Interview with Drysdale

drysdale3Marcus Widengren: Having the benefit of knowing two different countries and cultures, what are the best qualities that you bring with you from those two different cultures?
Robert Drysdale: I’ve always tried to assimilate the best out of both cultures. There are incredible things about Brazil and the U.S. And of course there are aspects of these cultures I don’t think are so good, so I try to avoid those. I guess it’s safe to say I’m a hybrid of two amazingly different worlds.

MW: What are the qualities you think one should possess to become a successful jiu-jitsu fighter?

RD: Dedication, discipline, will. Of course talent is important, but hard work beats everything. I personally never believed I was a talented fighter, but rather very committed to my passion.

MW: Not only have you won the World Championships in Jiu jitsu several times, but two years ago you also won the most prestigious title without the kimono: the absolute division at ADCC.  How did that feel compared to your previous accomplishments on the Jiu-jitsu mats?

RD: It’s one of those things you only dream about. I never thought I’d be that guy winning the open. To me personally, winning the Jiu-jitsu worlds was incredible, but winning the ADCC was just another level. It did a lot for me professionally and it really built my confidence to an even higher level. It’s a great privilege to even be part of this group of fighters.

MW: If you look at all the ADCC champions over the years, with very few exceptions most are Jiu-jitsu fighters. Why do you think this art is so successful even without the kimono?
RD: Part of it can be explained through the gi training. The gi is harder and more technical to train in. But on top of that, ADCC is very popular among Jiu-jitsu players. Not so popular amongst Wrestlers, Sambo fighters and Judokas for example. It is a few in every Jiu-jitsu gym, but most wrestling clubs haven’t even heard of it. So I think the sport has a long way to go as far as its popularity.

MW: Do you consider yourself better with or without the kimono?
RD: I’ve done most of my training with the gi. But for some reason I’ve always, since bluebelt, done better without it. I guess my gi game is very no-gi oriented.

MW: Do you have any fight that you consider the most memorable?
RD: I remember the final of the state championship in São Paulo in 2001. I won the open as a purple belt. It was a huge day for me… Also the worlds as purple… my first black belt world title. And of course the open of the ADCC in 2007.

MW: Now that you have only one fight to focus on, has your training routine changed anything in preparation for this fight? Could you tell us a bit about your preparations for the upcoming superfight against Jacaré?

RD: Of course I had Roger in mind so a replacement on such a short notice is unexpected. But I’m happy to go against him. Of course the strategy will change a little, but my dedication in training has only increased.
When I first found out about Roger I was a little bummed out. But now I’m excited about going against Jacaré.

MW: I know that you are a bit disappointed with the development of the competition scene in jiu-jitsu. What do you think could be improved and how could that be accomplished?

RD: Changing the rules and time limit would be a big step. Try to make the matches more dynamic would draw more people to watch Jiu-jitsu. Also, changing the format might draw other communication vehicles to follow the support. This would draw more sponsors in making the life of fighters much better. Jiu-jitsu is the only sport in the world where you become one of the top ten in the world and that means nothing professionally: no prize, no sponsors, no exposure. Jiu-jitsu tournament are restricted to a few Jiu-jitsu fans around the world that are passionate about the sport.

MW: Some people are trying to turn Jiu-jutsu into an Olympic sport, which of course would be great, but the rules are not exactly viewer-friendly. How would you like the rules to be changed to make the sport more exciting to watch?

RD: Make the matches 5 or 6 minutes long. That would make them more dynamic and the fighters would be attacking a lot more.
Also, reward submission attempts. It’s crazy that knee on belly is worth 2 points, a near sweep an advantage and a tight armbar nothing… It’s all wrong. The whole point is the make your opponent tap.

MW: I also heard in another interview that you wont be entering the big jiu-jitsu competitions anymore because you feel that you are done with that and that you have accomplished what you wanted already.  Don´t you consider the absolute category in the World championships of jiu-jitsu worth going for?

RD: Absolutely, and that title will be always missing. But after thinking a lot about all of this I came to the conclusion that no matter how much you accomplish, there will always be more. There will always be that one tournament that you never won or that one guy you never beat. I just didn’t want to spend the rest of my life competing in Jiu-jitsu tournaments when I wasn’t getting anything out of it professionally. I wanted to move on and meet new challenges.

MW: As many other successful Jiu-jitu fighters you have also entered the MMA scene.  Could you tell us about your future plans. Do you have something booked already?

RD: I made my debut last October, but due to some health issues I haven’t been able to fight, but I’ll be fighting again soon. It’s just an obstacle I must overcome.

MW: Do you have something else you want to say to all your fans out there?

RD: Training should be a habit. Train when you’re tired, train when you don’t want to train. Everything will be possible with dedication. Like I said, I was never to most talented guy in the gym, but here I am, fighting the ADCC superfight. It is all possible

MW: Thank you for your time and best of luck at your upcoming fight at ADCC!

Advertisements

Superfighter announced!

souzaA special meeting was held by the ADCC Committee to select a replacement for Roger Gracie for the Superfight in ADCC 2009. The ADCC Committee considered many top names for the position and after careful consideration they selected Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza for face Robert Drysdale.

Everyone is excited to have “Jacare” compete in Barcelona and the prospects of a very exciting action packed fight have just gone of the scale

Congratulations to Ronaldo “Jacare” and to Robert for having such a worthy opponent!

When contacted about the replacement, Drysdale stated: “I am stoked to be fighting “Jacare”, he is a super aggressive fighter and I look forward to a great fight!”

Jacare: “I can’t wait to show the world how hard I’ve been training for MMA and grappling. My last fight was disappointing with a result I didn’t expect. I can’t wait to show the world that Jacare is still a force in submission fighting!”

ADCC News

Drysdale is ready!

drysdale1

After hearing about Roger Gracie’s injury and subsequent withdrawal from ADCC 2009, Superfight participant Robert Drysdale contacted Kid Peligro with his thoughts: “I am disappointed that I cannot fight against Roger. I have been training hard and was looking forward to a great match. But now that he is out I am issuing a challenge, bring it on! I want ADCC to select a great opponent, be it Fedor Emelianenko, Dean Lister, I don’t care. I will be ready for a great fight.”

Robert Drysdale

Robert DrysdaleBorn in 1981
Home: Utah – USA
Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Team: Team Robert Drysdale
Division: under 98.9 Kg

BJJ/ADCC record:
2007 (Black Belt)
* 1st place in the ADCC World Championships – Absolute division
* 3rd place in the ADCC World Championships – under 98.9 Kg division
* 2nd place in the BJJ World Championships (IBJJF/CBJJ)
* 3rd place in the BJJ World Championships – Open Division (IBJJF/CBJJ)

2006 (Black Belt)
* 1st place in the BJJ Black Belt World Championship (CBJJO)
* 2nd place in the BJJ World Championships (IBJJF/CBJJ)
* 3x times Brazilian National equips Champion (IBJJF/CBJJ)

2005 (Black Belt)
* 3x times BJJ World Champion (IBJJF/CBJJ)
* 1st place Black Belt World Championships (CBJJO)
* 1st place in local Toughman Contest

2004 (Brown/Black Belt)
* 2x National Brazilian National Champion (IBJJF/CBJJ)
* 1st place in the Brazilian National Championship open division (IBJJF/CBJJ)
* 3rd place World Championship (IBJJf/CBJJ)
* 1st place in the Scandinavian open
* 1st place in the Scandinavian open absolute division

2003 (Brown Belt)
* 1st place in the BandSports Challenge
* 2x times Brazilian National equips Champion (IBJJF/CBJJ)
* 2x times World Champion (IBJJF/CBJJ)
* World Cup Champion (CBJJO)
* National Brazilian Champion (IBJJF/CBJJ)
* Brazilian Cup Champion (CBJJO)

Robert Drysdale submitted Marcelo Garcia
Robert Drysdale submitted Marcelo Garcia

2002 (Purple Belt)
* 2x Summer Festival Champion (FESPBJJ)
* 2x Submission Fighter Champion (1st place) (FESPBJJ)
* 2x Maromba Cup Champion
* 2x Maromba Cup Absolute Champion
* 2x Submission Fighter Champion (2nd phase) (FESPBJJ)
* 2x State Trials Champion
* 2x State Trials Absolute Champion
* 1st Lerjj 1st phase
* 1st place in the Lerjj 1st phase open division
* 1st place in the Submission Fighter Championship (3rd phase) (FESPBJJ)
* 2x Overall Submission Wrestling Champion (FESP-BJJ)
* 3rd place Professional division Submission Fighter (FESPBJJ)
* 1st Lerjj 2nd phase
* 1st Lerjj 2nd phase 2nd place in the Absolute division
* 2x 1st place State Championship (FESP-BJJ)
* 3rd place State Championship Absolute
* 1st place in the Brazilian Equips Championship
* 1st place in the Rio de Janeiro State Championship
* 1st place in the Rio de Janeiro State Championship open division
* 1st place in the São Paulo Open
* 1st place in the São Paulo Open absolute division
* 1st “Jogos Regionais” Champion
* 1st “Jogos Regionais” Equips Champion
* World Champion (IBJJF/CBJJ)

2001 (Purple Belt)
* 1st place Summer Festival
* 1st place in the Summer Festival open division
* 1st place in the Submission Fighter (1st place) (FESP-BJJ)
* 1st place Maromba Cup
* 2nd place in the Maromba Cup open division
* 1st place in the Submission Fighter (2nd phase) (FESP-BJJ)
* 3rd place in the Pan-American Championships (IBJJF/CBJJ)
* 1st place in the State Trials Championship
* 1st place in the State Trials open division
* 1st place in the Lerjj 2nd phase
* 2nd place in the Submission Fighter (3rd phase) (FESP-BJJ)
* Overall Submission Fighter champion (FESP-BJJ)
* 1st place in the State Championship
* 1st place in the State Championship open division
* 1st place in the Sport JJ Cup
* 1st place in the Sport JJ Cup open division
* 1st in the “Jogos Regionais”
* 1st place in the “Jogos Regionais” Equips
* 2nd place Brazilian Championship (LBJJ)
* 1st Place in the Pessoa Cup
* 1st Place in the Pessoa Cup Open division
* 1st place in the Fesp-BJJ circuit (1st place)
* 3rd place in the Fesp-BJJ circuit open division (1 phase)
* 3rd place in the Nucleo cup open division
* 1st place in the (2nd phase) Fesp-BJJ circuit
* 1st place in the Itatiba Cup
* 1st place (3rd phase) Orlando Saraiva Circuit
* 1st place (3rd phase) Orlando Saraiva Circuit open division
* 2nd place in the Brazilian National Championship (IBJJF/CBJJ)
* Overall Submission Wrestling Champion (Fesp-BJJ)

2000 (Blue Belt)
* 2x California State Champion
* 2nd place Silver State Judo Championship
* 2x Las Vegas Judo Championship
* 3rd place in the Copa Pacifica
* 3rd place in the Copa Pacifica open division
* 3rd place in the São Carlos JJ Cup
* 1st place in the Grapplers Quest Las Vegas
* 1st place in the 2nd American BJJ Championship
* 3rd place in the 2nd American BJJ Championship open division)

1999 (Blue Belt)
* 1st place in the California State Championship
* 1st place in the California State Championship (absolute)
* 2nd place in the Silver State Judo Championship
* 1st place in the 2nd Las Vegas invitational Judo Championship
* 1st place in the Submission Wrestling open
* 1st place in the 7th International Jiu-Jitsu Championship
* 2nd place in the 7th International Jiu-Jitsu Championship (absolute)
* 3rd place in the Copa Pacifica Jiu-Jitsu
* 3rd place in the Copa Pacifica de Jiu-Jitsu open division

MMA record: 1 – 0 – 0 (armbar in the 1st round)

Gracie ripping Drysdale's sleeve
Gracie ripping Drysdale’s sleeve

Brazilian/american jiu-jitsu black belt Robert Drysdale has been training and competing in BJJ since 1998. Robert was born in the USA and then moved to Brazil with his family at the age of six. As a teenager Robert returned to the USA to attend college in Las Vegas. There he began training with the Luis Pederneiras (Nova União) association. It was quickly evident that Drysdale was a natural at brazilian jiu-jitsu. It was during that time in Las Vegas that Robert decided he would dedicate himself fully to the training, competing, and teaching the art of brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Robert returned to Brazil in 2000 where he lived until 2008. During that eight year period Robert Drysdale owned and operated a jiu-jitsu academy in the town of Itu, São Paulo, Brazil. While in São Paulo Robert trained with the Maromba Club and later with team Brasa Jiu-Jitsu Club. His personal commitment to teaching, training, and competing at the sports highest level was absolute. He trained several times per week with his fellow teammates at Brasa Jiu-jitsu club headquartered in downtown São Paulo. This elite team of world-class brazilian jiu-jitsu fighters is composed of some of the best black belts in the world. It was at Brasa in 2004 Robert received his black belt from Leo Viera.

In 2008 Robert relocated to the USA and is currently teaching and training in the city of Las Vegas, Nevada. He is currently training with former UFC Champion, Randy Couture and former Pride Champion Wanderlei Silva. Robert Drydale recently made his amateur MMA debut with Tuff-N-Uff, winning by armbar in the first round against Josh Musick.
Now he’s going to face Roger Gracie in a special match called Superfight. The last time they fought was in the finals of 2007 BJJ World Championship. Gracie won in a funny episode where he ripped Drysdale’s kimono.

Drysdale runs a martial arts school in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Watch his best videos here.