Home > Uncategorized > How KID Became An MMA Fighter!

How KID Became An MMA Fighter!

Sometimes legends are born through small coincidences. Two fighters with such background stories are Judo legend Masahiko Kimura and MMA fighter Norifumi “KID” Yamamoto…

An excerpt from the book “My Judo” by Masahiko Kimura:

The following is what motivated me to start judo. It was around the beginning of my 4th grade year. During a large-scale school cleaning (this is called O-Soji), Mr. Tagawa in charge of my class was absent. When I noticed it, I ran to a nearby Manto (Japanese pastries) Shop, ate four or five Manto, and came back to the school. I then noticed that some of my classmates were carrying the teacher’s desk. I ran toward the desk and jumped onto the desk. The desk collapsed making a loud sound. I jumped up and down with joy screaming “Banzai, Banzai”. Suddenly, someone grabbed me firmly in the rear lapel and pulled me backward. When I turned my head, I found Mr. Tagawa, who I thought was absent, glaring at me with a very scary look. He yelled “Idiot face!” and slapped me in the face. He then threw me to the floor. He pulled me up, slapped me, and threw me to the floor again. After this, I was scolded in the teachers’ room, and stood on the corridor. After this incident, I decided to get even with Mr. Tagawa. I though about how to get revenge on him for about a week, and investigated his background. I then found out that he was a 1st dan in judo. I thought “Is judo such a formidable art? Then, I would be able to throw him around if I became a 2nd dan.” Soon after this, I entered Shodokan Dojo nearby my elementary school.

An excerpt from an interview with Enson Inoue by IronLife.com:

IRONLIFE: There’s one thing I’d like to ask you but if it’s too personal feel free not to answer. There’s something I’d like to clarify since you’re very open about your life and answer many questions on the Internet. It’s regarding Kid Yamamoto and his run in with the Yakauza. From what I understand, Kid’s father was an Olympic wrestler and Kid was heading that direction but had some kind of run in with the Yakuza that prevented that.

ENSON: What happened with that is…well…Kid he’s a kid and he plays around and he has fun. He was shooting a BB gun and hit a Yakuza in the eye. They didn’t even know that they hit the guy. They were playing around shooting his friends and I guess it hit the guy, I don’t know. That’s what he tells me. I don’t know if he was aiming and shooting people and one of them was Yakuza. What happened was, the guy took his plate number down and he was in Yamanashi College, he was one of the top wrestlers there.

The guy followed him to where he lives and those guys actually went in and tried to get him out of the room. He had to jump out of three stories. I don’t know if he had to climb down or if there was a roof to jump down on to. Apparently from the balcony he got out from 3 stories and ran to a restaurant. He called me from the restaurant, telling me that there are Yakuza out there and they want to get him. So if I get there, it’s going to be 3-4 hours since it’s far away. I said, what you need to do is some where there’s a lot of people and wait there. They’re not going to touch you where there are a lot of people.

I made some phone calls and those guys backed away because of some people that I know. What happened was, Kid, because of the incident, got kicked out of college. Then he got banned for 1 year from the wrestling association – so he couldn’t enter any wrestling. The Olympics were the following year, so he would be out 1 year. He had a whole year to get ready for the Olympics.

1 year out of wrestling, so all I did was mention to Kid, hey Kid, come to my gym. Why don’t you come train submissions? I said, it’s still the same movement in wrestling, you can still wrestle, and you can use your wrestling for something else. He said, Oh OK. He came down and I worked on him for like a week and I told him, hey you got a future in this. If you want to push it, come move all your stuff here and don’t worry about money, I’ll take care of everything. I got an apartment for him.

So…he did that, he came down. What happened was, one year later he fell in love with fighting and that’s all he wanted to do.

  1. Soulrise
    February 7, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    Wow. It’s crazy how life can take us in directions we never expected. Great post.

  2. February 8, 2008 at 7:52 am

    Yeah, it’s fascinating. You also have an image of masters like Kimura being really serious persons, but it seems like he was just a normal kid (maybe a little crazier).

  3. mma
    July 20, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    I find this blog very interesting, i will be here everyday till now. Greetings

  4. lyle howard seave
    October 1, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    Great story.
    I just discovered this blog and Im enjoying the back posts.
    Ackward sounding name for the blog but definitely one of my top 3 MMA sites.

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