Guy Mialot Interview
This interview with European JiuJitsu pioneer, Guy Mialot was conducted in French and translated painstakingly translated by Simon Glynn/SFUK France. 23 August 2001
Firstly thank you Guy for giving your time to do this interview.
The organisation of this 4th Europe Cup has been possible because I have already organized 5 French cups and 3 European cups previously, - the time spent to organize a competition like this one means is that your spirit is occupied permanently by something in connection with what you must do. After having found buildings, having obtained the authorizations necessary, I have to abide to the regulations aimed and follow the schedules of conditions imposed by the ministry for the sports and the French legislation for my competitions.
I am also permanently seeking sponsors to help us in our development, but because Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a small market in Europe. The sponsors are concerned with our discipline and have to be satisfied financially. Then a human step marketing, a search for new members of new clubs, new countries, and the practise of ground fighting encouraged by our system of competition.
The first of the these difficulties of finding a city served well by public transport, having of the sporting buildings and facilities in a sufficient number. For example Vittel can carry out all our dreams in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The buildings are adapted and have unlimited various equipment, we could without problem consider the organisation of a world competition, or if preferred by Carlos Gracie Jr a great convention which would join together Europe and the world and not only for one competition or a training course but to establish true contacts over several days. Why ? Because we can receive the athletes and the spectators under optimum conditions with accessible tariffs, for example compared to 500fs in for one night for two people but only 100f in Vittel. To reach Vittel, by motorway is easy (only 6 km from main road)for people from North, east, south and the west.
Indeed, before I organised a European Cup in Vittel, I organized the first competition of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Europe which was the first French Cup of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. At that time I was asked to be the first foreigner to hold a training course with Rickson and Royler Gracie in Paris (1995) Then I had a surprise with my second France Cup in Vichy to see the arrival of Italian, of Swiss, of Belgian, of Spanish and especially Remco Pardoel with a team of 15 people. Naturally we wished to organize another competition each year in France. Its why I returned in April 1996 to organize a 5 days training course with Rickson and Royler Gracie, the 1st European Cup in Thonon Baths in December followed by the French Cup in March or April.
Since the cup in St Quentin, I noticed with each competition an increase of more than 40% additional inscriptions, encouraged by the increase of practitioners and especially by an unexpected support from Brazil in particular of Mr. Eduardo Alvarez of company QUIFABRA our sponsor official, Gracie magazine Carlos Gracie Jr, Luca Attala, Joao Pedro Tinoco, etc and especially thanks to all the leaders of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Europe, and I owe a lot to them, Remco Pardoel, Rikard Andersson (Sweden), Roniel Aledo (Germany - USArmy), the brothers Vacirca Franco and Demetrio (Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland), Michaël Haselein (Germany). Its difficult to remember all the names so I will quote the countries, Norway, Finland, Greece, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, Austria, England, and practically all the French clubs. What makes the success of my competitions ? A place specific and adapted
I prefer to train with a Kimono (Gi), because for me the practice without kimono will orientate inevitably towards professional rather than amateur status and that will involve a standardization of the combat on the ground. Its also an alternative to the banning of free combat of the commission of the European ministers of 1999. (* see below) To learn and include/understand Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with a Kimono, where there are more techniques, without or at least with less utilisation of physical force, practise time with Kimono will be longer than without. In fact when I met Rickson Gracie in a Training course in Atlanta the first time, of the 80 people present 20 people had a Judo kimono, the others were in ordinary sports gear, shorts, tee-shirt or track suit. And for at least during one year, whilst I did not combined free fight and judo,I used the techniques from both, which were to fill my inexperience of using feet and fists in the fights on the ground. Image that if I kept up this training course, it creates a new discipline with its own codes and values, in addition I become ignorant of the very of existence of the remainder of the Gracie family and of its history. I discovered all that with the occasion of the championship of Brazil in 1995 to which I assisted and met all of the family.
Concerning the combat without kimono several things incited with my orientation towards the organisation of these demonstrations
I began the practice from Jiu-Jitsu simultaneously with Judo in 1965 like many people at the time, then Karate in 1966. I began the Judo with the Kawashi method (it was one of the pioneer and precursor of the Judo in France) its method of Judo had a large emphasis on groundwork. In the 1970s, I joined again with Ju-Jutsu Hakko-Ryu with the Judoka Jacques Quéro, we passed our gradings in Japan in 1975. In our training, which we organized together, he trained in Judo and French boxing, and for me Karate and Kick Boxing and both of us Jiu-Jitsu Hakko-Ryu, we already did a lot of groundwork because at the time we felt the need for it. Jacques Quéro was raised by the Judoka Master Awazu and is legendary in France. Along with this, in 1979 I spent six-months in Memphis State University Physical Education in Tennessee in 1979, I trained in fighting and self-defense with Bill Wallace, Champion of the World of Full Contact and also a judoka and fighter that trained twice a week Tuesday and Thursday mornings. In 1993 I was invited by Joe Corley and John Keating to Atlanta Georgia USA, I directed a Thai Boxing training course with Pud Pad Noy before the championship Battle of Atlanta, after the competition we went to John Keating who showed us his Video cassettes of Rorion Gracie. I then stayed several months in Atlanta, to view these cassettes.
There were lots of Verbal discussions between John Keating and his friends Joe Corley, Jay T.Will and myself regarding martial arts and of the invincibility of Rorion Gracies Jiu Jitsu. And then one day John Keating returned in Los Angeles, and organized the first training course of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Atlanta after meeting Rickson Gracie (May-1994). What I will remember of this first contact with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Rickson Gracie.
After this training course in Atlanta, we were all very interest in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. John Keating who had also the cassettes of Renzo Gracie, which allowed us still, a broader vision. I thus contacted Kim Gracie, in order to invite Rickson to come to Paris. Because of his commitment for Vale Tudo in Japan (1994) and (1995) and especially Vale Tudo Open of Brazil (1995) I had to push back several times this first training course, but finally it took place in Paris on November 19, 1995, 465 people registered one week before the first training course date of October 8, less 70 people who couldnt make the new date plus 25 inscriptions on the day. It was finally 420 people who took part. A five days training course for the instructors followed this first training course. In April 1996, I invited again Rickson, Royler and Kim, for two promotional training courses for one day (Paris and Marseilles), two public demonstrations, and a training course for instructors in Thonon Baths.
A weekend training course with Mauricio Motta Gomes in Paris in February 2002, The French Cup then a training course for one week with Royler Gracie and his brothers in Vittel in April 2002.
It will be always be difficult really to compete with the Brazilians of Rio de Janeiro. For Europeans to equalize or beat the Brazilians one needs to train like them twice a day and to have the technical and sporting framings identical. I hear of the French judokas who train on the ground (Ne-Waza) for three months and then want to twist the Brazilian ones in all the directions. Its why I invited the federation of Judo to come to test themselves against the higher cut which will be present at the European Cup of Vittel. In light, not too much should be made of these illusions for quite a few years. Yes, you will tell me indeed, that Europeans gained already with the Americans at the championships of the World, it can be true, due to the luck of drawing a good lot, a wounded champion and any kind of things, one can win. There is such a concentration of people who think breathe and perspire on the techniques in Rio de Janeiro that it could be compared with a research laboratory in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. One should not lose hope, it is necessary to work, work, work to work, work.
I do not think so, we discovered Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in France before the others, but in our country undoubtedly the French teams in Judo and Karate are the best in the world. Because of this a new discipline has a difficulty of being boring. On the other hand as you know it France is a country where the sports of engagements are kings, and I do not doubt for one moment that France will play a large part in this sport one day
There is the considerable development of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but also to be feared is a form of dilution of the original techniques created by Carlos Gracie, Hélio Gracie and its brothers. Indeed, whereas some included techniques practised in free fight or Sambo or ground fighting, the family Gracie have revolutionized the fighting community in sport and fighting and of martial arts in encouraging instructors to include in their course techniques on ground, including influencing the organization world of Judo and Ju-Jitsu to reflect on a form of competition, Ne-Waza, Ill be very clear, 95% of Judoka are not interested in Jiu-Jitsu and ground fighting in particular, but today 8 years after the first UFC and the participation of Royce Gracie everyone is trying to find some ancestors which have practised the technique of Gracie Jiu Jitsu to learn from.
The success of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Is not of only with simplicity of the technique but also with their vision. Indeed if the technique and the progress are too complicated the Jiu-Jitsu practitioner himself be not develop so quickly, this is an advantage and at the same time a risk for the future. Indeed listen, say that some people of other disciplines of Martial Arts quite simply use our simple techniques to make " a commercial and marketing competitor" The risk of dilution is large, and the principle defend by the Gracies of the small who can beat the large is at risk here next time the champion is from Body Building. To save this system, marvelously developed by the Gracie family there has to be a regrouping of all Gracie people, in other terms, a world organization is created which would gather together to practice. The only risk would be to install a sect or dictatorship but if a democratic system were born with the pupils and the Gracies, their method could be saved,
I hope more certainty, to defend and impose the principle of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to the French government, so it becomes recognized like Judo. Karate - Aikido, Muay thaï and Full Contact, so one day we have teaching diplomas for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, a federation independent of the other disciplines.
Further info : Prohibition of free combat in Europe
19/10/1999 17:39 33-88-41-37-83 PATRIMOINE SPORT
Conseil de l'Europe. Recommendation N° R (99) 11 sur l'interdiction des combats libre Page 1 et 2
CONSEIL DE LEUROPE
COMITÉ DES MINISTRES
RECOMMANDATION N° R (99) Il
DU COMITE DES MINISTRES AUX ETATS MEMBRES
SUR L'INTERDICTION DES COMBATS LIBRES, COMME LA LUTTE EN CAGE
(adoptée par le Comité des Ministres le 22 avril 1999,
lors de la 669e réunion des Délégués des Ministres)
(THE COUNCIL OF L.EUROPE COMMITTEE OF THE MINISTERS RECOMMENDATION N° R (99) It OF the COMMITTEE OF the MINISTERS TO the Member States ON the PROHIBITION OF the FREE COMBAT, AS the FIGHT OUT OF CAGE (adopted by the Committee of the Ministers on April 22, 1999, at the time of the 669e meeting of Délégués Ministers)
The Committee of the Ministers, under the terms of the article 15.b of the Statute of the Council of Europe, Considering that the goal of the Council of Europe is to carry out a narrower union between its members in order to back up and to promote the ideals and the principles which are their inheritance commun runs like facilitating their economic and social progress, and which one of the means of achieving this goal is the common action in the cultural field; Considering the Convention of backup of the Humans right and fundamental Freedoms, and in particular its article 3 which specifies that " no one cannot be subjected to torture nor to sorrows or processing inhuman or degrading ", as its article 8. of which it arises that it rests with the contracting Parts to protect the physical integrity from the people who are under their jurisdiction; Pointing out Recommendation 963 (1983) of the parliamentary Assembly relating to the cultural and educational means to reduce violence, and European Convention on the violence and the overflows of witnesses at the time of sporting events and in particular of matches of football (1985); Considering the ethical values of the sport and its role in social integration, reaffirmed, by the European ministers responsible for the sport at their 15th informal meeting (Nicosie, 1998), and taking into account the wish of the ministers to see prohibiting the free combat; Having with the spirit its preceding Recommendation n° R (92) 13 on the European Charter of the sport, and in particular the article 1.ii of the charter, which aims at protecting the sport, the sportsmen and the sporting ones of the dangers of the " abuses and degrading "; Considering that, if one wants to reduce violence in the company, it should be fought in all his forms; Convinced that the Member States of the Council of Europe must play a driving role in the prevention of this type of violence;
Worried by the development of the phenomenon of " sporting " violence oneself saying like entertainment, phenomenon which one observes, for example in the case of the free combat;
Noting that the fight out of cage is praised wrongly by its promoters like a sport or a martial arts, but that actually, contrary to the sports and the martial arts, it is governed by no suitable rule; Considering that the engagements such as the fight out of cage cannot be regarded as a sport and that they constitute a danger to the witnesses, compromise the health of the combatants and have links with illegal activities, in particular money plays;
Considering that violence and the acts cruel and savages made in the name of the sport are stripped of statutory value in a civilized company which respects the humans right, Recommend to the governments Member States to undertake all measurements necessary to prohibit and prevent the free combat such as the fight out of cage; Charge the Secretary-general with carrying the present recommendation at the attention of the governments of the States which left to European Convention cultural, but which is not members of the Council of Europe.
Further info 2: To "Gi" Or Not To "Gi"
A JKD Perspective By Armando Basulto P.F.S. Full Instructor East Coast JKD/FMA June 11, 1999
In the last decade, the status quo of the martial arts world has been shaken at the foundations by the emergence of the Gracie family and they're particular brand of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Though the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu challenge scene had been in existence in Rio for Over thirty years, it was the new crop of Ultimate Fighting Challenge and other No Holds Barred competitions that thrust BJJ Into the spotlight.
All of a sudden, there was a mad rush by martial Artists everywhere for good training in ground fighting and Grappling. Within the Jeet Kune Do Concepts community, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has been incorporated into an already existing ground fighting Curriculum. In the spirit of "absorbing what is useful" and training As realistically as possible, we have taken the techniques, Strategies, and submissions of BJJ and downplayed those elements Which could be viewed as "limitations" or "ways." To this end, Martial artists incorporating BJJ into their JKD program train the Greater part of the time without the traditional kimono or "GI," and Opt instead to train with just a T-shirt or bareback.
Though it remains true that a greater portion of training time should be done without the confines of traditional uniforms, rules, and Formalities, there are some benefits to training with the GI that should not be overlooked. Firstly and most obviously, except for those folks lucky enough To live in warm weather year round, T-shirts are not the uniform of The day all year long. In New York City, we wear coats and jackets At least nine months out of the year. If our goal is to train in Conditions closest to the most probable scenario, then sparring in Just a T- shirt (or no shirt at all) would be most unrealistic.
Sparring with the GI on allows one to not only train chokes that are Easily recreated with a jacket or coat, but also opens up a myriad Of other sleeve and lapel controls. If possible, training can be Done while wearing the coats or jackets themselves. Even though it Can get hot and uncomfortable (and zippers and buttons can be Hazardous), it is something everyone in search of realistic scenario Training should attempt.
Secondly, sparring with the GI can actually be more difficult than without. Though you will definitely have more techniques and Chokes available to you for attacking, you will also have to defend from these same techniques which are now available to your opponent. Now that you have sleeves and lapels to grip, it's possible to work the open or "spider guard" and attempt sweeps and reversals, but your opponent now has sleeves and lapels to grab on you, making every reversal or transition three times harder! As an experiment, Spar with a partner with GI's on for five minutes, then strip off the kimonos and continue for another five minutes. You may be Surprised at your increased speed and fluidity. You can take it One step furthers and spars within the confines of a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Tournament.
The rules of the BJJ tournament emphasize Proficiency in the skills (i.e. attributes) of ground fighting/ Grappling. Though there has been some talk that the tournament Competition has actually hurt BJJ's effectiveness and has diluted the art, it is in this environment that the real artistry of the Good Jiu Jitsu player can be glimpsed.
Points are awarded for obtaining the dominant position (like the MOUNT or TAKING THE BACK), Or for sweeping or taking down your opponent. Though, obviously, the End goal is to get your opponent in a submission, thus ending the Match, this type of training rewards one for "dominating" the fight Either by jockeying for positions or keeping you're opponents Constantly defending.
This will inevitably make one a better Grappler & ground fighter. Too often, people with only a "Cliff's Notes" knowledge of Jiu Jitsu waste precious energy struggling (in Conflict with JKD's conservation of energy and effort) to get that Armlock or choke before they're actually in the proper position. Sometimes it may be more fruitful to simply sweep or reverse someone Who has taken you to the ground, and place yourself in a better Position to deal with possible multiple opponents rather than Getting tunnel vision while concentrating on getting that fancy Armlock.
I am by no means advocating that everyone run out and purchase the $300.00 Brazilian-imported "kimonos" covered with patches and the name emblazoned on the back. The current recommendation to train 80-90 percent of the time without a Gi still holds true. But when You do don the white kimono the other 10 or 20 percent of the time, You should make it as productive as possible and know how to utilize It for maximum attribute development. Though the sin of growing too Dependent on the Gi is a much greater crime than lacking the Experience of sparring with a Gi, there are many benefits and Lessons to be learned by trying to work within the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament scenario and its uniform...the Gi.
This article was originally published on PFS fighting. Net's online magazine The Probe. Last updated 06/11/99 Webmaster BJJ.Org
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