Episode 23 – How Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Helped Black Belt Mike Radell Beat a Heart Attack: 76-year-old, Mike Radell is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt and a very wise man. In this episode, Mike explains how his strenuous training and dedication to BJJ helped him overcome the effects of a heart attack. He teaches the importance of vigorous exercise in your life, as you continue to get older, in order to stay out of the doctor’s office, and into the life that you love!
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Blackbelt Mike Radell shares his insights in training for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Mike has been an inspiration for me personally. He’s always been one of the black belts at Machado academy that I looked up to, because he was older and yet always appeared to be very energetic and full of life. He’s the quiet humble dude that you’d never want to mess with and that impresses me most of all! I’ve been looking forward to this interview for several months now.
If you’re worried if you’re too old to try something new, then consider that, Mike was 55 years old when he began his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu career. Ten years after that, Mike suffered a heart attack. His cardiologist said the strenuous exercise and BJJ training had strengthened Mike’s arteries. In short, living an active lifestyle had saved Mike’s life.
Ironically, the doctor was also a judo player. His name is Maeda. The man who brought BJJ to the Gracie family in Brazil was named Mitsuyo Maeda. Coincidence or fate?!? When Mike asked him if it was a good idea to continue to train after the heart attack, the Judoka said, he didn’t see a reason why Mike shouldn’t.
Even though Mike is 76 years old, he makes time to practice Jiu Jitsu, every week. He’s built friendships, and continues to improve as a BJJ player. He admits that the life he leads is better because he stays fit and eats healthy. Mike advocates for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, not because of winning belts or medals, but because it makes his life better.
He also was the man who introduced the sport of Jiu Jitsu to Felicia Oh. She has gone on to win many titles, and is a member of the “Dirty Dozen”. These are the first twelve non-Brazilian women to achieve Black belt in BJJ. Felicia gives thanks to Mike in her interview here on an episode of the podcast.
Mike spends quality time, riding bikes, and surfing with his son. He travels with his wife, and usually manages find to a Jiu Jitsu Dojo for training during their travels. He is also preparing the next generation for BJJ by teaching his grand children this martial art.