Kakutogi Road: The Complete History of MMA Vol 1

Apparently Tigermask is on one of the UFC videogames, this was a suggested video on my youtube feed. The morans have him down as a kickboxer though.

and why in the fuck would they give him an actual tiger head instead a human head with the mask

That is just embarrassing. They went from doing one of the coolest moves in having him included, to one of the lamest by not showing him his propers.

i suspect the reason is they didn’t purchase the rights to use the character so they made up a “tiger mask” who is a kick boxer, and other than the generic name, has nothing in common with the actual Tigermask

I might have posted this before, a good morning japan story from 1985 on sayama and the super tiger gym. uploaded by W33SAIII


You and mbetz are doing the Lord’s work here. Thank you both.

And a big F you from the Gracie family!

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Thanks! Much more to come. One way or another, the true history off MMA will break forth and destroy the evil Zuffa narrative that everything began one day in 2001 when Dana White chose to bless us all with the Fertitta’s purchase of the UFC.


I think we were all cheated of our 1983 Deluxe Triple-LP series “Sayama Sings the Hits!” Massive missed opportunity from Sony Records.

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he had at least one album, which is a testament to his insane levels of celebrity in 1980’s japan, as he couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket.



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There you are! Just when you may think that you’ve seen the last of DUNK1, he appears out of the hazy mists, only to disappear back into the ether.

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Although dunk is in the full time egg business, his favorite foods are sketti and butter, which powers him for trials by seven.

on an unrelated note, sayama on a crazy pecker on an apple Japanese show with Enson, Asahi and a few other shooto guys.

Think that’s crazy, check out this Video where Enson Inoue defeats all comers in an arm wrestling competition. Other challengers include Kazuo Yamazaki, Yoji Anjo, Alexander Otsuka, and others!


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The 5th part of our ongoing interview series with Mark Fleming is now up over at www.patreon.com/KakutogiRoad

In this chapter Mark discusses how he wound up having a falling out with the UWF-I, his meeting Billy Robinson, and the differences between Billy Robinson, Lou Thesz, and Danny Hodge. Don’t miss it!


Heh heh… just thankful you guys are still here, and supporting the OG.

Please keep the rare footage coming…

Unbelievable time to be alive… this series of interconnected tubes is filling all the voids in my mma watchlist…


Kakutogi Road: The Complete History of MMA Vol.38 "Chrysalis"

Editors Note: Mike Lorefice (of MMA/Puroresu mega-center quebrada.net will have his comments be preceded by his initials.

One of the more enjoyable things about studying the embryonic stages of MMA is seeing how much, and yet how gloriously little, it has changed over the years. Although, it may no longer be accurate to say that we are still in the beginning stages as of mid-1992. No, we have now passed the introduction of the four life phases (see: egg & larva) but are not quite in the final imago stage of a complete metamorphosis from run-of-the-mill pro wrestling to a completely legitimate combat sport. Rather, we find ourselves in an intermediary state of chrysalis, and no outfit better exemplifies this in June of 1992 than FIGHTING NETWORK RINGS.

While not the most entertaining or cohesive outfit that we have been witnessing over the last 1 ½ years, RINGS has been doing more to shift the atmosphere towards true MMA than any of their competitors (outside of Shooto, which is all-real, and is sadly being mostly ignored by the public right now). Unlike the PWFG and the UWF-I, which have had occasional shoots on their cards, we are now in a place where we can count on every RINGS event to have at least one shoot, and have even had as many as three on a single event. Compare this to the PWFG, which seems to be averaging a shoot at the rate of about every other month, and the UWF-I which has only had three shoots to date, not counting their kickboxing bouts. Also, they took an extraordinary first step when they had what could now be considered the first full MMA event (again, outside of Shooto) in Japan, with their Sediokaikan/RINGS “Battle Sports Olympic” card on 3-26-92. Also, their efforts to introduce exotic martial arts like Sambo, and high-level kickboxers from different parts of the globe, are giving this outfit a much stronger conceptual identity than that of their rivals. More so than the others, RINGS is starting to feel like a legit international competition, even if the results have a lot of room for improvement.


This will be our first-time reporting from the Kamei Arena Sendai, located within the Miyagi prefecture of Japan. This is a mid-sized venue, used primarily for basketball leagues, although it has also been utilized for a variety of other sports, most notably volleyball and badminton. This will be the 5th MEGA-BATTLE that we will be privy to, with a reported 4,300 people showing up, which isn’t close to a sellout, but on par with what New Japan is doing in the building.

Right away we are given a fly-on-the-wall look at an employee meeting that Maeda is conducting. Watching this gave me chills, as he is doing what I often had to do when I ran a business, and that is spend considerable time explaining to everyone when it is and is not appropriate to kick someone in the face. Before this emergency session, RINGS has been liberal with their allowance of ground striking, going as far as to seemingly permit soccer kicks to a grounded fellow, but now it would appear that Maeda can no longer suffer these things. It is hard to tell exactly what changes he is making, but this is probably part of the evolution from allowing most techniques to be legal on the ground (outside of elbows) to the complete banishment of all ground strikes, which RINGS would later become famous for. Before we get to the first match, we should note that Maeda took the time to gather everyone before the show to also offer his condolences to the family of Masami Soronaka, which was a touching display of honor given to his former colleague, especially since at the time of his death he was the main booker of the rival PWFG promotion.

Honor the Fallen…

It would seem that all of the bookers of these various promotions took a blood-oath to constantly recycle the same opening match as many times as possible, and always with their young lions. This was a great thing when it was Maeda/Kanehara, but since we are now going to repeat Yamamoto/Naruse please forgive me as I try and muster some excitement. Last month when these two debuted, it was a fine, albeit overlong, affair, and I’m hoping for an evolution of intensity this time out. I am pleasantly surprised when Naruse charges in with some wild palm strikes, and while it was a sloppy attack, it was done in a more aggressive spirit than their last encounter, so for this we are thankful. Like last time, this went to a 15-min draw but was probably the weaker of the two outings. There was more intensity in some of the striking portions, especially on the part of Naruse, who is fearless, but he simply couldn’t hang with a similarly skilled opponent that happened to be much taller. The ground segments were far less interesting, as they were mainly just Naruse turtling up and avoiding Yamamoto’s submission entries. Points must be awarded to Naruse, however, because at one point he attempted a legit flying armbar, but wound up falling onto his butt instead. Kind of a weird match, as it oscillated between flashes of awesome, but would instantly stall out into a baseline of boredom. **

ML: I thought this match was definitely an improvement upon their debut match. What’s interesting is that while the standup, which was the weak point of their previous match, looked considerably better with more aggression, explosion, and impact, the ground now seemed to take a small step backwards, with more propensity to kind of stall out. This was easier to take though because, when they took a little break on the mat, that would lead to a stand-up, where they would then go at it hard for 30 seconds before going back to the ground. It was enjoyable seeing Naruse charge or leap inside to close the distance, but it had to be frustrating for him that Yamamoto continually used his size advantage to then bring it to the ground. Naruse seemed the better striker of the two, but since Yamamoto understood his strategy, he was able to time him coming in, and quickly bloodied his nose. Yamamoto definitely would have won had there been judges, but Naruse definitely won over some fans with his heart and determination. Above average match.


Now it is time for our favorite warhorse, Yoshinori Nishi, who is up against Dutch fighter, Peter Dijkman. Not much is known about Dijkman, other than he has two “official” fights (both wins) listed on Tapology, but like many other RINGS fighters from this era, he probably has a longer record than what is being currently tabulated. When we last saw Nishi, he was in a shoot with Willie Peeters, where he used his judo to nullify a lot of Peeters’ offense, but was unable to offer enough firepower to put him in any serious danger. We have another shoot on our hands here, and it’s almost over as quickly as it started. Dijkman was able to get a nasty push kick through at the beginning of the fight, but that was about the extent of his offense. He was doing ok at a distance, but simply had no clue how to grapple, as Nishi was able to spam the clinch/armbar combo until they were eventually in the center of the ring, and Dijkman had no idea how to defend any of this. Glad to see another shoot, but you would think that the Dutch crew would vet the ground skills of a prospective fighter, before putting them out in prime time.

ML: Dijkman was a protégé of Chris Dolman and Hans Nyman whose claim to fame was being a finalist in the 1983 and 1987 European karate championships. Dijkman really looked like he knew he was doing for a few seconds, controlling distance with front kicks, until Nishi timed his first palm blow, coming forward at the same time and grabbing him for the takedown. From there it was really clear he had no idea what he’s doing, as even though his strategy was to simply grab the ropes immediately, he didn’t learn to stay away from Nishi or the corners, instead getting taken right back down twice because he allowed himself to be backed into the corner but Nishi was free to grab him. Dijkman’s takedown defense was nonexistent, so Nishi didn’t even need to get low or secure more than one underhook. He could essentially just trip Dijkman up at will from a bear hug, and knowing that, he was able to turn Dijkman into the center where he finished with the armbar because they were too far away from the ropes.

Now it’s time for shoot #2 with Shootboxing vs Sediokaikan as Mitsuya Nagai and Nobuaki Kakuda are set to fight. Hopefully, Nagai isn’t a eunuch from last month’s hurricane-force kick to his balls, courtesy of Dick Vrij.

Seriously…Look at the wind-up here.

This is an excellent choice on paper with both men’s striking backgrounds. Kakuda is the more accomplished of the two, but he is already a bit long-in-the-tooth as of mid-1992, which makes it all the more interesting as that could possibly offset his skill/experience edge that he enjoys over Nagai. As expected, we are getting a kickboxing-styled match, but both men are much more cautious than your usual footfighting affair, as the threat of a grappling exchange is always present. Nagai is the aggressor, and is landing more frequently, but Kakuda is very crafty, patiently waiting to set up a counter, and when he does they are far more punishing blows.

Round 2 starts splendidly for Kakuda, who somehow manages to be both the aggressor and the counter-striker. Not only did he charge in, but when Nagai tried to ward him away with a high-kick, he answered with a beautiful low-kick counter that almost took out Nagai for good. Kakuda is wearing elbow pads, and it seems that you are allowed to use elbows in RINGS if you are wearing them, as Kakuda hit Nagai with one, sans any complaining from the ref. It was all one-way traffic for Kakuda until Nagai wisely decided to finally draw from the grappling well, and pull off a nice standing Kimura, forcing an instant rope escape. Nagai had one more moment of glory in this round, countering a low-kick with an awesome overhand palm-strike. Even round.Nagai continued his aggressive ways, while Kakuda kept seeming like he was trying to set up a kill shot. Kakuda did land a beautiful inside-low kick, but otherwise, this round was all Nagai. The elbows really came into play during round 4, as Nagai was able to land several hard shots to Kakuda, even scoring a knockdown with one particularly impressive jumping elbow. Kakuda was able to get a few nice shots in, but was really off his game this round.

The tension is in the air at the beginning of round 5, and right away Kakuda nails Naruse with a thunderous inside-low kick, only to be on the receiving end of an even more powerful counter, with an overhand palm-strike. Nagai then basically pulls guard while grabbing an arm, and Kakuda grabs a rope escape, not even waiting for Nagai to try to actually figure out what to do with that arm. Kakuda winning a decision seems out of the question, but that doesn’t mean he is willing to go away quietly and ratchets up the violence before it’s all said and done. At one point, he hit a great low kick/gut-shot/knee-to-the-head combo, which knocked Nagai down, and also prompted Nagai to hilariously jump back up and try and convince the ref that no such knockdown had just occurred. The fight ends with Nagai stalling with another guard pull, which led to a wrist-lock attempt by Kakuda that was reversed into a failed armbar attempt by Nagai. Nagai wins the decision, unsurprisingly, but this was a very solid shoot, nonetheless. It may also be the last time that Nagai enjoys a height/reach advantage against another opponent for the foreseeable future. Kakuda was always patient, perhaps too much so, looking to land some bombs from the role as a counter fighter, and while occasionally successful, wasn’t able to chain enough offense together to finish the job. It also didn’t help that Nagai would occasionally grapple when he felt threatened, which helped him to continually dictate the fight on his terms. Good fight.

ML: A fun shoot where Kakuda was the better kickboxer, but was also intelligent enough to know that he couldn’t count on this simply being a kickboxing match, which both helped and arguably hurt him. In his normal karate style, he would spend as much time as possible coming forward with body punches, but doing so would allow Nagai to clinch him and take him down if you wanted to, so Kakuda spent the first 2 1/2 rounds trying to stay on the outside, and counter Nagai when he came in. This didn’t work badly by any means, but the same time, he was never getting any major damage in, and only used his body punches once when Nagai already had him tied up. The fight got good when Kakuda began to open up in the second half of fight, finally willing to step in and rip the body, which then opened up the low kick, and got Nagai backing for the first time. Kakuda’s advantage was short lived though, as Nagai came right out and backed him into the corner to start the fourth, taking him down into what would be an arm-triangle, if only he knew what an arm-triangle was. Kakuda was then so worried about getting taken down from the clinch that he left himself prone trying to fight his way out, and was dropped with an uppercut. Now Nagai was able to unload on a weakened Kakuda with jumping knees & elbows from the clinch for another knockdown. Kakuda came back with his own clinch knee knockdown, but I think Nagai actually avoided it by dropping to his back, so he may have had a point in popping up & complaining to the ref. Kakuda’s left palm that preceeded the knee attempt was a good shot, but not overwhelmingly so. Kakuda surprisingly got his own takedown at the end, but it was too little too late, even before Nagai nearly countered with an armbar. Good match.

I’m excited for the next match as the highlight of the aforementioned Sediokaikan/RINGS “Battle Sports Olympic” event was the brief match between Naoyuki Taira and Eric Edelenbos. The fight saw the bigger and more athletic Edelenbos bum rush Taira and wail away at him, only to see Taira spectacularly end the fight by pulling off an amazing reverse-standing Kimura that we wouldn’t see again until Sakuraba snagged Renzo Gracie some 8 years later at PRIDE 10.

Taken from Taira vs Edelenbos 1 on 3-26-92

I have no doubt that Edelenbos is hungry for a rematch to prove that their last outing was just a fluke. Hopefully, this will be another shoot, which will make for the 3rd one in a row on an event from June of 1992, no less. Right away we can see that Edelenbos learned his lesson from last time, and patiently waits for Taira to come to him. Taira tests the waters with a stiff low-kick only to get countered with an incredibly explosive overhand palm-strike from his foe. Edelenbos has an impressive ability to explode, and if he continues to play things wisely, he will be a very tough hombre for Taira to deal with. To Edelenbos dismay, he wasn’t the only one to smarten up, as Taira is now approaching his opponent much more cautiously, sneaking in some palm strikes, only to again suffer another nasty counter from Eric. Just when I was becoming enraptured into the drama, wondering if Taira was surely doomed, Edlenbos shouts to the ref, “Grease!” while pointing to Taira’s shoulder. Taira denies everything, with a simple response of, “No. Oil!” as if that were to make it all better. Taira dries off with a towel, and soon afterward the round ends.

Round 2 begins, and the shenanigans seem to have subsided, which leaves us with a real fight on our hands. Taira is a much more creative and diverse striker, but is having to deal with someone that is considerably more athletic and powerful than he is. Taira rises to this challenge, by alternating his attacks with straightforward fare mixed in with flashy low-percentage spinning kicks. This strategy seems to be working as Edelenbos appears to be caught off guard with all the variety. The large volume of unanswered strikes starts to take a mental toll on Edelenbos, whose confidence is quickly evaporating. He manages to rag-doll Taira to the mat, but could only keep him there briefly, until Taira slithered his way out and started wailing away again. Great round for Taira.

Round 3 barely starts before Edelenbos gets penalized for a closed-fist punch to his opponents’ face, which Taira wondrously oversells for some ref-sympathy. After the drama, Taira is back to clowning Edelenbos, until Eric is able to force him to the ground where he tries something akin to a no-gi clock choke/neck crank. It seems like this is sunk in deeply, but Taira wiggled out, making me think that he took a page from the Sultan of Slime’s playbook. No sooner do I think this, than Edelenbos calls for a time out, complains to the ref that Taira is an oil slick. Taira is sent to his corner to dry off, while the crowd laughs, then he hilariously walks up to Edelenbos asking him to check his skin to see if it meets his approval. Despite making a mockery of the rules, Taira is on fire here, as he goes right back to lighting Edelenbos up, including two head-kicks in a row, the 2nd of which scored a knockdown. Eric gets back up, only to suffer the indignity of a flying knee to his head before the round ends.

Taira continues to impress me, as he starts the 4th round off with a flying leg-scissor into a heel-hook attack, almost 13 years before Ryo Chonan did it to Anderson Silva. Silva didn’t have the benefit of rope escapes, but Edelenbos does, which allows him to continue fighting. After getting back up, Edelenbos gets Taira back to the mat, and into a compromising position, but wastes his advantage by insisting on throwing a couple of headbutts to the back of Taira’s neck. Shortly after the restart, Edelenbos is disqualified for what appeared to be an eye-poke. Although the ending was anti-climactic, this was one of the best fights we’ve seen so far in 1992, and well worth seeking out. Witnessing a fighter like Taira (who I was wholly unfamiliar with before starting this project) is one of the rewarding aspects of doing a long-term project like this. His gonzo attitude reminds me a lot of Sakuraba, and he appears to have had the talent that could have made him a big name in MMA, but arrived about a decade too early to have been part of its major boom in Japan. Instead, he spent his primes years in the obscure corners of Shootboxing, but I’m glad that we get to take this brief moment to acknowledge him. Great fight.

ML: This could have been a super fight between Jon Jones and Lawi Napataya, as Edelenbos was constantly gouging Taira with his palm-strikes, while Taira was fielding regular complaints for sliming to avoid Edelenbos’ clinches and takedowns. I was literally wondering if there was ever going to be an actual fight between the complaints to and interjections by the official, as despite both combatants being explosive and aggressive, there were already more eye gouges by the middle of round two than in a good month of Three Stooges episodes, and somewhere in the background, Mark Knopfler could surely be heard singing “We are the Sultans, We are the Sultans…” Apparently, it was way worse than I initially though, as Edelenbos wasn’t allowed any strikes to the face, and anytime he threw his hands, Taira complained for one reason or another. Edelenbos lost a point early in the third for a strike that was clearly an open hand to the cheek. The way the match was going, at first I thought Edelenbos hunched over and stopped due to a low blow, but then I realized he was actually buckled from a left body hook to the liver, which the Ref clearly didn’t understand either, as rather than calling a knockdown, he gave Taira the opportunity to charge in with a (mostly avoided) flying knee, which then finally prompted the down call. At some point, I should mention that I was enjoying Taira’s wild spinning kicks, and some of the crazy aggression in this fight, but it was difficult to concentrate on anything that was working more interesting when Taira would stop to point to his cheek, then Edelenbos would stop to say “oil.” I haven’t seen this much oil cleaned up since Exxon Valdez, eventually Taira walked over to Edelenbos with towel in hand, hoping allowing him to wipe Taira down would finally shut him up. Taira scored a big high kick knockdown at the end of the third, and after complaining about another open hand to the face, hit a neat jumping leg scissors into a kneebar to start the fourth. I miss the days when flying submissions were arguably a reasonable answer to the opponent clinching. Edelenbos lost another point for two headbutts on the ground, and at this point, Gerard Gordeau was rumored to be trying to get to the arena in time to join the foul brigade. He couldn’t get there in time though, as Edelenbos was then disqualified for another open hand to the face. This was better than Mitsuya Nagai vs. Nobuaki Kakuda, but that was an actual flight with some flow and evolution, whereas this just had some big highlights in between a million stops and starts. This had a ton of potential, but I don’t feel like a it would be reached even with a rematch, unless there were a clear set of rules that both fighters were actually willing to comply to, and perhaps Scott Ledoux as the troubleshooting referee. Good match.

When we last saw Tom Von Maurik, he was stinking up the Hiroshima Sun Plaza with some of the worst worked punches ever recorded on celluloid. I am not the least bit hopeful that this will be any better, as he is set to face Willie Williams. There wasn’t much improvement, but thankfully Maurik’s output was limited to a few terrible kicks and being a victim to Williams’ sometimes impressive/sometimes sloppy attacks. Williams ends this around the 5 minute mark with a soft knee that Maurik sold for as if he were bludgeoned to death with a crowbar. Silly, but over quickly enough to not be too groanworthy.

ML: Another jobber match to set Williams up for his big main event against Akira Maeda next month. Williams looked pretty good here, so the match was successful, even if not particularly compelling. It was all standup, so Van Maurik had no prayer against a karate champion. Williams clearly wasn’t taking this too seriously, especially when Van Maurik tried to answer his expert body punches with his own less than satisfactory version. There was an interesting spot where Williams did a modified version of the vertical suplex out of a standing guillotine, holding onto the neck on the ground, as if he had some sort of primitive anaconda choke.

The Volkster is back! This time he must face Herman Renting, who was involved in a very lackluster affair with Masaaki Satake when we last saw him. Volk, on the other hand, has been a gift that keeps on giving, having great matches, regardless of his oft-changing card placement or who his opponent is. The match starts with Renting seemingly confusing hand feints with spazzing out, apparently being well versed in the ancient kata of the Electric Boogaloo. Eventually, Han has enough of this mockery, and takes Renting down for an armbar attempt. When that doesn’t work, he quickly readjusts for an ankle, which prompts both a rope escape and a raucous ovation from the Sendai crowd. The rest of this match was essentially Han vs. a grappling dummy, as Renting offered very little in the ways of resistance or creativity. Han was able to keep this match entertaining, based on his energy and countless inventive leg attacks, but Renting doesn’t seem to mesh very well in Han’s more flashy style. Also, Han’s win kind of felt out of nowhere, with a flying leg-scissors/ankle-lock combo. **3/4

ML: One of the reasons Han’s matches work so well is that he just has the pedal to the metal, jet propulsion at full throttle, leaving the Volkamaniacs screaming in delight as they try to even keep up with him. What we’re seeing from Han here is an evolution in his style where the match is a constant transition with the first movement or movements being used to set up his end game (the actual submission). He was always one step ahead of Renting, as well as the audience. Just seconds into the match, Han already delivered a new what the hell was that moment by grabbing an overhook then jumping into a sort of sweep takedown where he rolled Renting into mount. Renting had aspirations of striking, but couldn’t buy a moment of peace. Every time he got close to Han, Volk would find a different way to jump or roll into a takedown and/or a submission. It was odd to see Han not using his striking at all, but that allowed him more time for his distinctive and innovative ground game that Renting was at an even bigger disadvantage in. There was another great spot we haven’t seen before where Han was trying to transition from rear mount to a belly down armbar, attacking around Renting’s head to try to get his right leg under the chin then either roll Renting left or just drop himself flat. This prompted Renting to pivot so his legs were parallel to Han’s, which eliminated the angle for Volk to simply flatten him out, but Han just reversed the direction of his attack, instead of continuing to go left at Renting’s head, once he got the leg under the chin, he went back right toward Renting’s feet, with Han’s right knee now flattening Renting as he rolled him into the traditional belly up armbar. I will admit I expected more from Renting than we got here, but his job was basically to be a pliable Gumby doll who simply didn’t screw things up for the master, which as one of the more capable and diverse workers in the league, he was more than able to do. Would the match have been better had Renting been given the opportunity to do his thing more? I would say at this length it’s extremely doubtful, as whatever it would have gained from being more competitive would have been lost from the pedestrian ideas. Nobody is coming up with anything near the level of what Volk can. He just schooled Renting time and time again until he finally tapped to a cross heel hold off another leg scissors. ***3/4

Volume 38 continued…

The “Peet of Cheat,” Willie Peeters is returning to face Sediokaikan golden boy, Masaaki Satake. Peeters has been in a shooting mood lately, with his last two bouts being the real thing against Yoshinori Nishi. Peeters opens things up with a flashy slam, making me think we are in worked territory, but the rest of the round has me in a state of bewilderment as Peeters wasn’t up to his usual antics, instead wisely choosing to spend most of his time clinching up with Satake, thereby taking away his ranged attacks. Satake was able to get some short/hard shots in when he did break free, but spent most of the round stifled inside the clinch.

Round 2 starts, and I’m now becoming convinced that this is our 4th shoot of the evening. Peeters is fighting Satake in much the same way he did Nishi, where he keeps trying to dictate the fight via the clinch. This strategy didn’t work too well against Nishi due to his strong judo acumen, and while Satakae isn’t a renowned judoka, he does appear to have great balance and is also able to ward off Peeters’s attempts. I’m unsure, but I suspect that Peeters is not comfortable blasting in with a double leg, which would seem to be the best option against Satake. In any event, Peeters’ attempts to barge into close quarters are becoming more and more effective as this round continues, with Satake peppering Willie every time he tries to get inside the phone booth with him.

While Satake may look pedestrian next to guys like Peter Aerts and Maurice Smith, he looks like a cheat-code trading punches with Willie Peeters. Peeters only knows how to be a bully, and that usually works for him due to his strength and physicality, but against a guy like Satake, who is more or less a legit heavyweight with solid striking skills, he is unable to just barge in and dominate the way he is accustomed to. Peeters’s explosiveness allows him to get a few shots in, but most of his output is futile. There was one moment where Peeters tried a gonzo push kick, only to eat an incredibly nasty overhand slap for his efforts. Exciting round that was good for Satake. His experience in this style of fighting (Peeters is basically being forced to fight a kickboxing fight) is evident, as he is simply too composed to be unsettled by Peeters.

Satake is firmly ensconced as the counterpuncher as round 4 begins. It’s not that Peeters isn’t active, he very much is, but for every one of Willie’s attacks, it seems that Satake makes him pay for it. Peeters finally shoots in for a double, and I’m very impressed with Satake’s balance. He simply seemed to will himself from falling, despite Peeters’s most valiant efforts. It reminds me how later on in the PRIDE FC years, how Maurice Smith would often comment as to how jealous he was of Satake’s takedown defense skills. Peeters eventually resorts to cheatyfacing, where at one point he attempts a flying 12-6 elbow, which I believe is illegal due to his elbow pad being around his wrist (instead of his elbow where it belongs) but this hilarity seems to escape the ref. Another good round for Satake.

Early on in round 5, Peeters is finally able to break through and clinch up with Satake, only for Satake to brilliantly break free by turning around and pulling off a spinning back-elbow which almost knocks Peeters out cold. Peeters suffers a down, and is looking very wobbly, but is able to regain his composure in time. Once he regains his senses, he quickly becomes unglued, cursing at the judges that it was a break, and he should never have been elbowed. Like most cheaters, he is quick to try to become an in-ring lawyer when things aren’t going his way. Peeters even has the gall to finger wag Satake, calling him a cheater, and if that wasn’t enough, goes over to his corner and complains of discrimination. Satake is sick of this, so he decides to give the baby his bottle and agrees to a “no down.” This will probably make no difference at all, as Peeters is well on his way to a decision loss, even without the down, and is going to have to finish Satake to have any chance at beating him. The theatrics eventually come to an end, and Satake promptly resumes beating on Willie after the fight restarts. Right before the end of the round, Peeters was able to take Satake down with a headlock throw, and even though it was quickly ruled a break for being too close to the ropes, Peeters was acting like he just climbed Mt. Everest. Another great round for Satake, although you wouldn’t know it by looking at Peeters.

How I Used to Look Whenever I Got A Takedown at BJJ Class…

Round 6 was probably Peeters’s best round, not that he did much, but neither did Satake. The fight ends, and I’m usually harping on some of the bogus gift decisions that are usually awarded to Satake, but here he should have been declared a winner hands-down. How this was decided to be a draw is beyond my comprehension, unless it was only going by points lost due to rope escapes/downs, etc. If that’s the case, then Peeter’s earlier antics prevented him from having a loss on his column. Super entertaining, and Willie’s jackassery never disappoints.

ML: This was one of those early shoots where both men have distinctive advantages, but neither were really able to utilize them. Satake was the better striker, but couldn’t maintain distance to actually get his karate going. Peeters was the better grappler, but kept coming in high and just grabbing Satake around the neck, so it was incredibly easy for Satake to stay on his feet, though Peeters somehow managed to hit a belly to belly suplex. Satake finally began to take over in the third when Peeters was sucked into more of a traditional kickboxing match, but Peeters did manage to bust up Satake’s nose and mouth. Peeters finally had a good double leg attempt in the fourth, but just drove Satake into the ropes, where Satake dropped illegal elbows until he was warned. The big controversy came in the 5th when Satake grabbed the ropes to prevent Peeters from dragging him down. Peeters claimed the bell was rung to signify the break (I didn’t hear this but I heard someone call “rope”), and just as he released his reverse bodylock, Satake delivered a vicious back-elbow to a completely unsuspecting Peeters, who then used the ropes to keep himself up. Peeters whined for minutes until they ruled this was not a knockdown, mostly because Satake gave in to finally shut him up. Peeters managed the headlock throw he had been looking for all fight, which he kept congratulating himself for until Satake started to attack him. Satake would probably have won under current judging, but the fight was pretty close, and seemingly no Satake fight can be without controversy. They had a score of 0 to 0 posted after 5 rounds, so I assume they were just counting downs and escapes, hence Peeters saved himself by getting that knockdown waved off, but at the same time, he was also never credited for the rope escape that arguably would have won him the fight had Satake’s shenanigans not ensued. Nothing happened to change things in the extra round, so it was now officially ruled a draw. This fight was okay. I kept expecting more, but on the few occasions someone was able to have a good moment, they still were unable to make that snowball.

Now for the main event, and the continuation of Akira Maeda wandering through the path of least resistance, this time against Hans Nijman, who expresses confidence in his ability to secure a victory in a pre-match interview due to Maeda’s weak knee. The match starts with a nicely understated exchange where both men are feeling each other out, and Nijman lands some impressive kicks, even to the point of sweeping Maeda down to the mat with one. While Nijman looked good on his feet, his ground skills haven’t seemed to progress beyond the “grab a head and squeeze” stage, so he is of no threat to Maeda within this sphere. Maeda is quickly back to his feet and decides to unload some decent low kicks of his own, but is too slow to avoid the body-punch counters from Nijman. The camera curiously zooms to Maeda’s taped-up knee, as a possible portent of impending doom. The rest of this fight took on a feel of a stylized karate bout, with Maeda doing a good job of attacking Nijman’s thighs, but taking a lot of abuse to his abdomen. This match was unfolding nicely until a sudden win out of nowhere happened for Maeda when he scored a takedown followed by an ASHI-KANSETSU (Leg-Bone-Lock) attack. This is hard to rate, as before the sudden and bizarre finish this was actually shaping up to be a decent match, but the jarring finish killed it for me. **

ML: Maeda seemed to understand that if he was going to run a card full of mostly shoots, they couldn’t just pussyfoot around in the main event. Nyman has never been one of my favorites, but he was really laying into Maeda here. This was definitely the stiffest of Maeda’s RINGS matches so far, and fairly decent while it lasted. That being said, they ran out of steam quickly, with Nyman’s second knockdown from what I guess was supposed to be a liver kick leaving something to be desired. They then shockingly went to the finish, with Nyman catching Maeda’s right middle kick, but Maeda not so gracefully taking a page out of Han’s book, hooking Nyman’s leg as he dropped down into an ankle lock for the victory.

Conclusion: Without any reservations, I can easily recommend this as the best RINGS event we’ve seen so far. Yes, they still have problems putting on a cohesive show top-to-bottom, and Maeda doesn’t even seem to be trying at this point, but we had a TOTAL OF FOUR pre-UFC shoots, 3 of which were worthwhile. That is astounding to me, as if you had told me before I started this project that I would be able to witness up to four shoots on a pre-UFC pro wrestling event, I would have hardly believed you. The historical value of this overtakes the admitted flaws, and even those weren’t too bad this time out, as the main offender (Willie Williams/Van Maurik) was over quickly. This was the first RINGS event that was entertaining for the majority of its running time and considering that 50% of the card was a shoot, this was a considerable achievement. If you remove the Sediokaikan/RINGS co-show and any Shooto, then this may have been the first event we’ve seen that felt more like an MMA event than a pro-wrestling one.

ML: This definitely felt like a mixed martial arts event, with a lot of interesting shoot matches, and shorter works to help keep keep things from getting out of control, so to speak. Easily the best RINGS show we have seen so far.

*This entire event, and ALL FOUR PRE-UFC SHOOTS can be found over at www.patreon.com/KakutogiRoad

In other news

Stan “The Man” Longinitis recently faced Branko Cikatic at the Melbourne Sports & Entertainment Center on 6-7-92, in what was a great night of kickboxing. When we last saw Stan he almost murdered Maurice Smith in the first two rounds of their epic battle from late 1991. Cikatic is a powerful fighter out of Croatia, who is known just as equally for his nasty fighting tactics as his powerful hands. He was last seen fighting Denis Alexio at the World Martial Arts Challenge on 3-16-92. That fight was ruled a draw when Branko hit Alexio during a break from the ref.

Round 1 between these two started slowly as both cautiously tested the waters. Stan made the first move, where he made up for his reach disadvantage by covering his head and explosively charging like a bull. This looked incredible, but didn’t have much effect as Branko simply stepped out of the way like a matador. Stan charged in again, only to see Branko toss him across the ring with one paw, underscoring how deceptively powerful this Croatian really is.

Round 2 saw both men more active, with Stan doing a good job working an overhand right/low kick combination. Stan saw some good offense with this round, but could never get too far off the ground before Branko stifled him with his clinching skills. Branko was able to get a few nice body shots in during round 3 but would face some crafty counters in the way of overhand punches from Stan. Still, this was an even round.

Round 4 saw Branko wallop Stan with an early bum rush, attacking him from a variety of angles, but Stan was able to compose himself and unload a nice explosive flurry of his own. Stan at one point evaded some of Branko’s punches by trying for a double leg takedown, but was broken up by the ref. Slight edge to Branko for this round.

Branko didn’t make it easy for him, but Stan was able to continually find ways to push through and pepper Cikatic in round 5. Branko was too cagey for Stand to land more than a shot here and there, but almost all the offense was from Stan. Good round for Longinitis. Round 6 was looking like Stan was going to have some trouble on his hands, but by the 2nd half of the round, he was able to chain together his best offense so far, with some nice uppercuts mixed in with his overhand/low combinations. Good round for Stan.

Round 7 saw Branko doing a good job keeping Stan at bay with his jab, but still took some hard shots right towards the end. Even round.
Stan ate some counters off of a missed kick early in round 8, but it seems that in every round he pulls out some great offense right before the bell rings. Things are no different here when he turns the round around in his favor right in the closing moments.

Round 9 was Stan’s best round yet. He just kept laying the punishment on thick. Branko didn’t bottom out, but didn’t have any answers either.
Stan seemed to be taking a siesta in round 10, and even his cornerman was noticing as he kept yelling, “Stay working. Keep working Stan!” This may have lulled Branko into a false sense of security, however, as when no one expected it, Stan started throwing some vicious bombs. Another good round for Stan.

Rounds 11 & 12 were life in the carpool lane for Stan as he glided towards a unanimous decision victory. This was a decent fight, and a good victory for Stand, but Branko’s toughness prevented it from being one of his more exciting fights. Cikatic made Stan earn his paycheck with his long reach and cagey ways, but it never felt like he ever put Stan in any serious trouble. Still, it’s always a pleasure to see “The Man” in action.

ML: Kind of an odd fight because the concept of Cikatic’s reach advantage was able to slow Stan down, but at the same time, Cikatic really wasn’t ever able to get his offense going, he just forced Stan to stay on the outside and lunge in wildly with haymakers. Stan was able to land some of these big powerful overhands though, while Branko was just so conscious of Longinitis’ heavy hands he would never really commit to his own offense, mostly just trying to keep Stan away with halfhearted jabs and front kicks. Branko’s lead leg was all bruised from Stan’s low kicks, and eventually in the second half, Cikatic had to commit to walking Stan down because he was losing virtually every round. This made for a more interesting fight, but didn’t turn things around on the scorecards. Cikatic did manage to bloody Longinitis around the left ear, but it just didn’t seem like he possessed anything that could put any fear or hesitation into Stan. This was an okay match, but certainly not one of the most exciting either has participated in, which was disappointing because these were two of the best kickboxers of the era, and both were in their prime.

*This entire event can also be found over at www.patreon.com/KakutogiRoad

Just to recap: For only $10 a month you get to:

Follow along with MMA from the beginning (in this case March of 1991)

Almost every column/post has 2-6 hours of rare bonus footage that is usually not available publically. (There is approximately 115 hours of footage on our Patreon, and more is added every month).

We also cover a lot of kickboxing history along the way, and of course, add footage of those events whenever possible.

We include a lot of contemporaneous media/news sources to coincide with our columns, so you can follow along with the media coverage of that era, also.

Every Tue we include translations of rare MMA materials into English. Right now we are translating Shooto: The Technical Shooting Fight from 1986 into English, and when that is complete we have many other treasures that will be translated.

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Some earlier NHB, circa 1909. Sam Mcvea was a decent contender, “matsuda” wasn’t even japanese, he was actually an English blue belt enforcer from Count Koma’s London Academy. the way he’s laid out holding his head reminds me of long duk dong drunk under that tree. But no more yanky his wanky, the suder needs food!

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This forum is in dire need of more Long Duk Dong.

Kakutogi Road Presents: Sayama’s Corner "The Story of Shooto Vol.9"


Note: This is a continuation of where we left of last time, 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. *

Previous Page Translated

Fourth Stage: Shooting class:

The perfection of “mind, technique, and body”. A model for the beginning classes:

In the shooting class, the goal is to completely master the “techniques, rules, and system” of shooting.

We are not honing our skills and building our bodies just to display how strong we are.

A combat sport that is quite broad in the scope of what it permits in fighting, such as punching, kicking, elbowing, throwing, joint submissions, and so on, carries the danger of degenerating, with one misstep, into a brawl or murder.

In this class where one completely masters the techniques of shooting, it is needless to say that we are to learn how to better our humanity through friendly rivalry and following the rules.

We must not allow ourselves to forget even for a moment that shooting is founded upon a healthy spirit and superior technique.


Practice in succession each technique already acquired in the preshooting class.

Perfect each technique while facing each other and getting the knack for the paradigmatic flow of a match: {kicking à(ß) punching à tackling à throwing à joint submission}.


Once you are in the shooting class, you have considerable power in your techniques along with speed and sharpness, and as a result practice becomes accompanied with some danger.

Although this is something common to all of the classes, we need to emphasize safety especially in the upper classes. The progression of skill, if used in the wrong way, can lead to an increase in danger. During sparring, we must not get excited and forget ourselves.

We need to always try to be a model for the beginning classes by remembering again that shooting is based on rules and order and to sufficiently attend to safety and regulations such as the use of fists, kicks to opponents on the ground, and striking to the back of the head or to joint areas.

The depth of joint techniques is bottomless. This is a scientific sport involving the human body.

Previous Page Translated

The Fifth Stage: Shooter class

The Sixth Stage: Shootist class

Titles given only to true fighters.

Shooter: The title given to someone who completely understands and can practice the technique and spirit of shooting.

Shootist: An honorary title given to the highest practitioners of shooting.

Both titles are authorized by the Shooting Association on the basis of one’s techniques, manners, mental strength, fight record, and so on.

Previous Page Partially Translated

Training Schedule to Become Strong:

Improving bodily strength with certainty:

After waking up in the morning, the heart is not work so actively. It is quite hard to suddenly activate one’s body fiercely. But only by overcoming that hardship one gains the feeling of “I’ll do this!” by realizing both mentally and physically the start of a day.

We need to understand that even if we suddenly start working hard after not enough sleep, we would put a strain on the heart and it would be only counterproductive.

Hence we need to train by gradually warming up the body only after sufficient sleep.

The morning training begins with light jogging and warmup calisthenics, and then move to training that strengthens the heart function, such as chin ups and rope climbing, running, rabbit jumps, duck walks, and so on.

Rope climbing and chinning are training methods for acquiring pulling strength.

Rope climbing involves repeatedly climbing up and down a hanging rope many times, using only the hands.

Chinning involves training by using the horizontal bar.

These training methods are simple but reliably strengthens the physique. So what is important, rather than to increase the number of repetitions you do each time, is to continue doing it every day. With these training methods combine the use of weight training that emphasizes power and builds the body through the use of barbells and dumbbells.

Lively muscles necessary for shooting is something build through the skillful combination of these two elements.

It is also necessary to alter training methods between those who are heavier in weight and those who are lighter in weight. For example, those who are heavy should place the emphasis on strengthening the legs, while those who are lighter should increase their running in order to build their total stamina.

To Be Continued…

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