Home > Ishii: The Man Who Will Decide The Fate Of Japanese MMA? > Ishii Stories! Hard Worker And/Or Genius?

Ishii Stories! Hard Worker And/Or Genius?

First of all, at a garden party yesterday Ishii was asked by the emperor of Japan if his next aim is London 2012. The answer was that it is not his aim.

As the chances of Ishii’s aim being MMA are very high, here are some stories by a few fighters who have met and trained with Ishii.

The first one is from when Andre Galvao visited Axis Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Japan. This is from before the Olympics:

I even had the opportunity to train with the Judo world champion, Ishii, who practices Jiu-Jitsu at Axis now. He is pretty good on the ground and I hope he wins the Olympics. I wish him luck. I was really glad to be able to train with an athlete like him, a professional Judo athlete from Japan. – JJFJ

The second is from BJJ-Asia.com where the writer also writes about a trip to Axis. Also from before the Olympics:

Another hilite of this visit was one of the sparring partners I had. On this day, I wasn’t the only visitor as there was a hakujin (white-guy) and then two judoka. One of which has recently made quite a name for himself having beaten one of the top-ranked in his division as an Olympic hopeful. I got to roll with Satoshi Ishii, a monster of a guy who competes at the 100 kilo weight division. I believe he took silver at the 2006 Asian Games. I wish I could end this story with me winning by kimura or armbar but sadly no. I came really freakin’ close to passing his guard but made some mistakes and gassed out to his monstrous power. Really nice guy though, kind of a gentle-giant of sorts. Another cool thing is that a judo black-belt of his competition level is coming to take BJJ classes. Wish I could have had a second chance, damnit. – BJJ-Asia.com

The best one is last. There is a thread on the Underground forum where Denis Roberts, who is an ADCC 2005 competitor and who has very good results in wrestling, writes about training with Ishii at the university they are both attending. You can and should read and follow the thread here. The following are parts from some of his posts:

Anyways after training he wanted to learn how to shoot a good double, so I and another wrestler took him through it. He was pretty much terrible at first, but I shit you not within like 8 minutes he was doing the most perfect massive powerful doublelegs!!! Fuck!!!! Never seen someone pick up a technique so fast and well in my life! Everytime I corrected or added in a detail he picked it up and did it properly from then on. Amazingly talented!

Anyways after we were done training we started talking MMA. He wants to do a bunch of MMA training with me which should be heaps cool. He’s already been training at an MMA gym (forget which one) And has been doing BJJ at the same club as me for maybe 6 months now and is a brown belt there (Awarded on his first day I think) He already has boxing gloves, shin guards n stuff, so is keen to get into technique and sparring. So yeah we traded numbers and will start training together sometime soon.

Watching this guy train it’s obvious to see why he’s so good at Judo. He is a coaches dream student. From seeing him in Judo practice and from treaching him a bit tonight, he does anything a coach tells him. Doesn’t complain just does it no questions. And he seems to out train everyone else! I used to hear stories of how he would finish training at Kokushikan for like 3 hours (probably the hardest trainings I’ve ever done in my life) and then head off to another top university and do their full training too.

OK so training continued today. Like I said earlier I had heard stories about Ishii finishing training with the Kokushikan team (probably one of the toughest training sessiosn I’ve ever done) and then heading off to another top university to do another full training session. I have NO doubt this is true now. The dude is a work horse!!! Today he had morning training with the Judo team doing running n stuff. Then we trained from 9:00 – 10:30 … he goes to class and has lunch. then we train again from 1:00 – 2:30 And he still has training tonight with the Judo team which will go for about 2.5 hours. Not once did he say anything about being tired or anything. And of course he said he wants to train again tomorrow morning at 9:00

It’s not like he has someone telling him he needs to do this. It’s just out of his own desire and disciplin. How’s that for work ethic.

You guys might find this interesting. He said after graduating in march he’d gonna move to America to join a pro team cos of all the heavyweights over there. And he’s looking at fighting in about a years time.

Anyways training with Ishii continues to go well. He is a fucking training machine! No other way to put it! I’ve trained with a lot of people so far and NEVER EVER trained with someone who trains like him. He puts in more work than anyone I know, yet I haven’t heard him complain at all about being tired or anything. Not once! He does anything I tell him to, listens to what you say, and just wants to train more and more and more!!! He wants to train twice a day with me ontop of what we do with Wrestling/Judo which is usually 2 training sessions a day. So we’re averaging like 6-7 hours a day at the moment. I keep thinking to myself “man I really wanna sleep this afternoon instead of training with him again” But then as our morning training finishes and he says “please train again in the afternoon” and I just can’t say no. How do you turn down someone who is so driven and just wants to do everything they can to get better? Well I can’t anways. So yeah looks like it’s gonna be 3-4 training sessions as day from now on.

Also as for the team he joins… He said something about training in Seattle. Who is in Seattle? I dunno. I’ll have to find out what he’s planning. I’m personaly thinking of going to ATT or Xtreme Couture when I graduate in a bit over a year, and was thinking they’d be good gyms for him too. So yeah I hope he makes the right choice with teams.

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  1. trey
    October 25, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    Had he not challenged Fedor would we care?
    its not like judo champs are uncommon in mma.
    seems the only thing different about him is he is very young.

    My favorite line is
    “He already has boxing gloves, shin guards n stuff,”
    Really?
    Is this supposed to be an accomplishment.
    no.no…he didnt wait to buy gloves, he ALREADY bought them.
    Wow. Now that is dedication.

  2. October 26, 2008 at 8:33 am

    Yes, I think we would care. And no, it’s not that common with Judo players at Ishii’s level in MMA. Nastula, Yoshida, Takimoto, Yoon Dong Sik (and maybe Min Soo Kim and Jung Bu Kyung).

    Why we would care:

    1. The other Judo players at his level who have entered MMA (Nastula, Yoshida, Takimoto, Yoon Dong Sik) were both old and had bad results at the end of their Judo careers (not sure about Sik).

    2. He is modern. He trains BJJ, he has trained MMA, he goes to his university’s wrestling club, he wants to move to America after he graduates because there are more Heavyweight there, etc.

    Many other Olympic gold medalists in Judo would probably think: “Judo is all I need” or something like that (until they lose in MMA) and they would probably have too much pride to go to a wrestling club (or other martial arts clubs) and know they were gonna get beat by wrestlers who maybe aren’t even Olympic caliber.

    3. This isn’t the first time I’ve read about Ishii’s crazy training ethic. I read a quote before from an older Judo man who said that no one in the world trains as hard as Ishii.

    Who knows how he’ll take a punch, but until then, I’m looking forward to his debut. If he is good, he could save MMA in Japan.

  3. max
    October 28, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    very good post
    great site brother!

  4. Scotty
    October 29, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    Going to Seattle = AMC Pankration with Matt Hume.

  1. October 30, 2008 at 2:04 am

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