In today’s interview, we present you Sergey Chepinoga, W5 owner and a great martial arts enthusiast.
Hello Sergey and thank you very much for your time.
– Hello and thank you for this interview. I always love to talk to people who have an interest in kickboxing and in what W5 is doing.
You are known for your fondness for martial arts. Could you tell us something about how you started your own organization? Where did the idea come from in the first place?
– I am a former fighter who didn’t have a chance to showcase my talent on the world stage. To be honest when I was younger I dreamt of fighting in K-1. However, I was forced to stop fighting and pursuing my career in sports. I had to choose something else in life and I did. But later on, I started sponsoring some fighters, coaches and promoters. You know since K-1 died our great sport had just been frozen in time. That actually began a very difficult time for our great sport…
– Then one day I decided to be a general sponsor of the whole event in Budva, Montenegro. The event was named “RameuzRame” (Shoulder to shoulder). It was in 2007 and I got to personally see where and how my money was spent. I also got to see what was organized properly and poorly. For example, I didn’t believe that the athletes got enough respect for the effort they had to put in. So, I decided to do it myself and I created the name “W5” which means World Five: we are trying the find the best fighter in each of the five continents. Also, there are no kickboxers on the sixth continent yet so we can’t be W6, hahaha little W5 humor.
In your opinion, what’s the secret of success in martial arts?
– There is no secret actually, just endless devotion and never give up!
How do you choose which fighters you’ll work with?
– Matchmaking is the most important part of any W5 event and this I do personally.It also helps that I love doing it. For me all fights must be fair, competitive, attractive and help fighters to grow in their career. So these are the points I look at when choosing who will fight whom.
In your opinion, what characteristics are required to be a successful fighter?
– The difference between success and luck lies in one’s personal hard work.
Do you have any events booked for near future, and where?
– Yes, definitely. Till the end of 2017 we are expecting to hold events in Koper (Slovenia) in August, Vienna (Austria) in October, and Kosice (Slovakia) in November. We have also started discussing our schedule for 2018 but for now we will keep that a secret as we have big plans, so be on the lookout for some major announcements.
According to some information W5 will finally come to Slovenia. Can you give us any info on that?
– Yes, we are expecting to hold an event there at the end of September in Koper, Slovenia. We will be announcing all the details very soon.
You have a camp in Serbia penned in for August, can you tell us more about that?
– For years we have been talking about what a great idea it is and now we can proudly state that yes, we will be hosting our first W5 Summer Camp in Novi Sad, Serbia from 04 till 14 of August, 2017. That camp will be co-organised by our very passionate and professional friend Misa Baculov,who owns one of the best clubs in the region, “Ronin – Carnage Global team Serbia”.
Concept of W5 Summer boot camp:
– A resort area, near the beach, with three high-quality trainings per day. The emphasis will be on the development of functional trainings and a fighter’s technical skills. Only sport and nothing more!
-The training program is designed to develop and improve the technique and skills ofprofessional athletes, amateurs as well as for fans of the sport who want a serious workout. Groups will be formed based on the physical conditions of the participants.
– -The training process and sparring sessions will be held under the supervision of highly experienced coaches Mike van Itterzon (The Netherlands), Nathan Corbett (Australia), Misa Baculov (Serbia), and the coach of Vladislav Tuinov, Andrey Chadin (Russia). Thus, everyone will be able to receive individual advice from the masters who make champions.
– -Finally, based on the sparring sessions, there is a chance to sign a contract to fight at future W5 events.
Have you always been into martial arts, or were you interested in other sports too?
– For as long as I can remember, I have been involved in martial arts. I took part in amateur competitions and have more than 70 fights under my belt. I have won different kinds of tournaments in boxing, taekwondo and kickboxing, as well as football, gymnastics and other sports. I even have received various athletic achievements. All I know though, is that once I started to play sports my life has never been the same. Now, I couldn’t even imagine my life without it.
I noticed that during an event you do almost everything by yourself, checking on things, helping around, etc. Where do you find the energy for all this?
– My team is incredible! Also, I havethe endless support from my amazing and lovely wife, as well as from the rest of my family. I believe if you do what you love you will never get tired!
I can’t get rid of the feeling that your whole team consist of people that are great friends, completely devoted to the cause, who work with enjoyment and respect to deliver on the highest professional level. Do you stick to some sort of a rule when it comes to choosing your associates?
– Responsible, driven, passionate and obsessed about results. These are the most important for me. Maybe these are not enough, but I am convinced if you have these qualities the rest will come.
Describe yourself in three words?
– Crazy, Stubborn, Obsessed!.Three things that have caused me many problems with people))
Many people think that martial arts are not a sport at all, but just violence. What is your message to those people?
– Everyone has the right to have their own opinion and I will always respect that. However, I will never agree with the opinion of a person who doesn’t know what they are talking about. They are just misinformed and say incorrect things about the sport. Our sport helps to build our character, strengthen our spirit and mind, and gives us culture, discipline and most importantly confidence! Become a professional athlete, or choose the area where you can find yourself.Everything is only up to you!
What is your life motto?
– We have our W5 motto: Choose the way of a champion! My motto is “Follow your dreams not fears”. Both are very important for me.
How do you recharge your batteries?
– I have my wife and two sons, so I have everything I need to keep me motivated and help me to always move forward. Kickboxing gives me the strength to follow my dream and surround me with great people who have a strong spirit and true power.
What’s your opinion on the use of prohibited substances in sports?
– I am for only clean and fair competition! We need the full support at the legislative level and we need the systematic and coordinated work of all promoters in our sport, only then all athletes will follow this rule impeccably.
If you look back, would you change anything or decide otherwise?
– I regret nothing. We always get invaluable experience, which at times can be very expensive. All of us, of course, make certain mistakes. But one thing I’m sure of, is that I have remained with people much longer than they deserved or I overestimated their closeness.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
– With my family still following my dream.
What kind of a man is Sergey in private?
– Hard to say really… I believe I am a person who is always ready to help but without any expectations of gettingit back.I have a good sense of humour, and a very positive outlook in life! I really dislike weak-willed, lazy and inactive people!
What do you do in your spare time, that is if you have any?
– Train and spend time with family and friends.
What is your favourite food?
– I love pumpkin porridge and milk!
Any message for our readers in Slovenia?
– Definitely, you have a beautiful country! It will be an honour for us to introduce W5 there! Also, I look forward to making new friends and partners and hope that this becomes an annual tradition for W5 and Slovenia!
Once again thank you very much for your time, and all the best in future!
– Thank you Milan for your kind support and interest in W5 and me personally! Take care and look forward to seeing you soon.
Photo credits : W5