Kakutogi Road: The Complete History of MMA Vol 1

Altofsky -

Smack is a real thing?


I thought that was just a buzzword from the 80s that the school teachers picked up. 


What the hell does it even mean? Crack? Heroin?


Seriously?
Heroin got the nickname Smack in the 1930's from the fact that junkies smack their arms repeatedly to induce the vein to surface before injecting.
First official in the American dictionary in the 1942 revision. Phone Post 3.0

de braco -

Well, I'd like to read the second page but the fuckin thing is missing or been deleted. Surprise surprise surprise 

It's been acting weird for me as well. It will say deleted, but if you try clicking on it a few more times, it will eventually pop up.

Very interesting! Sayama didn't really have a kickboxing background though, he trained at meijiro for a couple weeks prior to fighting mark costello on the undercard of Benny urquidez vs okao. Seeing sayama suplex Costello was a life altering experience, no doubt he preferred striking to shooting on the floor in the UWF where no high flying nonsense dog wouldn't hunt. When sayama told tom billington about the uwf billington told him not even the craziest person would pay just to watch them shoot on the floor 

de braco -

Very interesting! Sayama didn't really have a kickboxing background though, he trained at meijiro for a couple weeks prior to fighting mark costello on the undercard of Benny urquidez vs okao. Seeing sayama suplex Costello was a life altering experience, no doubt he preferred striking to shooting on the floor in the UWF where no high flying nonsense dog wouldn't hunt. When sayama told tom billington about the uwf billington told him not even the craziest person would pay just to watch them shoot on the floor 

Yes, this entire period of time is fascinating as there was so much going on at once. Shootboxing was probably the first to try and move into a MMAesque direction, as they allowed standing submissions, throws, takedowns, etc, (although they just stood you back up), and they started in 85, with a lot of inspiration from Pro Wrestling and Sayama, but they just didn't go far enough with the concept.

 

Shooto started in 89 but didn't incorperate strikes on the ground until 94, so it seems like that just wasn't in the Japanese mindset of the time to really have a full 3 dimensional view of fighting until Vale Tudo Japan 94.

To make matters more bizarre was some of these promotions would have shoots mixed in with the product. The UWF would have Shootboxing matches before the wrestling, PWFG would have wrestler vs Kickboxer shoots, and of course Rings would sprinkle the odd shoot inbetween the works, (until 95 when at there was at least 1 shoot on every event, and by the time 97 rolled around there would usually be 2-3).

IMO, this was the most interesting time of both Pro Wrestling, and MMA, as the lines were so blurred, and everyone was just kind of figures all of this out.

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You should check out wcolosimo's interviews on here with a lot of the early shoot guys. Quite eye opening and entertaining. I just watched your upload of sammi "master"soronaka vs Scott McGhee and did that ever bring back some memories. Sammi and Bart were a pair of jokers and both of them wild. Sammi was definitely an unsung hero of the shoot revolution. Thanks for sharing it's greatly appreciated 

de braco -

You should check out wcolosimo's interviews on here with a lot of the early shoot guys. Quite eye opening and entertaining. I just watched your upload of sammi "master"soronaka vs Scott McGhee and did that ever bring back some memories. Sammi and Bart were a pair of jokers and both of them wild. Sammi was definitely an unsung hero of the shoot revolution. Thanks for sharing it's greatly appreciated 

Yes, I will have to do that. On my Youtube Page Wcolosimo mentioned interviewing Manabu Yamada, who is one of my favorites, so I'm excited about that.

Also worth noting, "Master Soronaka," is the person that Bart Vale mentioned being certified under, in his ridicioulus ad, in which he advertised his mastery of the art of "shootfighting." It's good to see that Sammi made the world a better place by taking Vale under his wing. Lol...

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Sammi recruited Bart in Florida, sammi was married to Karl gotch's daughter, which was how he came to live in Florida. I actually purchased that set of tapes at the time, an outfit in New York called dragon video sold them, they were the exact same set Bart was selling concurrently. At the time, Bart and Rorion were the only games in town in regards to any groundwork. Other than sport specific judo tapes, of course 

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I suspect the set from dragon video was sammi's interest in the venture 

de braco -

Sammi recruited Bart in Florida, sammi was married to Karl gotch's daughter, which was how he came to live in Florida. I actually purchased that set of tapes at the time, an outfit in New York called dragon video sold them, they were the exact same set Bart was selling concurrently. At the time, Bart and Rorion were the only games in town in regards to any groundwork. Other than sport specific judo tapes, of course 

That's amazing! I would love to see those tapes... If you still have them I could convert them from VHS to DVD...though it might take a min. Vale cracks me up... he will let EVERYONE know that he once beat Ken Shamrock, even pushing that hard on his resume in the mid 90s.

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I have them somewhere, I have around a thousand instructional tapes of which I've converted around 40 percent

I've uploaded a few from barts island video set on the Hugo Duarte thread that's in the bikini ground 

That's because Bart wears a bikini whilst instructing. Bjj ground, LOL, damn spellcheck 

Holy fucking shit.  This thread!!

In...sure it's been said, but keep it all on this thread

mbetz1981 - 
de braco -

You should check out wcolosimo's interviews on here with a lot of the early shoot guys. Quite eye opening and entertaining. I just watched your upload of sammi "master"soronaka vs Scott McGhee and did that ever bring back some memories. Sammi and Bart were a pair of jokers and both of them wild. Sammi was definitely an unsung hero of the shoot revolution. Thanks for sharing it's greatly appreciated 

Yes, I will have to do that. On my Youtube Page Wcolosimo mentioned interviewing Manabu Yamada, who is one of my favorites, so I'm excited about that.

Also worth noting, "Master Soronaka," is the person that Bart Vale mentioned being certified under, in his ridicioulus ad, in which he advertised his mastery of the art of "shootfighting." It's good to see that Sammi made the world a better place by taking Vale under his wing. Lol...




Got a huge Bart Vale interview set for the books also (!).

I did ask Funaki if Soranaka was one of his trainers. He said no. I think Ken told me Soranaka may have shown him the heel hook. IIRC from the interview, Bart gives Soranaka lots of credit for his training.

And let's not forget that Bart was numero uno per the ISFA and master soronaka

Speaking of Bart brings to mind the great glen Danzig quote,

Vale is: a joke, a liar, a very sexy man, an avid fan of "Touched by an Angel", a stand-in for Chuck Norris on bad dates, a caring warm hearted teddy bear, a raging alcoholic who beats other people's children for wandering onto his lawn, or "zone of influence", not above enjoying a good back-scratch, 23 years old.

Oh ya, Bart is also: A mason, A dirtbag, Afraid of mormons, "Into" all sorts of oils, Drunk (right now and any other time), Possesed of a warrior spirit, Married to a former "Miss Chicken Fried Steak 1982" A lover.

BTW, the Rings maelstrom 6 upload was awesome. Many thanks

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(Archives of this series can be found at https://www.patreon.com/KakutogiRoad If you like what we are doing, please consider being a patron. With your help we can dive deeper into our history, procure interviews, hire translators, etc.)

Kakutogi Road. The Complete History of MMA Vol 5: Enter the wild west.

Welcome back one and all, for the next breathless wonderment, in our ongoing journey to fully document the early years of free fighting history. We no longer find ourselves at the epicenter of all things combat related in Japan (why the Korakuen hall of course) instead opting for the more extravagant settings of the Tokyo NK Hall. The NK Hall was a 7000-capacity sports venue that operated within Disney Tokyo, from 88 to 05, and makes perfect sense here, as nothing speaks to the Mickey Mouse aesthetic more than Shoot-Fighting. We are greeted to the usual training montage, and opening interview segments, which I'm sure I would get much more fulfillment out of, if I simply understood more Japanese.

Suzuki...seemingly aging backwards

Kazuo Takahashi vs Mark Rush: No longer content with just dredging up obscure American Pro Wrestlers that actually had a bit of job resume, (however scant) it would now seem that Fujiwara has taken to scouring local Tokyo bars, searching for gaijins with amateur wrestling experience, and thus is the story with Mark Hunt. PWFG is the only promotion that Hunt worked for, and I have so far been unable to find any more information about him, but here he is, ready to scrap with the scrappiest of them all, Takahashi.

After refusing to shake Hunt's hand before the match we are underway with a beautiful single leg takedown by Takahashi, in which he showed excellent technique by "turning the corner," in splendid fashion. This match was almost all faced paced mat-work, with Takahashi in constant pursuit of the armbar. The match lasted 11:45 with Hunt, strangely enough, going over Takahashi with a nasty looking neck crank/choke. I thought this was a great way to start the event. This was a realistic (outside of a few tasteful slams, there wasn't anything to really betray that this was a worked bout) match, that was paced just long enough to not wear out its welcome. Granted it wasn't flashy and didn't really have any striking outside of a couple of knees, and a brief flurry of palm strikes by Rush, but it did set a serious tone, and was a good representation of this >

Vale....is America

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Bart Vale vs Lato Kiraware: Lato seems like the dude that you would call, if you totally had to have an awesome block party in three days and had to find a quick replacement for your father-in-law to man the bratwurst station. He is not however Pro Wrestling material. This match basically went as you would expect, with Vale using Lato as a kicking pad, which garnered lots of puzzled expressions from Lato. This was a total squash match for Vale, and while it did nothing in terms of helping with the PWFG's credibility, it was bizarrely entertaining, so it gets a pass.

Wayne Shamrock vs Duane Koslowski: Here is a match I'm looking forward to. Koslowski was perhaps best known as a competitor in the 1988 Olympics, as a Greco-Roman wrestler. His pro debut was in 1989 at the UWF Cosmos event, and he wrestled another 8 times for PWFG, before calling it quits in 93. The match gets underway with Koslowski attempting to get the clinch, and Shamrock delivering some stiff kicks, and palm strikes as a response. After a couple of mins, Duane is finally able to clinch and take Shamrock to the mat and attempt a keylock to no avail. Shamrock escaped the keylock, to attempt a rear naked choke which led to a creative sequence, where Koslowski kept bridging to alleviate pressure from the choke, and then managed to press off with his legs and escape flip out of the hold. Not the most realistic scenario, but interesting, nonetheless.

The match continued in the same pattern for a while, as it would seem that clinch/takedown/keylock is the only thing that Koslowski knows how to do at this point, but in his defense he looks believable, and moves/acts just like you would expect a Greco expert to do so, one that doesn't know anything about submission or BJJ, that is.  The match ends soon afterword's with a Northern Lights suplex, followed by a straight ankle lock from Shamrock, which was a rather jarring, considering they had kept things at a realistic tone before this. All in all, I enjoyed this match, as Shamrock's striking is getting better, he was stiffer, and looks to be more confidant, and while one could argue that Koslowski was a bit dull, he had an air of credibility to him, and came off fine. The most interesting side note to this, is that in Shamrock's autobiography he claimed that Koslowski did not want to Job to Shamrock, as he thought that he would get tons of grief from the Greco-Roman community, so Fujiwara decided to have them both shoot in a private, behind-the-scenes affair, that saw Shamrock as victorious, and afterwards Koslowski agreed to job to Ken.

 

*****************************SHOOT ALERT******************************************

Yes, here we are! The very first full shoot that we get to cover, here on the Kakutogi road, which is an absolutely hilarious match between Yusuke Fuke and Thai Boxer, Lawi Napataya. This was a hot mess in every sense of the word, but important from a historical perspective, as outside of Shooto (which was all shoot, but somewhat under the public radar) this is the first real fight that we get to witness in the Kakutogi spectrum.

There is no question about the realism of this bout, as right from the get-go, Napataya lights Fuke up like a Christmas tree, with a barrage of kicks, and combinations. Fuke takes some nasty shots, before finally being able to take the boxer down to the ground, only for Napataya to dive for the ropes like a wounded animal. We now see that we are in totally uncharted territory, and clearly no one really thought this through. Having unlimited rope escapes in a shoot-fight, is a recipe for disaster, as great strikers are always going to be at an advantage, especially in a small ring like the one that we see here. (We will see later on, how Gilbert Yvel, and Valentijin Overeem completely abuse multiple rope escapes in Rings).

The remainder of round 1 sees Fuke taking a beating, before managing a takedown, only to see an instant standup, for all his trouble, due to the small ring, and limitless rope escapes. The hilarity really starts at the end of round 1, when Napataya's team brings out a can of grease, and starts to rub grease all over their fighter. They start round 2, and after a min or so, Fuke was able to get his first takedown, in which Napataya slipped right out, and grabbed the ropes, which caused Fuke to look at his hands with a very puzzled expression. I'm not sure if he fully realized what was happening, just yet, but by the 3rd round he absolutely did. During one of his 234 takedown attempts he started to get really upset, pounding the mat, and complained to the ref. He even wiped some of the grease off onto his shorts.

This nonsense continued until the break in-between rounds 4 and 5, at which point the ref actually decided to come over and investigate, and of course witnessed Napataya being greased down by his two cornermen, and only then, did he decide to take a towel and dry off Napataya. Once he was done drying him off, and walked away, (at which point the ref was wiping grease off on his pant legs), the corner men simply pulled out their grease can back out, and resumed their work. There have been several greasing accusations and scandals in MMA over the years... Marco Ruas, Eugenio Tadeu, Yoshihiro Akiyama, and GSP, have all been accused in times past, but none have anything on the Grandfather of Greasegate: Lawi Napataya.

Right before round 5 started, I guess the ref realized that Napataya's corner basically just ignored his command to stop greasing, so the ref wiped Napataya down a 2nd time right before the start of the 5th round. Fuke WAS super upset about all of this, and no one would have have blamed him at all for just walking out of the ring, and giving Fujiwara a piece of his mind, as he was basically in a fight that was impossible to win, between the unlimited rope breaks, constant grease, and the fact that he was getting battered with the constant clinic of stiff kicks he was having to take.

Greasegate 1.0

The fight was announced a draw, and a visibly frustrated Fuke still tried to show his opponent respect, but you could tell he was not happy about the whole mess. Super entertaining match, albeit for the wrong reasons.

 

Now that we have had our dessert first, we will attempt to cleanse our palate, with the main course, an excellent showing, from Minoru Suzuki and Naoki Sano. This was a treat, and one of the best matches, shoot- or otherwise, that we have seen up to this point. This was a fast paced 30 min war, that featured all sorts of grappling that was ahead of its time for most audiences. Guillotine chokes, ankle picks, half guard work, armbars, and heel hooks, were spliced together with more standard pro wrestling fare, and terse striking exchanges. The striking in this match was also very logical, in that they would focus on the grappling first, and when that seemed to stall out, then one would break up the monotony with strikes, in an effort to force a change, or create an opening. There was some pro wrestling tomfoolery, (at one point Suzuki gave Sano a piledriver as he was warding off a takedown with a sprawl/underhook technique) but it didn't detract from the match, in fact because the flashier spots were used sparingly and towards the end of the match, it did have the effect of spicing things up a bit, towards the end. This match showed us, that despite their flaws, the PWFG was the best of the Shoot- promotions at this point in time, and had the potential for something truly extraordinary

Last, and certainly least... We have the final match between Masakatsu Funaki and Yoshiaki Fujiwara. Once again the mind numbing decision to put the crappiest match at the end is made, to the utter bafflement of everyone. Funaki was legend, and Fujiwara could be good in the right setting, but these two combined, simply strains all credulity. Even by 1991 standards, odds are that it would only take Fuanki roughly 23 seconds to destroy Fujiwara in a shoot, and I don't see even the faithful Japanese audience buying this. It doesn't help that even 30 years ago, Fujiwara looks like he was a retirement home extra from Cocoon.

If you can manage to suspend disbelief, then this bout was moderately entertaining, though the finish, while creative, was beyond the pale in terms of any sort of believability. Funaki shoots on Fujiwara, who manages to do some kind of sprawl, in which he is basically able to do a single-leg hamstring curl, forcing some kind of armbar/shoulder lock submission. It looked cool, but was totally absurd.

The Leg Curl Armbar

The final verdict: Great show.... This promotion is really starting to show that it has a gold mine with people like Shamrock, Sano, Suzuki, and Funaki, but is still plagued by Americans that would be better served at WCW's power plant, then trying to shoot with the stars. If they can manage to develop their bottom half of the talent pool, then they are ready to completely overshadow what Rings and the UWFI are doing right now.

Here is a link to the entire event: 

 

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