FEDOR EMELIANENKO: You Must Train Your Spirit As You Train Your Body


The last PRIDE Heavyweight Champion and, considered by many experts, fighters and analysts, one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all times, Fedor ”The Last Emperor” Emelianenko, is answering to a few interesting questions. Explaining how to train your spirit, talking about his childhood, his and his brother Aleksanders' upbringing, sharing his beliefs and his thoughts on parenting; how to raise your sons into real men, amongst more!

You told us once that the orthodox christianity lies deep within you. I am interested to know your first steps after you visited the Holy Trinity-St. Seraphim-Diveyevo Convent in Nizhny Novgorod. How your religious beliefs developed, as an ordinary baptised russian man.


After I visited the Holy Trinity-St. Seraphim-Diveyevo Convent in Nizhny Novgorod I felt God’s existance, and understood it was necessary to lead a different way of life, that I couldn’t continue living the way I was living. I have already answered this question before. My first step was understanding that I didn’t know anything about the Orthodox Christianity. I was living within an orthodox country, surrounded by churches, but I never used to visit them. I didn’t try to deeply understand the religion. I first noticed the orthodox books, and tried to study them. I went to the convent, began visiting churches, and that opened my eyes. Some people came into my life, who knew the religion well. These people knew how and where to go in life.

Does MMA union and department of defence plan to develope mixed martial arts in armed forces?

Well, they plan to. And now we are going in that direction. But things are not going as fast forward as we would like them to. But we’ve started to negotiate, and plan to develope MMA, not just in armed forces. We’re working on it.

For me as for many, I’m sure you are a very good example of a strong, clever and calm warrior. So, what in your opinion is spirit power and how can you develope such an ability?

Well, spirit, like body, needs to be trained. So I think it’s necessary to make your spirit stronger. And for he who believes, anything is possible. A believer, even with health issues or any other issues, by having a strong spirit, will never be weak. These are people who can move mountains.

What about how you make your spirit stronger?

If a man is a believer, he can do anything. A sportsman, for example, also trains his spirit. There are situations you need to force yourself into doing things you don’t really have the power to do. In that situation you need to overcome yourself. So you can step over yourself and your problems, even when you don’t have the physical power. So with you spirit you can move forward. Move and win. And do some good deeds. Our goal is to connect with God, and go with God. God will give us power.

Fedor, what can we as russian citizens do, for the young generations to grow healthy bodies and healthy spirits?

Well, the answer is clear, live by the commandments. Everybody needs to want it. For everyone the rules must be clear. These rules are made by God. If you want to live in peace and unity with others, you first need to live in harmony with your conscious. It’s impossible to live well when you wish evil to others. People will be to you as you are to them. It’s impossible to live well, but at the same time steal from your country, or lie. You cannot create a family while committing fornication. These things doesn’t go well together. This is why you need to live by the commandments, and wish kindness to your fellowmen. Treat your closest and others the way you want them to treat you. In these bad times, you can see with your eyes the general madness. Many people are blurred, so we must stay who we are and not let us be affected by others. In the end God will ask everybody about their sins and wrongdoings.

How has your parents affected you and your vision of sports and society. Did they give you more freedom and choises, or did they show you the way to go. In other words, did you create your life by yourself, or by the help of your parents' advices? Which mistakes do you think parents do when they raise their sons, as todays boys don’t know how to behave as men? Has there been some differences between the way your parents raised you and your brother Aleksander. 

Well, of course my parents raised me, it’s necessary for all parents to do. The biggest problem now in our country is that we spend too little time on our children. Some parents spend most of their time being busy on the phone, with the computer or watching TV rather than giving their children attention. Todays' parents don’t raise their children the right way. 

I’ve been raised, but not in a religious way. My family is christian orthodox, but we never went to church. But we lived by the general principles, what is good and what is bad, always explained me, always taught me to respect old people. During those times even schools taught us to help the younger, to respect and help the elder. Some kind of hierarchy. In all books, in all stories they told us to do good and the bad was always condemned. So the understandment of good and evil was clear, not like today. Today evil is represented as good and the other way. So it’s necessary to teach children, to show them the right way. First of all you have to set good examples. If you will not live the right way, your kids will not either. 

Obviously my life I didn’t create by myself. My parents gave me a choise. When it comes to my profession, of course it was my choise. My way of life, was my choise. But naturally my parents sometimes gave me advice. My sport I chose myself when I was eleven years old. And it was my decision to make a living out of the sport. 

When it comes to raise a man, I mean boy, you must explain him from he is young that there is a family he is responbile for and motherland he is resonsible to defend. The values he needs to learn from when he is little. A man must not see the army as something he needs to avoid. So when the motherland calls, he responds; ’Here I am to serve and defend my motherland’.

When it comes to my brother Aleksander, how can I say, my parents had a difficult time. My parents divorced and Aleksander entered a difficult period. He’s been raised by the streets and surroundings. 

We must not forget that teaching of children contributes to the society, school and sportclubs. By this I mean, the childrens environment teach them. I will repeat myself again, that parents’ role is going to play a big part in childrens lives. So they need to teach them what path to take, explain different things, what is good and what is bad. Children will see evil and unjustice in this life. On these things they must react the right way and make the right choises. I think that’s the way. 

Ok, thank you very much for your answers.

Thank you very much for your questions. All questions were very interesting. We’re going to continue our conversations in the future. 

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