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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Jan 14, 2016

Today's episode is all about one of our favorite martial arts actors, Jet Li. We jump headfirst into his history with the martial arts and his impact on the martial arts movie world. If you're at all a fan of him or his movies, you won't want to miss this episode. We referenced a number of resources for this episode, including his Wikipedia page.


For full show notes, video clips & show transcript please visit:

Jan 11, 2016
Cheyenne Lachapelle
Leave your problems at the door. Leave whatever you have that's wrong, whatever's going on that's inside you, that you're not sharing... leave it at the door.

Today we have Sije Cheyenne Lachapelle, a kung fu practitioner from Worcester, Massachusetts. Most of the guests on Martial Arts Radio are suggestions, and Sije Lachapelle is no exception. This time, however, the suggestion didn't come from a previous guest or a listener - but rather someone I went to school with. See, Sije Lachapelle and I have one major thing in common, and that's our university of choice. I'm a graduate of Clark University in Worcester where she now trains. Her competitive success led to some local publicity which then caught the eye of a friend. I reached out, we chatted, and that brings us to now.

Sije Lachapelle is one of the few Chinese martial arts stylists we've had on the show, and at least for now, is the youngest. As with many who start young in the martial arts, Sije Cheyenne Lachapelle carries with her a maturity and a confidence that are beyond her years. I enjoyed our conversation and found her passion for the martial arts very grounding, her insights compelling. What you won't hear in this conversation is our time after the recording ended - we talked for quite a while about martial arts, Worcester and life in general. We share a mutual admiration for another Worcester, MA martial artist, Shihan Wayne Mello. (In fact, it was Shihan Mello that was partly responsible for me attending school in Worcester. I was very excited at the prospect of training with him.)

Please enjoy the episode,
Your host - Jeremy Lesniak

For full show notes please visit:

Jan 7, 2016

Bad Day at Black Rock

Perhaps more than any other pursuit, film is woven into our culture. Martial arts school owners, in particular, know the impact that The Karate Kid, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and other films had on encouraging society to seek out martial arts instruction.

But do you know your martial arts film history? How about the impact these films have had on society? We’re going to explore these topics and more on today’s episode.

Check out today's featured product - our sparring helmet. Comfortable and durable, it's all you could want.

The Battle of Dingjunshan - 1905, first martial arts film

Bad Day at Black Rock - 1955 American film

Top grossing martial arts films

For full show notes please visit:

Jan 4, 2016

Master Ken & Mr. Matt Page - Episode 47

They beat the crap out of him, you know? Took his belt away. Foot stomped him, put cigarettes out on him. Threw him in the dumpster. And so I felt responsible, you know? Because I had given him the confidence too early. So I went to see him in the hospital, and I saw him laying there all beat up and broken. And that's when I demoted him.

Master KenToday we have a very different episode of Martial Arts Radio. Episode 47 marks our first interview of a fictional character, Master Ken, the beloved start of the breakout YouTube hit, Enter the Dojo. Our first portion of the episode is with the legendary founder of Ameri-Do-Te himself. Later, we're joined by Matt Page, the actor behind the character.whistlekick-sweatpants

If you're not familiar with the show, it's a biting, sarcastic and sometimes all-to-true portrayal of the traditional martial arts. If you're willing to laugh at the martial arts, and maybe a bit at yourself, you'll enjoy it. With over 150 thousand subscribers, Enter the Dojo may be one of the most successful martial arts-related independent productions of all time.

There are some surprises in this episode that I hope you'll enjoy. While I rarely spend much time with a guest before their appearance, there's usually a bit of pre-show. Master Ken, Mr. Page & I spent very little time in the pre-show, electing to just sort of let it happen. That was the right call, and I have to say, this episode was a blast. Enjoy. ~jeremy

Show Notes


Matt Page
Matt Page, the man behind Master Ken

Actor - Jean Claude Van Damme

Movies - Double Impact (Bolo Yeung Fight Scene), Bloodsport (Final Fight Scene)

Enter The Dojo Show website and on YouTube

Master Ken on Facebook, Instagram, TwitterIMDb or Schedule a Live Appearance

Ameri-Do-Te on Facebook

Matt Page on IMDb

If you've never watched the Enter the Dojo show, the video below is not a full episode, but a wonderful introduction to the creativity and sense of humor it brings.



Dec 28, 2015

Mr. Chris Sutton - Episode 46

Reevaluate everything that you're doing to add value to yourself, to your family, to your bottom line. If it's working, keep doing it. If it's not, adjust it.

Chris SuttonToday we're joined by Mr. Chris Sutton. With a broad and varied resume, Mr. Sutton is not the typical guest to Martial Arts Radio. But before you doubt his martial arts credibility, he holds a number of accolades, including being the last person to receive a black belt from Joe Lewis. Mr. Sutton has, like some of our other guests, extracted the self-defense aspects of his martial arts training and not only refined it, but developed it into a system all it's own. He tells some powerful stories and really opens up. You're going to like this one.

Today's featured product is the whistlekick Original Sparring Boot, which uses better materials and design to increase comfort and durability, all without that annoying toe strap. sparring boot

Show Notes

more stuff

COBRA Self Defense on YouTube, Facebook

Chris Sutton's Martial Arts & Fitness Inc.

Self Defense Training for Realtors

Become A Certified COBRA Instructor

Take The COBRA Academy Student Version On -Line

Dec 24, 2015

The Spiritual Side of Martial Arts - Episode 45

Martial Arts Spiritual

[The text below is excerpted from today's show]

Today we're talking about the spiritual aspects of martial arts. Let me be clear here - we're not talking about religion.

Martial arts isn't just a physical pursuit, as anyone knows. Martial arts is a method of personal development. This concept goes all the way back to the generally-accepted origin of what we today call traditional martial arts.

It was the Indian monk Bodhidharma who developed martial arts as a way of keeping the monks of the Shaolin temple in physical shape. He found that the monk's focus on meditation left them mentally strong but physically weak. So, he gave them a set of exercises to strengthen their bodies. The combat aspects were secondary even then, just as they are for most of us now.

Hooded SweatshirtToday's featured whistlekick product is our line of sweatshirts. We have several styles, including pullover and zip-up, in a variety of colors. Check them out at our web store.

It was the Japanese swordsman, Miyamoto Musashi, known to many today as the author of the Book of the Five Rings, who said that the more he looked for proficiency and efficiency in his training, the more he looked for proficiency and efficiency in all things. He began to look for the deeper purpose in everything that he did.

There's a story of a Master of the Japanese Tea Ceremony from the province of Tasa – a man without any martial arts skill but with great meditative and spiritual strength. He accidentally gave offense to a Samurai and was challenged to a duel...

Dec 21, 2015

Sifu Angel Durinick - Episode 44

Always surround yourself with people who push you to make yourself a better person.

On today's episode we have Sifu Angel Durinick (Cummings) - a former competitor on the New England martial arts scene, which is how we connected with her. A lifelong martial artist training in multiple disciplines, Sifu Durinick joins us to share openly about her life. She speaks candidly about these difficulties and how her martial arts experience helped her.

This episode isn't a sob-fest, though. Quite the opposite, in fact. Sifu Durinick is clearly a strong and motivated woman, and you can't help but feel inspired listening to her speak.

Our featured product for this episode is our sparring gloves - comfortable, lightweight, durable and breathable.sparring glove

Show Notes

Movies: Bloodsport, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, neither are available for streaming
Actors: Jackie Chan, Jet Li

The ladder scene that Sifu Durinick and I discussed wasn't from Rumble in the Bronx as I'd remembered, but from First Strike. Here it is below.

Dec 17, 2015

Chuck Norris - Episode 43

Chuck Norris Bruce LeeWe had some great feedback on our recent Bruce Lee episode, so we thought we'd give the same treatment to the legendary Chuck Norris. As with the other episode, we did a fair amount of research in an effort to give you information on the man that many know only by his role in Walker Texas Ranger or his endorsement of the Total Gym.

He is a legitimate martial artist and was a dominant competitor back in the 60s and 70s. He defeated a number of great names, including Joe Lewis, Skipper Mullins, Victor Moore, Ron Marchini and Steve Sanders.

Listen as we give you some real facts about the man and his past while answering questions such as - is he done making movies? How did he get started in acting? Was Tangsoodo really his first experience with the martial arts? And many more. You're not going to be a Chuck Norris expert when you're done listening, but you'll know more than you did before.

NoSweat Shirt RedThis episode's featured product is the NoSweat line of base layer tee shirts. 100% polyester, lightweight shirts are great under your uniform or for working out...or just hanging out.

For full show notes please visit:

Dec 14, 2015

Rabbi G - Episode 42

No matter what you're facing in your life, you can breathe in the light and blow out the darkness.

Today's episode of Martial Arts Radio is a bit different. You may have noticed that from the title - we haven't had a guest that uses a religious title over a martial arts one. However, today is special. We're joined by Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg who prefers to be called Rabbi G. We've mentioned the organization Kids Kicking Cancer on the show before, but this time we have the founder as our guest. Rabbi G is a martial artist, but he's taken his martial arts training in a very different direction.

Rather than attempt to summarize his story, you should just listen. Rabbi G speaks at length about his past and the various occurrences that ultimately led to his founding of the Kids Kicking Cancer organization.



Show Notes

Book: A Perfect God Created an Imperfect World Perfectly: 30 Life Lessons from Kids Kicking Cancer

The Pfizer / Jonas Brothers video that Rabbi G mentioned - The organization that Rabbi G founded

You can find Rabbi G on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Today's featured product, whistlekick Shin Guards


Rabbi G's Bio

Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg (Rabbi G) holds a First Degree Black Belt in the Korean art of Choi Kwon Do. He first provided a therapeutic martial arts program when he was the Director at Camp Simcha from 1990 to 2002. Having lost his first child to leukemia at 2 years old, Rabbi Goldberg brings his personal experience and sensitivity to dealing with children and families facing life-threatening illness. His commitment to ease the pain of very sick children and his dream of bringing healing through the empowering focus of the martial arts resulted in the creation of the Kids Kicking Cancer organization in June, 1999. Rabbi
Goldberg was a recipient of the Robert Wood Johnson Community Health Leader's Award (2004) and the McCarty Cancer Foundation's Humanitarian of the Year Award (2004). He is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Wayne State University School of Medicine. Rabbi Goldberg received his BA from Yeshiva University, summa cum laude. Ordination and graduate training were also at Yeshiva University.

Dec 10, 2015

Where is the Martial Arts in MMA?

mmaOn today's episode, we go deep into the world of mixed martial arts. There's a lot of talk lately about martial artists being bad fighters, the uselessness of traditional martial arts and a lot more. We explore those topics and a lot more as we separate the MMA from the TMA (traditional martial arts). This may prove to be a controversial episode, so hold on.

This episode's featured product - our t-shirtstee shirt

UFC 5 - Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock

Sage Northcutt

Ronda Rousey refuses to touch gloves with Holly Holm

Movie Pick - All the best "my art is better than yours" movies are unavailable on Netflix, so this week's pick doesn't quite fit the theme of the show. Mortal Kombat


Dec 7, 2015
I couldn't be happier with what we're doing, but I just don't want to be the person that is too comfortable. I want to try and grow and expand.

Antony GrafOn today's show we're joined by Master Antony Graf, an amazing taekwondo practitioner from Florida. He was an alternate to the Olympic USA Taekwondo team in 2004 & 2008, a 7x member of the US National Team and Pan Am Games team, he took a silver medal at the 2007 Pan Am Games in Rio de Janeiro, was twice on the ESPN "Titan Game" team, named USAT Athlete of the Year and has earned a multitude of medals in domestic and international competition.

Master Graf is also a martial arts school owner in Miami, Florida as well as a founding partner in Juice Athlete Compound - a company developed to offer programming and resources to athletes. We spend time talking about his competitive career, of course, but also go into his past and his love of the arts. It's a great episode, so check it out.


For full show notes please visit

Dec 3, 2015

On today's episode, we dive into a bit of Bruce Lee's past and what ultimately made him the martial arts icon he is today. Could we ever have another like him? What might have happened if he lived on? We tackle these questions, more and also offer up some facts about the legend that you may not know about.


For full show notes, please visit

Nov 30, 2015

Master Tanya Panizzo: Episode 38

Instead of worrying on the belt, or worrying about your promoting and your ranking, be present in the moment. What do your feet feel like when they step onto the mat?

Tanya PanizzoMaster Tanya Panizzo is a lifelong martial artist and instructor in the WTF style of Taekwondo. As a school owner, promoter and competition coach, Master Panizzo displays her passion for the martial arts by helping to bring the best out of those she trains and trains with. After ten years in the automotive industry, she realized that her heart was not in her engineering job but in taekwondo. Listen as she discusses the whirlwind that was her life as she made this transition, the challenges involved and the success she has seen.

Show Notes

Movie: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Unavailable for Streaming)
Actor: Jackie Chan

Though we were unable to find video proof, it does appear that Bruce Lee was a skilled dancer - specifically the Cha Cha.

Books: Living the Martial Way, The Book of the Samurai, Protecting the Gift

The kid imitating Bruce Lee's nunchaku routine from Game of Death. & on Facebook

Nov 26, 2015

November 26th, 2015 - Episode 37

This episode has nothing to do with Thanksgiving.

Sparring Gear Helmet

  • We'll be interviewing the founder of the Kids Kicking Cancer organization mentioned on episode 35.
  • If you haven't checked out Episode 36 with Mr. John Graden, you should. Some of his points have a few people riled up which is creating great discussion.
  • Into the Badlands is out, and it's pretty good!

Today's featured product is the whistlekick Sparring Helmet. It's a more comfortable, longer-lasting take on the sparring helmets many of you are wearing.

“You may train for a long time, but if you merely move your hands and feet and jump up and down like a puppet, learning Karate is not very different from learning a dance. You will never have reached the heart of the matter; you will have failed to grasp the quintessence of Karate.” – Gichin Funakoshi

tai-chi-masterMovie of the week - Tai Chi Master starring Michelle Yeoh and Jet Li, available for streaming on Netflix.


Nov 23, 2015
I think the decision to join a school starts with the leadership, so the first style to evaluate is the teaching style of the instructor.

Mr. John Graden is nothing if not a well-known figure in the martial arts community. The founder of several martial arts associations, student under numerous legends and now best-selling author, Mr. Graden knows the martial arts at several levels. A revered consultant on martial arts business, Mr. Graden joins us today to give a glimpse into his martial arts path. Having trained with high-caliber martial artists like Walt Bone and Joe Lewis, you know he has great stories. Not only does he deliver them, but with a sense of humor, too. Throughout the conversation Mr. Graden is ready to challenge martial arts convention and make you think with his logical criticisms of some of the ideas many martial artists (myself included) hold dear. This is an episode you may well be listening to more than once.

Your host, Jeremy

Show Notes

Movies: Enter the Dragon (unavailable for streaming), Raging Bull (unavailable for streaming), Excalibur (unavailable for streaming) - Martial Arts Teacher's Association - Mr. Graden's personal website, including rare photos and links to his books

Mr. Graden mentioned the Batman/Green Hornet crossover episode. It's titled "A Piece of the Action" and was released in 1967. Here's a clip with some highlights from that episode.

Nov 19, 2015

November 19, 2015 - Episode 35

sparring-gear-gloveFeatured Product - whistlekick Sparring Gloves. More comfortable, cut shorter & more durable than the competition. Check them out at our store.

Kids Kicking Cancer - remember we've already confirmed with the founder to be on the show. Look for that in the next few weeks.

If you haven't already, please check out Monday's episode with Mr. Richard Osborn. We talk a lot about competition and how it's shaped him.

Movie pick - Ip Man, available for streaming on Netflix.

Lastly, here's the quote and the image I mentioned: Martial Arts is one of the rare pursuits that will give back exactly, and only, what you put in.

Motivational poster martial arts

Nov 16, 2015
I'm still growing as a martial artist, I'm still trying to build. And I'm still trying to bring people along with me...

Today we're joined by Mr. Richard Osborn, a taekwondo practitioner, school owner, competitor and event promoter from Missouri. Mr. Osborn speaks warmly about his time as a competitor, often waking up early to travel hundreds of miles to attend an event. We've had some guests that have had strong ties to the competitive world, but perhaps none has been more influenced by their time in competition than Mr. Osborn.


For full show notes, please visit

Nov 12, 2015

Today's episode of Martial Arts Radio is new - our first ever non-interview episode. We'll be releasing one of these per week, but we need your help. We want to make this a great show, and just as you all have helped guide us with guest suggestions and other feedback, we want to ask the same of you here. Please give it a listen and let you know what you like and don't like about it.

Today we talk about AMC's upcoming show, Into the Badlands, which debuts Sunday.

Today's quote:

There is a difference between a fighter and a martial artist. A fighter is training for a purpose: he has a fight. I'm a martial artist. I don't train for a fight. I train for myself. I'm training all the time. My goal is perfection, but I will never reach perfection. - Georges St-Pierre.

Movie Pick:

Falcon Rising starring Michael Jai White

We end the show talking about the strong possibility that Karate will become an Olympic sport when Japan hosts in 2020.

Nov 9, 2015
If we lead with a fighter's heart, that's all we can ask for. To change one student's life... that's a big thing.

I'll set the scene for you. We just finished up a day of exhibiting at a martial arts tournament and went out to eat with the promoter and a few others. I come back from getting my food at the buffet and see a man sitting at the chair across from me. The man is quite a bit larger than anyone else in the room, and when he shakes my hand, it becomes lost in his. Sensei Robb Buckland is, in a word, intimidating. However, the smile on his face evened out any intimidation I felt.

Throughout our meal, Sensei Buckland shared amazing stories with everyone at the table. He holds a black belt from Joe Lewis and knows many of our past guests very well. I knew that this man needed to come on the show as a guest, and he was quite willing. The stories on today's episode are as wonderful as any we've had, but they carry with them a sense of humor that (arguably) no guest has. There were times I had to mute my microphone to keep from laughing over his words, and I suspect you'll find yourself laughing as well.

That doesn't mean that you should question Sensei Buckland's skill. He is a skilled and legitimate martial artist and has trained with a vast number of amazing practitioners. A Google image search of his name will show you the legendary friends he has, and listening to this episode will help you understand why he has earned their respect. Enjoy.


For full show notes, please visit:

Nov 2, 2015
Everybody thinks they know who they are, but I thought I knew who I was, too. And then I realized that I didn't, really.

Today's episode features Mr. Cory Rose, a taekwondo practitioner from Oklahoma. Mr. Rose is a longtime martial artist with a great story. We don't want to give away too much, but Mr. Rose credits his life to the arts, and in a far different way than other guests have done. We had a great conversation and discuss how martial arts has influenced his life as well as connected a number of dots on his path. A humble man, Mr. Rose opens up about every subject that comes up, which makes for a great episode.


For full show notes, please visit:

Oct 26, 2015

On episode 30 we're joined by Master Gordon White, a WTF taekwondo practitioner, instructor, school owner, organization president and former international-level gold medal competitor. That's quite the resume. (For those of you unfamiliar with taekwondo, no, WTF doesn't stand for that thing you may think it does - it stands for World Taekwondo Federation, which is the style of taekwondo sparring that's in the Olympics.) Master White and I are extended taekwondo family, as both he and my instructor trained under the same man. I guess that makes him my Uncle. Well, whatever it makes him, we had a great conversation and really dug into some deep subject matter. I hope you enjoy this episode.


Oct 19, 2015
I probably still do tons wrong, I still don't have all the answers, but I'm a lot better than I was ten years ago.

On this episode, we have Kyoshi Dave Kovar, an exciting martial artist, and an incredible teacher. I met Kyoshi Kovar back in July at the Super Summer Seminars event, the same place I met Sensei Katie Murphy and a number of other amazing martial artists. I was fortunate enough to work with him during a self-defense seminar and I was blown away. His reputation is certainly deserved.

Kyoshi Kovar was kind enough to appear on the show and we had a great conversation. As with most of our guests, he absolutely loves the martial arts, but I might venture that his love is greater than most. Not content with being a great martial arts instructor, Kyoshi Kovar is now regarded as an excellent instructor of instructors - both of martial arts skills as well as martial arts business.

~jeremy / Founder & Host

For full show notes, please visit:

Oct 12, 2015

On episode 28 we're joined by a very well-known martial artists, Mr. Mike Chat. Mr. Chat is probably best known for his role as the Blue Ranger in Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue, but there's a lot more on his resume. From television to movies to the competition circuit, Mr. Chat has done just about everything there is to do as a martial artist. He's the co-founder of XMA - Xtreme Martial Arts - which has become a global martial arts system.

Mr. Chat joined us by phone from California as we talk about all of it - honestly, we learn a lot about him during this episode. From the reverence he has for Sammon Hung to his adoration for his original instructor, Mr. Chat is very quick to give credit to others for helping him reach his successes.


For full show notes, including Mr. Chat's movie picks, please visit:

Oct 5, 2015

Today's episode is with Mr. Cecil Washington, founder of the blended martial arts style of Cecil Ryu. Mr. Washington trains and teaches in Maryland. His background is diverse, with training primarily in Taekwondo and Judo. As passionate about the martial arts as any of our previous guests, Mr. Washington and I had a good chat, and one that went on quite a bit longer than what we recorded. I thoroughly enjoy talking to our guests, especially when they have interesting things to say. This conversation was full of wonderful tangents, the best reading list yet from a guest as well as wonderfully entertaining stories, and I'm sure you'll enjoy it.


For full show notes, please visit

Sep 28, 2015

When we decided to launch this podcast, and it became clear I'd be the one hosting it, I had a few goals. First, I wanted our show to be something martial artists loved to listen to. Second, I wanted to bring on world-famous guests that would lend credibility to the show. Third, I wanted to interview my martial arts heroes. I can't promise we've done the first, but I can certainly say that the second and third goals have happened. The latest in that line of heroes is Shihan Christine Bannon-Rodrigues.

Shihan Bannon-Rodrigues is a legend in the martial arts world, having achieved every goal she set out for in the sport martial arts world. I remember her from the 90s, as a teenager on the competitive circuit. Everyone knew who she was, especially in New England. Some would refer to her by first name only, and everyone knew who she was.

Pardon my gushing here but it truly was an honor to speak to Shihan Chris, as she asked me to call her. We had a great chat and she was very open with her stories. Shihan Christine Bannon-Rodrigues is an incredible martial artist that has rounded out her resume with competition, instruction, acting, stunt work and choreography. I hope you enjoy listening to our conversation.


For full show notes please visit…nnon-rodrigues

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