Dan Camarillo is definitely a familiar name to most long time fans of OntheMat.com. The older half of the infamous Camarillo brothers, Dan (the gregarious one) has been training in judo since he was four years, competing all over the United States and Japan when he was six.
Dan Camarillo is definitely a familiar name to most long time fans of OntheMat.com. The older half of the infamous Camarillo brothers, Dan (the gregarious one) has been training in judo since he was four years, competing all over the United States and Japan when he was six. In 1996 he won the National Ladder Tournament and then picked up jiu-jitsu on the recommendation of his brother. He`s earned a purple belt from Ralph Gracie, and became very famous on the BJJ circuit for his stellar stand up game complimented by an aggressive ground game. Now at the age of 30, Dan is tackling another challenge, he`s making his Mixed Martial Arts Debut at the World Extreme Cagefighting IV on October 18th. Outside of competition Dan is about the friendliest person you could meet. We sat down and talked to our good friend about his upcoming MMA debut and anything else that came to mindâ€¦..
OTM- You started off in Martial Arts at a very early age. What did you think of it back then?
Dan- I thought it was fun. I don`t remember too much at that age except getting into trouble and having to do duck walks... I hated those... I was also always scared to fight.. but tried so hard not to show it...
OTM- Who taught you back then?
Dan- I started Judo at Bakersfield Judo Club... My father trained there as well. I don`t remember names...
OTM- So you've trained with your Dad your whole life? Sounds like he was a tremendous influence on you.
Dan- He helped me so much! I always wanted to quit when I got into high school and he kept me in it... I am very grateful for that... I now wish I would have taken it more seriously! I owe my father a lot
OTM- Where does your motivation come from these days? Does your father still keep you going?
Dan- Well, my father now lives in Modesto.. I am now in Bakersfield again... My motivation comes from me... and seeing my brother do so well also makes me want the same for myself. I hear people always say, its a shame to waste talent, well, I am hoping I am not wasting any.... Not only that, I love to train!!
OTM- About six years ago, you made the transition from Judo to Jiu-Jitsu. What was that like? How does one compliment the other?
Dan- The transition was not too difficult. There was a few bad habits I had to get rid of but not too many. Judo is awesome and I have to say it kept me in shape better then any other sport I have tried. It was the hardest, so going into jiujitsu and training there was easy. Judo has the throws and jiujitsu the mat work, they compliment each other so well, I could not recommend another... Maybe wrestling if I had to choose. I used to hate mat work, but now that I learned jiujitsu... It`s a whole new world to me and I cannot get enough.
OTM- Now you're making a transition again, from Jiu Jitsu to Mixed Martial Arts. What have you had to do to prepare for this match?
Dan- I have been working on my standing, boxing and movement.... I don`t want to say too much... But my style will be different then most you will see in MMA... As for the transition, my boxing coach said he has not had a person pick it up so quickly.. He said I already had a good stance and movement...
One more thing... I know this guy is going to out weigh me.. so I have been training with guys that are around 200+ lbs, in boxing and jiujitsu. I believe this will help out a lot when it comes down to it....
OTM- Do you have any plans on pursuing a career in MMA now? What do we have to look forward to?
Dan- I think I will love this.. It looks like a lot of fun. I love those sports that put you one on one and you have to figure your opponent out... like chess.. I guess a lot of people compare judo, jiujitsu mma, to chess... I love the challenge... If this goes well, I believe I will be back.. I also love all the women that walk around the event!! I believe this MMA will be a adrenaline rush from hell!!
OTM- WEC has some good looking ring girls. Should we give them so advance warning? (Gabe has already indicated it's going to be open season)!
Dan- Lets just say, after my fight, if I am still good looking, IT`S OPEN SEASON!!! For the women and beer...I have not had a good beer in a while....I used to be good at "brewjitsu".
OTM- What do you mean "Still Good looking"?
Dan- Everyone tells me I am going to mess up my pretty face.... LOL... I hope not!
OTM- Handsome fighters have more to lose you know. speaking of which what do you think of the nickname "Handsome Dan"?
Dan- LOL... BJ always calls me that when I see him...... I think I am more used to Dan the Man...
OTM- What about the nickname "ArmHunter"?
Dan- I like that nickname! I was given that nickname by Greggie who used to come to Ralph Gracie Academy in Mountain View. Greggie and I would train all the time for the Nationals and the US Open, just him and I.. One time I think I tapped him about 7 times with only armlocks,, he kept saying, "its like you are hunting the arm... we should call you ArmHunter!" so I have kept it... I have has that nickname for about 4 years now...
OTM- What about "Sausage King of Modesto"?
Dan- That`s f@#$`d up.... I think you guys came up with that cause you are all jealous.... You personally have seen me with girls all the time.... Like I said, come to Bakersfield and I will show you...(Editor`s note: This is in reference to Dan`s infamous Birthday party in Modesto a little while ago that none of us will ever let him live down. Until that point we were always in awe of Dan`s skills, but that night brought him back to mere mortal)
OTM- What's your secret to pulling chicks?
Dan- I think the secret is, being yourself... I did ok when I was in the Bay, but when I went to Fresno.. Bull Dog Brewery is the place!! I would say 90% of the time I would hook up. My buddy Ryan Murphy is a key witness, he was always with me.. Anywhere else, I do ok... Rear Naked choke is another secret! Lol
OTM- Your brother (Dave Camarillo) had some questions for you.
OTM- Question #1: Why are girls bad for a party?
Dan- I knew that only you fags where going to show up, so there was no reason to have them there...
OTM- Question #2: How long can you last with your brother without tapping?
Dan- That depends... I can sometimes last a good minute or two... I think its, once he passes my guard, I am done... He is so good and always in the right spots!
OTM- You used to beat Dave up a lot as kids, didn't you?
Dan- Yes... and with his questions I think I should again... but I don`t think I can nowâ€¦
OTM- Anything you want to say or anyone you want to thank?
Dan- I want to thank all the people I have been training with. Everyone who took their extra time to help me means a lot. I want to thank my sponsors (Onthemat.com and Howard Combat Kimonos)... Ralph Gracie, David ( my bro ), Pacific Martial Arts, Eric Nolans of Bakersfield, and my father... One more... All the beautiful women, they also help me!! in more ways then one...
OTM- Right on Dan. Thanks for your time, and all the best to you on Friday.
Dan- Thank you!