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Around the Mat, Episode 1 | Like many of you, I don’t feel jiu-jitsu gets the credit it deserves.

Sure, it’s made incredible leaps and bounds in popular culture over the last two decades, but it seems like most sports media outlets don’t really know what to do with the sport.

At times, it can be frustrating, sickening, downright criminal that our athletes don’t get the proper respect or acknowledgement for the performances they give on the mat.  With our training partners and in our gyms, we talk a good game about how it’s truly a shame this happensas the cynics among us argue “maybe the sport isn’t right for mainstream sports coverage?”

John Evans

We, however, respectfully disagree.

As a student of media, I've ingested my own fair share of sports media and talk shows. Which is why you can't convince me that for all the pomp and circumstance cable shows ascribe to a ten second video clip of Tom Brady throwing a football during the off-season (“OMG guys, Tom Brady threw a football today—and it looked GOOD; they going to the Super Bowl this season!”), we can't find a way to talk about some of the cool things going on in a sport like ours that doesn't even have the luxury of an off-season.

It was with that concept in mind, a collection of like-minded folks from the BJJ community decided to pull their resources together (and form like Voltron) to create our own little jiu-jitsu panel talk show we like to call Around the Mat.

Lex Fridman

In it, we have clips from some of your favorite matches at this year’s IBJJF’s Worlds, an interview with the winner of the submission-only winner of the brutal Dream Jiu Jitsu Baddest Brown tournament (Brian Carlsen), and all the panelist trash talk you can handle.

Not only do we talk about current events in the sport of jiu-jitsu, but we also do our best to shine a light on the BJJ competitors who are doing extraordinary things on the mats around the world.  It's our hope to spotlight athletes who are household names and up-and-coming bad ass jiu-jitsu competitors

This week we chat with Brian Calrsen who, through his major win at Dream's Baddest Brown, helps us understand the mindset of a grueling submission-only format, the differences between sub-only and competing two weeks earlier at the IBJJF Worlds, and even the mental mindset needed to compete in a 51 minute match against Sebastian Brosche (and still have to compete in a no time limit, semi-final and final match).

Kevin trying the whole photo thing.

The video above marks a true labor of love among a collection of jiu-jitsu enthusiasts and practitioners.  As we go on, we'll bring on new panelists and modify the format (based on any feedback you might be willing to provide).  But, the group of us here are truly passionate about the sport and hope we can help contribute in a positive way.

We're proud of the product and we look forward to hearing what you guys think about it.  Thanks for watching and we hope you enjoy it!