Ikuhisa Minowa held a public training session in preparation for his May 22 battle against Phil Baroni in PRIDE BUSHIDO 7. As usual, Minowa trained outdoors but this time, he chose the beach.
"Wild Man Minowa" trained in the Tama River for his last fight and this time he explodes again. Minowa, along with his sparring partner Yasuhito Namekawa, rolled around on the beach, under an unusually hot May sun and in between picnicking families.
As the sparring intensified, Namekawa took Minowa's back, lifted him up and carried him to the waterline. Paying no heed to the "No Swimming" sign, Namekawa threw Minowa into the water. Maybe Minowa's so called "real pro-wrestler" spirit was awoken because when he came out of the water at Namekawa, it was a back spinning kick, followed by a drop kick. Then, he used a movie that has nothing to do with MMA, throwing a handful of sand at the fallen Namekawa.
Wild Man Minowa's rampage wasn't over yet. After the sparring session was over, Minowa began to walk toward a bench at the top of the beach. Just then, an airplane passed overhead and Minowa suddenly bolted, racing against the airplane. He then ran back across the beach, screaming, "I'm a real pro-wrestler!"
Asked about why he chose the beach to train at, Minowa spoke about his personal philosophy and explained that this was a step towards his "Go to summer!" plan, "swimming isn't allowed at this beach but if I can get past this next fight, there's a whole ocean waiting for me ahead. For example, no matter how sunny it is today, it may rain tomorrow or it may be cloudy. I don't feel very good today but as long as I'm in good condition by the fight, everything will be fine."
Minowa also said that he will strengthen his spirit for this fight so he can clearly say YES and NO. Along with throwing sand, on the surface that seems like it has nothing to do with MMA, but to Minowa, it has a definite meaning, "If you force yourself to do something that you don't like, that you hate, it will take along time to advance. If you hate it, say you hate it and do something else. In the end, you'll improve quicker that way."
Ariake Coliseum, the location where PRIDE BUSHIDO 7 will be held, is a place that Minowa cannot forget. It's the place where he fought Kiyoshi Tamura on September 7, 2002. In the end, Minowa lost by decision to Tamura but he still feels it was an important day. "(Ariake) has a special meaning and history to me. I was to get over the past, to make up for it."
"I want them to open the dome when I fight," Minowa replied when told that Ariake Coliseum's dome is retractable. "I want to fight under a starry night while watching the full moon. If there were a fireworks show right then, it'd be perfect, wouldn't it? That's the kind of futuristic fight I want to have."