The top rated podcast dedicated to the martial arts enthusiast
About The Black Belt Podcast
What’s Up Martial Artists! Welcome to The Black Belt Podcast a Martial Arts Lifestyle Show hosted by highly acclaimed multi style martial artist Harinder Singh in partnership with Black Belt Magazine. Come join us every 2 weeks for a new release and listen what our guests have to say. We have been rated among the best martial arts podcasts in the industry!
“We are going to bridge the gap between sport, tradition, and reality. Join me as I sit down with world class practitioners to discuss their lifestyles to teach you about their mindset, training, and fighting methods so that we can grow from their wisdom.” – Harinder Singh
Season 2 - Episode 6 - Apolo Ladra
Season 2 Episode 6: Apolo Ladra - Learn to Teach, Teach to Learn
My guest this episode is Tuhon Apolo Ladra who has trained in the martial arts for over 40 years. He is a 7’th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, he has taught thousands of students and managed 57 schools. He is a master instructor of Pekti Tirsia Kali under Grand Tuhon Leo Gaje, and has been inducted int the Black Belt Magazine’s Hall of Fame as “Weapons Instructor of the Year”. Tuhon Apolo is the founder of the iKali and the World Kali Association which is dedicated creating and standardizing curriculum and requirements for students, instructors and school owners while spreading the indigenous art of the Philippines, the Art of the Blade, worldwide.
Season 2 - Episode 5 - Darren Tibon
Season 2 Episode 5: Darren Tibon - The Highest Level is When Your Offense becomes Your Defense
My guest this episode is Grand Master Darren Tibon who was a personal student and graduate of Great Grand Master Angel Cabales’ Serrada Escrima. Angel Cabales was known as the teacher of teachers and in 1967 was one of the first to commercially teach Filipino Martial Arts and he heavily influenced their spread across the United States. I am honored to sit down with GM Darren Tibon who is one of my personal teachers, the head of Angel’s Disciples Stockton, and the founder of the Legacy Events, which were designed to unite Filipino Martial Artists of all Styles and Systems and preserve the Teachings of their Grand Masters.
Season 2 - Episode 4 - Shannon Lee
Season 2 Episode 4: Shannon Lee - Be Water My Friend: Bruce Lee's Philosophy for Life
This is a special episode for me as I get to sit down and flow with the daughter of the founder of Jeet Kune Do. We talk about Bruce Lee’s philosophical teachings and how they can be applied in our daily lives. My Key takeaway is that Bruce Lee’s Superpower is Self-Mastery, and that he never considered himself a master, but rather an eternal student. We dive deep into the concept of flow and the process of self-actualization, and how martial arts philosophy can be used to discover our true potential and honestly express our best selves. This was a deeply insightful conversation and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Season 2 - Episode 3 - Ray Sefo
Season 2 Episode 3: Ray Sefo - Mental Toughness is the Courage to Step Forward and Face Your Fears
My guest this episode is the one and only Ray Sefo, he has fought in 110 Professional Fights, achieving 54 Knock Outs and 6 World Titles. He has competed in 4 Combat Sports (Boxing, Muay Thai, Kick Boxing, and MMA). Mr. Sefo is the President of Fighter Operations for PFL, the Professional Fighters League and is a true martial arts renaissance man.
Season 2 - Episode 2 - Ernie Reyes Jr.
Season 2 Episode 2: Ernie Reyes Jr. - The Art of Living Life to its Fullest
My guest this episode is Ernie Reyes Jr., a martial artist, actor, and fighter. He is known for his work in films like The Last Dragon, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Surf Ninjas, and the Rundown starring alongside Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. I first remember being wowed by Ernie as he burst on to the television screen in the 80’s tv series Side Kicks. At the age of 6 he joined his father’s famous West Coast Demo Team, he would also go on to a 3-0 professional Kick Boxing record in Strike Force. He is a father, a stuntman, and action film maker.
Season 2 - Episode 1- Tim Kennedy
Season 2 Episode 1: Tim Kennedy - To Serve and Protect
My guest this episode is Tim Kennedy, a Special Forces Sniper, a Range Qualified Green Beret, a former UFC & Strike Force Fighter, and the President of Sheep Dog Response. He is one of the few fighters to simultaneously serve in the United States Army while also fighting professionally and is the recipient of the Army’s Bronze Star Medal. Mr. Kennedy is the founder of the Acton Academy, which is a K-12 Charter school. He is also active as a television host, producer, and entrepreneur.
Season 1 guests include Michael Jai White, Jocko Willink, Herb Perez, Rickson Gracie, Mike Swain, Justin Ren, John “The Pitmaster” Hackleman, Tony Blauer, Chatri Sityodang, Dave Kovar, Meisha Tate, Burton Richardson, Master Wong, Master Ken, Mike Ninomiya, and Jackson Rudolph.
Follow Harinder Singh @sifusingh and Black Belt Magazine @blackbeltmag.
Episode 1: Michael Jai White - Martial Arts is About Overcoming Yourself
My guest this episode is Michael Jai White, a highly trained martial artist & actor. Michael has broken barriers as a Hollywood star and is an International Box office sensation. He is a national martial arts champion, a special education teacher, and a Black Belt under the legendary Bill “Superfoot” Wallace. He was awarded Black Belt Magazines, 2015 Man of the Year.
This episode is filled with golden nuggets. My key take away is all about the philosophy of looking to get better every time you train. Michael’s “growth minded” approach allows him to keep an empty cup as he seeks out the best martial artists on the planet to test himself against and to be exposed to their methods. Because Martial Arts is not about fighting, it’s not about dominating your opponent, but about overcoming yourself.
Episode 2: Jocko Willink - Detachment From Emotions is the Master Key to Success
This episode is filled with leadership wisdom from first-hand experience in life and death situations. I consider Jocko Willink to be the Modern Miyamoto Musashi and my key take away is that Detachment from Emotions is the essential element to Success in Leadership and in Life. Emotions cloud our judgement, make us reactionary, and lead to panic, stress, fear and anxiety. In this episode Jocko details a step by step method to stay calm, not get caught up in emotions, and make better choices.
Episode 3: Herb Perez - The Art of Setting and Achieving Goals
My Guest this episode is the 1992 Olympic Gold Medalist, in Tae Kwon Do, Master Herb Perez. He is the owner of Gold Medal Martial Arts Centers, the creator of the Torch Program, a Lawyer, and the former Mayor of Foster City, Ca.
This episode is literally filled with gold, and I consider Herb Perez a master of high performance. My Key take away is “The Art of Setting and Achieving Goals”. We discuss failure, doubt, and how to rise above self-limiting beliefs. Master Perez also shares his powerful Visualization Techniques to Win Matches in Your Mind, and how physical & mental training found in Martial Arts are the Foundations of all Success.
Episode 4: Justin Wren - Be Resilient, Never Quit, and Overcome all Obstacles
My guest this episode is Justin “The Big Pygmy” Wren, a humanitarian, author, speaker, and a professional mixed martial arts fighter who has inspired millions. He is the founder of “Fight for the Forgotten” a non-profit organization dedicated to defending the weak, loving the unloved, and empowering the voiceless around the world and in our own neighborhoods and schools.
In this deep and highly personal episode Justin Wren shares how he used the martial arts to bravely overcome depression and addiction and how he has dedicated his life to fighting for other people. My key takeaway, to quote Justin is that we can “defeat hate with love”. We are all fighting a war within, and we need a support system and a higher purpose to overcome our obstacles and challenges. We can then use the lessons we learned to “live to love and fight for people”. I was honored to interview Justin a true example of the Martial Spirit.
Episode 5: Dave Kovar - Professionalism & Empowerment through a Growth Minded Passion Driven Approach
My guest this episode is Hanshi Dave Kovar who is known as “The Teacher of Teachers”. He is the founder of Kovar’s Satori Academies and PROMAC, the Professional Martial Arts College. He is a prolific author and the epitome of professionalism and humility. His formulas for integrity-based success coaching have transformed martial arts training, teaching, and business across the globe. This episode is filled with guidance and wisdom from a true pioneer of the Professional Martial Arts Industry.
My Key takeaway is that “There is no higher calling than teaching Martial Arts”. I absolutely love Hanshi Kovar’s Growth Minded Passion driven approach. We discuss how to empower people of all ages to become more confident, healthy, happy, and contributing members of society. Hanshi Kovar also shares what it takes to provide high quality martial arts instruction, how to develop professional instructors, and most importantly how to remain a student for life by being open, and enjoying and having fun in your training, and loving the process of learning.
Episode 6: John Hackleman - Physical and Mental Conditioning are the Master Key’s to Performance
My Guest this episode is “The Pitmaster” John Hackleman who is one of the most sought-after trainers in MMA history. He is the founder of the world famous “Pit Martial Arts and Fitness” which is home to UFC Champions Chuck Liddell and Glover Teixeira. The Pitmaster’s unique approach is catered to children, adults, and professional fighters. His Hawaiian Kempo curriculum is designed to address school yard bullying, dangerous street assaults, and professional cage fighting.
My Key take away is that “Peak Physical Conditioning Directly Impacts Mental Performance”. I believe the Pitmaster is a creative genius when it comes to preparing his fighters for world class competition. His innovative training methods are designed to replicate the pressures and stresses of combat. In this episode we discuss physical and mental conditioning, what it takes to prepare world class athletes, and how to lead with confidence, loyalty, and humility.
Episode 7: Burton Richardson - Approach Your Training with Integrity and Pressure Test Everything
My Guest this episode is Guro Burton Richardson who is one of the most cutting edge multi style martial arts masters and teachers on the planet. He is the founder of “JKD Unlimited” which is dedicated to constant improvement through research, experimentation, and development of street affective self defense methods. He is a full instructor under the legendary Guro Dan Inosanto, a Black Belt Magazine Hall of Fame Member, and is has trained Law Enforcement, Martial Artists and UFC Fighters across the globe.
My Key take away is that “Intelligent Pressure Testing Leads to True Confidence”. I believe Guro Burton’s Research driven humble and open minded approach towards functionalizing martial arts tactics and techniques is an honest approach towards developing true self confidence in your abilities. This episode is all about self improvement driven by a thirst for knowledge. We dive deep into teaching and training methods, and discuss the limitless philosophy of always getting better.
Episode 8: Tony Blauer - How to Develop the Ability to Recognize and Manage Fear
My guest this episode is Tony Blauer a martial artist, self defense, and combatives instructor for over four decades. He is the founder of Blauer Tactical Systems which is one of the worlds leading consulting firms specializing in research and development of combative training and equipment for military, law enforcement and self defense communities.
This Episode is about Tony Blauer’s research into the neuroscience of fear and the startle flinch. My key take away is that fear impacts everything we do and that Our ability to recognize, and manage fear directly impacts the quality of our life. We discuss physiology, physics, and the psychology of personal defense, and how that led Coach Blauer to create the SPEAR System.
Episode 9: Mike Swain - 1988 Bronze Medal Olympian in Judo
My guest this episode is Mike Swain who is one of the most successful American Judoka’s in history. He is the first American Male Judoka to win a Gold Medal in the 1987 World Championships and followed that up with a Bronze Medal in the 1988 Olympics. He is the VP of Martial Arts for Dollamur Sports Surfaces and one of the most respected Martial Arts Masters on the Planet.
This Episode is all about what it takes to be a champion on and off the matts. My key take away is that repetitions, balance, and discipline create an unshakeable trust in your ability to perform under pressure. Mike’s philosophy is that “Success Leaves Clues”, so surround yourself with greatness. We discuss training strategies, match preparation, and how to deal with adversity.
Episode 10: Rickson Gracie - Spiritual Warrior: The Path of Empowerment
This Episode is a master class on the warrior’s way. Master Rickson is an inspiration and personal hero of mine, he is the embodiment of a modern samurai. My Key takeaway is that everything begins and ends with the ability to control our breathing so we can relax under pressure and approach both martial arts and life with a fluid body and mind mindset. Master Rickson details that flow is all about presence of mind and body so we can seek a connection and find harmony through balance. The art of flow is about cultivating our sensitivity so we can make micro adjustments and continuously make ourselves comfortable in uncomfortable situations. We discuss training methods, teaching philosophy, and the gift of empowerment. Master Rickson’s stories are so inspirational, and his lessons are life changing. I hope you get as much out of this as I did.
Episode 11: Master Wong - Know Yourself, Know Your Enemy
This episode is all about Master Wong’s story and his drive to overcome bullying, gangs, and how martial arts has transformed his life. My key take away is Know Yourself to Know Your Enemy. We have to develop an awareness and understand our abilities, be able to read our opponents and gage the threats in our surroundings. This awareness is vital to choosing the correct tactics and strategies in dangerous situations. We discuss training strategies, teaching methods, and martial arts mindset and philosophy. Master Wong’s stories of overcoming adversity are inspirational, and he lives and breathes what he teaches.
Episode 12: Cynthia Rothrock - Life is an Adventure
This episode is all about Cynthia Rothrock’s journey from training under Ernie Reyes Sr., representing the legendary West Coast Demo Team, becoming a multiple time world champion in forms, to being discovered by the Hong Kong Film Industry. My Key Take Away is to Never Accept Failure and to Never Quit. Martial Arts teaches us to overcome adversity, to learn and to grow. Not everyone is a natural, but with grit, strong determination, and most importantly a Positive Attitude you can keep going and achieve your dreams. Cynthia is a true martial artist, her passion for teaching, learning, and her quest for adventure in life is inspirational.
Episode 13: Jackson Rudolph - The Martial Art of Discovering Your Potential
Jackson Rudolph is a remarkable young man and this episode is all about his competitive martial arts and scholastic journey. My Key Take Away is that Martial Arts Teachings are the Key to Success on the matts and in the Classroom. Along with being a martial arts world champion Jackson also graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Biology and is currently a USUHS Med Student & US Army 2nd Lt studying to be a surgeon. We talk about preparing for competitions, entering the flow state, clarity in setting goals, developing concentration, overcoming bullying, and that the biggest thing martial arts gives us is the ability to overcome our doubts and build true self confidence. We also talk about the importance of Creating Art and honestly expressing ourselves and why Martial Arts are a gift for children to discover their full potential.
Episode 14: Miesha Tate - Mental Toughness and Fighting the Inner Battle
Miesha Tate has built a career on mental fortitude and going beyond her limitations. My Key Take Away is that Martial Arts teaches us to stay calm and composed in high pressure situations and gives us the ability to not freakout and be over emotional. We talk about fight preparation, strategy, and the importance of mental and physical conditioning. We also discuss the growth of Mixed Martial Arts and how important it is for Athletes to be able to train the individual parts, boxing, Thai boxing, wrestling, and Jiujitsu, and then be able to integrate them into one fluid whole.
Episode 15: Master Ken - Lethality, The Way of Ameri-Do-Te
My guest this is episode is the most famous martial arts master in history, the founder of Ameri-Do-Te, the one and only, Master Ken. Master Ken is the founder of Ameri-Do-Te which is an American street fighting system. You may know him as the Professor of Pain, he has a Master’s degree in Mutilation, and a Doctorate in Destruction.
Episode 16: Chatri Sityodtong - Fight for Your Dreams
Chatri Sityodtong is driven by an unbreakable will and drive to fight for his dreams. My key takeaway is that martial arts is the greatest platform to unleash human potential. In this episode we talk about dealing with fear, doubt, and adversity. Chatri shares his inspirational story of how martial arts training instilled in him the grit and determination to overcome obstacles, deal with great loss, and create ONE Championship. Tune in for an in-depth high performance conversation with a martial arts trailblazer.
DISCLAIMER: Our guests are highly trained experts and masters of their craft. They take many safety precautions to mitigate the risks involved in the practice of martial arts. All training methods and fighting strategies discussed in these podcasts should not be attempted without qualified supervision and training with professionals.
Subscribe to the Podcast
Sponsorship and Advertising
If you are interested in sponsoring the podcast, please contact us.
Show Notes, Links and Resources for All Episodes
Below are the most recent episodes! Click on the title to find all the associated show notes and resources.
- The Black Belt Magazine Podcast Olympic Taekwondo Gold ... ›
- The Black Belt Magazine Podcast: Dave Kovar's PIO (Podcast Info On) ›
- Michael Jai White 2022 - Black Belt Magazine ›
- The Black Belt Magazine Podcast :Former Navy SEAL Jocko Willink’s PIO (Podcast Info On) - Black Belt Magazine ›