Patrick Chaput, Team Alliance BJJ
After another hard weekend of training in Brussels, Carl Fisher grapples with the language barrier to bring you an interview with Mr Encyclopedia Patrick Chaput.
28 March 2001
What is your position within the Belgium Team Alliance?
Patrick Chaput : I am the president of the Belgian Federation of BJJ, and together with Mario DHoker, we are both instructors and managers for Team Alliance.
When did the Team Alliance begin?
Patrick Chaput : It was about four years ago Carl. I initially met up with Jacare at a seminar in Paris and instantly developed a good rapport and affinity with him. We then trained in this and that for the next two years, before going over to Atlanta with Mario to meet and train directly with Jacare for ten days. Jacare then proposed that I work for the Alliance team and become a representative, which Mario agreed with - we felt the Alliance had the same spirit as the Belgian federation, like a family spirit, so we accepted.
How long have you been practising BJJ, Patrick?
Patrick Chaput : I began in 1994, after watching the first UFC events. I saw the fight of Royce Gracie and was immediately inspired by BJJ. In the beginning there were not many opportunities to train in this style, so to begin, I had a contact in France and went to a seminar and met Rickson Gracie. A year later, Rickson returned to France to make a small seminar of twenty-five students and I spent a week with Rickson and Royler.
Why did you choose to represent the style of Jacare?
Patrick Chaput : Jacare is a very accessible person you can call him with a problem anytime and question him and is a very human man. The problem with Rickson was that he was always away a lot and you did not have the same contact with him as you did with Jacare, and that was the problem.
How many BJJ clubs are there now in Belgium?
Patrick Chaput : We have clubs in Leige, Charleroi, Antwerpen and six clubs in Brussels.
Are you having success in tournaments?
Patrick Chaput : Yes, we had a good turnout for our first grappling event in Belgium, the BIG. We had over 75 fighters and it was a good level with a mixed choice of the gym or not. Then we went to the European BJJ championships in Thonnon le Bains and we took five golds and two silvers and we made the news columns of Gracie magazine, so I was very proud of that.
Where are you competing this year?
Patrick Chaput : We competed at the BJJ Open in Paris in February it was our first time we entered with a junior team and two juniors went to the podium, one silver and one bronze. In the seniors, Bastien Huveneers took the gold in the heavyweight and beat the Sambo World champion and Michel took the gold in the under 85 kilo event. In the under 92 kilo event, Fabien Dardenne took the silver medal and Frank Beels the instructor at the Police Academy, took the bronze. We will also be competing at the Grappling Open in Paris in April this year and hope to come away with many medals.
When is the next BIG event?
Patrick Chaput : The BIG 2 will be in November and I am looking at 150-200 fighters competing, as I have good contacts throughout Europe.
Are you going to the German Open in October?
Patrick Chaput : Yes. I am very friendly with Michael Hasselen, the leader. I think the man is a very serious and conscientious person and am is a good promoter of BJJ.
Are you holding any seminars this year?
Patrick Chaput : Yes, on the third week of April, I will be holding a seminar at the NATO base just outside Brussels near the airport, for the military so they can practise BJJ.
Have you studied any other martial arts?
Patrick Chaput : Everything, ha ha! Only for vision, contact and the understanding of the system. Aikijitsu, Wing Chun, Kung Fu, kickboxing, western boxing and Thai boxing, but now my main preoccupation is with BJJ and grappling.
Which art do you prefer BJJ or grappling?
Patrick Chaput : For me to begin, I came to BJJ and thought it was too close to Judo. But, over time I was conscious that there were many techniques to be learnt, and you could cross these over to grappling, they were adaptable. I like them both and we now have students who train both with and without the gym and are preparing for the amateur Shooto tournaments; the rules allow great security against the fighter.
Do you like the ADCC tournament?
Patrick Chaput : Oh yes. It is the only tournament in real grappling and the Sheik Tahnoon has done a very good job of promoting grappling to the world. When it first began it was unheard of, now it is the best place to go to see the best in the world compete against each other.
What do think of the level of grappling and BJJ in Europe?
Patrick Chaput : The level is getting very high and getting close to the US, but in the US there is a great advantage, as there are many black belts over there teaching.
What did you think of the recent Pride 13 results?
Patrick Chaput : A good tournament overall. I think that the modern fighter must master both the striking and grappling arts in equal measure. I think if you win too often, then you can become overconfident, and I think this was the case with Sakuraba, he lost to an unknown Brazilian guy.
What are your aims in the future with Team Alliance?
Patrick Chaput : This year, to have enough financial assistance, so we can get a good team over to Brazil, about 10-12 fighters, to test my fighters in the original place of BJJ.
Thank you for your time Patrick.
Patrick Chaput : My pleasure Carl
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