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Quotes / Universal Wrestling Federation Shooto

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"In 1983, while still one of the most popular wrestlers in Japan, Satoru retired form the professional wrestling circuit to develop the realistic fighting skills used in Shooto. In 1984 he opened the Tiger Gym, which is now known as the Super Tiger Gym. Super Tiger is the name Satoru used as a professional wrestler. Since its grand opening, thousands of students have trained at the Super Tiger Gym. The training is physically demanding and requires students to progress through several levels in order to earn their professional status. After beginning students acquire a basic understanding of Shooto's various ranges, they are promoted to advanced students. Advanced students are required to pass a test before progressing to the level of Pre-shooter, which is the level of competence required for amateur competition in Shoot Wrestling tournaments. Professional Shoot Wrestlers are known as Shooters. Shooters are personally selected and tested by Satoru in the areas of mental and physical Shoot Wrestling competence, integrity, character and morals. All Shooters are certified instructors or coaches. An A-Kyu Shooter is one who has exceptional teaching ability which is recognized and certified by Satoru Sayama."
Shooto's history, as described on the website for the USA Shooto Association.

"Shooto, also known as Shoot Wrestling, combines punching, kicking, throwing, and submissions in a dynamic martial art offering the best of many traditional martial arts. Shooto's founder, Satoru Sayama, incorporated techniques from Muay Thai, Catch-As-Catch-Can wrestling, Russian Sambo, and Japanese Judo to create "a totally combative sport martial art." Shooto was one of the first true mixed martial arts systems, with amateur matches starting in 1986 and professional matches in 1989. Some of today's top names in MMA can trace their roots back to Shooto."
— The USA Shooto Association's answer to; What is Shooto?

"The guys were good at standing and ground. There's more kickboxing and when you clinch and went to the ground, you were allowed to fight on the ground for probably, I don't know, maybe 30 seconds or until there was no more movement. When there's no more movement, they'd break and then you would stand back up so your kickboxing or your standup fighting was very important because you had to have it, or you'd get knocked out. Now it's like, the rules have changed, a couple of punches, maybe a kick or two, and then boom, you hit the ground and they let you stay on the ground. Before then, they never let you stay on the ground. Then, the rules, you know, it's three 5-minute rounds so you're up and down. Your conditioning, I think, at that time, for the up and down fighting, was real difficult. I think some of the hardest training you can do is shoot boxing. Punch, kick, throw, takedown, stand back up, punch, kick, throw, takedown, stand back up. That's how we used to train so the training is now punch, kick, clinch, tackle, ground, position, punch, strikes, and if get submissions, submit, but it's based more on a positioning game now, definitely."
Erik Paulson on what it feels to be in a Shooto fight.

"There were so many submissions that Shooto teaches, it has 10 combinations and each combo has anywhere from eight to thirty locks in them. This gives an approximate total of 150 locks that you have to know to become a Shooter. Out of those 150 locks, it is hard to prefect and get really good at most of them, but it’s actually not the accumulation, it’s actually getting good at a few of them. One saying we have that we got from Greg Nelson, it's actually funny. The saying is “Jack of all, master at none”, he says “Master a few and jack everyone”."
Erik Paulson on Shooto's philosophy.

"Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu really stresses the guard and the mount. We train a lot more cross body, which is yoko shiho. We train kesa gatame, which is head and arm, side headlock. 69 position, we call kami shiho. We use a lot of attacks from each of those positions. They has as many upper body attacks as lower body. I would say that Jiu-Jitsu is based more on positioning and the movement, whereas the Shooto, from each position there are several attacks that they teach so it's based more on a submission style art that...I mean Jiu-Jitsu is submission definitely, but it [Shooto] is based more on attacking because at the time it was developed, when you throw the guy and you hit the ground, you only have like, what, 15-30 seconds to finish a guy and if you don't finish him you have to stand back up so it's all based on attacking, very aggressive, turbo ground attacks. I would say that Jiu-Jitsu is take your time, let him make a mistake, capitalize on that person's mistake. Don't let him turn his back. If he turns his back, you're on his back, finish him."
Erik Paulson on the differences between Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Shooto.

"I think the establishment of shooting is a big and revolutionary step in the world of kakutōgi. But it's a bit different from what I do. It's too sportive. In my opinion, it can be a bit improved. Having weight classes is not a particular problem, but having time limits in the open weight class of Shooting Open is a problem. A smaller man needs more time to take the bigger man into more advantageous position on the ground. One round with time limits of 3 or 4 minutes is not enough for that. Also, the referee doesn't give enough time to work a submission, but instead stands the fighters up too quickly. The man doesn't have enough time to plan ahead, to set and then spring his trap. I believe that if changes like these are made, shooting will become more like a real fight. However, "shooting" is much better than anything else I've seen so far."
Rickson Gracie

"Now, let's take a look at Shooto. It has its own commission which does nothing but maintain the official rules of Shooto as well as training and cultivating referees for the sport. People from Shooto once told me that, "Shooto itself is not an organization, the official rules themselves are Shooto!""
— From the article; "Lord of the Tiger Mask: A Sacred Cup Named Shooto Part 1" by William Lue Frymer

"Considering the fact that the UFC started with bear knuckles and the UWF did not allow closed-fist strikes, it is fair to conclude that the original rules of Japan Shooting where way ahead of their time in terms of MMA as a professional spectator sport for the general public."
— From the article; "Lord of the Tiger Mask: A Sacred Cup Named Shooto Part 2" by William Lue Frymer
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