Interview: Dennis Asche

Dennis Asche interview in Rio 2003!OTM: How the heck did you end up in Brazil?DA – I won the Gracie Open Tournament and got a free ticket.Helio Gracie exposed me to making fresh juices, home cooked meals, and explained how to combine foods.

OTM: Tell us about the “Trip of a Lifetime” prize award? What do Rorian Gracie have in mind for you?DA- Not only did we spend a week at Helio Gracie`s ranch, but we also had the opportunity to sight see at the Christo (Christ statue), and Ryron Gracie took everyone to Nuth (the best nightclub in Rio). We went to a soccer game between Flamengo and Fluminense, hung out at Praia de Pepe (Pepe beach). We trained at Royler`s academy (Humaita), Gracie Barra, and a small academy near the ranch. Several meals were generously provided by Porcao (churrascaria – steak house). I loved it! It was an awesome trip, and a great way to start out my month and a half in Brazil. Coming to Brazil changed my life.

OTM -Tell us about your fights. How long? How many submissions?DA – The first four matches were under 5 minutes – all submissions. The fifth match was a forfeit by the opponent due to a knee injury, and in the sixth match, the opponent tapped after having the wind knocked out of him.”

OTM – What did you like about Rorian`s rules?DA -I enjoyed no time limit… And the prizes!”

OTM – Did you like the rules better than normal rules?DA -Yes and no. Again, I liked the fact that there was no time limit. I have a slight issue with the switching of position after 3 minutes are spent in the guard.”

OTM – What kinds of fights have you fought?DA – Amateur Muay Thai kickboxing, Professional mixed martial arts. From the beginning (2000), I had Amateur Northwest Title in the UFCF Pankration. My professional fight record is 5-0-0. I fought in Hawaiian Combat, IFC Warrior’s Challenge 12-13-14, and Warrior’s Quest.Gold medal – Jean-Jaques Machado International Championship 01 (azul). Gold-medal Southern California Championship 02. Gold medal – US Trials for the U.S. Team. Gracie Jiu-jitsu open – Gold medal super prize winner.

OTM Tell us about Brazil.DA – Brazil is amazing. The people, the way of life, the sights, the women… Oh ya, the training… the training is great, too.

OTM – Tell us about the Girls we introduced you to here in Rio!DA – Unreal!!! The women here are unbelievably beautiful and extremely friendly (stutters)… Thanks to Scotty translation skills I now have a Brazilian girlfriend!”

OTM – Do you see little people?DA – Yes, I see little people everyday. I can`t believe it. Everyone in the states has to come and see for themselves. They`ll know what I`m talking about.

OTM – Getting some good training?DA – Getting some great training at Gracie Barra. Unlimited number of champions to train with every day, six or seven black belts on the mat at any given time.

OTM – So, what`s up with your face?DA – I had an allergic reaction to medicine I took as a precaution for a rash. I looked like the fucking elephant man.

OTM – How long have you been training in Brazil? And total?DA – 6 weeks in Brazil. Has been training for 3.5 years, since 1996. Also been training Muay Thai kickboxing also 1996.

OTM – What brought you to Brazil?DA – I wanted to experience the roots of jiu-jitsu and culture of Brazil.”

OTM -How does the training in Brazil differ from the U.S.?DA – In Brazil there are so many polished athletes that are already champions, that it seems that everyone on the mat is a champion. It`s been a humbling experience. In Brazil there are normally 5-6 Blackbelts on the mat at any given time, as opposed to the U.S. where there is only, and occasionally two. Normally, at my academy in the U.S., we spend 45 minutes on technique. In Brazil, only 15 minutes are used to cover technique, and 30 minutes are used in position sparring.

OTM – Which do you prefer?DA – I like position training a lot, but technique training helps sharpen my game.

OTM – What are your thoughts on Brazilian culture?DA – I appreciate the fact that the people here understand the importance of enjoying life everyday. Having been raised in the United States,I have seen many Americans allowing the days to pass them by. In Brazil, people take advantage of the natural beauty that surrounds them, and they make time to enjoy the day. Everyone is friendly.

OTM – What do you think of the girls in Brazil?DA – The girls here make this place like heaven. I didn`t know women like this existed. If I knew, I would have moved here 10 years ago.”

OTM – Are there any disadvantages to training in Brazil?DA – The most difficult thing here is to stay focused. There are so many distractions like great nightlife, beaches, women.

OTM – Do you have any difficulties because the techniques are taught in Portuguese?DA – Fortunately for me, both Carlinhos, Marcio Feitosa, Arroz, Gorgihno, and Gordo all speak English.

OTM – Disadvantages to living here?DA – I want to ship my car here, and it`s not allowed.

OTM – Are you learning Portuguese? How is your progress?DA – Everyday I pick up a few words. And I make a conscious effort to speak to people in Portuguese everyday. To me, it`s a very important thing, both out of respect and as a part of learning Brazilian culture.

OTM – What upcoming tournaments/fights are you fighting?DA – Pan-Americans & Mundials.

OTM – Who are your sponsors?DA-Sinister Clothing. Santa Cruz Skateboards. 1007 Sports Bar in Santa Cruz, and Koral Kimono/Jiu-jitsu ProGear, Bacik Photography, Balance Systems, Teva,, The Bomb Squad boxing gym in Hollywood.

Check out Dennis Asche’s web shit the design is really cool.

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Scotty OTM