Crazy Horse is one of the most famous Native American Chiefs in history. He was born in (circa) 1840 – the same year that The Treaty of Waitangi was signed half a world away in New Zealand.

Named at birth Cha-O-Ha (“In the Wilderness” or “Among the Trees”) he soon developed the nickname ‘curly’ in reference to his unusually curly hair. He was said to have “dreamed and went into the world where there is nothing but the spirits of all things” and in this “world behind our world” he found a mirror image of himself “made up of only spirit, nothing solid” sitting atop a horse that danced crazily, hence his new name “Crazy Horse” which in his language of The Lakota tribesmen means literally – “His-Horse-Is-Crazy”

Credit: Amercian Memory - American Library of Congress

Credit: Amercian Memory – American Library of Congress

One year prior to his death, the mainly Sioux forces he lead decimated the 7th United States Cavalry and General George Custer was killed in battle attempting to hold out for relief forces – Custers Last Stand.

So, it was with a lot of interest that I got to catch up with New Zealand WelterWeight MMA Champion – Kelvin “Crazy Horse” Joseph for some Q&A!

Credit: Xavier Wallach Photography

Credit: Xavier Wallach Photography

#TheUW – 1st of all, just wanted to say that I was fortunate enough to be cage-side for your championship fight against BJ Bland at Shuriken NZs Proving Grounds on July 26 (this year) and congrats mate, such a hard-fought battle! You stayed composed and came out on top with an excellent finish via Armbar. It was awesome to be there live covering the night!

#TheUW – How did that moment feel for you?

It felt great, thanks. A lot of hard work  by myself all my coaches and team mates paid off when it mattered.

Credit: Xavier Wallach Photography

#TheUW – Tell us a little bit about yourself, your background/influences and heroes and how you found MMA.

I’m a brown belt under Roger Gracie and also have a brown belt in Judo. Having won the New Zealand National Free-Style Wrestling Title I had the opportunity to represent New Zealand at the FILA Wrestling World Championships in Budapest last year.

Once back from Budapest I set my sights on the Shuriken NZ MMA WelterWeight Title.

My heroes are Roger Gracie, Ivan “Diesel” Walker and Doug Vinnie.

Credit: Hybrid MMA

#TheUW – Tell me about Hybrid MMA and what you guys are getting done down there in Tauranga!

Hybrid MMA has been going for about four years and have done very well on the competition scene.

At the start of the year I also opened up the Roger Gracie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy, that is growing extremely fast and doing well in competitions too.

Credit: Hybrid MMA

#TheUW – I know you do a lot of work in the community, tell me about what you get up to and how you see the role of the modern MMA fighter?

I’m very lucky I work for The New Zealand Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Addictions Services – CAMHS of the District Health Board as a Health and Wellness Coach.

This gives me the opportunity to work with a wide variety of young kids deal from those that have been stood down from school, to drug and alcohol issues as well as mental health.

Its great be  seen as a big brother/ mentor to these young kids and make a positive influence in their lives.

#TheUW – That’s awesome! Great work my friend.

#TheUW – You’re based in Tauranga, absolutely beautiful place and great people. Is there anything about training in a regional town that you think gives you an edge?

Credit: Tauranga Lions Club

Well is goes without saying that we have a lot milder climate compared to some other parts of New Zealand with great mountains and beaches to train on. Other than that Hybrid MMA and Roger Gracie BJJ is run out of a location The Martial Arts Academy – TMAA.

This is a world class facility with ring, cage, wall to wall mats and all the gear you need to succeed!

Credit: TMAA

Credit: TMAA

Credit: TMAA

#TheUW – What do you think summarizes the New Zealand fighting spirit and how does that translate into your training and your fights??

There is a definite ‘never say die’ attitude and real warrior spirit.  I believe it is what drives so many young athletes to compete in this sport and (I) feel the best is yet to come!

#TheUW – Recently the UFC held their 1st ever New Zealand show, did you get a chance to attend?

Unfortunately not…………….. I had father duties that weekend.. [smiles]

Credit: UFC

#TheUW – An admirable cause [smiles]! At UFC Auckland, we saw Dan “The Hangman” Hooker win his debut with devastating elbows while deep in a heel-hook attempt. How does seeing kiwis having success overseas motivate you? 

It was great to see.  Dan was some one that I had the pleasure of training with leading into my fight. Not only is he an awesome fighter but one hell of a nice guy.. [smiles]

Credit: UFC

#TheUW – Where to from here? What are your next fights moving forwards? Where would you like to be in the next 18 months?

With the help of my sponsors, Bedlam Fight Wear, Adonis Supplements and The Martial Arts Academy I’m looking to make the trip over to (The United States) Jackson’s MMA Association and Xtreme Couture later this year. The aim is also to become an  affiliated MMA coach with Jackson’s MMA Academy and hopefully open more doors for me and other kiwi fighters.. [smiles]

Credit: Jackson’s MMA Association

Credit: Xtreme Couture MMA

#TheUW – Wow, that’s great news! [smiles]

#TheUW – Awesome, thanks heaps for that Kelvin, great to catchup, learn a bit more about you and what you’re about! I look forward to covering your fights and following your career in NZMMA 🙂

Thank you, its been my pleasure!

#TheEnd #Chur #TheUW