(published by Forbes Russia, November 2014)
(Translated by fans, link to the article in the comments, Russian version copyright belongs to Forbes)





Three entrepreneurs shared with Forbes Russia why they take part in close-to-street fight ultimate fighting at the 61st floor of “Federation” tower and what they get from it.

Elite fitness-gym space on 61st floor of “Federation” tower is so crowded that spectators have to stay in circle surrounding the ring. On coach’s signal, three guys in sweat suits rush into the room and attack the pale faced man in the middle. For the next minute they are punching and kicking him saying “You’ll know how to shut the f*ck up next time motherf*cker”. Man goes on defense, runs, tries to fight back but in the end falls down and covers his head with his arms. Coach stops the fight immediately, saying “Atta boy, survived in there whole 52 seconds”.



Russian Muay Thai League President and coach Sergey Zayashnikov organizes street brawl not so often – all in all, it’s a big risk. “I can’t predict all the details, but there is only 50% chance that no injury will be done. When you fight as you are on the street, anything can happen”. His students – business owners, company CEOs, top managers – ask for this “test with blood” themselves after year or two in the training.
Why do they put themselves at such a risk?





Sergey Zayashnikov, Russian Muay Thai League president, thai boxing trainer:

Whom do I train? They are typical nerds – in a good way. My student was not the one who smoked since the age of 9 or was fighting in the backstreet. No-no, he went to private school, graduated from top university, then - job offer at a top tier company, MBA. At the age of 40 all goals are achieved: career, status, family – he has it all. Deferred fears, unrealized desires disclose themselves. Money can't protect you from everything. Your bodyguard is sitting in the next room, you are one to one with a bad guy, and while waiting for help you get hit once or twice. It’s not about never getting into a bad situation, it’s about being ready for any situation.

Trainers who work with VIP clients have this slang expression – “to give the body”, which means you give the person opportunity “to taste the blood” by letting yourself be hit. When you train with pads you don’t get that. There is only one way you can feel the coordination and speed of the punch – and it is on the trainer’s body.



The most difficult thing about organizing close-to-street ultimate fighting is not to cross the line. It should be tough - but not dangerous. And at the same time you know that all your actions are basically just 50% of success, another 50% comes from above. After every fight I swear to myself that it was the last time I've done that.

I forbid any viewers at the first fight. To the second fight (when person is more experienced and conscious) I ask to bring friends – and this is a very serious challenge. You don’t want to screw up in front of your girlfriend, so you lose all your skills in one second. And this is an experience too.
Guys who I bring from lets say Elektrostal (small city in Russia) use only certain types of blows - only the ones I tell them to, however blow in a full force. I haven’t invented anything new, closed fights are being organized abroad too.

Street-like fight is a journey to another reality. You won’t be protected by your money or a person who will stop the fight. The man recalls those times when he had to attack and defend. To feel this feeling, to get away from our civilization bonds and to relax, they go for this. Everyone is fighting not for the winning – they fight for their own Self. Ring is the loneliest place on Earth. No one will help you – neither friends nor judges. While saying just 3 words “Stop the fight”, you can get decently hurt.
They call the way from the locker room to the ring “the green mile”. The one who made it and walked out on a ring is already a man. I know those who couldn't make it out of the locker room.







Victor Lesnoy, Stone Hedge investment fund partner, owner of the wine boutique chain “Territory of joy”, ex vice-president of Mirax Group

At first it seemed to me that street fight is such a dirty stuff comparing to the intelligent boxing with all the judges, rounds and strikes counting. But it has completely different energy, and I got hooked up with it.

Imagine you’re going to the gym. What you do while training there: you think about your work, things to do, you’re answering your cell phone. Energy of the street fight is very special and it is way more interesting than elite gym fitness. Yes you can make body in a gym. But will it save you in a real life where you can get knocked out with one punch? While training you swirl into another reality, another world. You’re wearing your suit and getting stabbed with a knife and you have to duck out and deal with the attacker. Like it or not you have to forget about everything. Suddenly you realize that you can get some from the trainer too and it will hurt as in real life. So you really don’t have time to think whether or not you paid for your parking.



After these classes you become more calm and self-confident – you are now ready to get some and you are chilled about it. You know that you will react automatically and defend yourself. This is what they call ability to take the heat. I think it helped me a lot in business too. I started to take inevitable losses and fails easily. For instance I took it quite well when I had to leave Mirax Group and started to make my own projects. During this process I of course had some stress, but I continued to go to the training and it helped me a lot.



 Valery Duzhin, owner of the clothing store

I started to take street fight classes quite late when I was already 42 and hadn’t had any physical activity for 10 years prior. I had a specific goal – to get my punching right. While some fights happened I simply didn’t know what to do.

It was quite dangerous to own a shop in crowded places during 1990s – people were completely off limits. It became safer in 2000s; however, various situations still occured.

When you get older your health doesn’t get better, nor as your energy level or coordination. So I decided to get some skills to feel cool in any situation.
To get your punching right and learn to deal with the situation are two different things. Punch is your weapon. Knowledge how you use it – it’s all about psychology. You can fight with the punch-bag for 10 years and lose it all on a dark street. That’s what the trainer taught me: don’t panic, assess the situation, look around and act accordingly.

And then it all started and I got carried into it. I had a training once a week, never missed one and was always looking forward to a next one. I guess I got some talent in this.

Once professional boxers came to our place and I was training with the pads at that time. Zayashnikov asked them: “So you see this guy over there? For how long you think he’s been training?”. They said: “Well at least 7-8 years by now, 

he must be a candidate in master of sports”. But I was training only for 2,5 months by that time.



The most interesting thing is that as I started training, no more extreme situations happened to me. People can feel this kind of things. And now I can see who and where I should punch. Let’s say I meet this big guy and he starts to behave in a really bad way. I just say to him: come on dude, chill, stop stressing it out. And he does calm down. It’s incredible.


Yuri Suslikov, CEO “Main Energy Company”

I wanted to take street fight lessons for a long time – you have to be able to fight and defend yourself. On top, I had an unpleasant experience in the past – I got into a fight with a big bunch of guys in a restaurant. I got beaten up, to be precise. There were 8 dudes simply looking for someone to fight with…

After this, excuses like lack of time lost their significance and I started to ask my friends who was taking lessons and where. I was told about Zayashnikov, but no one could properly explain me what was so different there versus average boxing gym. Everyone kept saying to me “Just go and see”. So I went and saw, and was quite surprised. Zayashnikov told me right away “Go put on gloves, we’re starting”. I asked weren’t we supposed to warm up first. “Will you asked the guys who attack you to let you warm up too?”, - he replied. That was quite a convincing reply. “So why do we keep our shoes on?” – I asked. “Well you’re not running around barefoot on the street, do you, nor you change your shoes when a bad guy asks for a smoke in the backstreet”, - he said.



I like competitive sports. I always feel bored at the gym – it’s way more interesting to be in the ring with sparring partners. It’s a continuous competition. I want to prove – not to the rival, to myself, - can I or can I not, will I be able to escape or not. You go to the training and get some from the coach. And immediately jump into different reality. It makes you psychologically ready for unexpected. It’s kind of school of life through street brawl.



I’ve been going to a regular gym for one year, and it all was quite traditional: 15 mins warm up, then exercise. It was just gymnastics basically, nothing else. And here you have a school of life.







Victor Lesnoy: We’ve tried almost everything. We were fighting with bats and bars, learned how to get away from a knife attack, trained fully dressed in a suit and with our shoes on – to imitate getting caught by surprise. The one I remember the most is the training with knifes. Zayashnikov invited the sparring partner who is a cold steels master. And here you are, standing in you suit, getting hit by a knife. Your task is to duck away from the stab maybe even missing one, but with minimum harm for yourself. It’s not about defeating the attacker, you have to get away from the situation, you are to fear and defend properly.

Sessions are quite harsh. But you have to understand that if you’re really learning martial arts and not getting punched then it’s just gymnastics.

I for example can’t fully understand some strikes if I’m not getting hit a little by the trainer. I got some, a lot and regularly, I was even walking around bruised. But well, you’re not coming there to play chess. You’re not a glass Barbie for trainer and sparring partner to get care of you.
My personal advice is to train without a head gear, otherwise you won’t get it all to the fullest.

We’ve been coming in suits to some trainings and were working on purely street punch technics. In street fight no one is actually doing straight punches (crosses) – you don’t have time to build a guard stand. Plus in 70% of the cases you’ll end up with your hand broken if you punch straight. That’s why you mostly use hooks and swing – the so-called “wedding punches”. Plus you use painful blows to the knee, the groin etc.



Professional boxer will take a look at what we do and say we’re not doing it right and it’s not a real boxing. But this is what street fight art is. Now I easily understand what harm can be done to me and what harm I can make myself to other person. This is exactly why I do my best not to apply this knowledge. Within few years I faced only one really extreme situation. We were driving our cabriolet in Nice with my wife. And while we were waiting for the street light, two Algerian guys tried to nab my wife’s bag. I jumped and punched one of them, the second ran away…


Valery Duzhin: I started training quite late in my life. First I came to a Sambo school. And it was a complete nonsense. This huge dude comes to the stage and says, playing with muscles: “Finally I get someone to hit the floor with.” Other guys, around 100 kilos each, were happy too: they got someone to work their technics on. And I realized I have to keep searching – standard learning approach is not for my age.

When a guy like me, not really young or sporty, facings a big man, he’s getting overwhelmed with the physical advantage of the partner. This is why I was always put in sparring with big guys. And I was taught specific moves. With heavy-weight, it’s useless to punch each other – you can as well try to hit a wall with the same success. But if he punches you, you’re in trouble. You have to “pull” these kind of guys on yourself, catch them on their move. There is a certain strategy. Big guys have weak knees, they are heavy, and hitting this area is very effective. He’s coming at you, you let him, moving aside, and then punching liver area or somewhere else, you have to act according to the situation. Or there is a “merry-go-round” move: you roll over the neck and kick the belly with your knee.



Also I remember a good training when we were commanded to curse out loud. You lay down and attacker hits you at your abs from above. And you have to curse each other. It was funny and very offending at the same time, but it was necessary. It is important to stay calm while someone is cursing at you and do moves you gotta do. And when you are cursing the other person you are getting a psychological advantage. Basically, it’s one of the tricks.


Yuri Suslikov: One of the most interesting and unusual trainings was when there were three of us against our instructor. Rules are simple – trainer can punch us in any way. And we can punch him. There was a funny case. After a “start” signal, the light in the room went off. And we were running around the ring, punching and kicking trainer, and he was punching us. It all goes for couple of minutes. Very interesting, incredibly hard and extremely exhausting. Then the light switched on and we realized that trainer was standing quietly in the corner all that time, and we were just punching each other. After this you realize very clearly that in the crowd you can punch your attackers an as well get hit by those who are actually with you. When everyone is punching around, its way more easy to hit the guy next to you rather than guy standing on the opposite side.







Viktor Lesnoy: I was fighting 3 times. No use to ask me about the first time – don’t remember a thing, everything blurred. I remember the third fight. We had a team of three people, and were imitating the real life situation – how to walk through an aggressive mob when you’re leaving a night club. We were supposed to come from the locker room and go through the entire room (around 25 meters) to the next door without losing anyone from the team. And we have 9 bad guys against us.



We’d been training for a long time, thinking over how to build a group so that we wouldn’t get split up and get out asses kicked apart. It’s useless to fight in that situation. You can try to punch someone when there are 9 of them – but well, you’ll hit one or two but will get knocked out by those who are on the sides. Or you’ll get one from the team lost so two will have to go back and then again you’re all done. We were going wedge. As the biggest fan of getting beaten up, I was walking in the very front. And of course got the most out of all. Then I had two of my team mates walking behind. One was kicking everyone who came by, what the other one was doing I have no idea. I was trudging through, got punched in a head, in the knee, but we went through it from the first time and won – the goal was achieved. The attacking guys were very surprised, they were sure we would stop and give them a fight. None of them assumed we would go through like this. We got some, a lot, but we won. During the fight and after you don’t feel the pain – adrenaline, happiness, euphoria.



Valery Duzhin: To work with punching bag and fight at the ring are two completely different things. You have no one else beside you on the ring – survive as you can. This is extremely important psychological thing: when you face the fact that you can get punched and fall. You’re there now, without police, and you gotta stand up for yourself. When you’re put in such conditions, it’s super cool. It’s like you feel you’re becoming a real deal.

My first fight I of course don’t remember – as everyone else. First time is a complete shock. I watched the videotape over and over for 18 times. Yeah you look like a wreck, but still automatically you do some stuff – I was surprised. Especially if taking into account that I couldn’t even sleep the night before, I was too nervous. Not afraid, just anxious, like in the college before exam.



Second fight is completely different thing however. Your mind is clear, and I was conscious about what I did. My opponent was a tough guy – an experienced competitor in boxing. Real boxers, they are sneaky on the ring, they are watching you, walking around first. And then – bam! – punch, first, second, third. Right in the start he punched me in the belly very hard, in the belly pad. That’s the moment you immediately feel it’s all serious. And then he let his guard down a little… By the way, my coach always makes me go first. He says: “You know Valery, you’re not quite young looking and don’t look like a boxer at all. No one can guess you’re punching with a force of young bear”. So there I go, limping a bit, smiling. And suddenly kick his chest with a knee. And then finish him with elbow. He couldn’t get up for more than a minute. I was very worried about him, came to him to apologize. When we were discussing it after the fight, the coach said to entire group: “Important thing, guys. Valery wasn’t afraid to punch him in the chest and was absolutely right. The boxer of this level has to defend himself. If you can punch – you punch. So this is what you gotta do – punch at your full strength”. This boxer looked at me like as I was some kind of handicap – well it turned out to be his trouble.



Yuri Suslikov: In Russia, people on the street are looking at you and testing at the same time, especially men. It’s like everyone is expecting the fight to begin at any moment. Everyone is ready and concentrated inside. This is how the constant tension is created. After the trainings, I can’t say I don’t have it at all, but I definitely have it much less than others. Even with strangers I feel confident and chilled at the same time. Because I know that in any situation (god forbid) I’ll be able to stand up for myself.



When I was preparing for the second fight, the trainer told me I was gonna fight with two opponents. So the door opens – and I see 5 people running at me instead of 2! Only 2 went up on the ring, to tell the truth, but others were standing around cursing me. All that was, nicely put, unexpected. The idea that trainer had was that the crowd should have frightened and confused me, and two on the ring would have finished it all. This is how he imitated my situation from the past with the fight in restaurant. But I was so concentrated and ready that I didn’t even get scared. It’s impossible to describe how it all went. It’s like you know, the guy on the street asks you for a lighter, and then all you know they attack you, you fight, you hit, you get hit. The fight is no longer than a minute in real life, often less.
Every time you prepare you think: I’m gonna go kick his ass, knock him out. Well that’s and awesome plan before your first punch. Then you just grapple and kicking and punching each other. This is not a preparation for a long artificial contest with the medal and winning, this is playing as in real situation which can happen to you on the street. And that’s why it’s so incredibly valuable.





出版社 FORBES, 分配地域 ロシアとCIS共和国 記事名 フアイトのルール 著者 A.PRIVALOV キャラクター ロシアのムアイタイ・リーグ(Russian Muaytai Leage)社長 兼 タイボクシング・コーチの S. Zayashnikov ストーンヘッジという投資基金のパートナー、楽しみのテリトリーというチェーン・ ワイナリー店の所有者、MIRAXグループの元副社長のV.Lesnoy 衣料品店の所有者のV.. Dyuzhin 中央エナジーカンパニーの Y. Suslikov

代表取締役 概要 まず、3人のビジネスマンは個人説を紹介します。そして、ストリート・スタイルの 非武装決戦をなぜ訓練しているか、ジムでの訓練仕方、ルールなし試合に出場するそ れぞれの理由などを説明します。 また、S. Zayashnikov コーチはストリート・ボクシングのそのオリジナルなトレーニン グ方法について話します。 コンテント 

1.V. Lesnoy は、他のスポーツ類は退屈していますが、ストリート・ボクシングなら 興奮を感じます。ジムのシミュレータでトレーニングするうちに仕事のこと、ビジネ スのことばかり考えて、携帯電話が鳴りっぱなし。ストリート・フアイトのエネルギ ーは特別で、エリートジムでのトレーニングよりすっと興奮させるのです。ジムでた しかに筋肉が付けられるが、現実にはひとつのパンチでノックアウトされたら、なん のためにもならないでしょうね、といいました。 また、とくに記憶に残ったトレーニングの経験もはなしました。Zayashnikov コーチは刃物を特技とするスパーリング・パートナーを招待した。スーツ を着て、ナイフで攻撃される。俺の課題は、ナイフで切られても最小限のダメージを 受けるようにこの攻撃をちゃんとさけるのです。 そして、ルールなしの試合出場の経験も話しました。 三回目のフアイトは特に印象的でした。うちのチームは3人で、課題は、攻撃的なラ イバルにぶつかってもナイトクラブを出ること。俺たち3人はロッカーを出て、25 メートルぐらいはなれたジムの入り口まで、チームの一人も失うことなく行くこと。 で、ライバルは9人の悪人でした、と話しました。

2.V. Dyuzhin はこう語っています。 46歳になって、非武装フアイトの基準的な方法を習得するのは遅すぎだと。一番記 憶になったトレーニングについては、大声で悪口を叫ぶように言われた。横になって、 相手は上からパンチを加える。と同時に悪口を叫びあうこと。おかしくても非常に気 持ち悪い。こういうトレーニングは必要だ。いくら侮辱されても、冷静さを保って適 当な身動きで自分をまもること、と話しています。 そして、ルールなしの試合出場の経験も話しました。 最初のフアイトはみんなと同様にいっさい覚えていない。トータル・ショック。後ほ ど、18回ぐらいそのビデオをみた。自分が布団のように見えるが、それでも、自動 的に正しく身動きをする。みて、驚いた、と言いました。 3.Y. Suslikov は自分自身が守れるようにストリート・ボクシング術をならうことにし ました。 ある日、レストラン内で数人と殴りあったつらい経験をしました。俺が殴られた、と 述べました。 

S. Zayashnikov コーチのトレーニング方法を実感してなるほどだと思ったとのこと。は じめてジムにきたとき、まずコーチのアプローチに驚いた。コーチはさっそく、じゃ グローブをはめて今すぐフアイトしてみよう、と指示したのです。まず、ウオーミン グ・アップじゃないか、と聞いてみたんですが、コーチは、町できゅうに攻撃された ら、ウオーミング・アップさせてくれと頼むのか、と答えた。納得させられた。また、 なぜ 靴のままトレーニングをするのか、ときいてまた。コーチは、町を裸足で歩き 回るのではない。街角で攻撃されたら靴を脱ぎかえることもないでしょう、と説明し てくれた。

4.記事の後半に S. Zayashnikov コーチはそのトレーニング方法を紹介します。 スパリング・パートナーは力を実にいれて打つのですが、俺に指示された技のみをつ かうのです。 ルールなしフアイトは別の現実への旅です。お金もためにならない、また誰かに守っ てもらえることもない現実。男は勝つより自分のエゴを自立するためにフアイトしま す。 リングは世界一の孤独なところです。友人もレフエリーも助けてくれることはない。