Kazushi Sakuraba and Kazuhiro Nakamura held a public training session at Takada Dojo in Musashikoyama, Tokyo on December 23 rd . Both fighters showed off the new skills they recently picked up while training in Brazil, and plan to use against their Japanese opponents in PRIDE SHOCKWAVE 2005, to be held at Saitama Super Arena on December 31 st . Sakuraba's opponent will be Ikuhisa Minowa and Nakamura's opponent will be Yuki Kondo.

Sakuraba and Nakamura have been training since before the Middleweight Grand Prix. Both fighters were very friendly during the interviews immediately following the day's joint training.

Today was the first time for both fighters to train together since returning from their trips to Brazil. Sakuraba trained with Chute Boxe and Nakamura trained with Ruas Vale Tudo and Nova Uniao. Today, however, Nakamura found time to travel to Takada Dojo to train.

Although you'd think they would share their newly learned skills, Sakuraba said otherwise, "He comes to learn from me but when I ask him, he won't show me anything." Nakamura disagreed, "Sakuraba will teach you once he's drunk. (laughing) I've learned a lot of techniques that I didn't know before. I learned by getting caught in them. I'm not really in a position to teach anything to him."

According to Sakuraba, Nakamura is in top condition and beat Sakuraba up in MMA sparring. Asked where Nakamura has changed, Sakuraba replied that it is a "Secret" but admitted that he has grown, "If he hadn't changed, the training in Brazil would have been pointless. His fine points have changed. Sometimes I can feel how much he has changed from the past."



Nakamura also said that Sakuraba has changed, "Recently I've felt that Sakuraba has gotten a lot stronger. Kondo is a south-paw so for me, training with Sakuraba is really useful."

Both fighters said they feel "nothing special" regarding fighting fellow Japanese fighters. "I don't know anything about Kondo... but if Kazuhiro will move at his own pace, in his own way, he will win," Sakuraba predicted. Nakamura also predicted a win for Sakuraba, "I don't know what Minowa has planned but Sakuraba is on a different level."

"I want to use what I learned from Chute Boxe in my fight. I will watch the flow of the fight so that I can use them," Sakuraba said. In the public training, Sakuraba demonstrated the "Shogun Kick" which was the double spin-kick that Shogun used against Arona, in addition to the "Jirosan" a flying knee-kick, and the "Jump, Jump" where he jumped high into the air, ending with a stomp. In a variation of one of his older techniques, "the flaming top" Sakuraba grabbed his opponent's legs and spun him around to kick the face.

"I trained this all the time," Sakuraba said. "I didn't have enough time to show it in the last fight (against Shamrock)... " He also said that he intends to use his new Chute Boxe strategy against Minowa this time.

Nakamura, on the other hand, kept his new skills secret, even when Sakuraba was on the receiving end of their sparring session. It appears that we won't be able to see what he's learned until he climbs into the ring on New Year's Eve.