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The Sonny Brown Breakdown
76 minutes | 7 days ago
Initiating No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu for the Next Generation of Grapplers With Chris Brennan
I talk to Chris Brennan, the O.G of No-Gi. Chris is an MMA Hall of Famer and 3-time No-Gi world champion, but perhaps might not be as well known for starting the first No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu school in America back in 1998 after leaving the Gracie Academy. We discuss what the Gracie Academy and the change to No-Gi were like and how he learned to train his students while competing in MMA. We also discuss how he has taken those lessons and passed them on to his sons with their MMA & grappling careers.
111 minutes | a month ago
Importance of Offense vs. Dependable Defense With Priit Mihkelson & School Of Grappling
In this episode, I talk to Priit Mihkelson and Andy from School of Grappling. The episode takes on a unique debate format on the topic of Offense Vs. Defence, With Andy taking the side of offence and Priit being on the defence side. With the issue being reasonably broad, it takes some interesting turns from a general conceptual overview of the topic to practical applications of the technique, the learning and teaching of grappling. Both guys had some fun with the subject, and I am sure you will too!
97 minutes | 2 months ago
Leg Locking in the MMA Melee & Elegant Leg Entanglements for Vale Tudo With Robert Degle
I talk to Robert Degle who is a Danaher Death Squad member and trains under John Danaher. We discuss the use of leg locks in MMA, how leg attacks can be used either poorly or how they can be applied in a more high percentage manner. We do this by talking about some of the greatest leg lockers in MMA like Imanari, Ryan Hall, Rousimar Palhares and Marcin Held. Along with some of the essential MMA bouts containing leg lock battles and go through Gary Tonons career in One F.C. to examine the D.D.S. use of MMA leg entanglements.
102 minutes | 2 months ago
Free Thinking Fusion of Fist Fights, Submissions, Shooto, Scarfhold & Synergetic Spirit With Erik Paulson
I talk to one of the forefathers of American MMA & submission grappling, founder of Combat Submission Wrestling, Erik Paulson. We discuss the benefits of note-taking and the ability to be a free thinker and having freedom of movement, along with stories of the early days of training with the Gracies & the Machado Brothers alongside Shooto & Catch Wrestling. We get into some specifics on Kesa Gatame, Neck Cranks & Leg Locks and we also end up going deep on the power of meditation, spirit, heart & energy.
72 minutes | 2 months ago
Being a BJJ Globetrotter, Busting up Tribalism, Belt Bureaucracy & Building a Clubhouse With Christian Graugart
I talk to Christian Graugart who is the founder of BJJ Globetrotters, a community that runs seminars & camps around the world that discourages jiu-jitsu politics. We discuss the role of tribalism in BJJ and the benefits of thinking outside the box. The desire for social recognition that drives the need for many competition accomplishments and their recent issues with the IBJJF and their Beltchecker website as a possible alternative. Along with tips on training, teaching & building a friendly culture at your club.
66 minutes | 3 months ago
Life Lessons from the Worlds Longest Lockdown with Denis Kelly
I talk to Denis Kelly who runs the Australian Combat Sports Academy in Melbourne and has a Black Belt in BJJ, Zen Do Kai Karate and has fought MMA professionally while training worldwide. We had this discussion after his state just came out of the worlds longest lockdown where Melbourne was under curfew, and he was unable to operate his gym, but he persisted with teaching online lessons the entire time. We discuss what he learned during that period regarding club culture and teamwork and what helped him endure during those difficult times.
86 minutes | 4 months ago
Down Under to Danaher, Peurto Rico, Pro Grappling & Providing Entertainment With Craig Jones
I talk to Craig Jones about his start in Australia, to moving to America to train with the Danaher team and now preparing in Puerto Rico. We discuss how his goals grew over time, how he teaches seminars and uses them to train and train other aspects of training with the DDS. We also discuss the importance of marketing as a professional grappler and earn a living from the sport at the highest levels where the line between sports and sports entertainment can change.
94 minutes | 5 months ago
Weighty Issues of Weight Loss and Weight Cutting for Combat Sports with Dr Reide Reale
Reid Reale is a BJJ Black Belt who also hols a master’s degree in dietetics and a PhD in sports nutrition. His PhD thesis was entitled “Optimising Acute Body Mass Management in Australian Olympic Combat Sports”, he completed while working as a dietitian at the A.I.S. and for the Australian Olympic Combat Sports athletes before and after the 2016 Rio Olympics. Additionally, he published other research papers in the field titled "Acute weight management in combat sports: pre-weight-in weight loss, post-weight-in recovery and competition nutrition strategies" & The effect of water loading on acute weight loss following fluid restriction in combat sports athletes". Since then he has worked as a sports scientist at the Gatorade sports institute before starting a role as performance nutrition manager at the U.F.C. Pi in Shanghai, China. There he has worked with the local Chinese team managing nutrition, weight loss & weight cuts and after the recording of the interview, he has been over at fight island helping competitors with their weight cuts there. We discuss these issues and the practicalities around dealing with the fighters in his programs and more. If you are interested in learning more about the subject you can purchase his book called "Combat Sports Nutrition" at https://combatsportsnutritionebook.com/ which has been recently updated and use the discount code "sonnybrown" for a 40% discount!
72 minutes | 6 months ago
BJJ Mental Models of Blading, Tempo & Establishing Offensive Cycles With Matt Kwan
I talk to Matt Kwan who is a BJJ Black Belt under Rob Biernacki and also Co-Hosts the podcast BJJ Mental Models with his brother Steve Kwan. We discuss concepts of belt tests and grading with the differences between adults and children and then explore essential concepts used by Gordon Ryan and the DDS. These include tempo in jiu-jitsu described through the terms of offensive and defensive cycles and blading to redirect frames while attacking and how these can help you learn BJJ faster and more efficiently.
63 minutes | 7 months ago
Unconventional Growth in Grappling & A Universal Theory of Guard With Chris Paines
I talk to Chris Paines who describes himself as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt who has never done Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He started training submission grappling somewhat isolated from the larger BJJ scene in Staffordshire, England but began attending BJJ Globetrotters camps where he met Priit Mihkelson. It was at these camps where he was graded up and awarded his black belt by Priit. The unconventional way he learned made him forced him to emphasise understanding the concepts behind grappling, which he describes as a machine of physics and biology through which using concepts the techniques can emerge. We discuss these conceptual ideas and specifically his universal theory of guard which has him focusing on control points and applying other lessons from wrestling that has allowed him to progress. .
129 minutes | 7 months ago
Reformation of Rituals Based on Research, Sparring & Self Determination Theory With Priit Mihkelson
I talk to Priit Mihkelson who is a BJJ Black Belt with a unique take on how BJJ can be taught and learned. We discuss how Priit structures his class and sparring sessions to encourage new behaviour but in the bulk of the interview, we discuss the practice of "clapping" back to an instructor after counting 3 2 1. It ends up taking us to interesting places like how rituals are formed, how they could be reformed, evidence-based teaching practices, motivation, self-determination theory by the time we finish.
59 minutes | 7 months ago
Fusing Sambo Into the Grappling Universe & Unity Over Division With Vlad Koulikov
I talk to Vlad Koulikov who is a Master of Sport in Sambo aswell as a BJJ & Judo Black Belt who grew up in Russia and before moving to America where he started an academy with a blend of grappling called Sambo Fusion. We discuss the history, elements, rankings & rules of Sambo as well as the differences with Combat Sambo. Also, the challenges he faced when fusing BJJ & Sambo and how he believes in unity over the division between the arts can benefit both. We finish by discussing his time training at Sambo 70, a school in Russia that combines both academic & Sambo training.
91 minutes | 8 months ago
The Purpose of Pragmatism, Persuasion, Jiu Jitsu & John Danaher with Robert Degle
I talk to Robert Degle who is a BJJ Black Belt who trains under John Danaher and is also a philosophy major. We discuss how he started BJJ in the blue basement with Danaher, His start with philosophy and existentialism and how this lead to him pursuing an academic career with a focus on American pragmatism and Wittgenstein. We then explore how this can influence grappling training in regards to learning, competition, seeking the truth using logic, paying attention and the importance of persuasion.
75 minutes | 8 months ago
The Husky History of Folk Wrestling Styles & the Hero With a Thousand Holds With Ruadhán MacFadden
I talk to Ruadhán MacFadden. He runs a project titled The Hero with a Thousand Holds which looks at the culture and practice of folk wrestling styles around the world. In particular the people and places that the styles have emerged from and not just the techniques which they used. We discuss some of the mythology and culture behind these styles and what the future holds for them. And we get into some of the particulars of Icelandic Glima and Irish Collar and Elbow Wrestling and Scuffling.
92 minutes | 8 months ago
The Good, Bad & Beautiful Truth in the Origins of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu With Robert Drysdale
I talk to Robert Drysdale. He is a storied competitor, ADCC Champion, Mundials Champion and has also coached many other legends of the sport. Also a History major, he has spent his recent time delving into the history of the sport for a documentary entitled Closed Guard: The Origins of Jiu-Jitsu in Brazil that traces the journey of Japanese Judoka travelling to Brazil and the formation of the sport we know today involving tough guys, the circus, outlaws, gambling, marketing & promotion and of course plenty of prize fights along the way. The entire saga makes for a fascinating tale that leaves us with the question of where the good and bad of the story rests between the truth and the myth. After all was it Mitsuyo Maeda that made the legend of Carlos Gracie or Carlos Gracie that made the legend of Mitsuyo Maeda?
67 minutes | 8 months ago
Efficiency in Learning Techniques, Making Decisions and Mental Models for BJJ With Steve Kwan
I talk to Steve Kwan. Steve is one half of the excellent podcast BJJ Mental Models, he is also a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and works professionally at a tech company improving efficiency in process and operations. We discuss how he has taken lessons learned there and with the use of mental models how they can be applied to learning techniques and making decisions for jiu-jitsu. Also, how parameters and constraints can benefit learning and if the influx of information from social media and instructional could possibly benefit or harm the growth or development of Jiu-Jitsu training.
87 minutes | 8 months ago
The Art of Aliveness, Fundamentals & Functional Delivery Systems With Matt Thornton
I talk to Matt Thornton. Matt is the founder of Straight Blast Gym International or SBG and is a 4th-degree BJJ Black Belt under Chris Hauter. We discuss how coming up in the 90s lead him to emphasise training against resisting opponents in a concept he outlines further called Aliveness. Also, how cross-training in multiple arts can teach you the delivery systems of each style while also identifying the common themes between them all, which can then be considered fundamentals. And finally, how real-life testing can lead to scepticism and critical thinking to help you identify the truths found in martial arts. Listen On - Apple: https://apple.co/3hRHlDg Spotify: https://spoti.fi/32Sc0Kl
104 minutes | 9 months ago
Playful Pedagogy, Cognition, Concepts & Gamification of Micro Battles for Bjj With Rob Biernacki
I interview Rob Biernacki of Island Top Team. He also runs BJJconcepts.net, and we discuss his thoughts on BJJ pedagogy, different teaching and cognitive learning strategies, gamification of jiu-jitsu drills which he calls micro battles also developing training mentality for fun and longevity. Finally, how his geographic isolation forced diversity in his information set, his rank requirements for what makes a black belt and he delivers an epic rant on the proliferation of conspiracy theories in BJJ circles.
55 minutes | 9 months ago
Utility of Self-Directed Learning, Studying Tape and Optimising Lesson Structure With Lachlan Giles
I interview Lachlan Giles. We discuss how his persistence over years of competition culminated in things coming together for him on the day to take out Bronze in the ADCC 2019 Absolute division. We also examine how he optimally narrowed his focus and training for that specific competition, the importance of self-directed learning and the value obtained from breaking down competition footage. Also, how some scientific principles might apply to Jiu-Jitsu teaching methodology and lesson structure with details of one attempted study he undertook. Finally, he considers a possible direction of where he sees the no-gi grappling game evolving.
55 minutes | 9 months ago
Risk-Taking in Mixed Martial Arts and the Distinction Between Fighting and Violence With Dr Alex Channon
I talk to Dr Alex Channon, a Senior Lecturer in Physical Education and Sport Studies at the University of Brighton and on the board of The Martial Arts Studies Research Network. He also manages a group called Love fighting, hate violence which promotes teaching non-violence through martial arts. He authored a paper titled Edgework and Mixed Martial Arts: Risk, Reflexivity and Collaboration in an Ostensibly 'Violent' Sport that explores the nature of violence and risk in MMA which we discuss in depth.
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