BJJ / Grappling Interview: Luta Fightwear and Fight For Peace: Mr Fergus Dullaghan Part 2

As I mentioned in an earlier post the Part Time Grappler blog has had the great pleasure to interview a representative for LUTA Fightwear (who are sponsoring our upcoming seminar with former UFC heavyweight champion Mr Frank Mir down at Fight Fit Manchester, Manchester’s premium BJJ and MMA gym) and the global charity Fight For Peace, Mr Fergus Dullaghan. I got my interview questions answered over emails from Fergus but I was so excited by what he had to say that I followed them up with a phone call and man does he have some stories! Here is the second and final part of the interview. I hope you enjoy it.

Part Time Interview

Do you compete in your sport(s)? Have you won any competitions?

Yes quite a few, I won the All-Ireland Judo Championships in January four days after competing in the BJJ Europeans (at blue belt). I've won the Malta Judo Open and London International Judo Open (seni), the Spanish BJJ open and meddled in things like the Scottish, Welsh, Irish and Northern Irish judo opens and placed in the British Judo Open. I've also competed in other judo internationals like the Swiss, Finnish and Swedish opens.

What is the greatest thrill you have gotten out of practicing your sport?

Getting my black belt in judo was good. So was getting my second dan. I also really enjoyed the day I got my invite to join the Welsh team in the post - that meant a lot to me and I still have the letter. At one point I was ranked 4th in the UK (May-Oct.2008) and seeing that result posted on the internet was awesome. But there are other simple things about martial arts that are really great, like the people you meet and the things you learn about yourself and life. I've been very lucky because of the journalism side of things. I've had dinner with Emin Boztepe (Wing Tsun Grand master), chatted on the phone with Ken Shamrock, rolled with Ryron, Royce, Rolker and Kron Gracie at different times, appeared in a video instructional with former world Judo champion Neil Adams (who is one of my coaches), and I'm meeting Mr Frank Mir down at Fight Fit Manchester, Manchester’s premium BJJ and MMA gym).

(Liam's note: If you're just not sure who this Kron (son of Rickson) Gracie character is, check him out in this video clip doing his thang at the 2011 BJJ Mundial!)

Give us your top 5 tips for time-management (to fit exercise around life)

Good one! Ok...

1) Decide exactly what it is you want to achieve, what your goals are (short and long term). Work out how you will measure your progress and within what time-frame. This is important because it enables you to focus your training on specific goals, meaning that you don't waste time on peripheral nonsense that you don't have time for.

2) Take the time to gather the knowledge you need to develop a training program that is both effective and practical, then stick to it.
3) Once a fortnight or so analyse whether what you are doing is working for both your sport and personal life, and if not why not? I've moved gyms (for strength and conditioning) 3 times this year for reasons of proximity or lack of appropriate equipment - when I need to I'll switch back again. Don't be afraid to brutally reshuffle the cards every now and then to increase your effectiveness.

4) Cook lots of healthy food all at once and then stick it in Tupperware containers for the rest of the week - it will save you grabbing for some nasty snack if you don't have time to cook that day. (Advice I could do with taking myself..."do as I say and not as I do etc".)

5) Focus during training. Squeeze as much as you can out of the time you have. Now that you know what your goals are (both physical and technical/tactical) make sure you focus on developing towards those aims. Tell your coaches and family what these goals are so that they can support you in achieving them.

Now let’s balance that with what you consider the top 5 time-thieves.

Planning my wedding (only joking - sorry honey!)

1) Facebook! & the internet in general- unless you are using it for something specific, switch the computer off !

2) T.V. - It's mostly nonsense anyway - if you find yourself channel hopping in search of entertainment then its time to turn it off.

3) Commuting...I hate it. I'm going to try learning Portuguese on the train & plane from now on.

4) Mums...but we owe them big time.

5)Technical problems...the car breaks down, the printer won't print, sky broadband being a pain, no mobile signal, the computer freezing, washing machine floods...(sometimes on the same day) Do they do it to spite us?

Do you have any regrets?

Not yet - I'm still in the thick of it. In any case every setback has only helped me develop :)

(Fergus was kind enough to share about the rough transition he had from professional fulltime athlete in 2008 where a combination of pneumonia and the effects of the worldwide recession on the budget of both his sponsors and the Welsh National Judo team meant he no longer could be a fulltime sponsored athlete. Suddenly, Fergus had to combine elite judo training with working for a living. Next, 4 years down the line, Fergus will – all going well – plans to fight at the Commonwealth Games. The setbacks may have knocked him down, but the strength and tenacity he attributes to judo and the martial arts helped build him up to a stronger more balanced human being)

Finally, why do you train? What drives you?

Mostly I train because I love the techniques, the competitiveness and of course I love the continual self-development that martial arts offer you.

On top of the above, please give me a brief intro to LUTA, what they stand for and what your involvement in the project and the brand is :)

LUTA Fightwear is a new high-performance fitness and fightwear brand that has its roots in the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro. It actively reinvests in both martial arts and its community through its monthly Masterclass program and its exceptional social mission: LUTA has a 50% profit share arrangement with the charity Fight for Peace (, helping young people achieve their potential though martial arts and education, whilst helping to break down gang culture. The LUTA Masterclass series aims to bring the world's top martial artists and strength and conditioning coaches to grass roots participants in the UK, helping them to increase their knowledge base and skill sets.

I am the Fight Ambassador manager, and have responsibility for running the Masterclass series, I have been involved with LUTA for about a year and helped the company launch. I'm also involved with marketing and PR, write one of the company blogs and also write a monthly column in Fighting Fit magazine which features training advice from our Ambassadors and Guest Instructors (people like Frank Mir, Neil Adams and European Muay Thai Champion Daniel Sam). Finally I am involved in some of the social media side of things (e.g. I'm the voice of the Luta Fight Talk feed on Twitter).

Once again I would like to thank Mr Fergus Dullaghan, LUTA Fightwear (who are sponsoring our upcoming seminar with former UFC heavyweight champion Mr Frank Mir down at Fight Fit Manchester, Manchester’s premium BJJ and MMA gym) and the global charity Fight For Peace for this opportunity to share with the Part Time Grappler readers.

Liam "The Part Time Grappler" Wandi

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