18: Ilias Iliadis Interview

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In episode 18, I talk with Ilias Iliadis. He is truly one of the legends of judo, an Olympic gold and bronze medalist, two-time world champion, and 5-time world medalist. And still only 26 years old (turning 27 two days after the interview and of course training on his birthday). We talk about his birthday two days after the interview, his son and daughter, his father and coach, starting at a young age, the 2004 Olympics,  the 2010 and 2011 world championships, Mark Huizinga, Varlam Liparteliani, Mark Anthony, winning international tournaments in four different weight classes (73kg, 81kg, 90kg, 100kg), Teddy Riner, 2013 world championships, ogoshi, seoi nage, no-gi, and more.

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Thank you to Teo BJJ for hosting us for the interview. And thank you to my friend Niko for helping make it all happen.

Video Version of Interview

Quotes

Ilias Iliadis on when he first thought he could be an Olympic gold medalist:

“When I was young I dreamed I could be Olympic champion. I believed it then. But it happened even faster than in my dreams.”

Ilias Iliadis on learning from a loss:

“I believe when you lose you learn. You gain experience.”

Ilias Iliadis on maintaining the edge on the best in the world:

“If you want to take the tile, you have to be training, always. When I’m training, I think of my opponent and how he is training. I want to always be training more than my opponent.”

Ilias Iliadis on there not being any one element that is most important for a throw:

“In judo, when you do a technique, you need your whole body.”

Ilias Iliadis on the uncertainty of a judo match:

“Every competition is important for me, and every competition I think I can win. But this is judo. Everybody has a chance.”

Iliad Iliadis on whether he likes the new judo rules:

“We are athletes. We can’t change anything. All we can do is fight and win.”

Links

17: Niko and Lex Talk a Little Judo

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In episode 17, I talk “a little judo” (for 90 minutes) with my comrade and judo mastermind Niko Dax. Our conversation is always full of opinions, disagreements, and Russian accents. We talk about Teddy Riner, Ilias Iliadis visit to the United States, judo in Kansas, AAU freestyle judo, being a big fish in a small pond, Nick Delpopolo, Travis Stevens, Kayla Harrison, Ole Bischof, financial support of American judoka, and much more.

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Quotes

Niko on one of the many reasons Ilias Iliadis is already judo legend at the young age of 26.

“Iliadis is amazing because he has major wins in four different weight classes: at 73kg, 81kg, 90kg, and 100kg.”

Niko on the challenge of training without a nation-wide system that supports judo:

“If Travis Steven or Nick Delpopolo win a bronze medal in the next Olympic games, that medal will have much more value than a gold medal by any Russian player, because that bronze medal will be won despite (the lack of financial support).”

Niko on money and happiness:

“Money won’t buy you happiness… unless you don’t have money.”

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.

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

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

11: Nick Delpopolo on His Olympics Experience, Close Matches, Coaching, and Starcraft

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nick-delpopolo-judo-olympian-take-it-uneasy-podcastIn episode 11, I talk to judo olympian Nick Delpopolo. He is ranked #1 in the United States and top 10 in the world. We talk about the four dramatic matches that qualified him for the 2012 Olympics and the four matches at the Olympics, the loss by referee decision, overcoming the aftermath of the THC test, his journey in judo and wrestling, the Hound and Tyrion from the Game of Thrones, the importance of a coach, Yoshisada Yonezuka, Jimmy Pedro, Jason Morris, close referee calls, training partners, uchimata, new gripping rules, randori, weight cutting, his life in an orphanage, his parents, Starcraft, etc.

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Matches with Commentary

Quotes

Nick Delpopolo on  not complaining about referee decisions during the match:

“When you lose a referee’s decision 2 to 1 in the Olympic quarter final and the match to get in for bronze, you’re just shreds away, you’re just decimals away, it’s nothing, that’s how close it is, that’s how fine that margin is. That’s what you think about a lot. What would’ve made a difference there? Getting up for one more run? Anything could’ve helped. It’s so close. If you run out there and you get thrown for ippon in a minute, okay fine, there’s not a whole lot to think about. But if you run out there and you play a five minute match with one of the best guys in the world, you almost score a couple times, he can’t score on you, it’s really close… Man, there’s a lot to think about there. That’s what hurts about that: being close. But it’s just motivation to push harder.”

Nick Delpopolo on not complaining about referee decisions during the match:

“While I’m out there and if the call is not going my way there is not a whole lot I can do about it. Complaining about it… You’re only out there for 5 to 10 minutes. Being negative, throwing your arms up, causing a scene is wasting valuable minutes of energy… Just play the match.”

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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.”

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YouTube Version

9: Kit Dale on Competition Mindset and a Life of Crime

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kit-dale-interview-and-mustacheIn episode 9, I talk to Kit Dale, Australian black belt and one of the rising stars on the jiu jitsu competition scene. He talks about facing Keenan Cornelius at the 2013 Worlds, his competition mindset, Copa Podio, confidence, visualization, Australian rules football, injuries, starting jiu jitsu in early twenties, wrestling and judo in bjj, importance of timing, drilling with blue belts, ADCC, Lloyd Irvin BJJ Kumite, teams, twerking, politics, Arnold Schwarzenegger, GTA, and the life of crime.

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Quotes

Kit Dale on his approach to competition:

“I would much rather lose to somebody in a really good fight than win in a really shit boring manner.”

Kit Dale on the two-party system in politics:

“I’m sitting here and picking what lube to use when I should be like: ‘How about I just get this thing out of my ass instead?'”

Clips of Matches with Comments

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Mentions

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Some Images

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