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Podcast Episode 156 with Survivorman Les Stroud

This conversation with Survivorman Les Stroud  might be one of my favourite Strenuous Life Podcast episodes ever!

Les Stroud has produced many survival-themed shows for The Discovery Channel, The Science Channel, The Outdoor Life Network, and YTV.  In these shows he usually goes out into very challenging wilderness situations and tries to survive using only the materials at hand and minimal equipment.

He’s done this again and again in places like the Rocky Mountains, Kalahari Desert, Amazon Jungle, Arctic Tundra, Australian Outback, and many other wild and remote locations.

Dealing with hunger, thirst, heat, cold, animals and terrible conditions would be difficult enough for most people.  But unlike other survival experts (who go out there with their own film crews and helicopter back to plush hotels for the night) Les does all the filming himself and actually stays out there.

So it’s gritty, difficult and very, very real.

He’s also a talented musician who has found some incredibly innovative ways to combine cinematography, storytelling and music to create compelling narratives.

Les Stroud  combines his incredible skills with great mental toughness to exemplify the strenuous life!

In this 46 minute episode Les and I talked adventure, survival skills, navigating in the wilderness, the closest he’s come to death while filming, work-life balance, music and more.

I hope you enjoy listening to his episode as much as I did recording it for you!

How to Listen to this Episode with Les Stroud

This conversation with Les Stroud was episode 156 of my show, which is called ‘The Strenuous Life Podcast’.

You can subscribe to the podcast on your phone, tablet or computer by using your favourite podcasting app and/or going to the appropriate feed below:

iTunes StitcherSoundcloudGoogle Play 

Alternately you can listen to episode 156 on the embedded audio player right here…

Or you can watch the same conversation in the embedded video below (direct link the Youtube video here)…

How to Help Create More Podcast Episodes

I really want to avoid having ads on the podcast!  And you probably don’t want to hear me singing the praises of mattress companies, web design services, or microfibre underwear either.

To keep it ad free I’ve created an option where you can support this podcast through Patreon.com. For the price of a cup of coffee you can help us create more podcasts, ask questions for our Q&A epidodes, » Continue Reading.

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Emily Kwok Interviews Me About BJJ School Culture and More – Podcast Episode 154

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!

You can listen to this interview (episode 154) of The Strenuous Life Podcast on iTunesStitcherSoundcloudGoogle Play and other podcasting platforms.

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!

Thanks

Stephan

The post Emily Kwok Interviews Me About BJJ School Culture and More – Podcast Episode 154 appeared first on Grapplearts.

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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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 91 – The Connection Between Business & BJJ with Jack Wilkinson

It’s amazing how many high level entrepreneurs also enjoy the challenge of jiu-jitsu!  In this episode Jack Wilkinson and I explore this connection, as well as going down many other rabbit holes…

00:25 – Jiujitsu and entrepreneurship parallels 05:12 – Dealing with tough guys 09:20 – Toxic people 12:56 – Story time 18:30 – Addiction 23:05 – Adversity 28:29 – Grips 37:24 – Teaching vs testing 41:26 – Marketing BJJ schools

 

You can listen to this as Episode 91 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 91 – The Connection Between Business & BJJ with Jack Wilkinson 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 84 – 3 Steps To Overcoming Training Plateaus

In this short episode we talk about why training plateaus are actually more frustrating than training slumps, plus I share 3 concrete steps to bust out of a plateau and get back to getting better!

You can listen to this as Episode 84 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 84 – 3 Steps To Overcoming Training Plateaus appeared first on Grapplearts.

Podcast Episode 77 – Should You Still Train When Exhausted?

I trained BJJ today despite being fresh off the plane, jet lagged and exhausted, so it seemed like a good day to tackle today’s topic, namely whether you should train on those days when you’re so tired you can’t see straight.  Also I cover some examples of how to modify your workout on those lower-energy days so you don’t get injured.  Hope this helps all you busy people trying to juggle life and work and training!

You can listen to this as episode 77 of the Strenuous Life podcast, available on  iTunesStitcherSoundcloud and Google Play.

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

The post Podcast Episode 77 – Should You Still Train When Exhausted? 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

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Podcast Episode 56 – Interview with Budo Jake Discussing Training Around the World, Advice to Newbies, and More…

This is a really good episode in which I talk to my friend, BJJ black belt, and world traveller Budo Jake. We cover a ton of topics including the evolution of Japanese ju-jutsu into BJJ, getting choked unconscious, the effectiveness of wrist locks in grappling, brain damage from striking, yoga and other recover methods, training at different academies, and advice for newbies.  Enjoy!

You can listen to this as Episode 56 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 56 – Interview with Budo Jake Discussing Training Around the World, Advice to Newbies, and More… appeared first on Grapplearts.

My Secret Method To Get An Advantage

In previous newsletters we’ve discussed what a grappling arms race is, and how in that situation you can use video self analysis to get an advantage over your training partners.

Today I want to briefly touch on one of MY secret weapons in the everlasting arms race in the dojo. That method is focused partner training.

Here is what I do. Suppose I consistently run into the same problem with a certain individual – perhaps he’s catching me with the same submission all the time, or he’s always countering my sweeping techniques, or whatever.

As we’re sparring I’ll try to make note of the problem – I might even put myself into the exact problem position on purpose, just so I can see exactly what my opponent is doing to make my life difficult.

Then I call up a different training partner, and we meet behind closed doors with the windows blacked out and the room swept for listening devices.

I show that partner the situation that is frustrating me, and we look at it from all angles and brainstorm for solutions.

Going back to the problem in this calm and controlled environment usually results in us soon having an answer to the original dilemma. The next step is to take it back to the original partner and see if it actually works in reality.

Here’s a video in which I talk about this process.  You can also see two examples of exactly how this methodology is used in practise…

The first example is how my friend and training partner figured out how to break apart my 411 leglock position defense (the nerve!)…

The second example is how I figured out a good counter to the triangle-legs-and-crossface kneebar escape!

Check it out:

Many of the sequences I teach in my instructionals were developed exactly like this.

First I had an initial attack that worked for a while…

Then my opponents figured out how to counter those attacks. And then I used focussed partner training to discover and refine the recounters to those counters.

As we leave this topic I want to emphasize once again that this arms race is a mutually beneficial process. After I use my new super-duper recounter one or two times in class, I then share it with my sparring partners. That way the cycle goes on and we both continue to grow.

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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.

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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Podcast Episode 144 – Aikido vs MMA, the Full Story with Rokas

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.

To listen go look for The Strenuous Life podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud and Google Play. and then listen to episode 144 with Rokas.

(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

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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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