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Jermaine Andre with belts

Jermaine Andre

Interview (Part II)


         This is the 2nd part of our interview with Mixed Martial Arts Champion Jermaine Andre. In this part, Mr. Andre discusses his mentor and teacher, Ron Smith, his days in prison, "real world" knifefighting, and his personal interests outside of the world of MMA.

        Please visit Jermaine Andre's website for "Free" Cut Sheets, information, statistics, videos, discussion forum and much, much more about "The Product"!!!

[Martial Direct] I hope to see you fighting on Pay-Per-View soon.

[Jermaine Andre] Well, the WFA is supposed to get Pay-Per-View for the next fight. Supposed to be Fox Sports Net.

[MD] John Lewis has really been pushing the WFA. I know it's promoted heavily in "Grappling" magazine.

[JA] Yea. John is a great guy. I like John a lot. I'm going to probably start training with him after I do this fight in Canada. You know, start doing some ground work with him down there in Vegas.

I think his league is going to do good. They've got a great show. You'll have to see the show. The whole show is great, man. They've got dancing girls, laser lights,.... you know?

[MD] Tell me a little bit about your relationship with your instructor, Ron Smith.

[JA] Oh, Ron's like my father. Definitely a true martial arts instructor. He's what you call, one of the "hidden moons of the world." One of the best martial arts masters around. Didn't get a lot of credit because he doesn't have a loud mouth. He didn't have a lot of money to buy a big, huge school, so, a lot of people wouldn't go to his school because his wasn't as fancy as the businessman who buys the fancy schools and who aren't good martial artists. You run into a lot of that.

Well, he's been training me, man, and he sticks by me, win or lose. He guides me in life. He's by me as my friend, my father. He's real close to me.
[MD] I read one of your articles about how you adapt Muay Thai techniques to the ground positions. Is that something that Mr. Smith has taught to you or is that your own adaptation?

[JA] Actually, it started as my own. And then, we kind of did it together. Me and Ron kind of click, real good. We always figure out what we need to do at the same time. I'll show some things about grappling that I know and say,

"This is what those guys do."

And he'll say,

"Well look, why don't you do this?"

Boom! And it's like... Yea! You know? OK!

I was always the ground-n-pounder, but he turned it more technical for me. He's always been like a fine-tuner.

I've always had the meanness to go in there and start swingin', but he says,

"Hey, you can tune it down and straighten everything out like this, instead of spending too much energy doing it like that."

[MD] As far as your ground work, what do you work on the most? Any particular style that you use?

[JA] Sambo's my favorite.

[MD] Sambo?

[JA] Uh, huh.

[MD] That's kind of interesting, because it seems like the majority of fighters train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Why do you think Sambo works better for you?

[JA] Works best for me because you can move more. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a great art. But that's more of a person wanting to hold on to you and work you kind of like a snake. I'm more like a cat. You know? You knock a lion on it's back, he's goin' to smack the crap out of you. Move around till you... just going to have a hard time...

Did you ever try to hold a pit bull down? You know, play with a pit bull and try to hold it down to see how it moves? That's more of a Sambo fighter. He's not a bear. Jiu-Jitsu's kind of like for bears.

[MD] You've got a set of instructional videos on your website. Is that strictly Muay Thai stuff or has it got some Mixed Martial Arts in with it?

[JA] The Muay Thai tape is strictly Muay Thai. I've got a women's self-defense video that involves, you know, eye gouges, eye strikes, escaping grabs, keeping from getting taken down, and ground fighting. And also how to properly use mace.

[MD] Oh yea?

[JA] Oh yea! Most people do not have the slightest idea of how to properly use mace.

[MD] Do you do any kind of ground work on your videos? Other than the women's self-defense.

[JA] Only on the women's self-defense. Not on the Muay Thai video. Haven't made a ground video yet.

[MD] How did you get your start in the martial arts?

[JA] I started when I was a little kid. My core art was kung fu. Karate... stand-up arts.

[MD] I seem to remember in an article that you mentioned Jeet Kune Do. Is that art of interest to you or did you train in it?

[JA] I didn't really... Jeet Kune Do was definitely an art that was one of my interests as I got older. Like, ah... 15 or 16 years old is when I started going more towards Jeet Kune Do.

My main core, I was always kung fu, shaolin-style.

[MD] I noticed on your website, you and Ron Smith with Japanese swords. Do you actively train in any Japanese traditional arts?

[JA] Yea, we train bushido.

[MD] Bushido?

[JA] Yes.

[MD] Any particular style?

[JA] Actually, Ron and I try to stay...

One of the main things we've learned as martial artists who fight, is a lot of the stuff that's taught as forms, doesn't work. A lot of times Ron and I train with real swords... use real swords that are really sharp. And... it keeps the edge on.

There are certain moves that a person will make. It's kind of like, if I say,

"OK, let's knife fight."

And I hand you a rubber knife and I have a rubber knife. You'll try anything. Maybe a fancy move that you have learned. You'll say,

"Hey! I can try this."

But when I hand you a real knife, now you've got to realize that I'm going to really stab you. Now you're going to narrow down the moves you're willing to try. Because you're going to be like,

"Man, if I try that wild shit, he might get me!"

Ron and I try to keep everything as real as possible. And a lot of the traditional stuff, what we do, we'll look at it and we'll know how to work it. And we'll say,

"Well, would you try that?"

Because, you know, I was in prison. I got a lot of knife fighting in there. So I understand the difference between...

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