brazilian jiu jitsu

Steve Cardenas – Red Ranger

Steve Cardenas Red Ranger Power Rangers jiu jitsu black belt comic con

Steve Cardenas is my guest on today’s podcast. Steve is best known for portraying the Red Power Ranger of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.  I was excited for the chance to speak with Steve as he is traveling around the world to work at the various Comic Con conventions. We talk about his lifestyle as a lifelong martial artist and his mentality about staying shape and eating while on the road. He shared some cool stories of meeting and working with other celebrities at the conventions.

Steve Cardenas on social media:

Steve’s listening choice while traveling for work is:

Steve enjoys watching movies while making his multiple airplane flights each year.

Click here to see other guests choices for listening while traveling

Steve’s BIO

Stephen Antonio Cardenas is an American martial artist, musician, and semi retired actor. Cardenas is best known for playing the character Rocky DeSantos, which was the second Red Power Ranger in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and eventually became the Blue Zeo Ranger in Power Rangers Zeo, two seasons later.

Cardenas was born Stephen Antonio Cardenas in Hampton, Virginia, at the Langley Air Force Base. Spending his early childhood as a military brat, Cardenas was raised in San Antonio, Texas. He is of Mexican descent. He started training in martial arts when he was about 12 years old and reached black belt in Taekwondo at age 16. Steve Cardenas has been in martial arts for 28 years. He earned 5th degree black belt in Taekwondo and a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

POWER RANGERS

At age 20, Cardenas left his native Texas and settled in Los Angeles to audition for a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers role that would change his life. His character, Rocky DeSantos, replaced Jason Lee Scott (played by Austin St. John) as the Red Ranger in the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV series (eventually the Gold Ranger in Zeo), and he later became the Blue Ranger for Power Rangers Zeo. He had no previous acting experience and had to learn on the job. Cardenas left the Power Rangers series and retired from acting during Power Rangers Turbo, due to contract disagreements, and possibly to focus on his martial artist career.  Many years later, starting at the 2007 Power Morphicon convention, he began making convention appearances with other former cast members.

After Power Rangers, he owns a martial arts studio in Burbank, California and one in his hometown of San Antonio. In 2009, he started a kids-specific program at Hollywood Brazilian jiu-jitsu studio in West Hollywood, and in 2011 he opened the Force/Balance Brazilian jiu-jitsu & Yoga school. Cardenas had become interested in Brazilian jiu-jitsu after losing a friendly match against “a blue belt in BJJ… [he] choked me out in 10 seconds! He was only training for a year and a half at that time and I had been training for 10 yrs. It was an immediate eye opener.” The style was more difficult for him to learn than other martial arts disciplines.

He holds multiple awards from martial arts contests, including two Silver Medals at Copa Pacifica (2009 and 2011), Gold Medal winner of the 2009 American National Championship, Gold Medal in the 2010 Jujitsu Pro Gear Open, and Silver Medal in the 2010 No-Gi World Championships.

In 2017, he starred in the short movie The Order alongside : Austin St. John, Catherine Sutherland, David Yost, Johnny Yong Bosch, Paul Schrier, Karan Ashley, Walter Emanuel Jones, Erin Cahill, Blake Foster, Nakia Burrise, Hilary Shepard Turner, Dan Southworth, Alyson Sullivan, Deborah Estelle Phillips and Azim Rizk.

For the first time since Power Rangers Turbo, Cardenas returned to the Power Rangers Franchise in Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel for the 25th anniversary Episode reprising his role as Rocky DeSantos.

Filmography

Film

  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie(1995) …. Rocky DeSantos / The Red Ranger
  • Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie(1997) …. Rocky DeSantos
  • The Order(2017) …. Dax

 Television

  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers(1994-1996) …. Rocky DeSantos / The Red Ranger/ Rocko
  • Power Rangers Zeo(1996) …. Rocky DeSantos / Blue Zeo Ranger / Lord Henry
  • Power Rangers Turbo(1997) …. Rocky DeSantos

Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel (2018) – Rocky DeSantos / The Red Ranger

Ryron Gracie – Keeping It Real With Family

Ryron Gracie family

Ryron Gracie is my guest on today’s podcast. A 5th degree black belt in Gracie Jiu Jitsu, Ryron shares his upbringing in jiu jitsu and some of his travel stories. Ryron shares stories from his travels over the past 20 years while teaching the gentle art of Gracie Jiu Jitsu. Included are stories while training and cornering for fighters like Ronda Rousey. We discuss the differences in traveling as a single person and now having a family. I found out that Ryron and I have very similar outlooks in the desire to travel and see and meet as many people and places as possible with the time that we have.

“I want to to start making a list of everywhere I’ve traveled now that I’m talking to you”

A recognizable figure within the jiu-jitsu community, Ryron Gracie became also a familiar face among mixed martial arts (MMA) fans after a series of web episodes named “The Gracie Breakdown” where Ryron and his brother Rener Gracie go over techniques utilized in UFC events. Ryron Gracie is also an instructor at the Gracie Academy.

Ryron was raised on the mats of the Torrance academy, beginning his training as a toddler. Ryron also started teaching Gracie jiu-jitsu from a very young age, and by the age of 12, he was already coaching children under his father’s guidance. At that same age, Ryron was involved in the historical first UFC event, a competition created partly by his dad. Ryron had the chore of cleaning the mats after each bout. Having a 12-year-old clean blood off the mats was not taken lightly by the crowd, thus forcing Rorion to replace him with an adult after that first event.

Ryron and his brother Rener became known among mixed martial arts (MMA) enthusiasts through a series of YouTube videos called: The Gracie Breakdown. In these videos, the Gracie brothers broke down grappling techniques used on the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Strikeforce in some of the promotions most important fights.

Ryron on social media:

Click here to see other guests choices for listening while traveling

Gracie Academy Overview

In 1925, Carlos Gracie established the first Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Brazil. In 1978, Rorion Gracie brought Gracie Jiu-Jitsu to the United States, and in 1989 he established the first Gracie Academy on North American soil in Torrance, California.

To accommodate the worldwide expansion of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, in 2017, Ryron and Rener moved the family business to an even larger facility and established “Gracie University” to reflect the shift from a single academy to a global organization. The Torrance location is one of the most successful martial arts schools in the world with over 1,000 students. Torrance also serves as the global headquarters for hundreds of Certified Training Centers and over 150,000 home-study students learning online in 196 countries. Whether you live in Southern California, or you’re just visiting, we invite you to join us on the green mats in “Jiu-Jitsu Heaven” to experience first-hand the beauty, simplicity and effectiveness of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

5 for Friday with Ryron Gracie

5 for Friday with Ryron Gracie

Ryron Gracie is my guest on today’s 5 for Friday. Ryron is a 5th degree black belt in Gracie Jiu Jitsu, Helio Gracie‘s grandson and the eldest son of Rorion Gracie. This is a quick and exciting episode of Ryron sharing a few travel stories from his work, sharing Gracie Jiu Jitsu around the world.

I ask Ryron a question at the end of this clip, “where has been your favorite place to teach around the world”? Try and guess Ryron’s answer to the question before the full episode is released on Monday.

“Everywhere you go there is something to see”

A recognizable figure within the jiu-jitsu community, Ryron Gracie became also a familiar face among mixed martial arts (MMA) fans after a series of web episodes named “The Gracie Breakdown” where Ryron and his brother Rener Gracie go over techniques utilized in UFC events. Ryron Gracie is also an instructor at the Gracie Academy.

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie >Ryron Gracie

Team/Association: Gracie Academy

Ryron was raised on the mats of the Torrance academy, beginning his training as a toddler. Ryron also started teaching Gracie jiu-jitsu from a very young age, and by the age of 12, he was already coaching children under his father’s guidance. At that same age, Ryron was involved in the historical first UFC event, a competition created partly by his dad. Ryron had the chore of cleaning the mats after each bout. Having a 12-year-old clean blood off the mats was not taken lightly by the crowd, thus forcing Rorion to replace him with an adult after that first event.

Even though he taught classes regularly at the Torrance academy when growing up, Ryron Gracie still managed to compete often in jiu-jitsu, including against his own cousin, Crosley Gracie, in 2001 as a brown belt, a fight that lasted 90 minutes and ended with Crosley giving up due to a knee injury. Ryron Gracie earned his black belt in 2003 from the hands of his grandfather, Grand Master Helio Gracie, after his victory at the Gracie International Open.

Ryron and his brother Rener became known among mixed martial arts (MMA) enthusiasts through a series of YouTube videos called: The Gracie Breakdown. In these videos, the Gracie brothers broke down grappling techniques used on the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Strikeforce in some of the promotions most important fights.

Ryron on social media:

Gracie Academy Overview

In 1925, Carlos Gracie established the first Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Brazil. In 1978, Rorion Gracie brought Gracie Jiu-Jitsu to the United States, and in 1989 he established the first Gracie Academy on North American soil in Torrance, California.

To accommodate the worldwide expansion of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, in 2017, Ryron and Rener moved the family business to an even larger facility and established “Gracie University” to reflect the shift from a single academy to a global organization. The Torrance location is one of the most successful martial arts schools in the world with over 1,000 students. Torrance also serves as the global headquarters for hundreds of Certified Training Centers and over 150,000 home-study students learning online in 196 countries. Whether you live in Southern California, or you’re just visiting, we invite you to join us on the green mats in “Jiu-Jitsu Heaven” to experience first-hand the beauty, simplicity and effectiveness of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.