“Keep your head on the inside!” Kurt Osiander shouted as two of his students were drilling their single leg takedowns during our interview. Kurt’s number one priority is sharing the knowledge of the art of Jiu-Jitsu that was given to him so many years ago. You may remember Kurt as the man who choked the shit out of me from my lessons in humility. It is his lack of ego and inability to sugar coat his answers to any question asked, that makes him a quintessential leader. Kurt puts as much effort into his teaching as his preparation for his upcoming fight in Gladiator Challenge on July 18th. Whatever the time of day or task at hand, Kurt gives it his all.
Having devoted the last 15 years to his teaching, Kurt has recently shifted his focus to Mixed Martial Arts. Kurt had his first pro MMA fight in March of last year, where he earned a TKO victory. He followed with two more submission wins in his next 2 fights earning a 3-0 record. Kurt’s next fight will be against Nate Moore. MMA fighters Luke Stewart, Darren Uyenoyama, Jason Collard, Joey Armstrong all train under Kurt and consistently pressured him to join them in the ranks of being a pro fighter until he finally gave in. After winning his first fight in Gladiator Challenge against Cyrillo Padhilla, the calls for Kurt to continue fighting began to expand. The promoter of Gladiator Challenge, Jeff Cairns, also asked Kurt to continue to compete for his organization following his impressive win.
Kurt’s training regiment consists of sparring with his students at the Ralph Gracie academy. Chris Cariaso at Fight and Fitness, is responsible for his standup training. Kurt also firmly believes in swimming for his cardio by logging on average of 2000 meters a day in the pool. It is this regiment that allows him to (maintain his natural weight of 185 pounds and) focus on his fighting rather than having to waste training time on cutting weight.
Another passion of Kurt’s which is shared by many of his students is his love for tattoos. It is an added bonus when one of his students owns his own tattoo shop, and another of your students works as an artist there (Luke Stewart and Joey Armstrong respectively.) “A bottle of Jack Daniels and some new ink! That is what I plan do to the day after my fight. This way it keeps me from getting back on the mats.” An eager Kurt states.
During our interview, I asked Kurt to reflect on his experiences with the late Ryan Gracie. Kurt had the perfect story in mind. It was during a visit to Japan for Pride 3. Ryan was slated to fight for team Gracie alongside his brother Ralph Gracie and teammate Ricardo Almeida. While in the hotel the night before, Kurt had been enjoying a few cocktails with his fellow teammates who were in attendance. Being locked out of his room and needing to use the bathroom, Kurt proceeded to bang on the door of a sleeping Ryan. Opening the door in a fury that had earned him the nickname of the Gracie Devil, Ryan proceeded to express his frustration with Kurt by choking him out. The next morning, with no recollection of what happened the night before, Kurt was wondering why Ryan was so pissed at him. Kurt’s teammate had to refresh his memory. As if he needed another reason to root for Ryan to win, Kurt did not want to be blamed for the loss due to his late night distraction. Luckily for Kurt, Ryan took the victory for himself and team Gracie by beating Ikuhisa Minowa by decision.
If it isn’t tattoos, it is spending time with his wife Michelle and pit-bull Loki (which means god of mischief). It was Kurt’s anniversary when we did this interview so I apologize Michelle for making him late!
Along with the support of his students Kurt has a loyal group of sponsors that he would like to thank. They include On the Mat, Scion, Blood Bath Boxing, Purified Soul, Norcal, and Seventh Son Tattoo. For tickets to the Gladiator Challenge please visit www.gladiatorchallenge.com or www.virtualboxoffice.com