Shinya Aoki Spoke at Public Training
12/21/2006

Shinya Aoki held an extremely short public training session at the DEEP OFFICIAL GYM IMPACT in Okubo, Tokyo on December 21st. Aoki will face one of the toughest Lightweight fighters in the world, Joachim Hansen, at PRIDE SHOCKWAVE 2006 on December 31st, to be held at Saitama Super Arena.

"Shall we start," Shinya Aoki asked before beginning his public training session along with the master of leg-locks, Masakazu Imanari. Aoki showed off three submissions back-to-back and then ended the training session after less than one minute.

"This is the way I do it everyday, like WOW'," Aoki spoke (?) about his training situation. "I'm not nervous. Not at all. I'm working on a strategy, but not so hard. My training is going well, so as long as I'm in good health there shouldn't be any problems."

According to Aoki, his impressive lineup of training partners includes Imanari, All-Japan Sambo Champion Hidehiko Hasegawa and Ryo Chonan. Aoki also trains with athletes from a variety of organizations but didn't want to name them.

Imanari has fought Aoki's upcoming opponent, Joachim Hansen, previously in BUSHIDO. However, "He was knocked out so apparently, he doesn't remember anything," Aoki explained. "There's no way he can give me advice and he was never much of a talker anyway." Asked if instead he was learning from Imanari through training, Aoki replied somewhat inappropriately, "Yes. He's teaching me with his body. We have a physical relationship!"

"My parents always come to watch my fights and they always tell me not to wear tights that are too yellow and not to do anything stupid. The more they tell me that, though, the more I do it," Aoki commented.

"He doesn't have anything I need to worry about," Aoki said about Hansen. "As a grappler, I'm not worried. His individual submissions aren't that impressive. As a mixed martial artist, I know that he's a high-level fighter but he's not much of a grappler." Aoki doesn't think much of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu European Champion's grappling skills, "I don't know if I'm the best but in terms of grappling ability, but I'm close. He's more like a copy of a Louis Vuitton bag."

The only time that Aoki replied seriously was when he was talking about Hansen's knee kick that sent Imanari to the mat. "His knees are sharp. I can't say why exactly but I'm pretty confident that I won't get hit with them. You'll understand if you watch the fight. I do have some sort of a strategy."

 

 



While Aoki doesn't think much of Hansen as a grappler, he is aware of Hansen's abilities as a mixed martial artist, "I've seen several of his fights and he's an extremely technical mixed martial artists. He's an incredible fighter and I respect him. I think this will be a great fight." However, Aoki is still confident in victory, "Will I submit him? I hope so, or there will be a problem."

Aoki used the word "Wow!" several times during his interview and it seems to be a popular word in his gym. "Everyone says it in the gym. I hope we can win the Word of the Year Award next year. That's what I'm really after," Aoki continued. "I have some special tights for New Year's Eve. Everyone will have a good time when they see them at the venue or on TV because they are great. A new wave is coming!"

Asked about the big Lightweight Division match between Champion Takanori Gomi and Mitsuhiro Ishida, Aoki replied that he's focusing solely on how to make his own fight more exciting, "I'm interested (in their match) but I don't really care who wins."

Imanari appeared bored when asked to comment and said, "He's going to win" while looking at his cell phone. Even Aoki couldn't help but laugh at the Imanari's lack of interest.

"Our worlds are different, so I only talk about martial arts with my training partners," Aoki said before donning a yellow helmet and riding his yellow scooter into the night. It's impossible to tell how much of what Aoki says is a joke. However, one thing is certain. The fight between Shinya Aoki and Joachim Hansen will likely be one of the most technical battles in PRIDE history.