Yoshihiro Akiyama? 7X Judo Champ?

I haven't been in the sport long but this is a name I saw in another forum. He is supposedly, a 7X judo champ now joining MMA.

Any info on this guy?

BTW, the site was from judoinfo.com but it originally taken from tatame.com

tatame.com may have overstated his career

Where's Resnick? He knows about this guy.

I read about Akiyama winning some big international competitions.

could be akiyama who fought in the 2003 worlds for japan. he was formerly on the korean national team (dual citizen) and then changed to Japan. he "retired" from judo when he failed to make the 2004 Olympic team. he was always an outcast in the eyes of the AJJF too-- especially with his wild haircuts and flamboyant attitude.

awesome judo, buff guy. in judo he'd wear these huge gi's that were at least a size too big for him.. a lot of his competitors complained that his gi's were slippery and that they couldnt hold a grip on him. in the worlds they actually made him change his gi becuase of it. no idea what he did to make his gi's slippery to grip.

There you go, was waiting for Resnick!

Yeah, it's the same Akiyama:

"no idea what he did to make his gi's slippery to grip."

Don't know how true it is, but I recall reading somewhere that the other competitors were accusing him of rubbing detergent into his sleeves.

could do that or he could use a lot of liquid fabric softner or even just skip the rinse cycle in the wash itself.. all of those would soak right into the cotton and make any gi damn near impossible to hold onto.

Nakamura complained about hi gi nearly every time they fought-- and they fought a lot

this is the same guy that jason morris beat on his way to winning the US open in 99.

he stickered him all over the place.

Akiyama represented Korea and after getting into disputes with the Korean judo officials; he then decided to represent Japan instead. I believe he went over to Japan because he assumed (or was told) he would not represent Korea in his weight class. I believe he was only given Japanese citizenship when he decided to represent Japan officially.

Akiyama is considered an embarassment to Japanese judo. What happened was he would place detergent on a dry gi - undetectable when they check the gi's before the contest. However, when the gi gets wet from sweat, it becomes incredibly slippery. At least two (I believe he was made to change into a new gi after his third opponent complained, but I'm not sure) of his opponents in the 2003 Worlds complained that his gi was slippery. When he changed into a new one he was thrown by the German.

Obviously this was an embarassment to Japanese judo and many of the Japanese newspapers tried to distance themselves from Akiyama by stressing his Korean background. Nonetheless, the Japanese Judo Federation publically stood by Akiyama even though privately his judo career in Japan was over. Even Nakamura, in a rare breach of solidarity with his country, publically spoke out against Akiyama saying Akiyama also cheated in his match with him previously. It is widely thought in Japanese judo circles that Akiyama is guilty. His judo days at the top level were over after the debacle of 2003 Worlds and it was widely expected he would go into MMA since then.

slippery gi? daaamn!

nice post, ricky- what was the 7x judo champion they were talking about? what kind of tournaments? 7x times is still an incredible feat.

I knew a guy who used the fabric softener trick. It works really well.

I see a lot of xTimes champion stuff. Usually it turns out to be a guy won first at 7 tournaments, rather than being a xTime national champ, WC, or whatever.

Akiyama has the right style to get into MMA for sure.

Ben R.

It's the Akiyama we all know and love.

Should be interesting. The guy is an incredible athlete.

Ben R.

Is he the guy with that badass armlock clip floating around the net. He started it standing when uke was in a straight arm bent over posture IIRC.

you guys have NO idea.this guy was fucking good.when this guy won paris he was by far the best in the world, at the time NO one could last more then a minute with this guy.

not sure about the 7 time stuff , but this guy beat everyone there was to beat in japan and the world for a few years.......

i dont recall him winning paris.. i know nakamura won paris 2 years in a row though.i very well could be mistaken though. from what i recall, akiyama did not do so hot in the european events (armlocked in Germany 2nd round or something?) going into the 2003 worlds while Nakamura won Paris. i think that was part of the controversy over why they selected him.

and.. i was at the US Open when JM fought him.. i remember it very, very well becuase that day Tetsu Okano was fighting Cuipe and slammed with the most gorgeous off-the-matte uchimata in the history of judo. that is the day i learned that time-out DO EXIST in judo...

you are insanely stupid if you think JM "stickered him all over the place".. score was yuko-zip at the end if i remember correctly.

in all honesty, that day was a gift for Jason. he was in terrible conditioning (maybe he was sick, i dont know) and had he done the same at any event outside the USA he would have been DQ'd faster than tyson chasing holyfield's ear at a dinner buffet. A beautifully wrapped gift from the referees.

Against Hawn he scored early and then was constantly allowed to stall and take his holy-grail-finding sweet-chariot-coming-for-to-carry-me-home ass time to get back to his line for well over half the match.. AND... you know it is the truth when the entire crowd is booing and whistling over it and Hawn is standing at his line looking around for the refs to act their part.

in the match with Akiyama it was the exact same. and, again, in the final with the young russian.. same give-it-away refereeing. in each and every one of these matches the crowd was up in arms over the refereeing.. it really was that obviously biased. if you dont believe me thats your call.. i am sure that it wouldnt be hard to track down other people who were at the 99 Open to ask them.

its stuff like this that makes the new rule changes about time-outs and DQ'd for non-bloody injuries the best thing to happen in judo for years.

now, i am all for home-town refereeing at the US Open. ive recieved my fair share of it and been thankful for it. but not once would i ever look at it as anything more than that (a gift from the refs). i distinctly recall having a fella from some latin country do nothing but drop and flop on me for 4 minutes straight. i didnt get in any attacks at all and never got a penalty for it.. at one point he dropped and i honestly kicked him in the ribs like i was pele on a penalty shot. no call on that either.

all the same.. dont mistake hometown reffing for anything more than it is.. its disrespectful to the competitiors-- both of them.

regardless of if JM was allowed a lot more levity than anybody else he fought on that day, the matches were easily some of the most exciting of the day. Jason was always an extremely stylish player who had the grace of a ballerina on the tatami.. even if you dont like him much (and i make no secrets about that) he absolutley is amazing to watch and has become one hell of a coach.

say what you want josh , jason did that day what NO other american was doing (WINNING).

YES he was very very lucky , but if you don't have luck your not going to win to many tournaments....

YES rick did give him a good fight but i think the best person on that day won.

stickering him all over the place was a joke josh , but jason was never really in any danger the hole fight.

I can back Josh up on the JM at US Open thing. It was really obvious what was going on that day witht he refereeing.

Same at Nationals in Spokane too.

Ben R.

i think you guys are a little off on this one.....

did the the reffs favor jason YES.the same shit happens everywhere else in the world so why shouldn't the same thing happen to our players....

i'm not sure if you have ever fought in europe or down south BEN , but i know you have josh so you should have some idea of how things work.....

akiyama did win paris in 2000.

was akiyama still fighitng for korea when he won inparis then...? confused, cause i know Nakamura went in 2001 and 2002(?) and won it-- that was when he made the world team.. i cant recall if Akiyama switched from Korea to Japan AFTER the Olympics or what...

doesnt really matter much i guess.

JT.. yea, ive been to a few places to compete and i know what you mean.. but what happened at the USO that year was a lot more than the average hometown reffing. hell, it was even against another american who happened to call the OTC home.

hey, i admitted above that ive received some really nice calls (or non-calls) on behalf of refs in the USO over the years. its a great thing and it does help even the odds a bit.

all im saying, is what happened that year was well above and beyond anything id ever witnessed before or since.

akiyama won paris in 2000 beating everyone while fighting for japan.he beat nakamura at the trials or whatever they call them in japan just before.

if you are talking about todd josh , he had the same chance as everyone else....jason didn't make todd lose.

i really don't think the reffing that day was above and beyond anything else that goes on elsewhere around the world.