Wednesday, 29 April 2015

An Interview with Mikey Musumeci

Hey guys, today I bring you an interview with Mikey Musumeci. At only 18 years old, Mikey is already a three time World Champion and four time Pan Am Champion.  He has recently been dominating in the brown belt division and seriously has a bright future ahead of him. I hope you enjoy the interview!

Source: Preston Smith

Could you please give a brief outline of yourself?

My name is Mikey Musumeci. I am 18 years old, and I am currently a senior in High School and a brown belt in Jiu Jitsu.

Could you tell us about your beginnings in Jiu-Jitsu?

I started training Jiu Jitsu when I was about 4 years old. My dad was always into MMA and trained also, so I wanted to do it too and haven’t stopped since!

At what point in your life did you start to take Jiu-Jitsu seriously?

I would say about 12 years old I started to get extremely into it!

Source: GracieMag

 How do you manage school and training?

It’s sometimes hard managing both, sometimes I don’t get the sleep I need for proper recovery from training because I’m doing school work, but nothing comes easy in life and my mother has always told my sister and me since we were young, “work hard now and enjoy life later.” But I enjoy every second of the struggle and I think it builds character.

How important is your sister, Tammi to your training?

My sister is extremely important to my training routine. We train together every day, and she helps me so much. I am so thankful and lucky to have a sibling to train with every day.

Mikey with his sister, Tammi

 Who would you say are some of your biggest inspirations in Jiu-Jitsu?

I have so many lol but to name a few of course the Mendes Bros have been huge role models to my Jiu Jitsu, I trained with Gui Mendes the first time when I was like 12 or 13 and he inspired me so much. Also, Bruno Malfacine has had a huge impact on my Jiu Jitsu as well. Gilbert Durinho Burns, Jonatas Gurgel, Emyr “Shark” Bussade the Miyao Brothers and Murillo Santana to name others!

In a lot of your competition matches, you frequently use the berimbolo. Why do you favour this technique?

I have been doing the berimbolo since about the end of 2010 and I constantly keep learning new things from there still!! The berimbolo I feel is a very safe competition game, and if you understand the position well, it is really easy to be effective with it in competition. There are usually a handful of reactions from your opponents there to the position and I feel once you have an answer to them like any other position you can use the position extremely well.

What do you say to people that say that you only use the berimbolo?

At Pans this year in brown belt I did a closed guard muscle sweep to the back!! But seriously lol I work so much more stuff than just berimbolo in training, and maybe you guys will see it in the future!

Source: GracieMag

Do you believe in drilling? If so, could you give us a reason why?

I like to drill, because I feel the type of Jiu Jitsu I do it is essential to drill, and to be mechanical, but some legends and greats in Jiu Jitsu don’t like to drill also, so it just depends on the person and their type of Jiu Jitsu they do.

Percentage wise, based on your training, how much percentage you would give to each of these – Drilling, Sparring and Technique.

Well I would base drilling and technique together so about 50 for those two and another 50 percent for sparring.

Do you think teaching improves your Jiu-Jitsu?

For sure you always learn a new detail about a position when you are teaching it to someone.

Source: GracieMag

On the subject of teaching, what are your aspirations in regards to teaching?

Maybe one day I would love to teach and run a school, but I am only 18 and have to do so many other things before aspiring to teach.

What are your first memories of competition?

I was I believe 5 at a NAGA in New Jersey. I won the fight by a takedown I think and ran off the mat and ran into my dad’s arms crying and didn’t want to fight again lol.

How important is competition to you?

Competition helps me see how my Jiu Jitsu is and what I need to fix, it always teaches you whenever you’re uncomfortable to keep going which is a very important life lesson.

What has been your toughest match in competition thus far?

My toughest match so far was probably Brown Belt pans finals with my friend, Darson Hemmings. It was a war, but I managed to pull through.

Mikey against Darson Hemmings in the 2015 Pan Ams final
Source: Lineage

In 2013 you won the Worlds at Juvenile, what was the transition like to adult?

So the transitions to adult has been very interesting, for example I felt Juvenile was a lot more difficult for me than adult purple belt! Seriously, lol but now in brown belt everyone’s tough and sometimes I see myself as a kid and I expect to be fighting juveniles, but when I look across the mat I see brown belt men!! Haha, so the transition has been quite interesting…..

Then in 2014, you won the Worlds at purple belt, getting promoted to brown belt on the podium. How was that experience?

It was an amazing experience, and it was an honor to receive it from one of my idols Gui Mendes!! The second I got my brown I was already thinking of the competition and was focused on competing again!!

Mikey receiving his brown belt from Gui Mendes
Source: GracieMag

For this year, what are some of your main goals?

Win Brown belt worlds, Win Brown belt worlds and Win Brown belt world’s lol

Could you take us through your weekly schedule?

Every day is usually the same thing, school and as many trainings as I can get in and also some conditioning.

For somebody who wants to start taking Jiu-Jitsu seriously, how many times a week would you recommend they train?

As many as they can get in!

Source: IBJJF

In your opinion, what does it take to become World Champion?

To become a world champion I believe having good technique is essential but really the desire to not give up and to want it.

If you could give one piece of advice to a white belt, what would it be?

Some advice I would give a white belt would be to be as mature and open-minded as possible when learning and to be persistent and keep going!

What other things do you like to do besides Jiu-Jitsu?

All I do is stuff related to Jiu Jitsu and School! lol

Do you have any plans to venture into MMA in the future?

I don’t think so; my sister will beat me up too much! Haha, she plans to go into MMA.

Just to break things up from this formal interview, I would like to ask you some trivia questions, they are:

1.            Goro or Shao Kahn? ?
2.            Vegeta or Batman? Batman
3.            Splinter Cell or Metal Gear Solid? ?
4.            Devil May Cry or God of War? ? lol
5.            DX or NWO? ?
6.            Blink-182 or Simple Plan? ? I have no life idk what these things are!!
7.            Fanta or Sprite? I don’t drink soda
8.            Write or Type? Type
9.            The Rock or Randy Savage? The Rock
10.          Small or Large? Small?
11.          Coke or Pepsi? I don’t drink soda
12.          Ice Cream or Cake? I don’t eat that stuff
13.          PlayStation or Xbox? PlayStation
14.          Beyond Belief or The Twilight Zone? ?
15.          Tea or Coffee? I only drink water
16.          Salt or Pepper? Salt
17.          Basketball or Baseball? Baseball
18.          Gordon Ramsey or Anthony Bourdain? ?
19.          Messi or Ronaldo? Messi
20.          Ermac or Rain? ?

I just want to say thank you Mikey for giving me the opportunity to interview you. It really been great! Before we finish, is there anybody you would like to thank?

Yes I would like to thank my awesome sponsors, SHOYOROLL, BULL TERRIER, THE ARMBAR SOAP COMPANY, FIVE GRAPPLING, and 3 PERCENT for all their support! Also my parents who help me so much and my sister, and all the people I train with that help me every day. God Bless you all! OSSS


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