About BJJ Mental Models

I’m Steve Kwan.  I’m a technology leader, process strategist, and advisor with 20 years of experience leading teams, building products, and growing companies.  I’ve worked with companies of all sizes and stages: from tiny to Fortune 500, from startup to IPO.

I’m also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and I’m the founder of BJJ Mental Models: one of the world’s top Jiu-Jitsu podcasts and educational resources.  You’re likely familiar with us if you train.

As I grew my experience in these parallel worlds of business and combat, I began to understand the importance of thinking in concepts.  I organized my knowledge into mental models, and – much to my surprise – found shocking similarities between my work and my hobby.  It blew my mind when I realized how many mental models apply across disciplines.

I’m not alone in this assessment.  Tim Ferriss, Josh Waitzkin, Jocko Willink, and Lex Fridman are also black belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, alongside their other accomplishments.  Once you find the mental models that work, they can be applied to duplicate your success across disciplines.  The actual activity may be different, but good decision-making skills are universal.

Steve sparring with Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson.

I embarked on a journey with top performers across disciplines to learn how they make decisions.  I’ve congregated with world champions, peak performance coaches, and heroes of business to identify, aggregate, and document the patterns of success.  BJJ Mental Models is my attempt to share what I’ve found.