Grapplearts Radio: All Things BJJ, MMA & Grappling

Grapplearts Radio: All Things BJJ, MMA & Grappling

United States

Stephan Kesting is the creator of and In this podcast he discusses Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and submission grappling, and conducts interviews with coaches, fighters and other authorities from these sports.


EP033: Leglocks, Leglocks, Leglocks with Eddie 'Wolverine' Cummings  

Eddie 'Wolverine' Cummings talks with Stephan Kesting about leglocks, including why the heel hook is one of the most powerful submissions in BJJ, how to train them safely, and how to apply them correctly.  Leglocks are incredibly dominant in modern no gi competition, so learn more about them in this podcast.

BJJ and Self Defense: A Conversation with BJJ Blackbelt Jeff Rockwell  

Direct from Isla Mujeres, Mexico, I chat with BJJ black belt Jeff Rockwell about:

How certain techniques are 'discovered' again and again  What the basics are 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 Law enforcement applications of BJJ And much more
Grapplearts Podcast: Gustavo Dantas on BJJ Sports Psychology  

It's one thing to be beaten by a better opponent, but it's quite another to go out there and underperform... to do less than you know you're capable of.  You can be in top shape and have your techniques honed to a razor's edge, but can  still perform poorly in BJJ competition if your mental preparation is lacking.

In this Grapplearts podcast I talk with BJJ black belt Gustavo Dantas about how to use sports psychology to create unshakeable confidence and perform to the best of your ability in competition.

The Second-Ever Grapplearts Q&A Podcast  

The second-ever Grapplearts Radio Q&A format podcast.  In this episode I answer questions from my newsletter readers and cover many topics, including

How to come back to BJJ training after an injury... and not lose your mind while you're rehabbing... Options for transitioning out of Z guard (and half guard in general) to open guard How to improve your BJJ cardio so you don't gas out on the mats so easily A beginner's approach to learning guard passing How to know what techniques you should be focusing on in your drilling
Skepticism and the Martial Arts - An interview with Jeff Westfall  

Stephan Kesting interviews Jeff Westfall from The Martial Brain podcast. They discuss kata vs real training, chi power and other martial hoaxes, and the power of applying a skeptical mindset to learning martial arts.



Bernardo Faria, Double Gold Medallist at the 2015 BJJ Mundials  

In this episode of the Grapplearts Radio Podcast Stephan Kesting talks with Bernardo Faria, the 2015 BJJ Mundials 99kg and Absolute division winner.  

Bernardo Faria talks about...

How he won the Worlds despite 'not being at all talented in jiu-jitsu' Competition mindset going into big tournaments His highly individual BJJ gameplan What he's learned training with Marcelo Garcia in NYC The physical conditioning routine that gets him into top shape for competition How he's modifying his game to work no-gi in ADCC And much more...
Roxanne Modaferri on training, fighting and continuing to improve in MMA  

Stephan Kesting interviews Roxanne Modaferri about the differences between MMA training in Japan and the USA, continuing to improve after 12 years in the sport, snapping a 6 fight losing streak, and what tryouts forThe Ultimate Fighter were really like.

Download Stephan Kesting's Roadmap for BJJ book for free at

Drilling for BJJ Excellence - Stephan interviews SBG's Steve Whittier  

Steve Whittier is a cool guy. He manages to combine both thoughtful analyses and controversial opinions into one eloquent package.

In this interview we talked about lots of different BJJ and MMA related topics, but the main emphasis and recurring theme was functional drilling and the efficacy of different types of BJJ training methods.

BJJ Beginner Tips with BJJ Black Belt Ritchie Yip  

BJJ Black Belts Ritchie Yip and Stephan Kesting have a wide-ranging discussion, vaguely centered around tips that BJJ beginners need to know.  

Material covered includes:

Whether beginners should in their own class or mixed in with more advanced people

Things to look for when checking out a new school

How to avoid situations where you’re just going to get maliciously rag dolled by senior students

How instructors can teach a class of differing levels

What the the only real spiritual benefits of martial arts training is

How to tell if a martial arts school is run by a complete A-hole

Why training with black belts only is a huge mistake

What happens when people interested in taking a kickboxing class end up in the jiu-jitsu class by mistake…

Why learning jiu-jitsu is much harder than learning boxing, and how not to get discouraged during that learning process

The most insane idea Stephan has ever had for making a training dummy

And much more...

For more about Ritchie check out

For more about Stephan check out

How to Build a Successful BJJ Gameplan  

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 here.  And along the way we also discuss self defense, the role of competition, and the evolution of new techniques and positions in BJJ.

If you want to download Elliott's Complete Spider Guard Gameplan Mindmap for free visit

Brandon Mullins Round 2: Training, Competition, Evolution and Transitions  

This is a really cool interview with my friend, black belt, and fierce competitor Brandon 'Wolverine' Mullins.  Brandon and I originally worked together to create the highly acclaimed instructional How to Defeat the Bigger, Stronger Opponent Volume 2.

In our time together today Brandon and I discuss,

Life and death on the seminar circuit, What changes you need to make to your guard to transition from gi to no-gi, How to connect moves together to make a smooth and fluid game, The evolution of jiu-jitsu, including the new positions and strategies that are continuously changing the sport, Why you always need to pushing to improve your position even when you're ahead on points. And much more...
Adam Singer on Modern MMA Training and Competition  

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. He’s an outspoken guy, so I’m sure we’ll have a good conversation.

Scott Nelson Interview  

Stephan Kesting interviews Scott Nelson from On the Mat about the history and evolution of BJJ in North America.  Along the way Scott shares some pretty crazy stories from his travels around the world.

Ritchie Yip on the Art and Science of Teaching Martial Arts  

Stephan Kesting interviews BJJ black belt Ritchie Yip about the art and science of teaching martial arts.  Lots of tips and tricks for teachers and aspiring instructors in this one!

Clark Gracie on Training, Competition, and Growing Up Gracie  

Stephan talks with 2013 Pan American middlweight champion Clark Gracie about training, competition, growing up Gracie, and yes, that famous picture with the hair and the omoplata.

Stephan Interviews MMA Matchmaker John Perretti,  

Stephan interviews John Perretti, the matchmaker for the early UFC and the EFC (Extreme Fighting Championship).  He put together some of the most iconic matches in the UFC before Zuffa took it over in 2001.  

In this interview he talks about the rules and weight classes he created for the fledgling sport of Mixed Martial Arts (a term that he is credited with coining), how he found and selected fighters, brain trauma in the combat sports, his disdain for the current state of the UFC, and much more.

Rafael Lovato Jr on Training for High Level BJJ Competition  

Stephan Kesting interviews Rafael Lovato Jr, one of the most successful North American BJJ competitors.  They discuss technique, mindset, training, conditioning, and the keys to being successful in competition.  The full transcript of this interview is available at

Stephan Kesting interviews Black Belt Hall of Famer Philip Gelinas  

Stephan Kesting interviews one of his most influential teachers, 9th degree Kajukenbo black belt and Black Belt Hall of Famer Philip Gelinas. Topics include the evolution of Georges St Pierre, the relevance of BJJ and MMA to self defense, grappling with sticks and knives, and how the martial arts continue to change and adapt in the 21st century.

Burton Richardson on Training and Performing under Pressure  

Burton Richardson talks about training and performing under pressure in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, MMA, and Full Contact Stickfighting.

Plus he shares lessons learned from such martial arts luminaries as Dan Inosanto, the Machados Brothers, Egan and Enson Inoue, Baret Yoshida, Chris Leben, Eric Knauss, Antonio Illustrisimo, and Charuto Verissimo.

Keenan Cornelius on training, competition, and a life in BJJ  

Keenan Cornelius is a BJJ phenomenon.  Having won double gold medals at four of the biggest IBJJF tournaments - The World Jiu-Jitsu Championship, Pan-American Championship, European Open Championship, and the Brazilian National Jiu-Jitsu Championship, he's one of the most active, most successful North American competitors on the scene today.  

In this interview with Stephan Kesting from, Keenan talks about his training regimen, competition mindset, dealing with nerves, his time at Team Lloyd Irvin, and what he hopes to accomplish in the future. 

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