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