Interview with Jayson Vemoa Supercharge
NZF: Jayson please tell us a bit about your background?
JV: I am originally from South Auckland, New Zealand. I started training in 1988 with Sifu Phillip Lam (Leegar in Auckland City) and then trained with Lollo Heimuli (Leegar in Balmoral) until 1999. In 2002 Ray Sefo appointed me as Head Kickboxing Instructor at his newly opened Ray Sefo Fight Academy in West Auckland as well as travelling back and forth from Japan helping him in K-1.
In 2005, the Ray Sefo Fight Academy closed down and I was offered a full time position in Japan as the Head Kickboxing Instructor at the International Kyokushin Organization Ichigeki Academy. My job entailed me training elite Kyokushin fighters selected from all over the world and to help prepare them for the global K-1 World Grand Prix circuit as well as kickboxing classes for the public and personal training for celebrities. For more information on my background you can visit www.supercharge.co.nz
NZF: What age did you start training and why?
JV: I started training at Phillip Lam Lee Gar in 1988 at the age of 16. My reason for starting Muay Thai at the time was basically self defense. I was first inspired to start serious training by watching one of the first nationally televised Full Muay Thai Rules event promoted by Sifu Phillip Lam - Thailand vs New Zealand which featured Wayne Vaega (NZ Champion) KNOCK OUT a Thailand World champion with a spinning back kick. After the KO, Wayne Vaega had the whole crowd chanting KIWI, KIWI, KIWI!!!
NZF: When was your first fight?
JV: 1990 in New Zealand
NZF: We know that you are close friends with Ray Sefo. When did you meet him and start training with him?
JV: I met Ray and Rony Sefo in 1988, they were training with Kiosot (Thailand Champion) and I was training at Sifu Phillip Lam Leegar gym with Fanta Attapong (World Champion from Thailand). By 1990 we had progressed to train at the same gym with another student of Sifu Phillip Lam, Lollo Heimuli (NZ Champion) at Leegar in Balmoral. As for me, Ray and Rony we would continue training and supporting each other in fighting for the next 20 years all over the world.
NZF: How do you mentally prepare for a fight?
JV: Every fighter has a different mental preparation for build up. Back then I didn’t have time to find what worked and what didn’t so I posted a saying on my wall from a guy who already had proved he was a great champion, it read like this ‘ The fight is won or lost far away from witness, behind the lines, in the gym, out there on the road; long before I dance under the lights’ – Muhammed Ali. By the time the fight came I was mentally prepared.
Before and during the fight my mindset was absolute belief in myself and faith in my abilities. When I was focused on this they all fell, when I didn't, I fell. Fighting brings out a lot of emotions and you learn a lot about yourself. Being a champion is hard but staying a champion is much harder. One great example is Peter Aerts (Holland) who has amazingly made the top K-1 WGP Final 8 Championship for 16 consecutive years from 1993 earning himself the name ‘Mr K-1’
NZF: What is your diet regime when you prepare for a fight?
JV: Each fighter is unique. From experience if you require a diet regime you should seek advice from a professional dietitian in that chosen field of expertise as I have seen and experienced some very nasty results from unprofessional advice.
NZF: What does your fight training consist of?
JV: Training exercises, e.g. bag work, pads, running, altitude training, interval training, sprints, swimming, kettlebells, weights, core strength exercises, plymetrics, etc, although these are very important they are only a supplement. I found sparring is the best indicator as an end result from the supplement training to see what works for you and to help prepare you for your fight.
NZF: What is your favourite technique/combo?
JV: I have two favourites, my low kick (if you can’t stand you cant fight) and my jab as I had great success with this technique with KO and set up of KO’s.
NZF: What experiences have you had fighting and training in Thailand?
JV: Training in Thailand was a very memorable and great experience. I recommend it to all fighters to train at least one time in their fighting career in Thailand. The Thailand fighters were my toughest battles, i.e. World Champion Nookweed Devy and Thailand Champion Bunly KanKupKaah.
NZF: What fight has been your career highlight so far?
JV: I have been retired from fighting for the past 6 years. Looking back I think my personal favourite fight career highlight was K-1 NZ in 2004 because it was around thea time I was helping Jonah Lomu before, during and after his kidney transplant. We had become good friends and a couple months after his operation he came to support me in for my K-1 NZ super fight. It was a great learning experience having Jonah help me through that part of my preparation, build up and support me at my fight.
NZF: What is the toughest fight you have faced?
JV: My toughtest fight and opponent without a doubt would have to be fighting the Thailand legend and World Champion Nookweed Davy (Thailand) twice, once in China 1992 (Draw) and the other here in NZ 1998 (Win). Anyone who has fought a fighter of this intensity and calibre knows exactly what I am talking about.
NZF: What is it like to represent New Zealand on an international fight stage? Is fighting overseas different from here? (Noise, crowd, atmosphere)
JV: Representing New Zealand overseas and fighting at an international level was a great experience. There are many factors involved that are foreign to you (atmosphere, country, referees, judges, crowd). I found keeping my composure and just concentrating on myself, the fight and not on the hype, helped me bring back the overseas championship title belts. My current profession as a K-1 Trainer here in Japan allows me to travel to many countries around the world on the international fight stage of the K-1 World Grand Prix Circuit and I transfer this concept to my fighters when they represent their respective countries.
NZF: What is your current record? (Including titles)
I am now retired from pro competition; here are some titles I gained over the years:
2004 K-1 NZ Champion – Light Heavyweight Super fight
1998 WFSB World Champion - Super Middleweight Tournament
1998 ISKA Intercontinental Champion
1998 WMTF NZ vs Thailand Champion
1997 ISKA Commonwealth Champion
1996 ISKA Commonwealth Champion
1996 WMTF World Champion
1995 ISKA Commonwealth Champion
1994 ISKA South Pacific Champion
1994 WKA South Pacific Champion
1994 ISKA New Zealand Champion
1992 WMTA New Zealand Champion
1991 NZMTA New Zealand Champion
Here is a list of some of my opponents I faced at certain times in my fight career and who also went on to great fighting careers themselves:
World WMTA Champion - Nokweed Davy (Thailand)
World WMTF Champion - Bunly KanKupKah (Thailand)
World WKA Champion - Scott Bannon (Australia)
World WBC Boxing Champion - Moselino Maseo (New Zealand)
World WKBF Champion - Aaron Boyes (New Zealand)
World ISKA Champion - Winstone Walker (United Kingdom)
World WMC Champion - Nathan Corbett (Australia)
World ISKA Champion Gurkan Ozkan (Australia)
World WKA Champion - Ian Jacobs (Australia)
World WKA Champion – Chad Walker (Canada)
World WHMA Champion – Jan Antolik (Czech Rep.)
NZF: Any big plans or aspirations for the future?
JV: Since my coaching career started in 2002 these have been the K-1 Final 8 Championship results from fighters I have helped train in K-1:
2002 - Ray Sefo (NZ) - 3rd place - Loss to Enersto Hoost (Holland)
2003 - Ray Sefo (NZ) - 4th place - Loss to Musashi (Japan)
2004 - Ray Sefo (NZ) - 4th place - Loss to Musashi (Japan)
2005 - Ray Sefo (NZ) - 4th place - Loss to Semmy Schilt (Holland)
2005 - Glaube Feitosa (Brazil) - 2nd place - Loss to Semmy Schilt (Holland)
2006 - Glaube Feitosa (Brazil) - 3rd place - Loss to Peter Aerts (Holland)
2006 - Ray Sefo (NZ) - Reserve Match - Win over Melvin Mahoef (Holland)
2007 - Glaube Feitosa (Brazil) - 4th place - Loss to Semmy Schilt (Holland)
2008 - Ewerton Teixeira (Brazil) - 4th place - Loss to Errol Zimmerman (Curaco)
2008 - Ray Sefo (NZ) - Reserve Match - Win over Hong Man Choi (Korea)
2009 - Ewerton Teixeira (Brazil) - 4th place - Loss to Alistair Overeem (Holland)
My goal since 2002 has always been to help my fighters to win the coveted K-1 WGP Final 8 Crown and I will continue to do so. The plan for the near future is to continue supporting Kiwi’s from NZ venturing to Japan to compete and to continue my studies of Budo (The Way of the warrior) in Martial Arts.
NZF: Any advice for those new to the sport and who want to get into the ring?
JV: One word – Perserverence.