It has been a year since we opened the "Mr. Danger's Steak and Grill Shop". Of course, I'm still sweating and standing in the kitchen every day. Opportunities to stand in front of professional wrestling fans have completely decreased, but now I have two jobs as a a steak shop cook and as a wrestler, on the contrary, professional wrestling is now more fun and enjoyable. I could realize Extreme death matches one after another in Big Japan Pro Wrestling, and using my Saber Tiger was revived in Battlarts. Matches against martial arts style wrestlers like Battlarts inspires me a lot. The professional wrestling media also created a match between me and Yuki Ishikawa as "New Style Inoki vs. Tiger Jeet Singh".
Unlike the old Tiger Jeet Singh, who just used his saber handle, I was "New
Style" and I tried to do more by hitting and stabbing with my sword. As a
result, I received great heat from the audience and enjoyed the fun of being a
heel for the first time in a while. I used to be a fan of All Japan, so I
actually enjoyed The Sheik more than the saber-tooth Tiger. The Sheik's weapon
of the five-inch nail and using the camel clutch were completely inspiring to
me. In the old days, I liked The Sheik, which was I was always surprised that he
would use wrestling skills doing a body slam, rather than brawling in a rough
So, next time, I'm thinking of going behind Yuki Ishikawa, wearing a veil wrapped with a barbed wire head band, and becoming The Sheik instead of Tiger Jeet Singh. By the way, I have a saber like Tiger Jeet Singh, a kippah is Freddie Blassie, a weapon like The Sheik, and I fight with body like Bruiser Brody, is it overkill? Even so, I have many ideas about what to do next.
Alright, if I increase the number of employees in my store, I will make time for training and try to get my body back to its heyday. I've been in the ring of Seishin Kaikan, FMW, Pioneer Senshi, New Japan Pro Wrestling, W*ING, New FMW, Big Japan Pro-Wrestling, Battlarts, but in the end I couldn't do the professional wrestling I really wanted to do. It's been 10 years since I became a professional wrestler.
I laughed and laughed with various wrestlers and people
involved in the promotions, and sometimes I left the promotion due to conflict.
I think I was able to put together what I felt in this book as it was. Looking
back in this way, the last 10 years I have lived are also the history of the
indies. I know the old and I know the present. What is professional wrestling
after reading this book? What is a professional wrestler? And what is an indie?
I hope you understand after this book.
If I fought against Great Muta at the Tokyo Dome
It was January 4, 1997, and the battle between Great Muta against myself Mitsuhiro Matsunaga at the Tokyo Dome box office was announced on October 17th of the previous year. The President of Big Japan Pro-Wrestling, Great Kojika, decided on his own initiative and announced it himself instead of New Japan Pro-Wrestling. However, some indie warriors are brilliant in the major ring, while others are not. New Japan fans thought they would be happy to see the match because an indie wrestler like me could be in a major ring, but I am not a joke. That's why major promotion fans are said to be low level in intelligence fans. President Kojika contacted me many times in a hurry, but he could never get me to go along with his belief. I was stubborn and refused to have a match against Great Muta.
How many of the fans who came to the indie shows were happy
to hear that I was going to New Japan? At least none of the fans who have been
watching me since W*ING. The actions I took were done because the professional
wrestling media had downplayed me as having no chance in New Japan, which any
person who has supported indie should have seen coming.
The media doesn't understand what an indie is. I have the pride that I have fought in more dangerous matches than in New Japan. I wanted to tell the noisy New Japan fans, "The wrestling you've seen is different from the wrestling I've come from." A indie star will die if they meet a major star in the ring. Few people understood my advice. In particular, President Kojika did not allow the others to leave their battles with New Japan.
I can't write much about behind the scenes, but I was quite enthusiastic to President Kojika, who couldn't understand no matter how much I explained. President Kojika continued to persuade me to get me into the dome, but I was stubborn. At the end, I was sharp and said to the front office of Big Japan, "If you make me go to the Dome, I will kill him." and he couldn't understand my feelings until the end.
In the end, the competition against New Japan consisted
of four matches: Yoshihiro Tajiri vs. Shinjiro Otani, Kendo Nagasaki vs. Tatsutoshi Goto, Shoji Nakamaki vs. Masahiro Chono, and Great Kojika vs. Masa
Saito. President Kojika was booed by 60,000 people, but he didn't seem to care
stating "the popularity of the villains is also popular." But what was bad for
President Kojika was he's not really disliked or popular as a villain. New Japan
fans hated Big Japan's participation, and indie fans hated Big Japan's
participation in New Japan. To be honest, I felt the New Japan crushing indie
strategy behind the Great Muta match.
I was not scared of Great Muta, but I was scared of the feeling of destroying indie wrestling in front of 60,000 spectators, and if I was having a match against Muta, I would definitely be killed.
When it came to death match fighting, I wasn't confident that I could hold back my feelings. Before I entered the Seishin Kaikan, I was introduced to the Kansuiryu school. My teacher's name is Masao Mizutani, and he said if you go into a fight knowing you can not win, you better also bring a Japanese Sword to the fight.
He was a strange person who even issued a challenge to Antonio Inoki. As a former student of Kansuiryu Karate, I didn't intend to do just do professional wrestling with Muta. To put it simply, if we had this professional wrestling match, it would have been a repeat of Masahiro Chono vs. Shoji Nakamaki, so I would like to try to surprise the 60,000 people in a good way. I knew little about what New Japan wanted to do.
The two people who were targeted in the rivalry were me and Shoji Nakamaki, who have been doing death matches in Japan for years. They wanted to prove what would happen if a wrestler known for their death matches went up against a high level New Japan wrestler in a New Japan ring. When I refused the fight a reporter from a professional wrestling magazine said, "If you really went to New Japan, what would you have done?" "I would bring a Japanese Sword with me."
I was asked the
same question and answered the same thing on Samurai TV and the host said
"Wouldn't that be a criminal case?" I am considered to be a man who knows what
he is doing, but I am not afraid of anything. What I could possibly do was
seasoned by Kansuiryu. Actually, when I would have defeated Muta with my sword,
I was thinking about how to escape before being attacked by the other New Japan
wrestlers. However, the Tokyo Dome is wide, and the exit is complicated. So I
thought I was not going to be able to escape.
Encouter with Shin-Karate-do/Kansuiryu Karate
I began martial arts when I was in junior high school. The junior high school I went to did not have a judo club, so I joined the sumo club without hesitation. I placed a record of 3rd place in the Tokai region, a sumo wrestling scout came to watch my match. After that, I went to Chukyo High School with my achievements in sumo, and after that, I continued another seven years.
However, when I was in college, the school didn't put much effort into sumo, so I began to become devoted to practicing karate. I thought I was the strongest in karate on the ground, and I thought I had a warmed ultra-vacuum hand. However, when I heard that the late Karate, which was more suitable for me, was founded by a man named Masao Mizutani and as a pro-wrestling fan I already knew of him.
Masao Mizutani was a man known for challenging Antonio Inoki with a chain sickle in one hand. It was at a time when I was fascinated. When I entered the university, I was thinking of learning karate and I chose Kansui-ryu Karate, which was related to sumo and professional wrestling. Because of my longing for professional wrestling, I thought that I might be able to fight a professional wrestler like in the match of Inoki and Willie Williams.
Mr. Mizutani said, in response to Antonio Inoki's words of having an open
challenge to any martial artist, he stated "If so, fight me with my chain
sickle! If you do not accept, I will be at professional wrestling venue, and I
will enter with my chain sickle and it will fly!" it was a story that came to
Inoki's attention, but it was ignored. I think it would have been better for New
Japan to have a friendly relationship with him than to ignore him.
The Kansuiryu Karate headquarters dojo, which was named Kansuiryu, was near Chukyo University where I went to school. I chose Chukyo University because I wanted to do karate there. Kansuiryu Dojo used modern training for professional wrestler aspiring students to do like Hindu squats and bridges, but when I went to the dojo, the practice was mainly the type of karate and mobile training, and apart from the practice of professional wrestling they did not even seem to do kumite (sparring) which I imagined was a practical and intense practice like an ultra-vacuum hand for karate.
When I asked the instructor, "Isn't Kansuiryu
Karate full contact?" Because karate is a one-shot kill, hitting it means death.
It is a rule born from the concept, and is generally called traditional karate
or Okinawa karate. Originally, Chinese martial arts were introduced to Okinawa
in the Tokugawa era (1603-1867), and it came to be called Karate. In a form that
repels the "full contact rule" of the ultra-vacuum hand.
They had both the traditional karate tournament and the full contact karate tournament, there were many mysterious schools in which no fighters appeared.
In Kansuiryu, even if you practice traditional karate, when you do kumite, you can't just hit your opponent, and you have a full-scale contest before you were allowed to hit the opponent. It was not a kumite, but a type of karate that was as close to a real fight where you can your opponent in the face with your fist. For the time being, attacks on the face were prohibited at the time in kumite, but when I was there, there was no student who complained about having a fist in the face. In fact, I rarely did kumite, but instead of sparring, I always thought that kumite was the same as in the actual battle and did my best.
"It is said that Kansuiryu is one of the trainings to endure such rough training, and after I was an "introductory person", I hated it. Kansuiryu Kumite is not a competitive karate like Kyokushin karate, which is a form that allows the hitting while keeping the traditional karate interval, where the kumite is stepped on at the center of the front kicks and hits. It was close to the early Kyokushin karate kumite where Joko Ninomiya and Hatsuo Royama were.
Challenge to Antonio Inoki
A month after the my introduction, Chairman Mizutani came to the headquarters dojo, and from the beginning I was talking to someone that I wanted to be a professional wrestler. I was told that he had started as a professional wrestler, and that the chairman was concerned about me. Then when I opened the door of the chairman's office and met Mr. Mizutani for the first time, I felt something devilish about his face and appearance. What's more, he had his feet on the desk, and he had a glaring look.
The man who issued a challenge to Inoki
shocked me more than I had imagined. "You want to be a professional wrestler,
but this is a karate dojo. Would you like to try it? If you do, I'll put you in
a Kyokushin tournament. It won't be too late to become a professional wrestler.
With that in mind, a few months after I decided to concentrate on karate for a
while, I became accustomed to the Kansuiryu Karate, which felt strange at first.
Aside from Chairman Mizutani, all the students were ordinary people, and they
lived by being extremely polite.
The headquarters dojo was no different from the school karate dojo. However, the distinction between teacher-class humans and students was clear. All the executives wore black jumpers, and when they stepped into the dojo, all the students lined up. Normally, in other schools, even if there are teachers who have strict contact with their students, the teachers are talking with each other with a smile, but here, on the contrary, the teachers were nervous.
For example, in Kansuiryu, promotion examinations were conducted three or four times a year at the headquarters dojo. At that time, one of the executives of the branch I gathered had a teacher who I had talked to once or twice on the phone, and even if I greeted him, he was silent and completely ignored me from beginning to end. There was a thing.
The teachers of the other branches couldn't approach because of the similar inaccessible atmosphere, and when President Mizutani appeared at the dojo, the reason was well understood. During the grade examination, the chairman yells at the poor progress and throws things if there is something wrong. He mercilessly beats him if the executive was about to smile.
Since the executives do not know when they will start rampaging near
Chairman Mizutani, Chairman Mizutani, who was always nervous, was a person who
could not be measured by common sense and had a fanatic idea that he did not
know what to say suddenly. I've become accustomed to Kansuiryu little by little,
but I couldn't wipe out the strange impression of the chairman when I first met
Challenge to Giant Baba
When Chairman Mizutani visited the headquarters dojo, he almost always started giving lectures. Moreover, he tells the same story over and over again, so one day I didn't listen to it seriously and the chairman was in a bad mood. Shortly thereafter, he was advised by a call to an executive. "You have to listen to the chairman's story more seriously. I was forgiven because I had a colored gi, but if I was in the first stage still, I would have been thrown in a nearby ashtray. It is true that Chairman Mizutani was merciless to the students who earned their way through the dojo, but he never touched the students who were paying monthly fees.
Considering now, Kansuiryu is a large organization with thousands of students. The monthly membership fee was low, and it was operated with a membership fee of about 1,500 to 2,000 yen, so many students were invited by the karate boom at that time and the cheap monthly fee, and many students started. Kansuiryu was also a Kenka Karate in a different sense. Even with the same Kenka Karate, Kansuiryu is a school that likes to sell Kenka and sold Kenka to everyone. It is common to sell Kenka to those who seem to be strong in the town. Chairman Mizutani's constitution of love for fighting was surely inherited by the executives. For example, if Takamiyama (Sumo fighter) was in front of him, "Would you like to fight Takamiyama?" "Oh, come on, come on." That kind of conversation is exchanged on a daily basis.
The most troublesome thing was when Chairman Mizutani gave me a letter challenging Chiyonofuji who was the current Yokozuna in Sumo and said, "Give this to the Yokozuna." The chairman told me to go to New Japan at an event in Nagoya where we believed that many sumo wrestlers were suppose to participate on the show, and ordered me calmly. He devised a strategy on how I would hand the letter over "If you don't do this correctly, you will be beaten." However, a sudden stop order was issued that saved me.
The chairman had remembered that an executive of New Japan had previously stated, "Because the Ryogoku Sumo Hall building will not be available, we are going to stop dealing with the Sumo Association."
It's horrifying, but if Mizutani didn't remember that, I would definitely have given Chiyonofuji a challenge letter, at that time he would have taken "anyone's challenge".
However, Mizutani continued to challenge professional athletes, it was just annoying and no one accepted. He even issued challenge to Giant Baba. He took his challenge to Giant Baba very serious for some reason. I remember telling him, "Baba's chops can be easily dodged, but his headlocks are a little tough..." and then thinking "why is this coming out of his mouth?"
New Japan Pro-Wrestling and Tatsutoshi Goto
But then Antonio Inoki put out a statement that he would have a "The World's Best Martial Arts Battle" and it was around the time that he started to face different types of martial artists.
After Mizutani made his challenge to Inoki, the Kansuirtyu became a karate school sponsored by New Japan Pro-Wrestling, but the relationship between Kansuirtyu and New Japan was strange at that time.
Kansuirtyu hosted by a party that New Japan executives were suppose to attend but did not. Mizutani was furious and wanted to send Kansuiryu fighters to attend a New Japan Nagoya Aichi Prefectural Gym show and attack the New Japan wrestlers. Of course, it didn't happen but when this happened I could not believe that Kansuiryu was sponsored by New Japan.
No matter how much he promised to devote himself to karate, Mizutani was only worried about the future with New Japan. However, there are cases where Kansuiryu senior, Tatsutoshi Goto, joined New Japan. Therefore, I decided to wait because I believe there was a chance someday my time would come. I had no relationship with Mr. Goto during the Kansuiryu era, but Mr. Goto had the knowledge as a senior of Kansuiryu, as he was born in Tokoname City, Aichi Prefecture and was a university student and was active in weightlifting.
After 8 years with Kansuiryu he joined New Japan and then began training overseas with Kendo Nagasaki (then Rambo Sakuraba). One day a letter arrived from the United States to Chairman Mizutani. It was from Tatsutoshi Goto and I was told "Matsunaga, write a reply", and I wrote the reply to Mr. Goto on behalf of the chairman. Naturally, the letter also included details that I would also like to go to New Japan. Mr. Goto wrote a letter back to me stating, "I want to meet with you, so lets have a meal together when I come back to Japan". Goto-san's return to Japan and my Kansuiryu Karate exit were different as I was already in the Pioneer Senshei ring when Mr. Goto came back with dyed blonde hair.
I talked to Mr. Goto for the first time in passage at Korakuen Hall. Actually, when Mr. Goto was on an American expedition, he was the one who wrote the letter to Kansuiryu. " ……"Excuse me. But I quit." Mr. Goto looks scary, but in reality he was a delicate and kind person as he cared about me in the letter.
A life time of having nine lives
When I was in college, I have an unforgettable memory during that spring
break of my first year there where I ended up driving into a river in my car. I
was riding in my car, a Frontier M8,and was heading for a pachinko parlor.
On the way, I was hit by a heavy downpour and couldn't figure out where I was at
all. There are two roads one reached the pachinko parlor, and the other one, you
will fall into a river with no fence.
I turned and fell head over heels into a river that was flooding. The car splashed and I struck the war with a tremendous shock, but for a moment, I didn't know what had happened, I wasn't deep enough to sink completely, but the door wouldn't open when I tried to open it. I panicked desperately and tried to break it with a head butt, wondering if the windshield would break, but no matter how much I rushed, blood just spilled from my forehead and only a small hole was opened. Then, on the contrary, water came in from the small hole. It was a pretty scary situation!
What's more, because I was thrusted upside down, I found that when water infiltrated, air accumulated toward my feet. At the end, I thought, "Don't die like this. I wonder if the windshield will break again." Then, when I slammed another head butt, the windshield shattered from the small hole that opened from the first headbutt, and after that I succeeded in escaping by squeezing out the hole where the water that came in. Then, when I arrived at the shore, I saw the end of the Frontier Measurement 8, my car as it ended up igniting from the gasoline and blowing a fire from the engine. It was a movie-like scene. But it wasn't a dream, it was all a reality.
While thinking "Ah, what should I do about my car ..." and I searched for a pay phone and reported it, but I noticed, someone else seemed to report it, and ambulances and fire engines were dispatched, and they noticed there was no driver at the riverside, so they were making a fuss about whether the driver had washed away. I hurriedly shouted, "I'm sorry, I'm the driver!" and I was surrounded by paramedics and was treated at the hospital before returning to the dormitory of Chukyo University.
My injuries were minor and as all I had was a cut on my forehead. Immediately
after returning to the dormitory, I went to the room of Akitoshi Saito, a
classmate of mine from Chukyo High School who also belonged to the Swimming club
at the University, and told him, "I fell into the river in my car and broke the
windshield. Saito said "Come with me to the senior's room because I have a
Swimming club meeting about to start."
As I was waiting in the other room, Saito seemed to have told them that I had fallen into the river during swimming club meeting, and I heard a big laugh from the Swimming club's senior room. After that, the anecdote that I fell into the river by car was by Akitoshi Saito, my best friend, who expanded the story and spread it. I now have a reputation for being a anecdote like Mr. Danger and that was thanks to my best friend Akitoshi Saito who expanded the story and spread it.
A Challenge to Mr. Danger: Kill a Cow
One year has passed since I joined the Kansuiryu Karate Dojo, and I was already wearing black belt in the dojo. Although I had not passed first stage of the formal examination, I was given it directly by Chairman Mizutani, so at the dojo, I wore a black belt of Kansuiryu Karate. Of course, the higher you go, the more painful things you will deal with.
Also, when I was 19 years old, I was gradually brainwashed by Kansuiryu. Having to wear black jumpers in the summer, we tried not to feel the discomfort while at the karate school in front of the executives. On the contrary, at this time I wanted to become a full fledge executive as soon as possible. Now that I think about it, Kansuiryu has an atmosphere similar to a new religion such as "Aum Shinrikyo". It maybe the same as getting into a religion and wanting a holy name. It's a group psychology, or human beings are easily dyed by the environment.
When I was in college, my life was spent working part-time except for karate.
At that time, I did various things such as Toyota's employee cafeteria. Speaking
of which, I once did a part-time job for which money was not the purpose.
Can a person kill a cow with a fist? I put that into practice. If you are person who inspires to do karate, you should read "Karate Paca Ichidai", a graphic novel modeled after the late Professor Mas Oyama, the President of Kyokushin Kaikan. Like Dr. Oyama, I worked on a ranch to achieve "killing cows". And the chances came around soon. I was after the grass-eating cows. I went around it and put in a low kick to it. However, the cow just seemed annoyed and I was surprise I couldn't that I couldn't achieve cow killing.
Mental Education of Chairman Mizutani
I dropped out of college two years, but in my second year I didn't attend classes at all, and I lived in a dormitory, with a part-time job, and the dojo, which was about a two-minute walk from the university. Since I was in the university, I wanted to graduate somehow, but when I entered the university, my father ended up paying all the entrance fees prepared by my mother for a boat race, and my mother had to borrow the money for me to enroll. Since I had not paid for the entrance fee, I had a feeling that I didn't want to put any more financial burden on my parents.
So I decided to drop out of college and entrusted my future to the president.
When the chairman said, "Quit college and become a wrestler," he intended for me
to go to New Japan, and said, "Practice karate while working," I intended to
work there and the chairman ordered me to become the chairman's attendant.
"Matsunaga, endures half a year of mental education while working as an attendant under me. If you can endure my "mental education ", then you will join New Japan Pro-Wrestling." "Mental education" What is that? Well, I'm sure I'll be forced to sit upright and be struck by the idea of the Kansui style for hours. You just have to be patient for an hour or two a day." I thought that way, but when life began as the chairman's apprentice life began, I realized that "mental education." Is not that great.
Not only while practicing kumite, but also until the time of private life. Mr. Mizutani is a nervous person contrary to abnormal behavior, and if you drive a car, you will definitely have to stay the speed limit. I also was never allowed to enter the overtaking lane on a road with two or more lanes. He also hated the sounds of crying dogs and said that he couldn't sleep when a dog was crying at night. For example, the neighbors dog was outside crying, so the chairman screamed that he was going to beat that dog and went to that neighbors house with a wooden sword before coming back. I never heard the dog cry again, I wondered if he really killed the dog, so I asked him. The chairman said, "The dog owner got scared and moved out of his parents house," but I wasn't sure if that was true or not.
When I remember Chairman Mizutani, all the unpleasant things come to my mind. However, when the chairman felt like it, he took me to a field where he would practice and gave me one-on-one lessons. He also wanted me to go to a rehearsal hall with him. The rehearsal hall was in a complicated place on the road that was difficult to for me to remember though. So I would follow the chairman, but he is not worried about me following him so he drives off while I get stuck at a red light. In the end, I lost sight of the chairman's car and couldn't get to the rehearsal hall.
I thought, "Oh, I've done something bad ... I should just be prepared to run away," but I later called the chairman's house to apologize. He answered while having a meal and just said "It's okay, do not worry about it." from Chairman Mizutani. It was around that time that I felt a little bit kindness of the chairman.
The first job of the attendant was fireworks.
My first job for the chairman, Mizutani, was strange. I had to wait like a gatekeeper in front of Chairman Mizutani's home in Midori-ku, Nagoya, for fireworks to happen.
When the fireworks bang in the neighborhood, I had to run in that direction and go catch the guy who launched it. Regardless of whether the other person is an adult or a child, I have to mercilessly threaten to "never do it again!" and asks for his address, phone number, and name. The reason why the chairman made me do this, is that he liked big fireworks like a fireworks display, but he hated the sound of fireworks launching in the neighborhood, and the fireworks ban was also among the students of Kansuiryu Karate.
Anyway, I wish I could find the criminal, but when if I could not find him, then the chairman's kick flew mercilessly. No matter how much mental education was talked about, being kicked by the chairman hurt incredibly.
He was a person who liked sudden hits, I would go home and be kicked with a front kick when I was told because my legs were dirty . When I got out of the toilet, I was told that I didn't have my slippers properly on, and the lower kick flew.
I would greet him him coming out of the car, "Matsunaga, why did you open the door?!" and I was kicked again, it hurts and I usually fall down, but as soon as I fell down, I heard the chairman's mean voice saying, "You're big, but you fall down right away, don't be hurt right away." so he told me start off with the attack, but when I did I would hear all his nasty comments, "for being so big, you are very poor at striking!" I was secretly told by one of the executives that I was the chairman's favorite.
I wondered if that was true, but I believed in the chairman's words, "If you do this for half a year, I'll get you in New Japan Pro-Wrestling." Six months after the education started, the chairman called me to talk. I had a sweet expectation that I would be able to meet the people involved in New Japan. However, at that time, Chairman Mizutani said to me. "Matsunaga, I'm sorry, but please continue to be with me for a couple of years. Only after that you can go to New Japan Pro-Wrestling."
I was struck by Chairman Mizutani. If I remained in the Kansuiryu, it might have been possible to enter New Japan by Tatsutoshi Goto's route. However, Chairman Mizutani is a person who easily breaks his promise. It could be postponed again in three years. Besides, I'm getting sick of myself in the Kansuiryu. I couldn't bear to be stay in Kansuiryu as it is. At that time, I knew the front and back of the Kansuiryu. Even if I stay as it is and become an executive of Kansuiryu, it will only get worse than before. Kansuiryu gave the executives absolute authority, and if even one executive appeared at the dojo, the students would line up. At that time, Chairman Mizutani said, "Increase the dojo," and the executives rented a public hall to increase the number of new dojos.
However, when the number of students increased, all the monthly fees were sucked up by the chairman, and the chairman's pockets grew. I felt like running away.
Usually other schools use imitation swords when performing serious acts and used white blade removal, but Kansuiryu always used real ones. It seems that it was the chairman's idea. However, there were some students who failed in their performance and cut their heads seriously with a Japanese sword, and some who couldn't jump in time and needed 10 stitches inside the ankle and 10 stitches outside. Also, one of executives had a cut his fingers through the muscles and Chairman Mizutani told him, "Keep going, then worry about your finger"
When I met that person afterwards and talked to him, he said "Matsunaga, I am in the Kansuiryu, not in the Yakuza, I can't point anymore." I quit Kansuiryu after that conversation.
A month after leaving Kansuiryu, I returned to my parents' house and got a call from the dojo director "I want you to submit the exit notice and pay the membership fee and late payment." I knew that if I didn't pay, then Chairman Mizutani would come after me.
I went to the dojo at a later date, promising to pay membership fees, late payments, and a notice of withdrawal. I did not see Chairman Mizutani at the dojo. I just handed over the exit notice, which I wrote for a good reason, and left the headquarters dojo after paying off all the unpaid membership fees.
Less than a year after I left Kansuiryu, something went wrong. The executives left one after another. Many of the retired executives quit because they couldn't stand it, thinking that the dojo would be theirs if the chairman died someday. I thought that a person like Chairman Mizutani would definitely live a long life in the world, but five years after I was enrolled, the chairman died at a young age of around 50.
The current Kansuiryu has been detoxified by the death of the president, but the soul of Kobudo remains. Not only the headquarters dojo, but also the branch dojo has been taken over by the remaining executives and continues to operate soundly. The second chairman who is in charge of Kansuiryu is a good person that I know well.
At the time of Chairman Mizutani they did not pay the executives who managed the dojo a monthly salary, so I remember the second chairman having a headache all the time. I was disgusted by Chairman Mizutani, but for me, it was my youth when I was doing karate in the Kansuiryu Karate. There are emotions I can't say, but every time I remember the crazy eyes of Chairman Mizutani, I realize that the origin of' Mr. Danger was in Kansuiryu.
Introduction to the International Karate Kenho Federation Seishin Kaikan
After I left Kansuiryu. I returned to my hometown and gathered my friends to open a dojo. Actually, it was a karate club, but from there I participated in any competition that I could participate in, such as Shodo Kaikan, Byakuren Kaikan, Shidokan, Sato Juku. I participated in the tournament with a black belt, but during the Kansuiryu era, I never did the promotion examination, so I was still in the first grade.
I participated in the "5th All Japan Karate-do Championship" sponsored by the Shodo Kaikan. I was 21 when I fought against Masaaki Satake for the first time, but at that time, the difference in ability was clear. Satake was his first victory by KO.
I remember it well. I was thought by the people around me to be a impulsive wild fighter, but what was interesting was that three years later, when I joined W*ING and became active in death matches, I read "Satake 6" in books and magazines related to Seidokaikan. Matsunaga, it was written how I was the unbeatable figure but he overcame the odds and won our fight, and I thought, "Seidokaikan is using me for advertising now."
By the way, the number of students in the club I made is increasing, and the
school called Toshinkai asked me if I would like to join the Toshinkai. I
decided to discuss with all the students and accept the offer of Toshinkai.
Around that time, a karate open tournament was held to commemorate the 100th
anniversary of the city administration of Nara City, Nara Prefecture, and I
participated in the tournament as a fighter belonging to the Toshinkai. It was
at this tournament that I met Director Aoyagi. In fact, Director Aoyagi also
participated in this tournament, and I happened to be in the same room at the
same inn as Aoyagi. Speaking of Masashi Aoyagi, he was a famous person in the
karate world at that time of the rise of Masaaki Satake of the Seidokaikan in
Kansai and he placed second in the Shidokan tournament.
Director Aoyagi was featured in a magazine called "Karate Magazine" where he was listed as more of a fierce competitor than Miyagi Hikaru (currently Enshin Kaikan) and Azumi Takashi (currently Daido Juku).
I remember being introduced. At that time, Aoyagi was a karate practitioner Aichi. It was like meeting a famous movie star for me. When I talked to him, he liked me because I was from the same Aichi prefecture as he was. At that time, Director Aoyagi taught me various karate techniques that I didn't know about. Before I noticed, we hit it off in a room with many other tournament participants there.
Aoyagi had great muscles and had a well-trained body, I had no choice but to admire him, "Wow, he's a lot bigger than me." I competed in the the tournament until I injured my wrist in the semifinals and abstained. I watched Aoyagi's matches and how crisp his thrusts and kicks were, and he kept winning more and more.
Director Aoyagi's matches looks like good-looking karate, and he looked cool. Is he really such a strong person? I was completely inspired by the fact that a truly amazing person lived in the same Aichi. At this time, although I belonged to the Toshinkai, I had already decided to enter the Seishin Kaikan, and after this tournament, I consulted with the director of the Toshinkai to follow Director Aoyagi.
Then, I decided to leave the dojo that I started from the club. Immediately after leaving Sekishinkai and officially entering the Seishin Kaikan, I was given the position of Chita branch manager by Director Aoyagi of the headquarters which I accepted.
I decided to accept it. In this way, the relationship between me and Seishin
Kaikan began in earnest.
Overthrow, headquarters and the genius Masashi Aoyagi
After joining Seishin Kaikan around that time when the rivals Seidokaikan declared that they would send fighters to the Kyokushin Kaikan tournament, I said, "Yeah, I'm going to the Kyokushin tournament too!" Aoyagi said, "Wait. Let me think about that first", then it was announced Seishin Kaikan wouldn't be able to participate in the Kyokushin's tournament. However, Aoyagi continued to challenge in tournaments sponsored by full-contact schools other than Kyokushin.
When he participated in the Shidokan Cup Competition Strong Open Tournament for the All Japan Karate-do Championship, he was able to leave with a result of 3rd place in the All Japan Karate-do Championship. However, there was a back side to this, and there was a strong man in each block, but the strong man of the block one time was absent, and I was entered in as a pinch hitter.
For that tournament, Nobuharu Matsui of Sato Juku, Satoshi Yanagisawa of Seidokaikan in the same bracket as me. Ryuji Murakami also participated in the tournament.
At that time, Masaaki Satake was the best in the west, Nobuharu Matsui was the best in the east, but Ryuji Murakami was said to be the second strongest in the east.
What surprised me when I entered the Seishin Kaikan was the amount of training Aoyagi did. He did a great amount of practice. Aoyagi seems to have been practicing hard before opening the Seishin Kaikan, as when he worked as a truck driver, he put a dumbbell in the passenger seat and lifted it every time the truck stopped at the traffic light.
However, on the other hand, he was a conspicuous person, when a special
feature was set up in "Karate Magazine" at that time to introduce each karate
group, Masaaki Satake and Satoshi Yanagisawa were featured along with
Seidokaikan, Ryuji Murakami was featured with Shidokan was Ryuji Murakami,
Byakuren Kaikan was featured with Takehiro Minami, but Seidokaikan only Director
Aoyagi appeared by himself, and I wondered, "Why couldn't we be featured?"
Even though it was in the same Aichi prefecture, Director Aoyagi's headquarters dojo and Chita branch were about two hours away by car. However, despite the fact that I still met the Aoyagi frequently, I practiced with him about 10 times. Aoyagi's karate was a genius, but he needed a different type of talent of karate to teach his students.
To be clear he was not good at teaching disciples. Normally, a karate school should have a guidance manual that even students with poor motor skills can become stronger by learning this kumite, but Seishin Kaikan did not adopt such a teaching method. The reason is that Aoyagi himself had never become a disciple of someone, as he started karate by himself and then started the Seishin Kaikan. That's why if the students just imitate the him, the progress of kumite will not move forward.
Even today with Seishin Kaikan, I'm hoping that one strong fighter is growing up now, but back then in the karate tournaments I couldn't put out a fighter who had a chance.
When I was just serving as the Chita branch manager at the Seishin Kaikan, I thought that there were strong fighters I didn't know about at the headquarters, and I motivated my students saying, "The students at the headquarters are better!" so the Chita branch, launched a "Defeat the Headquarter students!"
All my students began practicing at a high level. There is a tournament in which fighters other than the black belt could participate, which is considered to be a rookie of karate in Aichi prefecture, and the students of the Chita branch who participated in this tournament took second place in the individual competition and won other tournaments. This was even before I launched the "Defeat Headquarters" motto, I was wondering why the Headquarters wouldn't put out strong fighters in these tournaments, but in reality, even though there were some fairly strong people in the Headquarters, the "Defeat Headquarters" goal was achieved in just half a year.
The sharpness of Aoyagi's karate is natural, and the Aoyagi himself practiced
karate with his motor nerves and power rather than the technical theory of
karate. I wondered what was different about my kick compared to his kick, and
when I gave one his students a punching bag and kicked it while he held it, the
student said, "The weight of the kick is the same as Aoyagi, but the speed is
completely different." Aoyagi's speed and combination could not be imitated with
The "Martial Arts Festival" that changed my destiny
After I was the director of the Chita branch, there was a tournament that made me feel a strong change between old and new. It is the karate real champion decision tournament held called the 1st "Martial Arts Festival". "Martial Arts Festival" is not only karate matches but also professional wrestling, women's professional wrestling, kick boxing, and shoot boxing.
A tournament in which shooting fighters also participated. This served as a one year memorial show Kajiwara Ikki and then there was another one in 1997 for the 10th year memorial. The first one (April 2, 1988, Ryogoku Sumo Hall) had the 2nd generation Tiger Mask (Mitsuharu Misawa) and Giant Baba form a tag in the main event, and a match against Abdullah the Butcher and George Skaaland was organized.
The Karate Real Champion Decision Tournament was also held at the 1st "Martial Arts Festival", and it became a big event with all the full-contact karate practitioners except Kyokushin, as Seishin Kaikan was represented by Director Aoyagi. The match time was 3 minutes for the main match and 2 minutes if extra time was needed, and the winner was decided by either knocked down win, a decision win, or disqualification due to an opponent's foul. The referee was the director of Shidokan, Yoshiji Soeno, one of the four assistant referees, and the director of Seidokaikan, Kazuyoshi Ishii, who later became famous as the producer of K-1. These karate matches were real.
The All Japan Pro Wrestling ring will be used for the championship decision
tournament, and the first tournament match that transcends the school in the
history of karate will be held in the professional wrestling ring. There may
have been where K-1 came up with having karate matches later in a professional
wrestling ring. Director Aoyagi would be facing against Masaaki Satake of
Seidokaikan, a 28-year-old young warrior at the time, in the second round of the
tournament. Aoyagi was able to use his favorite stab at the start of the match,
Satake then hit Aoyagi using his physique that used his height and weight, and
then kicks to Aoyagi's knees while getting Aoyagi to the ropes. He got in many
The disadvantage of Director Aoyagi was obvious to everyone in the offense and defense was as the the height difference was 18 cm (7 inches). Director Aoyagi kept leaning against the rope. At this point, the referee, Director Ishii, said "Wait", and at the moment when Director Ishii instructed the resumption of the match in the center while watching the situation of Director Aoyagi, Satake instantly hit a kick from the side into the Aoyagi's side causing Director Aoyagi to collapse in the ring
Satake then did a pose after a splendid one win. Around this time, even though Director Aoyagi was genuinely strong, his age was an issue, and it was difficult to face off against young fighters in terms of stamina. Aoyagi couldn't beat his age. In the end, it was Satoshi Yanagisawa who defeated Shidokan's Ryuji Murakami in the semi-finals and then won the Karate Real Champion Tournament. Yanagisawa overturned most expectations and took the victory from Masaaki Satake by judgment in the finals. After that, the color of karate was strong in the 1st and "Martial Arts Festival", but after that show, kickboxing cooperated and the venue moved from Sumo Hall to Korakuen Hall, and after that, kickboxing was the main focus.
Teachings by Kazuyoshi Ishii, Director of Seidokaikan
On July 2, 1989, it was decided that I would participate in the 2nd Karate Real Champion Tournament on behalf of Seishin Kaikan. In the first round I faced off against was Atsushi Tamaki of Seidokaikan who won the championship in 1990. Before the match, the people concerned told me that the first round would not be extended, so I challenged him to short-term decisive battle. I flew hard from the first half and pushed Tamaki into the rope in the second half. He fired a powerful lower kick and I also responded with the secret weapon "Heel Drop." Heel Drop is a technique that was developed for the battle against Tamaki, and it was effective because he is tall. At that time, there were no Japanese fighters who used this technique, so every time a heel drop came in, the venue was very hot. Speaking of heel drop, Andy Hug at that time belonged to Gokushin Kaikan. Three years after the Karate Real Champion Tournament, on July 30, 1992, he turned professional from at the Shodo Kaikan Kakutogi Olympic II.
Getting back to this to the Tamaki match, the match ended up being a draw. One flag went up and I got involved in the extended game. This was unusual because I was told that there would be no extended match in the first round before the match happened. That's why it was difficult to win or lose the match with Tamaki. That is to say, even after entering the extension, I was just trying to do defensive moves, and as a result, it was decided I lost by TKO. The winner of the tournament was Satake, who defeated Gohiro Minami of Byakuren Kaikan in the finals. However, many of the people who saw the match between me and Tamaki said, "You fought well Matsunaga. As long you fight until you're exhausted that is more important than winning or losing."
This match seemed to be the best bout of my amateur days, and in fact, the Tamaki match was my last amateur match, but I didn't regret it. Then, Director Ishii stopped me and said, "Matsunaga, you played a good game! You have a leg (skill) for a big kick, but you have to do this because you can get a counter immediately with such a kicking method. Do you want to give up on professional wrestling and come to practice at our house (Seidokaikan)? " It is an honor to have Director Ishii speak to me as a karate practitioner. But why does Director Ishii even know about professional wrestling? I'm an unconventional person, in one word, then I got a cold sweat for a moment.
The first time I met Director Ishii was at the eve of the 5th All Japan Tournament at Seidokaikan, but he was a very smart person, and he remembered my face in the pamphlet of Seidokaikan. And then every time I met him at the tournament, I talked to him.
With the exception of the Kyokushin Kaikan, the Seidokaikan was by far the largest school in the full contact system. Ishii was a person who could theoretically explain what to do to win a ruled karate match and what techniques to use to win the match. I think this inquisitiveness made K-1 a success as a producer. Director Ishii, who came into contact with the karate era, likes to teach techniques to people, and the teaching method is also tailored to the individual. He taught me according to my ability, which was also very helpful. He really wanted me to practice with Seidokaikan, but in fact Aoyagi's Seishin Kaikan wasn't very similar at all to Seidokaikan, so I think I can be forgiven by consulting with him from Director Aoyagi.
At that time, only Seidokaikan was floating in the full-contact karate school. It's not that the attitude of dealing with Director Ishii is strange, and on the surface there is nothing wrong with it.
However, in my eyes, it seemed that only Director Ishii was treated as an outcast by the directors of various schools. Such a terrible rumor also went around that Director Ishii of Seidokaikan was just good at business, but his karate ability was really just at a blue belt level. However, that was just a hoax. I felt the power of Ishii's stab and kick. The expression that the speed of the technique is fast and it does not catch the eye fits perfectly. He is far from being weak, I thought that even Director Aoyagi couldn't defeat him.
Another reason why I couldn't go to Seidokaikan was also for financial reasons. At that time, I wanted to become independent at an early stage, so I was running a training gym, so I couldn't quit my job and go to Osaka for training. Director Ishii said, "Come to practice overnight! I really wanted to be a karate practitioner, but it just could not happen because of all the conflicts.
Horror, Midnight Game Center
The time has come when fighting sports other than professional wrestling are established. However, although I started with my favorite martial arts in karate, due to such as the current state, it is not possible for me to continue my favorite martial arts as an amateur. Even now, there are only a handful of martial arts fighters who can really be called professionals.
Even strong athletes who appear in martial arts magazines such as "Martial Arts News" and "Gong Martial Arts" cannot live their lives as amateurs. Lack of money was a common problem for amateur fighters. For example, Masaaki Satake used to be a salary man, but there are many karate practitioners like him. Generally, karate practitioners who work for a company cannot work overtime because of practice. I refuse to work overtime and get up to work on time, so I can't get ahead.
No matter how much you bet on martial arts practice for most of your life,
the more you are passionate about karate, you still will not be recognized by
society. Even though I became a student of Seishin Kaikan and was in a position
to be assigned to the Chita branch, I was called by a student as a teacher, and
I really didn't have any money when I was a karate practitioner. Around this
time, I realized how difficult it was to eat food as a martial artist.
Therefore, even if it is called indie, I need to look into becoming a
I think I'm happy with that alone. Frankly speaking, I worked at an arcade at midnight because I couldn't eat it just by running a karate instructor and a training gym. The work itself was midnight management and surveillance, but in a nutshell it was like a bouncer. The arcades where I worked are often harassed by local yakuza. I don't know why it happened. However, it is said that the president of the arcade was also taken out by a few yakuza and threatened. Especially in the middle of the night, young cocky-like guys come all the time.
In addition to the yakuza, it is a daily occurrence that fights between customers and customers who drink alcohol start rampaging, and when I went to work, something always happened. The reason I didn't get scared at this part-time job was because I was courageous because of my experience with Kansuiryu Karate. Even so, there were many yakuza who were really stupid. When I was told, "Brother, give me a cigarette," and said, "I don't smoke," I was told, "You're stupid," and so when they would order food and I would just say, "I'm sorry, sold out."
One day, there was a yakuza thugs who were rolling up money from three customers and ran away when I walked by and I could not understand what was going on, and suddenly one customer cried, "We were blackmailed just now." When I asked, the three customers were threatened by the thug.
I got angry, I took out four metal bats from the batting cage and handed one to each to the three blackmailed people. I said, "Lets go find him." but, we couldn't find him... Then a visitor pointed out to me there where the evil yakuza was, as the thug-like man had told him, "I'm being chased, please help me hide." and we came by and I grabbed him and brought him back to the arcade warehouse. I turned off the lights of the tennis court next to the warehouse of the arcade. The auto tennis court isn't open late at night, so I thought it was okay to keep the lights off as he would be locked in the warehouse. A few hours later, when I went to see him, I wondered if he was bored, and he was walking around freely in the warehouse making a model car.
Click here for Chapter 2: Mitsuhiro Matsunaga Pro-Wrestling Debut