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The Strenuous Life Podcast with Stephan Kesting

This is the Stephan Kesting's Grapplearts Radio Podcast where we discuss BJJ, Grappling, MMA, and all manner of martial arts training.

Stephan runs, where he has published many hundreds of martial arts videos, articles and tutorials.

His free guide to learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, A Roadmap for BJJ, has been downloaded more than 10,000 times and has become a foundational text for the art. Click here to download that book for free as well.

Stephan has a lengthy career in martial arts, spanning more than 3 decades.  He has dedicated many years to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and you can find his accessible and practical expertise on all BJJ matters at

A black belt in multiple martial art systems, he brings a range of approaches to self defense, and a critical eye for what works in the street.

Stephan has been featured in Black Belt Magazine, Ultimate Grappling, Tapout Magazine and Ultimate Athlete.

He is also a frequent guest on martial arts related podcasts, including The Fightworks Podcast, Atlantic MMA, Combatives Corner, The Warrior’s Den, The Spartan Underground and many more.

May 4, 2018

I really enjoyed this conversation with Rokas Leonavicius, the European Aikido instructor who became famous on Youtube trying to make his aikido functional against resisting opponents.  Find out about his journey into Aikido, BJJ, Aikido and Boxing in this fascinating episode.

02:05 - Rokas's background in Aikido
04:21 - Wrestling in Eastern Europe
05:43 - What attracted him to Aikido?
14:20 - How long should you train before Aikido is applicable?
20:20 - Testing Aikido on Youtube
23:55 - The Aikido vs MMA video
26:23 - Functionalizing Aikido
38:18 - How did Aikido take off?
40:59 - Real life consequences of the Aikido vs MMA video
48:43 - Elements of Aikido that carry over into other arts
61:53 - Where can we find Rokas?
Check out Rokas's Youtube channel at
and his website at