Friday, 27 July 2012

Three Stroke Productions & Combat Sports: the "triple interview" !!

It looks as though there are lots of combat sports  fans out there, so we're pleased to introduce to you three  fighters - Paul Harper (MMA England), Alain Guerra Pozo (BJJ Brazil)  and  Marco Giustarini (MMA Italy).  MMA and BJJ are fast becoming a real way of life, and as we're also fans of combat sports, we want the fighters to tell us why they love punching and kicking others (or being punched and kicked...) ???


Hi Paul, tell us something about yourself...
Hello my name is Paul Harper, im 24yrs old and i am a full time MMA fighter and instructor. I currently live in essex and train under Carlson Gracie BJJ Instructor Alain Pozo.

When and why did u decide to become a MMA fighter?
Since the age of 5 i have been training in karate and kung fu till the age of 21 when i decided i would like to go try out a local MMA class. Once i walked through the doors i knew this was a different sport on all levels, you could tell by the people and how they was training. It seemed very challenging and decided to take it one step further and start competing.

Describe your daily schedule?
I like to wake up at 7.30am have a bowl of porridge.
get down the gym around 9am and do my muscle set workout, Then i do explosive cardio training.
Once i am finished down the gym i come home for some lunch and do some drilling in my front room before getting ready to head of to Carlson Gracie essex for my training with brazilian ju jitsu head coach Alain Pozo followed by a back to back session of Muay Thai. I have recently taken up boxing to concentrate on making my hands sharper and faster. this is a day to day routine except on weekends when i teach my classes and do more cardio training with my students.

What is your MMA record at the moment?
My currently professional record stands at 2 wins and 1 loss. my loss was down to my arrogance after being pressured into a fight. i have learned from my mistakes and taken every step to have a clean record since. I have held British Featherweight Title and i now currently Hold European Lightweight Title.

Can you tell us a bit about your latest matches and plans for the current season...
I was due to fight Joff Johnston from Canada but unfortunately he was unable to make weight. As for future fights, my manager has been busy booking me on good shows with good opponents. Till everything is set in stone i wish to have another 5 fights this season in the cage and have a couple amatuer K1 and boxing fights.

Are you inspired by any fighter present or past?
George St Pierre has to been very inspirational on his dedication to the sport, as well the fact he doesnt need to bad mouth any opponents pre-fight. its the same way i like to keep it, show your stuff in the cage not with you mouth. but most recently a up and coming fighter who im sure you know off MARCO GUISTA. This man has been sleeping on a couch every day for the last 2 months, waking up training 3 times a day and going back to sleep on a couch. Most of all this man has had the passion to carry on with a smile and no negativity. he is a true fighter and has opened my eyes.

Tell us a bit about your fighting style. What "fighting" means to you?
Fighting is the only thing i know, my whole family has been gold medalists in some form of martial art and i had the oppotunity to grow up with these people around me, advantages are my game is a all round game, i fight of both stances and i am use to fighting a wide range of styles. so my game is nice and patient till i see my opening then i dont stop till i have what i want.

How is the scene in your area like?
Essex MMA scene is still very basic round here. we have a couple clubs that are doing very well , also we have some great coaches travelling from london to teach.

Do like football ? Any favourite teams? If not you don't which other sports do u follow?
I have never been able to get my head into football seems like a pointless sport to me but i respect the dedication the sportsman put into it. as for sports i follow, it is solely MMA. I dont mind a bit of ice hockey but i dont follow it.

Have you ever needed to use your fighting skills outside the mat/cage?
When i was younger there have been a few incidents but fighting itself should be left to a controlled enviroment. People are very keen on using weapons on the streets now.

Do you like music...? any favourite bands/singers?
YES i love music, i must have music on to train. it keeps your mind relaxed and when getting pumped before you go out to war in the cage Rock is definitely the way to go. Metallica, Kasabian, Foo Fighters,system of a down, the prodigy. and Dance music to relax, robert miles, david guetta, dj fresh .

Are you interested in clothing? any favourite brands or styles?
Since hearing of three stroke productions  i have looked at your clothes and they are very stylish i like them. your jackets look exactly what i like to walk around in. other than that only clothes i wear are shorts and rashguards.

What are you plans for next year ..what would u like to achieve?
For the next year its simple, keep training hard, spend more time with the people around me they keep me humble as they all have nothing to prove to anyone and most of all, keep my chin down, hands up and eyes on the goal.
Hi Marco, you are a new face into the MMA world. How and when did you started to train?
Since I was very young I’ve always been a combat sports fan.
In the beginning I started with kick boxing, and then whilst looking through some magazines I came across the MMA. Although at the time it was still unknown in Italy. I immediately felt attracted by the total fight spirit of MMA, so a couple of years ago I started training MMA. I knew I needed specific training for each style of fighting, so I started working with some great Italian trainers like Luciano Ortelli (Italian Olympic Wrestling) and others.

You recently won your BCMMA fight in Ipswich, how do you feel?
Your figth was very fast, you ve won in 20 seconds for a TKO, what was your figthing plan before the match?
On the 23rd of giugno I won the BCMMA in Ipswich, which was a major milestone for me. It was the perfect conclusion to a tough period of serious training. I’m very happy with it all at the moment, although I don't want to overrate myself just yet. So it’s back to the gym to keep on keeping on.

I don't really have any particular tactical plans before a fight. Although I do take time to discover my opponents’ style, but that’s about it. I believe the training will speak for itself.
We know that you have been in UK for 3 months training hard like 3 times perday 5 day a week... Thanks to my Italian team, I came cross Luca, who's a huge MMA fan. He offered me a job and helped me with accommodation in London. I’ve been training 3 times a day for several months now: BJJ (Carlson Gracie), Boxing (with my coach Eduardo Goncalves) and MMA with Ashleigh Grimshau (UCMMA TITLE Holder). On Mondays and Fridays it’s K1, and MMA with Jess Liaudin.
It was great training BJJ in Essex with Alain Guerra Pozo at his gym. It was there that I came across Paul Harper, who’s now become a very good friend of mine. I’m trying to become a good fighter in a sport that I love, and in which I can see a good sense of respect. Fighting means knowing your limits and trying to overcome them. I dream of becoming a pro someday, and sometimes dreams come true.

Are you inspired by any fighter present or past? Tell us a bit about your fighting style.
My style of fighting is based on punches and kicks rather than wrestling. I’m a striker and I’m working hard to improve my wrestling. One of my favourite fighters is Ben Henderson. A good fighter and a war machine, but at the same time a very good man devoted to religion (like myself)…

When and why did u decide to become a MMA fighter?
In the past I lived a kind of troubled life. I made a few mistakes and created problems for myself. Now I’m a different person, and I trust in myself and love MMA. Even if I don't succeed, I’ll always be proud of myself and grateful to all the friends and coaches who supported me along the years. It's great to be here in an interview for my sponsor - Three Stroke Productions. Ten years ago there was a shop in my hometown (Latina) near the stadium. They used to sell all my favourite pieces of clothing like shirts, hoodies, and polos. One day I convinced my father to take me there, and I was so happy to leave the shop wearing one of Three Strokes hoodies.

Do you like music...? any favourite bands/singers?
I listen to lots of Italian and French Rap as it gives me a good rush of adrenaline. I love genuine bands whose lyrics talk about socially excluded and disadvantaged people, and about those who want to overcome difficulties. For my cage walk in I have Pulp Fiction's Misirlou....

Hi Alain, you are a very well known UK based BJJ Brown belt , what's your experience within BJJ, How and when did you start?
Hello Guys, I started training around 1997 in recife brazil. I trained with Master Ze Radiola when Jiu Jitsu started in my hometown. I stopped training after I left Brazil and restarted in 2001 at the Carlson Gracie academy when it first started in the UK.

How many competitions did you enter and what kind of combat?It is very hard to say how many competitions I entered as I love competing. I lost count at this stage. This year I was not part of many. I did the Europeans, London International and an MMA fight.

We ve seen you travelling across the world training and figthing, what other fighting arts have you learned?
I trained in many places around the world I was very lucky to meet great people. I trained in places like cusco Peru with former UFC champ Tony de Souza to American Top Team in Florida. I learned Boxing with my Uncle in Brazil Gildo Guerra former Boxer. Also some Wrestling and Judo. My current striking coach is Alex Costa who trained at Chute boxe academy.

Could you tell us about Brazil and USA BJJ and Grappling scene?Well Brazil is where Gracie Jiu Jitsu started and as a consequence to prove their art they challenged other martial arts to prove the superiority of the ground fight. This is how Vale Tudo began. When the Gracies went to America Vale Tudo now MMA became more poplular and more professional with the UFC. So has jiu jitsu who has many competiotions in the USA and the mundials is held in California one a year.

Describe your daily shedule? Train? Work?I wake up, have breakfast, protein shake, fruits Coffee and train BJJ at 12 lunch time everyday. I do conditioning twice a week and wreslting once a week with my coach Nick Albert. I usualy eat lunch japanese food or salad. And at night I cheat with a chocolate every night.

Can you tell us a bit about your latest matches and plans for the current season...
My last jiu jitsu match was at the London International and I fought a Roger Gracie Brown Belt. I won by points. My biggest goal this year is compete at the Europeans No Gi in London.
Are you inspired by any fighter present or past? Tell us a bit about your fighting style.My biggest Inspiration fighters are Carlson Gracie, Mario Sperry, paulo Filho and Amaury Bitteti.
What "fighting" means to you? I see Fighting as a sport as a competition, strategy.
Do like football ? Any favourite teams?
I like football and the only team I support is Nautico Clube Capibaribe from Recife PE
Have you ever needed to use your fighting skills outside the mat/cage?I used fighting skills before I started martial arts, never used outside of the mats after I started training.

Do you like music...? any favourite bands/singers?
I am a huge music fan. I like hip hop, reggae, funk music, beatles, Led Zeppelin, Brazilian music, local bands from recife like chico science

Are you interested in clothing? any favourite brands or styles?
I only wear fightwear from people I know. So you wont see me using affliction or tapout.

What are you plans for next year ..what would u like to achieve?
Plans for next year are make as many champions in Essex as I can!! Thank you guys and thanks Three Stroke  Productions  clothing for everything. I used to be sponsored 10 years ago. Good to have my brother Luca  back on board ooooosssss

Tuesday, 17 July 2012


Three Stroke Productions was established in London in 1997.
All the labels garments are manufactured to the highest quality in Italy, where Three Stroke Productions work with a selection of family run clothing companies in the North East of the country.


Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Three Stroke Productions speaks to Paul (Smiler) Anderson

Three Stroke Productions speaks to Paul (smiler) Anderson – original revival Mod, with an obsession for clothes, music, and football. Author of the Book 'The Fleur De Lys' and the upcoming
'Mods - The New Religion', which is out next year. He has DJ'd and organised various Mod events since 1985, and Co-compiled the 'Rare Mod' series of LP's and EP's for Acid Jazz records.
Let's hear what our man has to say?

When, and where did the whole Mod thing originally start for you?”
The Mod thing really started for me around September 1979 when I finally became a Mod after watching it flourish from a distance. I was 14 at the time so I was too young to have been a Punk but I loved New Wave and Punk music and through The Jam the Mod scene became more noticeable. I wasn't really very good in the early days ( cherry red loafers and grey socks!) but once I became a Mod I knew that it was going to stay with me forever.
1988, Katy Stephens hand made shirt, tailored trousers

“When you were out and about in the early 80's, what clubs were you going to during this period? What would be a typical weekend?"

As I was 14 and living in Reading (40 miles from London) there really wasn't anything more than our local youth club. I was always one of the youngest Mods it seemed, the older lot got scooters and went off to see bands such as Secret Affair, The Chords and other revival bands. As I got older I too got a scooter and went to bands. By the time I was 18 in 1983 a lot of the older Mods had become scooter boys. So clothing and music became more irrelevant to them as it was more about just having a scooters. I loved scooters and have owned at least one every year since 1982 but it was always clothes and music that took priority to me. So luckily I found a like minded soul in a guy called Richard Molyneux who rejected the local Reading scene in search of something different. In 1984 we went off to London one Saturday night to a club I'd read about called The Phoenix in Cavendish Square. It was fantastic and a million miles away from the local soul nights I had been to up until then (and never felt comfortable at). It was full of sharp suited kids dancing to old R&B, Beat, Soul and Jazz. It was my Mod Nirvana. After that we became regulars at The Phoenix on Saturdays and Sneakers in Shepherds Bush every Sunday. I started getting suits and shirts handmade and collecting vinyl records with a passion.

1997, Stone Island top, Paul Smith trousers, Vespa GS160.

“You recently published the book - Circles, The Strange Story of The Fleur de Lys, Britain’s Forgotten Soul Band. What are your earliest memories of their music, and how did the interest in the Fleur De Lys book come about?”
I co-wrote the book on the rare 60's mod band The Fleur de Lys after both Damian Jones (co-author) interviewed the original drummer for a book I was writing on 60's Mods. His tales about living with Jimi Hendrix when he first came to the UK plus playing with Aretha Franklin etc made us realise it was a book in its own right. So we set about tracking down the other members and Acid Jazz showed faith in the project and agreed to publish it. 'Circles - The Fleur De Lys. The Strange Story of Britain's Forgotten Soul Band' came out and got rave reviews.

"You’re still quite active as a DJ on the Mod scene in the UK. Do you remember when you first got bitten by the DJ bug?"
I'd always bought records but after attending Sneakers club in 1984 I started to collect rare stuff properly and first DJ'd at a pub called The Horse & Barge in Reading in July 1985. Within a couple of years I was DJing at all the major London Mod Clubs as well as the scooter rallies plus all my own events. It has taken me all over Europe and it is lovely to play to people in places such as Italy or Spain because although they have great scenes they are not sure what you are going to play.

“How has the scene evolved since the early ‘80s, and what do you think about the current scene?”
It's weird but the scene now is quite healthy but somehow I feel disappointed. In the 80's we were evolving and you spent ages trying to find out about everything from music to clothes to Mod history. If you were sussed back then it stood out a mile but you always shared the knowledge whether you found something out in a book or somebody else told you some small mainly unknown piece of knowledge. We read and wrote our own Mod fanzines to spread the word. Just about everybody hated Mods at this point and they were quite violent times but hey we were young and you thrived off that! Now we live in the Internet age. All the information is there at the push of a button so people don't have to search for those tiny details so much. Britpop seemed to make scooters and Mod clothing acceptable, so much that now Mods are deemed as British as fish and chips. Anybody can DJ now because if you own a credit card and access to E Bay you can own those elusive records. No more trawling through record fairs, building up contacts, finding dealers who put out record lists. DJ'ing is there to anybody with a knowledge of tunes and a credit card. On a positive note the Internet has made it more possible to view things you'd never see and hear tunes you'd never hear . It basically makes the world a smaller place so that Mod is truly international now. Computer technology embraces the true Mod dream of using the most modern elements  whilst killing off the other Mod ideal of elitism to some extent.. In general though I am happy with the current state of play and love the fact that the scene will always be run and directed from people rooted within the scene. The passion of a true Mod always shines through. 

"subcultures like the Mod have developed along the decades through a path made of bands, characters,  events and even conflicts. Beyond reinterpretations and reshapings, what is the real essence of being a mod?" 

Years ago I feel that I was very blinkered and purist about my whole Mod involvement. I'd hate to be that way now. Around 1990 I was really heavily involved in the scene DJ'ing, running clubs, writing fanzines and helping organise the Mod rallies. I felt that somehow I couldn't expand any further and felt very limited. I got very into Acid Jazz, and the whole vintage tops and Duffer St George look. By 1991 I was buying things like The Young Disciples, Galliano, Brand New Heavies, A Tribe Called Quest plus seeing bands like these alive alongside the early Manic Street Preachers, Revs and 5.30 bands. I became a regular at Dingwalls on Sundays and various other clubs. By early 1992 I literally walked away from the Mod scene. I never stopped being or calling myself a Mod it was just that I had had enough of the actual scene.I sold off all my tailored suits and trousers as well as my hand made shirts. I began wearing Lacoste, Armani, Hugo Boss, Stone Island, Paul & Shark and Paul Smith. Feet were shod in Patrick Cox loafers or Adidas Gazelles. I was riding a  1966 Lambretta SX225 before moving on to a 1964 Vespa GS160 mk 2. 
     It was around 2000 that I was asked to DJ at a Mod orientated club for the first time in years as I still had all my record collection. I enjoyed myself and although I have never fully immersed myself back into the Mod scene, I began to get more involved with it again. I started to get my shirts , suits and trousers tailor made again. These days you are likely to find me dressed casually in a Lacoste polo, Levi 501's with 1 inch turn ups and Adidas Italias or Adidas Japans. Dressed up normally in a handmade shirt, tailor made trousers and either Bass Weejun loafers or vintage shoes.
    To me the essence of Mod is always about being smart and sussed. Dressing to fit the occasion rather than just dressing up for the sake of it. To me a true Mod will take the best influences both musically and clotheswise from the past and the present and co-ordinate them to move forward.
"We believe that a scene is healthy if it's still capable to attract youngsters. In other words has the mod factor still the right appeal nowadays"?
Since Britpop came along bands such as Blur and Oasis that  used Mod iconography have implanted the look back into the media. Although seen as past it now they have influenced many younger bands who have adopted that look maybe without even realising the Mod lineage. Back in the 80's anyone wearing a three button suit was the target of ridicule as one button, linen suits (influenced by Miami Vice) were the order of the day. These days the three button suit is seen as a 'classic look' and therefore acceptable as are Ben Sherman shirts, loafers etc. I think that there is enough acceptance now of the clothes, transport and music to make it appealing to younger generations.
"which current bands and clubs would you recommend?"
To be honest I don't really follow bands that much anymore. Miles Kane is doing some great stuff and I've loved The Arctic Monkeys since day one. The Supernovas from North London are a great young multicultural band. There's lots of clubs out there and probably too many to list. My friends Gilo and Dave Edwards run a great night called Sidewinder in London and No Way Out in Manchester is outstanding.
"clothes &  football":  favourite brands, favourite piece of clothing, your football team...!
I don't really do brand name stuff that much anymore although I find Lacoste polos the most comfortable and they are a classic look. My trainers are usually Adidas retro looking such as Gazelles, Italias or Japans. I love the suit that I had made for my wedding five years ago. It was made by George in Harringay and it's pure Dormeuil tonic. It cost £850, more than my wife's wedding dress, but it was worth it! My handmade shirts are my other passion! As for footy I'm a Hammer through and through. I used to follow them home and away with a season ticket in the Bobby Moore Upper. I gave up my season ticket a couple of years ago but I still get to see them when I can. Since my little boy Joe has been born I am much more limited but I went three times last season and also to the play off final at Wembley. I'm looking forward to us being back in the Premiership and will make a few games I'm sure. West Ham till I die.
Hand made shirt in West Ham colours
“Do you ever see yourself leaving Mod behind?”
I can never seeing me leaving Mod behind, it runs through my body like a life blood. It influences all my choices in life through art, music and culture. My book about the 1960's Mods called 'Mods - the New Religion!' is being published by Omnibus early next year and it would be lovely to think it may influence some youngsters to get involved . My little boy  is my greatest legacy that I will leave behind when I'm gone but my book will be a good second!