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This week, we're joined by one of our most often requested guests: Sonny Brown! Sonny, also known as "that other BJJ podcast guy," is working on a kesa gatame instructional. He joins us to share core concepts on this underutilized position. We debunk common kesa gatame misconceptions: "They'll just take my back" "They'll just bridge me over" "They'…
 
We've got a bonus episode for you this week! Rob Biernacki joins us to introduce arm drag concepts from his new instructional. Learn about Rob Biernacki's arm drag concepts here: Rob Biernacki: The BJJ 2 on 1 Grip, with Advanced Details https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-9tV6kU018 The Arm Drag and 2 on 1 Formula, with Rob Biernacki and Stephan Kesti…
 
This week, we're joined by Christian Graugart. Christian is the founder of BJJ Globetrotters, Beltchecker.com, and TeachingBJJ.com. In this episode, we break down Christian's five-part framework for creating: failure, brains, skills, ideas, and karma. Christian's creations: “Create Something” workshop with Christian Graugart https://youtu.be/gqtTRF…
 
This week, we're joined by Adam Medlock. Adam is the lead autism educator for a special school in the UK. He has worked with children and young adults with autism for most of his professional life. Adam joins us to educate the grappling community on autism. He provides a framework for understanding the autism spectrum and making BJJ more inclusive …
 
This week, Steve and Matt talk about frames. Can you believe we made it 127 episodes deep without doing a full episode on this topic? This is probably the most in-depth and conceptual discussion of frames you'll ever hear. Some key points about frames: Frames are a structural barrier used to keep your opponent at a distance. Frames and wedges are v…
 
This week we're joined again by Livia Giles! Livia's expecting, and will be adding motherhood to her long list of achievements! In this episode, we discuss Livia's experience with pregnancy, and how she balances being an expecting mother with the lifestyle of an elite-level BJJ black belt and coach. Mental models discussed in this episode: Train Wi…
 
This week, we're joined by the living legend, Rafael Lovato Jr.! Rafael introduces his philosophy of Timeless Jiu-Jitsu, which he used to become one of the greatest champions of his generation. Rafael talks about being a forever student, teaching to learn, finding your why, leading from the front, competition, finding mentors, positivity, mindfulne…
 
This week, Matt and Steve talk about ratchet control: a powerful mental model for using limb rotation to break alignment. There are two directions of ratchet control: Internal rotation: Kimuras, heel hooks, reaps External rotation: Americanas, knee flares. While both are effective, internal rotation normally breaks alignment more than external rota…
 
This week, we're joined by Mike "Doctor Kickass" Piekarski! Mike is a black belt and Doctor of Physical Therapy. We discuss tactics for injury rehab and dispel some of the common myths. Check out Mike Piekarski at http://doctorkickass.com/ Mental models discussed in this episode: Stress and Recovery https://bjjmentalmodels.com/stress-and-recovery/ …
 
This week, we're joined by Marcus Aurelius Anderson! Marcus is a performance coach, TEDx speaker, and bestselling author of "The Gift of Adversity." He joins us to discuss the 80/20 Rule, also known as the Pareto principle, and how its rigorous application can focus and change your life. In this episode, Marcus suggests these three steps for clarif…
 
This week, Steve is joined by psychotherapist and executive coach David Zeitler. David explains his process for coaching as he learned under Robert Kegan. We discuss Robert Kegan's framework for adult development, the self-authoring mindset, world-class performance, what makes someone coachable, what makes a good coach, resistance to help, the diff…
 
This week, Steve is joined by Dominyka "Dom" Obelenyte! On that mats, Dom is a 4x BJJ world champion...but off the mats, she's also an accomplished artist. Together, we explore the "art" component of the gentle art. Dom helps us understand the definition of art, being uniquely who you are, building your professional skillset, goal setting, assignin…
 
Steve is rejoined by Jeff Shaw from Bellingham BJJ. Steve and Jeff do a deep dive into the art of professional wrestling, why it's so misunderstood, and why it's an excellent base for BJJ. Don't forget to check out BJJ Mental Models Premium! If you love the podcast, you’ll definitely love our premium membership offerings. The podcast is truly just …
 
How does a brush with death change the way you live your life? This week, Steve is joined by Daniel Rodriguez, black belt and cancer survivor. We talk about how experiencing his own mortality taught Daniel to live with intention. Mental models discussed in this episode: Mindfulness https://bjjmentalmodels.com/mindfulness/ Kaizen https://bjjmentalmo…
 
Steve here. I told Rob Biernacki that we could record an episode on gripfighting and kuzushi to coincide with the release of his new instructional on the same topic. This was a big mistake. Rob could not get his mic working - which, of course, he blamed on our recording software. I later learned that he was recording from HIS MOM'S HOUSE, where I a…
 
This week, we're joined again by “Papa Tortoise,” Priit Mihkelson! Priit talks about the best practices Jiu-Jitsu can take from other sports, such as pedagogic methods, the importance of play, and a reduced emphasis on hierarchy. Mental models discussed in this episode: Keep it Playful https://bjjmentalmodels.com/keep-it-playful/ Scientific Method …
 
Steve here! Please check out this quick update on what we've been working on in the last year, and where we're going in the next. Don't forget to check out BJJ Mental Models Premium! If you love the podcast, you’ll definitely love our premium membership offerings. The podcast is truly just the tip of the iceberg – the next steps on your journey are…
 
This week, Steve is joined by Judo world champion and 4x BJJ world champion Kathy Hubble. Kathy shares the tactics and adjustments that make Judo throws more effective in BJJ. Here's the YouTube video we reference in this episode: Judo for BJJ; Stephan Kesting and Kathy Hubble https://youtu.be/8wScXUDkwB8 Mental models discussed in this episode: Pr…
 
This week, Steve is joined by Matt Kirtley, best known as Aesopian. In addition to being a moderator of Reddit's /r/bjj and a long-time Jiu-Jitsu blogger, Matt is a critic of martial arts cults. Matt joins us today to discuss the BITE (behavior, information, thought, emotional control) Model and influence continuum. The BITE Model and influence con…
 
This week Steve is joined by Brian Glick, black belt from the Danaher Death Squad. We discuss methods versus outcomes, how to know if we're on the right path, and how to tell if the resulting fallacy is leading us astray. Mental models discussed in this episode: Probabilistic Thinking https://bjjmentalmodels.com/probabilistic-thinking/ Position Ove…
 
This is it: the ultimate onboarding package for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Jeff Shaw, co-owner of Bellingham BJJ and host of Dirty White Belt Radio, joins us to tell absolute beginners what they need to know about Jiu-Jitsu. If you're looking to start BJJ, or you're introducing someone to BJJ, play this episode. Topics discussed in this episode: How to i…
 
This week, Steve and Matt are rejoined by Dr. Valerie "Valhalla" Worthington. We have a thoughtful discussion on the ego, how it can hinder us, how it can help us, and whether "killing" the ego is a good idea. Mental models discussed in this episode: Beginner's Mind https://bjjmentalmodels.com/beginners-mind/ Respect People, Not Positions https://b…
 
This week, Steve and Matt dive into knee on belly and break down the position using the mental models we discuss on the show. Uke's predictable responses from knee on belly: Getting to their side - either turning toward or away from you Attacking your feet Getting their foot on your hip or inverting into a leg entanglement Critical control points f…
 
This week, Steve is joined by Bruce Hoyer from Next Edge Academy. Bruce is best known for pioneering the reverse classroom model in BJJ. If you've been looking for a new and empowering way to structure your learning or classes, this is the episode for you. IMPORTANT: BJJ Mental Models needs your help. In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the future f…
 
This week, Steve and Matt are joined by multi-time world champion Emily Kwok. Having studied directly with Marcelo Garcia and Josh Waitzkin, Emily joins us to share her expertise on the study of peak performance. Mental models discussed in this episode: Kaizen https://bjjmentalmodels.com/kaizen/ Flow https://bjjmentalmodels.com/flow/ Stress and Rec…
 
This week, Steve and Matt are joined by Nelson Puentes, the co-founder of Inverted Gear. Nelson shares the story of the business and is generous with advice to other entrepreneurs who are looking to get started. We discuss the importance of branding, the joy of logistics, and how to pivot during adversity. Oh...and we talk about short shorts. IMPOR…
 
This week, Steve is joined again by Robert Degle. Robert shares his experience with information literacy, and how grapplers can answer the questions: how do I know this technique is a good technique? And what makes a technique good, anyway? Due to incorrect audio settings in this episode, it sounds like Steve is yelling through a megaphone. We did …
 
This week, Steve is joined by the internet's favorite professor, Stephan Kesting. We have a post-mortem on the disastrous year that was 2020, discuss how we can develop a resilient mindset, and how the BJJ community can heal and recover in 2021. Mental models discussed in this episode: Raise the Level in the Room https://bjjmentalmodels.com/raise-t…
 
This week, Steve and Matt are joined by one of Steve's personal Jiu-Jitsu heroes, Dr. Valerie “Valhalla” Worthington! Dr. Worthington shares her expertise in coaching, both on and off the mats. We have a great discussion on the ethics of being a coach, getting more women into Jiu-Jitsu, and celebrating our differences. Mental models discussed in th…
 
This week, Matt is joined by Judo legend Shintaro Higashi for a super detailed and technical discussion of grip strategy. Mental models discussed in this episode: Mirrored Stances https://bjjmentalmodels.com/mirrored-stances/ Inside Channel Control https://bjjmentalmodels.com/inside-channel-control/ Train With Purpose https://bjjmentalmodels.com/tr…
 
This week, we're joined by Dr. David Ley. In addition to being a clinical psychologist and frequent contributor to Psychology Today, David is a Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Roberto Alencar. He's the perfect guest to discuss one of our most frequently requested topics: depression and Jiu-Jitsu. Mental models discussed in this episode: Habits Over Resu…
 
The juice. The sauce. The bomba. It's prevalent in our sport. But is it true that everyone uses them? And regardless, would that justify using them yourself? This week, we're joined again by Lachlan Giles to discuss the ethics of performance-enhancing drug use in BJJ, and the recent firestorm around his principled comments on Instagram. Research re…
 
This week, we're joined again by Island Top Team black belt Rory van Vliet. Rory helps us answer the question: when you are a caregiver, how do you use Jiu-Jitsu safely and with compassion? If you ever wanted to learn how to use Jiu-Jitsu to safely subdue Grandma, this is the episode for you. Mental models discussed in this episode: Theory of Align…
 
What a milestone! This week, Steve and Matt celebrate 100 episodes of BJJ Mental Models, and share the biggest lessons we've learned so far. We also discuss cat litter options, feline dietary considerations, and fail hard at pronouncing German names. Mental models discussed in this episode: Investing in Loss https://bjjmentalmodels.com/investing-in…
 
Hello everyone and welcome to the Mental Jiujitsu Podcast. I'm your host, Jonathan (but you can call me Mirth), and I hope you enjoy your stay while you're here. In this episode, I am joined by one of my favorite musicians on the planet, Braxton Cook.Listening to Braxton share the context of the origins of his music-making process, makes it that mu…
 
In this episode, I am joined by my friend and the psychonaut himself, Tom Mountjoy. Tom has a rich experience of life, and in this conversation, he shares his stories and experiences in the Solomon Islands, his reflections on a life exploring, seeking not external answers, but internal experiences, and at the very heart of it all, simply being open…
 
This week, Steve and Matt are joined by Lachlan and Livia Giles! Lachlan and Livia share their world-class wisdom on developing your grappling style, and advise how you can consciously guide the process of style development. Mental models discussed in this episode: Inside Channel Control https://bjjmentalmodels.com/inside-channel-control/ Prioritiz…
 
In this episode, I'm joined by my friend, Adam McArthur, who is a martial artist, actor, and entrepreneur. He's the voice of Marco Diaz on Star vs. the Forces of Evil on Disney, and has been in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, The Adventures of Puss in Boots, Final Fantasy, Far Cry, and S.A.L.E.M, and he's even the announcer voice on Disney XD. What stri…
 
In this episode, I speak with Dr. Locatelli Rao - more colloquially known and referred to as Dr. Loc - about the in's and out's of his practice as a physical therapist, horror stories in the clinic, his mindset now as compared to before, the matrix, and among other things, what specific issues in the human body that he sees are becoming more and mo…
 
This week, Steve and Matt are joined by Robert Degle! We have a deep conversation around the win conditions of our sport, how they influence our behavior, and why it's important to understand WHY we train Jiu-Jitsu. Mental models discussed in this episode: Win Conditions https://bjjmentalmodels.com/win-conditions/ Cognitive Load https://bjjmentalmo…
 
I first met this week's guest in person before a workshop in Costa Mesa. It was a cloudy morning that day - a bit hazy, a bit foggy, but not the least bit dreadful or gloomy. He'd flown in the night before from the east coast, and I thought to myself that a bit of hospitality is in order, so I offered to take him out to this place called Rooster's …
 
This week, we're joined by defensive strategist Priit Mihkelson! Much to Matt's chagrin, Steve and Priit espouse the benefits of turtle and why it's an underappreciated position. Priit shares some great philosophy on how shoring up your defense can give you the confidence to be more effective in your offense. Priit's tips for turtle: Keep your head…
 
This week, Seb Lavoie joins us again for a second dive into the conflict mindset. Seb shares his wealth of experience to discuss frequently asked conflict-related questions, such as situational awareness, home invasion preparation. Seb also shares some incredible stories from his career in the field. Mental models discussed in this episode: Cogniti…
 
This week on the podcast, we're joined once again by Sergeant Major Seb Lavoie. Seb shares his expertise on the mindset required to manage conflict. We also discuss a dozen hypotheticals about getting into a scuffle while waiting in line at the bank teller. Seb references two books in this episode: On Combat, by Dave Grossman On Killing, by Dave Gr…
 
This week, Steve and Matt are joined by Olympian and Judo legend Travis Stevens. Travis shares how he developed the kind of champion's mindset required to succeed at the highest levels. Mental models discussed in this episode: Levels of Competition https://bjjmentalmodels.com/levels-of-competition/ Habits Over Results https://bjjmentalmodels.com/ha…
 
This week, Steve and Matt are joined by Cal McDonald to discuss best practices for educating kids. In addition to being a black belt under Rob Biernacki, Cal is a specialist in creating educational frameworks for children. Cal shares his knowledge on the topic in a wonderful conversation with implications well beyond teaching children. This is one …
 
This week, Steve and Matt are joined by Jon Thomas, the legendary black belt and BJJ instructor. Steve, Matt, and Jon have a spirited discussion about the best way to integrate new techniques into your game. We also discuss the limitations of principles and how being dogmatic about them can hinder your development. Jon suggests four ways to integra…
 
This week, Steve and Matt break down the differences between single and double lever control. In general, single lever control affords more damage, whereas double lever control affords more control. Learn more about this mental model here: https://bjjmentalmodels.com/single-vs-double-lever-control/ Mental models discussed in this episode: Single vs…
 
This week, Steve is once again joined by Rob Biernacki from Island Top Team. If you follow Rob, you know how passionate he is about respecting expertise and calling out impostors. We live in a world where identifying expertise is harder - and more important - than ever. In this episode, we give you the tools to do so. When assessing an expert, bewa…
 
This week, Steve and Matt talk about seated guards! Seated guards are a great way to track and harass your opponent from the bottom. In this episode, you'll also learn why supine guard is sometimes referred to as Ali-Inoki position - which is a much more dignified nickname than how seated guard is referred to as "buttscooting." Mental models discus…
 
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