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Luke Stewart Interview

    Fri, 2005-03-18 09:07 — Adisa Banjoko

    Calm Under Fire: Interview with Luke Stewart.

    "It's the silent, still water that kills a man."
    African Proverb

    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
    day).

    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
    this fight.

    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
    the ring.

    7. Outside of the physical training...What do you do
    to mentally or spiritually prepare yourself for
    competition?

    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!!

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