“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!


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?