If TK's shooting has been placed on hold for the time being I would be stunned were this not also true in the cases of Volk Han (who has not yet shot) and Dick Vrij (who shot no more than a month ago). Yeah ok this one is definitely shoot-style, too, no question (source: the feeling I get). Han hits a slick little de ashi barai foot-sweep and follows Vrij to the mat for ude-hishigi-juji-gatame but neither this particular arm-lock nor any other is manifest. Vrij is down two points early on rope breaks (juji-gatame, sankaku-jime/triangle choke) but his clubbing knockdown evens the score soon thereafter. Han is looking a little soft as he flops down from a medium-hard slap but pretending to be knocked down has never really been his strength, truth be told. When his ude-garami arm entanglement leads to another juji-gatame attempt though I forgive him all of his very few failings oh dear he has been knocked down yet again and those points add up pretty fast! It happens again and he is really up against it now! Oh gee that was a really nice finish, though: Han takes the gyaku-ude-garami or let's say Kimura grip this time, rolls underneath in the variation of yoko-wakare (横分 side separation) some know as ude-gaeshi (arm counter; I saw a kid from Prince Edward Island score with this waza at the Canada Games in 2011 and I turned to my pal as he turned to me and I asked "Was it?" and he answered "Yep, ude-gaeshi" and we just shook heads smiling) and came up top for the match-ending juji-gatame at 6:36. In a wise piece of Wrestling Observing that I quoted in these pages long ago, Meltzer made the intriguing point that although Maeda was staging the most shoot-style of all wrestlings, the early-RINGS-standard narrative of guy-gets-clobbered-a-thousand-times-but-then-grabs-a-submission-for-the-win is actually perhaps the least shoot of them all. I was thinking about that earlier today and I am thinking about it anew after this match but please understand I do not mean to cast aspersions on this fine match or upon its especially sikk finish but rather I wish to ponder the questions that it lays open before us.
MAIN EVENT Yoshihisa Yamamoto vs. Bitsadze Tariel and let me begin by noting that Bitsadze Tariel is not getting any smaller. Yamamoto's hair has grown out slightly so it is at a midpoint between the floppiness I feel best suits him and the quasi-Ricksonism he adopted for a time; gone too is the wisp of a moustache that plagued his upper-lip in that dark era. He begins by going like absolute hell at Tariel, who is really way way way bigger, maybe something on the order of Carlos Newton-against-that-guy-he-lost-to-just-from-sheer-exhaustion bigger (I have not watched that in years and could be way off):
April 8, 1996:
"OTHER JAPAN NOTES
Former sumo grand champion turned bad pro wrestler turned shooter Koji Kitao wound up on his back in his first shoot match that was supposed to be an easy tune-up win on the way to Royce Gracie in the fall. Kitao lost via knockout in 5:49 to Pedro Otarvio, who he probably outweighed by 150 pounds, before 3,200 fans at Tokyo Komazawa Gym on the debut card of Kitao's own Universal Vale Tudo promotion. Kitao is still expected to appear against Mark Hall on the next UFC. Three others with pro wrestling experience were on the show. Todd Medina (Pancrase, UFC) was said to have looked awesome showing tons of improvement since his last appearances beating Antonio Bigu in 6:06; Ilioukhine Mikhail (who we have been spelling Eruhim Micha) of Rings, who won the three-day UFC-style tournament in Russia in November outlasting something like 250 entrants, wound up losing to a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner named Valiji Izmael; and Deuseul Berto (who wrestled for Pro Wrestling Fujiwara Gumi, and years back for Championship Wrestling from Florida as Haiti Kid Berto as the tag team partner of Tyree Pride) lost in 1:28 to Hugo Duarte."
OMG Wallid Ismail, legendary jiujiteiro/hothead/toughest man to have ever lost to Akira Shoji! There is much to consider here. Let us consider it further when next we reconvene! Thanks again for your time!