SAKURABA TRAINING
04/19/2005

Kazushi Sakuraba held a public training session on April 12th to show how he is preparing for his opponent in the April 23rd PRIDE GP 2005 Opening Round, the "Japanese Killer" Yoon Dong Sik. Sakuraba sparred with Takada Dojo's Takanori Sato, wearing a gi, and also had another surprise sparring partner.

Sakuraba grabbed Sato's gi and use it to punch and kick. He showed off attacks that use the gi, such as grabbing the shoulder area for a triangle choke and getting back position by grabbing the collar. Yoon admitted that wearing a gi has both its advantages and its disadvantages, and Sakuraba agreed, "If he's wearing a gi, it'll be 70% in my favor when I'm moving. If I'm defending, it will be the opposite. It will slow down movement in both good and bad ways." However, Sakuraba continued, "If he's wearing a gi, that means he probably wants to use it but it will actually be me that gets to use it."

 

 

Then the announcer of PRIDE's Japanese PPV broadcast, Eiko Koike, suddenly made her entrance. Dressed in a judo gi, she asked Sakuraba, "Please show me a move." Sakuraba was a surprised but Koike, not backing down an inch, insisted that he show her a move. "Ok, I'm going to take (your gi) off," Sakuraba warned her. Taking a fighting pose, Koike stood face to face with Sakuraba. Koike let out a little squeal as Sakuraba grabbed bottom of her gi and easily removed it. Luckily, she was wearing clothes underneath. Sakuraba warned, "In judo, you came put your gi back on after it's pulled off but that doesn't happen in PRIDE. I'm going to take off his gi and use it against him. If he takes it off in the 2nd round, he'll be in my world then. I'll take the top and the bottom. He can stand there with just his foul cup." Never one to be too serious, Sakuraba jokingly added, "(Yoon,) don't forget to wear some shorts over your foul cup and put tape over your nipples for when you're naked."

This will be Yoon's first MMA match so Sakuraba has no MMA video tapes to study. However, he doesn't seem worried, "Judo tapes are fine. I'll probably watch two or three. I just want to see how he moves."