Bushido Code

There was Mick Spinks, Bruno Panno, Ray Matsumura, Greg Winter and his crew and myself on a Qantas flight to Narita Aiport, Tokyo. I still remember Greg and I trying to sneak into business class and when we got caught we pretended to sleep. We got kicked out not long after that but it was cool anyway because we had a crew we filled out this upper section of the plane.

We finally landed in Japan after a 10 hour flight, got to customs and what do you know I forgot to get my Entertainment Visa. So they put me in a room for half an hour doing their best to interrogate me (a bit hard given the language barrier). Luckily K1 have a bit of pull in Japan. Once I was confirmed as a K1 fighter to the Japanese customs they wished me luck and granted me entry, THEY EVEN SHOOK MY HAND.

We did the usual stuff which i’ll let you know in another entry. I will  go directly to where the fun began on this trip….

I arrived at the Prince Takanawa Hotel in Shinagawa, Tokyo. Checked in at the K1 desk to get my schedule, had a small feed with Mick and Bruno and went to bed. I woke up the next morning  and checked my schedule. Training was at Masatos gym.

I got through the morning and headed off to Masatos gym to go through our fight plan. Got there all we could hear was PA PAPA PA echoing through the walls. Masato was there training, smashing through everything his trainer put in front of him. We all had to take our shoes off before entering the gym. We snuck past Masato and headed up the stairs to the second ring.  I got changed , did some pads with Mick then got ready to roll with Bruno. As Bruno and I were getting ready National Geographic approached us to find out if they could film. We responded affirmatively.  But me being the over zealous character that I was had spun 360 degrees with Bruno still latched onto my foot. Purely self inflicted we both heard a loud POP! We stopped , Bruno looked at me with confusion as to why I would have done such a thing and me trying to act as if nothing happened. We left the gym and walked about 1.5km back to the train station.

On the way back to the hotel room Ray took me with Mick and Bruno by my side to the doctor to get an xray. I found out that I had partially torn my MCL. My knee was like a balloon.

Back at the hotel my knee was wrapped in ice and I got some rest. Ray had a friend who was an old ancient spiritual healer who played the bongos while we sparred. He insisted on doing magic healing techniques on my knee. God love him. Im not sure what it was doing but I guess its the thought that counts.

The next morning I woke my knee was a mess but I had media and photo opps to attend. I got up and got ready and limped down to breakfast I ate a boiled egg and some seaweed as I was still yet to make weight. I was doing my best to hide my injury all day not wanting to let on to the media that there was an issue but I dont think I was doing a very good job.  I finally got the day done headed back up to my room and crashed.

I woke up starving and in pain. I went straight to the sauna , put my sweat suit on and started my dehydration phase. I dehydrated for about 3 hours. At intervals that same dude was there again performing his magic on my knee (God love him) I rocked up to the weigh in to find out that I was 300 grams over weight. I was given one hour to lose the rest. I came back all smiles yet stepping on the scale was the mission of the day, doing my best not to expose my injury. After the weigh in I hammered Pocari Sweat and energy jelly drinks , a bit of food then prepared for the press conference.

At the press conference we get directed to the back room where the red and blue corners sit in a line waiting to be called out. As each fighter gets called out K1 have a promo reel of each fighter to walk out to.

My name came up and Kid Yammamoto and I walked straight up to each other and virtually headbutted. Usually it is required to stare down for 30 seconds for the media to get some good shots. But we stood there eyes locked , fists up for at least 3 minutes. I thought it was going to be on. They finally broke it up and we went our separate ways.

I woke up the next morning  focussed on my fight, my injury did not even exist. We all met in the foyer jumped on the bus headed for Yoyogi Stadium. Massive show… Bob Sapp, Peter Aerts and Ray Seffo to name few on the card. I was wrapped as I found out I was main event. We got off the bus, media crews in our faces and headed for the locker rooms. Did the doctors check and he prescribed local anaesthetic for my knee. We usually leave the docs office with a show bag of 2 bananas, Calorie – Mate bar and a bottle of water. Got back to the kennel and took a nap until it was time to warm up.

Mick woke me up , I saw the doctor again for 3 injections of local anaesthetic in my knee. I headed to warm up jumping around telling Mick ‘I cant feel it’. Mick was emphasizing to take it easy.

Officials came and told me my fight was up. Mick and I looked at each other and said ‘Lets do this’. We walked out to the ring…

TO BE CONTINUED….

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An eye for an eye and soon the whole world is blind

People from my era know about this one…It was the regular group that would get together on the weekend and drink until we were stumbling. We all met up at Mutch Park just behind Eatsgardens, Pagewood. The night got rowdy as you can imagine. We were all singing songs, abusing each other, jumping all over each other. A common occurence within our group was mate vs mate when drunk. Something happened and I ended up scruffling with a mate. I was punching on with him and the next thing I knew his brother came up behind me and cracked me with a trolly handle. He cracked me again and put a pause to that scruffle. I was a bit dizzy, they walked off content. Little did they know, I was reefing out a tree stump from the ground fifty metres behind them. I started gaining ground on them feeling like a knight with a joist minus the horse. As I started making ground I started yelling ‘ So you wanna play swords’? They all scattered. I was standing there like an idiot with nothing achieved. I walked back to the party, skulled a couple more beers and then about an hour later I had a fight with another mate. We were punching each other one for one exchanging about four blows each. Then the guy I fought with started putting it on one of the younger blokes and slapped him. There was nothing thought of it so we kept drinking and singing songs.

Little did we know the younger bloke had gone back and told his older brother what had happened. I was around seventeen years old and the brother was about six years older than us.  About an hour later as we were getting ready to leave the park a couple of car loads rocked up. Everyone scattered including myself except one mate. I turned around and saw that my mate wasnt doing too well and ran back. I ran straight into the beating of a life time. These guys were big, heavy, strong, armed with clublocks and in a group of eight. All I remember is that we grabbed each other by the collar. He punched me and all I remember next is covering my head while I was getting dragged around and beat up by club locks.

This was not a situation supported by my ego to win or lose a street fight. This was about surviving. It went past that winning or losing stage. I was bleeding from head to toe. My head was split open in mulitple paces, my hands were like blown up rubber gloves from defending myself, my forearms were the size of my biceps from multiple blows I was laying on my back with my eye sockets filling up with blood. There were 20 to 30 people form what I was told standing around me waiting for me to die. I was also told the beating went on for a good ten minutes. This was all because my mate slapped the wrong kid.

I could tell you about my experience in the hospital, my abuse towards the police but I wont. I seriously wanted to disable or even kill these guys that did this to me. The anger that was brewing through me was unbelievable for months and months. Things inside me were dragging me left to right whether to go on with this or not. Something inside me knew that this time round revenge would have destroyed my soul. What I will tell you may sound soft, pannsy and feminine to some but what I learnt about this a couple of years later was to forgive. Now I was cornered with this situation between revenge and forgiveness. I started out by forgiving the situation first, then moving on to forgive what they did to me and finally forgiving them. This beating was a blessing in disguise to move forward in my life.

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It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways. – Buddha

I was around 20 years old, walking through Coogee Beach. I bumped into a person who was a mutual associate with a gang I didnt get along with. He told me that about 30 members of the gang were sitting behind the bus shelter and suggested that I left. But me, being drunk and ‘superman’ let temptation get the better of me and walked straight over to the bus shelter. And what do you know…. my number one nemesis (alot of you who grew up with me knew who this was) was there having an argument with his grilfriend. I approached him and asked him what he was doing. When he saw me his eyes lit up and all I saw was Satan. This guy was mad! Instinctively I was aware of my surroundings, there were 15 to 20 guys armed with bottles. All I had a small twist top, my nemesis has a long kneck. I knew he was left handed and he swapped hands with his bottle. With his bottle being bigger than mine I bottled him in the face with my right hand. He dropped to the ground, bounced back up and it was on. Next thing i knew I had a sambucca bottle flying at my head. I was getting pummelled by ten guys. I was throwing punches wildly, it felt like forever. Luckily I escaped that and ran directly across the road to the Yeeros shop demanding a knife. The shop attendant screamed at me to get out. Well didnt that leave me knifeless. My nemesis approached me again outside the shop, im thinking round two. But to my surprise he put out his right hand to shake my hand. With me not thinking I shook it. SMACK! He king hit me with his left. Ive gone to grab him and police broke it up. While I was pulling my tooth out of my lip, the cops threw me in the paddy wagon and drove me out of the area. They commanded me never to go back to Coogee.

All I got out of that fight is a severed nerve in my right index finger which is still numb to this day , a scar in my bottom lip where my tooth went through, a pat on the back from my mates, a massive head ache from the sambucca bottle and a terrible hang over.

Now this is a time where I look back with thoughts of uncertainty as to why an event like this even happened. I was given the opportunity to turn around and walk the other way but opposed it. When I have the answer to why I walked into a blazing fire I will let you know…

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Dont count your chickens before they hatch.

Me Vs Ben Steel

When I had my first kickboxing fight, i was coming from Kyokushin training with Jim Phillips. I approached the venue quite cocky. I went for the doctors check feeling like a cowboy and time came when my trainer Mick Spinks told me to start warming up. I honestly thought I had this fight in the bag. After warming up I got called to enter the ring. I walked toward the ring feeling like a spartan warrior walking into the Colosseum.  I hopped into the ring, the ref sized us up. Ben was about half a foot taller than me but it didnt worry me because ‘I was a spartan warrior’. Anyway, ding ding, the bell rang. We were jumping around with loads of nervous energy, with punches and kicks skimming off each others bodies, hardly landing anything. I still remember to this day that I didnt know if I was getting punched in the head or cameras were flashing at me. From what I do remember it was the first round andI threw a hay maker without even looking… he dropped. To me, i felt the fight was over and id won. But then when he stood back up, even angrier than before, I felt differently.  First round ended.

Second round was pretty much the same, minus the knockdown and minus the same amount of energy. Round 2 ended.

We came out to round 3 and i dont know about him, but I was tired… We exchanged a couple of missing blows. Then… BANG! He landed one on my chin. The room starting caving in, my ears started ringing and I had no idea what was going on. From then on I was on the defence. The round ended , his arm was raised.

When I got back to the locker room despite not winning I knew this is what I wanted to do.

 I booked to fight again not long after.

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WE CAN’T CONTROL THE WORLD BUT WE CAN CONTROL OUR REACTIONS TO IT

22 years old… Just past midnight Bondi Junction, drunk off my nut,  i stumbled out of a night club called BJ’s with a few mates. We were outside the tea gardens, hanging by the bus stop, loitering. A group of five rugby union like men were coming down the street, putting it on people and slapping them around. My whole group noticed them getting closer and rowdier and finally that moment came. They approached me. All because of the staring problem I had. It was purely ego driven , i had so much to prove back then…. They started coming closer to us, I freaked out, lined up the biggest guy of the group, about 130kgs, 6 foot 4 and king hit him with a left hook and dropped him. I then left hooked his mate closest to him. Things got scattered, three were surrounding me deciding who was going to run at me first. I lost it again so I ran to the closest one to me, king it him with a right… the other two got to the first guy I knocked out, they pretty much had enough. I kicked one in the head (Jodan Mawashi) dropping him and the fifth one got away. Now…. as this was happening I suddenly felt very lonely but after I put them on the back foot, what do you know the gang was back to lay the boot in. Looking back at this situation I consider myself to have been pretty stupid to do something like that but pretty lucky at the same time. I had no idea who these guys were and what they were capable of.

For years I bragged about it but I think differently about it now. Not in the sense of regret, because I am happy with the person I am today but in the sense of taking such an uncalculated risk in releasing uncontrolled anger and indirectly climbing the social rank.

Had that have happened today, the difference would be me thinking twice before reacting. Had I even thought ONCE the result may have been different. Had I focussed on getting a cab home thats exactly what I would have done. Due to my lack of focus I allowed these obstacles to control me.

I have many more of these to tell, wins and losses, i thought i’d start with a win.

‘Act the part and we will become the part’ – William James

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Flashback

My fight against Genki Sudo….

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Id rather die on my feet than live on my knees

I began martial arts at the age of 6. Since then i have competed and trained around the world under various disciplines. I enjoy training my body and mind to challenge myself to new tasks. I am currently fighting professionally for an organisation called K-1 which is held in Japan. I compete under kickboxing and Mixed Martial Arts rules.
I have ran away from home,ran away from school,ran with a crew,ran on my own,had people laugh,cry, be angry,happy,say the ‘f’ word,love me,like me,be friends with me, not be friends with me. I’ve had street fights,made friends with people in the street,travelled around a 1/4 of the world, Fought in front of 50,000 fans at Yoyogi Stadium in Tokyo, Japan. I’ve been knocked out, knocked other people out. I run up a huge set of stairs in 48 sec. The Japanese call me the ‘Goshu Hurricane’. Some of my mates call me Sharky. I have eaten whale, raw horse, boiled pig’s foot, snake. Ive been hit by flying objects, i train 6 days a week,2-3 times a day. I have now opened my import export business as well..and it doesn’t end there. But at the end of the day, whether you have done less, the same, or even more than me in your life…

We-are-just-people.

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