It takes a wild man to tame a wild beat. In preparation for his fight against Gilbert Yvel in BUSHIDO 6 on April 3rd, Ikuhisa Minowa held a public training session in Tokyo's Tamagawa River on March 27th.

Minowa has truly gone wild. Under the Sunday sun, families were enjoying BBQ along the banks of the Tamagawa River...Minowa, on the other hand, was screaming and rolling around.

Minowa just returned from a 2 month training trip to Salt Lake City, Utah. He said that he trains on the banks of the Tamagawa River because it reminds him of the American outdoors. "Actually, I've always jogged and hit the punching mitts here. I realized that you can still train anywhere, even if you don't have a dojo." When the press arrived, Minowa was already hitting the pads and his screams reflected across the river.

Then, Minowa sparred with Yasuhito Namekawa. They went crazy, jumping in the water and rolling around the grassy banks. It was "no holds barred" as both Namekawa and Minowa pushed each other into bridge pillars and slammed each other into the water.



"I trained at Alex Stiebling's gym and with Jeremy Horn's Team Extreme. Of course, I sparred with those two and other UFC fighters. It was a rural area of America so we did a lot of training in nature. We ran at a nearby park and sparred outside. We did a lot of things, a lot like today's training."

Minowa's expression was positive, like the nature boy had been energized by his trip and returned full of power. "In Utah, we did high mountain training at about 1,500 meters. It was really tough to breathe in the beginning. It was the same as when I climbed Mt. Fuji before. I learned new training methods, techniques, setups for techniques that I didn't know, ways of thinking about martial arts...well, I learned a lot."

Minowa will face Gilbert Yvel, a wild man himself, at BUSHIDO 6 on April 3rd. "I have to be careful because he's got a lot of confidence in his flying knees," Minowa commented. "I've seen many of his fights on video but they were all old. He's probably improved since then. I'm going to go into the fight assuming that he can strike and grapple better than what was on the videos."

In their RINGS days, Yvel beat Kiyoshi Tamura to become a RINGS Champion. Minowa, however, had wanted a rematch with Tamura. Asked if he was aware of this connection, Minowa replied "Yes, I am. I definitely want to win because of that. I want to try to get Tamura to give me a rematch any way I can. If I keep trying, I believe he will eventually give me a rematch."