Steve Maxwell – Mobility For Life

This week’s episode on London Real sees the return of strength and conditioning coach Steve Maxwell.

If you were a fan of Steve’s last visit to London Real, you are going to come away from today’s episode even more inspired, motivated and loaded up with fresh knowledge.

If this is your first experience of Steve, I urge you to put away your preconceptions – this guy will change how you think about health, fitness and happiness.

We covered so much ground during this interview, including everything from breath control, marijuana, meditation and fitness, to how to control your thoughts.

Steve is his own man. He doesn’t play by society’s rules.

He just travels the world spreading his message of mind and body conditioning, and manifesting resources if and when he needs them.

Some of the ideas you’ll find in this episode are going to surprise you.

You wouldn’t expect an ex-army man, wrestler and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert to talk about ‘spreading good vibes’ or manifesting health through affirmations.

But that’s Steve. He is not just open minded, he is absolutely a free thinker.

He takes everything on its own merit, and he reveals how we can all do the same.

One thing you should look out for in this episode is his chat about breath control and right breathing.

Steve is convinced that all ill-health, disease and fitness problems have their roots in the mind, and much of his time is spent doing ‘inner work’ with his clients.

Steve’s ideas on breath extend all the way back to his training with the Gracie family in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Workouts for Steve are not about performance goals and they should NEVER be a source of anxiety.

As he tells me himself, Steve seeks to stay as calm as possible during his training.

When our breath is out of sync, or we are breathing from the wrong place, we can literally shave years off our lives.

This is why Steve focuses so much on the basics – mindset and breathing.

Without these fundamentals, according to Steve, our training is only going to do us damage.

Steve is part drill-sergeant, part yogi and part wandering sage.

He embodies so much of what we value here at London Real, particularly the necessity of thinking for yourself.

Click Play to watch one of London Real’s favourite bad asses drop knowledge on everything from kettle bells to psychedelics.

What its like to be back in London? [7:18]

How do people in London view fitness? Size. [8:35]

Fed Up the Movie – American Pediatric Association is funded by Coca Cola [11:00]

Steve is nomadic. Brian tried to offer Steve a London Real t-shirt. [11:30]

What is the size of your bag? Tom Binh Aeronaut 45 litres bag 12.7kg [12:14]

Every man secretly dream of being Steve Maxwell. [13:00]

Unlike most fitness trainers and most people on the planet, I’m not anchored in one spot. I’m on the move which exposes me to the world at large. I’m not stuck in one view and neither am I sponsored nor do I sell anything but my original ideas. I see the trends come and go and the universal patterns. I’m in the position to form some independant insights. [13:26]

My career isn’t about the money. I believe the money will come as a consequence of doing what I do and doing it to the best of my ability.  [14:37]

Absorbing ideas like a sponge. I’m a student. [15:25]

I’ve been training for 53 years. More than half a century. [15:45]

A you age your programme morphs and change. [16:05]

Running a Gracie Jiu Jitsu gym in Philadelphia in 1990. The first UFC in 1993.  [16:25]

What was it like training Royce Gracie. Showing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu ground grappling to the US. [17:39]

What kind of strength and conditioning would you train Royce? [18:40]

Slow weights training, chin ups and pull ups in a high tension manner. [19:00]

How does travelling and training with the Gracies, and division 1 wrestling affect the way you look at training today? [19:40]

Steve talks about being trained by his dad and how he fell in love with wrestling. [20:20]

All my training was geared towards better performance on the mat. [21:16]

20 pull ups is the gold standard of pull ups, who says? [22:05]

Being better at my chosen sports. [22:35]

Brian did wrestling at 17 after moving high school. [23:03]

Every UFC weight class is dominated by former NCWA wrestler. [23:30]

UFC – its very aggressive. Way more injuries in wrestling than Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. [23:55]

Building mental toughness and work ethic like nothing else. [24:28]

It was accident that all ancient Greek philosophers were wrestlers – Aristotle, Plato, Socrates. [24:40]

Gymnastic flag for 30 seconds. Proper training should preserve your youth and prevent injuries not cause injuries. Over training and doing damage to themselves. [25:35]

Certified coaches that train businessman and business women and destroy their joints. [26:15]

Training with Barstarzz. Unsustainable training. [26:20]

What kind of things do you like to see your clients train in? Combat stuff? Kettlebells? Jiu Jitsu? What promotes longevity when it comes to training? [27:22]

5 Pillars using bodyweight. Pushing and Pulling, Horizontal and Vertical, Squat, Rotation and Anti Rotation. Movement based exercise. 6th category of ancillary movement. [27:35]

First guys to grab a kettlebell in America. Kettlebell swings and snatches. [28:49]

Kettlebell snatch is high risk of injury for limbs, elbows, shoulders. Risk to reward ratio. [29:40]

Talking with Elliott Hulse. Not knowing why I train anymore. I train because I heard its good. [30:30]

People need to think for themselves what they need instead of following blindly one size fit all philosophy. [31:00]

How to assess what is right for someone. Postural analysis. Movement screen. [31:20]

Fighter posture is similar to the desk jockey posture. [32:00]

Flat foot squat and push ups tells me volumes about his ability. Listening to the breathing pattern. [32:30]

Start with breath work. Inhaling through the mouth puts you in a chronic panic state. Nasal breathing and diaphragmatic. Inhale thorugh the nose and use the lower lobe of the lungs. [32:38]

When I train I stay as calm as possible. People get over adrenalised. Minimising stree during a workout. [34:20]

The Gracie’s knew how to breathe. Making strange sounds when breathing. Constant exhalation, no tense in the body. [34:45]

Learning breath work and how to stay relaxed from Maeda. Rickson teaching people for 1 hour how to breathe in seminars. [37:00]

Brian training BJJ at age 32. Its 50% strength, power and endurance and 50% technique in wrestling. Jiu Jitsu is 90% technique and 10% strength. [37:50]

Never tell a guy to breathe. Yell exhale. Rickson in the movie Choke. [39:00]

Summit of the breath masters in Russia. [39:50]

Waking up and think. What country am I in? 10 years of nomadic lifestyle. [40:00]

The greatest way to extend time. Time has no meaning to me. [40:20]

Not celebrating birthdays and weddings. Avoiding social contrivances. I don’t want to be part of that collective consciousness. [40:30]

Same mentality of collecting material goods. [41:00]

Choosing to step clear of the collective consciousness. [41:35]

What people deem as great, I usually go the opposite way. [41:45]

Weird societal obligation against relatives that we don’t even like. Choosing to stay out of that whole mindset. [42:00]

Maybe their dad and mum are just real shit. Parental pressure of careers, marriage and family. [42:55]

Fight club – Working jobs we hate, to buy things we don’t need, to impress people we don’t like. I just rejected it all. I’m not saying it’s for everyone. [43:39]

Lead by example. I wasn’t a good father. I was more of a kid than the kid. Being married 3 times. [44:09]

People who shouldn’t have children. Its almost like the kids are an accessory. [45:00]

Make way for princess snowflake. Entitlement. [45:30]

Family guy thing was not my thing. Living a comfortable lifestyle and asking is this it? [45:46]

Thats me. Don Draper on Mad Man. How did you break out? [47:15]

Higher self that leads you to do the right things at the right time if you are in tune with it. Meditation and affirmations. Being kicked out of the house by ex-wife. [47:40]

The fear was fraud. Phew. Thank you ex-wife. [48:35]

Meditation. [49:18]

Painful introspections. [50:16]

How do you stay in touch with your heart goals or purpose? [50:35]

Listening to theta brainwave meditation. [50:45]

New Thought writers – Ernest Holmes, Mary Baker Eddy, Florence Shinn, John Randall, Napoleon Hill. [51:20]

Writing affirmations. Remember when you quit your banking job, scary as hell wasn’t it? [51:40]

I was like a teenage kid in a house. That was when I realise that the fear is a lie. [52:25]

Though control. Terrorist. The boogieman. Religion. [52:47]

What’s a method of controlling your thoughts? [53:57]

The universal law of attraction. May we be under grace and not under law. Spiritual Amazon. [54:00]

Negative thoughts. What is Grace? [55:05]

Say what you mean. Mean what you say. Watch what you say. [56:00]

Power of the spoken word. [56:20]

All the good comes to me. All the good comes from me. Today I only manifest love and kindness and beauty. [56:50]

Foreseen = Falling short. [57:00]

I have no worldly goals. I reject striving. When I want something. I just ask the universe for it and it delivers. Thank you very much. [57:55]

Learning how to be grateful and express gratitude. [58:15]

At one point I owed the IRS 45k. [58:35]

Finding at least 10 things to be grateful for everyday. Finding something grateful for in the negative. [59:00]

God. [1:00:20]

Your body is exactly what your thoughts are. [1:00:50]

Thinking that goes into believing you are this fat person. [1:00:25]

Start working from within. The physical is a manifestation of thoughts. [1:02:05]

Steve how do you do all this? [1:05:40]

Last thing I’m thinking is that Steve is defined by his age. Not setting goals. [1:06:23]

Zen like approach to training. Zen running. [1:08:05]

Not wanting to be there for the sport. Overly identified that I’m a fighter. [1:12:05]

I’m not Steve Maxwell. I’m something more. When this body fades and this name is forgotten, there is something about my energy that will go on forever. [1:12:50]

This life is a preparation for something beyond. [1:13:05]

The age of 60 – 65 is crucial according to a yoga teacher. [1:13:20]

Clint Eastwood. [1:14:00]

The physical body will change and you will have to accept that. [1:15:00]

Marijuana. [1:15:12]

The rookie mistake. [1:18:10]

Ayahuasca requires a good shaman. Stuart Wilde. [1:21:40]

Vision quests by the aboriginals. [1:23:20]

Drinking tap water with yellow dye from a whisky bottle just to fit in. [1:26:00]

Is there any one piece of your game that you changed that had the most significant effect in your life? [1:27:57]

What do you think Steve Maxwell will be doing in 5 years from now. [1:28:48]

The state of mankind by a buddhist monk. [1:29:12]

What is your message ultimately? [1:30:08]

Do you think aging is an engineered mental test on a spirit? [1:31:35]

Looking people in the eye and ask, was this good for you? Steve’s seminars. [1:32:45]

Of all the countries that you’ve visited, which one fits your personality the best? [1:34:40]

The Russians. [1:35:00]

Sydney. London Real is huge in Australia. [1:36:30]

Shanghai. Stanley Tan opened 4 BJJ schools in Shanghai. Universal language of training. [1:37:47]

Intermittent fasting. 14 day fasting. [1:39:10]

What’s your diet like? John Henry Tilden. [1:41:27]

Travelling and not able to get the right food. [1:44:00]

Monogamy and relationships. Cheating. Being a parent. [1:44:25]

Non marriage. Dishonesty and telling lies. [1:48:25]

Addressing the obesity crisis. Fast food.[1:50:00]

Doing cardio for losing fat. [1:51:54]

Processed soybean. [1:53:56]

Best Gracie challenge story that people have not heard. [1:55:08]

The Gracie Diet. [2:00:23]

Flexibility. 5 point definition of exercise. Decreasing chance of getting hurt. [2:01:00]

Mobility vs flexibility. [2:02:00]

What do you do when you work with people? Rolfing. Chiropractor. Postural intergration. Rolf by Rich Demmerle. [2:04:40]

Give the client what they need not what they want. [2:07:58]

Misinformation. [2:09:10:]

Why are people drawn to you? Enthusiasm. [2:10:35:]

Meeting the Barstarzz. Against doing destructive things to the body. [2:11:30]

Phone call to the 20 year old Steve Maxwell. Exhale. Fear is a fraud. Chew your food. [2:13:30]

Good way to start learning how to breathe better. [2:15:34]

Staying in touch with the Rickson, Kron, Gracies. Metamoris. [2:15:58]

What is the one take away from Helio Gracie. [2:19:09]

Best advice ever received? [2:20:58]

Just grow up. What do you tell people who want to be like Steve Maxwell. [2:22:40]

Lifestyle training camp in Ikaria and Maui. Jiu Jitsu lifestyle training in El Savador. Anti aging routine. [2:26:20]

Do you surf? [2:27:55]

Tuning in to learn about mobility but getting so much more. [2:31:50]

Riding yourself of the burden of material possessions. [2:32:50]

Connect with Steve Maxwell


Meet Steve at his Events

Learn from Steve

5 pillar system

Breath control



Selected Link:


Ipanema, Brazil


Steve’s Gracie Jiu Jitsu Gym in Philadelphia Maxercise Sports Fitness 

Stanley Tam’s Shanghai Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Icaria Greece



Fed Up Movie  

The Movie Choke

Don Draper Mad Man

Shaun of the Dead


Partial Glottal closure



Ida Rolf


Postural integration

Fascia tissue


Learn Breathing Control


Dr Wayne Wescott on doing cardio to lose weight


Gracie Jiu Jitsu   


Hélio Gracie 

Royce Gracie  

Rickson Gracie 

Royler Gracie 

Maeda Judo 

The Gracie Diet 

Valente Brothers – the real inheritor of the Helio Gracie Jiu Jitsu


Gracie challenge  



Brazlian Jiu Jitsu  

Ground Grappling 


Ground and pound  


Fighters who keep coming back but should have let go


Gymnastic human flag  

Steve training with Barstarzz 


Kelly Howell on Binaural Beats 


New Thought authors  

Ernest Holmes  

Mary Baker Eddy  

Napoleon Hill 

Florence Shinn

John Herman Randall 


Ashton Eaton 2012 Olympic Decathlon Champion on not setting goals


The Zen of Running by Fred Rohe



THC Butter  


Stuart Wilde  


Vision Quest 

Carlos Castaneda   

Don Juan Matus 


John Henry Tilden on Diet 

Book of 5 Rings by Musashi  



Tom Binh Aeronaut 45 Bag 

Admiral Halsey in WW2 

American Pediatric Association   

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FromTacomaErnaliseMichaelThunderVan Cho Recent comment authors
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Those mothers with their push prams just might be dead tired and not very present. 😉


Why the fuck doesn’t this work unless I watch it on youtube it literally downloads at a snail pace compared to youtube FUCK THIS SITE


wtf? Cancer is caused by your own mind? I wish this guy would stick to what he is actually experienced at i.e. physical exercise.

Van Cho
Van Cho

This one gave me lessons for life!

Carlos Rodolfo Sinibaldi
Carlos Rodolfo Sinibaldi

Hey nice interview congrats good job. One suggestion try to add subtitles and if possible in other languages cause sometimes we would lime to spread ideas, but language barriers dont let u, and it is frustrating sometimes.

Malcolm Larri

enjoyed this interview much more the second time around – he’s a purist for sure.

Stephen Thomas
Stephen Thomas

This is just what I need to be hearing right now. Great chat. Thanks x

Drago Žganec
Drago Žganec

This man is amazing.

Steven Townsend
Steven Townsend

I love this interview because Steve presents, in terms of appearance, as a conservative kind of guy. Steve is a very wise man. Know yourself. Be true to yourself. Steve thinks for himself and I enjoyed this free-flowing interview. Great mind.

Steven Townsend
Steven Townsend

I loved his views about not following social conventions. His views were well articulated and interesting and I valued this interview a lot. Thanks guys.

Malcolm Larri

Didnt enjoy this interview much.
He has some good concepts regarding Health and well being…..but he seems to me to have genralized his unhappiness as a “normal Citizen” across the entire population.
I have a great marriage, I enjoy weddings and anniversaries, funerals. It doesn’t mean I am somehow programed or those things dont have value for ME.

He’s a nomad but didnt strike me as very free. Quite the opposite.
Just my opinion.

Peter Roszell
Peter Roszell

Great wisdom , trying to assimilate his philosophy and methods into my life.

James McGowan

Excellent interview Brian!

Erik Von Mantis
Erik Von Mantis

this guy has shaken and given me a new foundation to work upon… thanks for bringing him on.. london real never stops inspiring me… thanks so much

Akwesi Asante

Great stuff! Former acrobatic dancer, martial/circus artist/stuntman here. Had the pleasure of taking his 1st kettlebell certification, NJ, meeting in MN, prior. Inspiration, as he has 4years on me, appreciate his insights and sharing here.
Another inspiration is Ron Van Clief 72, “The Black Dragon”, movie fame. He fought Gracie when he was 50, studying with the family later. Maybe you can get him for a brief as well. “It’s about the journey”.

tomasz tshabalala
tomasz tshabalala

I love his take on excercise as its such an important question that a lot of people forget to ask themselves honestly…WHY are you doing this? WHY are you in the gym?
Its funny how the other night i was looking into this gym through an outside window for like 20 mins and i was almost getting frustrated with the people in there clearly not wanting or needing the gym. Oh and the bad techniques people use isnt good…
love this guy steve maxwell he is very much a big inspiration for me

Borja Garmendia
Borja Garmendia

Hello London Real followers!

Anybody know what is the name of the massage therapists that can re-structure your body (2:07 approx) ?

Thanks a lot for your help. 🙂

Michael Laidler

Great video! I must say, I cannot imagine Maxwell and Ido Portal getting along, he essentially called Portal’s practice a ‘disservice to humanity’ due to the ‘feats’ aspect of his movement. I’m not sure, I think that Maxwell is being a little too cautious in his approach. I don’t think acrobatics, handbalancing, levers etc are necessarily dangerous, it is about PREPARATION for those feats rather than them being inherently dangerous.

Michael Rankin

Great interview! I am absolutely loving LONDONREAL.


Wow, what an impressive human being. While I disagree with him on few topics, he is an amazing person and a great role model. Nice one Brian!

I read once that worry is like paying an interest to a debt you do not own (Mark Twain). I think the same thing can be said about fear.