Fightland Visits Tristar Gym: Fightland.com

Fightland Visits Tristar Gym: Fightland.com


-Meat animals, like these cattle
raised on this grass. -This is horrible. This is like “Jaws.” -My days are numbered, there’s
no doubt about it. -Most sheep, too,
depend on grass. -Go! Go! Oh! JAMES POLODNA: There’s no line
when it comes to fighting. You can say this, and
you can say that. But when it’s time to scrap,
you’re going to see who’s for real and who’s not. Some of the best fighters and
the best strikers in the world are in this place. These guys in here, they are
high-level, and they train all day, every day. And when it’s time to fight,
these guys fight. So many walks of life in here,
and everyone’s got a story. Alex the Animal Garcia. Remember? And then he changed it to
the Dominican Nightmare? Isn’t it Dominican Nightmare? -No. JAMES POLODNA: It’s just
Nightmare, huh? Freddy Krueger there. Black version of
Freddy Krueger. Listen. Look at him, listen, listen. Doh. Doh. Doh. I live in a gym. Do you want to see
where I live? Come with me. It’s a bit embarrassing,
living in a gym. Some people would really like
it, but they don’t understand that there’s no privacy here. I’m not allowed to bring
girls back here. I live like a monk. I was in this place called
13 Coins in Bangkok. It was coming to the point where
I was fighting so much, my body was breaking down. I was thinking to myself, man,
this sport’s killing me. I just came from fighting four
times a month, to coming here and just training and
not fighting at all. Firas really helped me. He was like look, it’s
going to take you at least two years. If you just give me two years
of your time, I’m going to turn you into a super star. But Firas, man, what
a philosopher. What a man. Such knowledge and such a good
person with such a great character and such
a big heart. I was truly blessed that I met
that guy at 13 Coins that day and he got me over here. It was a huge blessing. Hey, man, belong to
Firas very much. FIRAS ZAHABI: Master. Grand Master. The brain washing process
is very tedious. JAMES POLODNA: That’s
Master Peter. Crazy Muay Thai coach. Definitely the one and only. FIRAS ZAHABI: Tell them the
truth, how you sold Muay Thai. In Thailand, they made a
pact never to teach the white man Muay Thai. He came to Canada and sold Muay
Thai to the white man. He sold out. He’s one of the first
defectors. You train farang, foreigners. You’re not supposed to
train a foreigner. JAMES POLODNA: His specialty
is striking, yes. Or turning people into absolute
insane creatures. FIRAS ZAHABI: Started doing
jujitsu and I met the Muay Thai Master, Peter Sisomphou. He started training
me in Muay Thai. And I started competing
in Muay Thai and became Canadian champ. I did a lot of super
fights in jujitsu. I was doing MMA without really
knowing it too much. Do you teach the white man the
real secret of Muay Thai, or just so-so? MASTER PETER: 80%. FIRAS ZAHABI: He won’t show
them the real technique. CONRAD PLA: Firas was a fighter,
a terrific fighter. UFC had just started, and it
was still very segregated. I remember even when they did
ads for it, it was almost like a Taekwondo guy against
a sumo wrestler. FIRAS ZAHABI: A guy by the
name of Georges St-Pierre walked in gym. Over the years, he asked me
to start training him. And then the gym just keep
growing and growing. Lock your hands together
like this. A baseball bat. That’s it. Like this. Now go like this. That’s it. Now bridge on it. That’s it. Now go grab his hands. CONRAD PLA: Firas has a great
ability to be the general and put a system in place
that produces really, really good fighters. DENIS KANG: The mecca
of MMA in Canada. Tristar is a gem amongst
gyms, that’s for sure. UFC, when it first started, it
was only martial art masters and people in their
40s and stuff. So there was no young guys. And when I first saw it, I
thought it was the coolest thing in the world. But I was afraid to do
it, because I was 17. I was still in high school. And then as I started to train
here just for fun, I decided to give it a try. And here I am. I’m here every day. RORY MACDONALD: Tristar, I
consider it to be one of the best in the world,
if not the best. JAMES POLODNA: You get to watch
some better scraps in here than you see on the UFC. Dudes just scrapping, and
it’s just wicked. You can be an ordinary
Joe Blow. You can come into this gym, and
you can train with them. Before you know it, they’re
doing a fight quest. And then a few years later,
next minute they’re bros. That’s how it works
around here. DENIS KANG: When I was in
Vancouver, sometimes there’d be nobody showing
up for training. People got jobs that are
not professionals. But over here we got a lot
of guys who are hungry. They want that glory. They want that gold. FIRAS ZAHABI: Rory, today,
first and last round. I’m going to put Ryan on top of
you, and you’re just going to do guard. And then we’re going
to fix any problems they might run into. He knows BJ’s pass scheme
very, very well. But you can’t hurt him though. Don’t put your glove on him. Fake it, fake it, fake it, but
don’t put your glove on him. You’ll hurt him, he’s
very small. Rory’s– I think he’s just turned 23. But he’s so skilled,
well-rounded everywhere, it’s insane. Like kicks and punches
and take-downs coming all over the place. LIke, fuck, a new breed
of fighter. RORY MACDONALD: It’s embedded in
my brain and muscles to be the full package fighter. And knock-outs are always
the best way to win. Submissions are cool, but it’s
not the same feeling you get when you put someone to sleep
with your fists or your knee or your kicks, or whatever
it may be. I can’t really put
it into words. You have to experience
it, that’s it. STEVE SIMMS: Yeah,
he’s a stud. And I hate him. You meet like some fucking
really weird people that you wish you’d never met. And then you make friends with
people that you’re probably going to talk to for the
rest of your life. But you go to leave somewhere,
and everyone’s like where are you going? Where are you going? And it’s just like, I
just want to leave. I just want to go for
a walk or whatever. He’s like, oh cool. Can I come? JAMES POLODNA: Suck
up that knowledge. See, that’s what I’m saying. These boys left. They’re just chilling in the
dorms, and the next minute, they just walk into a gym, and
they’re getting in world-class knowledge off high-level
jujitsu dudes. And they’re putting it into
their MMA game, you know? And that’s the difference
about this place. Is that I can just come over
here and just have something to eat, chill for
like an hour. And then think to myself,
stuff it, let’s put in some work. And grab a few of the boys,
and we just kid up, and we just roll for hours. We do stand up, body on body,
just mess around and stuff. So it’s just a different
level. It’s just wild. This is where it’s at. KAJAN JOHNSON: It’s a
really good thing. The dorms– being able to live in an
environment like this. It’s got its downsides. But just being immersed
here, it just furthers your game so much. Somebody’s watching fights. Somebody’s talking
about fighting. It can get to be a little
much at times. Just showing moves, and
counters to that move. And then oh, no, I have the
counter to that one. I won my first fight. I knocked the guy out
in like 24 seconds. I was scared as fuck. And the right hand landed,
and he just dropped. And I was just like,
oh my god! Hooked, line and sinker. You’re done, nothing else
matters anymore. My mom was a gymnast
and a dancer. My dad was a dancer. I’m very gifted with movement. I can skateboard. I can breakdance. I can do parkour. If I see it, I can pretty
much do it. So I decided to move out here. First day of training
camp, I eat this overhand right like boom. And I just feel this electric
jolt through my face, and I hit the mat. I can just feel the jolt still
just going bzz, bzz. So I’m like yeah, that’s
broken, totally. I get up, and everything’s
double. I pretty much broke the whole
bottom of my eye socket off. They put a plate in there. So if I straighten my head
out, it actually seems abnormal to me. It makes everything double. So I go like this
all the time. So I’m always looking at
people all cockeyed. It makes me angry when I see
it on video, actually. I’m going to fight,
regardless. I’ve learned too much and I’ve
come too far to stop without reaching my goal. Or at least continuing to try to
reach my goal until I’m no longer able to do so. I promised myself when it
happened I’d get the best headgear I could find. It’s like $460, man. Niggers are broke. [LAUGH], know what I mean? I’ve always been pretty
slick, hard to hit. And I’ve dropped a lot of guys,
but they don’t sleep. This guy, he’s like out. JAMES POLODNA: My goal is just
to put you to sleep. That’s the only goal– to put many men to sleep. And it’s because I just want
to cave their face in. Make them feel that they know
that they’ve never been hit like that before. That’s how I want
them to feel. KAJAN JOHNSON: He’s easily,
pound-for-pound, the hardest hitter in the gym. JAMES POLODNA: That’s
the gift, man. So I use it to my advantage. I use that gift. Just hit. KAJAN JOHNSON: Yeah, I
just love that, man. FIRAS ZAHABI: One hook inside
across his legs. One hook inside to the far leg. Yes. And when you step across,
take him right over. KAJAN JOHNSON: You really have
to know at least four different disciplines in MMA– boxing, wrestling, Muay
Thai, jujitsu. You have to know a lot about all
four of those disciplines. And most coaches are going to
know a whole bunch about one, or a little bit about
everything. Firas, his brain is just
incredible to me. Because he knows so much
about all of them. FIRAS ZAHABI: And the second he
goes to open his elbow, you have to crush it
with your hip. Don’t let him get to this. If he gets to this, it’s over. He’s going to escape, you see? He doesn’t have you,
you have him. Knee. Right hand. Elbow. RORY MACDONALD: It’s addictive
because of the glory, for me. Everyone’s got their
individual reasons. Some people, it’s for the
defense, the rush, the adrenaline, whatever
it may be. For me, it’s glorifying
feeling of knowing I did it right. Knowing I used my techniques
properly. I’m bettering myself. So for me, it’s glory. FIRAS ZAHABI: Rory, nine out of
his 10 problems, he solves them with a knee to the head. A lot of guys, they
want to fight after a month of training. And I screen them– I won’t let this guy fight
because he’s carrying my name. He’s carrying the
name of the gym. And if he wants to fight and
I don’t feel he’s ready to fight, I won’t let him fight. JAMES POLODNA: When I first got
here, I didn’t listen that much because I came from
a stand-up background. So I ended up making a huge
mistake in having my first pro MMA fight and losing
to a wrestler. Thai fighting, there’s
such a difference. The tools that you have are very
dangerous, but most of them are useless for MMA. I had arguments with Firas. I had arguments with
my manager. I put myself in a fight that
just wasn’t good for me. I was being impatient. I’d been fighting since
I was a kid. So if you want to stand up and
scrap, we can do that. I don’t fear no one. It’s just, I wasn’t prepared. What happened that night? What didn’t happen that night? What didn’t that pretty boy
Jordan Parsons do to me? He was a Division 1 All-American
wrestler. He pretty much beat me
up for 14 minutes. And the rest of the time that I
did have a chance to get on my feet, I was frozen in time. It was one of the worst
feelings ever. So I took my beating
like a man. I got punched in the
head 307 times. And the whole time I was
thinking to myself, this is never going to happen again. So I learned my lessons. And I thank Jordan
Parsons a lot. I thank him a lot for
what he done. I wouldn’t be sitting down
reading books like this if I didn’t go through that fight. FIRAS ZAHABI: I think you have
to be at par on every art. You can’t have zero wrestling. You have to be at par. And maybe you’ve pummeled this
guy to death, but if you have zero wrestling he’ll take you
down at the end of the round. But you have to use your
martial arts together. If one of your aspects
is at zero, it’s just too much of a gap. It has to be at par. KAJAN JOHNSON: I do see it as
a martial arts competition between two martial artists. But it’s still combat, and
that is still a scrap. JAMES POLODNA: I don’t really
see that martial arts side like you do. I don’t know why, but
I just don’t. Because look where I come
from, growing up on the streets and stuff. Where you’ve got these karate
kids and all that. They’re out on Friday night,
Saturday night, and drinking in the parks and stuff. They’re looking for scraps. They’re supposed to be
martial artists. You end up smashing out with
one of these kids, and you ruined him because he’s not
from where you’re from. KAJAN JOHNSON: For sure. JAMES POLODNA: He’s not
used to fighting for real, you know? But mixed martial arts has
got some dangerous sports in it, man. It’s really about
marketability. It’s going to get you where
you want to get to. But as long as you
can smash, too. You think of some of the
fighters now, like Chael Sonnen, OK? He gets whooped, but
people just want to hear him talk shit. Because he’s got
a mouth on him. He knows how to tickle
people’s ears. DAVID LOISEAU: That’s actually
not, James, like the guys you fought in Thailand. KAJAN JOHNSON: Yeah,
yeah, yeah. DAVID LOISEAU: I’ll fight
James Polodna. Failure is not an option. Ugh. JAMES POLODNA: I became
very good friends with David Loiseau. Which was like, I’ve never told
him this, but it was like a huge thing for me. Because I used to watch this guy
fight on DVDs, and he was just a wicked scrapper to me. And I never knew that one day I
was going to be sitting down and eating lunch with him
and talking with him. And we just talk so much crap to
each other it’s ridiculous. DAVID LOISEAU: I train hard. Once a week, but it’s hard. Once a week, on Tuesday. Real hard, once a week. [POLICE SIRENS] I got to go, man. JAMES POLODNA: Hey,
he heard cops. He’s like, man, I got to go! DAVID LOISEAU: Hey, word. I didn’t even hear it. It’s just subconscious. You saw my face, woo! JAMES POLODNA: I got to go! DAVID LOISEAU: It’s kicking. It’s [INAUDIBLE] you’re
kicking it right now. I’m out. Peace, guys. KAJAN JOHNSON: Peace, bro. If I won the lottery, I wouldn’t
just quit fighting. I wouldn’t be traveling
around the world. I would be doing the
exact same shit. To be honest with you man, I
would love to just live all on my own and just live
off the land. JAMES POLODNA: Why you prefer
that than the city and all this violence and fighting,
you know? KAJAN JOHNSON: For sure. It’s a more healthy lifestyle. JAMES POLODNA: Yeah,
it’s way better. KAJAN JOHNSON: So you’d go back
to the hunter/gatherer society, that would
be the best case scenario for all involved. But unfortunately, it’s not
really possible for the way the system’s set up. JAMES POLODNA: World’s
all weird. KAJAN JOHNSON: Yeah. JAMES POLODNA: The world’s
definitely a weird place. I’m going to be honest. I don’t care what people
think or what they say. This is the fight sport. We’re in there to
hurt each other. I’m trying to hurt you, and I
want you to try and hurt me. This is what we’re
there to do. We’re entertainers. We’re there to entertain. So let’s not be nice
to each other. Let’s try and entertain
by killing each other. I think that’s the
best thing to do. See who can kill who first. That’s the honest truth.