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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.

Oct 14, 2020

Steve Kwan from BJJ Mental Models comes onto the podcast to discuss cult behaviour in BJJ, good and bad club cultures, and the big picture behind effective jiu-jitsu training.

"I consider cults to be any organization that uses unscrupulous tactics to manipulate the members for the benefit of the founders or the people higher up in the chain."

"People always tell you that jiu-jitsu builds character and makes you a better person. That is not true.  Jiu-jitsu gives you confidence and makes you a bolder, more assertive version of the person that you already are.  And whether that’s a good person or a bad person is up to you."

"In a time when things are as uncertain as they have ever been in our lives, we crave certainty. If someone can promise you certainty in an uncertain time especially if they can confirm what deep down you've always believed to be true, you're going to gravitate towards them and it shuts off part of your brain."