Interviews

Podcast EP 34: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Principles with Rob Biernacki (plus Ninjas, Insane Martial Arts Instructors and Martial Arts Cults)

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu principles with Rob Biernacki

The latest episode of the Grapplearts Radio Podcast is out.  In it I talk with Rob Biernacki, a friend, BJJ black belt, and contributor to Grapplearts (see the videos and articles he's been involved with here). Rob is known for his analytical style of teaching BJJ.  He doesn't focus on being a 'technique collector, but rather specialises in sharing the underlying principles and concepts that … [Read more...]

Podcast EP33: Leglocks with Eddie ‘Wolverine’ Cummings

Leglocks with Eddie Cummings

In this episode of Grapplearts Radio I quiz Eddie Cummings - one of the very best leglock artists active on the competition scene today - about every detail of his leglock game, including : Why the heel hook is one of the most efficient submissions for self defense How to train leglocks safely How a world class grappling competitor spends his days Dead ends and rabbit holes that … [Read more...]

Podcast EP32: BJJ and Self Defense, with Jeff Rockwell and Stephan Kesting

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Direct from Isla Mujeres, Mexico, here's my latest podcast interview.  In it BJJ black belt Jeff Rockwell and I discuss: How certain techniques are 'discovered' again and again What are 'the basics' and why you need one tool for every range Self defense vs competition jiu-jitsu When butt flopping in a self defense situation is the RIGHT thing to do Hair grab defenses for women The … [Read more...]

Podcast EP29: Skepticism and the Martial Arts

Skepticism-and-the Martial-Arts

Skepticism is your best defense against the lies, hoaxes and magical thinking that are so rampant in the traditional martial arts. Join us on this Grapplearts Radio interview where I talk with Jeff Westfall about chi, the evolution of kata, insane martial arts teachers, Indonesian Silat counters to BJJ submissions, the chimpanzee brain, the fight or flight reflex, signs that you might have … [Read more...]

Podcast EP28: How Bernardo Faria Won Double Gold at the BJJ Mundials

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In this in-depth interview I talk with Bernardo Faria, the 99kg BJJ fighter who recently took gold in not only his own weight class but also in the absolute division of the 2015 BJJ Mundials. Some of the highlights of my talk with Bernardo Faria included... His mindset going into big tournaments How he developed and refined his highly individual BJJ gameplan What he's learned training … [Read more...]

Podcast EP27: Roxanne Modafferi about MMA Training, Continuing to Improve, Tryouts for The Ultimate Fighter, and More

Roxanne-Modaferri-TUF-MMA

In this podcast episode I talk with Roxanne Modafferi, MMA fighter and TUF standout, about The differences between MMA training in Japan and the USA, Continuing to improve after 12 years in the sport, Training tweaks that finally snapped a 6 fight losing streak, What tryouts forThe Ultimate Fighter were really like, And much more... You can read, listen to, or download the interview … [Read more...]

Podcast EP25: BJJ Beginner Tips Interview and Podcast

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In this Grapplearts interview I talk to BJJ Black Belt Ritchie Yip, focusing on tips that BJJ beginners need to know.  But sometimes the conversation goes a little off track! You can follow/consume/download/watch this awesome and informative interview several different ways... You can watch the Youtube video below You can download the mp3 file by right clicking here and selecting 'Save … [Read more...]

Podcast EP24: How to Build a BJJ Gameplan

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Here's a really cool video interview I did with my friend, BJJ blackbelt, renowned coach, and fierce competitor Elliott Bayev. This interview is special because we break down the steps of building a BJJ gameplan.  We go right from the basic BJJ self defense gameplan, and build up to the intricate strategies used by world class competitors. There are tons of immediately useful takeaways … [Read more...]

Podcast EP22: Adam Singer on Modern MMA Training and Competition

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Stephan: I’m here today with my friend, Adam Singer, who runs The HardCore Gym in Athens, Georgia.  He is probably best known for being Forrest Griffin’s MMA coach during the formative years of Forrest’s career. He’s also a jiu-jitsu black belt and has trained tons of fighters. I’m really looking forward to picking his brain about MMA and jiu-jitsu and the relationship between these things. … [Read more...]

Podcast EP20: The Art and Science of Teaching Martial Arts

Ritchie getting his bjj black belt

I recently interviewed my friend, training partner, black belt, and school owner Ritchie Yip. The main theme of our discussion was the art and science of teaching martial arts, including how to teach students with different learning styles and experience levels. Not every student learns the same way, and a good teacher knows how to adapt his material and curriculum to help students of all learning … [Read more...]

Podcast EP19: Clark Gracie on Training, Competing, and Growing up Gracie

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This is a great interview with 2013 Pan Am BJJ Champion Clark Gracie.  He shares a ton of cool info. You can listen to, read, or download this interview in several different ways… Play the audio-only Youtube video at the bottom of this list, and/or Right click on this link and select ‘save as’ to download this mp3 file to your computer, and/or Subscribe to the Grapplearts Podcast in … [Read more...]

Podcast EP18: John Perretti, MMA Matchmaker

John Perretti

I recently talked to John Perretti, the former matchmaker for both the Ultimate Fighting Championship and the Extreme Fighting Championship. In our fifty minute interview John and I discussed the early days of the sport, how he found and selected fighters, brain trauma in the combat sports, his disdain for the current state of the UFC, and much more. So if you're a fan of early MMA there's a … [Read more...]

Podcast EP17: Rafael Lovato Jr. on Training and Competing in BJJ

Rafael Lovato Jr Celebrating

This is a great interview with BJJ competition legend Rafael Lovato Jr.  You can listen to, read, or download this interview in several different ways… Play the audio-only Youtube video at the bottom of this list, and/or Right click on this link and select ‘save as’ to download this mp3 file to your computer, and/or Subscribe to the Grapplearts Podcast in iTunes (RECOMMENDED, because … [Read more...]

Podcast EP14: Keenan Cornelius on Training, BJJ Competition, MMA Goals and More

Keenan Cornelius using the Spider Guard to control his opponent from the bottom

Keenan Cornelius is a BJJ phenomenon. Known for his exciting guardwork and movement-oriented game, he won double gold medals in four of the biggest BJJ tournament in the world as a purple belt, which is a HUGE accomplishment. Here's my recent interview with Keenan … [Read more...]

Podcast EP11: Draculino talks about the Evolution of BJJ

Draculino talking about BJJ

Recently I managed to catch up with Vinicius 'Draculino' Magalhães and pick his brain about the ongoing evolution of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Draculino started training in Rio in the 1980's, back in the days when many of the big names in BJJ were just young kids with blue and purple belts around their waists. Plus he's trained many great competitors in the sport, as well as having personally … [Read more...]

Podcast EP8: Tony Blauer on Fitness, Fear Management, and Combat Psychology

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I just interviewed Tony Blauer.  He's the head of Blauer Tactical Systems which specializes in close quarter tactics & scenario-based training for law enforcement, military and professional self-defense instructors. We had a great conversation about Crossfit, fear management, adrenaline dumps, and his recent 'immersion' in BJJ... This is pretty relevant stuff!  Everybody (who's not … [Read more...]

Podcast EP5: A Woman’s Jiu-Jitsu Journey from White Belt to Black Belt

Emily Kwok Triptych

In this feature interview I talk with Emily Kwok who is a very smart, very talented jiu-jitsu practitioner. She's been involved in the woman's competition circuit for a long time, having competed both with and without the gi, and in MMA overseas. Her ability as a teacher of jiu-jitsu - to both men and women - is proved every time she steps on the mats at her BJJ Academy in Princeton, … [Read more...]

Podcast EP3: Erik Paulson; an MMA Master Coach Shares His Secrets

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Erik Paulson is an MMA Master Coach.  He's trained tons of fighters competing at the highest levels of Mixed Martial Arts.  And he held the Shooto light-heavyweight title in Japan for 5 years. He's also my friend and a mentor. Recently I asked my newsletter readers if there was something in particular you wanted to ask Erik.  (Hey, if you were signed up for the FREE Grappling Tips newsletter … [Read more...]