Here is part one of my interview with Stephen Li. I hope you enjoy it.
Why don't we start by you telling us a little about yourself?
I'm Stephen 'Dairy' Li, 24 years young, 74kgs, 30-inch waist, 42 chest and biceps so big that you can’t find anything big enough to measure them.
Are you currently working / studying? Is that Full time / Part time?
I work full time as an undercover SECRET agent for a SECRET society called "Men In Grey". I tell people I work at the General Medical Council as an admin assistant to mess with them.
You also set aside time to practice a sport. Which sport(s)?
I train in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), submission grappling and striking for MMA. I'd like to say MMA but the truth of it is I don’t. I train each component separately (like GSP, but I'm better looking). It's difficult for me to find anywhere to put them together at the moment.
How long have you done that?
Just under 3 years now consistently. I've been doing martial arts on and off but more off for the last 10 years. I started in 'traditional' Japanese Jiu Jitsu, did a little kickboxing and Muay Thai but never fully threw myself into it.
BJJ/MMA is where it's at. I went from doing nothing 3 years ago to doing 3 hour sessions every night. Just like that. Not only that but I was doing 3 hour sessions at a top gym. Not at a McDojo.
Do you follow any special diet? Do you use any Dietary Supplements?
I follow a strict diet of seafood. I see food and eat it. Oh man I love food. I'm not picky. I'd eat you if they cooked you right and served you with mayonnaise. On a real note, not anything too strict. I still eat what I want every now and again, I have a weakness for mash potato, roast potatoes, chocolate digestives and KFC. Oh and dim sum. But I try and steer clear of those as much as I can. I love potatoes. They're the most durable food ever. If I could only take one food thing on a desert island, it'd be the mighty potato.
Everybody knows what good food and bad food is, it's just staying away from it - that's what I do. Sometimes.
Supplements wise, I'll work whey protein into my diet (Many happy thanks to my sponsors Proteins4u.co.uk) when training for a competition to help with weight loss. I take fish oils and calcium tablets daily. I hate the taste of milk so the calcium helps. Coffee is a supplement. Black coffee, 4 times a day.
Ste modelling MMA techniques in lead global publication "Fighters Only"
How do you manage to fit your training around work, study and family time?
I make it fit. Although I'm quite lucky in that I can get along with most people so I don’t deem going to train as a laborious task. It's pure sweat, blood and tears but I go down there to see my friends also. In fact I don’t even see them as friends, I see them as fam. I have like 4 families, my blood family, my family of friends, my gym family and work family.
If you can't spare an hour of your time every day to do some form of exercise, there's something seriously wrong with you too.
Do you compete in your sport(s)? Have you won any competitions?
I compete every month or so in grappling competitions i.e Ground Control but no, not won anything! Not my weight category anyway.
I drew in 'fight' in my first 'fight' in Thailand and lost my second by way of bodyshot TKO. That wasn't nice.
What is the greatest thrill you have got out of practicing your sport?
Outworking my opponent/sparring partner is a massive ego boost! Not against a new person but someone at your level. When both people are evenly matched technique wise, work rate and conditioning will prevail.
My BIGGEST most unrivalled thrills are watching my team-mates (current and ex) fight and compete.
Stay tuned for part II of this interview.
In the meantime, watch the Gracie Brothers Rener and Ryron breakdown of the Lesnar vs. Carwin fight!
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