I first met Shihan Grant Campbell during the March 2016 Superfoot black belt gathering in Florida. It was during this same assembly that I met Kyoshi Kevin Hudson, and, of course, Sensei Terry Dow and Bill Wallace were there. I met a lot of people that weekend, and everyone was very skilled, and a great person to work with. There was one person, though, that stood out for me in the way he helped me through that weekend.
We've all worked with martial arts practitioners that seem to understand us, to know our journey, and to make us better. Shihan Campbell was that person for me, at least on that weekend. I enjoyed his help with the physical aspects of our training, but also really appreciated his humor and stories during meals and downtime. I knew that he was someone we needed to have on the show.
The scheduling took some time, as he's very busy with training, teaching, and travelling, but we made it happen. Listen in, you'll see that it was worth the wait.
Today's featured whistlekick product is our full line of shirts. Quite a few different styles to choose from, including large and youth sizes. With something for everyone, there's no reason not to have a few whistlekick shirts in your drawer or closet.
For full show notes and other episodes, please visit:
What are you doing? I know what you’re doing. You’re getting ready to listen to today’s episode of Martial Arts Radio. Well, here we are. Episode 123 is coming at you in just a moment, and it’s all about Jean-Claude Van Damme.
I'm whistlekick’s founder but I’m better known as your host, Jeremy Lesniak. whistlekick, if you don’t know, makes the absolute best sparring gear, apparel and accessories for practitioners and fans of traditional martial arts. I'd like to welcome all of our new listeners and thank everyone that’s come back again.
All of our past podcast episodes, show notes and a lot more are at whistlekickmartialartsradio.com. From that site you can sign up for our newsletter, and I really think you should, because we offer exclusive content to subscribers, discounts and it's the only place to find out about upcoming guests.
When we take a look at our sales, we’re seeing a lot of our sparring helmets go out to people that do MMA, kickboxing and other sports that are really outside traditional martial arts. Why? Probably because there’s nothing more comfortable and protective than a whistlekick helmet. Just like the rest of our gear, it holds up amazingly well. Check them out at whistlekick.com.
For a full transcript, photos and other show notes, please visit:
Over the last year and a half, there have been guests that I've wanted to get to know better. I've known today's guest for a few years, and despite quite a few conversations, I felt like there was a lot more than I knew. It wasn't more than 15 minutes into today's episode before I realized my instincts were correct- Renshi Craig Sargent had a lot more to say than I'd heard during our brief talks.
Right from the beginning, he opens up, and he takes us on a ride like few have with this show. I can say I know Renshi Sargent much better, now, and I look forward to seeing him more at tournaments and other events.
For full show notes, please visit:
On today's episode we answer four burning questions submitted by the audience.
Today’s episode will be a bit different- because we’re always trying to change things up and bring you some variety. If you follow us on social media, you know we ask a lot of questions – because we want to know what you think about things.
But through those questions comes conversation, and questions coming back to us. And today we’re going to answer some of the questions that you’ve written in. If you like this show and want to see more of this format, let us know and, ideally, send in a question yourself.
Here are the questions we tackle on today's episode:
Q: What do you think Bruce Lee’s career would have looked like if he was alive today?
Q: I’m 18 and love martial arts. I’ve been training since I was 9 but now I’m at college and don’t have very many options to continue my training. There’s a martial arts club on campus but it’s very different from what I’m used to. I’m missing my dojo back home but it’s too far to drive. What should I do?
Q: How long should I stop training if I become injured? I’ve recently messed up my shoulder and it’s getting better, but I really miss my training. Can I just go in and take it easy?
Q: If you had to spend the next year training alone with only one famous martial artist or actor, who would it be?
On today's episode, we mentioned our episode on Martial Arts training in a car, Episode 95.
Hanshi Bruce Juchnik is a living encyclopedia. When you talk about the most famous martial artists - Joe Lewis, Robert Trias, Chuck Norris, Bill Wallace, James Mitose - he's right there in the mix. In some of the stories, he's on the fringes, but can tell you about the major players and what really happened. In others, he takes center stage and helps connect the dots on some of the most important elements of our past.
And history is very important to Hanshi Juchnik. He knows where he came from and he believes you should, too. As important as punching and kicking is, that's how important knowing your lineage is to Hanshi Bruce Juchnik. It was a pleasure to have him on the show and connect many of the different stories we've already heard, as well as point us in the direction of some guests we'll be having on in the future.
Today's featured product is our best seller - our sparring boots. No toe strap, double reinforcement, extra ventilation, durable materials, comfortable design... if you're used to other foam sparring boots, you'll be shocked at how much better these are.
For full show notes and other episodes, please visit:
McDojos, and all that they mean to the martial arts community, are the topic of conversation today on our first-ever group chat.
Today's episode is a bit different - it's our first group conversation. A few weeks ago, we were approached by Sensei Robert Ingram. Sensei Ingram is the man behind the McDojo Life brand. McDojo Life is a martial arts entertainment group that brings you humorous martial arts content. Most of their content is published through social media. McDojo Life has quite a large following, and for good reason - their stuff is funny!
We also brought back a past guest, whistlekick's good friend & host of the Martial Thoughts podcast, Sensei Jaredd Wilson. Jeremy joins the two of them to discuss McDojos, integrity in martial arts instruction and instructors and a lot more.
For those unfamiliar with the term, a McDojo is a derogatory term that refers to a martial arts school that doesn't live up to the standards others set. It's completely subjective, and we discuss that as part of the show. We had a great conversation and all three of us enjoyed the time together. If you like this format, please let us know and we'll look at doing more of them. Thanks for listening and have an amazing day!
On today's episode, we reference the Redneck Jiu Jitsu YouTube Channel
I first met Kancho Brown at a multi-instructor seminar in early summer of 2016. I was impressed with his skill, but more so his personality. We quickly became friends and I found myself thrilled at his stories and sense of humor. I knew he was someone that needed to come on the show, and we spent a few months coordinating schedules... BUT... he's here now and it's time for his tales. Let's welcome him to the show.
For full show notes and other episodes, please check out:
Hi. Guess what? It’s time for another episode of whistlekick Martial Arts Radio, and this is episode 117, and it’s our long-awaited profile of the amazing Tony Jaa.
I'm whistlekick’s founder but I’m better known as your host, Jeremy Lesniak. whistlekick, if you don’t know, makes the absolute best sparring gear, apparel and accessories for practitioners and fans of traditional martial arts. I'd like to welcome the new listeners and thank everyone that’s come back again.
All of our past podcast episodes, show notes and a lot more are at whistlekickmartialartsradio.com. From that site you can sign up for our newsletter, and I really suggest you do so, because we offer exclusive content to subscribers, discounts and it's the only place to find out about upcoming guests.
You’ve probably heard me talk about our sparring gear before. Heck, it’s the whole reason I founded whistlekick. But what you may not know, unless you’re subscribing to the newsletter (hint-hint!) is that we now have our top-notch sparring gear in a brand new color. Blue! It’s an awesome blue, and the gear looks incredible. Check it out at whistlekick.com.
So, today we’re talking about Tony Jaa. When his name pops up, people think about the Ong Bak movies and his unique martial arts choreography. But how did he get started? What makes him tick? Well, I’ll tell you.
For full show notes, including photos, videos and the rest of the episode transcript, please visit:
As with a number of our guests, it was from a news article that we first learned of Mestre Efraim Silva. Native to Brazil, Mestre Silva has been living in Connecticut for a number of years and has been spreading Capoeira throughout New England via his school. It took us some time to find a day to record as he's very much in demand teaching seminars throughout the United States.
It was, to be blunt, very much worth the wait. Mestre Efraim talks of his early challenges in Brazil, his struggles to open a school here in the US and the positive changes he has had in the lives of his students. It's a powerful episode and one that may leave you feeling inspired and, at times, overwhelmed. It certainly did for me. Enjoy.
For full show notes and other episodes please visit: http://www.whistlekickmartialartsradio.com/116-efraim-silva/
You’ve probably heard me mention our line of NoSweat shirts before. Super lightweight, incredibly comfortable, these go great under your uniform – and we carry black, white and gray just for that purpose – as well as any other time you want a comfortable, lightweight tee. You can also find them in red, blue, green and a few other colors. Check them out at whistlekick.com
We’ve talked on this show about competition and its role in martial arts. We ask our guests about their competitive experience and we’ve even done full episodes on martial arts tournaments.
One of the things I’ve seen lately on social media revolves around criticism of the way money is handed out at competitions. Some are calling for equal payouts for men’s and women’s divisions. Others are calling for parity between the adult and senior divisions.
Money is, of course, important. While I would agree with the adage, “money doesn’t buy happiness,” it’s hard to be happy when you don’t have any. Let’s explore the ties between money and competitive martial arts.
Mr. Gershon Ben Keren is a Krav Maga instructor, author and school owner.
It really doesn't matter how you solve that problem, whether you solve that problem by picking up an improvised weapon, whether you solve that problem through de-escalation or you solve it through disengagement.
Frequent listeners know that we try to bring on people from different martial arts. It's important to be a well-rounded martial artist, and part of that involves learning about the different perspectives that different martial artists have - especially those that train in less-common arts. While we've had a few guests on the show that trained in Krav Maga, none of them have defined themselves as Krav Maga practitioners. And until recently, I wasn't even aware of how old Krav Maga was. So, when Mr. Gershon Ben Keren came to my attention as Krav Maga practitioner who started training long before the current wave, he seemed the perfect candidate to have on the show.
While Mr. Ben Keren isn't here to represent Krav Maga, being the first person steeped in that art on the show carried a bit of responsibility with it. I was very honest with him of this, but also let him know that the episode was about him and not his chosen art. I think we both did a good job of placing him first but also giving you some information on the history of the style, which was important in giving you context for our guest.
I really enjoyed getting to know Mr. Ben Keren, and with his school only a few hours away, it's just a matter of time before I pop by for a visit. Let's welcome him to the show.
Today's featured product is our shin guard - without a doubt the best foam shin guards available. Double-thick, extra reinforced, super-durable and an ergonomic, comfortable shape. If you like your shins without bruises, these are the best option. Find them on our website or at Amazon.
For show notes and other episodes, please visit: http://www.whistlekickmartialartsradio.com/114-gershon-ben-keren/
Martial arts training in different locations - and different types of locations - can yield strong benefits.
Show transcript below.
What is up everyone? It’s time for another episode of whistlekick Martial Arts Radio, and here we are with episode 113. And today we’re going to talk about training in different environments.
I'm whistlekick’s founder but I’m better known as your host, Jeremy Lesniak. whistlekick, if you don’t know, makes the absolute best sparring gear, apparel, and accessories for practitioners and fans of traditional martial arts. I'd like to welcome the new listeners and thank everyone that’s come back again.
All of our past podcast episodes, show notes and a lot more are at whistlekickmartialartsradio.com. From that site, you can sign up for our newsletter, and I really suggest you do so, because we offer exclusive content to subscribers, discounts and it's the only place to find out about upcoming guests.
As the weather starts cooling, you might be in the market for something warmer – whether you’re headed to training, the gym or just looking for something comfortable, our sweatpants are it. Seriously, people love these things. I have a few pairs and through the winter months, they’re pretty much all I wear.
Let’s talk about your training. Specifically, where you train. If you’re like me, like most people, the vast majority of your training is at your dojo, dojang, academy, training hall or whatever you call it at your school. You might have mats or a hardwood floor. But the surface probably doesn’t change. The lighting is probably the same and if you’re like most schools, you always face the same direction.
For some martial artists, this routine can pose a problem. It really comes down to two things – engagement and practicality.
By engagement, I mean that your surroundings have a lot to do with the energy you invest to your training. Different people, different locations and different sights, sounds and smells seem to wake people up and inspire them to train harder.
By practicality, I mean that we adapt to our surroundings and aren’t quite as adept at taking action in strange environments. This doesn’t just go for martial arts, but for anything. It’s not a martial arts problem, it’s a human being problem.
Let’s talk about the engagement challenge first. If you’ve been listening to the show you know that I’m an advocate for training with different instructors, attending seminars and otherwise varying your education. Of course, that will require you to go to different places and you’ll learn differently because of those environments, but what about the rest of the time?
One of the most interesting things I ever saw in a martial arts class was when an instructor had a kid’s class turn 90 degrees and face a different wall. It was like a different group of children. They were suddenly attentive, powerful and really invested in the class.
About 10 minutes later, as the energy level waned, the instructor did it again. Sure, there was likely some benefit from the small break the kids had, but I have no doubt that looking at a different wall was enough to wake up the children’s senses. In fact, I’ve done this myself when I teach children, and even adults, if they seem to be fading.
There are other ways to up the engagement in your regular-old training facility. Changing the lighting can be huge. Adding a colored light or turning off some of the lights completely changes the space. Drawing the shades, kicking parents and visitors out for just one night, and even putting sunglasses on everyone can make a huge impact. Anything that alters the sensory input will prompt a response. The longer someone has been training, chances are, the stronger the response.
Let’s talk about the actual physical space now. You can change it all you want, but at some point, you have to consider that it’s exactly the same space. There’s benefit to training outside that space as we’ve already discussed.
Where, though, can and should you train?
If you want to freak out a younger or newer student, take them to a crowded park and ask them to do a form. Chances are, they’ll panic. Will they panic if they’re attacked in that same place? Chances are they’ll be more willing to use their skills, but that anxiety that comes up from people watching them is still important to address.
Training outside, in different weather conditions, with strangers watching, adds a whole new dynamic to training. If you’ve ever been part of a demonstration, you’ve probably witnessed this whether you realized it or not. People act differently in different environments. Some people seem to draw strength from training in a wooded environment, others do better during a beach training.
My challenge to you is to go out and try training in different environments. In fact, I’m going to give you a checklist right now and I’d urge you to try checking them off in the next month. Even for 15 minutes, try practicing in your car, in a public park, in the woods, at the beach or a pool, in front of your house, in your bedroom and on top of something high-up like a tall building. Try and do at least one of these at night, one during a good rainstorm, one while it’s hot and another while cold. Be present during your training and see what you observe. There are lessons to be learned from each of these and all of them make you a better martial artist.
The elements and locations that you find most challenging are the ones that will yield the greatest benefits if your practice embraces them.
I’d love to see photos of listeners training outside, training in the rain or in other non-conventional places. Do you have a favorite location to train outside of your school? Where is it and why do you like it? Whatever your comments, let us know. You can comment on the show notes at whistlekickMartialArtsRadio.com or on social media - we're on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram - all with the username whistlekick.
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, like all of our great shirts, and you can check out our awesome line of sparring gear there or on Amazon.
That’s all for today, so, until next time, Train hard, smile and have a great day.
It was during my time at the Superfoot camp in Florida in March of 2016 that I first met Kyoshi Kevin Hudson. A tall man with a southern accent and a constant smile, he quickly became one of my favorite people I met that weekend. He quickly showed himself to be a skilled and passionate martial artist, which are the two primary criteria for coming on this show. It took a little bit of time to make the scheduling work, but it was worth the wait.
This episode is one where we hear a lot about Kyoshi Hudson's love- not just for Martial Arts, but for people & for life in general. It's hard not to feel good after speaking with him, and that comes through in this episode. Enjoy.
For full show notes and other episodes, please visit http://www.whistlekickmartialartsradio.com/112-kevin-hudson/
Karate will be in the Olympics in 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. Let's talk about what that means to the martial arts.
During the show we reference the following websites.
Official Tokyo 2020 Olympic Page on Karate - https://tokyo2020.jp/en/games/sport/olympic/karate/
Official World Karate Federation (WKF) rules - http://www.wkf.net/pdf/competition_rules_version9_2015_en1.pdf
Today's featured product is our line of tee shirts. Check them out at our online martial arts store.
For more information, other episodes, an episode transcript and a lot more, please visit: http://www.whistlekickmartialartsradio.com/111-karate-olympics/
We love guest suggestions from the audience. So when one of our listeners suggested Mr. Simon Scher as a guest, it didn't take long for us to realize we had been missing out in not inviting this impressive man on the show.
Once we realized he was only a few hours away from HQ, we ended up attending a Superfoot seminar together and even have some collaborations in the works. Mr. Scher is well known for his prolific social media releases, including photos and video of him kicking everything in sight. He's a kind and thoughtful man, with a great sense of humor.
Enjoy the episode and when you're done, check out some of his videos. They're well done and entertaining. While he does have a Taekwondo background, his instruction offers something for people of all arts. Personally, I've found Mr. Scher to be a great guy and I'm looking forward to more collaborations with him in the future. ~jeremy
Today's featured whistlekick product is our sparring helmet. Our helmet is much more flexible than other brands, which means it's more comfortable to wear. Adequate ventilation means less sweat, too. Check them out on our website.
For show notes please visit: http://www.whistlekickmartialartsradio.com/110-simon-scher/
There’s nothing fancy or special about today’s episode – but it is the first episode where we’ve told you what’s going on at whistlekick behind the scenes. Like this episode? Hate it? Let us know. It will help us determine whether to do it again. Thanks for listening!
This is part 2 of our episode with Mr. Tony Blauer. Please listen to part 1 first.
Mr. Tony Blauer is here to upset the apple cart a bit. Some will claim he's not a martial artist, but if you check our definition of a martial artist, you'll see that he certainly is. What Mr. Blauer has done exceptionally well throughout his career is look at martial arts, combat, and self-defense in a different way. He's not someone who will simply accept the words of another. That's not to say he's not respectful, but he challenges convention when he sees it to be appropriate. In a sense, he's a martial arts researcher.
What follows is our longest show yet. Mr. Blauer gave an incredible amount of his time and geared the conversation to our audience - traditional martial arts & martial artists. You may love this episode, which has been split into two parts, or you may hate it. Regardless, you're going to think about martial arts, your training, self-defense and more. Our intention in bringing you this episode is not to steer you to sign up for anything from anyone. (Disclosure: we have never, and will never, taken any financial incentives from guests for them coming on the show.) Our intention is that you listen, consider Mr. Blauer's words, and look at your life and your training.
For the clean version of this episode, please visit: http://www.whistlekickmartialartsradio.com/108-tony-blauer/
Today's featured whistlekick product is our sparring boots. With sizes from the smallest child to the biggest bigfoot, we have something for you. No toe strap, excellent reinforcement, and far better materials than what you're used to. These are the most durable, comfortable foam sparring boots you've ever used.
Not long after moving the US Demura got a gig doing martial arts demonstrations at the Japanese Deer Park, a local attraction in California. The shows were different from martial arts demonstrations of the day, which showcased martial artists coming close but not making contact. Demura’s demonstrations featured people reacting to this near contact, making it look like a fight. While there were likely others offering demonstrations this way, these demos at the Deer Park were certainly popularized by Fumio Demura and he’s sometimes credited with developing the method.
He was the stunt double for Pat Morita, who played Miyagi, in the karate kid movies. It was Chuck Norris who introduced Demura to the production people for The Karate Kid. He was originally intended to be Miyagi, but he knew his English wasn’t good enough. From there he became the stunt double.
It’s hard to talk about Fumio Demura without mentioning the amazing movie from 2015, The Real Miyagi. What started as a crowdfunding project really turned into an amazing film. It’s a well-done documentary on the life of Shihan Demura and it’s available on Netflix as well as DVD. The cast is a who’s who of martial artists and martial arts actors, including Billy Blanks, Pat Johnson, Dolph Lundgren, Pat Morita, Christine Bannon Rodriguez, Steven Seagal, Bill Wallace, Michael Jai White and many more.
Over the course of this show, we've had a few trends with mentions of movies & actors. But when it comes to books, there are only a few we've heard about consistently. Joe Hyams Zen in the Martial Arts, Miyamoto Musashi's The Book of Five Rings and Alex Gillis's A Killing Art. The first two authors have passed away, but Mr. Gillis is alive and well, so we invited him to come on the show.
You can learn a lot about Mr. Gillis from the way he wrote the book, and you can learn about the book from our conversation with the man. Thoughtful, thorough and dedicated are words that you can use to describe either.
For full show notes, please visit: http://www.whistlekickmartialartsradio.com/106-alex-gillis/
If you're a hat person, you need a whistlekick hat. There's really no other way to put it. We have a few different styles of both baseball cap-style hats as well as winter beanies. Check them out at the website, whistlekick.com.
Lately, I’ve been noticing something that’s really starting to irritate me. Someone will mention their desire to explore martial arts, usually on social media. What comes back is a barrage of “my school is best” and “my art is best” posts.
Now, we’ve talked a lot about that but when we talk about it in the context of a potential martial artist, all we’re doing is turning them off from ever training. See, people don’t like to make bad decisions. And if multiple people that they respect offer contradictory opinions… they’re likely to make no choice.
And if you’ve been listening to the show for a while, you know that one of our goals here at whistlekick is to get more people to train. After all, martial artists make the world a better place.
So it really does all of us a disservice to answer that question – What martial art should I do – with such a direct answer. If you sold cars, houses or even cheese – would you even answer the question, what car, house or cheese should I get?
Of course not. You’d ask questions. In sales, they’re called qualifying questions. And guess what? If you’re even thinking of answering the question, you’re a sales person. And you have a duty to the person asking the question, the people you train with and the martial arts community as a whole to help them correctly.
Just as you shouldn’t teach at a martial arts school if you’re not willing to give your students the best instruction you can, you shouldn’t engage with someone on the question of what art to take.
Let’s now go through the questions you should be asking and how to handle this whole situation.
For full show notes, please visit: http://www.whistlekickmartialartsradio.com/105-find-martial-arts-school/
If you’re involved in a school that spars, chances are you’ve clashed shins with someone. Man, does that hurt. There are plenty of shin guards on the market, but ours are the only ones that are comfortable to wear, light-weight, double reinforced and actually shaped to fit your shin. When I’m at events I demo them by shin kicking door frames. Seriously, these things are great. You can learn more at whistlekick.com.
Today's episode is with well-known martial artist and ninjitsu practitioner Sensei Ashida Kim. While I had heard his name before, I'll confess that I didn't know a lot about him. When a past guest suggested he would be someone good to speak with, I did a bit of research and found that this man's resume is pretty incredible. While much of the writings on the internet about Sensei Kim are very strongly opinionated - both in his favor and not - I was more concerned with his stories. As we always do on the show, we give our guests the opportunity to speak freely and talk about that which they want to. That's exactly what we did here - and it's a great episode.
Sensei Kim is a prolific author and has written a number of books still available. We discuss a few of them during the episode and you can learn more at his website, linked below.
Today's featured whistlekick product is our line of tee shirts. We have something for everyone, in a variety of styles and sizes. Check them out, and the rest of our martial arts sparring gear and apparel, at whistlekick.com
Muscle memory is when your body does something automatically. Muscles remember what to do by repeating something many times. Sometimes this is called motor learning. In martial arts, this is the ability to, say, throw a punch without thinking about all of the small things required - which knuckles to use, twisting the hand, the retracted hand, etc.
There's a bad side to motor learning - like when throwing a technique, someone throws it to the same place without thinking. Every time.
There are ways to expand muscle memory and not be locked in to only a few patterns. Practice things differently. Routine is the enemy. It’s not that we don’t want muscle memory, it’s that we don’t want it to limit us. Work different heights, different body placements, different combinations. Strange combinations. Different speeds. When you slow things down you can focus on the movements and make adjustments. That's something we should all be doing anyway.
Jeremy offers his favorite drill for combatting the negative effects of motor learning.
Today's featured product is our sweatpants.
"Martial arts develops character. Martial sports reveals character."
Welcome to episode 102 of Martial Arts Radio, where today we get to hear from Datu Tim Hartman. Datu Hartman is a living legend in the world of Filipino martial arts and has offered numerous seminars across the globe. As a lifelong practitioner of Filipino arts, Datu Hartman has watched the growth of the various disciplines, including arnis, escrima, kali and the various approaches and styles to these arts. We hear about the man's past, what keeps him inspired to train and why he's still so passionate not only about martial arts, but about passing on what he's learned to newer students.
Today's featured whistlekick product line is our suggestion. They're available in zip-up and pull-over, in quite a few colors and sizes. What do they have in common? Style, comfort and quality, just like everything we make.
For full show notes, including links, photos and video, please visit:
Have you ever wondered why some martial artists get into such heated discussions over one style versus another? How about the difference between honoring the style as it was laid out, artistically, and personal progress in your martial arts? We talk about not only the benefit of having different martial arts styles available to those that want to train, but the necessity.