Archive for Keith Owen

10 Questions with Keith Owen

Posted in 10 Questions, External Arts, Jiujitsu with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2012 by Combative Corner

How did you become interested in learning the martial arts?

I grew up in a single parent household and my mom couldn’t make ends meet.  I had wanted to do martial arts since I was 7 but we just couldn’t afford it.  I saw a karate demonstration at my school at that age and knew that I “had” to do martial arts.  I didn’t start taking martial arts lessons until I was 16 when I got a job and started paying for them myself.  I never looked back.  In the early 90’s after I got my black belt in Kung-fu I saw an article on the Gracies and was intrigued.  They were beating up everyone.  Later I saw Royce Gracie tap out Dan Severn with a triangle choke and thought that’s the martial art I need to train in.  I found Professor Pedro Sauer in Salt Lake and I never looked back.

What personally drove you to learning jiujitsu?

A small guy can beat a big guy using technique. Think of what a big guy like me could do using Technique? I thought this was “the way!”
If you had to pick 3 of your favorite techniques, what would they be?
  1. The Fog Choke-Keith Owen “Lights Out”
  2. The Triangle Choke and the 10th Planet “Gansta Lean”
  3. Deep Half Guard
  4. Hip Compression- Keith Owen Favorite Moves Vol 1
  5. The Biermbolo -I’m playing with this-I suck at it
  6. The Twister and the truck-10 Planet
  7. The Eziquel choke-Keith Owen “Lights out” via James Foster
  8. Arm in Guillotine

A little more than three..sorry.

Who are a few of your mentors and what impact have they had on you?

I don’t know about many mentors but I have numerous people who have had a profound effect on me so since you asked I’m going to share.
  1. My Wife Shirlane- 21 years and going strong.  She should have divorced me a long time ago.
  2. Professor Pedro Sauer-The best instructor in the world. He has forgotten more then I know.
  3. Sifu Joesph Cowles- My Wu Wei Instructor and former student of Bruce Lee
  4. Tren Long- One of my purple belts who has produced all of my videos and my toughest student.
  5. Matt Owen (no relation) One of my purple belts.  He and his son Dylan are the rock of my school.
  6. Dean Heileman who got his black belt before he died of Cancer.  Got me motivated in Jiu-Jitsu.
  7. Royce Gracie for showing me “The Way.”
  8. Allen Hopkins-One of the most technical black belts of the Pedro Sauer Association-He helped me out a lot going up the ladder.
  9. Professor Sergio Penha in Las Vegas for being a great example and giving me another perspective of Jiu-Jitsu.
  10. My Mom-The most emotionally tough women I have ever met.

and I’m forgetting my friends, Damon Tong (My business mentor), Rob Smith (one of my instructors) and Rob Namer (my firearms business partner).  I would not be where I am without the help of these people.

How do you feel about martial arts for: the dojo, the street, and for competition? 
You asked about Martial arts and not specifically BJJ so I’m going to give you my opinion of the Martial arts in general.  I think a lot of martial arts are practiced in the dojo and then the instructor brags about how street lethal their martial art is.  They never test anything out to verify.  I often say that most martial arts instructors have four years of martial arts training repeated three or four times over. Competition is a little closer to the street because you are going up against another human being – but the rules of the contest can make a person lose their edge and fight by the rules. For instance,  MMA doesn’t allow groin kicking or eye gouging.  Kicking the guy in the groin and eye gouging are great self defense techniques for the street.  Just look at the guys who get kicked in the groin or eye gouged in MMA they typically need time to recover.  I’m a big fan of martial arts for the street and for competition, you just need to put it in perspective for what you are doing and know that there is a difference.  Just because you have one down doesn’t mean you know the other.

Are you a big fan of competition fighting? Why or why not? (and if so, who do you like to follow)

After having said my previous comments- I love competition bjj and I love MMA.  My favorite BJJ competitors are Marcello, Saulo, Jeff Glover and Roger Gracie.  My favorite MMA fighters are Johny “Bones” Jones, Anderson Silva, Nick and Nate Diaz, Clay Guida and GSP and my son Alex Owen (laughs).

What is your stance and/or concerns about online learning?

Well, since I have a lot of videos and an online download site  (   I think it would be a bit hypocritical to say that it’s a bad thing (laughs).  Seriously,  I think the internet has made bjj more accessible then ever to the masses.  It really helps in getting students everywhere better.  I do think that the best way to train for the average person is too have an awesome bjj instructor to show you the technique, then you go to as many seminars as you possibly can and then you top it off with online or video training.  I think that would be the perfect regimen.  This is a great time to be alive and training in BJJ and Martial arts in general.

How effective (do you believe) jiujitsu is in self-protection?

This comment is going to piss a lot of BJJ guys off but Jiu-Jitsu is not my first martial art for the street.  It’s my back-up martial art – done if I’m taken down, slip or take someone down if I get attacked.  The pavement, parking lot, side of the road, gravel, snow, ice, wet grass or a field of stickers is no place to ground fight.  I want to knock that mutha out or be able to evade and escape if a weapon is presented or their is multiple attackers.I also don’t think in many cases that arm bars are very effective in ending a fight in a life or death ground fighting situation.  You could break a dedicated opponents arm and in many cases he could keep on fighting.  It’s far more effective to use some kind of choke that would make an opponent pass out.  I think on the other hand if you are just a stand up fighter and you get taken down then you are in a world of hurt, so Jiu-Jitsu is important but for me it’s my last resort in a real fight. I’m not going to put up my dukes and then run over and jump into the guard (laughs).I would also like to add that the gi is a very effective tool to practice self defense.  Many attackers are wearing coats and pants and the more opportunity you have to choke a dude out, the better.
What elements of jiujitsu would you teach your wife/daughter or loved one for self-protection?

Collar Choke, Arm Bar and Triangle Choke from the Guard because that is where they will likely be in an attack situation.  i know I said that the arm bar wasn’t very effective but it’s hard for an attacker in a rape situation to get aroused when they have a freshly dislocated or broken arm and anyway, the police can have a free clue as to who the attacker was.
What is one thing that you’d like to emphasize to the beginning jiujitsu student?
I don’t have just one but the first “things” I would emphasize is to have fun, play around and get better.  I want my new students to work on getting rid of their ego so that getting better is the goal and not having to win at any cost.  Many guys don’t like to tap out and they take it personal.  They will often quit because they think they are lousy at Jiu-jitsu and since they are lousy it’s no fun.    We also can’t afford injuries at this level because shoulder and knee surgeries are expensive and people’s spouses aren’t too keen on letting them come back after a sever injury, It would be a shame if a potential world champion quit at the beginning because of ego or injury.    I promise that if they get rid of ego, do their best, keep an open mind, come to class, take care of their partners, get addicted to BJJ and stay loyal that I will take them to Black Belt Jiu-Jitsu Mastery, I promise.
Bonus Question
You’ve got 6 months to train… the money is on the table, who would you personally like to “have a go at.” (it could be anybody, living…dead. just a fantasy questions)
I would  train (friendly) with any bjj black belt for free as long as they have good technique.  I would super fight anyone for money though, What the hell (laughs).
Mr. Owen, we thank you greatly for giving us this interview. 
Readers – if you’d like to learn more about Mr. Keith Owen, please visit his website by clicking the picture at the top of the page.  For his instructional videos, click here.

10 Questions with Ari Bolden Knazan

Posted in 10 Questions, Jiujitsu with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2010 by Combative Corner

Ari Bolden Knazan runs a little website,… you might have heard about it.  It’s called Submissions 101.  If you haven’t, we at the CombativeCorner are not really sure what planet you’re from (we can assume it’s not Earth).  Besides running his website, Ari teaches jiu-jitsu at his school, Victoria JuJitsu Academy in Victoria, British Columbia.

Website –   –YouTube Channel

(1) When did you start your martial art training (in what styles) and did you always want to teach professionally?

I started martial arts training when I was a kid (at age 10. I got serious about the martial arts at 14 when I saw Above the Law with Steven Seagal. I was amazed at Aikido because it was so different than the chop em sock em movies of the 80’s (karate/kung fu/ninjustu). I moved from judo to Aikido to Jujutsu (Japanese Jujutsu: Daito Ryu and Goshin) to nogi 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

I had always wanted to teach but I never saw myself as martial arts teacher. I thought I was going to teach high school at one point. I’ve always had a passion, and I think, a gift, for instruction. I kind of fell into teaching martial arts in 2003 when a bouncer I worked with suggested I open up a school.

(2)  You currently have almost 56,000 subscribers on youtube and are #58 most Subscribed (Canada).  Was there success right away? Or did it take a good while before viewers-equaled-students?

You Tube is a funny thing. I just started putting up a few videos and didn’t think anything of it at the time. I just wanted to share some on my Japanese Jujutsu with ‘people’. It took about 6 months and I started getting requests and more people joining up. I was kind of surprised to be honest but I soon realized that there was a major lack of instructions (martial arts) on the internet. I also found a niche in doing submission videos. My style of teaching really seemed to appeal to people and I just kept going on from there.

(3)  What is the hardest part about running your business?

If you are talking about Submissions 101, it probably is the insane amount of time I have spent recording video, editing and emails. I have (thank goodness) stream lined it down to a fine science now and I also have many people doing videos for us. This is a GREAT thing as my vision was to have many different people bring their flavor to teaching jiu jitsu. I get over 100 emails a day ranging from you tube comments, to request to general emails to people joining our mailing list. Its a lot.

(4)  As an avid follower of professional mixed martial art competition, who do you most enjoy watching and why?

I always cheer for the grappler. I can’t help it. If a BJJ guy is fighting, that is the guy I want to win. However, there are some really exciting guys that I like watching such as Aoki, Guida, Cro Cop, and Wanderlei (to name a few).

(5)  Who was your martial art idol growing up and who’s your idol now (if different)?

As a kid, Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris were my big ones. I actually met Chuck Norris is Vegas at age 8 and told him how much I liked him. I was also a HUGE Sho Kosugi fan (Enter the Ninja!). Later on, Steven Seagal was the guy who pushed me in a strong martial art direction. I don’t think I have idols anymore…but I certainly have mentors and people I admire.

(6)  What is your least favorite chore/errand/task that you have to do? (either daily or weekly)

(laugh) My wife and I call them “Blue Jobs and Pink Jobs”. Taking out the trash, emptying the liter box, mowing the lawn…those are all blue (male) jobs in my household but those don’t really get to me. I really don’t like to empty the dish washer. I do like doing laundry and vaccuuming though (strange, huh?).

(7)  What is Mr. Bolden passionate about outside of the martial arts and why?

Film (dark intellectual stuff) is one. I also LOVE listening to music. My music of choice is ambeint, dark wave, 80’s new wave, house and moden hard rock. I am also big on writting.

(8)   Does Mr. Bolden teach his wife ju-jitsu or is this too dangerous?

I used too! But she does yoga full time so she doesn’t have time. She has a NO JIU JITSU rule at our house. I will start to play wrestle with her and she drops the “NO MOVES” line. Oh well…

(9)  If you had to pick one or two of your favorite ground techniques what would they be?  or if that is too hard…. an alternate question could be “What are one or two of your most used techniques”?

My favorite moves change from year-to-year, but if I had to pick, I would say the triangle arm bar from side control, the heel hook and the peruvian necktie. My most used techniques though? Collar chokes. I find my self choking people out about 80% of the time.

(10)  What’s on the plate for Mr. Ari Bolden/10th Planet/Submissions101? Any big news, events, products, etc that you’d like to unveil… or (as an alternative question), “what’s one big, future aspiration for you and your business?”

Submissions 101 is going to get a face lift. We are adding more videos from BIG names and I want to reach 100,000 members by 2012. We have several side projects going on and an iphone app in the works. I have a DVD that I will start filming in a few months on “street Jiu Jitsu and self defense” that I am looking forward too.

But my main goal is the one I have had since the get go: Build bridges and bring jiu jitsu to those who don’t have access to it or just spread the word of it. It is a WONDERFUL art – be it nogi, gi or traditional. I also want to share my philosohy that there are many ways to do the same techniques. Don’t get too narrow in you view of the world or you will “miss all the heavenly glory” (to quote Bruce Lee!).


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