Representing Texas at Lion Fights 10

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(TFL) Today we have with us Texas’s own Pro MMA standout JP Cole, fighting out of Saekson Janjira Muay Thai and MMA in Dallas Texas. JP Cole will be fighting against Jason Andrada, Friday July 26th for Lion Fights 10 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

(TFL) Thank you for being with us. Would you mind introducing yourself to those out there who may not know who you are?

(JP) I’m a Saekson trained Muay Thai fighter and mixed martial artist. I’ve only been in the sport for a couple of years, but Saekson raises champions. All the progress I’ve made and things I’ve accomplished, I owe to him for investing his time and pushing me to work harder.

(TFL) How has your training been going?

(JP) My training has been great so far I have the best team around and amazing training partners. We have a lot of talent at our gym. The saying steel sharpens steel, very much applies here.

(TFL) what do you know about you opponent?

(JP) My opponent is Jason Andrada. and from what I hear, he is pretty relentless and likes to move forward a lot, which fits my style perfectly. Also, I hear he’s really heavy handed. There will be an appropriate response for whatever he throws my way.

(TFL) What should we expect to see in this fight?

(JP) Fireworks!!!

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(TFL) How long have you been training Muay Thai?

(JP) I’ve only been training muay Thai for 3 years. When I say three years, I mean every day of the week, 2-3 times a day for three years. I knew since I was a kid that this is what I wanted to do. And like I said I have the best trainer and team and the country. We are a family, one of us doesn’t get better without all of us getting better.

(TFL) Tell us a bit about your history and your struggles you’ve had to overcome to get this far?

(JP) A lot of the struggles are from the personal life as I’m sure any fighter can relate. Balancing time with the family, and what u have to do vs what everybody else wants you to do. Losing one job then finding the right one to fit the training schedule, money, evil girlfriends (laughs). the main thing is just staying focused on what you want in life the most, and for me that’s to be the greatest out there.

(TFL) Everyone knows the hype that’s out there, but what’s it like behind the scenes from your prospective as a fighter preparing for this fight?

(JP) This is my job so it’s just another day at the office for me (Luaghs), but maybe it just hasn’t hit me yet. Once we’re finally there at the stage and this thing is happening for sure, then I can be excited.

(TFL) Is there anything personal you’d like to add?

(JP) Yea, I’d like to thank you guys for doing the interview, Saekson, Thunder and Ryan for the help training so far. Zeus, my strength and conditioning coach. Moshena, Albert and Soannia who are all my personal dieticians. Everybody at SMTA, Thanks for the support.

(TFL) You can find out more about Lion Fights 10 at http://www.lionfight.com/events/

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Moe Travis Seminar Houston Tx

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This last weekend, I was fortunate enough to attend an awesome seminar at Gracie Barra West Chase, featuring 12-0, 4x Muay Thai Champion Monique Travis and Bellator fighter Stephen Upchurch, fighting out of Knuckle -Up Muay Thai and MMA. Moe did a wonderful job, breaking down the finer details as we work on footwork, the teep and the clinch.

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First to introduce you to Moe Travis:

Seminar Recap (You have to come to the next one, if you want more 😉 ):

You can follow her blog at http://moetravis.wordpress.com/

Moe will definitely be joining us again for another seminar in the future, for which you will not want to miss.

Rami Ibrahim, The Heart of a Champion.

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(TFL) At the heart of every champion, lives the passion and fight for something bigger. He’s been very successful fighting here in the states, all the while remaining humble. To give you the idea of what kind of person Rami is, I was fighting for the biggest accomplishment of my life, and Rami came up, without knowing who I was, and gave me some words of wisdom to help prepare for my fight. How often do experienced professional fighters go out of their way to help someone not fighting out of their gym? So without further ado,  Champion of the people, freedom and Muay Thai, I give you Rami ibrahim from Sitan Gym Philly.

Rami, I know you’re a pretty humble person, but for those out there that might not know who you are, would you mind introducing yourself?

(Rami) My name is a Rami Ibrahim. I am a Palestinian American professional fighter.

(TFL) How long have you been training and fighting?

(Rami) I’ve been training since 1992 and had my first fight in 1994. I’ve competed in karate tournaments, Wrestling, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Boxing, and MMA.

(TFL) And what victories and titles have you held?

(Rami) Some of my accomplishments in these sports include: Master in Tae Kwon Do with a 5th degree black belt. Won over 100 karate tournaments.Philadelphia All-Public Wrestling Champion, Philadelphia Golden Gloves Boxing Champion, Philadelphia Diamond Belt Boxing Champion2003, Philadelphia Boxer of the year award, Philadelphia Kickboxing Champion, WKA United States Muay Thai Champion, WKA 2001 North American Tournament Champion, USKBA Internation Muay Thai Champion4x, WKA North American Champion. In 2005 I began being a substitute school teacher and again 2006. In 2007 I opened my own martial arts school offering Tae Kwon Do and Muay Thai.

In 2007 I also became a full time school teacher till 2009. That was the year I stopped so I can focus more on my school and my professional fighting career.

(TFL) And what’s your current record?

(Rami) I have over 150 fights combining my amatuer and professional kickboxing/Muay Thai fights with a record of 149-24-5-45.

(TFL) Tell us what you’ve been up to recently, and how’s the gym going?(Rami) The gym has been going great. This July it will be 6 years. It’s been a tough ride, because I had to wear different suits for that place from being the business man, the janitor, the trainer, the fight coach, and then somewhere in there to find time for me to train for my own fights (notice how I didn’t say anything about personal time lol). It’s been a tough ride because I have yet balanced how to go from thinking like a business man to thinking like a fighter.

(TFL) I see your nephew has recently wrecking shop.

(Rami) My nephew has been training real hard and it shows in his accomplishments. He started training in karate since he was 6, but I didn’t start training him in Muay Thai till 4 years ago. Not for anything but my nephew was not any good in Muay Thai, and lost his first 3 fights (just like I did as an amateur fighter). As I said, he wasn’t any good in Muay Thai, and just seemed not to get it. In fact, he HATED anything that had to do with martial arts or fighting (in both Tae Kwon Do and Muay Thai) and it was because of me, I forced him to come to the gym and train to keep him off the street. After his 3rd fight, something happened, and he just turned the switch. Now 3 years in as a fighter, he’s a 7x Muay Thai champion with a record of 12-5. Some wonder how my nephew became so good so fast, but just like I developed 9 champions in only 6 years as a coach, and just like Timothy Amorim came into my doors with no knowledge about fighting became a champion of the world in only 1 1/2 years, it had a lot to due with all the experience I had to go through in my 21 years of practice. I was not treated right coming up as a fighter, I didn’t have a promoter, manager or a coach to be on top of me, watch my training and take me to the next level, and since I didn’t have all of that, I tried to teach myself by watching other fighters and took the good from them and left the bad. I took my career and all that I experienced and made sure my fighters don’t go through that. To make sure they never have it hard. It’s bad enough they choose to put their life in the ring, so they shouldn’t have to endure what I went through and have a rough time outside of the ring. Nonetheless, I take them through hell and back in training, and that is why, I try my best NOT to let them take short cuts to get to reaching their dreams, but to let them take huge leaps shorter then a short cut to get to what they want. To make sure that they get everything that I never got as a fighter.

(TFL) In today’s victory driven society, I watch guys go 10-0, then lose one fight and quit their whole career. So I often encourage my fighters by reminding them that its it’s not how many times you get knocked down, but how many you get back up. I think you and your nephew are perfect examples of that.
As I’m sure we all would love to see you fight again, do you have any fights coming up soon or plans for the future?

(Rami) As to me and my career, my next official fight is set to be in China this July. I might get a fight in NY next month in June on the Glory show, but they’re having a hard time finding me an opponent. So God willing if it’s meant to be it’ll be.

(TFL) Not trying to get political or anything. However, I recently saw a poll that showed that 54 percent of Israeli’s support peace and a two state solution. And also, a couple of Jewish holocaust survivors were on the Gaza flotilla in 2012. And since I know you really hold your heart on your sleeve regarding Palestine, care to talk about it?

(Rami) Regarding your question on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and the poll that you stated 54 percent of Israeli’s support peace and a two state solution, I’m sure there’s many Israeli’s and Jews around the world that support peace and a two state solution. This is what the media brings up, that Israel and those who support it want peace, but what they don’t tell you and show you is how Israeli government allow the Palestinians to go through more that what the Jews went through with Hitler, such as let the Israeli soldiers and police mistreat Palestinians in every humane way possible such as, illegal checkpoints within the Palestinian authority that causes a 10 minute drive become a 2 or 4 or 6 or all day hour drive depending on how much they want the Palestinians to go through, or when they randomly shoot Palestinian children for fighting back a tank with a piece of ROCK, or when they go and burn down the Palestinians olive trees, or when they decide to go into a Palestinian house and give them the option of either getting kicked out or staying prisoners in the kitchen room while allowing the Palestinian wife of the house to come sleep with the Israeli soldiers in the bedroom, or when they come over with their bulldozers to demolish Palestinian houses for not having a license when Israel doesn’t even allow them to have a license to live, or when they let Israeli settlers who are there illegally in the first place, being brought from everywhere in the world and paid to live on Palestinian land that was either stolen, forcefully taken or demolished for Jews to come and live on it, or when a Palestinian child comes home to see his sister and mother raped, father and brother beaten and killed by Israeli settlers near by for living next to them. All of this which I’ve seen in my own eyes, and if you don’t believe me, I welcome you Nethaneel to take a visit with me, not to the Israeli side, but to the Palestinian side, where you don’t see what’s being done to Palestinians in the media. There’s so much I’d like to say, but I understand this interview might not be the time. In conclusion, my feelings yes, I know there’s Jews and even Israeli’s who support peace, some who even stand and protest with Palestinians over all the illegal things that’s done to the Palestinians by Israel and the American government, but that’s not the problem. It is the people in power who let every other evil person to do evil to Palestinians that I have a problem with. That is who I speak against. I know a lot of people might not have the proper and correct knowledge on this topic and thus, end up being against me for saying all this and possibly end up hating me, and I know something might happen to me, like those who just magically disappear and not seen or heard of anymore, but I won’t stop from speaking the truth, because the day I stop speaking the truth, is the day I support the lies.

(TFL) Thank you for your boldness and bravery talking about this.
I for one, will continue to pray for both our people. G-d bless you Rami, and keep up the good and righteous fight.

(Rami) I hope I answered all your questions well. Thank you for taking this time to interview me. Hopefully, this interview will bring insight to people not so much about me, but about the life of a fighter as well as to what is being done to the Palestinians, because it’s not an Israeli or Palestinian thing, it’s a human rights thing.

“Shadow of Doubt” By Uriel Figueroa

“Shadow of Doubt” By Uriel Figueroa

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We have all been there before, you know, that dark place in your head where the shadow of self doubt overwhelms the obvious potential and skill that you posses. To the casual fight fan, fighting tends to be looked at as if it’s easy. You know, run a couple of miles here and there, take some protein shakes, than on fight night you get in there and “bang”… If it were that easy, EVERYONE would do it.

I often have students approach me and the other training staff asking “how many months do you think I need to train so I can fight” we try and explain that it is more than eating a certain way for x amounts of days/weeks, and adding an extra session or two to your workout schedule. Not only are you preparing to fight your opponent, you are about to battle the biggest and toughest opponent you have will ever face… yourself.

I never realized how much damage you can do to yourself in both preparation and the actual fight itself by letting the doubt in your mind take over your confidence. It wasn’t until my 2nd fight that I realized I didn’t believe in myself as much as my coaches and my team did. The important thing to remember is that you are not the only one that’s nervous or scared, everyone is afraid of failure (losing), even your opponent. Do the best you can to use your nerves to help you rather than hinder you. Believe that you are ready and up to the challenge at hand, it may not be an easy fight to win but that will make it all the more rewarding in the end. There is no shame in defeat, only in never trying.

How do you deal with your dark side?

How do you handle a loss in the ring or cage?

If you are a trainer, how do you motivate your students and make them realize they are ready when they themselves think they are not?