Fred Rado - UK's Pancrase Pioneer - mini interview unleashed by SFUKED 13 April 2000
SFUKED: Can you give us a brief history of pancrase?
Fred Rado: Pancrase comes from the Pankration orPankratos of ancient Greece. It is the first fighting system recognized as a sport. The first writings about Pancrase start from 600 B.C... It was part of the Ancient Olympic Games. At that time the only time limit was when the sun was going down. There are a few reports of that time where legends are mixed with reality. With the new fashion of mixed martial arts tournaments, Pancrase was reborn officially at the beginning of the 90's. The head office of Pancrase is in Japan where it is very popular. Big events see stadia with over 40 000 seats fully booked.
SFUKED: How did you get started in pancrase and with Bas Rutten in particular?
Fred Rado: I started judo when I was 5 years old. From 15 I started Savate and Kick Boxing, after a few years me and my mates used to train together mixing both but we couldn't find any style suitable for us. I have always been interested in mixed fighting. One day I saw an advert in a magazine: Wanted people interested in Pancrase, I answered it a little bit suspicious but since that time I haven't been disapointed. It wasn't new for us because we used to having similar training sessions but that time we found people with the same passion as us. We used to travel on a regular basis to Holland to train and I met Bas on that occasion. When I moved to London it was very natural for me to open an Academy and to represent Bas over here.
SFUKED: Any good stories about Bas you'd like to share with us?
Fred Rado: If I have to tell all the good stories, your website will run out memory.... Everybody who's met Bas at least once knows that the guy is very good as a person. Lots of fun, very easy to access and likes to enjoy himself. To talk about training, he is the most powerful guy that I took on pads, very fast and very strong for his weight, and he is a very good technician who knows how to adapt techniques to his own needs. And outside the gym, he is even harder to follow................
SFUKED: Do you have any competetive experience?
Fred Rado: I competed a lot in Savate, kickboxing, judo, sambo and of course in Pancrase. I would like to compete again and have had very interesting propositions but at the moment I have got big some troubles with my knees... Apparently there are pretty f*cked up. After months of treatment, I had a knee surgery last month. I was looking foward to be back to proper training.... Last week I dislocated my other knee.........I think competition is over for me but it is not a problem. I see myself as an instructor and not as a competitor anymore. However, I still would love to be back in the middle of the ring.
SFUKED: When people talk about pancrase there is often talk of worked fights. In your opinion how much of pancrase is worked and how much is actual contest?
Fred Rado: I think in England people confused Pancrase with Bushido or some other similar program . Bushido is to Pancrase what WWF is to Olympic Wrestling. Fights are not fixed and all the fighters dream to become King of Pancrase and work hard for that. If you are an official fighter you are ranked. Now I know that there is some people who are supposed to fight for Pancrase but nobody's seen them anywhere..
SFUKED: Conditioning is vitally important in MMA. How do you address this aspect of training? What methods do you feel are the most valid in preparing for competiton?
Fred Rado: I think it is as important as the technique. Now all is dependant of your aims and how high and involved you want to be with MMA. You need to follow a program with big events planned in the year. You cannot be on top condition all year round. So you need to plan your training , but your rest too. Too many people forget that the body needs some rest for recovery!
SFUKED: How does a typical class at the Bas Rutten Academy take shape?
Fred Rado: Each session is a 2 hours session involving warm up , conditionning, standing up , take down and ground work techniques, sparring and cool down. Sessions are on the same drawing but we adapt them depending on the students (beginners or advanced) , their requirements or the competitions coming up.
SFUKED: You're hosting a tournament in the near future, care to tell us about it?
Fred Rado: On the 23rd of April we have got a light Pancrase open tournament. It is mostly for people with little or no experience of the competion. There is no punches or knee strikes to the face (but you can kick it), it will allow to people willing to go higher to have a first taste of Pancrase. I think it is a good thing to start with those kinds of tournaments before going on to the full rules one. But we will have some fighters with good experience too. Some proper Pancrase tournaments following the professional rules should follow later on this year
SFUKED: What are your plans for pancrase in this country?
Fred Rado: Our aim is to promote Pancrase at his best. That means more clubs and tournaments all over the country, and top fighters ready to go to represent the U.K abroad.
SFUKED: How can people get in touch with you with regard to training etc.?
Fred Rado: People interested in Pancrase history, training, competitions or anything else can contact me by E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks Fred, SFUKED
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