Follow TV Tropes


Characters / Universal Wrestling Federation Shooto The Original Era

Go To

    open/close all folders 

    Debuted in Shin-Kakutōgi AKA The Pre-Shooting Years AKA Shooto's Forefathers AKA Super Tiger Gym Alumni (1984-88)
The Original Logo
Not To Confused With Shooting Sports
Eye of The Tiger (Mask)

Hiroyuki Aizawa

Toshio Ando

Noboru Asahi

"They often call off my passivity. But look, out of my 30 fights, only 5 have went to the judges..."

  • Always Someone Better: Alexandre Franca "Pequeno" Nogueira who beat him twice.
  • The Apprentice: To Satoru Sayama, Victor Koga and Noriaki Kiguchi.
  • Cool Teacher: Founded the Tokyo Yellow Mans Gym after he retired.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": His real first name is Shin'ichi.
  • Four Is Death: Was a part of the called "Shooto Shitenno" along with Hayato Sakurai, Rumina Sato and Enson Inoue. He also debuted earlier than the others.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Retired from fighting in 2004 due to cervical spine injuries.
  • He Also Did: Was Shooto’s first producer and helped lay the foundation of Shooto’s training system and complied the Shooto’s fight records.
  • Hidden Depths: Is a painter in his spare time and has put on his own art exhibitions. He also designs t-shirts and logos (for example, he drew the Kiguchi Dojo gorilla logo).
  • I Know Amateur Wrestling: And also trained in Sambo, combat and shoot wrestling.
  • Nightmare Face: He got his nickname due to the weird shape of his nose and face.
  • Red Baron: "Kijin" ("The Strange Man").
  • The Rival: To Yuki Nakai.
  • The Worf Effect: By Royler Gracie at the Vale Tudo Japan.

Shigeki Chiba

Kazumi Chikiyoshi

Gokor Chivichyan

  • The Ace: He is officially undefeated in any kind of combat sport competition.
  • The Apprentice: To Gene Lebell and is considered his best student.
  • Badass Teacher: Is the head coach of Hayastan MMA Academy and has trained many fighters like Harout Terzyan, Karo Parisyan, Manvel Gamburyan, Ronda Rousey, Karen Darabedyan, Sako Chivitchian, Roman Mitichyan, Neil Melanson, Oleg Taktarov, Frank Shamrock, Tony Halme, Tom Howard, Mick Tierney, etc.
  • Guest Fighter: Perhaps the first one in Shooto.
  • I Know Sambo: As well as Judo, both Kodokan and Kosen, amateur and Catch Wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as well as Japanese jujitsu, boxing, Muay Thai, and he also says that he start his martial arts learning with an Armenian wrestling style called Kokh.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Was never part of the Super Tiger Gym like all the others in this folder below.
  • Mother Russia Makes You Strong: Sort of, he was born in Armenia when it was still part of the Soviet Union.
  • Red Baron: "The Armenian Assassin".
  • Teen Genius: Was about 16 or 17 when he first met Gene Lebell and started submitting all his other students who were at least a decade older than him.

Yutaka Fuji

Mitsuo Fujikura

Toshio Fujiwara

  • The Ace: In Kickboxing, out of 141 professional fights before retiring at age 35, he won 126, with a remarkable 99 by knockout.
  • The Apprentice: To Kenji Kurosaki.
  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: Is the president of the Japan Martial-Arts Directors.
  • Badass Teacher: Founded his own gym, Toshio Fujiwara Sports Gym and has trained guys like Satoshi Kobayashi, Masahiro Yamamoto, Sanshu Tsubakichi, Takaaki Nakamura, and of course Satoru Sayama.
  • Determinator: Was originally considered too frail for the rigors of the rough new sport of kickboxing by his master, and even was pointed out for not being able to skip rope without falling down. After 6 months of hard training with Kurosaki, Fujiwara entered the ring, where he was badly beaten in his first and second outings. Undaunted, he redoubled his efforts and began to win. Persistent in his efforts, Fujiwara was eventually recognized as a dedicated and serious prospect.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Was a Kickboxing trainer at the Super Tiger Gym before he got his own gym in 1997.
  • Hidden Depths: Tried to be a pro golfer after he retired from Kickboxing and is a manager of a golf course.
  • I Know Kickboxing and Muay Thai: Trained at the original Mejiro Gym in Japan and the Kurosaki Dojo. He also trained in Judo at the Kodokan, amateur wrestling with the Takushoku University Wrestling Club, and Western boxing at the Kadoebihōseki Boxing Gym to round off his skills. He also trained in Taikiken and originally trained in Shito-ryu Karate before kickboxing.
  • Living Legend: A Japanese Kickboxing legend.
  • Non-Action Guy: Was a special adviser in RINGS and UFO.
  • Old Master: Retired from Kickboxing at 1983 and has been a coach since.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: In his prime at 5ft 6 and 61kg.
  • Red Baron: "Kikku no Kamisama" ("God of Kicking").
  • Sadist Teacher: Noted to be a harsh trainer and Sayama of all people once told him to ease up, as he was scaring students away from his gym.
  • Start My Own: Fujiwara Festival, an annual Kickboxing event.
  • Training from Hell: In his active Kickboxing career, an average day of training for him lasts 10 hours and then he spends about 2 hours training in either boxing, wrestling or Judo right after that.
  • Ur-Example: He was the first non-Thai to win a national Muay Thai title belt in Bangkok, a fact that many older Thais still remember and respect about him. He also became the first ever non-Thai stadium champion in 1978 when he won the lightweight title at Rajadamnern Stadium.

Kōji Fukuma

  • The Apprentice: To Satoru Sayama and Yorinaga Nakamura.
  • Cool Teacher: Co-founded the Team Jun Fan Shooto Dojo (changes to the Mixed Martial Arts Dojo CLOVERZ, currently goes by Paraestra Hiroshima SOUTH).
  • I Know Judo: Before his training at the Super Tiger Gym. He later left with Yorinaga Nakamura to Los Angeles to train in Jeet Kune Do, Karate, Kickboxing, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
  • Unknown Character: Like Yorinaga Nakamura, he was another high level Shooto trainer that only competed in the Pre-Shooto years so almost no one has seen him fight.

Joji Igarashi

Toyohiko/Yuki Ishikawa

"I don’t care about the pro wrestling business, I just think about Battlarts and myself."

  • '80s Hair: A mullet in his PWFG days. He shaved it off some time later.
  • Affectionate Parody: Of Antonio Inoki, though as more of a tribute to him and had his own quirks that made him this rather than an Expy. His ring entrance with the robe and towel over his neck, his usual wrestling attire of the classic black trunks and boots and even a lot of his wrestling style is based on Inoki. He even got to face Inoki in an exhibition match in PWFG and faced Algerian Olympic boxer Mohamed Azzaoui in a Different Styles Fight in Battlarts to create his own version of Muhammad Ali vs Antonio Inoki.
  • The Apprentice: To Karl Gotch, Boris Malenko, Yoshiaki Fujiwara and Satoru Sayama.
  • Arch-Enemy / Vitriolic Best Buds: With Alexander Otsuka and Daisuke Ikeda.
  • Ascended Fan Boy: A big fan of pro wrestling growing up and took a lot of inspiration for his Battlarts promotion from several wrestlers and promotions.
  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: Owner and president of Battlarts and its successor Battle Arts and wrestled in both regularly.
  • Canada, Eh?: Lives there now.
  • Combat Commentator: Has provided commentary for Battlarts shows.
  • Cool Teacher: He is a co-founder and the head shoot wrestling and MMA trainer at the Battle Arts Academy. He also trained wrestlers such as Kanako Urai and Santino Marella at the original Battlarts Dojo, B-Club.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: He was part of the Super Tiger Gym in his university years and even fought at a pre-Shooto event in 1988 before he went to train under Karl Gotch in Florida.
  • Elite Four: Part of the Battlarts Big Four.
  • Embarrassing First Name: He adopted the name of Yuki because didn't like his born name, Toyohiko. He also gained an Embarrassing Nickname of "Toy" when he was training at the Malenko Gym, which may have added to his name change.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Downplayed, as most people didn’t think he had much of a chance in the first place, but he took on Quinton "Rampage" Jackson at Pride 17 to avenge Alexander Otsuka’s earlier loss to him at a Battlarts show, since he was the head of Battlarts. He got TKO’ed in less than 2 minutes. His other loss in MMA was against RINGS veteran Yasuhito Namekawa, who punched him into submission.
  • Guest Fighter: Made a few appearances in RINGS.
  • He Also Did: Played Toshio Kajiwara in the live action film adaption of Garouden in 1995. He also appeared in Yoshiaki Fujiwara's Submission Master instructional series where he was featured and led the "bodymaking" segments of the series.
  • I Know Karate: As well as Judo, shoot and Catch Wrestling.
  • Multidisciplinary Scientist: The guy has done everything: learned Judo, was taught Catch Wrestling by Karl Gotch and Boris Malenko, was taught shoot wrestling by Satoru Sayama at the Super Tiger Gym and also trained under Yoshiaki Fujiwara in PWFG, competed in Seidokaikan against Masaaki Satake, did MMA, and even took part in New Japan Pro-Wrestling's 1995 Young Lions Cup.
  • Name's the Same: Not to be confused with a volleyball player with the same name.
  • Odd Friendship: With Santino Marella. Yes, that Santino Marella.
  • Red Baron: "Moeru Jonen" ("Burning Sentiment"), "Ikare Shachō" ("Crazy President").
  • Surprisingly Good English: As demonstrated in his documentary; Ring of Dreams.
  • Start My Own: Battlarts.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Like his master Fujiwara, he is one of the few guys in the U-System that is comfortable with training females and also gets in the ring against them from time to time.

Yoshimasa Ishikawa

Kazuyuki Itagaki

Shinichi Ito

Yūji Itō

Hiroyuki Kanno

Kyōji Katsuyama

Kenji Kawaguchi

  • Alliterative Name
  • Always Someone Better: Was beaten twice by Erik Paulson.
  • The Apprentice: To Satoru Sayama, Yuko Miyato, and Naoyuki Taira.
  • Arch-Enemy: Most of his losses came at the hands of foreigners.
  • The Bus Came Back: He has done this twice. He retired from full time fighting in 1999, then came back in 2006 with a TKO win against Deividas Petrauskas at Shooto: The Devilock. He came back again in 2015 losing to Yuki Kondo at Pancrase: 271.
  • Cool Old Guy: Was in the first pro Shooto event and his latest fight was in 2015, do the math.
  • Cool Teacher: The head trainer of Shooting Gym Yokohama.
  • I Know Shoot Wrestling: Was among the first trainees under Sayama in at the Super Tiger Gym.
  • Red Baron: "Shodai Shūtā" ("First Shooter"), "Shūtingu Saikyō no Otoko" ("Shooting's Strongest Man").
  • Ur-Example: Was the first Shooto light heavyweight champion.
  • The Worf Effect: Was undefeated with 10 wins and 4 draws till he was KO'ed by Dutch kickboxer Jan Lomulder at Vale Tudo Japan 1994. He did get his revenge at Vale Tudo Japan 1997.

Noriaki Kiguchi

"Catch, catch, catch! That is our goal!"
— The Combat Wrestling motto.

  • Badass Teacher: Owns the Kiguchi Gym where he trained guys like Takanori Gomi, Rumina Sato, Baret Yoshida, Naoki Sakurada, Norifumi Yamamoto, Noboru Asahi, Yuki Nakai, Hayato Sakurai, Genki Sudo, etc.
  • I Know Sambo: Champion under Victor Koga's tutelage. He also trained amateur wrestling in school, and Catch Wrestling under Satoru Sayama, which he started teaching it at his own gym.
  • Non-Action Guy: Was a teacher for many of the Shooto guys though he never competed himself.
  • Odd Friendship: With pro wrestler Dick "The Destroyer" Beyer.
  • Old Master: Was training people in his own basement (nicknamed "Tiger Hole" in English), before he became an instructor at the Super Tiger Gym, then he got his own gym.
  • Start My Own / Ur-Example: Founded Combat Wrestling and has been hosting events since the 1990s.

Kōki Kitahara

  • '80s Hair: Always had some close to a mullet in his prime.
  • Alliterative Name
  • The Apprentice: To Hideyuki Ashihara, Satoru Sayama and Genichiro Tenryu.
  • The Big Guy: Was for some time the biggest guy from the Super Tiger Gym.
  • The Brute: For Genichiro Tenryu in SWS and WAR as he was the only one who was a legitimate shooter in Tenryu’s entourage.
  • Cool Teacher: He now owns the Capture International Dojo where he instructs in MMA and pro wrestling.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": His real first name is Tatsumi.
  • I Know Karate: Trained in Kyokushin and Ashihara Karate before he started training in shoot wrestling at the Super Tiger Gym.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Once wrestled in Canada as Sumo Hara, even though he never had any training in sumo.
  • Old Master: Was an instructor at the Super Tiger Gym.
  • Promoted Fan Boy: He was a big Satoru Sayama fan. He actually went to the UWF Dojo without having watched any UWF shows in order to became his disciple. The dojo rejected him because it was full, so he instead went to the Super Tiger Gym to meet him personally, and eventually he became an instructor of his hero's gym.
  • Real Men Love Jesus: Maybe, he has been shown to do the sign of the cross before he walks out for his matches, though it is not known if he is a believer or just does it for luck without the religious influence.
  • Red Baron: "Shooting Machine".
  • Retired Badass: Has officially retired from wrestling at the Kenta Kobashi promoted Fortune Dream 5 event on June 11, 2018.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": His name is sometimes spelled as Kohki Kitahara.
  • Start My Own: Founded his own wrestling promotion, Capture International, which is basically shoot style wrestling on wrestling mats in arena basements.
  • Stout Strength: Was quite a hefty dude in his prime and was strong enough to German suplex Koji Kitao. He lost some of his heftiness over the years though.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: A veteran wrestler for All Japan Pro Wrestling, Stu Hart's Stampede Wrestling, Canadian National Wrestling Alliance, Super World of Sports, Wrestle Association R, and Tenryu Project.
  • Wrestling Doesn't Pay: Inverted, he got into puroresu because Shooto did not have professional bouts in his time.

Atsushi Kobayashi

Victor Koga

"Do you know Victor Koga, who brought Sambo to Japan? I’ve known him since high school. He is in Yokosuka and was a friend of my wrestling coach. I’m bringing this back to my high school years again, but I remember seeing an arrogant foreign looking old man watching our training. He was watching with our coach and I was like “Who is this guy?” Then, he invited me to come over and he caught me in a lot of different techniques. But he said I was interesting, so it would be good for me to go against his son. So, he taught me lots of techniques and taught me how to do the “Victor roll” back then."

Joji Koguchi

Junichi Kubota

Hideo Kuroda

  • The Apprentice: To Satoru Sayama and Singsak Sosiripan.
  • Cool Old Guy: Won his kickboxing titles in his 40s.
  • I Know Muay Thai: One of the first to represent the Singsak Victory Gym and was a UKF International Super Lightweight Champion and UKF World Super Welterweight Champion. He originally started at the Super Tiger Gym in his high school years and was the runner up at the first pre-shooting 62kg tournament.
  • Promoted Fan Boy: Was a Sayama fan before training under him.

Kazuhiro Kusayanagi

Yasushi Maeda

Hiroshi Matsuoka

Hiroaki Matsutani

Mitsuteru Mimura

  • Alliterative Name
  • The Apprentice: To Satoru Sayama and Noriaki Kiguchi.
  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: A certified manager of the Shooto Commission, Director of the Fukui Echizen City Wrestling Association and the Japan Combat Wrestling Association Fukui Prefecture Headquarters.
  • Cool Teacher: Founded the Shooto-Kai Mimura Dojo. He also ran the AGF Freestyle Club when he was still part of Kiguchi Dojo.
  • I Know Karate: and trained in Kickboxing at the Mejiro Gym. He later trained in Combat and shoot wrestling at the Super Tiger Gym and Kiguchi Dojo.
  • Unknown Character: Like Yorinaga Nakamura, he was another high level Shooto trainer that only competed in the Pre-Shooto years so almost no one has seen him fight.

Kaori Miyako

Yorinaga Nakamura

"He was definitely one of the most knowledgeable guys on leglocks."
— Erik Paulson

  • The Apprentice: One of the first trainees under Sayama.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Was inspired by Bruce Lee movies to pursue martial arts.
  • Cool Teacher: He is the founder and head instructor of the Inosanto United Martial Arts (IUMA) schools in Japan.
  • I Know Karate: And kung fu, and Kickboxing. Notably, he knows Kansui-ryu Karate, the style founded by Antonio Inoki. He also learned kali, silat, Muay Thai and jeet kune do when he went to America under Dan Inosanto.
  • Old Master: A former instructor of the Super Tiger Gym. Introduced and teaches shoot wrestling in Dan Inosanto's academy and also teaches kali, silat, Muay Thai and jeet kune do.
  • Unknown Character: He was the first high level Shooto trainer and one of the winners of the first tournament in the promotion (the 66kg class), but as the event was amateur and untelevised and he left for United States shortly after to teach shoot wrestling, almost nobody in the sport's fandom has seen him fight.
  • Unrelated Brothers: Has no relation to Keitaro.
  • Ur-Example: Brought Shooto to the US. He also brought Jeet Kune Do to Japan.
  • Wrestling Family: Has a younger brother, Yukihiro Nakamura who is a professional mask craftworker who owns YN Studio and is the exclusive craftsman for Satoru Sayama under the brand, Tiger Arts, and has also worked for his trainees like Tiger Mask IV, Super Tiger II and Tiger Shark, as well as others like Último Dragón and Mister Cacao. He also founded and is the director of a professional wrestling mask museum in Tsu city, Mie prefecture and the Satoru Sayama museum in Misaki Town, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo.

Kenjiro Nomoto

Tomonori Ohara

Makoto Ozaki

Tomoyuki Saito

Kazuhiro Sakamoto

  • The Apprentice: To Satoru Sayama.
  • Cool Teacher: A former trainer for Shooting Gym Yokohama, now the head trainer of Shooting Gym Tokyo.
  • I Know Karate: Trained in this and amateur wrestling before becoming a trainee under Sayama at the Super Tiger Gym. He was the lightweight champion of the second pre-shooting tournament.
  • The Rival: With Kenichi Tanaka as they fought 4 times with each getting two wins and losses.

Naoki Sakurada

  • Always Someone Better: Was beaten by Kenji Kawaguchi twice.
  • The Apprentice: Was one of Noriaki Kiguchi's first students.
  • Cool Teacher: Better known as a trainer than a fighter. He helped Noriaki Kiguchi train many others in combat wrestling and teaches Shooto at his own gym, the Gutsman Shooto Dojo.
  • I Know Combat Wrestling: One of the first guys to learn the sport and of course shoot wrestling and fought in the first pro Shooto event.
  • Red Baron: "Mr Gutsman".

Masayuki Sakurai

Hidehiko Satake

Yasuto Sekishima

Suguru Shigeno

Katsunori Suzuki

Toshiharu Suzuki

  • Combat Referee: For a long time, Suzuki was Shooto's only referee. He is now the head referee of Shooto.
  • Game Master: He was the official rulemaker of Shooto and was also a board member of the International Shooto Commission.

Yōichi Suzuki

Naoki Tagawa

Naoyuki Taira

"Baki is modeled after Naoyuki Taira. Back in the early 90's, when nobody knew of BJJ, Taira, a shootboxer with Daidojuku karate, Sayama's shooting (now known as shooto), boxing, and sambo backgrounds, was one of the most complete fighters in Japan. At that time, Taira's fighting style was really really entertaining, just like Sakuraba in his prime. He K Oed his opponents with flying high kicks, backspin kicks, and sometimes threw his opponent with damn beautiful German suplex (Throws are allowed in shootboxing). The yound Taira was really like Baki. In 1994, Taira went to Denver to watch the 2nd UFC, saw the defeat of Minoki Ichihara by Royce Gracie, and cried. After that he started learning BJJ under Carley Gracie."
— From a Mixed Marital Arts forum user named hinerin.

  • The Apprentice: To Takashi Azuma, Kazuyoshi Ishii, Isamu Kuwata, Satoru Sayama, Victor Koga, Caesar Takeshi, Sot Chitalada, Napa Kiatwanchai, Chamuekpet & Panomtuanlek Hapalang, Adam Hsu, Michio Shimada, Kenji Shimazu, and Carley Gracie.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Like Yorinaga Nakamura, he was a Bruce Lee fanboy.
  • Badass Family: His father was a professional boxer and his brother was an amateur boxing champion.
  • Captain Ersatz: Is the inspiration and model for Baki the Grappler's main character, Baki Hanma. Averted in his guest role in the anime, as the voice of a referee.
  • Combat Pragmatist: He may have oiled himself up in his second RINGS fight with Eric Edelenbos.
  • Combat Referee: He has served as a referee in ZST, K-1, shootboxing, and professional wrestling matches. He even voice acted as a referee in the Baki the Grappler anime.
  • Cool Teacher: He now owns and is the head instructor of Strapple MMA Gym. He also had a previous club called Zenshō Sōgō Kakutōgi-bu.
  • Guest Fighter: Had a few fights in RINGS.
  • Hidden Depths: Worked part-time jobs at various restaurants during his fighting career and was reportedly a great cook.
  • I Know Karate: A Kyokushin and Seidokaikan black belt and also trained in Daidōjuku, boxing at Tokyo's Teiken Boxing Gym and Sot Chitarada Gym, shoot wrestling and Sambo at Super Tiger Gym, shootboxing at Caesar Gym, Muay Thai at Hapalang Gym in Thailand, several forms of Kung Fu, Taikiken (a Japanese martial art inspired by and modified from the Chinese martial art, Yiquan), Yagyū Shingan-ryū (a traditional Japanese martial art), and is a 2nd degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and trained at Carley Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy. He also did Bodybuilding and Sotai (a Japanese form of muscular or movement therapy invented by Keizo Hashimoto).
  • Lightning Bruiser: Loved launching into his opponents with flying knees.
  • Master of All: He could really do it all in the ring, he had decent boxing, superb kicking and knees, excellent throws and suplexes, and most of his wins in his short MMA record were by submission.
  • Odd Friendship: With Manson Gibson.
  • Old Master: He served as an instructor at Super Tiger Gym and had a hand in training Mitsuya Nagai, Tri-Force owner Mitsuyoshi Hayakawa, and Grabaka fighters Sanae Kikuta, Yuki Sasaki, and Takeshi Yamazaki.
  • Red Baron: "Gurappurā" ("The Grappler"), "The Prize Fighter", "The Real Baki".
  • Renaissance Man: Just look who he has trained with.
  • Spectacular Spinning: Threw spinning backfists and kicks when he felt like it, which was actually quite often.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: With his Shootboxing pals Makoto Ohe and Kenichi Abe.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Has wrestled for Michinoku Pro Wrestling and Battlarts.

Somuchāi Takatsu

Seiji Takeuchi

Kenichi Tanaka

  • The Apprentice: To Satoru Sayama.
  • Combat Referee: Was one for Seikendo events.
  • Cool Teacher: A former trainer at the Shooting Gym Tsudanuma and founded Super Tiger Gym Tanaka Juku.
  • I Know Karate: A kyokushin practitioner before training under Sayama at the Super Tiger Gym and also trained at his Seikendo school. He also trained in koppo at Chogokai gym.
  • The Rival: To Kazuhiro Sakamoto, who he fought with 4 times with 2 wins and losses over each other.
  • The Worf Effect: Was beaten badly by Kenichi Iimura (one of the Four Heavenly Kings of Daido Juku) under Daido Juku rules (which to be fair limited his groundfighting skills and the helmets’ poor visibility didn’t help, plus his opponent had a weight advantage).
  • Ur-Example: Was in the first pro Shooto fight with a win over Makoto Ozaki and was also the first Shooto Lightweight Champion.
  • Unrelated Brothers: No relation to Tomohiro or Koichi.
  • Worthy Opponent: To Noboru Asahi who he drew with twice.

Yoshiharu Tashiro/Taro Minato

  • The Apprentice: To Toshihiro Yamaki, Satoru Sayama, Noriaki Kiguchi and Rambo Matsukaze.
  • Cool Teacher: Owned the Fuchu Muay Thai Club.
  • Guest Fighter: Made a few appearances in RINGS and Pancrase.
  • I Know Kickboxing: A world middleweight champion, he also went to Thailand to learn Muay Thai, was a former trainee of the Yamaki Gym, Super Tiger Gym and Kiguchi Dojo in high school and also trained at KIBA Martial Arts Club.
  • Jobber: Had a MMA record of 6 losses.
  • Red Baron: Was called "The Tiger" in The USA.

Kaoru Todori

Takashi Tojo

Kengo Tsuchida

Yoshihiko Watanabe

  • The Apprentice: To Satoru Sayama.
  • Cool Teacher: Founded the Shooting Gym Hakkei.
  • Hidden Depths: Is referred to by peers as a doctor, though a doctor of what has not been revealed.
  • I Know Muay Thai: Competed in Thailand before he trained at the Super Tiger Gym.
  • Unknown Character: Like Yorinaga Nakamura, he was another high level Shooto trainer that only competed in the Pre-Shooto years so almost no one has seen him fight.

Yuichi Watanabe/Super Rider

  • Animal Motifs: A grasshopper as Hopper King.
  • The Apprentice: To Satoru Sayama.
  • Badass Family: He has two sons, Shuto "Shooto" Watanabe and Kenshiro Watanabe that are now MMA fighters that have worked for ZST. Yuichi’s father was also a judoka.
  • Combat Referee: Was one for Seikendo events.
  • Cool Mask: As Hopper King and Super Rider.
  • Cool Teacher: Was a trainer at the Shooting Gym Mobara. He also was an instructor for his master's Seikendo school, now he runs the Super Tiger Gym Gunma.
  • I Have Many Names: Has wrestled as Hopper King and Super Rider.
  • I Know Catch Wrestling: A trainee under Satoru Sayama in Shooto and was also one of his first trainees at his Seikendo school. He also learned shootboxing under Caesar Takeshi, was an amateur wrestling champion in high school, was the captain of his high school club wrestling club with Mitsuharu Misawa as his vice-captain and Toshiaki Kawada as his junior, competed in the 1984 All Japan Student Wrestling Championships representing Nihon University losing to future Olympic medalist Kosei Akaishi in the finals in the 68kg freestyle division, and also trained in Sambo and a bit of Judo.
  • Masked Luchador: Subverted, he was originally a competitive Shooto fighter so he didn't learn the lucha libre style his master could have taught him.
  • The Pete Best: Was perhaps the first of Sayama's trainees to wrestle under a mask, but is not as well known as his later apprentices like Tiger Mask IV.
  • Red Baron: "Kamen Shooter".
  • Spell My Name with an "S": For some reason, in his Cameo appearance in the Choke documentary, it lists him as Yoshinari Watanabe.
  • Ur-Example: The first Shooto Welterweight Champion.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: After his Shooto career, he went into pro wrestling working with promotions like W*ING, Network Of Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Crusaders, Social Pro Wrestling Federation, Big Japan Pro Wrestling, IWA Kakutoshijuku, Battlarts, Dramatic Dream Team, Pro Wrestling KAGEKI, Pro Wrestling ZERO1, Diamond Ring, Hard Hit, and of course Real Japan Pro Wrestling.

Yukimasa Watanabe

Ken Yamasawa

Tomoyuki Yamashita

Yoshihiro Yamazaki/Tiger Mask IV

  • Alliterative Name
  • Animal Motifs: Lions perhaps?
  • The Apprentice: To Satoru Sayama and The Great Sasuke.
  • Arch-Enemy: Continued the New Japan tradition with Black Tiger IV (Rocky Romero), V (Tatsuhito Takaiwa), and VI (Tomohiro Ishii).
  • The Artifact: His style and gimmick are somehow outdated and he is not a very exciting part of the New Japan junior division, but is a pretty solid performer and receives occasional pushes.
  • Bash Brothers: With Jushin Thunder Liger.
  • Battle Strip: At ''NJPW Fight For Existence II" when called out by Low Ki, though it was quickly broken up before anything could really happen.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: Was part of Naoya Ogawa's UFO entourage during the 1.4 Incident.
  • Canon Immigrant: Started out his pro wrestling career with Michinoku Pro Wrestling and had a few matches in Battlarts before he became an official wrestler for UFO.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Similar to his master, despite being a babyface wrestler, he often resorted to tactics mostly associated with heels. It is one of the reasons he got his "Yellow Devil" nickname.
  • The Complainer Is Always Wrong: He is somewhat infamous because he likes to criticize things on New Japan, like the guest MMA fighters and the new junior heavyweights. Though at times, he had good reason to do so.
  • Cool Mask: Wouldn't be a Tiger Mask without one. He also one during his UFO matches that resembles the one wore by Yellow Devil in Tiger Mask W and is possibly the inspiration behind it.
  • Cool Teacher: Has trained joshi wrestlers Ayako Hamada (one of his sister-in-laws) and Candy Okutsu (when she was training to be Arsion's Tiger Dream).
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Debuted at the 1995 Ikki Kajiwara Memorial Show against The Great Sasuke before wrestling for Michinoku Pro Wrestling.
  • He Also Did: He appeared on the second SASUKE competition in 1998 although he failed to make it past the first obstacle of the First Stage.
  • I Know Shoot Wrestling: Trained at the Super Tiger Gym in both pro wrestling and Shooto.
  • Legacy Character: The official successor to Satoru Sayama and the longest lasting.
  • Masked Luchador: Specifically, the entire Tiger Mask line owe their existence to Fray Tormenta.
  • Minored In Ass Kicking: He fought in a Vale Tudo rules match against Ryuji Hijikata at the MAJKF: Ikki Kajiwara Cup 1998 and basically ran through him in less than 2 minutes. The only reason that both men don’t have a MMA record based on that fight is because both men are pro wrestlers and it happened at a Kickboxing event.
  • Red Baron: "Kogane no Tora 4-Daime" ("4th Generation Golden Tiger"), "Kiiroi Akuma" ("Yellow Devil"), "Shinseki no Tora" ("Tiger of The New Century")
  • Suplex Finisher: Tiger Suplex, Avalanche Double Underhook Suplex and other variants.
  • Underwear of Power: Wore a yellow one in his Vale Tudo rules fight at the MAJKF: Ikki Kajiwara Cup 1998, probably as a tribute to his master, who fought in his kickboxing bout with Marc Costello in a green one.
  • Wrestling Family: Was once the son-in-law of Gran Hamada.
  • You Remind Me of X: The first time they faced off at an interpromotional event, Toryumon Japan's SUWA commented how Tiger Mask IV reminded him of his Arch-Enemy Dragon Kid. Their matches were predictably violent.

Katsuyoshi Yano

Masaru Yano

Tadashi Yokoyama

Tetsuo Yokoyama

    Debuted in The Pro-Shooting Years (1989-94)
When Shooto Was Shooto
This Is What An Awesome Shooto Logo Looks Like
This is Shooto

Shinji Abe

Yoshihiko Abe

Satoshi Fukuoka

Yuji Hashiguchi

  • The Apprentice: To Yoshinori Nishi.
  • Guest Fighter: From Wajutsu Keishukai.
  • I Know Karate: A Shotokan 7th dan black belt and was a kata champion for the Japan Karate Association. He was also a trainee at Wajutsu Keishukai.
  • Jobber: Had two fights in Shooto, he lost both fights.

Tetsuya Hirada

Satoshi Honma

"Satoshi Honma is another of those odd cases: An early MMA pioneer who fought in all four of the great organizations, challenged for one of their championships, and remains almost completely unknown and unrecognized. A lifelong karateka and grappler who started fighting for Shooto in 1990, Honma would have cups of coffee in K-1, Pride and the UFC alike, and twice fought for the Shooto Light-Heavyweight title, but he retired at just 4-6-3—and three of those four victories happened in the first year of a career that lasted fourteen years. I have a weird respect for the fact that he fought the last 89% of his career nearly constantly losing and still kept trying. There is a certain greatness in trying to get back on the horse. When that horse is Ron Waterman outweighing you by 80 pounds and repeatedly punching you in the face, admittedly, it might not have been wise. But this is how history is made."
— A profile of Honma from a Fire Pro Wrestling user Carl CX from

  • The Apprentice: To Kenichi Tanaka, Noriaki Kiguchi, Naoyuki Taira, Kenichi Abe, and Kazuyoshi Ishii.
  • Cool Teacher: He has his own dojo affiliated with the Strapple Network.
  • I Know Karate: A Seidokaikan black belt, which he trained in after he left Shooto. He also trained in Combat Wrestling, boxing, shootboxing and was originally a trainee at the Tsudanuma Dojo and also trained at Zenshō Sōgō Kakutōgi-bu.
  • Minored In Ass Kicking: Aside from MMA he also has a win in Kickboxing against English kickboxing champion Wayne "Homeboy" Turner at K-1 Survival '99.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Left Shooto as the pay was too poor for him.

Takashi Ishizaki

Takenori Ito

Jun Kanetaka

Misaki Kubota

Masakazu Kuramochi

Takuya Kuwabara

Takeshi Miyanaga

Makoto Mizoguchi

Eiji Mizuno

Keiichi Motomura

Yoshiaki Murai

Tadashi Murakami

Yuki Nakai

"That night I could have died. And I would have chosen to die."

  • The Apprentice: To Satoru Sayama.
  • Ascended Fan Boy: Was a UWF fan.
  • Badass Teacher: Started up the Paraestra Shooto Gyms and trained fighters like Shinya Aoki, Masakazu Imanari, Masakatsu Ueda, Satoru Kitaoka, Yukinori Sasa, Kazuya Satoh, Yusuke Honma, Yoshihiko Matsumoto, Arabe Kenji, etc.
  • Blood Knight: Bleeding and wobbling, Nakai left the ring after the Pittman fight screaming for Rickson.
  • Cool Versus Awesome: Had a grappling match in Shooto with fellow Handicapped Badass Jean-Jacques Machado.
  • Determinator: A gouged eye and two beatdowns are not enough to stop Yuki.
  • Diabolus ex Nihilo: From the Gracie point of view during the Vale Tudo Japan, Nakai became a stylistically worrying opponent for them after they watched him fend off Pittman with a kind of guard they had never seen. It can be seen in the Choke documentary, when Rickson looks confused while his brother Royler tries to explain with Buffy Speak how it is Nakai's butterfly guard.
  • Handicapped Badass: Had to retire from MMA due to the damaged to his eye, as he lost its eyesight and couldn't see the punches, but he keep competing in grappling, he even rumpled the legendary Ricardo de la Riva Goded in a jiu-jitsu match.
  • Hero of Another Story: The Choke documentary follows Rickson Gracie’s 1995 Vale Tudo Japan run, but most people are likely to say that Nakai was the real star and to Shooto he was most definitely this as he proved the credibility of Shooto as an effective fighting style after the disappointing performance by the shootists in the 1994 Vale Tudo Japan event.
  • Honor Before Reason: Kept his half blindness a secret to protect the reputation of MMA, knowing that if the press found it out, a herd of Moral Guardians would decry unjustly the sport for being violent and etc. Also, he made a point by releasing the heel hook on Gordeau when he tapped out - how many people would have not felt inclined to pay him the same way and leave him crippled forever?
  • I Know Judo: Most specifically, kosen judo. He is a former Shichitei champion from the Hokkaido university, as well as apprentice of famous Kodokan master Kanae Hirata, he actually started his Judo training in Hokkaido Sapporo North high school, along with amateur wrestling. He also has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, although he never trained formally at it (he was given the belt by Carlos Gracie after Nakai did well in the world BJJ championships, which he trained with the help of real BJJ black belt Enson Inoue).
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Submitted Gerard Gordeau with an eye destroyed, then submitted Craig Pittman half blind and outsized by almost his own weight, and went to stale Rickson Gracie for a time until he was tapped out.
  • The Rival: To Noboru Asahi, the cause of his sole defeat before hitting the VTJ.
  • Old Master: A renowned one in grappling, also the first Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt in Japan and president of the Japanese BJJ confederation.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: He is a pretty small guy, but the Force is strong in him.
  • Red Baron: Was given the nicknames "The Cobra" and later "The Giant Slayer" by the English announcer at Vale Tudo Japan 1995.
  • Tell Me How You Fight: Has declared in several occasions the idea that fighting is a form of communication, and he teaches martial arts, according to him, to help people to communicate, which is a trouble in the often socially difficult Japanese community.

Takashi Nishizawa

Hiroki Noritsugi

  • Always Someone Better: Got beaten twice in United Full Contact Federation Ultimate Fighting 2 by Dennis Hallman.
  • The Apprentice: To Satoru Sayama and Matt Hume.
  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: Is the chairman of KAKUMEI Kickboxing organisation.
  • Cool Teacher: The head of Nagoya Fight Club. He was also the original head of Chokushinkai Dojo.
  • I Know Karate: A Kyokushin karateka before he became a trainee under Sayama at the Super Tiger Gym. He also trained with Matt Hume at AMC Pankration.
  • Jobber: Had only one fight in Shooto losing against Yuki Nakai.
  • Start My Own: Developed his own form of Karate; Chokushinkai (also spelled Cyokushinkai) based on his background of Kyokushin Karate and shoot wrestling.

Norito Ogasawara

Yasuyuki Ogata

Kenji Ogusu

Masahiro Oishi

Mamoru Okochi

Masaya Onodera

Erik Paulson

"I have trained under Dan Inosanto, Yori Nakamura, the Gracies as well as the Machados. I have had a total of over 40 coaches and trainers to develop my overall game."

  • Always Someone Better: Was beaten twice by Paul Jones.
  • The Apprentice: To Yorinaga Nakamura and is his most well known student.
  • Badass Family: Has a younger brother named Leif Paulson who is an outstanding up and coming grappler in his own right.
  • Braids of Action: Horrifyingly deconstructed in the 1995 World Combat Championships, in which he fought with long hair tied in braids because he could not cut it for work schedules (he was a stuntman and double in a film). His opponent James Warring took advantage of it in a very bad way - he pulled it and literally dragged Paulson By the Hair through the mat, making his corner throw the towel.
  • Cool Teacher: Most known as MMA trainer and helped train guys like Josh Barnett, Ken Shamrock, Renato Sobral, Cub Swanson, Sean Sherk, James Wilksand, and Brock Lesnar.
  • I Know Judo: And many, many other martial arts, especially Jeet Kune Do, kali, Wing Chun and silat.
  • Mighty Whitey: Was the first non-Japanese Shooto champion, besting Kenji Kawaguchi in an upset.
  • Never Be Hurt Again: His reason to learn other martial arts was that Judo failed him as a self-defense art when he was bullied as a child (actually due again to his long hair, which got pulled - it seems that Erik couldn't take a break).
  • Red Baron: "The Storm", "The American Wonder".
  • Start My Own: Founder of Combat Submission Wrestling and STX Kickboxing.
  • Ur-Example: Along with Chad Stahelski of all people, they were the first foreigners to fight in Shooto. He is also the first one in Shooto to have trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
  • We Used to Be Friends: With the Gracies. He started his training in BJJ with them and was the one that invited Rickson Gracie to the first Vale Tudo Japan event, they had a falling out when they found out he had enter the World Combat Championship event, which Renzo was also entering and continued his training in BJJ with the Machado Brothers.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Infamously played in the WCC tournament, in which he was classified as a striker and thus he had forbidden to use submissions, which got him gassed and destroyed after a tough round against a Muay Thai fighter. When he faced Kickboxing champion James Warring in the next round, he barely could attempt to take him down, and his hair made the rest.

Chad Stahelski

  • The Apprentice: To Yorinaga Nakamura.
  • Cool Teacher: Worked as an instructor at the Inosanto Martial Arts Academy before his film career.
  • He Also Did: Kind of inverted as he is more famously known from his stunt double work with Brandon Lee on The Crow and Keanu Reeves on The Matrix and as a co-director of John Wick. Barely anyone knows that he fought in Shooto.
  • I Know Kickboxing: As well as Jeet Kune Do and shoot wrestling and many other martial arts at the Inosanto Academy.
  • Jobber: Lost his fight with Manabu Yamada.
  • Ur-Example: Along with Erik Paulson, was the first foreigners to fight in Shooto.

Masato Suzuki

  • The Apprentice: To Kenji Kawaguchi.
  • Cool Teacher: A trainer at Shooting Gym Yokohama.
  • I Know Shoot Wrestling: A trainee at Shooting Gym Yokohama. He also trained in boxing.
  • Jobber: Well, he did have to face future Shooto superstars Rumina Sato, and Noboru Asahi who beat him twice.

Akiyuki Takatsuka

Akbar Talei

  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: Is the International Director of WNFCKO.
  • Cool Teacher: Has First Class Coaching License for Full Contact and Kick Boxing, and has a Saiko Shihan Certificate in New Full Contact Karate, the highest coaching rank in Japan.
  • Guest Fighter
  • I Know Karate: A 7th dan in New Full Contact Karate ("Gloved Karate" or "Shin-karate") and world champion. He also competed in Kickboxing.
  • Jobber: Had only fight in Shooto against Kazuhiro Sakamoto and lost.
  • Ur-Example: The first Iranian in Shooto and K-1 and one of the first fighters in Shooto not trained in the Shooto system. Also brought the New Full Contact Karate Style ("Gloved Karate" or "Shin-karate") to Iran and the Middle East.

Tomohiro Tanaka

Seiichi Tsurusaki

Kyuhei Ueno

Manabu Yamada

"He was a guy that came in from Shooto, who challenged me in the main event for the title of Pancrase champion, and who beat Suzuki in the semi-finals."

"Right- originally, I have an illness, when I was 10 years old, I was told I have IDDM, an illness called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, and my body became weak. And my hopes and dreams kind of disappeared. And there is no known cause. And then I became a middle school student, and I was really weak, and I started to think that I should do some physical training. When I thought that, at the time I was a huge Bruce Lee fan, so I thought I should do karate. And then in high school, I was able to compete in tournaments and I won, and they showed it in the newspaper- so I thought if I could make a name for myself through this, couldn’t I send a message to the other kids suffering from the same illness? So, I really wanted to go into fighting. So, I thought about what was the most really hardcore sport that existed at the time. There’s swimming, and baseball, and basketball, all kinds of sports, but I thought it would really be the greatest if it were fighting. And then, I was doing karate, and I went to a bookstore, and I opened a magazine and it said that Sayama Satoru-san’s Shooting gym had opened, and I thought “Wow, this is something.” I mean, MMA didn’t exist at that time, so I thought “I should do this.” And that’s how it happened."
—Manabu Yamada

  • Almighty Janitor: In Pancrase, where he spent most of his career after debuting in Shooto. He defeated both Pancrase founders, Suzuki and Funaki, as well as some other names, but never got promoted in status, and an arm injury aggravated in 1996 made the rest.
  • Always Someone Better: Fought for the Shooto Middleweight Championship against Kenji Kawaguchi twice and lost both times.
  • The Apprentice: To Satoru Sayama and Noriaki Kiguchi.
  • Arch-Enemy: Jason DeLucia.
  • Cool Teacher: He is now an MMA and Seitai trainer. His gym is Hybrid Wrestling Yamada Dojo.
  • Counter-Attack: An expert in reversions and counters, he could catch opponents from nowhere.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Broke his arm in a Kickboxing match against Maurice Smith and fought through 1996 with the injury, having to retire for two years while getting surgery.
  • Handicapped Badass: Downplayed, he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 10 years old.
  • Hidden Depths: Served as the dorm cook for the early Pancrase guys as his skills in that were reputedly quite good.
  • I Know Karate: Was a Koshiki Karate (a full contact style that uses “Super Safe” protective equipment unlike Kyokushin) competitor before his Shooto training and was one of the few good strikers on the Japanese side in Pancrase, though obviously not at the level of some foreigners. He also trained in Combat Wrestling.
  • Old Soldier: Having been a Shooto contender before the rising of Pancrase, he was really the only guy in the promotion who knew what he was doing in the ring.
  • Red Baron: "Oyabun" ("Kingpin").
  • Spanner in the Works: According to Ken Shamrock, Pancrase management were shitting their pants when Yamada made to the finals of the inaugural King Of Pancrase tournament after beating Minoru Suzuki.
  • Stone Wall: Passed hours with people like Minoru Suzuki and Ken Shamrock on his back with zero danger for him.

Masanori Yoneyama

Hiroshi Yoshida


    Debuted in The Vale Tudo & Free Fight Years (1994-96)
Shooto Will Keep Evolving!
Shooto... Worldwide
We Are The Champions... Of The World
Official Shooto Productions

Sunay Ahmed

Katsuhisa Akasaki

Jin Akimoto

  • Always Someone Better: Mamoru Yamaguchi who beat him twice.
  • Anime Theme Song: He uses some version of the theme from Lupin III as his entrance music.
  • The Apprentice: To Noriaki Kiguchi and Kazuhiro Kusayanagi.
  • Cool Teacher: The head instructor of his own gym, Akimoto Dojo Jungle Junction. He is also a licensed junior high school teacher.
  • I Know Combat Wrestling: A trainee under Noriaki Kiguchi before his start in Shooto. He was a 2 time champion, winning the 1997 58kg division and the 2005 62kg division, with a runner-up title in 1996. He also won the featherweight division in the inaugural All Japan Amateur Shooto Champiobships in 1994.
  • Worthy Opponent: Drew twice with Junji Ikoma.

Ruud Alwart

Shinji Arano

Leandro Lima De Azevedo

Ron Balicki

  • The Apprentice: To Dan Inosanto.
  • Badass Family: Is Dan Inosanto's son-in-law.
  • Badass Teacher: Is more well known as a trainer.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: Was once a bodyguard of Steven Seagal.
  • He Also Did: Inverted as he is mostly known as a martial arts trainer, stunt coordinator and fight choreographer on many film projects. Few people know he fought in Shooto.
  • I Know Kali and Silat: Several styles of Filipino martial arts under many different masters. He also knows Jeet Kune Do, Wing Chun, Muay Thai, Savate, and of course Shoot Wrestling under Yorinaga Nakamura.
  • Jobber: Had two fights in Shooto with a loss against Rumina Sato and a win against Tomoaki Hayama.
  • Knife Nut: A 4 time knife fighting Champion in the Cold Steel Challenge weapons fighting tournament.

Arthur Cathiard

  • The Apprentice: To Rickson Gracie.
  • Guest Fighter
  • I Know Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Unlike Erik Paulson who also trained in BJJ and was the first guy in Shooto to do it, Paulson was mostly presented as a Shooto representative from America. This makes Arthur the first true representative of BJJ in Shooto.
  • Jobber: Had only one fight in Shooto against Yuki Nakai and lost.

Kenzi Daikanyama

Gordon Dehdman

Jonathan Eusebio

Joe Estes

Carl Franks

Zane Frazier

Yūji Fujita

  • The Apprentice: To Enson Inoue, Afonso Celso dos Santos Silva Jr (aka Sego Jr), Billy Robinson and Yuko Miyato.
  • Canon Immigrant: Was a Towa Juku Karate representative when he first debuted. He only later got into the Shooto system to better learn the style.
  • Cool Teacher: Is now a trainer at CACC Snake Pit Japan (originally the UWF Snake Pit). He also coaches MMA fighter Katsunori Kikuno.
  • Delinquent Hair: Once dyed his hair green.
  • I Know Karate: Is a Towa Juku Karatedo and an Okinawan Kenpo practitioner and trained for MMA at Purebred Tokyo. He also trained in Luta Livre (and is one of the first Japanese practitioners), Catch Wrestling and even went to Canada to study Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Samurai Club (Carlos Newton’s gym).
  • Jobber: Has a record of 1 win and 5 losses.
  • Red Baron: "Luta ☆ Yūji".

Masato Fujiwara

Imre Hagendoorn

  • Guest Fighter
  • Jobber: Had only one fight against Kazuhiro Sakamoto, which he lost.
  • Ur-Example: Along with Maurice Roumimper, they were the first Dutch fighters in Shooto.

Yoshinori Haraigawa

Tomoaki Hayama

Hisao Ikeda

Egan Inoue

"My opponent Egan is a dangerous guy. I didn't want to go to the ground as much as possible. I wanted to fight standing up."
— Guy Mezger

  • Arch-Enemy: Both Inoues have a bad relationship with Relson Gracie.
  • Badass Teacher: Founded the Grappling Unlimited MMA and Jiu-Jitsu gyms and trained guys like Baret Yoshida in BJJ.
  • Bald of Awesome: He originally had a full head of hair, but he shaved it off when he began competing in Pride.
  • Bash Brothers: With his younger brother Enson. They have a "enfant terrible" reputation.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Accidentally got eye gouged by Masayuki Naruse in RINGS, Egan was not amused and got himself disqualified just so he could beat up Naruse. Amusingly though, he later stated in an interview about his past fights that he doesn't even remember Naruse's name.
  • Guest Fighter: He had only one fight in Shooto.
  • Hero Killer: Beat Renzo Gracie in the 1999 ADCC Championships. He also beat Alexander Otsuka and Akihiro Gono in the 1995 Lumax Cup.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: His Grappling Unlimited logo is based off an American Pit Bull Terrier, which might mean that Egan likes dogs as much as Enson.
  • Hidden Depths: He is a former pro racquetball player, a two time world champion and was once the number 1 ranked racquetball player in the world. He did spear fishing where he set a new world record by catching a 65lbs barracuda at an extraordinary depth. He also founded his own racquet company (E-force), which quickly grew to be one of the leading racquetball manufacturing enterprises in the world.
  • I Know Karate: Started his training in Shotokan Karate and is a black belt, then trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with his brother under John Lewis, Relson Gracie, the Machados, is a 4th degree black belt and he is the first non-Brazilian to become a World Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Champion in the Blue Belt division in 1996, and the Absolute Weight Purple Belt division in 1997. He also has black belts in Taekwondo, Japanese jiu-jitsu and hapkido, is a brown belt in Judo, and also trained in Wing Chun, boxing, Greco-Roman wrestling, Kendo, Muay Thai, and jeet kune do.
  • Red Baron: "E-Force".
  • Tag Along Kid: He was brought to Shooto mostly because in was Enson's older brother.
  • The Worf Effect: Was out-grappled by Tsuyoshi Kohsaka and Sanae Kikuta at the 1995 and 1996 Lumax Cup in the finals and quarter-finals respectively. He also lost to Mauricio Silva at WSKF - World Challenge and Carl Malenko in Malenko's Pride debut, both by decision.

Enson Inoue

"I was always on the dark side and everyone always thought, 'Enson's a gangster, Enson's a Yakuza...'"

  • The Apprentice: To Satoru Sayama.
  • Arch-Enemy: Both Inoues have a bad relationship with Relson Gracie.
  • Badass Teacher: Runs several MMA gyms located in Japan, Saipan, Palau and Guam under the name Purebred. He also has affiliated gyms located in Thailand, Canada and the USA. He also trained Norifumi Yamamoto in MMA after an incident with the Yakuza.
  • Bald of Awesome: Later in his career.
  • Bash Brothers: With his older brother Egan. They have a "enfant terrible" reputation.
  • The Big Guy: Was for a long time the heaviest guy in Shooto, and one of of the most dangerous in the mat.
  • Big Brother Mentor: To Yuki Nakai in BJJ.
  • Big Little Brother: Egan maybe older, but Enson is the bigger of the two.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: A very fast grappler, most of his wins are in under two minutes and little more. Even his fight against Randy Couture only lasted 1:39.
  • Determinator: He never tapped out in his career.
  • Four Is Death: Was a part of the called "Shooto Shitenno" along with Hayato Sakurai, Rumina Sato and Noboru Asahi. Interestingly, he arguably inherited his role among them from Yuki Nakai, as Nakai had to retire early while Enson (who became his training partner) debuted in the same year.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Was a frequent guest at the UWFI and Kingdom dojos since Shooto didn’t have many heavyweight fighters at the time.
  • Hero Killer: Crushed guys like respected Dutch kickboxer Andre Mannaart, vale tudo legend Rei Zulu, and Randy Couture.
  • Heroes Love Dogs / Pet the Dog: Once had an American Pit Bull Terrier named "Shooto-kun", who died in March 9, 2010, he also has a few other pit bulls. After the Fukushima disaster he flew back to Japan and got directly involved in relief efforts and personally ventured into the hot zone to try and rescue abandoned animals.
  • Hidden Depths: He is a former pro racquetball player. He also ran Japan’s division of E-Force, Egan's racquetball company. Enson also started his very own line of racquets called "Purebred", which he later renamed his gym as.
  • I Know Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Trained it before his start in Shooto under John Lewis, Relson Gracie and the Machados. He also is black belt in taijutsu (no, not that Taijutsu). He also did amateur wrestling in college, Taekwondo, Hapkido, and trained in shoot wrestling at the Super Tiger Gym and combat wrestling with Noriaki Kiguchi.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Was bullied by other kids, to which his father told him to fight back or he will kick his ass himself.
  • Red Baron: "Yamato Damashii", "The Croc", "Natural Born Fighter".
  • Role-Ending Misdemeanor: Was suspended from Shooto for life and forced to vacate his heavyweight championship for punching a reporter in a RINGS event.
  • Stout Strength: One of the heaviest Shooto fighters, and one to fear. He was also an arm wrestling champion and once won an arm wrestling tournament that consisted of other fighters and wrestlers like Hiromitsu Kanehara, Yoji Anjo, Alexander Otsuka, Kazuo Yamazaki, Kensuke Sasaki, and Manabu Nakanishi (who he beat in the finals).
  • Ur-Example: Was the only Shooto heavyweight champion.
  • Wrestling Family: He was once married to one of Norifumi Yamamoto's sisters, Miyuu Yamamoto.
  • Yakuza: It's known that he has connections with it.

Tadeshi Kaneko

  • I Know Shoot Wrestling: A trainee under Sayama at the Super Tiger Gym.
  • Jobber: Had only one fight in Shooto against Tadashi Murakami which he lost.

Masataka Kawakami

Magnum Kawamura

Toru Koga

  • Guest Fighter: A representative of the All Japan Taijutsu Federation.
  • I Know Taijutsu: And placed third in the inaugural All Japan Combat Wrestling Championships in the 90kg division.
  • Jobber: A short career in Shooto with 3 losses.

Hiroyuki Kojima

Naoto Kojima

  • The Apprentice: To Yuki Nakai.
  • Canon Immigrant: Was originally a representative of the All Japan Taijutsu Federation before he joined up with Yuki Nakai at his Paraestra gym.
  • I Know Taijutsu: as well as amateur wrestling later learned shoot wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Paraestra Tokyo. He was also a runner-up in the inaugural All Japan Combat Wrestling Championships in the 74kg division.
  • Jobber: A career in Shooto with one win, five losses, and a draw.
  • Unrelated Brothers: No relation to Hiroyuki.

Ed de Kruijf

  • A Day In The Lime Light: The winner of Cage Fight Tournament 1.
  • The Apprentice: To Gerard Gordeau.
  • Guest Fighter
  • I Know Karate: Kyokushin at the Gordeau brothers' Kamakura gym and also has a background in amateur wrestling.
  • The Worf Effect: Got worfed by Enson Inoue in his only fight in Shooto, Tom Erikson in Vale Tudo Japan 1997, and lost his second fight with Justin McCully in the first round by submission.

Kazuyoshi Kudo

Anthony Lange

Jean-Jacques Machado

"Don't worry Luiza, your son will be a champion."
— Carlos Gracie Sr. to Jean's mother after his birth.

  • The Apprentice: To Carlos Gracie Jr.
  • Badass Family: A member of the Machado jiu-jitsu brothers and cousin of the Gracie family.
  • Badass Teacher: Trained guys like Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal, Dan Inosanto, Joe Rogan, Eddie Bravo, Richard Norton, Mark Kerr, Ricco Rodriguez, etc. He was also a former coach of Gracie Barra and now has two of his own academies.
  • Cool Versus Awesome: Appeared in Shooto for a grappling match with Yuki Nakai.
  • Guest Fighter
  • Handicapped Badass: Suffered birth defects resulting from Amniotic band syndrome, which left him with only the thumb and the little finger on his left hand. Didn't stop him from being a Rio de Janeiro Jiu-Jitsu State and National Cruiserweight Champion for 11 consecutive years from 1982 to 1992, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu American Champion for 4 consecutive years from 1995 to 1998, Grappling Style Challenge Japan Champion, two-time Black Belt Super Challenge Champion for 1998 and 2000, and a gold and two-time silver medalist in the ADCC.
  • Hero Killer: Has victories over Wallid Ismail, Yuki Nakai, Hayato Sakurai, Caol Uno, Tsuyoshi Kohsaka to name a few.
  • I Know Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: A 7th degree coral (red and black) belt. He also competed in Sambo and was a US National and Pan American Cruiserweight Champion.
  • The Worf Effect: Lost his only MMA fight to Frank Trigg at Vale Tudo Japan 1998.

Andre Mannaart

  • Badass Teacher: He is now a renowned trainer at the Amsterdam based Mejiro Gym, where he has coached fighters of the calibre of Peter Aerts and Remy Bonjasky.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: His fight in Shooto against Enson Inoue was this before fighting in RINGS.
  • Guest Fighter
  • I Know Kickboxing: A 4 time world champion.
  • Jobber: His MMA career.

Nozomu Matsumoto

  • I Know Shoot Wrestling: A trainee under Sayama at the Super Tiger Gym.
  • Jobber: Had only one fight in Shooto against Noboru Asahi, he lost of course.

Michael McAuliffe

  • Alliterative Name
  • The Apprentice: To Yorinaga Nakamura.
  • Cool Teacher: A trainer at the Inosanto Academy.
  • I Know Wing Chun: Trained under one of the original masters that came to America. He also has training in shoot wrestling and many other martial arts at the Inosanto Academy.
  • Jobber: Was Rumina Sato's first opponent, it was his first and last fight.

Kendo Nagasaki

  • Bald of Awesome
  • Cool Mask: As The Dream Machine.
  • Cool Old Guy: Was in his 40s when he fought in Shooto.
  • Cool Teacher: Was a trainer at the Hart Dungeon.
  • Guest Fighter
  • I Have Many Names: Has wrestled as Kendo Nagasaki, Kazuo Sakurada (his real name), Mr. Sakurada, Chan Chung, The Dream Machine, Rambo Sakurada, and The Dragonmaster.
  • I Know Sumo Wrestling: Debuted as a pro the same year as Genichiro Tenryu.
  • Jobber: Had only one fight in Shooto against Zane Frazier, which he lost.
  • Name's the Same: He is the Japanese version of the Kendo Nagasaki, Kazuo Sakurada. Not to be confused for the original British version, Peter Thornley or Kendo Nakazaki, a RJPW wrestler.
  • Red Baron: "Kendō Oni" ("Kendo Demon"), "Shōka Oni" ("Extinguishing Demon").
  • Something Completely Different: Was not a shooter, just a pro wrestler mostly known for his time in Canada and the US.
  • Wooden Katanas Are Even Better: Carried a shinai when making his entrance.
  • The Worf Effect: At the time, he had a reputation by pro wrestling insiders as being one of the toughest wrestlers in a street fight, this was probably one of the reasons why he was chosen to take the fight against Zane Frazier, though it didn't really matter as he lost my KO in the first round.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Trained in and trained guys like Bret Hart in the Hart Dungeon.
  • Yakuza: His gimmick as The Dragonmaster.

Jutaro Nakao

Kimihito Nonaka

Isamu Osugi

Maurice Roumimper

  • The Apprentice: To Remco Pardoel.
  • Guest Fighter
  • I Know German Jujitsu: Was a participant in the 3rd IJJF World Cup in 1993 and the 1st Netherlands Tournament also in 1993. He is also said to have a background in Judo.
  • Jobber: Had only two fights in Shooto, he lost both fights.
  • Teen Genius: Was 19 when he fought in Shooto.
  • Ur-Example: Along with Imre Hagendoorn, they were the first Dutch fighters in Shooto.

Mitsuhiro Sakamoto

Hayato Sakurai

"I've been punching opponents since I was 17. If I can't show my best, then I probably need to quit."

  • The Ace: If a 18-0 winning streak and a Shooto welterweight championship don't say it, nothing does.
  • The Apprentice: To Caesar Takeshi, Noriaki Kiguchi, Noboru Asahi and Naoki Sakurada.
  • Big Brother Mentor: To Takanori Gomi.
  • Bishōnen
  • Broken Ace: With no doubt one of the best fighters ever came from Japan, Sakurai was hit by a car crash, a felt defeat by Anderson Silva and several years of injuries and battle worn, which reached him all around Turn of the Millennium. He regained some of his skill and motivation through the years, but consensus is that he is not the same anymore.
  • Cool Teacher: Has his own gym, Mach Dojo.
  • David vs. Goliath: Finished Ricco Rodriguez in the absolute division of ADCC. Don't skip that Ricco outweighted him by 90 ibs.
  • The Eeyore: Some of his interviews, especially the ones after the end of his streak, are quite depressing.
  • Four Is Death: Was a part of the called "Shooto Shitenno" along with Rumina Sato, Noboru Asahi and Enson Inoue.
  • Heroic BSoD: Had a hefty one after losing to Anderson Silva.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Sakurai's signature Judo throws backfired horribly against Takanori Gomi, as he botched one of them and crashed head first on the ground, which allowed Gomi to dominate him and win the fight.
  • I Know Shootboxing: An all Japan amateur champion. He also knows Judo (he is specially good at it; he possibly trained at the prestigious Newaza Kenkyukai), Karate, amateur and combat wrestling. Subverted for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as he has an honourary black belt.
  • Master of All: This was a guy whose flying knees, leg kicks and Judo throws were feared, who finished second in the 1999 ADCC submission tournament representing the always underdog art of shoot wrestling, and who curbstomped fighters from every background for five years.
  • Never Be Hurt Again: Being beaten down by his seniors at the amateur wrestling school club was an extra motivation for him to become the best.
  • One-Hit Kill: Had some of the fastest flying knee victories ever.
  • Red Baron: "Mach" (taken from the original UWF wrestler Mach Hayato), "Wild Charisma". Some of his training partners used to call him "Guts-san", supposedly in tribute to Guts Ishimatsu, though it could also be a tribute to one of his trainers Naoki "Mr Gutsman" Sakurada.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: Was close friends with fellow fighters Michihiro Omigawa and Kazuyuki Miyata, who he knew in school.
  • Unrelated Brothers: No relation to Ryuta.

Arnold Sas

Rumina Sato

"Sato was so good that Rickson Gracie of all people called him an excellent grappler; and that's insane in its own right, because Rickson talks shit about just everybody, especially if they are good fighters, which means Rumina actually defused the Aristotelian logic bomb that reigns in Rickson's mind in order to gain his praise."
— Reddit user Da Shoota

"Flying armbars and triangles? I'm always like that."
— Rumina Sato

  • The Ace: He submitted people with calf slicers and flying reverse triangle chokes (!), and was the first person in making Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belts tap out, even before Sakuraba.
  • The Apprentice: To Satoru Sayama and Noriaki Kiguchi.
  • Ascended Fan Boy: Was a UWF fan.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: His style of grappling was submission attempt after submission attempt, from every angle imaginable and not caring the consequences if failed.
  • Author Appeal: Flashy grappling. Also, ironically given his background (though perhaps recurrent among Shooto fighters), he doesn't like ambiguity among pro wrestling and MMA.
  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: The head fighter and instructor of the Shooto Gym K’z Factory affiliate in Odawara, the roots MMA and Jiu-Jitsu Gym.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: Before Kazushi Sakuraba submitted Marcus Silveira, Rumina Sato became the first non-BJJ fighter (specifically a shoot wrestler, just like Saku) to beat a black belt BJJ fighter by submission when he defeated Ricardo Botelho with a heel hook.
  • Big Brother Mentor: To Caol Uno. Hayato Sakurai also describes him as a stern if brotherly mentor.
  • Bishōnen: Also works as a male model.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Started competing in amateur Shooto before hitting 18.
  • Broken Ace: Though one of the greatest grapplers in Japan, Sato suffered from very irregular performances, switching from tremendous victories to pathetic defeats sometimes at the same year. When he fought Gilbert Mendelez in 2005, most of pundits agreed that Rumina's old flame was reduced to embers and would not burn anymore.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Taught his flying armbar to Rena Kubota much before she thought to fight in MMA, and she finished her debut match in RIZIN with this same technique.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: He has photos of himself surfing waves with a Tiger Mask on, in tribute to his master.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: White tights, with red or golden stripes.
  • Four Is Death: Was a part of the called "Shooto Shitenno" along with Hayato Sakurai, Noboru Asahi and Enson Inoue.
  • Gender-Blender Name: His first name, "Rumina", sounds vaguely female in Japan, which was somewhat embarrassing for him.
  • Glass Cannon: A fighter endowed with an awesome offensive grappling and a significant striking, but with a rather feeble defense and tendency to get injured.
  • I Know Amateur Wrestling: As well combat and shoot wrestling, trained in Kickboxing at Rikix under Riki Onedera and is also a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
  • Minored in Ass-Kicking: He was primarily a grappler, but had rather good striking. He beat kickboxer Mike Campbell in a shootboxing event.
  • Murderous Thighs: Loved to use triangle chokes and inverted triangle chokes, sometimes as a position to secure his opponent before ground-and-pound.
  • Nerves of Steel: Spent an entire round standing with Ricardo Botelho literally hanging from his back and working a rear naked choke while Rumina defended the hold and waited patiently the end of the time. He was successful and ended taping out Botelho at the next.
  • One-Hit Kill: His famous flying armbar victory.
  • The Pete Best: Before Kazushi Sakuraba made a name by hunting down BJJ fighters with his shoot wrestling abilities, Rumina had already achieved that feat in at least two occasions, submitting Ricardo Botelho and John Lewis. However, Sato's lack of exposure (occasioned by his refusal to fight outside of Shooto until he gained a title) made him almost unknown to western audiences.
  • Red Baron: "Tsukiookami" ("Moon Wolf"), "Shooto Charisma", "Slimmer".
  • Refusal of the Call: PRIDE Fighting Championship and other promotions fought over Sato for their rosters, but he never wanted to fight outside of Shooto.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After being submitted by Canadian jiu-jitsu fighter Joel Gerson in an upset, Rumina got so frenzied that he chased Gerson to a grappling tournament in Canada and threw opponents right and left until he could reach him and submit him for the revenge. A similar case happened with John Lewis.

Kotaro Shimamoto

  • I Know Shoot Wrestling: A trainee under Sayama at the Super Tiger Gym.
  • Jobber: Had only one fight in Shooto against Naoki Sakurada and lost.

Ben Spijkers

"Erik if I see you next time, I will choke the hell out of you."

  • Bullying a Dragon: Taunted Renzo Gracie in the press conference for the World Combat Championships event and pranked him on his hotel room the previous night. He got choked out in the bout and got his head stepped on afterwards as Renzo walked away as an act of revenge for the pranking, though Renzo later apologized for the head stepping.
  • Combat Referee: Spijkers became a referee after his active professional judo career. In March 2008 he passed the exam as a referee of the International Judo Federation during the World Cup in Prague. At the beginning of January 2012, Spijkers was selected by the IJF to be allowed to arbitrate at the Olympic Games in London 2012, a crowning achievement of his years of refereeing. Spijkers succeeds Henk Plugge, among others, who refereed at the Olympic Games in Beijing.
  • Guest Fighter
  • I Know Karate: He trained a bit with Gerard Gordeau for his MMA fights, though he is more known for his Judo, being a 6th Dan black belt, a three time representative of the Netherlands at the Olympics with a bronze medal in 1988, a silver medalist at the 1989 World Championships, won bronze in the 1984 and 1988 European Championships with a silver in 1986 and was an 11 time Dutch national champion, with 4 silvers and 3 bronze.
  • Jobber: Had one fight in Shooto, a loss to Erik Paulson and another loss to Renzo Gracie at the World Combat Championships.

Rene Stigter

Masanori Suda

  • A Day In The Lime Light: Won The Lumax Cup 97 Middleweight Tournament.
  • Always Someone Better: Beaten twice by Sanae Kikuta at two Lumax Cups finals.
  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: The head fighter of Team Club J.
  • Cool Teacher: Head trainer of Trinity Suns Gym. He also had a previous gym called Club J.
  • I Know Judo: A 3rd dan black belt and was in the same club as high school club as Daijiro Matsu. He also trained in Sambo and was a 1994 All Japan champion before coming to Shooto.
  • Red Baron: "Shooto/PRIDE Seiatsu no Shikaku" ("Shooto/PRIDE Control Thug").
  • The Worf Effect: Was submitted by Shooto doormat Masato Fujiwara in just over two minutes.

Yoshiyuki Takayama

Yuzo Tateishi

Uchu Tatsumi

  • Always Someone Better: Alexandre Franca "Pequeno" Nogueira.
  • I Know Shoot Wrestling: A trainee under Sayama at the Super Tiger Gym.
  • The Worf Effect: A good fighter with draws against Noboru Asahi and his first fight with Alexandre Franca "Pequeno" Nogueira, he suffered his first and only defeat in the second fight with Pequeno in the first round.

Caol Uno

"I'll show [Andre] Pederneiras that Wajutsu can definitely compete with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu."

  • Always Someone Better: Defeated Rumina Sato twice and beat Ricardo Botelho in less time than him.
  • The Apprentice: To Yoshinori Nishi.
  • Ascended Fan Boy: Was a pro wrestling fan growing up, and got to wrestle at the first Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye event and later for All Japan Pro Wrestling as himself and as The Apeman Nigo.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Had one in Rumina Sato.
  • Broken Ace: Originally thought to be the most promising Shooto apprentice from the era of the Shooto Shitenno, he went to have an irregular career due to high-level opposition and bad luck. Even today, he is known for winning fights in which he is supposed to lose and vice versa.
  • Canon Immigrant: A recurrent Shooto fighter from Yoshinori Nishi's Wajutsu Keishukai dojo, though he originally trained at a Shooto gym under Rumina Sato before switching to Wajutsu Keishukai.
  • Challenge Seeker: Only see his record and read what opponents has he faced.
  • Cool Teacher: Has his own gym, Uno Dojo (formerly Wajutsu Keishukai Tokyo, not to be confused with the current one).
  • He Also Did: Is an advisor for the Cage Force promotion.
  • I Know Amateur Wrestling: Trained with Osami Shibuya at the same school. He also trained in Yoshinori Nishi's Wajutsu Keishukai dojo, which is based on kudo. He also is a black belt in Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with a silver medal at the 1999 ADCC.
  • Japanese Ranguage: His true name is Kaoru Uno, but he writes it in a Western way to be easier to spell by English-speaking fans.
  • Nightmare Face: Very much like Noboru Asahi, Uno's interestingly shaped face and head are ruthlessly parodied by Japanese media. His nickname of Little Gremlin comes from it, in fact.
  • Odd Friendship: Is friends with former pro boxer and trainer Shin Yamato. He is also friends with baseball players Mitsunobu Takahashi and Jun Heima, Japanese folk duo Yuzu, and even Dana White says they are friendly with each other.
  • Red Baron: "Uno Shoten" ("Uno's Death Ascension"), "PRINCE OF HERO'S", "Little Gremlin", Sōgō Kakutōgi no Paionia ("Pioneer of Mixed Martial Arts").
  • Stone Wall: His submission defense is legendary.

Toshiyuki Wado

Leonid Zaslavsky

    Debuted in The Reconquista Year (1997)
The Shootists Strike Back

Ricardo Botelho

Abdelaziz Cherigui

Paul Coonin

Mauricio Corty

Alan Fried

  • The Apprentice: To Mark Coleman.
  • Badass Israeli: His family is Jewish.
  • Cool Teacher: He was an assistant coach for the Beachwood High School Wrestling Team in Beachwood, OH. He later moved to Medina, Ohio, where he founded the Highland Local School District Wrestling team and worked as an assistant coach. He also has his own wrestling academy.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Injuries to his back and shoulder as well as a broken elbow had taken a toll and required two back surgeries in 1996 and two shoulder surgeries. These issues factored into his retirement from wrestling in 2000.
  • Genius Bruiser: He graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology. He also earned a Juris Doctorate from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 2002 and passed the Illinois State Bar Examination in 2003. He briefly took a position as law clerk at Reminger & Reminger, Co. L.P.A., where his brother Adam is a partner and practices probate law. Alan passed the Ohio Bar Examination in 2005 and practiced law in Cleveland until mid-2007, when he relocated back in Chicago, Illinois to become a Futures Trader.
  • Guest Fighter
  • I Know Amateur Wrestling: Began wrestling in the 5th grade at the Longwood YMCA in Macedonia, Ohio, where a trio of coaches had a major impact on him: head coach Dave Mariola and assistants Bernie Weiskopf and Tim Rutherford. A year later, he traveled to neighboring Pennsylvania to win the Pennsylvania Junior state championship; he repeated as champion the following two years prior to entering high school. Fried also trained under Howard E. Ferguson at St. Edward High School amassing 139-3 record. He was a three-time Ohio State Champion in 1987, 1988, 1989, and finished third in 1986. He would also compete in the USA Junior Freestyle Championships, where he would become the first wrestler to win four Junior National Freestyle titles. He became a three-time All-American, reaching the NCAA finals in 1991 (second place finish, 134 lbs.), 1992 (second place finish, 134 lbs.), and 1994 (National Champion, 142 lbs.) at part of the Oklahoma State Cowboys wrestling team. His high placements helped the Cowboys become team NCAA National Champions in 1990 and 1994. In international competition, Alan represented the USA on two age level World teams and in numerous Olympic age level international competitions. In the 20 years old and under World Championships in 1991, held in Previdza, Czechoslovakia, Alan won the Gold Medal, beating the wrestler from the former Soviet Union in the finals and was awarded the "Best Technical Wrestler" for the championships. In the 18 years old and under category, Fried placed 4th at World Championships in 1988, held in Wolfurt, Austria. He also finished 6th in the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Trials, both at 152 lbs., and missed the U.S. Olympic Team. He also trained at Hammer House for MMA.
  • Jobber: Had only one fight in Shooto against Rumina Sato, he of course lost.

Katsuhisa Fujii

"Katsuhisa Fujii—the man they call Shamoji, which I understand translates to "Gamecock" and that's apparently supposed to be intimidating but for the life of me I do not understand why—is one of the more rare cases of a fighter turned wrestler. It's one of those testaments to the dovetailing worlds of wrestling and fighting in Japan: Fujii trained legitimately in judo and wrestling as a teenager, but got his first MMA training at the Super Tiger Gym... The worlds of fighting and wrestling have always been somewhat inextricable. The vast majority of competitors who tried to do both were not very successful fighters. Katsuhisa Fujii is not an exception, which makes it all the more impressive that his career still took him across the entire MMA landscape. He started in the Japanese MMA genesis that was the Lumax Cup, which he lost in the first round. He then crossed the pond to Hawaii to take part in the Superbrawl 2 openweight tournament, where he... also lost in the first round. He moved to his master's Shooto for a pair of fights, then entered UFC 23 for their second Ultimate Japan tournament... There were very different standards for talent back then. Fujii lost the tournament final, but this means we can say Katsuhisa Fujii had a win in the UFC. That is a technically factual statement. Shamoji would bounce to Pancrase, where he recorded the best winning streak of his career—two—and in the process recorded the biggest victory of his career against Jason De Lucia, a former King of Pancrase challenger. This means we can say Katsuhisa Fujii beat a former world championship-calibre opponent. That is a technically factual statement. Fujii went on to brief guest appearances in RINGS, and the Premium Challenge experiment, and even the first MMA card held in Tahiti before Pride came calling for him. Pride had a tendency to throw prospects to the wolves—and they would, as in his second Pride fight he was eaten alive by the legendary Igor Vovchanchyn in a fight so absurd that at one point the referee gave Fujii a red card and docked 10% of his purse seemingly because he wasn't doing a good enough job of not getting punched in the face—but in his Pride debut at Bushido 3 Fujii himself got to be the wolf, as despite being a 7-9-1 veteran with eight years of combat under his belt, they gave him the 0-0 Jin O Kim. Katsuhisa Fujii wasn't a very good fighter. He retired at 9-18-1, a decade into his career he still didn't seem comfortable throwing a punch, and only two of his nine victories came against opponents with winning records, Osami Shibuya and Jason De Lucia—and De Lucia suffered a knee injury that prevented him from coming out for the second round. But Katsuhisa Fujii fought across five continents and thirteen organizations, recorded wins in the UFC, Pride, Shooto, Pancrase and DEEP, and scored a TKO win over a former world title contender and the winner of the first UFC fight in history. That is a technically factual statement."
— A profile of Fujii from a Fire Pro Wrestling user Carl CX from

Masaru Gokita

Stuart Harrison

Mohammad Jarban

  • The Apprentice: To Kenichi Tanaka.
  • I Know Karate: Trained in kyokushin Karate, amateur wrestling and later shoot wrestling at Super Tiger Gym Tanaka Juku and placed third in the middleweight division of the 3rd All Japan Amateur Shooto Championships. He also competed in combat wrestling and placed third in the 74kg class of the 2nd All Japan Combat Wrestling Championships.
  • Jobber: Had only one fight in Shooto against Yuji Fujita, he did win though.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Jarban or Jarvan?

Tetsuji Kato

Casemiro Nascimento Martins

“It was the toughest experience in my career. My father and Rolls were in my corner and were very important to my victory. When the fight was over Zulu came up to me and said: ‘Yeah, kid, congratulations, but you’ve got all that help and I’m a self-made fighter.’ He was right. Thinking of these words, I realized how special a fighter Zulu was and how much I have to thank my family and God for."
—Rickson Gracie on his first fight with Zulu.

"At the beginning of the battle, Zulu went for his opponent’s waist, and Rickson let fly a knee strike that took two teeth from the maranhense’s mouth. The King wasn’t even affected. He shook his head, tossed about, and went back towards the boy. The fight was predicted to last at most three ten-minute rounds but, before being submitted, Zulu would escape several strikes and throw the blackbelt out of the ring three times, despite his mouth bleeding from the first strike, which did not stop. A rear-naked-choke ended the fight at two minutes of the second round."
—From Correio Braziliense, a national Brazilian newspaper.

  • The Apprentice: Averted, he only trained with Waldemar Santana for his fights with Rickson Gracie despite some sites saying he was Santana's top student. He does say he developed his style of fighting with his father.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: The patron saint of this trope for vale tudo. Being one is literally part of his fighting strategy.
  • Badass Family: His son Wágner da Conceição Martins AKA "Zuluzinho" ("Little Zulu" or "Zulu Jr.") is also a vale tudo and MMA fighter.
  • Blood Knight: He had a habit of making faces at opponents and mocking them in an effort to communicate to his opponent, that no matter how tough the fight was, he was enjoying himself.
  • Challenge Seeker: In his younger days, he would seek out opponents all over Brazil, from street fighters, both students and masters of martial art gyms, to tourists.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Rei Zulu was known for many things, none of them particularly sane. He did acrobatics and silly faces every time he got into the ring, claimed to eat only molten iron, and gave interviews which would have made Ultimate Warrior seem articulate.
  • Cool Old Guy: 70 years old now and still carries out his daily physical training with heavy stones, tires, mallet and says he does not like attending gym, so he trains in his backyard.
  • David vs. Goliath: Was Goliath in his fights with Rickson Gracie.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: His first fight with Rickson Gracie was his first loss.
  • Determinator: In his prime, he got knee'd in the face by Rickson Gracie that took out two teeth and didn't even flinch.
  • Expy: Though it would be difficult to recognize for non-old school MMA fans, Bob Sapp was the second coming of Zulu: a huge, Scary Black Man with a flamboyant personality who lacked fighting training but supplied it with size and strength. They both were wildly popular, got important victories over orthodox martial artists before being figured out and defeated themselves, and both became jobbers and entertainers towards the end of their careers.
  • Glass Cannon: In his prime he was mostly a cardio example, in his later years his chin couldn't take much anymore.
  • Guest Fighter
  • Insistent Terminology: Claims to represent a style created by himself called "Tarracá" which was based around wrestling, street brawling, Capoeira-like footwork and mocking his opponents. There is a whole article about it in the Portuguese section of The Other Wiki.
  • I Shall Taunt You: He makes faces and mocks his opponents as part of his fighting style.
  • Jobber: At the end of his career.
  • Large Ham: Does not begin to describe him.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Renowned for not only his size but his power and quickness in his prime.
  • Nicknaming the Enemy: Referred to Rickson as "Chicken Body" because of the vast weight difference between the two.
  • Old Soldier: A legendary vale tudo fighter since the 1960's.
  • Rags to Riches: A downplayed example as he never got really rich, but the reason he never had an martial arts training was because he could not afford it.
  • Red Baron: "Rei Zulu" ("King Zulu") which is more popular than his real name.
  • Ring Oldies: Was 50 when he fought in Shooto. His last fight was when he was 63.
  • Scary Black Man: One of his appeals.
  • Shocking Defeat Legacy: His fights with Rickson Gracie ended his reign as a top fighter.
  • Stout Strength: Was notable for his size in his prime.
  • To Be a Master: Aside from making money, more importantly Zulu fought to prove he was the best vale tudo fighter.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Had no formal training in any martial arts when he started fighting vale tudo, but his strength and size especially for his era gave him an edge.
  • The Worf Effect: Was beaten by Enson Inoue in Shooto in less than a minute.

Ali Mihoubi

  • The Apprentice: To Antoine Becaglia.
  • French Jerk: Along with Abdelaziz Cherigui and Daniel Quoniam, were the first French fighters in Shooto.
  • Guest Fighter
  • I Know Karate: Kempo Karate. He also trained in shoot wrestling at Hybrid Pancrace Academy
  • Jobber: Has only one fight in Shooto, a loss to Rumina Sato. He also lost to Ralph Gracie at Extreme Fighting 3.

Daniel Quoniam

  • The Apprentice: To Antoine Becaglia.
  • Cool Teacher: Has his own MMA Team, Team Quoniam.
  • French Jerk: Along with Abdelaziz Cherigui and Ali Mihoubi, were the first French fighters in Shooto.
  • Guest Fighter
  • I Know Sambo: A French national champion. Also trained in Kickboxing, was one of the first French guys to learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, also one of the first black belts from France, was part the French Jiu-Jitsu team that competed in the first ever Mundial in Brazil in 1996, and was one of the first French guys to learn shoot wrestling at the Hybrid Pancrace Academy.
  • Jobber: Had only one fight in Shooto against Katsuhisa Fujii, he lost.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Is mistakingly recorded on MMA sites as Daniel Quonian.
  • Ur-Example: Pioneered Shooto in France.

Ed Wedding

  • The Apprentice: Trained under many masters like Richard Bustillo, Shane Rice, Andy Wang, Bob Bass, Fernando Vasconcelos, Ramon Rubia, Yorinaga Nakamura, etc.
  • Badass Teacher: A Martial Arts and Self Defense Seminar Instructor for the Schwerin Police Force in Germany, the Acapulco Police in Mexico, and the U.S. Air Force bases El Segundo/San Pedro.
  • Cool Teacher: Has a martial art-personal training site called Warrior Culture Personal Training. He is currently a Muay Thai Instructor at Alliance Krav Maga, formerly a coach of PKG (Punch, Kick, Grapple) and the now-defunct RAW (Real American Wrestling) Gym.
  • Guest Fighter
  • I Know Karate: Shotokan Karate, also Taekwondo, American Kenpo, Wing Chun, Muay Thai, boxing, jeet kune do, a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the Doce Pares San Miguel System of Eskrima, shoot wrestling, etc.
  • Jobber: Had one fight in Shooto against Yoshiyuki Takayama, he lost.

    Debuted in The Las Grandes Viajes Year (1998)
Exit The Tiger (And His Mask), Enter The Dragon... Really Guys?

Trent Bekis

Parinya Charoenphol

"When you feel like a woman, to be fighting like a man is very difficult. You're a woman doing the manliest thing. When men fight with other men, it matters differently than when they fight with me and lose. And that made them fight extra hard. They were yelled at by their coaches. Their friends told them to quit fighting because they lost to a transvestite. They thought I was less than them. That was why I kissed the opponents whom I defeated. When I won, I could see that my opponents were crestfallen. I would go up to them, say 'sorry' and kiss them on the cheek. And I apologised sincerely. I didn't kiss them because I thought they were cute."

  • Action Girl: She is one now.
  • The Apprentice: To Philip Wong.
  • Cool Teacher: Opened a boxing camp, Parinya Muay Thai, in Pranburi, Thailand which she owns and runs with American actor-writer Steven Khan. She currently teaches Muay Thai and aerobics to children at the Baan Poo Yai School.
  • Crossdresser: Before her sex change.
  • Gorgeous George: When she was still a he, she wore make-up and lipstick and kissed her opponents after defeating them.
  • Guest Fighter: Fought in the Shooto and shootboxing joint event; Shoot the Shooto "Double Cross" XX in a Muay Thai rules fight against Kazuki Wakamiya.
  • I Know Muay Thai: Trained at the Fairtex Gym in Bangkok and is a former champion.
  • Money, Dear Boy: At first she only got into Muay Thai to provide for her family and money for a sex change operation, but later fell in love with the sport.
  • Old Friend, New Gender: She had her sex-change surgery in 1999 at Yanhee International Hospital. She was a former actress, model, and even tried to be a singer.
  • Pet the Dog: See her quote above.
  • Red Baron: "Nong Toom".
  • Religious Bruiser: Was once a Buddhist monk (not a nun).
  • Signature Move: Crushing Medicine, which involves jumping in the air and bringing her elbow down onto the head of her unfortunate opponent.

Ray Cooper Jr

  • The Apprentice: To Bob Ostovich.
  • Badass Family: His brother-in-law Ronald Jhun is also a MMA fighter. His son, Ray Cooper III is also a MMA fighter.
  • Determinator: Fought twice in SuperBrawl 3 in his MMA debut.
  • Guest Fighter
  • I Know Kickboxing
  • Real Men Love Jesus: Trained at Jesus is Lord which is a MMA gym that mixes Christian fellowship together with MMA training. If fact the gym got it's name when he fought in SuperBrawl 3 and wore a shirt with Jesus is Lord on it before his fights.
  • Red Baron: "Bradda".
  • The Rival: Jake Shields.
  • Ur-Example: The first MMA fighter of the Jesus is Lord MMA gym.

Ramon Dekkers

"Ramon had incredible technique and was strong, both mentally and physically. He didn’t flinch; he just absorbed all the punishment. Dekkers bought his own version of Muay Thai, rather than trying to be Thai himself. In doing that, he changed the sport."
— Paul Briggs, world Muay Thai champion.

"He was the greatest ever. He took the sport to the next level, and inspired a lot of people. As far as Westerners fighting Thais, the Dutch did it first. They led the way. [Ramon] forced the Thais to change their game plan. Before that, they pretty much just kicked."
— Anthony Vella

"It was very strange for the Thais. They didn’t know where Holland was, then all of a sudden there was a fighter from this place they had never heard of beating their champions. They didn't know what to think."
Ramon Dekkers

  • Always Someone Better: Was beaten by Den Muangsurinas twice.
  • The Apprentice: To Cor Hemmers.
  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: The head of his own Muay Thai team; Team Dekkers.
  • Badass Family: He is Cor Hemmer’s stepson.
  • Blood Knight: A Muay Thai and Kickboxing record of 186 wins 33 losses and 2 draws. He was known for his fast-paced, aggressive fighting style and he never turned down a challenge.
  • Cool Teacher: A trainer for Golden Glory and Team Dekkers.
  • Dented Iron: Toward the end of his career Ramon was so injured he couldn’t train, his left ankle having been surgically fused because of repeated breakages.
  • The Dreaded: In his prime, his opponents were so afraid of him that they fought merely to survive. But when this happened it made him change tactics. Rather than to try and shoot it out with his opponent in the middle of the ring, he had to drive them to the corner and to finish them off with his punches and kicks.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: His kicking abilities are exceptional but his favorite fighting techniques are his punching techniques. One of his stronger weapons was his left hook.
  • Guest Fighter: Fought in the Shooto and shootboxing joint event, Shoot the Shooto "Double Cross" XX against Hiromu Yoshitaka in a Kickboxing rules fight.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Rob Kaman. In the beginning of his career Dekkers' manager was Clovis Depretz, who was also the manager of Rob Kaman. This was the reason why Kaman was at ringside during many of Dekkers' matches, including his farewell fight. They often trained together and became good friends. Dekkers and Kaman were dubbed by fight fans in Thailand as "The Double Dutch duo".
  • Hero Killer: Has beaten legends like Richard Nam, Ramkisoen, Kevin and Mike Morris, Gilbert Ballantine, Mungkordum Sitchang, Nangpon Nongeeb Pahuyuth, Cherry S. Wanich, Coban Lookchaomaesithong, Joel Cezar, Saengtiennoi Sor. Rungrot, Sakmongkol Sithchuchok, Orono Por Muang-Ubol, Joe Prestia, Chanoy Pon Tawee, Decharwin, Nattawhut Pralomran, Hassan Kassrioui, Gerald Mamadeus, etc.
  • I Know Muay Thai: Trained at Maeng Ho Gym and Golden Glory Gym and is an 8-time world champion, a European and Holland champion. He also trained in Judo and boxing.
  • Mighty Whitey: Is considered by many (Thai’s included) to be the best foreigner to ever fight in Thailand and was the first “farang” (foreigner) in Thai history to ever win Fighter of the Year in Thailand in 1992. The Ramon Dekkers Trophy was created by WBC MUAYTHAI for the best foreigner in Muay Thai. He was so influential that the Thais started copying his style of Muay Thai.
  • Red Baron: "The Diamond", "The Turbine from Hell", "Mike Tyson of Thai Boxing".
  • The Rival: Coban Lookchaomaesaitong. They fought four times from 1991 to 1993, in what became one of the biggest feuds in Muay Thai history. He also fought Gilbert Ballantine and Saengtiennoi Sor. Rungrot 3 times each.
  • Screwed by the Network: The only thing that Ramon dislikes in Muay Thai is the scoring system inside Thailand. He thinks he won a lot of his fights in Thailand only to have them taken away due to bad decisions. After some bouts he was confident that he had won the fight only to have it changed by the judges. He believes a lot of it has to do with the gambling in Lumpinee Stadium. Some would say that it’s always an entirely different scenario when you go to a man’s country and fight him at his own national sport. It is very difficult for a “farang” fighter in Thailand to win other than by knocking his opponent out. Losing on points can be very frustrating for a fighter trying to force a knockout, instead of being patient to wait for the right chance, but it is a very normal thing in Thailand.
  • Thais Love Ramon Dekkers: He was barely known in the Netherlands and USA, but he became so famous in Thailand there were police escorts when he arrived from the airport. When he walked on the streets in Thailand, everybody recognized him and asked for autographs and pictures. He never turned down a challenge and in turn was always respected by the Thai fighters. He also was popular in Japan and France.
  • Ur-Example: The first foreigner to beat Thais in Thailand.
  • The Worf Effect: Fought a MMA fight against Genki Sudo and lost by heel hook in under 3 minutes.
  • Worthy Opponent: He considers Namphon Nongkee Pahuyuth and Den Muangsurinas as his toughest opponents. He also states Joe Prestia was the toughest French fighter he faced.

Satoshi Fujisaki

Yoshihiro Fujita

Joel Gerson

"I was a big fan of his. He submitted Rumina Sato... it was a huge deal, one of the biggest MMA fighters in the world. That dude's submitted a lot of people."

  • A Day In The Lime Light: Was the first man to beat Rumina Sato. Rumina got so frenzied that he chased Gerson to a grappling tournament in Canada and threw opponents right and left until he could reach him and submit him for revenge.
  • The Apprentice: To Moni Aizik.
  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: Was the most senior student and lead instructor at the legendary Samurai Club.
  • Canada, Eh?: A pioneer of BJJ and MMA in Canada and was the first Canadian in Shooto with Carlos Newton and Omar J. Salvosa, though Newton fought a little earlier at Vale Tudo Japan 1997.
  • Cool Teacher: Owns Revolution MMA & Fitness Inc and is the head instructor.
  • Guest Fighter
  • I Know Karate: A black belt, a 3 time Ontario Judo Champion, and trained extensively with the Canadian Olympic Judo Team. He also trained at the Samurai Club in Krav Maga and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and is a black belt and a 5 Time Canadian Jiu Jitsu Champion (including Open Weight Class Champion).

Manson Gibson

"Everyone thinks I'm doing kickboxing, but that's not true. What I'm doing is Kung Fu."

  • Always Someone Better: Lost to Rick Roufus twice.
  • Blood Knight / Challenge Seeker: He came to Japan because he found the fights in the USA (aside from his fights with Rick Roufus) "uninspiring".
  • Confusion Fu: Had a wild, unpredictable Kickboxing style.
  • Guest Fighter: Fought in the Shooto and shootboxing joint event, Shoot the Shooto "Double Cross" XX against Changpuek Kiatsongrit in a shootboxing rules fight.
  • Hero Killer: Has beaten guys like Caesar Takeshi, Tosca Petridis, Changpuek Kiatsongrit, and Coban Lookchaomaesaitong.
  • I Know Karate: Trained at the Windy City Gym and is a 12-time Muay Thai and Kickboxing World Champion and also a shootboxing champion. He claims however that his style is mostly based on his background in Praying Mantis Kung Fu, and is also said to have trained in Taekwondo.
  • Large Ham: Was this, as seen in his post-fight interview after drawing with Yoji Anjo.
  • Red Baron: "The Master Blaster", "The Thai Killer", "The Black Bruce Lee".
  • Scary Black Man: Is credited with over 100 wins and more than 80 KOs, including around 40 via headkick.
  • Spectacular Spinning: He was known for his vicious use of spinning techniques especially backfists.
  • The Worf Effect: Had one MMA match against Jeremy Morrison at Combat Do Fighting Challenge 10 and lost almost immediately by rear naked choke.

Dennis Hall

Takeyasu Hirono

  • The Apprentice: To Yoshinori Nishi.
  • Canon Immigrant: A recurrent Shooto fighter from Yoshinori Nishi's Wajutsu Keishukai dojo.
  • I Know Karate: Trained at the Daidōjuku-based Wajutsu Keishukai.
  • Jobber: A career of 9 wins, 16 losses, and 4 draws.

Katsuo Ise

Zvonko Jakovcevic

Ante Jurisic

Masashi Kita

Jun Kitagawa

  • Cool Teacher: Has his own gym, Gonzui's Gym. He was the former head instructor of Shooting Gym Kobe.
  • I Know Karate: As well as shoot wrestling, trained at Shooto Gym Blows.
  • Jobber: A career of 4 wins, 8 losses, and 2 draws.
  • Red Baron: "Gonzui".

Hiroki Kotani

Tatsuya Maeda

  • The Apprentice: To Caesar Takeshi.
  • Canon Immigrant / Guest Fighter: From the Shootboxing organization.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Fought in the Shooto and shootboxing joint event, Shoot the Shooto "Double Cross" XX in a shootboxing rules fight against Katsuo Ise before his MMA fight in RINGS.
  • I Know Shootboxing: Trained at the Shoot Boxing Neyagawa Gym.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: One of the most complete fighters in shootboxing history. His fusion of strikes and throws captivated the audience.

Colin Mannsur

Hiromichi Maruyama

Mitsuo Matsumoto

Dokonjonosuke Mishima

"Young, strong, and big! (laughs)"

Takaharu Murahama

Takehiro Murahama

  • The Ace: With no doubt one of the best shootboxers of the sport's early days. He also became the ace of Osaka Pro Wrestling for a time.
  • The Apprentice: To Caesar Takeshi.
  • Arch-Enemy: In K-1, Masato.
  • Broken Pedestal: Left shootboxing after his relationship with his trainer Cesar Takeshi got sour.
  • Canon Immigrant: He later became a wrestler for Osaka Pro Wrestling. He also went to ZERO-ONE as an Osaka Pro Wrestling representative, although more in a symbolic light, as he actually did not work for them anymore.
  • Cool Teacher: Trained pro wrestler Yutaka Fukuda.
  • Dented Iron: After all the damage of his pro wrestling and fighting career, he should have retired from the latter in 2004, but he keep on. He would have avoided many losses had he done it.
  • Determinator: Was known as this in his shootboxing career. He was still worn and injured after so many years when he fought Masato, and it was still called one of the best matches of the year.
    • Not any less in MMA: he pulled a draw against Royler Gracie despite being constantly endangered by him on the ground, and by the end of the match Takehiro had even started taking over. He also led Jens Pulver to the judges.
  • Guest Fighter: Fought in the Shooto and shootboxing joint event, Shoot the Shooto "Double Cross" XX against Gaunar Sorkhettalingchan in a shootboxing rules fight.
  • Heroic BSoD: Retired from his home promotion, OPW, when he lost a K-1 match to KID Yamamoto.
  • Hero Killer: Has Kickboxing victories over the famous Kensaku Maeda, and also got a few wins against Thai fighters.
  • I Know Karate: As well as Judo and shootboxing.
  • I Work Alone: A famously lone wrestler. In fact, everybody was shocked to when he proposed Katsuhiko Nakajima to team up in the Differ Cup.
  • Loony Fan: Of Bob Sapp. He fell in love with Sapp's act, so he called himself "Mini Beast" and voiced everywhere his desire to become his cornerman. It seems he didn't.
  • Red Baron: "Rainbow Warrior", "Chisana Kyojin" ("The Little Giant"), "Mini Beast", "SB no Bakudan Kozō" ("Shootboxing Bomb Boy").
  • Worthy Opponent: Jushin Thunder Liger.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Wrestled in All Japan Pro Wrestling, Bikkuri Pro, Fighting Opera Hustle, New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Noah, Osaka Puroresu and Pro Wrestling ZERO1.

Anthony Netzler

Masaki Nishizawa

Alexandre Franca Nogueira

  • The Ace: He holds the record for longest title reign in any MMA organization, reigning as Shooto Lightweight Champion for six years, eight months, and two days before having to vacate the title due to a knee injury.
  • The Apprentice: To Luta Livre Mestre Eugenio Tadeu and Muay Thai Mestre Toniko Jr..
  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: Has his own fight team, Pequeno Team.
  • Badass Family: His brother Leonardo "Leozada" Nogueira is also a Luta Livre and MMA fighter and additionally a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Ricardo de la Riva and Reyzinho Duarte. His cousin Huanderson Pavao is also a Luta Livre, MMA fighter, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Julio César Pereira.
  • Bash Brothers: With his brother Leonardo "Leozada" Nogueira.
  • Cool Teacher: Has his own gym, Clube de luta. He was also an instructor at the Shooto Brazil Dojo.
  • Hero Killer: Made his debut by submitting Noboru Asahi, then defeated him again for the Shooto Lightweight Championship in the rematch. He also has beaten Rumina Sato by submission.
  • I Know Luta Livre: As well as boxing and Muay Thai.
  • I Was Beaten by a Girl: When he first started luta livre he regularly rolled with some girls in Eugenio Tadeu's gym, since he didn't know luta livre at the time he was regularly submitted, this went on for months.
  • Red Baron: "Pequeno" ("Small"), "Guillotine Master", "Rei do Shooto Japonês" ("King of Japanese Shooto"), "Mikado" ("The Emperor").
  • Signature Move: The guillotine choke.
  • Unrelated Brothers: Despite having the same surname he is not related to the twin Nogueira brothers which is why some sites list him as Alexandre Pequeno.

Takayuki Okochi

Kenichi Ogata

Jay R. Palmer

Damien Riccio

"The guy show up at Robin’s seminar and started to talk shit and wanted to fight Robin, so Robin did. They fought, the guy punched Robin and Robin shot in, the guy sprawled, Robin pulled guard and punched him from the guard, the blood on Robin’s shirt is from the guy's face. Then the fight stopped. Robin said to the guy that they should setup a time anytime he wants to and have a fight for real. The guy started talking shit about my family and all my brothers and all the Brazilians saying that they are nothing. I am in Spain right now, I am going to take care of this m***er. Robin invited him to my seminar this weekend so that we can have a fight and I will show him what Brazilians are all about, he guy already back down, saying that he has to work that weekend, but he will try. Well if he don't come, I will go see him. That is the story."
— Royce Gracie, edited slightly to correct his English.

"The idea comes in to my head to challenge Robin. But everyone is taken with the fact that the Gracies are strongest and that nobody can beat them in free fight. So in spite of the wound to my leg I decide to go to challenge Robin in closed door. I say to him (The organizer) that I want to make a match of Vale Tudo against him. He bursts out laughing and says "against me, you ask me?" I say to him yes, and he asks me "Now?" I told him no - after your training course and with door closed without spectators. He answers me while laughing without problem. He (the organizer of the seminar) told me already to watch out because (Robin) Gracie is extremely good and that he will put to me on the ground and to beat me easily. I tell them not to worry, and we will see if Gracie will beat me so easily. I say to Robin YOU choose the rules which you want. Robin accepts while saying to my face its best (my way) the French way Robin accepts but decides to make it with spectators with video and Robin wanted a copy of the fight. He does not want the limit of time or gloves, and be Vale Tudo rules. He came in my city while protesting that Gracie Jiu-Jitsu was the best art in the world and that the Gracie's are said to accept all challenges. I came to challenge, to test myself against a Gracie. I say to him that I did nothing but note the famous GRACIE CHALLENGE I came to take up the challenge. He says to me that it is not him which did that but Rickson and Royce and which if I had a problem with them I was to go to see them has them and not him. Robin lost and is a liar."
— Damien Riccio, telling from his view the challenge against Robin Gracie.

  • A Day In The Lime Light: Is most well known for his fight with Robin Gracie.
  • The Apprentice: To his father Laurent Riccio and Jerome Le Banner.
  • Arch-Enemy: Became an enemy of the Gracies when he beat Robin Gracie in a "Gracie Challenge" fight under vale tudo rules after a seminar Robin conducted in Perpignan, France. After that happened Royce accused Damien of disrespecting his family and Brazilians because of it, as Robin was not ready to fight and accepted the challenge anyway and then came to Damien's place of work with some of his brothers and tried to wreck the place and Royce actually hurt Damien's little brother Pepe, then sources say either Damien or his other brother Matthias grabbed either a pistol or shotgun and chased them out.
  • Badass Family: His brother Matthias Riccio is also an MMA fighter and his father Laurent Riccio is a 6th dan shotokan master.
  • Bald of Awesome
  • Bash Brothers: With his brothers Matthias and Pepe.
  • Big Brother Instinct: His brother Pepe was 12 when Royce attacked him, so it is not surprising if he was the one who pulled a pistol or shotgun to chased the Gracies out.
  • Bouncer: A former bar bouncer in Perpignan.
  • French Jerk: To the Gracies anyway.
  • Guest Fighter
  • I Know Karate: A shotokan black belt under his father. He also trained in Kickboxing at Le Banner Xtreme Team, freestyle wrestling under former Olympian wrestler Georges Carbasse, and trained in shoot wrestling at the Pancration Club Perpignan.
  • Jobber: More towards the end of his career.

Matt Rocca

"My general observation was that the seasoned veterans were calm and composed. Myself, I did my best to be composed, but there was a lot of excitement. It’s kind of hard not to think ‘What the hell did I get myself into?’ when you’re standing next to Zane Frazier and Mario Sperry, but I had faith in my trainers, my teammates, in the techniques. I was ready to get after it."

Ryuta Sakurai

"Sakurai is one of the unsung pioneers of the sport—he made his debut in the legendary proto-MMA Lumax Cup tournaments in 1996 and 1997, and moved quickly into Shooto thereafter. He fought with a much different style than his contemporaries: Where most of Japan's early mixed martial artists were either very technical grapplers or very intense brawlers, Ryuta was more physical, using the combined powers of his all-around game, his heavily-muscled power and his immaculate tan to outmuscle his opponents. His Shooto debut against Masashi Kita saw him get locked in an armbar, use brute strength to keep Kita from extending until his legs were too tired to maintain his grip, and immediately dribble Kita's head off the mat with punches until the referee stepped in. In 1998, it was a unique approach. It also wasn't a very good one. By the turn of the century Sakurai was 3-5-2. He resolved to tighten up his technique, both grappling and striking, and took a year and a half off to better learn and grow before returning to competition. It paid off: He went 6-2-2 over the next three years of his career, and as a recently-winning 9-7-4 prospect earned an invitation to Pride's new Bushido initiative. Unfortunately, Sakurai faced the problem that plagued many journeymen: Big league competition. He made three appearances in Bushido, all against extremely stiff competition, all losses: A competitive decision against Yushin Okami, a less competitive decision against Murilo Bustamante, and a four-minute armbar loss to Paulo Filho. In the same timeframe he'd won back-to-back fights in Deep and Shooto twice and even won Deep's middleweight championship, but he just couldn't measure up against world-class opponents. He was one of Japan's most successful journeymen, and never managed to break through into the top twenty. Which should not be interpreted as his being a bad fighter, or as his having had a bad career—neither was true. Ryuta Sakurai was a notoriously tough fighter against whom there were no easy nights, and his record includes a near-submission over Yushin Okami, a back-and-forth battle with Murilo Bustamante, a four-round draw against Mamed Khalidov and a TKO victory over future NJPW star Katsuyori Shibata. He was so important to Deep that he took its name as his own, and he runs his own MMA school in Mito. His place in the sport was earned, and he still fights and defends it to this day. And he's just so darned tan."
— A profile of Sakurai from a Fire Pro Wrestling user Carl CX from

Omar Salvosa

  • The Apprentice: To Marcus Soares.
  • Canada, Eh?: A pioneer of BJJ and MMA in Canada and was one of the first Canadians in Shooto with Joel Gerson and Carlos Newton, though Newton fought a little earlier at Vale Tudo Japan 1997.
  • Cool Teacher: Owns a school, Salvosa BJJ Ascension and is the head instructor.
  • Guest Fighter
  • I Know Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Trained at the Samurai Club and is now a 3rd degree black belt and a 5 Time Canadian Jiu Jitsu Champion, a 2 time Lightweight World Kobudo Federation's Grappling Champion, won Gold at the IBJJF No-Gi World Championship and again at the IBJJF Pan-American Championship in 2015 in the Masters Black Belt, Featherweight Division. He also trained in krav maga.
  • Jobber: Had only one fight in Shooto against Hisao Ikeda, he lost.

Yuki Sasaki

"Yuki Sasaki was a childhood striker—a karateka with an amateur past in kickboxing, taking advantage of his tall, lanky build—but fighting across Shooto and Pancrase found him focusing on his grappling to the point of nearly excluding his striking altogether. In most fighters, that would be a mistake. Sasaki turned it into a strength, devoting himself to jiu-jitsu until he earned his black belt and justifying it through his continued success as a submission artist in the ring. Sasaki was known for his incredibly tricky armbars—15 of his 25 career wins came by submission, and 10 of those were armbar variations, skills honed through thousands of hours of sparring with his mentor, Sanae Kikuta. His skills carried him to the top of Pancrase: By 2002 he was 13-5-1, with two of those losses coming against the ever-unpredictable Ikuhisa Minowa, and had more than enough of a name for Pride to come calling. Pride 24 was Sasaki's Pride debut—and exit. He met Rodrigo Gracie and the two engaged in a long, technical grappling match that was fascinating for fans of the intricacies of jiu-jitsu—which, speaking as one of those fans, is a polite way of saying it was boring. The two traded sweeps for the full twenty minutes, but could not mount much actual offense against one another, and when Gracie won the decision, Sasaki got his walking papers. Pancrase was much more welcoming to slow, techncial grappling—Pride wanted a show. Sasaki didn't really go anywhere—he stuck around for a long, long time, fighting from 1998 through 2015. Four years after his Pride debut he made his UFC debut—once again, against a jiu-jitsu ace in Dean Lister, and once again, in a tough, defensively sound and ultimately fan-unfriendly decision. He fought in Sengoku during its brief lifespan and even recorded a submission victory over Yuki Kondo in the process, but his time in the sun never really came again. That's his career, really: One of the very rare successful journeymen of Japanese MMA. He went 25-20-2, he fought across Shooto, Pancrase, Pride, DEEP and the UFC, he took out a number of very tough fighters and at one point he was ranked in the top ten worldwide. He never had a belt, but he had plenty of glory."
— A profile of Sasaki from a Fire Pro Wrestling user Carl CX from

  • The Apprentice: To Naoyuki Taira.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Subverted, despite his striking background he mostly stuck to grappling in his MMA fights.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: First met Sanae Kikuta at the Seidokaikan dojo, trained together at Strapple MMA Gym and Shinjuku-Sports Center, eventually helped to start up Grabaka and is his longest sparring partner.
  • I Know Karate: Trained in Daidojuku and Seidokaikan Karate and is a black belt. He also went to Thailand to train in Muay Thai and is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and trained at Strapple MMA Gym along with shootboxing and shoot wrestling and also trained at Shinjuku-Sports Center.
  • Red Baron: "Grabaka no Kyūdōsha" ("Grabaka's Investigator").
  • Signature Move: Armbars, multiple variations and ways to set them up.
  • Stone Wall: His submission defense was impressive has he got out unfinished against guys like Rodrigo Gracie, Ricardo Almeida, Paulo Filho, and Dean Lister.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: With Grabaka mates Sanae Kikuta and Takeshi Yamazaki.

Ian James Schaffa

  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: Head of his own MMA team.
  • Awesome Aussie
  • Blood Knight: Was known to accept fights on a days notice.
  • Cool Teacher: The founder of MMAXFIT AUSTRALIA.
  • Guest Fighter
  • Hero Killer: Has K-1 Kickboxing KO win over Genki Sudo, decision wins against Keiji Ozaki; a 2006 Rise Kickboxing Champion, Gold Medalist at the Japanese National Championships, Akeomi Nitta; a WKA World Thai Boxing Super welterweight Champion, and Miyata Kazuyuki; a wrestling Olympian.
  • I Know Karate: A black belt in Kyokushin and a New South Wales Full Contact Karate Champion. He is also a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and trained at the Poseidon Gym under Anthony Lange, knows amateur wrestling, trained in boxing and Kickboxing at Bondi Boxing Club under Tony Del Vecchio, and was bronze medalist at the 1999 Australian National Greco-Roman Wrestling Championships, a New South Wales Cruiserweight Boxing Champion, a New South Wales Kickboxing Champion, and a professional kickboxer and boxer.
  • Red Baron: "The Goshu Hurricane", "Sharky".
  • Shout-Out: Japanese Hip Hop artist Sphere of Influence wrote a song dedicated to Ian called Goshu Hurricane.
  • Spectacular Spinning: Used a spinning heel kick to defeat Genki Sudo in Kickboxing, which is where he got his nickname, "The Goshu Hurricane".

Gaunar Sorkhettalingchan

  • Guest Fighter: Fought in the Shooto and shootboxing joint event, Shoot the Shooto "Double Cross" XX in a shootboxing rules fight against Takehiro Murahama.
  • I Know Karate: Knows Muay Thai

Adriano de Souza

  • Guest Fighter
  • I Know Karate: Knows Muay Thai
  • Jobber: A short career with 1 win, 1 loss, and 1 draw.
  • Name's the Same: Not to be confused with other fighters Adriano "Smeagol" Souza and Adriano "Samurai" de Souza Silva and a pro surfer of the same name. They are Brazilian, he is from Holland.

Kazumichi Takada

Izuru Takeuchi

  • The Apprentice: To Tenshin Matsumoto and Kazuhiro Kusayanagi.
  • Cool Teacher: He owns a gym, Absolute Okayama.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Made his debut in MMA at the Lumax Cup: Tournament of J '97 Middleweight Tournament.
  • I Know Sambo: Trained at SK Absolute and won bronze in the 82kg weight division of the 2005 Combat Sambo World Championships with a silver in 2006, a two time Japan Command Sambo Champion in 1995 and 1997, and a two time All Japan Sambo Champion in 2000 and 2002. He is also a 3rd dan in Judo, as well as in boxing, amateur wrestling and was on the Okayama national team, combat wrestling and is a 2 time All Japan Combat Wrestling 85 kg Champion in 2002 and 2004 and shoot wrestling at Shooto Gym K’z Factory.
  • Minored In Ass Kicking: Was the ADCC Japan 2000 qualifying 87kg class champion, though he was eliminated by Dave Menne at that year’s ADCC.
  • Red Baron: "Gankutsuō" ("King of The Caves"), "Guraundo Sokonashi-numa" ("Ground Bottomless Pit"), "Jigoku no 15-funkan" ("15 Minutes of Hell"), "Nankōfuraku no Yōsai" ("Impregnable Fortress").
  • The Rival: Had a trilogy of fights with Nate Marquardt over the middleweight King of Pancrase title.
  • Stone Wall: A master of defensive submission grappling and has never been tapped out in his professional career. Only Nate Marquardt has a technical submission over him in which he refused to tap out to a rear naked choke.

Koichi Tanaka

Isao Tanimura

Katsuya Toida

  • Always Someone Better: Beaten twice by Naoya Uematsu.
  • The Apprentice: To Yoshinori Nishi and Naoki Sakurada.
  • Cool Teacher: A head instructor at Wajutsu Keishukai Toikatsu Dojo.
  • Dressed to Heal: Wore a white coat during his entrances to complete his "fighting doctor" gimmick. He was even accompanied by a nurse.
  • I Know Judo: Trained in this before he started training at Wajutsu Keishukai, he also trained in shoot and combat wrestling at the Gutsman Shooto Dojo.
  • Martial Medic: Runs an osteopathic clinic.
  • Red Baron: "Submission Doctor", "Toikatsu Newaza Hakushigō" ("Toikatsu's Doctor of Ground Grappling").
  • The Rival: Baret Yoshida, who beat him twice in submission grappling, but lost to him in a MMA fight.

Luc Togane

Hiroshi Tsuruya

Naoya Uematsu

  • The Apprentice: To Kazuhiro Kusayanagi and Yohei Suzuki.
  • Cool Teacher: Owns NEXUSENSE, and is the head instructor.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: First lost against Bao Quach after 11 wins and 2 draws.
  • Hero Killer: Has beaten Caol Uno at the finals of the Lumax Cup: Tournament of J '97 Lightweight Tournament by submission, and Noboru Asahi by majority decision.
  • I Know Judo: He began at the age of 12 in Junior High School. He started training in shoot wrestling at Shooto Gym K'z Factory when he was 16 and immediately became an undefeated champion in amateur competitions. He also trained in Sumo Wrestling, Sambo, Muay Thai at the Crosspoint Gym, and is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt with training under Biviano Fernandez and Leonardo Vieira.
  • The Worf Effect: His losses to Jens Pulver, Gilbert Melendez, Urijah Faber, and Daiki Hata.

Kazuki Wakamiya

Emmanuel Yarbrough

"Emmanuel's passion was to travel. Even though it was not an easy task for him, it never stopped him from following his dreams, and bringing smiles to the faces of all he would meet. He was to be the subject of a new reality show, and would have continued to bring smiles to all those who had the opportunity to be blessed by his infectious, compassionate, loving presence. He will be missed by his millions of fans around the world, friends and family."
— Beatrice H. Davis, Emmanuel's manager on his life after his death.

  • A Day In The Lime Light: Has a victory in MMA over UWF alumni Tatsuo Nakano by smother and weight pressure.
  • Big Fun: Had a very cheery disposition and fan-friendly personality.
  • David vs. Goliath: The Goliath in all his fights.
  • Fat and Proud: Subverted, struggling throughout his life with obesity, Yarbrough often claimed "I am a prisoner in my body." By the age of 14 he already weighed 320 pounds, which he attributed to a poor diet of fried foods. In 2007, he was hospitalized for a week due to heart failure, and after seeing an obesity specialist and changing his diet he reduced his weight from over 800 to around 670 pounds.
  • Gentle Giant: Known among his peers as one of the biggest and nicest guys MMA has ever produced.
  • The Giant: He was 6 ft 8 in tall and has weighed up to 882 lb, holding the Guinness World Record for the heaviest living athlete. Keith Hackney's victory over Emmanuel is what got him named "The Giant Killer".
  • Guest Fighter
  • I Know Sumo Wrestling: Was the 1995 World Amateur Sumo Champion, competed in 4 Sumo World Championships in Open Division placing in the top 3 every time and was considered to be one of the most famous sumo wrestlers outside Japan. He was also a brown belt in Judo under Yoshisada Yonezuka and took second place at the U.S. Nationals in 1989 and was an amateur wrestler achieved All American status in the Heavyweight class in 1983 Division II and 1986 Division I.
  • Mighty Glacier
  • The One Who Wears Shoes: In his Shooto fight against Tatsuo Nakano he wore shoes, it was not explained why.
  • Red Baron: "The Gentle Giant", "The Proverbial Immovable Object" in the UFC.
  • Scary Black Man: An over 600 lb black man.
  • Stout Strength: A former sumo over 600 lb.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Wrestled for Catch Wrestling Association in Germany, where he had gimmick matches based around his sumo career.

Hiroaki Yoshioka

Hiromu Yoshitaka

    Debuted in Pro Shooto's 10th Anniversary Year (1999)
What A Difference A Decade Makes

Kazuya Abe

Hiroyuki Abe

"Even in the relatively weird world of late 90s mixed martial arts, Abe was an unusual fighter. Where most fighters of the era still had one particular martial specialty, Abe was a hybrid fighter who mixed the lessons of his training in judo, jiu-jitsu and karate, as liable to throw front kicks and hard crosses as rolling heel hooks and single-leg takedowns. His varied attacks (and his immaculate hair) gave him a larger fan following than many of his peers—particularly given that his actual record was a little lacking. Four years after his 1998 debut he was 4-1-2, with all his victories coming against less than impressive competition... When he was matched up in a non-title fight with Hiroyuki Abe, it was seen as a bit of a mismatch: Pequeno was dominating the entire division and Abe's previous fight had been a draw with the 4-3 Baret Yoshida. And Abe knocked him out cold in one round. It's a magical moment to go back and revisit. It's a left hook out of nowhere, placed right on Franca's chin as he's circling away from a front kick. With one perfect punch, Hiroyuki Abe jumped from the top 15 to the world's undisputed #1 featherweight. He was on top of the world. A few months later they had a rematch and Pequeno choked him out in a little under four minutes. The balance was restored... And somehow, in the middle of that, he managed to train some of the greatest women's mixed martial artists in history. Smackgirl middleweight champion Hitomi Akano, Invicta and Rizin champion Ayaka Hamasaki, and women's GOAT Megumi Fujii all learned to fight under Abe Ani's tutelage. He instilled that one perfect moment in every single one of them. He's still, inescapably, a jobber—he retired at 8-15-3 (1) and half of his victories came against competition with more losses than wins—but between knocking out Pequeno and training multiple generations of top-flight fighters, there's no shame whatsoever in his career. He went everywhere, he saw everything, and for one brief, beautiful moment, he was the best in the world."
— A profile of Abe from a Fire Pro Wrestling user Carl CX from

  • A Day In The Lime Light: He has a win by KO over Alexandre Franca Nogueira, he lost the rematch though.
  • The Apprentice: To Kazuhiro Kusayanagi and Yoshinori Nishi.
  • Badass Family: His brother Masatoshi Abe is also a MMA fighter.
  • Badass Teacher: Owns a gym, the Abe Ani Combat Club (AACC) and most famously trained Megumi Fujii. He also founder of the Wajyutsu Keisyukai Real Japan Wrestling (RJW) Dojo before he left to form the AACC.
  • Bash Brothers: With his brother Masatoshi Abe.
  • Canon Immigrant: Was a representative of Wajyutsu Keisyukai RJW and not a Shooto system trainee.
  • I Know Karate: A black belt in this and Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, he started his training in amateur wrestling and trained shoot wrestling at Shooto Gym K'z Factory and also trained at Wajyutsu Keisyukai.
  • Red Baron: "Abe Ani".
  • Unrelated Brothers: No relation to Kazuya, Shinji or Yoshihiko.

Charles Diaz

Ryan Diaz

"Martial Arts is my life. I have lived my life as a modern day samurai and traveled all over the world fighting and learning so I can bring you the most up to date techniques and drills. Fighting is my passion and now I get to teach that passion to you."

Norio Fujita

Takanori Gomi

"That little guy, I don't know what the fuck, he was doing some karate in there... He's fuckin' do some little Hadouken fuckin' punch in there to me. You know, he's knocking people out, busting their shit up."
—Nick Diaz about Takanori Gomi.

"I chose to box because I didn't want to finish my life without a challenge."
—Takanori Gomi about his fighting career.

  • The Ace: Amassed two winning streaks of 14-0 and 10-0 back to back against names like Sakurai, Mishima, Sato, Ralph Gracie, Tatsuya Kawajiri and others.
  • Achilles' Heel: Though a terrifying fighter, he was bad when fighting from his back.
  • The Alcoholic: According to Genki Sudo, Gomi spends more in sake than Satoru Sayama in candy.
  • The Apprentice: To Sagamihara Yonekura, Kazuhiro Kusayanagi, and Noriaki Kiguchi.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: Is sort of the Japanese equivalent of Vitor Belfort, both were dangerous punchers that preferred to sprawl-and-brawl despite also having extensive backgrounds in their own grappling disciplines.
  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: Head fighter of Kugayama Rascal.
  • The Berserker: Had tendency to fight with a palpable sense of anger that saw referees having to physically intervene to stop him from punching unconscious his opponents.
  • Blood Knight: While he had many decision wins in Shooto, in PRIDE he made in a point to go for KOs, particularly in the three year end shows he was part of.
    "Judgment on New Year's Eve? No, it must be KO!"
  • Boxing Battler: A former boxer, and possibly the best puncher in the history of Japanese MMA.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Started his Shooto training at 16.
  • Broken Ace: His UFC run, where fought 13 times and won only four. Eight of his nine losses came by stoppage, and seven of those eight stoppages came in the first round.
  • Cool Teacher: Head instructor of Higashi Rinkan Rascal Gym.
  • Determinator: Refused to tap to Marcus Aurelio's arm triangle choke and was rendered unconscious.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: He actually relied more on his grappling skills in his early Shooto days over his boxing. It was only later in PRIDE where he sprawl-and-brawled his way to the top.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: A pure sprawl-and-brawler, he favours punching people in the f'n' head over more complicated strategies. The funny part is that he is actually a very good grappler, with four All Japan Combat Wrestling championships and some victories against decorated wrestlers on his belt; it's just that he likes more the other way.
  • Hidden Depths: Originally dreamed of being a baseball player, when his love for the sport got him to neglect his studies and drop out of high school, he got disowned and lost any chance of that dream happening.
  • I Know Boxing: Trained at Yonekura Boxing Gym, and also trained in freestyle, shoot, and combat wrestling. Some sources say that he also trained in a Karate style called Mushinjuku, though it is dubious.
  • Insistent Terminology: Refers to his KO victories as “suka-gachi”
  • Meaningful Rename: A tragic example. He changed his family name to Gomi, which means trash in Japanese, when his parents disowned him for dropping out of high school.
  • Red Baron: "The Fireball Kid", "Tenkamuso no Hinotama Boy" ("The World's Unparalelled Fireball Boy").
  • Ur-Example: He was the first and only PRIDE Lightweight Champion.

Dennis Hallman

"If I had to all the way to the other side of the world to avenge my only loss, then so be it. It was at UFC Japan, and even though there were hundreds more people in the audience this time, the sound level was very much the same as it had been at Monte's show. The cage had eight sides instead of four. But that didn't matter. What mattered is that I was looking into the eyes of the only man who had ever beaten me in a fight: Dennis Hallman."
— Matt Hughes on his rematch with Hallman in his autobiography, Made In America.

"I won't say what the bet was about, but I lost a bet to those guys and losing the bet meant that I got to wear some speedos."
— Dennis Hallman on the "Speedoman" story.

  • Always Someone Better: Was beaten twice by Frank Trigg.
  • The Apprentice: To Matt Hume.
  • Cool Teacher: Owns Victory Athletics Combat Sports Academy and was a PCJWL Kid's Wrestling coach.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: "Speedoman" after he lost a bet between Len Bentley and Sterling Ford and had to wear speedos in his fight with Brian Ebersole. He thought it was funny, but Dana White was not amused.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Hallman had planned to continue his wrestling career at a community college, but broke his leg during the pre-season training, and had to be sidelined for the entire season. He then got into MMA.
    • He also has Coeliac Disease, an autoimmune digestive reaction to wheat gluten, which hindered his ability to recover properly from physical activities such as training and fighting.
  • Guest Fighter
  • Hero Killer: He beat Matt Hughes twice.
  • I Know Amateur Wrestling: Started when he was eight years old. He was on the wrestling team at Yelm High School and won the 135-pound state championship in his senior year. He also trained in boxing, is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Fabiano Scherner, a black belt in Karate, and also trained at AMC Pankration.
  • Minored In Ass Kicking: His professional boxing record stands at 1-1-0.
  • Red Baron: "Superman".
  • Underwear of Power: His speedos in his fight with Brian Ebersole.

Teruyuki Hashimoto

Kieran Hewett

Matt Hughes

"You are the greatest champion of all time."
— Dana White to Hughes in the cage after beating B.J. Penn at UFC 63.

"When you lose, say little... When you win, say less."
— Matt Hughes

  • The Ace: Had an 18 win streak, and won two UFC welterweight titles.
  • Always Identical Twins: With his twin brother Mark.
  • Always Someone Better: His brother Mark once beat him in the finals of a wrestling tournament.
    • He also was beaten twice by Dennis Hallman in MMA.
  • The Apprentice: To Pat Miletich.
  • Arch-Enemy: Matt Serra. Serra despised Hughes for insulting Gracie jiu-jitsu and treating GSP with disrespect during Season 4 of The Ultimate Fighter. Their match was delayed for several months when Serra was injured during training, with the two finally meeting at UFC 98. Hughes won a back-and-forth unanimous decision that was awarded Fight of The Night honors.
  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: Founded The H.I.T. (Hughes Intensive Training) Squad MMA team and is its top fighter.
  • Badass Family / Wrestling Family: His brother Mark is also an amateur wrestler, MMA fighter and additionally a BJJ black belt.
  • Badass Teacher: Has coached on the The Ultimate Fighter as a main coach and guest coach.
  • Bash Brothers: With his twin brother Mark.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: His decision to hold a Bible reading session for his team in The Ultimate Fighter, using it to compare himself to Queen Esther. Matt Serra, his bitter rival and opposing coach, certainly did not hold back his disdain for the act.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: In his autobiography, he states he and his brother once beat up their father for being a neglectful, abusive douche to them and their mom.
  • Carpet of Virility: Simple country boy Matt Hughes never does something as sissified as shave his chest.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Was the most dominant UFC champ in history until his rematch with Georges St-Pierre, who stopped him in the second round with surprising ease.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Had a fight in Shooto with Akihiro Gono before coming to RINGS.
  • Face–Heel Turn: In Season 2 of The Ultimate Fighter. Through most of his fighting career, Hughes was generally liked and seen to be a down-to-earth country boy. During his stint as a coach, however, he came off as much more of a Jerkass. It was especially pronounced during his stint as a guest coach on Season 4, when he repeatedly antagonized fellow guest coach Georges St-Pierre, earning him the ire of Matt Serra. He continued this trend during his second coach stint on Season 6. His attempts to connect with his team through Bible study backfired, and he ultimately came off as self-important and condescending.
  • Guest Fighter: From Miletich Fighting Systems.
  • Hero Killer: Has beaten guys like Royce Gracie, Renzo Gracie, Ricardo Almeida, and Matt Serra.
  • I Know Amateur Wrestling: An accomplished wrestler.
  • Insistent Terminology: Prefers to be known as an amateur and submission wrestler instead of a BJJ guy despite guys like Joe Rogan saying he deserves a black belt.
  • Jerkass: He has been on The Ultimate Fighter in some way three times as a coach and has displayed some boorish behavior. In Season 2, his former "Aw Shucks" Farmboy persona crumbled in many viewers' eyes as he verbally abused several of the fighters. As a guest coach on Season 4, he managed to stir shit between Matt Serra and a trainer, insult Georges St-Pierre, and bizarrely referred to an African American fighter's "big lips." He made a concerted effort to try NOT to come off as a jerkass when he coached Season 6 against Matt Serra.
  • Manly Men Can Hunt: An avid hunter and was host of Outdoor Channel's Trophy Hunters TV. He has been criticized for this though.
  • Metronomic Man Mashing: Is well known for slamming his opponents.
  • Misblamed: His autobiography is a great source of things that gets him looking more of a dick then he really is.
    • In the beating up his dad story, people seem to think he is actually bragging about it.
    • That he and his brother were sexually active with a minor, which was actually just a story of his brother and his wife kissing, though she was thirteen to his brother's twenty.
    • That he and his brother threw someone out a window, usually stated to be their mom, when no such event was even mentioned.
    • That he bad mouthed Randy Couture, which wasn't in the book either.
    • That he and his brother tortured pigs for fun, even though castration is a regular part of pig farming, though one may call throwing a pig's testicle at a Marc Fiore just to be funny a little over the line.
  • Mistaken for Racist: Matt claims this, after the uproar on the online forums when he made fun of Din Thomas' "big lips" in Season 4 of The Ultimate Fighter. Thomas is African American, and many found the comment racist. Matt insists it was just good-natured ribbing between friends.
    • This is compounded with his singling out African American fighter Rashad Evans for showboating for no apparent reason in Season 2, and has made several public remarks over the years about his dislike for half-Mexican Tito Ortiz, who does not even fight in his weight class (although to be fair, it's Ortiz we are talking about, and Evans rubs a lot of people the wrong way), and recently culminated with pictures of him holding white supremacist paraphernalia (he claims he had no knowledge of the meanings of the symbols). Hughes is retired now and works for the UFC in Talent Relations, and this could jeopardize his job.
  • Real Men Love Jesus: Is a born again Christian and regularly posts Bible verses on his website.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: "A Country Boy Can Survive" by Hank Williams, Jr.
  • Red Baron: Surprisingly averted, though some people call him "The Gracie Killer" just like Kazushi Sakuraba for his wins against Royce, Renzo Gracie and their trainees.
  • "Stop Having Fun" Guys: He detests flashy moves and such, that he cut a promo calling out Rashad Evans for showboating during a fight in Season 2 of The Ultimate Fighter.
  • The Worf Effect: His losses against Dennis Hallman, and his third fight with B.J. Penn.
  • Worthy Opponent: B.J. Penn and Georges St-Pierre who both had a trilogy of fights with him.

Ryota Ibaraki

Tetsuharu Ikei

Seichi Ikemoto

Kazuhiro Inoue

Masaya Inoue

Makoto Ishikawa

Martijn de Jong

"Coming from a 'striker' country, Martijn was in that first small group of fighters from Holland, who also knew how to submit people. He actually won way more fights by submission then he did by KO, and just that, shows that he was already thinking 'outside the box' in the early stages of the MMA scene."
Bas Rutten, a foreword for Martijn's book; MMA, The Essentials of Mixed Martial Arts.

"Martijn de Jong is the master of Mixed Martial Arts having many great techniques. I heard that my friend Martijn would issue a technique book. He is famous in Japan as a great fighter and also an excellent corner man. If I describe him in Japanese he is really 'Bugei Hyappan' which means 'all sorts of military arts'. He generously shows his techniques so this book will be many fighters' Bible."
Kazuhiro Sakamoto, another foreword for MMA, The Essentials of Mixed Martial Arts.

  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: President of Shooto Europe, ADCC Holland and former CEO of the fight promotion, GLORY.
  • Cool Teacher: Was the head Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Submission Wrestling Trainer of Golden Glory. He also owns his own gym, Tatsujin Dojo. He has instructed fighters like Alistair and Valentijn Overeem, Marloes Coenen, Gökhan Saki, etc.
  • Formerly Fat: Struggled with his weight growing up, he once went up to over 120kg (265 lbs).
  • I Know Karate: A kyokushin 1st dan black belt and a Dutch champion. He is also a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu 1st degree black belt under Remco Pardoel, a Japanese jujitsu 2nd dan black belt, trained in Kickboxing and Muay Thai under Jan Lomulder, Greco-Roman wrestling under Andy Jekel, shoot wrestling under Kazuhiro Sakamoto and also Judo.
  • Red Baron: "Tatsujin", "The Specialist", "Creator of Champions".
  • Start My Own: A co-founder of the fight promotion, GLORY (Originally called Ultimate Glory).
  • Ur-Example: While his trainer Remco Pardoel introduced Shooto to the Netherlands, Martijin was the one to start up the competitions.

Masashi Kameda

Shuichiro Katsumura

"I wanted to find a way to be remembered when I went to fight in Lithuania [in 2006] and thought that the easiest way for people to know me as a Japanese fighter was to enter the ring dressed as a ninja. Before I left Japan, I told everyone that if my choke happened, I’d call it the ninja choke since that would be easy to remember, too."
— Shuichiro Katsumura on the Ninja Choke.

  • The Apprentice: To Kazuhiro Kusayanagi.
  • Badass Teacher: Owns Reversal Gym Yokohama Groundslam and is the head instructor.
  • Cool Teacher: Is an elementary school teacher.
  • Friend to All Children: He once worked at a child care facility in Kamakura.
  • Gratuitous Ninja: Wore a ninja outfit for an entrance and has a move he calls the Ninja Choke.
  • I Am Not Spock: He will be the first to tell you that the “Real Tiger Mask” gimmick was something that was foisted upon him because the character’s background as a champion for orphans coincidentally aligned with his own work helping and teaching children. Consequently, he wanted to distance himself from the comparison, so much so that he had a Reversal brand T-shirt printed with the words “I’m not [the] real Tiger Mask” emblazoned on the front. He has accepted it now, not because he enjoys it (if anything, it dredges up dark ghosts of the past for him that he is reticent to talk about) but because it has new utility given the circumstances of Japan’s recent crises.
  • I Know Shoot Wrestling: Was a 1998 All Japan Amateur Shooto Featherweight champion and also trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and combat wrestling at Shooto Gym K'z Factory.
  • Japanese Delinquent: When he was in high school.
  • Nice Guy: Self-admittedly not when he was in high school, but after college he worked at child care facility, volunteered to make supply runs to Tohoku after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami and vowed to donate his next fight purse to charity while trying to not to receive attention. It was these characteristics that earned him the nickname “The Real Tiger Mask”.
  • Red Baron: “The Real Tiger Mask”.
  • Signature Move: He invented a modified brabo choke he dubbed the Ninja Choke, and even has an instructional video on it.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Was a pro wrestling fan growing up and has worked for promotions like Dramatic Dream Team and Hard Hit.

Tetsuo Katsuta

Hiroki Kita

Ahmed Lazizi

Chikara Miyake

  • The Apprentice: To Noriaki Kiguchi, Naoki Sakurada and Hiroki Noritsugi.
  • Cool Teacher: Owns Chokushinkai MMA Dojo (originally called Cyokushinkai Kakutogi Dojo).
  • I Know Karate: A kyokushin black belt and trained in Muay Thai, as well as combat and shoot wrestling and trained at Kiguchi Gym and Gutsman Shooto Dojo.
  • Jobber: A career of 1 win, 2 losses, and a draw.

Yohei Nanbu

Norio Nishiyama

Ademir Oliveira

Yoshinobu Ota

John Paun

Rafles la Rose

Tatsuya Sakurai

Marcos da Silva

Yohei Suzuki

  • The Apprentice: To Yuki Nakai and Matt Hume.
  • Cool Teacher: A former instructor at Paraestra Tokyo. He is now the head instructor of Crosspoint Gym (formerly Paraestra Kichijoji).
  • I Know Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: As well as shoot wrestling at Paraestra Tokyo, trained in Muay Thai and also trained at AMC Pankration.

Daiji Takahashi

Koji Takeuchi

Din Thomas

"I had always been a showman in my life. I'm actually a quiet guy at times. but when I get the spotlight I like to shine as much as possible. I don't like to talk over people. I just wait for my time to be heard and I let it all hang out. It's too bad that I come from an environment that's used to talking trash. I used to rap so talking trash is in my blood. I realize it can be annoying but give me a beat and I'll freak it."

  • Always Someone Better: Beaten twice by Caol Uno.
  • The Apprentice: To Ricardo Liborio.
  • Cool Teacher: Runs two Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and MMA academies.
  • Fight Clubbing: He was arrested in 2007 for allegedly running illegal matches at his gym, though the Assistant State Attorney's office decided not to file formal charges against Thomas and filed paperwork dismissing the charge on which he was arrested. The Assistant D.A. stated if the fighter or participants were students of Thomas' school, and the purpose of the school is to teach martial arts, then they meet the exception to the law.
  • Guest Fighter
  • I Know Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: A black belt. He also trained at American Top Team.
  • Red Baron: "Dinyero", "The Dominator".
  • Scary Black Man
  • Trash Talk: Knows how to talk trash for sure.

Shinsuke Ueno

Takeru Ueno

Hiroshi Umemura

Fumio Usami

"I came to his gym when I was 19-years-old. I trust him with every aspect of my training."
— Rin Nakai

  • Cool Teacher: Owns Wild Sports Gym aka Shooto Gym Shikoku aka Pancrase Venus. His most well known trainee is female Pancrase fighter Rin Nakai.
  • I Know Amateur Wrestling: Placed second in the national team selections for the 1988 Olympics. He also trained in shoot wrestling and was a 1998 West Japan Amateur Shooto Open Tournament Lightweight Champion.
  • Red Baron: "Wild" and was introduced in Shooto as WILD Usami.

Takuya Wada

  • The Apprentice: To Tenshin Matsumoto and Kazuhiro Kusayanagi.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: He once competed in an amateur RINGS event in 1997.
  • Hidden Depths: Aimed to be a bicycle racer after he retired from fighting in 2011.
  • I Know Sambo: Trained at SK Absolute and was an All Japan Champion in the 82kg class in 2008. He also trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, combat and shoot wrestling at Shooto Gym K'z Factory (He was the 76kg class champion in the 5th All Japan Combat Wrestling Championships In 1999) and also trained in amateur wrestling in high school.
  • Red Baron: "Komando Sambo no Keishō-sha" ("The Inheritor of Commando Sambo"), "Sambo-kai no Kikōshi" ("Prince of Sambo").
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Has wrestled for Hart Hit and All Japan Pro Wrestling in his retirement from fighting.

Mamoru Yamaguchi

"I wanted the fans to recognize me besides my fighting skills, and this hairstyle is what I ended up with. Now, many fans recognize my afro … and me."

Shiko Yamashita

Kohei Yasumi

Jinzaburo Yonezawa