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Next Level Guy

Oct 17, 2022

Today's guest is Kenny Florian! 

He is a legend in the martial art sphere. His bio is immense:

-3X World UFC title contender in 2 weight classes
-4th degree Blackbelt in BJJ
-MMA & Muay Thai expert
-Creator of
-Co-founder/owner of Florian Martial Arts Center in Brookline, MA. USA.
-Analyst/Commentator for Professional Fighters League on ESPN
-Co-Host BattleBots on Discovery Channel
-Professional Jiu-Jitsu Commentator
-Graduate of Boston College

#KennyFlorian #BJJ #BrazilianJiuJitsu #Competing #Grappling #UFC #Combatsports #commentator #Battlebots #MuayThai #MMA #Blackbelt #Worldtitleholder #ESPN


Here are some key points that I would advise you to concentrate on

  • It's not enough to just go to training, you need to adopt the martial artist lifestyle to truly excel.
  • Kenny "is always trying to grow and be the best martial artist and teacher" he can be.
  • You learn a lot from the people that you hang around with the most, so choose the people you spend your time with wisely. The saying goes that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, so choose wisely!
  • Kenny's dad's inspiration to push for a residency place, showed him that you need to fight for what you want in life.
  • Martial arts are a great way to discover who you are as a person, to help overcome depression and anxiety.
  • We all have a calling in life, and should learn to listen to ourselves and follow the path we want in life, not one set by friends, family or worse society.
  • Kenny saw great success by utilizing training in many different martial arts. By cross-training you gain a deeper understanding of the sport, of yourself and your skills.
  • Training on the mats will help you understand life on a deeper level.
  • For the things you care about you need to give yourself wholly to it, to leave part of it there.
  • "by running away from failure we run away further from success". Failing is a learning experience, it lets you see where you went wrong and what you need to fix to better your self. By running away from making mistakes you stay where you are, stuck in the comfort zone and you won't grow.
  • Kenny found conceptual learning a great way to start learning BJJ.  He advises that there is always a core to the move, the principles that must be done to action the move. The rest can be learnt and understood better thereafter.
  • You can understand and learn a move, sequence etc, by using your ability to 'feel'. By feeling how your body, their body, your center of gravity etc, you begin to truly understand the movement and learn it on a deeper level than simply practicing it over and over. The video below is a great example of how to feel your body into a stronger position and not just try and squish your opponent and hope for the best:

    • "You need to understand yourself and you need to understand your opponent. What are the strengths and weaknesses". If you are open and honest in both of these, you can learn how to take advantage of the opponents weaknesses and block their strengths from being used in the fight.
    • It's important to feel your way in the fight, to know when to go for the kill, and when to hold back, when to step on the gas and when to sit back.
    • "How do we maximize my options and minimize the options they have?"
    • Kenny watches a lot of videos of fights etc to learn, to understand how the game works, to improve his skills and his overall understanding.
    • You should be looking to add new layers and levels, offensively and defensively to your game. You should be looking to be as efficient and as effective as possible.
    • Kenny is a big fan of meditation to help him clear the baggage he is holding onto, see things with new eyes and understanding and start with a clean slate, and a clean mind.
    • "Chaos will always find us ... there is no place to hide". "In order to become strong, you need to experience difficult things".
    • It takes time to become mentally stronger, to learn that you can take on harder and more difficult changes. You can read up on it, learn from other people, and also by doing them, a combination of these things will help you become better at taking on harder challenges in our life.
    • Kenny would deliberately pick tough training partners, to keep pushing himself so he could push and push himself up to the point he could beat them. He would try and try to beat them, and in the journey he would become mentally stronger, have more faith in himself and also learn from chaos.
    • Training is there for you to get better, not to win. It is there for your to get better as an athlete and martial artist. Use it as time to work on mistakes, learn, evolve your skills and be a happier and healthier person. Use the video below to start working on mistakes you are making and the best ways to identify them and work on them: 

    • Kenny analyses his performance physically, skills, mentally and emotionally, to see what he needs to improve for each fight to learn from his mistakes and improve each session.
    • You need to invest in yourself, in your training and coaches. You fal back to the highest level of your training and not to the level of the situation.
    • Kenny would push himself in training and try to be in as many situations and scenarios of things, so he could find a way to resolve them and deal with them in training and not when it mattered on fight night.
    • Kenny uses visualization exercises to mentally plan out his game, how he wanted to use his jiu-jitsu and act in the fight. By visualizing, he could get in mental reps and look to find the problems to why his physical performance couldn't match his mental work, reminding himself how he wanted to act, to breath, to move and be fluid and then if he could visualize it, he then had the goal and acted to move like that in the fight.
    • You need to beat the person that you were at the start, not competing with others, but always looking to beat the latest version of yourself, and able to beat yourself yesterday.
    • "We are human, we will make mistakes, the key is to get back on track". If you stay thinking of the mistake, you are stuck in the past and not able to be in the present. By dwelling on the past you are not as present as possible, nor can you focus on the positive moves you are making and the things you are doing right. You need to learn to roll with the chaos, accept the mistake and refocus on the here and now.
    • Kenny tries to bring the most of him to all his activities and it is when he finds the best success for him.

  • "Anytime I force something in my life, it doesn't happen as smoothly as I would  like" instead he uses a 'just do' mindset that lets him just be in the role he is doing and it happens and not put unrealistic expectations or pressure on himself. The video above is a great way to understand how relaxing can be a much better approach to constantly trying to smash and plough people, work with the chaos and not try and hide from it.
  • "Don't be afraid of chaos and adversity".
  • "Why be average, push yourself to be great".