GOMI'S PUBLIC TRAINING SESSION
07/14/2002

Takanori Gomi held a public training session at the Kiguchi Workout Studio on July 10th, in advance of his main even bout at the July 17th PRIDE BUSHIDO Vol. 8, to be held in Nagoya. A more muscular Gomi promised that he will win all of his fights this year.

Gomi answered questions from the gathered reporters after he finished his training session around 1pm. The training consisted of sparring and tackle-practice with his teacher and former All-Japan Greco-Roman Wrestling Champion, Sensho Kiguchi, and instructing small children.

"The last fight got me motivated in body and mind," Gomi said. "I'm training harder than I was before. I started training with Mr. Kiguchi again and it's going well. My team members and the little kids are all doing their best and that energy than I would have had otherwise."


Gomi has apparently been putting a lot of effort into weight training and his body has become thicker. According to Gomi, he would play around whenever he felt like it leading up to the 6 months before his last fight but this time, he decided that if he had enough spare time to play around, he should be training more.

"I decided to stop training at other gyms and focus mainly on my own gym. I wanted to reduce my time in transit, which was just a waste. I've been doing weight training, mostly for my back, and running."

His opponent, Jean Silva, comes on the heels of Gomi's last opponent, and fellow Chute Boxe member, Luis Azeredo, but Gomi is not worried.

"For the fans attending BUSHIDO and the fans watching at home, having a Chute Boxe fighter as an opponent is probably more entertaining. I've only seen a short video of him but he looks like a ground fighter. I'll be careful of submissions from the bottom. My image of him is that he's got height and reach, and he's a smooth fighter, but I don't think he can beat me right now."

As in previous press conferences where he declared that he is strong now, today's Gomi also seems extremely confident in his strength. When Gomi talks like this, it's evidence that he's in top condition, not overconfidence.

"I want the fans and the viewers to follow me. When I started out in martial arts and the main event at Ariake Coliseum, the fans would all stand up and cheer. Look, I don't think that I'm just an ordinary guy. I want the fans to feel that I have the power to pull myself up."

He wants to raise the next generation and give strength to those that watch him. This has been a theme that Gomi has been talking about for a long time. Saying that he's not "just an ordinary guy" is a sure sign of confidence, though. Gomi said that he's going to fight 4 more times this year. In short, he's going to fight to the Final Round of the 73 kg Grand Prix.

"My goal is Wanderlei Silva but first I have to win the Grand Prix. I think I will make more plans during that time, too. It's not that I'm disregarding the Grand Prix. That's just the way I feel. I don't thinking 2 fights in 1 day will be a problem. I've still got 4 matches left and I will win those. I don't have any interest in fighting guys in my weight class or lighter fighters."

Gomi also gave us his next goal, after Wanderlei Silva. "If Sakuraba is in good health after I win the Grand Prix, I would definitely like the honor of fighting him. PRIDE only exists because Sakuraba was here. I hope that we will be able to fight eventually," Gomi said. "If I have enough time, I think I can go up to about 80 kg. I'm going to be aiming for the top next year or the year after that."

Gomi said that he bought a plasma TV as a small reward to himself. "Marriage?" Gomi laughed. "I'm always working for happiness but it seems the more I train, the farther (marriage) gets away from me. As always, most of my fans are guys. (laughing) I don't worry about that kind of thing, though. As a fighter, I don't want to have any regrets when I'm done and there's no need to play around right now. I will be running at top speed for the next 6 months so I can move up to a new stage."

Gomi is aiming for the Grand Prix Championship. Then, there is Sakuraba and Wanderlei, both heavier fighters. To get to them, Gomi cannot lose this fight. A bigger and more motivated Gomi is sure to give us an even more explosive show at Nagoya than he did last year.