The Sonny Brown Breakdown is a podcast where we discuss the training, teaching, health and education of mixed martial arts to help you find the difference that makes the difference in your development. Please subscribe and leave a 5-star rating for the podcast on Apple Podcasts. The podcast is also on Spotify, Stitcher TuneIn.

You can also view all episodes on the LibSyn Podcast page and by searching for “The Sonny Brown Breakdown” on your favourite podcast application. If you enjoy the podcast please leave a review on the Apple Podcasts page. 

The Sonny Brown Breakdown

Dedication of Daisy Fresh & Fighting For the Future With Heath Pedigo

A Heath Pedigo interview, Founder of Pedigo Submission fighting, aka Daisy Fresh. We discuss the culture and mindset used to build Daisy Fresh from...

Alliance With Adversity & The Value of Vulnerability With Erik Uresk

I talk to Erik Uresk, a Judo & Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt who coaches at Alliance MMA. We discuss his martial arts career and how he advocates for...

An Inquiry-Based Instructional Strategy of Teaching Without Telling With Tum “Energia” Voorn

I talk to Tum "Energia" Voorn who is a Jiu Jitsu Practitioner with a Capoeria background and who also trained as a teacher. We discuss an...



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Down Under to Danaher, Peurto Rico, Pro Grappling & Providing Entertainment With Craig Jones

In this episode of the podcast I talk to one of the greatest grapplers in the world today, Craig Jones about his start in Australia, to moving to America to train with the Danaher team and now preparing in Puerto Rico. We discuss how his goals grew over time, how he teaches seminars and uses them to train and train other aspects of training with the DDS. We also discuss the importance of marketing as a professional grappler and earn a living from the sport at the highest levels where the line between...

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Weighty Issues of Weight Loss and Weight Cutting for Combat Sports with Dr Reid Reale

Reid Reale is a BJJ Black Belt who also holds a master’s degree in dietetics and a PhD in sports nutrition. His PhD thesis was entitled “Optimising Acute Body Mass Management in Australian Olympic Combat Sports”, he completed while working as a dietitian at the A.I.S. and for the Australian Olympic Combat Sports athletes before and after the 2016 Rio Olympics. Additionally, he published other research papers in the field titled "Acute weight management in combat sports: pre-weight-in weight loss,...

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BJJ Mental Models of Blading, Tempo & Establishing Offensive Cycles With Matt Kwan

I talk to Matt Kwan who is a BJJ Black Belt under Rob Biernacki and also Co-Hosts the podcast BJJ Mental Models with his brother Steve Kwan. We discuss concepts of belt tests and grading with the differences between adults and children and then explore essential concepts used by Gordon Ryan and the DDS. These include tempo in jiu-jitsu described through the terms of offensive and defensive cycles and blading to redirect frames while attacking and how these can help you learn BJJ faster and more efficiently.

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Unconventional Growth in Grappling & A Universal Theory of Guard With Chris Paines

I talk to Chris Paines who describes himself as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt who has never done Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He started training submission grappling somewhat isolated from the larger BJJ scene in Staffordshire, England but began attending BJJ Globetrotters camps where he met Priit Mihkelson. It was at these camps where he was graded up and awarded his black belt by Priit. The unconventional way he learned made him forced him to emphasise understanding the concepts behind grappling, which he...

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Reformation of Rituals Based on Research, Sparring & Self Determination Theory With Priit Mihkelson

I talk to Priit Mihkelson who is a BJJ Black Belt with a unique take on how BJJ can be taught and learned. We discuss how Priit structures his class and sparring sessions to encourage new behaviour but in the bulk of the interview, we discuss the practice of "clapping" back to an instructor after counting 3 2 1. It ends up taking us to interesting places like how rituals are formed, how they could be reformed, evidence-based teaching practices, motivation, self-determination theory by the time we finish.

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Fusing Sambo Into the Grappling Universe & Unity Over Division With Vlad Koulikov

I talk to Vlad Koulikov who is a Master of Sport in Sambo aswell as a BJJ & Judo Black Belt who grew up in Russia and before moving to America where he started an academy with a blend of grappling called Sambo Fusion. We discuss the history, elements, rankings & rules of Sambo as well as the differences with Combat Sambo. Also, the challenges he faced when fusing BJJ & Sambo and how he believes in unity over the division between the arts can benefit both. We finish by discussing his time...

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The Purpose of Pragmatism, Persuasion, Jiu Jitsu & John Danaher with Robert Degle

I talk to Robert Degle who is a BJJ Black Belt from New York who trains under John Danaher and is also a philosophy major. We discuss how he started BJJ in the blue basement with Danaher, His start with philosophy and existentialism and how this lead to him pursuing an academic career with a focus on American pragmatism and Wittgenstein. We then explore how this can influence grappling training in regards to learning, competition, seeking the truth using logic, paying attention and the importance of...

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The Good, Bad & Beautiful Truth in the Origins of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu With Robert Drysdale

I talk to Robert Drysdale. He is a storied competitor, ADCC Champion, Mundials Champion and has also coached many other legends of the sport. Also a History major, he has spent his recent time delving into the history of the sport for a documentary entitled Closed Guard: The Origins of Jiu-Jitsu in Brazil that traces the journey of Japanese Judoka travelling to Brazil and the formation of the sport we know today involving tough guys, the circus, outlaws, gambling, marketing & promotion and of course...

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Efficiency in Learning Techniques, Making Decisions and Mental Models for BJJ With Steve Kwan

I talk to Steve Kwan. Steve is one half of the excellent podcast BJJ Mental Models, he is also a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and works professionally at a tech company improving efficiency in process and operations. We discuss how he has taken lessons learned there and with the use of mental models how they can be applied to learning techniques and making decisions for jiu-jitsu. Also, how parameters and constraints can benefit learning and if the influx of information from social media and...

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