Kiyoshi Tamura Speaks About Ikuhisa Minowa

Kiyoshi Tamura held a public training session at U-FILE CAMP Noborito on December 22nd in advance of his December 31st PRIDE SHOCKWAVE 2006 match against Ikuhisa Minowa, to be held at Saitama Super Arena.

Kiyoshi Tamura warmed up for his public training by jumping rope. Rather than the three, five-minute rounds of jump roping seen in kickboxing gyms, Tamura jumps rope at full-speed for four, one-minute sets. Tamura wore a long-sleeved jacket in the beginning but after three sets, changed into a short-sleeved shirt.

After warming up, Tamura donned punching gloves for MMA sparring. During the ten-minute round, Tamura showed off his ability to take advantage of PRIDE rules, such as kicks to an opponent in the 4-points position and knee-kicks from side position. Tamura ended the training session by checking his punching and kicking form, and combinations on the punching mitts. While public training sessions often ended quickly, with only light trainig, Tamura's session became more like regular training as time passed.



At a previous press conference, Tamura commented, "I'll show you how a 37 year old fights." According to Tamura, while there may now be many gyms where aspiring fighters can learn MMA, when he was young he had to continue training elsewhere after practice at his dojo was over. It was from that experience that he decided to establish U-FILE CAMP, "a place where I could train more efficiently." Since then, Tamura has continued to apply logic to his technical and physical training at U-FILE CAMP.

"The contents of my training haven't changed. Mainly I run, spar and do mitt-work. In the afternoon I lift weights. Then I check my own techniques as I instruct others. I couldn't do striking, wrestling and lift weights in a single location when I was young. So I would train at my dojo in the morning and then go out for more training at night.

"I created this gym because I wanted to be able to train logically in one place. I don't do it anymore but when I was in the KOK Tournament and when I fought Renzo Gracie, I lived here for a month while I was training. It's a matter of efficiency. I know I may be lacking stamina in comparison to younger fighters but I am doing all the training that is possible at this age."

"I don't think there's any need for me to change my training," Tamura said about his upcoming fight. "There is almost an unlimited number of technical aspects to mixed martial arts. There are a lot of things you have to do. You have to strengthen your body and learn striking, takedowns, positioning and submissions. I believe that I have trained myself well in all of those areas. The training I do is designed for mixed martial arts and it's important to use that training create your own mixed martial arts style." .

Tamura's focus is on improving himself, not training for a specific fight and this fight with Ikuhisa Minowa will be no exception. According to Tamura, he hasn't reviewed a single Minowa fight, "I've heard that Minowa is good at leg-locks. If I get caught, there's nothing I can do about that. I haven't seen him, though, so I don't know if he is good or not."

"I have a basic mental image (of the fight)," Tamura added. "I will try to keep my distance and not get caught up in his game. I can instantly change from offense to defense; attacking while defending and defending while attacking. I'm not worried about leg-locks at all, though. I won't watch any of Minowa's videos until the day of the fight. It's not that I'm so confident in myself that I don't need to see the videos. Rather, mixed martial arts are about whether you can make your opponent get caught in your game. That's why I don't focus on the small stuff, like whether my opponent is good at leg-locks or not. It's more important to train in everything and make my opponent fight my way."

"Whether you're an orthodox fighter or a tricky fighter, the fighter that gets caught up in his opponent's game will lose, so I think the instantaneous decisions you make have a big effect on the outcome. The ideal way is to keep my own pace and distance, without fighting at my opponent's pace, and make a fool of him," Tamura appeared unwilling to be a part of "Minowa's world," including his unusual fight tactics and pre-fight statements.

Asked about his strategy or any secret plans, Tamura answered sparingly, "I just train. That's all I do. My secret strategy might be to be in good condition for the fight and make my opponent fight my game. That's not much of a secret, though."

The upcoming fight against Minowa will be Tamura's first in approximately 10 months. However, Tamura avoided a clear reply when asked about his future, "Even if I win this fight and ask for another fight, it would still depend on the promoter's matchmaking because everything is not about me. If I get the opportunity to fight again, or if I can create an opportunity for myself, that would be great. There are fighters I'd like to rematch, like Yoshida. I've been saying that for a long time and I want to keep think positively about that."