Robert Drysdale: “Gi is my favorite. The possibilities are endless. Gi is like an Xbox 360, No Gi is an Atari..”


Some questions in this interview were taken from Robert’s interview with Cagepotato

Robert Drysdale is an 1/2 American 1/2 Brazilian Grappler, a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Champion and ADCC open weight division champion. He has also fought in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and has a BJJ School in the Las Vegas, and affiliates around the World including Poland

Do you still train in the Gi and teach it sometimes?

Yes, once a week I will roll in a gi. And teaching gi is my favorite thing. The possibilities are endless… I compare a gi to an xbox 360 whereas nogi is an atari.

Winning the ADCC

Will we be seeing you compete at future ADCCs?

maybe, right now I want to make MMA a priority… but you never know.

Please tell us about your affiliate academies in Poland

I have been traveling to Poland since 2004 and have made many good friends in this country. Some of these friends became my affiliates. Actually, my first affiliate was Polish, with Przemo Gnat in Gniezno. He’s my first European black belt and runs the DJJ associations in Poland. Other affiliates include the cities of Gdynia, Ludz, Poznan and Kielce.

You have trained the cream of the crop in MMA, both skill-wise and personality-wise. Do you have any personal favorites?

Robert Drysdale: There are a lot of guys that I really like but me and Frank [Mir] get along pretty well. John Alessio is a very good friend and then there is Danny Davis.  Forrest [Griffin] is a trip and it’s always fun to have him in the gym. There are so many guys down at the gym that it is hard to name all of them but I get along with all my students.

Is the eventual goal to compete in the UFC?

I guess the UFC is everyone’s end-game but I don’t think of it like that because that’s not the end. I just want to keep getting better. I think that working hard is really the key and everything else is just the consequence of your hard work.

A young Serbian BJJ and MMA fighter, Milan Zerjal is fighting in your Las vegas academy, what do you think of him as a fighter and how far do you think he can go in MMA?

Milan is very talented and I believe he will have a very bright career, he is extremely dedicated and should be making his pro MMA debut very soon. He’s one of my most consistent fighters in the gym.

You have said that a person can train in Jiu-Jitsu for their entire life and still not master it. That may be true, but since it is your area of expertise, how are you training in MMA to become a “complete” fighter.

Robert’s main academy in Las Vegas

I always thought it was a mistake to neglect your ‘A’ game, which is what a lot of people do.  They think, ‘I am going to fight MMA now, so I am only going to work on my hands because my Jiu-Jitsu is good enough.’ A lot of people have told me, ‘Don’t work on your Jiu-Jitsu – just work on your hands.’ But most likely I am going to use my Jiu-Jitsu to win because it is my best weapon. So I want to make sure that my best weapon is always sharp. That being said, it is important to learn other elements of the game even if it’s not your field of expertise. You need to be comfortable enough in that game to be able to hang. That is why I have been putting a lot of time in with my striking to make sure I am comfortable to hang on my feet when I fight because I don’t want to be a one-dimensional fighter.

So take me through an average week for you.

RD: My schedule right now, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I teach and train from 10:30 am until 12:30 pm. It’s a Jiu-Jitsu slash MMA class. So basically, small gloves, ground and pound, wall wrestling with submissions. In the afternoon, I’ll lift some heavy weights and mix in some conditioning and if I don’t do that then I will do a one hour Muay Thai session. After that I teach a class from 6:30 pm until 8:00 pm. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I spar from 11 am until 12:30, get some striking drills in as well and then at night I do some more sparring and hit some pads.