My interview with Tarec Saffiedine

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by AndyMaBobs, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. AndyMaBobs Purple Belt

    AndyMaBobs
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    So here's my latest work

    The full interview can be found here as always (I also have a new piece on Rose Namajunas vs Joanna Champion that I didn't post here at the time of writing) :

    http://www.muay-thai-guy.com/one-on-one-tarec-saffiedine.html

    ______________

    He started off as a bullied high school kid in Belgium, but now he’s the greatest MMA fighter to come out of the country. He quit his first martial art in exchange for a rare karate style just so that he could pursue tougher competition. He is Tarec “Sponge” Saffiedine, the first Belgian to win a world title in the sport of MMA and the first Belgian to ever compete in the UFC.

    Today he talks with Muay Thai Guy about karate and its many variants, as well as his own unique approach to fighting, and how it all started with two kids sparring in a high school gym to defend themselves from bullies.


    SAFFIEDINE – THE TOUGH YEARS
    [​IMG]

    MTG: Your UFC website profile says that you were inspired to take up MMA because of one of your favourite manga series. Is this true?

    SAFFIEDINE: Yes, it’s a part of why I was inspired. I started taekwondo at the end of 2002, then I discovered the manga TOUGH, which was about MMA. That’s why I decided to switch from taekwondo to shihaishinkai karate, which is a form of martial art closer to MMA.

    MTG: What are the rules of shihaishinkai as compared to other styles of karate?

    SAFFIEDINE: The basics are very close to kyokushinkai karate, but we also train in Muay Thai, boxing, judo, and grappling. I used to compete in Muay Thai, then the week after I would go do a grappling tournament in Holland. Then it was off to a karate tournament in France the week after.
    _____________


     
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  2. j123 Pro Sherdogger 500-0-1

    j123
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    TOUGH is awesome. It would inspire anyone. Baki is on another level of cray though
     
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  3. AndyMaBobs Purple Belt

    AndyMaBobs
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    I've never read it, I'm going to look it up for sure though! Since I stopped writing about comics, they've actually become fun and not work for me now.
     
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  4. Sano Brown Belt

    Sano
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    Damn, if it was an anime I would watch it no doubt. I don't read manga.

    Btw, Hajime no Ippo is probably one of my favourite series and something I would recommend to anyone who likes fighting.

    On topic, great job as always @AndyMaBobs ! Keep up the good work!
     
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  5. j123 Pro Sherdogger 500-0-1

    j123
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    There was an anime, but it was straight terrible and I don't recommend wasting time there.

    Hajime no Ippo is where everyone is on something massively suspect. Ippo is "supposedly" a boxing 120er when he's really a MMA middleweight. And the bullshit lies they sell like he got that strength working on a boat.... yeah okay. Maybe his d-bol cycles on a boat, then you'd have something.

    There needs to be a JPNADA up in there.
     
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  6. Sano Brown Belt

    Sano
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    Haha, they do like like they are completely roided up. Especially Ippo and Sendo!

    Btw, check this vid. It's pretty cool:
     
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  7. AndyMaBobs Purple Belt

    AndyMaBobs
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    Glad you liked it - he was a lot less imposing to talk to than Lucien Carbin haha, very friendly down to Earth guy, had a laugh with him a few times before and since.

    I try to approach the how and why that fighters fight, what techniques do they use, what drives them to do it. Every post fight press conference I see, fighters just look bored of the same questions all the time, so I try to do something different.
     
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  8. Sano Brown Belt

    Sano
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    Yeah, I'm sure they appreciate that too.
     
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  9. AndyMaBobs Purple Belt

    AndyMaBobs
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    I hope so! I've been having a blast doing it, so far they've all been great guys. I'm hopefully going to ask Davit Kiria or Nick Hemmers next, as I've known them for a couple years now. Not confirming anything though just so there's no egg on my face if they say no.
     
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  10. AndyMaBobs Purple Belt

    AndyMaBobs
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  11. spacetime Brown Belt

    spacetime
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    Why didn't MMA Karate styles ever caught on? Like Shidokan and Kyokushin-Budokai? Kyokushin is still the most popular full contact Karate style.

    Makes no sense to me. Kyokushin-Budokai in particular is practically Kyokushin+ grappling.
     
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  12. AshiharaFan Purple Belt

    AshiharaFan
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    No, I don't have any knowledge on that specific style of karate, but I do know that I was unable to trace it's roots to Kyokushin or any Kyokushin derived style. I suspect that it was started in Brussels by a non Japanese practitioner and is one of the many styles of full contact Karate that is not derived from Kyokushin but is rather influenced by Kyokushin's sparring format like Kenshinkan, Mumokan (did I spell that correctly?), Ryukyukan Karate and the controversial Byakuren Kaikan.
     
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  13. AndyMaBobs Purple Belt

    AndyMaBobs
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    I wasn't able to find anything on the style outside of Belgium, so I think you're onto something there. Out of interest though, whats controversial about Byakuren

    (as a side note, Masaaki Noiri's shinkarate is one I'd love to see become wide spread)
     
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  14. AshiharaFan Purple Belt

    AshiharaFan
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    The style itself isn't controversial. The origins of the style and the style's founder (Sugihara Masayasu) is considered controversial from the perspective of present day Shorinji Kempo practitioners. From what I know many Shorinji Kempo students today look down on Byakuren Kaikan and Sugihara San with disdain.

    The bulk of the controversy doesn't come from the fact that Mr. Sugihara had competed in Kyokushin Kumite matches against the rules of Shorinji Kempo (when he was still a member of Shorinji Kempo and was Shorinji Kempo founder Doshin So's bodyguard) but that some Shorinji Kempo guys still (erroneously) think that he fought using Shorinji Kempo techniques and strategies which are meant only for self defense and not to be displayed outside of Shorinji Kempo dojos.

    Lastly, some people (myself included) view Byakuren strictly as a combat sport in spite of masquerading itself under a philosophy that purports to make the practitioners better human beings and learning important life values. This is an attempt to appear as a unique style with a unique outloook on life which I highly question. I feel the same way about Takashi Ozawa's Zendokai Karate.
     
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  15. AndyMaBobs Purple Belt

    AndyMaBobs
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    I don't know if it just seems like that way to me because I'm an outsider, but karate and japanese martial arts in general (judo especially) seem to have a lot of politics and in fighting involved. I notice it a lot with the different styles of karate - it seems to be that a guy takes a slightly different approach to karate and brand it as their own martial art.

    Whereas in Muay Thai different gyms having different approaches are just expected. I dunno if its my imagination or if there's any truth to it
     
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  16. AshiharaFan Purple Belt

    AshiharaFan
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    No, it isn't your imagination. You are absolutely correct.
     
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  17. AndyMaBobs Purple Belt

    AndyMaBobs
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    Do you think it's just a cultural thing?
     
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  18. AshiharaFan Purple Belt

    AshiharaFan
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    I do highly suspect that Japanese culture has a whole lot to do with it. One thing Japan has that I don't believe is widely practiced throughout the rest of the world is a Junior High and High School club for almost every Japanese martial art there is and these clubs routinely vie with one another for dominance and recognition. By the time these people make it to University that mindset is solidly instilled in them.

    Also, in general (Japanese or non Japanese) people who start martial arts styles and organizations usually do so by piggybacking on the name and reputation of a prior style and/or organization which has gained significant notoriety. So the goal is to be the top name of that style and be the one to dominate the martial arts scene. With that dominance comes members paying dues and branches in numerous locations. Not to mention the Kancho/Kaicho/Soke's name being etched in martial arts history if he has the largest organization and wins the most championships.

    I almost hate to bring this up but just look at the various organizations that practice Kyokushin Karate. Essentially they are no different from each other in terms of syllabus and rules for Kumite. So the question is WHAT is preventing them from uniting under one organization? There are many answers to that question but the MAIN ANSWER is that THEY ALL want to be the CHIEF and NONE OF THEM want to be a common INDIAN. 'Tis human nature I guess.
     
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  19. exclamatio Yellow Belt

    exclamatio
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    Thanks, that was an interesting read! I can relate to the manga / anime motivation haha! Not gonna lie, when Dragon Ball Z came out over here I basically had a several year long adrenaline rush.
     
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  20. AndyMaBobs Purple Belt

    AndyMaBobs
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    I've noticed Japanese culture tends to be very hyper masculine and often very ego drive, and I did wonder if that was part of it, especially when it's a bunch of people who have a lot of fight in them to begin with. Even in their sparring the Japanese approach seems to be 'beat the fuck out of each other'.

    Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of love for Japanese culture and history - but sacrilege though it may be to say - when it comes to martial arts I just don't seem to share their values.

    Haha, for me it was the Tom Hardy movie Warrior - that really was what got me into martial arts in general.
     
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