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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 7, 2024

In this episode I put on my adventurer hat and use my biology background to look at four studies and 352 aggressive bear encounters in Alaska to see whether bear spray or firearms was more effective at deterring aggressive black, grizzly and polar bear behaviour. The results may surprise you, but data doesn't care about...

Apr 12, 2024

There are times when it feels like life has you trapped on the bottom of mount against a vastly heavier, more experienced opponent intent on mauling you.  The steps to deal with these two situations are the same.  

Pass this on to someone you think it might help,

Stephan Kesting

P.S.  I made one little mistake in this...

Mar 11, 2024

Many people completely run out of gas when they're sparring, and often this is because they are inadvertently holding their breath.  In this short podcast I share four very specific ways that I've coached people past this problem and hugely improved their endurance.

Please share this episode with someone you think it...

Mar 2, 2024

The traditional class structure of doing a warmup, learning a couple of new techniques, and followed by sparring is NOT an efficient way to learn jiu-jitsu.  We can do much better if we use insights from research on coaching and learning.

Today's guest is Cal MacDonald, a BJJ black belt and  competitor who has dedicated...

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...