Calm Under Fire: Interview with Luke Stewart.
“It’s the silent, still water that kills a man.”African Proverb
Luke Stewart is one of Ralph Gracie’s most technicalfighters. He has fought many of the worlds best jiujitsu guys from America and from across the water.Luke however, is VERY mellow and quiet. He’s notarrogant, or conceited. He’s just naturally a quiet,highly focused guy. He’s does not talk about things-he does things.
At the Gracie Open next week, what he’s doing, isgoing head up against the UFC’s own Nick Diaz. Thiswill prove to be one of the best fights of the day andis one of the main reasons I’m going to the GracieOpen this year (among other kick ass super fights thatday).
I was able to talk to Luke and get some ideas abouthis opinions on Nick, his future in jiu jitsu and howhe says so damn calm under fire.
Your upcoming match is possibly the most highlyanticipated event at the Gracie Open. Where is yourhead just days before the fight?
Im excited to fight Nick, he is a great competitor. Ifeel confident that i will do well against him. I feltvery discouraged after my loss against his teammateVinicius in Sep., and hope to redeem myself in thisfight. Im very prepared physically and mentally forthis fight.
2. What do you think Nick’s 3 greatest strengths areand what do you think your 3 greatest strengths are?Nick is a very experienced fighter, so he is verymentally tough, he also has good takedown ability, and good flexibility.
I think that going into the fight, my advantage willbe first, that we are fighting in the gi, since i knownick trains mostly gi-less, and i train a lot in thegi. I think my main strengths are my technique, andadaptability, i have great training partners with alltypes of games, that push me everyday.
3. One of the things I’ve always liked about you isyour genuine relaxed nature. How do you find thatcenter and keep it before, during and after bouts likethe one with Nick?
I try to train as hard as i can before a fight, when Ifeel prepared i feel relaxed. All i can do is fight mybest, and see what happens . I’ve fought toughcompetitors before, and train with tough guyseveryday. I think that the training for a fight ismuch harder then the fight itself.
4. Have you guys ever met or competed before? How did this come about?
Nick and i have never fought before, i was originallylooking to rematch Vinicius, who i fought last sep.and lost to by advantage. Ceasar didn’t want us tofight, and offered the fight with nick, which i washappy to take. I seen nick compete a lot in the past,and always knew that we would meet eventually.
5. In your mind, is this any different than your matchagainst Matt Hughes?
I feel that this fight is a lot different, I thinknick is a much more well rounded fighter then MattHughes. I knew exactly how my fight with Matt Hughes would go, although very tough and effective his style is very one dimensional.
Nick’s game is much more dynamic, I have to beprepared for several scenarios.
6. You always push yourself and go against the best inthe mix, when they are arguably at their best. Anychance we’ll see you in the UFC or PRIDE?
I don’t know. I love training and competing in jiujitsu, and would love to possibly test my jiu-jitsu inthe ring.
7. Outside of the physical training…What do you doto mentally or spiritually prepare yourself forcompetition?
I’ve been trying to work more on visualization, andspecific strategy. This helps me to be more confident,and relaxed before the fight
8. Any last words?
Big thanks to all my training partners and teachers,Ralph, Kurt, Mikyo, Sapao, Jason, Crispin, Ricardo,Joey, Marco. Thanks to Adisa for doing the interview
Adisa Banjoko is author of the book Lyrical Swordsvol. 1: Hip Hop and Politics in the Mix. Buy onetoday at www.lyricalswords.com!!