here is awareness.  As you feel your opponent looping his arm around your neck you want to look up, up, up. Literally arch your neck backwards and point your face to the sky.

If you do the right timing here then you actually get a clear route to your opponent’s back – it’s a lot like doing the ‘duck under’ in wrestling.  You’ve taken a potentially devastating situation and turned it around in your favour.

The third part is about survival once the guillotine is fully locked on.

I’m not gonna lie…  A fully applied guillotine choke is a terrible thing.

If he’s skilled with this attack then you’re probably going to tap out. But you want to rage, rage against the dying of the light, so try to defend it and maybe you’ll get out.

The initial defense in this part of the video is the classic BJJ arm-over-the-shoulder position, but you might not be familiar with the next part, which is a counter-guillotine takedown which works extremely well.

Don’t miss the outtake at the end; we were rehearsing the opening and I screwed up and managed to chip a tooth pretty good on the concrete pool deck where we were filming.

Oh, the things I do for the love of jiu-jitsu!

Enjoy!

P.S. Click here to download my free PDF checklist to the positions and » Continue Reading.

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Podcast Episode #72 – Interview with Chad Skands on Managing Chaos

Longtime bouncer Chad Skands talks about managing multiple attacker scenarios, continuing to think and use your brain in a critical situation, the right way to deescalate situations, and why ripping someone’s throat out Roadhouse-style is frowned upon in the security industry.

Have a watch below:

Alternately, you can listen to this as Episode 72 of The Strenuous Life podcast, available on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud or Google Play.

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

The post Podcast Episode #72 – Interview with Chad Skands on Managing Chaos appeared first on Grapplearts.

Podcast Episode 94 – Coach Rodney King on Survival in South Africa

WARNING: This episode contains graphic descriptions of violence and is definitely not suitable for children.

In this episode I talk with boxing and BJJ coach Rodney King about the epidemic of violence in modern day South Africa, how training helps you prepare for confrontations, and how dangerous a ‘romantic’ notion of fighting is.

Some of the topics we covered include:

00:17 – Who is Rodney King? 01:16 – Growing up in South Africa 08:47 – Bouncing at nightclubs 13:57 – Johannesburg today 26:42 – Some reasons for the South African crime epidemic 33:10 – How much does training help? 40:09 – Prevalence of techniques 46:52 – Self defence and conflict de-escalation 54:21 – Training vs real life 64:03 – Ventures outside martial arts

You can listen to this as Episode 94 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 94 – Coach Rodney King on Survival in South Africa appeared first on Grapplearts.

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 109 – the KISS Principle in Self Defense

What would the boxer Vasyl Lomachenko do if he caught you macking on his girlfriend? Well, I don’t think it would involve any elaborate footwork or strategies… It’s fun to make things complicated in training, to use setups, fakes, and elaborate combinations to beat your training partners.  But when it comes to street self defense you should keep things really, really simple. KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid.

For more of my self defense material check out my second website at selfdefensetutorials.com and my second YouTube channel at YouTube.com/selfdefensetutorials

You can listen to this as Episode 109 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 109 – the KISS Principle in Self Defense appeared first on Grapplearts.

Podcast Episode #73 – Grappling VS Striking

If you could only do one which would be better for self defense: striking or grappling?  The answer is grappling of course, but the reasons why might surprise you…

You can listen to this as Episode 73 of The Strenuous Life podcast, available on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud or Google Play.

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

 

The post Podcast Episode #73 – Grappling VS Striking appeared first on Grapplearts.

Podcast Episode #71 – BJJ and Training Q&A With Stephan

What would I do different as a white belt if I could go back in time?  What are the best guards that go together with the butterfly guard?  Can you become an elite level grappler if you have both a job and a family?  And you’ve choked someone out in a streetfight… what now?  All this and more in today’s Q&A episode.

In this episode I make reference to articles on Grapplearts which can be found here: http://www.grapplearts.com/articles and also to my main youtube channel which is here: http://www.youtube.com/stephankesting

But I also make reference to my second website (http://www.selfdefensetutorials.com) and to my second youtube channel (http://www.youtube.com/selfdefensetutorials).

So there, now you’ve got all the urls you need for additional info on the topics we discussed.

You can listen to this as Episode 71 of The Strenuous Life podcast, available on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud or Google Play.

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

The post Podcast Episode #71 – BJJ and Training Q&A With Stephan appeared first on Grapplearts.

Podcast Episode 69 – Strategies for Dealing with Fear

In this episode I talk about the concrete steps you can take to control your fear and harness the power of the adrenaline dump that comes with the fight of flight reflex.  Properly used this power turns you into a superhero rather than a gibbering idiot!

You can listen to this as episode 69 of the Strenuous Life podcast, available on  iTunesStitcherSoundcloud and Google Play.

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

Also check out my second site http://www.selfdefensetutorials.com and make sure that you subscribe to my self-defense oriented youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj4JOZ3jvgkHPYew0ksfDZw

The post Podcast Episode 69 – Strategies for Dealing with Fear appeared first on Grapplearts.

Podcast Episode 48 – Self Defense, The Filipino Martial Arts and an Interview with Jarlo Ilano

In this interview, I talk with with Filipino Martial Arts instructor Jarlo Ilano about sparring with sticks and knives, self defense and how the training methods you’re using affect how your martial art will express itself when you’re trying to use it under stress.

Jarlo Ilano is an instructor under Burton Richardson https://jkdunlimited.com/ in his Battlefield Kali system and a purple belt in BJJ. And as well as being a physical therapist since 1998 with a board specialty in orthopedics, he is a co-founder and Managing Director at GMB Fitness https://gmb.io/ which specializes in online training for improving strength, flexibility, and body control through bodyweight exercise.

You can listen to this as Episode 48 of The Strenuous Life podcast, available on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud or Google Play.

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

The post Podcast Episode 48 – Self Defense, The Filipino Martial Arts and an Interview with Jarlo Ilano appeared first on Grapplearts.

Podcast Episode 60 – Is It Possible to Learn Martial Arts Doing Only 1 Class Per Week?

This is for everyone – beginner and experienced martial artist – with a very tight schedule who can’t train more than once a week.  Can you still make progress?  What are some tips for getting as good as you can when time is limited?  How do you not lose hope, momentum and confidence during these inevitable training slowdowns?

Of course my main site is Grapplearts.com, but also check out my other site SelfDefenseTutorials.com where I’m posting a TON of martial arts and self defense tactics, techniques and training methods.

You can listen to this as Episode 60 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 60 – Is It Possible to Learn Martial Arts Doing Only 1 Class Per Week? appeared first on Grapplearts.

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.

Podcast Episode 47 – Prison for 15+ Years for a Knock-Out?

In this Podcast I rant about the ethics and legal consquences of smashing someone’s head in with a piece of concrete, otherwise known as the pavement coup de grace.  Check out the video version of this rant at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RF-J1M5QJs

You can listen to this as Episode 47 of The Strenuous Life podcast, available on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud 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 47 – Prison for 15+ Years for a Knock-Out? appeared first on Grapplearts.

Podcast Episode 46 – Three Fundamental Elements for Every Martial Art

In this 13 minute rant I go into the 3 essential components that make up every martial art on the planet, a concept I learned from the famous Filipino martial artist (and protege of Bruce Lee) Mr Dan Inosanto!  Lots of examples from Judo, Boxing, Wrestling, BJJ, MMA, Kali, Capoeira, and Kung Fu…

You can listen to this as episode 46 of the Strenuous Life podcast, available on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, and Google Play.

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

Click here to see a selection of other podcast episodes from The Strenuous Life Podcast that I host and publish!

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