Sim Go and the Legacy of Cobra Kai

Simpson (Sim) Go is a BJJ blackbelt and owner of Cobra Kai Jiu-Jitsu in Las Vegas.

He is also a 14 time Grappler’s Quest champion and competed at ADCC 2007, so he know his jiu-jitsu inside-out!

In this podcast we chatted about many things, including

00:54 – How they decided to use the name ‘Cobra Kai’ for a jiu-jitsu school 06:16 – The influence and training of Marc Laimon 08:20 – How anyone can actually teach and train in Vegas 10:44 – Sim’s competition career 16:46 – The trials of transitioning from a competitor to becoming an instructor and school owner 20:27 – How to introduce a new student to Jiu Jitsu 26:28 – Point system and different grappling rule sets 35:08 – Teaching competitors vs recreational players 35:45 – How to structure a class 38:00 – Inversions and ‘modern’ jiu-jitsu

To listen to this conversation you could press play on the embedded audio player below, but then you might miss out on future episodes, wouldn’t you?

So the best thing to do is to subscribe to The Strenuous Life Podcast using the podcast player that you almost certainly already have on your phone!

(For example, if you have an iPhone then it’s the purple app with the antenna-like thing in it. Just click the Apple Podcasts link below and it should open up that app for you.)

Here are the links to find the podcast on various players (Sim’s episode is #161)…

Apple Podcasts (the purple app on your iPhone) Google Podcasts (the new google podcast app) Spotify (it’s free) StitcherSoundcloudGoogle Play 

Or you can listen here:

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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



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.

Keep It Simple Stupid When Learning New Techniques

Have you heard of the acronym K.I.S.S?

It stands for “Keep It Simple Stupid.”  (It was later made politically correct by changing it to “Keep It Short and Simple” but that never really caught on, especially me.)

Anyway, K.I.S.S. is a good rule to live by when fighting, sparring and training.  You want to simplify as much as possible and not try to keep track of too many things at once.

There’s good science behind this: the more factors you have to consider the slower you make your decisions.  So keeping things simple actually makes you move faster.

But lets focus on how the K.I.S.S. principle applies when it comes to learning new moves.

Here’s my opinion: if you’re a teacher then you don’t want to load a student down with every last detail all at once.

And if you’re the student then you want to just focus on the next few things that’ll give you the best results fastest.

For example, if I’m teaching a complete beginner to throw a right cross I might tell them: “start with your fist glued to your jaw, then throw your fist in a straight line towards the target while you twist your body to generate the power.”

That’s it!  The subtleties of weight shifts, hand twists, foot pushes, non-telegraphic movement and so on will all come later, because first they’ve got to get in some experiental learning – learning by doing – before anything else makes sense.

Sometimes it’s more important for the student to get a quick result with a technique than it is to get it absolutely perfect on the first go.

If you have some initial success then it’ll boost your confidence in that technique and make you eager to learn the additional details to make it work even better.

Similarly if I’m teaching a triangle choke to someone for the first time I might tell them “triangle your legs around your opponent’s head and arm, then squeeze your knees, pull his head down and lift your hips.”

Now is that the most effective way of doing the triangle choke?


Are there many adjustments and tweaks that you can make to the triangle choke that make it much more effective?


For example, in the Youtube clip below Elliott Bayev does an absolutely brilliant job of breaking down some of these finer triangle choke adjustments.

So why not show » Continue Reading.

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Don’t Be Afraid of Admitting that You Don’t Know Everything

This is rant was brewing inside me for a long time, and I’m sure it’ll upset some people and ruffle some feathers.  Oh well, can’t make an omlette without breaking a few eggs, so I’ll get over it…

I did the rant in video form, and the full name of that video is “Don’t Bullshit Your Students About Knowing Everything!” which pretty much sums it up!

The humility to admit that you don’t know everything is admirable.

And bullshitting students about a position or a technique you know nothing about is deplorable.

Your ego isn’t more important than their development.

Here’s the video…

Now, some shout-outs…

In the video I start out by saying that one of the coolest things I ever heard a martial arts instructor say was “Ask me any question you have.  If I know the answer then I’ll tell you.  If I don’t know the answer then we’ll find out together.

That instructor was Makoto Kabayama (formerly going by ‘Nip) of the Kabayam Bushidokan in Toronto.

And the other instructor I reference in the video – the guy who was OK with my bringing in other teachers to learn Capoeira – was Philip Gelinas of the GAMMA school in Montreal.

If you’re reading then thanks to both of you – you’ve been way more influential than you give yourselves credit for.

If you admit that you don’t know everything then it implies that you yourself still have some learning and growing to do, which is the case for everyone from this year’s Mundial champion to Rickson Gracie himself.

If you’re done with learning you should be in the grave.

Stephan Kesting


The post Don’t Be Afraid of Admitting that You Don’t Know Everything appeared first on Grapplearts.

4 Magic Phrases to Help You Learn BJJ Faster

In my early days of martial arts training I ran into quite a few teachers who were so full of themselves that students asking questions was almost unheard of. At first I thought that this was normal. I thought that maybe things would change after I’d paid my dues for 10 or 20 years… And […]

The FREE Roadmap for BJJ App!

Here’s something brand new that I’ve been working on for a whole year.  It’s available right now and I think you’re really going to like it!! How would you like a top-to-bottom game plan for the closed guard position? What about a complete roadmap for the Open Guard? And while we’re at it, would a […]

BJJ Seminar Disaster!

I once attended a seminar taught by a big name in BJJ (don’t ask me who – my lips are sealed!). It was in a medium-sized town, but for whatever reason, attendance was terrible.  There were only about 8 people there, myself included. And it didn’t take very long to figure out that that at […]

Kung Fu Foolishness

Anyone in my age group will understand how the first martial art I fell in love was ninjutsu. What could be better than sneaking around wearing black, throwing smoke bombs, and building booby traps? Well, my parents quashed that idea quickly. For some reason they had their doubts that throwing stars and poisoned blow darts […]

Just Ask the Question!

I know I’ve been lucky, but most of my martial arts instructors have encouraged questions. For example, my BJJ coach, Marcus Soares, is known for his killer conditioning sessions (‘warmups,’ he calls them…). But right after putting his class through hell he always starts the technical part of class by asking, “Are there any questions.” […]

The Answer is Out There!

Let’s say that you want to add a new technique – any technique – to your game. With new techniques there’s always a ton of trial and error, struggle and effort, discouragement and tough times before it starts working reliably for you. But here’s the thing: no matter what area of jiu-jitsu or submission grappling […]

The Easiest Way to Teach (and Learn) the Armbar from Guard

The armbar from guard is one of those bread-and-butter techniques in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. A signature move, if you will. Unfortunately it can also be difficult for some people execute the mechanics of the armbar from the guard correctly. It’s easy to get confused with all that gripping, shifting, adjusting and swivelling, and then completely botch […]

Episode 92 – Matt “Aesopian” Kirtley

On this week’s episode we have Matt “Aesopian” Kirtley. Matt is an Eduardo deLima blackbelt and founder of Aesopian.com. Known for his high level instruction we discuss what exactly makes a good instructor, when to teach concepts versus moves, how to utilize multimedia to improve your game and why the crucifix should be in your [...]