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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 26, 2023

Not only is Robert Drysdale a BJJ and ADCC World Champion, he has also conducted extensive research into the history of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In this interview, he reveals some of what he's discovered, including...

01:54 - The first wave of jiu-jitsu in Brazil - Helio Gracie and Carlos Gracie 
04:35 - Exhibition and carnival fighting in Brazil
06:55 - Traditional jiu-jitsu style vs modified judo
12:14 - Training methods of the Gracie Academy in the '30s, 40s and '50s
18:43 - The second wave practitioners
19:47 - Waldemar Santana
22:49 - Carlson Gracie and the Rua Figueiredo Magalhães school
33:19 - How BJJ rule changes changed the sport
42:31 - Rolls Gracie
48:51 - Self-defense and Vale Tudo training
55:28 - Rolls Gracie death
1:00:55 - The Carlson Gracie tragedy
1:13:54 - Carlos Gracie Jr.
1:21:03 - Future rule changes, luta livre, and the sportification of jiu-jitsu
1:35:10 - The Rise and Evolution of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the book

You can grab Robert's book, The Rise and Evolution of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which goes into MUCH more detail on these topics at

 Note that today's episode was also on my Youtube channel at this link:

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Stephan Kesting