Adam Shahir Kayoom is a BJJ black belt under American Top Team’s founder, Ricardo Liborio. He is also a true mixed martial artist in all senses of the word, as he has competed in MMA events and he has trained a variety of martial arts throughout is life, such as: Muai Thai (in which he was world champion), Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kalis Illustrisimo,”Traditional” Jiu-Jitsu (Yagyu Shingan Ryu), Hapkido, Aikido, Tae Kwon Do (black belt) and Karate (also holding the rank of black belt). (bio from BJJHeroes)
1. Hi Adam, can you please introduce yourself to the BJJ Community of Eastern Europe?
Hi everyone, my name is Adam Shahir Kayoom. I also go by the fight name (in MMA) of Adam “Shogun” Shahir Kayoom. I am a 1st degree black belt under Master Ricardo Liborio and I represent American Top Team (ATT). I am Malaysian Australian and have travelled parts of the world with my BJJ until finding my home in Bangkok, Thailand where I have set up the ATT Thailand headquarters and my academy Q23/ATT Thailand.
2. What’s your Jiu-Jitsu story?
I have been fortunate to have trained around the world with many great instructors including Mario Sperry, Fernando Paradeda, Cadu Francis, Marcos Dematta in Brazil, Bruno Panno, Paulo Guilmerhes in Australia, Olavo Abreu and Ray Elbe in Thailand, Silvio Braga in Hong Kong, Jonas Gurgel, Marcelo Garcia and Master Ricardo Liborio in the USA. Also I have mention my two wrestling instructor’s who have given me so much, Andrew Leone and JJ Ambrose, both of whom live in Thailand. I have been doing BJJ for the last 16 years. Prior to BJJ I took classes as a child in Taekwondo and Judo and then later on, Karate. But then I found BJJ and I was hooked! I spent a year in Brazil travelling from Rio through to Sau Paulo all the way down to the southern tip of Brazil, in Rio Grande Do Sul. I then spent some time in the USA training at ATT in Fort Lauderdale.I have won titles in BJJ in Australia and Brazil, when I moved to Thailand I focused on Muay Thai fights and now am currently doing MMA.
3. What brought to Thailand to teach BJJ Muay Thai and MMA?
Muay Thai! I wanted to learn Muay Thai. I had competed in amateur MMA in Australia (Australian Shooto) and needed to work on my stand up game. The best place I thought would be to learn in Thailand and learn their national sport. I ended up falling in love with not only their national sport, but their culture, country and way of life. I have been blessed to be a part the growing BJJ community here in Bangkok, Thailand and we have a great BJJ culture and community in Q23 Academy/ATT Thailand. I am grateful for all my Thai and Foreign students and friends, who love BJJ and have the desire and passion to learn this wonderful art.
4. Please tell us about the BJJ scene in Thailand. How does compare with the scene in other countries in SEA, and do you see it growing as fast as in the States for ex?
The BJJ community is growing not only in Bangkok, but throughout Thailand. It is still young however, and we need to spread the word more. Having said that, we have such a talented pool of young athletes and a growing grappling community. I believe now you can come to Thailand to train excellent Thai Boxing and also excellent BJJ and grappling! It is the best of both worlds! Stand up and ground work! This is especially good for those interested in MMA.
5. Please tell us about your academy Q23 and your team.
I am proud to represent ATT here in Bangkok, Thailand and I receive overwhelming support from my Master, Liborio. Q23 Academy continues to grow and I am proud of all of my students, many of whom I consider good friends and great people. I have many students who love to complete in regional competitions around SEA and I also have students who just enjoy training. The greatest thing is that they all support each other. It is a wonderful atmosphere to be part of. I try to make the classes fun, challenging and technical. I try to cover not just ground work, but solid stand up as well as this isan important part of jiu-jitsu as well. I try to aim for a well-balanced approach to training. But I have one firm rule, leave your ego at the door! Because ego hurts you, your training partner and your team.
6. At this point of your career what are you more focused on: BJJ, MMA or Muay Tha, and why?
I am focused on BJJ and MMA but I still enjoy Thai Boxing very much and it is included as part of my training regime. I had a great run with Thai Boxing having some amazing Thai instructors such as Khru Jitti Damriram, Khru Watcharachai Kaewsamrit, Khru Rajasak Sor Vorapin to name a few who helped me gain world titles in Muay Thai. This helped my MMA game. I am currently signed to ONEFC which is the largest MMA event in Asia and can be watched worldwide. So really, my focus is on teaching BJJ and competing in MMA. But don’t count me out for some BJJ competitions along the way in the near future! Hopefully I can come to Europe one day, too! I would love to travel and learn and meet people in and around Europe!
7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I have just had a baby girl. I can only see the next 5 days, ha ha ha! In all seriousness, I would love to see my Q23 Academy thriving and growing, still competing in BJJ and MMA and still travelling and meeting people around the world and spreading BJJ! This is the best form of learning in life!
8. What is next for you and your team in 2013?
I have just come off a recent win in ONEFC and am happy to be back at Q23 Academy with my students. There are many competitions lined up this year, so hopefully we can get a team together for some of them. I am also focused on my kids class, inspiring the next generation! And believe me, these kids are just awesome! I love them! I will be back in the cage towards the end of the year and will be travelling around for seminars.
9. If you want to thank somebody or sponsors, feel free
I would like to thank all the people that have helped me with my jiu-jitsu along the way, throughout the years. Obviously this list would be way too long if I were to print everyone’s names. I think that as BJJ practitioners we know that it is the people that we train with that help make us better. This is anyone from white belt to black. I would like to leave a message for all the future black belts out there that are white belts right now. A black belt was a white belt that kept on going. So no matter how slow you go, just don’t quit. That goes for males and females. Enjoy the journey!
10. Thanks Adam and all the best!
Thank you so much for giving me your time! If anyone is coming to Thailand, please stop by Q23 Academy in Bangkok! You can look for my page on Facebook, too! I hope to one day make it to Europe. I have not yet trained there! That is on my bucket list! Thanks once again.