As a world-class kick-boxer and instructor, Peter Tiejsse has been a force aiding the development of fighters of all calibre. Heās trained (and still trains) with iconic names such as Ernesto Hoost, Johan Vos, Jan Plas and Gerard Gordeau ā these were some of the people who helped build his career as a game fighter. Now Teijsse has been given the opportunity to assist one of MMA greatest heavyweight fighters, Fedor Emelianenko. Thiesse has been a quiet figure in the āLast Emporerāsā corner and M-1 caught up with him at a recent training session in Holland.Ā
M-1 Global: How did you start working with Fedor?
Peter Teijsse: In October 2010, together with Gegard Mousasi and Albert āApyā Echteld, we visited St. Petersburg to lead an MMA training course which was filmed and recorded on DVD. Fedor happened to get a hold of the DVD and he liked it a lot. As a result, in January 2011 I was invited to train with Fedor in Stary Oskol, Russia.Ā
M-1 Global: How have you integrated your own training and techniques into the program Fedor already works on and is comfortable with?
Peter Teijsse: Ā Iāve always trained with the Vos Gym and Fedor was already familiar with their school when we met. It is not like I teach Fedor something completely new. What we do is more of a revision of the techniques that Fedor has already known from his previous training experience. Revision always helps athletes improve.
M-1 Global: What was Fedor lacking the most when you first started working with him? What were his biggest strengths?
Peter Teijsse: Ā Fedor could use more training on his footwork. His biggest strength is that he is unpredictable. He is a gladiator fighting in his own typically āFedorā style. His opponents never know what to expect of him next.Ā
M-1 Global: What is Fedorās attitude like in the gym?
Peter Teijsse: Ā During the workout he is extremely focused and very organized. Fedor is a perfectionist, repeating techniques during the workout as many times as he feels necessary. The great thing about Fedor is that he takes criticism very well; he really listens to you and you can see that he has put your advice to use when he arrives for the next workout.
M-1 Global: What are some of your favorite and most amazing Fedor moments?
Peter Teijsse: Ā When Fedor trained here in the Netherlands earlier this year he got a lot of attention at the gym. Everybody came to look at him, as if it was hard to believe that it could be Fedor himself training right next to ordinary people. But Fedor never displayed any āstar-likeā behavior. He was always accessible and open when his fans approached him for an autograph or to take a picture. Fedor never acts superior. He is incredibly humble, accessible and normal; everyone loves him for that.Ā
Fedor takes on Dan Henderson at Strikeforce and M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Henderson. Saturday July 30th from the Sears Center in Chicago.