I received mail again from a customer who was wanting to do some personal training with fighters. Last time, it was regarding a kickboxing gym, but this time it was for MMA.
I brought my customer to P's Lab, which is the gym for the
Pancrase organization, and arranged for the customer to train
with Yuki Kondo.
JMMA fans commonly associate Rumina Sato as a symbol for Shooto,
and Yuki Kondo is that symbolic person for Pancrase. Early Pancrase did not have weight classes and Kondo took many fights against opponents who were much bigger than him.
These days, Kondo's performances look poor because of the damage that he has incurred over time, but he remains an active fighter for the Pancrase organization. Even in the worst of times, he continued to compete for Pancrase and won championships in multiple divisions.
When I asked Kondo why he didn't make his own gym, he humbly said, "I'm not good at teaching." However, I heard my customer say that he had never been instructed with so much detail before. I was also impressed by Kondo's spirit of service and humbleness while I translated between him and my customer.
My customer paid 10,000 yen ($100 USD) for two hours of personal training. $60 USD plus expenses ($40 USD this time) for my guidance and coordination fee. I don't believe that you can get a deal like that in the United States. Kondo teaches striking combinations, takedowns, sprawling, positioning, submissions and a special grappling session.
I recently talked about Japanese MMA's prospects and future because I felt that it was not discussed enough in the Japanese scene, but I also respect historical fighters like Kondo. Not only for his legacy but also for his personality.
I hope that people don't forget that fighters who fall out of major promotions still have a life after that, and many of them still contribute to MMA and local MMA businesses.
Submission Wrestling Greats
Pancrase has struggled financially for long time, but now, finally, Pancrase's new leader Masakazu Sakai has decided to offer Pancrase events on international online PPV at Ustream. This also provides opportunities for foreign fighters to make a name in the Japanese scene like they could in the old Pancrase.
Since Sakai is now more inclined to sign foreign fighters with this decision to use online PPV, I hope that international Japanese MMA fans will support it. While I don't think that this first PPV card is the best that Pancrase can offer, international Japanese MMA fans have waited a long time for this opportunity.
The PPV (Live May 19. Can watch recorded video until June 18) link is here: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/pancrase-mma
Big Thanks to my anonymous customer, Yuki Kondo for cooperate.Robert Sargent (MMA Rising) for English editing.