Russian UGer Touch came across a great story on the Russian language site valetudo.ru. Story is purportedly written by a guy whose buddy lived one floor above Fedor Emelianenko.
Who is the Fedor you know? King, rightful, honest, strong, guy ext door, one of us through and through! Modest, without celebrity attitude, sports hero, an embodiment of the dream of an ordinary son of Soviet hard workers without any blue blood in their family trees whatsoever. He's ours! Our national champion Fedor Emelianenko - Russian national treasure! That is how lots of people in our country know him. You don't have to doubt the authenticity of these qualities of him, they are true!
Who is Fedor I know? I asked myself this question before and now I will try to answer it honestly. I'll start from the very beginning...
September 1997, 5th grade, Stary Oskol, I'm 10 years old. Literature class, and all the bullies are naturally sitting in Kamchatka (slang for back rows of a classroom) while all the straight-A students are in front. Delicate knocking on the door, and we see a huge man entering the class; it seemed to me his shoulders were at least six feet wide. He asked for 5 minutes of our attention. He introduced himself as a Judo coach from school, n.a. Alexander Nevsky, and announced the recruitment for Judo training class: he asked both boys and girls who are interested to stand up. Naturally, all the Kamchatka jumped to the ceiling including me. He explained to us when and where to come and came out as delicately as he came in... No, it was not Fedor lol, that man was the Senior coach of Specialized Sports Olympic School for Children and Teenagers n.a. Alexander Nevsky, Russian Master of Sports in Judo, Bronze medalist of 1993 European Youth Games, the winner of Russian Judo Competition in 1992 and 1993 Andrey Anatolievich Bezruk!
All the days before the appointed Judo time I could not think straight, could not sleep, eat... I waited and longed for the first training session. And finally this day came; from all the guys who stood up in the classroom that day only one dude was in the gym with me. First training session was just expository but here we go.... Further came systematic Judo classes with a strict discipline on the one hand, but with jokes and laughs on the other. There were visits to children's camps, local tournaments, etc. Everything was great! By the time we have already seen a glimpse of passing guys, looking like each other, almost bald huge dudes; and in that time there were already some legends about Emelianenko brothers, killing machines, with the elder brother being the toughest and most evil-intended dude from our school n.a. A.Nevsky. Our coach Andrey Anatolievich only smiled when we asked him about Emelianenko questions and said, "Just train hard, and you will be the same when you'll grow up."
Then one day I came to the gym and saw all the guys crowding in front of the gym entrance: no one dared to enter Judo mat to fool around before the training, to ride the rope as we did always, but here you go. When I asked what was going on the guys silently nodded towards two kids who already came in: they were all sweaty and red-faced and did push-ups or tried to do them in exhaustion...
"Up with you! Join it up" - I heard a strange voice, and saw an unusual man who did not wear a kimono with a black belt like Andrey Anatolievich but this simple man wore a tracksuit and had very uptight, I'd even say evil, scary face. It was him, Fedor Emelianenko, the eldest of the killer brothers… My heart sank in my boots as did the hearts of other 30 lads. In short and without any emotions it was said that Andrei Anatolievich (our beloved, kind, affectionate) has got some kind of a long disease and Fedor will replace him! My heart sank in my boots as well as the hearts of other 30 lads. A guy came in late, and we would normally sympathize him but this time we were happy that we are not walking in his shoes. Each member of the training group performed a small suplex, we had a roll call, and then all hell broke loose. It was a tough, even brutal workout we had for the first time in a year; it was massacre of the innocents, straight out and without pity. Training principle was the same as with our usual coach but the style and approach obviously did not suit for 11 year old boys. It was wacking your ass with a belt when you could not perform a physical exercise, not stroking but real wacking; it was obvious increase of an exercise load, ruthlessness may e. His face rarely expressed a smile, but if his acquaintance came into the room or his coach, namely V.M. Voronov, they could joke and laugh . Everyone wanted to get "WELL DONE" from Fedor Vladimirovich and avoid getting a name "CAN."
So three or four training months, I don't remember exactly, flew by like that. These months have hardened us, made us stronger, but Fedor's rigidity made us remember Andrei Anatolievich every single moment and we were just dreaming about his return.
Emelianenko-Sr. stopped to train us as abruptly as he started to; one day he told us in his trademark hard and unkind manner that Andrey Anatolievich recovered from his illness and will conduct all the training classes from now on. SO that was the end of a close contact with the eldest of the killer brothers for me, and the saddest thing is that after France Soccer World Cup '98 I betrayed martial arts and got into soccer.
Our town is not large, and when Fedor earned his first successes in Judo and Sambo, everybody was talking about that. He quickly became the local star as soon as he won the "valetudo" RINGS tournament in Japan. They showed him on the local 9th TV channel and everyone who trained at Alexander Nevsky school boasted about knowing Fedor personally. There were rumors in town about Fedor resolving local gang conflicts and it made him even cooler in the eyes of teenagers.
Fedor's prestige grew as his victories in the ring accumulated. When he became the champion of Pride, local authorities quickly started to use his name in their ways. I firstly saw his fights by a local TV with him as an analyst: he talked about the intricacies of these tournaments which were a novelty to us. People often saw the brothers together, they seemed like Collossi among the simple mortals, and his face still demonstrated the stiffness I remembered. I was afraid to come up and ask for an autograph because it seemed like he would make you to do push-ups right here on the street. That is how he was feared and respected.
I'll tell you about my second close contact with Fedor. My childhood friend's parents bought an apartment in Dubrava, good new district - those of you who live in this town must know. It was the summer of 2003. Fedor already was a champion of Pride and full-fledged local star. I was only 14 years old and had learned all the "charms" of life such as smoking and alcohol. So we stood on the balcony of a brand new Dubrava apartment, smoked cigarettes and checked out what was happening in the yard. I listened to my friend who told me fairy tales about Fedor Emelianenko living somewhere here, and I laughed hard listening to this. But in the very next moment I see gray metallic Lada 110 driving up to the house - this car was craze of the day at the time - and the person getting out of it is Fedor; moreover, he enters the same entrance hall my buddy lives in and my jaw is dropping because of envy. We exited out of the apartment entrance door to figure out the apartment he lives in by sound (5-story building, no elevator), and it turned out he lived just under my friend. I wanted to kill him… My friend, that is.
My friend's mom was a modern woman and wanted to teach her son an independent life in a new apartment (she was wrong), that's why she kept living with dad in the old flat and we used the new one to the fullest extent. In the same summer of 2003 we threw a beer party with loud music; it was 11 pm when suddenly the doorbell rang... Well, we're spreading our fingers like tough guys do in Russia and running to the door, shouting "Right now, this guy will be fucked up," then we open the door and our large intestines become the smallest in the world: in front of us we see him.... two time (at the moment) world champion in Combat Sambo, RINGS world Champion, Pride world Champion, the great and terrible (we did not have any doubts about that at the time) Fedor Emelianenko...
Read entire article... (original Russian Language)