Jimmy Pedro is a World champion, 3x World medalist, 2x Olympic medalist; we talk about his father (Big Jim Pedro Sr), his early career, the times he wanted to quit, overcoming a neck injury, coming back from retirement, the life of an athlete vs the life of a coach, a system for developing elite-level judoka, Japanese vs Russian judo, periodization, a weekly program for an elite-level judoka, toughest moment as a coach, watching Travis Stevens lose the semifinals at the Olympics, mental game, visualization, IJF, judo as a spectator sport, the future of judo in the United States and the rest of the world, and more.
Frank Molinaro aka Gorilla Hulk is the 2012 NCAA Wrestling Champion, and a 4-time NCAA Division-I All-American; we talk about World Team Trials, last second victory, his day-to-day routine, diet, Vitamix, rehabbing injuries, sauna, cutting weight, leg killer video, cardio circuits, drilling, play wrestling, mastering a technique, 2011 NCAA finals match against Kyle Dake, wrestling the NCAA tournament through an injury, visualization, confidence, matches that haunt him, mental toughness, married life, coaching, and more.
Dan Severn is a UFC Hall of Famer, a legend in combat sports with more than 4 decades of wrestling and fighting under his belt; we talk about fighting, kids, competition, technology, amateur wrestling, Leri Khabelov, beating a man he couldn’t beat, UFC, Royce Gracie, no holds barred fighting, etc.
Ryan Hall is a BJJ black belt, head instructor of 50/50 BJJ, an ADCC bronze medalist with a long career in high level competition throughout which he has beaten many of the top grapplers in the world; we talked about moral victory, maintaining a stoic expression, a unified theory of grappling, the value of competition, a lifelong pursuit of a singular goal, best martial art for self defense, cultivating ego, and much more.
Ido Portal is a movement artist, researcher, and teacher; we talked about specialization, his journey in becoming a movement generalist, the sacrifice of specialists, improvisation, coaching, criticism, dealing with complainers, difference of mentality in different countries, perfect practice, Marcelo Garcia, learning new things versus perfecting old things, building work capacity, mentor/desciple relationshiop, moving alone and in a community, moving through injury, antifragile, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, paleo diet, technology, Tom Waits, Charles Bukowski, cultivating the weird, etc.
I talk with AnnMaria De Mars about being the first American to win the Judo World Championship, raising four kids one of whom is Ronda Rousey the current UFC champion, getting four degrees including a PhD in applied statistics, her book Winning on the Ground, her blog, her grandmother’s advice, the passing of her husband, the absurdity of sport, coaching an elite level athlete, balancing academics and sport, Ronda’s 2007 World Silver and Olympic Bronze and her matches against Edith Bosch, refusing to lose, being a woman in a combat sport, teaching kids math through computer games at 7 Generation Games, math (and hard work) as an important foundation for long-term success in life, and more.
I talk with Kayla Harrison, first American to win Olympic gold in judo, about her training methods, visualization, competition mindset, Olympic final experience, warm-routine, Eminem and country music, overcoming a past of sexual abuse, PTSD, finding forgiveness, finding strength in judo, being coached by Jimmy Pedro, her Team Force teammates, moving up two weight classes, strength and conditioning, going to college, writing her memoir and also a book on recovering from sexual abuse, new judo rules, serving as the IJF athlete representative, and much more.
I talk with Kyle Dake, 4x NCAA champion, Dan Hodge trophy winner, and 2013 SI College Athlete of the Year, about a tradition of wrestling in his family, early wrestling days, the influence of his mom and dad, setting goals, overcoming losses early in his career, facing Jordan Burroughs, David Taylor, Andrew Howe, competing with a broken hand against a 2x world champion, Denis Tsargush, training to exhaustion, keeping the training fun, being pushed by training partners like Jordan Leen, Call of Duty, Breaking Bad, and much more.
Ilias Iliadis is truly one of the legends of judo, an Olympic gold and bronze medalist, two-time world champion, and 5-time world medalist. And still only 26 years old (turning 27 two days after the interview and of course training on his birthday). We talk about his birthday two days after the interview, his son and daughter, his father and coach, starting at a young age, the 2004 Olympics, the 2010 and 2011 world championships, Mark Huizinga, Varlam Liparteliani, Mark Anthony, winning international tournaments in four different weight classes (73kg, 81kg, 90kg, 100kg), Teddy Riner, 2013 world championships, ogoshi, seoi nage, no-gi, and more.