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A Blood Called Shooto

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ncordless

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Nearly 25 years ago, Japanese professional wrestler Satoru Sayama -- better known as the original Tiger Mask -- had an idea about fighting, the seed of Shooto.

The first-ever amateur Shooto event was held in 1986, while 1989 marked the first-ever occasion of “professional Shooting.” All mixed martial arts observers know of Greek Pankration -- and the more modern tradition of Brazilian vale tudo -- but Shooto has the longest lineage of any single combat sports entity in contemporary MMA. Fittingly, that lineage will be celebrated this Sunday in Tokyo, when leading Shooto promoter Sustain stages its 20th anniversary event.

“Shooto” is an intriguing concept, its definition varying depending on who you ask. Although Sayama left the world of Shooto in 1986, his original vision is adhered to by authorities who view Shooto not as an organization but as an international sport unto itself, with its own system and rules, taking place from Japan to Australia to Brazil to Belgium and beyond.

For some MMA fans, following Shooto is proof of fanaticism about the sport and, for others, an unfathomable hobby for MMA elitists. One thing that is readily clear, however, is that those who are passionate about Shooto have an intensity about it that is completely incongruous with how most people celebrate other MMA entities. Even in the heyday of UFC-versus-Pride debacles, debates raged over extrinsic qualities of aesthetic production values, roster quality and fighter purses.

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Post #1   5/8/09 11:33:17AM   

mrsmiley

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Can't forget guys like Maeda,Gotch, and Funaki either.(Glad to see Maeda mentioned)
People seem so quick to bash the meshing of Pro-wrestling and MMA,but in Japan their is a very rich history between the two.

I have a feeling American pro-wrestling will in some respects start looking more like Shooto or Rings (the early Rings),in how their fights are presented.
I wouldn't be suprised if in the next 5 years we see a Wrestling Federation emerge state wide that resembles Shooto.
TNA has already done a little bit of that,and the WWE is implementing more MMA moves into its matches as well.

I'm really happy to see this article on sherdog.

Last edited 5/8/09 8:06PM server time by mrsmiley
Edit note/reason: n/a

Post #2   5/8/09 8:04:58PM