whistlekick Martial Arts Radio - Podcast about Karate, Taekwondo, Kung Fu, Capoeira, FMA - Interviews, Training Advice, Stories, Motivation, Celebrities & More

whistlekick Martial Arts Radio is a bi-weekly podcast interviewing traditional martial artists. We hear their stories and journeys, the way they overcame challenges and learn how to be better people through the guests martial arts experiences. Past guests have included many famous martial artists from Karate, Taekwondo, Kung Fu and other disciplines.
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whistlekick Martial Arts Radio - Podcast about Karate, Taekwondo, Kung Fu, Capoeira, FMA - Interviews, Training Advice, Stories, Motivation, Celebrities & More




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Jul 11, 2016

On episode 100 we hear from the whistlekick founder, and our regular host, Sensei Jeremy Lesniak. Throughout his martial arts career, he has achieved a black belt in no less than three different disciplines. A native to New England, Sensei Jeremy is a friend to many schools. Not just as a great resource for the best sparring gear, but someone you may see at a seminar, or as a guest instructor. Sensei Lesniak started martial arts at a young age but continues to demonstrate his passion for martial arts to this day. I've had the pleasure to work with him as a student in one of my seminars, and as a guest instructor in my home dojo.

~Daniel Hartz, host for Episode 100.

Today's featured product is our noSweat Athletic Shirts. You will notice how comfortable they are, and how they aren't too tight or too loose - they fit just right. They are great for working out, or wearing under your uniform. We have lots of colors and sizes to choose from, so take a look.

Jul 7, 2016

On Episode 99 host Jeremy Lesniak goes over the 9 reasons why he continues to practice martial arts. 

For show notes and other episodes, please visit:

Jul 4, 2016

Today's episode is with Mr. Tom Bisio, a practitioner and instructor of Ba Gua Zhang and Xing Yi Quan. We spend a lot of time discussing the martial arts overall as well as the internal martial arts, Mr. Bisio's focus both as practitioner and instructor. His background is diverse, though, and he's able to tie together a lot of the elements of martial arts, including some we don't typically think about around health and healing. It's clear from speaking with him that he's on an educational mission of sorts, making efforts to bring new and revised knowledge to those that are interested and in various forms.


For show notes and other episodes, please visit:

Jun 30, 2016

On today's episode of Martial Arts Radio we're talking about the legendary martial artist and martial arts movie actor, Steven Seagal. We talk about Seagal's history, including his martial arts training and how he got into the movie industry. We don't pull any punches here, being honest and fair about Steven Seagal with regard to his skills, acting and off-screen actions. You're sure to learn things about him you didn't before, so tune in and check it out. Thanks for listening.


For full show notes and other episodes, please visit:

Jun 27, 2016

On today's show, we talk to Master Amanda Meltzer, a taekwondo practitioner from New Hampshire. Master Meltzer is a less common example of someone who came to martial arts later in life, at least with respect to the guests we have on our show. What's always interesting about these examples is we get a clearer picture as to why someone takes up martial arts as an adult. Here we get a very clear picture and understand how taekwondo has not only become a family affair but also grown her family.

Today's featured product is the design that launched the company, our original sparring boots. No toe strap, extra-reinforcement, better materials. It all combines to give you the best sparring boot on the market. Seriously, check them out!


For other episodes & show notes please visit: 

Jun 23, 2016

Becoming a Better Martial Artist in the Car - Episode 95

Today's episode covers suggestions for reclaiming the time you spend in your vehicle in order to become a better martial artist.

  1. Podcasts - we mentioned the popular blog post we wrote last year on Best Martial Arts Podcasts
  2. Hand Dexterity
  3. Hand Mobility
  4. Cut Your Fingernails
  5. Focus Practice
  6. Hand Conditioning
  7. Driving Barefoot
  8. Anticipation of Other Cars, People & Animals
  9. Electronic Recovery Units
  10. Hand Strengthening
Jun 20, 2016

On episode 94 we get to talk with Sifu Gary Cecil, a Kung Fu instructor who was suggested as a guest by one of his students. We had a great conversation and I found myself really interested in some of the things Sifu Cecil had to say. You might think that, close to 100 episodes in, we've heard everything - every background someone comes from and every way that you can view the martial arts. But that's clearly not the case, as Sifu Cecil gave us plenty to think about.

Today's featured product is our great line of martial arts sparring gloves


For more info and full show notes, please visit

Jun 16, 2016

Over the last few months we've been honing in on a definition for martial arts. Well, on episode 93 we jump in headlong and see if we can flesh it out. This may go down as a controversial episode, but that's okay. We take an academic, thought out approach and apply what we've learned from the many guests we've had on the show. In the end, what we have is good... but could it be better?

Jun 13, 2016

On episode 92 we're joined by a man with an incredible story. Sabumnim Scott Pribyl started martial arts training as a late teenager and really took to it. He credits his professional success to the lessons he learned in the martial arts and also his survival of an incident that literally no other person is known to have survived. He's an incredible man and tells some amazing stories. Enjoy.

Jun 9, 2016

On today's episode, we give our popular profile treatment to one of the oldest and most beloved martial arts movies of all time, Billy Jack. We cover the history of the movie, trivia, and much more. If you're at all a fan of Billy Jack, you should really give this episode a listen. And if you're not, listen anyway, because maybe you will be afterwards.

Jun 6, 2016

Today we get a chance to speak with Isshinryu karateka and founder of Veterans Martial Arts Training, Sensei Scott Lombardo. Veterans Martial Arts Training (V-MAT) is a free martial arts program for United State Military Veterans based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. When we learned about the program, we knew it sounded like something we wanted to help promote, so we reached out to Sensei Lombardo immediately. Fortunately, he accepted our offer to appear on the show.

While we do spend some time talking about the organization, most of our time is spent getting to know Sensei Scott Lombardo and hearing his stories. A longtime martial artist practicing karate, Sensei Lombardo shares great stories about the ups and downs he’s experienced through his life, and he doesn’t hold anything back. We get a pretty good window into this man and what makes him tick. This episode runs the range of emotions and we hope you enjoy it. Thanks for listening.

Today’s featured product is a new one for us – our MoveFlow Yoga-Style Pants. They’re incredibly comfortable, with a fold-over waistband and other features that you, our customers, asked for. Check them out today at

Jun 2, 2016

Today we talk about the history and usage of martial arts weapons. We squash some stories that get thrown around, give you reasons for why you should do some weapons training and even help you understand how weapons training can improve your unarmed martial arts.

We talk about the origins of Asian martial arts weapons, the loss of Korean swordsmanship, the similarities and differences between weapons arts of different regions and why weapons are usually (but not always) taught after learning empty-handed techniques.

On today's episode we made reference to Episode 88 with Guro Chris Thompson and Episode 78 with Sir Gemini Asonte.

May 30, 2016

Today's episode brings us Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) practitioner Guro Chris Thompson. With a background in Goju Karate, Guro Chris found his passion in a very different style - and we talk today about that transition. While not as well know as karate, Filipino arts are starting to receive global acceptance and recognition. If you're unfamiliar with the systems of the island nation, you'll learn a bit about their origins today, including why they're so diverse in their approaches.

I had a lot of fun talking to Guro Chris, as I do with all of our guests. (You've all likely figured that out by now. I truly enjoy what I do.) We'll be having Guro Chris Thompson as one of our featured instructors this summer at the Martial Arts Weekend, so check that out! Sign up soon, because space is limited.

Today's featured whistlekick product is our shinguards. Double-thick over the tibia (shin bone) they hold up very well against both time and your partners or opponents. One of our favorite ways to demonstrate them is to kick door frames with our shins while wearing them at events. That brings a lot of attention!

May 26, 2016

When we consider the space that martial arts occupies in the Western world, specifically the United States, it's easy to see the impact. Our movies are full of martial arts-inspired fight scenes. Popular culture lifts up the skilled fighters from the UFC. A man who has been dead for forty years is one of our most recognized icons. Yet, when we break down the numbers, martial arts participation in the United States is around 5 million people, or 1.5% of the population. Compare that to approximately 3.5% globally, and you can see a large disparity.

Why is that the case? I'm sure there are a multitude of factors, but the one we're discussing today is foundational - the attitude that martial artists have for each other. If you're a martial artist, and you've been genuinely criticized for what you do, there's a good chance that criticism came from a martial artist. Within our ranks we have a large percentage of participants that are so concerned with historical accuracy or theoretical superiority that they'll let their opinions create rifts in the martial arts community.

It's not helping anyone and it needs to stop.

On today's episode, we're talking about the ways martial artists cut each other down, rather than lift up. The politics, the infighting, the "my art is better than yours" debates and so on. We explore where these attitudes came from, why they've carried on and how they're hurting us. Later, we talk about how we can move past them and what the impact of just such a world might be.

At whistlekick we have a very foundational belief - that the world would be a better place if everyone spent time in martial arts training. Clearing out this stumbling block - the popularity of what is, essentially, bullying within our own community - is essential to reaching that goal. Thank you for listening and, if you found value in today's episode, please share it with others. Train hard, smile, and have a great day.

May 23, 2016

Today's episode is with one of my long-time martial arts friends, Miss Jessica Henderson. Over the last year we've heard from a lot of different people - different styles, different paths and different outlooks on the arts. I believe strongly that everyone has a story to tell - wisdom to share. Miss Henderson is no different, and the fact I was able to sit down with her in person was a bonus.

Most of our guests started their martial arts training as young children. For those that started at an older age, most of them have been training for decades and they don't have full memory of the context of what it was life to start their journey. Heck, few of the guests have more than a few memories of that time as so many years have passed. Miss Henderson, though, is different. With just over 10 years of training, she remembers what it was like to start training at 16 and we spend a fair amount of time talking about that. You'll hear through our conversation that her step in the martial arts was pivotal for her, and I don't think it's an exaggeration to say it completely transformed her life. Thanks for listening.

Your humble host


May 19, 2016

Today's show topic started as an email from a listener. This listener was feeling conflict with the vast amounts of information that was expected to be taught to students at their martial arts school. As they wrote, on the one hand, diversity of techniques is very much in line with the artistic side of what we do. Yet, on the other hand, it makes it more challenging to achieve a level of proficiency with any of it.

It's a great subject, and we tackled it for today's episode. We offer suggestions on how to break down the problem and how to make improvements in your school as an instructor or owner. If you're a student, we offer some advice, too, on how to deal with a large body of training information.

May 16, 2016

Today's episode is with another of the wonderful martial artists I first met in 2015 at the Super Summer Seminars event. (As of this episode, the others we've heard from that came out of this weekend are Sensei Katie Murphy & Kyoshi Dave Kovar) We didn't get a lot of time together, but I had a good feeling about him and what he offered as an instructor. I then saw him in January at Sifu Alan Goldberg's Hall of Honors Mega Weekend in New Jersey and again had a chance to learn from him. I knew it was time to get him on the show, and here we are.

Today's episode could have easily gone off the rails, as you have two self-proclaimed martial arts "nerds" in conversation that also share a similar sense of humor. While we absolutely wander at times, I felt the places we ended up were wonderful. This show has always welcomed tangents, and our time with Master Chris LaCava was no different. I hope you enjoy the conversation, and I'll guess that you'll share at least a few laughs with us.

Your host, Jeremy

Sparring Gear whistlekick Martial ArtsToday's featured product is the full line of sparring gear you can find

May 12, 2016


Most people that have trained in the martial arts for a time have had some type of external training - meaning training outside their typical location from people other than their typical instructor(s). These could be seminars or visiting another school, whether it's of a similar style or something completely different. There's a lot of value in learning different things, even the same things from different people. Everyone learns a bit differently and having another set of eyes watching over you can really hone your skills. This is why martial arts schools with several instructors (that are on the same page) often turn out better students than the schools with a single instructor.

Along all of these lines is destination training. These opportunities can look very different - they may be a seminar series covering different topics or an intensive training focused on a single martial arts subject. The value here isn't just in getting other people to look over what you're doing - it goes so much deeper. When you travel for your training and stay overnight, it changes your mindset. You're typically with other people who are doing the same thing. Thus, everyone that is participating really values their training time. These events are rarely free, so you get people that have made a financial sacrifice to be there.

Many of these events, maybe even most, are presented as a "camp" experience, either with people sleeping outside or in spartan conditions. Some involve sleeping in university dorms over the summer or in cabins. For many attendees, it's not the training that they find most valuable from these experiences but the relationships they build. When you get a group of martial artists together, they tend to talk about... martial arts. There's a lot of sharing that goes on outside the training space and this is just as much the reason everyone should attend such an event.

Martial Arts WeekendFor that reason we're hosting our own, held this year from July 8th - July 10th, 2016. You can learn more at Today's episode will talk about what we're doing, and why we're doing it, but it's not a commercial. Our format came out of a lot of discussion with martial artists about what they liked and didn't like from their destination training. Whether you have attended one of these sessions or not, or even if you have no interest in attending, you will still find today's episode valuable, so check it out.

May 9, 2016

Today’s episode is with Mr. Michael Rowe, a martial artist with as diverse a training history as anyone I’ve ever seen. With experience in Karate, ninjitsu, taekwondo, hapkido, and a lot more, under a number of different instructors, Mr. Rowe brings a lot to the table. An insightful man, his stories are wonderful – they’re entertaining, they’re honest and they’re real. So sit back, and let’s hear from today’s guest.


Sparring HelmetToday’s featured product is the whistlekickSparring Head Gear – super comfortable and even more durable than you’re used to. Check it out. 

For full show notes and other episodes, please visit:


May 5, 2016

n today's episode we're talking about martial arts warmups and the four phases of an effective warmup and how most martial arts classes miss the boat. These are: low-risk cardiovascular movement, joint mobility, intensifying cardiovascular movement, flexibility (aka stretching). We discuss what they are, how to handle them, why to approach them in this order, how long to do them and so much more. If you're often feeling like you spend your first 15 minutes of class just "getting going" it could be due to a poor warm-up. Check out the episode and let us know what you think.

For full show notes please visit:

May 2, 2016

Our guest today is the star of one of the most-beloved martial arts films of all-time, Mr. Taimak Guarriello. The Last Dragon is one of those rare martial arts films that had an impact that transcended martial arts culture, and could be felt in general society. Here we are 80 episodes in, and the news of his Mr. Guarriello's appearance created more buzz than any other guest we've had. While even his first name is synonymous with his role in the 1985 movie, there's a lot more to him than his time as Leroy Green, both as a man and as a martial artist. We get to know a lot about both of those sides, and I hope you enjoy your time with him.


For show notes and a lot more, please visit:

Apr 28, 2016

Today's episode is very different. Over the last few months, we've bumped into a recurring theme from our guests. That theme being the support martial arts provided to them during difficult times, especially as children. I've been struggling with how to tell my piece of this story, and whether or not to even tell it. In the end, I felt it was important to share simply because it may help provide context to someone who hasn't experienced the same sense that I felt as a child - that many of our guests felt. It is my sincere hope that, as a result of this episode, some of us may become a bit more conscious of the need for everyone, especially children, to have something in their lives that they can feel joyful passion towards- whether that be martial arts or something else. I feel strongly that it is this sense of ownership - this sense of belonging - that can help everyone (again, especially children) traverse challenging times in their lives.

To put it another way, We all need something we can look to and claim as our own. To have an external manifestation of our identity. Whether that's martial arts or not, I don't think it matters. For me it was (and is) being a martial artist. If you know someone without that outlet - that passion they can identify with, please help them find it. It may be the most important thing you ever do for them.

Thank you for listening. ~jeremy

For other episodes, show notes and more, please visit:

Apr 25, 2016

Today on Martial Arts Radio we have an interesting guest, unlike anyone we've had on before. Over the last 10-20 years, we've seen a growing diversity in the martial arts world. We can no longer consider martial arts to simply be the arts of Korea, Japan and China (as well as their derivatives). We now see arts coming out of nearly every country and region on the global stage. Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) is in that mix, too.

One of the challenges for these "other" arts is our ability, as a community that is mostly rooted in Asia, to understand them. Which is why today's guest is so exciting. Sir Gemini Asonte is not only a skilled practitioner of Historical European Martial Arts, but he has an extensive background in Asian martial arts, including taekwondo, various styles of karate, aikijutsu, boxing, savate... and more. This gives him context for what most of us, as Asian art practitioners, are thinking when we see someone engaged in HEMA.

[For the record, this is not meant to say that this show is only for those practicing Asian martial arts. It's just a question of numbers and, if we're honest, most martial artists today are practicing something from that region.]

Sir Gemini gives us a wonderful look inside his world and shows us that, while there are major differences, there's a lot more common ground than you may think. Listen as we get a glimpse into martial arts from a time and place that is very different from what most of us think about when we're practicing.

Apr 21, 2016

On today's episode of Martial Arts Radio, we tackle the sensitive subject of handling the aches & pains that turn into worse problems. As martial artists, we're often taught to push through the pain, but that can have disastrous long term effects. We give you real strategies for preventing those injuries, recovering from everyday training and knowing when to take a step back or even get some help. It's a solid episode that tackles the challenges head on, but without any deep medical information. You won't be an expert after this episode, but you will be able to develop your own plan for getting the most out of your training, reducing the risk of injury and keeping your forward martial arts progress. Because after all, martial arts isn't just something you do when you're young, and we want to make sure you can train long into your old age. Thanks for listening, it's episode 77.


whistlekick Martial Arts Radio

Apr 18, 2016

Today we get to talk to someone that, in some ways, is very much a mirror of myself. Sensei Jaredd Wilson is a martial artist with experience in Aikido, Silat and Kenjutsu, but he also hosts a podcast about the martial arts, called Martial Thoughts. And in a very new development, it looks like we'll be seeing him at the first-ever whistlekick Martial Arts Weekend in July, 2016.

We became friends over social media and decided it would be fun to have each other on as guests. We've done that and I really enjoyed my time talking with Sensei Wilson, both on his show and here, on Episode 76. Sensei Wilson has a strong love for the martial arts, martial arts culture and seems to genuinely believe, as many of our guests do, that there's nothing like martial arts training for developing better people and improving the world.

So check it out. ~jeremy


For full show notes and other episodes, please visit:

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