A special thanks to Carlo for submitting his recent interview with Mike Fowler, who by the way will be in the Philippines this October for the "Dominacao Absoluta" tournament + seminar. Check out what Mike has been up to in Guam at WWW.MIKEFOWLER.TV.
interview by: Carlo Pena
Q: Hey Mike, what's going on? Thanks for allowing us the the opportunity to ask some questions.
Mike Fowler: Anytime! Same thing with me...just training and getting ready to come back to the PI! Really excited about the upcoming tournament!!
Q: Awesome. How long has it been since your last visit to the Philippines?
Mike Fowler: My last visit was a seminar at the New Breed gym earlier in the year. I am really excited to do the next!
Q: Count us in! Mike, I heard about the release of your long awaited feature DVD, Hafa Adai. Can you tell us a little something about it?
Mike Fowler: As OnTheMat.com put it... "Best lifestyle DVD ever with some great music and serious jiu-jitsu!"
It basically covers my move to Guam and gives you a glimpse of the island and the gym along with words from some of the members.
It also has some of my old matches along with a 18 move instructional.
I'll make sure to bring some so you guys can check it out!
Q: I can't wait to see it. Mike, let me cut to the chase, how important is mental training to the jiu-jitsu athlete?
Mike Fowler: Mental training is the hardest and most important. The mind is a powerful thing so its important to remind ourselves to make sure to keep a positive attitude towards training and towards life in general. It makes all the difference when you let your ego go and just soak in what happens.
Q: There should be quite a few players from the South-east Asian region preparing for the upcoming Asian Championships in Japan. You've led your team to compete in Japan on more than one occasion, what advice would you give someone competing in Japan for the first time about what to expect from the Japanese jiu-jitsuka?
Mike Fowler: Expect to fight! The Japanese have an excellent game and are very talented. Fight with the same heart as you would in training and you will do fine.
Q: How would you describe the Japanese style of play?
Mike Fowler: They have an all around great game, but to me its their bottom game that is the best. You can't give them anything or they will take it and you are stuck.
Q: Whoa, it sounds like the Japanese grapplers are not to be taken lightly. Mike, you've faced a lot of the top grapplers of this generation either in training or in competition. Whose games do you feel are in the forefront in terms of innovation? Are there any grapplers, past or present, that you look to emulate in your own game?
Mike Fowler: Always trying to be more like Terere. He is by far one of the most talented... And my favorite to watch. But my main focus is to better the skills Master Lloyd gave me.
Q: Speaking of Master Lloyd, how exactly did your student-teacher relationship come to fruition? Were you simply one of the most consistent students attending his academy at the time or were you picked out randomly? How much of an impact have his methods had on your jiu-jitsu and life in general?
Mike Fowler: Master Lloyd's teachings have influenced not only jiu-jitsu, but my whole take on life. Without giving away what's on the "Hafa Adai" DVD... He is the key in my jiu-jitsu career.
I was nothing more than a regular student who asked him for help and listened to it. Regardless of whether I liked it or not. I did it.
Q: Considering how you quickly flew through the jiu-jitsu ranks, defeating many top level grapplers in competition on the way, I'd say it's definitely something to look into. After getting past Renzo Gracie at last year's ADCC, you were about to face another legend in the sport and arguably the greatest BJJ competitor of our time, Saulo Ribiero. What was going through your mind at the time before stepping on the mat against Saulo?
Mike Fowler: Nervous! So nervous but thankfully I was able to remain confident in my defenses as well as my attacks.
Q: That truly was my favorite match of the entire tournament!!! Mike, I know you're a busy man on Guam and I'd like to thank you for your time. Is there anyone who you'd like to thank?
Mike Fowler: I want to thank everyone that is making the tournament possible. We really appreciate a new event being brought up to help jiu-jitsu grow!
Q: Any last words for your fans around Asia?
Mike Fowler: Just want everyone to come out and show support in the growth of the sport! I'm really excited to be coming back to the Philippines!