Enson Inoue Interview

One week until Enson Inoue arrives in L.A.What: MMA SeminarWho: Enson Inoue (Heavyweight Shooto Champ & Pride FC veteran) When: Sunday June 3rd, 2007Where: R1 Center (formerly rAw Training Center) in El Segundo, CA Time: 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.Cost: $30 at the door cash only

Directions to r-1 Gym:http://www.r1gym.com/wst_page6.html

Enson: What’s up? (Sounds like he was just waking up…but he don’t sleep)

GYI: Hey, it’s a week out and I thought we should put out a small interview to let everyone know what’s up.

Enson: All right.

GYI: So, how’d you get involved with David Mamet’s movie, Red Belt?

Enson: Rico Chiapparelli and Charuto Verissimo contacted me and asked if I wanted to be a part of it. So I looked up David Mamet on the Internet . I didn’t realize how accomplished he is as a filmmaker. I’m very honored to be part of his film.

GYI: What’re your thoughts on the upcoming K-1 Dynamite USA on June 2nd? You’re going to be there, right?

Enson: Yeah, I’m going to be there. In fact, I just had a meeting with them (K-1) last week. I’m really interested in seeing their production, as it should be a good show. They always have incredible ring entrances for the fighters.

GYI: What is your connection to Rico Chiapparelliiand the R-1 Training Center?

Enson: Well, way back when it was the rAw training center, Egan trained there and would tell me how the wrestling was awesome. Then, when I fought Randy Couture (Japan Vale Tudo), they were always so respectful before the fight, so respectful after the fight. So when one of my fighters, Kengo Ura, wanted to train in the U.S….Can you believe I just called it the U.S.? I’ve been in Japan so long now. Anyway, I recommended he go to R-1 Center for sure. Andy Wang, one of Egan’s black belts started training there. I still would run into Rico and Frank Trigg here and there, like at Pride FC. They are good people.

GYI: You’re going to have an MMA Seminar at R-1 Center (El Segundo, CA) next week on Sunday, June 3rd.

Enson: Yeah, you know I’m really happy to do this and, like we talked about, I’m not really doing it too make money, but as I just mentioned…..I’ve been in Japan since 1990 so most of my adult life has been in Japan. I never really thought about fighting or marketing myself in the U.S… but recently I’ve been spending a lot of time there and realize it is the least I can do stay in touch with my fans. That’s why I go on the Internet so much; to try and stay in touch.

GYI: Yeah I noticed you have an ongoing dialogue on Sherdog and MMA.TV websites.

Enson: Hey, …Is Howard Liu (HCK) going to be at the seminar?

GYI: Yeah, he will be helping me organize this seminar.

Enson: Cool. I am so looking forward to meeting him. He has sponsored my brother, Egan, from way back and is always sending me gis, T-shirts, shorts…

GYI: I remember when I lived in Japan seeing pictures in the magazines and you were wearing HCK shorts in the ring.

Enson: Yeah man, I still got the original shorts Howard gave me…they are so beat up! Hey, I’m going to wear them at the seminar so he will see them. They’re so beat up! (laughter)

GYI: So what’s up with this new Purebred USA?

Enson: You know, I was never into business for the money. It just always happened by chance. So many people approach me saying, “We can make money selling this.” But…I’m not really into that and I need to know I can trust the guy, you know?

GYI: Yes, I remember talking to you about that the last time (I visited Japan).

Enson: I mean, the way this guy, Nick, approached me after the seminar: He told me how much he liked my shirts and how disappointed he was about how he couldn’t get them here in the US…Nothing about making the money. So when I offered him to take over for the U.S. he just dropped everything. He even gave up a promotion at his work to do this… I mean, there is Purebred Japan and Purebred USA. I feel I can just trust him to spread the word. And this guy, he knows everything about cotton T-shirts, silk screening, inks, everything….I had to joke, “Man, you’re a geek! (Laughter)”

GYI: I hear he’s coming to the seminar too…among other people.

Enson: Yeah, Nick will be there. Also, I got a friend coming. You know the TV show, “My name is Earl?”

GYI: Oh yeah (I’m totally lying).

Enson: Actor Ethan Suplee will be there at the seminar as well. I hear NYBA, Phil Baroni is trying to make it down…but you know Phil.

GYI: Yeah. (I’m lying again). It should be an awesome day and great seminar. There will be some amateur MMA sparring matches from noon so you can see some up-and-coming talent. I’ll talk to you later in the week

Enson: Okay, man. Talk with you later.

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