Calm Under Fire: Interview with Luke Stewart.
"It's the silent, still water that kills a man."
Luke Stewart is one of Ralph Gracie's most technical
fighters. He has fought many of the worlds best jiu
jitsu guys from America and from across the water.
Luke however, is VERY mellow and quiet. He's not
arrogant, or conceited. He's just naturally a quiet,
highly focused guy. He's does not talk about things-
he does things.
At the Gracie Open next week, what he's doing, is
going head up against the UFC's own Nick Diaz. This
will prove to be one of the best fights of the day and
is one of the main reasons I'm going to the Gracie
Open this year (among other kick ass super fights that
I was able to talk to Luke and get some ideas about
his opinions on Nick, his future in jiu jitsu and how
he says so damn calm under fire.
Your upcoming match is possibly the most highly
anticipated event at the Gracie Open. Where is your
head just days before the fight?
Im excited to fight Nick, he is a great competitor. I
feel confident that i will do well against him. I felt
very discouraged after my loss against his teammate
Vinicius in Sep., and hope to redeem myself in this
fight. Im very prepared physically and mentally for
2. What do you think Nick's 3 greatest strengths are
and what do you think your 3 greatest strengths are?
Nick is a very experienced fighter, so he is very
mentally tough, he also has good takedown ability, and good flexibility.
I think that going into the fight, my advantage will
be first, that we are fighting in the gi, since i know
nick trains mostly gi-less, and i train a lot in the
gi. I think my main strengths are my technique, and
adaptability, i have great training partners with all
types of games, that push me everyday.
3. One of the things I've always liked about you is
your genuine relaxed nature. How do you find that
center and keep it before, during and after bouts like
the one with Nick?
I try to train as hard as i can before a fight, when I
feel prepared i feel relaxed. All i can do is fight my
best, and see what happens . I've fought tough
competitors before, and train with tough guys
everyday. I think that the training for a fight is
much harder then the fight itself.
4. Have you guys ever met or competed before? How did this come about?
Nick and i have never fought before, i was originally
looking to rematch Vinicius, who i fought last sep.
and lost to by advantage. Ceasar didn't want us to
fight, and offered the fight with nick, which i was
happy to take. I seen nick compete a lot in the past,
and always knew that we would meet eventually.
5. In your mind, is this any different than your match
against Matt Hughes?
I feel that this fight is a lot different, I think
nick is a much more well rounded fighter then Matt
Hughes. I knew exactly how my fight with Matt Hughes would go, although very tough and effective his style is very one dimensional.
Nick's game is much more dynamic, I have to be
prepared for several scenarios.
6. You always push yourself and go against the best in
the mix, when they are arguably at their best. Any
chance we'll see you in the UFC or PRIDE?
I don't know. I love training and competing in jiu
jitsu, and would love to possibly test my jiu-jitsu in
7. Outside of the physical training...What do you do
to mentally or spiritually prepare yourself for
I've been trying to work more on visualization, and
specific strategy. This helps me to be more confident,
and relaxed before the fight
8. Any last words?
Big thanks to all my training partners and teachers,
Ralph, Kurt, Mikyo, Sapao, Jason, Crispin, Ricardo,
Joey, Marco. Thanks to Adisa for doing the interview
Adisa Banjoko is author of the book Lyrical Swords
vol. 1: Hip Hop and Politics in the Mix. Buy one
today at www.lyricalswords.com!!