Every week a reporter will come to the gym and interview a fighter from it.
Colossus Gym: Fighter of the week.
Posted 08 May 2018 - 06:09 PM
New York MMA:
April O'neil: I'm here with a new MMA gym here in New York. It's one of the spots we have chosen to do a weekly write up on a fighter from various gyms. I;m here today with Shen Kuei. I understand that this is your first day at the gym correct?
Shen Kuei: Yes April that is correct.
O'neil: What made you decide to be a fighter when you're still in high school? And are you even allowed to fight in the U.S.?
Kuei: Well I've always had an affinity for martial arts and started training since I was 3. So it seems like just a natural stage of progression. And no not at 16 even with written consent from a guardian/parent would I be allowed to fight in the U.S. That would be assuming I had any parents.
O'neil: What do you like about this gym and why did you choose it?
Kuei: Well honestly Ikki Takeda saw me street fighting a group of street thugs I stole from and was impressed. After I beat them up he walked up to me and told me how amazing of a fighter he thought I was and that he saw great potential in me and offered to hand me some cash, let me stay at his gym, and train for free. And he would be my manager when I start fighting and will get 10%. Seemed like a good deal and good way to get some good training over being completely self taught.
O'neil: Is there anyone you have your eye on in the gym other than your trainers that you feel like you could learn from?
Kuei: Yeah virtually all of them. Gable has such good takedown defense that it's amazing, Coffie has amazing footwork, Creed has great work ethic and trains like a beast, Barnett is a cut up and a clown but knows his stuff and is very technical, Baker probably has the best bjj of all of us, and Friedrichsen I know from school and have fought him a few times and know he has power and might be able to pick up how to add an extra snap to my shots from his throwing form.
O'neil: Sounds like an impressive lot. We will be having our eyes on this gym.
Posted 09 May 2018 - 07:58 AM
Erik Friedrichsen: I think what Shen is saying is that we fought together. Not against each other. I helped him out when he got jumped by a bully and his two idiot friends. I don't like bullies, so I jumped in to save him. He didn't need much help, but fighting three against one was just not cool so I jumped in. Then he joined Colossus Gym and we trained together, including some sparring, but we never fought each other. He's a good guy, and we get on rather well.
Posted 20 May 2018 - 01:03 PM
Eric you have an upcoming fight and it is your first correct?
Yeah. This is my first contract and my first fight. I am a bit nervous, but Brunno tells me that it's going to be OK. We looked over the fight offer and saw that it was only two months out. I was concerned about that, but Brunno thinks we can actually win this, so I feel better knowing that he is confident.
Do you know much about your opponent?
He is a ground fighter. He has nothing going for him in standup side of fight. I am not perfect fighter yet, but I have been training hard for two years now and I am sure I can beat him. There are no videos of him fighting except for one grainy home video camera one taken by what looks like someone with epilepsy, that shows him fighting in an amateur competition of some sort. He showed good ground skills in that fight. I am still confident that I can beat him. Even on short notice.
How do you think his wrestling and bjj stack up to your skills?
Kind of said some of this in the previous question, but I will go into more detail here. One, Brunno drives us like dogs to make sure we all have great physical skills. I have also spent considerable efforts to hone my ground AND standup skills. I just lack that ring experience, but there is only one way to earn that.
Do you feel like Colossus gym is preparing you well for your fight?
Yeah, Colossus Gym is great. Mr. Takeda keeps it real clean and the equipment is all brand new and state of the art. It's a great gym. The number of people that train there is really small and so I get one-on-one attention and it really helps a lot.
Is there anyone from the gym that will be in your corner or that you have asked to be?
Brunno is going to be there for sure. I would like to Mr. Coffie, but seeing as how Daniel and him are kind of having beef now I am not sure if I should. You know, trying to maintain solidarity with the rest of the boys from Brunno's camp.
Do you see any of the guys in the gym that other fighters should be looking out for or that have impressed you?
Victor Creed is an amazing wrestler and I hope to one day have a chance to train with him. I have been told that starting next week, Sanka Coffie will start doing some sparring. that should help us both to improve in our standup skills. If I get the opportunity to grapple with Creed I would learn tons from that guy.
Posted 20 May 2018 - 01:04 PM
Posted 29 May 2018 - 04:23 PM
We have come to Colossus Gym again to interview Buddy Barnett.
O'Neil: Hey Buddy you just became the champion at 185 at Konflikt FC. First I want to say congratulations. Secondly what do you credit it too?
Barnett: Thank you. I credit it too this awesome training here at Colossus Gym. They keep the coaching training sessions to 1on1 to better hone in on key things you are doing correctly and key things that you are making mistakes on. So it is a great help. Some guys have even started a muay thai sparring session once a week. While you aren't allowed to impede on another guys training session you are allowed to sit back and watch a guy with a coach from a distance to see if you can pick up a little extra insight.
O'Neil: Well you certainly have improved since you first came on to the scene. Anything else you are working on?
Barnett: Thanks. Well not much I'm still improving my ground game and body for the most part and that is something I will always do. But I'm not foolish enough to think that I won't ever have to adapt a more rounded game and definitely young enough to do it. So I have added 2 training sessions a week right now to help prepare my stand up. I don't expect this will make me better over night or anytime soon but it's a start and the ground will always pretty much be my bread and butter I think. Even when I get satisfied with my ground game and physical training and we cut back on that to ramp up my striking game to diversify my attack a bit we will still be training to improve my skills on the ground and keep them sharp.
O'Neil: What other fighter in the gym if any do you kind of look up to?
Barnett: Well age difference isn't much between us at this gym. But I would say Victor Creed we are in the same weight class and he is just so technical and his striking looks pretty damn nice too. Since I won the belt he has been eyeballing me a bit. So I guess he has sort of started seeing me not only as a teammate but as a rival.
O'Neil: Have you two done any sparring?
Barnett: A little bit but not much. Victor really isn't allowed to spar with anyone much as he tends to get a little caught up and has been known to injure a few guys. One of the coaches actually made him tap and shortly after during their training session he dislocated the coaches arm and we had to get a substitute coach for 2 weeks.
O'Neil: Dan Gable just had a fight and won his debut on the local circuit. Did you watch it?
Barnett: Better I was in the corner. And he decided to retire shortly after but his little brother Dan Gable decided to join and try it out. Yeah I know same name. Their dad has named all his kids Dan just like George Foreman naming all his kids George accept for his daughter Georgina.
O'Neil: Nice. Eric has a match up coming up shortly and Sanka is going to be in his corner do you plan to attend?
Barnett: Better than attend! When I saw the article that he would like Sanka to be in his corner who I will admit is definitely our most well rounded guy in the gym as he is good everywhere; anyways but that I wasn't thought of at all I felt a bit bad. So I went up to him and asked him why he didn't consider me to be in his corner? His answer was that I was training my title fight and he didn't want to add to the pressure of having to help prepare him for the fight. I still wanted to so we came up with if I could take him down being a much bigger fighter than me, and if I could submit Sanka in a bjj sparring session than I could show up to his fight and corner his ground game while Sanka corners the striking. And I'm in his corner.
O'Neil: Thanks Buddy. We look forward to seeing you guys at Colossus Gym again real soon.
Posted 08 June 2018 - 12:01 AM
Would you say that Colossus Gym prepared you well for the fight and do you think you would have fared as well somewhere else?
I've been lucky enough to have had good training in a number of different gyms from the time Mr. Falcone discovered me when I just turned 16 until now. Colossus Gym is just the latest of those. Stark Slugger Society was starting to get a bit crowded and it is sometimes hard to get the exact classes that you wanted. So when Mr. Falcone said I was gonna come over here, I was pretty pleased with that. It meant more focused and individual training. I guess what i would say is that Colossus gym is a pretty damn good gym.
Did you get any advice in the locker room from your corner before going out to your first fight and if so what was it?
Mr. Falcone said to me this. I thought he was being funny, but he was very serious. He said, "Da best way ta win a fight is not ta lose." He said, "Stay calm. Remember yous trainin', and do what we done told yuz and yuz gonna do just fine". It helps that he was in my corner during the whole fight. Made me feel good knowing he could have been halfway around the world in one of my stablemates corners, but he was here with me for my debut instead.
Did you think your opponent was going to put up a tougher fight then the breeze he appeared to be for you?
Yeah. I mean, he hadn't fought before either, but he looked on paper like he would be a better opponent.
What do you see next for yourself?
Lots of training. Mr. Falcone is a nice guy, but he is harsh sometimes. He really pushes us to bust our asses in training. He says you have to want success as much as you want to breathe. So I might get a brief rest, but then it will be back to the grind stone.
Is there anyone you would like to thank for your performance or a sponsor or anything?
I already thanked most of the people I wanted to during the post fight interview, but I would like to give a shout out to Mr. Takeda for letting me train in his private gym, and, of course, Mr Falcone, who funded me and drove me to work hard and get the win.
What is the relationship you have with your coaches and fellow gym mates?
Well, my coaches are very experienced and skilled and I show them proper deference and respect. y fellow gym mates? Well, honestly I only recently started to interact with any of them. I do a Muay Thai sparring session with Voshon, who trains there now also, Sanke Coffie, who is a highly ranked contender in Rise, and Dan Gable. Eventually, I hope to spar in Boxing Wrestling, you know, all the rest. I am trying to make my father proud. He was one of Mr. Falcone's best fighters a long time ago when he was still fighting, and I want to do even better then my dad did.
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