Mr. Andrew Freund is a sumo practitioner and the promoter of the US Sumo Open with a background in kendo, tai chi & aikido.
"And when I reflect back on it, if someone had done something only for business, they might get great results, but there would probably be something lacking in terms of integrity, the authenticity and the passion."
It hit me one day that there's a martial art we never talk about in traditional circles. It's rarely in media and yet, it seems like the traditions are older than our interpretations of most traditional martial arts. So it was I went looking for someone we could talk to about the art of Sumo.
When you research Sumo in the United States, you inevitably find information about today's guest. As a sumo practitioner, event promoter, talent agent and so much more, Mr. Andrew Freund has dedicated his life to the art of Sumo. It was very clear after some research that this was the man to have on the show, and I'm so pleased he accepted the invitation.
Did you know we have several different styles of t-shirts available right now? That's right. With sizes that will fit nearly anyone, there's probably one you'd love to wear. Check out our shirts, and everything we offer, at whistlekick.com
We bring back two past guests that are passionate about martial arts competition - Master Huzon Alexander and Mr. Richard Osborn. We chat about what we're doing wrong - and right - in the current competitive landscape.
On today's episode we discuss the following subjects and more:
We talk about two individuals we're hoping to have on the show soon - Mr. Ross Levine & Mr. Raymond Daniels.
For full show notes & other episodes, please visit:
Sensei Ando Mierzwa is a longtime martial arts practitioner and the host of the Fight for a Happy Life podcast.
"If your tricks aren't working, you better find new tricks."
My first experience with Sensei Ando was sort of a strange one, at least, not one you might expect. In an effort to promote martial arts podcast overall, we put together a post we titled "Best Martial Arts Podcasts." It's no secret that we're not the only martial arts podcast, and I honestly listen to several of them. I always liked the material Sensei Ando included in his episodes, so we put him on the list.
That led to some social media conversation and a number of emails. A bit over a year later we connected again and decided it was time that we get to put him through our questions. That brings us to now when we have a chance to hear from the man who reminds of the importance of a smile at the end of each one of his episodes.
What are you wearing right now? If it's not a pair of our Cloud9 sweatpants, you're not as comfortable as you could be. :) Find them at whistlekick.com, and buy yourself two pairs... otherwise, you're not going to want to take them off long enough to wash. (In all seriousness, this is a complaint we hear from parents that have purchased a pair for their children!)
25 Drills to Improve Your Martial Arts Forms - Kata, Poomsae, Tul, Patterns, Routines... etc
On today's episode, we tackle 25 different ways you can improve your martial arts forms. See the list below, but listen to the episode for explanations, notes, and a few tangents.
Practice performing your martial arts forms...
For the rest of the list, please visit:
On today's episode, we referenced Episode 158 - Resistance Training for Martial Arts. You may also want to check out Episode 113 - Different Training Environments.
Mr. Randy Moy is a practitioner of Chinese martial arts from Massachusetts, with a beginning in Wing Chun and current training in Tai Chi.
Martial arts is a life practice. That doesn't mean you practice for the rest of your life, but I think what makes things powerful with me is that it's really incorporated into my life.
Today's guest is a thoughtful martial artist. Mr. Randy Moy struck me from the outset as a very contemplative person and someone with a lot to share. Today's episode brings us inside his life and his transition from Wing Chun to Tai Chi. While today's episode isn't full of high-impact stories, it's easily one of the most quotable interviews we've had.
We've started making some of our podcast episodes available as eBooks. Do you know a martial artist that doesn't have an interest in listening to these shows, but might enjoy reading some of the best ones? Be sure to recommend our books. Our first interview - none other than Bill Wallace - is available here. Find our eBooks on Amazon in the Kindle store.
For show notes and other episodes please visit:
In this episode, we explore real-world strategies for continuing martial arts training as your body ages. Tips and mindset advice for the older martial artists, or those that hope to be.
Mr. Jon Call is better known by his online handle Jujimufu. With deep roots in traditional martial arts, he's gone on to fame for his tricking, strength, flexibility, and general athleticism.
I can still get stronger, I can still build more muscle, I can still learn new moves. I'm still 31, I've got more years in me before I see a slower decline.
I first learned of today's guest through an online video someone shared. I was stunned at his strength and flexibility, especially considering his large size. It was clear this was a man with extreme athleticism. While I'm no tricker, I admire the movements many of them are capable of and I see the influence they've had on martial arts competitions.
It wasn't until I heard him on fitness podcast that I learned Mr. Jon Call started his journey as a traditional martial artist. The man many know only as Jujimufu, who gained notoriety on America's Got Talent for doing a split across two chairs while holding a weighted barbell overhead, came from the same beginnings as most of us. When I heard more of his story I knew we had to have him on the show.
For full show notes, with lots of photos and videos and more, check out:
In this episode, we explore why resistance training is so beneficial in martial arts, how to get started, equipment to consider and what to watch for so you can get the most out of the time while reducing your risk for injury.
Topics from today's episode:
You should check out the blog post we wrote to accompany this episode at whistlekick.com, titled The Top 10 Bodyweight Movements For a Martial Arts Class.
Sensei Roberto Davila is an Arnis & Jujitsu practitioner from Massachusetts, born in Puerto Rico.
I don't think the guy on the street is going to care if I have injuries or not, so I have to find new ways, as I'm slowing down, you know , to make it more simple and very effective.
I had heard stories of today's guest months before I had spoken with him. Months, even, before a listener to the show suggested him and introduced us. The martial arts world can be very small, and today's interview again reminds me of that. I've known Sensei Davila's instructor for some time, as we were introduced by a few past guests. [His instructor's interview was lost due to technical issues and we're in the process of rescheduling.]
Sensei Davila holds nothing back in this episode as he talks about two very different times in his life. Early on, he was a troubled youth, engaged in some of the worst behavior someone can. After finding martial arts, however, he changed. This dramatic shift is seen in the stories he tells and the emotion with which he tells them. It is an honest, open and thoughtful episode that I hope you enjoy.
On today's episode, we tackle the importance of having an instructor, no matter what your rank and experience.
On today's episode, we discuss why it's so critical that every martial artist has someone to learn from - at least one person. Jeremy riffs without a transcript on this installment of the show, talking about some of his varied training experiences and encouraging listeners to take responsibility for their training, even if that makes difficult decisions or having tough conversations.
On this episode, Jeremy references past guest Sensei Earl Smith from episode 17.
For other episodes please visit:
Mr. Charles Murdock is a Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) practitioner with roots in Aikido and Karate.
"You know, he always had this idea of these three legs on a stool. You had your work life, you had your family life and you had your training life. And that when something was going off in one of them you could always lean on the other two."
The more time I spend with this show, and meeting martial artists - in person and virtually - the more I realize the lines between location and style are blurry. It is from these blurry lines that today's guest comes to us. Instructor to a personal friend of mine, Mr. Charles Murdock is a practitioner of Historical European Martial Arts - often called HEMA - who started life with Asian martial arts. He talks to us today about those roots and what he's up to today, and how it all comes together.
Today's product of note is a second mention of our new Horizon colorway of sparring gear. We have some great new photos that really showcase the incredible depth and variances in the swirl color process. Check out all four colors at whistlekick.com
On today's episode, we tackle why repetition of forms is important, how all martial artists could improve with a single focus, ways to improve your sparring and how to self-train with weapons.
In this episode we handle these four questions:
If you like this format, check out our first question & answer show.
Miss Elise Lenahan is a taekwondo black belt as well as a black belt in the Marine Corp Martial Arts Program (MCMAP).
Martial arts isn't just about your form or anything like that, it's about your mentality towards it. If you don't come into it with an open mind, I think sometimes it's really difficult to work with other people, because you're like, you're not supposed to do it that way you're supposed to do it this way. But, sometimes you didn't see that this other way has another advantage for somebody else.
Today's guest is someone I've known for years, but she's on here for a reason. Miss Elise Lenahan is the only person I know - though there are certainly others - to have earned a black belt in a traditional martial art (in this case Taekwondo) and a black belt in the Marine Corp Martial Arts Program (MCMAP). On this episode, we discuss what the process of attaining each was like for her, the differences between the two and what she's taken from her varied experience as a martial artist.
Today's featured product is our sparring gloves. When we developed the gloves, we took a hard look at why everyone else's gloves seemed to fail so quickly. Through our better materials, smarter design and extra reinforcement, we've created gloves that simply don't fail. Personally, my pair is now 4 years old. I may not spar as much as some of you out there, but these have had some use. You can learn more about our gloves and maybe get yourself a pair at whistlekick.com
For full show notes, please visit:
Mrs. April Pettengill, Sensei Katie Jordan and Miss Jessica Henderson return to discuss topics related to women's involvement in the martial arts world.
Last week's Part 1 of the two-part series on women in the martial arts was our best-ever debut for a Thursday episode. We knew there was demand for these conversations but we had no idea how much. Thank you to everyone for sharing and listening. If you haven't heard it, please check out Conversations on Women in Martial Arts: Part 1. There's no need to hear part 1 before part 2, as they're completely independent shows.
We hear from Mrs. April Pettengill, Sensei Katie Jordan, and Miss Jessica Henderson along with host Jeremy Lesniak as they discuss a number of topics related to women and gender differences in the context of martial arts. We discuss everything from classes to uniforms to psychology, with the hope that both male and female listeners will come away with a better understanding and give some thought to subjects that affect us all.
Soke Joe Droual is a long-time martial arts instructor from New York. His background includes karate, jiu-jitsu, Kobudo and kung fu.
The master teacher is the master student, and we're always learning. And I think that that ties in with the martial arts community realizing that their whole lifetime is learning something that is very old, the traditions are showing respect and kindness to everybody and to themselves. Self-development and that is actually, that grounding and that respect, I think, is at the heart of all martial arts.
Soke Joe Droual comes to us from Long Island, New York. A long-time practitioner and instructor, Soke Joe has dedicated his life to martial arts - and you can hear it in his words. On today's episode, we hear why Soke Joe Droual continues to train after so many years, why martial arts is like music and his views on the personal development side of martial arts.
We've seen a lot of sparring gear head out of the warehouse lately - even more so than the weeks leading up to Christmas. Remember, we have four colors now and not a single pair of boots has that silly toe strap. If you want sparring gear that lasts longer and gives better grip on the floor, whistlekick boots are what you want. Find them online at whistlekick.com
We unpack some of the differences - and similarities - between male and female martial artists with two past guests, Renshi Lisa Magiera and Master Amanda Meltzer.
Over the last few months, we've had some listeners ask for more group conversations. Feedback on the Women in Martial Arts episode was very positive, and some listeners asked for more discussion, with women. We've combined those two ideas and brought back Renshi Lisa Magiera and Master Amanda Meltzer to discuss a few subjects related to women in martial arts. This is not an episode that's "for women," and I suspect it will make a lot of people think about some things, regardless of gender.
During this episode we reference our past episode on Helping People Find the Right Martial Arts School.
Sensei Cheryl Murphy is a competitive karate practitioner, best known for her sparring and being a member of Team USA.
Being able to pull myself up from my bootstraps. Of course, you still have your support system, in order to thrive from.
A lot of our guests come from referrals of past guests, and so it was we were introduced to Sensei Cheryl Murphy. We've heard from a number of martial artists who enjoy competing - and some who compete at a very high level. You may see Sensei Murphy at the Olympics in 2020, though, and that would be a first for our guests. As a competitive kumite fighter, Sensei Murphy travels the world sparring. She has numerous national and world titles to her name, but here on the show we learn why competing is so important to her, why she's still passionate about martial arts and how her Mom has been such a strong influence on her life.
You know whistlekick as making awesome sparring gear - and we certainly do that. But we also have a line of apparel that you should check out. Comfortable sweatpants, functional t-shirts and a lot more. Find everything we offer at our online store at whistlekick.com
For show notes please visit:
Mr. Michael Staples is a well-respected authority on Chinese martial arts, with several books to his credit. He's written about and studied Kung fu, White Crane and other styles with some of the American pioneers.
...but Ron is like a ballet dancer. He's just snipping things left and right, he's not getting hit at all. He's being carried into unique angles. At one point he just kind of pops up in the air and flips around with the back of his head and just smacks Steve in the forehead.
We've been fortunate enough to have a number of guests on the show that have talked about the early days of martial arts in America. Today's guest brings us that perspective on the Chinese martial arts and his early days training in California. We hear several times how Mr. Michael Staples life was altered dramatically, and seemingly by forces beyond understanding. What you hear in today's episode is the story of someone who was destined to be the martial artist they became.
Our sparring helmets are the most comfortable head protection you'll ever wear in a martial arts class. If you don't like them, we'll give you your money back. With free shipping every day, there's no risk. Check them out at whistlekick.com
For full show notes please visit:
Zen in the Martial Arts is a classic martial art book written by Joe Hyams. It was recently selected as the #1 martial arts book by guests of this show.
You can read our post on the Top Ten Martial Arts Books as selected by our guests.
It’s time for episode 146 of whistlekick Martial Arts radio, and we’re going to talk about an amazing book that has come up in conversation a lot on this show – Zen in the Martial Arts. Not a reader? You should still stick around because this isn’t a book review.
Let me introduce myself. I'm whistlekick’s founder but I’m better known as your host on this show. My name is Jeremy Lesniak. whistlekick makes the best sparring gear you can get as well as some great apparel and accessories for practitioners and fans of traditional martial arts. I'd like to welcome all of you new listeners and thank everyone that’s come back.
All our past episodes, show notes, and some other good stuff is at whistlekickmartialartsradio.com. From that site, you can sign up for our newsletter, and I hope you do because we offer exclusive content to subscribers, discounts and it's the only place to find out about upcoming guests.
Today’s episode has a full transcript available on the website.
Zen in the Martial Arts, for all of the impact it has had on several generations of martial artists, is short. It’s 140 pages of a small book, and it’s not small font. That might make you think that it’s incomplete, or otherwise lacking, but that isn’t the case.
Reviews for the book continue nearly 40 years later, and on the popular book review sites, the poorest rating I could find was 4.1 out of 5. Amazon, which is known for having the most reviews, shows it as 4.6 of 5.
There are 28 chapters, each one with a title that seems ripped from a classic kung fu movie – Empty your cup, Active Inactvitiy, Extend Your Ki. The chapters are short, most around 5 or 6 pages, and begin with a relevant photo. Most end with a bit of wisdom, like this one: “Life unfolds on a great sheet called Time, and once finished it is gone forever.”
The book discusses some great names from our history, including Ed Parker & Bruce Lee. The chapters tell stories from the author’s time training.
Joe Hyams, while beloved by martial artists for the book he wrote, was not best known as a martial artist or martial arts author. He was a writer, sure, but primarily a celebrity writer. During his career, he wrote or co-wrote books on Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Katharine Hepburn, Frank Sinatra and Chuck Norris.
He studied martial arts for more than 50 years. Beginning with fencing and then, through an introduction by music composer Bronislau Kaper, met Ed Parker. He became one of Parker’s first private students, then soon after, one of his first black belts.
He trained privately with Bruce Lee for two years and introduced him to Hollywood. Hyams was a big piece of Bruce Lee’s start in films. It’s hard to believe that as big of an impact as this book has had, Joe Hyams’ contributions to the martial arts community, via Bruce Lee, were so much greater.
He died in 2008 at age 85.
Most martial arts books are about martial arts or some metaphysical subject. Often times they’re written by people who really know martial arts, but aren’t so good at writing.
Mr. Hyams was a writer and a skilled one at that. He wrote newspaper columns, books, movie scripts… Clearly a varied and masterful writer.
He was also very good at conveying his point simply, something that the very best martial artists seem able to do. This book is 140 pages because Mr. Hyams didn’t need more.
While it has a tremendous amount of martial arts content, it’s not a book exclusively for martial artists. According to Melissa Hyams, his wife at the time he passed in 2008, said the book “isn't really about martial arts. It's about life and philosophy, and how to turn a negative into a positive, how to defuse a situation by the way you handle it. That's what he'll most be remembered for."
To illustrate this, I’ll read to you one of the shortest chapters, “Anger without Action,” which is just over one page:
I don’t remember when my Mother first picked up the book. I have vague memories of it being a gift, and it was likely a gift to her. She started training in 1985, so I’d guess it was in our home between 1985 and 1987. I would have been between 6 and 8, which seems about right.
It was always out. Sometimes on the coffee table, sometimes in the bathroom. It was the first nonchildren's book I read and it’s certainly the book I read most. I’d guess I’ve read it all the way through a dozen times.
It was the bits of wisdom that struck me most. I memorized them before I understood most of them, and as I grew up, life and martial arts showed me what these parables meant. “When you seek it, you cannot find it,” “The angry man will defeat himself in battle as well as in life,” and other sayings had a tremendous influence on me.
In fact, as I think back on my life and my time in the martial arts, behind my instructors and my Mother, this book was the third most influential element.
The copy I have now sits on my bookshelf, unread. Which is ironic and something I plan to change. I think it will end up in the same place in my home that it did when I was a child.
Have you, like many of our guests, read this classic? It’s still available in new copies, and it’s pretty inexpensive. You can find used copies for a few dollars, digital copies or audiobook versions if that’s your think. If you haven’t read it, you should.
I want to know what you think, and you can post your thoughts in the comments at the website - You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram – just search whistlekick. Or, just leave us a comment on the show notes page at whistlekickMartialArtsRadio.com
If you want to be a guest on the show or maybe you have an idea for a show topic, go ahead and fill out the form on the website. And don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter so you can stay up on everything we do. You can learn more about our products at whistlekick.com
That’s all for today. Until next time, Train hard, smile and have a great day.
Mr. Kevin Galloway is a passionate martial arts instructor, school owner and tournament promoter. His stories show an immense dedication to the arts and his students.
You can tell a real black belt. They don't get too excited, they don't get too low, don't get too high. But what they have is the confidence to resolve any conflict, up until, "I'm just going to walk away."
Way back on Episode 31 we had the chance to hear from a good friend of the show, Mr. Cory Rose. Since then he's been every bit as good of a friend, and today's guest comes from that friendship. Mr. Kevin Galloway is a longtime practitioner of both karate and taekwondo, now operating a school and hosting a competition in Oklahoma.
Mr. Galloway opens up about life, his family, his students and what makes a good instructor. The stories range from the emotional to the humorous, and you'll probably find yourself laughing along - and maybe even tearing up.
Today we're announcing a brand new colorway for our gear - Horizon. This is our first colorway using our exclusive UniqueDip color process, which guarantees that every single piece of gear is a little different from the rest, just as you are. Horizon is a slick blue and white blend that is sure to be a hit. Read more at the official announcement, here. Check it out, or the rest of our colors, at whistlekick.com
For full show notes, please visit:
Conversation and Strategies on Handling Challenging Martial Arts Students - Adults & Children
Today's episode is completely off the cuff - no notes, no transcript no guest - just host Jeremy giving you his thoughts on handling challenging individuals in your martial arts school. These tips apply whether you're an instructor, school owner or student. Thanks for listening.
Mrs. April Pettengill is an ITF Taekwondo practitioner & school owner from Northern Vermont who started training later in life.
The whole idea that you learn in martial arts, that you have integrity, and you do what you have to do and take responsibility for that, that...that's a big deal.
Mrs. April Pettengill is not our typical guest. While she's a passionate martial artist, like everyone that comes on the show, she's not a lifelong practitioner. In her own words, she came to taekwondo later in life and originally didn't think it was for her. As time passed she realized that she'd found her calling, eventually taking over her instructor's school. She now teaches adults and children and seems to enjoy every minute of it.
Today's product of note is our super-comfy sweatpants - Cloud9. Check 'em out!
For full show notes and other episodes, please visit:
It’s time for episode 142 of whistlekick Martial Arts radio, and we’re going to profile a man who’s come up in several conversations over the last few months, James Mitose.
Let me introduce myself. I'm whistlekick’s founder but I’m better known as your host on this show. My name is Jeremy Lesniak. whistlekick makes the best sparring gear you can buy as well as some great apparel and accessories for practitioners and fans of traditional martial arts. I'd like to welcome all of you new listeners and thank everyone that’s come back.
All our past episodes, show notes, and some other good stuff is at whistlekickmartialartsradio.com. From that site, you can sign up for our newsletter, and I hope you do because we offer exclusive content to subscribers, discounts and it's the only place to find out about upcoming guests. Today’s episode has a full transcript and some old photos of our subject.
For transcript, photos, show notes & more, please visit:
Grandmaster Rick Alemany is a prominent figure in the world of American Kenpo Karate.
"I just set a goal that I wanted to be the best that I could be."
It was from the efforts of two past guests that we get to hear from Grandmaster Rick Alemany today. Both Professor Brannon Beliso and Mr. Daniel Hartz coordinated with each other and with our guest. They then reached out to us to coordinate it. Personally, I'm glad they did, because I truly enjoyed my conversations with him. Prior to the episode recording, I had a few calls with him, to coordinate schedule and talk about the show. Each time I came away feeling that this man is someone special, and someone I was honored to speak with. I hope that you enjoy hearing what he says and that your reaction is as positive.
For full show notes and other episodes, please visit: