Drysdale: I want to be a complete martial artist
Earlier this week we learned that Robert Drysdale had signed a promotion agreement with the UFC. Although Drysale is only 6-0 in professional mixed martial arts, he has a world champion in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and highly regarded as one of the best grapplers in the world. He recently spoke to Steph Daniels about his motivation:
Different people have different things that motivate them, and sometimes there’s more than one thing motivating them, and it can be similar to what motivates other people. For example, some of the top jiu jitsu players spend their whole life working their way up to being one of the best in the world. Then you get there, and all the sudden you want to do MMA, and you’re thrown back to being a white belt. You have to make your way all they way up again, to the top of that ladder. You were already there. It was a different sport, but you were there.
It’s a very satisfying feeling to know you’re in the top tier of your sport. People give you respect, and there are perks and benefits that being in that position brings you. It’s a comfortable position to be in, knowing that you’re one of the Top 10 in the world. You compete at the highest level and people are watching you and they know you. To go from that, back down to the lowest level of that ladder, and making your way up all the way again is not a fun journey for a lot of people. It’s not an easy thing to do, and I think that’s why people stop along the way.
I had a teacher of mine, and he always made this analogy. Fighting is like a shopping mall. You go up to the first story, and you look around and go, ‘This is cool, I can stick around here.’ Then you see the ladder, and you can climb up higher and go to the second floor. The second floor will be much better than the first, and you can stick around there if you want, or you can go on to the next level, and so on.
I think a lot of people get to a certain level and that’s good enough for them. I’m the kind of guy that just wants to keep going up to the next level. I want to find out what’s up there. I want to try myself in different arenas. I will not feel complete as a martial artist if I don’t make it to the top of the UFC. If I don’t compete against the best in the world in the UFC, I will retire and one day look back and think that I failed as a martial artist.
My concept is not one of competition, it’s not one of self defense, it’s not one of MMA, or gi or no gi. It’s everything. I’m only complete if I can do it all. If I can win gi or no gi. If I can win in a real fight. If I can win in MMA. If I can do all of these things, I can tell myself that I am a complete martial artist. That’s what motivates me. I want to prove it to myself that I can be that complete martial artist.