After Action Review With “Bazooka” Joe Stripling
Bazooka Joe scored an incredible Saenchai-style Cartwheel Head-Kick walk off Knock Out with a second left in the first round of the main event of Gut Check Championship Series Muay Thai and Kickboxing promotion yesterday night. Stripling pulled off this rare feat and showed that this heavyweight fighter has moves of lightweights. Stripling defeated “Cowboy” Heath Harris to win the World Kickboxing Association Delaware State championship in professional full rules Muay Thai. Bazooka’s AAR includes his thoughts on the fight, his cartwheel kick, running Chok Dee Athletics and his future fight plans.
What was it like training yourself for a fight after focusing on being a coach in recent years? Did focusing on coaching give you a better perspective for training yourself or make you more coachable as an athlete?
It was tough training for this fight because I put my students first but my students pushed me to train harder and my assistant coaches stepped up and helped me so much.
You won by stunning cartwheel head kick knockout. What made you throw it then? Is that something you’ve trained often? Have you ever used it in a fight before?
Yea I saw an opening about 30 secs before I threw it . I threw it in MMA one time and in my last Muay Thai fight at USKA. Both without setting it up but this time I set it up.
You previously one knockout of the year for USKA. What’s it like knowing that you are a front-running candidate forgetting it for WKA?
Knockouts are cool but truthfully without showcasing true traditional style Muay Thai I would be mad at myself.
There had been struggles for you to get matched for a fight and you’re gone so far as to post on Facebook your willingness to fight if someone could match you. How did the whole matching go down for WKA? Now that you are there champion is it going to be easier to get matched?
Well I tried to fight for years but the heavyweight Muay Thai scene is slim but we are getting bigger and my opponent is a very good fighter with 28 knockouts out of his 29 wins. I stepped up in competition in a big way by taking this fight.
Speaking of struggles you posted about having to lose 70 pounds in the weeks leading up to this fight in order to make weight. What motivated you to do this?
If I didn’t make weight in eight weeks I wouldn’t be able to fight and fights are tough to find for me so there is no excuse. Just hard work and nutrition was my #1 goal.
You have long been a dominant heavyweight force for your striking skill. Yesterday’s fight showed your creativity even this long into your career. What do you think is the key to your striking success?
I am not sure if I am a dominate I just love Muay Thai and fighting. I train basics everyday with my students at Chok Dee Athletics LLC and just having fun while fighting is key for me .. My coaches Aaron Meisner and Eric Karner instilled in me to have fun stay relaxed and wait for your opportunity.
What coaches or training experiences do you contribute the most to your success?
Coach Aaron has really gave me great pad work this camp to push my cardio and power and Kru Eric game planned for this camp with technical Sityodtong style Muay Thai
As a coach what is your primary mindset when training beginner fighters particularly your young fighters?
My mindset for training follows 5 rules. #1 for me is to have fun and that’s most important. The other four you will have to come to the gym to learn the rest. Ha-ha.
What’s next for you?
It’s cool to know I booked another fight in a few weeks for Lion Fight in New Mexico on April 20th verse a very tough Cody East; who is a former UFC fighter. I’m excited to showcase beautiful Muay Thai on a big stage and in front of my favorite fighter Nathan Corbett. I just want to thank my family, my team, my students and my coaches for pushing me every day to be a better coach and fighter. Be on the lookout for us at CHOK DEE ATHLETICS LLC cause we are growing every day.