25: Christine and Drew Vogel on Visiting Japan

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In episode 25, I talk with Drew and Christine Vogel, husband and wife, jiu jitsu black belt and blue belt respectively, about their recent 10 day journey to Japan. We talk about Tokyo, Osaka, David Sedaris, bowing, politeness, drinking with the bosses, work ethic, samurai, octupus donut holes, raw horse meat, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, BJJ, sport jiu jitsu,  how Drew and Christine met, marriage, advice for anyone visiting Japan, and much more.

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

Quotes

Christine on the past, present, and future of Japanese culture:

“The thing about Japan that is fascinating is the constant parallel between tradition and the future. A zealous, hurried interest in the future: the trains are fast, the people are fast, the food is constantly evolving.”

Drew and Christine on the difference in social interaction between strangers in Japan:

“You’re waiting for that cacophony of beeping and cussing and rage that cities have. People still bump into each other, still smash into each other in subway cars, but they don’t really acknowledge it with their eyes. They just look right past it when it happens. Nothing is taken very personally.”

Christine on the effect of the Internet and the global economy on prevailing mindset in Japan:

“I think the currents are shifting. The Japanese, in the past, have taken an isolationist attitude. I think that’s changed a lot now.”

Christine on architecture in Japan:

“There is something intrinsically balanced and harmonious about the Japanese aesthetic. You can’t get away from it. It’s evident even in the most modern construction… I was never described the immense color, vibrancy of Tokyo. It is New York on top of itself, 20 times over. It’s Blade Runner in the middle of the day. “

Links

24: Kyle Dake, 4x NCAA Wrestling Champion

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In episode 24, I talk with Kyle Dake, 4x NCAA champion, Dan Hodge trophy winner, and 2013 SI College Athlete of the Year, about a tradition of wrestling in his family, early wrestling days, the influence of his mom and dad, setting goals, overcoming losses early in his career, facing Jordan Burroughs, David Taylor, Andrew Howe, competing with a broken hand against a 2x world champion, Denis Tsargush, training to exhaustion, keeping the training fun, being pushed by training partners like Jordan Leen, Call of Duty, Breaking Bad, and much more.

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

Audio Clips on YouTube

Quotes

Kyle on the mental toughness advice his mom gave him:

“Your mind will break before your body will break.”

Kyle on his approach to the intense pace of competition:

“You have to learn how to function when you’re dog-tired… when you don’t think your body is capable of doing anything more, but you have to do more. You can either cower, give up takedowns, give up points, submit to the guy, or you can do everything in your power to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Kyle on the training to exhaustion:

“Feeling that exhaustive state is very important in the practice room, because once you get on the mat and you’ve felt that pain before, you’ve felt that exhaustion, it’s a lot easier to overcome it in competition.”

Jordan Leen, Kyle’s teammate and NCAA champ out of Cornell, said the following in an ESPN commentary as Kyle was wrestling in his 2010 NCAA finals match:

“Kyle Dake refuses to accept failure at any level. He takes it personally when he gets taken down in the room. It affects his soul almost. He is a well balanced wrestler, but they key is that he has to win. According to him, he has to win. He will do anything that it took to win.”

Links

23: Matt Marcinek on Grappling with Cerebral Palsy and Competing to Win

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In episode 23, I talk with Matt Marcinek about cerebral palsy, his will to win, Dan Gable, Cael Sanderson, going through multiple surgeries, physical therapy, mental challenges of day to day life, professional wrestling, Diamond Dallas Page (DDP), DDP yoga, cutting weight, the Dolce diet, judo, freestyle judo, IJF, gripping rules, competition, coaching, and more.

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

Quotes

Matt on his approach to competition:

“When I compete, I want to win. There’s no doing it for the sake of doing it.”

Matt on striving to improve:

“It bugs me when people have a ‘good enough is good enough’ attitude. No. Sometimes you have to push yourself to be the absolute best.”

Links

22: Olympic and NCAA Wrestling with Charlie Neely and Chris Romanchick

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In episode 22, I talk with Charlie Neely and Chris Romanchick about freestyle, Greco-Roman, folk-style wrestling, Olympics, 2013 World Championships, Dan Gable, John Smith, Cael Sanderson, coaching high school wrestlers, the stacked 165 lbs division with Kyle Dake, David Taylor, Jordan Burroughs, Andrew Howe, “The Losses of Dan Gable” by Wright Thompson, Brent Metcalf, red shirt years, new wrestling rules, women in wrestling, changes to weight classes, cutting weight, rule sets in wrestling and jiu jitsu, and much more.

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

Quotes

Charlie on his approach to coaching high school wrestlers:

“There’s no getting around the fact that I’m going to be pushing them, and they’re going to be working hard. I’ve learned over the years that wrestling is fun. I didn’t always know that. I didn’t realize it until later in life. I’m hoping to be able to communicate that to the kids and show them how wrestling can be fun. I think it’s all too easy to get caught up in the weight management part of the sport and the grind nature of the sport and the pressure that comes from competing or from parents.”

Chris on the value of wrestling or jiu jitsu in developing young minds:

“I think some of the best lessons you learn in life are lessons you learn on the mat, be it jiu jitsu or be it wrestling. It’s just honest, it’s real.”

Taking something  Charlie said completely out of context:

“Russia is #1.”

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.

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

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.)

20: Marco Perazzo on Coaching, Running a Jiu Jitsu School, and Being Friends with Tim Carpenter

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In episode 20, Tim Carpenter and I talk with Marco Perazzo, a BJJ black belt, head instructor of NJMA. We talk about comic books, how Tim and Marco met,  evolution of jiu jitsu, BJJ in the Philadelphia area, old Maxercise days, how the world sees you when  you’re fat, podcasting, being true to yourself, friendship, loyalty, coaching, the value of competition, not dwelling on the past, the Trolley problem, and more.

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

Quotes

Marco introducing Tim:

“I heard it said that Tim is like an onion: no matter how deep you get, it’s still onion, it stinks, it makes you cry. And I found that to be the exact opposite.”

Tim on not caring what strangers think:

“It’s part of  being a man: being who you are regardless of what other people think.”

Links

Clip of How Marco and Tim Met

YouTube Version of Full Audio Interview

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

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.

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

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