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Global Training Report 

Presents

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Genki Sudo

From Square to Octagon

Gong Kakutogi No. 144, Apr. 2004

Text by Kimura Osamu

Translated by Kondo Yoko

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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 problem.h

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 spectators.

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 title.

" 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" in Japanesej. 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 this year.

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This translation provided free as a service to kakutougi fans everywhere by www.Global-Training-Report.com

@  (c) 2004, Yoko Kondo. All rights reserved.

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