Publié le 6 janvier 2014 | par Panta Rei1
Exclusive interview with Dean Lister
Panta Rei : Hello Dean and thank you for your time!
PR : You are one of all time best submission grapplers but there’s a lot of cloudiness about your actual grappling background, you used to practice wrestling and sambo but most of your training as been in BJJ, don’t you?
Dean Lister: Yes most my background is BJJ with kimono… However I did wrestle in High school and after high school I took 2X National Sambo Championship… I learned the basic armlock and basic footlock before I started BJJ.
PR : You are one of the most famous leg lock specialist. What do you think about the leg locks love of these days, knowing that you were kind of looked down by going to the legs in the old days?
its funny…. I was told before that footlocks aren’t technical and I should focus on passing the guard… I still pass the guard, I do that well however footlocks are a very powerful weapon BECAUSE most people are afraid of them and don’t know how to defend them…. Especially without a kimono
PR : For the 2013 ADCC you went to the Atos camp as a mean to prepare the competition. Why did you go there and how was the training?
They are also local and close to where I live, they have come to my academy and I have gone to their academy, was great training and we all got to share techniques and training secrets.. All those guys are my friends and most of us training for ADCC at the camp did very well at the competition
PR : The Atos camp was full of bjj beasts with a great weight range, going from the lightweight Rafael Mendes to the heavier ones such as Andre Galvao or yourself. How did you manage to train with such different partners? Did you go lighter on smaller guys or was the training at full blast?
It was full blast but yeah, against lighter guys I have to use different ways of rolling…. Not easier, just different… Also its important to not try to rely on my weight when training with a lighter opponent or training partner, that is an opportunity for me to work more on my movement.
PR : The Atos team is well known for his Research and Developpement philosophy, did you learn something new during this camp? What do you think about the so talked « Modern Jiu-jitsu »?
Yes of course, every day we were all learning and sharing secrets.. modern jiu jitsu? Well I don’t know, modern jiu jitsu is always growing and getting more complex… However I don’t prefer to specialize with Kimono, I prefer to improve my overall game of principles and strategy that works, with or without a kimono
PR : Your Atos Teammate Keenan Cornelius said in a past interview something pretty interesting towards the debate between new and old school jiu-jitsu, it was something along the line of « You can live by the sword but don’t complain if you get shot ». What do you think about it? Is the modern game so much better?
yes I agree with what he says, I like to take chances to get a submission but at times, it can cost me some points and even ast times to be in a submission hold myself… that is fine, because I am not a point fighter, I take chances in training so that I can have better victories in matches and fights… If I lose that is fine but every one of my opponents will have to defend several submissions… I would rather be respected than perfect
PR : Do you think a jiu-jitsu competitor or teacher should keep himself up with the inovations of the sport or could he stays with an old school way of doing things?
it depends on the individual… I like to keep up on the changing affairs of the game, however there are many things from old school jiu jitsu that are very important and have never changed…. Basic principles still work
PR : During the lasts ADCC events and the lasts IBJJF world nogi championships we noticed that the guard is becoming something truely hard to pass. The recent innovations with the reversed de la riva guard and knee shield distance controlled guards are greatly used to prevent any kind of pass. The ADCC offers more way to attack theses guards as the leg locks are in full use (including heelhooks and knee reaping) whereas in the IBJJF there are some limitations in their use. The results were that the ADCC matches were more active than the IBJJF ones. Do you think nogi should allways go with full leglocks rules to keep the matches alive?
yes definitely!! Leg locks are a part of jiu jitsu!! The moment you take them out of the game, you are making the lovely submission art of jiu jitsu « incomplete » and furthermore weakening an individual’s ability to defend himself against other grapplers that know and use leg locks.
PR : In a recent interview you talked about the ideal point system for jiu-jitsu (no advantages and such) can you talk more about it? Would you compete in IBJJF tournaments if they implement these new rules (doubt they do but hey…) or would you rather stick to ADCC and submission only events?
I like my idea…. It really came from competing in 1998 at Gracie invitational tournament…. first person to get 15 points or submission was the champion… I won that tournament and in that event, stalling was impossible!! That was my main point, to avoid stalling.
PR : Would you like to compete in the gi again in the future? At a metamoris or world expo event for exemple?
I feel one day I will compete with the gi, I just don’t like the rules that forbid me from doing footlocks…. Its like telling a mauy thai kickboxer that now he can just compete in boxing… Sure the kickboxer can box but you would be taking away most of his experience and weapons by making him only do boxing.
PR : You were schedulded to compete against Rousimar Palhares at the last Jiu-jitsu World Expo 2013, Rousimar was pulled off the event due to a last minute injury. Do you think this match will take place in the future? It surely was one of the most talked about matchups of the event!
I’m sure it is very possible… Only problem is I am in a heavier division than Rousimar, he is an incredible athlete and I was sad for him that he injured his shoulder… I wish him fast recovery and I was the only guy to accept the match with him! He is a scary and strong guy but he deserves a 2nd chance to compete after being cut from UFC. he is actually a nice guy and I wish him the best in his MMA career… If we have a match or not one day, who know?
PR : Rousimar had an incredible career in MMA by focusing on BJJ and diving for leg locks each time he couldn’t take down easely his opponent. You are yourself a leg lock specialist, do you think the Rousimar way of doing MMA can influence the new BJJ/MMA generation? Do you think that you could/should have implemented the same gameplan in your own MMA career?
yes definitely, especially now that I have really completed my entire leg attack game, it would be a great strategy for me to employ and I already use it… I have my own way that is similar to rousimar that is very effective even in MMA. I believe it can influence the game big time and it will furthermore in the future I am sure
PR : Thank you Dean, we hope to see you a lot more in the BJJ scene in 2014!