Shinya Aoki had an interview with a Japanese MMA magazine, Fight & Life.
- I would like to ask about the striking. You told us before that you were throwing both arms at the same time before you had striking trainings. Is that true?
Yes. When I started MMA, I only spar to improve my strikings. I wore 16oz gloves, threw punches and took down. That's all.
- That's not a proper training, I think.
I did not kick but kneed and hooked. It never crossed my mind to take distance by jabs and throw punches in different strength. Nobody told me anything and I just stick with my street style.
- Your style was throwing punches, getting close to your opponent and finish?
Yes. I believed a theory of probability. If I throw punches aggressively and get closer, my opponent pose at a moment. Then, I take him down and submit. I was optimistic and believed I was OK with my style.
- You lost by Nakao in 2004. It was the first time you were KOed.
At the same time my right hook hit him, I got his left straight and I was blown off.
- You learned the importance of striking techniques through your loss; therefore, you started to take classes with your coach, Iimura.
Yes. I had an exhibition match in an opening ceremony of his dojo before the fight. He invited me to train with him.
- You learned only striking techniques in a standing position. I believe you also learned something you couldn't use in MMA.
I knew nothing. Everything I learned from him was very useful.