EXCLUSIVE | Enson Inoue Discusses His Work in Japanese Disaster Relief Efforts | Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio
| Our crew over at Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio was at it again this past weekend as they hosted an entertaining and informative radio show with several different MMA personalities. One of those guests was longtime MMA legend and respected humanitarian, Enson Inoue. Inoue made his MMA debut way back in 1995 and has fought against top names such as Randy Couture, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and Frank Shamrock. Although he hasn’t fought since 2010 Inoue, who is a Japanese-American, has been traveling to northeast Japan to directly help the earthquake and tsunami victims in areas such as Fukushima. Inoue was kind enough to talk about his travels and the help he’s been giving to the needy families in Japan when he talked with Denny and Anton. Here are some of the highlights from the interview with Enson Inoue on BJPenn.com’s Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio:
Enson first discussed the rapid growth of MMA over the past ten or so years and touched on how he thought that some of the Martial Arts aspects have been pushed aside or have even been lost as the sport has continued to grow but also touched on how some of those aspects still remain.
“As far as technique wise and what you’re seeing in the punching, the kicking, the training, and the discipline,” he said, “that’s a lot of martial arts. But as far as the deeper part, the spiritual part of martial arts, I think it actually has to take a back seat right now in place of the money and the success of the fighters now. It’s kind of sad but it’s very good for the sport so I’m actually bummed but kind of happy at the same time.”
He then started talking about his most recent doings and happenings when he discussed the Japanese disasters that compelled him to go help the people in need. He explained why he decided to take on such a task and what drives him to help other people.
“Of course there’s so much bad shit in the world it’s easy to forget the last one that just happened,” he began, “but for me, I live there, I have a connection to the people. It’s something that just burns in me when people think that everything is ok. I’m on my 28th mission now. I’ve been there 28 times , 3 times into the radiation zone and, you know, I heard you say you’re spending all your money and doing this and not getting anything back. I’m getting a lot back. I’m getting a lot of gratitude and there’s the smile that I get from the old lady when I bring her a case of water.”
“There’s no money that can buy that,” he continued. “I crave the gratitude that people will give me when I give them help.”
“The gratitude is addicting.”
“I know in my heart it was the right thing to do.”
He was then asked if he was worried if the radiation exposure was going to affect him over time. He replied, “That was a risk I was willing to take.”
Inoue is going on these trips and only taking a limited amount of food and water for himself along the way. He explained that although only taking what you can carry is dangerous and risky, it’s also something that he’s become accustomed to from his fighting days.
“I’m almost stepping into a situation that you’re not supposed to be able to do,” he stated. “You’re literally only eating and drinking what you can carry. It’s impossible to carry food for a three month trip. It’s literally impossible. It’s like my fights, you know? That’s not going to stop me. I’m going to do everything in my power to make it possible and I am going to rely on some people to help me. The reason I wanted to create that situation was I’m putting myself almost in the same situation, of course not anywhere near, but sort of in the same type of situation as the people in the North are in. A lot of people in the north, without the help of others, probably wouldn’t have survived.”
He then explained that these trips and good deeds are not only going to benefit those that are in need but they are also going to help build him into a better person in the future. He stated, “The lessons that I’m going to get are going to help me grown throughout my lifetime.”
“It’s almost like a fight that I’m not supposed to win.”
He was then asked why these amazing stories about his humanitarian side are not blasted all over the internet media circuits.
“A lot of the things that I do isn’t published except on my facebook or my homepage. So it’s not about getting recognition. It’s about doing what I believe is the right thing to do,” he replied. “It’s just about helping the people.”
Inoue was also asked, aside from the people he was helping out in Japan, what he hoped to get out of this experience.
“I want to learn more about the things we should be appreciating,” he said. “I’m not even near what I want to become.”
Inoue, who also has his own jewelry and bracelet company, was asked to talk about that aspect of his life and how he got started doing it. He talked about how he started making the bracelet in Japan and how he got the idea. He explained, “They believe that when you have one and it breaks, that means that something that was bad that was supposed to come to you, it took it in place of you and it broke.”
He continued, “I got in to two Mercedes Benz accidents where I totaled my Benz and both times I got a little swollen lip from the airbag and my bracelets broke, and that kind of freaked me out.”
It made him an instant believer and he now makes and sells the bracelets online at DestinyForever.com.
Inoue has been very busy as of late and we thoroughly thank him for taking the time out of his schedule to discuss his recent adventures and the help that he has been providing for those affected by the Japan disasters. We look forward to hearing more heart-warming stories about Inoue’s journey and we wish him safe travels in Japan.