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Interview: Robert Drysdale (Robert Drysdale BJJ)

Interview: Robert Drysdale (Robert Drysdale BJJ)

Robert Drysdale. Enige tijd geleden hebben we al de documentaire over hem geplaatst, nu een exclusief interview. Geen copy/paste vanaf een andere website, nee, Robert Drysdale heeft de chokes even laten rusten en de tijd genomen om een aantal vragen uit Nederland te beantwoorden. Over zijn grote rivaal en ruzie met zijn vrouw…

Can you recall the first ever training you attented? What was your impression before the training, and afterwards?

I think I was already in love with JJ even before I watched my first class. The stories I was hearing and Royce’s performance in the UFC had me hooked already.

When I watched my first class, it was only the confirmation I needed that this was something incredible and that I wanted to be good at it.

Unfortunatly most of the practitioners of BJJ stop while being a white belt. A Black Belt yourself since 2004, what did you think was
your hardest belt to achieve, regarding progress / improvement?

Tough question, I guess I never saw the belt as an achievement. Only as a step forward.
Of course I was happy when I got my bb. But I never saw belts as an end, but always as a mean. The end is perfection and it is unattainable.

If you could change anything in your bjj journey, what would it be?

I would have started younger, I would have been smarter about my diet, training methods. But overall it’s been a fun journey. I wouldn’t change much.

The mistakes I made got me where I’m at today and I am very happy about where I am.

When you look around on the internet, people credit you for being the best grappler America of your generation. Who do you think will be the
new “Robert Drysdale”.

Although I am certainly flattered by the compliment I don’t believe there’s any such thing as “best”.
I’ve had the privilege and honor to compete against the best in the world. I lost to some of them and beat some of them.
As far as the new generation, it is very promising. It’s difficult to mention names since there are so many young promises. But JJ has never been better. The future is promising.

You once said: “If Jon Jones competed in BJJ, I would not expect him to win”. Well, he put on his white belt last week. Do you expect him
to make an impression anywhere near as big as he did on the MMA world?

I think he’s a phenomenal athlete and fighter and if he put the time into it he would achieve wonders in any sport. But to believe that because he’s successful in one sport does not mean he will be in all sports without the time to improve. I think some fans can be delusional about what their “heroes” can do. I don’t expect any JJ practitioner to go straight from the JJ circuit into the UFC and win anymore than I expect a UFC fighter to walk into the JJ Mundial and win.

Metamoris 2 is coming soon. Who would you want to fight if you were to be invited?

They invited me for both events. The first one I had a fight coming up so I declined. I spoke to them recently about the second one. It all depends on the direction my MMA career takes this year.
as far as names, I think Rener Gracie would be a fun fight.

You faced the who’s who in the world. Who was your toughest opponent?

I’ve had tough opponents in all belts. As a purple belt and brown I remember Fernando Soluco who was my archrival. We fought each other in manyl finals of the Sao Paulo circuit. As a black belt, guys like Xande and Roger were the hardest to go against.

What do you think of the recent drugtesting which is introduced at IBJJF events? Do you think some big players will get caught?

Yes, some will definitely get caught but many won’t. If the Olympic committee can’t stop drug usage I don’t think IBJJF will either.

I don’t believe in prohibition but in control. Just like any other drug, it should be controlled.

You did a seminar over in Holland once. What did you think of the level of BJJ over here?

I must say Amsterdan is one of my favorite places in the whole world.
I loved Holland and Dutch culture. Ideally I would spend some more time there and get the know it’s people better. As far as the JJ, I had a great experience.

The level and amount of practitioners really impressed me. JJ in europe is growing rapidly and Holland is at the forefront of this growth.

If we bring it back to your “famous” quote about Atari and Xbox… BJJ once started with the closed guard (atari) as basic position. Nowadays there is the 50/50, x guard, tornado guard (Xbox 360). With the new Xbox coming in the near future, where do you think the evolution of BJJ is going?

Haha, didn’t know it was a famous quote… I don’t even play videogames that much.
But yes, the sport is in plain evolution. It is difficult to see what will be the next big trend. But one thing is certain, JJ is at it’s infancy.
The rules allow for many possibilities so JJ can still grow in many directions. Just think about all the different moves that we are still beginning to understand, like berimbolo for example, and the ones that will spring from these. Or all the Wrestling and Sambo moves that are legal in JJ but that are barely used at all. Like I said, the rules allow for many possibilities. It will be interesting to watch which directions the sport takes.

Final question. If you have an argument with your wife (who is also a blackbelt)… Are you afraid to fall asleep?

Haha, I’m even afraid to look her in the eyes… I talk to her with my head down and finish all sentences with “SIR, YES SIR!!!!!” LOL

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