AJ Scales Interview

Upon first meeting Aj Scales in Brazil, I was told he was a Canadian who would compete anywhere. Little did I know how true that statement would soon be. Upon my first visit to Brazil, I was like any other gringo, star struck at all the famous jiu-jitsu fighters hanging around. From Terere, to Roger to Marcelo etc….Never did I think I’d bump into another Canadian. Upon first meeting Aj Scales in Brazil, I was told he was a Canadian who would compete anywhere. Little did I know how true that statement would soon be.

AJ competed in Canadian tournaments and would spend time in Brazil for an extended period training and competing in BJJ jiu-jitsu and submission wrestling. As we kept in touch, I learned that not only was AJ competing, but winning.

I took pride to invite AJ to compete in two of my invitational events (Ontario Submission Wrestling Invitational) where he fought a tough match against UFC contender George “Rush” St Pierres and fellow Canadian Damien Sabourin.

Look to hear more from AJ as his determination is like no other. In his last OSWI win, AJ fought like a seasoned veteran with ease and put on a display of his skills he has acquired after years of traveling and hard work.———————————————-

BALEIA-First off Anthony (A.K.A. AJ) where do you train in Canada and with whom?

AJ-I train in Regina, Saskatchewan and train with Regina Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

BALEIA-Which titles in Canada and Brazil have you won?

AJ-Ahh man! lets see. Here in Canada I have won;

2nd Manitoba Open – Winnipeg Manitoba – 2006 3x Gold Medalist (BJJ/Submission Wrestling)

Copa do Mundo de Jiu-Jitsu 2006 – Rio de Janeiro Brazil – Gold Medalist

Mind Body and Soul – Edmonton Alberta – 2006 Gold Medalist (Submission Wrestling)

Ontario Submission Wrestling Invational 4 – 2006 – Super Fight Champion vs Damien Sabourin (Submission Wrestling)

1st Manitoba Open – Winnipeg Manitoba – 2006 – Super Fight Champion vs Terik Branwell (Submission Wrestling)

1st Manitoba Open – Winnipeg Manitoba – 2006 Gold Medalist (BJJ)

Ontario Submission Invitational 3 – Hamilton Ontario – 2004 2nd Place 8 man tournament (Submission Wrestling)

Grapple Mania – Edmonton Alberta – 2004 2 x Silver Medalist (Submission Wrestling)

Grapple Mania – Edmonton Alberta – 2003 – 2 x Silver Medalist, (Submission Wrestling)

Break Fall Classic – Lethbridge Alberta – 2003 – 2 x Bronze Medalist, (Submission Wrestling/BJJ)

Absolute Submission Challenge – Calgary 2001 – 2x Bronze Medalist, (Submission Wrestling/BJJ)

National Grappling Championships – Calgary Alberta, 2000 – Bronze Medalist (Submission Wrestling)

Lets Roll Grappling Tournament – Edmonton Alberta 2000 – Silver and Bronze Medalist, (Submission Wrestling/BJJ)

In Brazil I have won;

Copa do Mundo de Jiu-Jitsu 2006 – Rio de Janeiro Brazil – Gold Medalist

Copa Rip Dorey Submission Wrestling – Rio de Janeiro Brazil – Super Fight Winner vs Marcelo Brigadeiro

Campeonato Estadual de Jiu Jitsu Olimpico (CBJJO State Championships) – Rio de Janeiro Brazil – 2005 Gold Medalist

Copa Lema – Rio de Janeiro Brazil – 2004 Gold Medalist (BJJ)

BALEIA-Who do you train with in Brazil?

AJ-I train with Nova Uniao under Dede (Andrea Pederneiras). But there are many guys there that mentor me, Shaolin (Vitor Ribeiro), Andrea Marola, Leonardo Santos and ton of other guys.

BALEIA-How does it feel to be the first Canadian to have a superfight in a submission wrestling match in Brazil and talk a bit about your opponent?

AJ-Really I was the first! that’s cool!!. Well I had asked Shaolin about doing a superfight and how he thought I would do. He was very confident I would do well and that I would catch someone in my triangle. So Shaolin went and made the arrangements with Marcio Cramado the promoter of Rip Dorey and the leader of the team RFT.

My first opponent would be Leonardo Chocolate a student of Marcio Cramado which made a big rumble around the gym. Chocolate is a Luta Livre black belt who is well known in Brazil in Submission and Vale Tudo. My second opponent would be Gracie Barra black belt Danilo Moto-Serra (Moto Serra means Chain Saw) but he would pull out due to injury. I would end up fighting one of Marcio Cramado’s students Marcelo Brigadeiro. One of my team mates had fought him before so I had a little background on him. I was told he is very strong, he will attack the kimura and will try to take me down.

I had a lot of guys to help me with this fight. My good friend Luiz Fernado who is World Champion at the purple belt level and took third at the Pan Americans for wrestling help me a lot with my takedown defense and wrestling. Also my buddy Marcelo Meleiro a black belt who trained allot of nogi with me for this fight. These two guys were my main training partners for this fight but there was Thales Leite, Andrea Morla, Rodney Ellis, Cepe (Danilo Cherman) and Shaolin that also helped me.

I ended up slapping two triangles on Mareclo of his shots but man I got so excited and he just pulled a “He-man” and got out of them. I then took his back off a sloppy shot and couldn’t finish him. So I ended beating him 4 zip.

BALEIA-When your not training in Brazil, how do you keep up your level?

AJ-Man I have allot good training partners here that just haven’t busted out into the seen. I watch a ton tapes learning and practicing all the latest and greatest. I also try and compete in everything around Canada just to stay in that competive mode.

BALEIA-You recently made an MMA fight, do you intend to fight professionally or will you be continuing with grappling tournaments?

AJ-Yes I fought at the end of August here in Regina. I was in Brazil for two months and did all my training there for this fight. Again I had a allot of guys to train with, Pedro Rizzo, Luiz Fernado, Alessio Sakara, Rodrigo Artilheiros, Thales Leite and a ton of other guys. But for this fight I would take a lot of guidance from Chris Brown. Chris is a ADDC veteran and a four time Olympic wrestler from Australia and a brown belt in Jiu JItsu.

I have a 4-0 amateur MMA Record and two of my opponents were professionals. I have trained with professional and seen what it takes to train like one so when my time is right I will do a professional fight. My true love is Brazilian Jiu JItsu and I will compete until my body says no more.

BALEIA-You were listed as an Abu Dhabi invitee, but you did not compete? whats with that? AJ-Man!!!!!!!!!! I put my resume in the first time they started looking for guys to invite, so months ago. I was on the Canadian forum and noticed a “Go Team Canada” thread and also noticed my name listed. I was WTF!!! and had to double check with some other websites and sure enough I was listed under the 98kg category. So I got hold of Brian Cimmins and he confirmed that I was invited. So I did every thing possible to get there and made arrangement to weigh in the morning of the event. But unfortunately the short notice was to short to get a flight out on time and $1800 later but I was ready to pay it. I didn’t ask about the short notice but I’m going to assume it was do to Stephan Kesting dropping out and I must have been on top of the list. I don’t know?????

BALEIA-Are you a game plan sort of guy or do you flow with the go in competition? AJ-Yes and NO. I like to know what they go after a lot so if I’m in that position I will watch myself there. But other then that I catch guys in submissions more in transitions rather then going out there and trying to force something. So I would say I like to “flow with the go” when I’m competing. But now I’m working on my killer in stink and going after the submission. When I go back and look at some of my fights I know I could have tapped guys so now I think you will see me finish more guys in competition.

BALEIA-How are you able to spend so much time training in Brazil? AJ-I work for the Federal Government and get three weeks holidays a year. So the first time I went to Brazil I went for a month and that’s when I got addicted. So the next time I went I took a leave of absence for three months with out pay which they allow you to do during your career. And I went again for two months after a saved 6 weeks of holidays and overtime. I will also be going again in July for the Worlds and will stay only three weeks.If you could train with any one team or fighter who would it be and why?

I would train with Nova Unaio. I’ve been adopted by this team; they treat me well and make me feel like I’m part of the team. Dede once told me that his school is my house. As for a fighter, a Jiu jitsu fighter I would love to roll with Jacare. Jacare is the man!!

BALEIA-How often do you train and what do you think is the most important key to competition success? AJ-I train 6 days a week and take Fridays off. I train mostly Gi and I train that 4 times a week and I started to lift weights. And so I lift and do cardio two times a week. I’ve got it balanced out so that I’m not burning myself out but just staying in check. For me the important key to success in competition was competing. I use to get so nervous that when I competed I would forget that I even knew Jiu Jitsu and get my ass kicked (lol). I always did well but I would always fall short at the end. So I learned how to loose first before I could win, which for me was the best thing. So I was never nervous to loose because I knew how it felt. So now I think I have some experience in competition which allows me to go out there and do my thing. So I think everyone should compete and just by doing this you will be successful.

BALEIA-How’s your Portuguese now? AJ-Meu portuguess em não bom!! Man I should be fluent by now but I hang out with to many Brazilians that speak English LOL!!!! Well I can take a Tax now with out having to pay 50 real when it should only be 10. And I can eat now and know what I’m eating. So got a little but I should have more then I do but I still practice. Some of the guys in the school told me that I should be speaking by now so they are starting to help me more.

BALEIA-What’s your advice for a gringo visiting Brazil? AJ-Just have all you arrangements ahead of time and take a Portuguese class. The first time I went I had no arrangements and I couldn’t under stand a frick’n thing. That was the most stressful thing in my life.

BALEIA-Any closing comments? Thank sponsors team etc… I would like to thank all my training partners at Regina Brazilian Jiu jitsu and Nova Uniao. And to BiteMe BigDog Fight Wear (www.bitemebigdog.com) and Takedown Athletics. Thank you,

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Riccardo Ammendolia