Yoshiaki Fujiwara: Catch Wrestling Legend

A quick synopsis of the multi-faceted Karl Gotch protege’, Fujiwara. Fujiwara is a Catch-as-Catch-Can Wrestling pioneer, pro wrestler, and trainer of MMA fighters such as Bart Vale (founder of Shootfighting), Ikuhisa Minowa (Minowaman), Ken Shamrock, and countless others.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara is long held up as Karl Gotch’s best student. In fact out of all of his students, Fujiwara was the only one Karl Gotch willingly endorsed as representative of the ‘Gotch Style’ of Catch Wrestling. You could say he was Gotch’s only ‘Black Belt’, if such gradings ever existed in catch-as-catch-can.

Attack! Attack! Attack!: His grappling philosophy, very in the line of catch wrestling, was not thinking in the possibility of losing and never stop attacking.

Authority Equals Asskicking: Is defined as the strongest shooter in the UWF, and according to many, has a hefty record in closed doors fights. Whenever martial artists came to the NJPW or the UWF dojo with a challenge, Yoshiaki the one in charge to welcome them and wipe the floor with them until they said uncle.

Combat Pragmatist: He once said that the objetive of a shoot match is “damaging the opponent so he can never fight again”.

I Know Judo: Was a very succesful judoka in high school. He also trained in muay thai and kendo, and later became Karl Gotch’s top catch wrestling student.

Hypercompetent Sidekick: Yoshiaki was Antonio Inoki’s cornerman and bodyguard. According to Karl Gotch, he was about ten times better fighter than him, and Inoki was supposedly no slouch.

Jerkass: His gimmick is that of a crazy old shooter who attacks people randomly and without a reason. He is pretty suave in real life, however.

Passing the Torch: Masakatsu Funaki (39-13-2) and Minoru Suzuki (29-19) are his top trainees and the closest to him in ability, although it’s up to YMMV how he would have fared in mixed martial arts had started them as a young fighter.

Boring but Practical: Almost all of his moves are relatively basic submissions, but you have the assurance he could pull them off in a real fight.

Sadist Teacher: A legendary one. Most of his trainees recall ending completely broken down after a single training session with him.

Ring Oldies: 65 years old, tons of injuries, and still wrestling

Giver of Lame Names: His suggestion to Bart Vale to promote his fighting system was called the ‘Kick, Suplex, & Submission Style’ because he thought Shootfighting was a stupid name. Understandably Vale stuck with Shootfighting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap