Interview With Carl Fisher

Carl Fisher

If you thought you are too OLD to start BJJ then think again, we reached out to Carl Fisher to ask him what he thinks about bjj and other questions. If you are in your 40s then this interview is for you.

1. How did you get started in BJJ?

I first read about the UFC in an article waaaay back in 1993 in Fighting Arts International, a UK magazine edited by Terry O’ Neill and that was the first time I read about them and after watching the early UFC’s I wanted to learn the ground work. I started training Traditional Jiu Jitsu in 1994 and we did a lot of groundwork in the classes, plus exchanging all the early Gracies in Action video tapes (yes, video tapes!) across what felt like an underground grappling movement at the time. Over the coming years, every magazine and video on BJJ was bought and read and slowly a network was building up of BJJ clubs in the UK, so I started touring the local area and then spread across the North West and eventually I was travelling the UK to find good BJJ clubs to train at. In 1999, I attended a seminar in Hull with John Machado and he invited me to LA to train, so I saved up the cash and spent the summer out there training with John, Rigan, Jean Jacques and many more. I returned to the UK and the rest is history, as they say.

2. What is your current belt/rank?

Brown belt

3. What is your academy/team?

Checkmat

4. Are you a part time athlete or you have a job apart?

I teach full time, but work as a door supervisor at the weekends, which lets me pressure test my Jiu Jitsu out on the customers.

5. How many times a week/day are you training?

Six days a week

6. Do you do No Gi/Judo/Wrestling as well?

Yes, I like No Gi training and have trained wrestling over the years, as well as Judo and Sambo, boxing and Thai boxing.

7. What is your attitude to Crossfit or circuit training? Have you ever include it in your training?

Lots of people criticise Crossfit, saying the exercises are dangerous and after watching some of the videos online they do look dangerous, but that’s down to bad instructors. I’ve done Crossfit classes and haven’t had any problems with them and if you have a good instructor you should be fine. I’ve included certain exercises into my classes and I think circuit training is a great way of keeping fit too, but if you want to get better at BJJ, then train BJJ, it’s that simple.

8. New School vs Old School Jiu Jitsu, any thoughts?

Old School all the way! I started training way back with not a Berimbolo’s/ 50-50/ worm guard in sight and today I still catch people with the ‘old school’ scissor sweep! BJJ is a sport and as such the sport evolves with new guard passes, new guards etc and it will keep on evolving. However, it makes me smile when I used to referee white belt matches and they are all trying to get inverted guard and Berimbolo’s and pull subs from the rubber guard. Basics first!

9. What is your personal style in jiu jitsu?

Sweep and finish from mount or side control.

10. If you could choose one super ability for jiu jitsu, what it was?(lol)

The Vulcan Death Touch

11. Are you following any special dieting?

I eat as healthy as I can, plenty of chicken, prawns, steak, salads, complex carbs and pulses etc. That said it’s hard working at the weekend when people walk past me eating pizza and chips not to get tempted!!

12. Do you use any sport supplements?

If yes, give us an example of your favourite? Not using anything right now, I feel I get enough energy from the food I eat, a lot of it is just money down the drain.

13. Do you have something special in your training program?

Nothing special as such, just hard work. We drill a lot and in the classes and at the end of the class, we put the gloves on and pressure test each other. One person strikes and the other has to take them to the ground; as soon as someone is aiming to take your head off it goes from sport to street in a flash!

14. What do you prefer – rolls over drills or drills over rolls?

I love drilling and get my students to concentrate on drilling and paying attention to detail as this will spill over into the rolling part of the class and help to avoid injuries. I never throw beginners in at the deep end, I want them to get a general idea of what to expect when they first start to roll, give them confidence and slowly introduce them to rolling. BJJ is for life, I don’t want a student injured in the first few weeks and they leave the club because of it.

15. What do you like most and least about BJJ?

I like the fact you can go anywhere in the world and find a BJJ club, introduce yourself and be treated like family. I dislike the politics and the petty bickering on the forums.

16. Where do you see yourself/your gym in the next 5 years?

With a strong team down here in London; the club has only been running a few months and from scratch, so it’s going to take time to build up a good team, but I have good support from my coach Luiz Ribeiro and all the guys and gals at London Fight Factory.

17. What would you say to someone who was thinking about joining your BJJ gym?

Come on down and join in the fun!

18. What are your thoughts on BJJ tournaments?

I love to compete, have competed all over the world, it’s a great experience; it’s a constant battle with yourself to overcome the nerves that build up the second you sign up for a comp right until the moment they call out your name. Everyone that steps up to fight, win or lose, is a winner in my eye.

19. What is your bread-and-butter move?

Scissor sweep and Americana from side control

20. What advice do you have about BJJ?

If you are thinking of training and are hesitant, just go for it; sure it’s a daunting experience walking through the doors for the first time, but all the people you see on the mats have been in your shoes and appreciate the guts it takes for people to enter a gym and they will make you feel welcome and put your mind at rest.

21. What do you wish more people knew about BJJ?

The fact that it changes your life in so many positive ways. I’ve been all over the world to places I’d never dream of ending up in and it’s all been through BJJ.

22. How many women train at your gym?

At the moment none, have had a few enquiries, it’s a work in progress.

23. What would you say to a woman who was thinking about trying BJJ?

Again, just go for it, try a few classes and if you don’t like it then fine, at least you tried.

24. What jiu jitsu lifestyle means for you?

It means training every day, meeting new people every week, helping people learn jiu jitsu, passing on my knowledge and having people pass their knowledge onto me. Travelling the world, meeting people with a shared interest and passion for the sport, making lifelong friend and always remaining humble and open to new ideas and techniques. Watching the faces of my students when they finally complete a pass or sweep, or getting a sub is priceless.

25. How the idea of your blog was born? How did it begin?

Good question, I can’t remember exactly why to be honest; I just love to share my experiences and my own personal adventure on such an amazing journey. I’m no world champion or anything, but I have been very lucky to train all across the planet with many awesome individuals and it’s nice to share these adventures and when someone mentions to me they’ve read my Blog, it’s a great feeling.

26. Did you expect your project become so big?

Not really no, it was slow at first, but when I was out in Abu Dhabi, I was getting over 10,000 hits a month!

27. What is the main message of your blog?

BJJ is for everyone, especially the over 40’s!

28. Have you ever have a negative experience with your readers? Do you think you have haters lol?

Bjj community can be cruel sometimes, especially people who didn’t get the true vibes of jiu jitsu yet. You ain’t got there until you have the haters! Yes I’ve had negative comments, too many keyboard warriors out there, as it’s real easy to hide behind usernames and shoot people down, when most good people are out there trying to be the best they can. I’ve worked the doors for twenty years and have been in some really dangerous situations, week in week out, so a few bad words on the internet is the least of my worries.

29. What is your advice for bloggers who face it? (not all people can handle the negative feedbacks and give up with their ideas).

Just laugh and ignore them, don’t let anyone stop you and your dreams; think of the people that care about you and believe in you and keep on going. There will always be negative people trying to bring you down, remove them from your life and stick with the good people.

30. Do you consider it a full time job?

Yes, I try to post as often as I can at least every couple of days, some days more than others.

31. Some of your articles are really good, where do you usually get your ideas? (academy, community)

Thank you. I get ideas of my own and I try and promote my friends when they release a book or an instructional DVD. I write about my experiences at competitions and seminars and interview people as and when I can, as well as everything I get up when I’m on the road or travelling abroad. If I see something interesting on another site or on the forums, I put them on too and give their site a mention.

32. What is Jiu Jitsu for you?

It’s my life and I have been very blessed so far in where I have been and what I have achieved and will keep on promoting the benefits of Jiu Jitsu for as long as I can.

33.What are the tips you got in bjj and use through your journey?

There’s always someone bigger and better than you just waiting around the corner, so remain humble and don’t shoot your mouth off! There’s no substitute for hard work, just keep on turning up to class and LISTEN to your instructor and above all else, have fun!!

If any travelling BJJ warriors find themselves in London, then give me a shout at checkmatwimbledon(at)yahoo.co.uk and we’ll hook up and train! Check out www.checkmatwimbledon.co.uk

Comments

  1. Karate for sure. But takes longer to bemoce proficient inadded > why did you ask a question then answer it with a rude statement of your own ? do you want answers or just to be heard ?There are good and bad schools everywhere. Don’t judge a martial art based on one school you saw.References :

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