Here is an opportunity to hear the mindset of one of the pioneers of the sport or MMA. Enson Inoue shares his perspective on mastering yourself through combat, his legacy carries on through Master Baret into all of our students. You must pay homage to those that went before us to gather all this knowledge when it was not readily accessible. They paved the way with their blood, sweat, and tears so we can have these great arts.
For me, I felt I just want to get in the ring. I just want to experience it. I just want to experience the man-to-man combat, that nervousness, and I thought there’s no way I’m going to be able to control it in one fight. But I thought that I’ll be a better man practicing it once rather than zero. That’s the reason why I got into fighting. And to get to your question, the reason why I retire is because I felt that I accomplished my mission.
My mission was to control myself in the ring. My mission was to conquer fear. I mean, there’s some fighters that say they don’t feel fear in the ring. I think they either don’t know that, they don’t know themselves, or they’re playing a little game with you. But there’s fear. So, I felt I could control fear very good. My jitters, I felt like the Enson on the mats every day was Enson in the ring, and the fight that I actually gave me that knowledge is Igor Vovchanchyn. All of my trainers wanted me to take him down because my ground was better, and to be on top would be better for me. And I’m not a wrestler. My wrestling sucks, so I thought, instead of forcing that, I do want feel the ferocity in him. And I decided to throw toe-to-toe with him, and that’s why I picked Igor because I saw what he did.
In the Igor fight, I got damaged pretty bad. If you watch the fight, he eventually threw me to the ground, which was a victory in itself for me, because he’s a striker and I’m a ground guy, but he took me down… He didn’t want to strike. So, it was a victory for me. That fight, I felt that I was done. I felt that I don’t have anything more to learn in the ring, and that’s the reason, going back to your question, that was like, what, 20 minutes ago, that’s the reason why I retired, because I felt that my mission to be able to control myself in the ring and my nerves was accomplished.