At the age of twenty-one, Nicholas Pettas completed the brutal 1,000-day Uchi-deshi program of Sosai Mas Oyama, which made him the second ever foreign graduate, and second non-Japanese, to ever finish the program (the first being Judd Reid, my first guest on this podcast), and he was the last uchi-deshi of Sosai Oyama, who died soon after his graduation.
After graduating the programme, he competed in several tournaments and achieved many significant titles and honours such as the European Karate Heavyweight Champion in 1995, placing 5th and 3rd place in the World Championships, respectively in 1995 and 1997, and would go on to win the K-1 Japan Grand Prix Championship in 2001, in front of 70,000 people.
He is the author of Blue Eyed Samurai: 1000 days in the young lions dormitory, which chronicles his time as an Uchi-deshi, he currently is a Japanese media personality, staring in several TV shows and movies, an entrepreneur, and became a Reebok Crossfit Ambassador and Trainer, playing a major role in its introduction to Japan. He is also in the process of creating a free audio version of his book!
This is amazing conversation about his time as an Uchi-deshi and later careers. Emotional at times, and so insightful. I really hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did. OSU!
The Tokyo Show: https://www.youtube.com/user/nicholaspettas/