Takanori Gomi held a public training session on December 22 at the Kiguchi Dojo in Machida, Tokyo. Gomi declared that he will become the Champion when he and Hayato "Mach" Sakurai battle to become the first Japanese PRIDE Champion at the December 31 st PRIDE SHOCKWAVE 2005, to be held at Saitama Super Arena.

Gomi is going full-speed as New Year's Eve approaches and looked exhausted when he arrived from his boxing training at the Sagamihara Yonekura Gym. "I've been doing a lot of kick defense and punching practice for this fight. And physical training. I've been training karate at Mushinjuku and when I train, my body remembers how it felt when I fought Kawajiri. I started feeling that way 2 weeks ago. I'm aiming to push even farther during these last 2 weeks."

Following the Kawajiri fight, Gomi said, "I'm not at my max yet at all. I will be at my max on New Year's Eve" and it looks like Gomi is on the right on schedule to reach his full potential. "In terms of feelings, I feel the same but I can definitely see improvement."

Although the New Year's Eve matches are quickly falling into place and the card is full of big-name match-ups, such as Ogawa VS Yoshida, Gomi is believes his bout will be the best. "I think it's a great card. Everything is luxurious but we are fighting because we fought our way up the tournament. The value (of the fight) is different. I'm excited to see how that will show up in the ring," Gomi continued confidently. "This is a place for serious battles and everyone will eventually say that this was an amazing card."

This one fight certainly does have its roots in history. Two men that have brought up SHOOTO and BUSHIDO, and have a junior-senior relationship, will decide who is the best between them on New Year's Eve. "We haven't trained together for about 2 years," Gomi said, apparently unconcerned about the significance of the match. "We went together with Mr. Kiguchi to the hot springs last year." He also seemed unconcerned about Mach training in the US, "I hope he can stay focused."



Why? "Because," Gomi replied with confidence, "My current training environment is top-class, the best in the world." In addition to the previously mentioned Mushinjuku karate and boxing at the Sagamihara Yonekura Gym, Gomi also attends a weight-training gym, trains with the Kokushikan University's wrestling team and of course, trains at Kiguchi Dojo.

Furthermore, Gomi said that he is secretly training with a famous martial artist. "I can't say what we are doing but we met at a place that is very good luck for me. As I was going here and there, always trying to improve myself, I ran into a great person... and I began training with a great martial artist. He transcends the New Year's Eve show. For someone that's trying to be the best in the world, I feel that I've already won by training with this person. I can say that he's a national treasure." Gomi continued with a smile, "I plan on training with him once more before New Year's Eve. You can learn more by training once with a top-class fighter than you can by training 100 times with the same old guys. The things going on in this dojo are even bigger than the Saitama show!"

The gathered reporters trying to pry information from Gomi but he kept his secret, "Really, I want to say who it is. I do, but it would cause problems for him."

Gomi also talked about his plan after he becomes Champion on New Year's Eve, "I want to make a place where I can train anytime I want next year, my own gym. I want to rent some space and make a place that is created by a martial artist, for martial artists."

"I will be the Champion. I am the Champion," Gomi declared. Gomi is confident because he has brought BUSHIDO this far nearly single-handedly and he isn't being distracted by outsiders.

Norufumi "KID" Yamamoto said that he would fight the winner of Gomi and Mach, but Gomi just laughed it off, "I don't know anything about that but, hey, I'm a tough guy, too."

"I'm just training with great training partners for this match and I will beat Sakurai. That's all. Then I will relax next year."

After the interview, Gomi looked less tired and wanted to train even more.