Yuki Kondo held an open training session at a gym in Kitasenju, Tokyo on December 19, 2005. Kondo demonstrated his yoga training, which he began in 2001, and he spoke about his upcoming New Year's Eve bout with Kazuhiro Nakamura.
Public training sessions normally consist of mitt work and light sparring but there were no mitts, sandbags or gloves to be found in today's training location. Kondo laid down on a white mat, moving his body according to the directions of his trainer, Kazuo Koyama. Once that was finished, Kondo stood up and worked on his balance by pushing and pulling against Koyama.
Today's demonstration was of the yoga training that Kondo has been using since 2001. Kondo says that he practices twice per month, regardless of whether he has a fight or not. The training menu primarily consists of body movement and breathing techniques.
"I can concentrate on the insides of my body," Kondo spoke of his training success. "I try to bring that focus into my regular training and maintain a high quality in my movements." Kondo replied in usual Kondo fashion regarding his thinking on stamina and endurance, "Stamina isn't about seeing how long you can tough it out. To me, movements that make me tired are unnatural movements. So, if I can focus inside myself and produce high quality movements, I won't breathe hard. I don't breath hard now, no matter how hard I fight."
"He's always had great stamina but his stamina really increased after he started yoga," Koyama commented on the effects of Kondo's special training. "If you have stamina, your muscles won't get tired and most importantly, you can continue to concentrate. That's why Kondo is always able to concentrate throughout his fights." Kondo agreed, "You don't really get frustrated if you do yoga. That's why I can keep fighting without getting frustrated, even if I'm put into a bad position." It seems that Kondo's greatest weapons, his unlimited stamina and "immoveable heart" were born from yoga.
"My training has been good," Kondo said with a relaxed expression, less than 2 weeks until his fight against Kazuhiro Nakamura. "I'm training hard right now but I don't have any injuries and I've been energetic in my training. I participated in a catch-wrestling match (with Takumi Yano) and that really got me focused on grappling."
"I want to win with striking, not grappling, of course. That's where I'm most confident," Kondo added. Perhaps due to the scale of the New Year's Eve show, Kondo was in rare form, issuing a KO declaration, "I want to fight until one of us is (knocked) out. In my mind, the perfect scene would be knocking him out with a single punch, with the referee stopping the fight just as the opponent falls, and winning by KO."
Kondo continued, "I will be at an advantage, the longer the fight continues." His trainer, Koyama, also predicted that a long fight would be better for Kondo, "I think that the longer it goes, the more of advantage Kondo will have. If he can handle the beginning attacks well, I'll be able to relax and watch the fight."