Sulski - Submission Wrestler
Sulski in a chick bar
- London, May 4 2002
: Are you ready? OK, how old are you Rob?
Sulski : I'm 29 at the moment.
: What's you martial arts background?
Sulski :Well, I was born in Poland right and
in my country it's really different for sports (Rob later
explains off the tape, that in Poland any sporting talent
is spotted and encouraged at an early age). For martial
arts, I started doing kickboxing about 8 years old and
after that some Sambo and some wrestling. A friend of
mine, young guy, was a freestyle wrestler and sometimes
he'd come over to my place and we'd do some techniques
: So you've been doing it all your life really...
Sulski : Yeah,
quite long actually, yeah. But put it this way, not professionally,
right, like most of my friends back home do it just for
a living. Just wrestle. What they can do is they just
study as well, but they don't work - the country pays
for that and they are sponsored by some companies, like
mobile phone companies.
: This is like freestyle wrestling right?
Sulski : Freestyle, yeah. That's what they
do. They get to train twice a day. Everything is organised...if
they win this club, the club organises bouts against another
club, so basically they get around 2 competitions a month.
: When did you start to take this seriously?
Sulski : Actually when I came over here. About
7 years ago. ...I did see some stuff when I lived in America
- the first UFC, when it just came out about 9-10 years
ago. When I'd seen it, I thought, wow this is something
new. This is excellent and I thought if I get a chance
I'm gonna do something. I'd always done something, you
know, with people like traditional jujitsu techniques,
sambo, you know....somebody shows you this, somebody show
you that, you know. Really, I started to do this seriously
was when I came to London. I did Sombo with Ross, erm,
Mackenzie? A little english guy.
Then I started training with London Shootfighters about
6 years ago.
: How did you find them?
Sulski : I was pretty surprised in the beginning.
I was always physically strong you know, it's my good
point. I could pick up almost anything, like in the deadlift
I could pick up lots and lots of weight and I had this
wrestling movement and it was really hard to take me down
for some reason. I didn't have much technique but, like,
some people have the balance, put it that way. But when
I first came down to London Shootfighters first time I
was really surprised. I was tapped out every time yeah.
: What by Paul & Alexis?
Sulski : *Smiles* The first time I remember
when I came there was Jamie (Zikic) there...there was
maybe 3 or 4 guys. Paul and Alexis, and Jamie, who had
already been there some time, so he knew their techniques.
So he (Jamie) broke my heel the first time because I didn't
want to give up. But after that we became good friends.
I realised it was nothing about strength, it was about
practising and I appreciate what those fighters did to
me because the first grappling skills I got from them.
And we used to do the gi stuff *big smiles* in those days
ya know and it was a funny thing, it was so early and
they were saying, like, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was the best
*chuckles* and now everything is changed. You get beautiful
techniques from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu but Submission Wrestling
is completely different and that's what we do now.
: Going back to Poland, is there much Mixed Martial Arts
in Poland? Do you follow it?
is. There is Luta Livre and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The last
time I went to Poland was about 8 months ago. I went for
about 1 month and was training with some wrestlers at
Quiazdar (apologies Rob for the spelling!), which means
Star. Star gym. They told me right, that there was BJJ
and Luta Livre, so I thought I'd go and have a look.
Those people were pretty OK. They had a seminar as well.
There was a BJJ Polish Team, I can't remember his name,
like Karl (?), he's like president of the organisation.
He was doing seminars and I was asked to come along as
well and he was pretty good. I sparred with him as well
and I was really surprised. Quite good standard, they
need to learn more techniques still but his teaching and
their stamina was excellent .
: How did you do against them?
*holding a smile* I think good, you know. The first time
I went they were cocky, they didn't know I had done some
stuff before. They thought I was a freestyle wrestler
and you know it's a completely different story yeah. But
I was repeating their moves *sways from side to side*
and I didn't say nothing. When we start sparring I start
tapping them...until I went to the instructor and he was
pretty OK. Aikido background for 20 years, he was really
into martial arts and all this grappling and jiu-jitsu
techniques and he was a big guy. 120 kilos, really big
guy and I did well. I was better than him. There was a
really good atmosphere. I showed them some techniques
I learnt and they showed me some new things...and I didn't
have to pay for a class either heheheh.
: So do you think it's going to grow?
I think so because they go all over around European competitions.
They do Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gi and no gi and I've been
asked to join the Polish Team *chuckles*.
: Are you gonna join? - why not?
Well, it's Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu...and well, if they say
it's Submission Wrestling yeah, I would, but I don't want
to join Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu because I don't like the rules.
It's completely different.
: But you've competed in a gi before in one of Lee Hasdell's
of Truth 2)
Sure, I did, yeah, yeah...they asked me to so I trained
with a gi. There was a period yeah, we had stopped doing
gi for about a year, and then Hasdell asked for me to
fight...er, Chris, I forgot his name...the best Lee Hasdell
student in those days.
: Chris Watts
Chris Watts, that's right. He really asked to do it with
gi, so I trained for a few weeks with gi just to do it.
It doesn't make a big difference, it's similar. But the
problem is it depends on the rules...those rules were
pretty OK, but if you go on points it's really boring.
It's not really my thing you know.
: You won by heelhook didn't you?
Heelhook, yeah, I did heelhook him - In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
competition they would not allow it. It's just different
: Can you tells us more about your grappling CV?
Well I didn't really prepare for that question, so I can't
: That's OK, let's just through some of your competitions..
Strike and Grapple, Lee Hasdell's Trials which was about
5 years ago and ...
: What's you biggest success?
Sulski : I
think it was (The) Frank Shamrock (Invitational), and
I did well. I won the competition. And I thought with
those rules I could do well in world class competition.
leglocking in the Shamrock Invitational final
: And you at won the Gracie Barra competition in Birmingham
Sulski : Yes, but I didn't take that very serious.
Those guys, they not that good. I had a break for 6 months
for my injury then I thought I had to do something and
there was a competition coming. That was their first competition
in Birmingham, so I thought I'd go there as a warm up.
They actually put me in the higher weight division, it
was a funny thing, I don't know why they did it but I
was supposed to be a heavyweight but not super-heavy.
So I competed against guys 8-10 kilos heavier than me.
I was a bit surprised but I just thought, just go for
it. I did well.
: Some people reackon you are one of the best submission
wrestlers in Europe, what do you think about that?
Sulski : Well...I can't say that really because
there's so many people I didn't have a chance to compete
against. There's quite a few guys that are pretty good.
I would say I was pretty good - European class, but I
can't say for sure I'm the best. There's a few guys...Rikard
Anderson, there's another guy in Norway, Olav
(Einemo) he's meant to be pretty good and he's my weight
division...there's a guy in Germany, I forget his name,
he went to Abu Dhabi and he's a Luta Livre black belt,
he's good as well....and, erm, well Paul
(Ivens) is my weight division and he's really good...and...that's
it I would say actually...there's another guy as well
Leo Negao, he's a world champion in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu,
he's really good as well and he's a good wrestler as well.
And Roger Brooking, the (BJJ) Black Belt, he's very good
as well, but I wouldn't say in submission wrestling he
would give me lots of grief, but in jiu-jitsu,..his jiu-jitsu
is really excellent.
Sulski interview part 2 - Controversy at Rome