Jeff discusses the importance of studying and appreciating history.
Jeff wraps up his 3 part series on the military concept of “interior lines.” In this episode he draws comparisons between the this concept and solo combat in the martial arts.
Jeff continues his comparison of military doctrine to the martial arts, today describing the Battle of Rorke’s Drift.
Jeff begins a three part series in which he describes the military principle of “interior lines,” and gives two examples from history.
Jeff discusses the scientific method vs. “ancient wisdom,” and the importance for martial arts instructors of regularly updating their curricula.
Jeff discusses the cognitive bias known as “survivor-ship bias.”
Jeff draws a comparison to a popular software product to explain what he thinks constitutes a “legitimate” variation of a martial arts technique.
Jeff offers some tips for organizing your work when researching a topic.
Jeff discusses the importance of continuing to learn after your school days.
Jeff offers answers to some questions that he thinks some martial arts students fear to ask.
Jeff deconstructs the traditional demonstration of the alleged internal energy called “chi” known as “The Iron Throat.”
Jeff discusses several common myths about the human brain.
In the fourth installment of Jeff’s miniseries regarding strange behavior in and around the martial arts, he describes the antics of a man we will call Sifu Wu.
Jeff gives us some real facts about the man behind “Chuck Norris facts.”
Jeff winds up his two part podcast on one way that sport fencing organizes tactical thinking.
Jeff discusses a traditional tactical paradigm from sport fencing.
Jeff completes his 4 part series on ancient Sparta with the story of Epaminondas.
Jeff continues his mini-series on the movie “300.” This time the topic is the poorly concealed racism of the film.
Jeff continues to discuss misconceptions that watching the 2006 film “300” might create. This week he gives a more historically accurate description of the Battle of Thermopylae, and how the military skills of Spartans, Persians, and non-Spartan Greeks differed from the way the movie depicts.
Jeff begins a new miniseries on the topic of the 2006 film, “300,” which had a strong impact on lots of young martial artists. In part one he discusses how the film over-idealizes the Spartans, and over-demonizes the Persians.
Jeff discusses parallels in the way both violent predators and con artists select their victims.
Jeff wraps up his mini-series on the controversy regarding leg locks in competitive grappling by making the case for embracing these maligned techniques.
Jeff tells the modern part of the story of the evolution of the leg lock game.
Jeff continues his mini-series on the controversy surrounding leg locks in submission grappling training and competition. This week he tells the Russian part of the story.
Jeff begins a four-part series discussing the controversy regarding the relative safety of leg locking techniques in submission grappling training and competition. In Part One he tells the “Brazilian Story.”
Jeff discusses his fascination for the Greek goddess Athena, and what that has to do with the martial arts.
Jeff wraps up his three-part discussion of striking defense, doing a deep dive into the subject of counter-attack.
Jeff moves his discussion of developing your striking defense from passive defense to active defense.
“The Martial Brain” is Jeff Westfall’s podcast series on the intersection between the martial arts, science, critical thinking, scientific skepticism, and that wacky organ that floats between our ears. Each episode is a small nugget of thoughts on how these things relate to a particular element in the life of a martial artist.
Episodes are available on iTunes and Stitcher!
153 We’ve Got the Enemy Right Where We Want ‘Em! Part 1
152 Turns Out My Sensei DOESN’T Know Everything!
151 Only Who is Left
150 The PhotoShop Effect
149 The Power of Continuing Education Part 2
148 The Power of Continuing Education Part 1
147 Why Does My Sifu Do That?
146 Stupid Chi Tricks Revealed Part 3
145 Brain Myths
144 Weird Tales of the Rising Phoenix Martial Arts Academy Vol. 4
143 Chuck Norris Doesn’t DO Podcasts!
142 The Tactical Wheel Part 2
141 The Tactical Wheel Part 1
140 This is Sparta? Part 4
139 This is Sparta? Part 3
138 This is Sparta? Part 2
137 This is Sparta? Part 1
136 Profile of a Victim
135 Come to the Dark Side Part 4
134 Come to the Dark Side Part 3
133 Come to the Dark Side Part 2
132 Come to the Dark Side Part 1
131 Athena Vs. Ares
130 The Art of Not Getting Hit Part 3
129 The Art of Not Getting Hit Part 2
128 The Art of Not Getting Hit Part 1
127 Techno-phobia and the Martial Arts
126 Believing is Seeing Part 5
125 Believing is Seeing Part 4
124 Believing is Seeing Part 3
123 Believing is Seeing Part 2
122 Believing is Seeing Part 1
121 Death by Ideology
120 First Allegiance
119 There’s a Box There For a Reason
118 Looking for Sensei Right
117 Easter Eggs and Rabbit Holes
116 The Red-headed Stepchild of Striking
115 The Beast With Two Backs?
114 Nerd Up!
113 It’s a Natural Fact
This is a re-posting of an archive episode. See episode #21 below for the original sound file.
112 Oh, How We Danced!
111 You Say Placebo and I Say Nocebo
110 You Are Not the Punisher
109 A Study in Studies
108 The Punching Order
107 This Technique Always Works…Well, Except for When it Didn’t.
This is a re-posting of an archive episode. See episode #37 below for the original sound file.
106 The Tao of the Tao of Jeet Kune Do
105 Battling Bartitsu Babes
104 Fortune’s Fool
103 The Low-hanging Fruit
102 The Strange Tale of Howard Boone Part 2
101 The Strange Tale of Howard Bone Part 1
100th Episode Extravaganza!
99 Dueling Concepts
98 Lesson Planning and Helmuth Von Moltke
97 She Blinded Me With Scienciness!
96 Everything Good Came From Us!
95 Martial Arts Literacy
94 A Potpourri of Fallacies
93 Age is Relative, and Boy Do I Have Some Old Relatives!
92 Whoa, Mule!
91 Made Ya Look!
90 What is the Secret to Good Comedy?
89 Go With the Flow
88 Courage is Easy, Discipline is Hard!
87 The Power of Doubt Part 3
86 The Power of Doubt Part 2
85 The Power of Doubt Part 1
84 Stupid Chi Tricks Revealed Part 2
83 The Big Student Bias
82 Child’s Play
81 One or Two Degrees of Dan Inosanto Part 4
80 One or Two Degrees of Dan Inosanto Part 3
79 One or Two Degrees of Dan Inosanto Part 2
78 One or Two Degrees of Dan Inosanto Part 1
77 My Sensei is Better Than Your Sensei
76 Howdy Pardner!
75 There Aint No Such Thing as a Free Sample!
74 Weird Tales of the Rising Phoenix Academy Part 3
73 Oh No! Not the CRUEL Sensei!
72 Taking a Stance on Martial Arts Stances
71 We Don’t Fight Like That Around Here!
70 Any Port in a Storm
69 Them is Fightin’ Words!
68 Taking Down the Dragon
67 Martial Nerds vs. Martial Jocks
66 For Worse or Better
65 Respect My Authority!
64 Stupid Chi Tricks Revealed
63 We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us!
62 I Don’t Think You Understand the Gravity of the Situation! Part 2
61 The Sweet Taste of Emotional Candy
60 The Arrow of Time
59 The Misanthropic Principle
58 The Mathematics of Not Falling Down
57 I Don’t Think You Understand the Gravity of the Situation!
56 Honor in the Martial Arts
55 Trust Your Instincts?
54 The Price of Cruelty
53 If You Know What’s Good For You!
52 The Evolution of the Martial Human
51 Building Your Grappling Game
50 Weird Tales of the Rising Phoenix Academy Part 2
49 Play is the Thing
48 Hacking Away the Unessential is Essential
47 Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
46 But Mommy, I Want There to be a Santa Claus!
45 Weird Tales of the Rising Phoenix Academy
44 Can Rocky Beat Rambo?
43 The Dunning-Kruger Effect
42 Martial Arts or Martial Science?
41 The Dark Side of Genius
40 The Five Levels of Commitment in Striking
39 A More Precise Take on Precision
38 The Tao of the Perfect Collision
37 This Technique Always Works
36 I’d Give My Right Arm to be Ambidextrous!
35 That’s Funny, It Worked on YouTube!
34 Drop and Give Me Fifty!
33 The Way of the Intercepting Myth Part 2
32 The Way of the Intercepting Myth Part 1
31 Zen and the Art of Revisionist History
30 How Dare You Question My Omniscience?
29 Stand Up Straight and Breathe, Grasshopper!
28 Logic is Like a Sword
27 The Golden Age Fallacy
26 The Student Shall Be the Teacher
25 Nobody’s Perfect, and That’s Unforgivable!
24 Defeating the Straw Man
23 Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock
22 When is a Technique Practical?
21 It’s a Natural Fact
20 Dude, That is Sick!
19 Realism in Sparring and the Scientific Method
18 What Belt are You?
17 What if Tokyo Never Rose?
16 The Elephant in the Room
15 The Last Samurai
14 The Myth of the Power of the Mind
13 The Martial Arts and the Monkey Brain
12 Essence and the Martial Arts
11 Technique Vs. Principle
10 What is a Martial Arts Style?
9 Is Grappling Training Necessary?
8 How Do You Know?
7 What is a Master?
6 Does Practice Make Perfect?
5 The Crane Kick Phenomenon
4 Are Martial Arts Seminars Worthwhile?
3 What is a Traditional Martial Art?
2 Martial Sports vs. Martial Combat Arts
1 How Long Will it Take?
Jeff describes a way to begin building your defensive skills vs. empty hand striking.
Jeff discusses the quirky relationship between humans and their technology.
Jeff wraps up his miniseries about human vision.
Jeff discusses the ways that your brain compensates for the time lag created when it must process visual information before presenting it to you.
Jeff continues his discussion of the powers and the failings of our most valued sense.
Jeff begins a multi-episode deep dive into how your brain manufactures what you think you see with your eyes.
Jeff describes the history of Lysenkoism and the dangers of allowing ideology to trump evidence.
Jeff discusses the dangers of tribalism in martial arts academies.
Jeff discusses the payoffs and pitfalls of marching to the beat of a different drummer.
Jeff discusses the pitfalls of dating at the martial arts academy.
Jeff discusses the various ways instructors build a lesson plan or a curriculum, and the ways the quirky human brain can corrupt the process.
Jeff discusses his personal history with kicking below the belt, and it’s parallel history in the last few decades of the martial arts in the US.
Jeff discusses the importance of recognizing and seizing the mutual center of gravity in the clinch.
Jeff discusses the dangers of the recurring logical fallacy of anti-intellectualism.
This is an encore posting of episode 21. Jeff discusses the logical fallacy called “the appeal to nature,” how it applies to the martial arts, and the pitfalls of claiming that what is “natural” is better.
Jeff discusses the various uses of footwork in the martial arts, and why you need to learn them.
Jeff discusses the “placebo effect” and whether a single session of martial arts training has magical healing properties.
Jeff discusses the ethical and legal dangers of following sport martial arts protocols in self defense.
Jeff discusses the importance of understanding the variety of quality of various scientific studies for martial artists and the general public.