P’s and Q’s with Kristian Woodmansee
by: Pono Kuni
The first time I watched Kristian in action it was not a Jiu Jitsu match, it was his first MMA fight. I was filming for Fight Life Media at one of Las Vegas MMA’s events on July 15, 2012. Back then I was still green to the combat sports world but knew that if Robert Drysdale was cornering you, your ground game was probably legit. Sure enough Kristian locked up a triangle choke on his opponent in the first round. Before sinking the choke in deep, his opponent landed left hands to his face repeatedly. Looking down from the top of the cage I could see the resilience in Woodmansees’s face as he endured every shot and began to tighten up his choke. I thought to myself, wow this is one tough son of a bitch.
We did a post fight interview with Kristian which you can watch here. Post Fight Interview He explains how he had to put his arm inside the triangle in order to tighten the choke on his opponent, I've been a fan ever since. Today you can see that same resilience all over the Jiu Jitsu scene. Kristian has since racked up an impressive IBJJF medal count, as well as being a 2x Pan Am and 2x European Champion. Currently he trains out of ATOS Jiu Jitsu Acedemy in San Deigo. On a quick trip back to Las Vegas we caught up with Kristian at one of his favorite spots to eat, Skinny Fats. We turned on a mic, snapped a few photos and the rest.. well see for yourself!
PK- Who would you want to see in a Dream Fight? It could be anyone... doesn't have to be human.
KW- haha I’m weird with this so I legitly want to see the Pillsbury Dough Boy vs. Downey Bear. Think about it...because one they don’t fight, and two they represent something you know? I want to see them get angry and duke it out. The last thing anyone would expect is those things to do is actually get into a fight with somebody. So it would be cool to actual see that go down.
PK- What are you watching?
KW- I consistently over and over watch Sons of Anarchy. Season one all the way through I watched it like 5-6 times as soon as its done, I start all over again and keep going through. It's like my favorite show, I base my life around Sons or Anarchy. How I talk to people. How I think my gym should be when I open one up. How I communicate, I love that show. I was thinking about opening an academy and calling it SOA, Sons of Atos obviously instead of Sons of Anarchy. Jiu Jitsu is a little different from a motorcycle club but I would love for it to be like one. It's just a dream right now but I guess its gonna happen.
PK- What drives you crazy, whats your one WTF?
KW- Jits related or life?
KW- In life my biggest pet peeve is excuse making. People will say they can’t do this because of this, or this happens because of this person. Im really big into it's your life it's your resposiblity. If you want to take a half ass way of getting out you have an excuss, you have an excuse you know. Someone say's well this person did this to me so this happened to me, its all bullshit. When I meet somebody and they give me an excuse like that, I call them out on their shit. But I try not to do that to much.
In Jiu Jitsu my current kick is lower belts. White, blue whatever it may be usually it's blue belt. They accept sponsorship for free. A sponsor hits them up and says we will give you 3 free gi's a year which cost that company maybe sixty dollars to make and pay registration fee's for two events and thats like whatever. At the end of the day, that guy is doing a job for a full year a full season for like three-four hundred dollars. Because he accepts that when a company approaches me they're not gonna pay me to do a job that six blue belts do for the same cost for free. It's bad for the sport. it annoy's me. I try to tell everyone students, friends never do anything for free and get your worth. Jiu Jitsu guys really undervalue themselves when it comes to business, sponsors and making money. Right now I got some guys telling me I want to get a sponsor for two free gi's a year. I told them i'll give you two free gi's a year if your willing to put my name on your back. But companies can very easily persuade people, so it sucks.
PK- you bet 20$ and won 20,000$ what's the first thing you do?
KW- I would bet it all and try to double it. 20,000 isn’t enough to change my life might as well bet it all.
PK- If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice what would it be?
KW- Man, my biggest thing is quality. I wish things could have came sooner. I waited awhile before I made the right decisions. People talk about the importance of marketing yourself, knowing your worth, going out there and fighting hard. I learned all of that being where I am now. If I could just cheat the system and say man you can learn everything if you could just go to this place then thats where I would go. When I first started, that place didn’t exist. ATO's is a power house team that got created like 4-5 years ago. If I would have came there then, I would have already won major titles that I already have and got my belt sooner and everything else like that. I think I would had the same future but it would have started sooner with less struggle. But at the same time struggle is great. Philly was tough to train in but I would have loved to moved to San Deigo sooner. We wouldn't be having this conversation now if I moved to San Deigo instead of Las Vegas.
PK- what are you listening to?
KW- I have a playlist that a play throughout the day with a decent among of songs that range from Adele's - Rolling in the Deep to Tupac's - California Love. Everything I listen to impacts my mood, it all puts me into a certain frame of mind. A lot of people don’t know that when I’m getting ready to fight when I’m in the bullpen for Jiu Jitsu, I only listen to Rolling in the Deep over and over again. that song gets me more pumped then anything else in this world its really really awesome.
PK Favorite ink you have?
KW Must of my tattoos don’t have any meaning like my left arm makes absolutly no sense whatsoever. But my colar bone does and my side is really important to me . I have a pirate ship with ripped up sails that represents me sailing home after the war. It especially relates to me being adopted. I fought hard in life i didn’t really have a good childhood. i didn’t have parents, for a while I lived on my own. When I got adopted it was like man, you did all that hard work and now you have a family that loves you. That one means a lot to me but people just see it and say cool ship bro, nothing big.
PF and the Smurf tattoo on your arm?
KW - man Papa Smurfs a g. That guy was killing it back in the day. If I could be anybody it be Papa Smurf. That dude was a pimp you know what I’m saying, he just ran shit.
PK- Whats some of your go to moves in Jiu Jitsu?
KW- I do a lot of foot and leg locks. I’m really small so I never have anyone to train with my size. People feel that they can choke anyone and I feel like I can choke your foot and can rip apart your knees. I don’t feel like I need to be as big of a human being to attack their legs. I prefer to submit people, in my entire career I’ve only won or lost five fights based upon points. I’m either out there getting tapped or I’m tapping someone. Not to be offensive, but to me if your out there trying to submit someone and you don’t, you didn’t do enough. You need to be putting it on the line to get it. Some people fight for points but I don’t believe in that. I love just taking someones foot and making it look like it shouldn’t be in a certain position. Not to be like angry or hurtful but no matter what you do your feet are so small you can’t keep them away from me and I will just rip it off. A lot of people aren’t comfortable with foot or knee locks I'll put you to sleep with a foot lock, I don’t even care.
PK- via @FightLifeFlip West coast or East coast Jiu Jitsu
KW- West coast. I’m from the east, but west is 10x better. East coast is more like grimy, grinding. I'm gonna put the top of my head in your chin and just pass, pressure, and kill you. West coast is like who's got the freshest technique. The west coast guys are known to be well rounded. There aren’t a lot of guys winning on the east coast. They are winning but compared to the west coast, man Southern California is like the mecca of Jiu Jitsu. There are more people in a 100 mile vicinity that are winning world titles then there is in the entire county. West coast is definitely better in my opinion and its also my style, so.
PK- where would you like to see Jiu Jitsu go?
KW- I hope the sport blossoms and there's new technigues. But in a sense of Jiu Jitsu non specific to people I want to see it grow and get to the olympics. I would want to see it be a career for people. It's a struggle. There's little to no money unless you are a black belt 5 time champion, it's very hard to make end's meet. The submission only events are awesome. Out of all the guys that are doing submission only, Eddie Bravo ( EBI ) has the best formula as of right now. I think he’s constantly tweeking it, critiquing it, and making better he's changing the rules. I think thats the easiest way right now to make it mainstream, because IBJJF sucks to watch. If I was watching IBJJF and I didn’t know what Jiu Jitsu was I would be like this shit is stupid, its boring, I don’t even know whats going on.
PK- what can we expect from you in the near future ?
KW- I’m creating my own membership website. It would be nice to have my own academy that I don’t have to pay rent for, you don’t have to have space for. I could reach people all over the world. I don’t know when i'll get my black belt but I eventually will. When I make my black belt debut I’m probably gonna get kicked off the mat. If I fight some guys I don’t like the ref's gonna have to pull me off. I’m going to make a stand, I’m going to make a statement make it hard and see what the repercussions are from that. Other than that nothing changes. Train hard, eat right, sleep and do the same thing every single day till it pays off and then keep pushing more after that.
You can follow Kristian here and keep a look out for KristianWoodmansee.com launching soon!
Twitter - https://twitter.com/K_Woodmansee
Instagram - https://instagram.com/kristianwoodmansee/
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