24 April 2017

Interview with Punong Guro Bill Garness, founder of Filipino Mixed Martial Arts, Laban Sa Lahat and his up and coming MMA fighter Odis Alex Ruiz.

 

By FMA Pulse, April 21, 2009

 

Update 04/27/09: Odiz Ruiz won his fight against Christian Palencia and is now the 155lb champion of Tuff Nuff. Click here to view pictures of his fight. Congratulations Alex!

 

Filipino Mixed Martia Arts, Laban Sa Lahat System was founded in 2006 by Punong Guro Bill Garness who has been training in the martial arts for over 25 years. PG Bill has trained with great legends such as: Bas Rutten, Benny "The Jet", Gokor, Pat Militech, Richard Bustillo, Senior Master Roland Dantes (RIP), Master Christopher "Topher" Ricketts, Grand Master Dionisio "Diony" Canete, Grand Master Carlito Lanada, Tuhon Gaudiosa Ruby "The Queen of Filipino Martial Arts", Master Ariel Moses, Punong Guro Myrlino Hufana and Grand Master Estalilla just to name a few.

In 2004, he went on to win first place at the 2004 World Filipino Martial Arts Tournament held in Las Vegas, Nevada. On August 4th, 2007 PG Bill was inducted into the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame and on July 26th, 2008 was inducted into the Filipino Martial Arts Hall of Fame.

Also speaking with us today is Odis Alex Ruiz, a student of FMMA, Laban Sa Lahat and also up and coming MMA fighter who will be fighting for a championship all amateur MMA belt this April 24th at the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas.

FMA Pulse:
Welcome gentlemen to fmapulse.com and thank you for taking the time out to talk with us.
Punong Guro Bill, can you tell us a little about yourself and your background in the Martial Arts?

Punong Guro Bill:
I have been training in Martial Arts for 25yrs.  I started wrestling in 1982 and officially got into Karate in1984. Throughout the 25 yrs I got into BJJ and the Filipino Arts.  I have had the opportunity to train with some great fighters in the MMA world and the FMA world.

 

FMA Pulse:
The Filipino Mixed Martial Arts, Laban Sa Lahat System is comprised of many different martial art disciplines/systems. Can you tell us what your system is comprised of and describe how it was formed and its philosophy?

Punong Guro Bill:
I have been putting this together for a long time but it really started to come together 6yrs ago.  Master Cruz and myself have mixed Kenpo, Aikido, BJJ, wrestling, Boxing, kickboxing and several other Filipino Martial Arts such as Balintawak, Doce Pares, Illustrisimo, Manaois System and Comjuka-Kali.

 

FMA Pulse:
You have trained with some of the greats in MMA and FMA. With the immense popularity of Mixed Martial Arts, your system focuses on MMA with a Filipino concept. Can you please expand on that and are there any specific FMA techniques that translate well in MMA?

Punong Guro Bill:
All of my fighters do stick fighting to help them with their hand speed and coordination.  The footwork in the Filipino Arts is by far the best. We focus on angles and counter striking our opponent.  This type of training helps them avoid leg kicks and take downs.

 

        
From left to right: PG Bill Garness with Master Rey Galang, The Late Grand Master Roland Dantes and
Grand Master Manaois at the World Filipino Martial Arts Tournament, 2004.                              

FMA Pulse:
With the training of your system, do you think a fighter with this background gains an advantage in the MMA ring?

Punong Guro Bill:
I do I believe that our fighters go into each fight with an advantage.The stick work and foot work definitely makes a difference.

 

FMA Pulse:
Do you think we will be seeing more fighters with FMA backgrounds in MMA competitions?

Punong Guro Bill:
I know we have seen MMA hit the Philippines the last couple of years through the Ring of Fire.  You also have Brandon Vera in the UFC who is one of the best fighters right now. 

 

FMA Pulse:
Do you believe more traditional FMA styles will be incorporating certain techniques from other martial art disciplines?

Punong Guro Bill:
They have to.  Martial Arts have always evolved in time.  Fighting has changed.  Peoples’ mentality has changed, therefore we must change our way of thinking and training.

 

FMA Pulse
What kind of legacy do you see your system playing in the Filipino Martial Arts?

Punong Guro Bill:
We don’t think we have a perfect system but we strive to get it there.  My students are a mirror of their instructors and they are very Humble, Respectful and Honorable.  I want all of my students to have an open mind and always be a student

 

FMA Pulse:
What are your personal views on the current state of the FMAs?

Punong Guro Bill:
FMAs need to realize they have a martial art and it is more than just stick and knife. They need to be complete fighters and always be a student.

 


Alex training with PG Bill in the mountains at 900 feet before his fight.

 

FMA Pulse:
Mr. Ruiz, can you give us a little background about yourself? What weight class do you fight in and what is your current record? When did you start studying the martial arts and what made you want to compete in MMA?

Odis Alex Ruiz:
I have been training in Martial Arts for 9yrs.  I have a record of 4-2-0 and I fight in the 155lb division.  The reason I want to be a pro fighter is so that I can take care of my family.

 

FMA Pulse:
Who are some of the MMA fighters that inspire you? Do you have any favorite FMA practioners?

Odis Alex Ruiz:
In the MMA world, my favorite fighters are Wanderlei Silva and Andre Arlovski because they are aggressive fighters.  As far as FMA practioners, I look up to PG Bill Garness and Master Erick Cruz because they have an open mind and are constantly pushing me to be my best.

 

FMA Pulse:
Is your training different from other fighters and if so, how are you better prepared for your fights?

Odis Alex Ruiz:
I do train different than other fighters.  It involves a lot of explosive footwork with a 50lb vest on up in the mountains, stick fighting and grappling.

 


Alex's fight debut at the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. (Nov 8, 2008)

 FMA Pulse:
We know that you’re focused on training for a championship all amateur MMA belt this April 24th at the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas against Christian Palencia. Both you and Palencia won your last two fights with submissions. Do you envision this to be a grappling battle or do you want to keep the fight standing?

Odis Alex Ruiz:
I would like to keep it standing because I think the fans like it when two warriors throw leather but if it goes to the ground then they will see some exciting grappling.

 

FMA Pulse:
In the MMA “cage” we know that there are rules which limit your full capabilities. With your background in FMA and MMA, what would you do differently if you found yourself needing to defend yourself in a street altercation compared to fighting in the cage?

Odis Alex Ruiz:
In a street fight there are no rules.  I would do anything I had to to survive.  I would bite, pull hair and grab objects to use as a weapon.  My first thing I would do is talk myself out of the altercation.

 

FMA Pulse:
After your fight at the end of this month, when and where will you be fighting next?

Odis Alex Ruiz:
My next fight is 05-30-09 at the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada and hopefully a Pro fight October 2009.

 

FMA Pulse:
Do you have any closing thoughts?

Odis Alex Ruiz:
I would like to thank you for your time and also thank my sponsors Lexus of Las Vegas, The Gun Store and Humble Me Clothing

 

FMA Pulse:
We thank you both for taking the time out to talk with us and the FMA Pulse Community. And Mr. Ruiz we wish you luck and success in your upcoming fights and your MMA career.

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