& Sammy Schiavo Interview
by SFUKU/Droc 13 May 2002
How did you start in Martial Arts?
Like many children we saw a Bruce Lee film and we went
and started Karate, then Judo. Later we did TKD, Boxing
And when did you start MMA?
Schiavo : We did Kickboxing to a high level
and at the same time we did JiuJitsu so in 1997 we said
why not find a discipline that allows you to do it all.
So we turned to MMA.
SFUKU: What do you like about Mixed Martial Arts?
Schiavo : MMA is the real sport, no strings
attached, where you can test yourself to the limit without
reserve. For us Martial Arts is research that that we've
been doing for a long time, we experiment to become better
technically, Physically and spiritually. Many people for
get the spiritual aspect of MA and that's wrong.
Schiavo : If you look for the Truth you find
James, you fought in the Golden Trophy in 2001 and won,
tell us a little about the Golden Trophy and the level
James Schiavo : The
Golden Trophy is a world class Professional tournament.
The rules are adapted (limited time on the ground, clothes)
but the level is excellent. The best Europeans and Japanese
Shooto fighters faced each other. (Hayato Sakurai, Takuya
wada, mansuri suda, isuru takeuchi, ogawa, tschuchida....
André Panza, the Riccios, Diabaté, Rimbon, Alberch) It's
simple all the best French Fighters have fought in the
Golden Trophy at one point.
: What fights did you have before that ?
Schiavo : I fought in Golden Trophy 2000 against
a Japanese (tschuchida) The fight was hard but very good.
I won by decision and I broke my hand hitting him. Before
that I had quite a lot of fights, notable en 'Complete
Combat' against a European BJJ Champion, and victories
in Pancrace. Before MMA I fought a lot in TKD, I was also
French Champion of ' Full Contact' (American Kickboxing
Schiavo : We're only talking about MMA/NHB
because we've both had lots of fights in Traditional disciplines
(Karate, TaeKwondo, Kickboxing, Muay Thai) about 110 for
me and 90 for Samy. In MMA I won a national MMA tournament
in 1997 (8 man tournament), then the French cup of 'Combat
Complet', then I lost to Hayato Sakurai in the Golden
Trophy 1999 (there was controversy because the submission
was done outside the fight area). We won the Monaco Pancrace
Both of you won in England in Cage
Wars 1, did you enjoy fighting on this event?
James Schiavo : Cage
Wars was good, I was already used to the cage because
in the USA we trained in the Lions Den and with Fabiano
Iha, they had the same cage so we weren't surprised by
the size of the Cage!!!
Schiavo : Yes we we're very happy to do this
competition, the show was worthy of the best competitions
in the world! I didn't like the weigh in which was done
in a pub, and the absence of purse. But that's not important
because if everything goes well this will be a stepping
stone for our professional careers. In effect having been
chosen as the best fighter of the night should allow me
to fight in the USA since even the fighters who lost in
Cage Wars went to Gladiator Challenge.
Who were your opponents? Did you think they were good
Schiavo : My opponent (who I salute) was experienced
on the ground, he was very technical. It was in the standup
that I made the difference, I like to strike before going
to the ground.
Schiavo : Brian Woodward was an excellent fighter,
very physical, good wrestler and good control. It was
a pretty close fight.
You used to be affiliate with the Pancrace organisation
but now you don't have the right to take part in their
competitions, why is that?
James Schiavo : After
a tournament our club won all the fights in less than
1 minute (I beat the Vice Champion of France by armbar
in 47 seconds and my brother beat the Champion of France
in 29 seconds). The president of the federation (Jean
Noel Charollais) is a man who doesn't accept others beating
him. He thinks he's the best. He's afraid of us which
is why he looked for any way to disqualify us. JN Charollais
went to Abu Dhabi and he knows nothing on the ground that's
unforgivable. I'll make a deal with the organisers of
Abu Dhabi: Put me or one of my students in your tournament
and if we are submitted as quickly as mister Charollais
I'll give you back the cost of the plane ticket!!!!! Think
Who are the best fighters in France? Is it the French
James Schiavo : In
the UK nobody knows us but in France it's different, names
like Riccio, Diabaté, Alberch, Rimbon, Mougassa, Pora,
Schiavo here everyone knows us. I don't think anyone would
say that we're not the best team in France, all you have
to do is look at each one of our records. Golden trophy
winners, Cage Wars winners, Too hot to handle Finalist,
Shooto veterans, World Champion Kickboxers, European Pancrase
Champions. No team has ever been as strong in France,
together we're going to shock the world. Of course there
are other fighters in France and some of them are good
but if they don't make the effort to join us it's because
they don't really want to have a career.
SFUKU: Sammy, Your student Benoit Derot fought in UKMMAC
2 recently but it was actually you who was supposed
to fight, what happened?
Schiavo : The fight was supposed to be at -70kg,
I weighed in at 69 and Chin Weakasingh was at 65Kg. His
trainer preferred for him not to fight. For the show we
said that one of our students would fight in my place,
Benoit was there and was the same weight as Chin so that
fight happened and Benoit won.
: Do you have any other students who are going to fight
Schiavo : yes, we're bringing 3 students to
fight in Switzerland on the 15th of June in Amateur Vale
Tudo In August we're hoping to get a fight for one of
our student in Cage Wars 3 then in September Lee Johnstone
wants some of my students.
SFUKU : Professional MMA is illegal in France, what
do you do so that you can compete ?
James Schiavo : We
go to the UK (Laughs)
Schiavo : The Amateur competitions in France
are very close to pro' rules, some of the rules are very
hard (punches, knees and kicks to the head standing, all
subs, striking to the body on the ground, no time limits)
it's not bad for amateurs!!!
What's in store for you and your students?
James Schiavo : I
might be fighting in Japan at the beginning of July with
one of my students, then normally we should be fighting
in the USA next year.
Schiavo : I might be fighting in Japan in July,
then Cage Wars 3 in August and UKMMA in September but
negotiations are in place for fighting in the USA.
And for the French Konnection?
Schiavo : Only good things, Vale Tudo in Switzerland
on June 15th, The Riccio brothers are fighting in Czechoslovakia
in a Full Vale Tudo rules competition, Moise Rimbon in
fighting Bueno in Cage Wars this weekend....
Any last words?
Schiavo : We'd like to thank all the people
who support us in France and in the UK, If someone is
interested in having us fight on their event don't hesitate
to email firstname.lastname@example.org
for fun .......sea , sex ,and NHB......FOR EVER J