From Square to Octagon
Gong Kakutogi No. 144, Apr. 2004
Text by Kimura Osamu
Translated by Kondo Yoko
gNinety eight percent
of spectators know nothing about kakutogi" says Genki Sudo. "I
have a good reputation, because in my fight, ea small guy defeats a
big guyf, was easy to understand. I think it is also important to make
general people appreciate and understand kakutogi. My fight was
good in this sense. Ifm satisfied that I could finish him without any
Looking back on the
fight with Butterbean in Dynamite on New Yearfs Eve in 2003, Sudo
Genki said like that. Heel-hold in 41 seconds of the second round.
Although Butterbean is an international style boxer, he was 110 kg
heavier than Sudo. The impact of his fight, in which he overcame the
overwhelming difference in weight, was incredible.
And now Sudo is aiming
at UFC 47 held in Las Vegas in USA on Apr. 2nd this year. His
opponent will be Mike Brown. Brown vanquished Leigh Remedios in three
rounds by decision in AFC 6 held on Dec. 6th, 2003. Sudo
earlier defeated Remedios by (rear naked choke) hadakajime in UFC
38 (July 13th, 2002).
He entered K-1 MAX two
years in a row, but his name was not found in the Japan Champion
tournament on Feb. 24th this year. He explained the reason
for it. gI am originally a MMA fighter, so I want to focus on MMA
fights this year.h
His resultsf in K-1
are 1-win, 3-losses, and 1-knock out. The losses outnumber the wins, but
his unorthodox style in which he launches a strong back-hand blow from
the posture of half-body (han-mi) gave a lot of excitement to
gMMA fighters fight
with three kinds of technique, that is, striking, throwing, and
finishing on the ground. I had done wrestling, and had done jiu-jitsu in
America. I had been fighting with no striking at all so far. So striking
was a weakness for me. I think it is the same for everybody, but
entering for a fight is important for the training of striking. If you
enter a fight allowing only striking, you will become more focused and
will learn more than you can get from just training. Thatfs why I
wanted to enter the middle class of K-1, and Ifm happy that I did
ith Sudo said.
So long as he calls
himself a MMA fighter, he had a thought that he has to be able to fight
under the striking rule.
gNow it is the time
that you canft win in MMA unless you are superior in at least two
techniques among three of striking, throwing, and finishing on the
ground. For example, when you fight with a jiu-jitsu fighter who is very
strong at the ground technique, it often happens that you can get the
advantage if you are good at striking. I think that strength is
determined by the balance (hensachi) of striking,
throwing, and finishing on the ground. In addition, if the level of
mind, technique and body goes up too, you will be strong. It is a big
advantage that you are not scared of striking at all in fights. I think
I am superior in striking to other MMA fighters. Thatfs why I think
itfs a time to go for it.h
This year Sudo is
aiming at a further progress in MMA.
gI donft mind where
I fight. I will go for the champion in UFC too, but I think I will fight
in various battlefields depending on an offer or a situation which I
would be in then. It is beyond my thought how things are going to
change, isnft it? Rather than where I want to enter for, I think if I
make the good results by improving myself, it will bring me a chance to
enter for various kinds of fight. I want to enhance my humanity, not
stick to only winning titles. I am very interested in how far a human
can develop. One of the elements of development is gstrengthh. I
wondered what real strength is, and started kakutogi. How strong
can I become? That is my interest and my aim as well. I came not to care
about how other people think about me.h
Looking back on the
past, Sudo analyzes himself that he had stuck to various things. gI
had a strong feeling that I want to step up to the top, or want other
people to like me. I cared about the results of other fighters and
looked at them as rivals.
gIt was about six
months from my debut when I participated in Coloseeum 2000 where Mr.
Funaki fought Rickson (Sudo battled Andrei Pedeneiras to a draw.), and
then I was fighting thinking about only making myself look better. But
Ifve changed in last a few years. Takeda Shingen (a famous samurai )
said, "a person whom 99 people out of 100 called a good man can't
be trusted". There is deception in a man who is said to be perfect.
It is natural that a man has both an enemy and an ally. After all
how people think about others is a relative matter, isn't it? If one
expresses his opinion, somebody will disagree with it. It is a natural
thing to happen. The more one becomes well-known, the bigger the favor
and hostility of people become. But I think it more important how one
thinks about things than how other people think about him. Now I become
to be able to think the way what I have to do is to become stronger
following my belief. I feel pretty easy now."
Although he said he no
longer sticks rigidly to things, he hasn't lost his desire to go for the
" I think that UFC
is the highest hurdle to clear. I am aiming for the UFC lightweight
title. I want to fight BJ Penn "
Fighting in the UFC,
away from home (Japan), is a special ring for Sudo.
"It is hard to win
away from home. I don't understand the language, and food and
environment are completely different. The air of the arena is different.
When I enter UFC, I wonder if foreign fighters fighting in Japan
feel the same way as I do. But they are better because Japanese fans
have a good manner. American fans are so tough.. Booing and screaming of
"USA!! can be heard constantly. An iron nerve is developed by
fighting in such conditions. It is easy to fight in Japan after
experiencing a fight in UFC."
Regarding the octagon,
however, Sudo feels it is rather an easy place to fight.
"I fight in the
manner of circling round the ring drawing the circle. The octagon wire
is closer to circle than the square ring, so I can use it widely. As I
can move drawing a big circle, it is easier to take a pause between
moves. My style is unorthodox, so it is sometimes difficult to be
appreciated in a decision. Thus, I think I have to focus on winning by
finishing. In the case of K-1, there is nothing but KO."
He said that he made up
his unorthodox style with the posture of half-body showed in K-1 in
light of TV games or a fighting style of Tsukamoto Tokuomi in Shin
Kyokushinkai. Tsukamoto is Sudo's striking teacher, and Sudo is
still taking his lessons.
"He (Tsukamoto) is
genius. I learned how to relax and use the body from him. He also
taught me to imagine a body part from around the solar plexus to the
pelvis as a leg. I think I'm the best regarding mind, technique, and
body. The most efficient way to learn to to get coaching from experts in
each specialty. That is my theory. If I go to a person who sits on the
higher place than me, I think I can naturally enhance myself. "
Sudo is doing a
physical training under Mr. Kevin Yamazaki. Mr. Yamazaki's training
style is a total workout like this: a training with a high load and a
low calorie meal with a high protein for one month before a fight. Sudo
will get into this workout from the beginning of March.
As for mental training,
he is receiving instruction from Mr. Nakayama Kazuteru, a hypnotic
therapist. Also, he is training wrestling in Kiguchi dojo directed by
Mr. Kiguchi Noriaki. "I am learning about a fighting spirit from
Mr. Kiguchi too (laugh)." , he said.
The system, which he
does training from a different angle in various places, was beginning to
shape up from around 2000.
"I've been doing 'a
training aiming at three years ahead ' from around 2000, and
it is now that I'm beginning to feel its result. My own style is
beginning to shape up."
He has been extending his
career ranging from kakutogi to a talent activity like appearing on TV
or performing as an actor, but Sudo says that kakutogi is a center
of his career without doubt.
"I know that my
kakutogi career fails, my "talent" activity will fail
too. A talent activity is just a branch. I've been doing well in
kakutogi that is a tree, so the part of a talent activity can come
along well too."
Regarding that kakutogi,
Sudo says, "It is a year to challenge for me as a MMA fighter. I'll
do it without caring about a difference in weight so much, because I
feel that if I stick to only the same class as me, I will remain
small. Thus I don't want to narrow the limits by weight."
It is said that Sudo
had an unorthodox style in his wrestling days. He concentrated throwing
his opponent on his head with a supplex (called "sori-nage"
It seems to feel confident that the unique fighting style he created out
of his own originality is the right one for him..
Sudo's fights, who
stopped sticking to things and aims at level-up fights, cannot be missed
translation provided free as a service to kakutougi fans everywhere by www.Global-Training-Report.com