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By Kolby Chang
The term Legend is only reserved for those who have distinguished themselves from the rest. In the world of mixed martial arts, Japanese fighter Kazushi Sakuraba is a living legend. Well known for his incredible heart, extravagant ring entrances and astonishing skills he is arguably one of the greatest of all time.
The former Pride Fighting Championships staple also happens to be on island for a three-day seminar at the Spike 22 Gym in Tamuning thanks in part to his friend Melchor Manibusan. Speaking through his translator Shin Ishihara, the jovial Sakuraba simply said he came to Guam because Manibusan called him.
“We’re great friends, for a long time, and I want to bring him here at least three times a year to do seminars,” Manibusan said.
When asked why he frequently visits the island so regularly, Sakuraba explained that he has several reasons.
“From Japan to Guam it’s only three and a half hours. Good weather and no time difference. Just one hour so it makes it easier and he has a friend here,” Isihara said.
One reason he didn’t mention is something only a good friend would know. “He loves Fuji Ichiban,” Manibusan said with a smile and drawing some hearty laughs from Sakuraba and Isihara.
The first day of the seminar was on June 12th and continues through the 13th with the final day slated for the 17th. The seminar starts at 5:30 pm and costs $100. During the seminar, participants can get a chance to learn some of the moves that made Sakuraba a superstar in MMA and earned him the nickname ‘The Gracie Hunter” after he dispatched several prominent members of MMA’s first family with his strong wrestling and crafty submissions.
On the first day, everyone from kids to professional fighters listened intently as Sakuraba broke down some techniques step-by-step and gave pointers to make sure those moves are perfectly executed.
“He said when he teaches, it reminds himself,” Ishihara said when Sakuraba was asked how he enjoys teaching.
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