IKUHISA MINOWA INTERVIEW
03/27/2006

On March 24th, Ikuhisa Minowa held a public training session at the PRIDE Dojo in Tokyo. Minowa devised an amazing training strategy for his opponent, Giant Silva, in the upcoming April 2nd PRIDE BUSHIDO 10, to be held at Tokyo's Ariake Coliseum.

Before the training began, the DSE Public Relations officer announced that "today's public training session will be one round of one minute." Now matter how much you may not want to show your training, one round of one minute is unusually short. While the gathered reporters were still scratching their heads, Minowa arrived at the Dojo with his sparring partners, Yasuhito Namekawa and Henry "Sentoryu" Miller.

Minowa put on his open-finger gloves and began to prepare for his training but for some reason, Namekawa picked up two bamboo swords and Miller lifted him up on his shoulders. Minowa's training strategy was to spar again Namekawa, as he holds two bamboo swords and rides on Miller's shoulders. The reason that the round was only one minute long is because that was as long as Miller could hold up Namekawa and move around at the same time. As the sparring session began in front of the stunned reporters, Minowa ducked as Namekawa swung the swords and stepped in sharply to give body punches.

According to Minowa, he does this kind of one minute/one round training for three rounds as a strategy for Giant Silva after he finishes his normal training. Although this is great training for Silva's reach, Minowa is still being cautious, "I know the feeling of getting hit with a bamboo sword from above and getting hit by Silva will be completely different. I'm sure that his punches are going to be much, much heavier than here in training." Minowa continued, saying that in addition to standing, he also had his training partners lay down in the same position and practice groundwork. Unfortunately, it didn't seem to be helping him so Minowa said he gave it up. "I haven't thought about it yet," Minowa said when asked about his strategy to beat Silva. "I'm thinking of how to attack considering my body size and his. I've done a simulation in my head. I'll imagine different things for another week and then I want to put it all together and make it real."

 

 

This image training is where Minowa is focusing his strength in preparation for his fight. Any time he has free time, he imagines himself fighting Silva. That's not the kind of image training a normal fight would do, though. This is image training in Minowa's colorful world.

"For me, it's like a comic book battle. First, Silva appears. Then, I appear. We stare at each other and then the bell rings. This is all divided up, frame by frame, and connected like a comic book. I like (the muscular Japanese comic book character) Kinniku Man. Silva is big, so he's Sunshine (a 10ft tall demon). Of course, I'm Kinniku Man," Minowa explained forcefully the connection between Silva and Minowa's real pro-wrestling.

"I'm still a long way away from becoming the real pro-wrestler that I imagine," Minowa said. "First, I have to fight. I have to win and have good fights to build myself up. I think my fight is one step on the way to perfecting myself. My entrance to the Open Weight Grand Prix is on the line in this fight. In that sense, I can't loseI won't lose. I will win."