As one of the earliest Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight Champions, former King of Pancrase and Thai Boxer, Bas Rutten has faced some pretty tough opponents.
But none challenged him as much as his personal struggles, from chronic illness and bullying as a kid, to beating an opioid addiction, to strange happenings in his family home.
In this episode Bas tells Rob Konrad a rollicking tale of learning to swing through trees, standing up to bullies, knocking many people out, coming out tops at a high school reunion, being a grandfather, and finding his way back to his faith.
And he also happens to have some inspiring life advice to share….
Click on the video above to listen to the episode – and join the conversation NOW!
00:00:00 Episode Teaser
00:02:43 Meet Bas Rutten, former Ultimate Fighting Championships Heavyweight Champion, Hollywood personality and entrepreneur
00:04:16 Ageing as a fighter – four neck surgeries and no cartilage in his knees, but still doing the splits
00:05:53 Mixed Martial Arts, a mixture of four Olympic sports
00:06:26 The early days of UFC: “The rules are, there are no rules”
00:08:47 As a sick child, Bas sometimes had to spend days at a time in bed
00:10:11 Swinging from tree to tree – to hide from bullies
... read more....
00:11:39 Bas sneaks into a cinema and decides to become like Bruce Lee
00:13:42 An act of revenge against a bully cost him his Taekwondo training
00:15:29 Losing one fight and becoming “the worst Thai Boxer in Holland”
00:16:45 Why free fighting was good for Bas’s humility
00:17:41 Two talent scouts in Amsterdam bring Bas to Japan
00:19:45 Big in Japan, where everybody fights everybody
00:19:57 How fighting in front of Japanese audiences changed the way Bas fought
00:23:32 Losing three fights in a row and looking for a new training partner
00:26:01 Mental tactics to get the upper hand in a fight
00:28:03 What it’s like to get into the ring or the cage
00:30:40 How to overcome fear with action
00:32:25 The advantages of always fighting for yourself only
00:34:11 Bas’s parents’ long journey to supporting his fighting career
00:36:50 Calmness distinguishes a really good fighter from an average fighter
00:40:46 Bas’s motto: In anything you do, preparation is the key to success
00:42:40 Why swinging from trees doesn’t always work as well as in the movies
00:44:18 What IS like the movies: the high school reunion.
00:45:48 Bas’s advice to kids who are bullied: use negative words as fuel to do what you love
00:47:18 If it weren’t for bullies, Bas might have ended up as a cook
00:49:20 The importance of living in the future, and having a plan B
00:53:09 What kind of a dad is Bas Rutten?
00:56:30 The crisis of your fighting career slowing down
00:58:26 Overcoming an Oxycontin addiction
01:01:41 The next thrill? A bat suit
01:03:14 A game-changing ghost story.
01:05:49 Finding his faith again
01:09:18 A corrupted math teacher doesn’t change the fact that 8+8=16
01:12:58 Prophetic messages and learning to live by the New Testament.
01:14:33 Books that trick you into learning
01:17:31 Next up: the World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation (it’s legal)
01:18:35 Why boxing gloves were invented
01:19:44 The danger of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)
01:22:01 “If you don’t like blood, don’t watch it”
01:25:06 How asthma leads to an ingenious invention
01:27:39 Teaming up with Usain Bolt
01:31:49 No interview with Bruce Lee, but Nick Newell is a great plan B
01:34:59 There’s always someone out there who has it harder than you
01:37:42 A little doubt can be really bad for you
Listen as Podcast
Bas Rutten is a world-renowned mixed martial artist who has also made a name for himself outside the ring as one of the most sought after sports commentators in martial arts, a Hollywood actor, and television personality.
As an actor, Bas can be seen co-starring in the Kevin James feature film “Here Comes the Boom” (2012) for Columbia Pictures. Rutten previously appeared in “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” (2009) and lent his talents to the voice cast of “Zookeeper” (2011).
Bas has provided commentary for several fight organizations including the former Pride Fighting Championship, and is currently the co-host of PFLMMA.com and KarateCombat.com events.
Born and raised in Holland, his devotion to martial arts began after sneaking into a movie screening of Bruce Lee's “Enter the Dragon”.
First known as a devastating stand-up fighter with 11 career wins by knockout, Rutten also dominated mixed martial arts with 14 wins by submission and went undefeated in his final 22 fights.
Connect with Bas
Website – https://www.BasRutten.com
IMDB Profile – https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1008015/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/basruttenmma
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BasRutten
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/basruttenmma
YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjachzSJ4oSh0FyzsAzDWmQ
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Welcome to Rob Konrad Conversations. Conversations with extraordinary people that motivate and inspire, learn, grow and impact your life. Subscribe now for a new conversation every week.
2:31 Rob Konrad
Hey, this is Rob Konrad from Switzerland and if you are into martial arts or mixed martial arts, then you will know that this guy is a living legend. He's a three times King of Pancrase. He's a former UFC Heavyweight Champion, and he's one of the very few members of the UFC Hall of Fame. He has shaped the early days of sports like no one else. He finished his professional fights in Korea with a streak of 22 undefeated fights. He is now an actor and a TV host. He is a really great guy, great personality. He's an entrepreneur with a lot of training products, a lot of instructional videos, but also yeah, physical performance of proven products, which I'm sure we're going to talk about later on, very interesting and yeah, I'm really happy to have him today, Bas Rutten thank you for making time.
3:21 Bas Rutten
And thank you very much for that introduction. You know to go over life really fast you realize a lot of stuff.
3:28 Rob Konrad
How did you find the time to do all that? What I find the most amazing is he didn't age one day in the past 25 years, it seems, if you've watched all…
3:38 Bas Rutten
Well, you know I do feel it though, I do. Everybody's saying that but it's just about the lighting and keep it straight in your face once it comes from the top, you know. All my buddies they have the same, all my age. I look at them and I go, “You're in pain when you wake up in the morning”. And they go, “Oh yeah, I'm in pain.” And I say, “And when you work out, the muscle aches, they stay?” And they go, “Yeah they stay.” Okay good that's not only me then, but apparently who gets up they're in ache so…
4:07 Rob Konrad
Oh that's great. But do you feel as healthy and good as you did many years ago?
4:13 Bas Rutten
You know I feel really good. I had a whole bunch of neck work done, my neck surgeries, four neck surgeries. I have a _____arm you know all that stuff. But for the rest, I have to say I feel good you know I'm still enjoying life, wake up early in the morning, I'm having just a great time. So yeah, I'm not slowing down with that. It's just body aches that, you know, you have to just get up and have to stretch. Every morning I stretch, so I'm very limber. I can still fall into splits and it gets go over, but, you know, it really helps with my knees. I have really bad knees, not really bad knees, I have no cartilage in my kneecaps, which I thought was solution, but it's the worst the worst problem you could have in the knee, because it's the only thing that cannot change. All the other cartilage they can replace, the kneecap…. This is painful right now but a buddy of mine did it and I'm going to wait a year until he has it and if he feels good after a year, I might do it as well.
5:06 Rob Konrad
Okay, that's great. It's great. And yeah, so maybe for the people who are not into MMA and martial arts can you explain a bit what it is that you made in your active career and what mixed martial arts are and what they can imagine this? I guess most people nowadays they will know it but 10 years ago, most people, it was new, very few people knew about it. I know when I started watching the first videos like back in 2000, early 2000s, I guess what the hell are you looking at! This is crazy. So…
5:38 Bas Rutten
You know, it's a – when it started they called it street fighting, where I came from, from Holland. I'm from Holland, originally from the Netherlands. Well, it's a mixture and I like always say to people who don't know what it is – I'll do a very a – Big John McCarthy is a famous referee, he actually was the first guy who said it's a mixture of four Olympic sports. You think the punches from boxing, you take the kicks from taekwondo, you take the wrestling from wrestling and then you take the submission game from judo and put all those Olympic sports together and boom there you have mixed martial arts. It's all pretty much with the same rules, there's a lot you cannot do. A lot of people think oh my god, he's in a cage, he can do everything of course that you know – you put prisoners in a cage or you put animals in a cage, so you had to get rid of that stigma In the beginning. It was looked upon very… but I have to say early on like the Ultimate Fighting Championships it was, there were no rules, they literally say that the rules are, there are no rules.
6:31 Rob Konrad
I think it was no eye gouging and those two things – no eye gouging and something else in the beginning.
6:36 Bas Rutten
Probably biting or yeah.
6:37 Rob Konrad
Biting yeah, biting I think those two things exactly yes.
6:40 Bas Rutten
I've seen somebody get hit them in the pills like 26 times in a row, like I mean that was legal. I remember all the way back that they asked me they said would you want to do? I said there's no referee because the first you see the referees… first, you see, the referee was not allowed to step in to stop the fight. It could only happen by the guy either tapping or verbally quitting, and otherwise, it was the quarter throw in the towel. But then they realized that one guy got beat up really, really bad, and the quarter didn't throw the towel and the referee looked at the quarter, and they turned away his back to the referee and he goes, what's going on? Later on he asked him and they said, yeah if we would have thrown the towel, the fighter would have beat us up. That's what he said. So yeah, it's hard to get rid of the stigma in the beginning. But fortunately for us there came rules and everything started, and it became a mainstream sport now, right now. I mean, the UFC sold for 4.2 billion dollars. That's more than any soccer club out there.
7:36 Rob Konrad
It's huge. It's huge. Yeah. So would you rather be yourself now or yourself like from 25 years ago in today's times?
7:47 Bas Rutten
No, no, no, you know, I'm, we're here for a reason. God has put us here for a reason. I did my path. And the cool thing about me is, you already touched on it in the opening I mean do you see Hall of Fame and the Pioneer section? So that means the guys who started it, and that section will only grow as much, you know, because there's like, maybe 100 people who started this thing or less. So all the other ones thousand years from now yeah, you can you see Champion Committee Hall of Fame. But we were the guys who started it. And I'm very proud of that. So yeah, no, I'm completely happy with my life, don't need to be on again. Would be great but then I want my whole family to be on again, as well.
8:26 Rob Konrad
Yeah. And so I was surprised to hear about your story because you didn't have kind of an introduction as far as, as we would expect you. You were not kind of always that sporty and aggressive guy who was getting into fights, you have quite a different story, how you got how the whole thing got started for you.
8:44 Bas Rutten
Yeah, you mean my diseases that I had as a kid? Yeah, I was just born as a very sick kid. You know, I was completely covered in eczema, when I popped out, and that went away after four months. And then at four years old, I contracted rheumatic fever and spent like three, four months in the hospital for that, at six years old we moved from the big city to a village to live closer to my dad's job and as soon as we arrived in the village, I started getting asthma and bad asthma. Every day, I would have asthma but at six, every six weeks or so I would have an asthma attack, which would be a week or eight days in bed, not able to do anything, not even eat because I couldn't breathe. Not only that, on top of it, I got this really bad skin disease, eczema and it was just very bad on my hands, on my arms, in my neck, you know, behind my knees, and spots on my body, but my hands and arms, they were really bad. It was literally what I would make a fist it would sometimes burst like gross stuff would come out. So it was it was really disgusting and needless to say, you know, when you're a kid, other kids, they don't understand that. They call you a leper, you're you know, they think it's contagious. _______because that's kids, but you know, when you're the other kid it's not a fun thing. You know, so I was always a loner, I played a lot by myself. Spider Man, Wolverine, I was reading a lot of comics at the time. And I was I was really good and avoiding the bullies by, I went from tree top to tree top. We had a big forest at the back of our home and I found out that I could climb a tree and I could start swinging the tree to the next tree and only like four spots in the entire forest where I had to literally go down because that will be the gap would be too big. But that was my, that's the only thing I did every single day. I climbed all the highest buildings in my in my town because I always was this I was always attracted still am a little bit too… to heights. Somehow I'm afraid of it, but because of that I want to go up there, you know. So churches, everything, you know, I had to go to the top. I always wanted to climb it up. And you know, like I said, with bullies, if they came after me, which happened a lot, you know, and I would simply climb a tree and I would wait till they started climbing a tree and almost went there and I can start swinging and go to the next tree. And they of course didn't want to do it. There was one bully who did it one time and the tree broke, and he fell. Yeah, he almost died. I mean, his head was hit from, away from this big rock and everybody heard about the story. So from that moment on, I was safe in the trees. So that was a good thing. But, you know, needless to say, from all the bullying, you know, you start eventually you get fed up with it and I saw a Bruce Lee movie in 1976, I believe I was 12 years old together with my brother. We watched the Bruce Lee, we sneaked into a movie theater that was in France, we were on a holiday there, a vacation, and it was 17 years more, but we sneaked in, we saw a movie and I realized if I become like Bruce Lee, then the bullying would be, would stop. So I asked my parents, took two years of begging and asking because they thought it was martial arts. You know, they thought it was violence. They're very conservative my parents, but after two years, they finally allowed me and then everything went really fast. I had this guy this school guy, my neighbor girl was a very pretty girl and she had the coolest guy in town, Xavier, you would call him here with that X but in all of this stuff. Yeah and he took me under his wing and I was training at the adult classes with the adults, Taekwondo. And from that moment, it just went really fast. Like in months I was beating the adults and people were talking about me in the dressing room. I overheard them talk speaking of me, and man, this kid is good, but he just dropped Jack again, haha, people are laughing and he's a really, he can really fight and once you hear it as a kid, you know, you get confirmation. And then I got into a street fight with the biggest bully in the school, Sharky(?) was his name, yeah.
12:40 Rob Konrad
You still remember his name?
12:41 Bas Rutten
Yeah, Shockey Evan Eric was his name. Yeah, his family was probably in jail for something for robbery or something but he was always going after the kids, and I was riding my bicycle and the streets and he came in a group like six guys on his bicycle as well. They started shouting words. Hey leper, watch out your ears don't fall off, something like that, it was always something along those lines. And this time I shouted something back. And I heard them laugh and I look back and I see them turning they started to chase me. So I told myself there's no need for chase now. So I put my bike on the stand and I was just waiting for them. They surrounded me and I was talking about this, it's so funny because when you have a bad ass movie, you know, at the middle of night, you have a fight scene that goes to the death. You have cars around these guys and the headlights of the cars are the lighting for the fight. Then they fight to the death and people are betting like these rich people. It was like that, only this was during the day and it was with bicycles. Anyway, he came to me and he started pushing my chest and challenging me and if I wanted to hit him, ‘Come on Rutten, hit me if you want. Come on leper.' So I did. And that was it. It was one punch. I was amazed. I knocked him out. Out cold. His nose is flat on his face. He broke that nose that was not so good later on. His friends didn't do anything. So I realized immediately those were not his real friends you know if you can't beat them, join them. I think they were just afraid of him as well. And but because of the nose he had to go to the hospital. You have to set it. Because of that the police was of course cold. Okay. Cool. And out of police showed up at my mom and dad's doorstep and I have to say my mom and dad I never told them that I had so much trouble in school. You know, my mom had a lot of work with me, like every night, she would mummify me like the whole family would send in old bed sheets which they would rip up in bandages and I had to put all the cortisone creams on. She woke me up and then at night, I would scratch it off because she had to do it again so I was a lot of you know, I was a lot of home, a lot sick. My mom had helped me a lot. So I never told her about the bullying because I didn't want to worry her anymore. So they took me off. They took me of Taekwondo. But then when I was 20, I started immediately again, Taekwondo and karate. I started doing everything at the same time when I left the house, my mom and dad's house. I started Thai boxing a year later right away because I wanted to fight full contact. I started competing in Thai boxing, only six weeks later after I signed up, and then I started just knocking a lot of people out, that went really good. It was very hard to get opponents. I stopped. I became a bouncer, not a smart idea, had a few more fights, lost a fight, which really made me decide never to fight in Holland again, because by then I had a really great record, I had won everything by knockout and I lost a fight and suddenly I was the worst Thai boxer in Holland. So I didn't want to do anything for them anymore. I started doing martial arts shows like on _____we used to do these martial art shows, this choreographed fights and break test and flying kicks, and all that crazy stuff will come up and back flips and somersaults and, and on one of those shows there was a guy, Chris Dolman and Chris Dolman was the guy who was fighting, competing in Japan but he had his students. He was an older guy, but he was still competing. But he had his students fighting in Japan as well. And he stopped me and he said, ‘I remember you from Thai boxing. You were such a great Thai boxer. Now. I see you doing all these back flips and somersaults and the athletic abilities. Did you ever think about free fighting?' And that was pretty much it you know, I went to a class one time, got completely destroyed by everybody, which was very good for my humility. I mean, trust me, because I thought I was a bad – a badass, but I apparently I wasn't, on the ground I was, I get choked on, but I mean, they destroyed me. I came home my wife laughing. I had to drink liquid food for three days, because my throat was so messed up from all the chokes that I got. And I thought I could hold them. But anyway, you know, I had injuries and I didn't go and lot, suddenly there's a phone call. And that started it all and it was him and he said, Bas, you have to come to Amsterdam right now, jump in your car. There's this new organization called Pancrase and they're looking for fighters. We got two scouts here and they're looking for fighters, come over there. So I went over there. I got into a brawl with one of his fighters because he was fighting in Japan as well for a different organization. And he wanted to show off, I guess. So he started to go really hard against me because they were filming and I told him, I said, ‘No, we don't have to do that, you know, they're looking at technique. They're not looking to knock each other out. So let's tone it down.' And I think he thought that I was afraid so he turned it up. So I stopped him again and I said, ‘It's okay by me but it's not going to be a one-way threat, you understand that right? I'm going to do it back.' And now of course it was on, but for a very short amount of time because I knocked him out right away with a high kick. And it looked really cool because it was on his eyes so he needed a whole bunch of stitches.
17:36 Rob Konrad
Oh, great. What more can you expect?
17:40 Bas Rutten
The scouts, I saw them before the meet and, you know, we want him. So it got me in Japan, two and a half months later, September 21, 1993. That was great. It's such a long time, 25 years ago now, my very first fight in Japan and, you know, I know it's a long story but that's everything how it worked and that's where I started fighting.
18:02 Rob Konrad
Well, okay. That's very impressive. Very interesting. And then those those times are really different. I mean, the audience was different than today's audience, less educated I guess?
18:11 Bas Rutten
Not in Japan. That was the greatest thing in Japan. In Japan, they in Japan, the audience understands that you're the professional, so they don't shout at you what you should do. It was like Tiger Woods when he's playing golf. I'm not going to shout – use an iron, use an iron – just yet. I mean, because I understand that he is much better than me, well, I actually really suck. But he's, he's really good at that. Here in America, or the rest of the world except Japan everybody likes to tell you what you should do. Yet 90% of those guys don't fight themselves, or don't even train. So it's very funny how that works. But in Japan, it's complete silence. Now, that helped me a lot because in Thai boxing, I was super aggressive. I was literally, I came out very technical, I will get hit and then I would just knock them out. I could not stand it if somebody get me hit, that they would hit me. When I went to Japan the first day I didn't know the rules yet. I knew what we could do, submissions but there were some different rules set there. I didn't know how many rounds, I thought there were weight classes. So I found out there was no weigh in. And normally the weigh in happens the day before the fight. I figured out you know, this, this, they're known for being honest, these Japanese people, so I guess it's on the day of of the fight, I'll make sure that I'm don't I'm not more than 205 pounds, because I thought that was my weight. I didn't even know, didn't even think about it. So the next day, I see my opponent, he's like 6'4, the coolest guy I've ever seen. And I'm looking at him and I go, what is his weight? They said to 245. What are you? I said 203. Okay. But is that not too heavy.They say no, no, Bas there's no weight classes. We just fight. Everybody fights everybody. I go, ‘Oh really?' I go, ‘Yay, awesome I love it.' But of course it was bluffing because inside I'm thinking now I'm fighting a guy 42 pounds heavier. And then before he walked away, I asked him how many minutes were the rounds? How many rounds and how many minutes? He says, Oh, it's just one round. And I was all happy again. And then he said, 30 minutes, like in half an hour. That was the fight. No break.
20:07 Rob Konrad
And you trained for how many hours, how many minutes?
20:09 Bas Rutten
I trained for five rounds and three minutes but full power, you know. So now I had to adjust my whole schedule because if I would unload in the opening of the fight and the Japanese are known for being very tough,
20:21 Rob Konrad
You just got out?
20:22 Bas Rutten
Yeah, and I got 28 more minutes to go. So, when I came up, everything was calm. I mean, you can literally put somebody in the 30th row and he can speak like I'm talking to you right now. And I can exactly hear what he says in the middle of the ring. It's complete silence. When I knock somebody down it goes ‘wohh' everybody gets up and 10 seconds later, it's complete stillness again. And I think that changed me as a fighter. I became this really calculated fighter. It was amazing. Like now for my Thai boxing every picture that you would have of me hitting somebody my face would go ‘oww' you know, it was like I wanted to kill the guy. But in Pancrase it was just, you know, there was no facial expressions anymore. Everything became relaxed, the blocking whatever, they hit me, there was no, no more flinching, no more nothing. I was completely in the zone. And I truly believe that's because of the audience. It was so quiet, so relaxed and they were actually rooting for you like when I knocked him out my first opponent but it goes as a palm strike to him since he was taller so I could palm strike him under the jaw and then later I kicked him and hit him in the head, there's a long story but they started cheering for me. It was the most amazing thing. I mean if you do that, in any other country just people might stop booing, right, you just knocked somebody out from their country. But there, people were freaked out. I mean, they put the baby in my hand. I remember standing with the baby, I felt like the President. It was so surreal and the next day people bowing to me on the street, like one every out of eight people would bow to me. Then I saw the newspaper and it was a big picture of me hanging in the air because apparently I jumped into splits through every quarter because I was so happy. It was 43 seconds. Yeah, and that became my trademark later on I had to do it after every fight that I won. But that picture was in the newspaper, my opponent was laying knocked out below me on the ground, knocked out, and people recognize me from that picture but ub, it was crazy. If you've never been to a different country like that far, never be on an airplane and then you go from Holland for a 13 hour plane trip all the way to Japan, it's a completely different world than what you know, and then have that experience – yeah that was really cool you never forget those things.
22:42 Rob Konrad
Kind of something cool. But your first few fights you were not as successful as late in your career, right? You needed to learn a lot of things?
22:50 Bas Rutten
Yeah so I knocked the first guy out, second guy I knocked out and then they knew okay we're not going to stand with this guy. Now my groundwork was not good at the time, I trained once a week if that in and answer to them and that was a two hour drive from where I used to live. And you know, and sometimes guys didn't show up so it was hard for me to find training partners. So my third one, I lost. It was a toehold. Now don't let the word toehold make you think that… I saw somebody break a shinbone with a toehold. So it's a very powerful lock that they put under your ankle and it's either your ankle is going to give your knee or if the shin bone is weaker, it's a twisting motion then the shinbone might break. And that's what happened with that person. My ankle just blew up. I didn't know what it was, I knew it hurt a lot because I tapped on it. And then my fourth fight I believe I won again, and I won another fight and boom, again, by submission, I would lose you know. And that went on. And suddenly I lost a third time by submission, and that got me very angry because I'm one of these guys will never wants to go to a third mistake. Two is okay, third is unacceptable. I became very vocal. I started asking everybody, every gym where I went, ‘Is there somebody who wants to train with me?' And I found this one guy, Leon Van Dyke is his name, and he started to train with me. He was a young guy, very good Thai boxer, athlete, super strong and we just started watching videotapes and fights and would break down everything, and then I got obsessed with ground fighting. I would literally two, three times a day, we did only ground fighting. Striking we didn't even do anymore. We just did the Thai pads like when you hit like focus mitts but for kicking, that was for stamina. We did that four times a week for stamina and the rest only submissions. And I never lost a fight again. I won my next eight fights by submission. So I always tell people who say, “I'm not good there, I don't want to learn”, I say, no, if I can do it, you can do it, I'm nobody special. You know? Yeah, I learn fast but guess what, the guys who have to work harder for it, they're going to be harder to beat because they had to work harder for it so they don't want to give it away. You see what I mean? There's always a plus and the minus. But it helps, you know, like I said, never lost a fight again anymore. Just putting in the work that's it.
25:04 Rob Konrad
Yeah. What I liked about you, you've always been a very technical fighter. So you always have a good understanding for what's behind the actual movement. So a lot of guys, probably, are just practicing movement, but without understanding it, and you always seem to understand exactly what's going on, and how to use gaps in their knowledge against them, and what they were doing.
25:30 Bas Rutten
You know, I've been messing with people my entire life, you know, when I was a kid, I was the class clown you know, If I couldn't get attention, positive, I'm going to get a negative, you know. Well, negative, it was positive for me, but for the, poor teachers – I mean, I was kicked out of every school almost. You know, my poor mother. But I was always messing with people. And I thought, you know, because if you mess with, if you disturb their equilibrium, if we start talking, you cause a little bit of stir up in the brain that can really affect their fighting. And I will do that right away from the beginning. You know, I would think about what I was doing, I would say, certainly, I would speak English to my Dutch corner, they never got it. All the fighters, they go, like, Why? Why do you think I would speak English? Because I want you to understand what I'm saying, you know. If I look at my corner, and I'm going to talk about where are we going to party tonight, you know, last time we went to the Motown places, I didn't really like it right. Did you like it now? Now, let's go to Gaspen now , okay. Okay, one second. I'm busy here. And then I will continue to fight again. And these guys, I noticed thinking like, what is this guy doing? Is he busy with going out? Or does he want to fight? But you see, I start making him think, I start getting inside their heads. And that's what I did with the stand up game as well. You know, I do a certain thing, I realize, I always say it like this to my students, I give you a pattern and once you get my pattern then I break the pattern. So I moved out every time when I punch you to the stomach, let's say with the left straight to the body, I can do it just like this. But that doesn't have the desired effect. If I would every time lower myself and I do this over a course of like, five minutes, every time when I punch to the body I completely do this. Soon enough I don't even have to punch anymore. I only do this and he's already thinking it's a body shot. You see I created that picture in his head like this, is a body shot. And if you do it in a few attempts, only you just did and then you can suddenly be there right on top. You see and I started really enjoying those kinds of things, tricking your opponent out, and thankfully the place in Japan was the best place to do it because everybody was perfectly quiet.
27:29 Rob Konrad
Okay. Okay. Interesting. For someone who's never been in a in a ring or in a cage, what's that feeling like to enter a ring knowing now it's going shit's going to hit the fan?
27:42 Bas Rutten
Yeah, exactly. You know, this is my first fight, I remember, I don't remember a thing from my first fight. I know that I won but I don't, I don't know I had a backache. But I have always told people if they would have blindfolded me and they would have called in three other Thai boxers and they put them all next to each other I couldn't have said I was fighting him. You don't fight a person, you fight an identity, a silhouette.It's really weird, its chaos in your head, because you cannot control it. My buddy up here said it the best. He said, imagine you have a plank, and the plank is one foot wide, it's like two inches thick, and 20 feet tall, right long. And you put it here on the grass and you have to walk over. This is a very simple thing, right? Everybody can do that. You put the same plank in between two buildings, 10 stories up. Now do it again. That is fighting because fighting is in the training you make a mistake, well, you will feel it but you're probably not going to get knocked out. In fighting you make a mistake, you're going to get knocked out. There's no room for mistakes or if you leave an arm you are going to get arm locked, your neck will get choked, you got a leg, leg locked. You know, I mean, there are so many ways to win and so many ways to lose. It makes martial arts. So you have to control everything thing. And once you can control it, then you fight at the best. There's a lot of guys who are really good in the dojo, in training, but never perform under pressure. There are guys out there who will beat the world champions in training, will completely destroy them and then you think, Oh my God, we have another world champion coming, and somehow they cannot – they can't overcome the fear and they lock up. They don't want to throw anything they start overthinking things. If I do this over here maybe he's trying to kick me here. You see, once you start doing the what ifs – oh, you're going down. You should never think what if this happens. And that's it you know. And I believe it's in every other sports. You know, if you look at basketball, you know the last one, if you dunk, if you win this one, the whole team wins, if you sink this shot, but if you don't, you're going to lose. That's a lot of pressure on that person. For the last possible moment. I figured he's going through the same thing as the fighters go through. But you did it so many times. You know, if you're on face, you'll still let that shot. And that's with fighting. As long as you can control it, you're going to be fine.
30:02 Rob Konrad
But did you ever feel fear of an opponent? Or did you ever have to fear of a fight? Or is it fear of getting hurt? Fear of whatever?
30:11 Bas Rutten
For the first fights you notice these moments that you think, what am I doing here? What? why? Why did I sign up for this? Especially when they told me 30 minute fights and with 43 pounds heavier guy, you know, I was like, Yay, you know, acting, but inside I go, dude what am I doing here? This is the craziest thing. But I don't know. It's, it's like I said with the heights in the beginning. Remember, I said I'm kind of afraid of heights but that's why I want to conquer it. Maybe that's it. You know, if I'm afraid of something, I'm doing it immediately because I cannot stand to be afraid of something. So then I tried to overcome it by simply doing it. And you know, once you do it, it's like the first time you get into a car I thought and especially in Europe, you have to drive with a stick shift right? Here you can get your test done with an automatic. Over the stick shift in the beginning you're like, Oh my god, what's going on with this, you have no clue what you're doing. And look at us now. I mean, people eating their breakfast, they're stirring their coffee. Yeah, you do everything. It becomes normal. And see that as fighting as well. You know, it becomes normal. Once it becomes normal, yeah, sometimes you might still think, well, little nervous, or you got a strong opponent but I was always really good in talking to myself. It's very simple. If you talk to yourself, you really go over the dangers that are there in fighting – there are no dangers. If I get knocked out there's a referee who is going to pull him off. If I get in an arm bar, for instance, yeah, I can let him stamp my arm or I can be smart, I tap and I can fight the next month or two months later again. If I get knocked out and dazed, okay. Is that really so bad? No, it is not that bad, but what is bad is that the backlash of negative negativity that from people comes. I always tell my students and every fighter, I say, I fight for me. I don't fight for my family. I don't fight for anybody else but me. And this sounds very egomaniac and it has to be. Because I realized that if I put the pressure on myself to fight for my family, and we need the money and we need this, there's more pressure on your shoulders, you fight the worst. If I don't care about anything and I just fight for me then I fight the best. My students If they're nervous, I say imagine this, imagine your opponent – like tomorrow is the fight and I said, imagine your opponent walks into the gym right now. We put you guys both in that room. We lock the door. There's no windows in the room. You guys fight. Winning or losing you're not allowed to say who won and who lost. You open the door. Do you care if you would have lost that fight? And they'll say no, I wouldn't care. I say, see, because you're fighting for yourself. But why do you care is because your friends and family members are there and you don't want to lose in front of them. And if you can, if you can put that to the side, oh man, it frees up everything in your head. You know, there's a referee, my opponent is going to be right in front of me, as long as I don't do this, there's nothing he can do and I will never do this. As long as I keep it right in front of me, I trained for this two times a day. No surprises. Yeah, it might happen but I mean, it's got to be very hard to surprise, it's very hard to surprise any fighter because that's what we do all day long. So it's not that dangerous. But they make it dangerous in their head. That's what I think.
33:29 Rob Konrad
You mentioned your parents were very against you starting your fight career. Did they live to see you at your peak?
33:36 Bas Rutten
Oh yeah, they're still alive, and they're very proud right now. They're very proud. In the beginning you – listen, if you go into a cage and… do you see? They will leave Erica watching my first UFC fight in my apartment with a whole bunch of group of people from my gym. While I was ,I believe I was in New Orleans; I had my first fight there. So they came, they came to support it eventually. But my mother, you know, when I started Thai boxing, I would call her after the fight and I would say, yeah, I knocked him out again and she would always, ‘How is he? Is he okay?' And I say mom, I just won, you can say congratulations and then ask that question. You know, she always worried about the other people. But, you know, once she realized, and reporters came, and they started filming, and a documentary came out and then they started filming what you have to do for it, you can't eat this, you can't go out, you can't drink, you get, you know, all these things and it's a sport. And once they saw that, like, well, wait a minute, they didn't expect that. I think for the outside world, it's like two animals in a cage, they just drink beer, they do whatever they want, and they just fight you know. People don't realize that you train a lot, two times a day, everything needs to be in order, in order to fight good, to fight well. So once they realize that they were good.
34:55 Rob Konrad
Okay. You've trained with a lot of you know the best people in the industry. I mean, you've trained so many of the top fighters and still train many of the fighters, I assume. Do you have a feeling for who will win, who won't win ,or who has it, or who hasn't got a win in him?
35:18 Bas Rutten
You know, its a very hard thing to…
Yeah, it's very hard because sometimes I'm completely right, sometimes I am completely wrong. Most of the time when a calm person walks in and like a student, a new student, they pick up and they listen to the questions or to the directions and they do it immediately and they stay calm and once they start getting hit you know they they look with the, they keep looking but they're not like freaking out? You immediately see okay this can go really far you know, they're calm you know, it's all about staying calm and not aggressive. The guys who come in and I will do this and I will do that you know who talk like that most of the times they're not going to make it because their mind is racing way too much.You have to calm it down. Fighting is not a it's not a sprint. It's a journey, I would say. You've got to relax with it. You got to find the openings of the opponent and speed is not going to do that. Yeah, you might get lucky a few times, you have guys like that. 70 wins and seven losses and then 70 wins all by knockout or submission. But then you look at the losses all by knock out and submission as well. You know those guys are great for the for the audience and great for the promoters because they always come to fight. But it's, you know, live by the sword, die by the sword. I never wanted to play that thing you know. If you can outlast a fighter like that for like a couple of minutes you're going to destroy a fighter like that, because the reason they've been in the first round is because they're super explosive but it never went to a second round, almost never, you know. Then suddenly you go to a second round, now you come in the world that I was in, 30 minutes fights, it's going to be hard to beat that. So, it's all about staying calm. So if you see a fighter, sometimes the explosive fighter, crazy fighter, we got to calm him down, and he becomes really good, which I didn't expect. And then sometimes a calm fighter comes in where I think he's going to go really fast up and then he's stuck somewhere. But most of the time I have to say I'm right. I can see when they walk in, in the first class I can tell, okay he can be very good or she can be very good doesn't matter.
37:15 Rob Konrad
How has fighting helped you in your life outside of fighting? Your mentality, your approach to things, to the way you approach fear, the way you approach challenges. How has it helped you? How has it shaped you maybe? It's a better question.
37:49 Bas Rutten
You know, what prepared my life was my asthma and my eczema. That's where I developed a thick skin, that's where I developed… I was one floor up so, if I had to go to the restroom while I had an asthma attack I can take three steps and I have to res. Three steps and I have to take a rest, three steps – and that's going to the restroom, just going to the restroom. It's a struggle to go to the restroom. People have no clue when they have asthma. This 24 X 7, 7 days straight. I mean there's air you know if you take a few steps you got to calm down for the few steps that you took, you know. So I think that really made me strong because I still had to do it anyway. I had to go through that, go down the stairs, downstairs pretty easy take two steps, sit down. Now going back up, try to do that with asthma attack. It's insane so, you know. That and then what was the other point you mentioned?
38:26 Rob Konrad
How did it shape your life or how your experiences shaped your life, how your approach to things shaped up your life?
38:32 Bas Rutten
Yeah, you see that prepared me for fighting, to push through when I really need to push through. And then when – and that brought – that concept, I brought to fighting. You know, I always thought I wasn't good enough. I always thought the other guy is doing more. If I was completely dead in training, I would think he's doing three more hours right now. And then I get up and I do three more hours. I'm very good at saying what… I' good at doing what I'm telling myself. If I say today I'm going to do 10 rounds we're going to do 10 rounds. If at nine rounds I fall on the ground, I will do the 10 rounds. If it's the third round that I fall on the ground, I will finish the 10 rounds because I'm programmed like that. I always did that, always pushing, always doing what you say you're going to do. And if I don't, I can't look at myself in the mirror. I'm very weird with that. So it's just, you know, putting out what you're going to do, just say it before. Never decide on the day of the training. You know, now if I get closer to a fight and I start getting weak and I feel a little weak, of course I listen to my body. I'm going to go… you know, there's a reason today maybe I should stop right now. But if I still feel good, normally I would just blast through. But you do have to listen to your body but you know when that is. You know when you're mentally weak that's a different thing than when you physically weak. When you're physically weak you know maybe I went too hard the last week, maybe got to slow it down a little bit, let's focus a little bit more the mental aspects of martial arts and then I start training with that and I just applied that to everything I did. Preparation is the key to everything. It's very simple The more you prepare the better it is but you are acting, ohh you are looking good man oh my god great reviews. You know, man, you have really a talent for that. I know! I worked really hard on it! You know, like a script I get it in within three days and try to memorize the whole freaking thing, you know. And then I start rehearsing. And then you start different ways because sometimes you do it in a certain way but then what are the different ways? Actually I took care of that also. So try to come up with a few different ways that you do it and just go in and do it, then you still have to make it look natural. I mean, there's so much thought that comes with acting and it's just acting, and then you do commercials, and then you do this and then fight it or whatever I did is the same concept. Preparation is the key to success. That's what I tell everybody.
40:47 Rob Konrad
I want to go back to the subject of bullying. You being bullied in your childhood. I recently had a very interesting discussion with a guy, maybe you've heard of him. He's got a – his name is Aaron Stark. Very interesting story. So, he was bullied as a child. He comes from a very abusive house, also, mentally physically abused, was very overweight, always the guy who smells bad at school and was bullied you know, his parents were drug addicts and basically his story, to make a long story short, is he when he was around 16 years old, he bought a gun and wanted to go to school and start you know, just go wild and cause as much harm as possible. And he was saved last seconds by someone who basically just showed him some kindness and, you know, hugged him and said, okay, you look like shit, let's, let's go grab some food, grab a pizza. And that kind of changed him and now he's an advocate against bullying and he's talking about how we can save people who really have lost all of their hope. By the way he's a big fan. I had to promise that I get you guys in touch. He's a very inspiring character, and it was a very emotional discussion, I have to say, with him. It is very, very, you know, going into the mind of someone who was that close to running wild and understanding the reason was a crazy experience.
42:10 Bas Rutten
It's you know, it's, it's always, it needs just one little positive thing. It's funny how God puts people in the place at the right moment like that you know. Because otherwise, it could have gone really bad. I remember a moment like that, where I just landed, the guys, right, trying to pick a fight with me and I saw in a movie and since I was always in the, in the trees, I grabbed the branch and this guy was there, and I grabbed it and I wanted to swing towards him and kick him like I saw in the movies and the branch broke, and fell on the ground and all the kids around me started laughing. And that was already when I got bullied over and over again. And I remember going running home, grabbing the kitchen knife, big knife and I started running back to this kid and thankfully, my mother was cleaning, and she sees me suddenly running with a knife in the hand, and she starts sprinting after me. And then she got me thankfully, and she put it. I don't know if I would have stabbed him but I would have thought I was I was in a state that I did not care anymore. And I was 12, I was 12 years old, you know. So yeah, it's and then just one person you know, one show of love, or a little bit of a glimpse of the other side because if you only get bullied. you know, you think everybody is like that. But then when you see something positive happening to you, man, that's, that's power. You know, the power of love, right? They make songs about it. It's really like that.
43:26 Rob Konrad
It's true, it's true. But what do you recommend to someone who is in that position? Or maybe if you are parents of a boy or girl that's being bullied at school, what do you tell them to do or how should they react? I mean you've been there, what's is there one strategy that fits all or is it?
43:44 Bas Rutten
You know, my strategy was, you know, but you can say to nowadays, right? Well, I learned how to fight. I just fought myself out. And I got – once I dropped the first guy, 90% of the bullying stopped. That was it for me. Now I would say yeah, love and peace try. And know, if it's if it's a kid, know, it's only four years of your life, probably. All those bullies, 90% of them, they're not the smartest guys. You know, if they've not born into money their life is not going to be a very fun one. I had a reunion where I walked in with my wife and I was a world champion, and I walked in the hall of the reunion and boy it was exactly like they do in the comedies you know. All the tough guys were complete losers right now, it is really like that you know. It's not a movie thing. It's really like that and I remember going up and I look at the microphone I say, ‘Does anybody want to mess with me right now?' And I started laughing. I go man, this is so funny, it's like in the movies. You guys are the opposite right now. You're the loser. You know, it was so fun to rub it in because these things you know did I have to rub it in? No. Of course not. But then you can see how, when people say things to you, how long that stays with you. I had a teacher, Meester Joss. And he's only a few years older than me, he will be maybe nine years older than me. I would still slap, I wouldn't knock him out, but he would get a slap in the face I think I truly believe so. He was such a bad person, and the way he treated me yeah he should really watch out if I would see him. Like I said, I won't hurt him but it's just a little back smack in the face and say, “you know, you're lucky right now”, and then just walk out. That will be it you know, I wouldn't even try to knock him out because he doesn't deserve it right now. But you see what words can do? They stay with you for such a long time,and I want those kids at home to know that they're just words you know use them as fuel, use them as fuel like I did. Find something that you love to do. This is important. Don't go for whatever they always say oh it's my wish, it's my passion. People go, oh it's my passion I want to do this yeah, I want to be Jimmy Hendrix but you know – physically there's no way I can do that, that's not going to happen. Follow what you love to do because most of the time what you love to do, you completely invest in that. You will do it over and over again because you love to do it. Like fighting. I love fighting. I love going to the gym. I love going over it. It was the only thing I was doing. And once you get obsessed like and love it, you become good at everything but find what you love don't find what your passion is.
46:26 Rob Konrad
Did you did you ever get to meet that Shockey guy again?
46:32 Bas Rutten
No. I ever did. I don't think… I did a show in Holland called Reunion, that's different from what I just said. It's a TV show. It's a big TV show. Like in Holland 3 million people would watch. There are 15 million people in Holland. Like one five at that time. And then 3 million people. That's one in five. That's like the Super Bowl.That's how many people watch it. Yeah, I remember walking into the classroom. They made the classroom. And it was cool because other kids really, they did really great things as well and they they looked at all the kids, you know, and including me, of course, but also the other kids. And when I walked in the house, is there anybody who should be afraid? And I go, ‘No', I said, but you know, I wish they were here because I wanted to thank them because of those guys, I'm having this great life right now. Because if they would have bullied me, I don't know, maybe I would have stayed a cook. I'm a professional chef. Maybe I would have opened a restaurant you know but because of the bullying I became a fighter.
47:29 Rob Konrad
What I think is that, it seems like a lot of the fighters of the first generation, like guys like Marker or Coleman and so on, they kind of seem to struggle to get, find a way to normal life right now.Why do you think that is? I mean, tough guys those they have been through a lot of things so you say, they're ready for everything.
47:52 Bas Rutten
But you know what they live in the moment, you know. And I understand that everybody says, “live in the now”, and I understand that. I like to live already in the future. When I came to America, within three weeks, I was taking acting classes at the Beverly Hills playhouse, here in Beverly Hills. You know, I know eventually, I was still fighting. But eventually I was going to do that. And I know also that as a job, as a profession, you have to learn that. I know also, because I was a fighter, and I thought it was really good and then my first fight came, and I realized I sucked because it's too much pressure. Well, that pressure, you will have in acting too. So you can be in front of the mirror, and do all your lines and you think you're 100% good. But now three cameras in your face and the whole crew is waiting and if you mess up, that's going to take longer and people start ugh by doing this kind of stuff you know. That's a lot of pressure. And suddenly you forget your lines. How is that possible? I remembered everything it was in the top of my head. Again, that is pressure. And for me, I want to overcome that by going to acting classes and then immediately doing acting on stage with other actors there, you know, because once you do it again, under pressure, you just have to get used to it.
48:58 Rob Konrad
Preparation, preparation, preparation as you said.
49:00 Bas Rutten
Again, it's all preparation, but do what you need to do. So if it's in front of an audience, you have to compete in front of an audience, try to rehearse in front of an audience because the difference between not an audience, not having anybody and an audience, it's a big difference. That's that's the plank again, what I was talking about,
49:20 Rob Konrad
Yeah. What would you say to the kids that think they can become the next Mayweather, or the next McGregor, whatever. There are a lot of guys were saying, hey, they have in them and they a training just for that but I know statistically, only so many people can make it to the top. Should they put everything in one card? Should they have a plan B? What would you..?
49:40 Bas Rutten
Always a plan B. I always had a plan B. You know, like I said, I'm a chef cook. So if I would, and I can do anything, like, I have people skills, I know I can talk to everybody, I can be a car salesman, make a lot of money, I can be behind the bar, I can make a killing because I know I'm good with people. I enjoy people, I like people, and that's why I like to talk, and where they come from. So with with kids, I would say don't start too early. This is, most of the time, is bad what I say now. But it's 80% true. Like you have these young kids who are really talented and most of the time they get pushed by the dad who used to do the same thing, but he was not really that good and now to try to live out their dreams through their kids and they put all the pressure on this kid. And then if he excels they say he's just like me he's just like me you know because then they can bring it back to them, it's for them. But you put too much pressure on the kid. Let him be a kid you know, he's going to compete when he's 10 years old. No don't, that makes no sense. Wait till they are 16-17 and then just only but even if it's mixed martial arts, just a few, you don't want to burn out. What the hard thing is, when you do something over and over again you start to get burned out, you know, become sensitized to it, it becomes too normal, and fighting is not normal. There needs to be a little bit of fear or a little bit of that, because if you completely relaxed, absolutely no fear is not good for your reflexes, you know. That's why you have those feelings to make your reflexes better, you know, to be alert, that's why you have that and if you don't have that alert anymore like all these guys they say oh I'm not afraid of anything, well you're an idiot. If something is wrong and you're not afraid of anything its stupid. I put a polar bear in front of you trust me, I'm very afraid of a polar bear, any bear for that matter, snakes, big pythons, I would never have put them around my neck to make a picture. I would never do that you know that's asking for trouble. Once they are wrapped around you're done. So take the pressure off the kid and just let him do what he wants to do and to the kid if he wants to compete, don't start with competing. You know the great thing in mixed martial arts is for instance, if they picked mixed martial arts you can do judo or do Brazilian Jujitsu tournaments or just wrestling. You can separate it and then once he's 18 add in a few boxing moves, there's amateur boxing you know he wants his amateur boxing you know slowly but surely you get the strongest – I was the strongest from 32-33-34. I was insanely strong. Like I would do nine one on pull ups. I was just very good, diamond cross, I could do all that stuff, you know, and I never did heavyweights all well 80 kilograms did 30 times, bench pressing four sets of 30 like I would do this, okay, wait, but I would just do a lot of times, a lot of reps. Slowly but surely push yourself and then once you feel yourself that you want to compete and in boxing everything is working, is fine, then start competing but don't compete too much, don't compete every month you know do it four times a year. Slowly but because if you start doing it at 18 years old at 21 you're going to have like 50 fights. You don't want to do that. Wait for it. Plus your strongest years are going to come, I'm telling you, once you're around 30 years old, that's when you're the smartest and that's where everything really comes together, pretty much Christ's age when he passed away, 33 I would say.
52:54 Rob Konrad
You have three daughters right?
52:58 Bas Rutten
Yes and a grandson.
53:01 Rob Konrad
Congratulations. So what kind of dad is Bas Rutten?
53:08 Bas Rutten
What you see is what you get with me. What you see right now is exactly how I'm at home, you know. I might sometimes be a little laying relaxed, but with the kids it's always fun, it's always laughing. This morning already we were laughing. I get up early now because I want to get used to the east coast time and on Thursday I go to the east coast so I get up there and 6 o'clock, quarter to 6 am and then I cook for my daughter who goes to school at 6 already. So I'll make her some healthy food because most of the time she doesn't eat, but i given this special drink that I have with its own nutrition and then there's like cashews in but I grind them and you know so she's got carbs and you got everything that she needs and then I make an omelette or something for her as well. And then I start my day, my routine, the stretching routine, I do everything that I do, I pray a lot you know, I like to go into the zone and calm down. And then the day starts, I mean three hours later. Three hours later I put my social media on so I watch very carefully. But everything in the house it's always laughing. My other daughter, my middle daughter, the 21 year old, she took her first Brazilian Jujitsu class yesterday and I was kind of hoping that she would really love it and she loves it which is hard because the first time you know you have no clue what you're doing you know it's you can just do with you whatever they want. But she knows, she says no I want to go back. Today she's going to start training again so you know yeah there's a lot of laughing and there's a lot of messing with people we do that too, especially my youngest daughter my poor wife oh man she would stalk her the whole time like wait outside the restroom my wife comes out bah! then she would film it. You know to see their expression, and my wife, poor wife she falls for it every single time. Like my daughter's do it to me and they don't, there's no reaction so they stop and I tell my wife don't react that big because they are doing it you know but she can't, she has to do it so yeah she gets bothered a lot but it's all fun and games.
55:01 Rob Konrad
Okay, okay. And your son in law, if you have grand kid already then your son in law must have been shit scared of you?
55:11 Bas Rutten
He lives in Holland with my oldest daughter. She's 28. She lives over there and she was actually texting me yesterday, and he said, “where's Oupa Bas?” That's what he was asking, where's Oupa Bas. She says “hey, Scott is asking” – Scott is his name – “asking about you”. I said, Well, you're in luck. In a couple of weeks we're coming to Holland but we kept it quiet but so we're going to come visit. So that was a that was a nice thing to say because the last time he was, I went back to the airport and I was at the airport and I got a picture from my grandson they have a big screen TV and they were playing the movie ‘Here comes the Boom', and where I was one of the four leads, and there's a part where he walked over he puts his hand against the TV on me and my daughter made a picture of it. It is so cute, you know. She sent to me. I go “oh, you know, that it's cool stuff”. So yeah he's a natural heavyweight I truly believe he's going to be a heavy weight champ, my daughter already started, “no dad, he's going to be a lawyer”. I said, “we'll decide that later, don't worry about it.”
56:18 Rob Konrad
Great, good. And has ever been a time where you struggled in your life? I mean, you've reached the top in many areas.
56:29 Bas Rutten
Listen, and everybody has those things, every single person on the planet. You know, for me it was also once work starts slowing down. Once you as a fighter, you stop – it's an incredible high when you win, you know, if you knock somebody out. Most of the time with me, it was a combination I worked on and to see that come to fruition, you know, that's like whoa, that's really cool. On a certain submission you win a minute it's like such a high that you have when you win, and once they take that away and you don't have anything to replace that with. My first ______he's very smart about it, he's chasing tornadoes now, right away when he stopped fighting, because he knew he was going to have that problem. Other guys, you know, they start like, with me have been drinking. You know, but I'm a very – I see things off myself pretty fast and I go out pretty fast took a few years. But you know, I, I remember waking up one day and have a seven bottles of wine and ask my wife how many she drank. And she said, none. I say you say that I drink that yesterday. Yeah, and I don't have anything right now. I can literally go to train, I'll probably I'll outwork my students. That is not good. And that's when I stopped four years right away. But then I got this really, after my last fight in 2006 – so after seven years, I decided to fight again and somehow that's where my knees started. And all the injuries that made me stop for in the first place, they all came back with a vengeance. So, I fought my fight. I won the fight. Everything was okay. But I was completely – I had so many injuries. And it started with two little pain pills, you know, and I have an amazing body, my doctor told me. My liver knows how to break things, really fast. That's why I never had hangovers. So two pills become 4, become 8, become 16. I am on literally 12 pills at the time, like insane amounts, then you go to Oxycontin, which is pretty much heroin, right? But what they're selling, the same thing. And because there's less Tylenol in, than in other pill, because otherwise, your liver is going to go down, you know, because you put so much effort on it. So and then I had an Oxycontin addiction. But again, I had that, and also realized really fast that I went wrong. Within a year I go, I remember I was telling myself that I wasn't addicted until my flight was delayed in like, at the East Coast, somewhere, like four hours, and I'd run out of pills. And that was not a fun part home. I realized, I'm addicted. Then shaking, you know, I get goosebumps, sweating, cold sweats. So then I kicked that again, you know, and, that was the last thing, that was in 2008, I believe. Then I stopped everything. And now we got everything under control. I have to say also, for a few years ago, I got back into the faith in the Catholic faith and that really helped me as well to, you know… but I have really good theologian who helped me with everything and, you know, to make you see, you know, once you read that you're a slave to alcohol, you're enslaved, right? And I go, No, no. So once you start putting those things in perspective, and you and you do the work, it becomes actually easy. You, you can never say easy, because as soon as you think it's easy, that's where it comes back. It's always like that, if you think you have a handle on it, you should never do that. But now I can literally drink, yesterday I got a drink, one glass of wine, you know, and it's easy, you know. And I could never have done that 10 years ago, 15 years ago. Because if I feel a little buzz, if one is good, two is better. Two is good, four is better. You see how it goes. And because we're all looking for that thrill the whole time because that's- we're pretty much addicted to it as a fighter. You are pretty much – that's why the rock climbers do the same thing, the sky divers, the guys with the bat suits, it's all… But you see what happens is, with the bat suits also, in the beginning, you start going through the air but then, you know, that's, that's fun, for the first, 10 times, 20 times, now doesn't do anything anymore. Let's go very close to a to a mountain. You know, this is where the accident started happening. Because every time you get sensitized to it, you get used to it and then you have to up the game. And that's how you have to watch out with those kinds of sports because most of the time, that's where it goes wrong. And it's the same it you know, loving drinking, or doing drugs, whatever it is. Everything if you get, how do I say, as long as you control it, and it cannot control you, that's what I always say to my students. You're good. You know, once you cannot go without, you're gonna have to stop and stop immediately because it can only go downhill. Once you pass a certain amount of pills there's no turning back anymore. You're going to have to stop. I remember the number nine I wrote with my wife's highlighter, or whatever you call the thing on the mirror in the top mirror, I wrote 9 because I was taking nine pills a day, like Vicadins or______. And I said I'm not going to go over nine. And two weeks later, you're at 15, you know. And I go it is going to go wrong. So, you know, once you, you have to you have to see it. What they say with drug addicts also, it's like they have to fall really hard. Thankfully, I never did that. I just saw it come and go you know what it's only gotten worse and worse and worse. I gotta stop this now. So now once you stop it, then you realize that there's a whole different world outside suddenly. And then now, you know, now you start replacing things. Now I went to skydive and I started doing these things, because that's it's a kick, it's a thrill as well. And now I want to do to bat suit, you see, and so but I'm gonna have to do a lot of jumps right now. I'm very busy. But I think I believe I have to do over 50 jumps. I think before I am allowed to go into a bat suit and I found out though, it's 50 miles away from here there's a skydiving school now. So I can do it. I can go every day 10 times.
1:02:03 Rob Konrad
Not to rush those things, I guess. So how do you rediscover your faith? Have you been an atheist? Or have you just abandoned faith?
1:02:15 Bas Rutten
When I was 12 years old I was all Catholic, I was baptized, I did my confirmation, and then at 12 years old my parents decided not to go to church anymore. So now I had this crazy life. In my old house, the house before this house, we had a ghost in there, a spirit, that my whole family saw. My daughter can describe exactly what she looked like. She knew it was a woman. We found out later it was a woman who passed away – the previous owner and she didn't like me. She attacked me and in the middle of the night, and very scary, like crashing me into bed, not able to eat, not able to breathe. The only way for me to us get mentally very angry and I would explode in the middle of the night screaming. And my wife and everybody would freak out of course. It was the only way to get up but I couldn't move a muscle could even breathe anymore. That happened a whole bunch of times, saw her walking through the house like literally see her walking through the house. I felt one day we came home and I felt there was somebody in the house. It was 9:30-10 o'clock at night and I tell my family to stay at the front door. I say keep the door open but I went almost close. If you hear me struggle with somebody I want you to close and call the cops, don't worry about me I'm going to be fine, don't worry but there's somebody or something in a house, it felt weird. Now I had his kitchen that was divided. It was a dining room on one side of the wall and it was an open kitchen that went in the back there was the kitchen, the fridge and all that stuff, the stove. And I thought that person was there. So what I did there were two entrances. I could go to the open kitchen walk to the back part or I go to the dining area and it was this big curtain, like this heavy thick curtain, hanging in front of the doorpost instead of a door that also went to the kitchen. So what I did, I acted like I went to this side and then suddenly I was loud, we're talking, hoping that the person would take the bait and would start walking down and I will make u-turn and then I face the person. I started sprinting and while I'm running through the curtain flies up against the ceiling so I just keep sprinting through and my – the family saw it. There's nobody in house. Doors were closed, we just came home, people everybody goes, yeah, Bas problem with the door. I said, we just came home, everything was calm, I'm not leaving doors open. I'm Dutch. We close everything before we leave trust me on that. But I mean it didn't move, it flew up against the ceiling, full power. And that was the moment that I thought okay, this is way more in this world than we can see you know, and we can experience. So then a few days later I challenged it. I would always challenge it. If it would happen in the middle of the night I would say okay, I want you to do it now again. I'm going to go to sleep. Do it again because now I'm going to be ready for you. I want to see because now you're waiting for me such a long time. It's like a sucker punch. I say if you are tough come right now, you know. And then I went under the the chandelier the place where it was always cold, it was the dining room area and I challenged it there for 45 minutes I think. I said come on let's do this now. You know, I don't like this coming behind and hitting me and then going away. If you're really tough you should do this right now. Now, later when I started thinking about this whole thing, I realized that that woman, my kids, everybody was happy, there was no problem. She was singling me out and that was the time that I was drinking heavy. Now I was never a bad drunk, but, I was always just music, just dancing, you know. I'm always up and always happy, but always happy, always drunk is not being a good father, not being a good husband, not going to be a good man you know. So, I stopped that at the time. Many years later we're filming a movie and we have this speaker coming into the set, talk a theologian, and a friend of mine said, ‘Hey Bas why don't you sit in on the on the talk this time?' Kevin James, he is a Catholic as well he says. ‘Why don't you sit with him?' And he started talking about me, about a leaf fell from the tree and then the leaf is on the ground that was the end destination of the leaf and then he started backtracking the leaf. And the way he did that, you come to a conclusion undeniable, I cannot do it like he does. He actually wrote a book about it Going Deeper is that from Leo Severino. It's a really good book, not a thick book but you read that. After you read that, you know, we are planted here, this is not an accident. I never believed that this was an accident anyway, the one cell going to two cells, I never believed that because how you sustain life like that one cell, it's, for me, that was an impossible. I always thought actually, I thought that we were put on this planet by us from the future, that's what I always thought, you know. So for me to make that switch to go, oh from the future, or there is a God who did this, that was a very simple step. You also have to remember when I was 10 years old, Mace Dios, you remember the guy I didn't like. He's a bad guy and I remember in his class, I was 10 years old, was looking outside the tree, out the window and there was a tree and he's trying to get my attention. And I have a class laughing and suddenly he's screaming. I go because I'm in the zone, I'm looking at a tree and this is a very vivid memory for me. And then he screamed Rutten, I go, what? He goes, ‘What are you doing? I said, ‘I'm looking at that tree.' He says, ‘What about the tree?' I go, ‘How did the tree get here? He goes, They planted that stupid.' I go,, ‘No, that's not what I'm saying. How? But the tree before that, when you go all the way back, where did trees come from? Where did it start? What was the first tree?” So when Leo started the leaf falls from the tree, started backtracking to leaf, to where the adventure all began and then with a solid proof of the very existence of God, I was like, okay. You see? Now that with me what happened with the ghost, I knew already too much negativity going on. By the way, that challenging of the ghost, I did at 3 am at night, I had no clue that Jesus passed away at 3pm. I wasn't in the faith. And that 3 am would be – the dark forces are the most active at 3 am. This is the opposite of when, when Christ passed. You know? I had no clue but yet I was there at three o'clock doing it, you know. So all these little things when you start looking back at that fits together, it's almost like they were planting seeds in my head. until suddenly I heard the talk from Leo and I go, oh, man, this is the wildest thing you know. I can talk a lot about that, because there's so many things that happened along the way but you know, that that's maybe for a different show, because people going to go ohh what's, what's going on? Most of the time, when you start talking about the faith, people going to go they zone out right away, it's right away oh, the pedophile priests, and it's said, they blame it on people. You know? and I always go oh, so, okay so what you're saying is that if you are a math teacher who taught 8 + 8… Because let's face it, the New Testament is all truth and it's all love. Nobody can deny that. You can be a biggest atheist but you cannot say that. You have to forgive everybody 70/70 times over and over. It's all about love and truth, right? That's a 100% true. That's what Jesus said he was established. But the truth is also math, right? 8 + 8 = 16. But what if your math teacher had sexual relation? What if one of the math teachers on the planet had a sexual relationship with a minor? Is 8 + 8 still 16? And they look at me, I go, yeah, of course, it's still 16. Well, see it like that. Jesus said, this is the church, this is our good, yeah, and along the way bad people come who try to destroy the church from within, that's what we're seeing right now, is actually the Apostle Paul talked about that, it will happen like that. They will act like they're, you know, one of us apostles, they come into the church and from the inside, they're going to try to throw it away. Once you hear these stories with these pedophile priests what came out last time to 300 something with the upside down crosses that they did, and crucified a little kid like not with nails, by hanging him on the cross. I mean, that is satanic. Right? So that means he was hundred percent, right? They started like that, they tried to ruin it from the inside. So, once you can overcome that, and you just realize these are bad people, this is not what Jesus said, you know, that problem is solved. Unfortunately, I was like that. I would say that the first time somebody came to me. Oh, you're Catholic, oh, a pedophile priests. I would say that because I didn't learn about it. Well, once you learn about it, and you wake up, you become, you're smart about it you go no, it's just bad people. Look at the first 12 apostles, we already had a bad one there, right?
1:10:25 Rob Konrad
So do you believe in specifically in the Catholic Church and Jesus, and in the scriptures as being verbatim? Or is it more of a because the idea of that something has to be initiated at some point by someone, right? There's a higher power that – that very generic, let's say, idea that you can have a Catholic Church, for example. So would you say you more Catholic guy or more spiritual guy?
1:10:51 Bas Rutten
No, I'm Catholic, all the way like 100%. I think there's the one only to a church you know, they say that's the one that's established by Jesus Christ. And people can say, oh, the Protestant Church, still no it's not. Martin Luther, establish that church. He took some books out, seven books out and he's there's some changes that he made, you know, so that's not established by Jesus. It's changed on the way oh, you know, if you read the Christ connection, if you find out that 2000 years before Christ was born in the book of the Hindu, which is the oldest religion in the world, in the book of the Hindu and 2000 years before Christ was born, somebody will get born from a virgin, he would get spit out by the people, he would be bound to a stick, his hand that feet would be pierced, but his head, his bones would not be broken, he would wear a crown of thorns, he would drink a sour drink and then the last one was seven identical punch lines from the passion, 2000 years before this happened. You can read it, it's in the book right? And the last one was that they said oh no, this cannot be true. Because in order to sustain life and to to go there, you had to eat him and drink him and they thought they were talking about cannibalism you know and then you go 2000 years later Jesus get born from a virgin get his whole story that is predicted 2000 years before that in the book of the Hindu you can find it right there and there's more religions also there's the coming of Christ, The Christ Connection is a book by Roy Varghese and it's really interesting when you read those things and then once you really start diving into it because you always try in the beginning you know you want to learn more you want to believe more because if you can see it like like I experienced it, I saw it, I saw things flying around I know it's hundred percent there. But for other people yeah seeing is believing right? And I pray for a month and nothing happened you know, he's not he doesn't exist yeah okay so you didn't do anything your whole life, you did everything wrong, and all the bad things that you did and then a month you're entitled to suddenly need some help from God, come on guys. It's like training for 10 years and I trained for a month I want to fight the world title fight. It's not really working like that you know. You have to really dive into it. And I really found it then. I think it's really important. I mean the things that you read, and the prophetic messages they have, and yes, by the New Testament I live, you know. That that's what I want. I would love to have you know the understanding and to forgive and forget and do all that stuff and be more peace and calm it's great yeah the Old Testament, there's so much stuff in there. We're going to go whoa that's a little hard but that's not what Christian live by ,you know ,we all live by what Jesus established.
1:13:25 Rob Konrad
You talked about books, you mentioned in another interview with you, you're a big fan of the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Talk a bit about that, because I read a book many years ago, it was very influential book for myself as well. I really liked the book, can you talk a bit a little bit about that? Maybe it's impossible, but a five sentence summary of what the story of the book is, because it's really about finding your path in life right?
1:13:52 Bas Rutten
Yeah, it's finding your personal legend. So that's everything, your goal in life, whatever you want to do. And with him it was on a treasure, you know, in this book, this particular book. He is just a sheep herder you know, who goes on this mission, to look for his personal legends. And he meets all these people on the way, along the way that changed him, they put him back on the course. Every time when he strayed away from the path, you know, he meets a person and he jumps back on again. And he realizes, he calls them omens, like things or people you meet, you meet those for a reason. I tell my students always, and everybody, my daughters, you know, you, you meet people for a reason, you know, and if you meet a person, you think, oh, maybe I got to have to listen to the person. And this book is so smart, because it's a normal story. Nobody told me that I was actually going to learn from it. So while I was reading it, I go like, and that's a great thing, what he did. And once you keep reading, you realize, oh, wow, it's really imprinting all the things that you need to have in order to be a good person or a successful person. You know, it's hidden in, in the story, because you think it's just that guy, the sheep herder, that's what he is. But once you start reading it, then you realize that your, your mind gets programmed a certain way and it is so so good for you. I read it a whole bunch of times. Every friend of mine, I told everybody to read it. It's very good. I just read a book, The Icon Effect. And, and it's pretty much the same. And it's about business, a business guy was down and you know, they, and they have these rules is 25 rules and every time a rule pops up, and I was, my buddy gave it to me and he said, Bas, if you read this, you cannot stop it. You will read it one time. So I took the first page and started reading when I flew to New York and I finished it when I was in New York. I was like this is the best book it's also – You read it, it's a normal story, but you get these little rules and if you live by those rules, as a business person, they will really help you. Another one and it's Matthew McConaughey actually, he put me on to that, it's The Greatest Salesman in the World. But it takes 10 months to read because there's 10 chapters and every chapter you have to read three times a day for a month straight and then you can go to the next chapter and what that is doing is also it's programming your mind because you're reading it reading it and reading it. But after 12 days, 13 days, you realize, you memorize your whole five minutes six minutes little talk, you know you can do it on top of your head. You do it in the morning, during the day, first thing in the morning, during the day and just before you go to sleep and you do that for 30 days boom it's locked in and a lot of the things that he's talking about are, you know, but you don't live by them. You realize that you know that you should live by them but you don't do it anymore. It's kind of watered down, you know, so then you pick that up again and that I really enjoyed that book as well.
1:16:42 Rob Konrad
Okay. So Bas yeah, I mean, we Bas sorry, I don't want to get it wrong. Is Bas short for?
1:16:54 Bas Rutten
Sebastian. The only saint who got murdered twice actually, they shot him. He told the king at the time the Emperor what he was doing wrong with the Christians and then they, the bottom on the stick, they start shooting him full of arrows. He survived that. Somebody brought him back to life. Then he went straight back to the guy, did it again. This time, they didn't let him go though. They clubbed him to death. But he's the only saint, he's the saint of athletes also. So he was the Roman commander in the Roman Empire.
1:17:22 Rob Konrad
Okay. Okay. So, what's next for you? What's, where's your path leading you?
1:17:30 Bas Rutten
Yeah. My next project is called the WBKFF World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation. It's legal, t's big in England right now.
1:17:39 Rob Konrad
1:17:40 Bas Rutten
And it started here in America now too and Wyoming is a state where it's legal, legalized Bare Knuckle Boxing.
1:17:47 Rob Konrad
Oh, wow. Okay.
1:17:48 Bas Rutten
And November 9, I have the first show. I just became the President of that company. They had been asking me for a lot. I do karate as well. It's called Karate Combat, I like to do and I do mixed martial arts as commentating as well. And then they wanted me to be a President of this new MMA organization. I said, no, because there's so many out there. But when they came with bare knuckle, I go, wow, that could be really cool. I did my homework first because I need to make sure, I knew already in my mind that it was safe for them boxing, but I had to find that I had to look it up. And so once I start googling it, people get up because now people are going to watch this and they go like he's an idiot. It's more safer boxing. Just google it. It's safe, is Bare Knuckle boxing safer than boxing? And all the guys will say, yeah it is. People at home who don't understand martial arts, they think the glove is invented to protect the head of the opponent. It's not invented for that. It's to protect the hand because people were breaking their hands on the skull all the way back, and then they couldn't defend their title. So they go dude, this is not good, we got to come up with something so they don't break their hands anymore. That's how the boxing glove gets invented. Now, when the boxing glove got invented, now, there's no reason to hold back anymore. You can hit as hard as you want, you are not going to break your hand anymore. In Bare Knuckle Boxing, all these guys, those pros, they hit 50% of the power to the head, and they go hard to the body. But they don't want to hit the head hard because if they hit this skull, they're going to break their hands. So yes, you have lacerations, you have that stuff, but that's superficial, you know, it's just on the top of it. It doesn't cost CTE, right? So, encephalopathy, right? It's traumatic, chronic traumatic encephalopathy that's it. It's a very hard word to pronounce but CTE is a big thing now in boxing, right, and even with American football here also.
1:19:43 Rob Konrad
Yeah probably the late stage, brain damage, depression, caused by that so you have many suicides and pro athletes yeah.
1:19:49 Bas Rutten
So now that was the first thing I did when I heard about Bare Knuckle Boxing I started googling about it and they said, No. Yeah, you have guts, go down with body shots. The last show they had was not with this company, another company, there was one knockout from like, 15 fights and one broken hand and the rest maybe got stopped because of a cut, but nobody got knocked out anymore. So it's actually safer and that was the reason that I said, ‘Okay, then I want to do it'. Now, don't get me wrong, if it goes completely out of hand, which I don't think it is because it's working for such a long time and in England it's already, nothing can go wrong. I don't want anybody to get hurt of course. As long as I know that they can keep speaking to their family instead of start slurring their words – that would not be good for me. So, little cut here and there for guys… From what I understand the girls dig scars, right?
1:20:41 Rob Konrad
Real, man. Do you think there's a chance that this will ever get sanctioned nationwide? Because I need it's, it's it's much more graphic in a way. iI's not as bad from injury perspective but it's much more graphic. You will get the cuts, you will get the lacerations and stuff like that. So there will be blood and people will say Oh God! this is just another freak show. We will never sanction that. Do you think there's a chance that this will ever be?
1:21:06 Bas Rutten
Especially now what goes on every day, the whole world is turning into a sissy. We can't do anything any more, you can't say anything anymore. Yeah, I mean, just saying. So, but I'm very easy – like golf for instance, is not my cup of tea. for Do I shout at them? Do I scream against them? If I set the channel on golf then I just clicked the next channel. For example, I'm not going to stay and look at it and start spitting fight, go online and start saying bad things about it, it makes no sense. You know, so that's why I believe it probably won't be a regular TV kind of thing. But it's is a pay per view show. And I think people buy the pay per view, you know, they already kind of used to that stuff, you know, it's like a cut for people. It's like I stitch myself up, you know, whatever I do, or my students you know, I don't have a problem with that, but for regular people that's really weird. I feel completely closed, and I just got my doctor I say, give me a syringe with the right gauge. And I just stabbed it in and I just suck the blood out and you know, for me that's a normal thing to do. And then one time I heard the fighter who was in that room at the same time, I heard him tell that story to somebody else like 15 years later. He says this is good man, he takes off his shades he sticks a syringe in his arm, he starts sucking the blood out. And I go, “Oh, he's talking about me, right?”. But the way he was talking, I go like, “Oh yeah, now that sounds a little weird,” right? Because it's so normal for us, but it's not normal for other people so, when they see blood all over the face and they wipe the blood most of time it's a little tiny cut somewhere because the heart rate is pumping.
1:22:37 Rob Konrad
Athletes, incredibly fast and then quite a lot. So, quite intense.
1:22:42 Bas Rutten
So you know, that's, once people can step over then – if you don't like blood don't watch it.
1:22:47 Rob Konrad
There is illusion there?
1:22:51 Rob Konrad
Well. Yeah, that's all… I don't want to keep it longer. I know you're quite busy, and maybe the one last thing – your oxygen trainer, that's something I wanted to talk about. Because think that's a great product, and and maybe you can just quickly talk about that before we close up.
1:23:06 Bas Rutten
Well, here we go again, with the asthma right. I would have, at the time when I was very sick as a kid, I was still doing track and field because my whole family has done track and field. My brother is really good at but I started getting really good at it as well. And I wanted to become, believe it or not, the Dutch Bruce Jenner because he was the guy, he was the 1976 gold medalist in triathlon. No, no, no decathlon, and, and I wanted to do that as well. I was good at javelin, discuss, shot put, running, high jump and everything good for my asthma. The 1500 meters of course, was the hardest thing for me to do and the 400 meters, because there's my lungs. But for the rest, I was going really well. Now, if I would have an asthma attack, and then I would after that attack, let's say, eight days in bed, not able to breathe, I would resume my track and field and every single time when I would do that, I would run faster and I will break my running times. And I go, why is that? Maybe it's the medication they gave me? Maybe it's the Cortisones, you know, it has to be some, why do I every time…? And then it goes slowly but surely, goes away again, and I'm back to my old numbers. And I had to learn how to breathe, you know. So every month you go as a kid you're thinking I want breathing classes from a doctor, from a specialist and when I went to the office, I saw a drawing of a pair of lungs on the on the wall in the frame. And I saw that the infection is not in your lungs, it's in the air pipes that go to the lungs. As a kid you think it's in the lungs – lung infection, that's what you think, right? It's not, it's the air pipes that go towards the lungs. And you saw one air pipe next to each other, and one that was completely closed with all slimy stuff in there. And that was literally, I was 14 years old. I go – that was the light bulb – I go, oh man, I've been working out my lungs for eight days in a row. I've been married to this little tiny hole. So then when the infection is gone, and everything is open the way I and that's why I run better. Why don't I come up with something that controls the air intake, that was literally my idea. And over the years I started telling everybody at, you know, where you're at a party and somebody said oh, I have an invention, and then they tell their invention. They say, oh I have an invention. But every time when I would tell my invention they will say you're not going to make that thing, Bas, because somebody's going to come up with that. That's a really good idea that you have. And it went on and on until I was in America, and suddenly a fighter Vanda le Silva, he was training his fighters apparently with a snorkel, breathing in, just a snorkel and my phone went crazy. I got text message from everybody, and I called it the Rutenizer at the time, we called it the O2 trainer now but the Rutenizer that was the name for just for fun and he says, dude, the Rutenizer, you gotta make it. Everybody started telling me, they say somebody is going to come up with it because look he's already training through a tube , to you know, and it might look like that. So I started making, made, a prototype, I started training with the prototype. I was a severe asthma patient my entire life. Every fight I had in the dressing room, I always had to spray my lungs open. Everywhere I traveled in the world I had to carry an inhaler, because if I would sneeze three times very violently – achhoo – like hard, my lungs close. I have to take him up and spray them open. Within three weeks my asthma was cured. Gone. Three weeks! I'm telling my buddy in Holland who has asthma, I said, I'm going to send you one. Him – two weeks, cured. He sells them now in Europe because he says this is crazy, it cured me. Right now I have a 100% success rate. Everybody who uses it for asthma, they don't have asthma any more. Can i medically claim it? No, because I don't have the money to do those tests yet. I do have medical journals published medical journals that tell you what it does for you. So then I have because I got in contact with the trainer from Usain Bolt. He wrote a really bad article about the competition that I won't say the name because … but he wrote a big article about it. My manager told me about the article and I said, hey, listen, do me a favor find the guy who wrote that article. I want to send a note to the trainer. Are you sure you want to do that? Because what if it's bad… I said it's not. They control the air in and out, mine only controls the air in. It is the only way to go. I know this is the only way to go because then you can completely exhale before you inhale again. So you can use your whole respiratory system to get stronger. And he calls the guy, finds the guy, picks up the phone, hey, I'm representing Bas Rutten. Before he continues the sentence, the guy goes, “Oh the O2 trainer,” he says, “we're already using that”. This guy has a higher IQ than freaking Einstein. This is Usain Bolt three ___ gold medalist, you know, this is a big fish now, and he's already using it. So now, I teamed up with him and he's got all those published medical journals. It was proof of what it does, you know, so they're on my website now and you can read those. Right now, it's just, you know, I'm trying to contain it still, we got to have I think in about one month, I'm going to have 15,000 in stock and that's because we build it up ourselves because it costs so much money for the patents and the worldwide patents and everything that I had to do I mean, so much money I put in there. Yes, other people want to jump on board now but then they want 40% of the company. I said, listen, I did it for myself. I'm going to finish it myself. So now every time the investments coming back and get more and more and more until we have 15-20,000 in stock. Then I'm going to go on a show like Dr. Oz. I'm going to bring Chip Macias, that's the trainer from Usain Bolt, with me on the show. Now we have the public medical, published medical journals. You know, where it's true, because it's always fun, right? If you have somebody oh, it's clinically tested. Yeah, so it sucks.
1:28:33 Rob Konrad
It has been tested with better results.
1:28:35 Bas Rutten
The good results, you would have said that but it isn't so it's not a good thing. You see I mean, it makes no sense. This is clinically proven. 100 percent proven, in a published medical journal. That means it's 100% proven. So, it's a big step. I'm just going to have to wait till I have many in stock because I don't want to be that guy that starts selling a lot of stuff, sell out and going to have to wait five weeks to the next shipment. People are going to be happy to kill a company so I'm just doing a snow out together with my wife. And that's it. We're pretty much run the whole thing although she does most of work, trust me.
1:28:50 Rob Konrad
And why is it that it needs to have a free, do you have to exhale freely. Why? Why is it not better to, restrict both in and out? If you push hard,
it will also train your lungs, the depth is what I don't get.
1:29:25 Bas Rutten
Yeah. But you know, you can, but not together. So the reason is this. First of all, it's a very simple concept. It's like a thing that has two outsides. One side has a screen on it, a flap. If I breathe out, it goes open. If I breathe in it closes. It will force you to breathe into this side. It's a little thing. It's not a big thing. Yeah but for the people at home and so the air comes through the hole, 2 millimeter 3, 4, 5, 6 all the way to 50. So you can very slowly, gradually go down inside hole and you get resistance. Now, if you breathe in with resistance, and you need air really fast, you want to breathe out. If you'd breathe the ultimate resistance, you can't completely empty your lungs because if you're getting tired, you need air again. So once you start doing it, if you control air in and out, you start breathing shallow because they're still airing the lungs the whole time. With mine, you can breathe in, takes out and then you can completely exhale. You can do that with resistance, oh I'm tired again, you gotta breathe in again but you still have like 40% of air in your lungs and you breathe in again. That's not a good thing. If you can completely empty the lungs you can use the whole respiratory system to get back up. Actually now it's now the guy actually wants to be partnered with me the other one, so because they figured it out as well that it's the only way to go. So. But now yeah, that ship has sailed. There was something said in the beginning. And I said I just wait because I know my audience. They said oh it sucks, sucks, sucks, you got to control air in and out and I knew I was right, and eight years later, I found out I was right. That was really sweet for me.
1:30:04 Rob Konrad
Great. Yeah. Hey Bas so thank very much. It was really a very, very interesting conversation. I would love to go on for hours but well, you got a few other things to do. And I wanted to end with two questions. And the first question is this series of interviews I am doing is about extraordinary people. So people who do things that are you know, that bring this world a step further, who have special experiences, who change the world, shape the world in a certain way. And who would you say is such an extraordinary person to you that I might even talk to next?
1:31:33 Bas Rutten
Well, normally I would say… but you can't get Bruce Lee. Of course, he passed away. I did the next best thing, though, I interviewed his wife, not his wife, his daughter Shannon Lee. That was an awesome thing. But people who change the world – Nick Newell, I would say. Nick Newell is a fighter with a congenital amputee arm, it's a half an arm. I met him a long time ago on a movie set ‘Here Comes the Boom'. That was a long time ago. He was one of the experts walking around there. And he came to me with half an arm and he told me to remember his name because he was going to be a famous fighter. It makes more slides (?). Okay, I'm looking at him. I said, “you tell me that you're going to fight with that arm? Yeah”, I said, “do it. I wish you all the best.” I got his address. I send them all my workouts that I had developed like DVDs and workouts. I sent it to him because I thought, man, that will be great. Many years later, this guy became a champion. He became an MMA champion. He fought 14 fights, lost only two, one by decision, one he got stopped. But it was a very tough fight, it was a title fight for different company. But I mean, I think he from his 12 wins, I think he had three decisions directly finished everybody. I mean, it's just an amazing guy what you could do with half an arm. Like my arm, I couldn't hold my phone and it could hold anything anymore. But my next show to you had to compress nerves. And I was complaining I couldn't do anything anymore. And then I thought about Nick and I go, “man, I'm such a sissy. He doesn't even have a hand, right?” Now I can use my hand again. I should be happy enough. Yes, it's 30% of the power that it had before. But I still have a whole arm. This guy has half an arm and he became a champion with it. That's the guy you know, I go. That's an inspiring person. I like that a lot.
1:33:23 Rob Konrad
Great. So I'll have to reach out to him. But it's crazy what people can do with limitations that seem impossible. I have told you a few weeks back I spoke to a woman named Jessica Cox she's a motivational speaker and she was born without arms so she doesn't have any stubs, nothing, like just shoulders and nothing else.
1:33:40 Bas Rutten
I saw it this morning, you sent it to me and she's on the phone with her freaking with the foot yeah.
1:33:48 Rob Konrad
She puts her contact lenses in with her feet.
1:33:51 Rob Konrad
And she's played piano right. I saw her feet on a piano, the toes.
1:33:55 Rob Konrad
And she's licensed pilot. I mean, that's crazy. And she did she you know she went and we talked for a while and when she went to the flight instructor, he said, well, we can't have you have a separate test because, you know, the regulations are that everyone needs to have the same test. So she did the flight license with the same test, with the same airplane like everyone else with arms. She has to be able to do everything with her two feet, that an able bodied person would have to do and then she passed it. She's scuba diver, she's a parachuter, she's, it's crazy. I mean, it's crazy. And then you talk about limitations, I mean, I can't do this, I'm too tired to have my cup of coffee in the morning. Like yeah.
1:34:39 Bas Rutten
I did that, I did as a kid. They are always asking me how can you deal with it with the eczema and everything? And I said, “Well, I noticed people out there that have it way worse than I, who have that eczema that are really bad on my hands that are completely covered with that. I know there are people out there who have the asthma attack that I have, only for weeks. They have it 365 days a year. There's always people who have it more and they still, many of them are able to pull off these amazing things and what you just talked about that's I mean, I saw the pictures, you know, with the feet on the piano and driving the car. It's so amazing what people can do you see that? I love that. That's the same with Lizzie Velasquez.
1:35:16 Rob Konrad
1:35:19 Bas Rutten
Oh, yeah. That and it's such a bad title but she's kind of embracing that. And then she's, you know, speaks up against bullying and, you know, what a power you know, as a woman, you know, if you have that disease, to, to come out on top and to, you know, to inspire the world. I love people like that. I have a cousin who has problems, you know, and he's gaining weight, and he used to do heroin and drinking and all that stuff and I go, dude – he lost 110 pounds in like, four months time and he says that he's a loser. And he goes, yes, you are, a big – you lost a lot of weight. I said – you were in a TV show here in America with that kind of weight? Losing a 110 pounds. You saying that you're a loser, the so incredibly hard what you're doing right now, and you're doing it, you know so I hope he gets inspired a little bit more. because sometimes you fall off the wagon, and he's back on. But yeah, it's amazing what people can do and that with Nick Newell too and then yeah, Lizzie Velasquez I I really liked her message as well.
1:36:23 Rob Konrad
Very interesting. But final words so what do you want to what kind of message do you want to give to the viewers and the listeners of this show? What's your message that's closest to your heart?
1:36:37 Rob Konrad
It's doing unto others, right? That's what I always say. It's like, just treat people like you want to be treated. I know this is used a lot, this line and I know that yet 90% of the people who say they are not living by it, that's the problem. Nowadays, everything is so short and fast you know, so many characters only, everything is short attention span, that's the government they just try to take your attention away and give it to commercials and and all that stuff. It's very sad what's going on in the world. Everybody's breaking up and start dating to phones. I mean, there's dating services, nobody can go out anymore and meet people. Are you insane? I mean, so treat people like you want to be treated very simple. You know, if you do something to a person, I always think before I actually do something, or before I'm going to tell my person – like let's let's say I go to a friend of mine and I'm about to give him constructive criticism. I always slip, I was put the shoe on the other foot, and I always say what would I feel if he would come to me, you know. This is a thing I learned because as a fighter. You're – you have an ego, you need an ego, you need to make yourself the best guy on the planet. You know, a little doubt can be really bad for you in a fight, so you have to have a chip on your shoulder, and hopefully you can shake that off after you're done fighting .You know, so you have to learn to live with that. If somebody, if I tell a fighter constructive criticism, they don't really like that but the good ones they ask me, they say please do and thankfully I changed a lot like that for me as well. Long time already I always listen to constructive criticism. Open your ears what they have to say another pair of eyes you know it's always good to have if they're right, start doing it if they're wrong, thank them very much but I stick to my own game you can you know it can be very nice. It doesn't need to be stupid no, just listen to somebody so do people to as they will do unto you. That's literally what I'm saying and live by it. Not just say it, live by it.
1:38:29 Rob Konrad
Wonderful. Thank you so much for your time. It's been a pleasure and hope talking to you very soon. Thank you very much.
1:38:34 Bas Rutten
Okie dokie. Thanks Rob. Well, thank you.
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