Gus: I first saw you on your tape "The very best of Kaman". I must admit
that I was shocked. My first impression was that you are a very tough guy. When
I learned more about you I found out that you are also a sportsman and a
gentleman. What keeps a full contact fighter from being a savage beast who just
wants to destroy his opponent? Is it just a matter of character or does it come
from experience in the sport itself?
Rob: It is a mixture of character and intelligence. A fighter should not let his
emotions run the fight. It is like playing chess! I donít believe in just
Gus: Some people say that there is no such thing as being "ring-proven" and that
true martial artists don't compete. What is your opinion?
Rob: Being a martial artist does not necessarily mean that you have to be ring
fighter. Martial arts are a way of life and a martial artist is someone who is
able to defend himself if that is needed.
Gus: What is the difference between training for self-defense and training for a
full contact sport?
Rob: Training for a full contact sport means more pain, more intensity and more
sparring. It is constantly pushing yourself harder. Also sports have rules.
Gus: Who was your toughest opponent ever?
Rob: There have been a few: he Thais were the toughest. Hoost was the smartest
and Peter Smit was the craziest. Rick Roufous on full contact rules (ISKA).
Gus: Some people say that kickboxing events will never be as popular as western
boxing events. Tell us your opinion. What needs to be done to make thai-boxing
and kickboxing more popular?
Rob: In order to make kickboxing more popular we need more good fighters
so that we may have a bigger arsenal of fighters to present. This way we can
offer continuity and quality.
Gus: Traditional martial artists say that thai-boxing is not really an art, that
it is more a matter of who is tougher. Is it really a matter of killer
instincts and brute force?
Rob: It is so narrow-minded to say that if you have never experienced it. Itís
like playing chess on a high level if itís done right. It would be the same if I
say as a soccer player that there is no technique in American football - just brute
Gus: Should Thai-boxers train in traditional martial arts before becoming full
Rob: It could be or not be helpful, but it is not necessarily needed.
Gus: Most Thai-boxers use 3-4 different kinds of kicks. I really like the way
you use your sidekick. Do you think that Thai-boxers should use traditional
style kicks more?
Rob: I never use a traditional side kick; itís always a half push frontside kick.
Gus: If you had the chance to start learning another martial art, which one
would you choose?
Rob: I think perhaps aikido or jujitsu!
Gus: In some of your recent movies you do not fight at all. You are just an
actor. Is this your decision?
Rob: No it was not my decision; I think they wanted to see another side of me as
a beginning actor.
Gus: Tell us about Jean-Claude Van Damme. How did you first meet him? Is he a
friend of yours?
Rob: My former manager, Don Clovis presented me to Jean Claude Van Damme in
Paris after one of my fights and he gave me the opportunity to play in one of
his movies and I thank him for that. We became close and I consider him to be my
friend. We have both come a long way, he as an actor and me as a fighter. There was
a mutual respect for what we achieved and did for the sport!
Gus: I can only compare your career to that of Benny Urquidez. I think that you
know him personally. Tell us about him. Most of us would love to see both of you
in a movie.
Rob: Benny is a great fighter and martial artist. I met him a couple of times;
he is a very humble and nice person. It would be nice to do a movie together.
Gus: In a few words, tell us your secret of success in full contact sports...
Rob: It started out of insecurity and fear and became passion for the sport. It
requires a lot of discipline, intelligence, timing and at the right momentÖ
Gus: Tell us about your future plans.
Rob: I have developed a mental and physical conditioning program and
pursue acting but you will hear soon more about me ! ! !