While MMA fighters are known for their toughness, some stand apart from the rest. During his fighting career, Yuki Nakai proved himself to be one of the most brave and sturdy athletes to compete at the time. In the Vale Tudo Japan competition of 1995, Nakai, one of the lightest fighters to compete, suffered a debilitating eye injury that would partially blind him for life. Rather than submit or bow out of the tournament competition, Nakai pressed on, winning that fight, the semi-final match and then proceeding to the finals against Rickson Gracie. Nakai lost against Gracie by Mata Leao but his reputation was sealed forever as a fighter with incredible heart and Bushido spirit.
Since that event, Nakai has gone on to become a well known figure in Japanese martial arts and MMA. Now a BJJ black belt and founder of Tokyo’s Paraestra Shooto gym, he has gone on to coach successful fighters such as Shinya Aoki as well as promote Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Japan. Our talented filmmaker buddies at The Grappling Dummy recently produced this short documentary about Yuki’s gym, career and opinions on the martial arts in Japan. Nakai, gets pretty philosophical in this piece and it’s interesting to hear his take on grappling’s origins in his homeland. This is one of the most well made shorts I’ve seen in a long time and DSTRYR/sg just has to promote it. Enjoy.