2 years ago

Reflections Fall 2012 - Durham College

Reflections Fall 2012 - Durham College


TAKINGTHE MMAWORLD BYSTORMby Kristine NieuwendykPolice Foundations graduate Antonio Carvalho trains with Justin Bruckmann,owner of Bruckmann Martial Arts. Recently Carvalho had his debut fight as partof the Ultimate Fighting Championship.PHOTOS COURTESY OF ANTONIO CARVALHOGROWING UP HE WAS A FAN OF BRUCELee and Jean-Claude Van Damme movies,never expecting that some day he wouldbecome one of the men he loved to watchon TV. After graduating from DurhamCollege’s Police Foundations program,Antonio Carvalho found himself living a lifehe had only dreamed of as a Mixed MartialArts (MMA) fighter.Now, after almost a decade of travellingaround the world to perfect his craft,Carvalho is competing at the highest levelof MMA in the world with the UltimateFighting Championship (UFC) organization.While he was at Durham, MMA wasCarvalho’s hobby but never much morethan that, but soon after graduating, anopportunity to fight professionallypresented itself and Carvalho couldn’tresist. The rest is history.“You don’t know what the hell is goingto happen once you get out there, you gothrough so many different emotions. Ithink that’s what I liked about it — it’s soreal. You start questioning how muchyou’ve trained or if you have the heart ittakes to dig deep and fight hard,” saidCarvalho. “As a person you alwaysquestion yourself and what you decide todo about it shows what kind of person youare when you are fighting.”Until last year MMA was illegal inCanada, so in 2006 Carvalho moved toJapan for two years. He knew fighting thebest would help him to become the best.The strategy worked. He earned the titleof the No.1 ranked lightweight Shootofighter in the world (equivalent to thefeatherweight division in North America).This title gained Carvalho much attention inthe MMA and now, with his first UFC fightunder his belt, the whole world is takingnotice of this Durham College graduate.“I didn’t want to finish my careerwithout going to the UFC. When I gotthere, I realized everybody was just so niceand happy to be there. It’s like a well-oiledmachine and the reason is becauseeveryone there is friends and everyone issupportive,” said Carvalho.“I wasn’t sure what to expect, especiallygoing to Rio de Janeiro to fight FelipeArantes on his home soil, but I realized itwould have been a disservice to me andeveryone who has helped me get to thispoint if I hadn’t fought in the UFC. I don’tregret anything now. It was a greatexperience and I’m pretty happy despitethe unfortunate loss of my first fight.”With the UFC going mainstream,showcasing top-ranked fighters fromacross the world, more men are gettinginvolved with the MMA than ever before.But with a pro MMA record of 13 wins,five losses and zero draws, Carvalho willbe the first to tell you it takes a specialkind of person to make it to the top.“A lot of times today everyone keepstrying to find the short cut and there is nosuch thing. There’s a lot of time spent inthe gym and a lot of tedious work, so allthe glory people see on TV isn’t the reality– that’s just one moment,” said Carvalho.What a moment it is. “Don’t get mewrong,” said Carvalho. “That one momentwhen you are exhausted at the end of afight and it’s you getting your hand raisedis probably one of the greatest feelingsyou could have, but it’s also short-lived.”He also cautions newcomers that“People see the glory and they want themoney and if you go into it for thosereasons you aren’t going to make it. Do itbecause you love martial arts, because youlove the camaraderie of the sport. Simplylearn the art form, learn martial arts.”These days Carvalho spends most of histime working as the chief strikinginstructor at Bruckmann Martial Arts inOshawa and with the UFC newly added tohis resumé, Carvalho plans on fighting aslong as his health allows. On July 21,Carvalho fought Daniel Pineda in front of ahometown Canadian crowd and won. Hisnext fight is in Montreal, Q.C. onNovember 17, against Brazilian, RodrigoDamm.The 32-year-old often jokes that he is anold dog in the sport of fighting, but foranyone who has the pleasure of sittingdown and getting to know this master ofmartial arts, they will tell you his passionfor the sport and heart in the ring willcertainly outlive any old bones.16REFLECTIONS | FALL 2012

PHOTO COURTESY OF DEANNE GREENDurham College graduate Wade Woodward, second right, sits with his bandThe Colts who have played a variety of gigs including opening for ‘80s bandPlatinum Blonde.BANDING TOGETHERby Morgan CadenheadSOME OF US PLAY IT, OTHERS SING IT,all of us listen to it – and then there arethose who create it. Music. It’s somethingeveryone can enjoy in one form or another,but few have the talent and passion totake it to the next level. Wade Woodward,lead singer of Oshawa-based band TheColts, has that extra something thatmakes his songs not just music, but worksof art.Woodward, 24, has been playing musicsince he was a child, owning his first drumkit at roughly the age of 10. The DurhamCollege Water Quality Technician graduatecurrently juggles working for his mom’sdaycare business, attending furtherschooling and jamming with The Coltsweekly. Despite his busy schedule, hisinsatiable appetite for music means there’salways time to write a song, play a show,or jam with his bandmates.“If I can write something, post it,perform it and get a reaction from peopleand they actually appreciate that song, it’skind of hard to stop,” said Woodward.His band, The Colts, is composed of fourmembers: Woodward on vocals, ShawnMcDonald on guitar, Brendon Ross onbass, and Bill Cramp on the drums. Theyform a band with a bit of blues, countryand overall feel-good rock. Together foralmost two years, the Colts have playedover 30 shows with audiences rangingfrom 30 to 3,000 people at venuesincluding the Thirsty Monk in Oshawa andEcho Beach in Toronto.They’ve also gained a fan-base onFacebook of over 430 people that continuesto grow. Despite the ups and downs theband faces from time to time, theircommitment to their music is unwavering.“I think that’s the most difficult part –finding people that are on the same leveland wanting to take it to the same levelas you,” Woodward said. “You have totrust that they want to go as far as youwant to go.”The Colts won’t deny they’d love to seetheir popularity skyrocket, but what makesthem stand out is their approach tocreating music and why they do it in thefirst place. Many bands will form withhopes to score a big record deal, makemillions of dollars and bask in fame andfortune. The Colts, on the other hand, workhard at what they do for one reason only— because they love to do it forthemselves, and for their fans.“It’s not about how cool we look upthere. It’s just about the song and howpeople will take it. It’s about having funwith the fans, not about writing the nextGrammy-award winning song,” saidMcDonald. “We’re not out there to befamous. We’re just having fun and doingwhat we love, and that’s what musicshould be about.”Their light-hearted and no-nonsenseapproach to making music has played alarge role in gaining the attention they’vereceived in just less than two years. LastJuly, their infamous performance at EchoBeach had them opening for ‘80s bandPlatinum Blonde at the last minute. Theyjumped at the gig and played for morethan 3,000 people in the pouring rain.Woodward says it’s been a highlight of hismusic career to date.With The Colts’ latest song, Countin’ (123),already a favourite among fans and a fullalbum due out this year, Woodward’s singingdays are far from over. Whether it’s at a localbar or on the radio, he sees himself makingmusic this way for years to come.“I see myself doing the same thing,”said Woodward. “I see myself having asuccessful family and home life and stillbeing able to have a successful musiccareer. If I’m constantly putting out newmusic and playing shows, I’m happy.”WWW.DURHAMCOLLEGE.CA REFLECTIONS | FALL 2012 17

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