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@ Global Training Report


Interview with 

Ken Shamrock

SRSDX, No.27, Aug.10, 2000

Translated by Kondo Yoko


Q. Hi Ken! How are you?

Shamrock: Hi Sarmo! Itfs been long time since seeing you.

Q. How is your training going on?

Shamrock: Itfs good. I am looking forward to the fight.

Q. Before I ask about the fight to come, could you tell me about the previous fight with Otsuka on May 1st? It was the first time in four years to do a fight in NHB. Did you feel nervous?

Shamrock: Mmm.. well, I was nervous and under the pressure during the training. It lasted until I stepped into the ring. However, once I got in the ring, the pressure had vanished. I felt right back at home.

Q. Mmmc Why is that?

Shamrock: Maybe I was too eager for keeping up with what I lost over the last four years, the flow of time and the appearance of a new breed of fighter during my absence from the ring. I was obsessed by the idea that I had to surpass them. But I felt myself being back to this moment immediately after I got in the ring.

Q. Wo! Then what is your impression of your opponent Otsuka?

Shamrock: It was a big challenge and chance for him. In that sense, he had nothing to be afraid of, and he was very aggressive. Since I was staying away from NHB for a long time, I was aiming at the counter guarding against aggressive attacks. It turned out to be a good fight, I think. I was in good condition at that time, but not my best. It took six minutes to get into my own rhythm. But I will be in my best condition next time.

Q. Didnft you feel any awkward or confused in NHB after a long absence?

Shamrock: Regardless of how many blank years you have from the last fight, once the fight begins, all you have to do is to concentrate on how to deal with each situation. So I have no room in my heart for such a feeling. I wanted to assure myself in the ring that I still have my warrior spirit and killer instinct inside me, whether I did enough training or not.

Q. Killer instinct!

Shamrock: Yes, right. I was assured of my killer instinct remaining inside me, as the fight went on.

Q. Wo! Itfs an interesting story (laughing)B But what brought you back to the fight in NHB after four years?

Shamrock: While staying away from NHB, I was training with Vernon White, Tra Telligman, Alex, and Tony and the other guys at the Lionfs Den as much as possible. But it was hard for me to feel that I was losing my power and technique in a continuous performance of WWF (in fact more than 260 days a year under the WWF contract). I needed something new for myself. I needed to come back to NHB one more time for my challenge to try my ability. There are only one or two years left for me to do it. I have no time to hesitate. I wanted to spend the rest of my time on fighting for me, not for others. Do you know why I joined WWF after retiring from NHB four years ago? At that time, I couldn't make enough money to support my family in NHB business. WWF was a very tough business, but I chose it for my family, not for me. But now I can support my family well by doing only NHB, thanks to PRIDE. Itfs great!@

Q. You had a brilliant career in WWF so far. It must require a lot of courage to decide to come back to NHB.

Shamrock: Of course. Everybody said itfs impossible, because NHB is not the same as four years ago, and it is not a right decision to lose the career in WWF in addition to running a risk. My younger brother Frank said in an interview on TV that my come-back is a big mistake. But I am a fighter. Fighting is what I have to do. Sometimes win, and sometimes lose. Thatfs it. The chance is there, which I can challenge with my own will. How can I ignore it?

Q. How did your colleagues of WWF say about it?

Shamrock: Everybody said I am crazy. Many people said that moving from Pro wrestling to NHB means a fall in rank of life (laughing). But it didnft seem so, because my original base is NHB. Now there are some wrestlers who want to follow me to NHB.

Q. It sounds interesting. By the way, you are going to fight with Fujita who is called the last successor of Inokiism on Aug. 27. What kind of impression do you have about him?

Shamrock: What? Inokiism? Ahc Mr. Inoki.. I know well how significant he is in Japan. Fujita is his student, isnft it? Isnft it great? He is a tough fighter and defeated Mark Kerr. It is a good match for me. He is tough, a good shooter, and has a power too. No doubt that it will be a good fight.

Q. What is your impression about the fight between Fujita and Mark Kerr?

Shamrock: It was a smart fight. Fujita withstood Kerrfs first attack, and ten minutes after that he held Kerr and beat him up. He let Kerr do nothing. It was very wise for him to try not to take the guard position.

Q. It is said that Fujitafs weapon is tackle. What do you think about it?

Shamrock: I heard that he was a ranking wrestler of all Japan even in amateur wrestling. It will be a great pleasure to see if he can catch me with a take-down in spite of my kick or punch, and if he can escape from my leg lock.

Q. What do you think is his weak point?

Shamrock: None, nothing at all.

Q. Then letfs change the subject. Tell me about yourself. What kind of training are you doing now?

Shamrock: I am doing everything except for weight training. Itfs not the time to build up muscle now, because it prevents me from delivering a punch. I mainly focus on conditioning and flexibility.

Q. Tell me of your schedule of a day.

Shamrock: I get up at 9:00 in the morning and try to take a breakfast as much as possible. Boxing training starts from 11:00. After a break I do training with children, and wrestling for an hour from 4:00. After that, I practice submission from 6:00 to 7:00.

Q. Is there any training you especially reinforce toward the fight with Fujita?

Shamrock: Nothing specially. Actually this will be third time for him to fight in NHB, wonft it? I donft know yet what style he will take, take-down, punch, or kick. There are too many factors to predict.

Q. Then you canft predict what will be going on there?

Shamrock: Well, it will be a tough fight for both of us. But it must be the first time for him to fight with an opponent who has technique of both standing and ground. For example, Hanse Nyman is a kick boxer, and Mark Kerr, who is good at take-down, doesnft have a good standing technique. I think Fujita could defeat Mark because he was in a best condition. I have fought with all-round fighters many times, but he hasnft. Of course, he has a chance to win, but rare, though Mr. Inoki is teaching him submission or standing technique. Any way, it is a good chance for him to learn a lot of things, and for me to test myself.

Q. Can I have a message for Fujita?

Shamrock: Letfs do a good fight! Thatfs all.

Q. I see. The last question is who else you want to fight with in Pride.

Shamrock: Sakuraba! Nobody else!

Q. But he said there is too much difference in weight.

Shamrock: Wahaha.. No problem if he gain 10 more pounds and I lose 10 pounds.

Q. Surely. (laughing) He defeated Royce who had done a tough fight with you in UFC. What do you think about that fight?

Shamrock: Sakuraba was smart, and did a good job. He made Royce tired by a punch and a chop as he did in the fight with Royler last year. He attacked Royce with low-kick, so many that Royce couldnft get up, and then slowly got into submission. That is his strategy. If Royce hadnft had a problem with his leg and the fight had been continued, Sakuraba would have caught him with arm-lock or arm-bar, or choke-sleeper from the back.

Q. Any message to Royce?

Shamrock: Yes. I heard that in response to a question at a recent interview of a Japanese magazine who will win if Royce and I fight now, he said, gask Ken. He knows most, because I am best.h

Q. It seems so.

Shamrock: What a joke! OK! Then tell him, gshut up or put up.h


(c) 2000, Yoko Kondo, all rights reserved.