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Shooto in 1986 (!) "The Story of Shooto Vol.1 "The Technical Shooting Fight"

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KakutogiRoad
KakutogiRoad
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04.08.2021 | 10:05 PM ET

Recently, we at Kakutogi HQ were able to get a mother-lode of rare materials, some of which include several of the book/magazines that Satoru Sayama put forth in the 80s where he introduced his new sport of “Shooting” to the world at large. The first was a publication put forth in 1986 (!) where he introduces his new sport, in addition to covering his fighting system and philosophies in great detail. It’s fair to say that this was a comprehensive manual about MMA, 7 years before the UFC was even invented. No, it didn’t have the position-over-submission approach of BJJ, but it did cover fighting in all of its ranges, from what could be arguably the first modern/complete perspective that we now take for granted. Sayama studied whatever he could, I.E. sambo, judo, kickboxing, wrestling, karate, etc. and put everything he knew into a comprehensive curriculum and made a sport around it.

Up till this point, this has never been professionally translated (that we are aware of) so I hope to include the pages of these tomes, translated into English, which should prove once and for all that MMA was not invented by Zuffa, and had a well-rounded comprehensive approach taken to it, far before the current American narrative of taking place somewhere in the mid-'00s.

I was orginally planning on including all of this to the general public, but since we don’t half-ass things over at the Kakutogi Road, we not only hired a professional Japanese translator, but one that is well versed in early MMA history, which I can assure all of you, is not an easy task. Because of the cost of doing this, I will likely include the first couple of chapters for free here, but then keep the rest over at www.patreon.com/KakutogiRoad where those that wish to be part of an unprecedented undertaking in locating and preserving MMA history, can show their support.

So without further ado, here is but a few pages, and if all goes according to plan I’ll be able to keep adding to this every week or so.

Special thanks to Hebisasori for his efforts in translating this great piece of history.

Satoru Sayama’s Introduction to Shooting {Publisher: Kodansha)


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The 1st Shooting tournament opening ceremony.


Reversing a neck throw with a back throw.


Leading figure in sambo [in Japan], Victor Koga gives a speech of encouragement.


Exciting fighting continued one match after another!




The chance for KO! Circle around him.


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It’s only been a few months of training in joint submissions. They end up relying necessarily on the sleeper hold. But they are not slack in their method of striking.


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Previous Page Translated

Preface

The time has finally come to bring to the world an introductory text of this comprehensive martial art, shooting, that had been my longtime dream, and which involves “striking,” “throwing,” and “submitting.”

I organized this book to take the form of a “technical manual” on the basis of my theory that “Winning or losing in martial arts is based on technique! One cannot become strong without learning the technique.”

One observes with the eyes, learns with the mind, and practices with the body the theory of techniques. In order to learn techniques with the body, one must be endowed with the physical strength that can endure it.

In shooting, we compare technique, that is the technical knowhow, to the software; and we compare the body that embodies that, that is, the physical strength, to the hardware; and we follow a training method that mixes both the soft and the hard with balance.

(soft {technique}  hard {physical strength} = shooting

I established the martial art [combat sport] of shooting as a sport in which win, or loss is clear. This is because I think of martial arts [combat sports] as something that essentially should be refreshing. Shooting is a sport in which one competes the results of training to one’s heart’s content within the bounds of set rules, order, and courtesy.

But shooting is something born out of my own martial art experience and does not have a history or tradition like other martial arts [combat sports]. But I think if you read this book you will sufficiently understand that the techniques of shooting contain the essence of every martial art.

Those who are about to start training in shooting will thus bear the role the top runner who simultaneously builds the history and the future of shooting that had just been born.

I intend to endeavor, from here on, to spread shooting and improve its techniques, so that the beauty of combat sports can be understood not only through Japan but throughout the world.

Mid-summer 1986, Satoru Sayama




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Previous Page Translated

What’s the shooting?

[photo captions]

Boxing

Karate

Kickboxing

Shooting

American-style full contact karate

Aikido

Judo

Wrestling

Sambo




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Previous Page Translated

Birth of the unknown martial art [combat sport] shooting:

Shooting…. a word many are unfamiliar with.

Satoru Sayama… a name some may have heard of before.

Prowrestling fans would know of these two. And yet surprisingly most are unfamiliar with “the true meaning of shooting” and “what Satoru Sayama is aiming for.”

After all, Sayama, way back when, was a young man who had become the superhero Tiger Mask. During his period as Tiger Mask, much of his freedom was under bondage.

He was forbidden to assert himself and to show his real face. This was the tragedy caused by him becoming a popular hero.

But the young man nevertheless sought his freedom. He had suddenly of his own will taken off his mask. This was the start of Satoru Sayama’s long and persevering struggle.

This was his parting from prowrestling and his aspiration for shooting that is to replace it. The fans who were shown his real face as he took his mask off were disappointed.

For their dream of Tiger Mask was destroyed. But they did not try to understand why Sayama had thrown away the golden mask.

But that was not unreasonable since Tiger Mask had provided them with such amazing dreams and excitement. They could not afford to pay attention to shooting.

In other words, there was a huge difference between what the young man, who had sought freedom within the mask, really wanted to do, and the dream the fans staked on that mask.

Sayama’s toughness is in the fact that he had thrown away his framework while conscious of this discrepancy. He proclaimed this unknown martial art [combat sport] shooting while desperately erasing the popularity and glory of the mask.

For Sayama himself his “existence became a self-contradiction.” Malicious people gossiped, “how can he do that when it was due to Tiger Mask that he achieved his current status?…”

The only way to get rid of this heavy cross would be to make the world understand that shooting is more excellent than Tiger Mask. In this way shooting sent out a challenge to the popularity of the false image of Tiger Mask.

Shooting was born of this struggle to erase his past self. In any case, who could easily throw away such a “money-making tree” like Tiger Mask?

Without comprehending this point we will not be able to understand the man who is Satoru Sayama. In Sayama’s heart, shooting was something many times heavier than Tiger Mask.

Responses

Hippie
Hippie
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04.08.2021 | 10:17 PM ET

👍🏼

You have absolutely the best post  KakutogiRoad❗️

Cheers mate!  Always a enjoyable and educational read..

Thx!!

KakutogiRoad
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04.09.2021 | 1:10 AM ET

This is just the beginning. There is 195 pages in this volume. As I've gone through more of the book, it would appear that he envisioned Shooto to be a bit different then what it wound up becoming. It was supposed to have a giant octagon ring, way before the first UFC (although it wasn't a cage) and everyone had to wear masks straight out of an Italian post-apocalyptic film. Also, it would seem that he originally wanted only palm strikes to the face, but this all changed quickly. By 1989 he regulated the masks to "Armature Shooto" and even back in 88' normal punches to the face were allowed. So, from 86-88 it went through some changes, the masks were dropped in 89 (AFAIK) and punches to the face of a grounded opponent started in 94. (Before 94 kicks, knees, and punches were allowed to a grounded opponent's body, but not the face.)
Stephen Terry
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04.09.2021 | 9:44 PM ET

@KakutogiRoad

Just to add to what @Hippie is saying, it's absolutely fascinating to learn more about how the sport evolved over time, especially in a culture I'm not as familiar with! Keep up the great work! 

"I wish you good luck but I don't want you to rely on luck" ---------- I want to say a massive thank you to @TARTARA for creating my AV!

KakutogiRoad
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04.13.2021 | 12:14 AM ET

Kakutogi Road Presents: Sayama’s Corner "The Story of Shooto Vol.2"

Kakutogi Road Presents: Sayama’s Corner "The Story of Shooto Vol.2"

Note: This is a continuation of where we left of last week, as we continue to rappel the depths of all shoot-mysteries. In this case, as we forge ahead with our translation of “Shooting: The Technical Shooting Fight” from 1986. If you appreciate what we are doing, then please consider becoming a member of our Patreon, over at www.patreon.com/KakutogiRoad

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Previous page translated (continued)

A Pure martial art [combat sport]: That is what shooting is:

Sayama aimed for a “complete martial art” during the period when he was a prowrestler.

There was the claim in prowrestling that “it is the culmination of every combat sport [martial art] of the world,” and Satoru Sayama the prowrestler agreed with this idea.

The one who had aspired to be a wrestler with the idea of “becoming strong,” became obsessed with martial arts.

Sayama, who above all intended a pure martial art, began using the word “shoot” from this period.

Shoot in English spelling is SHOOT . Translated into Japanese it means to “shoot [an arrow],” “shoot [a gun],” “fire.”

Eventually he began calling this technical shooting fight or shooting .

SHOOTING … in a dictionary of English, it is defined as “discharge,” “firing,” “hunting rifle.”

At the gym, young women and boys also train alongside strong bodied youth

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Previous page translated:

The elements of every martial art [combat sport] is here

During the period when Sayama joined the New Japan Prowrestling dojo, he placed on the wall of his dorm room in the training camp a note paper on which he wrote, “Combat begins with striking and kicking, then throwing, and ends by submitting the enemy,” and he would read it every day, when waking up in the morning and before going to sleep.

Even while spending every day wrestling after diving into the world of prowrestling, he already felt the necessity of striking.

The content of this note paper was something that indeed expresses in an easy to understand manner the world of “striking, throwing, submitting” that became the genuine motto of shooting.

Striking means kicks and punches, throwing means throwing techniques, and submitting means joint locks. Strictly speaking “striking, throwing, submitting” can be “striking, kicking, throwing, submitting.”

When comparing shooting with other combat sports [martial arts], we can see its characteristic in a glance. Boxing involves striking but no kicking, throwing, or submitting.

Kickboxing has striking and kicking but no throwing or submitting. Judo and sambo, as jacket combat sports, in turn have throwing and submitting but no striking or kicking.

And karate, which is also a gi -wearing combat sport, in contrast to judo and sambo, have striking and kicking but no throwing or submitting. In other words, shooting is a mixed martial art that includes all the elements of various martial arts [combat sports].

It involves the two worlds of stand-up techniques and ground techniques. Stand-up techniques involve fighting from a distance and ground techniques involve fighting in close contact with the opponent.

In boxing or kickboxing, the match cannot proceed when the fighters remain stuck to each other [as in a clinch]. These are sports in which the fighting must proceed strictly from a distance.

In the same way that learning, even within the same field, became finely specialized, combat sports [martial arts] also became specialized, for example, fighting with only punches.

In such times, shooting, without any delay, is striving to establish its aim in the direction of being comprehensive [synthesis] and to plump a new potential for combat sports [marial arts].

Furthermore its techniques involve fighting by aiming to replicate the best techniques of boxing, kickboxing, judo, sambo, and wrestling and mixing them.

And that’s the entirety of the new combat sport born in the last half of the 20th century, or more precisely the mid-1980s, called shooting. If you think about it, shooting is the most natural combat sport.

Previous page translated:

Martial arts [combat sport] is anthropology [study of man]

Every part of the human body can be weapon. In turn weak points are scattered throughout the body. Martial arts [combat sport] involves their offense and defense.

In boxing, the only weapon is punching. Certainly the punch of a heavy weight boxer may be able to easily kill a man. We can regard it a deadly weapon. But in boxing only punches are allowed.

Should not combat be freer? That was how Sayama thought. In response to the opponent’s punches, why not respond with kicks? That would be more natural for a martial art [combat sport].

Will it be a punch? A kick? Or a tackle? One must read the opponent’s moves in an instant.

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A rolling savate kick [spinning back kick] that saved the day showers the face. It would be perfect if he hit him a little more deeply.

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Previous page (s) translated:

Mixed [comprehensive] combat can involve the world of offense and defense in stand-up techniques and settling the fight from a distance. On the other hand it can also involve the offense and defense of ground techniques and settling the fight in close bodily contact.

Compared to boxing or judo, matches in shooting are not simple. The matches become more complex as the technical level improves.

For the spectator it would have to be a sport that’s difficult to understand. Shooting is a combat sport that Satoru Sayama, the founder, was fascinated with even to the extent of throwing away the glory of Tiger Mask.

Only through experiencing it by practicing it, rather than as something to look at, can it have meaning. Only by experiencing it can one understand its value.

In any case, mastering kicks, punches, throws, and submissions require immense time and effort. Any combat sport [martial art] requires the time for repeated practice and research. But because shooting is a combat that synthesizes them, it requires many times more of the energy.

For those who train in shooting, the joy of investigation is its greatest attraction.

Martial arts [combat sports] is essentially something that appeals to the instincts of man. Fighting has been one of the most intimate passions for the human race. No matter how far the human race develops its civilization, the will and passion for fighting remains in the genes of man.

As long as it remains, man is tempted to fight. No one can control this passion. If it goes in the wrong direction it can lead to violence or murder.

To manage this instinct for fighting in different ways, man has repeatedly struggled with his genes. Up to now many martial arts [combat sports] have been born on this earth.

They were born in the form of sublimating the fighting instinct into a sport or in the form of a martial art itself. But no one has skillfully controlled the genes of this fighting instinct. Shooting, as conceived by Sayama, is a martial art that holds the potential for this.

This is because it includes many aspects freer than any combat sport and win or loss depends on their application. As the fighting changes successively from stand-up to ground, kicking to submission, its freedom is closest to the instinct of combat sports.

Moreover its safety measures, such as the shooting shoes, shin protectors, head and face protectors, and so on, are unsurpassed. It checks in advance the potential dangers.

At a glance it may look as if these protectors are denying the whole point of fighting, but that is not the case. To the extent that human beings are fighting, there are vital points in the body as parts that must not be attacked. Shooting is a fighting competition founded on this acknowledgment.

Seeking the possibility of fighting without limit and to the utmost point: Shooting, as conceived by Satoru Sayama, was born of the consumption of the passion and talent taken as far as possible in those two directions.

“In fighting we come to know our humanity. Or rather, combat sport is anthropology [the study of man]. But if it was only about beating up someone, I probably wouldn’t have felt like staking my whole life on shooting” (Satoru Sayama).

By hooking his opponent’s right wrist with his right hand, he tries a cross arm hold. By learning to squeeze the knees, this technique can be mastered.

KakutogiRoad
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04.19.2021 | 11:25 PM ET

Kakutogi Road Presents: Sayama’s Corner "The Story of Shooto Vol.3"

Note: This is a continuation of where we left of last week, as we continue to rappel the depths of all shoot-mysteries. In this case, as we forge ahead with our translation of “Shooting: The Technical Shooting Fight” from 1986. If you appreciate what we are doing, then please consider becoming a member of our Patreon, over at www.patreon.com/KakutogiRoad

Satoru Sayama: Human Story

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Previous Page Translated

Prologue

Sayama was born on November 27th, 1957, in the city of Seki in Yamaguchi prefecture. In October of this year the Soviet Union had succeeded in launching the first artificial satellite in the history of humankind, Sputnik 1.

Sayama made his first cry of a newborn at the same time as the opening of the space age. The success of the launching of Sputnik 1 greatly changed the wordview accumulated by the human race.

For the first time man was able to take as common sense the existence of the universe through something other than religion. What is the relation between Sputnik 1 and Sayama’s birth?

If asked this question, unfortunately we can only answer, “there is no relation.” But perhaps we can say the following.

When new values or a new common sense emerges, man has the ability to receive them equally. When Sayama was born into this world, an artificial satellite was orbiting the earth.

With the foundation of this common sense, Sayama got off to a good start in his life. So then what about the world of prowrestling into which Sayama entered after growing up?

On October 2nd, 1957, “Iron man” Lous Thesz, who was called the greatest wrestler of the 20thcentury made his first visit to Japan. On October 7th he competed in the NWA world heavy weight title match on a specially built ring at the Korakuen Baseball Stadium and defeated his challenger, Rikidozan, with a backdrop [suplex].

Six days later on the 13th, he defended his title again against Rikidozan on a specially built ring at the Ogimachi Swimming Pool arena in Osaka, and this time the match ended in a draw due to double count-out after each scoring a fall [in a 2 out of 3 falls match].

Lou Thesz at this time was 41 years old and Rikidozan was 33 years old. If Rikidozan was still alive he would now be 61 years old. If we consider Sayama and Rikidozan side by side, one cannot help but be surprised by the immense passing of time beyond imagination.

The successful launching of the artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, and the first NWA world heavy weight title match in the history of prowrestling in Japan, Rikidozan vs. Lou Thesz:

These two events that happened a month before Sayama’s birth provides some kind of premonition to Sayama.

On the basis of what others have already accomplished, Sayama is a man who seeks his own path.

He is a person with an extremely intense personal curiosity and interest. Or perhaps we can see that he is the type in whom curiosity is concentrated in a single point. In other words, shooting is what is about to be completed through this concentration of his personal curiosity.

Shooting as the product of his personal curiosity is presently gradually beginning [p. 13] to spread among people. But like Sputnik 1, it is not easy.

After all, public interest is low since what Sayama is aiming at is not a challenge towards outer space but the challenge of a new combat sport.

The only way is to appeal his personal curiosity to the masses with perseverance. Speaking of which, Sayama is someone with clear awareness of purpose.

KakutogiRoad
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04.19.2021 | 11:27 PM ET

Vol.3 Continued

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KakutogiRoad
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04.19.2021 | 11:27 PM ET

Vol.3 Continued...

Previous Page Translated


The lad embraces ambition

During his juvenile days, he had already decided to become a prowrestler. He had the dream of prowrestling similar to the longing common in boyhood. But he wasn’t satisfied with mere longing and actively chose the path of becoming a proewrestler.

Like his classmates, he was a lad drunk on Rikidozan’s karate chops and Lou Thesz’ back drop [suplexes] and who detested [Freddie] Blassie’s biting.

What distinguished him was that he could learn the prowrestling moves more quickly than any of his classmates and he was unsurpassed in sumo or fighting.

When he came home, Sayama’s personal curiosity would cause him to roll up the thick winter futon and tie it with a rope so that he could practice back drops [suplexes] with it.

Thanks to this, he became good at bridging, but on the other hand he was severely scolded by his father for loosening a floor board. But he was not someone who would bend his convictions just for being scolded by his father.

Sayama, who had decided in his heart to become a prowrestler, would secretly get up in the middle of the night to continue his basic training by running or doing pushups and so on.

This attitude of immediately putting it into action once he set his purpose became even more intense as he grew older.

That is not all. Once he decided to become a prowrestler, Sayama even started enjoying carrots that he used to hate eating up to that point, and he gained the ability to concentrate.

At the same time that he was amazed at “how strange this is,” this also confirmed his belief that “becoming a prowrestler is the right path.”

For Sayama this experience was a confirmation that “for man, it is good to do what he believes in.” Since he became able to eat what he couldn’t previously and he gained the power to concentrate, we can say that this conclusion is natural.

The dream of becoming a prowrestler: its difficulty

On April 1st, 1970, he entered the Ricchōfu Junior High School. In school he joined the Judo club. Of course, this was for the purpose of becoming a prowrestler in the future.

Here as well Sayama, keeping his concrete goal, went about his business systematically. He was by far strong among the freshmen, was not lacking even in practice with the senior students.

Interestingly in his matches he often used prowrestling moves. His decisive move were all ippon [full point] wins by back drops [suplexes].

As one can see in this Sayama was thorough in that his longing for prowrestling made him use back drops [suplexes] in judo matches.

Nonetheless up until junior high school, Sayama’s stubborn personality never caused any collision with his surrounding. Only when graduating junior high school did he come into conflict head-on with his parents.

Concluding that three years of high school life would be a detour, he intended, as soon as he graduated, to head on to Tokyo to knock on the door of New Japan Prowrestling.

In order to achieve his goal as soon as possible, Sayama decided to accelerate his start. His parents were fiercely opposed. Sayama was a child born after his parents were already old and they did not want to allow their loving son to have nothing but a junior high school degree.

His father was born into what had been for generations a family of doctors in Tokyo, and his mother grew up in a family lineage that had once served the Choshu domain.

His proud parents were opposed to Sayama’s plan and tried to persuade him to enter high school. His parents asserted that although they “don’t mind him becoming a prowrestler, it wouldn’t be too late to pursue that after graduating high school.”

In this way the 15 year old youth and his parents, who were passed 50, collided head-on concerning the crossroads of life. Sayama possessed no vision for high school.

He also held no vision for university above high school. Generally ordinary people decide their course in accordance with the route that a great majority in the world follows. At age 15 Sayama held his own individual goal.

He had judged that “in order to become a professional as quickly as possible, he would need to build up his body while increasing his weight.”

But for this even his parents had no intent at all to make an easy compromise. He could have put his parents—who were worried, thinking about their son’s future—at ease had he uttered the simple phrase that “I’ll go to high school.” Instead he didn’t budge.

This was Sayama’s strong personality but on the other hand he also had a weak side. When his junior high school teacher Mr. Uryū acted as an intermediary, he [finally] said, “OK, I’ll go to high school.”

KakutogiRoad
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05.04.2021 | 9:25 AM ET

Kakutogi Road Presents: Sayama's Corner "The Story of Shooto Vol.4"

Previous Page Translated

{Page 13 Continued...}

This was Sayama’s strong personality but on the other hand he also had a weak side. When his junior high school [p. 14 begins] teacher Mr. Uryū acted as an intermediary, he [finally] said, “OK, I’ll go to high school.”

Mr. Uryū suggested entering a high school that has an amateur wrestling team as an elective. Sayama budged in the face of Mr. Uryū’s enthusiasm, who had taken the time to hear him out.

His conviction may have been broken but his conclusion made sense. For, thinking that “it won’t hurt to learn the techniques of amateur wrestling,” he also understood that “he can train to become a pro in his free time.”

And so Sayama’s words that he’ll “go to high school and do amateur wrestling” came out naturally and docilely even to the degree that he himself found it unbelievable.

This experience followed Sayama repeatedly after that. For every time there was something important he had to decide on, he ended up necessarily confronting the same circumstance.

In many cases, Sayama would support others over his own convictions. But Sayama’s type would in the end follow his own beliefs no matter what someone else may say.

For the time being he would make a concession because it was a decision necessary in order to live as a human being, but because he could not throw away his convictions in the end, the consequence invited trouble and misunderstanding.

This was the reason behind the fact that shooting took a lot of detours. On the other hand, many say that it was remarkable that Sayama, without being defeated by so many troubles, kept adhering to [his vision of] shooting.

Thus in April 1973 he officially entered the Yamaguchi Prefecture Suisan High School. He entered the high school dormitory and registered his name with the amateur wrestling team.

After entering, Sayam came to know for the first time the gap between ideal and reality. The dorm meals were lacking in volume and he was completely disappointed in his attempt to gain weight.

As a 15 year old he was in his eating prime. To begin with Sayama had a voracious appetite and the lack in meals took a toll on his body. Building his body, for Sayama, lacking height, was the most important for becoming a prowrestler.

His worries accumulated as he was unable to fulfill [his desire to build up his body]. He couldn’t say that the amateur wrestling he started with inflated dreams adequately fulfilled the conditions for becoming a prowrestler.

In the 75 kg division, he won all of his matches in the first round to win the prefecture tournament of Yamaguchi prefecture in the Fall of his first year [freshman year]. This meant that there was no more reason for him to stay another three years in high school.

He decided to “go to Tokyo.”
KakutogiRoad
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05.04.2021 | 9:26 AM ET

Vol 4...Continued

Arriving in Tokyo. Knocking on the door of New Japan Prowrestling:

His teacher Mr. Uryū’s advice lasted for only eleven months. As long as he has his convictions and goal, Sayama will always be sucked into them.

Even his parents or his teacher were powerless before this suction power. This is an episode that is unforgettable if one is to know the man Sayama. This time even his parents gave up.

With the condition that he would work at an aluminum factory in Chiba prefecture where an acquaintance of his father is an executive, they accepted his decision to drop out of high school. Dropping out of school didn’t mean anything for Sayama.

After arriving in Tokyo, while working, he set out to enter New Japan Prowrestling. At first he was easily rejected for “being too small.”

To him this didn’t seem reasonable. He must have been pissed. Why could he not be a prowrestler, being barely 170cm?

What about Kotetsu Yamamoto [he’s a short wrestler]? He tried again after focusing on building his body. This time, he was told, “we currently don’t have any small ones so you can join us.” So the conditions were alterable depending on the circumstances of who was in charge at the time.

The fact was that Sayama was allowed to join for the reason that at the time due to there being no new recruits, there was no one to take care of the chores [cleaning, cooking, etc.]. So on July 1st, 1974, he entered the New Japan Prowrestling dojo in Kaminoge.

His obsession of wanting to become a prowrestler led to a miracle. Since his goal was to join [New Japan Prowrestling], he could ignore any interference. Once he joined, it was Sayama’s victory.

New Japan Prowrestling was more amazing than Sayama had ever imagined. The youth who had never lost in amateur wrestling had no means to deal with the joint techniques (submission) that he encountered for his first time.

In sparring, he was treated like a child as his joints would easily get hooked. Every day, day after day, his joints would get hooked and he would desperately endure it while screaming in pain. He was able to endure.

That was because his heart/mind was filled with the sense of fulfillment that he had become a prowrestler, which he had been longing to be. Many of the newcomers at this point would either drop out or run away.

Sayama, by contrast, was fascinated by the depths of joint submissions and excited with anticipation for it. In that case one might say that he was born to become a prowrestler.

At times after going to bed, rubbing his muscles tightened and stretched from the daytime training, he would suddenly open his eyes, surprised, waking up as he got hooked by an achilles tendon lock or an arm lock in a dream.

This episode clearly illustrates [p. 15] how strong an impression submissions had for Sayama as a prowrestling newbie.


Previous Page (partially) Translated

What he thought of during his baptism as a pro, the submissions hell:

Ordinarily, when being hooked, left and right, in the submissions hell that is a wrestler’s baptism as a professional, the faculty of thinking stops and one no longer has the time to think. But the case of Sayama was different.

The more he got repeatedly hooked and locked during the submissions hell, the more he realized instinctively that “striking techniques are necessary and indispensable for combat sports.” If he hadn’t realized this, Sayama would have never been able to form shooting.

Sayama was a child of the martial arts [combat sports] and may have been its genius. For to realize the necessity of strikes would mean a rejection of submissions as something absolute.

“When one faces an opponent in a real fight, one cannot immediately go into a submission hold. Before that there would have to be punching and kicking.”

To Be Continued....


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