www.SCIENTIFICWRESTLING.com Bushido- The Standing Bouts

Sep 5 21:42 2009 Jake Shannon Print This Article

When talking about Bushido (or the U.W.F. International), being a professional wrestling company people tend to reflect on only the great wrestling which took place- obviously, this makes sense. Many do recall the great "standing bouts" (the name we gave the kick-boxing bouts, originally billed as being the U.W.F. International Stand-up Fighting Division).

To me these bouts were of almost equal importance as the wrestling division. This division had only three members in the history of the company,Guest Posting Makoto Ohe (former All Japan Shoot-Boxing champion who made his debut with the company on our second promotion fighting to a draw against "Bad Boy" Rudy Lovato which many considered to be the "bout of the year"), Bovy Chowaikung (who made his debut with the company winning a controversial K.O. in the only "doubles" match to take place teaming up with Ohe against "Bad Boy" Rudy Lovato and Fernando Calleros) and Gong Yuttachai (fought only once winning a unanimous decision against Rodney Brockfield).

hey fought all comers from around the world, fighters with backgrounds in Karate, Kempo Karate, Savate, Kick-boxing, and Muay Thai, world-rankers and world champions and other title holders from the AKKA, KICK, WKA, and of course the ISKA. The U.W.F. International hosted the very first ISKA sanctioned match to ever take place in Japan, later they would be sanctioning world title championships in the K-1 as well. Both Ohe and Bovy became world champions in their weight divisions, making the UWFi the only pro-wrestling company to hold world kick-boxing titles.

People also talk about how the UWFi wrestlers would take on competitors from other disciplines (at this time, "mixed matches" were the staple of trying to determine who was "the best", this would eventually evolve into the MMA era we have today), not only in their own ring but in other company's rings under many different sets of rules. This would continue after the company closed it's doors and the majority of the fighters were in the company known as "Kingdom" (pretty much everyone competed in this group minus Takada, Tamura, and Nakano.

Along the line, several others would leave elsewhere looking for what suited them for whatever style/financial reasons) when you'd see our guys participating in the K-1, UFC, and other related promotions. Like the wrestlers, our kick-boxers were ready to go out to other companies as well carrying the UWF banner.

Both Bovy and Ohe have fought on foreign territory, one particular fight which turned out to be another "bout of
 the year" was a match for Caesar Takeshi's Shoot-Boxing promotion between Ohe (who held the I.S.K.A. World Super Lightweight title at this time) vs. Hiromu Yoshitaka (considered one of the best at the time, he was the current Shoot-Boxing champion) that went the distance with Yoshitaka winning a decision.

Some remember the Funaki vs. Roberto Duran mixed match which took place on a Fujiwara-gumi card. Almost no one knows this except for a few insiders, but we were the first to contact Duran for a mixed match (this was for the promotion billed as "The Battle of the Champions" which had Takada vs. Berbick as the main event, Scott vs. Warring as the semi-final). The thing was as all of our wrestlers were heavyweight and junior heavyweights (boy, what an old term for the American fans), we never had the intention of putting him up against the "wrestling division" for a mixed match.

The original plan was to have another UWFi vs. Boxing match, pitting Ohe against him, which rule-wise was to be a kick-boxing vs. boxing match as they were the same weight which would have made for a "fair" fight. Ironically, when Duran came to Japan to fight he appeared to be a heavyweight (actually he was just badly overweight and out of shape).

In my opinion this didn't make too much sense as if he had been in good condition as Warring and Berbick were at the time, the weight difference would have been just too much to pit him against the likes of a heavyweight Shoot-style wrestler, such as Funaki. The rest is history. We ended up with Vince Ross, who was the WKA Canadian Welterweight Champion, who knocked Ohe out in the 2nd round. I really wish that the Ohe vs Duran match had taken place, it had all the elements of being a classic mixed match, not to mention that you don't see too many pure kick-boxing vs boxing events involving world champion quality fighters of top caliber in their respective sports.

 The "tag team" kick bout proved to be a success in that we could cut out the rounds, turning the match into a non-stop action filled bout. Fighters could decide when to take their breaks, and the exciting thing was that fighters would stay fresh for longer contributing to the fast paced action. Also, as with the wrestling bouts, a fight could go on longer as if someone got into trouble, they could tag out and the match would continue.

 The main difference as far as points were concerned, was that each team would start with 41 points and points would be deducted when knocked down and also when you made a tag. We considered tagging in a kick-boxing match in the same way we considered a wrestlers' "rope break". A wrestler would grab the ropes if he was in trouble from a submission hold. Without the rope break, the matches would NOT have gone as long as they generally did, probably a few minutes at the longest as we see in bouts that do not have the rope break, such as Shooto, UFC, Pride, Seiken-Shinkage-ryu (Satoru Sayama's, the founder of Shooto, new style which can be seen in his new promotion Real Japan Pro-Wrestling), and so on with other forms of MMA.

In the same way, we saw that if a kick-boxer had to tag out, he was either in trouble or getting too tired and needed some time to recover. This was also to prevent fighters from tagging out each and every time they got hit. We wouldn't have much of a fight if fighters got too cautious and took a break after each and every hit they took. This is the reason for the one point deduction for a tag, if someone did try this, they would lose all their points hence would lose the match. Like any other match, fighters would have to go into bouts with a different strategy than a singles match.

If you got your opponent in trouble and had an opening, though he would in most cases not be saved by the bell (until the one and only final bell, this match as most others had a time limit, 20 minutes), he could escape if you were incapable of cutting off the ring and preventing him from running back to his corner to tag out. It was really unfortunate that we only had this one tag-team kick-boxing match, had the company still been in existence we would have had many more, there was even talk amongst the I.S.K.A. at the time about starting a tag division with titles which would be sanctioned by them after watching this match put on by UWFi.

I'm still a believer of this type of match, and if sometime in the future Bushido ever comes back to life as the spirit still lives on (never say never, it's happened before, especially in the history of the U.W.F.) there's a good chance to see tag-team kick-boxing once again, on more of a regular basis if it happens.

I'm not the only one who was involved in Bushido who wishes that this would happen. Keep your fingers crossed!

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Jake Shannon
Jake Shannon

Become a member of http://www.ScientificWrestling.com  today and watch over 50 hours of exclusive fight footage from the UWFi and the MMA and Pro-Wrestling classic , "Bushido: Way of the Warrior!"

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