Publié le 10 mars 2013 | par Panta Rei0
Interview with Mike Fowler
Panta Rei: Hello Mike and thank you for the interview!
Panta Rei: In one of his last, Jordon Schultz, a Lloyd Irvin student, spoke about the « extraordinary lifestyle » Lloyd provided him. You live in Hawaii with your wife Tracey Goodell, teaching jiu-jitsu. It’s seems like a pretty good « extraordinary lifestyle » for me, better than living in the Lloyd Irvin « Jungle »! What are your thoughts about it?
Mike Fowler : It really depends I guess. If you are free and able to have the ability to go and live and train and compete then it would be the best environment. Just like Olympic training facilities, wrestling camps, etc, etc. I love the island lifestyle and I love jiujitsu. I am blessed to be able to live in such an amazing place. I have to be by the water. It’s when I’ve felt the best. But everyone is particular in their own way.
PR : How would you define the « jiu-jitsu lifestyle »?
MF : Living jiujitsu! Everyday is spent training in some sort of fashion whether it be watching, note taking, training, talking, whatever. But it also affects the way we think about the rest of our lives. Giving structure and better judgement, problem solving, etc, etc.
PR : You teach at a non-profit school, how do you manage to make a living? By seminars and sponsorship?
MF : You know it. And hard work. Odd jobs. Do whatever to make sure we can provide for our boy and still compete and travel and train.
PR : Before going to Hawaii, you were teaching in Guam. Do you have some kind of love for the island-life? Could you tell us some main differences and similarities between the life in Guam and Hawaii?
MF : For sure I have a huge love for the island life. Guam is an amazing place and always go visit when I can. It’s not the same as Oahu where I live because Oahu is much larger. Smaller island has a different feel. Not better or worse just much different. Not as fast paced. But I love them both.
PR : Living in Hawaii, I imagine you owned yourself some surfing time, did you feel the often told « spiritual link » between surfing and jiu-jitsu? Physical and technical ones too?
MF : I think the link is with the water. Not necessarily surfing for me. I love body boarding, body surfing, Stand up paddle. Rock running, free diving. Yes, the link I believe is in the sense that everyone I know who lives by the water or is in the water is dawn to it. It dictates the day. Just as jiujitsu does. People leave work or skip school when there is waves. People rearrange their work schedule and wake up earlier, and re adjust the school or take night classes just to train. Both make huge sacrifice for what we love.
PR : Nowadays, you train at Atos. Can you tell us about the main difference between Atos training camps and methodology opposed to Lloyd Irvin’s?
MF : They both are based on same thing. Things proven to win. Repetition of basics in all manners. Sparring, takedowns. All mixed with some workout. The only difference would be time, people, and place.
PR : You have spoken about the methodology of progressive drills, starting with 10% intensity, growing to 100%. The Mendes bros kind of use this progressive method too, did you train with them?
MF : The idea wasn’t presented to me by them but I do see them do it.
PR : You recently competed under 145 lbs, What do you feel about the weight loss and your new competiton weight category?
MF : I loved it. Awesome feeling. I felt strong there and that’s where I would like to stay.
PR : Did you feel a technical difference between the lightweight competitors and the middleweight ones?
MF : No, but I did feel a. Difference in strength. I wasn’t as overpowered in moments. But there is still bad dudes in every weight division!
PR : You released some technical instructionnal footages in the past, do you plan to do some more in the near future?
MF : I do plan to. But videos aren’t my focus right now. But I do plan on making more!
PR : Jiu-jitsu seems to be the martial art of the internet era, so much informations out there. Do you think this can help to raise the technical level of the students faster than the traditionnal teacher-student relationship only?
MF : To a degree I think it can, but you can’t feel a video on the Internet.
PR : Will we be able to watch a hawaiian version of Hafa Adai someday?
MF : Maybe!
PR : You trained with Ryan Hall when you were both under Lloyd Irvin, what do you think about his career? The separation from Lloyd’s, his affiliation with Marcelo Garcia and his DVD works?
MF : I think Ryan is a successful martial artist. I really don’t keep in contact besides at the random tournament meeting. I haven’t kept up on him too much from what I see on the Internet occasionally.
PR : There is a lot of talk about « sandbagging » in jiu-jitsu competitions. You are one of the perfect counter-exemples of this. What do you think about competitors winning major competitions at a belt level and competing again the next year, in the very same category? Do you think the IBJJF promotion standards get it wrong with the new generation of full time training athletes?
MF : I think their should be individual cases taken into perspective. I have seen a world champ brown belt return the next year and lose in the first rounds. Maybe his instructor felt when he won he wasn’t ready for the blackbelt. Who knows the personal issues or reasons. But I don’t feel he should have been denied to compete because he won the previous year. Then take my wife Tracey, she won the weight and Absolute after getting the purple only weeks prior. All but one match ended in submission. Should she have to compete as purple again the following? So. I agree there should be limitations but its individual no matter what way you look at it.
PR : What do you think about the IBJJF competitions and the recent other competitions like the World Pro Jiu-jitsu or the submission only ones like the Metamoris (or the BJJ Kumite)? Which one do you like the most?
MF : I like them all. I really like the concept of the no time limit matches. Sub only. They are all great in their own light but the ibjjf worlds is the original.
PR : Well; thank you Mike for your time, do you want to thank some of your sponsors to close the intervie?
MF: Yes thank you! I want to thank, tatami Fightwear, fokai, on the mat, body by vi