Category Archives: BJJ

36: Dan Severn, UFC Hall of Famer, on Fighting, Wrestling, and Beating a Man He Couldn’t Beat

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Dan Severn is a UFC Hall of Famer, a legend in combat sports with more than 4 decades of wrestling and fighting under his belt; we talk about fighting, kids, competition, technology, amateur wrestling, Leri Khabelov, beating a man he couldn’t beat, UFC, Royce Gracie, no holds barred fighting, etc.

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Excerpt: Beating a Man He Couldn’t Beat

Full Audio of Interview on YouTube

Quotes

Dan on staying healthy through a long career of 150+ fights:

“I believe in the theory of duck. I’ve had young guys tell me: ‘Mr. Severn, I like to stand there and trade.’ Really? Trading means I’m going to give you some, and then I’m going to take some. I don’t believe in trading. I believe in guerilla warfare. Get in, get out. It’s called peace work. “

Dan on the mechanics of wrestling:

“In wrestling, I’m using principles of leverage to turn you on your back. What’s another word for leverage? Pain. I have to induce you into pain to make you do things for me.”

Links

 

35: Ryan Hall on Moral Victory, the Underlying Principles of Jiu Jitsu, Self-Defense, and the Value of Competition

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Ryan Hall is a BJJ black belt, head instructor of 50/50 BJJ, an ADCC bronze medalist with a long career in high level competition throughout which he has beaten many of the top grapplers in the world; we talked about moral victory, maintaining a stoic expression, a unified theory of grappling, the value of competition, a lifelong pursuit of a singular goal, best martial art for self defense, cultivating ego, and much more.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or RSS, and check out our facebook page.

Excerpt: Value of Competition

Excerpt: Moral Victory

Excerpt: Best Martial Art for Self Defense

Excerpt: Principles of Jiu Jitsu

Full Audio of Interview on YouTube

Quotes

Ryan referencing Frank Herbert’s Dune in discussing the value of pursuing a singular goal for a long time:

“If you search for freedom, you become a slave to your own desires, ironically. But if you search for discipline, you find liberty, in the long-run.”

Ryan on the courage of giving 100%:

“It takes courage and heart to properly prepare (for competition), because you’re risking horrible dissapointment. I’ve prepared so hard, tried so hard before and I won. And other times, I’ve prepared so hard, tried so hard and I lost. It hurts. It really hurts. It doesn’t hurt nearly as much if you half ass it, because you didn’t put that much into it. But that’s a cowardly approach. The right way is to prepare properly, you train hard, and then win, lose, or draw you deal with the results.”

Ryan discussing that most people are not honest with themselves about how hard they work:

“Most people would rather look like the thing, than be the thing.”

Ryan on what is involved in working hard:

“Trying hard doesn’t just mean having to be carried off the mat. It means thinking, reassessing, reevaluating, asking ‘how can I be better?’ It takes honest self analysis.”

Ryan on the cost of excellence:

“You show me someone who is well adjusted, and I will show you someone who is probably not a high achiever.”

Ryan on removing extraneous details:

“A principle-based approach to grappling is incredibly important. What I try to do is block out the extraneous nonsense. Talking about 55 details and reasons for something that’s going on is only clouding your thought process.”

Ryan on moral victory versus actual victory:

“If Fedor slaps your mother, you have to hit him. You have to. And he’s going to kick the shit out of you, almost certainly. But you have to hit him. Trying your best and losing would be the honorable thing to do.”

Ryan on the importance of ego (grounded in reality) in progress:

“Most progress over the course of human history has been made by unreasonable people that said: ‘fuck you, I’m going to win.'”

Links

 

21: Justin Rader on ADCC, No Gi Worlds, Cutting Weight, Combining Wrestling and Jiu Jitsu

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In episode 21, I talk with Justin Rader, two-time no-gi world champion, 2013 ADCC bronze medalist about the training camp leading up to ADCC, cutting weight, staying injury free, listening to your body, traveling to China, training wrestling against the guard pull, Augusto Mendes, Cobrinha, Joao Miyao, Kevin Hendricks, Johny Hendricks, Andy Howington, staying in the intermediate distance while passing tricky guards, positional training,  teaching and coaching young athletes, difference between wrestling and jiu jitsu culture, MMA, Game of Thrones, Dan Gable, John Smith, Paul from Open Mat Radio, and much more.

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Quotes

Justin on the weight cut for ADCC:

“I did the old school Vision Quest. I was out there the morning of weigh-ins in my plastic suit running up and down the streets of Beijing.”

Justin on the difference between the training environment in wrestling an in jiu jitsu:

“The wrestling environment can truly be summed up by ‘kill or be killed’.”

Links

Random Questions

YouTube Version of Full Audio Interview

(To be added soon. YouTube doesn’t seem to like 90+ minute videos sometimes.)

19: JT Torres on No-Gi Worlds, ADCC, Drilling, and Training at Atos

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In episode 19, I talk with JT Torres, American-born no-gi World Champion, ADCC medalist, Worlds medalist, Pans medalist. We talk about his perseverance and drive to  win the World Championships, winning the No-Gi Worlds, his bronze at ADCC, the close relationship with his dad,  his little brother, training in Maryland and San Diego, breakfast burritos, drilling, being pushed to the limit every day,  pre-tournament  routine, visualization, referee decisions, closing out a bracket with Jared Weiner, eventually moving back East, hip hop music, and much more.

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Quotes

JT on his routine in the bullpen before the match:

“Before the match, I’m visualizing my hand raised over and over and over again..”

JT on winning the 2013 No-Gi World Championship:

“It felt amazing. I really hung in there these last few years. I came up short the last few times, had a few rough calls, and easily anyone in my position could’ve just packed it up and say ‘screw this I’m going to move on’ … But I never quit. There were times when I thought about it. But I never quit. Kept working hard, training hard for years, and finally got my World title and it feels amazing.”

JT on cutting weight before a tournament:

“As they say, a hungry dog fights harder.”

Links

YouTube Version

16: Sebastian Brosche on BJJ, Judo, and Yoga

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In episode 16, I talk to Sebastian Brosche, a jiu jitsu competitor, judo black belt, and yoga instructor. He won double gold at Worlds in purple belt, and gold at Abu Dhabi World Pro at brown belt. We talk about his early years in judo, the support of his mom,  Olympic gold, street fights, adopting his judo for jiu jitsu, training at Frontline in Oslo Norway, improvising, exploring, failing, breathing, ego, yoga, guard passing, open guard vs inverted guard, stabilizing position, dealing with negative energy, Jackson Souza, Joao Miyao, Kit Dale, Abu Dhabi World Pro, IBJJF Worlds double gold, and much more.

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Check out Sebastian’s awesome Yoga for BJJ wesbite.

Quotes

Sebastian on BJJ:

“That’s BJJ: we keep what works and we leave what doesn’t.”

Sebastian on the things BJJ guys can learn from judo:

“The two most important things we can take from judo to bjj are… Number one is grips. Knowing what a good grip is and what a bad grip is. And what I tell beginners is: a good grip is one you can pull and push without changing the grip… With a good grip you can start moving, and then you don’t have to have Olympic-level throwing and still accomplish what you need in a BJJ fight. So number one is gripping, number two is base for movement. You need to know how to move your feet, how to judo-dance, and make the guy move. Because you can’t just stand in a fight with a grip and wait for the guy to put his foot forward, you have to make him do it.”

Sebastian on the value of recording your matches:

“The video camera is one of your best friends because it is honest. And if the guy who’s filming is not shaking the camera and you can actually see what you’re doing, you can learn so much from watching your own fights.”

Sebastian on his approach to yoga:

“We try to balance between strength and length, and between working hard and letting go. In the middle, we find out who we are.”

Links

Video Clips

YouTube Version

15: Jooyoung Lee on Gunshot Victims, Near-Death Experience, Popping, and Swimming

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In episode 15, Tim Carpenter and I talk to Jooyoung Lee, an assistant professor of sociology at University of Toronto, purple belt in BJJ, pop-locker, and former D1 swimmer. We talk about his 2 years in Philadelphia studying gunshot victims, 5 years in California studying hip hop artists in search of fame, the positive and negative changes after a near-death experience, the shame of disfigurement, gun violence in society, Donohue Levitt hypothesis, popping, locking, Tick a Lott, swimming, squeaky dog toys, and much more.

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Quotes

Jooyoung on interviewing victims of gun violence:

“If you ask questions that begin with ‘How’ you get a long story. But if you ask questions with ‘Why’ you usually get a short response that’s almost moralistic. People want to give you a good reason, instead of telling you the story.”

Tim on what drives him:

“There’s times you’ll do stuff that’s against your nature because it’ll make you some money, but overall I’ve never lost sight of who I was.  I never tried to get famous. That was never a goal. I like helping people. I like seeing improvement, in myself and in other people. It’s cool to make money but it’s not what drives me.”

Jooyoung recollecting on an old conversation about why jiu jitsu is a fascinating sport:

“Jiu jitsu is a weird sport because you train until the point that you could kill somebody or seriously maim them, and then you tap and you shake hands and you start over.”

Tim on jiu jitsu as a source of the much-needed sense of danger:

“Living today, there’s no real threat. There’s not a threat of death really anywhere unless you live in one of the horrible areas where there’s gunshots all the time. Just a normal person walking around doesn’t have to worry about death. That’s one of the things that gets people into doing jiu jitsu is you get a taste of danger.”

Links

YouTube Version

14: James Vincent on Police Work, Survival, and Always Having a Plan

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take-it-uneasy-james-chiarielloIn episode 14, Josh Vogel and I talk to James Vincent, a BJJ black belt and a police officer,  about police work, Survivorman Les Stroud, Ray Mears, MovNat, Exuberant Animal, gun control, fear vs panic, little guy jiu jitsu, Norwegian heavy water sabotage, boredom, survival as a choice and as a necessity, hiking, climbing trees, kettlebells, CrossFit, the rule of threes, rotisserie chicken, and much more.

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Video Clips

Quotes

James on fear vs panic in police work:

“You can work with fear, it’s when you panic… If you panic, that’s going to cloud your judgement, and that could get your hurt. It’s okay to have fear, and still be working with that fear, knowing that you have a job to do: you have to accomplish the goal at hand.”

Josh on the importance of respecting nature:

“You can’t say ‘f*** the fridge’ and still expect to get food out of it.”

Josh on your technique being a reflection of who you are physically and mentally:

“You can’t isolate somebody’s technique from their natural attributes… You have your techniques, and you have your attributes that hopefully support those techniques.”

Links

YouTube Version

13: Travis Stevens on Fighting Through Injury and Training to Exhaustion

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travis-stevens-take-it-uneasy-podcastIn episode 13, I talk to Travis Stevens, an American judoka, 2-time Olympian, and also one of the best BJJ brown belts in the world. He talked about training and competing through injury, fear as the thing that makes you tired, the role of coaching, adjusting to the new gripping rules, coming back from a deficit, cherishing the feeling of exhaustion.

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Quotes

Travis on his passion for judo:

“I wake up every morning excited to do my job and train. I want nothing more out of life than to be healthy enough for the next training session.”

Travis on whether he has ever been scared to face a particular opponent:

“I laugh at people that get scared. How can you fear someone in a competition. There are rules in place to protect the competitors. If you look at a list of people competing and you fear someone in the bracket just quit and go home and save your money and don’t waste the time of the people who want to compete. Because what you really fear is yourself and you don’t have the confidence within yourself. You think you don’t have the ability and if that’s the case why bother. You should be itching to fight the best and prove yourself, not hiding in a corner hoping for easy street to just land at your feet.”

Links

YouTube Version

12: Ricardo Migliarese on the Lion and the Fox

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ricardo-migliarese-take-it-uneasy-podcastIn episode 12, Tim and I talk to Ricardo Migliarese, 3rd degree BJJ black belt, head instructor of Balance Studios in Philadelphia. Ricardo talks about growing up in Philly, bullying, parenting, ADHD medication, the education system, the influence of his father and his recent passing, his close relationship with his brother Phil, how he and Tim met, Tim’s first words, the Hellfish International In-House tournament, competing at Worlds and Pan Ams, going for submissions, explosiveness, recovering from injury, competition training, not taking things too seriously, serving the role of a psychiatrist, the 100 rep workout, and all throughout Machiavelli’s The Prince, the lion, the fox, the gorilla, the orangutan, and the turtle.

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Video Clips

Quotes

Ricardo on his simple rule for success and happiness:

“There’s two things you get to do in life: things you want to do and things you don’t want to do. And I advise always to do the things you don’t want to do first, so you can enjoy the things that you want to do.”

Tim Carpenter on the early days of his friendship with Ricardo:

“I don’t like anybody when I first meet them. Everybody starts off at zero. You got to build your way up.”

Ricardo  on  the role that explosiveness has in his jiu jitsu:

“You never see a race car driver use the nitro straight off the bat. It’s futile to do that. You start a match, you slow it down, and at the right time when you need it, use it… When used correctly, it becomes a valid weapon.”

Links

YouTube Version

10: Angela Vogel on Women in Jiu Jitsu, Pastry Grips, and Game of Thrones

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josh-vogel-angela-vogel-podcastIn episode 10, Josh and I talk to Angela Vogel about women in jiu jitsu, Game of Thrones, being married to a black belt, warrior queens, Zenobia, working as a pastry chef, spider-man, knee cut pass, dieting, starting jiu jitsu, dance parties, country songs,  teaching with a focus on transitions, etc.

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Quotes

Angela  on approaching jiu jitsu with confidence:

“Your personality comes out in your jiu jitsu.”

Josh on ignoring belt colors:

“Don’t worry about the belt color, just pretend that everyone you’re rolling with is a white belt. I try to do that with my teachers. I try to pretend like they’re white belts and they still fuck me up but at least I don’t get in my own way.”

Links

YouTube Version