INTERVIEW WITH HIDEHIKO YOSHIDA AT A TALK SHOW
07/19/2004

Hidehiko Yoshida was present at a talk show to commemorate the Japanese launch of the "Master and Commander" DVD. Yoshida is a big fan of the movie and appeared in the same costume as the star, Russell Crowe.

 

       

 

P ride Fighting
Championships: Does that costume feel good?
Hidehiko Yoshida: It's really tight. I'm trying to be the Japanese Russell Crowe, though. (laughing) I'm not used to wearing anything other than a judo gi.
Pride: A judo gi feels different?
Yoshida: Yes. It's not this tight. Putting this uniform on does change me, though. (laughing)
Pride: What did you think of the movie?
Yoshida: I could relate to the Captain's decisiveness and the power of the imagery. That's the way I want to be as a teacher.
Pride: Do you often watch movies?
Yoshida: Mostly action movies. I like to watch people fight. Watching that kind of movie before a match gets me in the mood to fight. Something is stirred up.
Pride: What did you like about the movie?
Yoshida: The fight scenes, of course, and the trust between a leader and his subordinates. I learned a lot from it.
Pride: What is a "fighting man" to you?
Yoshida: He believes in himself and walks his own path.
Pride: Are you walking your own path?
Yoshida: Yeah. (laughing)
Pride: This movie was about giant ships fighting. You've fought someone bigger than yourself, haven't you?
Yoshida: If I had just stood up and fought, I would have lost. So, my plans was to attack the legs and I worked from there.
Pride: Isn't that what you always do?
Yoshida: I usually don't think about it. I do research but I usually leave the techniques up to the flow of the fight. I trust my instincts when I fight.
Pride: Russell Crowe was shot in one scene. Have you been injured in a match or has some other accident happened?
Yoshida: I dislocated my left shoulder when I fought Mark Hunt. I didn't really feel the pain during the match because I was concentrating on the fight but it began to hurt after we finished.
Pride: Do you give advice to the younger fighters?
Yoshida: I give advice in mental matters, more than technical matters. That way they can take advantage of my experience.
Pride: Russell Crowe also plays the violin and drinks in this movie. Do you have any strange hobbies?
Yoshida: I also play the violin. (laughing) Okay, that's a lie. I drink, too. I'm a sports guy, after all.
Pride: How much do you drink?
Yoshida: So much that I don't know. I drink a lot. It doesn't matter if the liquor's weak or strong. I drink it. (laughing)
Pride: Do you have any relaxing hobbies?
Yoshida: Hmm, aroma therapy. (laughing)
Pride: You've also experienced fighting for your country, when you were in the Olympics.
Yoshida: The Olympics get a lot of attention, especially judo. The competitors are thinking about taking a gold medal home when they are fighting. You can't be satisfied with silver or bronze.
Pride: Is there any special event or competitor that you'll be paying special attention to in this year's Olympics?
Yoshida: Judo, of course. Baseball, soccer, girl's softball, I like them all. Personally, I'm looking forward to watching Nomura go for his 3 rd Olympic victory in judo.
Pride: What is your goal for the future?
Yoshida: To have my dojos across the nation and spread judo.
Pride: Russell Crowe is a tough guy in Hollywood . If you were going to fight him, how would you do it?
Yoshida: What?! Well, I'd fight him bare handed. (laughing)
Pride: He looks like he can punch hard.
Yoshida: He's about 180cm, too. I'll stand with him. (laughing) This is all "what if", of course.
Pride: Have you ever thought of turning down a fight?
Yoshida: I can't talk about that in front of all these people. (laughing) The stronger someone is, the more that I want to fight him. That's the only kind of fighter that's worth fighting with. I also want to gives the fans the fight that they want to see so it doesn't matter if my opponent is weak or strong.
Pride: What do you think about before a fight?
Yoshida: It's just like Randleman said. It's scary but when you walk down the aisle and climb into the ring, it feels like there's nothing to do but fight. My mood has already changed by that time.
Pride: What was the most memorable scene in the movie?
Yoshida: The part where they cut the kid's arm off. I also teach children...
Pride: How many gold medals do you think Japan can take in judo?
Yoshida: I hope for a total of 5 or 6, maybe 4 from the strongest players and 1 or 2 from the young players.